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“From Andrew Jackson to Richard Nixon, we have seen presidents abuse their power, but we had never witnessed an American president incite a violent mob on the citadel of our democracy in a desperate attempt to cling to power.”

– Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island

IN MEMORIAM: This week’s essay is dedicated to Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick, who was killed in Wednesday’s siege of the United States Capitol, and Howard “Howie” Liebengood, who took his own life over the weekend.

The single article of impeachment, co-authored by Reps. David Cicilline (RI), Ted Lieu (CA) and Jamie Raskin (MD), states that President Donald Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” I keep reading that sentence and — wherever you stand politically or if you have never so much as picked up a history book — is language we never, ever imagined we would read. …


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The Capitol Is Stormed and American Companies Are Going to Be Front and Center: The “138” Are About to Become Untouchables

January 6th, 2021, a day that will live in infamy.

History moves in waves. The unthinkable becomes commonplace and we are no longer shocked. Not even surprised. By massive political miscalculations time and time again since the Access Hollywood tape surfaced, the events of January 6th were inevitable. As Republican Senator Ben Sasse wrote, “lies have consequences.”

So much history happened in 18 hours that it is hard to digest. The Democrats’ twin wins in Georgia, the first time they have won a Senate seat there in 20 years and the first African-American Senator Georgia has ever elected. With these victories, Democrats have taken back all three branches of government for the first time in a decade. One hundred and thirty-eight members of the Republican Party protesting the certification of the Electoral College, turning a ceremonial act into Congressional infighting we have not seen since the Civil War. …


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When I was in second grade, my teacher died of cancer, but not before she taught the class to sing Over the River and Through the Woods, as one of her last acts before a long hospital stay that she would never escape. And there I was, at seven, and had already lost the two most important women in my life, both in their mid-20s. First my mother, suddenly on Christmas Eve when I was four, and now a favorite teacher. …


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“I spent the morning putting in a comma and the afternoon removing it.”
–Gustave Flaubert

In 2015 Forbes magazine, where I had a column for about a decade, asked me to cover the Republican presidential debates. Having followed politics since childhood with the Humphrey-Nixon election of 1968 and, as a university professor, teaching about “political moments” — Muskie supposedly shedding a tear on the back of a campaign truck in New Hampshire; George H.W. …


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Dateline: Covid-19, Week 36

I won’t lie to you. These past nine months have had their moments.

Who amongst us hasn’t had that morning where getting up seemed inordinately difficult? It’s not the ten-thousand yard stare. I’ve had that a time or two in my life, after crushing blows like an unexpected death, where the order of the universe seems dangerously out of kilter.

The moment I am talking about is the Sisyphus-like weight that greets us some mornings, like the gravity of Jupiter. How is it in our darkest moments that we keep on? How did Nelson Mandela keep hope, let alone lead, through 27 years and three prisons? How different did the walls look between Robben Island, Pollsmoor and Victor Verster? What did Moses say to the people in the Sinai at the 20 year mark? “We’re halfway there, my friends! …


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“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.”
- Justin Brooks Atkinson

Upon his death in 1984, the New York Times wrote of Justin Brooks Atkinson, where he had worked from 1922 until 1960, that he was ”the theater’s most influential reviewer of his time.” I wonder what he would have written about the “show” that was 2020?

He did write that, “In every age ‘the good old days’ were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.” He wrote through the Great Depression, World War II and the McCarthy Era, so he lived through no shortage of trials and tribulations. …


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A few months ago, In-House Community, the magazine for Asia-MENA in-house counsel, asked me to write the forward for its latest White Paper, “Beyond Black Swan: Positioning the law firm for the new normal.” At the time, we did not know that this would also be the swan song for In-House Community, a company making most of its revenue from events for general counsel in Asia, as they become another victim of Covid-19. As epitaphs go, it’s a good one, providing a road map for law firms both far removed from, yet simultaneously on the cusp of disruption that will be far more challenging than anything law firms have experienced over the past 40 years. …


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“When all else fails, follow instructions.”
— Anne Lamott

As this week passed, we celebrated two media anniversaries, including the first stock ticker in 1867, which replaced mail and messenger service, and half a century later, the first radio news broadcast by the BBC in November of 1922. They used to repeat the news twice so people could more easily take notes and share it with their neighbors, who didn’t have wireless. Imagine a world so slow that we had time to take notes, walk to the neighbors and repeat the message? …


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“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”

— Marie Curie

It’s been nearly 35 years now since my late father and I had taken our seats about eight rows behind the Washington Capitals’ goal when a late-arriving fan, juggling a couple of beers and hot dogs, asked to get by. With the National Anthem about to start, my father politely but in a voice that begged respect said, “In a moment, after we stand at attention.” The other fan stood with us, and as “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!” …


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“The house of everyone is to him as his Castle and Fortress as well for defense against injury and violence, as for his repose.”

— Sir Edward Coke

We’ve simplified this over the last 400 years to “a person’s home is their castle,” and here we are, on the eve of the American election, thinking about our national neighborhood and what our proverbial neighbors are going to do.

Perhaps today, the day before the American election, is a good time to think not just about our neighbors but housing, too. Nothing good happens without home base. Not poverty reduction, upward mobility, solid family support, law and order, or education, let alone peace and community. Just think about what Covid-19 is doing to children in homes with little or no Internet connectivity. …

About

Richard Levick

Richard Levick is Chairman and CEO of @LEVICK, a leading global communications and public affairs firm.

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