Like lots of other Americans, I'm really happy about Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in our presidential election. To learn how happy, check out three posts I've written on my other blogs -- here, here, and here.
It's virtually 100% certain that Biden won a free and fair election and will be sworn in as president next January.
He's on track to win 306 electoral votes, the same number Trump won in 2016, which Trump has never stopped bragging about. The popular vote is hugely in Biden's favor, with additional tallies in New York and California adding to that impressive total.
Three mid-West battleground states were won by Biden that Clinton narrowly lost in 2016. I came across this information in a tweet today.
Late-innings scorecard: President Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by less than 80,000 votes in 2016. Today, Joe Biden is ahead in those states by more than 210,000 votes.
So the presidential election isn't close. In 2000 George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by virtue of a highly controversial Supreme Court decision that awarded Bush Florida by a razor-thin margin of less than 600 votes.
Now Biden is ahead by many tens of thousands of votes in a variety of states. There's no evidence of any substantial voter fraud, just unproven allegations of a few problems that have no bearing on the election outcome in states where they supposedly occurred.
Yet only a few Republican leaders have acknowledged that Biden won the election. Trump himself is refusing to concede. The Trump administration is putting up roadblocks to Biden beginning the important process of transitioning the federal government to a new president.
In short, Republicans are denying reality. The election facts are clear, yet they refuse to embrace them. They have a fantasy that somehow Trump will be able to steal the election from Biden.
Thus they're acting very much like religious people.
Republicans have blind faith in Trump. Religious people have blind faith in God. Republicans ignore the lack of demonstrable evidence that fraud took place in the election. Religious people ignore the lack of demonstrable evidence that a supernatural being exists. Republicans believe that evil Democrats somehow manipulated election results in favor of Biden. Religious people believe that an evil Devil or some other negative power somehow leads humans away from God.
The common denominator between Republicans and religious people is their rigid dogmatism.
Rather than learning what reality has to teach them, they deny reality. They elevate their subjective personal beliefs over objective truth. If facts don't fit with their world view, they ignore the facts instead of changing their viewpoint.
In the post I wrote yesterday, I included a tweet from election law expert Marc Elias.
What Elias is getting at is that Republican lawyers are starting with what they want to have happen -- the results of the election being overturned so Trump ends up the winner. They they try to conjure up some reasons why this should occur. This is akin to religious people starting with a belief in God, then making up reasons why God exists.
Which is backwards. Election law requires that evidence of fraud come first, with a lawsuit following based on that evidence. Likewise, a belief in God should come after evidence for God, not before.
It doesn't bother me that so many Americans believe strongly in Trump. That's their right. But it's deeply concerning that these Trump fans are willing to ignore the results of the election and trash our democracy in an effort to keep Trump in office. This also is my problem with religion. A private belief in God is fine. It's when religious people try to force their personal beliefs onto others that my atheist anger fires up.
As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. (The original had "his," which I've changed to "their.")
Lenin and friends spoke of the role of the means to produce in relation to the welfare of the masses.
And how the owners of these means neglected the very simple daily needs of the masses.
The communists took these means away from the historical owners but the elite in the west transferred these means to the east ... and given the fact that not all can live on a farm, work in public service or has the capacity to make money in the cultural sector,.... millions have no work and cannot work as there is no work for them and are doomed to poverty etc.
Seeing daily on tv the ever growing wealth and welfare of a small elite, the masses become aware of their situation; a situation that is brought upon them by the establishment and that the same establishment gives a s**t about their welfare ..... everybody can understand that this will lead to problems.
Trump is just voicing the feelings of the masses.
Do understand that all these cat clean people, soft voiced and speaking like poets, could not prevent the miserable state the country and the masses find themselves .... not a dime has been spent in the USA for years for the maintenance, of the public domain let alone for the welfare of the masses.
That is the real problem .... farmers understand very well if you don care for the cow, feed it properly, give it a good place to spend the day, the cow will give little milk and eventually fall ill due to lall sorts of diseases and becomes vulnerable for bacteria etc.
The elite should at least care for their subjects as they do for their cats and dogs to prevent them to become wild again.
Posted by: um | November 10, 2020 at 04:28 AM
Compare the way you live and millions of fellow citizens, in campers, neglected city blocks etc etc.
than you might understand.
Look around, see the differences ... that are the facts and these facts just speak for themselves.
You live in a bubble and with you many lived in a social,cultural bubble.
The media, mass communication and globalization has made these balloons explode.
It has nothing to do with religion.
Posted by: um | November 10, 2020 at 05:40 AM
I don't think it's religion. I think Trump is able to bully or blackmail the Republicans.
Posted by: Laura | November 10, 2020 at 07:31 AM
So, the night has passed, at long last! (Couldn't resist coming in to share in the hard-won smiles!)
I've always found it beyond ironic, folks holding forth here on debunking sundry babas and gurus and prophets and religions, and then, lemming-like, following the orange train wreck blindly into crazy.
Quote: "I don't think it's religion. I think Trump is able to bully or blackmail the Republicans."
Republican senators and wannabes and the like, sure. Actually, that part is kind of reassuring, in a way, in the sense that it is at least sane. Amorality in politics and self-serving politicians are nothing new, and that part one can at least understand. Not approve of, obviously, but understand; understand, and therefore (try to) work with and around. That part at least isn't crazy.
But the thousands, millions, that have nothing to gain personally, that are so cynically being manipulated? Those gullible who so easily allow themselves to be led on up the garden path? That's no different than religion. No difference at all.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | November 10, 2020 at 11:53 AM
Quote : "The elite should at least care for their subjects as they do for their cats and dogs to prevent them to become wild again."
Classic whataboutism, um.
I hear you. I hear you, and agree. I agree with what you've been saying here, that Trump is the symptom of a deeper malaise. And that malaise, that inequality, that frustration, does need to be addressed.
But that has nothing at all with the subject at hand, does it? At least not in any directly meaningful way. I agree, it is that deeper frustration of those that find themselves left behind, that Trump has managed to tap into. But has he really addressed any of that? He's only cynically manipulated that sense of loss, that despair. He's only cynically manipulated those poor clueless rubes.
Every time a Gurinder Singh is found enriching himself dishonestly, every time some religion pulls a scam on the gullible, there is always some deeper lack somewhere that is being "addressed". Stress the scare quotes, because nothing is actually being addressed, that lack is only being cynically manipulated. So every time you see some religion or some pope making monkeys of its gullible followers, do you immediately jump into an analysis of the deep-rooted lacks that have facilitated that particular scam?
You're not wrong, but what you're doing is changing the subject here. The motif you're introducing is not wholly unrelated, and certainly it is a worthy subject to explore and address; but let's not get distracted here. Let's celebrate the passing of the orange nightmare, let's celebrate the banishment of the age of post-truth and unreason, let's celebrate this long-awaited (start of the) return to sanity.
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | November 10, 2020 at 12:15 PM
@ appreciative Reader
From a given point a person stands, things are seen in a given way.
From another point the same things are seen differently.
The object seen remains the same.
Posted by: Um | November 11, 2020 at 03:10 AM
@ Appreciative Reader
Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. Whataboutism is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.
Who did it?
You or I?
I can't remember having accused anybody of hypocrisy!
Posted by: Um | November 11, 2020 at 03:16 AM
The elite didn't leave my mother-in-law behind. She retired on a nice pension, social security and investments. We've seen her transform from Democrat to Republican just from watching FOX News and getting old with her church friends in rural Pennsylvania. Garbage in, garbage out.
Posted by: GIGO hat | November 11, 2020 at 08:58 AM
Hi, Um. *waves*
I wasn’t really disagreeing with you, you know. At least, I don’t think so. I was merely commenting on this slant, this whataboutism, of one kind or the other, that somehow tends to pop up when we get to talking about the enormity that is the orange horror, and that tends to veer the discussion off to other, different directions.
Quote : “Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. Whataboutism is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.
Who did it?
You or I?
I can't remember having accused anybody of hypocrisy!”
Whataboutism, whataboutery, whatever (heh!), is when you’re talking about [X], and then someone else suddenly says, “But what about [Y]?” That [Y] may be an out-and-out non sequitur, or it may be kind of sort of related to [X], but it is different from [X]. And, before you know it, the discussion has veered off from topic [X], into an examination of topic [Y]. Hence what-about-ism.
Yep, the sense that you write about, I guess that’s the more usual form. But there’s more than one stripe of the beast.
Here, let me plug in “whataboutism” into google, and just copy down the first thing that the search engine spits out, without going into individual website suggestions : “the technique or practice of responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue”.
See? Responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation (the sense you invoke), or raising a different issue (the sense in which I used the term).
Semantic discussions are always fun, but let’s not get hung up on words. I wasn’t accusing you of hypocrisy, Um. Merely commenting on this, well, whataboutism, that discussions on the horror that is Trump so often devolve into.
I’m repeating myself now, repeating what I’d said yesterday, but let me expand on that to make sure I’m getting my meaning across. Now I’ve not commented here in a while now, and -- pardon me! -- I'm afraid I don’t remember your particular position vis-à-vis Gurinder. I’m assuming that you recognize Gurinder Singh’s dishonesty for what it is and object to it and call him out on it, but if that is not the case, then just replace Gurinder Singh with any other XYZ preacher or televangelist or pope or guru or mullah or what-have-you that you do object to.
Say you’re discussing how Gurinder has been pilfering off money from those two cousins/nephews of his, who’re now sitting out in prison as far as I know, and commenting on the man’s unbecoming greed, and how he should be brought to book. And suddenly, someone says “Ah, but WHY is it that people like Gurinder Singh are able to do what they do? It is made possible by the fact that people are so very poor over there, and also not very well educated, and Gurinder Singh is not the cause of it, only the symptom, and let’s all concentrate on alleviating poverty and making quality education and stable livelihoods available to everybody. ” And then, before you know it, you find yourself discussing poverty in India and in the world, and about education and about a pedagogy that emphasizes critical thinking … in short, anything and everything, but Gurinder Singh’s shenanigans.
Now poverty alleviation and education, these are all very valid questions, and well worth discussing, but hey, we were discussing Gurinder Singh, remember? (Like I said, please replace Gurinder Singh with shady pope figure of your choice, if you’re a follower of Gurinder.)
Yes, sure, inequality, the drying off of avenues that people of earlier generations kind of took for granted, demographic change, etc, etc, etc, all of that, very valid, great discussion topics, but … Donald Trump and his dishonesty and his long-awaited comeuppance, that’s what we were discussing, remember? That was my point.
Quote: “From a given point a person stands, things are seen in a given way.
From another point the same things are seen differently.
The object seen remains the same.”
Actually, no, I beg to differ. You were starting to discuss a different object. We were discussing the filthy orange mound of garbage up yonder, and you were off speaking of other things in the horizon. All of them are part of what we see, sure, but they’re different things. Interconnected things, sure, the way things often are interconnected, but different things.
Um, let’s not quibble on the small print. It’s just, I find myself getting very impatient when people bring up elitism etc when speaking of the Trump contagion. Who’s more of an elite than orange boy? That man, born into wealth. That man, that crook, that lousy businessman whose business has gone bankrupt but who’s repeatedly gamed the system to somehow extricate himself, that crook who’s hardly paid out any tax at all, that irreligious conman who hypocritically presses the right buttons to get the religious to support him, that shapeshifting fraud who claims to be working for the downtrodden masses while actually all he’s interested in is just himself. What actual good has he done to any of these folks that he claims to be speaking for? All he’s done is get them killed, entirely unnecessarily, to disease; all he’s done is cynically manipulated their sense of desperation.
And, what is worse, he’d somehow made possible this crazy version of reality where there’s no objective truth, where honest to goodness reportage is dismissed nonchalantly as fake news, where right and wrong become meaningless words. A world without meaning, without sense, without values. That is the hell that man lives in, and that is the hell he’d unleashed into the world.
Thankfully, we’ve finally put that behind us now. Sure, all of the points you raise do need discussing and addressing, as do a number of other issues as well. But that Trump has been ejected from the high seat that he should never ever have been allowed near at all, let’s not take away from that now, hm?
Posted by: Appreciative Reader | November 11, 2020 at 09:23 AM
@ Appreciative Reader
I have gone through your answer.
You want to look at those in power and expose their wrongdoings.
That is alright and actually I have nothing to say about it.
You look at trump and i look at the faces of those of his devotees which I see daily on tv.
50% of the USA has voted for the man.
I hear what they say, what they believe, i see the emotions on their faces and it makes me not happy.
Trump is not responsible for what I see and hear of these people.
He goes and they stay.
Posted by: um | November 11, 2020 at 10:04 AM
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
Posted by: HIWTYL hat | November 11, 2020 at 11:57 AM
Pompeo’s comment about a smooth transition to another Trump presidency made me realize that even the most seemingly intelligent Republican is powerless against the hypnotic powers of pumpkin man. Thank the gods he’s not heading CIA.
Posted by: S | November 11, 2020 at 01:37 PM
Trump never ceases to amaze. His mind operates like a virus. The coronavirus is probably the most accurate modeling of how his brain actually operates.
It’s like Trump farted out the coronavirus all over again. And we’re at all time high (which is an all time low).
Posted by: Smooth Transition | November 11, 2020 at 01:44 PM
Had to rewrite this because of the typos.
Communism and Capitalism (when Capitalism turns into corporate elitism) are very similar. They keep the top 1% wealthy and the majority of society at the bottom barely able to make ends meet. These huge corporations are like mini governments. Their Boards and lobbyists make equality impossible in our society. I don’t think it matters whether a President is a Democrat or a Republican when it comes to religion OR money. The policies each administration passes has more to do with the people at the top. Overall, the Senate exercises more power than the President or the Supreme Court. However, the President is the “Influencer” and the face of America. Throughout America’s history we’ve had good and bad Presidents from each party. Right now we have a bad one from the Republicans. He is unhinged.
Posted by: S | November 12, 2020 at 11:32 PM