Climate Change Is Still Second or Third Fiddle for Democrats

Lev Radin/Pacific Press via ZUMA

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The closing statements from the candidates in a debate are entirely freestyle. They don’t have to respond to a question. They don’t have to worry about what some other candidate just said about them. For one minute, it’s a chance to tell the country what they think truly defines them.

FWIW, that doesn’t appear to be climate change. Of the ten candidates on the stage last Wednesday, eight didn’t mention it at all. Elizabeth Warren mentioned it in passing as part of a laundry list, and even Tom Steyer only gave it a single sentence. Roughly speaking, the main topic the ten candidates addressed went like this:

race, business background, race, technology, decency, race, race, race, corruption, US is greatest country in the world

Race got five shoutouts; beating Trump got three; technology got one; and rah rah USA got one. This is fairly normal, I suppose, since closing statements are meant to either inspire or instill fear, not get into the weeds on policy. Nonetheless, for a group of people who are all willing to raise their hands to agree that climate change is an existential threat, they sure didn’t even feel like name-checking it when they had a free chance to do so. Apparently they didn’t think it was a subject that would motivate their voters.

Sadly, they were probably right.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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