Category Archives: Trump

Thank goodness for the Courts

I don’t always say this, but thank goodness for the courts. They are not perfect. Far from it in fact. They don’t always find the truth. Especially when they become slaves to precedents. They make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. But at least they tend to follow the evidence. Not weak speculation or windy lawyers. Lawyers must present evidence and rational argument. Not speculation or disinformation. The public might, but courts won’t buy that.

This is exactly what the United States needs now in this time of deep peril brought on by a shameful aspiring autocrat who can’t bear the thought of losing and is willing to defile the most sacred of their institutions.

As we all know by now, the Trump administration is trying to hold on to power with remarkable tenacity and a phalanx of lawyers. Maybe you want to contribute to their cause. They are accepting donations.

Since months before the election Trump was readying his supporters in case he lost the election, by claiming entirely without evidence that the election would be the most corrupt and fraudulent in history. As soon as the counting was nearing completion the Trump campaign sent those lawyers out to challenge the votes in states where they claimed the Democrats had “stolen the election.”

One interesting case occurred in Pennsylvania a state that is critically important to the Trump campaign. They alleged massive voter fraud. At least that is what they said in public. The Trump campaign has already been caught saying that in public, but then making much milder claims in court. The problem with milder claims is that they won’t be enough to overturn the election even if they are proven in court.

This was at the time the 29th lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign that was recently dismissed or withdrawn. Since then 5 more have been dismissed and none has succeeded as far as I can tell. The only good thing about those lawsuits is that a lot of lawyers got gainful employment.

That  particular lawsuit tried to invalidate millions of Pennsylvania mail-in votes. The federal court judge, U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann, a registered Republican, threw the case out of court because the argument of the Trump campaign just did not hold up water. This was the case in which 2 prior law firms withdrew from the case causing former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani to take over at the last minute. He tried to argue that Pennsylvania should be prevented from certifying the election because some municipalities allowed some mail-in ballots to be cured because they had technical errors or glitches which they argued meant all the ballots in Pennsylvania should be thrown out.

The judge made very clear what he thought of the legal argument of the Trump team of lawyers:

 

“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome plaintiff’s lawyers would come to court formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption. That has not happened. Instead this court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”

 

The Washington Post described the judge’s opinion this way:

“Trump’s attorneys had haphazardly stitched this allegation together ‘like Frankenstein’s Monster’ in an attempt to avoid unfavorable legal precedent.”

The arguments were not nearly enough for the judge to disenfranchise nearly 7 million voters in the State of Pennsylvania. 34 Trump campaign lawsuits have now been dismissed in various U.S. courts.

It has been very difficult for people to get at the truth amid the blizzard of claims of corruption and fraud by the Trump campaign and it is nice to see a court not swayed by empty rhetoric.

There is still hope for American democracy when the courts seek the truth. It’s enough to make an old recovering lawyer proud. Sometimes the law is an ass as Charles Dickens said, but sometimes it does good.

 

Election Sabotage Campaign

 

During the recent US election campaign, Trump’s attack on democracy continued unabated. During the campaign  he targeted the US postal service. In view of the fact that the pandemic was making mail-in voting much more attractive than it has ever been before, Trump’s minions were intent on emasculating the post office. Trump actually admitted, the more people that vote the worse it is for Republicans. This is one thing he says I agree with. It is interesting how open Trump is about what otherwise might be called a conspiracy. Just like he admitted to reporter Bob Woodward that he was not telling the truth to the American public about the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

As David Smith has reported in the Guardian, (what I consider to be an independent and reliable source of news)

“Trump recently admitted that he was blocking money sought by Democrats for the postal service so he could stop people voting by mail.”

Yet, Trump reduced the postal service when the postal service was more urgently needed than ever before. The reason was obvious. He wanted to help Republicans. He was not worried about voter fraud. He is quite comfortable with fraud.

Trump repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting is inevitably fraudulent. While he is an expert on fraud, he ignored all the evidence and offered none in return except for a few anecdotes. As Smith reported,

“His allergic reaction to mail-in voting is based on the false premise that it is riddled with fraud, an assertion debunked by numerous fact checkers and academic studies. Five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah – already carry out elections almost entirely by mail.”

Trump’s reaction was also likely based on the fact that most mail-in-ballots would come from Democrats since they were taking the Covid-19 pandemic seriously and had less confidence than Republicans that they would be safe at the polls unlike the Republicans. As Smith pointed out before the election,

“Democrats claim that the president’s true motive is to disenfranchise millions of their voters; surveys show significantly more Republicans than Democrats say they would feel safe showing up to vote in person.”

Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist based in Columbia, South Carolina, was even more blunt, “This is an attempt to do election interference 2.0. This time it’s done by this administration and not a foreign adversary. Not only is Trump trying to undermine the integrity of the election, he’s trying to strike fear and chaos into our election.” All of his actions after the election reinforce this view.

After Democrats cried foul amid general support for their complaints, the postmaster general Louis DeJoy, said he would cancel the proposed cuts until after the election. That was clearly the right thing to do. But the earlier actions have undermined confidence in the election process.

According to Seawright this “election sabotage campaign” and  has demonstrated that Republicans belong to “the party of voter suppression.” The Democrats of course for many years properly earned that label too for their decades long policy of voter suppression of African Americans in the south after the Civil War. Those policies were always supported by the Republicans however. Both parties gave strong support for the suppression of African-American voting rights.

Seawright knew from experience what Trump’s position is intended to do. As he said,

“I’m black and so all of my life, including my sharecropper grandparents’ lives, they have been trying to do everything they can to limit our participation in the election process. This just elevates my concern going into this election. The playbook is pretty much the same.

It’s just different players implementing the strategy, and the strategy has been recalibrated this time as vote by mail. Keep in mind we’re still in the middle of a pandemic where showing up to vote in person could mean life or death for some people. But black people have put their lives on the line to vote before and, if we keep going down this road, I think we are willing and able to do it again because this election is just that important.”

 

In August of 2020 the American Senate issued a bipartisan report that revealed the massive extent to which the Trump campaign cooperated with the Russians during the 2016 election.  They did not call it collusion. It said that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager worked closely with a “Russian intelligence officer,” Konstantin Kilimnik. The Senate report also warned that Russians were already working on interfering again in the recent 2020 election to get their man Trump re-elected. While that is disturbing, even though few Republican leaders acknowledge it, presumably because they are willing to take any support they can get from any and all sources, no matter how besmirched, there is an even more egregious disrupter of the election.

As Smith commented in the Guardian,

“But such threats currently appear less fundamental than that posed by a president gone rogue – a man who this week welcomed the support of believers in a baseless righting conspiracy theory that holds the world is run by a shadowy cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.”

Charlie Sykes, a conservative author and broadcaster, asked: “Who needs Vladimir Putin when we have Donald Trump? If you were Vladimir Putin and you wanted to disrupt this election, what would you do? You’d spread disinformation. You’d make people doubt the legitimacy of the vote. You’d peddle conspiracy theories and you might want to mess with mail-in voting. That’s all happening without him. Our president is doing that.”

More and more are joining in these fears. As Smith reported,

Before the election, Sykes, founder and editor-at-large of the Bulwark website, warned of a “very ugly” post-election period.

“It’s very clear that Trump will use every lever of governmental power to stay in office. There’ll be many mail-in votes and the mail-in votes will be very different than the same-day votes.What he will do – and it will be very much on brand for Donald Trump – is declare victory on election night and then, as the mail-in votes are counted, he will insist that that they are not legitimate, that the election is being stolen from him, and I think that has the potential to create massive doubt and chaos.”

 

Trump has today again made it clear that he still disputes the election even though he is now consenting to his administration cooperating with the incoming Biden administration to allow transition. But this issue is not over, particularly when over 70% of Republicans believe the Democrats stole the election.

There is no doubt we live in interesting times—perhaps much too interesting.

Truth may be dead but faith is alive and well.

 

In 2020 Trump switched the emphasis in his campaign from telling Americans that they should feat the Mexican rapists at the border to a message of black anarchists and Antifa left wing radicals in American cities. In each the real message was “America needs a strong man and I Donald Trump can save you.” This is a strategy of authoritarian leaders forever. It is the default strategy. As amazing as it sounds that is an attractive message to millions of people. More than  70 million American voters bought it.

This was the message of white nationalism or white supremacy in 2020. It may not have won the presidential election for Trump but it is still a powerful message.

 

It does not matter in the world of resentment and lies. These go together like love and marriage. Or as my good friend says, like pee and porcelain. All of his was enabled by a prolonged attack on truth and it allowed Trump to spew out outrageous lies on election night with complete impunity.

 

I listened to two very engaging thinkers on Amanpour and Co recently. One of them was Jason Stanley the author of How Fascism Works: the Politics of US vs. Them.

Stanley pointed out for weeks before the election Trump was tweeting about voter fraud and things like that to discredit the election before it even happened, so that if he lost Americans would believe the election was “corrupt” or a “fraud” or a “hoax.” Then sure enough Trump pulled out this card on the evening of the election (well really the morning after). Trump did not take the high road that Al Gore did after the final Supreme Court decision when he lost to George Bush. For the good of the country Gore said he would let it be and support President elect Bush. Trump never takes the high road. It is not in his nature.

Trump asserted, as always without any evidence, “I have won the election. I got more legal votes than Joe Biden.” Stanley pointed out,

“This is typical authoritarian behavior. Trump had been warning the world for a couple of months before the election that it would be “rigged” or “corrupt” or “fraudulent” so no one should be surprised. Secondly it shows remarkable long term planning. Months ago the president announced an attack on the post office. He claimed there was “voter fraud” when there wasn’t. The Covid denialism he spread made his voters more likely to appear on the same day as the election to cast their vote. So we always knew he would have a lead among same day in-person voters. So this has been the strategy all along, to declare victory that night before the votes were all in so he could later announce the others were fraudulent. It was a clear strategy to undermine the election process. This is exactly what he did repeatedly leading up to the November 4th election day.”

 

Clearly some voters bought this narrative. Many of us saw this rabid Trump supporter the day after the election in Nevada try to interrupt an TV interviewer talking to a poll worker who was explaining how thorough they were in counting all the legal votes and discarding the illegal ones. The Trump fan kept shrieking to the cameraman, “Joe Biden and evil crime family are trying to steal the election.” The fan was livid, but like his hero, offered no evidence only shrieks. But the interesting thing is that the leader of “his side” saw it before it happened. A month before the election he “knew” it would be fraudulent. So of course the fan believed it. As did many other Trump fans.

Since the election the streets of American cities have seen a number of “rallies” by Trump supporters demonstrating their undying faith in Trump. Like any good faith, it is strong in the absence of evidence. That is what faith is all about.

Truth may be dead but faith is alive and well.

But can they live long without each other?

Trump: From Demagoguery to Fascism

 

I have been talking a lot about truth and what I have called (as have others) the death of truth. I could not have had better examples than what the president of the United States said to the American people after the 2020 election. He demonstrated that he was, as Bill Maher kept saying, “a whiny little bitch.”

Did you see Stephen Colbert after the presidential election? It was surprising in more ways than one.

As Stephen Colbert explained, before all the votes had been counted, “President Trump came into the White House briefing room and lied for 15 minutes.” He said nonsensical stuff about dumping ballots and corrupt officials and secret Democratic counting cabals.

The Washington Post was not as coarse, but just as firm: The Washington Post called it “a speech of historic dishonesty” and “a litany of falsehoods and grievances, with some baseless conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.

Trump  said many things, always, entirely without evidence. I heard Trump tell the American people that he had been “robbed of victory.” He said he was the winner of the election since he had more “legal votes” than Biden. He said he had been “cheated out of victory.” Trump said the “mail-in-ballots are a corrupt system.” even though he had used it in the past. He said, “They’re trying to rig an election.” Many of us tend to dismiss the rants of president Trump. After all they seem too absurd for a rational person to seriously consider.

The problem is that words matter and this is particularly important when the speaker is the president of the United States. Millions of people actually believe what he says, as absurd as that sounds. They do. When Trump says the election is fraudulent his supporters tend to think that must be true and get enraged. That can be dangerous. We have seen this over and over again, whether it is the Proud Boys or the Boogaloo nuts from Michigan. Trump drives them to action and often those actions are dangerous. Trump often treats this as a joke but it is not a joke. It is serious business.

When I heard these strong statements I wondered what would his rabid supporters do? He has plenty of those. I heard and saw one on TV the next day. The supporter approached an election official who was explaining to a Nevada TV interviewer how careful he and others were being about counting the ballots and rejecting the bad ballots. They were interrupted by one of those rabid Trump supporters.

Colbert’s interpreted the incident this way, according to Emily Yahr,

“Colbert concluded by playing the viral video of Joe Gloria, the registrar of voters in Clark County, Nev., whose televised briefing this week was interrupted by a man shouting about how the “Biden crime family is stealing the election.” Gloria waited patiently until the man left and calmly asked, “Where were we?”

“He let that guy spew his crazy till he was tired and then watched him walk away. And then Joe Gloria took a deep breath and did his job. Which is what we should all do. Just stay cool,” Colbert said, and then segued into his regularly scheduled monologue.”

The election poll workers were still counting on Friday. Interestingly Trump wanted the election officials to stop counting in Pennsylvania where he was ahead but keep counting in Nevada and Arizona where he was behind. This is not quite as nonsensical as it sounds for every state has different rules. Yet we all know what Trump meant. He was not making a nuanced point. He never does. Bill Maher commented on that this way:

 “If your position is that they have to stop counting ballots in the state where you’re ahead, or its fraud, and they have to keep counting in the state where you’re behind or its fraud, you have to consider maybe its you who’s the fraud.”

 

Of course, as always when Trump makes outrageous statements he did so without any evidence to support the claim. He doesn’t need evidence for he knows most of his supporters will believe him without evidence no matter what he says. So why bother? His supporters, and there are millions of them, believe him entirely without evidence just like Christians believe Jesus. Evidence is not important when you talk about religious belief. Faith is important.

All of this had an important consequence however. I will get to that in the next few posts.

A Light Touch with Reality

 

I know I have been ranting about truth. But I am not finished. I started long before the election day in the US. What perfect timing. A good friend said, when we were discussing this issue, “Americans have a light touch with reality.” Very true. Not that Canadians are any different. Canadians are just Americans on valium. I will get to them soon, but have been absorbed by the craziness to our south. And I don’t want anyone to think that the craziness will change no matter who is elected down south. The results are not yet officially in as I post.

Lately  Trump has been spewing out claims of voter fraud entirely without evidence.  Though his claims have a motive. A sinister motive. More on that later too. Trump  lives in an evidence free world. But his followers don’t care. Their devotion is enduring. That is what is important.

The reason things won’t change fast is that what is clear from the election for president in the US is that about 70 million Americans still support Trump. That is more than the votes he garnered in 2016. I strongly suspect that almost everyone who voted for him in 2016 also voted for him in 2020. And this was after we saw what he did for 4 years in plain view. Everyone could see that he was an incorrigible liar. Some called him a pathological liar. Others called him a bullshitter. That refers to someone who does not care about whether a statement is true or not. That is someone who is not even embarrassed when caught in a lie. Trump is obviously that. And 70 million Americans are willing to overlook that and vote for him!

This is the point I have been trying to make in my clumsy way. How can so many people be indifferent to truth? And not just Americans either. Plenty of Canadians still support Trump too.

I think it is time for all of us—Americans and Canadians—to take a hard look at ourselves. This look might not be very comfortable. Do any of us want to admit that we don’t care about truth?

When a society is infected with a disdain for truth it is ready to collapse. Is that where we are at? Has this pandemic we are facing without much truth found a hapless victim? We’ll have to wait and see.

Conspiracies as Weapons

I am posting this while I  don’t know who has won the 2020 US presidential election. It doesn’t matter these issues about truth and conspiracies will not go away and die. They are here to stay.

 

According to Fareed Zakaria, “Trump uses conspiracy theories as weapons against his political opponents.” He is fighting Obamagate. The Deep State. Those who want to rig this election. Or already did.  Hillary Clinton of course, was his biggest target. And he used all his weapons against her. He called her, “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States.” He did that while his supporters carried posters saying “Hillary for prison 2016,” or “Indict Hillary,” or “Lock her up.” That was not innocent.

Recently, there was a dark conspiracy theory on the Internet that was absurd but still widely and passionately believed, aided in part by the support of Trump and his other supporters including, InfoWars and  QAnon. It was toxic but incredibly useful. It had a huge following on the Internet. Trump and his allies promoted it even as it grew increasingly toxic.” It was called Pizzagate.

In the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump was helped by countless conspiracy theories, many amplified or even concocted by the Russians. For example, the Pizzagate theory that Hillary Clinton was involved in a child molestation in the basement of Pizza restaurant was entirely without any foundation yet many people believed it and therefore did not vote for her, but supported Donald Trump instead. Donald Trump was likely assisted in his campaign for the presidency by conspiracy theories.

These were not innocent dirty tricks. It was not funny. It provoked a rabid supporter named Clinton hater, Edgar Madison Welch, to take action. As he drove from his home in North Carolina to Washington D.C. to take decisive action, he recorded a message with his phone on the dash of the car, to his 2 young daughters. “I love y’all more than anything else in the world. Like I always told you, ‘ you have a duty to protect those who can’t protect themselves, to do for people who can’t do for themselves. ”

As Zakaria said,

“He was preparing to risk his life to save children he didn’t even know. You might think he was a good man, but this mission of mercy was actually a dangerous illusion. Welch fell prey to a twisted conspiracy theory called Pizzagate. He actually believed that Hillary Clinton and other Washington elites were running a pedophile ring out of the basement of pizza restaurant in Washington D.C.”

Again,  not innocent and not funny. It was lunacy inspired and abetted by Trump and his supporters. They led Welch to travel to Washington with his weapons in place to break out these innocent children from their jail and it could have easily led to him dying or innocent people dying and Trump and his supporters were partly to blame for what nearly happened. He was carrying an AR-15, a handgun and a shotgun was found in his car. What is most surprising about the incident is that no was killed. As Jeffrey Goldberg said, “just because it’s crazy doesn’t mean that people won’t believe it.” That’s what happens in Fantasyland USA. He burst into the restaurant causing terrified customers to flee. But there were not abused children. There was not even a basement. The entire conspiracy theory was mad, dangerous, nonsense to which a candidate for the American presidency contributed. Welch went to prison. His family suffered. And Trump got elected. That is justice, American style.

 

So where did all this come from? It started with emails. In fact the source was a leaked email to Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta. It was from his brother and all it said was, “Would love to get a pizza.” Sounds innocent doesn’t it. Well nothing is innocent on the Internet. Especially to conspiracy theorists. As unlikely as it sounds, they jumped all over this email. According to them, “pizza” is well known pedophile code word. It is used by sexual predators of children and law enforcement officials have used it to get at such predators, they say. The theorists believed that various celebrities, like Tom Hanks, had joined Hillary Clinton in a vile pedophile ring.

 

According to Tik Tok a social media platform very popular with children, such as my grand daughters, According to the New York Times Tik Tok has logged 18 million views with the hash tag “Pizzagate.”

FantasyLand lives on. To be continued.

Fabulism

I know that no one is surprised when people like me say that Donald Trump is a liar, or worse, a bullshitter who doesn’t even care if statements are true or false. I think even his most devoted fans understand that. I don’t think anyone is fooled about that. So what really interests me is this: why do so many people, including Americans and Canadians and people around the world, not care about him telling lies? Why do they not care about the truth? This is what interests me for it will be important even if Donald Trump loses the election to be president for the United States in 2020.

I think that is an important question. Too many people focus on Donald Trump’s lies, which after awhile are not that interesting. The real question is why does he elicit such loyal followers that they just don’t care?

Peter Baker said this about Trump in a recent New York Times article:

“Born amid made-up crowd size claims and “alternative facts,” the Trump presidency has been a factory of falsehood from the start, churning out distortions, conspiracy theories and brazen lies at an assembly-line pace that has challenged fact-checkers and defied historical analogy.”

Even though I think that is obviously true, and would be admitted by his followers, or should I say believers, they still choose his side. A recent Newsweek poll found that 54% of Americans now think it has become more acceptable that people in politics lie. Only 13 % think it is less acceptable. The importance of truth itself is eroding and I would submit that is very important.

To give just one example, because more people don’t care if what Trump is telling them is true, they believe him no matter what. So for Covid-19 advice they follow Trump’s advice even though they don’t care if what he is saying is true or not! Is it any surprise that there is now about 1 new cases of Covid-19 in the US every second?

Not caring about truth has consequences and they are important, but they are real. A Harvard Professor Nancy L. Rosenblum, and her co-author Russell Muirhead wrote a book called A Lot of People are Saying after an expression Trump often uses. In the book they said truth may not matter even if Trump is gone. As they said, “that may not change even if Mr. Trump leaves office after one term because he proved the advantages of truth-bending politics and helped build up an information infrastructure where reality is like an à la carte menu from which Americans can pick their favorite variant.”

 

Here is my theory. People don’t care if what Trump says is true or not because he is one of the leaders of their tribe. They identify with Trump. They are on the same team. That is all that matters, not whether what he says is true or not. This is a religious attitude. That is how true believers react to their leaders. Such an attitude has deadly consequences. Those consequences will be with us for a long time after Trump is no longer president. Many of us will pay the price.

 

The Conspirator-in-Chief

John Oliver had a good theory about Trump’s conspiracy theories. He treats conspiracy theories like adult children. He launches them into the world and then takes no responsibility for them. That is why some now call him the “Conspiracy theorist-in-Chief.” Whether they are true or not is unimportant. What matters is whether or not Trump thinks they will help him. Everything else is irrelevant.

This is all part of Trump’s complete disregard for truth. He does not only lie. He does plenty of that, but he also just does not care about whether or not statements he makes are true. He just cares about whether or not those statements help his cause. And often he thinks conspiracy theories might help his cause, because they have done so in the past. For example, conspiracy theories helped him to get elected in 2016 and any theory that might help him get re-elected in 2020 is fine with him.

A Conservative radio talk show host, listened to by millions, understood Trump better than most. He pointed out how clever Trump was in re-tweeting messages without saying he agreed with them. As  Rush Limbaugh said,

“Trump is just pouring gas onto a fire and having fun watching the flames.” The problem of course, is that those flames can hurt people. As John Oliver said, “but during a pandemic is a very bad time to throw gasoline onto a fire because people are going to get burned, making those flames not quite as much  fun to watch, because make no mistake here, people who have been convinced that Covid-19 was overblown have sometimes paid a steep price.”

Lately he has passed on a weird conspiracy theory—without evidence of course—that Obama and Biden faked the death of Osama bin Laden and then arranged for the American soldiers who helped fake it to be killed to hide the truth. Once again, I am sure many Americans believe it. Only because they want to believe it.

One could easily multiply the statements. As Fareed Zakaria pointed out, “Trump’s conspiracy theories resonate deeply with his voters, and that is the most troubling aspect of this story.” That is a very important point. The American people–or a least a very large portion of them–not only live in Fantasyland. They want to be there. That is where they feel most at home. Those people will keep voting for such leaders. I don’t think there is anything anybody can do about it either. Even if Trump is defeated in this upcoming election they will believe the next person who uses the same approach. Think of that.

The defeat of Trump, if it happens, won’t resuscitate truth. It won’t be reborn any time soon. We are in trouble. Maybe we are doomed.

 

The Blue Sky is Pink

 

226,000 Americans have died of Covid-19. Yesterday, the US reached a record high of coronavirus cases per 7-day average of nearly 70,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day. Yet astonishingly, the same day from the White House Department of Science and Technology, a list was issued of first term accomplishments of the Trump administration. One of the listed “accomplishments” was “ending the Covid-19 pandemic.”

 

As Dr. Jonathan Reiner said, “This was mission accomplished right? We had 73,000 new cases today. We have been averaging over the week 70,000 new cases per day. In the last week more than half a million people contracted this virus…Our death toll now is approaching 1,000 per day. So we’re spiking the ball. Congratulations Mr. President it’s over.” Can you imagine saying “ending” the Covid pandemic is an accomplishment?

I recently heard a commentator say that if Trump approached some of his supporters staring at a beautiful blue sky and he said it was pink, they would believe him. They actually would. They believe him. They believe him with theological devotion.

I wonder how the millions of people who work in health care in the US feel about this. They have been working incredibly hard non-stop for about 9 months or so and it is now getting worse! How do they feel?

As Dr. Reiner said, “As we are in the midst of a giant wave, to hear the White House basically laud the completion of a mission well done when we are basically being swamped is outrageous.” It is actually worse than outrageous. Whatever that is.

This is where believing crazy stuff gets us.

Trafficking in Conspiracy

 

This year 2020 CNN had a special report on the conspiracy theories of the president of the United States. That might seem incredible, but it’s true. It was hosted by Fareed Zakaria who asked the main question right at the outset of the show, “Why does the President of the United States of America live in a world of dark sinister conspiracies?” As one pundit explained, “He gravitates instinctively to conspiratorial understandings of the world.” Or as another said, “the world actually makes sense if you look behind a curtain. There are dark malevolent forces behind the curtain.” As Zakaria said, “behind that curtain he sees political enemies”

Trump  said Joseph Biden and his son were corrupt. Hillary Clinton was a total liar. The election (that he won in 2016) was rigged. It was, as Jeffrey Goldberg said, “it’s all totally nuts. This is the first time I have the fear that a sitting president won’t leave if he loses a free and fair election.”

Fareed Zakaria said “the subject is urgent because the conspiracy theories circulating now are dangerous and the president of the United States is trafficking in them.”

It seems impossible; it is not. The President of the United States with the largest combined intelligence services in the world by a landslide, turns instead to the Internet and Fox News and other unreliable sources for information he relies on to govern the richest and most powerful country in the world. I think he does that because that dark world of conspiracy theories is the world in which he thrives. That is deeply troubling; that is scary.

Some think ‘the adults in the room’ will save us. Trump has already demonstrated over and over again, that the adults are either sycophants or weak or are not adults. We have no protection from anyone.

Some think the constitutional system of checks and balances will protect America and the world. Again, Trump has demonstrated over and over again that he can effortlessly fly over those checks and balances. We have no protection from them either. Even far away in Canada.

Frankly, we are naked to the world in front of the most dangerous man in the world. And that is no conspiracy theory.

As Zakaria said,

“When Donald Trump tells us elections are rigged, Obamagate is the biggest scandal in history, some know these ideas are wholly false, but others are less certain, especially when they hear a story full of details that seems to explain everything. Polls show that up to 50% of Americans have believed at least one of these conspiracy theories. This is a story about just how destructive they have become. Not just to the people they target, but also to the very foundations of our democracy.”

I have said this many times, but I will repeat it. I actually don’t care about Trump. He is hopeless. What I do care about, is that millions of Americans, and Canadians, support Trump. I keep asking how can that be?