Sedaris-quote

Robert S.
Denver

I'm giving it 50 50 we'll be rid of them given the voter manipulation ranging from screwing up the postal service to Trumps Hitler-like threats to other widespread voter suppression/ intimidation.

And probably won't know final outcome til December sometime unless the Biden vote overwhelms which means many white former Repubs coming to their senses.

Maybe you aluded to this, but I think a rate determent element is the legion of his complicit enablers from the GOP Senators who, unlike in the case of Nixon have not stood up to him along with very wealthy and powerful families and individuals who finance him from Peter Thiel to Rupert Murdoch to Elon Musk and probably Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps an open letter shaming those individuals for their narcissistic even treasonous self over country enabling is in order...but maybe only if they can be persuaded that their selfish interests are at stake. Without them Trump would have been gone long ago.

Frankly I believe we're in for the fight of our lives over the coming two months and likely for a whole lot longer. And Trump is the tip of the iceberg. You can't have a leader without a parade following him and indeed there is also a complicit kabal of Senators that have and continue to enable him and his regime.

And I agree we all need to engage to motivate a decisive vote for the Biden Harris ticket and to flip the Senate removing the equally sinister Mitch McConnell. To that end, a number of us are working with several organizations to get out votes making calls, writing targeted letters to marginal voters and sending money to the key campaign candidates.


Joe C.
Seattle

I read your essay (?) with great interest because you are a very intelligent and well spoken person. And, you asked for comments positive and negative, I hesitated getting into a debate with you over this topic because you have such strong opinions that no matter what I might say to the contrary, it's doubtful it would be listened to seriously. But I hope you will at least consider a different view that I might offer.

Yes, we do agree on our dislike of Trump-the man. He is rude, crude, self-serving, egotistical,asshole. Pardon my crudeness. I can't stand the man personally. Your essay highlighted many of his undesirable traits and past actions. It was, in my opinion, an artful character assassination. So kudos for your effort in gathering up all those items you included in your essay. Not sure what your sources were but I'll concede they most likely were reliable. But it does not make one valid point about his positive accomplishments while in office.

This is my take on the situation. I have been around the barn a few times in business, just as you have. And, I'll ask you how many complete jerks have you seen at the top of organizations that were still a complete success. We'd like to have those guys be smart, empathetic, considerate, people-oriented and confident but not arrogant. The truth is many of the guys at the top got there by being assholes who trampled everyone who stood in their way, and kissed the butt of anyone who could help them get what they wanted. Donald Trump is one of those guys.

While I voted for him for several reasons, none of them were because I found him someone whose character I found appealing. I will also concede, I absolutely had zero respect for Hillary Clinton or her husband (talk about someone who had no moral compass)..But, Trump did bring to the table what America needed:

1- Not a career politician looking only to stay in office not serve the American people.

2- Couldn't be bought like the career politicians.

3- History of getting things done.

4- Supported the Armed Forces

5- Supported Law Enforcement

6- Tough on Immigration

7- Focused on a strong economy

8- Wasn't "ashamed" of his country like his predecessor.

So the choice for me was simple. Compare what he would bring compared to the "Corrupt Clintons".

Keep in mind, I can't stand the guy and his super-sized ego. And now he's been there for nearly four years and all the while I have to listen to him tell us how great he is, instead of letting his actions speak for themselves- which is what I prefer in my leaders. And I will ask you to go to You Tube to view my source of information on what Trump has done. Any of these items can be debated and de-bunked by haters but the sheer magnitude of items emphasizes that the man gets things done that need to be done- in spite of a Democratic House who opposes him at every turn and spends all of their time focused on Impeachment not the country.

Search on Mark Simon's List of President's Accomplishments So Far. He is a conservative podcaster who posted this list in March of 2019- 19 months ago. This list shows over 190 things Trump has either done or influenced (you can substitute "taken credit for". if you like). And now I am asked to vote for Joe Biden-yet one more career politician with agenda that scares me to death. Please take the time to look through Simon's list and feel free to not believe 75% of it. The other 25% is still more that we ever expected from him.

So there you have it. We are on opposite sides of the fence on this one and I hope I have explained my logic in feeling the way I do. There's a lot to not to like about Donald Trump-the man. But, I'm good with Donald Trump- the very Un-Presidential President, who gets the job done.

And, by the way, I won't hold your opinions against you because I spent 28-yrs in the military trying to ensure you had your right to them- however wrong they might be (just joking). I'll await your thoughtful response,

[follow-up] Lee, thanks for your reply and not skewering me and my right-wing leanings. I also voted for Mitt Romney and wanted to scream at his debate support team. It cost him the election and he would have done a lot of the things Trump has done and actually been Presidential doing it. There were so many things never said about Barack Obama that might have made a difference in the election. And now as far as I  know, Obama is the only former President who has dedicated himself to bringing down his successor. Really sad.


Donna S
Vermont

Great summary. I keep wondering how I can have an impact somewhere else, but I do have a few friends in NH that might be important to mobilize.

The most important thing is that even if Trump is defeated, if we don't get rid of Mitch, the environment and democracy (via the judiciary) is doomed for a long time. I don't have a lot of money to donate politically, but what I have decided to give has gone outside of my state of Vermont.


Kent L.
Sherman, CT

Regarding the question as to why Trump agreed to be interviewed by Woodward.  I think a better explanation is two-fold:

One is that Trump is so egotistical that he actually wanted to be interviewed by the famed journalist.  (Remember, Trump actually called Woodward several times to continue the interviews.)

Second is he also so egotistical  – and stupid – that he actually thought he could convince Woodward of regarding his view of reality.  (A bit of the Steve Jobs alternate reality syndrome. )

I would have added a section on the damage he has deliberately done to our foreign relations.  You may have decided to skip it because it’s his policy, he was elected and it’s at least arguable.  But from Paris Accord to pulling out of WHO in midst of a pandemic, let alone simply pissing off most of the free world leaders and making the country look ridiculous, there has been damage done in 4 years that will take a generation to recover.  It is questionable whether we can ever get back to the position we were at end of Obama.  (An interesting question:  when was the US at the height of its power and prestige?)

My huge concern is that the worst is yet to come.  Trump will convince himself – and many of his followers – that he actually won the election and it was stolen from him.  That excuses any level of fighting back that he can manage, on as many fronts as he can think of.  The debate this week – including  its call to action by Proud Boys – was only the opening salvo.

Lord help us for the period between the election and the inauguration.  He can do incredible damage, even greater than he has already wreaked.


Joe L.
Hawai’i

Sad to say I have many friends who have bought into all the lies. One local girl who I have known since she was 20yrs old believes that he showed strength and courage at the debate and that she could just “sense” that Biden was lying.  She also believe that Opah is a pedophile, etc and that the “Truth will be revealed” and that children abduction is rampant and that Bill Gates is tracking us, etc.


Irwin G.
Seattle

Thanks for putting all this in one cogent, well-organized place.   Sort of like cleaning up a lawn full of dog poop and neatly putting it in one neat pile.  Are you going to do a 2nd edition to incorporate his behavior in the debate and the NYT tax revelations?  His failure to decry white supremacy and his ’setting up’ of refusal to leave office?

I vacillate between anger and despair.   All of the characteristics and actions of his make me sick, but what makes me sicker is the number of parallels to pre-war Nazi Germany, and the willingness of a significant portion of the US population to support him.   We’re not that far from pogroms.   Maybe never were….

Sadly, among the like-minded its almost ‘old news’, and among the others it’ll be dismissed as liberal fake-news.


Frank M.
Dana Point, CA

And I agree with your points, most assuredly about Trump’s personality disorders and staff turnovers. Jeff Daniels, in a recent interview about the Comey project, said that in the beginning Trump had about ten people who were in position to prevent him from doing anything dangerous or outlandish. Those ten people are now gone.

Yes, this is no doubt the most important election in our lifetime. This is because of the Nazi-like loyalty to Trump, think Proud Boys. We see it daily here in Dana Point, Trump flags everywhere. Down at the marina many boats have Trump flags on their masts. At the intersection near our local Costco there is a Trump table every day selling memorabilia. With customers standing in line.

I’ve done volunteer work in every Presidential election since 1988, on the Democratic side. This year the Orange County Democrats have shown a less-than-active role, which I think is alarming. I’m on the sidelines in this one because of it.

God help us all!


David G.
New Hampshire

…blown away with the thoroughly documented and well written article you created. If only it will penetrate the heads of those fringe voters who (amazingly) remain ‘undecided’ regarding who best to lead the country, and the world, through the dilemmas confronting everyone.


Tony S.
Palo Alto, CA

The sad part is that of those 30 million you mention, only a few would (be inclined to, or even have the intellectual endurance to) read a document of this size, preferring more readily absorbed Twitter inoculations.


Greg C.
Bellingham, WA

You’ve hit on the most glaring ‘red flag’ areas, and so eloquently and to the points.

I have tried to express to others similar if not exact sentiments regarding these things, and have at times been at a loss for the right words. Thank you, I now have more concrete examples and ample verbiage to do an even better job.

I despise the man, politics aside, and am so disgusted by this Country’s situation.


Lee R.
Mexico

A friend of mine who is a Trump supporter asked me if I could think of just one thing Trump did that I thought was positive. I responded that that was like asking Mary Todd Lincoln, “Well other than that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?”

 


Carole G.
New Hampshire

Any one of the atrocious things you talk about would have led to an ousting of a President in previous times. I love your conclusion and glad to know that you are doing this for your vast network. We have been doing a lot of voter protection phone banking recruiting poll observers, texting for an organization called Resistance Labs that texts for many progressive campaigns including FRRC, and offering personal zoom text training for those reluctant texters. We’re all past the time for the postcard campaigns.


Greg S.
Bay Area

I cannot dispute any of your points. Trump is a repulsive human being who has debased the Office of the Presidency. But having said that,every election is about choosing the 'cleanest dirt shirt'. My issue with Biden is that I do not know what he stands for. Is he still a moderate who would bring the Country together? How much real influence do the 'marxist/socialist' in the Dem Party really have over him? Will the extreme left use and discard him and takeover the Dem Party? The case against Trump is so compelling that the important questions that Biden needs to address are being ignored.

I strongly suspect my concerns will be ignored since I do believe Biden will win in a landslide. However, his election may bring on a new set of difficult issues which will challenge our Country and Society. We desperately need a new set of younger leaders to bring us together. We all have more in common than we disagree on !!!


Thomas D.
Boston, MA

Trump does have lots of shortcomings You enumerated many of them.

He does get short shrift though on his accomplishments—First Chance, Economy (when he came into office GDP had sagged; was it not a booming economy as Joe claims); working down our military in the field while rebuilding its infrastructure; counter-intuitive progress in the Middle East; strong support for HBUCs, etc.

But the real concern I see as I sort out my vote (a long time registered independent; cast more D votes than R votes) is your contention that Joe is competent. Former Defense Secretary Gates says Joe has been wrong on every foreign policy decision for 40 years. Ouch! He, too, has difficulty with the truth. His academic record is poor (lower reaches of the class at Syracuse Law). And his running mate is of questionable ethics. (Ask Willie Brown’s wife.)

My problem is the choice. Robert Johnson of BET, implies he’ll vote for the devil he knows (Trump) since Joe is the devil he does not know and it worries him. It worries me too. HiS website avows the Green New Deal, but in the debate he said no. Come on, man! No SCOTUS list because he does not want to trigger defections from either D camp. Come on, man!


Hans R.
Palo Alto, CA

I thought the section titled "Authoritarianism" was good - I've been reading up on historical authoritarian progressions due to the activity in China / Hong Kong, and the list of personality traits you provide helped me to further frame that.  I think the US is entering into a dangerous state of affairs vis a vis that potential - whether from Trump or another enterprising figure who appears.

There were a few spots in the article that I felt took liberties with grey areas (e.g. injection of bleach) - if you removed those, I think the article would be even stronger.

For me, I've only once voted for a major party candidate, and won't be doing so in this election - it is a horrific state of affairs that our country can't field better viable candidates.

I'd love to see our system change to support additional parties / political diversity vs. the polarizing mind numbing binary show that it has become.


Kim C.
Palo Alto, CA

I admire you for speaking up in this well written essay, and appreciate the opportunity to read it. It’s encouraging to see my friends and community speak up in opposition to the current administration, gives me hope for our future.

I hope you aren’t on the receiving end of any aggressive responses, but if you are I hope they are drown out by all of the support and applause.