Biden, narcissists, politicians, politics, Trump

Sorry folks, but Trump would have been way worse…

Sorry to bring this up today. I’d rather be writing about something really hilarious. But I feel the need to bring up something that has been bugging the crap out of me ever since the Afghanistan debacle happened.

Last night, one of my relatives posted a nasty diatribe about Joe Biden’s handling of Afghanistan. He called Biden a “POS” and then berated people for thinking Trump is worse than Biden is. I fought to stop myself from commenting. I decided not to, mainly because my relative has a huge number of conservative friends, as well as lots of mutual family members hanging out on his page. And I just didn’t feel like getting into it with anyone last night, especially since we’re about to leave town.

Sadly… and what makes it worse is that I know a lot of people who support Trump aren’t like him themselves.

I also recognize people’s rights to post what they want to on their social media. It’s almost always better to just scroll by things that are inflammatory and/or hide the post. So that’s what I did. But my husband, who has over 30 years of military experience, as well as actual experience “downrange”, did decide to respond. I haven’t gone to look at the aftermath of Bill’s comment, because again, I don’t want to feel the need to respond. The “need to respond” is definitely a troublesome family trait on my dad’s side of the family, and it doesn’t always lead to things that are good.

Trump doesn’t think about what he says before he speaks, and he acts impulsively. He regularly says things that are incredibly hurtful and offensive, and he does harmful things without a second thought about the outcome. A man who brags about grabbing any woman he wants by the pussy is not someone who would handle pulling out of Afghanistan with any grace or finesse. He apparently doesn’t even operate that way in the bedroom.

We have had four years to see Trump’s way of handling things. Maybe the optics would have been more palatable to the armchair warriors who are safe at home, watching the news… and being manipulated like everyone else is by the way the media portrays things. But I don’t in a million years believe that the outcome would have been better. In fact, I think it would have been much worse.

Anyway… here’s why I think Trump would have botched Afghanistan much worse than Biden has. It’s because Trump is probably a malignant narcissist. That’s really the main reason. Trump’s narcissism is apparently off the charts. And that fact, in and of itself, is what makes him a terrible leader, and what would have made him seriously fuck up Afghanistan in a way that probably would have gotten a lot of people killed.

What is a malignant narcissist?

You can click this link to read a pretty good description of what a malignant narcissist is. But in brief terms, a malignant narcissist is someone who is completely preoccupied with their image and has superficial charm. They seek to win at all costs, and don’t care what they have to do or who they have to hurt in order to win. They can’t handle criticism, listen to counsel or advice from others, or regulate their behavior. And they are amused by other people’s pain and suffering.

Dr. Grande also presents a pretty good look at Trump and narcissistic behavior.

Donald Trump regularly and obviously displays his extreme narcissism. He says and does whatever he wants. He doesn’t care when people get hurt, unless it suits his narrative. When the cameras aren’t rolling, he doesn’t give a shit about other people. There are thousands of people who are affected by what’s going on in Afghanistan. And, as it was said on one of Dr. Grande’s videos, “Narcissism is a barrier against reason and logic.” If there’s a time when having reason and logic is paramount, it’s now.

Another video worth watching… and a reminder of why Trump is dangerous, and would not have handled Afghanistan well. He talks a lot about characteristics good leaders should have.

I know some people don’t think Trump’s narcissism is significant. But if you have had personal dealings with this type of person, you will come to know all too well how narcissists put other people in grave danger and serious personal risk. Seriously narcissistic people like Trump do not care about anything or anyone but themselves. That is a fact. And given that, he would not care about the people of Afghanistan or the Americans who are trying to get out of there safely.

Is it better to have a “weak” person like Biden handling pulling out of Afghanistan? Or is Trump’s bluster and perceived “strength” better?

In my opinion, Biden is clearly a better person to be handling this crisis. Let’s be honest. This was a mess 20 years in the making. Joe Biden didn’t start it. In fact, he didn’t even really end it. Donald Trump made one of his famous “deals” with the Taliban last year. Trump wanted to get America out of Afghanistan, but instead of dealing with the Afghan government, he cut a deal with the Taliban. Maybe the Taliban still would have struck if Trump had dealt with the government instead of an extremist terrorist group, but as Trump likes to say, “it wasn’t a good look” for him to be negotiating with terrorists.

Trump wasn’t wrong to want us out of Afghanistan, since the war was a huge cash drain. Moreover, history has shown us that Afghanistan doesn’t want to “change”. Other countries have tried and failed to bring Afghanistan into the 20th century (and yes, I do mean 20th, not 21st).

So Trump wasn’t wrong to want to end the war… But he made a deal with the Taliban. He basically sold out Afghanistan to a bunch of terrorists. And then he lost the election– and yes, he DID lose– but there was still that deal with the Taliban. We had to get out of there, and it was not a secret that we would be leaving.

Biden clearly didn’t handle this situation perfectly, but I think this would have been a shitstorm regardless. And I would much rather have someone like him leading the country– someone who does care about others and has pledged to try to help the Afghans who helped the U.S. military for twenty years. Biden’s priority is to get Americans out, as well as those who helped Americans. He’s doing that. Thousands of Afghan refugees have already arrived in Germany. In fact, one was even born on the transport to Germany from Afghanistan. Thanks to my husband’s work, I know that those people are being taken care of. I doubt they would have been under Trump.

Donald Trump has proven that he doesn’t think much of brown people. But aside from that, Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing, and won’t listen to anyone who does. So I think that if he had been in charge, the situation would have been much, much worse. There certainly would have been more death and destruction.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan with lots of cash. Why did he take off? Because of what happened to his predecessor when the Taliban took over. According to The New York Times, Ghani left because he was afraid he’d be lynched. In 1996, former Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah was executed and strung up in a public square. Prior to his execution, the former president was castrated and beaten.

Ghani did not want to be tortured and executed, nor did the world need to see another leader desecrated in such a way. I can’t really blame him for getting out of Afghanistan. But when it comes down to it, Afghanistan was Ghani’s responsibility, wasn’t it? And they had 20 years. Biden’s first priority was getting Americans out of Afghanistan. That’s what he’s been doing.

My relative is a military veteran, but he left the military after four years. His service was in the 1990s, which was a relatively peaceful era. I don’t think he’s ever even been to Europe, let alone a place like Afghanistan. I’m not sure what he thinks qualifies him to criticize Biden and the way he handled this situation, which was bound to be a chaotic shitstorm regardless.

So… the bottom line is, I agree that this situation is tragic and could have been done better. But Donald Trump was certainly not the one who could have done it better. I think if Trump had been in charge, it would have been a huge catastrophe. He doesn’t care about anything or anyone but himself. That makes him a totally unsuitable leader. I’m really glad he’s not the president anymore. I hope more people will realize how dangerous he is, but more importantly, I hope the American people won’t vote in someone much worse than Trump.

Well… we’re off to the Black Forest for a few days. Gotta get our teeth cleaned and burn up some leave.

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Biden, politicians, politics, Trump

“Joe Biden sucks…”

Yesterday, I noticed a complaint on social media about gas prices. It was posted by Republican Idaho gubernatorial candidate, Janice McGeachin. At this writing, according to Wikipedia, McGeachin is currently Idaho’s 43rd lieutenant governor. And based on the gas receipt she posted, and her snarky jab at Joe Biden, she thinks Biden is to blame for higher fuel prices.

Um… is Joe Biden really responsible for this? Seems like a cheap shot based on emotion rather than facts.

Now… don’t get me wrong. It sucks to have to pay a lot for gas. Over here in Europe, we’re well acquainted with high gas prices. Here, you pay by the liter, and it’s a lot more expensive than what you pay in the United States. That’s why Americans who live in Europe under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) are entitled to buy gas on military installations and/or use coupons at participating Esso stations, where they get a substantial break on fuel prices.

I remember in the late 90s and early 00s, just before 9/11, gas hovered at around 99 cents to $1.10 a gallon. It was a blessing for me, since I was in grad school and had little money, but had to do client home visits in my car. You’re damned right I’m glad gas didn’t cost then what it costs now, even in the US.

But– can we really blame Joe Biden for higher gas prices? According to multiple sources, the answer to that question is “no”. There are a number of reasons why the price of gas has gone up. One major reason is that the demand has increased as people leave lockdown and go back to commuting or leisure traveling. Another major reason is because there’s less fuel available because people weren’t working. It’s the same reason why, when you go to McDonald’s, you may be facing a skeleton crew and things take longer. People are expecting things to be like they were pre-pandemic. But things aren’t like that, and probably won’t be like that for a good, long while, if ever again. Seriously, though… gas has gone up because the demand is up, and there’s less to go around. That’s got nothing to do with Biden. In fact, isn’t reopening the economy what Republicans wanted?

Aside from that, gas prices aren’t something presidents can easily control. According to the CNN link I posted in the previous paragraph, “the price of gas is determined by four major factors: taxes, the cost of marketing and distribution, refining, and the cost of crude oil. Biden’s enacted policies have not currently had a significant effect on any of these four factors.” It surprises and saddens me that as a lieutenant governor, particularly one who would like to be governor, Janice McGeachin doesn’t understand how this works. I suspect that if she does win the governor’s race in Idaho, she may be in for similar treatment, though. People will blame her for shit she can’t control, either.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Some woman, in response to the lieutenant governor’s post, wrote “Joe Biden sucks, and y’all know it!”

I was feeling cheeky, so I wrote “But Trump swallows.”

The lady wrote back something along the lines of, “Ooh, what a creative response!”

To which I wrote, “I could say the same thing about your comment. Besides, Donald Trump DOES swallow. Especially Big Macs and Whoppers!”

If you think about it, we ALL swallow, don’t we? Unless we have a feeding tube or something. That’s a function of healthy living. Does Biden literally suck? Maybe… although he probably doesn’t suck as much as he did as a baby. But that’s true for most of us, too.

Does the commenter mean Biden “sucks dick”, which is what “sucks” used to mean? I don’t know. But I’ve seen no evidence that Biden likes to suck dick. I HAVE, however, seen plenty of evidence that Trump is a lover of sexual conquests and exotic sexual acts. He probably HAS swallowed, in the nastiest meaning of that saying. But then, he’s in good company with other people who have hung around with the likes of Jeffrey Epstein… Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and plenty of other rich and famous men. There’s no telling what kind of shenanigans went on back when Jeffrey Epstein threw his wild parties on his notorious, infamous, “private island”, teeming with teenaged girls brought to him by Ghislaine Maxwell and company.

There’s no denying what kind of company Trump keeps… and when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.. (thanks, Mary Beth).
“Donald Trump is the Hugh Hefner of the 90s”… Seriously, he probably does swallow.

But even if he doesn’t “swallow” in the sexual sense, he definitely DOES like fast food. And he clearly does swallow that, based on his “figure”. So what I wrote wasn’t a lie. Saying that Joe Biden “sucks”, is probably more of a lie by most counts.

There’s no doubt that Trump likes his Whoppers… is he also the “home of the Whopper” like the pervert neighbor I used to have? The jury is out. This is so embarrassing for the United States.

In any case, Joe Biden has been in office for about six months. I’m feeling somewhat better about a lot of things than I did a year ago– at least for right now. A year ago, I woke up every day feeling dread about what new craziness would be in the press regarding Trump. Now, I worry less about Trump and his embarrassing bullshit, but I do worry that someone else is being groomed to “MAGA”.

I get that a lot of people think Trump’s “awesome” and his polices are “great for America”, as one Trump loving friend (who incidentally lives in Thailand) enthusiastically told me this morning. I wonder what my friend is doing in Thailand. I think he married a Thai woman, and he probably gets to enjoy a decent standard of living there… if Trump was so “great”, though, wouldn’t he have wanted to move back to the States during Trump’s tenure? Wouldn’t he have wanted to live in the USA, basking in all of Trump’s MAGA splendor? And yet, he didn’t. He’s been in Thailand for awhile.

I, of course, live in Germany and managed to miss ALL of Trump’s presidency. I haven’t set foot on US soil since November 2014. I have a feeling that when I do go back, it’ll be a shock. And that will be true, even if Biden doesn’t get pushed out in 2024. Lord help us all.

In any case, allow me to state on record that, so far, I don’t think Joe Biden sucks. I do, however, know for a fact that Trump swallows. But maybe someday we’ll get lucky and he’ll fail his swallow test. Perhaps that will keep him out of our hair so we can make sure no one worse picks up where Trump has left off. I think Joe Biden is a decent man, and I’m glad to see someone decent in the White House. Trump is not a good person who cares about other people. That, in an of itself, makes him unsuitable to run anything involving other people, let alone a country.

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book reviews, Trump

Repost: A review of Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump…

Here’s a reposted review of Harry Hurt III’s book, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump. It was originally posted in 1993, but I reviewed it on April 28, 2017. It appears here as/is.

I was determined to finish my latest book last night, even though we had a brief power outage.  I have been reading Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump for ages.  There was a time when I used to breeze through books in a matter of days, but this one took forever.  So last night, I pushed through and got the thing read.  Written by Harry Hurt III, Lost Tycoon was originally published in 1993, long before anyone in the world would know the horror of President Trump.  Although it took me a long time to get through it, Hurt’s book offers a telling look at the man who would be the United States’ 45th president.  And yes, according to this book, he was every bit as much of an asshole in the 80s and 90s as he is today.

I happened to discover Hurt’s book back in February, less than a month after Trump’s inauguration.  I read an article that mentioned Lost Tycoon.  In it, there was an anecdote about how Mr. Trump, pussy grabber extraordinaire, was recovering from a painful hair replacement surgery.  Trump’s then wife, Ivana, had suggested the surgeon.  He had done good work on her own aesthetic work.  But Mr. Trump was reportedly in agony after the procedure and he allegedly became so enraged at Ivana that he raped her and pulled out chunks of her own hair.  Then, as she sat sobbing after her husband defiled her, Trump asked “Did it hurt?” 

The story about Trump’s violence toward Ivana came from their divorce proceedings.  Although the story is clearly depicting Trump as a violent sex criminal, Ivana only calls it “rape” in that he wasn’t “loving” to her.  As I understand it, this wording is due to Trump’s concern over his image.  But according to Hurt in story after story, Trump is interested only in conquests.  According to Hurt, he lies and mistreats women, including his second wife, Marla Maples.  Stories about Trump’s affair with Maples figure prominently in Lost Tycoon.  Granted, she is depicted as a homewrecking bimbo, but she and Trump also weathered their share of storms.  And we’ve seen how he treats Melania, too.

Aside from stories about how Trump treats women (and how he lies about the ones he’s dated, like Carla Bruni Tedeschi), Lost Tycoon offers plenty of sordid tales about Trump’s shady business dealings and famous arrogance.  Twenty-four years after this book was published, I can see that Trump hasn’t changed.  While what I was reading may have seemed scandalous to the point of tabloidesque in 1993, in 2017, I can see that Hurt’s depiction of the future president is dead on.  

Harry Hurt III is an award winning journalist who has worked for The New York Times and Newsweek.  He clearly did extensive research for this book.  It’s well-written and packed with astonishing tales about Trump and his family, giving readers an interesting look at him when he was a younger man.  Naturally, because this was written in the 90s, you won’t read about Melania or Barron Trump or even Tiffany Trump, Marla Maples’ daughter with the president.  What this book offers is a glance at what was coming.  I was a young woman in 1993 and I distinctly remember the headlines about the Trump love triangle, as well as Trump’s tycoon business deals, much of which was built on other people’s money.

Toward the end of the book, there’s even a story about how Trump tried to keep heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson out of prison for raping nineteen year old Desiree Washington.  Hurt writes that Trump tried to broker a deal in which Tyson would set up a fund for rape victims.  The author alleges that Trump was really thinking of himself and his own issues with sexual assault.

By contrast, in 1991, Trump’s then 79 year old mother, Mary, was mugged by a sixteen year old kid who had skipped school.  The kid had knocked down Mrs. Trump, causing her to suffer a broken hip. She spent time in the hospital and Trump was reportedly “incensed” about it, wanting the kid to go to prison.  I agree, the kid should have been punished, but so should have Mike Tyson, right?  A 44 year old black maintenance man who happened to witness the mugging caught the teenaged criminal and held him for the police.  Trump invited him to dinner with him and Marla Maples.  The future president smiled for cameras as he thanked the man for helping his mother, but he did nothing to help the guy with better work opportunities, something that the man needed and Trump could have easily provided.

Although it took me way too long to finish this book, I do think it’s worthwhile reading.  This man is now our president and it’s scary as hell (ETA: Thank God he was not re-elected).  Maybe that’s why I took so long to get through Lost Tycoon.   The future looks bleak.

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nostalgia, politicians, politics, Trump

I was right again…

This morning, I was looking through my Facebook memories, when I came across this post from 2018…

I have about had my fill of Trump supporters. It’s not about conservatives vs. liberals. Donald Trump seriously doesn’t give two shits about anyone but himself. It makes me sad to see people defending him, either willfully ignorant or just plain ignorant. I normally don’t care about politics or politicians, but he truly is a scumbag who seems hellbent on humiliating the most vulnerable people. It sickens me to see people cheering that on, especially since they seem to think he will do something for them. He won’t. He is a narcissist, and he does not care about anyone but himself. He’s basically akin to a reptile.

I have known some decent conservatives in my day. I used to vote Republican myself. Trump just turns my stomach. He’s destined to be a blight on our history.

As I reread this post this morning, I realize that I was spot on in 2018. Why other people didn’t see it, and still don’t see it, I will never know. I think some folks just hate to admit they’re wrong. And some people are secretly not good.

What prompted that post? Based on the original comments, it was inspired by an article that was run in the newspaper I used to read when I lived in Gloucester, Virginia. At the time, Donald Trump was talking about replacing SNAP cards (aka food stamps) with meal boxes. I read the article, then some of the comments. I got upset, and wrote this as an explanation.

…this status was inspired by comments I read last night in the Daily Press about Trump’s new food box idea. A couple of people commenting were people I used to know when I lived in Gloucester. I grew up in a small community among many conservatives. I was raised by conservative people– well, mainly my dad was conservative. Mom is less so. I know these people are not horrible folks deep down. But some of their comments on that article were just sickening. I never noticed this mindset as much before Trump came to power. It’s like he’s awakened all of the most base and vile instincts in certain populations and some people have become downright cruel. I find it depressing and had to vent. Thanks to those who took the time to read and comment. I’m particularly grateful to see the comments here are respectful, which is all I could ever ask for.

It seems that a lot of Trump supporters assume that anyone who needs food assistance is “taking advantage”. And so, they liked the food box idea. It would put a stop to the mythical “welfare queens” buying steak and lobster with their EBT cards. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? It doesn’t matter if the recipient can’t use or doesn’t want the food put in the boxes. Let’s just humiliate them as much as possible. If you’re broke, it’s obviously YOUR fault.

I used to have a “friend” who felt that anyone receiving food aid should be compelled to use the money on “healthy” food. She felt that since people were receiving taxpayer money (never mind that anyone who’s ever worked has paid into that fund), should have to buy what she considers “good food choices”. That means no birthday cake, sugary cereal, or soda.

On the surface, I can kind of see what she means. I’d love for people to eat healthier, and since the people receiving food aid are clearly broke, we need to keep them healthy so they won’t get a chronic disease that will put them in the hospital. Except that government food aid is not forever, and it doesn’t buy much. Recipients must regularly prove they need the help. And not everyone who needs a SNAP card has access to a good grocery store or even a kitchen. Sometimes, a frozen burrito that can be microwaved is the best choice simply because the person doesn’t have the time or the facilities to prepare a nice homemade pot of vegetable soup or brown rice. Sometimes people have allergies or religious restrictions that don’t allow certain foods. Sometimes people have special occasions they’d like to celebrate. Why is it anyone else’s business? Does being poor mean that a person can’t choose what he or she wants to eat?

I suspect some folks think that anyone who ends up “poor” has bad judgment. They don’t consider that sometimes very successful and intelligent people end up needing temporary help. My husband was once poor. When I met him, he was living on $600 a month, because he was sending the rest of his money to his ex wife and kids. He certainly didn’t need some conservative asshole telling him to eat a salad instead of a bowl of Sugar Smacks. But some people think that’s what’s required. For the record, Bill wasn’t getting food aid at that time. He mostly survived on per diem payments he got while traveling. At that time, he was lucky enough to have a job where he had to go TDY a lot. It was before we were married.

I see that I vented about this issue three years ago in my original blog. In that piece, I included these photos:

The people who came up with the food box idea tried to frame it in a way that almost sounded caring. They didn’t want people getting sick on rich, sugary foods that aren’t nutritious. The government would save money and people would be getting “healthy” (but simple carb heavy) foods instead of money on EBT cards that they can’t be trusted to spend appropriately. Carbs keep people compliant. They made it sound akin to a program like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. BUT– unlike those meal kits, the USDA kits would not contain fresh fruits or vegetables. And the Hello Fresh and Blue Apron kits usually cost about $10 per meal, while the USDA kit would cost about $1.37. So it’s a win/win, right? The government saves money, and people get food. Never mind that some people won’t be able to prepare a pot of beans because they lack the facilities or have a disability that makes food preparation difficult.

But Trump doesn’t even have the humanity to try to frame the program in such a way. I think he thinks of the poor as “losers”, and they should just be happy with whatever scraps the government deigns to throw at them and shut the fuck up. For some participants, the food box program ended up being a bit of a flop, anyway, although some people were happy with the program. People did try to warn Trump that the food boxes weren’t a good fit for everyone.

I ended up unfollowing the Daily Press because of the comments that were written by the people who live in that part of Virginia. I just could not stomach reading them. There was just too much ignorance and meanness. One comment was written by a former neighbor of mine. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but I once went to a school dance with her son. Sadly, he passed away when he was 15 years old. He had a brain tumor. I remember her daughter, who is now married to the brother of a good friend of mine. They all still live in Gloucester. Many of them still hate poor people and love Trump.

Of course, in 2018, I had no idea what was to come… a poorly handled pandemic, an insurrection, and a second impeachment. Nevertheless, I wrote this:

To be honest, I never hated any politician before I encountered Trump. He makes my skin crawl. I hate what he’s doing to otherwise decent people, too, who are buying into his bullshit. I had to stop following the newspaper I have read my whole life because I could not stand to read the Trump inspired drivel in the comments. It was too depressing for me to see people that I know are basically decent falling into Trump’s disgusting plans for the country and cheering about it.

And for the Facebook post on the Daily Press, I wrote this:

And then I posted the status that leads today’s post. I didn’t know what was coming. I was depressed enough about Trump in 2018. Now, it looks like he could get away with egging on an insurrection. And people are still hoping that he’ll come back and run for office again!

But– as I write this, I do realize that we have a new president now. Joe Biden has brought some decency back into the U.S. presidency. So why can’t I relax? Because I feel like the past four years has just been a prelude to something worse. I know the basic type of person Trump is. When you deal with narcissists, you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I feel like the whole world has been dealing with a harassing narcissist for four years. And the clueless have championed him the whole time. Now, we read about politicians who have decided to get off the Trump train… people like Nikki Haley and Kevin McCarthy and even Mitch McConnell, who once kissed Trump’s ass and are now finding out that he’s utterly devoid of regard for anyone but himself.

I am pretty proud of Virginia, though… Virginia has finally gone blue. I know it pisses off a lot of people from my hometown. But to me, it’s a sign that the tide is turning somewhat. I get being conservative, but there’s a difference between being fiscally conservative and being inhumane. Trump is inhumane and dangerous. I hope the Senate does the right thing and convicts him. I doubt they will, but I have hope. Otherwise, the message is that a lame duck president can pull whatever outrageous bullshit they want to and get away with it. Hopefully, we will never again have one as narcissistic and hateful as Trump is.

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modern problems, politicians, politics, Trump

Impeachment trial #2…

There are many advantages to living in Europe. One of the biggest advantages is that I can watch things affecting the United States from afar. A lot of what I’ve seen regarding the past few years has been pretty heartbreaking. Like, right now, I’m listening to a video of a woman who spoke to CNN about how she “escaped” QAnon when Joe Biden was inaugurated.

This lady was “devastated” when Biden was inaugurated… but now knows she fell into a conspiracy theory.

South Carolina mom, Ashley Vanderbilt, explains that she was raised to do as everyone else said and did. She was told she was a Republican when she was growing up, so she’s always voted “red” without a second thought. I know how she feels. I grew up similarly. My whole family was Republican and I grew up in a Republican community. I didn’t care about politics, so I didn’t follow the news much. It wasn’t until I was older and left the United States that I started changing my political views.

I suspect that Ashley Vanderbilt is a perfectly nice person who was complacent about who was leading the country. But now that Trump is out of office and Biden’s inauguration hasn’t immediately led to a dystopian socialist nightmare, she realizes she was duped. She says she feels “foolish”. I’d say she’s one of the lucky ones. So many people are still mired in Trump foolishness, and they don’t understand that QAnon is a bunch of bullshit. And they see the attack on the Capitol last month as perfectly fine… it’s akin to the Boston Tea Party to them.

I haven’t been following the impeachment trial religiously. It’s hard to do that when you’re six hours ahead. I did, however, watch a video this morning that was shown to Congress as the second impeachment trial against Trump commenced. I don’t understand how any sane, rational person can support what happened. It’s just horrific.

This is just insane.

The sad thing is, many lawmakers will ignore this footage. They will vote against convicting Trump because they don’t want to break away from Republican Party lines. What exactly does Trump have to do before people realize how incredibly toxic he is? How do otherwise decent people excuse this? If you manage to watch this video, you will see and hear people calling police officers “faggots” as they repeatedly say, “Fuck you!” to them and use American flags to break the glass windows of the Capitol building. You will see Ashli Babbitt trying to penetrate the Capitol through a broken window and get shot for her efforts. Is this the kind of future we want? If Trump is excused– and he probably WILL be– we will send a message that a lame duck president can pull this kind of shit and get away with it.

It depresses me that we have so many people in leadership positions who literally don’t care about anything more than their “job security” as politicians. It’s sad to me that Donald Trump can have two bumbling attorneys represent him– two lawyers that Trump is said to be deeply unhappy with, by the way— and they can do a mediocre job of making their points and still win. Why? Because nothing said or shown to some of the people charged with protecting the country is going to sway them from “protecting” Donald Trump for the sake of the hijacked Republican Party (which is nothing like my father’s Republican Party was). I find it deeply disturbing and very sad that he probably won’t be held accountable.

There is a chance I’m wrong. I hope I am wrong. It’s hard to let myself think positively, even though Biden won last year when I didn’t know for sure that he would. You’d think that more people in the United States would see how bad Trump is. But no… I think a lot of them are like Ashley Vanderbilt. Perfectly nice, but uneducated, uninformed, and uninterested… and voting red because that’s what everyone in their families and communities does. If you don’t go with the crowd, they will turn on you.

This isn’t to say that this kind of thing isn’t also a problem on the blue side, either. I’ve seen it and ranted about it more than once. We talk a lot about freedom of speech and freedom of expression, but when it comes down to it, there’s great pressure not to say or think the “wrong” thing. And precious few of us are listening to anyone, anyway.

Sometimes, I wonder if the many people who have died over the past year are the lucky ones. They no longer have to think about this, or worry about what will come in the future. Even the heady news of new COVID-19 vaccines has been more sobering lately, as new mutations of the virus resist the vaccine. I’m wondering what the future holds, and if it’s even worth hanging around for it. Germany is probably going to stay locked down until March 1… and I won’t be the least bit surprised if the lockdown continues through the spring. And even when things open again, will I even care about going out or doing anything? Is this living?

Well… I’m sure more news will come out about the impeachment trial. I do hope it will be successful. Trump’s successor is bound to be more refined and cunning. You can bet he or she is waiting in the wings. We have to do something to set a precedent against his kind being allowed back into power. And we have to focus on making the world a place we want to stay in.

I do find a glimmer of hope when I hear people like Ashley Vanderbilt speak, though. She managed to find her way out of the rabbit hole and join us in reality. There must be more people like her. I sure hope there are.

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