politicians, politics, Trump

Trump is gearing up for another go at being POTUS… I can’t stand it.

The above photo is a screenshot that is enough to inspire nightmares. On another note, I doubt Trump ever had a physique like that one. He’s the Eric Cartman of world leaders.

Last night, as I struggled to fall asleep, I read an article about how Donald Trump is chomping at the bit to run for president again. The idea of another four years with him running the White House is enough to give me anxiety induced indigestion. I really hate the idea of it. But I am not surprised he’s gearing up for another run, since he’s a malignant narcissist who can’t lose with dignity. And he doesn’t seem to know when the party is over and it’s time for him to go home.

I know there are still many people in the United States who would dearly love to see Trump run and win again. Lots of people I grew up with– many of whom are, pardon the expression, total rednecks– feel like Trump is the one president who didn’t ignore them and spoke up for their needs. What they don’t seem to understand, though, is that Donald Trump actually disdains people who are just “plain folks”. They seem to think Trump would invite them over to his house for a well done steak covered with ketchup and watch football and pitch horseshoes with them, or something. That’s not the case at all.

Donald Trump disdains people he thinks of as “losers”, and that would certainly include people who aren’t wealthy, well-connected, or very good looking. At the same time, he’s threatened by people who are winners. He would rather those people work to elevate him, rather than congratulate them on their own successes and encourage them to keep succeeding. Unless, of course, he can somehow parlay their successes into something he can use for himself and his agenda.

Some time ago, I remember seeing a cartoon posted on social media depicting Trump sitting at an old fashioned soda counter next to a small child. In the drawing, Trump looks “fit” and muscular, and leans over to a boy wearing a pro-Trump t-shirt. The caption was, “Don’t worry kid, we’re coming back.” It depicted Trump as this old fashioned, all American, God fearing, heroic, great guy, who loves children, families, and the American way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, Donald Trump is just a con man with racist and “rapey” proclivities. He’s always been that way, and he will always be that way. He’s a narcissist, and they don’t change, nor do they do anything that isn’t strictly for them, and their agenda. That’s what makes him a disastrous failure as a “leader”. Moreover, I don’t see Trump getting that close to anyone who hasn’t made his dick hard. He is reportedly a germaphobe, and I strongly doubt he has much affection for children, even ones who wear pro-Trump t-shirts. He especially has disgraceful attitudes toward girls.

Recently, I read that Donald Trump is being asked not to publicly declare his candidacy for the presidential run in 2024. This is because people are afraid he will upset the midterm elections. Many voters are still reeling from the shit Trump did when he was in office, and I think Republicans are hoping they can somehow sway those people to vote red again after another year with Biden at the helm. A lot of people don’t like Joe Biden, and I think Republicans are hoping for more time to show that Biden isn’t a good president. But Trump is probably not going to listen to the powers that be in the Republican party. Why? Because he’s a narcissist, and narcissists don’t listen to other people. They do what they want, other people and their needs be damned.

Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George, gets it.

I also think that many Republicans secretly realize that they have created a monster in Donald Trump. He will not stop interfering in politics, now that he’s gotten a taste of the power that comes from being president. It will probably take his death to stop him. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who apparently is also eyeing a bid for the White House, used to champion Trump, and Trump championed him. But now, Trump sees DeSantis as a threat, and is trying to psych him out of a presidential run by calling him a loser. Frankly, I would absolutely hate to have DeSantis as president, either… but I do think this situation is an example as to why people should never have trusted Trump. He has no honor and no loyalty, and he does not care about anyone but himself. Trump doesn’t support his supporters. He thinks of them as chumps.

In fact, Mike Pence’s former coronavirus advisor, Olivia Troye, made a video last year slamming Trump. In that video, she noted that he was much more concerned about being re-elected than preventing deaths from the pandemic. According to Troye, Trump said:

“…maybe this Covid thing is a good thing… I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people…”

Of course, Trump and Pence both claimed that Troye was just a “disgruntled former staffer” who wanted to say bad things about Trump. But what about the time Trump referred to America’s military war dead and injured as “losers and suckers”? This from a man who didn’t do his part in Vietnam, due to “bone spurs”… and yet, many people in the military still think Trump is “da man”. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I have up close and personal knowledge of how many people in the military become indoctrinated to the cause and their leadership, especially when the leader is a Republican.

I read another article about Melania Trump’s former press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, who is now throwing the Trumps under the bus in a new tell-all book. I haven’t decided if I will read her book, since I hate to give money to someone who fully supported the Trump regime and is now very much a hypocrite. I may decide to read the book, simply because it may have some truth in it worth revealing. Like it or not, Grisham was privy to a lot of “tea” during her stint in the White House. And she has publicly said, “I am terrified of him running for president in 2024…” Grisham says that it would be all about revenge if Trump were to run. Grisham further states that she believes if he won, Trump would push “some very draconian policies” shaped by his base.

In other words, he would not have to worry about re-election, so we could all look forward to Trump becoming completely unhinged, and feeling totally emboldened to act like a crazed monkey throwing shit at the masses. It would be a disaster. Human rights and any policy devoted to decency, cooperation, and democracy would go down the shitter. I would expect a lot of people to become disabled and/or die, too, because of more gun violence, disease caused by public health and health system failures, and irresponsible health choices associated with poorer safety and wellness. Trump is not, for instance, a leader who encourages people to take care of themselves and other people. He encourages people to be selfish, irresponsible assholes, like him.

But people love junk food, and lots of people love Trump, because he is the political equivalent of junk food. He’s a “hamberder and fries” to the “grilled turbot and steamed vegetables” of more liberal candidates. Which isn’t to say that I would want the “tofu and bean sprouts” of an extremely left wing candidate, either. I support moderates, and candidates who have everyone’s best interests at heart. I support leaders who care about other people, not just half-cocked, drunken uncle types, who only care about fat wallets and their own sexual gratification.

Trump supporters see Trump as being for their brand of “freedom”, which is all about their individual liberties– except for when it comes to private health decisions made by pregnant women. They don’t want the government dictating how they spend their money, what they wear on their faces, or if they get a vaccine to protect themselves and their communities against a deadly novel virus. They want to ignore all of the dangers of today and live their lives as if it was still 1955, and women were barefoot and pregnant, people of color “knew their places” in society, and conservative white men were on top of things. It really is nauseating if you think about it for long and you have any sense of decency.

A screenshot from the insurrection on January 6. If Trump comes back, I expect more of the same.

I read this morning that some of the people who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 are starting to get their punishments for trying to overthrow the government. One story was about a guy from San Antonio who got sentenced for 45 days in jail for traveling to DC, being part of the mob, and spending twelve minutes in the Capitol building. The guy hadn’t actually engaged in violence or vandalism, but the judge noted that he’d made a conscious choice not to respect the results of the 2020 election. These folks were cheered on by Donald Trump. He encouraged them to riot in his name. I only hope that some of the people who were involved in the January 6th rioting get a clue and cast their votes differently in 2024. I don’t think the United States can survive another Trump presidency.

I truly do get being conservative. I understand wanting to vote Republican. But PLEASE– let’s find someone to run who is not a complete sociopath. Let’s find someone with a conscience who cares, on some level, about other people. It’s true that most politicians are a bit narcissistic, but Donald Trump is narcissistic on an epic scale. We can, and should, do much better than voting him in again. It’s time for all decent people to pull their heads out of their own asses, open their eyes, and see beyond the bullshit. Vote for people, not parties.

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condescending twatbags, healthcare, poor judgment

Thanks to COVID-19, basic humanity is going extinct…

A couple of nights ago, when Bill and I were in Switzerland, I happened to read a sad story in The Washington Post about a woman from Alabama who used to think COVID-19 was a liberal hoax. Christy Carpenter and her family soon found out COVID-19 is not a joke. She and her 28 year old son, Curt, both got the virus. Christy survived, but Curt didn’t. He was ventilated, suffered a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), and died on May 2.

Now, Christy Carpenter and her daughter, Cayla, are spreading the word that COVID-19 is real. I applaud Carpenter for doing that. I think she’s got guts, and she deserves some empathy. I wish she’d wised up sooner than she did, but she’s going to have to live with the loss of her son, along with any residual COVID-19 aftereffects. I feel sorry for her. I really do.

I think Christy Carpenter is a victim of the pervasive group think that exists in extremely conservative places like Alabama. I know how that is. I grew up in such a place, and for the first 30 years or so of my life, I was a big believer in the conservative mindset on a lot of issues. I think if I’d never left Gloucester County in Virginia, I might still be voting red. After all, that’s what so many people in that county do, and a lot of them were my friends. I also come from a family full of Republicans. Many (but not all) of my loved ones are Trumpers. It’s caused a big divide and, if I’m honest, a real loss in family unity. My own uncle– a man I have always loved and respected– accused me of being a “liberal nut case”. We haven’t spoken since.

When I first read about Christy Carpenter’s ordeal, my heart went out to her. She made a huge mistake in believing the conspiracy theories and outright lies about the COVID vaccines and the virus itself. That mistake led to her “beautiful baby boy” Curt, who reportedly had autism, fighting for his life for weeks before he finally succumbed.

Carpenter explained, “It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly… That made us very nervous.”

“If Curt were here today, he would make it his mission to encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” Carpenter said. “Cayla, his sister, and I are carrying out that mission in his memory.”

Curt’s haunting final words to his mom, Carpenter told the WaPo, were: “This is not a hoax, this is real.” 

Carpenter said, “It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine. We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”

Admirable… and again, I think it’s very brave for her to speak out, particularly in a place like Alabama, where doctors who have tried to spread truth are getting death threats! Sadly, liberals, who often preach about being compassionate and considerate, are leaving really mean and nasty comments for Carpenter on articles like the one I read on The Washington Post. This story has been picked up and disseminated via several different outlets. On so many of them, people put the blame squarely on Carpenter and show her no mercy. Below are a few examples from the WaPo.

Christy Carpenter watches her son die and she finds herself asking, “why” ? What do you mean? You could have and should have saved your son by getting him vaccinated. You thought the coronavirus was a hoax ! You caused his death. Live with it and stop making excuses

Sorry, not sorry. I am sick and tired of anti-vaxxers saying after someone in their family dies after getting COVID that they should have been vaccinated. You’re too stupid to be vaccinated, die already. That way you’ll be bleaching out the gene pool.

Why does it take more than 600K+ people dying, including one’s own son, to convince them that covid 19 is real?  Were the other 600K+ deaths not enough?  Tragic for the family, yes, but sorry, my heart is stone cold.

So Covid wasn’t a problem until it became HER problem. Very sad for her son who was likely unable to advocate for himself.

It turns out that Republicans would rather die than think.  It’s really hard to feel pity for that.

The blame for these outcomes lies squarely on those who lack the capacity to rationally digest the ample evidence that surrounds the existence and progression of a pathogen with the potential to eliminate millions, if not billions of our species.   Time for all who remain to stop blaming those  who are purported to mislead, take responsibility for their own bad decisions, and express regrets for dragging the innocents who do not share their deplorably stupid delusions into their  intentionally negligent camp.   There is nothing confusing or mysterious about the existence of the Covid 19 pathogen which merits credible acceptance of  the hoax/conspiracy/denial rationales that are the basis upon which these “victims” seek the sympathy of others.   

I did like that one other commenter clapped back at the person who wrote the above drivel…

“The blame for these outcomes lies squarely on those who lack the capacity to rationally digest . . .”

That makes no sense.

And you should practice writing short, readable, declarative sentences. (Bwahahahahaa! Too funny!)

There were many other comments like the above on Facebook and the article itself. I see that this story also ran in The Daily Mail. I shudder to read what people have to say on that site. It’s usually pretty lowbrow. I’ve also read several comments about Curt’s weight. He was a large man, which would make COVID-19 especially risky for him.

People have always been mean and unsympathetic, but I’ve noticed it’s especially bad nowadays, in the age of COVID-19. It’s like basic humanity has gone extinct. While I don’t applaud that Christy Carpenter and her family didn’t heed warnings about COVID-19, I do feel sorrow for her. Moreover, I don’t cheer when anyone gets this virus. I don’t think those of us who have never had it have any idea what it’s like. We only have the experiences of others to go on… and, as I have pointed out MANY times in this blog, people are still getting the virus even if they’ve been vaccinated. Some people who get COVID-19 never even know they’ve had it. Others get deathly ill. It’s easy for people to assume they’ll be one of the lucky ones who barely feel the infection, but that’s a very risky idea, especially as the virus mutates.

It’s true that the vaccine seems to substantially cut the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, but the vaccine does not stop COVID-19 cold. And so, there will be people who do everything “right” and still wind up battling the coronavirus. I expect there will eventually be some who will die, despite being vaccinated. Granted, in this case, we have a woman and her son who refused to believe in science. But I look at where they live and the mindset in that area. It can be hard to go against the grain when you’re surrounded by so many people who pressure you to think as they do.

I don’t think anyone “deserves” to get COVID-19. I don’t celebrate when I read that someone gets it. I didn’t even laugh when Trump got sick last fall, and most of you know how much I despise Donald Trump. I think anyone who gets sick is entitled to treatment, because I believe that healthcare is a human right and those who don’t get treatment will put innocent people at risk. And I am legitimately SAD for Carpenter, because she has suffered a huge, irreplaceable, and tragic loss, and now has COVID-19 long hauler symptoms.

Christy Carpenter lives in a state where many people mistrust anyone who isn’t Christian and politically conservative. I get that. Even though Virginia turned blue last year, it’s still a deeply conservative red state in many areas. I think the only reason it went blue is because of northern Virginia and the very different demographics in that area. Northern Virginia is like a different state– it’s more Mid Atlantic-Northeast than it is Southern. You go below Fredericksburg or west of Loudon County, and you will find many people who think and believe like Carpenter did.

So I posted a comment on the WaPo article, encouraging people not to be so cruel. I myself have only been fully vaccinated for a few weeks. It’s not because I am a non-believer in vaccine efficacy, but because I am in Germany and couldn’t access the vaccine sooner than I did. And I was able to get it on an Army post, which put me at an advantage. There are Germans who are still waiting to get their turn at the shot. Bill’s American therapist actually went back to the States to get his shots. Should we blame and laugh at Germans and other Europeans if they get sick while they wait?

Sure enough, someone left me a nasty comment about how they have no pity for Carpenter and her family. My response to her? “Good for you. You must be very proud of yourself.”

I know I shouldn’t read comments on news stories. I read them, though, because they give me food for thought. I think a lot of liberals are massive hypocrites. We are all exhausted by COVID-19. It’s tiresome, frustrating, and infuriating to see all of this death, destruction, divisiveness, and tragedy, especially when it seems like some of it could have been prevented. I think people should remember, though, that COVID is still a very new thing, even if it seems like the pandemic has been going on forever. Sadly, some people will not have a concept of how bad it is until they are personally affected. If those people then want to spread the word, I say “good on them”. Spill the tea! Maybe some people will change their minds and do the right thing.

Sometimes, it takes personal loss and tragedy for people to change their views. Other times, it takes exposure to new people and places. I think my views started changing when I left the country. The longer I spend outside of my native land– particularly southeastern Virginia– the more “liberal” and “godless” I seem to become. 😉 Oddly enough, I think I have a more “Christlike” view of many issues than some of the God fearing conservatives I know. I think Christ would be advocating for peace, kindness, and forbearance, rather than finger pointing and derision.

Anyway, Christy Carpenter can count on me not to cast shade on her now. I think it’s hugely commendable that she’s sharing her story, especially since so many people are unkindly reacting with rudeness, hostility, and downright meanness. I know her heart is broken, and I am truly sorry for her loss– both of her son, and her health. I do hope her story serves as a lesson for others. She may even save some lives by bravely sharing it with the masses, even though so many of them are hateful assholes.

I really don’t think this is going to get better until many more people get vaccinated. I don’t think masking and social distancing are much better than Band-Aids for this problem. The sooner people get with the program and do their part, the better off we will all be. And I hope that anyone who still doubts the efficacy and effectiveness of the vaccines will think of Carpenter, her son, Curt, and all of the others like her who have lost so much at this time. May God bless them, despite their foolish choices and ignorance.

By the way… I notice that a number of Republicans seem to be trying to change the narrative. I read another story this morning about Sarah Huckabee Sanders advocating for getting vaccinated. She wrongly referred to the shots as the “Trump vaccine”, but then rightly pointed out that the orange turd got the shots, so it was good for her to get them, too. I think Republicans are figuring out that if they don’t convince more of their followers to get vaccinated, they’re going to run out of voters.

And no, Trump does NOT get credit for the vaccines. ALL of the credit goes to scientists, healthcare workers, and public health officials– some of whom are not American. The Pfizer shots were developed right here in Mainz, Germany, about twenty minutes from where I currently live, but German scientists of Turkish descent. The orange fuckwad had NOTHING to do with it, and is not doing enough NOW to get his minions to agree to get vaccinated.

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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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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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