Biden, politics, social media, true crime

Step into my Parler…

I have not given in to the temptation to check out Parler or any of the other “alternative” social media platforms. I have many reasons for not taking the plunge. The main one is that I have absolutely zero desire to add more social media to my life. Facebook already annoys the fuck out of me, even though I am hopelessly entrenched. But there are other reasons…

First of all, I’ve noticed people cabling posts from Parler and, quite frankly, a lot of what I’ve seen is very negative. There’s a lot of scary right wing shit on there, posted by nutjobs who still think Trump won the election and was unfairly ousted from Washington. Naturally, if you have followed this blog for more than a few minutes, you know that I am DELIGHTED that Trump lost the election. I believe the election was fair and free, and Trump is by far the worst president in the history of the United States. Not only did he suck donkey balls as a leader, but he also inspired people to be violent and stupid.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that a number of my relatives have apparently abandoned Facebook. While I think a couple of relatives blocked me, I also think most have simply moved over to Parler, where they can spew their nauseating Trump worshiping crap in relative peace. I would not want to be on Parler to see what my relatives are posting. Some of them have legitimately scared me over the past few years… and some have just made me sad. I feel like I’ve lost a bunch of loved ones, thanks to Donald Trump. I’m not sure the rift will ever be healed.

And thirdly, I am really tired of writing about politics. I’d like to move away from that subject. I probably will, if Biden succeeds in making the country less crazy. But if I hang out on Parler, I know I will fall down several rabbit holes and feel compelled to keep writing about things I read over there. Facebook provides way more than my recommended daily allowance of political craziness.

Speaking of families being divided by politics… I recently read two different stories about parents and children going through significant strife thanks to Trump. The first one involves Claudia Conway, whose mother is Kellyanne Conway. I wrote about her a few months ago, when she was in the news for going off the rails a bit online. Claudia’s rants against Trump and videoed meltdowns were the reasons cited for Kellyanne’s exit from the Trump administration. Kellyanne had famously remarked that her family needed “less drama and more mama”.

A report from October 2020. Claudia was 15 at the time. Now she’s 16.

Well… according to recent news reports about the Conway family, things haven’t improved so much since Kellyanne came back to the nest. Claudia recent shared videos of her mother screaming profanities at her. A police officer came over to do a wellness check and told Kellyanne that she should take away her daughter’s access to the Internet. Claudia then said that she pays for her phone and her computer belongs to her school. Claudia’s dad is George Conway, who has publicly trolled his wife. George Conway is not a Trump fan at all. So I’m sure there’s a lot of stress in that household. There would be anyway, since Claudia is going through major growing pains at her age. But add in the rest of the shit– politics and a mother who apparently has quite a temper to match her public persona– and it can’t be easy for any of them.

I don’t envy Claudia OR her mother. Claudia is not at an easy age… And although I don’t like Kellyanne Conway, it can’t be easy to have children who air dirty laundry the way Claudia is. I think it will be a long two years before Claudia is a legal adult.

The second story involves a much less famous family in Wylie, Texas. 18 year old Jackson Reffitt, is the son of Guy Reffitt, a man who toted at least one firearm to the Capitol on January 6th and allegedly told his son, Jackson, if he told the authorities, he would be a traitor. And then, Guy allegedly told his son that traitors “get shot”. Wow…

If this story is 100 percent true as reported by Jackson, I think he’s a hero.

Jackson told the FBI anyway, and Guy Reffitt was arrested. Jackson says he did it because he felt it was his duty to his country. He also says he “knows” he and his dad will make up at some point. I truly hope that will happen for him, although Jackson’s sisters have said Jackson took their father’s comments “out of context”. Frankly, I have a hard time imagining how someone can take those words “out of context”, particularly when they are said by a father to his son.

Jackson is also at a tough age. It’s not easy being 18. His dad is my age, which makes me feel old. Anyway, Jackson has a GoFundMe going, because it appears that he’s no longer welcome in his father’s home. At this writing, he’s gotten more than $129,000 in donations. Apparently, he’d only hoped to raise a few thousand dollars. Personally, I think he should probably stop collecting money, lest people turn on him. Everybody loves a feel good story, but when GoFundMe fundraisers go crazy, sometimes people have a tendency to get skeptical. Besides, that amount of money is enough to get him through college and help him with his expenses as a young man. It’s crazy that we feel like we have to reward people for simply doing the right thing. But I know it was hard for Jackson to turn in his father. He will probably pay a heavy cost for that.

Anyway… it wouldn’t surprise me if Guy Reffitt is on Parler, too. I don’t want to be rubbing virtual elbows with people like him, even if some of my relatives are probably also there, commiserating about how we’re all “doomed” because a sane, rational, decent man is now the president. Yes, Joe Biden is 78 years old, but he looks pretty vibrant to me, and he is definitely a better role model and a better person than Trump will EVER be.

I hope to God that we all learn from history– look at the rise of Hitler, for instance— and stop Trump from doing any more damage. I am fucking serious. Be a conservative if you must, but keep it sane. And I think insanity abounds on Parler, so I won’t be stepping in over there, no matter how curious I get.

In other news… Arran had his surgery yesterday, later in the day than was planned. He has a cone of shame on his head and an incision in his left thigh, where the mast cell tumor was removed. He seems to be feeling better today than he did last night, poor guy. He woke us up at 3:00am because he was ravenous.

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Biden, musings, Trump

Struggling not to be a hypocrite…

This week has been bewildering. I can see it in my blog posts from the past ten days or so. I’ve gone from being cranky and irritable, to elation. Elation turned into dismay, then there was a dash of guilt. This morning, as I sit here thinking about what I want to write about today, I realize I’m a hypocrite. Every day, I struggle to be consistent about things. I try not to be hypocritical. But I often fail.

I’m not alone. Most people are hypocrites. Most of us say one thing and do another. We often have good reasons for being hypocritical. A common excuse is that a certain situation is different somehow. Like, for instance, I recently wrote a sympathetic post about how hard people are being on Skylar Mack, but then I wrote another, much less understanding article about how Jenna Ryan and Jacob Chansley are getting what they deserve.

I wrote yesterday about how I think redemption is important. I think that people should be able to rise above their mistakes. So how is it that I can have so much empathy for Skylar Mack, but not as much for Jacob Chansley and Jenna Ryan? There are some significant differences in each of those cases, of course.

Skylar Mack is 18 years old and barely an adult. What she did, while foolish and potentially dangerous, didn’t actually harm anyone. She wasn’t infected with COVID-19 when she broke quarantine. That doesn’t mean she was right to break the rules; it simply means that this time, she didn’t literally hurt anyone by breaking them.

Skylar needed to be punished, though, because other people are always watching. Not punishing Skylar could have emboldened other people to do what she did. Some of those would be rule breakers might be infected with COVID-19, and if they broke quarantine and mingled with the locals, they could cause an outbreak on the Cayman Islands. It was just my opinion that Skylar didn’t need to rot in jail forever for what she did. I’m glad the local officials agreed and let her go this month, even if a lot of virtue signaling hypocrites at home thought she should have fried.

Conversely, both Jenna and Jacob are much older than Skylar is. Jenna Ryan is a 50 year old businesswoman. Jacob Chansley is 33 years old. Both are well over the ages at which their brains should be fully developed. Skylar still has a few more years to go before her noggin is completely solid, and medical science supports that. According to this article by the University of Rochester Medical Center, Skylar still has a “teen brain”, and she will have that for about seven more years. That means her judgment is not the same as an older person’s should be.

Jenna and Jacob surely knew that what they were doing was illegal, and it’s been illegal for a very long time. I mean, come on. When was the last time you were able to just walk into a federal building like the Capitol, completely unvetted and unchecked? Granted, I haven’t been in a U.S. federal building in ages, but even in the years prior to 2014 (which is the last time I was in the USA), most federal buildings had at least a security guard. Many of those buildings have metal detectors and require showing identification. On January 6th, 2021, a whole bunch of people showed up in Washington, DC, hellbent on breaking and entering a restricted building. They KNEW it was wrong. If they didn’t know, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to cross the street by themselves.

Moreover, five people DIED at the riot. Countless other people were physically injured, psychologically traumatized, or both. There was a lot of property damage due to vandalism, and there was also theft. Jenna Ryan and Jacob Chansley may not have stolen anything or caused any property damage themselves, but they were certainly not doing anything to stop the damage. In fact, they were encouraging it and participating, and they were doing so with a very defiant, unapologetic attitude. They had to know that what they were doing was against the law.

By contrast, up until the spring of last year, people were coming and going from places like the Cayman Islands with no one tracking their movements. Face masks weren’t a fashion accessory. Neither were armbands that monitor a person’s movements. Except for the fact that Skylar Mack was evidently in the Cayman Islands alone at age 18, she was doing what many teenagers before her have done, completely without consequence. The rules suddenly and radically changed for her and her peers. The rules did not suddenly and radically change for Jenna and Jacob.

And finally, Jenna and Jacob did things to draw attention to themselves. They bragged about what they were doing on social media. Jenna Ryan went so far as to advertise herself as a realtor as she raved about “stopping the steal” and “taking back our country”. It’s sheer lunacy that she thought this was okay and that she’d get away with it. And after she got busted, she took to social media to beg for donations. Later, she posted an unbelievable confession:

WHAT? Who do you think you are, Jenna? Televangelist Paula White? Seriously, I bet Jenna is a fan of Paula White’s. I used to watch Paula on TBN, as she would beg for love gifts for her “ministry”, even though she lived in a mansion.
Paula White in action. I think Jenna sounds a bit like her.

PayPal canceled Jenna’s account, so I guess those “blessings” are no longer flowing. Mom and Dad would be so proud that I remember a concept from the Doxology. All those years in church sometimes come in handy. But, besides taking donations she claims she doesn’t need, Jenna also felt entitled to a pardon from Donald Trump, who quite predictably, didn’t come through for her, or her buddy Jacob Chansley, who can’t eat prison grub and needs an organic diet.

At least Skylar Mack did her time, paid her fines, and respectfully admitted that she deserved to be held accountable for what she did. Yes, her grandmother reached out for help from the government. She was genuinely concerned about her loved one’s well-being. But I didn’t hear Skylar, herself, asking for Trump’s help.

Jenna and Jacob acted like their shenanigans were a big fucking joke, and they were entitled to behave like miscreants because apparently, they think Trump gave them permission. Even if Trump had “invited” them to break the law, that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be serious consequences for doing so. Surely, Jacob and Jenna know that U.S. Presidents aren’t actually above the law– although Trump has sure acted like he was.

Judging by the news yesterday, I can see that there are still some pesky QAnon folks around who haven’t gotten the news that they were “played”. Some of those folks have wisely come to their senses… but too many are still on the QAnon/Proud Boys’ bandwagon. That includes a newly elected legislator from Georgia named Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has already filed articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden. This Trump trailing twit says that Joe Biden is unfit to hold office because he “blatantly abused power” when he was Vice President during the Obama years. She also accuses Biden of “blatant nepotism” regarding his son, Hunter Biden. Um… nepotism? Where the fuck was Ms. Greene during Trump’s tenure? Does she not realize that Trump gave most of his children and their spouses government jobs? I just can’t understand the stubborn cognitive dissonance in some of these people.

But anyway… I see that some people might think I’m a hypocrite for some of my views. And I’ll own up to that. I did get a little pissy the other day when someone chastised me and accused me of “falling for click bait”, although my getting pissy didn’t result in anyone getting blocked or unfriended on Facebook. And maybe I should be more understanding about my former “friend” blocking me a couple of days ago for praising Mike Pence on my space. I really don’t know what she’s going through right now. We’re all dealing with a lot of stress. I mean, I’m feeling depressed, hopeless, and stressed out and I don’t even have kids or a fucking job!

On the other hand, Biden is now in power and Mike Pence is not, so is it really that harmful to offer Pence some praise as he (hopefully) leaves federal politics? I’ll bet praise has been slow in coming for him over the past four years. He sure as hell never got it from a true narcissist like Donald Trump. I’ll bet “Mother” went through some hell, too. Poor woman probably had to hear and witness many horror stories about what an unapologetic asshole Trump is… although I’m sure Pence didn’t swear when he told her about it. If he didn’t actually tell her, then I’m sure it showed up in his demeanor. I’m married to a man who was both married to and once worked for narcissists. And I’ve witnessed and heard a whole lot of sad stories myself.

Well, anyway, I guess it’s time to wrap up today’s post. Bill has just called me to breakfast and he hates it when I let it get cold. So I’ll close by saying I know I’m a hypocrite about a lot of things. I really try not to be. But, as my former asshole psychiatrist once told me, “The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting you have one.” So I’m doing that now, and I’ll try to be accountable. And maybe my next post will be about something other than politics.

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Biden

Now the healing begins…

I was tempted to give this post a provocative title. People who know me offline, know that I often say shocking things. It’s a habit that people tend to either love or hate. Some people think my penchant for being shocking and gross is hilarious. Others disdain it and consider it a tasteless, vulgar habit. Personally, I think it’s more of my form of rebellion. I was encouraged to be classy and ladylike when I was growing up, although looking back on it, I didn’t have that many examples to follow. So here I am…

Last night, as I was eagerly waiting for Joe Biden’s inauguration, I ran across an article posted by Rachel Maddow, a journalist whose wit has really enchanted me over the past couple of years. The article was about “draining the swamp”– as in, Trump rolling back one of his very first policies from 2017. You see, when he was first installed as 45, Trump made a big deal out of a policy that would forbid “executive branch employees from lobbying any agency where they had served for five years after leaving office.” The order also instituted a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government.

But then, in the wee hours of the morning– 1:07am, to be exact– Trump reversed that order. So now, people who are newly disenfranchised thanks to Biden’s inauguration can go for those lobbying jobs to their hearts’ content.

I don’t really care too much about that particular policy. It’s not something that affects me personally, except to point out, yet again, that Trump doesn’t honor his promises. That’s not a new or earth shattering revelation, though. What inspired me was the image of “draining the swamp”. It made me think of a painful, infected, inflamed, oozing sore. So I left this comment on Rachel Maddow’s page.

Phew.

I actually know of what I write. Back in 1996, when I was about halfway through my Peace Corps service, I got a very painful abscess under my arm. It was probably because I got a cut shaving under there. It was the first of quite a few somewhat serious skin infections I suffered from June 1996 until May 1998. I had cellulitis diagnosed three times, but if I’m honest, I probably had it at least five times. Twice, I didn’t go to the doctor for treatment because I didn’t have the money to go and it was located in an embarrassing place (right over my butt crack).

I’m pretty certain I somehow picked up a staph aureus germ while I was abroad. I’d get an infection. It would fester and swell, then burst and heal. Then I’d get another one. Fortunately, I didn’t get sick in either of the cases in which I didn’t see a doctor. But then one day, my luck ran out, and I finally did get an infection that made me really ill, to the point at which I had to go to the emergency room in Gloucester, Virginia. It was on my stomach. I watched as it went from being the size of a 50 cent piece to the size of my hand. I developed a high fever and was in extreme pain. It was probably the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.

I remember going to the hospital in hysterical tears. I cried as I showed the nurse the infection, which was hot, red, and burning with pain. I remember her shaking her head and saying, “Oh my God. That’s got to hurt.” Not long after that, I was hooked up to an IV, getting very powerful antibiotics. When the bag was empty, I felt so much better. My fever went down. The chills stopped. The pain grew much duller. As the days passed, the infection completely cleared, and I was as good as new… at least until the next time I got cellulitis.

Cellulitis causes a really nasty, painful, dangerous infection. It forms deep in the skin and causes searing pain, high fevers, inflammation, and swelling. When it clears, it drains thick, brown, foul smelling, oily pus, that is really messy, sticky, and disgusting and leaves an empty pocket beneath the skin. Sometimes it’s bad enough that you have to be hospitalized to get over it. The second time I got it, I had it on my face. I looked like the Elephant Man, and my doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital. He was worried that my eyesight or even my life could be in danger from the infection. Fortunately, I got better without being hospitalized, but I was left with a scar on my cheek.

I got treated three times before I finally stopped getting those serious infections. The first two times, I had to take very powerful, expensive antibiotics that gave me yeast infections. But the third time, the infection wasn’t so bad and I got well quicker. It was the last time I ever got cellulitis, and I finally went on to recover for good. I remember during that time, I also finally addressed the depression and anxiety that had plagued me for years. It was the start of a much better life for me. I started to heal.

Yesterday’s inauguration reminds me a little bit of that serious infection, and finally getting the cure. I don’t tend to watch inaugurations. In the past, they didn’t interest me. Like a lot of people, I was pretty complacent about politics. I always had the feeling that the “new boss” was the same as the “old boss”. I guess if there’s one thing good that came out of Trump’s presidency, it’s that he jarred a lot of people like me out of complacency.

I teared up watching Joe Biden becoming our 46th president. It’s not because I am particularly enthusiastic about him. I have never followed his career and I don’t think he would have been my choice for a candidate. But I have to say that listening to him speak yesterday was a real pleasure. I felt kind of like I did after I got those powerful antibiotics that started to clear the infection that made me so sick. I felt like maybe healing was possible, even if we have to go through some unpleasant and expensive treatments to get there.

Of course, I’ve already lost some friends. Some of my relatives don’t speak to me anymore because I’m not a Trump fan. This morning, I lost an old friend because I expressed basic empathy for Mike Pence, even though I certainly don’t agree with his politics and would never vote for him. But if Mike Pence hadn’t done his duty and stayed faithful to his oath to support and defend the Constitution, yesterday might not have happened. If he had gone along with Trump’s wishes and given in to the threats of the Proud Boys and QAnon, where would we be today? Maybe yesterday still would have happened, but it would have been much harder to pull off. So I am grateful to Mr. Pence for doing his duty, even if I disagree with his political views.

Well worth watching.

Dr. Ramani, in the above video, makes a lot of sense… although perhaps some people think that by recognizing humanity in Pence that I’m enabling their abuser. I’m not, though. I simply recognize that Pence has spent four years trying to work with a narcissist. It doesn’t mean I excuse him for his policies or that I’m a fan of his. It means that I have some basic empathy for him and appreciation that ultimately, he didn’t follow Trump when he was under tremendous pressure to do so.

I guess losing friends and relatives is part of this process of healing. At least I know I’m not the only one, draining the festering abscess of the past few years. I know that recovery won’t be cheap or easy. But I have hope that it will finally begin, if only because we have someone in charge who is an adult with empathy. I have no delusions that the QAnon wackos and Proud Boys are vanquished. I’m sure they’re waiting in the wings, ready to strike. I’m sure Trump’s successor is being trained up and will be ready to attack when the time is right. We have to stay vigilant. But it’s nice to finally have hope.

I also know, having watched Bill deal with narcissists and having experienced dealing with them myself, that what Pence did was actually pretty brave. I know that after he refused to do Trump’s bidding and made him look like a fool to his followers, he became Trump’s mortal enemy. You can rest assured that Pence is now dead to Trump. He won’t ever be forgiven. Maybe some people think Pence deserves that treatment for signing up with Trump in the first place. But most people don’t understand that narcissists are not normal people. Pence probably thought he could change Trump or handle him. He probably thought Trump would drop out and he would take over the presidency. He was duped, like a lot of people were.

I do feel better today, even if some people don’t like me anymore. It’s not like I haven’t been through that before, though… I will survive, stronger, healthier, and maybe with a fresh battle scar or two. I know some people are sad about Biden being our new president. Some people are legitimately frightened, mainly because they’ve been misled into believing conspiracy theories. But others, like me, are very hopeful for healing, messy and painful as it might be.

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Biden, politics, Trump

Is Mike Pence finally “woke”?

Today’s featured photo is a screen grab of a video about the attempted faux coup last week.

Please forgive me for using that term. I kind of hate the expression “woke”. And please forgive me for yet another political post, although I have a feeling I’ll be writing them for some time to come… at least until the dust settles on Trump’s exit from the White House.

I didn’t write anything yesterday, nor did I practice guitar. Instead, I watched a lot of old episodes of Glee and hung out with Bill. We did a lot of talking about the events of last Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence is probably feeling the heat right now, as pissed off MAGA cultists descended on the Capitol and erected a gallows as they screamed “Hang Mike Pence!”.

Trump stoked the fires of public resentment against Pence for refusing to “undo the will of the People”.

Why were they screaming? Because Donald Trump had expected the vice president to “overturn” the results of the election. Trump repeatedly made the false claim that Pence had the power to nullify the will of the people. He also repeatedly made baseless claims that the election was “stolen” from him. And he encouraged a mob of people to take action against legislators tasked with certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Mike Pence, who has been totally loyal to Trump for the past several years, did not do Trump’s bidding. And now, he is discovering what happens when you cross a malignant narcissist. Although he’s probably never been formally diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, it’s pretty obvious to me that Trump is a narcissist. A lot of people might claim that most politicians are narcissistic. And they would be right in making that claim. But there’s a big difference between being “narcissistic” and having full blown NPD. And even within the realm of NPD, there are varying degrees of it. I think Trump is pretty far on the NPD scale, which means he’s extremely entitled, very immature, and completely focused on himself and his own needs. Couple that with his charisma and innate ability to say what people want to hear, and you have a very dangerous individual.

I don’t agree with Mike Pence’s politics at all, but here he sounds much more presidential than Donald Trump EVER has. But I suspect that Mr. Pence thought Trump would burn out quickly and he would wind up being the 46th president.

Right now, I think Mr. Pence is understanding what it means to go against a malignant narcissist, even when it’s the right thing to do legally, ethically, and morally. Unfortunately, hitching your wagon to a narcissist in hopes of getting ahead often ends in disappointment. Always remember that narcissists ultimately don’t care about anyone but themselves, and it doesn’t matter how loyal you are to them or were in the past. The minute you cross them, you’re in their crosshairs of revenge. They see other people strictly as tools to be used and they have no compassion or understanding when someone disappoints them, even when it’s because they have been put in an impossible situation, as Mike Pence was.

Donald Trump now faces a second impeachment, and Pence is under pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment. If you ask me, he should have done that a long time ago. But I can see why Pence would not have wanted to invoke the 25th Amendment, even though Trump is clearly unstable and dangerous. For one thing, there’s that old boy network of mutual back scratching and political favors. Pence wouldn’t want to piss off his buddies in the Republican party. But there’s also the fact that Trump could go off the deep end and do something much worse than what he’s already done, simply out of spite. And there are thousands of people who want to hang Mike Pence for not being totally obedient to Trump rather than following the Constitution.

This morning, a friend of mine shared a Twitter feed showing people who were mobbing the Capitol being refused return flights as they were being arrested. Some of them are crying pitifully as they are correctly being kicked off of flight, labeled terrorists, and escorted away in handcuffs. Indeed, people who breached the Capitol are being identified, and those who managed to leave the nation’s capital are being arrested at home. Somehow, these folks, in an era of iPhones and surveillance videos, thought they could get away with their felonious behavior without being held accountable. I guess it’s a good thing Trumpers are not known for wearing face masks. It makes identifying the perpetrators of these crimes much easier than it otherwise might have been. And these folks are going to find that Trump will likely do NOTHING for them as they properly face charges, fines, and possible jail time for what they did.

Powerful words from a true leader.

Yesterday, I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech about the events of last week. I was actually pretty moved by what he had to say. Arnold Schwarzenegger is certainly no paragon of virtue himself, but he would have been 1000 times better in the White House than Trump has been. Unfortunately, Arnold, who obviously loves America, can’t run for President, because he’s a naturalized citizen. But even though I have sworn off voting for Republicans, I might make an exception for Arnold Schwarzenegger, because he’s clearly a much fitter leader. And what he says about the effects of Hitler on his home country of Austria, are very astute. He’s not the only one who has seen the parallels of Trump’s leadership and the rise of Naziism in Europe back in the 1930s and 1940s.

One more thing. I don’t think this is over by a long shot. The MAGA crowd is super pumped and emboldened right now, and while Trump might be riding off into the sunset soon, there’s sure to be someone else waiting in the wings. I suspect it’s someone younger, smarter, more likable, and actually knowledgable of and dedicated to the cause. I don’t think Trump actually cares that much about the MAGA movement. He just wants to stay in power and avoid the extreme narcissistic injury of losing. But I feel certain that there are other people out there who really do believe in forcing America to turn into their warped white supremacist Christian vision of what they think it should be. You can bet that even if Trump’s era ends, someone else will try to do what he failed to do.

We must all stay vigilant and aware of those who want to turn our country into real life Gilead. That’s why I hope Mr. Pence will do the right thing and help the Democrats get Trump out of power as soon as possible. There’s a lot he can do in the next nine days. I’ll be surprised if Pence actually does invoke the 25th Amendment, but I think it’s the right thing to do. I believe our country is in serious danger. I already have more respect for Pence today than I did a week ago. I think doing the right thing by the American people and helping to restrain Trump would go a long way in redeeming Pence’s lapdog image, at least as far as I am, personally, concerned. I do think Pence has more concern for others than Trump ever will. He’s certainly saner and more competent.

Bill has empathy for Mike Pence. He once worked for a man who is a lot like Trump is. Being second banana to a raging narcissist is a thankless and punishing endeavor. Bill was fortunate in that there were a lot of people who supported him and realized the terrible position he was in, and he came out of that experience relatively unscathed. However, when he was working for that man, it was hell on Earth. I’m sure Pence can relate, because I don’t think he has the same extreme ego Trump has. People like Trump never choose people like themselves to work with them. They look for people who are malleable and trustworthy. So now that Pence could be “woke”, like so many of the rest of us have been for years now, maybe he will earn the trust of the majority of Americans who would like to see Trump removed from power. Even if it means he never again has another peaceful moment.

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Biden, rants, Trump

I’m so sick of willfully ignorant Trump supporters…

I get it. They don’t like Joe Biden. They claim he has dementia. They repeatedly bring up his son, Hunter, and Hunter’s “shady dealings” in Ukraine. They’re tired of virtue signaling, holier than thou, politically correct liberals who want to tell them what to do, how to speak, and the “right” way to live. I get it.

Believe it or not, I don’t like a lot of the liberal mindset, either. I, for one, am super weary of reading shaming social media posts about everything from wearing face masks to what constitutes proper character. I think most people are who they are and believe what they believe, and no stale Facebook meme or falsely attributed wise quote is going to change their behavior. BUT…

I truly don’t understand why so many people are so wedded to having Donald Trump as the leader of our country. As far as I can tell, his leadership has been a complete and total disaster. Every president in recent times has been somewhat moderate and had some sense of decency. Trump doesn’t care about ANYONE but himself. How can you be a good person and support such a man as a world leader?

I get being conservative and identifying with the Republican party’s stated values. It wasn’t so long ago that, I too, identified with being politically conservative on a lot of issues. Trump isn’t really a conservative, though. He doesn’t make decisions based on a fiscal or moral compass. It’s all about being in charge and stroking his massive ego, satisfying his libido and insatiable need for admiration and regard from his minions. He would not deign to spit on you if you were on fire. He literally DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT about anyone but himself… and maybe Ivanka, whom he has said he’d like to date if she weren’t his daughter. Ivanka, for her part, appears to be following in Trump’s footsteps, albeit in a slightly more polished way.

Last night, I read the article I linked immediately above– it’s from Vanity Fair, written by Lysandra Ohrstrom, who attended prep school with Ivanka in Manhattan in the 1990s. For years, she considered herself Ivanka’s best friend. As they grew older, it became clear that they didn’t share the same values. This happens a lot as children and teenagers develop into adults. It happened with me and my former best friend, although I also determined that she wasn’t a good friend in general. I know what it’s like to face the painful realization that someone you counted as a loyal friend turns out to be a fraud. Based on this article, that’s what happened with Lysandra and Ivanka. But, just as it was between my former friend and me, the signs were there. And the signs that Donald Trump is a vile, inappropriate, uncaring person were also there. Consider this anecdote from the Vanity Fair piece:

Bear in mind, the author was just a young girl at the time. How would you react if your father, brother, son or husband treated a fourteen year old girl like this?

I’m not surprised by this anecdote. There have been plenty of others over the years. If there had only been one or two stories about Trump being so gross, maybe I could dismiss them the way some of my friends and relatives have. But there have been so many stories of Trump’s piggish behavior toward women that I just can’t turn a blind eye. He’s even said he enjoys grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them, even if they don’t consent to his attentions. I don’t think a person with such a low opinion of other people ought to be leading them.

I am delighted that Joe Biden won the presidency. It’s not because I think he’s a fantastic candidate. I don’t actually know that much about him. But he’s clearly a much more decent person than Trump is and will think more about the people he’s been tasked to lead rather than himself. And, you know what? If something happens to Biden and he can’t complete the term, I would support Kamala Harris as president. At the very basic level, a world leader should care about other people. Trump does not. A man who can treat a teenaged girl like a feast for his eyes isn’t worthy of running the country.

I’ve seen a lot of people doggedly championing Trump, though. I don’t understand why. If you just want a conservative leader, why not champion someone who is conservative, but doesn’t treat others with such obvious contempt? Why not expect your leader to be a basically decent person who has respect for other people? What is so incredible about Trump, other than the fact that he emboldens white supremacists?

A couple of days ago, I was chatting with one of my sisters and I remarked that one of our cousins recently unfriended me. My sister asked me why. I wrote that it was probably because I am vocal about despising Donald Trump and I cuss a lot. But then I added, “Anyone who has a problem with my language, but supports a man who explicitly brags about grabbing women by the pussy is a hypocrite, as far as I can tell.”

Yep. Eric Schwartz is right on point with this. Don’t call yourself a Christian if you are still hoping Trump will remain in the White House, even though he LOST the election and is clearly a LOSER.

I know this cousin is a devout Christian. I have always known her to be a decent and good person. But she admires Trump, despite his obviously unChristian, inhumane, disrespectful and outright cruel behavior. It makes me wonder if, deep down, she’s hiding a dark side I never knew. How can any decent person support Trump?

I have another cousin who grew up a Jehovah’s Witness. JWs are famously anti-government. They aren’t supposed to join the military or salute the flag. Her family left the JWs, ostensibly because the local church leaders wanted to install a child molester as a leader. Since leaving the JWs, they’ve become rabidly Republican, and this cousin of mine who is a mother of five and has a beautiful daughter, has posted a lot of political crap about how the election was “stolen” from Trump. I have to wonder if she’s intellectually disabled.

How can anyone accuse Joe Biden of “stealing the election”? He wasn’t the one who installed political appointees who did everything they could to suppress voters. He had nothing to do with appointing Louis DeJoy, a Trump supporter with no post office experience, as the Postmaster General, who apparently did everything he could to suppress mail in ballots during a global pandemic. Even if Biden “cheated”, it seems to me that Trump is also guilty of cheating. But I don’t think Biden cheated. I think a lot of people are just fucking fed up with Trump’s embarrassing shitshow and want him gone, so they legitimately voted for Biden because he could actually win. We all want our lives back, and Trump’s policies don’t facilitate getting things back to normal, nor do they inspire respect from other citizens of the world.

I really do try to respect people’s opinions. I do think it’s important that people vote their consciences as much as possible. I understand that everyone has their reasons for feeling the way they do. I just don’t understand how anyone with a conscience can ignore just how awful Donald Trump and his family are. It’s not just gossip or hearsay. The proof is abundant, and if he weren’t a filthy rich, famous white guy with powerful friends, he would probably be sitting in prison right now for rape.

I read an article in the Army Times last night and noticed the comments… some ignorant woman mentioned Joe Biden’s “dementia”. He does not have dementia. If you ever spent any time with someone with dementia, you’d know just how awful it is to joke about it or speak about it in an ignorant way. Dementia is devastating. My father had dementia, and I saw it change him from a vital, intelligent, strong-willed and strong-bodied man, to a feeble, frightened, helpless shell of himself. I didn’t always have a great relationship with my dad, but I would not wish what happened to him on anyone. It’s truly heartbreaking to watch. How can any decent person make the claim of dementia about Joe Biden, especially if they don’t know him? How can they joke about it? Believe me, it’s not a laughing matter. Dementia is nothing to joke about.

So I posted that Joe Biden doesn’t have dementia, which earned me a bunch of “laughing” reactions from the moronic Trump supporters who refuse to see that their hero is a morally bankrupt buffoon who wouldn’t deign to offer them a squirt of piss if they were dying of thirst. From what I’ve read about Mr. Biden, he lives a healthy lifestyle and does not have dementia. He does make a lot of verbal gaffes. He has issues with stuttering, which only shows that his brain works faster than his mouth does. But I have seen no evidence that he has dementia, and to make light of that condition is reprehensible and disgusting. This is a good read regarding Biden and his non-existent “dementia”…

Anyway… I’m getting to the point at which I’m having trouble separating my Trump supporting friends from their beliefs. I’m still trying to understand, but it’s getting harder and harder. I look forward to Joe Biden taking office. At the very least, maybe he’ll bring some civility and dignity back to the office. If he manages to accomplish anything good, I’ll count it as a bonus. The bar for success is set very low at this point.

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