How Trump Killed Tens of Thousands of Americans

Published August 14, 2020

Here’s just the last part of William Saletan’s thoroughly researched timeline counting down the torrent of lies, stupidity, and criminal negligence that should, in a just universe, lead to the trial and life sentence for Donald Trump and all his accomplices for the negligent homicide of every COVID victim in the US the instant he is dragged from office as the traitor he is:

On June 10, Trump announced that he would resume holding political rallies. He targeted four states: Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma. The point of the rallies, he explained, wasn’t just to boost his campaign but to signal that it was time to “open up our country” and “get back to business.” When reporters raised the possibility that he might spread the virus by drawing crowds indoors, he accused them of “trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies.”

Despite being warned that infections in Oklahoma were surging, Trump proceeded with a rally at a Tulsa arena on June 20. To encourage social distance, the arena’s managers put “Do Not Sit Here” stickers on alternate seats. The Trump campaign removed the stickers. Trump also refused to wear a mask at the rally—few people in the crowd did, either—and in his speech, he bragged about continuing to shake children’s hands. Two weeks later, Tulsa broke its record for daily infections, and the city’s health director said the rally was partly to blame. Former presidential candidate Herman Cain attended the rally, tested positive for the virus days afterward, and died at the end of July.

At the rally, Trump complained that health care workers were finding too many infections by testing people for the virus. He said he had told “my people” to “slow the testing down, please.” Aides insisted that the president was joking. But on June 22, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, he said he was only half-joking. He affirmed, this time seriously, that he had told “my people” that testing was largely frivolous and bad for America’s image. Weeks later, officials involved in negotiations on Capitol Hill disclosed that the administration, against the wishes of Senate Republicans, was trying to block funding for virus tests.

Two days after the Tulsa rally, an interviewer asked Trump whether he was putting lives at risk “by continuing to hold these indoor events.” Trump brushed off the question: “I’m not worried about it. No, not at all.” The next day, June 23, the president staged another largely mask-free rally, this time in a church in Arizona, where a statewide outbreak was underway. Days later, Secret Service agents and a speaker at the Arizona rally tested positive for the virus. On June 28, Trump urged people to attend another rally, this time featuring Pence, at a Dallas church where five choir and orchestra members had tested positive.

In his interview with Wallace, which aired July 19, Trump conceded nothing. He called Fauci an alarmist and repeated that the virus would “disappear.” He excoriated governors for “not allowing me to have rallies” and accused them of keeping businesses closed to hurt him in the election. He claimed that “masks cause problems” and said people should feel free not to wear them. He threatened to defund schools unless they resumed in-class instruction. As to the rising number of infections, Trump scoffed that “many of those cases shouldn’t even be cases,” since they would “heal automatically.” By testing so many people, he groused, health care workers were “creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, ‘Oh, we have more cases.’ ”“Many of those cases heal automatically. … We’re creating trouble for the fake news to come along and say, ‘Oh, we have more cases.’ ”— Trump, July 17

Since that interview, Trump has attacked and belittled his medical advisers. He lashed out at Birx for acknowledging the ongoing spread of the virus. He retweeted a false claim that Fauci was suppressing hydroxychloroquine “to perpetuate Covid deaths to hurt Trump.” When Fauci told Congress that infections had increased due to insufficient mitigation, Trump rebuked him and blamed the surge on increased testing. And when Dave Portnoy, a wealthy Trump supporter, complained that his stocks tanked every time Fauci called for mitigation, Trump assured Portnoy that the doctor’s pleas would go nowhere. “He’d like to see [the economy] closed up for a couple of years,” Trump said of Fauci. “But that’s OK, because I’m president. So I say, ‘I appreciate your opinion. Now somebody give me another opinion.’ ”

It’s hard to believe a president could be this callous and corrupt. It’s hard to believe one person could get so many things wrong or do so much damage. But that’s what happened. Trump knew we weren’t ready for a pandemic, but he didn’t prepare. He knew China was hiding the extent of the crisis, but he joined in the cover-up. He knew the virus was spreading in the United States, but he said it was vanishing. He knew we wouldn’t find it without more tests, but he said we didn’t need them. He delayed mitigation. He derided masks. He tried to silence anyone who told the truth. And in the face of multiple warnings, he pushed the country back open, reigniting the spread of the disease.

Now Trump asks us to reelect him. “We had the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he told Fox News on Wednesday. “Then we got hit with the plague from China.” But now, he promised, “We’re building it again.” In Trump’s story, the virus is a foreign intrusion, an unpleasant interlude, a stroke of bad luck. But when you stand back and look at the full extent of his role in the catastrophe, it’s amazing how lucky we were. For three years, we survived the most ruthless, reckless, dishonest president in American history. Then our luck ran out.

Read the whole damn thing. Vote this evil man out and then jail him for life. Then start jailing the GOP crime syndicate that aided and abetted him so that future generations will not be utterly ashamed of our accursed generation for what we did in electing these monsters.

100 Responses

  1. Sentencing and jailing of duly elected former officials simply based on the policy preferences of the next administration is the hallmark of dying democracies.

    ”Sorry we couldn’t keep this republic. Too busy slagging off other citizens on twitter.”

    1. Cheap shot! Look at Trump’s campaign inner circle–almost all felons! Trump is a criminal, that is why he’s so desperate to win and avoid prosecution.

      1. But Artevelde is right. I mean, it’s nice to imagine how you could walk Trump out in an orange overall, but in the end, it doesn’t change much. The structures that enabled him to do that badly still exist and the administration that comes after will be even worse.

        You can’t build a democracy on revanchism. And even though pardoning Confederates led to 150+ years of continued white supremacy in the South, punishing them would have been disastrous.

        We had a recent case of that in Poland when the current government replaced the previous one in 2015 amidst scandals and promises of holding officials accountable. Commissions established for that purpose unsurprisingly found nobody guilty of any actual crime.

        There’s an even more recent pseudo scandal during the presidential campaign where the Ministry for Health officials are accused of corruption for buying face masks from a familiar source at allegedly too high prices. That was within the apex of the pandemic and other countries were outbidding Poland for all PPE that were on the market.
        If our Ministry didn’t buy these masks, they would be sold on the market within hours anyway, but we would be left without them.
        If officials feared retribution for bad policy or bad decisions, there would be a complete indecision paralysis.

      2. @ toughluck
        “And even though pardoning Confederates led to 150+ years of continued white supremacy in the South, punishing them would have been disastrous.”
        Wrong. Punishing the bad guys is exactly what Germany did after WWII, and it worked. Imprisoning or executing every Confederate above the level of, say, captain would have sent an important message to the South, and might have prevented Jim Crow. There’s a reason why 1950’s Germany didn’t have a region where Nazis still ran things.

      3. @Joel

        Considering the fact that up until 2019 the German government was paying war pensions to – among others – Belgian and Swedish Waffen-SS members, I would suggest their policy wasn’t exactly ”execute all above the rank of captain”.

        Mind you, the Waffen-SS, not the army, the navy or the airforce, neither of which was on trial. Only the supremene command (OKW) was indicted, but it was acquitted. In other words, neither of the organisations I mentioned was ever convited for being a criminal organisation, except for the SS, and even those (provided they served in the miltary arm of the SS) were usually given pensions.

      4. @ toughluck You wrote:

        And even though pardoning Confederates led to 150+ years of continued white supremacy in the South, punishing them would have been disastrous.

        Not punishing them was disastrous for African Americans, who would be forced to live under a terrorist regime for almost a CENTURY. Black lives matter!!

        As for the rest of your apologetics, Poland has fuckall do with the crimes of the Trump administration. If I tamper with the US mail it’s a felony. If Trump tampers with the US mail because he fears mail-in voting will doom his re-election chances, well… But one of his many crimes against the state.

    2. Sentencing and jailing of duly elected former officials simply based on the policy preferences of the next administration was precisely what the post-war government of Germany did. We are not talking “policy preferences”. We are talking criminal negligence that will have killed nearly all the American dead of WWII by Inauguration Day.

      1. Not exactly the same thing though. Both the allied occupation and the Bundesrepublik have considered Nazi Germany as illegitimate, and he Bundesrepublik would probably not even have taken that step if Gemany had somehow transitioned from Nazi government without the country losing a war.

        I don’t exclude the possibility that Trump will be convicted some day, but I doubt it will be for opening schools too soon, or anything like that?

        Can I assume that by ”GOP crime syndicate” you mean the party as a whole, perhaps even their members? I have no idea. Are they supposed to be labeled a criminal organisation, like the Nazi Party was at Neurenberg?

      2. Not the same thing. Germany lost the war and the Third Reich was judged by the victors.

        Allies actually had a huge legal challenges concerning Nazi war crimes. They didn’t break war treaties and operated within the boundaries of Third Reich laws.
        It wasn’t until the Soviets, of all people, or even Stalin personally, suggested that actions of Nazis can be judged against natural law.

        An example from Poland. The Communist regime was replaced and its officials lost power, but it still took another 25 years to finally bring some actual criminals to justice, although mostly symbolically and many of them posthumously and only if they operated beyond the boundaries of law.
        This applied both to personal responsibility and to policies. For example, property legally nationalized according to the 1945 and 1946 laws was not returned to its previous owners, only that property which was seized illegally.

  2. Meanwhile Congress is out of session, and Trump is in the process of sabotaging the USPS so he can steal the election. We’re in big trouble.

      1. I haven’t really been following this whole mail debate. Could you explain why the USA is not able to have elections in more or less the same fashion as during non-Corona times?

    1. Trump installed a flak and GOP megadonor, Louis DeJoy, as Postmaster General, who introduced protocols to slow down mail delivery, including literally hauling sorting machines out of offices and removing drop-boxes across the country. DeJoy has a massive conflict-of-interest. According to the Washington Post:

      DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, the ambassador-nominee to Canada, have between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS competitors or contractors, according to Wos’s financial disclosure paperwork filed with the Office of Government Ethics.

      In addition, Trump is determined to deny the postal service critical funding because he perceives that mail-in voting will threaten his electoral chances.Trump admitted that this was designed to interfere in the election:

      “Now, [the Democrats] need that money in order to have the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.” He added that holding back funding means “they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”

      More on this later; I have to go.

  3. We didn’t get “lucky”, the current administration has simply been coasting off the previous one. Imagine for a second that Trump had succeeded Bush instead of Obama. Do you think we would’ve lasted 3 years? But just like in his personal life, Trump benefited from inherited wealth and then ran it into the ground.

  4. The presidential candidates are symptomatic of a deeper rot within the American culture and in the world. Trump is not and will not be the cause of the fall. He and Biden are the result of country and society that is spiritual very ill, and on life support. It started in our disgusting moral choices we have been making over the past decades. If you look at the lyrics of the top billboard hit song, it tells you all. Complete depravity is the only way to describe it. We don’t deserve good leaders. We are a depraved country, a depraved people. God is allowing to have our way, and the political parties are reflective of this deep rot within. Our spiritual leaders don’t talk about. The pope doesn’t talk about it. No one does. The filth that we permit make Sodom and Gomorrah look like Sunday School. You rant about Trump ALL the time, but real problem is us. Lord have mercy on us! Why would anyone want to defend this country anymore? What would we be willing to die for? Depraved lifestyles and choices? I wouldn’t give my life for this rot.

    1. Your abandonment of people you are too selfish to care about to death is the opposite of the Christian morality you fake to profess.

      God commends his love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Lucky for you that Jesus gave his life for you while you were still telling others “I wouldn’t give my life for you.”

      IF you have to be nauseatingly selfish, at least spare the rest of us the sickening pretense that you do it for God.

      1. I think that Tad has some good points, but they don’t really belong with the subject at hand. By the way, Where Peter Is are proposing a series of 6 novenas about this in today’s post, which would start tomorrow the 15. Their post explains the idea of a 54 day novena.

    2. Honey, you may be depraved. If so, please have the decency to speak for yourself. There is nothing wrong with Joe Biden. The fact that you think there is, is clear statement of where your values lie— somewhere in the alphabet after the letter P. Or according to Michael, Pee.

      I get your dogwhistle of depraved lifestyles. Save your tune for people like Trump, Cohen, Conway, bannon, Pence, graham, tobin, vigano, nienstedt, mcCarrick, falwell, Mohler, illo, mcconnell, lindseybelle, Bolton, and on and on and on and on and onand on.

      1. Guilty as charged! I pled guilty to you and to Mark and to all your followers. My father fought 4 years in WWII for some idea goodness in the world and in America. To stop the unjust attacks by the Axis. But now, I wonder would I go fight? For what? To keep the status quo? To keep gay marriage, abortion, contraception, nation building, greed, legal pornography, legal drugs, gender theory, so little girls and boys can have adults changing their biological sex before they have a chance to understand? Is this the America we are suppose to fight and die for? Is this country I suppose to love? Jesus died to save us from from our sins, not so we can indulge in them and progressively grow in them. Just what does America stand for anymore? I would fight for my family, your family, but not what we consider freedom which has become license to do whatever one thinks they want to. Nope, I am out. I am not as smart as you folks, just a simple guy who tries to do what’s right. But my heart is telling me this. I am talking about dying to defend our country, not anyway near what Jesus did for us. God will judge my heart. But as a father, I see how the culture is destroying people and I fear for my children and all the young. And by the way, I am only stating what Our Lady indicated at Fatima. If people don’t stop offending God, a great chastisement would come. Nations would be annihilated (a judgement against nations). She said the number one sin people go to hell for are sexual sins. That many marriages are not of God. That modern fashions were immodest and offend God. Not my words, but Our Lady. This is from the most important intervention of God in the world since the Resurrection, according papal theologian to 5 popes, Cardinal Ciapi.

      2. @Tad:

        [Our Lady] said the number one sin people go to hell for are sexual sins.

        Hmm… She said this … exactly where and when? And this statement is what the Church says? I’ve got it: sexual sins are much worse than – oh, grinding the face of the poor? Looking down at people who are socially lower than you? Right!

        I’m afraid Our Lady is being represented here in conflict with Jesus, Who said, indeed, that divorce is wrong – but simply agreed with the Samaritan woman at the well that she the one she now had was not her husband – and didn’t go on to say anything more about it; Who told the woman taken in adultery that He did not condemn her, either – but just told her to go and sin no more.

        I wonder if you don’t need to sharpen up your listening apparatus when listening to what you think is the Voice of Our Lady.

      3. What do you mean by “dogwhistle”? What did I say that was wrong? Seriously, I am not up on all this modern talk.

      4. 1917, Fatima Portugal, known as the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. She said the sin most people go to hell for, not the worst sin. She did not mention what is the worst sin, although I would say it would be to deny that you can be forgiven for your sins. Or as I was taught, it was known as the sin against the Holy Spirit would be the worst. But I am no expert.

      5. @Tad: – OK, yes, I looked it up. Jacinta reported that Our Lady did say that. Maybe, if that is true – remember, these are private revelations and Jacinta’s own understanding is part of the story – but if it is true, it does seem to me that a great many Christian concentrate on the pelvic sins – whereas by far the greatest amount of content of the prophets – and, arguably, of Our Lord’s condemnations of particular sins – has been against sins of pride, of maltreatment of those we deem lower than us. I agree that ultimately, refusing forgiveness is fatal – and, indeed, that, surely, has pride at it’s heart.

      6. @ Tad

        A dog whistle is a sound only a dog can hear. Dog whistles are what people say when they want to speak to a special audience and they don’t want to say the quiet part out loud.

        On a lighter note, you’re absolutely hysterical. What your father fought for was freedom, not merely the freedom to follow your religion, or the people that claim to speak for God. That excuse has been used for millennia. It doesn’t make it true just because you say that God said it. The slaughter of 6 million Jews in the holocaust, and 250,000 gay people as an afterthought, was the director product of religion – 2000 years of anti-Semitic and anti-gay dogma. Don’t presume to lecture me about morality.

        “But now, I wonder would I go fight? For what? To keep the status quo?” Who knows? You’re idea of status quo would be YOUR idea of what is right in the world, your freedom. Not mine. What you want is religious dominion.

        To keep gay marriage? The problem with my marriage is that it offends you, or offends your God- so you’d
        Say. But it does not affect you in the slightest, and all your yapping about freedom excludes my freedom to live my life authentically, completely, and fully in the manner in which I am Made. It Likewise excludes my freedom from YOUR religion. Your freedom is all about you. If you want to talk about license, we can talk about the license to impose your religious dogma on people who Don’t share it

        contraception? It is simply none of your business how other people choose to order their lives and families. If you don’t like contraception, then don’t use it and your problem is solved. 97% of American Catholics disagree with you. My gay brother, another victim of anti-gay theology, are used to support a little girl in the Philippines, the sixth child of 10 of a very poor family who couldn’t use birth control. He supported her so that they wouldn’t sell her into sexual slavery to keep the family fed. That is a far greater evil than taking a pill and not having a baby.

        nation building? We have some agreement there. It’s not our job to build nations. Our nation building has cost the world dearly, enabled Islamic terrorists, and emboldened our enemies.

        greed. Welcome to the republican party. You voted for it.

        legal pornography? Again, none of your business. If you don’t like pornography, don’t watch any. Or do watch it, but at least admit it. Just because pornography… As you doesn’t mean it obsesses all people who watch it. Just some of them. America

        legal drugs? Like alcohol, tobacco, and a host of pills to make you bigger smaller feel nothing, feel everything, Just ask alice. Oh, you mean the drugs that you don’t approve of. The drugs that you do approve of, that you can get from a doctor like a bag of candy? Alcohol, tobacco? They’re fine. If you don’t like pot, which is also illegal drug, then don’t use any and again your problem is solved. But that’s not what you’re about, solving your problems. You’re about controlling other people.

        gender theory? That’s strictly a Catholic term, not a scientific one. Whether you like it or not, not everybody is heterosexual, not everybody is perfectly aligned in psychological gender and physical sex. To pretend that there’s some vast conspiracy against normal cisgender “ideology” is nonsense. People that you have always suppressed, like gay people and trans people, are simply making themselves known when you would prefer that they remain in the closet. So the real problem is that we’re being uppity, not accepting the place that you and your church have assigned to us. Tough luck. Again, freedom is not something you’re interested in. Conformity is what you’re interested in. And in true 1984 fashion, you call it freedom.

        so little girls and boys can have adults changing their biological sex before they have a chance to understand? You would be surprised how little problem most kids have with a lot of things, unless there are hysterical adults like you around, trying to make it into something that it is no. Every transgender person I have ever known has been a happier, more productive citizen because they were allowed to be themselves, rather than what you demand that they be. There is no conspiracy against the vast majority people who’s physical Sex and psychological Gender are congruent.

        Is that this the America we are suppose to fight and die for? Is this country I suppose to love? I have no idea. I know I’m not going to love a country that’s the theocracy that you propose. I’m not going to love a country where someone as venal, vapid, corrupt, and Immoral as Donald Trump, heralded by the Christian right as being a God’s chosen one, As you have already revealed, this is about religious dominion over everyone. Donald Trump is simply the right wing Christian means to an end.

        I gave you a list of people that you could be complaining about, issues that you could be concerned about, but no, you want to go with that gods greatest concern is sexual sin. This is one of the great criticisms I have Of right wing Christians. All you people obsess about is sexual sin. Kids in cages don’t bother you. Theft of our children’s inheritance in the form of a $26 trillion deficit, 7 trillion of which was created in the four years since Trump became president, doesn’t bother You. People attacking your own pope from without, and your church from within, don’t bother you either. What gets your holy knickers into a thoroughly uncomfortable twist is sexual sin, from the imaginary to the real, But not trump raw dogging a porn star while his third wife was pregnant with his fifth child. This is the person Who sexual sins you were willing to excuse, if it brings you the promise to Dominion.

        There are plenty of things infinitely more important than your concerns over what makes someone else’s Private Johnson Snap to attention. I’d start with the reviling and slandering by Father Frank Pavone.

      7. @ tad

        “although I would say it would be to deny that you can be forgiven for your sins. Or as I was taught, it was known as the sin against the Holy Spirit would be the worst. But I am no expert.“

        Youkre right about that. You’re not an expert. Here at Ask an Atheist, We are pleased to inform you that this Sin against the Holy Spirit is the one unforgivable sin. In short, the one unforgivable sin is denyingThat jesus died for your sins.

        Ironic, isnt it?

    3. Stop trying to be smart by pretending you’re just a simple, honest conservative man. I’m not buying it. Your nonsense about Mark’s ”followers” is ludicrous and your false pretense of not knowing what the phrase ”dog whistle” means is farcical.

      Defend your principles. When you spar with your opponents’ path, walk into the wolf’s den like a lion, not like a weasel.

    4. @ bensnewlogin

      While we’re at Ask an Atheist hour, despair, that is, despair that one is damned and beyond God’s forgiveness, is (or at least, was) also considered an unforgivable sin.

      You’re right about the Sin Against the Holy Spirit, but that sin is not denial that Jesus died for forgiveness of sins. Rather, it was the accusation that Jesus’s powers of the Holy Spirit were diabolical.

      1. @neko

        I have heard a number of things about it from better christians than i am (giggle)! “Jesus rebuts the Pharisees with some logical arguments for why He is not casting out demons in the power of Satan (Matthew 12:25–29). Then He speaks of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: “I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (verses 31–32).

        Its all rather vague, but the , its not a sexual sin.

      2. @ neko.

        That is a very good way to describe it. All of the apocalyptic writers from the book of Daniel on were all for of those reversals. The small shall be made great, the great Shelby made small, up is down, it’s all a common theme.

  5. All this indicates to me is that reasonable people can disagree about how to best handle the virus, what the risks are, and how to evaluate the risks in their personal life.

    Herman Cain was 74 and had recovered from cancer. Why he want out doors to a rally with our without a mask is beyond me, but it certainly isn’t Trump’s fault.

      1. You will not like my comment, but here it is anyway, since I am a stranger to your country:
        Trump exposing millions of members of his devoted base to death through COVID might compensate for the millions of voters, suspected of intending to vote Democrat – and coincidentally with a brown complexion – whose voter registrations just happen to disappear in states where the administration is Republican… See: gregpalast.com or look for his book about the way the 2020 election is probably already stolen.

      1. Our scientists say opening schools in september is perfectly safe, and even safer than keeping the kids at home.

      2. @artevelde

        I have a suspicion that they are going to change their minds within a month after school starting. I know my relatives in Germany have been talking about periodic start ups and shut downs because people think everything is safe, when it isn’t.

      3. @Ben

        It’s always early day when it comes to Covid-19, but even at the height of the epidemic many experts in various European countries proposed not closing schools at all.

        At any rate, school openings do not happen in a vacuum, and though some numbers give cause for optimism, it’s always good to be cautious and flexible, ready to switch back to more stringent measures if needed.

        As far as I’m able to interpret numbers from various sources, it looks the USA might be on the cusp of actually reducing the rate of infection drastically.

  6. One of my middle children truly surprised me last night by saying he wouldn’t vote against Trump by voting for Biden. I insisted that he *has* to no matter how much he dislikes both, but he insisted that our system is so utterly corrupt at this point that it is diseased to the marrow, “once cancer metastasizes to the marrow you’re as good as dead”. He rattled off facts about Biden and Harris, both Washington elites, and said, “no, they are just heads on the same Hydra, sure Trump is uglier, vulgar and uncouth but it’s the same beast…No, the entire system is corrupt. This country is like a heroin addict on life support that hasn’t hit rock bottom yet. Jefferson knew that every few generations we would need a revolution to rid ourselves of the demons this country originally fled from.”

    I asked him what he was going to do and he said “protest vote”. He thinks Biden is a grinning, sly, crony-capitalist social climber that married into the 1% club would do anything to perpetuate the rigged system that’s killing us.

    1. People who think they want to let this country hit “rock bottom” might want to spend some time in Central America or Syria before they sign up for the full program.

    2. And he’s probably right about Biden, yet, he would still be preferable to Trump. At this point, the question is not so much who would you prefer to be president as it is you would you rather oppose for the next four years.

      Say what you will about Biden, but at least he believes in concepts like “democracy” and “functioning government”, which is more than you can say about fascist-dictator-wannabe, Trump. I also don’t think Biden is capable of actively and deliberately trying to get people killed, even his own supporters, just to attempt and fail to gain a political advantage the way Trump has done.

      I may dislike both candidates for different reasons, but I can’t even pretend that they’re in the same ballpark.

      1. So–I read both of your comments back to him, saying “Whadaya say to that?”

        He replied “Okay Boomer.” and “Guarding your 401k?”

        I reminded him that I’m not a Boomer–born too late to leverage the land and money grab.

    3. @tacoanybody

      What-if scenarios can be entertaining. I can certainly see a scenario where Central America would be better of today with US meddling.

      Syria? I can’t really see such a senario.

      1. Central America is better *with* our meddling?

        I’m not addicted to politics like some of the people I know, so I can’t say I’ve studied up on the subject, but that same son informed me that declassified information from the CIA proves that the CIA had an active part in introducing crack to inner city neighborhoods. They formed an alliance with the cartels, and funded civil war in Central America with the proceeds of drug sales.

      2. If we had not destabilize the entire Middle East with our L conceived and oil prompted invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria might indeed be a lot better off, and Egypt would not have replaced one corrupt authoritarian with another.

      3. @Ben

        Possible, but very very ”what if”. We can’t know that. I myself think it’s easier to make the case for Central America, but that too is a what-if scenario.

        I general, I’m quite suspicious of this ”America bad for the world” stuff.

      4. @ artevelde

        Saddam Hussein was a secularist. He paid whatever lipservice he needed to to Islam, but he himself wanted secular government. He kept a good portion of the middle east stable, except for those unpleasantries with Iran.

      5. @ Artevelde The invasion of Iraq was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in US history. A catastrophe. How can you defend it?

        Afghanistan was at least justifiable, if doomed to failure.

      6. @ Neko

        Perhaps I misread, but I thought the argument was about Syria and/or Central America. The Iraq war was an unjustified attack on another country, under false pretense.

    4. @tacoanybody

      I’m neither a Boomer or have a 401K. I’ve been struggling with with unstable income for some years, and just when things were falling into place with a good job and a steady paycheck I got laid off due to the pandemic. I have an underlying health condition. The only reason I can afford my prescriptions is because I had to swallow my pride and apply for Medicaid.

      I supported Bernie in the primary. I don’t like Biden. I don’t like his policies, I don’t like his politics and I don’t like what he represents. But I don’t know if I can survive four more years of Trump. With things the way they are, I have a better chance of living to fight another day under a Biden administration.

      I think your son is too impatient. Progress doesn’t happen overnight.

      The Occupy Wall Street movement is what eventually led to Bernie Sanders running for president. His candidacy paved the way for outsider progressive candidates who are not beholden to corporate interests, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now we have people like Jamal Bowman who won his primary against a long time incumbent, and Cori Bush who lost the first time in 2018 but narrowly won this time around against a corporate Democrat with boatloads of corporate cash.

      Politics is not a game of instant gratification. It takes hard work, determination and unwavering focus. And when people are able to seize the moment and achieve a significant victory, its because many others have laid out the groundwork for that to happen.

      You can’t let apathy and cynicism be the driving forces in your politics; that’s how the corrupt masters of a corrupt system win: by making people believe that their voice and votes do not matter.

      1. I’m sorry to hear about your difficulties. You’re a smart, compassionate man.

        I was not thrilled with Biden myself. Not that I dislike him, but because I think the last thing the country needs is another old white man running the show. And I say that is an old white man. But Biden on his worst day Is far superior to any Republican candidate for president since Richard Nixon. I didn’t much care for Nixon, and I didn’t vote for him. He wasn’t perfect, but at least he cared about the country, not just the rich people in it.

      2. I’m sorry that I sounded off-the-cuff flippant. You are a very intelligent person, and I respect your opinion. I was always thinking “must be a lawyer”, as a compliment when we disagreed.

  7. If taxes are in the same league as abortion, then abortion is no worse than taxes. Or, in other words, abortion is a perfectly normal thing in every society since the neolithic. Brilliant.

  8. @Ben,

    That list includes ALL of us. St. Paul also instructed women not to speak or put doo dads in their hair. In short, he was giving contemporary advice about how good Jews and new Christians should comport themselves.

    My Spiritual director told me there was nothing wrong with a woman wearing a two-piece bathing suit, when my more “upright” friends tried to slut-shame me. Can you imagine what they would have said about a bikini clad woman in 20 A.D.?

    The spirit of the advice remains, –just take off the first century lense with first century bias. God judges the purity of heart and intention, and nothing impure enters heaven. If I need to spend a little time in the purgatory time-out so be it. Maybe we can meet up for happy hour there.

    Father Pavone is better left un-thought about. Such bad vibes. Even his facial expression says, “self satisfied” and “filmy with self indulgence”. He’d better NOT be in my ring of purgatory.

    1. @taco

      My reference was to the reviling and slandering part of Corinthians. This seems to be the part that so many so-called Christians who make a living out of attacking other people seem to forget.

      1. Hahaha awesome. I love this but any self respecting conservative Catholic would say, PAGANS! Can you place this photo at a bit further our?

  9. @Artevelde,

    I’m torn between love for my country and my personal, and destructive use of rose colored glasses.

    Now I’m going to the beach because summer finally arrived here in earnest, and it’s bloody hot.

    The view from a hundred yards off the coast always, always, renews my faith in goodness and providence. I shall also wear something that somebody somewhere would say is sending my uppity soul to a place that has no beach or providence.

    Cheers!

      1. I lived in Berkeley for four years, and in San Francisco for six months. People used to say that San Francisco had lovely summer weather; it usually occurred on a Monday.

  10. @Artevelde:

    Don’t know about the US, but we in New Zealand have an election scheduled for 19 September. There is considerable talk about wanting to postpone it as we are currently under what is called ‘Level 3’ conditions in Auckland. National, especially, wants the election delayed, because they can’t really campaign at the moment – and we currently have a pretty popular Labour government. It turns out, though, that the government can call an *early* election, but delaying one is more complicated.

    1. @JJ

      My country, Belgium, is a bit of a special case, since we are one of the few countries that still have compulsory voting. We also don’t have any elctions coming up soon. We’re still trying to form a federal government while the elections date from may 2019 (but that’s another story entirely).

      As things stand at the moment, I’m pretty sure that if we had elections coming up this month, we’d organize them as always, via electronic voting booths in public schools, on a sunday. There would be masks, social distancing and a lot of decontamination measures, and I’d have to stand in line for 30 minutes instead of the usual 10.

      1. @ artevelde

        Compulsory voting? What I wouldn’t give for a constitutional amendment requiring compulsory voting in my country. This is one of our biggest problems: too many of the people who should vote don’t, and toO many of the people who shouldn’t vote do.

      2. @Artevelde:

        “…compulsory voting…” – interesting. Australia has compulsory registration for voting but not voting – and, I am told by my two children who live there, that it is not enforced.

        In New Zealand, so far, any way, voting is still always on paper, in person. We have talked about mail- or electronic-voting, but people seem scared of it.

        But the call to postpone the election is not about voting, but about campaigning – especially loud from National, which is not in power at present. I think that Labour is looking at trying to do the postponement, but not sure what will happen.

      3. In the US it’s not unusual for people to stand in line for hours, and that was before COVID. It’s why mail-in ballots have become so popular in the past few years, in every state that makes them available.
        Donald and Melania have both requested mail-in ballots for the upcoming Florida election. Yes, really.

      4. @ artevelde

        Lots of people, and we both know who they are. I’m not saying that I would support any law that would prevent them from voting, but I am afraid that people who think that wearing masks is a communist atheistplot to turn us into zombies – and I’m just calling from today’s news— people who believe that vaccines are poison, but Bill Gates wants to take over the world at age 65, the George Soros is a Nazi, that the earth is flat, that Donald Trump is a good in moral man, and a host of other things – are just too stupid to be voting on anything other than what they want for dinner, and I’m not even sure about that

      5. @Ben

        Right. In that case you might want to consider curbing your enthusiam for compulsory voting a bit. Our political scientists generally agree that compulsory voting leads to more ”protest” votes, i.e. more extremist voting, which in our current political climate tends to be right-wing populist.

      6. @ artevelde

        That sounds suspiciously like Hillary Clinton’s basket of deplorables, but in Flemish. Don’t tell me that Belgium secretly joined up in with the United States when I wasn’t looking.

      7. @Ben

        I prefer ”Dutch”, but you are forgiven :p

        And as for the rest: I really hope you don’t think (Western) Europe is a left-wing utopia, because you would be wrong. The traditional left has been nearly wiped out in many countries, though sometimes the Greens do well.

        In Northern Belgium (Flanders) the right gets about 70 pct of the votes, and it’s been like that for a while. Of course, we have many parties, and there’s quite a gap between centre-right and extreme right.

        As for policy, it’s just a different place with different sensibilities. While the vast majority here would think of gay marriage as ”great equality progress” at best or ”meh noone cares” at worst, most would think of migration as ”maybe a few” or ”not a single one gets in”. And those are actually the same people, by and large.

      8. In Poland we had presidential elections this year.
        The ruling party (which the incumbent president was from} wanted to do them as they were planned, but since it was during the pandemic, they made emergency provisions for mail in votes modeled after German system (Bavaria had municipal elections in March).
        Their efforts were torpedoed by the opposition because they said mail in voting is a health risk (in reality because their candidate was polling at 2% where she started from a solid 30% because of her disastrous campaign, and opposition wanted to avoid a publicity disaster).
        The elections finally did take place in June (last constitutional date possible) and the mail in vote was in place.
        None of the negatives of that system occurred. The process went smoothly, and one very positive development was that people who voted by proxy (like my grandma) could now vote in person.
        The system is fairly simple. You register for vote (can be by proxy), and receive a secure package in mail. On election day, you fill out the card, put it in one envelope, fill out your personal information card, put it along with the first envelope in the second one and it’s taken to a polling station. One person can deliver multiple votes that way and it minimizes contact.
        The annoying thing is that it’s always a partisan issue. The party that is going to benefit is for these changes and the one that stands to lose is going to be against and will bring up all sorts of arguments against it.

      9. @toughluck

        So Kidawa-Błońska managed to poll at 2% at one point, whereas her replacement Trzaskowski eventually (barely a month later?) narrowly lost with 49%? Wild.

        Looks like you may have wanted to write 20% though.

  11. Mark,

    Please tell your friend Dawn Eden Goldstein that a third party vote in 2020 IS a vote for Trump and authoritarianism. Third party voters elected Trump in 2016. Catholic one-issue high mindedness is what got here. Honesty, to advocate abortion politics at this point is utter complicity.

    1. I’m very pessimistic about the white Catholic vote in 2020. Hope I’m wrong, of course, but I don’t expect much of a shift from 2016.

      And that’s in a best-case scenario where the election isn’t sabotaged…by the president of the United States.

      1. It mind boggling to me that people are still talking about the American Solidarity Party as a moral choice. It’s the voting version of “let them eat cake”, a total moral abdication. Nobody does that better than high minded Catholics. And their sensitive souls can remain unsullied by the common fray.

      1. Yes, as they rip mailboxes out of the ground and chart away delivery trucks in the middle of the night. But voting for an ASP former RCIA coordinator turn presidential candidate who knows nothing about national governance but can quote the CCC is a moral choice for sensitive souls, especially when their livelihoods depend on remaining neutral.

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