So, Scalzi, Now That You’re Done With the Book Are You Gonna Write About Politics More?

Eeeeeeeh, probably? But maybe not? Essentially, the problem I’ve been having writing about politics in the Trump era is the same problem I’ve had since it’s begun, which that it’s so obvious that Trump’s a corrupt, incompetent, bigoted tool that I find it difficult to find much new to say about him. Likewise, not too much to say about the Republican party these days except that it’s decided to expend its capital propping up the most corrupt, incompetent, bigoted tool that we’ve had as president in living memory, and will deserve what they get when demographics catch up with them and all the old white voters they’ve invested so much money into scaring die in the next 20 years, to be replaced by everyone else for whom the GOP brand is “ignorant white racist fauxvangelical moneyworshippers.” I’m going to live long enough to see this bullshit expunged, which is a lovely thought. But again, not sure how many words that merits from me at the moment.

My first thought is it seems likely the majority of my political thought is going to stay in the Twittersphere, the format of which is congenial to my state of mind these last few years. But of course there is more to politics than just Our Dimwit President, sooooo maybe I’ll talk about that? Or maybe I will just snap and do an 8,000 word rant on Trump one day, which will likely not be coherent but may be cathartic? Who knows?

So, basically: Probably I’ll talk about politics more here now? But maybe not? That’s the best I can do for you right now in terms of predictions, sorry.

I do know today is an election day in many places in the US, so if it is where you are, and you are eligible to vote, please do get your ass out there and vote. It’s not a difficult thing to do, and it matters.

46 Comments on “So, Scalzi, Now That You’re Done With the Book Are You Gonna Write About Politics More?”

  1. Yep.
    We got a similar or worse problem here in Brazil.

    Our president worships Trump!
    He is just as racist, ignorant and homophobic as yours crazy blonde.

    My president is worse then yours! Lalalalalalalala.
    Now everybody hugs each other and cry.

  2. So, basically what you’re saying is that it’s a really good thing you got out of journalism and into other forms of writing, because there are many journalists who may have similar feelings to yours about the current political landscape but still have to write about it on a near-daily basis.

    I would agree with that premise. You should make your living doing something you enjoy, or at least can tolerate, and if you don’t enjoy writing lengthy opinion pieces about an unregenerate, irredeemably corrupt piece of walking excrement, in my very personal and subjective opinion, you should not spend your career doing so.

    I have very much enjoyed your political commentary in the past, but I also very much enjoy your other written works. So write what you enjoy writing. If at some point you discover that essay-length political commentary has become enjoyable again, I’ll happily read it, but if it remains a chore and a burden, then please just focus those formidable writing skills on what makes you happy.

  3. Well John, I do agree with you on most of the general principles involved, but at this point I will only sum up my thoughts with just a few words: “due process” and “rule of law”. I don’t enjoy having an inside view to know the facts that are coming out so I won’t say much more as I have faith that in the end the latter will insure the former happens in the end.
    Enough said.

  4. One of the many things that get me annoyed about the current situation is how little people know about it. It’s all very surface level. In reality it’s been cooking for quite a while, and the path of an actual criminal conspiracy are pretty clear. Trump’s theory that Ukraine faked Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton is not new. It’s exploding now because he got caught.

    It’s not “the whistleblower” and “the transcript” that are all that matters. Rudy Giuliani was running around Ukraine and other parts of Europe while working with fraudsters and mobsters who made mysterious six figure donations to various Republicans. This isn’t a wild conspiracy theory, it really happened, and it’s a small part of a larger complex and utterly bonkers situation.

    Trying to get out of this with a simple narrative isn’t going to help.

  5. If the current corrupt unethical GOP stays in power for 20 years they will have changed things enough that demographics will never catch up to them.

  6. Flogging a dead horse is no one’s idea of a good time. With an Impeachment vote around the corner, Republicans pouting at the unfairness of it all (but without a leg to stand on), and a Who’s Who cast of honorable career State Department Public Servants and one Lt. Colonel right out of central casting bearing witness to presidential malfeasance, the news is more than enough for anyone to digest. Punditry and commentary may go some way to publicized events, but if you’re not paying attention at this point…

  7. I’d be curious for your thoughts on some of the more structural issues, less related to the headline of the day. Like – electoral college? Filibuster? DC & Puerto Rico statehood? I suspect that I will agree with your feelings on most of them, and want well written explanations I can easily steal, I mean link to, to send to that crazy uncle who watches Fox News.

  8. “the republican party .. will deserve what they get … in the next 20 years”

    Not sure what little is left of our democracy or planet can wait that long.

    Have you considered registering as a democrat?

  9. I’m going to live long enough to see this bullshit expunged, which is a lovely thought.

    May it be so.

    But methinks thou art an optimist. Me, I wonder if even a Democrat trifecta next year will be enough to ensure that there are still meaningful elections 10 years from now. We are fortunate that the current crop of Republican officeholders are such feckless clowns. I feel sure that the next iteration of Trumpism is getting tooled up someplace as we sit here, and if it comes to power it will not screw around the way these guys have. It will be the end of pluralism and representative government in the US.

  10. “ignorant white racist fauxvangelical moneyworshippers”

    That is one of the most beautifully succinct descriptions of the ‘Religious Right’ movement that I’ve ever seen. I may have to steal ‘fauxvangelical’ for my own use (with proper credit, of course).

  11. I’m having a more and more difficult time being civil to my Trump-cult family members. But yes, you’re right- it’s hard to have coherent things to say when everything is as it is.

  12. One thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot is WHY he got elected, and why he’s so strongly defended by his supporters, and the Republican party. @Scalzi, do you have any thoughts about this?

  13. Colin Kuskie, don’t *ever* believe that bigotry had been fully eradicated *anywhere.* Bigots have always been and will always be among us.

    Sometimes they lay low, sometimes they come out from whatever rock they hibernate under, and then it’s ‘Heil Trump!’

    That’s why it’s important to never elect anyone with ‘bigot appeal’.

  14. Channel us a little Mencken, perhaps?

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    “The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.”

  15. I certainly understand why you feel burned out on the concept of commentary as, as you put it, what can be said that hasn’t already been said? For me, personally, the treat comes in when YOU specifically say it, because you are a fantastic wordsmith. So if you want to write something I’ve already heard, but in your voice, I’ll eagerly give it a read. But as others have said, and as I’m sure you intend to do, only do it if it’ll be enjoyable to you on some axis.

  16. What bothers me even more than Trump-as-Trump is that he continues to have the support of something like 40% of the voting population (depending on which polls you look at), and that not all of them are the cartoon yahoos of, well, anti-Trump cartoons. Every day I see people who ought to know better* fend off every piece of evidence or argument that suggests that T is what he is–or, worse, who acknowledge some character flaws but insist that he’s doing what needs to be done but is being unfairly attacked by the opposition, the Deep State, the socialists, or other flavors of Bad Guys.

    It’s just about impossible to engage these people in a reasonable manner, since they are locked into a defensive mode that feels like the Python argument sketch. I have finally given up on trying, since most discussions descend quickly into dismissals or insults. (Not on my part–my mother raised me better than that.) I have to say that I’m coming to see Trumpism as a form of personality disorder. I fear what some of that 40% might do in the face of a successful impeachment (unlikely) or even an electoral loss (possible).

    Then there’s what Trump’s cynical, opportunistic enablers and allies are doing while the Big Guy does his standup routine. McConnell & Co. have been working to realign the court system since the Obama administration, and if that project is successful, Trumpism could have a life beyond any Trump administration. Then there’s the damage done by the effective purges of federal agencies, departments, and services, all being cheered by governmental atomists who think that any bureaucrat is a minion of the Deep State. Institutional memory and expertise take time to develop, and all manner of mischief is possible while it recovers.

    And last: I hope it’s just an old man’s bad dreams, but for the last year or so I’ve been reading novels set in 1930s Europe (Alan Furst, Philip Kerr, Robert Harris) that vividly depict the operations of fascist orders, and every time I see coverage of a Trump rally the similarities scare me.

    *That is, who are reasonably well-educated, literate, not-economically-desperate or part of an actual underclass, and so on.

  17. Unfortunately, it’s much more likely than not that the orange menace will get reelected, largely because people like your nice neighbors will happily vote for the misogynistic, racist, unrelentingly stupid and profoundly corrupt lunatic. Aided by the Dems likely nominating Warren who won’t be able to recapture the senate, even if she manages to win the Presidency by some fluke, so the best result will be four years of futility, deadlock and MoscowMitch.

    I’ve given up worrying about it, I’m an old-ish well off white dude so have the privilege of being able to do that, and also have the privilege of not voting Warren as I’m in California so my vote doesn’t count.

    Though if Biden get the nomination, it’ll be a form of bum fights where two doddering geezers with a tenuous relationship with facts and reality try to stay upright in a debate and remember what day it is and where they are. My parents are younger than both of them, and I don’t want them planning vacations, let alone running a country. Dog help us all.

  18. Slightly off topic, but here in Kentucky I had to wait in line this morning. Always happy to see people voting even if they do so differently than I do. Every election is important, though next year gives us the first real opponent for Mitch that we have had in a long while.

  19. I remember watching the Watergate hearings and thinking I will never see a POTUS more corrupt than Nixon. I was wrong.

  20. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that voting isn’t a difficult thing to do, and that is so because it truly does matter.

  21. Me also thinks thou art an optimist…

    Unfortunately « all the old white voters they’ve invested so much money into scaring [who will] die in the next 20 years » have kids who benefit from the current state of affair & who will likely vote the same way.

    Worryingly, like Russel Letson, I have started hearing people who I previously thought of as intelligent, now saying that « in fact he is not so bad, he delivers his campaign promises, the rest is just for show ».

    They may have a point on the last part. All the posturing (that tweet! That interview! He did whaaaaat?) seems meant to distract us all: while dems are spending their time setting up an impeachment, he goes on filling courts, states keep on making it more difficult to vote,… Cementing the conditions of the pérennisation of his power.

    And the US are not alone, as the first poster reminded us. Brazil, Philippines, Austria, some Landers recently. On the positive side – Italy has temporarily rid itself from Salvini.

    So yeah… time to remember that voting is our duty.

  22. As for why so many people vote the way they do, look around the world of “democracies” and you’ll see basically a two party setup. Each of those parties has a core voter who will only vote for “their” party, either because they agree with it’s ethos or refuse to vote for “the other”. I call them sheeple because they are sheep and will always vote the same way.

    Here in NZ we have Proportional Representation so smaller parties do exist. But the two main ones have a core 30% guaranteed voter base. I see the US has about a 45% core vote. It may drop below that at an election but that would be stay-away non-voters skewing the percentage rather than people changing party.

    Ever thought of calling it the Elephant party explaining that it can’t use that other name because there is nothing in their ethos, beliefs, behaviours, etc that would indicate they are republican?

  23. I’ve enjoyed your political essays in the past, such as your rundown of 2015 Republican presidential candidates (still amusing, though parts are rather poignantly dated), but I can well understand why you might want to step back from politics as a subject for a while. There’s just not as much FUN in American politics under Trump, not with several ongoing crises (global warming, income inequality, resurgent white supremacy, assorted threats to the American electoral process itself) reaching the boiling point and others (the fecklessly produced damage Trump has wrought on the nation’s military and economic security) heading up there. Dealing with all that is exhausting on an emotional level alone. So while I will miss it if you refrain from a takeout of the 2019 Democratic presidential candidates, I will also understand.

  24. Got to admit, I’m going to miss your political posts for (mostly) selfish reasons. Whatever has always been a kind of a “safe space” for political discussions for me–not because I agree with you on the issues, though I do trend to your end of the spectrum, but because you shut down the a*holes on ALL ends of the political spectrum, and shut them down fast. I can engage with people who disagree with me and maybe learn something–and yes, I can call to mind occasions when just that has happened in the course of conversations. So I’ll miss the political posts and hope that someday (when you are ready to enjoy doing so and feel that you have something you want to say) you decide to resume them–but I find it’s good to remember that conversations like that are at least possible, even on the internet. Because for a while there I really wasn’t sure . . .

  25. I follow your demographic argument, but I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that’s going to matter. We have a big-enough block of voters who *do not care* what the truth is, and they will severely penalize Senate Republicans who show any sign of caring no matter how complete the evidence against Trump gets. And as previously noted, judges.
    My lovely daughter is a few years younger than yours, but if this keeps up I may strongly encourage her to take off for a free country when she gets old enough. I don’t think Canada is far enough away.

  26. There are some indications the media is starting to lower expectations for the impeachment inquiry.

  27. Kiwi: “you’ll see basically a two party setup”

    Having been one of the worlds first democracies in a while, and having to keep a nation together that was hip deep in slavery, its a wonder we got anything right. One thing we clearly didnt get right was the requirement to win the presidency be 51% of the electoral college vote on a straight ballot ( no ranking).

    Constitution says if no one gets 51%, then congress decides who is president. So MUST get 51% by its very nature creates 2 parties. And only 2.

    The party of abject tribalism is fine with adding people to their party as long as they loyally toe the party line. The party that is offended by impurities insists on purging anyone who isnt up to snuff.

    The electoral college gives land more voting power than people, so unpopulated rural states have more voting power than densly populated urban states. Rural==conservative. Urban==liberal. Which explains why 2 presidents lost the popular vote in recent history but became president anyway. Both republican knuckledraggers. W Bush and D Trump.

    Scalzi may have confidence in the electorate changing in 20 years. But the problem isnt the electorate. The two most recent republican presidents lost the popular vote. Both were morons. Both got fewer human votes than their democratic president.

    But the electoral college favors republicans. And republicans, tending to favor power over justice dont mind an anti democracy notion like the epectoral college so long as it favors them.

    Republicans also dont mind gaming the system via gerrymandering. More people vote for democrats for the house, but republicans get more representation per vote. Why? Because governors control how the districts are drawn and when republicans are governors, they have no qualms about subverting democracy and gaming the system to their gain.

    And i think the senate tends to lean to the right more often than not because there ar3 more rural states than urban states

    The thing is republican voters have ALREADY been replaced by people for whom the GOP brand is “ignorant white racist fauxvangelical moneyworshippers”. The last two republican presidents lost the popular vote. They are already outnumbered.

    The problem is the constitutions electoral college favors rural states, gerrymandering favors republicans, and the senate tends to disproportionately lean right.

    Add to that the fucking frat boy Kavanaugh that Trump put on the supreme court who will likely be there for decades, and republicans willingness to run out the clock for most of a year to keep Obamas appointee out, all according to “rules” that are clearly broken, and its clear that people arent the main problem. The system as designed is fucked. And it will take a long time to fix it.

    Need to get liberals to move to more red states and turn them purple. Or if dems want to use the electoral college to their advantage, find a left leaning territory and make it a state. Soon as electoral college favors dems, republicans will scream their heads off about how old and outdated a concept it is. Until then, they will defend it as wisdom of the founders.

    Yeah. 20 years seems optimistic.

    Dont underestimate a party aligned with power and tribalism who is willing to game any rule and subvert representational democracy to continue to fuck everyone over.

    Meanwhile not-republicans break into (1) the pragmatics who are democrats because that party, while not ideal, most closely maps to their views and has a chance of winning the presidency and (2) indepemdents who think anyone in either of 2 parties are just sheeple and proudly proclaim their independence as a badge of honor while never winning a single presidency. Purists and completely inneffective.

    Gore loss by only 500 votes and independents still think folks like nader are a good thing and refuse to acknowledge basic maths of the spoiler effect.

  28. As long as people don’t have any common interpretation of things like “facts” and “evidence”, it’s hard to fix things without bloodshed, because the ability to discuss things honestly as a society is what provides a nonviolent alternative to war.

    You can’t get a candidate who is sure to knock Trump out of office because he does a whole bunch of things that a lot of people want, and nothing else matters to them other than getting what they want. If they don’t get what they want, they will cry and whine and say “You made me vote for Trump because you wouldn’t give me the last lollipop.” While their money will be worthless without the government that backs it, cause and effect is hard to grasp when you’ve spent years pretending that there is no such thing. Tantrums are much easier.

    I think this might end like Aliens, and although seeing Trump and McConnell in Paul Reiser’s role might be satisfying, following in their acid-eaten footsteps takes some of the enjoyment out of the schadefreude.

  29. I wouldn’t worry about whether the Republican Party still deserves the title ‘Republican’. Though I agree they don’t

    The time for terror is when they rename as the Trump party

  30. I’d like to see more political talk here, as opposed to on Twitter. I realize that would entail a lot of work on your part policing the comments section; in the past, I’ve noticed that comments on anything potentially push-button tend to be open only when you’re *at your computer*. At times this blog and its comments sections have been a good venue for discussion that isn’t an echo chamber, and the last thing I want is a forum where everyone jerks each other off about the things we already agree on.

    Let’s have some (mostly) informed and intelligent discussion>

  31. Please write about politics. The only thing better than when you write about politics is when you write books. So write about politics, unless you have a book to finish.

    Oh, and by politics I mean mostly U.S. national politics. Not the sad puppy stuff that makes my eyes glaze over when I see it.

    Of course, it’s your blog, and you can write whatever you want. I’m just giving you my preferences.

  32. Twitter is congenial to those who dislike Trump, either mildly or full blown TDS, and not to those who may like them or hold other deeply unpopular views that the Twitterverse and the overlords who run Twitter dislike.

    So you and everyone else keep up the good work. You just may push this Republican who didn’t vote for him in 2016 to vote for him in 2020.

    Btw, if you’re looking for a political topic to talk about, you can always talk about Joe Biden doing the exact same thing, who also admitted to doing so on video. In public.

    How come he gets a free pass from you?

  33. Lol G.B. Miller – I had never realised that Trump was so very courageous to be a permanent fixture of the Twitterverse, an environment so congenial to those who dislike him…

    Can you expand on those exact same things that Biden has done – did he try to push foreign leaders to patron his private properties? Did he push for his property to be used for official events? Does he routinely confuse state events with campaign rallies? Does he declare all who disagree with him as traitors?

    Oh, and one more recent puzzle – was Trump, as he himself proclaimed, very smart to avoid paying any tax – or is he smart now to move to Florida, as New York does not like him despite all those taxes he now claims he paid there?

    Could it be Trump makes himself ( on purpose?) an easy target by his outrageous attitude and déclarations?

  34. Miller: “Twitter is congenial to those who dislike Trump, either mildly or full blown TDS, and not to those who may like them or hold other deeply unpopular views”

    TDS? Ooooohhhh noce one.
    If they dont like trump its because they are “deranged”.
    If they like trump its “unpopular”.
    Managed to portray criticism as crazy and trump support as
    unfairly put into the “unpopular” bin without once mentioning
    Trumps racism, sexism, islamophobia, bigotry in general,
    or that neo nazis and KKK love trump, or that hate crimes against
    minorities spiked once he got on the presidential scene.

    None of THAT. Just how youre the victim ostracized by the “popular” kids.

    Well done. Good form. And you stuck the landing.
    I give it a 8

    “Joe Biden doing the exact same thing, who also admitted to doing so on video”

    The Ukrainian prosecuter that everyone wanted out was Shokin.
    He was ex soviet and crooked as the day is long.
    When ukrainians protested russian invasion,
    gunman fired on protestors.
    Shokin refused to prosecute anyone.
    Two of his people were caught with cash and diamonds from bribes.
    Shokin refused to prosecute them.
    Shokins second in command resigned saying Shokin was too corrupt to work with.
    The ukrainian people started protesting for his removal.
    The EU, the IMF, and the US wanted Shokin out because he was so corrupt. The US wanted him out because he had russian ties and we were afraid he would skim money for himself or possibly even skim it to help Russia with their invasion of Ukrain.

    The US was giving hundreds of millions of dollars to help ukraine keep the russians out. Shokin might have stolen the money to help the russians IN.

    Shokin was CORRUPT according to everyone except Shokin, Putin, Trunp, and Trump die hards.

    Biden was executing US foreign policy: get aid to Ukraine to stop russian invasion. Shokin might have tried to thwart that policy. Asking Ukraine to get him out was perfectly reasonable.

    “But! But! Burisma!” Sputters the trumpanzi.

    Shokin was never investigating Burisma for wrong doing of any kind let alone Hunter Biden wrong doing. Shokin was “investigating” Burisma, and by “investigating” I mean he was shaking them down. He “investigated”, so Burisma would give him money, and the “investigation” ended.

    Shokin was rotten to the core, everyone knew it, the ukrainians hated him, and he might have helped the Russians by siphoning off US aid to Ukraine.

    Biden wasnt asking Shokin to be fired for any kind of personal gain. He wasnt asking Shokin be fired for any kind of quid pro quo.

    Trump? Tell me, how many times have US presidents launched their own personal investigation into US citizens? Whats that you say? NEVER? Well, you got that right. Presidents arent criminal investigators. If an american broke the law it would be a matter for the FBI and/or Attorney general to pursue. Both the FBI and AG are supposed to operate independent of the president to maintain at least some level of impartiality. And neither the FBI nor the AG saw any crime with Bidens actions.

    Rather, Trump only cares about “fighting corruption” when the person he is “investigating” just happens to be his biggest political opponent for 2020, Joe Biden. So he turned the white house into a warped episode of “Scooby Doo”, where Old Man Smithers who runs the amusement park is just an old man who runs an amusement park and no crime was ever committed.

    This is why we cant have nice things. On one hand Biden asks Ukraine to fire a mobster corrupt prosecutor so he doesnt help russia invade. On the other hand, trump says he must “fight corruption” by breaking the very same law he says he is “investigating” Biden for, and his loyal followers vomit this nonsense on the internet.

    Check it out: if Biden did “the exact same thing” as Trump, then Trump is just as corrupt as Biden. If they are the same, and Biden is corrupt, then Trump is corrupt. And Trump’s base thinks “they are the exact same” somehow is a DEFENSE of Trump???? Trump must use corruption to fight corruption?? Exact same, and when Biden does it it must be investigated, when trump does it its “fighting corruption”???

    I mean defending Trump by saying his corruption is exactly the same as Bidens corruption has to be the most blatant double speak I’ve heard in a long time.

  35. If you choose to write on politics, I won’t complain, I like what you write. I’m thinking this morning about two things, the sharp right turn of the Democratic party in the seventies and the mechanization of agriculture. The first is largely a reaction to Nixon’s landslide victory in 1972, the second has resulted in families who would be expected to vote Democrat leaving to find jobs in the city, which are in turn impacted by reduced sales of modestly sized equipment as immense operations buy the largest tractors and combines available, but not enough of them to sustain the Ag equipment business as it was fifty years ago. FWIW, I really like Warren’s ad that builds on FDR: /Users/timharness/Desktop/Links/
    It seems likely that this runs into trouble anywhere that has a lot of industrial scale agriculture, but it looks increasingly like the only way we have a long term future.

  36. “mechanization of agriculture”

    I grew up on a farm and my hometown is a shadow of what it was. Not sure if mechanization and automation is the cause of that. It might be an effect of the price of crops being in the dumpster for decades and the only way to stay in business as a farmer is to get bigger and bigger farms, which require more and more mechanization.

    Used to be lots of farms in the 200 to 400 acre range.
    Now its farms in the 2000 to 4000 acre range which means
    One tenth the number of farmers needed.

    Like i said, ghost town.

    And the thing about “make america great again” is you cant bring those small farms back unless you force the price of crops to be a lot higher and you force the cost of tractors and combines to be a wholeot lower, so a small farmer could make a living again. Neither is possible, so there is no way to go back to those times.

    The 1950’s were a great time for american industry mostly because 90% of every other major nations industries had been bombed into rubble in WW2. By the 60s and 70s, asia and europe had rebuilt and were competing with us. Trumps promise is a situation impossible to reproduce.

  37. Dear folks,

    This is addressed to those of you who can’t understand how a third of the population can still support Trump after everything he’s done and we’ve learned about him.

    Try thinking about a role reversal and who you would vote for. Imagine we live in a mirror universe where President Pmurt is in office. He’s a total cesspool of a human being, despicable in every respect, who doesn’t give a damn about people or the law or the system or what he breaks. By hook or by crook, he’s managing to push through his agenda — which is packing the benches with liberal, activist federal and Supreme Court judges, slamming it to the NRA and the fossil fuel companies while driving the country into a Green Economy, doing everything he can (legal or not) to get universal healthcare for everyone and universal LGBTQ civil rights, and levying heavy taxes on the wealth of the rich.

    Opposing him in the next election is Candidate Penmy, who understands the importance of the system and the process, who plays by the rules, who is a tolerable human being who respects the process… and if elected will do everything in his power to undo what Pmurt has done: Free passes for the wealthy and the polluters, screw the sick and the queer, and kowtow to the religious right. But he’ll do it without being a despicable non-excuse of a bull in a china shop.

    Who are you going to vote for? The horrid, possibly treasonous sleazebag who is managing to create the kind of country you want to live in? Or the decent and civilized Penmy, who will push everything you oppose?

    (No, you don’t get to answer the question by saying you’ll vote third party or sit the election out. If that’s your answer, then your answer doesn’t count.)

    If I lived in that mirror world, I’d vote for Pmurt without a moments hesitation. I’d hate the fact that I’d be supporting someone who is so awful (to people and for the system) that I’m ashamed I live on the same planet that he does. But electing Penmy would be unthinkable — I might as well just put a gun to my head, society-wise.

    Do you all really feel differently?

    If you don’t, well… now you understand how those one-third feel.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. 
    — Digital Restorations. 

  38. Ctein: He’s a total cesspool of a human being, despicable in every respect, who doesn’t give a damn about people or the law or the system or what he breaks.

    Ctein, I can’t answer that question without knowing exactly what President Pmurt did/does that is so terrible. “Playing by the rules while getting nothing done” isn’t someone I’d happily vote for anyway–though I suppose I have done so, when the alternative is worse. Still. Is Pmurt actually breaking the law to get Things I Approve Of done? Then in the long run it won’t matter how much I approve of what he’s done or is trying to do; the next president in line is going to do the opposite, now that the law is broken beyond repair, and I won’t vote for that. Is he misusing the system? Well . . . how is he misusing the system? How badly is he breaking it? Is he genuinely engaging in unethical public action? I’m not entirely sure that “this is bad because we’ve always done things THAT way” is a convincing argument; might be, but I’d need more information to make a judgement. Is he an actual crook, making money off of the presidency? Then no, I don’t vote for him, no matter how wonderful his agenda is. I don’t LIKE the judges that Trump is appointing, but his “unethical behavior” in regards to the court appointments is as much Mitch McConnell and the Senate’s responsibility as it is his. So–is President Pmurt really accomplishing anything by his actions? Because I don’t think Trump is, really.

    If all President Pmurt has done is insult people, misbehave in his private life, and tweet inaccuracies/lies . . . well, that seems unpleasant, and the lies might be a problem (depending on his motives and the context) . . . and I certainly wouldn’t go to rallies and cheer for him, but so long as he isn’t lying about being a crook, or about breaking the law–so long as what he does in his private life isn’t a crime–then yes, I might vote for him. Maybe. If he’s actually accomplishing something.

    Or maybe not. I basically agreed with a lot of what Clinton was doing, but I got to a point where I thought that he deserved to be impeached (for lying under oath, as it happens–which qualifies as a crime, I think). Bottom line? I’m not really amazed at all the people who continue to vote for Trump even though he’s a jerk; I do find their cheers and vociferous denial that he has ever done anything wrong la la la no I’m not listening YOU’RE the liar a bit disturbing . . . but voting for him when they are not convinced (for whatever reason, even if that reason is that they are lying to themselves) that he’s actually a crook/unethical? Nope. Got no problem understanding that.

    Now, there will come a point when I can’t figure out how so many of them (not all; see: “fooling some of the people all of the time”) can continue in their blind faith in a con artist . . . but that’s another issue and in my opinion we aren’t there yet. Quite.

  39. I can see the point (although I think that the Democrats have mostly avoided that trap – Clinton may have been close, and if Edwards had been VP we would have had our Spiro Agnew moment as well). I can see how the choices would be hard to swallow. I think this may be worse than that situation, though, in that some things are hard to reverse.

    If you decide that evidence and facts are irrelevant or made up by your opponents, then it’s very difficult either to talk to other people and to find solutions to common problems that work (because you have no feedback from the reality that determines whether your plans will work). That has been a consistent Republican theme for a while (to ignore or denigrate facts you don’t like), and it is a society-destroying problem. (I don’t think it has been a Democratic playing point as much – anti-vaccine people don’t have a consistently large voice in the party, I think) If peaceable discussion on a large scale is not possible, then we’re screwed (people can talk to others personally, and understand the other side isn’t pure evil, but if the policy options are set by people who think precisely that,society is going to be in a mess fast),

    If we are going to be a nation governed by laws and not by people, then at some point you have to actually obey the laws. While decrying Obama’s use of executive orders, the GOP seems to be saying that (as long as he’s theirs) the President can do what he wants. That seems like a position which if followed would make an empire, and would eventually (or not so eventually) destroy the government and the things that rely on it (like the economy and our money and maybe our lives).

    If the positions your (not your in particular – generic your) party holds are the destruction of the intellectual and legal framework that keeps government and society from being stupid or evil, then it doesn’t seem like you have a choice. Your money is backed by the federal government, and if it doesn’t exist or is unhinged it won’t be worth much anyway, so preventing the government from taking more of it is bad if it means all of it is worthless. (It also means you won’t be able to buy much with it anyway, as the framework that makes the economy possible will be in disarray.) It’s hard for an economy to function if you have no idea what’s going to happen, and with government in the unrestrained hands or a person unmoored to legal restraints, that becomes a lot more likely. In the words of David Foster Wallace, voting for such a party would be like voting for Stalin, like voting for an end to all voting. While I can understand the distaste of people in voting for someone who is going to dance (with glee) on their future graves, it seems like the only rational option if the alternative is likely to be occupying those graves, sooner rather than later.

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