A Powerful Question

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OK … I’m doing it again. But this is something that NEEDS to be shared. It was written by Robert Reich (via Substack):

A personal question to powerful people who continue to deny the results of the 2020 election

What do you tell yourself in private?

I have a serious question for people who have power in America and who continue to deny the outcome of the 2020 election and enable Trump’s Big Lie: What are you saying to yourself in private? How are you justifying yourself in your own mind?

I don’t mean to be snide or snarky. I’m genuinely curious.

I’m not interested in Trump’s answer to this question. He is too far gone — lost in the depths of his own pathological ego. I’m also not asking the millions of Trump followers, Fox News viewers, and rightwing social media fans who have been fed the Big Lie nonstop for almost two years. Two-thirds of registered Republicans now believe it.

No, I am asking my question to people with power in our society, people who presumably know the truth.

If you hold public office and still deny the outcome of the 2020 election, how are you explaining this to yourself?

Are you telling yourself that despite the overwhelming evidence that Biden won and the lack of evidence of fraud, you still genuinely doubt the outcome? But you must know that sixty federal courts have found no basis in Trump’s claim, nor have any state so-called “audits,” and that even Trump’s own Attorney General found the claim baseless.

Or are you telling yourself that it will soon be over — that Trump will fade, that the Big Lie will disappear, that your party and America will soon move on?

But you must know you’re wrong. The Big Lie is growing. It has metastasized into a cancer that’s dividing the nation and devouring our democracy.

Or are you telling yourself that you have no real choice but to support the lie if you want to keep or obtain political power?

Even if true, is power so intoxicating to you — so important as an end in itself — that you’ll do anything for it?

Where will you draw the line? If Trump is reelected and imposes martial law? If he or another Republican president forbids public criticism of his administration? If he calls for violence against those who oppose him?

And what do you tell yourself about the measures your party is taking based on the Big Lie: suppression of votes, takeovers of election machinery, assertions that state legislatures can overturn voter preferences in the certification process, rejection of the January 6 committee’s findings?

You have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution. How do you defend yourself in your own mind?

I’m asking you, Kevin McCarthy. And you, Lindsey Graham. And you, Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott and Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson. And others.

And I’m asking those of you with significant power in the GOP who have remained silent in the face of all this – such as you, Mitch McConnell, and you, Mitt Romney: How do you justify your silence?

And I ask those of you now running for office who are denying the 2020 election results and pushing other aspects of Republican authoritarianism – such as you, JD Vance, and Blake Masters, Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker, Doug Mastriano, and Kari Lake: What are you telling yourself in private? How are you excusing yourself? Why are you even running?

And I ask the billionaires and CEOs who are bankrolling these people: How do you rationalize spending millions, even tens of millions, helping them get or remain elected?

I’m asking you, Peter Thiel, and you, Stephen Schwarzman, and Ken Griffin and Steve Wynn and Mike Lindell and Patrick Byrne and others: Is this really the way you want to spend your fortune? Is this your legacy to the nation?

And I ask all the people making money off this rot – the TV hosts and producers and media moguls who are raking it in while poisoning the minds of America with bald face lies – what are you telling yourself in private?

I’m asking you, Rupert Murdoch, and you, Tucker Carlson, and you, Sean Hannity, and you, Laura Ingraham: How are you defending yourself to yourself?

I don’t expect you to answer me. This is a question for you to answer to yourself, alone and in private.

But before you do, may I have a confidential word with you?

Whether you’re a politician supporting the Big Lie, a billionaire backer of it, or a broadcaster who’s pushing it, it is not too late for you to get off the road you are on. Joe Biden has given you an off-ramp. He has stated the choice as clearly as it can be stated: democracy or autocracy.

Yet if you continue to promote or enable this lie, you are undermining our democracy and the norms of our society. The crisis you have helped create is worsening. You bear part of the responsibility for what comes next.

Know this: When the history of this trying time is written, future generations of Americans will judge your actions and your silences harshly.

They will recall your cowardice and your self-justifications. They will remember your lust for power and your moral blindness. They will recollect your unwitting ignorance or your witting failure to come to democracy’s defense in this perilous time.

Generations to come will sit in judgment about what you have wrought. And if the democratic experiment called America continues to unravel because of what you did or failed to do, you will live in infamy. 

“Subjectively Believes”

I just read an article that talked about the defense strategy that Trump’s team of lawyers would use if he were criminally charged.

Although the article itself is related to a suit being filed against CNN, the “defense” being offered is relevant to any charges that might be filed against Trump. In fact, it …

signals a strategy that is likely to be a central defense should he ever face criminal charges related to his role in attempts to cling to power despite losing his 2020 reelection bid.

What was particularly eye-catching were the words the legal team used in their email to CNN:

CNN’s portrayal of Trump was inaccurate because Trump “subjectively believes” there was election fraud in the 2020 presidential election. (My emphasis)

The article goes on to say that one of the strategies available to Trump’s lawyers would be …

to argue that he genuinely believed there was election fraud and didn’t have the intent to commit a criminal act.

“Subjectively Believes” … ???

Now think about those two words. Can you imagine situations in your own life when this combination of words might come in really handy?

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Just as a refresher — from Dictionary.com:

20210702_subjectiveObjective_1000x700

Generally speaking, subjective is used to describe something that exists in the mind of a person or that pertains to viewpoints of an individual person.

Sometimes, subjective means about the same thing as personal. Everyone’s experience of an event is subjective, because each person’s circumstances and background are unique, leading to different interpretations.

Objective most commonly means not influenced by an individual’s personal viewpoint—unbiased (or at least attempting to be unbiased). It’s often used to describe things like observations, decisions, or reports that are based on an unbiased analysis.

Something that’s truly objective has nothing to do with a person’s own feelings or views—it just deals with facts. When someone says “Objectively speaking,” they’re indicating that they’re going to give an unbiased assessment—not one based on their personal preferences.

Against My Will

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I have tried (really tried!) to back off from political posts, but Heather’s recent newsletter … and particularly one of the comments in response to it … got the best of me.

She led off her newsletter remarks thusly:

Yesterday, Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where the audience cheered through his meandering speech, in which he insisted that he won the 2020 election. “The entire system was rigged against the American people and rigged against a fair, decent and honest election,” he said. CNN’s Daniel Dale, who has fact-checked Trump’s speeches for years, called the speech “untethered to reality.” 

And here is a portion of a comment offered by one of her readers. I found it spot-on.

Reason and honesty have vaporized during this entire circus. We used to be a nation of common sense, character and integrity. We used to look one another in the eye when voicing our opinions. Blame it on the underbelly of social media where accountability no longer exists or on the naive assumption that you can still believe what you read.

The ultimate reason is darker and sadder. Not only are voters being lied to, but they are now lying to themselves. People must know, deep down, that the Big Lie is, as Barr put it, “bullshit,” yet they suppress the truth within themselves in hopes of an unholy miracle of placing Trump back on the throne.

Again and again, I find myself asking … how long can this go on? Must we endure this *crap* until the next presidential election? Is there anything that could/might/will bring it to a close? I wonder …

A Trump Supporter Viewpoint

On the CNN website, (considered a Left Bias news source), I recently came across a writeup by Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor who is also a Trump supporter and a Republican campaign adviser.

I must say I was impressed by the article because the writer clearly offered his perspective minus the usual rancor, which gave me an opportunity to see the “other side’s” point of view without raising my blood pressure.

This is not to say I agree with what Mr. Jennings wrote, but I can see why those who support the more conservative style of government would feel that Trump is in their corner.

See what you think …

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/30/opinions/donald-trump-deserves-second-term-jennings/index.html

P.S. There are a selection of videos at the top of the page. Your choice if you want to watch any of them — but it’s the article itself that I’m referencing.

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Image by Sabrina Young from Pixabay

Today’s Word: Manipulation

Manipulation: Exerting shrewd or devious influence
especially for one’s own advantage.


Snippets from Heather Cox Richardson’s latest newsletter.

The Sanders camp wanted to get rid of the superdelegates altogether, believing it would help him win the 2020 nomination.

But now that it looks like he will likely not win outright, he will likely be sunk when the superdelegates are in play on a second ballot. So now he wants the nomination to go to someone with a plurality of delegates—that is, not a clear majority, but more than anyone else—on the first ballot.

Did Buttigieg or Klobuchar cut a deal with Biden before endorsing him? Almost certainly. But that is not a corrupt deal; it’s how politics works.

(Emphasis added.)

Yes, ’tis the story of politics AND government.

We are often reminded that our government operates under the premises of being of, by, and for the people. Perhaps this is true when “the people” are those with titles like President, Senator, Representative, Judge, Governor, and a plethora of other titled officials on down the line.

The common refrain is that these people are OUR representatives. They are (supposedly) speaking and acting for us … for our benefit. Yet again and again, we hear and read about actions these individuals have taken that benefit no one except themselves. In other words, they have exerted shrewd or devious influence to their own advantage.

Since we are currently in an election year and many of us are hopeful there will be a change in the regime, one can’t help but wonder how much manipulation will take place before the election is over.