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Reuters/Leah Millis

It’s been six months since I last wrote to you. Some of you no longer fall into the category of those who love Donald Trump, but some of you probably still do. Which side you now belong to is something I don’t know, and I’m responsible for that. Why? Because up until this point, I didn’t want to know, or more specifically, I have been afraid to know. Let me explain why.

For so many Democrats like me, Trump was a known quantity from the start. It all began in 2011 with birtherism and descended from there, to his attacks on immigrants, his abuse of war heroes and the disabled, his pride at being a violent sex offender . . . and this was all before he was elected. And yet it went downhill from there, through Charlottesville, through his capitulation to our enemies, through his abuse of power and extortion of another country to serve his political interests, and so much more. …


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Matt Slocum / AP

You have heard a lot from me recently about what I’ve referred to as America’s “Problem #1.” When we think about all of our most challenging issues, the greatest impediment to solutions is the reality that we are divided by diverging realities. Some of these divisions appear irreconcilable in the short term, as in the clash in realities over alleged massive voter fraud to elect Joe Biden. Others will become less relevant over time, as in the belief that masks do little to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

For profitability and political reasons (aka money and power), certain bad faith actors have emerged in response to the demand for alternative realities. Consider it the triumph of capitalism at its worst — a validation that the circumvention of reality to achieve power and profitability is now a feature rather than a bug of a business enterprise or a path to control. …


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Matt Chase / Politico

Here in Georgia, the definition of insanity is counting the votes from an election over and over and expecting a different result. It’s calling the Republican governor a hapless moron and a nutjob because he didn’t sufficiently suppress the vote, and it’s having that same governor authorize an investigation of voter fraud that doesn’t exist to win back the favor of the president and his disgruntled followers.

For the anti-democracy Republicans — which includes Donald Trump — no amount of proof of a fair and honest election is sufficient. Many have long been led to believe that their emperor would be re-elected in a landslide, but when reality intervened, it became too much to accept. The only outcome they can tolerate is a Trump victory — anything else is fraud that justifies a radical and potentially violent overthrow, not just of the incoming government, but of democracy itself. …


Truth in the Time of Covid

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Pablo Delcan

As the 2020 election approached, we were repeatedly bombarded with a particular nugget of propaganda — an assertion intended to call out the “fake news” and ridicule all those who dared to be vocal and vigilant about the impact of Covid-19. To quote the current President of the United States at one of his many ill-advised (no pun intended) campaign rallies:

“That’s all I hear about now. That’s all I hear. Turn on the television — ‘Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.’ A plane goes down. 500 people dead, they don’t talk about it. Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.’ …


It won’t happen, but we need to imagine if it did.

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PoliticusUSA

Stay with me for a moment: Imagine if Donald Trump succeeded in the subversion of our democracy and managed to somehow hang on to his role as President of the United States and “leader of the free world”. Let’s play this out.

The demonstrations that would be unleashed in nearly every city and town around the country would make the Black Lives Matter marches of last summer look like a pep rally. Many millions of people would flood the streets, driven by a level of outrage never seen in our lifetimes. There would be violence, there would be looting, there would be fires. This is not a threat — its just reality, just like the American Revolution was a reality, just like the Civil War was a reality, just like every civil rights demonstration throughout the 1960’s, peaceful or otherwise, would be this reality if you were to roll it all up into one giant combustible bundle and light the fuse. …


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Fabio Bucciarelli | New York Times

Set aside the election results, the accusations of voter fraud, the stunted transition and the politics that go with it. And for the sake of some near-term continuity, let’s ignore for the moment the Republican effort to “humor” the incumbent president by not intruding upon his preferred alternative reality — the one in which he believes he can gaslight his way into a second term.

All politics aside, and whether you believe any of the above, one undeniable fact remains: Donald J. Trump is still our President. …


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He hasn’t accepted it yet, but reality has finally arrived for Donald Trump in the form of American democracy. It’s arrival is marked by a cleaving of the Republican Party into two unequal but fluid factions: one we can designate as the pre-Trump/never Trump establishment, the other the pro-Trump faction, which we should begin referring to as Anti-Democrats — as in “anti-democracy” — the group that seeks to inherit Trump’s followers.

This dilemma has undoubtedly set off panic in the Republican party, as those who are still in office (with the exception of those who have just been re-elected) are essentially strapped to the sinking ship that is the Trump presidency. Until Trump concedes, any hint of concession — of respecting the democratic process and joining President-elect Joe Biden in unifying the country — will be met with career-ending retribution. The Trump family is taking names and demanding loyalty oaths from Republicans on Fox News, with the obvious intent of turning their raging Trump base against any who are foolish enough to question the current president’s flailing attempts to hold on to power. …


The Final Countdown

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Courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinal / Of Rural America 2020

We are tired.

For many of us, we have had all we can take of Donald Trump and we’re counting the days, if not the hours until this American nightmare is over. I’ve done my share of Trump-bashing over the last year — we’ve all probably had enough of that too, regardless of which side we are on. But my primary intention is as simple and primitive as a screaming prairie dog: To warn of impending danger.

In Part 1 of this “A Man of No Consequence” series, way back in February of this year, I deconstructed the pathology that can emerge from anybody who lacks an understanding of cause and effect, predicting that Trump would be unable to react effectively to a national emergency. While those on the inside were selling their stock, it was pre-pandemic for the rest of us, so there was no way to know what such a scenario might look like. …


You’re a Trumpist

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Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, William F Buckley and Irving Kristol. (Photo from the Hertog Foundation)

Ideological terms have a fluid quality. They typically emerge in the lexicon as a literal definition of a political perspective before serving as tribal labels with entirely new connotations. History also tells us that extremists on both ends of the spectrum tend to behave similarly; think of The Troubles of Northern Ireland in the latter part of the 20th century, in which Protestants and Catholics, two groups originally defined by their belief in Christianity, were reduced to decades of killing each other. …


It’s not what you think it is

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Richard Drew / AP

The United States is a capitalist country — it always has been, and it always will be, because the core values of freedom, independence and innovation that are a condition of capitalism are deeply woven into America’s culture and mythology. Since, by some accounts, we are presumably under threat of a socialist takeover if Democrats take power in our upcoming election, this is an appropriate time for a good faith analysis of socialism and its relevance in the U.S.. Let’s start by making a distinction between a socialist government and a socialist component of a government.

A socialist government is defined as one that owns or controls the entire means of production of products and services for its citizens. It is mutually exclusive of any true capitalism because if the government dominates production, no private enterprise can compete at a sustainable level. The Soviet Union of the past and North Korea of the present are two good examples of socialist governments. Unless these governments maintain an entirely closed system (as North Korea does), they will die (as the Soviet Union did), because only capitalism, with the benefit of a free, open and dynamic marketplace, can provide an optimal alignment between the supply and demand for the majority of a society’s products and services. …

About

Kevin Donovan

Where there is great fear, there is no empathy. Where there is great empathy, there is no fear.

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