Here's the best conspiracy theory you'll hear all day (among the many coming out of the White House): None of this is happening.
Everything since the 2016 presidential election is just b-roll for a parody movie about the American presidency. Our actual president is dancing with Annette Bening at state dinner. Our president is balancing the federal budget with common sense. Our American president is kicking ass on Air Force One.
Like most people these days, I rely on movies to feel anything close to a real emotion. When it comes to political fervor, most of my passion for democracy comes from watching movies about fictional presidents, preferably with excellent cinematography and unrealistically attractive actors who recite Aaron Sorkin lines in bold pant suits during dramatic "walk-and-talk" tracking shots. Who hasn't closed their eyes and pretended The West Wing's Martin Sheen was running America with his soft, uncular gaze?
But rather than analyze what that says about my and most Americans' civic values (or the fact that 96.5 percent of us don't give a f**k about democracy, according to a recent Yale study), I'm going to keep searching for the next great American president in my Netflix queue.
These are the best fictional American presidents (and their finest moments).
Biden, Obama, Bush, and Clinton were the four horsemen of the 2021 Inauguration.
Well, Trump is out.
Joe Biden's Inauguration into Presidential office unfolded in a spectacle of patriotism with a slight undercurrent of fear following the white supremacist insurrection at the Capitol in early January.
Though the physical event was small — due to the enhanced security measures enacted in fear of violence or resistance against the transition of power, and the persisting pandemic — and more than 191,500 flags stood in place of the people that usually crowd the surrounding area, the event was filled with prominent guests and high profile performances, both in person and virtual.
The virtual portion of the day was a mixture of performances, speeches, and video compilations 'hosted' by Tom Hanks.
Just as the Simpsons predicted
As part of the proceedings, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton appeared in a video giving a joint speech, which had the vibe of a group project where you didn't get to choose your partners and you got stuck with some kids you neither knew or liked.
The three most recently joined forces to volunteer to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it was first approved, and like an aged boyband, they came back for one night only, streamed live across America.
In their video, the three ex-presidents congratulated President Joe Biden and stressed the importance of peaceful transitions of power, ostensibly trying to lead by example in a show of bipartisan unity while making a point about the noticeably absent President Trump (who was on his way to Mar-a-Lago with his crying conspirators/children).
The message of the former presidents came alongside Biden urging for "unity" in his Inaugural address.
But what does this mean?
From the beginning of his Inauguration speech, Biden declared his presidency one of "history and hope. Of renewal and resolve." Referring to the historic nature of his cabinet and Kamala Harris's historic position as Vice President, Biden's self-congratulatory remarks also stir up questions.
The intentionally indefinite rhetoric asks: "hope" of what, and for whom? "Renewal" of what? Leaving an era defined by the slogan "Make America Great Again," it feels dangerous to tie a Presidency to the idea of some vague longing.
The politics of nostalgia allow the romanticization of a past which has always had as many problems as the present, if not more. Biden's emphasis on having a Presidency inspired by his predecessors refers to the presidency of Obama, but also to the other two horsemen of the inauguration apocalypse and the Founding Fathers … who we all know were flawed at best.
The desire to appeal to the American mythos reduces the oppression inculcated into US democracy to a footnote in the story — despite the fact that those institutions of inequality are prominent today.
Biden proclaimed that "the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On 'We the People' who seek a more perfect Union. This is a great nation and we are a good people."
… is that true?
While I would like to believe it, and perhaps there is room for more optimism and benefit of the doubt in an inaugural address than I'm accustomed to in life, moralizing the United States as a good nation filled with good people perpetuates the myth of American exceptionalism and allows for complacency.
We could be good people in a great nation, but the overpowering institutions of oppression and violence that we are socialized into make it easier to not be.
Biden did acknowledge that there is work still to be done, but it is dangerous to position the work of progress as a choice, rather than an imperative.
We did it, Joe
Biden's Path to Progress:
Biden's path to progress is simple: unity.
In one of the most pivotal passages of his speech, he said: "Speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear and demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial. Victory is never assured."
In this moment, Biden acknowledged the history of oppression in the United States and the deep-rooted divisions in its present. However, the proverbial good vs. evil dichotomy that he uses is a convenient scapegoat. It is easy to say that there are two sides of people, torn apart by outside forces, that just need to meet each other in the middle. But this is not how division in America has played out.
Progress in America cannot be a meeting in the middle of two forces with equal power, because that's not what the political and social landscapes look like. The forces of "racism, nativism, fear and demonization" have not "torn us apart" — those forces have separated and othered marginalized communities and excluded them from the American ideal.
Therefore, it is not the collective acceptance of the idea of "unity" that will heal the country, it is a commitment by the privileged to root out the divisive forces within themselves.
Unity and healing must happen as a result of progress, not at the expense of it. Biden's rhetoric leaves too much room for regression. But we must not pause to soothe the egos of white supremacists — their goals are not our goals. Biden's path to unity needs to look like accountability, not acquiescence.
In a recent tweet, activist Bree Newsome stated that "The only path toward 'unity' is one that dismantles white supremacy." Anything else would be a continuation of the same structures that "resulted in the Civil War, Jim Crow, the Trump era & the insurrection that occurred two weeks ago. "
There is no way forward without confronting whiteness— how it came to be a sociopolitical construct here, how it re… https://t.co/CAULWCruwH— Unite in justice for the poor & oppressed (@Unite in justice for the poor & oppressed)1611189052.0
Many are feeling the gaps in Biden's rhetoric that could allow for placid and ultimately unsatisfying "progress" and citing the urgent importance of moving forward, rather than back to some fabled better days of a pre-Trump era.
...but what if he said "I cannot be a president for all. I will not serve white supremacy. I will not serve hatred.… https://t.co/1H0JTIPZqV— adriennemareebrown (@adriennemareebrown)1611163169.0
The pre-Trump era created conditions for the Trump era. The current violence is not some aberration or some strange glitch in the matrix. It is a direct consequence of previous failures to root out the insidiousness of whiteness at the root of the United States.
The Problem With Moderation:
The shifting nature of Biden's address — his willingness to talk about the fact of American institutionalized oppression and speak out against white supremacy, but inability to articulate the deep internal work that we all have to do for progress — does not present a progressive pillar to build the next four years on.
It builds one that reflects his whole career: willing to inch towards "slow progress," but more concerned with moderation than radical change.
But moderation is not the way to establish real change. Moderation allows for complacency and, as Newsome articulated, "the 'return to normalcy' narrative is a call to settle for surface-level displays of civility diversity in the aftermath of Trump's brutish behavior without any real push for systemic change."
Even in the highest offices of the two-party government lie dangerous white supremacists who incited the riots alongside Trump and remain loyal to the MAGA following — so if bipartisanship looks like coalescing into an agreeable union that includes and validates those beliefs, I don't want it.
Instead, change has to look like examining the conditions within ourselves and our society which gave those people their platforms and amend those with an eye towards accountability.
The idea of "accountability" has been thrown around so much this election that it has become diluted. Accountability has to be active. It has to not just acknowledge the past, but use those acknowledgments to work diligently towards a new future.
While it's hard to predict how much Biden's speech was well-crafted rhetoric and how much was commitment to action, the prominent performativity of the ex-President's club does not bode well for radical change.
Rather, it signals a clinging onto old ideas of respectability and camaraderie between the powerful and a persistence of the same structures that allowed for the past violence to carry themselves into the future. It confirms that Trump's most egregious act was disrupting the illusion American exceptionalism, which has been long held up by mythology and militarism.
But that disruption was necessary. And it is with those new eyes that we are more critical of Bush, Clinton, Obama, and the entire systems that elected them We have to be.
Women of America—Trump wants you now only because he needs you. You will be quickly abandoned. We do not need him.
Trump's affinity for strippers shouldn't come as any surprise.
These days, watching Trump on television spirals me back into depression, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness just as I felt years ago.
I remember one night in the early 90s at an upscale "Gentlemen's Club" in New York City's Upper East Side when Donald Trump visited. A buzz permeated the dressing room as strippers hurried to prep and primp themselves. I had no desire to try to get near Trump while he chose the women that met his standards. He would not have liked me—a stripper with an attitude.
I remember the other strippers talking about how if he chose you for the backroom, you were rewarded handsomely. The club was packed; I saw Trump's hair-bubble bobbing up and down inside a sea of sequins and tassels.
He is the kind of man who thinks his wealth can plow over everything and everybody in its way. In a strip club, the Trumpers sit up tall, bark drink orders at waitresses and grab women's body parts as they please. Trumpers act entitled to treat strippers like garbage and talk crap about women in general. For the most part, strippers play along because they are there to make money and defending women's rights rarely goes over well with a drunk dude in a strip club.
FUN FACT: In an astonishingly sexist remark during a campaign rally yesterday, Trump pledged to women that if reele… https://t.co/mcOwsZHVUP— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@Jon Cooper 🇺🇸)1603883343.0
And now Trump is trying to woo women? Like he's got our back and knows what we want? I am now one of those suburban middle-aged women whose vote he is begging for, but I do not have a husband who needs to get back to work. I am divorced with three children. What about me? What about the women you picked like cows at an auction from the stage at Score's? Do you remember us? Because we remember you.
Trump is every customer who flaunted his wealth in strippers' faces and acted as if that meant we should bow down to him, and that is exactly what Donald Trump is trying to do to the world—turn us all into his harem.
He brags about his wealth and takes no shame in admitting that all he cares about is his family and his well-being. He does not care about others, just as the customers who came to me in the strip clubs only cared about their sexual satisfaction. They didn't care about how they hurt me with names they would lob at me when I was not the woman they wished me to be.
Whenever I tried to talk back and stand up for myself, I was talked over, ridiculed in front of a room full of men.
Donald Trump with young Hooters girls.Vox / Getty
And now we have this strip club male attitude being encouraged all over our country by Trump. We see men and media who look up to him, because they wish they could be so rich and powerful that they could stand up and be so sure of themselves.
When I was younger, I did not go begging at Trump's table, but I also didn't do anything to change the problem. I felt powerless at the time.
That so many Americans find Donald Trump palatable to be president at all confirms to me that many people continue to want to live in a strip club version of the world, believing that women are only there to serve their needs and desires, and if and when we step out of those boundaries, we become less than human to them.
Trump continues to wave those dollar bills in front of us in hopes we will dance naked onstage.
If Trump applied for a job with any company in the US, HR would deny his hiring. 26 sexual assault allegations, 6 b… https://t.co/eddIhIdLUz— Steve Kerr (@Steve Kerr)1603918199.0
He's not promising us that money. He's only dangling it like a carrot, drawing us in so that he can puff up his own power and make himself larger because he will never be satisfied.
I was once powerless, voiceless and scared. I did not have enough money and I felt a need to do things I didn't want to do. I danced after that magical dollar bill. I allowed customers to call me the kinds of names that Trump throws around.
The strip club belief gives men space to see women just as a means to an end. Trump is trying to perpetuate that atmosphere in the greater world, where anybody in power can say anything about anyone with no repercussions.
I have my voice now, and this country is not a Gentlemen's Club. I am no longer begging for money; I am standing on a different platform and saying, I get to choose now, with my vote.
Women voters of America: President Trump wants you now only because he needs you. You will be quickly abandoned. We do not need him. Do not let his many misdeeds toward women go unanswered.
Use your voice. Use your vote.
Tell him this strip club is closed.
The Women Accusing Trump of Assault Are Speaking Out youtu.be
Making calls to Americans about Joe Biden was an illuminating, sometimes horrifying experience.
Like most people I know, I've been existing in a state of dread for all of October in anticipation of November 3rd.
In order to spend less time languishing in that dread, I've been partaking in small bouts of political activism in an effort to get out the vote. I've written the requisite several hundred postcards and made several strongly worded posts.
I've also been attempting to call voters. Earlier in the pandemic, I phonebanked for the first time—for progressive candidates in NYC, many of whom won their primaries. Fresh off that success, I felt ready to make some calls for Biden.
So I joined a phone-banking group mostly composed of people who had supported Bernie in the primaries and who don't love Biden, but who also don't want to see fascism overtake America. Appropriately named "The Misfits," the group tried to take a lighter approach to what wound up being a difficult process that proved what everyone already knows: America is bitterly divided.
After a quick training on my first day, we were sent off into the wilderness of Pennsylvania to contact random voters. I would say that around 30% of the time I talked to Biden voters, 30% were Trumpers, 10% were bots or trolls, and 10% were genuinely undecided voters. Here are five of the main types of people I encountered.
Type 1: The Undecided Voter
For those of us who are deeply enmeshed in politics, it can be incredibly difficult to imagine that anyone is still undecided. Biden voters who believe in climate change and devour the New York Times are as unlikely to change their minds as Fox News and Q-Anon devotees.
Those of us who hate Trump tend to really hate him, and we find it incomprehensible that anyone could admire or want to see more of this man–this disgusting, crude, weak little man who has allowed America to collapse into a pandemic and who has given up even trying to stop it. Trump supporters—well, we'll get to Trump supporters a little later.
But some voters are actually undecided. Several people I talked to sounded like they hadn't really thought much about the election at all. I couldn't know what they were experiencing on the other end of the line, but the truth is that not everyone has the time or energy to pour over political headlines each day.
Others had considered both candidates carefully and weren't pleased with either. Some people expressed a deep dislike and lack of faith in both Trump and Joe Biden, and were considering whether to vote at all.
Usually with these folks, I would start by asking if they believe in climate change in order to figure out if I had contacted a disgruntled Bernie supporter. If so, I would try to tell them that I, too, was not madly in love with Biden, but he represents by far the best chance to pass policies that will keep our planet and our people safe.
With a Biden presidency, I would say to undecided voters, progressive groups and people-first candidates at least have a chance to make serious moves on climate legislation and affordable healthcare. With a Biden presidency, the amazing down-ballot candidates we will elect in New York and across the country will actually be able to fight for the good of their communities. Biden has changed his platform a lot during the race thanks to pressure from progressive groups, and he represents an opportunity to actually make our world better.
I have known Joe Biden for many years. Despite our our differences, I can vouch for his decency and his belief in o… https://t.co/D7FuIp8J2U— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1603575900.0
In the best cases, it seemed like some of these people listened as I told them about how scared I was to see my birth state of California engulfed in wildfires, how much I wanted the pandemic to end, and how voting is also about voting for down-ballot candidates who actually are parts of their communities.
Some were willing to listen and others were not. And of course, some had made up their mind to be apathetic a long time ago. The most difficult to persuade, in my opinion, were the ones who had already given up hope.
If Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Cornel West and Naomi Klein are telling you to get it together and vote for Biden, a… https://t.co/MEwUNTi5F6— Jon Frosch (@Jon Frosch)1603862229.0
Type 2: The Depressed Conservative
I tend to think of liberals (and progressives, in particular) as the more concerned, upset, generally emotional side of the political spectrum. I still think this is true, but what I hadn't considered was that conservatives, on the whole, may actually be more depressed.
I came to this conclusion after speaking to several people who told me they were voting for Trump, and when I asked them why, they expressed a deep sense of apathy and even depression.
Like progressives, many Trump supporters I spoke to professed their belief that "the system" is broken; but unlike Biden, they did not appear to be remotely hopeful that the system could be fixed. Everywhere, there was evasion of blame. "People can't change the climate," said one angry climate denier. For her, climate change was an inevitability that she had no power over; she was, I realized, totally hopeless.
Joe Biden: #ClimateChange is ‘number one issue facing humanity’ "Biden has a $2 trillion plan that puts the U.S. o… https://t.co/rqhHXLZNRZ— Peter Strachan (@Peter Strachan)1603575939.0
Another Trump supporter I talked to believed in climate change, somehow, but also was convinced that "China" and "India" are inevitably going to destroy the world via emissions anyway so nothing America does matters. (Nevermind the fact that America is a centerpiece of the global economy, and that China has already implemented aggressive climate policies, etcetera).
What struck me about these people—admittedly a small, non-representative subsection of Pennsylvanians who picked up their phones at 8PM on a Tuesday—was their overarching sense of hopelessness, their feeling of smallness, their belief that the world could not be changed.
Because of this, I soon began to feel a bit of gratitude for the left's perpetual anxiety and fear. I thought: At least we believe in something. At least we're alive.
Type 3: The Family Follower
Another thing I noticed about Trump supporters I spoke to was that they often cited members of their families as the reasons they supported Trump. One man who I talked to for over 20 minutes said that he was voting for Trump because his parents were, but beneath that reasoning was a pit of nihilism and unhappiness that I suspected wasn't related to Trump at all.
Another Trump supporter to whom I presented my California wildfires story spoke for a long time about her husband, who was from (and loved) California. He had recently passed away, he had supported Trump, and she was going to vote for Trump no matter what because of him.
I'm not including these stories in an attempt to make a radical appeal for the humanity of Trump supporters, or to advise that our political differences will be solved if we all love each other a bit more. Trump and his policies have put and will put infinite numbers of lives at risk. This, of course, is part of the problem: People may support a candidate for emotional reasons, but our votes have very real political consequences on people's lives.
"A president who doesn't believe in science puts American lives at risk." —@PeteButtigieg reminding you that Biden… https://t.co/8kZKmptMqr— DJ Koessler (@DJ Koessler)1603460262.0
Instead, I mean to emphasize that Trumpism, judging by the Pennsylvanian voters I spoke to, feels like a demographic rooted in a deep, often suppressed allegiance to despair and a willingness to follow along with family members' wishes above all reason.
Type 3: The Hunter Biden-Obsessed Riot-Fearing Trumper
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but when I asked Trump supporters why they supported him, they cited two things: China and "the riots."
"The riots" were a major reason people were supporting Trump (nevermind the fact that "the riots" all took place, and continue to take place, under Trump). Black Lives Matter and Antifa are dangerous terrorist groups to these people—never mind the fact that right-wingers have been exposed for plans to kidnap and kill Gretchen Whitmer and to shoot Joe Biden in his home all within the past few weeks, or that the vast majority of protests, protestors, and Black Lives Matter organizers were peaceful (or that they happened under Trump, not Biden). Of course, one of these talking points will appeal to hardcore Trumpers—people who are obsessed with Hunter Biden and China will go down with that ship.
And in truth, shaming and blaming will never change someone's mind. Basic human psychology tells us that in order to change minds, we have to make people think they come to certain conclusions themselves.
When we argue about political issues, "The disagreement isn't really about politics. It's about psychology—about how we see the world differently," says Elizabeth Bernstein, a psychologist who is a Democrat married to a Republican. "Manifest content is what you think you're talking about. In this case, that is politics. Latent content is what you're really talking about, which is feelings and what the disagreement, or the act of disagreeing itself, stirs up." When actually talking to people (as opposed to getting in comment wars with them or writing smear pieces about them), we're often confronted by the presence of latent content and deeper emotional reasonings that get lost.
Regardless, hardcore Trumpers aren't the people who we should be appealing to in these last vital weeks of the election. My mind has blanked out some of the crueler comments people said over the phone, so I can't relate them here, but the conversations often left me exhausted. At one point, one caller (almost definitely a troll—I hope) confessed to a murder while on the telephone. Sometimes, people are just too far gone.
Type 4: The Biden Supporter Who Needs a Nudge
I have no doubt that Joe Biden can win the election, but I also believe that two critical populations remain: undecided voters and people who don't know how to vote.
This year, we may face incredible odds at the polls. The absentee ballot and voting processes are unnecessarily complicated in some places—in Pennsylvania, for example, you have to put your ballot inside the two envelopes provided. If you send it in just one envelope, it will be disqualified. Reports of faulty ballots have already popped up in Brooklyn.
Phonebanking is really about reaching people who want to vote but need some extra help. I spoke to one woman who hadn't known she could have her 93-year-old mother fill out an absentee ballot. When the votes come in, I'll think of them. And I'll remember, like the dangerous Antifa member I am: There is hope.
Type 5: The Biden Supporter Looking To Take Action
I didn't have very long conversations with most staunch Biden supporters, because most of those people were all ready to vote or had already voted. Normally, I'd just thank them profusely and move on. If anything, I'd try to ask these people if they were willing to contact a few friends about voting, or if they were willing to make some calls themselves.
So, if you've made it this far and if you are a Biden supporter who is definitely going to vote but still wants to help, it's your time to try phone banking! It's a truly rewarding, strangely addictive experience that can make a real difference.
Six days until Election Day. #ShowThemTheWay #IVoted https://t.co/w5Th2gJEvH— Stevie Nicks (@Stevie Nicks)1603911558.0
We are one week out from the election, and so if you haven't phonebanked yet, now is the time to start. In many ways, it's interesting, getting to listen to people living their real lives. The calls are, if nothing else, ways to connect to other humans. (Many of us have been quite isolated during this quarantine including myself). Also, there are few things like the high of getting someone to commit to voting who wasn't going to before. Type 4 is definitely the most satisfying type of person to call, because it feels like you're actually doing something—and this happens more than you might think.
So: Visit joebiden.com/call, sign up for a Sunrise Movement phonebank, check out your local Indivisible chapter or look up any activist organization—most likely they're also out there making calls. Let's win this thing.
Does your voter plan include voting by mail or voting absentee? 👏 Learn how to track your ballot in your state to… https://t.co/q0MMj35oKF— Rock the Vote (@Rock the Vote)1603910705.0
It was a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.
The first presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle took place last night, September 29th.
While we've known for a long time that Trump doesn't think treating others with basic respect is a necessity, that fact has never been clearer than last night when he spent 90 minutes interrupting and insulting both opponent Joe Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. Not only was the majority of the debate just the three men talking over each other; when Trump did actually form a complete sentence, he mostly spouted blatant lies and falsehoods—not to mention that he flat-out refused to condemn white supremacy.
In fact, if you want to see just how many times both men exaggerated, twisted, or just straight up denied the truth, check out Politifacts 100% accurate fact check of the debate. It will quickly become clear that Trump almost exclusively lied while on the debate stage.
Still, facts have become a negligible facet of democracy under the Trump administration, so it's no surprise that Trump supporters still feel certain that their president's truly childish behavior in the debate was not only acceptable but praiseworthy. To be honest, it's difficult to fathom that there are many truly undecided voters at this point. You're either against the rise of fascism, white supremacy, misogyny, and misinformation, or you're voting for Trump and have decided those things are fine with you. In the most polarizing political moment perhaps in the history of America, the undecided voter is rare (and probably not paying attention).
So if most people are already certain about who they're voting for, why did anyone watch the debate? Let's be honest with ourselves: we watched because we knew it would be such a disaster it would be entertaining, we watched as a form of passive self-flagellation, and most of all we watched so we could keep up with the Twitter discourse. The only bright spot in the darkness of 2020 is the endlessly hilarious Twitter takes that both encompass the chaos of the moment and remind us not to take anything too seriously.
Here are our favorite Tweets about the first 2020 presidential debate, divided by category.
Watching the debate as a form of self punishment
Self care is easier said than done, and as the months of social isolation wear on, we're all getting more and more prone to doom-scrolling on social media, reading opinions that we know will make us angry, and engaging in Facebook comment battles with our weird great uncle who might be an actual Neo-Nazi now. For many of us, watching the debate was just an extension of this toxic behavior.
https://t.co/a4yomieMva— Michael Tannenbaum (@Michael Tannenbaum)1601429657.0
We protected our mental health by not watching this debate.— Black Women Radicals (@Black Women Radicals)1601433502.0
It’s ok to admit that we’re watching the debate because it’s basically self harm— 🥴 (@🥴)1601427190.0
Just marveling at how much three men can talk over each other
The amount of times Trump interrupted either the moderator or Joe Biden were truly countless, and ultimately forced Biden and Wallace to interrupt him and each other to get a word in edgewise. What resulted had a similar energy to a Kindergarten classroom if all the students were on amphetamines.
lol did trump’s kindergarten teacher never teach him to wait his turn to talk— hannah 🧃 doing school (@hannah 🧃 doing school)1601428437.0
This debate makes Uncut Gems feel like a Bob Ross episode by comparison— Evan Rytlewski (@Evan Rytlewski)1601429390.0
Mocking and/or pitying Chris Wallace
Poor Chris Wallace had the toughest job of the night. He had to try to maintain some semblance of control while asking important questions and then ensuring that the American people could actually hear the answers to the questions. It ultimately proved to be an impossible task, and America was divided on whether or not he could have done better.
Someone start a GoFundme for Chris Wallace’s bar tab— Dominic Ciaverella (@Dominic Ciaverella)1601431556.0
Chris Wallace is struggling, trying to seem like a jovial hale fellow well met., while being mugged.— ANNE LAMOTT (@ANNE LAMOTT)1601430166.0
Feeling bad for Hillary and despising the amount of toxic masculinity on display
If I wanted to watch three out-of-touch old white men yell at each other, I would have just waited for my family Thanksgiving in Texas.
The silver lining of this debate is that now we have a video to show people when they ask what "toxic masculinity" is— Emily Atkin (@Emily Atkin)1601429114.0
Thanks, I’m fine. But everyone better vote. https://t.co/fkuQ042HvM— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton)1601434432.0
Men are too emotional to be president.— Jill Filipovic (@Jill Filipovic)1601433085.0
From the moment Joe Biden said "Would you just shut up, man," many started thinking about the double standards for men and women in power.
Just straight up insults
It's not about looks, but these are pretty funny.
trump looks like a tupperware container after you had spaghetti in it— ꧁Madimoiselle꧂ (@꧁Madimoiselle꧂)1601430530.0
Biden: It's hard to get any word in with this clown Trump covered in orange makeup: Hey hey let me just tell you— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1601439951.0
Trump refusing to condemn white supremacy
wallace: condemn white supremacy biden: yeah say it the president: https://t.co/pJk5UGiXeK— ziwe (@ziwe)1601433546.0
12-hours later and Trump still hasn’t said he misspoke about white supremacy and the Proud Boys gang.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@Rex Chapman🏇🏼)1601481848.0
he said "how do you feel about black people" trump said "i love the police"— giabuchi lastrassi (@giabuchi lastrassi)1601431190.0
There were no winners and the losers were the American people
While we think Biden did his best to retain some level of calm under the circumstances, there is no question that the entire debate was a disaster that provided almost no concrete information.
trump: i support bad things. my opponent supports good things biden: shut up, man. i do not— Shaun (@Shaun)1601435217.0
Trump: BABHAHAEJRNTKIDDUEHEHEHEJASJDBBDNRIRIF Biden: KANDJFFISUWBEJTKGUBWBSKAISHSBDBDBDBEH— Natalie (@Natalie)1601428783.0
this debate https://t.co/jjYUNagilZ— Hannah Jewell (@Hannah Jewell)1601430326.0
While I feel that I could summon the rage to creatively disembowel Trump, Joe Biden only makes me angry enough to w… https://t.co/CNwxsZKBdr— Brooke Ivey Johnson (@Brooke Ivey Johnson)1601435192.0
Disgustingly, Trump repeatedly went after Biden's family, insulting his son Hunter repeatedly and (falsely) claiming he had received money from Russia and been dishonorably discharged. Trump then later made it very clear that he is prepared to deny the election results should he lose.
Politics aside, if any other American were on national TV bum-rushing a parent as they talked about a vet son havin… https://t.co/xpIEa1n12v— Jeffrey Wright (@Jeffrey Wright)1601439165.0
For those who hadn’t been listening for the past 4 years, Trump just told you that he ain't leaving and that he is… https://t.co/dd0XUILF9y— Ava DuVernay (@Ava DuVernay)1601435250.0
Joe Biden spent the final moments of the debate urging Americans to vote. Donald Trump spent the final moments of t… https://t.co/Altz1izDX1— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1601433820.0
No matter what you took away from the debate last night, make sure you're registered to vote and have a plan to do so. Check your voter registration at Vote.Org.
A vote for Kanye is a vote for the spoiler effect.
When Kanye West announced he was running for president on July 4th 2020, most people thought it was just a joke or maybe a publicity stunt.
But he will now officially appear on the ballot in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri and is making an effort to appear on several other states' ballots. However, that doesn't mean you should consider him to be a viable candidate, and here's why:
So don't vote for Kanye, not even as a joke. Voting is an essential part of American democracy, and voting for a candidate who can't win and would make a bad president is not a very funny joke.
For more well-researched, unbiased information on today's biggest issues, follow Alexandra's Instagram account The Factivists.
#SaveTheUSPS? Budget cuts and reforms have made it difficult for the Post Office, a beloved American institution to do its job.
The United States Post Office is under attack.
Direct attacks from the president, COVID-19, government failure to provide aid, and a radical new postmaster general have all contributed to what's shaping up to be a veritable disaster for American mail—one that might have consequences for the upcoming November election.
The Postal Service's Opponents: COVID-19, Trump, DeJoy, and Money
2020 has been extremely difficult for most people and businesses, and the USPS, which reported a $3 billion loss in the last three months, is no difference. Democrats proposed giving the postal service $25 billion in aid as part of their latest coronavirus stimulus package, which stalled to a standstill in Congress due to partisan divides. Without significant aid, the USPS has suffered intensely during the COVID-19 pandemic—and so have its customers.
In addition to the fact that the postal service provides necessary services to millions across America every day–and it is now responsible for delivering vital products to Americans trying to social distance and end this pandemic–it will be responsible for perhaps the most important job ever: carrying the millions of mail-in ballots that are sure to be cast in 2020 to the appropriate destination.
More Americans than ever before are projected to vote by mail in the 2020 election, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some polls have shown that Trump's supporters are more likely to vote in person, whereas Democrats are more likely to vote by mail, while others show that there is no partisan divide between who votes by mail and who does not.
Still, many of Trump's opponents, who fear he is attempting to sabotage the election by shutting down the postal service and forcing people to choose between their health and democracy, are terrified.
The postal service has, therefore, found itself an unwitting political punching bag.
President Donald Trump has never hid his disdain for the Post Office. Recently, he's begun to argue that voting by mail—the safest way to vote during COVID-19—will lead to fraud.
Americans Fight for the Post Office & Obama Speaks Out | The Daily Social Distancing Show www.youtube.com
This claim has been proven false, but of course Trump doesn't care. Still, it's clear that the postal service could easily manage an election if it was allowed to continue as it had been for over 200 years. "If — and that's a big IF — allowed to do its work, the US Postal Service can easily handle the surge of mail that might result from 150 million Americans choosing to vote by mail this fall rather than vote in person," writes Jesse Jackson for the Chicago Sun Times. The postal service normally handles around 500 million letters per day.
The problem is that the postal service is not being allowed to do its work. COVID-19 was incredibly difficult, but the postal service was able to keep things somewhat under control until Louis DeJoy entered the scene.
Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General
At the center of all this is Louis DeJoy, who was appointed the new postmaster general in June. Notably, DeJoy, a multimillionaire, is a top GOP donor and was the chairman of fundraising for the Republican National Convention last year.
Since he was appointed, DeJoy has made some changes. His "reforms," all imposed without any public consultation or discussion with employees, include cutting hours, reducing overtime, and removing mail processing equipment. The USPS also recently announced that it will not treat ballots as priority mail without first-class postage.
In short, DeJoy's "reforms" are slowing down the mail.
"It was clear to me that his goal was to dismantle the post office brick by brick," @SenSchumer says about Postmast… https://t.co/u9xbkjBHTD— New Day (@New Day)1597754622.0
Over the past few months, the Post Office has reported delays in receiving prescription medications and other necessary goods, delays that have increased thanks to DeJoy's new policies.
The Post Office's sudden decline has also already harmed elections, with some voters in Wisconsin and Michigan never receiving the absentee ballots they requested in advance and with New York postal service employees rejecting ballots that did not have the appropriate postage.
Postal service employees themselves are extremely confused by the "reforms." "If you asked me a month ago [if] the postal service handle an influx of mail-in ballots, I would have said, 'We've been through two world wars and a depression, we've been doing this for more than 200 years,'" said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers' Union, to The Guardian. "Now, I'm not so sure."
Trump's administration has already announced that they want to privatize the Post Office, selling it off to private companies. DeJoy—who has million-dollar investments in competitors to the Post Office—has a reason to support these plans.
Democrats are attempting to take action. Nancy Pelosi recently called lawmakers back to the House to vote on legislation dedicated to protecting the postal service. They're currently voting on the Delivering America Act, which bans changes to the post office implemented after January 1st, 2020.
Democratic leaders are also calling on DeJoy to testify in court, demanding an explanation for the "sweeping and dangerous operational changes at the Postal Service that are slowing the mail and jeopardizing the integrity of the election."
What Can We Do?
Here’s how the @APWUnational and @USPS are standing up to Trump. Clowntime is over. #SaveThePostOffice https://t.co/pVonP3Um6p— Patton Oswalt (@Patton Oswalt)1597383428.0
With #SaveTheUSPS and #SaveThePostOffice trending on Twitter recently, the hashtag needs to become a movement.
"Citizens should be mobilizing pressure across the country, with demonstrations at Post Offices in support of the service, with calls to legislators demanding action, with pressure on state and local election officials to provide the resources needed for more drop-off boxes, more hours of early voting, more polling places," continues Jackson.
It's a great time to stage protests and call legislators, who need to know the people's opinions. While civilian contributions alone won't save the Post Office (only government stimulus packages or pocket change from Jeff Bezos could do that), concerned citizens can still do our part to show the postal service that we stand with them by buying Post Office merchandise, sending letters, and rallying to support our democracy by fighting voter suppression.
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not’ve got em, there prolly was a problem at the post office or somethi… https://t.co/AWMj9XWoma— Ramp Capital (@Ramp Capital)1597760945.0
wrote about the post office and the harris birther stuff and that bonkers axios trump interview and how it’s exhaus… https://t.co/QLobkNFMsT— Charlie Warzel (@Charlie Warzel)1597758223.0