Notes for Reaction to John Broderick’s “Make no mistake. America is broken.”

These notes and sources for my reaction to John Broderick’s “Make no mistake. America is broken.” along with supporting pages :

Addendum with supporting analysis

Appendix A: Word Count Analysis

Appendix B – Factionalism and  Federalist Papers No. 10

Appendix C – Counting of electoral votes and confirmation of the 2020 Presidential election

I started with one long document and then broke it down into more digestible sections. Thus, the notes used in each section, indicated by brackets [ .. ] are going to seem disjoint in areas.

[1]  My friend sent me this: Broderick, John.  (2021).  Broderick: Make no mistake. America is broken.Yahoo News, Mon, December 27, 2021, 2:02 AM, accessed 29 December 2021

This article originally appeared as Broderick: Make no mistake. America is broken. Seacoastonline, Portsmouth Herald  December 27, 2021, 

[2] Kahneman, Daniel. (2011).Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.(Kindle edition)

[3] Lindsay, James M. The 2020 Election by the Numbers. Council on Foreign Relations blog, 15 December 2020. 

[4] U.S. House. 108th Congress, 1st Session. H. DOC.108–94,  OUR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2003.

[5] Feynman, Richard. What is Science? Presented at the 15th annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966 in New York City, and reprinted from The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313-320 by permission of the editor and the author. 

For myself, I’m in my sixties, have an auto-immune disease and hypertension. I am grateful that I can obtain a COVID vaccine and booster.  I have done a fair amount of my own research. For me, the benefits outweigh  the risk of a COVID vaccine. I do think it wise for older Americans with comorbidities to get a COVID vaccine. 

[6] 17 veterans are in the Senate and 74  in the House. 28 are Democrats, 63 are Republicans.
Veterans in the 117th Congress, by the numbers – Military Times. 28 December 2020, accessed 31 December 2021. 

[7] There are some differences in the fully wording for enlisted and officer ranks but the common thread includes protecting rights as described in the Constitution. 

A good explanation accessed 31 December 2021

[8] Vespa, Jonathan E., “Those Who Served: America’s Veterans From World War II to the War
on Terror,” ACS-43, American Community Survey Reports,U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC, 2020. accessed 31 December 2021. 

[9] Wheeler, Russell. Trump’s judicial campaign to upend the 2020 election: A failure, but not a wipe-out. Brookings, 30 November 2021. Accessed 1 January 2022. 

[10] Karl, Jonathan D. Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump. The Atlantic (online) 27 June 2021. Accessed 1 January 2022 

[11] Nteta, Tatishe et al.. One Year Later, New UMASS Amherst Poll Finds Continued National Political Division Over the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.   University of Massachusetts Amherst Office of News & Media Relations. 28 December 2021. Accessed 1 January 2022.

The 58% figure comes from the poll question: “Do you believe that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was legitimate or not legitimate?” 46% of all respondents answered “definitely legitimate” and 12% answered “probably legitimate” for a total of 58%. All the data for this question are shown in Table 1.

[12] Nteta, Tatishe et al. Toplines and Crosstabs December 2021 National Poll: Presidential Election & Jan 6th Insurrection at the US Capitol.  University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Political Science and Program in Legal Studies, 28 December 2021.
Accessed 1 January 2022. 

[13] Table 1 and 2 are based on the lead graphic in [12]. I removed the colors used in the graphic, transcribed the data, and added notes from the graph. I added “Margin of error 3.1%” as stated in [12] The graph alone is available at: under BidenLegitGraph.pdf

The methodology used seemed fair and reasonable.

[14] “This University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll of 1,000 respondents nationwide was conducted by YouGov Dec. 14-20. YouGov interviewed 1036 total respondents who were then matched down to a sample of 1,000 to produce the final dataset.” [12] 

[15] I didn’t know about YouGov until I saw it was used in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Poll . Here’s a bit more information from about You Gov, found on their website, accessed 2 January 2021 

“YouGov is an international research data and analytics group headquartered in London.

Our data-led offering supports and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities of a customer-base including media owners, brands and media agencies. We work with some of the world’s most recognised brands. ….

With a proprietary panel of over 9+ million people globally and operations in the UK, North America, Mainland Europe, the Nordics, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world’s largest research networks. ….

As the pioneer of online market research, we have a strong record for data accuracy and innovation. A study by the Pew Research Center concluded YouGov “consistently outperforms competitors on accuracy” as a vendor of choice. We are the market research pioneer of Multilevel Regression with Post-stratification (MRP) for accurate predictions at a granular level.”

[16] Nteta, Tatishe et al. Toplines University of Massachusetts Amherst/WCVB

National Poll of President Biden’s First 100 Days. University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Political Science and Program in Legal Studies, 26 April 2021. 

 Only the data for all respondents was available; not the breakdown by party.
Accessed 2 January 2022. 

[17] Given the margin of error of 3.4% in the April, 2021 survey and 3.1% in the December, 2021 survey; there’s a possibility that the number of Americans who believe that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was not legitimate may be the same over the two polls. The possibility that an increasing number of Americans believe this is less likely.

[18] Oops, in the last sentence my System 1 brain kicked in. I could not resist the rhythm of “ rhetorical resonance of a reverse” 

[19] Dapcevich, Madison. Did Portland Protesters Burn Bibles and American Flags?, Published 5 August 2020, Updated 11 August 2020, accessed 5 Jan 2021.

[20] Data used in Tables 5-7 from Crosstabs University of Massachusetts Amherst December 2021 National Poll [12] accessed 6 January 2022 

The data is from the crosstab Party ID – January 6TH Responsibility (% Selecting Individual(s) or Group). The Independent Party data was not used to provide a clearer visualization of the differences between Republicans and Democrats.The Independent Party data should comprise only 2% of the sample (20 of 1000 respondents)  

[21]  Recent facts regarding Capitol Riot prosecutions:

“Around 700 people who stormed the building while Congress met to certify President Biden’s win have been arrested this year, including more than 200 who face charges of assaulting officers or engaging in other violent conduct. About 150 of the rioters have pleaded guilty, many to misdemeanor crimes including entering a restricted federal building.”

The attack left more than 100 police officers injured and caused millions of dollars in damage as hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump, some clad in military battle gear, mobbed the seat of the Legislative Branch in a bid to stop the certification, forcing Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to evacuate as chaos engulfed the building.

In the riot’s wake, prosecutors searched for tools to elevate some of the cases beyond the misdemeanor charges often applied for unruly but far less momentous Capitol protests. They turned to a provision in the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, enacted after the accounting-fraud scandal and collapse of Enron, which imposes a potential 20-year sentence on those convicted of obstructing an “official proceeding.” The measure expanded what counts as obstruction and closed loopholes used by people involved in the Enron fraud.

Around 270 of the rioters face that felony charge, and some of them have coalesced around an effort to poke holes in that central element of the government’s strategy—with limited success to date.”

Viswanatha, Aruna. To Prosecute Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters, Government Tests Novel Legal Strategy. Wall Street Journal online, 29 December 2021. Accessed 5 January 2022.

[22] Flesch Reading Ease Score description: 

“Most times, a readability score helps you know how easy it is to read content or passage. It helps you know the educational level that one has to be in to read a text without a hassle.

The Flesch reading ease score indicates the understandability of a passage with a number that ranges from 0 to 100. It shows how difficult it is to understand the content. The higher scores mean that the content is easy to read and understand.”

The formula for Flesch reading ease score is:

206.835 – 1.015 × (total words ÷ total sentences) – 84.6 × (total syllables ÷ total words)

Interpreted Flesch reading ease scores:

90 – 1005th gradeVery easy to read
80 – 906th gradeEasy to read
70 – 807th gradeFairly easy to read
60 – 708th & 9th gradePlain English
50 – 6010th to 12th gradeFairly difficult to read.
30 – 50CollegeDifficult to read.
10 – 30College graduateVery difficult to read
0 – 10ProfessionalExtremely difficult to read

Source: Flesch Reading Ease Score – Reading and Grade Level Calculator, accessed 7 January 2022


[23] Madison, James. The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection, The Federalist Papers : No. 10. New York Packet. Friday, November 23, 1787.
Text from The Avalon Project, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale University. accessed 8 January 2022

[24] All the summary tables were prepared by myself using data from: Counting of electoral votes (January 6-7, 2021). Ballotpedia, accessed 8 January 2022.,_2021)

[25] Extract of Nancy Pelosi Press Release

“…. Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee.  I have spoken with him this morning about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation.  I also informed him that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members.

With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee.

“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”

Pelosi, Nancy. Pelosi Statement on Republican Recommendations to Serve on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Press Release, 21 July 2021. Accessed 9 January 2021 

[26]  Extract of Kevin McCarthy Press Release

Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation.

“The Speaker has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives. She had months to work with Republicans on a reasonable and fair approach to get answers on the events and security failures surrounding January 6. ….

McCarthy, Kevin. McCarthy Statement on  Select Committee on January 6. Press Release, 21 July 2021. Accessed 9 January 2021 

[27] Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. Ballotpedia. Accessed 9 January 2021

[28] “Appeal to the passion” 

2 thoughts on “Notes for Reaction to John Broderick’s “Make no mistake. America is broken.”

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