Bernie Sanders Supporters Act as if Trump Doesn’t Exist

I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for discussing “politics” on this blog. But if Jeremy Lin can use his platform to do work that he personally sees as being good (i.e., preaching about God), I will follow his example and use this blog, which is my platform, to discuss the most consequential election we have ever had, because it involves the most unusual (in a very bad way) presidential candidate we’ve ever had.

SIDE NOTE: To the regular readers and commentators here, I revamped the Comments section to use Disqus’s platform and in doing so, all of the comments from every post have disappeared. I’m still working to see if I can get them back.

This is not about politics, because I don’t care what your political affiliation is, unless you’re insane, there’s no way you think Trump is qualified to be president. If you do, then please lay out your arguments in the comments section below. I would sincerely love to hear them, because to me, I can’t see it and I pride myself on my ability to see things from multiple angles, even things I don’t agree with. so if you somehow manage to convince me that Trump is qualified to be president, then that means I’ve learned something that I never thought I would learn and that’s something I always welcome.

To me, it’s so obvious that Trump is grossly unqualified to be president that I would feel silly actually laying this out for you. To begin with, former U.S. republican presidents won’t endorse Trump. These are guys who have done the job and have some idea what it takes and they won’t support their own party’s presidential nominee! But do we really need former presidents to tell us that Trump is not fit for the job? I mean, he’s Donald fucking Trump! I mean, c’mon! A reality TV host and the butt of jokes for late night talk show hosts long before he was a presidential candidate.

Trump ran for president to increase his brand as a marketing ploy and somehow winds up as the Republican presidential nominee. He’s unstable, petulant, inane, selfish, self-absorbed, juvenile, lacks self-awareness, lacks curiosity, irritable, thin-skinned, compulsive liar, etc. The list of the most abhorrent human qualities goes on and on for this wretched man. A president’s character and temperament are very important and Trump is severely lacking in both. I can’t even talk about his policies because he’s got none. The one thing he does seem to repeat over and over is that he’ll “build a wall to keep the Mexicans out”. I’ll let Elizabeth Warren tell you more about Donald Trump:

Now, I see myself as someone who’s open-minded and can at least empathize with differing opinions, even if I can’t agree with them. But when it comes to Trump it’s cut-and-dry to me. If you support Trump, then I do think a lot less of you as a human being and for both your sake and society’s sake, I would suggest intense psychotherapy or a brain transplant. I’m sorry, but there’s no way anyone in their right mind could support Trump.

How can you support a man that has no idea what he is saying most of the time and just spews complete nonsense? You can pick pretty much anyone off the street and they’d know more about any given issue than Donald Trump. The reason Trump isn’t very knowledgeable is because he thinks he knows everything. When you think you know everything, you don’t bother seeking knowledge from else-where. When Trump was asked who he consults with on issues, he says that he consults with himself. He even says that he knows more about ISIS than the Generals. And he backs this statement up simply by saying “Trust me.” You can see him make this incredulous, inane remark, as well as other insane remarks here, starting at the 7:30 minute mark of this video:

And this is why I will think a lot less of you if you support Donald Trump. I don’t even want to voice the things that I think of you if you support Donald Trump. And if you support Trump, I’m sure you couldn’t give a rat’s ass what I think about you and I’m more than okay with that. I know that there are Trump supporters who don’t like Trump, but think that supporting him will be the way to blow up the entire system and start over. To those people, I say you’re playing a very very dangerous game, because we have a myriad of very complex global issues that need to be confronted and it doesn’t take very long for things to go very very badly. The president of the most powerful nation on earth does have lasting global impact. So it is actually very consequential who is in office. I know this is going to sound political, but if we had Gore instead of Bush, we wouldn’t have been mired in the Iraq war. I’m not trying to get into politics, just providing an example of how U.S. presidents do have lasting global consequences. So this year is not the year you want to be playing games with the election and inadvertently elect Trump as an expression of your anger at the system.

Besides, like it or not, the reality is that we need big institutions, such as congress, in order to confront a lot of complex global issues, so it is not in our interest to blow up the system and start over. It is in our interest to fix the big institutions. You can’t solve the big issues of the country and the world without institutions, despite what we want to believe. The reason why there are so many unresolved issues is because our institutions aren’t functioning properly, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need them. The fact that we have so many unresolved issues proves that we need properly functioning systems so blowing it all up and starting over may seem tempting, but it is not the answer and could have disastrous repercussions. Also, the rebuilding process takes a lot lot longer than most people think, so blowing it all up and starting over will take a lot longer to get to a functioning system than trying to fix it now. And there is no way electing Trump will help fix the system. David Brooks has some very interesting and “uncool” things to say about the importance of institutions at the 40:50 mark of this Charlie Rose interview if you want to hear more about this. Actually that entire 1-hour long interview is well worth a listen.

This discussion of blowing up the system is actually a great segue to Bernie Sanders Supporters. I totally understand the enthusiasm displayed by Bernie supporters, because Bernie is essentially an Independent candidate who has managed to go farther than anyone thought was possible. So they’re all fired up, as they should be. But I don’t know if it’s just the Sanders supporters who post on Twitter or YouTube, but Sanders supporters seem to act as if Trump doesn’t exist at all in this campaign. The democrats have reached a stage where Hillary is the presumptive nominee and when Elizabeth Warren publicly endorsed Hillary, pretty much all of them called her a “sell-out”. You can see all the inane comments here:

Instead of realizing that Warren is doing the right thing for progressives by preventing a Trump presidency, Sanders supporters call her a sellout, an opportunist, and immediately question her principles. If you don’t agree 100% with these people and do EXACTLY EVERYTHING they want you to do, you’re the enemy. Sound familiar? This is what allowed the Tea Party crazies to take control of the Republican party several years back. Never mind that Warren has been a champion for their progressive causes from day one and probably even long before they knew what being a progressive entails.

I’ve read more YouTube comments from Sanders supporters than I care to admit, and not ONE of them even MENTION Trump. I totally understand that Bernie supporters want to take the campaign as far as they can to effect as much change as possible along the way and have a bargaining chip when it’s all said and done. So they want to just focus on Bernie and not get distracted with the general election. I get that. But when I see overwhelming comments that pretty much amount to “Bernie or Bust” or “Never Hillary”, it’s completely baffling and highly disturbing to me and it tells me that they’ve been blinded by their extremism. And THIS is why they eerily remind me of the Tea Party crazies, that a lot of these very Sanders supporters probably made fun of and abhorred from several years back.To me, extremism in all form is bad no matter if you’re on the right or left. Extremism results in violence. The problem is, everyone probably thinks their views are the right views and never stop to think that they may be subscribing to extremist views. But that’s a whole other topic.

I hope the “Bernie or Bust” and “Never Hillary” type statements are just all posturing and that they’ll come to their sense once the general election starts, because it’s completely insane. A lot of them make this statement out of some narcissistic notion of not wanting to be a sellout (which is a term they LOVE to throw around). A lot of these extreme Sanders supporters make insane statements, such as Hillary is no better than Trump. Really?! Whenever I see these statements, I want to shake them out of whatever crazy trance they are in.

Setting politics aside, just from merely a qualification and temperament standpoint, Hillary is EXTREMELY different from Trump. The fact that you can’t see that tells me you’re completely blinded by your extremism. I understand how this happens, though. They’ve been so focused on taking down Hillary in the primaries that they’re overly fixated on all of Hillary’s faults. It’s been their job for months to dig up the most heinous things about Hillary in order to help their guy Bernie. They’ve been surrounded by people like them who have been doing the very same things. They’ve been so busy with finding more and more things to hate about Hillary that they haven’t had time to really think about how much more heinous Donald Trump is by orders of magnitude.

Because they haven’t really thought much about Trump, they just dismiss him as some unknown entity, since Trump hasn’t put together a coherent policy. And this is highly disturbing to me. They’ve let their over-fixation on their hatred of Clinton blind them to what an obvious disaster Donald Trump would be as president. These Sanders supporters fixate on Clinton’s ties to Wall Street, implying that Clinton will give favorable treatment to the rich. It’s not hard to imagine how Trump will treat the poor and how much more heinous that will be than whatever crazy imagination they have about how Clinton will behave. They complain that Hillary is hawkish. Well what do they think Trump is going to do when he is the Commander-in-Chief? Just a hint, Trump has said that he is going to bring back waterboarding and things that are a lot worse than that. If these Sanders supporters stop to think objectively, they’ll realize that everything they hate about Clinton, Trump will be orders of magnitude worse. Just because Trump spews a bunch of nonsense, you can’t use that as an excuse to dismiss and even accept him as an unknown entity so that you can clear your conscience and continue to overly fixate on your hatred of Hillary.

In past elections, Independents could conceivably make the argument they always make that there’s not that much difference between the two major party candidates, although, I would still see that as extremely short-sighted and tribal-thinking. But in THIS election in particular when you have Donald fucking Trump. This is no ordinary election! It’s not OKAY for Bernie Sanders supporters to not vote for Clinton. I get the whole “I don’t want to give up my precious principles” thing, but THIS election is not the time to be playing egotistical, narcissistic games, such as not wanting to be seen as a sellout by voting for Hillary.

Whether you vote or not, you’re still impacting the election. So if you’re progressive and you don’t vote for Clinton in the general election, then that’s saying you’re okay with Trump being president. Writing in Bernie Sanders’s name on the ballot is the same thing as accepting Trump as president. Encouraging Bernie to run as an independent (I’m talking to you Jill Stein) tells me that you failed math in grade school, because it would mean GIVING Trump the presidency.

You want to vote your conscience and stick to your principles? If you’re a progressive, how is your conscience okay with essentially giving the presidency to a man who makes bigoted statements, is clearly a chauvinist, is against immigration, and for torture among so many heinous things? Basically everything Bernie Sanders and you (if you’re his supporter) stand strongly against. Is your ego that important to you that you would play a role in electing the most unstable, insane, unfit presidential candidate ever? Bernie Sanders supporters need to wake up to reality and think about the consequences of their actions. If Trump becomes president and you didn’t vote for Clinton or you wrote in Bernie Sanders on the ballot, you have no one but yourself to blame. Enjoy four years of some of the most UN-progressive policies ever. And, oh, by the way, you do realize that the next president will nominate the supreme court justice that Obama is supposed to be naming right now, but is prevented from doing so by the Republicans, right (note, this is not a political statement, it’s just a simple fact)? Isn’t it in your best interest as a progressive to do EVERYTHING in your power to not let Trump name a supreme court justice?

Some Bernie Sanders supporters have this romantic notion of wanting to make a bold statement by electing Trump in order to tear down the two-party system. I totally understand this impulse, but I don’t think it’s very well thought out. They say it will all be well worth it, regardless of the short-term negative impact if it means returning the government to the people. But I think in their blissful dreaming and their over-fixation of an ideal vision of how things should be, they fail to really grasp what this can look like in practice. For example, the phrase “short-term negative impact” is easy to accept in theory, when it’s just words on a page, but when you really think about it in practice, is it acceptable? Besides, whatever system that is cobbled together in the aftermath may not be any better than the current system, because the truth is there is no perfect political system. Most political systems are extremely flawed and actually the one in the U.S., as much as we all may hate it, is less flawed than most. But that’s a whole other topic.

Getting back to “short-term negative impact”. Imagine what it would be like in practice to have Donald fucking Trump as the president of the United States. I won’t even touch on the potentially devastating global consequences of this. Let’s just focus on domestic, since that’s all these Bernie Sanders and Trump Supporters seem to really care most about anyhow, never mind the fact that Presidents have way more impact on foreign policy than domestic policy. But that’s also a whole other subject.

For now, just imagine what it would be like domestically, to have Trump as president. Think about what Trump supporters are like and think about how much Trump loves polls as if they’re TV ratings. These Bernie Sanders supporters want to return the government to the people? You know who also wants to return the government back to the people? The gun-toting, xenophobic, homophobic, Tea Party crazies. If Trump is president, which people do you think he’ll give the government to, if he has the opportunity or the ability?

This idea of returning the government back to the people sounds great when it’s “your” people. If it’s not “your” people, it’s a living hell, just ask certain disenfranchise people in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Is it so hard to imagine sectarian violence in the U.S. if Trump is president and the government is completely broken, as some of these Bernie Sanders supporters seem to be hoping for (again, eerily similar to the Tea Party crazies)? I mean, just look at the violence that has been taking place at Trump’s rallies. If Trump is president, is it that hard to imagine that this type of “sectarian” violence will escalate exponentially? What do you think Trump will do the next time a terrorist attack hits the U.S.? Hell, he probably won’t even wait until the next terrorist attack to round up all Muslim Americans and do God knows what to them.

If Trump is in charge and the system is broken, don’t you think he’d take the opportunity to give it to the people who want to build up walls, who want to be suspicious of anyone who isn’t white. Knowing Trump, he’ll find a way to take advantage of a broken government to create some sort of dictatorship. We’re talking about a man who says a judge is unfit to preside over his case because Trump feels that his Mexican heritage makes him biased against Trump, due to Trumps own bigotry (you can’t make this stuff up). We’re talking about a guy who only has “Yes” men around him all day long. We’re talking about a guy who actually admires dictators of other countries. You don’t think, in a broken government, he’ll try and find some way to create some sort of dictatorship? By the way, it’s not hard to imagine a broken U.S. government with Trump in power, because he’ll take advantage of the first opportunity to reform tax and make it so that people like him don’t have to pay taxes and the U.S. government will be in default, because who needs the government, right? You progressives think income inequality is bad now, wait until Trump is president! Besides, Trump has had a lot of experience with being in default, so he doesn’t see being in default as a bad thing at all.

I know Sanders supporters will accuse me of fear mongering, here, and that’s understandable. I’m painting a very grim scenario, but I think if you want to think strategically, you need to be able to see the worst-case scenario, not just fixate on your Pollyannish, pie-in-the-sky scenario. That being said, I actually do think the scenario above is realistic if you have a Trump presidency, so if you’re not terrified of a potential Trump presidency, then I think you really need to get out of whatever bubble you’ve put yourself in. Fear is not always bad. In this particular case, there is a very real reason to be afraid. Fear is what has prompted me to write this very lengthy article and go on social message to make sure responsible citizens set aside politics and do everything in their power to make sure Trump never holds ANY office let alone the Presidential office.

Elizabeth Warren endorsed Hillary because she’s terrified of a potential Trump presidency. Bernie Sanders will endorse Hilary because he’s terrified of a Trump presidency. But Bernie Sanders supporters act as if Trump doesn’t exist. In the bubble in which they live, it’s all about Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. There is nothing else. In their bubble, they think Bernie still has a chance to win if Bernie can convince superdelegates to vote for him and overturn the people’s choice. Never mind that that’s a complete violation of Bernie’s own principles and goes counter to progressive principles as a whole, the very precious principles they purport to essentially live or die by when they say “Bernie or Bust”.

Their extremism and singular focus on Bernie winning has blinded them to their own contradictions. And, of course, they have all these conspiracy theories about how the election is all rigged. Now, I understand where this comes from. It is true that the Democratic Party has been backing Hillary from day one and have been giving Hillary favorable treatment in the primaries. Bernie has had to do it on his own with no help from the establishment. But Bernie knew this coming into the fight so that’s no secret. To enter into the arena knowing the rules and in the middle of it accuse the game of being rigged, even though you knew full well what game you were taking part in shows a lack of wisdom.

Now, I’m not saying that the rules don’t need to change. That’s a whole other topic that I won’t get into here. Again, this article is about how we can avoid electing the most unqualified, unstable, insane candidate to the highest office in STILL the most powerful nation on earth. This is why I don’t see this article as a discussion on politics. Our very own existence as we know it is at stake here, not our party affiliation.

The attitudes of many Bernie Sanders supporters is just one of many examples of how divisive this country and the world at large has become and continues to become. I don’t mean to single out Sanders supporters here, but I just don’t want to bring up some other group that I haven’t discussed in this article for the sake of convenience. I actually blame the divisiveness on the fragmentation of the media landscape. The great thing about a fragmented media landscape is that it disperses power. We have more choices than ever of where we get our information. But the downside is that people can go about their lives without ever having to confront a dissenting view. The result is tribalism and you see this everywhere–especially online.

When Bernie Sanders supporters say things like “Never Hillary” in THIS election, ignoring the existence of Trump, that’s tribalism at work. Sanders supporters have gotten so much dirt on Hillary during the primaries that they’re so blinded by their hatred of Hillary they can’t see that they have a hell of a lot more in common with Hillary than they do with Trump. Nicholas Kristof lays this out pretty well in his Op-Ed. I’m sure Sanders supporters will disagree with a lot of Kristof’s points, though. By the way, in this article Kristof also points out elections in the past where a candidate that seemed to have no shot at winning the general election (Trump) ended up winning, as a cautionary tale.

When you spend all your time with people who share only your views, you get more and more evidence that you’re right and your brain attaches a great deal of emotion to this particular belief and that’s how extremist views are adopted. You think ONLY your source of information is speaking the truth and EVERY source of information that contradicts that truth is IMMEDIATELY WRONG and SUSPECT. You come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories as to why the source of information that contradicts yours is compromised. There’s not even a possibility that whatever niche source of information you subscribe to is not 100 percent correct about EVERYTHING.

For example, A lot of Sanders supporters will probably complain that a lot of things I link to in this article are from the media owned by the establishment, so I don’t have the truth. I would not disagree with that. For example, I know that a lot of media outlets from MSNBC are big supporters of Clinton, so they are biased. But just because someone is biased, that doesn’t mean EVERYTHING they say is untrue.

I know that not all sources of information I use has the truth. But they need to be open to the truth that their sources of information also don’t have all the truth and also have their own agendas. The truth is, no one has all the truth and agendas are pitted up against other agendas. So the best way to get as close to the truth as possible is to look at as many different sources of information as possible (sources that contradict one another) and come up with your own version of the truth and be humble enough to know that even your own version is not 100 percent true.

I long for a return to a more center left and center right (both lower-case “l” and “r”) politics. That’s not “selling out”. That’s called listening to one another. That’s called having constructive dialogue. That’s called being humble to know that you don’t know everything and that maybe someone else has some good ideas that you’ve  never even considered. That’s called knowing that you have to give something to take something. That’s called having the wisdom and maturity to understand that you can’t get EVERYTHING you want in life.

Both the Democrats and Republicans need to take back control from the extremists of their respective parties. Maybe then we can begin to have constructive dialogue and find some common ground and actually get some very necessary things done. We are facing a myriad of very complex and consequential issues and, like it or not, it takes large institutions like congress working together, making compromises and deals to even have a shot at solving them.

About JLintel

NOTE: On June 11, 2016 I switched the comments section to Disqus's platform. As a result, all comments from previous platform have disappeared from all articles.
  • MrP1ngP0ng

    Trumps sucks in the NBA finals!

    • This is the only sane guy out there. All of us should be doing what this guy is doing.

  • ForTheLin

    Thanks for cogently capturing many of my same, but more nebulous, thoughts about the election this year. What I find particularly disturbing is how Hilary is “only” leading by 10, sometimes even single digits over Trump. This clearly points to Hilary’s vulnerability, but more so hollers out that people are voting out of the darkest reaches of their bowels and deeply repressed rage than from their brains and ability to reason. This is one of those extraordinarily rare moments in history where someone like Trump can be taken seriously, can connect with the powerlessness of a populace dominated by extremes; whose symbolism of defiance overwhelms any appearance of incompetence and dearth of emotional maturity. This is a deeply anxious, but fascinating time.

    • Thanks! It’s good to know that I’m not the only one having these thoughts. The poll numbers are pretty frightening, but I’m hoping that it’s just because the democratic primary is still sort of going on in the sense that Bernie hasn’t dropped out. I’m hoping that once Bernie drops out and endorses Hilary, the poll numbers will show a much bigger lead by Clinton over Trump. That being said, because Clinton has such a margin, the most extreme supporters of Bernie Sanders could be the deciding factor, which is why I wrote this article, specifically addressing those extreme Bernie supporters. I’ll continue to go on social media to continue to communicate with these extreme Bernie voters until I feel a sense of assurance that we won’t be in danger of a Trump presidency. I hope others do the same.

  • pistolpete

    Great article philosopher! Trump is a demagogue stirring up hatred against minorities, other religions and even women. That is actually the strategy of the rich – make us blame minorities for our problems to deflect blame from themselves who are laughing their way to the bank. It is a scary thought that some Sander’s supporters (I like some of Sander’s ideas also but believe Hillary would be a strong President) will not vote for Clinton leading to the possibility that Trump will be elected.

    • Thanks, pistolpete! I’m glad you don’t mind me taking a break from writing about Lin to address what I think is the most important issue this year.

      Yeah, It’s discouraging to me how people are still playing politics even when you have the most unqualified, unknowledgeable, unstable, etc. candidate in history. Trump’s candidacy is one of those moments when I think “is this real life?” It’s so insane to me that he’s a presidential candidate. This is an unusual time and I hope more people recognize this and set aside their politics at least for this election year.

  • pistolpete

    That’s a riot Mr. PP!

  • jc
  • This in-depth look into Donald Trump is a must-read for all responsible citizens ( This is not politics as usual. Please don’t play political games with your vote. If you’re a responsible citizen, you’ll vote for Hillary to prevent a disastrous Trump presidency. This article conveys pretty much all the things I’ve suspected about Trump, which is why I’m terrified that he could become president and deeply troubled that the fate of the world could rest on Bernie supporters who say #BernieOrBust or #NeverHillary. Here’s an excerpt:

    Schwartz’s colleagues urged him to avoid the political fray. But the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered.

    “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

    “Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote.”

    “Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever, or you’re the greatest.”

    Trump’s most essential characteristics: “He has no attention span.”

    After sitting for only a few minutes in his suit and tie, Trump became impatient and irritable. He looked fidgety, Schwartz recalls, “like a kindergartner who can’t sit still in a classroom.

    “it’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes.”

    Trump’s inability to concentrate as alarming in a Presidential candidate. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time.”

    Schwartz believes that Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” He said, “That’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source—information comes in easily digestible sound bites.” He added, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.” During the eighteen months that he observed Trump, Schwartz said, he never saw a book on Trump’s desk, or elsewhere in his office, or in his apartment.

    This year, Schwartz has heard some argue that there must be a more thoughtful and nuanced version of Donald Trump that he is keeping in reserve for after the campaign. “There isn’t,” Schwartz insists. “There is no private Trump.”

    “Lying is second nature to him,” Schwartz said. “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”

    Schwartz says of Trump, “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Since most people are “constrained by the truth,” Trump’s indifference to it “gave him a strange advantage.”

    Whenever “the thin veneer of Trump’s vanity is challenged,” Schwartz says, he overreacts—not an ideal quality in a head of state.

    In his journal, Schwartz wrote, “Trump stands for many of the things I abhor: his willingness to run over people, the gaudy, tacky, gigantic obsessions, the absolute lack of interest in anything beyond power and money.”

    He saw Trump as driven not by a pure love of dealmaking but by an insatiable hunger for “money, praise, and celebrity.”

    Schwartz reminded himself that he was being paid to tell Trump’s story, not his own, but the more he worked on the project the more disturbing he found it. In his journal, he describes the hours he spent with Trump as “draining” and “deadening.” Schwartz told me that Trump’s need for attention is “completely compulsive,” and that his bid for the Presidency is part of a continuum. “He’s managed to keep increasing the dose for forty years,” Schwartz said. After he’d spent decades as a tabloid titan, “the only thing left was running for President. If he could run for emperor of the world, he would.”

    Schwartz wrote in his journal that “almost everything” about the hotel deal had “an immoral cast.” But as the ghostwriter he was “trying hard to find my way around” behavior that he considered “if not reprehensible, at least morally questionable.”

    “He’d like people when they were helpful, and turn on them when they weren’t. It wasn’t personal. He’s a transactional man—it was all about what you could do for him.”

    “The notion that he’s a self-made man is a joke. But I guess they couldn’t call the book ‘The Art of My Father’s Deals.’ ”

    Schwartz said that when he was writing the book “the greatest percentage of Trump’s assets was in casinos, and he made it sound like each casino was more successful than the last. But every one of them was failing.”

    Trump owed nearly three hundred million dollars more to his creditors than his assets were worth. The next year, his company was forced into bankruptcy—the first of six such instances.

    People are dispensable and disposable in Trump’s world.” If Trump is elected President, he warned, “the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he couldn’t care less about them.

  • In the above article on June 13th, I wrote the following: “Trump ran for president to increase his brand as a marketing ploy and somehow winds up as the Republican presidential nominee.” Today (July 20th) a NY Times article may have proof that Trump wants the title of President, but doesn’t want the work/responsibility that goes with being President of the U.S. Here’s a link to the article:

    Here’s an excerpt:

    One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

    When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

    Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

    “Making America great again” was the casual reply.

  • To those BernieOrBust who overly fixate on Hillary’s flaws due to their focus on the primaries, take a look at a pretty comprehensive list of Trump’s flaws. BernieOrBust claim Hillary is just as bad as Trump, but that’s because they haven’t really looked much into Trump, because they’ve been so fixated on defeating Hillary. Here is a pretty comprehensive list of Trump’s negatives. If you think Hillary is on par to Trump in terms of her negatives, I challenge you to come up with a list even close to matching this list of Trump’s negatives. Granted, this list of Trump’s negatives is probably biased (and I don’t agree with all of it), but so will the list of negatives that BernieOrBust will come up with for Hillary. So in a way, bias here is okay. Please, BernieOrBust, take a look at this article:

    Here’s a list of negatives. Go to the article for more detail/justification, etc.:

    Trump is vindictive
    Trump is a bigot
    Trump is a sexist
    Trump is a liar
    Trump is a narcissist
    Trump admires authoritarian dictators for their authoritarianism
    Trump is a conspiracy theorist
    Trump is very, very gullible
    Trump doesn’t apologize, and his defensiveness escalates situations
    Trump surrounds himself with sycophants
    Trump has proven too lazy to learn about policy
    Trump has run an incompetent campaign and convention
    Trump is a bully
    Trump has regularly incited or justified violence among his supporters

  • Check out this great interview of Trump’s ghostwriter:

    Glad to see Trump’s ghostwriter making the rounds on TV, since most probably won’t read The New Yorker’s interview with him, which provides an even more detailed look into Trump. When I read that article, I was not at all surprised by what his ghostwriter says about Trump, because I’ve has similar thoughts about Trump. I think it’s a must-read for all responsible citizens. If you don’t have time to read the entire article, you can find excerpts in my comments below. Here’s a direct link:

  • It’s rare for me to come across something that articulates pretty much exactly how I think about a particular subject. Well, this podcast from Sam Harris articulates pretty much my exact thoughts about this election and Trump in particular.

    I hesitate to provide excerpts because pretty much the entire 30 minutes is full of excellent insights. But here are some key points from the podcast:

    The core of what bothers me about Trump is the vacuousness of his speech. He will literally say the same things, three times in a row, and it was meaningless the first time. The problem is that the caricatures of him are true. He’ll say, “It’s going to be amazing! You won’t believe how amazing it will be. It will be very very amazing!” This is an intellectual problem. Smart people don’t talk this way.

    The ability to reason well is transferable from one domain to another. And so is an inability to reason….When you hear someone speak at length on topics that are crucial to the most important enterprise they’re engaging and all they’ve got is bluster and bombast and banality, strewn with factual errors, it is quite irrational to believe that there’s a brilliant mind behind all of that, just waiting to get out. Trump is not hiding his light under a bushel. He’s all bushel. And bizarrely, I’ve heard from many people that, because he’s rich, he must be deeply knowledgeable about economics at the very least. No! And you should read what largely conservative economists have written about the prospect of a Trump presidency. They are terrified of this. The idea that we might want to default on our national debt. That we can renegotiate it, as though the United States were a golf course or a casino that was going under. We’re talking about a world-destabilizing bit of stupidity. And only one of many that he has given voice to.

    In response to anything I might say against Trump, his supporters will raise Clinton’s email scandal, say. This is a concern of a totally different order than the ones I voice against Trump. Trump has ideas that are extraordinarily destructive and he has a relationship to his own ignorance that is dangerous. He thinks that the notion of human-caused climate change is a Chinese hoax, meant to destroy our manufacturing base. The prospect of a president believing that is terrifying. Clinton’s email scandal–what do you actually think was going on there? Do you think she’s a spy? You think she was sharing state secrets with the Russians? No. She wanted to keep her email private and didn’t understand the implications of running stuff on her own server. It was a sloppy, stupid thing to do. With Trump, we’re talking about somebody who has ideas about what our nation should do that are anchored to nothing, other than his own personal urges.

    We have to get out of the wilderness of false equivalence [when comparing Trump with Hillary]. Yes, there is a lot to say about Clinton, and, if you’re going to bring her husband into it, there’s just a wasteland of embarrassment there. But these are not the sorts of things that could push the career of our species into the ditch. Trump shows every sign of being that sort of character, where a combination of hubris, and ignorance of the sort that we have never seen, could create extraordinary economic and political chaos. There is nothing like that on Clinton’s side. Hence, a lesser-of-two-evils argument makes perfect sense here.

    The amazing thing about Trump is that he is so terrible that he has completely reset everyone’s expectations of what is conceivably acceptable in a presidential candidate. You’ve seen the footage of him openly mocking a disabled reporter….imagine what that would have done to any other person’s campaign? Imagine Hillary Clinton doing that. That’s the end of the campaign. Trump has done a dozen things like that that are so unpresidential, that shows such poor judgement, such a lack of impulse control, such a pettiness, such narcissism, such emotional and intellectual immaturity. It would be inconceivable to promote such a person in any other context as a candidate of a major political party. And, yet, here we are with Trump.

  • Here’s a useful graphic for those who continue to accuse Hillary of lying. Hillary actually ranks second to last when it comes to lying, while Trump is at the very top.

  • Here is, hopefully, some perspective on the DNC Email leaks:

    1. Before & after the DNC email leaks, a Trump presidency remains the biggest disaster facing the U.S. and the world. I hope people don’t lose sight of that

    2. I’m glad that the truth came out and, as suspected, the DNC chair was not impartial and I’m glad she will resign.

    3. I’m terrified that this further angers Bernie supporters and causes more of them to not want to vote for Hillary, resulting in a Trump presidency, which would be disastrous for the nation and the world.

    4. We all need to take more seriously the allegations that Russia could be behind the leaks. To me, this is actually the bigger, more consequential story, because it says that Putin is trying to influence elections in the U.S. Putin wants a Trump presidency, because he hates America and knows that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for the U.S. and foreign affairs.

    5. Like Bernie, I’m not surprised by the emails and they’re actually not as scathing as I would have expected. It’s not surprising to me that party chairs have their favorites or would start making pushes for who they think will get the nomination to help strengthen that candidate for the general election. On June 13th in this article, I wrote: “It is true that the Democratic Party has been backing Hillary from day one and have been giving Hillary favorable treatment in the primaries. Bernie has had to do it on his own with no help from the establishment. But Bernie knew this coming into the fight so that’s no secret.”

  • I’m grateful that someone provided a reasonable/rational perspective on the DNC emails so I don’t have to. Here are two excellent articles from Allen Clifton of Forward Progressives. I find them to be the most objective, reasonable, rational perspective on this issue.

    Here’s an excerpt from one of the articles:

    Only 6 or 7 emails out of around 20,000 released were deemed to be remotely “anti-Bernie.” Does that really “prove” there was a giant conspiracy against him?

    I’ve read numerous articles from pro-Sanders people claiming these emails are the “smoking gun” that shows the process was rigged, based on these 6-7 emails — or around 0.035% of what Wikileaks released. If there were really some giant conspiracy against Sanders, I think we’d be discussing a lot more than 0.035% of 20k emails. And even of those I’ve seen, only two could be considered “anti-Bernie.”

    Also, keep in mind, all of these “controversial emails” I’ve seen pushed by pro-Sanders people were written in late April or May — when Hillary Clinton was all but unbeatable and everyone but Sanders, his campaign and his supporters knew this race was over. So, when Schultz wrote on May 21st that Bernie wasn’t going to be president (in response to someone asking her about comments he made during an interview), she wasn’t “bashing Bernie” — that was just the truth based on reality and basic math.

  • Michelle Obama saved the DNC and managed to gracefully rebuke Trump without stooping to his level or even uttering his name:

    “When I think about the kind of president I want for my girls and all our children…I want someone with the proven strength to persevere. Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously. Someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down into 140 characters. Because when you have the nuclear codes at your finger tips, and the military at your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.”

  • Glad to see that the Washington Post also recognizes that this is not politics as usual and has done what I don’t think they’ve ever done: Anti-Endorse a candidate. It would be unusual for a publication to endorse any candidate in July, so early in the campaign, but to anti-endorse a candidate at this time has never been done before. Kudos to the Washington Post for recognizing that this is not politics as usual.

    Here’s a link to the article:

  • I’ve been suspecting that Putin will try and do everything he can to get Trump elected, since he knows it will be very destructive to the U.S. and foreign affairs. Here’s finally an article that digs into this.

  • I just came across something from the Atlantic that keeps track of all the ways in which Trump has broken the norms that have applied to previous major party candidates:

  • Obama masterfully rebukes perhaps Trump’s most dangerous statement “I alone can fix it”

    He’s selling the American people short. We are not a fragile or frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that together, We, the People, can form a more perfect union.

    That’s who we are. That’s our birthright – the capacity to shape our own destiny. That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent. It’s what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for better wages.

    America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s always been about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard, slow, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

  • Regardless of how you feel about the military, the fact that you had General Allen, who has always been apolitical, come out and endorse Hillary Clinton last night at the DNC should be another reminder that this race is not about politics, as I keep reiterating. This is why I don’t mind tweeting about this election as much as I have been. Because in this race it shouldn’t matter what your politics is, if you’re a responsible, informed citizen, you should do what you can to prevent a Trump presidency.

  • When Khizr Khan pulled out his copy of the U.S. Constitution from his pocket and asked Trump if he has even read the United States Constitution, that was such a simple act, yet, so powerful.

    Please, all responsible citizens, regardless of your politics, I urge you to do everything you can in your power to stop Trump from being president, even if it means gritting your teeth and voting for Hillary. As I keep reiterating, this is not politics, as usual. The stakes are too high. It’s time to stop playing political games with our votes to prove a point. I hope by November, people don’t forget this moment when they go into the voting booth. I know I won’t.

  • Here are some of the best articles, etc. on Khizr Khan:

    Dan Rather – “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

    Seven Minutes That Shook the Convention
    This article gives a good back story leading up to the event. Khizr Khan is a 66-year old immigration lawyer, which explains why he has a worn copy of the U.S. Constitution.

    On the day of the speech, he grabbed his worn copy of the Constitution and slipped it in his jacket pocket. He carries it regularly, especially when he travels. “It’s my favorite document. I wanted to use it because I wanted to highlight the protections that immigrants have in this country.”

    Walking on stage he knew the pocket-sized book was going to come out of his pocket before the evening was done.

    “The main purpose of my speech was to bring awareness about the constitutional protections that each citizen of the United States enjoys and to try to prevent the scare that immigrant communities are feeling about the misinformation that one candidate had been pandering. So the effort was to put these worried minds at ease by asking that question: ‘Have you even read the constitution?’”
    In the minute after he finished at 9:18 p.m., observers noted a spike in people searching Google for “register to vote.” Andrew Sullivan of New York magazine called the speech “the fulcrum of this election.” Friday morning, as the Khans made their way home to Virginia, people stood in line in the Acela Club waiting room in Philadelphia to shake Khan’s hand.

  • Brexit happened. Trump can happen. All responsible citizens (non-fanatics) must continue to stay shocked and vigilant. I’m glad someone wrote this article so I don’t have to:

    This vote needs to be a huge wake up call to everyone in the United States who doesn’t want to see radical fanaticism takeover. Because that’s essentially what happened in Britain — the fanatics won.

    This is why I’m not one of these people who thinks “populist” movements are necessarily great things. Sure, they seem like a good idea — people coming together, passionate and inspired, galvanized around a system of beliefs to bring about the change that they want to their country. But let’s not forget, Nazi Germany was more or less a “populist” uprising. So was the Cuban revolution that put Fidel Castro in charge. Hell, the truth is, so is Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the GOP.

  • A man’s rational plea to rational, responsible Bernie Sanders supporters:

    Here’s an excerpt:

    The truth is, I’m not a Hillary Clinton “shill” or “fanboy” and I damn sure am not getting paid by her campaign to write anything….I support her because she’s not nearly the “monster” many have made her out to be….Does she have a lot of “scandals” that follow her around? Sure, she does. Anyone who’s had that amount of money spent trying to bring them down would as well.

    But at the end of the day, she’s never been arrested or convicted of anything, and despite over 20 years of relentless attacks she’s managed to become one of the most accomplished women in U.S. political history. As First Lady, she redefined what the role of a president’s wife was. She then went on to become not only the first wife of a president elected to public office, but the first female senator in New York history.

    This election is about protecting and preserving everything that progressives have been fighting for over the last few decades, as we move toward further progress. Unlike any election we’ve had in the past, so much is on the line right now. If we elected a “President Donald Trump” in November, it’s literally going to set progressives back decades to such a point that I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to get back what we’ll lose — at least not in many of our lifetimes.

    The biggest issue being the Supreme Court. With one spot open, and another three Justices possibly retiring within the next 4-8 years, our next president could very well be the person who chooses up to four Justices. This means someone like Trump could ultimately stack the Supreme Court with seven right-wingers. Two of the three who might be retiring soon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, are two of the four current “liberal” Justices and Anthony Kennedy is the most moderate “conservative” on the bench. Right now Ginsburg is 83, Breyer is 77 and Kennedy is just about to turn 80.

    As wrote after analyzing her record: Hillary Clinton Was a Liberal. Hillary Clinton is a Liberal.

  • This election is not about Red vs. Blue States or even the Green Party. The stakes are too high and the very idea of America is threatened. Politicians (and, yes, Jill Stein is also a politician) continue to play politics, but WE THE PEOPLE don’t have to. Responsible citizens must do what they can to prevent a Trump presidency, regardless of your politics. It’s dangerous to play political games with your vote to prove a point.

  • For Bernie supporters who don’t think Hillary is liberal enough, here’s an article from FiveThirtyEight. Hillary Clinton Was Liberal. Hillary Clinton Is Liberal.

  • Bernie, being a rational, responsible human being, said early on in the primaries, “Enough with the emails!” Bernie’s attitude was the right attitude to take. Here’s the most objective, rational, reasonable article on the emails:

    Here’s an excerpt:
    What she did was clearly wrong, and it was something that she probably shouldn’t have done, but there was nothing “indictment-worthy” about what she did. That’s pretty much exactly what the FBI said when they made their statement. Sure, she broke some protocol rules, while her and her staff acted far too carelessly with how these emails were handled, but the FBI found no evidence where Clinton or her aides intended to break any laws.

    The only reason why this is even an issue is because she’s running for president. If she weren’t, nobody would even be talking about this, because they wouldn’t care. Like I said, I don’t see anyone throwing a hissy fit over Powell’s missing emails or whether or not his use of a private email address might have jeopardized our national security.

    Yet in the grand scheme of things, these folks who are “outraged” (or pretending to be, anyway) because the FBI isn’t going to push for criminal charges are only claiming that they’re upset by this because they don’t like her, and that’s really what all this fake “outrage” is about. This is just like Benghazi where, no matter what the facts are, those who don’t like her aren’t going to believe anything that doesn’t tell them “she’s guilty, she’s horrible, she’s corrupt.”

    This was a witch hunt by these folks who wanted this to be the thing that “took her down.” These individuals who lost their minds on Tuesday weren’t out there objectively analyzing the facts, they were rooting for an indictment as if they were fans cheering for their favorite sports team.

    Want proof of what I mean?

    Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have refused to release their tax returns (Sanders released one year’s worth), yet their supporters couldn’t care less.

    Yet I can guarantee you if it were Hillary Clinton who was refusing to release her tax returns, those same folks would be going batshit crazy, accusing her of trying to hide something.

  • For those who say there’s no difference between the two parties (Democrats vs. Republicans) here is a breakdown of 20 issues that they differ on:

  • Let’s Talk About the Extremely Racist Subtext of Claiming the Democratic Primary Was Rigged:

  • 10 Things Republicans Ignore About Trump That They’d Never Let Obama or Clinton Get Away With;

  • Election Justice USA finds that Bernie Sanders lost an estimated 184 delegates and charges fraud, however, The Daily Kos accuses Election Justice USA of being a sham:

    And before you say that Daily Kos is biased or something, before they accused Election Justice USA of being a sham, they posted this article:

    Also, if you go to Election Justice USA’s Twitter page you’ll notice that it just joined Twitter on April 2016.

  • I’m not normally the conspiracy theorist type, but I’m sincerely deeply concerned about the DNC hacks and the link to Russia. There’s a good discussion about it in the Hardball video below starting at the 12:40 mark. At the 14:48 minute mark, a Terrorism Analyst lays out exactly what I’m concerned will happen:

    Like this Terrorism Analyst, I do believe that Putin/Assange will release information meant to damage Hillary at opportune times through Wikileaks in order to psychologically manipulate the American people into selecting Donald Trump. Putin’s motivation is that he knows Trump will destabilize the U.S., as well as foreign affairs and Trump will be favorable to his interests. I know that sounds crazy, but I’s something I’ve been suspicious of even before the DNC leaks.

    I also understand that Julian Assange has some sort of vendetta against Hillary. He seems to hate her. And I have always suspected that he and Snowden (ever since Snowden sought sanctuary in Russia on Assange’s counsel) have ties to Russia. Here’s an article that digs into that:

    That Assange and Wikileaks are surrogates for Putin is now obvious, and in truth has been for some time, as the media has been gradually noticing. Their operation to take down Hillary Clinton—about whom Assange, in an exclusive interview with the Observer in 2014, said: “it is pretty clear that we are witnessing the birth of a Google-military-surveillance complex”—is merely the final straw.

    The most damaging aspect to the DNC leak is the certainty that Moscow has placed disinformation—that is, false information hidden among facts—to harm the Democrats and the Clinton campaign. Disinformation is a venerable Russian spy trick that can be politically devastating to its target.

    Disinformation is most effective when it plays upon essential truths. Since Hillary really is corrupt and less than honest, and the DNC actually has done her bidding in shady ways, lies that amplify those themes will be readily believed by many Americans. It’s obvious that Moscow prefers Trump over Clinton in this election, which ought not surprise given the important role of Putin-friendly advisors in the Trump campaign, and what better way to help is there than to discredit Team Clinton?

    I’m anything but a Hillary fan, as my extensive reporting on her crimes and lies in EmailGate can attest. However, I am far more troubled by the naked interference of the Kremlin and its spy agencies in American democracy, which is a threat to our freedoms beyond anything the Clintons might do.

  • To me, it’s clear that Hillary faces a double-standard and I’ve suspected that her gender plays a role in how she is demonized/vilified more than most. Well, this article sheds some light on that. Here’s an excerpt:

    When Clinton was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, she hit a high of 66 percent favorability rating and was consistently voted the most admired woman in the world. When New Yorkers elected Clinton to the US Senate, she had small hurdles to overcome, but gender was not one of them. We are used to electing female senators and have seen them succeed. As a New York senator, her favorability was 58 percent. Today her favorability is 38.2 percent. What happened?

  • The Houston Chronicle, one of the largest newspapers in Houston just endorsed Hillary Clinton, even though it traditionally endorses Republican candidates. I’m glad to see that more and more are recognizing that this is election is not politics as usual.

    The Chronicle editorial page does not typically endorse early in an election cycle; we prefer waiting for the campaign to play out and for issues to emerge and be addressed. We make an exception in the 2016 presidential race, because the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is not merely political. It is something much more basic than party preference.

    Any one of Trump’s less-than-sterling qualities – his erratic temperament, his dodgy business practices, his racism, his Putin-like strongman inclinations and faux-populist demagoguery, his contempt for the rule of law, his ignorance – is enough to be disqualifying. His convention-speech comment, “I alone can fix it,” should make every American shudder. He is, we believe, a danger to the Republic.