So Much Winning…

The Guardian recently made awards to the very worst “leaders” in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a pretty substantial list, beginning with announcement that the UK’s Neville Chamberlin award would go to Boris Johnson, and proceeding through several others ( the “Tiger Woods award for making us feel we barely knew you” went to the whole country of Sweden, and the “Walking Dead Award for Reminding Human Beings Our Greatest Threat is One Another” to the anti-lockdown protestors in the US), before landing on the Grand Prize Winner–no surprise there–Donald Trump.

Like Boris Johnson, he ignored international warnings about the coronavirus when meaningful action could have slowed its spread. He held public rallies even while experts begged for social distancing. He’s used press conferences to attack reporters, repeat lies and push treatments that some studies now suggest may be unproven cures at the same time he’s demanded praise. He’s promoted people who don’t know what they’re doing, allowed the demotion of others who desperately do, he’s abused leaders who’ve taken responsibility for their citizens, and adamantly taken none himself. He’s talked about his TV ratings while Americans were buried in mass graves.

The only award in which he’s not competitive is one for failing to meet expectations – because nobody who’s watched Trump for five consistent minutes is surprised by this disaster at all. America outstrips the world for coronavirus infection. There have been more than 842,000 cases there. More than 46,000 Americans are dead.

Donald, you blitzed this competition. It’s your crowning achievement! Now, go put a glittering corona on your head!

And that was written before he suggested injecting disinfectants….

Trump’s incompetence and corruption are no surprise to people who follow the news, but even Americans who are charitably referred to as “low information voters” can hardly help being aware of just how badly this sad, mentally-ill buffoon is performing.

Which brings me back to my recurring, unfathomable question. Why does anyone still support him?

It’s a question I see frequently in my Facebook feed; a mystery we talk about with friends and family. The easy answer, of course, is that these are uneducated or stupid people who occupy an “alternative fact” universe. Unkind–and unhelpful– as that description is, it probably does describe the sorts of people we saw pictured with misspelled signs and AK-14s at the demonstrations protesting pandemic shutdowns. On the other hand, there are clearly some intelligent, educated people who continue to defend this horrific administration, and who continue to support this demonstrably insane President.

Some, of course, are plutocrats and other beneficiaries of fiscal favoritism who care about nothing but their own pocketbooks. What about the others?

The social science research that has been done in the wake of the 2016 election confirms a strong relationship between what scholars delicately call “racial resentment” and support for Trump.

Obviously, not every Trump voter in 2016 was a White Nationalist, but fear of being “replaced,” of losing White Christian male privilege, is really the only available explanation for the continued fidelity of those not on the “payroll” who recognize his personal deficits and abysmal performance and nevertheless still support him.

I hate the conclusion I’ve reached. I hate what it suggests about a significant percentage–fortunately not a majority–of my fellow Americans.

As the pandemic has dragged on, so many Americans are demonstrating what is best about us–compassion, charity, creativity and a recognition that we are all–all– in this together. My hope is that these are the Americans who will turn out in massive numbers to vote blue in November.

About that vote…

David Sedaris recently had the perfect rejoinder to those who respond to “vote blue no matter who” by pointing to the (undeniable) faults of those imperfect Democrats. I think he said it all:

I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.


  1. Yes, it is getting scary out there…and in here. If you haven’t yet received a screed from a shrieking maniac anarchist, you haven’t lived the full life experience of Trumpworld. Yesterday, I received a massively deranged e-mail from that infamous ex-FBI agent who called me and other addressees seditionists, traitors, etc., etc. He openly stated that we should all rot in prison. That’s anarchist speak for wanting to kill us. No, I’m not making this up. No, I will not post what he wrote.

    One of the addressees is a prominent club golf pro, who thought it was fun to “tug on Joe’s chain” once in a while. I wonder what he thinks that chain is connected to now that he’s been labeled as an enemy of the state. But to Sheila’s point today…..

    This Joe creep has been promoting his fact-free, Fox/Breitbart/InfoWars rants for TEN YEARS. He avoids facts and ignores the hypocrisy of his “analyses”. But with Trump around, he and his fellow travelers have become utterly unhinged. As the election nears, and the signs for Trump/Republican defeats increase, look for more of the lunatic fringe, complete with AR-15s, and all the ammo they can carry, to intimidate voters and peaceful gatherings that they oppose.

    As I’ve said before, we are in a bar fight. Look after yourself and your loved ones. Protect them where you can. The bad guys have guns and Trump’s world enables them to use them against people like you, me and my friend the golf pro. Yes, there is a mass insanity, and the asylum from which it radiates is in the White House.

    Beware. Our democratic republic is on the brink. Will our military step up and defeat these domestic enemies/terrorists? Will the police be able to handle armed bands with automatic weapons spraying our towns and cities. Dystopia? You bet. Trump labeled it as such in his inaugural address. He saw what he wanted us to become so his fetid and pathetic persona could be seen as savior. Let that sink in.

    Bad leader? Crazy leader? All of that…and more. For the right-wing fringe, it’s what they’ve always wanted. This is what the ultimate abuse of the First Amendment looks like when the leadership is insane.

  2. Sheila,

    “Which brings me back to my recurring, unfathomable question. Why does anyone still support him?”

    l think Donald Trump and his supporters must have read the same book I happened upon about thirty years ago, in the used book section of a thrift shop.

    It was entitled: “There’s Always the Jews.” I would have added: “to Screw.”

  3. Sheila; we really needed the “leave them laughing” end to the blog today.

    “As the pandemic has dragged on, so many Americans are demonstrating what is best about us–compassion, charity, creativity and a recognition that we are all–all– in this together.”

    “…the “Walking Dead Award for Reminding Human Beings Our Greatest Threat is One Another” It was posted on a Facebook this morning that those anti-lockdown protesters all appear to be white, a fact that I began specifically looking for when the reports that blacks are the hardest hit coronavirus victims in this country. A statistic that may never be factually reported in the confirmed coronavirus and death count. I have also not seen Hispanics or Asians waving flags and holding senseless signs. New York Gov. Cuomo reported that the strain of coronavirus in that state is European, NOT China as Trump wants us to believe…some days. It doesn’t seem to be “we are all in this together” as has always been the case in any disaster…except for those first responders in medical, public safety and public service jobs such as custodial, public transportation, cashiers and inventory workers in supermarkets, pharmacies, etc. They are counted among the virus victims and the death count. The highest count of those of us “all together” in this Pandemic are sitting at home, uncounted by those keeping statistics. And the Trump campaign rallies remain the daily TV highlight.

  4. JoAnn,

    “…the “Walking Dead Award for Reminding Human Beings Our Greatest Threat is One Another” It was posted on a Facebook this morning that those anti-lockdown protesters all appear to be white, a fact that I began specifically looking for when the reports that blacks are the hardest hit coronavirus victims in this country

    That’s the most important award. It’s all about race, just like in Nazi Germany, but that was against less than 1%. And this CHICKEN-SHIT, ASS-HOLE is taking on 40% or more. The result of all of this is going to be unmatched in history.

  5. Your words – are on target! Arlie Hochschild’s – Anger and Mourning on the American Right – see my review – – captures a lot of what you’ve said. I disagree with one of her conclusions believing that we should not expend much energy on such people. We need to reach the “middle of the road independents” – in key states. These people aren’t frightened of a loss of abortion rights or the racism so prevalent today. They need to be reached emotionally – feeling – that they’ve been betrayed by Trump. A big danger is that too many of them will simply Not Vote – believing that “both sides are unreasonable”.

  6. After watching the FAUX News edited video you could conclude – with an appropriate amount of mental gymnastics – that he was being sarcastic. If you watch the unedited version though, there is little doubt he was expressing ideas that were freely emanating from the brain of a 12-year old. Fauci and Birx are enabling a narcissistic abuser. He’s gaslighting us and they’re joining in the gaslighting. The Supreme Leader should be subjected to such ridicule that even FAUX News cannot defend him anymore. 25th Amendment should apply.

  7. Many black and Hispanic Americans haven’t time or inclination to spend days protesting their need to work. They are already working — in essential services. And, as we know, many are already victims of the corona virus protestors discount.

  8. Alphons, the 25th Amendment could only apply if the Veep and the Cabinet members weren’t just a psychotic as the President. Truthfully, I’m not sure we have enough confirmed cabinet members to reach such an accord, even if they weren’t just as bad as 45.

  9. “The foundation upon which the formal political order rests can be thought of as a “substructure” of domination–social interactions, cultural norms, econopmic activities, and informal power relationships that create the basis for compliance with the prescriptions of the ruling group. Changes in the underlying structure are often the precursor of and condition for alteration in the political system’s “superstructure,” the formal system of power. Basic alteration in the former, the substructure of power, can be thought of as involving political TRANSFORMATION, and can be distinguished from political TRANSITION, by movement from one formal arrangement of power to another. TRANSFORMATION prepares the way for TRANSITION.”

    “The Apartheid State in Crisis: Political Transformation in South Africa 1975-1990” by Robert M. Price (Oxford University Press, New York, 1991) p. 4.

    There’s been no transformation in the substructure. George Bush attempted the transformation in 1991 and failed. So has Trump/Bannon. Adolph Hitler wasn’t a fool. He didn’t try a transition to Nazism before transforming the substructure with its massive hatred against the Jews.

    What can work for Trump other than destruction? Nothing. Give him a break. There’s nothing else can do. So let’s all sit around the pool this Spring and watch it all come down.

  10. I have also wondered why a number of people who supported Bernie Sanders went on to vote for Trump. Maybe some of the answer is found in the book “Deaths of Despair” by Case and Deaton. Whites without a BA degree have been suffering for over 40 years. Their incomes have not grown despite the growth of the economy and their prospects are lower than that of their parents. Their health has declined so that they are now among the least healthy in the industrialized world. Death from drugs, alcohol and suicide have grown and millions of premature deaths are the result. Their life expectancy is the lowest of the advanced world. Our cruel unmanaged capitalist system is not working for them and they know it. Thus a “blow it up” mentality prevails – Sanders on one side and Trump on the other. Both promised massive change. Is their reaction irrational?

  11. A well known Indy columnist columnist (Matthew Tully) wrote an opinion piece in the Indianapolis Business Journal a few weeks ago, about how Trump is the only candidate that is standing up for his “Christain Ideals” and he has his vote. I Think he implied “Christain Ideals” was code a word for banning abortion, but for the love of god, that is like ordering the plate of shit with broken glass because it came with what he thought was a good desert!

    I strongly suspect there is more to his idea of “Christain Ideals” that he was not communicating, like the appeal to white male supremacy, and along with that, suppression of women and minorities. For some reason “Christain Ideals” also implies that your religion is being threatened if it is not being forced down the throats of all the others around you.

    That was the opinion of one voter and it is beyond me how he could have twisted his own logic and reasoning into actions that are so obviously not in his own general self interests.

  12. In our little 55+ community near Tampa, it seems there’s a Trump flag about every 5 houses on average. Though a few of them might concede that he’s had a couple of missteps, none of them will ever agree that he’ is as bad as he is. Along with the protesting cosplay goobers packing weapons to demand that service and other low-wage workers endanger themselves and their families for the convenience of the goobers, they really believe the short-fingered vulgarian is doing a great job. There’s nothing anyone can do about them in the short term except outvote them. (One can argue that they have some grievances that go beyond racism and crude self-interest, and Democrats have made a grave mistake by ignoring them. That may be true, but trying to figure out what those are and finding a way to address them isn’t going to convert anyone by November, and it won’t convert most of them in any case).

    As for the folks who think there’s no difference between parties or candidates, no rational being can look at the last four years and continue to buy that false equivalence. Look at the chaos and destruction of the last 4 years and multiply that by 2 more SCOTUS picks. If you can still believe that “both parties” bullshit, you’re the moral equivalent of the vulgarian’s true believers but with one exception. They vote. (And no one is working hard to suppress them from doing so). The GOP must be removed from power and never allowed to have it again. As citizens, we have a civic obligation to send them to the ash heap of history.

    And so for those folks who, for whatever reason aren’t going to vote, as a friend of mine put it: What makes you so special not to be part of the solution?

  13. Yes, Donald Trump wins the Nero-Gotti award, for his skillful ability to loot the towering Inferno! And his followers, ” the uneducated low information Calvinistic troglodytes” win the Howard-Fine-Howard award all the while his more advantaged followers win the Marie Antoinette award for cake eating gluttony! And let’s not forget Fox News winning the Joseph Mengele award for unadulterated experimentation on human beings!

    The benefit of having minorities die off during this pandemic is gaining traction amongst the white nationalists! They don’t see a problem, because it might give Trump an advantage that he ordinarily wouldn’t have had in some areas! It seems that black Americans make up over 40% of the cases and are just 14% of the population.

    This gives the white nationalist goosebumps, this microscopic changeling is doing something that they wish they could do themselves! Now all they have to do is stop Donald Trump’s Fine-Howard followers to not drink bleach and Lysol!

    I have no doubt that if Trump loses the election, there’s going to be some sort of conflict! Whether it’s terrorist attacks by homegrown right-wing nut jobs, or a full out Eric Prince private army protection of president Nero. And in case anybody hasn’t been paying attention, Nero is still working to get Eric Prince his own private army at the beck and call of the POTUS. Why does Nero need his own Republican guard? And don’t think his toadies in the Senate aren’t aware of what’s going on, they don’t need to ask for money to fund this private army because there’s so much floating around right now, no one knows where it’s all going!

    If it gets to that point, what would the American military do? A lot of folks talk about being in a bar fight, and war, but, the actual taking of a life is not for the faint of heart unless you are a sociopath. In my past, I’ve seen a lot of death, my father at 50 years old, my youngest brother at 35, my middle brother at 48, my young cousin and my youngest brother’s best friend, at 36, and many other males in my family, sometimes the emotion just hollows out. Seeking retribution brings a certain amount of satisfaction, but, I’ve realized that that satisfaction doesn’t accomplish much. No matter what you do as far as vengeance and retribution, it just makes the hollowness deeper.

    When you get away from what you know is a morally correct, What’s ethically correct, you go against your conscience, and have convinced yourself you are an avenging angel so to speak, you’ve already lost of the battle. Talking with Marv is quite enlightening, he’s dealt with a lot of issues with the threats hanging over his head, he knows what it is like. In that regard, I enjoy my conversations with him. He is older than me and gives me some different insight.

    Having been physically involved in non-war conflict, I can honestly say that it’s not the way to go. Martin Luther King had it right when he used a civil disobedience and nonviolent protests. The power of the purse, brought bus lines to their knees, and the power of the purse in many areas of this country, can bring these corporations a lot of pain. But, are people willing to do that? Blood is easy, blood is mindless, and bloodletting destroys the soul, the essence of one’s being. Will there be blood? If not in the near future, not too much farther down the road than that.

    I would suggest everyone start the protests now, start the civil disobedience now, start the boycotts now, but that still rings hollow and falls on deaf ears! So, just like after World War II, when my uncles were bringing the locals to bury the bodies of those murdered in the concentration camps, and those locals were crying about having to do it, those locals were told, they allowed it, now they can clean it up. They claimed they didn’t know what was going on, but how can you have ovens burning bodies 24- 7 without smelling it? And, it’ll be the same here, because history always repeats its self, man’s mortality and his inability to learn from previous generations.

    Night of the Long knives, Kristallnacht, the burning of the Reichstag, the slaughter of the Communists, amongst other things, is something that shouldn’t happen here, but, will happen here. This country is not based on equality, it was based on white power from the beginning, white wealthy slaveowning landowners were the only ones to have a say. And that mentality still persists.

  14. Dan Mullendore, Unless there is another Matthew Tully writing in Indianapolis, I don’t think you got the name of your columnist right. The Matt Tully I know about died last year, and he would never have written what you described. Maybe just a memory error?

  15. Dan Mullendore’s post quotes well-known columnist, Matthew Tully, with a piece Tully wrote in IBJ a few weeks ago. The Tully many of us read & admired, sadly died in 2018. Is there another writer with the same name or was the column a duplicate of a previous one? Please clarify. Thank you & be healthy.

  16. What I worry about in this election is that too many liberals are purists. While Trump supporters will accept an avalanche of faults and character flaws for the sake of one or two policies they favor, Democrats will not tolerate virtually and position, past behavior, imperfection, or any human failing in their candidate of choice. Will Bernie’s supporters accept anything less than Bernie’s ideal view for America? The purist demands that a candidate adhere to all of their positions is self-defeating in the long run. I believe that those voters who stayed away or voted for Jill Stein because they felt Hillary stole the nomination or that she was less than ideal, paved the way for Trump’s election. Politics and government generally work best when there is compromise and consensus. We have to allow room for people to grow and change. We can’t keep digging up past opinions and positions in an attempt to prove that a candidate still harbors views we dislike. People, at least intelligent people, can and do change their minds when presented with new information and ideas. We have to allow for mistakes and even disagreement on some issues without totally rejecting a person or another viewpoint. That is how Trump operates. He does not bridge any disagreement or allow for any opinion other than his own. So if we don’t want four more years of Trump, we may have to be willing to settle for a candidate who does not meet one hundred percent of our expectations.

  17. To assist Patrick with his logic, I recommend not taking the short-term view of a Wall Street analyst when looking at how “different” the parties are based on Trump’s three-plus years in office.

    Try a longer-term view going back to Ronald Reagan forty years ago. Both political parties embrace Neoliberalism and endless wars and regime changes. Both parties support unlimited campaign spending and believe corporations are people. The Oligarchic elite has captured both political parties.

    Within days of the national emergency, our Fed announced unlimited cash would be used to prop up the stock market, and large corporations received vast infusions of money. The American people received a one-time $1,200 stipend and unemployment assistance if you could jump through enough hoops.

    So, while it’s true that we have a narcissistic menace in the White House who has turned the entire GOP into cowards, there is no opposition party to the capitalists and the unfettered deregulation of the free market. Look at both income and wealth inequality. Look at the percentage of workers covered by unions. Look at average household wage growth. Look at the productivity of workers and who has benefitted from these consistent gains over the past forty years.

    The Ruling Class owns the political class. The all-around losers have been the working classes in this country. Still, they are too easily divided by ideological wedges, which the Ruling Classes have used to divide this country since its inception. How can you explain why poor whites in the South sacrificed their lives for Plantation Owners to maintain black slaves?

    Please apply your “logic” to that one. I would say that Americans have been ordering the “shit and broken glass meal” for generations. This is how we ended up with Trump.

    I suspect the Left will unite to rid ourselves of the maniacal menace in the White House in 2020, depending on the Vice President chosen by the deteriorating Biden. Then, the movement to free ourselves of the Ruling Class and their political puppets will continue while the DNC fights us with their money and media every step of the way.

    Watch the DNC and their hedge fund managers in New York versus AOC. It’s rather apparent who works for the people, and who does not.

  18. Dan Mullendore; Matthew Tully died in October 2018 of cancer. What I remember of his columns; he would never stand up for Donald Trump, he was a fine man who stood for and wrote about the rights of people.

  19. Todd – so “our way or the highway” continues for the Far Left – now its the VP. What is it about the possibility of Trump’s reelection that you don’t understand?? And you think his supporters are dumb??

  20. The “Christian Ideals” article was written by Gary Varvel, the cartoonist. He’s a proven delusional fool.

  21. It’s been a long time, but I pulled from my library shelf, “The Politics of Massive Resistance” by Francis M. Wilhoit (George Braziller, New York, 1973) p.268-9:

    “Liberal Protestantism outside the South has refused to see religion as a cop-out or as an anodyne imbuing the devout with an escapist sense of euphoria. And, indeed, in its more admirable manifestations, historically Christianity has been a goad to the laggard conscience, a prod to character creativity, and a ceaseless challenge to the manifold injustices of society. Clearly, then, the southern version of Christianity, which has inimical to the blacks, is highly idiosyncratic, if not sui generics. It endures, despite all the winds of change, because it pins a “badge of righteousness” on its adherents and wraps them in a Sabbath cloak which covers up—from most mortal eyes at least—their everyday misbehavior.”

    “Some years ago, Elie Halevy theorized that English evangelicalism, especially Methodism, may have prevented an eighteenth-century revolution in Britain by channeling the psychic energies of the English lower classes into revivalism and away from revolutionary preoccupations. Reasoning analogically, one might also argue that over the past century and a half southern Protestantism,
    has emasculated the South’s working-class (in an Ideological sense) by focusing everybody’s energies on soul-saving through never-ending evangelism. The specific functions performed by evangelicalism in this regard were the provision of outlets for emotional expression and the implanting of an ethic and theology that reconciled lower-class whites and blacks to the Jim Crow system, made that condition seem predestined, and made patient submission to it a sacred obligation. Stealing a metaphor from the Communists, may we not therefore say that evangelical Christianity has been an “opiate” for the southerners of both races.”

    “The basic hypothesis of this interpretive analysis has been that the chief proximate causes of Massive Resistance racism were political oligarchicalism, economic underdevelopment, the Calvin-Bacchus Syndrome, and evangelical Protestantism—with the first and last being causally the most efficacious. If this hypothesis has merit, it is obvious that a reduction of southern racism will require a greater political democracy, modernization (and humanization) of the South’s economy, increased educational opportunities for all, and a massive transformation of the ethics and theology of southern religion. Nothing is certain in explaining race conflicts—except that southern racism will continue to thrive as long as institutional structures and religio-cultural patterns that created and reinforce it are left intact or but slightly altered.”

    Unfortunately, in 1980, along came Ronald Reagan on his “white horse” and any hope for real change evaporated.

  22. The Trumpters I read on Facebook, are not shaken at all. Every time the clown show of his “press conferences” reveal more stupidity they double down. The Trumpters blame the press, excluding FOX and Breibart, etc., for fake news. Reporters who pitch hard questions at the Trumpet are castigated for not showing proper “respect”.

    The Trumpters have been taken down many dead end streets, The Virus was a hoax, it will not be severe (just like a cold or flu), it is all under control with Pastor Pence in charge, the faults lie with the states, or bogus “cures”. Yet The Trumpters cling to him with blind faith.

    There is a good article in the Guardian:

    Donald Trump had been intending to run a re-election campaign based on a strong economy and a socialist opponent. Both have vanished in the past month. But the US president still has his ultimate weapon: xenophobia.

    The coronavirus pandemic has killed about 50,000 Americans and is likely to surpass US losses in the entire Vietnam war. Since the outbreak also put the economy into a coma: at least 26 million people have requested unemployment benefits, wiping out all the job gains since the great recession of 2008.

    A president whose world collapsed around him, suddenly flailing in strange surroundings and grabbing on to a familiar lifeline. Wilson, the political strategist, argues that bigotry, hatred and prejudice “aren’t a bug of the Trump program – those are a feature.
    There will be the appeals to the bible thumper’s to get out and vote.

  23. If we looked at the record of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Anti-Federalists, the Know-Nothings, Whigs et al. we might decide, as Washington did, that there should be no political parties since, as he intoned, the people in such parties would give their allegiance to such a party and not to the country. He was prophetic, but as a slave owner and the foremost whisky maker in the colonies, he understood capitalism and how to make a buck long before Adam Smith’s groundbreaking publication of 1776. All this shows is that critics of any system are subject to criticism themselves, as is the case yet today, long after we citizens have largely given our allegiance to party over country as we surrender our views to the herd.

    Given that reality, there is little room in the current debate for Todd’s “a pox on both your houses” view since the further reality is that we must choose one or the other of major political parties if our votes are to be effective. I, too, am at heart a purist of the Warren variety but am more interested in winning than proving a point and don’t think compromise is a four-letter word. When in a battle to survive a psychopathic nihilist we don’t have the luxury of academic nuance, or as I have often written, when the house is burning down we don’t have time to discuss the theory of combustion. We can get back to theory and nuance after the fire is put out.

    I am also not one to fear the designs and threats of some of those of the far right, Trump, or libertarian nihilists. They are loud but far fewer in number than the rest of us, and yes, our police and military can take their measure if they try their luck in any organized fashion, which I don’t think they will.

    Conclusion > Yes, we have our faults, lots of them. Always have had, but proposed cures upon democratic inspection have their faults as well – so now what? I say we press on, tell the truth, reject fear mongers, understand compromise, rid ourselves of Trump and McConnell and their ilk, clean up the mess they left us, and then engage in cleaning up our own internal political mess with hearty debates from the precinct level upwards, all with a view toward strengthening our democracy and making its blessings available to all.

  24. If you are President and want to take over government and be America’s dictator for life, here’s your checklist.

    ____10 million lunatic supporters with guns loose on the streets willing to use vigilante justice to punish opposition that legal authorities do not reach.

    ____300,000 law enforcement officers (30% of the total) sympathetic to an authoritarian government that is willing to punish suspects without respect to Constitutional rights.

    ____Generals sympathetic to authoritarian government moved into top leadership positions in every branch of the armed services. This is to insure that the military will not cooperate with the opposition and force removal of the President.

    ____Cabinet heads in place as acting Secretaries, rather than as confirmed Secretaries; therefore, they are legally unable to vote for removal of the President under the 25th Amendment.

    ____A massive communication network to spread propaganda.

    ____At least one definitive segment of the population designated and accepted as targets for special suppression.

    ____1000 armed, trained, and obedient militias scattered over all 50 states.

    ____300 heavily armed, exceptionally trained private armies under the control of corporate CEOs sympathetic to policies of a dictator who favors big and wealthy over small and poor.

    ____At least one think-tank devoted to pouring out philosophic papers supporting the idea of corporate/wealth/racial superiority under an authoritarian government.

    ____115 million citizens who do not care enough to even vote, let alone resist.

    I could list a few other prerequisites, but they would be overkill, as all the above I can check as fulfilled and sufficient, lacking only the decision to move ahead.

  25. Lester asks, “What is it about the possibility of Trump’s reelection that you don’t understand?? And you think his supporters are dumb??”

    The last I checked, we have an electoral college in this country that elects the POTUS. To motivate people to vote, you must provide more than, “at least he’s not Trump.”

    The whole “Vote Blue No Matter Who” is a rallying cry to unite the party behind another Wall Street shill, which doesn’t excite or motivate an anti-capitalist or socialist to take five minutes out of his/her day to cast a ballot.

    Bernie was kind to Joe during the debates – Trump will not be so sweet. One gaffe or slip of the mind by dementia Joe will crush him unless there is a strong VP propping him up that people see replacing Joe as POTUS. So yes, there are many Leftists who are anxiously awaiting the VP pick because they don’t see Joe lasting four years at his rate of mental deterioration.

    By the way, Sheila’s “choice scenario” was hypothetical. There are more than two choices one can make — the passenger could ask for a third option, order a liquor, or simply refuse either choice and go back to sleep.

  26. Kara Wilhelm; Thank you for taking the time to clarify that egregious error by Dan Mullendore. It is important to me to repeat your information that it was Gary Varvel who wrote that IBJ article and attributing it to illustrious and loved Matthew Tully is an insult to the man and his memory. Varvel was the Indianapolis Star’s unfunny political “cartoonist” for far too many years; no surprise to learn he voted for Trump and will do so again. In my estimation Varvel deserves the “So Much Winning…” award as the Largest Turd Circling the Indianapolis Star Bowl as our local newspaper deservedly sinks further into oblivion.

  27. Did you notice on camera how Dr. BIRX PULLED HER FEET TOGETHER AS Donnie made his “over-the-edge” statement about the disinfectant in the Press Briefing?

    The way he stated the issue and queation, he seemed to have not addressed this issue with them prior to going public. Wonder if this was so, or why he waited.

    The Doctors are not permitting any of the Presidential outrageous statement. They do not have such power to manage or control him.

    Perhaps we all might want to email or call our Mayors, our Governors, our Senaors, our Representatives (all….no matter the political party) and ask them if I/we should ingest either MMS or disinfectants to counter COVID-19 as the president suggested. This might just help upset the appplecart. I am on to the emails now.

  28. A friendly note: “AK-14”.
    The Kalashnikov Rifle commonly used by insurgents is the AK-47
    The M-14 was the primary rifle used by the military from 1959 through 1968. Infamous for its jamming during combat in Vietnam.
    It was replaced by the M-16 rifle that is still in use.

    Nic out

  29. I happened accross a very good blog the other day written by a red state small town lawyer (I will continue to look for the source) expressing his informed opinions about what Democrats miss about the reality of life in red states that makes them red.

    The most basic message was that progress has a more profound positive impact on urbanized blue states and a more profound but negative impact on red states. The truth is that that reality has few political roots at all but Democrats look at the red states like they are just caualities to progress, they need to keep up better somehow, and red states look at blue states as intellectual elitist snobs trying to shutdown the local ways of life.

    The tone of the article was what Democrats can do in order to present a more sympathetic view of the plight of rural America.

    My reaction to what I read was it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable reality that blue states can and should show empathy for, but that’s not going to change it because politics didn’t cause it. The reality is actually that the rural way of life is where we all came from some few generations ago and the urban way of life is what future generations will largely live in. Any help possible is to make the transition that can’t be stopped less theatening and chaotic and traumatic for those who it will negatively impact.

    The real difference politically between the parties is that Democrats accept the inevitability of the transition while Republicans simply lie about their ability to stop progress and prevent the problem.

    Should Democrats lie similarly for the same reasons that Republicans do and that is they represent easy votes to recruit by telling them that the painful transition can be avoided by who they vote for?

    I certainly hope for a better strategy than that.

  30. Anti-capitalists and socialists would rather have a narcissistic fascist win again than a capitalist?? Sure sounds like “our way or the highway”… or “our way” and the hell with our country..,.?

  31. Anyone who thinks that Joe Biden has declining mental function which explains his current gaffes and misstatements have not been following Biden’s lengthy career in public service. Biden has been making those verbal goofs for about 40 years. Nothing new there. Now, Trump if you look at a video of him talking 30 years ago versus today, you’re going to see a quite different person. Outside of the hardcore Trump supporter, no one is going to believe that Trump is mentally sharper than Biden. Trump never was a very bright man and his mental decline has made things worse.

  32. Gerald………..and all those who think the election ends the battle.
    “…I say we press on, …clean up the mess they left us, and then engage in cleaning up our own internal political mess…”

    One problem:
    Democrat engagement in cleaning the mess they left us will NEVER allow the opportunity to clean Democrat’s own internal mess, because, even after winning the 2020 elections, Democrats PERMANENTLY will be locked in combat with all those FORCES THAT GAVE US Donald Trump–Koch, Russia, xenophobia, racism, nihilism, capitalism, ignorance, sexism, Libertarian-ism, myth-ism, trickle-down-ism,and fake-news-ism.

    Winning the election will not end their assault on intelligent, responsible government; it will only intensify it. Democrats will be in 100% war mode for the next thirty years, or they will be subjugated for the final time.

    Stop with this “the election can end our problems” nonsense. Who actually thinks the scorer’s bench will sound a horn that ends the game, and the losing side will retreat to their dressing room while the winners pore champagne on each other’s heads? All the horn will do is signal it’s time to start throwing punches, chairs, water bottles, light fixtures, shoes, television cameras, microphones, rule books, and anything else they can use as weapons of intimidation.

  33. Paul K. Ogden; if you have really been following Joe Biden’s career so closely you would be aware of his lifelong stutter problem. What you and others refer to as gaffes, misstatements and verbal goofs are speech therapy “steps” to avoid terms which cause stutter. I am one of those deaf people Trump believes to be retarded but I can read Joe Biden’s conversations and statements with no problem understanding his meaning, his moral standards or his presidential campaign foundation. I resent your comparison between Trump and Joe Biden as insulting as the incorrect identification of Matthew Tully being the source of Gary Varvel’s evangelical support of Trump. Better you compare Trump to Louie Gohmert from years ago to the present.

  34. Nic,

    Correction: The M-14 was not the weapon that jammed. It was the M-16…except it wasn’t the rifle, it was the powder. The type of powder made by Olin, one of the Koch type contributors to The Heritage Foundation, et. al., left a residue that gummed up the receiver of the M-16 requiring too often cleaning. You can look it up.

  35. Lester Levine – There is a whole set of people who have not been served by the establishment, whether Republican or Democratic. They are not as outraged by Trump’s antics as you or I. Unless you’re working in the trenches, you would not have political discourse with these people in daily life. Foreign policy, abandoning the Iran deal for example, is not something that affects their life. They weren’t doing well under Obama and if they are worse off under Trump, it’s only marginally. They do not see Biden as their knight in shining armor or their ally in the fight for economic equity.
    The Republicans now openly cater only to their donors, while the Democrats pay lip service to the needs of the common man but stopping just short of pissing off those exact same donors. It’s all about campaign contributions. If you were to ask these folks Reagan’s famous question whether they are worse off now than they were 4 years ago, the answer would be a resounding ‘no difference’. And now they’re being asked to fall in line and vote for Biden without any concessions. Are you surprised it’s falling on deaf ears? It is up to Biden and the Democratic party – yes, the Establishment – to court them and win them over.

  36. Hmmmm. Why does the “courting” responsibility fall more to the Democrats?

    Does courting involve lies more than truth?

    My experience has been more tell who you are and others will choose whether they want more or less what you stand for snd offer them.

  37. Larry – You’re right. Of course the election will not be the end of things, but it will be the end of who has the power, and there always has been and always will be the Gingriches and Norquists among us. After we win and assume both legislative and executive powers we will be able to treat such attempts to trash our administration as annoyance without substance and should not let them take up too much of our time and energy, considering all the work we will have to do in cleaning up their mess and rejoining the world, not to mention the enormous problems we will have with the economy arising from this virus, the some 6.7 trillion added to our deficit, food shortages, possible state and municipal bankruptcies etc., but you start from where you are, and that will be where we are come January 21, 2021.

  38. Alphons – Totally agree, sadly. It is terribly difficult for Biden to convince the forgotten that the Federal government will do something meaningful for them. They believed in Obama’s “Hope” and got little. While dealing with the Great Recession certainly didn’t help, one has to wonder whether he would have made a material dent, even with a DEM majority in Congress. And if the Middle East wars hadn’t drained the Treasury, as well….I don’t know.

    Until you have been poor, disenfranchised and discriminated against simultaneously, it is hard to feel that deep pain. Politicians need to try the well-known “poverty simulation” for a bit of an idea.

    My hope is that the Pandemic will provide a one-time opportunity to BIG things like tax the income of the 1%, undertake massive infrastructure projects and do a national initiative to work on climate change. Such things and the like could ease some inequality and provide many decent paying jobs for the less fortunate.

  39. Pete,
    “Why does the “courting” responsibility fall more to the Democrats?”

    Because in 2016 Republicans won the heart of our former lover–the working people. Democrats must win them back, at least enough of them to win big in November.

    If Hubert Humphrey were running today, working people would be thrilled to support and vote for him, because he had fought for workers his whole public life, and workers knew it. Joe Biden is the closest thing we have to Humphrey at this time.

  40. Gerald,
    “…Of course the election will not be the end of things, but it will be the end of who has the power.”

    No!!! It will not be the end of who has the power. Their power is larger than government, which is why they can buy, bully, threaten, jawbone, blackmail just enough Congresspersons to get their way, even with a Democrat landslide. Which is why they can bully their wishes onto Governors, Mayors, Prosecutors, Judges, and every other office holder in local government. Which is why they can run things at Purdue University and Ball State and hundreds of other educational institutions nationwide. Which is why they can subvert federal and state funding for infrastructure and neighborhood projects and get away with it.

    Nope. The war will simply enter a new and more intense phase come January 20. It’s best we get people ready for that, instead of implying that winning the election is end-game stuff.

    It’s a shame #Doctors don’t have #Meds that work inside the body as well as simple disinfectants work outside the body. Maybe they should look at the active things in all these powerful disinfectants and find one that’s safe to put inside the body. I assume they have already looked at that, but for folks out there, who are #Scared and #Angry, it would be nice to know that #Science hasn’t overlooked a simple cure.

    Trump could have said something like the above instead of the gobbledygook he blurted during the #Covid19 #PressConference.

    The statement has only two words over 10 letters long and only 3 commas and 3 periods.

    Although it is scientifically unfeasible, even at first glance, it does express some compassion, while clearly indicating a wish for a We have thought of everything assurance from the scientific community. And it in no way suggests ingesting, inhaling, or injecting any #HouseholdCleanser.

    Why is that simple task too hard for this #President? The #Answer might tell us something important.

  42. I maintain that there is a segment of this population who supports Trump who simply cleave to abusers. They were raised in abusive environments. And they learned at that point that you need to cozy up to the abusers if you want to escape their wrath. You have to be absolutely obedient and you cannot provoke the abuser in anyway. This extends to them living in some of these red states where if they would speak up about some of their misgivings, they would be shunned or Punished in some other way. That would explain their not being able to look at the facts of who trump is and what he has done.

  43. Vern ,,
    i had buddies who had guns jam,it was because of the lack of chrome in the barrels content,
    at the time,we were short on chrome,some african issues,and russia had the market..
    but if powder was a issue,the marines would have had that issue down the first notice.they load many of their own to forego mistakes,and make hot shots for 50 cals, by hand…
    some GIs kept the aks, till the barrels were replaced…

  44. Pete,
    That article on is very good. I’m glad you found and shared it.

    Ten years ago, I was writing articles on the Internet similar to that. Usually, I summed my comments with a single sentence similar to this: people growing up in Indianapolis and people growing up in New Palestine, Indiana, with only 16 miles separating them, have a greater cultural difference between them than Indiana and Palestine in the Middle-East, 6,225 miles apart.

    I’ve seen it. I’ve lived rural and I’ve lived city. I’ve lived in other countries. People in Indianapolis have more in common with people in Mexico City than they have in common with people in Mexico, Indiana.

    I warned about the cultural conflict coming, but people–rural and urban– who read my warnings thought I was just making words to be making words. They likely will think the same of this guy’s article.

  45. Larry, the article was a reminder to me because I left rural living to go to college and never looked back. What I have seen though is the differences between those of us who left and those who stayed there.

    It’s a very sad state of affairs because the normal they wish would have never changed is simply not possible. For one thing human population has almost tripled since I left.

    Unfortunately but irreversibly the future will get even harder on people who expect one education to last a whole career.

    Bad news for many but I don’t see any alternative.

  46. The only Trump supporter I have interacted with recently just lives in an alternate reality. He told me he always reads many different sources for his news — and he KNOWS that EVERY prediction made about anthropogenic climate change has been PROVED WRONG.

    One real problem is that we like Davied Sedaris’ comment, thinking that this is it.
    It isn’t.
    The real statement from the flight attendant is: “We are serving you a platter of shit with bit of broken glass UNLESS you specifically request chicken.”
    You can tell the flight attendant “I won’t eat”, but in the election, staying home is a vote for Trump.

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