Lost to Facts or Reason

Yesterday the Creature called on his culties to harass Steve Jobs’s widow.

It’s going to get worse. Trump supporters sincerely believe their guy cannot lose unless Democrats cheat, and they are preparing. See The Warning Signs of a Combustible Presidential Transition by Peter Nicholas at The Atlantic.

The weeks after the election could be “a very dangerous period” for the country, says Miles Taylor, a former senior official in the Homeland Security Department, whose agents were deployed to quell recent police-violence protests in Portland, Oregon, against the wishes of the state’s leadership. Taylor left the agency last year and has since emerged as an outspoken critic of the president. “I talk to law-enforcement officials all the time who I used to serve with, and they’re nervous about November and December,” he continued. “We’re seeing an historic spike in gun sales. There’s some of the worst polarization in United States history. This is beyond a powder keg. This is the Titanic with powder kegs filled all the way to the hull.” …

… “It’s absolutely terrifying,” says Rosa Brooks, a former Pentagon official in the Obama administration who’s been running war-games-style exercises about the election outcome. “People who study political violence have been warning for a long time that conditions that we’re seeing in the United States resemble those that you see in countries that slide all the way down into civil conflict. We’re only going further down that chute.”

We must assume the worst. Trump culties have been primed to take up arms to keep Trump in power, which is why I have been urging people to vote in person if you can. We need a Biden victory within hours of the poll closings, if not election night. If knowing the outcome depends on a slow count of mail-in ballots, Trump’s, um, people are likely to swarm election offices to destroy ballots.

See also Peter Wehmer, Why Trump Supporters Can’t Admit Who He Really Is, also at The Atlantic.

To understand the corruption, chaos, and general insanity that is continuing to engulf the Trump campaign and much of the Republican Party right now, it helps to understand the predicate embraced by many Trump supporters: If Joseph R. Biden Jr. wins the presidency, America dies.

During last week’s Republican National Convention, speaker after speaker insisted that life under a Biden presidency would be dystopian. Charlie Kirk, the young Trump acolyte who opened the proceedings, declared, “I am here tonight to tell you—to warn you—that this election is a decision between preserving America as we know it and eliminating everything that we love.” President Trump, who closed the proceedings, said, “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists and agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens. And this election will decide whether we will defend the American way of life or allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.” And in between Americans were told that Democrats want to “disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door” and that they “want to destroy this country and everything that we have fought for and hold dear.”

“They’re not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs altogether,” a St. Louis couple who had brandished weapons against demonstrators outside their home, told viewers. “Make no mistake, no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America

One does not have to be a champion of the Democratic Party to know this chthonic portrait is absurd. But it is also essential, because it allows Trump and his followers to tolerate and justify pretty much anything in order to win. And “anything” turns out to be quite a lot.

See also What’s the Worst That Can Happen by Rosa Brooks at WaPo. Teams of “Republicans, Democrats, civil servants, media experts, pollsters and strategists” were asked to imagine what they would do in a range of election scenarios. A lot of what was imagined was pretty damn awful.

With the exception of the “big Biden win” scenario, each of our exercises reached the brink of catastrophe, with massive disinformation campaigns, violence in the streets and a constitutional impasse. In two scenarios (“Trump win” and “extended uncertainty”) there was still no agreement on the winner by Inauguration Day, and no consensus on which candidate should be assumed to have the ability to issue binding commands to the military or receive the nuclear codes. In the “narrow Biden win” scenario, Trump refused to leave office and was ultimately escorted out by the Secret Service — but only after pardoning himself and his family and burning incriminating documents. …

… In each scenario, Team Trump — the players assigned to simulate the Trump campaign and its elected and appointed allies — was ruthless and unconstrained right out of the gate, and Team Biden struggled to get out of reaction mode. In one exercise, for instance, Team Trump’s repeated allegations of fraudulent mail-in ballots led National Guard troop to destroy thousands of ballots in Democratic-leaning ZIP codes, to applause on social media from Trump supporters. Over and over, Team Biden urged calm, national unity and a fair vote count, while Team Trump issued barely disguised calls for violence and intimidation against ballot-counting officials and Biden electors.

We have to be prepared for the worst, including the fact that many police departments will side with Team Trump. I fear that a lot of the mail in ballots will be destroyed before they can be counted, which is why I keep urging people to vote in person if they can vote in person.

Going back to the Peter Wehmer article — at this point most of the vote may be set in stone. Trump supporters do not see Trump; they see a projection of what they want Trump to be, and they believe his absolutely absurd claims about Biden and the Democrats. I don’t see that changing before election day. Wehmer writes that Trump supporters are ruled by fear, however irrational, and they cling to Trump because they see him as their protector. His meanness and ruthlessness are virtues to them.

In my experience, if Trump supporters are asked to turn their gaze away from their perceived opponents, and instead to focus and reflect on him and on his failures, they respond in a couple of consistent ways. Many shift the topic immediately back to Democrats, because offering a vigorous moral defense of Donald Trump isn’t an easy task. It’s like asking people to stare directly into the sun; they might do it for an instant, but then they look away. But if you do succeed in keeping the topic on Trump, they often twist themselves into knots in order to defend him, and in some cases they simply deny reality.

“Motivation conditions cognition,” Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing writer at The Atlantic, wisely told me. Very few Trump supporters I know are able to offer an honest appraisal of the man. To do so creates too much cognitive dissonance.

All political partisans tend to suffer confirmation biases. But with Trump supporters, we’re looking at people living in a twisted, medieval myth in which their side represents absolute good and those other people are absolutely evil. This is more religion than politics. Policy doesn’t matter. Ideology doesn’t matter. And, since this is war, morality and decency don’t matter, either. There is just winning and losing, survival or death, with them. Whatever it takes to win and destroy the other is what at least a portion of them will do.

In other news: Here is an eyewitness account of the Trump boat parade on Lake Travis. Basically, the big, fast boats created wakes that swamped the small boats, and the owners of the big, fast boats didn’t care. They didn’t even slow down as rescue efforts were going on.

See Paul Waldman, Louis DeJoy could hardly be more emblematic of the Trump administration. The more we learn about DeJoy, the scummier he looks.

9 thoughts on “Lost to Facts or Reason

  1. Nothing can be ruled out with Trump at the helm.  He has prepared us for this for 4 years.  One "I can't believe it" moment after another.

  2. It’s probably been 10 years since I argued with a “conservative”. I realized it was a waste of time – they don’t respond to logic or common sense or facts or data. So what do they respond to? Physical, emotional or financial discomfort. The new administration needs to jail as many of these crooks as possible. And if their “supporters” want to riot and protest…well tear gas and night sticks really don’t care which party you belong to.

  3. Laurene Jobs has a net worth of about 27 billion dollars. So she isn't wasting any money. She's putting bread on the tables of countless people by providing employment for them. Bless her heart. And by the same token Donald Trump isn't wasting 58 million dollars of his donors money in trying to cover up his crimes. He's putting bread on the tables of countless lawyers by providing employment for them also. So bless his heart also.

    With Trump it kinda confirms the scripture..What Satan has meant for evil, God has turned to the good.

  4. Since Reagan welcomed them into Republican politics, the party has fallen under the spell of these "Manichean"  Evangelical "Christians."  To them – the GOP "Base" – everyone and everything is either godly, or "Devily!" 

    And as a result, Republicans are terrified of displaying a sense of  cooperation and/or compassion in state and/or federal politics :  Lest those be taken as collusion. 

    You don't want to be perceived by thus crowd as a "Judas!"  And our politics is screwed because these folks don't want govern.  THEY WANT TO RULE!!!

    And tRUMP is the TOTUS (Troller of  the United States).

    FSM, please help us all….


    Paging:  "deus ex machina!"

    I said,  DEUS EX MACHHINA, you're bring paged!



    No deus.

    Ok, no deus

    Yes to sleep


  5. Regarding the boat parade… If you have a bigger boat, and you can swamp smaller boats, that's all part of the fun of being richer and establishing dominance. But they were all flying Trump flags… on the same team.

    How many times have we read or seen examples of Trump being abusive with not only the GOP (McCain or Romney) when they offered opposition but insulting Kelly to his face at the grave of his son. This is a level of sickness beyond normal people, but not uncommon with wife-beaters and other abusive types. 

    Want to know the proof of my theory? Watch to see if the boat parades continue to sink smaller boats AFTER they know the cause.

    They aren't just going to rebel after they lose the election. They think they can intimidate liberals into not voting. We're in for a rough couple of months and there will be fatalities. (Opinion, and labeled as such)  It will turn the Trump failure into a complete ROUT!  Trump will not condemn the violence of his people. (He'll make it clear the murders will stop when the darkies admit their place in society.)  There's not a lot of people who can be swayed but read the electoral map.

    Trump has lost – the tipping point in the election isn't in swing states. Trump has to win ALL his states, ALL the swing states and several states classified as leaning Democratic. If Trump sponsors random violence, ALL the swing states will go blue not because Republicans will vote for Biden. They will vote by staying home. The EC numbers will be staggering – 351 Biden 187 Trump. 

    If it breaks that bad, the GOP has to figure out how to be relevant without the Trump faction who won't give up. We're paying a high price for electing Trump. Will remorse drive the country further left that any progressive pulling could have done?


  6. As I've said before, I live in rural NC, in a community founded by a church.  It's not exactly a mainstream church, but, let's leave that for another time, if there is another time.   Our area went for Trump by a two to one margin.  You won't see a Biden lawn sign or bumpersticker here because it would just invite trouble.   I've noticed something disturbing in the past couple of months.   People here love flags, so you see a lot of US, NC and Confederate battle flags.  You see Dominionist flags, III% flags, and lately, some that I can't identify.  (I'm probably happier not knowing.)  The disturbing thing is not so much that there are a lot of Trump flags, it's that where it wasn't uncommon to see the Confederate battle flag flying below Old Glory, now, Old Glory is often replaced by the Trump flag, above or below the battle flag.  The Christian identity and militia flags are displayed daily.  That reveals something troublesome.  I think the militia types know exactly what the message is, and they're just letting each other know that they're on the same page.

    I've been expecting trouble around the election for some time, and I expect it right here where I live.  If you drove around here with a MAGA hat and AR-15 and a "liberal hunting license" on your truck, you wouldn't stand out of the crowd.  People have made this into part of the Biblical drama they were brought up with, they've been LARPing about a civil war for too long, it's gone too far and it gives their lives meaning.

    I don't want to sound dramatic, but, I'm not sure what the odds are that …  well, maybe I better not go there.  Let's just say that we'll be laying low, so wish us luck.


  7. I was wondering what radical left magazine was being funded.  Oh haha, the Atlantic, which has a reputation of being rather conservative (however it is anti-Trump).  And they do run conservative slop from time to time, like how teachers need to go back to the classrooms during covid etc..  So they play a part in keeping dumb right wing memes in play as well as running better critiques and more liberal perspectives. 

    The Atlantic is also one of the most interesting magazines out there now IMO.  It's the one thing I'm most tempted to subscribe to, only I often wonder if I might regret supporting it when it runs some right wing slop.  But with talk of a radical left magazine I expected something more like Counterpunch (also entertaining in it's way).  By the way can anything really be faithfully radical left if it's taking billionaire money?  Something to ponder.





  8. I am seriously concerned about what Trump will do if he loses the election.  It goes without saying that he will cry "foul" or "rigged election".  Will he do more to rile up his base and cause severe damage?  He will if he can.  My question is what will the Secret Service do if he refuses to leave the White House?  They are charged with protecting him even as an ex-president.  I don't think he is a gun owner but there may be others around him who are and who would be stupid enough to try to protect him.  There are almost 3 mos. between election day and the inauguration.  Time enough for tomfoolery.  Yes, I am a little scared and saying my prayers.

  9. “They’re not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs altogether,” a St. Louis couple who had brandished weapons against demonstrators outside their home, told viewers.

    They live in St. Louis. That's not a suburb. Just in case anyone was unclear what Republicans mean when they say "suburbs."

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