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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15141 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-April-15, 19:29

Can any of the pro-Trumpists explain Trump's logic when he claims that he alone has authority to open up the economy? He wasn't even the one who closed it, he's left all decisions about lockdowns to states and cities. How does he now jump in and say that he's the authority on when to undo these orders?

#15142 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-April-15, 19:45

View Postkenberg, on 2020-April-15, 07:45, said:

It's the act of a nut.


Perhaps so. But, like it or not, (and the vast majority of you on this thread fall into the "not" category), he is still at the helm and, in my view, we'd all best be hoping he's right. We are all in this together. I didn't especially like Obama. I REALLY didn't like Hillary. But if either of them were in Trump's shoes right now they would have my wholehearted support. But Trump is at the helm and I wish you no ill just because you're a Democrat. And I hope you wish me no ill just because I'm not a Democrat. We are all Americans pursuing life, liberty, and happiness.

#15143 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-15, 20:02

View PostChas_P, on 2020-April-15, 19:45, said:

Perhaps so. But, like it or not, (and the vast majority of you on this thread fall into the "not" category), he is still at the helm and, in my view, we'd all best be hoping he's right. We are all in this together. I didn't especially like Obama. I REALLY didn't like Hillary. But if either of them were in Trump's shoes right now they would have my wholehearted support. But Trump is at the helm and I wish you no ill just because you're a Democrat. And I hope you wish me no ill just because I'm not a Democrat. We are all Americans pursuing life, liberty, and happiness.


This will not do. I have never felt that any president has to what I want. My objection to Trump has never been that he is a Republican. I would not object to him being a conservative although I think few conservatives that I have known would identify with him, I have some conservative instincts myself.

The problem is that DT is a phony, self, centered, wanting his butt kissed. I read or listen to what our Republican governor Larry Hogan says just as I listened yesterday to what the Democrat Jamie Raskin had to say yesterday in a telephone meeting with those in his district (I am). I found both to be serious in their presentations, trying to cope with a difficult problem. Listening to Trump is a very different, and very difficult, experience. I am so sorry he is our president. Not because he is a Republican, but because he is Donald Trump.

Donald Trump adds to the difficulties we are facing. He is one more problem that has to be coped with, he is not part of the solution. I am sorry that this is so, but it is. To my mind, this is a realistic assessment, not a political assertion.
Ken
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#15144 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-15, 21:05

And isn't the irony just dripping off Trump's proposed May 1 opening of the economy - on the same day Russia celebrates its Mayday holiday.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15145 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 06:07

I will draw a little more on movies from my childhood and my youth. I realize movies prove nothing but maybe they can illustrate an idea. I mentioned Quo Vadis (1951) and Nero, as portrayed, actually does come to mind when I think of Trump. There is some great scene, I forget the details, where Nero orders that the royal teardrop glass be brought to him so that he can shed a royal tear for someone. It's a good portrayal of a personality type.

But later I was thinking of The Caine Mutiny (1954). I never read the book and I understand that they were different, but I will draw from the movie. Humphrey Bogart is Captain Queeg, Van Johnson is Lieutenant Steve Maryk who, in a crisis, takes control of the ship from Queeg. Maryk is put on trial and a central issue is that the captain is the one in charge whether right or wrong, but, in this case, this particular captain was obviously having an emotional meltdown and incapable of rational judgment. Was the Lieutenant justified?

The military, especially in a time of war, obviously holds strongly to the chain of command. But it is not in the Ten Commandments.

In the case of Trump, as with Queeg, rational thought for his responsibilities gives way to personal score settling, whim, and fantasy.

I live here and so, normally, I want a president to succeed, whether I voted for him or whether I did not. But there are limits, there must always be limits. I would never have invested in a Trump business venture, I would not want to be involved with him even if I made a profit. Now he is the president. Like it or not, he has an effect on my life. As I said, I am sorry that this is so.

About discussion: A woman we know, call her K, sent Becky an email. K has long been a Trump supporter. She had heard something about how the virus numbers were exaggerated and wanted Becky's thoughts. Becky replied, and then K sent Becky a note agreeing that she, Becky, was making sense. Have we not all changed our minds at one time or another? The Republican agenda is not always what I want and the Democratic agenda is not always what I want, but Trump? Trump is a problem, and not just for me.

I also saw Key Largo, Lost Weekend and Moulin Rouge when young. I have not yet figured out how to work them into the discussion. But there was also Laura. In it, Laura (Gene Tierney) is asked if she still loves Shelby (Vincent Price). "I don't see how I ever could have". That might apply.
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#15146 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 07:24

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

The most important thing to know about President Donald Trumpís out-of-nowhere threat to adjourn Congress and make recess appointments because Democrats are blocking his executive-branch nominees isnít whether he can do it or whether he should. Itís that his complaint is entirely untrue: Democrats arenít blocking his executive-branch nominees.

This is just basic Senate procedure. Republicans hold a 53-to-47 majority, and also win tie votes because they hold the vice presidency. That means they have majorities in every committee, and they schedule final confirmation votes for every nominee who clears those committees.

To be sure, Democrats can still stall this procedure Ö for two hours. So itís entirely fair for the president to complain about that delay. And for Trumpís first few years, before the procedure was changed, Democrats were able to slow things down enough that not everyone could get through. But even then, Republicans were able to choose the order in which nominations were confirmed; now, without even the ability to slow the pipeline, Democrats have about zero say in the process unless there are defections from the other side.

In fact, there arenít even a lot of blocked nominees at all. Of the 750 or so most important positions needing Senate confirmation, only 82 are currently under consideration. Of those, only a small number have been cleared by committee and are awaiting a floor vote. A much larger group, 165 in all, are still open because Trump hasnít nominated anyone.

Despite what the president says, thatís not a lot of current nominees before the Senate by historical standards. And of course some of them were just recently nominated. All the rest are in limbo because of either Republican opposition or Republican indifference. Trumpís grievance, to the extent he has one, is with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. Not Democrats.

In any event, the clause Trump seems to have in mind is in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution. It appears to allow the president to adjudicate if the House and Senate canít agree on whether to stay in session: ďin Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper.Ē This provision has never been invoked, and itís not clear exactly what it means. It came up when Republicans were filibustering President Barack Obamaís nominees, and the House was refusing to take recesses of more than a few days to prevent him from making recess appointments. I wrote about the clause at the time, and some liberal pundits called for invoking it. Since then, the Supreme Court, in the Canning case, stripped the president of most of the recess-appointment power, and the Senate got rid of filibusters on nominations.

I should add: I think the court was wrong in that case and that Trump should have the power to make recess appointments in this situation; Congressís use of pro forma sessions is an abuse of the process. But the court has spoken, and Democrats are going to copy what Republicans did. It doesnít matter much anyway with a Republican Senate majority.

Would Trumpís plan work? The initial reaction from congressional rules mavens seems to be: maybe, but it would certainly require McConnellís cooperation. And since the dispute (to the extent there is one) is with McConnell anyway, the whole thing seems entirely beside the point (see Dahlia Lithwick for a fine longer discussion of the clause, but without the important context of what has actually been going on in the Senate).

Why, then, did Trump raise it? One possibility is that heís trying to create a distraction to avoid questions about his response to the pandemic. But Iím always skeptical of such theories. Some reporting suggests that McConnell himself is keeping Trump misinformed, although it seems less likely that heíd put the Adjournment Clause in the presidentís mind. A final alternative is that Trump sincerely but incorrectly thinks that Democrats are blocking his nominees. That seems more plausible to me.

In a normal White House, the legislative-affairs office would brief the president about what was going on and what his options might be. In this case, itís possible that Trump heard about it from Fox News, a misinformed staffer or a friend who got it from who knows where.

But once more: The bottom line here is that Democrats simply arenít blocking Trumpís nominees, and certainly not for any significant length of time. So as much fun as it is to explore weird scenarios and obscure constitutional clauses, the whole premise of Trumpís complaint is simply wrong.

Trolls gotta troll.
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#15147 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 07:49

View Posty66, on 2020-April-16, 07:24, said:

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:


Trolls gotta troll.


Quote

A final alternative is that Trump sincerely but incorrectly thinks that Democrats are blocking his nominees. That seems more plausible to me.


No, the real final reason is: no one tells Don Corleone who can work for the famiglia and who can't.
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#15148 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 08:05

Some pro-Trumpers have argued here in the WC not to listen to Trump but to judge him by what he does. The problem with that is that words matter - a lot.

Guest columnist Paul Farhi WaPo:

Quote

New study says Trump has ‘dangerously undermined truth’ with attacks on news media

A new research report from a leading journalism organization says President Trump’s attacks on the news media have endangered American democracy and imperiled press freedom in other countries.

The report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) catalogues a lengthy list of Trump’s anti-press behaviors, from repeatedly tarring credible reporting with charges of “fake news,” to trying to bar reporters from the White House, to scrubbing or withholding information from government websites.

Trump’s attacks on the news media have “dangerously undermined truth and consensus in a deeply divided country” at a time when the nation faces the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus, concludes CPJ, a New York-based organization that monitors press issues around the world.

Its report, titled “The Trump Administration and the Media,” documents such Trump administration practices as using U.S. Customs and Border Protection to question journalists and search their electronic devices at border crossings; Trump’s calls for boycotts of news organizations and for changes in libel laws to punish reporting he doesn’t like; the ending of formal White House press briefings for more than a year; and Trump’s repeated lies to discredit accurate reporting.

It also cites the president’s harassment of media companies — he has threatened regulatory action against corporate owners — and his reelection campaign’s recent lawsuits against The Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN for opinion columns it disputed.

A history of the Trump War on Media — the obsession not even coronavirus could stop

The document is based on interviews with nearly 40 journalists, press freedom advocates, academics, media lawyers, and current and former administration officials, including Michael Dubke, who served briefly as Trump’s White House communications director.

Dubke, who largely defended Trump’s approach to the news media in the report, nevertheless endorsed its conclusion that Trump has emboldened foreign leaders to crack down on their own news media. “What concerns me is that authoritarian leaders who had already placed restrictions on their press are using President Trump’s words to justify what they are doing,” he is quoted in the report as saying. “It’s convenient for them to do so.”

The report was written by Leonard Downie Jr., the former executive editor of The Washington Post and now a journalism professor at Arizona State University. Downie was the author of a CPJ report in 2013 that criticized the Obama Administration’s “aggressive” prosecution of suspected government leakers and investigation of journalists who reported on the leaks.

“I hope this [report] helps people will see what’s going on,” Downie said in an interview.

“People can see Trump’s attacks on the press, but not really know their impact” or scope, he said. “You can be aware of the drip, drip, drip of this every day, but not see the whole picture, which is shocking.”

Trump’s habit of telling “the same lies over and over again,” combined with conservative lawmakers’ efforts to restrict voting rights, raise doubts about whether the November election will be conducted fairly amid the coronavirus pandemic, Downie said.

Public attitudes toward the media have remained generally stable during Trump’s presidency, although public-opinion polls have shown a deepening partisan split, with self-identified Republicans far more likely to express distrust in news reporting than Democrats.

This split was reflected in a Pew Research Center survey about the virus in mid-March: At a time when Trump was still minimizing the risks of the pandemic, only 33 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said the outbreak was a major threat to the health of the U.S. population, compared with 59 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

The report says the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department are among the federal departments and agencies whose websites have been scrubbed of information about several controversial subjects, such as climate change, corporate taxation, the Affordable Care Act and LGBTQ issues. At the same time, less information is available online about officials’ schedules and visitors to the White House and cabinet departments, it said.

The report documents a series of attacks by Trump or his administration against the owners of media organizations in an apparent attempt to punish them for unfavorable coverage.

NBC’s Peter Alexander asked Trump to reassure Americans about coronavirus. Trump berated him instead.

In May 2018, for example, The Post reported that Trump had urged the U.S. Postal Service to double the rate it charges Amazon and other firms to ship packages, a move that appeared to be aimed at Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, who owns The Post through a company separate from Amazon.

Trump was also critical last year of Amazon as the Pentagon was about to award a $10 billion cloud-computing contract. After the contract was awarded to Microsoft, Amazon filed a formal protest, saying Trump’s “repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks” on Amazon had swung the contract to Microsoft.

What’s more, Trump has threatened to remove the broadcast licenses of TV station owners, such as NBC, after critical news reports, and made multiple statements critical of AT&T as it was seeking to acquire Time Warner, the parent of CNN. His Justice Department subsequently challenged the merger, arguing that the company should be required to sell the part of Time Warner that operates CNN as a condition for approval of the deal. Two federal courts rejected the argument, clearing the way for the merger.

Trump’s deployment of the term “fake news” has encouraged authoritarian leaders in other countries to invoke the same phrase to justify press restrictions in their countries, the report said.

It noted that between January 2017 and May 2019, 26 countries enacted or introduced laws or rules restricting online media and journalistic access in the name of preventing “fake news.” The leaders of Poland, Hungary, Turkey, China, the Philippines and Cambodia are among those who have cited Trump and “fake news” to criticize or restrict the press in their countries.

While the report primarily focuses on Trump, it also offered some criticism of the American news media. It said news organizations have contributed to a blurring of the lines between fact and opinions by mixing opinion, analysis and conventional reporting in articles and in cable TV panel discussions.

The organization made nine recommendations to the Trump administration, including that it refrain from “delegitimizing or discrediting” journalists, “not least during a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15149 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 08:22

Quote

A Virginia pastor who told his congregants, “God is larger than this dreaded virus” died of COVID-19 the day before Easter, his church said.


Yep, that ought to do it.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#15150 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 09:48

Ah, I have just seen that DT now thinks of himself as Captain Bligh. And I was worried that my comparisons with Nero and Queeg might seem extreme.
We are in very strange times.
Ken
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#15151 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 10:14

View Postkenberg, on 2020-April-16, 09:48, said:

Ah, I have just seen that DT now thinks of himself as Captain Bligh. And I was worried that my comparisons with Nero and Queeg might seem extreme.
We are in very strange times.

And of course since Trump is stupid, he had no idea when making the comparison that Bligh was the villain of the movie and was thrown off the ship at the end. Despite tweeting that it's one of his favorite movies, he's probably never actually seen it (this is apparently the first time he's mentioned it when talking about movies).

#15152 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 11:43

View Postkenberg, on 2020-April-16, 09:48, said:

Ah, I have just seen that DT now thinks of himself as Captain Bligh. And I was worried that my comparisons with Nero and Queeg might seem extreme.
We are in very strange times.


Queeg - I doubt highly if Trump is capable of geometric logic - but Ah, the strawberries, that's where he has them!
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#15153 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 11:55

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-April-15, 21:05, said:

And isn't the irony just dripping off Trump's proposed May 1 opening of the economy - on the same day Russia celebrates its Mayday holiday.


Not only Russia.

May 1st is Labor Day in many countries.

#15154 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 13:35

Various states are getting together. For example, from the midwest:

"We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of covid-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region," the governors said in a joint statement.

This is how serious people sound when they are addressing a serious problem. Trump totally bungled the initial response and he is now trying hard to bungle this next phase. If he will please, please, please just stay out of the way we might be able to get through this. Help from a president would normally be appreciated. From Trump, we just have to hope he does not come in and eff everything up too much.
Ken
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#15155 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 13:41

View Postkenberg, on 2020-April-16, 13:35, said:

Various states are getting together. For example, from the midwest:

This all seems a great idea. However, isn't there normally also a lot of travel e.g. between the midwest and the East Coast? And so on - maybe they should go further and form a bigger group of states united in their action against Covid-19? Granted, at this point (with the group getting too big) they may have to elect a leader, and maybe eventually set out a document on how one would regulate interstate commerce more generally, handle foreign relations, etc. etc., but wouldn't that seem worth the effort in the long-term?
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#15156 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 14:44

View Postcherdano, on 2020-April-16, 13:41, said:

This all seems a great idea. However, isn't there normally also a lot of travel e.g. between the midwest and the East Coast? And so on - maybe they should go further and form a bigger group of states united in their action against Covid-19? Granted, at this point (with the group getting too big) they may have to elect a leader, and maybe eventually set out a document on how one would regulate interstate commerce more generally, handle foreign relations, etc. etc., but wouldn't that seem worth the effort in the long-term?

There are 7 states that don't have stay at home orders, and many others, most in the south, midwest, and mountain states that reluctantly imposed stay at home orders very late in the game because they were following the Manchurian President's lead in downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, and are likely to be the 1st states to open back up. Maybe they can form a federation of states, suppose we call them the Confederate States.

And there are a group of other states that mostly acted very early for the US as a whole, along both coasts and along the northern border. Maybe they can unionize themselves into a cohesive group, suppose we call them the Union.

Sounds good to me.
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#15157 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 15:17

Noah Smith @Noahpinion said:

Hopefully the "rally round the flag" bump is dissipating and people are realizing how monumentally incompetent Trump and his administration are, in the face of this once-in-a-century crisis ... but it's probably just reversion to the mean.

Steven Dennis @StevenTDennis Bloomberg reporter said:

Worst Gallup poll for Trump in 5 months:
43% approval (-6)
54% disapproval (+9)

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#15158 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 15:51

y66 said:

Noah Smith @Noahpinion said:

Hopefully the "rally round the flag" bump is dissipating and people are realizing how monumentally incompetent Trump and his administration are, in the face of this once-in-a-century crisis ... but it's probably just reversion to the mean.


Clearly after an early bump in the polls to the high 40% and low 50% range, support for the Grifter in Chief has disappeared except for his core supporters.

Posted Image

Upset with Gov. Whitmer, protesters bring Lansing to a halt during 'Operation Gridlock'

Quote

FOX 2's Charlie Langton was social distancing among the crowd who told them they were not social distancing because it was their right not to do so but they understand the health crisis. They said they wish Gov. Whitmer had more faith in them not to get infected.

Stupid idiots, or idiotic stupid people?, ignore social distancing and stay at home orders to needlessly expose themselves to Coronavirus. I'm pretty sure this was organized by right fringe extremist talk show hosts on alt-right radio shows and websites.

The very fact that these idiots are gathering in close quarters, and most of them are not wearing masks (not even white robes and hoods) shows that they are incapable of social distancing on their own.
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#15159 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 19:28

I have previously bored this audience by quoting betting odds of Trump winning a second term. Here is another quote from today.

As per a UK betting website, the current odds that Joe Biden will not be the Democratic Party nominee for President are quoted as 7.5% (rules: Nominee is the person chosen at Democratic National Convention. If, for any reason, this person is subsequently replaced before the actual elections in November, the outcome of the bet does not change).

In other words, if one bets $1,000 on Joe, one wins $75 if his name is formally on the ticket. Otherwise one loses the $1,000 placed.

Interesting! The market still factors a 7.5% doubt!!
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#15160 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-April-16, 20:36

View Postjohnu, on 2020-April-16, 15:51, said:

Clearly after an early bump in the polls to the high 40% and low 50% range, support for the Grifter in Chief has disappeared except for his core supporters.

Posted Image

Upset with Gov. Whitmer, protesters bring Lansing to a halt during 'Operation Gridlock'


Stupid idiots, or idiotic stupid people?, ignore social distancing and stay at home orders to needlessly expose themselves to Coronavirus. I'm pretty sure this was organized by right fringe extremist talk show hosts on alt-right radio shows and websites.

The very fact that these idiots are gathering in close quarters, and most of them are not wearing masks (not even white robes and hoods) shows that they are incapable of social distancing on their own.



The article says there were thousands. Suppose, just as a fantasy, that Trump had said to his followers early on, calmly but forcefully, and consistently, consistency is important, that this crisis is severe and that social distancing is an important part of dealing with it. He could have made it clear to his supporters that social distancing was very important to him, to Trump.

Sure, some of these idiots are beyond reach. But some, had Trump taken a responsible view of his influence with his followers, some of them would have listened to him. Maybe thousands could have been reduced to hundreds.

But yes, that sort of serious approach from Trump is a fantasy. Fake new, hoaxes, plots against himself, everyone in church for Easter, that's Trump's way. And we see the results.

I don't suggest that those who have followed Trump should suddenly become Biden supporters, although it does happen. I am suggesting that they take a realistic look at who Trump really is, and at the cost we are paying for it.


Ken
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