Monday, November 09, 2020

Can I Ever Forgive My Trump-Supporting Former Friends?

For years we amicably jabbed each other about politics. About our liberal vs conservative values. We good-naturedly, yet passionately, argued over taxes, regulation, gay-marriage, abortion and other hotbed issues. Yet my friends and I were able to remain close despite our monumental core policy differences. That all changed when they supported Donald Trump.

Trump was a game-changer. His presidency represented cruelty, corruption and evil. He mocked people with disabilities. He targeted Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities and immigrants with racist rhetoric, bans and policies. He separated families and caged kids. He embraced and enabled white supremacists. He attacked Gold Star families and dead soldiers, calling them “suckers and losers”. He viciously attacked the media, calling it the “enemy of the people”.

The list goes on. He was a pathological liar. A sexist and sexual predator who palled around with global sex-traffickers of minors. He constantly broke laws, shattered norms and dismantled institutions. He was a traitor who empowered our enemies and alienated our allies.

And when America was faced with its deadliest health crisis in history, he put himself and his campaign before country. He not only mocked, denied and dismissed the Covid-19 pandemic, but he lied to Americans about its severity and actually served as a super-spreader…refusing to wear a mask or follow his own physical-distancing guidelines and created dangerous Petri dishes of disease with his rallies and White House events.

As a result, 10-million Americans have been infected with the virus and 240,000 have died. His incompetence and negligence makes him a mass-murderer.

I was angry at my friends who voted for Trump in 2016. I felt they made a terrible mistake in allowing someone so unqualified to become our 45th president. But the relationships continued, as we’d yet to see just how awful and destructive he’d become once in office.

As it became evident that Trump was a sadistic, sociopath racist with no regard for human life, these relationships took a bad turn. And when these former friends continued to support, defend and enable him through his re-election campaign, I cut them off. How could I be friends with people who seem so comfortable with such diabolical behavior?

I have other friends too. Liberal ones. Friends who are black. Hispanic. Muslim. Immigrants. Asian. Jewish. LGBTQ. Veterans. How am I supposed to remain friends with those who support someone who hates these people and seeks to deny them their legal, civil and human rights? For what…lower taxes and bigger 401k’s?

Trump is a sociopath who can only feel good about himself if he’s tearing apart others and creating chaos and division. If he’s spreading hate and bigotry. His toxicity nearly destroyed the nation and its precious democracy.

So the answer, for now at least, and until I hear a sincere mea culpa, is no. I cannot be friends with these Trump supporters anymore. I am sad over that unfortunate fact, and mourn the loss of what we once had before Trump tore us apart.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

This Election Will Be Decided By the ‘Hold Your Nosers’


Four years ago millions of Republican and independent voters ‘held their noses’ and voted for Donald Trump. They didn’t like him. But they disliked Hillary Clinton much more. This year they will be the reason Trump loses.

Joe Biden doesn’t need to attract the hardcore Trump cultists. Given that in 2016 Trump lost the popular vote by 3-million, and narrowly won the electoral college by 77,000, if he just loses the ‘hold your nosers’ he’s toast.

Don’t get me wrong. These voters will still be holding their noses. But this time they’ll be voting for Biden as they do it. They understand, unlike 2016, what’s truly at stake.

They know that this year’s election truly is the most important in history, because our very democracy is on the ballot. It’s no longer just about traditional conservative touch-points like de-regulation, lower taxes and gun rights. It’s existential.

For the first time in 243 years, America’s system of checks and balances…as well as freedom of the press…freedom of speech…freedom to peacefully assemble and protest…free and fair elections…and the very norms, institutions and principles that have stood for American exceptionalism (as well as truth, decency, empathy and humanity), are in grave danger of extinction. And, pun intended, that trumps everything.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Trump Will Not Win: Why This Election is Not 2016

I am 100% confident that the next president of the United States will be Joe Biden. I am basing that on facts and reality, and refuse to get caught up in the fear and hysteria that consumes many of my fellow democrats.

To begin with, let’s remember that Donald Trump barely won in 2016. He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3-million, and eked out a paltry 77,000 vote margin in the formerly impenetrable blue wall states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Consider that he narrowly won when his slate was clean and he wasn’t burdened by broken campaign promises, corruption, impeachment, a deadly virus and a struggling economy. He was simply the shiny new ‘celebrity’ toy for disenfranchised, racially-frustrated white voters seduced by childish stand-up comedy and Morton Downey Jr-like bombast.

Jump ahead to 2020. Trump is toxic material. Americans have endured four years of ignorance, incompetence, sexism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, divisiveness, hatefulness, bullying, corruption and treason. And they’re exhausted. But what’s critical this time around is that this Trump-fatigue is not limited to Democrats.

If you define Trump’s “base” as everyone who voted for him in 2016, he’s lost much of that support including women, youth, seniors, suburbanites, college educated, minorities and independents and has appreciably eaten into Trump’s core male base as well.

Even worse is that he’s not only lost a ton of moderate “Never Trump” Republicans, but they’re actively fighting with Democrats to defeat him. Two prominent examples are The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump, whose founders include many of the most skilled, aggressive conservative operatives in modern political history such as Bill Kristol, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, Sarah Longwell, Mike Murphy and John Weaver. Their ads have been ruthless. The kind we Democrats always envied but never had the balls to create.

There have also been hundreds of Republican prosecutors, high-ranking military personnel and national security officials — past and present — who’ve endorsed Biden. A first in my lifetime.

In 2016, Trump as the ‘outsider’ ran against one of the most unpopular ‘insider’ candidates ever. Hillary Clinton was branded an elitist and struggled to garner support from the Bernie Sanders camp, and was cannibalized on the left by 3rd party candidate Jill Stein. But Biden is not Clinton. He’s extremely well-liked on both sides of the aisle and on both Wall Street and Main Street; the ‘Bernie bro’s’ are a non-factor in this election; and there’s no Stein peeling away progressives.

Furthermore, an over-confident Clinton failed to show up in those key blue wall states. She took voters there for granted. To the contrary, Biden, Harris and their surrogates have ubiquitously campaigned in all the critical swing states and have boldly put themselves and much resources into formerly unthinkable red states such as Georgia, Texas and North Carolina (where Trump abruptly cancelled last night’s rally due to the forecast of 14mph “wind”).

Which is why all the major polls (with the exception of Trump-loving Rasmussen) have consistently shown a strong double-digit national lead for Biden as well as enviable 4–10pt leads in all the swing states.

Trump is damaged goods. An incumbent president whose closing re-election pitch is an out-of control deadly pandemic; recession, record unemployment, debt and deficit; racial unrest; weakened national security; healthcare and infrastructure failure; and a badly divided nation. Worse, he’s been expending much of his recent energy and Twitter space attacking Hunter Biden, 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, and former Homeland Security official Miles “Anonymous” Taylor. You know, all the things Americans really care about right now.

To be sure, Trump himself knows the landslide’s coming. Which explains the ‘rigged election’ narrative he’s been spewing for months. I suspect if he thought he was going to win he wouldn’t be undermining his own victory by oddly challenging the results before the first votes were even cast.

As of this writing, almost 85-million total votes have been cast, which is roughly 63% of the 136-million popular vote total for ’16. That’s record-breaking enthusiasm and turnout so far. Early voting, especially in states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, is off the charts. Given what Americans know about Trump, coupled with the consistent steady polling leads for Biden, this spells disaster for the dictator-wannabe.

On paper, and finger to the wind, Joe Biden will be the next United States president…

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

An Open Letter to the Other Half of America…


Dear Trump Supporters:

For the life of me I cannot understand how you could still support him. Do you no longer care about anything you used to care about?

On some level I get it. Four years ago you were seduced by all the racial rhetoric. You were scared, frustrated, tired of seeing your white privilege diminished by the nation’s changing demographics. Then along came Trump with his promise to Make America Great (white) Again. It was intoxicating. But that was then.

Let’s consider all that’s occurred since. What you’ve accepted from Trump:

You’re ok with pussy-grabbing, sexual assault and non-stop sexism/misogyny.

You’re ok with mocking disabled people.

You’re ok with bullying. Name-calling. Incivility. Toxicity.

You’re ok with lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy.

You’re ok with serial-sinning.

You’re ok with record debt and deficits.

You’re ok with trade wars.

You’re ok with blatant corruption.

You’re ok with police brutality.

You’re ok with calling the free and open press (the bedrock of democracy) the ‘enemy of the people”

You’re ok with the shattering of norms and the defiling of institutions including the FBI, intelligence community and independent judiciary.

You’re ok with a deadly pandemic and sacrificing the elderly and sick.

You’re ok with stealing Supreme Court seats.

You’re ok with stealing elections.

You’re ok with disrespecting war heroes, Gold Star families and active military. You’re ok with calling them “suckers and losers”

You’re ok with enabling our most deadly enemies.

You’re ok with alienating our most trusted, respected, loyal allies.

You’re ok with treason and the endangering of our national security.

Before Trump, your hero was Ronald Reagan. But you support a president whose policies and behavior would make Reagan implode in his grave. You support a president who goes against everything you as a conservative believed in four years ago.

And now you face the biggest question of all: are you also ok with America becoming an autocracy? With Trump becoming King? Because that’s what’s at stake in this election.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses a democracy…

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Love Bloomberg or Hate Him, But He and Trump are NOT the Same

Once again, just as they angrily fought over Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats are engaging in a bitter battle over their preferred candidates.

And once again, while the #VoteBlueNoMatterWho mantra sweeps through liberal circles and social media, many Sanders supporters vow not to vote for anyone but Bernie. There are those who even more specifically equate Michael Bloomberg with Donald Trump, and promise to sit out the election if he’s the nominee.

To be sure, Bloomberg has lots of baggage. His skeletons include sexual harassment allegations against his company and him personally; his controversial, racially-incendiary “stop and frisk” policy while mayor of New York City; his refusal, like Trump, to release his tax returns; his insensitive remarks towards minorities, women and LGBTQ; and his comments about “redlining.”

But to equate Bloomberg with Trump is naive, ignorant and disingenuous at best, and downright dishonest at worst. And it’s suicidal. Because the future of American democracy is at stake in November.

Let’s be clear: Does Trump fight climate change? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump fight gun violence? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump fight to protect women’s reproductive rights? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump believe in science? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump want compassionate immigration reform? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump support public education? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump support progressive tax reform? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump support LGBTQ? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump support Pell grants? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump support a health care public option? No. Bloomberg does. Does Trump obey the law? No. Bloomberg does. Is Trump a pathological liar? Yes. Bloomberg isn’t. Is Trump a traitor? Yes. Bloomberg isn’t. Is Trump a sociopath? Yes. Bloomberg isn’t. 

How anyone can say they’re ‘the same’ is unfathomable.

To those democrats who say “I won’t vote for this democrat or that democrat”, or, “I won’t vote for anyone but my candidate”, let me make this simple: you can stand on principle…you can ‘send a message’…you can point out candidates’ imperfections and how they don’t agree with your positions 100%. That’s your right.

But the result? A pathologically-lying, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, corrupt, treasonous, dangerous, democracy-killing sociopath monster will remain in the White House.

It’s time to instead focus on the big picture, because it’s pretty ugly. If Trump is reelected he will finally achieve his dream of turning America into a dictatorship and will destroy every single thing that matters to democrats/progressives. Which is why any democrat would be 1-million times better.

As adults we’re faced with difficult choices all the time. So we prioritize. We choose the better option, even if it’s not a perfect one. We accept that life is rarely an ‘all or nothing’ landscape.
And as children we’re told not to “cut off our nose to spite our face.”

Democrats need to understand that. And they need to hold those noses and vote for whoever runs against Trump…because the alternative is fucking terrifying

Thursday, February 06, 2020

An Acquitted Trump Still Crying "Read the Transcripts!"

A week ago I wrote that Donald Trump’s consciousness-of-guilt will haunt him forever regardless of the outcome of the Senate impeachment trial.

One week later the Republican-controlled Senate not surprisingly voted to acquit Trump. Only one Senator, Mitt Romney, broke tightly-held party ranks and voted to convict…but not before delivering a powerfully poignant, courageous and scathing indictment of the president’s actions:

“…The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.”

It didn’t take long for Trump’s crippling insecurities (and obsessive Obama jealousy) to fire back. Just after midnight he tweeted…

“Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election. Read the Transcripts!”

And this morning, attending the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, Trump bitterly attacked the impeachment process and his opponents…including Romney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he claimed ‘used their faith to justify doing what’s wrong.’
Just as I wrote last week, no matter Trump’s claims that the Mueller probe “totally exonerated” him…no matter that his weak, feckless cowardly Senate Republicans abdicated their Constitutional oath to acquit him as predicted…he can’t and won’t let go. He’s trapped in his emotional prison, where his guilt and illegitimacy consume him.

Trump knows what he did. He knows we know what he did. We also now know that many Republican Senators know what he did. It’s not just Romney who’s issued a public rebuke of his corrupt behavior. Senators Lisa Murkowski (“shameful and wrong”), Lamar Alexander (“inappropriate”), Susan Collins (“wrong”), Marco Rubio (“actions meet a standard of impeachment”) are part of the bi-partisan chorus of condemnation.

But in what will go down as the greatest, most shameful partisan cover-up in political history, only Romney honored his oath to both country and faith. The others, though politically-expediently critical of Trump, disingenuously claimed his behavior is not impeachable. History will judge them accordingly.

So here we are. With an exonerated and acquitted yet still angry, bitter, resentful, insecure Trump ravaged by guilt and illegitimacy. It should be over, but it’s not. It will never be over. Not for Trump. That’s what guilt does to ya. It compels you to spend every minute of every waking day desperately trying to prove innocence.

It’s a life sentence.

Monday, February 03, 2020

The Bar's Just Been Raised For Impeachment

Twenty years ago President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex. Last week Donald Trump got away with a whole lot more.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t just conduct an evidence-and-witness-less sham trial which will go down as the biggest cover-up in political history, he essentially re-wrote the Constitution to make it that much harder to ever impeach and ultimately remove a president again.

So for all intents and purposes, here’s a shortlist of High Crimes and Misdemeanors that, according to Republicans, no longer qualify as impeachable offenses:
  • Pathological lying
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexism
  • Racism
  • Xenophobia
  • Incitement of violence
  • Bullying
  • Attacking children
  • Caging children
  • Separating families
  • Attacking disabled people
  • Attacking the Pope
  • Attacking Gold Star families
  • Attacking war heroes (alive AND dead)
  • Campaign finance violations
  • Emoluments clause violations
  • Self-enrichment
  • Bribery
  • Extortion
  • Misuse of Congressionally-appropriated military aid
  • Abuse of power
  • Soliciting foreign interference in elections
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Obstruction of Congress
  • Threatening US national security
  • Treason
Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz last week punctuated this shocking reality with his even more shocking argument that the president cannot be impeached if he believes his re-election is in the national interest. This suggests that the president can do whatever the hell he or she wants including rigging the election…so long as he convinces himself America is better off for it.

To be sure, the Clinton impeachment lowered the bar. But Trump’s Senate trial, which gave a shamelessly partisan thumbs up to his myriad moral, ethical and legal transgressions, raises that bar to unfathomable levels, and leaves us with the question, what will it now take to impeach and remove an American president?