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Migrant children at the border, a breakdown.

This could be an assumption on my part, but I feel like there’s a lot of confusion around what is actually happening at detention centers, where they come from, what they’re for, etc. I was unclear, so I assume a lot of people are unclear, but we all have the same basic opinion — it’s wrong to keep people (esp. children) in cages. So, I wanted to make a quick breakdown so we all know what happens to kids who come to the border alone, kids who come with their parents, and the differences between those situations under Obama and now under Trump.

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This could be an assumption on my part, but I feel like there’s a lot of confusion around what is actually happening at detention centers, where they come from, what they’re for, etc. I was unclear, so I assume a lot of people are unclear, but we all have the same basic opinion — it’s wrong to keep people (esp. children) in cages.

So, I wanted to make a quick breakdown(***) so we all know what happens to kids who come to the border alone, kids who come with their parents, and the differences between those situations under Obama and now under Trump.

A child at the border with their family, under Obama.

Most children cross the border with a family member, usually a parent. When they’re captured by ICE or head to an immigration center or port of entry, they’re either illegally crossing the border (“we just want to get into the US”) or they’re seeking asylum (“we’re running from a country where crime in our area is so rampant that either we or our kids are in immediate danger”).

The Obama administration actually established these family detention centers in order to keep children with their parents while their immigration requests were processed. (x) Back in 2013/2014, the US saw a spike in foreign nationals crossing the border illegally and the Obama administration was not prepared for the overflow. So, they set up these facilities that…weren’t great. Many of them violated a previous statute (the Flores agreement) concerning how and for how long migrant children could be detained.

A compromise of sorts was made called the Alternatives to Detention program, which technically still exists under Trump. Instead of holding a family, ICE would release the family under strict monitoring requirements, sometimes in the form of an ankle monitor on one of the parents (mom, most of the time). The family could stay together while their immigration case was processed but they wouldn’t be locked up in a detention facility. (The Trump administration is now using this program to deport instead of simply to track.) (x)

Asylum seekers tended to be treated better than everyone else. If you’re running from threat of violence or death, you and your family were more likely to be kept together and/or released under the Alternatives program. For everyone else, they were more likely to be held in a detention center and prosecuted for the crime of crossing the border illegally, but since that was a violation of the kids’ rights according to Flores, more of those families would be separated to get the kids out of those centers and into homes with another relative or foster situation while their parents’ cases progressed.

There’s also a general practice that kids under a certain age aren’t separated from their families. If you’re under five, they do everything they can to keep the family together until some kind of resolution is decided.

A child at the border alone, under Obama.

These kids are almost always seeking asylum because parents don’t send their minors on a dangerous journey hundreds or thousands of miles just for the heck of it or just because America is “the land of opportunity.” They send their children away from danger toward safety. These kids are almost always older children because parents don’t send their young kids on a dangerous journey without them.

Those children end up in family detention centers (the ones with the cages) — for no longer than three days — and then transferred to a shelter facility until they can be placed with a family member, sponsor, or foster home. A lot of these children have some kind of contact in the US, though sometimes that contact is also an undocumented immigrant. The Office of Refugee Resettlement takes care of unaccompanied minors and the ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, not the Department of Homeland Security which is over ICE. Since ORR has no relation to ICE, they don’t care about the immigration status of the person who comes forward to claim any of those children. They just want to make sure the child is safe and ideally with someone they know. After the child is settled, they do a few checkins to make sure everything is okay, and then they’re on their own.

Summary – Obama

Republicans are not wrong when they say these detention centers operated under Obama, but they mischaracterize them by making it seem like it was the law or even common policy to separate families from their children. Every effort was made to keep families and children together, though the centers themselves were under heavy criticism at the time because it’s inhumane to keep people in cages.

A child at the border with their family, under Trump.

Children are stolen from their parents as a matter of routine, and there’s no other way to say it. They’re taken away while parents are told that the kids are just going to receive a bath. The parents don’t know that they may never see their child again and they don’t know where their child is going. Officially, “tender aged” children (kids under five or so) are supposed to be kept with their families, but we have infants under one year old being taken away from their parents even when that parent is seeking asylum. (x) There’s no compassion or humanity being employed here at all, as we saw last night when one of Trump’s former minions “womp-womped” about a little girl with Down’s Syndrome being taken away from her parents. (x)

Families can also request asylum to be kept together while their case is processed, but that hasn’t been working recently either.  There’s a lawsuit right now (Ms. L v. ICE) where a 7 year old girl from the Congo was taken from her mother even though the mom requested asylum. (x) The Trump administration is using the Flores agreement and policies in place under the Obama administration to say that they are legally required to separate children from their parents, and that’s simply not true because the Obama administration made every effort to keep families together when possible. The Trump administration is making every effort to separate them.

Kids that are taken by immigration officials end up in a detention facility (the cages) before ORR places them in a shelter to ostensibly be passed along to a relative, sponsor, or foster. Under Obama, most of the kids being sent to ORR for placement were older kids over 13 because those kids were unaccompanied minors. Now, since the Trump administration is taking kids and babies from their parents, ORR has to house younger children they weren’t previously equipped to handle. Some of the facilities have had to be updated quickly to handle small children and babies.

Trump’s new zero tolerance policy is what really kicked this into high gear in May, not anything under the Obama administration. Zero tolerance means that we don’t care why you came, you’re going to be treated as a criminal for illegally crossing the border. (x) Never before did we prosecute first-time asylum seekers, but now, everybody is the same and then maybe we’ll figure out why you came.  So, the kids are separated from their “criminal” parents – because they can’t be left in their care when the parent is being prosecuted by the federal government – and the parents are placed in lockup. The kids are placed in a different lockup. Up to 90% of parents are having their children taken away from them, and the rest of those are mothers who are going with their kids to the family detention facilities.  The other parents are going to adult jails to wait on their cases to be processed, which can take four to six weeks. Meanwhile, they can’t get in touch with their kids, don’t know where their kids are, and may never see them again because some of these parents are being deported without their children.  The children are now under the care of ORR and the process to release them back to their parents is so complicated and convoluted that it sometimes depends on the child to prove that their parent is their parent. We have five-year-olds — under stress — being asked their parents full names and dates of birth in order to be released back to those parents before mom & dad are deported.  And a lot of them can’t do it, so now they’re “unaccompanied minors” dumped into the foster system. (x)

So why don’t we give the kids IDs?  Well, the Department of Homeland Security gives them an alien ID number or wristband, and then turn them over to ORR (the Department of Health and Human Services) which sends them to temporary housing in places like NYC (this morning someone caught video of migrant children entering and leaving a foster care in East Harlem).  Meanwhile, the parents are still the responsibility of Homeland Security and being sent to jails to await immigration trials in other cities.  You have two different government departments keeping track of different family members in different cities — it’s a complete mess.

A child at the border alone, under Trump.

Nothing has really changed on the front end — they go to ORR – but now ICE is getting involved in the placement of the kids.  Whereas before, ORR never cared about the immigration status of the adults coming to pick up the kids, this administration wants to extend the background checks to immigration status, which will obviously deter many undocumented adults from retrieving their nieces, nephews, grandkids, kids of friends, etc. who were sent here alone to escape the violence of their home country. They won’t step forward to collect the kids because they might be deported, which means there are more kids who have nowhere to go when they get here. (x)

Summary

Trump took a complicated situation and made it more stressful with a zero tolerance policy toward all immigrants crossing the border. The Obama administration had a system in place that had a lot of faults — detention centers being the biggest one, obviously — but they operated from a place of doing what’s best for the children, even when misguided.

See, the reason why Obama was deaf to the criticism brought against his centers was his view that having women and children (or children alone) being sent to these “jails” with the cages would be a deterrent for other families who considered sending mothers with kids (or kids alone) to the US. He said the journey was dangerous for them and he wanted to staunch the flow of immigrants. Basically look what awaits you when you get here — it’s not great, stay where you are because his reading of the facts at the time was that the journey was more dangerous than the situation they were running from. Obviously that’s the wrong tactic because, even if your kid ends up in a cage for a few days, it’s still better than the rape or murder you’re trying to protect them from or the arduous journey ahead of them. (x)

The Trump administration wants to keep everybody out. If you come here — I don’t care who you are or your situation — your kid will be stolen from you and then you’ll be deported and never see them again. Asylum doesn’t matter. Family doesn’t matter. Age of the child doesn’t matter. We are going to separate you, put your kid in a cage, and then send you back to where you came from without your child.

As I was writing this, Trump says he’s going to sign some executive order to stop separation of families at the border (x), but it’s not even needed. They’ve created a narrative where Obama forced the separation of families, Trump is simply following the law, the Democrats refuse to change that law, and now Trump will swoop in with his pen to keep those families together. Trump thought he could leverage forced separation against getting funding for his wall, but even the Republicans in Congress didn’t go for it, so he’s stuck with this massive problem that he created in order to look tough on immigration.

Sidenote about missing children.

A few weeks ago, different numbers went viral concerning the number of missing kids that had been lost by the government after crossing the border. The number has always been misleading, but this is a good time to remind you that there were two separate groups of kids initially – unaccompanied minors and kids separated from their families.  The unaccompanied minors were taken in by ORR and then placed. And that’s it. We don’t always keep track of them after that because they’ve been picked up by a friend or family member or they were placed with the person they came to meet. You don’t actually want more government oversight here because it will lead to a lot of deportations under this administration.  Once the kid is safe in a home, we don’t need to follow their every move.  We don’t actually know where they are, but they’re not missing as characterized by all the viral posts.

The kids who are missing are the ones forcibly separated by ICE and then lost. When ICE separates a family, some of them go to ORR and then placed and then we longer keep track of them. Some of them are legitimately lost and end up in terrible situations like sex trafficking. That is the part that needs more oversight – where are the kids going when they leave ICE.

There is a third – smaller – group of kids that are placed by ORR that we can’t find and that’s because the people they were placed with don’t always want any further contact with the government. When ORR calls to check on the whereabouts of a kid, they just call. If no one answers, then the kid isn’t found. That missed call could be the result of changing a phone number, moving, or undocumented immigrants who don’t want to talk to the government any more than necessary. So, we don’t know where those kids are exactly, but they were most likely released to the care of a family member initially and they’re probably still fine. (Probably isn’t the ideal situation, but I’m of the notion that it’s still better than having ORR work with ICE to keep track of every child indefinitely.) (x)

Unfortunately, this administration has now classified all of the kids the same way, so it looks like the kids lost by the Department of Homeland Security are the same as the kids who are just no longer being tracked by the Department of Health and Human Services. They’re not the same though. Some were lost by the system and some were released by the system and left alone to live their lives in the care of whoever they were released to.

(***) This ended up not being a quick breakdown.  My bad.)

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Politics

No one cares about the lunch lady.

What’s going to be the mortality rate for cafeteria workers when schools reopen? 

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There are a couple of viral tweets going around painting Betsy DeVos as a callous monster for wanting to re-open the schools.

As far as I’ve been able to find, a doctor made that prediction, not Betsy, and I’m not even sure how he came to those numbers because the death rate for children under 18 is actually lower than 0.02%. Still, let’s be very clear. Betsy DeVos is definitely a monster, but she should be going viral because of the full scope of the picture, not one dubious figure.

The economy can’t reopen because there’s nowhere for children to go. Parents can’t leave their kids at home alone while they go back to work, so until they’re back in school, the country won’t start running again. That is the main concern for this administration.

The people who have the means to keep their children home away from public school are mostly white and mostly middle class. This is also great for DeVos because she doesn’t want those kids in school with poor and/or brown kids anyway.

A lot of teachers would rather retire or quit than go back to school next month, and that’s also great for DeVos because if public schools perform poorly, she can more righteously throw her weight behind the charter system she loves so much.

But Betsy DeVos and the whole lot of them are ignoring the lunch ladies.

I grew up in a very rural school district where my graduating class would have been around 80 people (I didn’t graduate with them though because I left for boarding school). I don’t remember the names of any of the janitors in any of the schools I went to growing up. The ones I can clearly build an image of in my mind were 40-year-old Black men, but they were in the background of my upbringing, neither praised nor maligned.

I don’t remember my first bus driver but she was a white woman with a long ponytail and a son named Brian who bullied me on the way home from school every day until I fought back. She kicked me off the bus and my mom had to pick me up for the rest of the year. My second bus driver a few years later was a cheerful Black woman. I remember a lot about her because she was also the computer teacher — that’s what happens in rural school districts, a lot of double duty. They were both in their 40s, but there were a few older bus drivers as well. My mom drove a school bus in her 60s just for something extra to do because she was tired of doing so much hair (she owned a salon). I don’t think anybody hated the bus drivers — except James Harris. I definitely hated James Harris because he was an asshole and I don’t care if anybody from my childhood is reading this. James Harris was an asshole.

One of the 3rd grade teachers went to high school with my mom and she was in her 40s when I came through. My 3rd grade teacher was almost 60 though. My 6th grade science teacher and 7th grade math teacher were both about 60 as well. The rest seemed old at the time, but they were generally under 40. Most of my teachers were nice women and I have pretty fond memories of them growing up.

I don’t have any fond memories of any of the cafeteria workers. They were mean old ladies who gave me nasty food. The square pizza would be burnt. The chicken rings would be rubbery.  I’ve never had chocolate milk that tastes like that outside of a school cafeteria. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich should actually have some jelly in it. And did I mention they were mean? Because they definitely were. When one of the Poor Kids didn’t have the quarter to pay for reduced breakfast, they didn’t get any food, and I felt like it was the mean old ladies’ fault. Lunch was a break from the day, but they would yell at us for just being kids. Why do we have to be so quiet?!

It’s not just me. The lunch lady is the most maligned adult from our childhoods. It’s hard to find nice cartoons about the lunch lady, but these are endless.

lunchladies1

lunchladies3

 

lunchladies4

lunchladies2

As an adult, it’s easier to look back at the cafeteria workers and stand in solidarity with what they go through. Most of those women have cooked for their families for decades. They know their way around the kitchen as much as any other 60-year-old Southern woman, but they were forced to feed us what was stipulated by the guidelines and the budget. They couldn’t give free food to the unfortunate and they didn’t make enough money to feed them out of their own pocket. They sometimes didn’t make enough money to feed themselves, and they’d be punished if they took leftovers (which are supposed to be thrown away per school district regulations, not taken home to feed your family). And if they were a little grumpy from time to time, they had the right to be. It’s a thankless job serving terrible food to children who disrespect you. Also, put yourself in this common scenario: You’re an older woman whose husband has been laid off or passed away, and you have to find a job with no work history. You can either greet at Wal-Mart or serve cold corn at the elementary school.

When schools open, kids will be spreading the coronavirus around like Skittles. As a general rule, children are disgusting germ factories. They’re always leaking and touching things and they’re mysteriously sticky at all times. And they cough like this:

cough

I don’t understand what a school day is supposed to look like. Disney went through all this work to make their park Social Distance Friendly and they’re requiring people to wear masks and the system is already breaking down, but how do you do that in a school? The desks are right next to each other and there’s no way to spread them out. How do you make a class of 25 wear a mask all day long when it takes ten minutes just to get them in a straight line to go to recess?

When the kids start to get sick, some of your children will die. The ones who don’t die will hop on a packed school bus and kill some of the bus drivers. They’ll walk by the janitor who cleans when the halls are mostly empty. They will sit in class all day with a teacher trying to hide behind a shield, but some of them will die too.

Then their midday reprieve from learning and breathing in a mask will be in the school cafeteria where they’re yelling at each other and spraying germs on the grumpy old lady serving the food nobody likes. She’s wearing a mask, but they aren’t. She’s wearing gloves, but they haven’t washed their hands well. She’s keeping her distance, but she’s stuck in that cavern of corona with recycled air for the 3 or 4 hours it takes for all the classes to have lunch.

What’s going to be the mortality rate for the lunch ladies?

 

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Sarah Palin’s death panels are finally here.

And they have nothing to do with Obamacare.

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Flattening the curve is the strategy we were told to implement to keep from overwhelming the healthcare system. I’m not sure when that messaging got lost, but the death rate in Italy was so high because they didn’t have the ability to treat all of the infections, not because the virus itself was so much more deadly. When covidiots respond to articles about the uptick in infections with statements about how low the death rate is, they are correct. The death rate is lower in these hotspots than we expected, because we have the ability to treat the sick.

What happens when there is no more space to treat them? The bodies start to pile up, and that’s the next uptick we’ll see, because hospitals have run out of beds and doctors have to make on the spot decisions about who receives care and who doesn’t.

You have ten people who will die if you don’t save them. How do you pick which three? Doctors are not equipped to do that and no one should have to pick and choose who dies because the government failed to protect the public. The government decided it was more important to put people back to work and the government has decided these are the talking points they’re going to arm their supporters and coronvirus deniers with:

  1. The number of infections is up because we’re doing more testing.
    The percentage of infections is up because more people are getting sick. If one in ten tests came back positive and now one in four come back positive, that has nothing to do with the number of tests you’re doing and everything to do with the rate of infection, which is sky rocketing.
  2. The death rate is low because it’s mostly young people getting sick.
    Don’t young people know old people who will then get sick? And what happens when those young people need medical care and there’s no space for them?
  3. Most people recover.
    Just because I’m going to recover from something doesn’t mean I want to get it in the first place. I can recover from a broken leg, but it really really hurts, so I avoid breaking my leg. Some people are sick for weeks. Some have lasting neurological deficits. Some people still can’t breathe well. And a lot of those people recover because there was space in the hospital.

Since we are running out of space, despite what any covidiot tells you, we have to decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

Enter, the death panels. Along with a further dumbing down of political discourse, Sarah Palin left us with the phrase “death panels” which she coined herself in a Facebook post back in 2009 where she railed against Obamacare.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society

(cont. Facebook)

The Right took it and ran with it. The Affordable Care Act was especially heinous because sick people would have to parade themselves in front of paper pushers who would decide whether they live or die. They would have to beg bureaucrats for the right to receive healthcare. Every time the Republicans try to repeal Obamacare, these death panels are mentioned again, panels that have never come to fruition.

Until now. If Sarah Palin defines a death panel as a group of people deciding how productive someone will be to society, then Arizona’s coronavirus scorecards are death panels. They grade people based on their general health and life expectancy. The sicker you are, the older you are, the higher your score, and the lower your priority on the care list.

az1

az2

Flattening the curve would’ve prevented this. Arizona is a Republican state with a Republican governor and they have rolled out the dreaded death panels in response to a situation they created themselves. In the 11 years since Sarah Palin gave the GOP their main talking point against Obamacare, we haven’t seen a death panel of any sort. In the 4 months since COVID-19 hit our shores, we have a formal death panel in Arizona and instant death panel calculations going on in ICUs across the country as doctors grapple with the reality that they cannot treat every patient who needs life-saving measures.

But at least people can go to Applebee’s.

 

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A rapist will be elected. Now what?

You, me, all of us — we will elect Donald Trump or Joe Biden in November and they’ve both assaulted women, so let’s talk about that.

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I’m not here to discuss the validity of Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden. Everything I’m about to say is based on the premise that you believe Biden assaulted Reade in 1993 and that you believe Trump assaulted his first ex-wife. Even if you didn’t believe either, it’s evident from our own eyes that they are both creepy old men who have issues with physical boundaries, personal space, and consent to being touched, but that’s a separate conversation.

I’m also not here to discuss any anti-Biden conspiracy theories about mainstream media covering up for Biden, or Times Up ignoring Reade out of an allegiance to Biden. By the same token, I’m not here to discuss any pro-Biden conspiracy theories about Reade being mentally unstable, a Russian agent, or a Bernie supporter looking to take down Biden. None of that is relevant to where I’m coming from which is…

You, me, all of us — we will elect Donald Trump or Joe Biden in November and they’ve both assaulted women, so let’s talk about that.

If you’re a Trump supporter (you shouldn’t even be here but), you’re going to elect a rapist. If you’re a Biden supporter, you’re going to elect a rapist. If you are abstaining because you refuse to vote for a rapist, you are going to elect Donald Trump — a rapist. A third party vote or lack of a vote isn’t a “vote for Trump,” but it’s a vote that didn’t go to the only person who can kick Trump out of the White House. We can go back and forth all day about your individual morality and how you feel about physically casting a vote for a rapist, but we’re not going to get anywhere.

I just want to understand what you want to happen.

I already know what you don’t want. You don’t want Biden to be President, and that is your reason for refusing to give him your vote. That part I am clear on, but actions have consequences, and nothing happens in a vacuum. First, let’s come to an agreement about what the consequences are.

Some Abstainers (that’s what we’re calling you now) say Trump will win no matter what. The voting machines won’t work, the polling stations will be closed and no one can vote, the votes will be lost, the votes will be miscounted, the GOP won’t accept the results if the votes don’t go Trump’s way, etc. Valid concerns. Not completely unfounded. But by no means a certainty. All of those things will probably happen, but that doesn’t mean Trump wins. All of those things can happen with an outcome where Biden does take office if there are enough votes and enough support to overwhelm the shenanigans of the other side.

If you are 100% certain that the GOP will steal this election from Biden, but you were not 100% certain the GOP would steal it from Bernie, you’re lying to yourself in this emotional moment because your disappointment over Bernie dropping out is forcing you to justify not voting at all. If your vote is not helping the rest of us to overwhelm the dirty tricks planned by Trump and his party, then you are contributing to his win.

So, back to my question: What do you want to happen? I’m not asking about what you’re resigning yourself to see happen, which seems to be a Trump victory. I’m asking what do you actually want. Who do you want in the White House between Trump and Biden? Saying neither is a cop out, because you are answering from a place of “Bernie should be President,” not from a reality where that’s not possible.

If your answer is Trump, be honest about why. If you really think Trump is a better President than Biden would be, you need to be able to answer for that opinion when someone asks. Tell them you think Trump is smarter, that he’s a better diplomat, that he champions better policies, that the team he has around him is more qualified and more equipped than the team Biden will build. If that’s how you feel, own that.

If your answer is Trump because you think the country will be more likely to accept a progressive savior if we spiral further into chaos and corruption, own that. You need to be able to tell poor people, marginalized people, and immigrants that you want their lives to get worse so that the country may potentially do an extreme course correction into a fundamental shift in the way the American government works. Tell gay people you want their marriages dissolved. Tell women you want them to be forced to have babies. Tell Muslims you want them to be fired or kicked out of their housing. Be honest about wanting to see those things happen in order to give a better opportunity for a revolution to really take hold.

Those are the only two options. Either you think Trump is a better option or you think he’s such an awful option the American public will be begging for a radical savior in 2024. If both of those options are terrible, then your vote has to go to Joe Biden.

Electing Trump is electing a lot of things. You’re electing two more Supreme Court judges. You’re electing A LOT of federal judges who will continue to reshape the legislative system across the country for a generation. You’re electing four more years where the GOP can further erode the democratic processes that already make it hard to elect liberals. You’re electing stress. Will he botch another response to a natural disaster? Will he trade more allies for dictators? Will World War III start because of a tweet?

Electing Joe Biden is electing a new education secretary, a new health secretary, a new PRESS secretary that we can trust. You’re electing a Supreme Court that won’t repeal Roe v Wade and federal judges who don’t think corporations are people. You’re electing normalcy for the millions of people who are just exhausted and you’re electing a cabinet that can support, guide, advise, and carry the burden of running the country for a man who is the wrong person for the job.

I’m so frustrated that I live in a country where people voted for Joe Biden. Placing blame at “the Democratic Party” or “the Party Elites” sounds good, but it’s inaccurate. More people voted for Joe Biden. There was no conspiracy. No superdelegates. No rigging. No backdoor deals. It’s April, and Bernie Sanders dropped out of a race he was losing due to having less voters show up for him because he wanted y’all to have as much time as possible to get used to the idea that Joe Biden has to become President over Donald Trump.

“The same party who said Donald Trump is a rapist wants me to vote for Joe Biden who is also a rapist.”

Yes. There’s no easy way to dance around that. Yes. And it makes me sick. A diverse field of highly qualified candidates has come down to a handsy old man with dementia who has been failing at running for President for 30 years. I am SICK of this ridiculous country and its endless variety of ill-informed voters making all of us suffer.

“We’re no better than them if we replace one rapist with another!”

I don’t need to be better than them. There are no points and no scorecard and no prizes. I don’t need bragging rights. The moral weight of voting for a rapist who will improve lives for millions of people is lighter than the moral weight of voting for a rapist who will make life more difficult for millions of people.

“What about rape victims? What are you telling them?”

I, a rape survivor, see a rapist in the White House. He’s been there since November 2016. I hate that this country elected him. I hate that Democratic voters across the country have chosen another rapist to succeed him. I would love to be able to clear the incredibly low bar of “did he rape anybody?” before we install a new leader but we didn’t. I can get stabbed in the shoulder or I can get stabbed in the eye. The guy offering a hug has left the room, so which knife hurts less.

Look. It’s April. We have to vote in November. There are a lot of weeks between now and then where emotions can subside and cooler heads can prevail. Hopefully some of you Abstainers will see the error of your ways and pick the lesser of two evils, but between now and then, we don’t really need to do this over and over. It won’t change the options presented to us and it won’t make the situation more palatable. If we work together we can find the next candidate and make sure THIS is the worst election we EVER have to experience, but four years is a long time. Be prepared to support the vision of however you’ve decided the next four years should look.

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