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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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Politics

Eric Adams is off to a great start!

We could have had Maya Wiley 🙁

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And I mean that. If we expect a certain level of incompetence or corruption from our New York City Mayors, then Eric Adams has gone far and beyond my expectations of either.

great /ɡrāt/ adj.
of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average

The intensity of the disaster that is Mayor Adams is considerably above the norm.


I currently have the easiest job I’ve ever held. This week is busy because my boss is away and I still only know about 70% of the things I need to know in order for my department to run smoothly, but it’s not hard. I’m sitting on my couch typing this right now. When I finish, I’ll log back into the system, turn on some music, and keep troubleshooting problems until 6.

If I need the day off, I’ll send a message to my boss (or her boss) on Slack and let them know. Today I started working at 8, because I was up anyway, and I scheduled two one-hour breaks for myself. I didn’t ask anybody for their permission. I haven’t showered yet, because I want to twist my hair and I’ll do that this evening. I have a saucer in front of me with crumbs from a couple of chocolate chip cookies I was nibbling on. It’s 20 degrees outside, and I only know that because there’s a weather tracker at the bottom of my screen.

When I worked in the mall, I was standing up for 8 to 10 hours a day. It was recommended that you buy comfortable shoes. You had to arrive ten minutes before your shift, 20 degrees or not, so you could put on all your gear, stuff your outerwear in a locker, and make sure your walkie worked. If you had to pee, someone not much older than you had to give you permission. If you were thirsty, someone not much older than you had to give you permission. If it was time for your scheduled lunch, someone not much older than you had to make sure the last person was back from lunch before you could clock in. If it was time for you to leave, someone not much older than you had to give you permission to clock out. I was written up for having M&Ms in the drawer under my cash register once. I sprained my ankle and had to beg my co-workers to cover my shifts so I wouldn’t be fired for not coming to work on crutches.

I did all of that while being disrespected and talked down to by customers. An old white lady told me I looked like “a fuckin poodle” because I wouldn’t honor a coupon that expired during the Carter administration. Everyday I had to walk a very stressful line between being nice while also abiding by company policy. Too far into nice, and it’s a write up for breaking a rule. To far into company policy, and it’s a write up for not making the customer’s day. And my paycheck was a quarter of what it is now.

So when Eric Adams tried to convey his support for the Workers formerly known as Essential, I bristled.

Listen, I know what he was trying to say. I also know he needs somebody around him to help him say it better. In the words of Sophia Petrillo, “your heart’s in the right place but I don’t know where the hell your head is.”


Eric Adams, a cop who loves cops and guns, does not believe in travelling around the city with a security detail. He says cops keep the city safe and he’ll be fine walking around the city with his gun and the admiration of his citizens.

Well, that’s what he said during his campaign anyway. As with any politician who cannot be trusted, he’s reversed course and used his personal security as an excuse to hire his brother into a $240,000 position as deputy commissioner of the NYPD.

“Number one, he will be in charge of my security, which is extremely important to me at a time when we see an increase in white supremacy and hate crimes,” Adams told Jake Tapper Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.

(cont. NBC New York)

I love a convenient white supremacy soundbyte. The NYPD is a white supremacist organization that takes joy in terrorizing Black and brown communities. I remember stop & frisk, a policy Eric Adams supports. You can’t have it both ways. Either you’re afraid of white supremacy or you’re working within a system to uphold it.

Besides, Eric Adams made his assertion that he doesn’t need security detail on January 30th — that’s three weeks after the Koup Klutz Klan tried to overthrow the government. If you weren’t worried about white folks in the aftermath of that, you are certainly not concerned about white supremacy when it’s time to give your brother, who was the director of a parking garage, a cozy post at the NYPD to accompany you to events and collect a fat paycheck.


I got a message early yesterday morning.

I didn’t see it until the afternoon, because I turn off my notifications at night and I forgot to turn them on while I working, but I had no idea there was a fire. I live in Harlem and I’m not sure I know anyone who lives in the Bronx, so it wouldn’t be neighborhood news, but I looked it up.

The mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, on Monday revised the death toll from a high-rise fire in the Bronx on Sunday, saying 17 people were killed, two fewer than originally thought.

Adams said nine adults and eight children died. He did not immediately provide a reason for the lower count.

Investigators determined that a malfunctioning electric space heater started the fire in the 19-storey building.

(cont. The Guardian)

There are instances when a space heater is necessary, but for the most part, low income residents in NYC buy a space heater when the building they live in is too cold. And the building is too cold because the heat isn’t working properly or the windows are broken. Some of the most common complaints against low income housing in NYC are related to broken windows and no heat or hot water. This is true for Twin Peaks, the building in question, as well.

It’s important to note that most people do not actually file complaints until the situation becomes unlivable. If you see three apartments with NO heat, that’s another twenty apartments with LOW heat whose residents just get through the winter. Sometimes they don’t want to file a complaint because they don’t have time to sit around and wait for service. Sometimes they’ve filed before and the hassle to fix it was worth more effort than just leaving it broken the next time. Sometimes they’re afraid to file because they’re afraid problem tenants won’t have their lease renewed. This past summer, our hot water went out 7 or 8 times, and we only complained twice because getting our landlord to fix anything is a part time job in itself.

This building also lacked sprinklers throughout most of the structure. In NYC, commercial buildings must have sprinklers, but legislation to require sprinklers in residential buildings has faced strong opposition from landlords who say it will cost too much to update older buildings.

(cont. NYT)

So we have a low-income building without sprinklers where residents are using space heaters because it’s not warm enough. Buildings just like it are all over the city, but what does that have to do with our new mayor?

(cont. The City)

A landlord who doesn’t have sprinklers in his high rise buildings shouldn’t be helping to guide an administration through housing policy. We need an administration who wants to invest in public safety, not one being led by landlords who own firetraps.

We are less than two weeks into Eric Adams as Mayor, and from looks of it, it’s going to be a long four years. For me, a leader doesn’t have to have all the answers. What I’m really looking for is someone smart enough to know their limitations, someone who can effectively communicate with the public, someone who shares my goals and values, and someone who seeks out the best in their field to bring their expertise to the variety of issues facing any community.

 

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Rockstar Rittenhouse

If you enjoy celebrating a murderer, that’s just who you are as a human being. And I don’t respect you.

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Kyle Rittenhouse gets a rock star reception at the Turning Point USA event in AZ.

The teen was found not guilty of criminal charges after admitting to shooting & killing two people in WI. He says it was self defense.

He’s now seen as a hero by some activists on the right.

(Twitter: Elex Michaelson)

I don’t really understand what’s happening. And I don’t mean that in the sense that I’m surprised or that I didn’t see it coming. We all said that Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal would become a cause célèbre for the Right. He had sponsorship offers before the trial and congressional internship offers during. He’s been celebrated by Conservatives from the moment he was arrested because he’s a symbol of White America’s fight against change, a visual representation of what can happen if you are brave enough to stand up to the forces conspiring to take Amerikkka from you.

I fully understand that, so this is not a surprise at all.

I guess what I don’t fully grasp is how am I supposed to respect these people in any way? Listen y’all, I was already at the end of my rope. Trump’s election in 2016 taught me that some people are irredeemable. Before that, I generally operated on the premise that most people, even people you do not agree with politically, are not inherently evil and that you can find common ground somewhere because we’re all people. 2016 taught me that, no, some people cannot be helped, saved, or taught.

You cannot force someone to have empathy for other people. I cannot teach someone they need to care about what happens to people outside of their perceived tribe. If you think poor people deserve to die because you feel like they didn’t work hard enough, I cannot fix that. If you think drug addicts deserve to die because you feel like they made a choice to become addicted, I cannot fix that. If you think undocumented immigrants deserve to die in their own countries (that the US made unstable) because we have our own problems at home (that you refuse to address), I cannot fix that.

Still, there was a little space left in my psyche for ignorance, misinformation, and the insular nature of social circles with a feedback loop of confirmation bias. I spent a lot of the summer in the rural Deep South while my dad and stepmom recovered from a car accident. I heard the conversations and watched the local news. Part of me feels like it’s not 100% your fault if you believe poor people are amoral and lazy. That’s what you’ve heard from your politicians, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your church, and the news. I’ll be honest: a lot of my belief system has been reinforced, if not outright formed, by the variety people around me. Ten years ago, I was making transphobic jokes. Five years ago, I was called out for fatphobia on Twitter. These are issues I didn’t know I harbored negative sentiments about, things that I quickly evolved my thinking around because the people around me called me out on it and forced me to reexamine how I felt and why I felt that way, intentionally or not. All that is to say, I get it. I understand being a product of your environment.

I don’t understand celebrating murderers. George Zimmerman signs bags of Skittles for his fans. Kyle Rittenhouse is introduced at events with a production worthy of a Wrestlemania top draw. Killing someone should be traumatic. If I had to kill someone in self defense, I would have to go to therapy for a long time to work through that trauma. I wouldn’t be able to be celebrated. I wouldn’t know how to book jovial interviews to laugh about what kinds of women I like. I wouldn’t know how to sit on stage and give life advice as a teenager who has never accomplished anything other than murder.

I don’t know how to respect people who celebrate death. And that’s not to say that I find life all that sacred, because I’ve gone on record many times saying I don’t. Not really. There are 7 billion of us. Seven billion of anything means a singular one of it isn’t that special, to me. But dead people have families and friends and loved ones who are hurting, and I don’t know how to respect people who revel in the pain of others. I understand not necessarily caring. I can understand dismissiveness. Outright celebration though is so beyond anything I can relate to. What kind of person are you that you would cheer for someone whose only claim to fame is looking for a fight and getting one? What am I supposed to say to these people? I’m so disgusted by their existence I can barely put my feelings into words.

There’s no part of me that could ever be in the same room with a Republican. This is who they are as a group of people. They are a political party whose guiding principle is “sticking it to the Libs” by any means necessary. If it makes the opposition upset, that makes them happy.

Wearing a mask is not hard. Getting a vaccine is not controversial. But Republican politicians, who are vaccinated and wear masks when no one is looking, just want to upset the opposition.

Singular They is not hard. We have been using they/them/theirs as a pronoun to describe the notion of an unspecific person forever. But Republican politicians have decided it’s the downfall of society to apply it to a specific person who asks for that pronoun.

Celebrating murder is wrong. Even murder in self-defense is seen as a tragedy. But Republicans want to use Kyle Rittenhouse to gloat. They’re turning a teenaged murderer into a rockstar to stick it to the Libs. That space I had left in my psyche to allow for ignorance and misinformation is gone. This isn’t about being ill-informed. They’re just bad people. And I can’t teach someone how not to be a bad person.

If you enjoy celebrating a murderer, that’s just who you are as a human being. And I don’t respect you.

 

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Minnesota has a nice preview of the 2024 election.

The GOP is standing firm on the “stolen election” rhetoric, so be prepared.

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Minnesota is gearing up for their gubernatorial election next year and the Republican candidates had a little debate last week. Because Minnesota is widely known as a barometer for the political climate of the country and because I deeply care about what is going on in the Minnesota GOP, I watched their debate in order to gain a greater understanding of the direction in which our country is headed.

What really happened is, I saw someone say on Twitter say that nobody on the panel would unequivocally admit that Biden won the election.

So I decided to watch only that part of the debate just to see what the rhetoric was looking like and y’all — I’m so sick of them it made me chuckle.

Start at 10:11

The moderator says, “In your opinion did President Biden win a constitutional majority of the Electoral College? If yes, how did you come to your conclusion, and if no, which states are in dispute and why?”

This guy asked a panel of politicians to give an opinion on a factual statement. Uncle Joe won a constitutional majority of the Electoral College. Period. There was no fraud. This has been debunked around the planet.

Guy 1 answers: I don’t know and we have to take that attitude toward 2020. We have to take the attitude that we don’t know the results of a president election?

Guy 2 answers: This is not unique to 2020. Oh? Y’all stole 2016, is that what you’re saying? Because you won that election, so does it apply every cycle or only when the Democrats win? In Minnesota our dictator governor went around to the legislature to weaken what defenses we did have for voter integrity. Do I think that played a role? How could it not? I would like to remind y’all that in Minnesota, Republicans won the Senate. Amazing how voter fraud only applies to votes cast for Democrats.

Guy 3 answers: Don’t let me vote Democrat when I die (laughs from the audience). Because we’re going with this lie that a bunch of dead people voted. I do believe there was voter fraud at a massive scale across this country. And where is the evidence? A massive scale should show more than just a couple of pockets of  Maybe This, Maybe That over a few hundred votes. A massive scale means hundreds of thousands of instances of fraud. We need to enforce the laws we already have and prosecute the people committing voter fraud (claps from the audience). Nobody is getting in trouble. Let’s note here that “nobody is getting in trouble” largely applies to Republicans, like this Trump voter in Pennsylvania who got probation while this woman in Texas (voting for Hillary in 2016) who  did not know she wasn’t allowed to vote while on probation got five years in jail. We need people who feel disenfranchised to show up like they did in 2022 when they took Virginia back and elected Youngkin and we can take back the House here in Minnesota. Yes, white Conservatives are so disenfranchised. Their representation in Congress isn’t outsized in proportion to their population makeup in any way whatsoever.

Guy 4 answers: I don’t think the election was fair but we have the results that we have and the Electoral College is the way that we determine the election. Each state has their own deal and I’m not a fan of how it all played out, but I’m focused on Minnesota. Is this an argument for doing away with the electoral college? Because I wholeheartedly support that, Guy Whose Name I Will Not Bother To Look Up. 

Lady 5 answers: …be an election judge, be a poll watcher. The more we watch, the less they cheat. She did not answer the question directly, because she probably knows Biden won the election but she doesn’t want to say so because that is political suicide in the Republican Party right now. So the moderator asks again: Did Biden win? He was certified by Congress as having won the Electoral College. That is a political answer if ever I did see one.

So, that’s where we are y’all. The Republicans who believe with their whole chest that the election was rigged or stolen have made that part of their plan to force voting restrictions, and the ones who may have a single brain cell left are too afraid to admit that they have one lest they be cast out of the big ignorant tent erected by the GOP.

Make your voting plan early. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Help your older family members register and assist in gathering documents to make sure they have an ID. You can even find the election dates on your calendar and plan to take off work that day. Whatever you need to do to prepare for the shenanigans, go ahead and start putting those processes in place because the GOP is only going to get worse.

 

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