Just as I was looking ahead to the weekend last week, I got a fresh spike of anxiety.

The Republican National Committee, I read, now officially calls the January 6 coup attempt “legitimate political discourse” and is censoring its members who are helping to investigate it. That felt disturbing — and newsworthy.

But come Monday, that story had all but fallen away in the wider media. This week in OtherWords, I put the RNC’s disturbing January 6 statement in the context of other recent headlines — like Donald Trump’s draft order to seize voting machines in 2020 — and call on the media to prioritize reporting these threats to the democracy that makes its work possible.

Meanwhile, my brilliant colleagues look at a few other threats and how ordinary people are grappling with them.

Samantha Garcia reports on the widespread use of the National Guard to staff hospitals, drive school buses, respond to natural disasters, and meet other crisis demand during the pandemic. These Guard members have done a real service to their communities, she argues — but if we spent less on the military and more on human needs, they wouldn’t need to.

Phyllis Bennis, meanwhile, looks at a new Amnesty International report’s conclusion that Israel is practicing apartheid against Palestinians and calls on the U.S. government to adjust its aid to Israel’s military accordingly.

And in a more hopeful bit of news, Basav Sen shares three very inspiring stories about communities rising up to protect themselves from pollution. Don’t miss it!

New This Week…

Media, Take Note: The GOP Is Now Openly Aligned Against Democracy | Peter Certo
The media has a responsibility to tell Americans that a major party now openly endorses using violence to overturn elections.

We Shouldn’t Have to Rely on the National Guard for Basic Services | Samantha Garcia
Guard members have stepped up heroically during the pandemic. If we invested in more than just the military, maybe they wouldn’t have to.

Human Rights Groups Agree: Israel Is Practicing Apartheid | Phyllis Bennis
The U.S. gives Israel’s military $3.8 billion a year. According to a new Amnesty report, that money funds apartheid.

Three Hopeful Stories of Environmental Activism | Basav Sen
It’s people vs. fossil fuels, and the people are chalking up some impressive wins.

Maus, Enemy of the People? | Khalil Bendib
The unbearable tone-deafness of book banning.

In Case You Missed It…

This Black History Month, Don’t Ban Our History — Teach It | Tracey L. Rogers
As politicians ban books and courses, this Black History Month seems especially significant.

Banned Books Should Be Required Reading | Olivia Alperstein
The people who want to ban Maus or The 1619 Project are the ones who need to read them.

This Pandemic Showed the Benefits of Universal Health Care | Sonali Kolhatkar
The government saved lives by covering COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatment. What if treated other diseases this way?

Presidential Debates May Be a Thing of the Past | Julie Hollar
But with much of the GOP embracing lies and authoritarianism, that might be a good thing.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to OtherWords.org. To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.