(de)regulation nation special: we the purple

"Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as by the abuses of power."

Welcome to (de)regulation nation, the newsletter tracking Trump administration environmental rollbacks, along with who’s fighting back and what’s going right.

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I was all set to send out a regular (de)regulation nation this week, when something appeared in my “On the Media” podcast feed that changed my mind: four brief “Purple Episodes,” described as “a series of conversations about an alarming loss of trust, faith and devotion by Americans for American democracy — and what to do about it.”

The very first of On the Media’s Purple Episodes resonated with me, because it touches on one of (de)regulation nation’s fundamental editorial principles: despite the dangerous dysfunction at the top of our government, and how it swamps our news feeds, most of our civic institutions at the town, city, and state levels continue to operate (on a spectrum of bad to great) in our shared reality, often responding to real-world problems with policies more informed by facts, and less by ideological blinders.

I’m so excited about these conversations, that I’d prefer that you take the time you would have spent this weekend reading this newsletter and the stories linked to it, and listen to them instead. Each episode focuses on one or a few facets of the conditions that helped create President Donald Trump and his cult of personality, like extreme wealth inequality and partisan political information bubbles:

PURPLE EPISODE 1: “Is Democracy up for grabs?”

PURPLE EPISODE 2: “Low Information, High Misinformation Voters”

PURPLE EPISODE 3: Let’s Not Discount Reality

PURPLE EPISODE 4: Media to the Rescue?

They’re refreshing conversations, because no one involved parrots tired mainstream political punditry to explain how we got here, or suggests that changing the occupant of the Oval Office will totally solve things (although it would be a good sign). They do offer grounded, data-backed ideas about where solutions could start.

It turns out that these episodes are a contribution to We the Purple, a project that aims to help and inspire Americans “to rediscover and and recommit to our democratic values and institutions.” The resources include a "conversation kit” of ideas for how to share “views of democracy” at the family holiday feast, rather than a politics-inspired conversational meltdown. Too late for Thanksgiving; but Hanukah and Christmas are still ahead of us…

While this project is new to me, it does involve news outlets I often turn to for this newsletter’s story roundups, from The Washington Post to NPR, the Houston Chronicle, KPCC, and McClatchy.

Thanks for reading (de)regulation nation, a production of Brooklyn Radio Telegraph LLC.

Questions? Tips? Send them to emily@deregnation.com.

Emily J Gertz founded and writes this newsletter. I’m environmental journalist whose work has appeared in HuffPost, Audubon, The Guardian, SIERRA, Popular Science, and more. I’m also a contributing reporter to the Drilled podcast.

Find links to my reporting and books at www.emilygertz.com.

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This week’s quote is from Federalist no. 63, by James Madison.