We can remove this awful man from our collective headspace, which he has so thoroughly befouled. We can reclaim our serenity, our equilibrium, our sense 0f common humanity. We can return to a time when it was possible to go hours or even entire days without once thinking about what our president might be saying or doing. We can exhale.
At a recent rally in North Carolina, Trump was making one of his rambling attempts to mock Joe Biden when he told the crowd: “If I lose to him, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I will never speak to you again. You’ll never see me again.” Biden’s social media team quickly posted a clip of Trump’s remarks, then added a zinger: “I’m Joe Biden, and I approve this message.”
Conclusion: Through repetition and force of will, Trump creates his own “reality.” But we know it is not really real, so we must constantly spend time and effort dispelling the miasma of mendacity that pours out of Trump’s fog machine of a mouth. Doing so is exhausting, Sisyphean, psychic labor that drains the soul. Yet it is necessary — because the words of a president, by definition, are consequential — and so the only way to end this epistemological trench warfare is to end Trump’s presidency and send him home to Mar-a-Lago, where he can mutter at the walls.
If Biden wins the election, Trump will not go happily and might not go easily. But he will indeed go — and when he leaves the White House, he will also vacate our national consciousness, giving us all some psychic room to breathe.
A vote for Biden is more than a vote for sane governance. It is a vote for American sanity, period.
What should we think about pundits who tell us what this really means for the election? Could this have any impact on who people actually decide to vote for? Who knows! Voters’ minds have seemed very made up for months now, but this isn’t exactly a normal event. Trump, one could argue, could be the beneficiary of a wave of sympathy if he publicly handles this right. Or, one could counter, Trump has just again proven how reckless he’s been throughout the pandemic, how his bungled response to a deadly virus was always going to end like this.
Trump’s case against Biden has often boiled down to a machismo-infused “toughness”: That he’s the one who’s mentally and physically fit enough to take on America’s adversaries, foreign and domestic. How does that argument work now with Trump potentially fighting a very deadly virus in the weeks before the election? Or if he winds up being asymptomatic, does this just become proof of concept to his base?
It is going to be days until many of these questions begin to have true answers. Literally, the incubation time for the virus is days. We are not going to know much of anything for days. It is OK to be uncertain. This whole year has been uncertain. We’re all very practiced.
Anyway, back to screaming.
Federal judge rules Bill Barr improperly redacted part of the Mueller report — and must release them before Election Day
Trump’s attempt to checkmate Biden on his son’s sobriety made him look woefully out of touch, summary of article in The Atlantic
It appears that Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and others did wear masks into the venue and removed them at some point before sitting down.
Notably, Melania Trump both wore a mask into the venue and continued to wear it while seated. Former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and his family wore masks.
Between Poppa Trump and Mark Burnett, Trump was gifted $840 million — but he may still owe as much as $1 billion
Donald Trump's seemingly immovable approval numbers are a testament, above all other things, to the power of racism, and the way that 40 to 42% of Americans will stand by their man, no matter how bad things get, so long as he keeps hating the same people they hate. But that legendary floor of his — he has almost never dropped below 40%, or risen above 45% — is also a testament to the power of narrative fiction, especially of the televised variety.
During the 2016 Republican primary, polling showed that Trump supporters were bamboozled by "The Apprentice," mistaking the fictional Trump of the "reality" TV show for the real Trump, a repeated business failure with a series of bankruptcies under his belt. To this day, about half of Americans still believe that Trump is a competent steward of the American economy, despite the worst downturn since the Great Depression, because they mistook a character he played on TV for the real thing. Trump has boosted this lie about his business acumen by concealing decades of his tax returns so that he could claim to be a successful billionaire without being fact-checked by his own accountants.
But now, after years of trying, the New York Times has successfully harpooned the white whale that journalists, prosecutors, activists and Democrats have been hunting for years: Donald Trump's tax returns.
Unsurprisingly, the documents suggest Trump cheats on his taxes, as he cheats in every other aspect of life, from marriages to presidential elections. Perhaps more importantly, the documents show that Trump's entire persona as a successful businessman isn't just a lie, but the inverse of reality. If we're going strictly on profit and loss, Donald Trump is the worst living businessman in America.
Editor of respected journal on his "Trump lied about science" editorial — and why too many scientists stayed quiet
Trump's threats against democracy shouldn't surprise anyone — why must the media caste keep acting so shocked?
Most Americans have heard (or asked) some version of the following questions during the last four years.
Will Donald Trump and his movement ever stop? Answer: No. They are winning.
Where are the principled and "good" Republicans? Why won't they stop Donald Trump? Why won't they speak out? There are none left, or at least not enough to make a difference.
Don't Donald Trump and the other Republicans have a conscience? They do not. Power and vanquishing the "enemy" —meaning liberals, progressives, the Democratic Party in general and anyone else they do not see as "real Americans" — is the only goal that matters.
Is there no bottom to Donald Trump and the Republican Party's cruelty? No. Cruelty and pain are weapons that advance their agenda.
How could this happen in the greatest country on earth? By many measures America is not the greatest country on Earth. The myth of American exceptionalism helped to spawn Trumpism.
The best way to deal with Trump, though, won’t be to try to fact-check him in real time or to let lies and absurdities go in the hope that moderators — or viewers — catch them. There’s a third option: Preempt the president. Clearly and strongly preview for the 100 million people watching what will happen in the debate as soon it begins. Biden should say early on that we all know what’s coming. Not to remind voters. But to remind Trump, by speaking on behalf of the majority of the country, that everyone is on to him, in a reversal of Trump’s favorite “everyone is saying” paralipsis device:
“C’mon, Mr. President. Everyone knows that whatever you call fake is real. Whatever you call a lie is the truth. Whatever you accuse others of doing is what you’ve done. And whatever you make fun of me for saying by accident only serves to deflect from what you say on purpose.”
The 2020 version of Trump is constantly winging it, hoping voters will forget what he has said and done while focusing on his grievance du jour. He needs everyone watching the debate to pretend he never said there were only a few cases of the coronavirus in the United States, or that it would be gone in a week, or that he confessed, on tape, to lying about its lethality.
In the end, both men’s debate preparations rely on what they have done over the course of the entire campaign.
For the last 18 months, Joe Biden has debated Donald Trump on the issues from afar. Over that same period, Trump has done nothing but assault Biden’s character. Trump’s debate preparations — “what I’m doing” every day — are the first in history to include behavior that ended up in impeachment.