What was I right about 3 years ago?

Just about everything.

Let’s see (emphasis added):

In any event, it says right here that Trump does not stand for re-election in 2020, unless something happens between now and then that somehow make it 100% certain that he would win, or unless he can construct the narrative that the system is “fixed” unless he wins. Because he won’t win, and he won’t let himself be put in a position where he could legitimately lose. His ego is far too fragile. He has to have it taken away from him so he can spend the rest of his life screaming from the sidelines about the injustices he suffered, and that he totally would have won in a landslide if he’d run. Put that in the bank.

And:

Imagine what it will look like when the 35% or whatever of American voters who will support Trump through anything lose their man because the system finally shut him down. Riots? Secessions? Civil war? Where is the “unthinkable” line at this point?

What I failed to predict, earlier, is that he would actually make it to 2020, because I was sure that his lawlessness would cause him to self-immolate long before that. His first impeachment should have been his last, but spineless republicans were too scared to stand up to him (he sure “learned his lesson,” Susan Collins). And I overestimated Americans’ – really, republicans’ (and no, I will not honor that word with a capial)) – capacity to confront their own idiotic beliefs when presented with provably contrary facts… start at “trump lost the election” and work backwards from there, there are thousands of examples to pull from.

44½ hours to go… actually less because he’s going to squirm out of town early to avoid the man (and woman) who beat him.

In summary:

  1. Fuck donald trump.
  2. Fuck every single one of his enablers, and fuck melania, ivanka, don jr, eric and …tiffany? She’s one, right? No caps for any of them.
  3. Fuck every single one of the 74,000,000 people who voted for him in 2020. Every single last motherfucking one.

Good fucking riddance. Get the fuck out. We are going back to our lives.

We told you so

Most of us knew, 50 months ago, exactly how this was going to go.

The t**** presidency* was exactly as bad as we warned you it would be. An ignorant, bellicose, mendacious, racist, incurious, malignant narcissist with the attention span of a toddler and a complete lack of any kind of self-awareness, for whom every action is a transaction born solely of a simple calculus of what’s best for his own ego, lacking in any moral foundation whatsoever and completely uninterested in governance except as a platform for his own gain… what the fuck did you think was going to happen? It ended (we hope) with an actual, honest-to-god coup attempt in the U.S. Capitol, trying to overthrow the results of the most carefully watched and verified election in history.

We’ve got less than 48 hours to go before he files off to sulk in Florida (and face his creditors and accusers in a long, long series of court battles that will hopefully keep him occupied) – and he is apparently still telling people he won.

Tomorrow he’ll issue a nauseating slew of pardons, with nothing left to lose (but something left to sell). The only way he doesn’t pardon himself is if it turns out it would leave him legally exposed to other things.

The damage done to America over the last four years (five, really), is incalculable. The republican party is now the party of Batshit Crazy. Estimates seem to be coalescing that somewhere between 60% and 80% of republicans believe, flatly contradicted by the plainest observable facts, that the election was “stolen”, brainlessly bleating the false words of their god-king. It’s well known by now that when people who believe false things are shown proof that they’re wrong, they just dig in harder and believe the falsehoods all the more firmly. There’s nowhere to go with this.

America has a heavy amount of dead weight of stupid in its citizenry. With a generous share of racism to boot. We’re pretty much fucked. Our education system has failed. We lack a common foundation of the ability to think critically. And the republicans now know that they represent a shrinking minority of the population, and they are facing their own extinction, so they have nothing left to lose. Their strategy is:

  • Keep as many poor and minority people as possible from voting
  • Gerrymander the fuck out of everything they can so that they can govern with a minority of the popular vote
  • Lie, lie, lie, the bigger the better, shamelessly and wildly
  • Ignore science and facts, and do whatever can be done to maximize short-term gains.

I do not envy Biden. I’m glad he’s going to give it a shot. But he’s inheriting an ungovernable nation. Ivanka will be a Florida senator soon and step perfectly naturally into another batshit presidency she knows she deserves, buoyed by a meticulously-groomed minority of support that will translate into another popular-vote-losing electoral college win (a 40,000-vote swing in key locations would have seen Biden lose despite a 7,000,000 popular vote advantage). She’s every bit as qualified as her dad (you can’t go less than having literally no qualifications whatsoever). You know don jr isn’t going anywhere.

America isn’t going to get any less stupid. t**** is gone in 48 hours. t****ism is here to stay, forever.

Trump: the perfect American

Donald Trump is the perfect American.

Born into a life of the unimaginable wealth, privilege, and freedom from consequences reserved for the 1% of the 1%, he yesterday made clear the paramount American principle that will dictate our reaction to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian government: Money Talks. If you buy enough warplanes from us, you can brutally murder journalists; it’s all good.

We get the politicians we deserve. And the politicians we deserve further shape who we are. We got Trump because enough of us don’t care about facts, basic morality and ethical principles that we (sort of) elected someone who perfectly embodies our ignorance and arrogance to run the whole show. And now, ignorance and “America-first” arrogance are bedrock national policy, along with disregard for science and fact, at least when they come into conflict with making money or cementing political alliances and concentrations of power.

At least it makes it easy for the rest of the world to know where we stand on anything. Trump is nothing if not predictable. Flatter him, and he’s your best friend. Criticize him, and you are the enemy. Agreements are for the weak. History is irrelevant. Everything is for sale. Ratings are all that matter. (And brown people who speak other languages are scary.)

Spring 2018

So. A year later, let’s take stock.

Trump is still in office, though burnout within his cabinet is astonishing as people bail out or get fired left or right.

There is a broad feeling in the US (if not the world) that we are now in a “post-truth” society, where facts don’t matter. We have a president who regularly assails the media (even calling it “the enemy of the American people,” a play straight out of the fascist dictator manual), the judiciary, the legislative branch, and even his own intelligence agencies.

Fox News is basically Pravda for the Trump administration. Sean Hannity went berserk when Obama wore a tan suit or put brown mustard on something; Trump invites Russia to hack the election and pays hush money to porn stars he slept with right after his son was born and calls neo-nazis and white supremacists “very fine people” and Hannity doesn’t bat an eye.

And nobody cares. Or, at least, there appear to be no consequences for anybody in power.

The midterms are coming up and there’s broad consensus that there will be a big wave of progressive pushback and Democrats will retake the house and possibly the Senate, which means they’d have a bit more power to at least throw sand in the gears for whatever time remains until this nightmare ends. Then again, we know how the election was supposed to turn out, and what actually happened.

American decline, internally and globally, is in full swing and irreversible. No country with any sense would ever trust the US on anything from now on; the simple reality shows that negotiated treaties mean nothing to America and it all depends on who’s in power every 4-year cycle. Internally, we continue to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and wipe out the social safety net and decimate public health and education and the environment. There is a category of powerful and entrenched people – the “swamp” that Trump has made even deeper – who don’t see any problem with this, or at least have confidence that they’ll be shielded from the repercussions and the shit will fall on future generations after they’re gone. They might be right about that.

In any event, it says right here that Trump does not stand for re-election in 2020, unless something happens between now and then that somehow make it 100% certain that he would win, or unless he can construct the narrative that the system is “fixed” unless he wins. Because he won’t win, and he won’t let himself be put in a position where he could legitimately lose. His ego is far too fragile. He has to have it taken away from him so he can spend the rest of his life screaming from the sidelines about the injustices he suffered, and that he totally would have won in a landslide if he’d run. Put that in the bank.

The US is almost ungovernable now. Imagine what it will look like when the 35% or whatever of American voters who will support Trump through anything lose their man because the system finally shut him down. Riots? Secessions? Civil war? Where is the “unthinkable” line at this point? Consider how far it’s moved in the last 2 years.

People like me who still believe in the principles of the Enlightenment are on the losing side, but the right side. Facts matter. Thinking matters. The willingness – the RESPONSIBILITY – to change your mind when the facts don’t align with your wishes and opinions and beliefs, MATTERS. Maybe Enlightenment has to rise out of the ashes of human suffering; maybe we stop deserving it when we’ve been too comfortable for too long, and maybe things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. But never stop fighting. And never adopt the other side’s tactics. Stay on the high road, even when – ESPECIALLY when – they go low, and even if they win as a result.

Spring prediction

Since I did such a good job predicting Trump’s defeat, let’s keep going. My prediction is that he won’t be president very much longer.

This is because he doesn’t WANT to be president. He never did. He never wanted to do the actual WORK. He just likes to be on TV and in front of cheering crowds. Actual governing, with limited powers, is tedious and messy and requires attention to detail and diplomacy, which he has, respectively, zero and zero of. What he wanted was what Hillary got: to win the popular vote, but to lose the election on a technicality, so he could spend the following years heckling from the sidelines with a sense of aggrieved injustice, convinced that the People love him and that he’s been wronged, and with the delicious ability to generate headlines every time he opens his obnoxious mouth and play to crowds and swim in the adulation he craves, with no actual responsibilities.

So I think he’s making it impossible for himself to remain president, consciously or unconsciously, through self-sabotage and an endless spiral of scandals upon scandals. He won’t quit, but he’ll have to make it feel like it was stolen from him by a corrupt system. And his followers will eat it up. Of course, this is all their fault to begin with.

The spineless Republicans in Congress will back him as long as he’s useful, to help them rip out health care protections and environmental regulations and wall street regulations and so forth, and then once they’ve used him up, they’ll suddenly find their morals and turn on him and congratulate themselves for being such great Americans that they’ll put country over party. And of course, they’ll just move a different Republican into the white house.

So that’s what it says here. No way he makes it to 2020, or 2019. Might not make it through 2017. Let’s hope not.

Message to the world #2

I just want to remind the world, in this tiny message in a tiny bottle, that a MINORITY GOVERNMENT is in place in America making these horrible things happen. More people voted AGAINST trump than FOR him. More Americans are AGHAST at what is happening than support it.

They have the power, for now. They may build walls; we will tear them down when it’s our turn. They may turn their backs on the world; we will reach out again when it’s our turn. They may abandon our commitments; we will renew them when it’s our turn.

We may come out of this better, if we survive it. Since we haven’t had a war here at home since the 1860s, maybe we’ve lost touch with suffering; it’s just something we see on TV. Maybe this is needed, as a horrible thing to go through with real consequences that will stiffen the spines of those who survive and help us rediscover our founding ideals.

Maybe not.

In any case, nobody would fault you for ceasing to take us seriously as a nation anymore. We let this happen. And you are right to realize that even after we get control back again, it could just as easily swing back to craziness on very short notice. Our people are ignorant and don’t care about things that aren’t right in front of them. America was a beacon for the world for a while. It may now fall to others to lead, as our empire crumbles. Germany has the moral high ground now, standing up for human rights and the rule of law and the things we once stood up for too. Maybe what remains of Europe will have to cauterize us like a wound. and just continue to move forward and light the way while we fumble in the darkness.

I am so ashamed.

Please just remember: there are more of us than there are of them. No matter what happens.

Do what you need to do.

Message to the world

Dear world,

We haven’t given you much reason to have confidence in us. We – or a minority of us – have just elected a protofascist, nationalist, racist, sexist, xenophobic, isolationist narcissist with the attention span of a fruitfly to arguably the most powerful position on earth. We have turned our backs on facts and science and love and decency, and shamefully given in to fear, hate, selfishness, ignorance, and monstrously unforgivable short-sightedness.

Nobody could fault you for just building a wall around US and leaving us to eat each other, while you continue to go forwards. Many of you have your own protofascist shit to deal with – there’s an upswing of it lately, and Islamic terrorists murdering innocent civilians in countries that have welcomed them aren’t fucking helping, guys – but still, we have taken a giant step back from the Enlightenment, and we have a long and painful road ahead of us.

All I ask is that you remember that America is bitterly divided, and there are more of US then there are of THEM. Because of our idiotic electoral college that gives more weight to the votes in former slave states, our orange-skinned short-fingered vulgarian has ascended to the White House despite losing the popular vote by millions of votes. That’s our bad, and it shouldn’t have even been that close, but still, Trump and his people are A MINORITY of Americans. Far less than half of us support him. The rest would still be decent world citizens who believe in truth, fairness for all people, the rule of law, and equal opportunities and rights for ALL human beings on the planet, not just those we think are similar to us.

Millions and millions of people took to the streets around the world today to protest the current state of affairs; I was among them, as I hope many of you were too. This video shows a tiny slice of what happened. Take heart and believe. Believe in the Enlightenment. Believe in progress, and moving AWAY FROM hate, fear, and selfishness, even though they have temporarily triumphed. We know you can’t solve our problems, other than by continuing to be better on your own and leaving us in the dust. Don’t wait for us. Just remember that most of us are with you, despite the loud and ugly voices of the minority that has taken power here. Our voices will never be as loud, but there are more of us than there are of them.

Wish us luck. We’re going to need a lot more than that, but I don’t know what it is just yet.