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Journal Archives

An Experiment in Wisconsin Changed Voters' Minds About Trump

Changing voters’ minds is famously difficult, but a recent progressive effort found real success.


No state has haunted the Democratic Party’s imagination for the past four years like Wisconsin. While it was not the only state that killed Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes in 2016, it was the one where the knife plunged deepest. Clinton was so confident about Wisconsin that she never even campaigned there. This year, it is one of the most fiercely contested states. The Democrats planned to hold their convention in Milwaukee, before the coronavirus pandemic forced its cancellation. Donald Trump is also making a strong play for Wisconsin. Trump’s weaknesses with the electorate are familiar: Voters find him coarse, and they deplore his handling of race, the coronavirus, and protests. One recent YouGov poll found that just 42 percent of Americans approved of his performance as president, while 54 percent disapproved. But when the pollsters asked about Trump’s handling of the economy, those attitudes reversed: 48 percent approved and 44 percent disapproved, despite the havoc wreaked by the pandemic. The high marks that voters give Trump’s economic record are a key obstacle to Democratic efforts to win back Wisconsin and other upper-midwestern states.

But a surprisingly effective progressive effort this spring to undermine Trump’s approval ratings on the economy provides a model for how the president’s opponents can hurt Trump where he’s strongest—and maybe even tip the election to Joe Biden. Changing voters’ minds is famously difficult. Recent national campaigns have spent more effort on increasing turnout—getting sympathetic voters to go to the polls—than on winning over new supporters. Political scientists and pollsters have found that as the country grows more negatively polarized, fewer true swing voters are up for grabs. But the Wisconsin effort, notable for both its approach and its scale, seems to have found some success. From February to May, the advocacy group Opportunity Wisconsin, with help from a progressive advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., called the Hub Project, managed to do remarkable damage to Trump’s standing with a group of persuadable voters. The effort sought to identify voters who took a favorable view of Trump’s record on the economy but who might still be receptive to alternative perspectives, then spent weeks targeting them with messages arguing that the economy was actually not working for Wisconsin, and that Trump’s policies weren’t helping.

“The most impressive thing is that they clearly had some effect in changing how people think about Donald Trump, and that’s just really difficult to do,” says David Broockman, a political scientist at UC Berkeley who studies persuasion. “For a real program to have effects on what people think about Trump in the field, not an artificial setting like a focus group, is quite impressive. There’s very little I’ve seen this election cycle that has found that.” Research by Broockman and Yale’s Josh Kalla from earlier this year showed that while messages about Biden could swing voters’ opinions about him, views about Trump were almost immovable. The Opportunity Wisconsin push was built on a combination of tactics old and new, simple and sophisticated. The group is officially nonpartisan, and does not disclose its donors. But Meghan Roh, a former Democratic House and Senate staffer who is the group’s program director, told me it was formed out of a concern that progressive organizations weren’t speaking effectively to people in Wisconsin. Trump’s strong economic numbers in the state jumped out as a perfect example.

As my colleague Ronald Brownstein reported in 2019, citing Hub Project research, a potentially crucial group of voters approves of Trump’s handling of the economy, but is skeptical of his overall performance. The president’s numbers on the economy remain a rare bright spot for him, even amid coronavirus-induced economic devastation. Just a few months ago, there was routinely a double-digit spread between those who approved and disapproved of his handling of the economy—but Trump's numbers remain narrowly positive, according to RealClearPolitics’ average. The national trend holds true in Wisconsin. In a recent Marquette Law School poll, 51 percent of Wisconsinites approved of Trump’s handling of the economy, versus 46 percent who did not. (In the same poll, respondents favored Biden over Trump, 48 percent to 42 percent.) With Trump even more embattled than he was a year ago, these voters who approve of Trump on the economy but not on much else are even more crucial in November. Opportunity Wisconsin saw this as a classic chance to attack an opponent’s strength, rather than his weakness.


Intersectionality: time for a rethink

The current understanding of intersectionality is a dead-end for progressive politics.


‘Women are a heterogeneous group and may face intersectional discrimination based on several personal characteristics. For instance, a migrant woman with a disability may face discrimination on three or more grounds,’ reads the new gender-equality strategy of the European Commission, presented in March and running to 2025. This additive conception of intersectionality is ahistorical, essentialising and homogenising. Since its emergence intersectionality has had various interpretations and uses, yet through leftist activism and policy-making in the United States, and its export worldwide, the hegemonic understanding has concentrated solely on discrimination (on more than one ground) and on positionality along the so called axes of oppression. This approach is theoretically shallow and politically problematic: it doesn’t adequately grasp the root causes of inequalities, while it undermines solidarity and unwittingly contributes to the popularity of right-wing contestation of any recognition claims. Instead, we should strive to make sense of injustices, beyond discrimination and positionalities, and attempt to influence policy-making in challenging the structures of oppression.

Social movements

The term intersectionality was first used by the legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. But the intersectional approach is rooted in the social movements of the US in the 70s and 80s, as a critique of feminist and anti-racist struggles. The general experience of black women was that in feminist activism the interests of white women were at the forefront, whereas in anti-racist struggles men predominated. Hence intersectionality used to be a critical response to the practices of identity-politics movements of the time. But these two approaches have become inseparably interlocked: today’s identity politics is intersectional. Now it’s true that ‘multiple oppressions’ and ‘intersectionality’ pointed to important blindspots in western politics of the 60s and 70s. And one cannot now return to orthodox-Marxist class analysis, or to the one-dimensional gender or race analysis of second wave feminism or anti-racism. So what’s the problem? The problem is the current individualised, additive approach to identity politics and intersectionality. This is to treat oppression as if one could compile an Excel sheet of individual experiences. But the different oppression structures (class oppression, patriarchy, racism) have different roots and so cannot be treated at the same analytical level. Also, the Excel-sheet view is ahistorical and static. For instance, old age can be a source of respect or of discrimination and this can be true for all other dimensions.

Oppression Olympics

This individualist political practice raises at least three further problems. First, the current practice of the intersectional idea presumes that those who experience the most oppressions will understand best the nature of the oppressive system and pursue the least particularistic politics. But one cannot simply add (or multiply) such positions in the manner of an oppression Olympics—who has more points in the oppression race, in how many dimensions one is standing on the losing side of the Excel sheet. Secondly, the ultimate framework of intersectional politics is individual subjective experience and identity. Political statements can be true or false, as long as they refer to objective social circumstances, but one cannot have a discussion about subjective experience: the experience of suffering and identity is unquestionable. The question is no longer whether in a given situation an insult or violence has happened but, rather, what someone experiences as an insult or violence. ‘Only ! know my gender’ reads a graffito at Hamburg University, expressing the subjectivist and dogmatic nature of identity politics, and its rejection of social-science knowledge. It is impossible to separate the gaze, the questions and interpretations from the experience of the viewer, the researcher, because they are inevitably influenced by their social embeddedness.

This insight contributed greatly to the legitimacy of the feminist perspective in the social sciences: it pointed out that knowledge considered objective was problematic due to biases stemming from men’s life experience. It did not want to delegitimise male (or European, white and so on) cognition or experience—only to point out that often a particular knowledge had been elevated to universal rank. But, thirdly, this useful insight has gone astray: it has become a means of diverting attention from the substance of arguments to their origin, as if the speaker’s position were in an easily deducible relationship with the power purportedly hidden in what they are saying. Such ad hominem argument is an important element of all kinds of totalitarian thinking. If the main issue becomes recognition of individual uniqueness or an identity mix, then not only is it an ad absurdum extension of the feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’—to only the personal is political. This also renders particular identities inscrutable—which means that groups so constituted can neither show solidarity with each other nor formulate a common goal. They can then fit in with the individualistic neoliberal spirit of the era, which delegitimises all systemic critique, for instance concerning its categories of class and gender.


How The Firehose Of Trump News Is Eroding American Democracy

Democracies die by a thousand cuts, and under Trump, there have been many more than a thousand.


WASHINGTON, DC -- Whenever we’re blasted in the face by the explosive stream of burning hot crapola from the firehose of news, it’s sometimes difficult to plug the various bombshells into proper context. It’s partially because the news is so shocking, like driving past a harrowing car crash, but it’s also because the context itself is even more terrifying than the news. The information from Bob Woodward’s book alone is enough to make us feel thoroughly battered. In the past week, we’ve read about how the president and his lover, Kim Jong-un, almost got us into a real-life nuclear war back in 2017. This was real. The president’s defense secretary, General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, was so freaked out, he was sleeping in his clothes. We were that close. And yet, I bet if you surveyed people who closely follow political news, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could spontaneously recall that story, despite the fact it dropped just six days ago. Since that news dropped, we also learned that Trump knew and understood the seriousness of COVID-19 as early as January, and in April told Woodward the virus was "so easily transmissible, you wouldn't believe it." This was just four days before he insisted upon liberating Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia while also demanding that the nation reopen.

Woodward also reported that Trump intentionally “played down” the virus in public. During a town hall on the ABC network, Tuesday night, Trump said he actually “up-played” the threat. During the same TV appearance, the president called for “herd immunity” as the solution to the pandemic -- he actually said “herd mentality,” but, you know, the brain worms. Herd immunity requires that around 65 percent of the U.S. population become infected with the virus, which would also mean millions of deaths. Meanwhile, the CDC has been scrubbing reports about the pandemic, removing any facts that are unflattering to the president. We also read that a gynecologist hired by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been performing what amounts to surgical mutilations of women being held in ICE custody -- unnecessary hysterectomies, to be specific. This alone should be enough to charge the Trump regime with crimes against humanity. Trump announced another so-called peace deal that was completely superficial, given how the two parties in the deal, Israel and Bahrain, were already doing the things required in the peace deal. The same thing goes for the alleged peace deal between Israel and the UAE. Both were fake peace deals passed off as legit.

Michael Cohen reported in his new book that Trump wants to be the American version of Vladimir Putin, further confirming that the president will refuse to leave office if he loses the election. Add into the mix the incomprehensible number of dumbstupids out there who continue to attend Trump’s superspreader rallies, refusing to wear masks or socially distance from each other, spreading the virus and worsening American life well into the future. By now, the revelations from The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg about Trump’s brutal disrespect for all soldiers, including POWs and MIAs, including wounded warriors, seems like a distant memory despite being just two weeks ago. Can you blame us for forgetting the nuclear war story? The point of this exercise is to illustrate how each of these despair-inducing events represents the erosion of democracy -- not to mention the erosion of our national reputation, our national dignity, too. Our moral standing in the world has been reduced to being no better than Putin’s or Kim’s. We’re now synonymous with the dictator in the White House, and our ability to bring democracy and human rights to other parts of the world has been almost entirely drained away by all of this.

We don’t see it close up, but when we pull out to a wide-shot, it’s plain and unmistakable. Unless enough Americans pull up on the cockpit controls, the United States will crash headfirst into the ground, taking us all with it. Most non-voting Americans are merrily unaware, while 35 to 40 percent of the voting population doesn’t realize that they’re the ones nose-diving the nation, enabling and affirming their strongman dictator’s actions. Trump was never going to simply snap his stubby fingers or press a secret button that lights the original copy of the Constitution on fire. Democracies die by a thousand cuts. And by my count, there have been many more than a thousand cuts inflicted upon our once-great but flawed nation. If the Democrats can win a majority in the Senate, a second term for Trump won’t be completely unleashed, and there are opportunities to block him as a last ditch effort. So re-election won’t be the end, just the beginning of the end. Knowing the horror show that’s lurking around the corner, let’s all agree today as patriots and constitutionalists to make sure the worst case scenario never comes to pass. Let’s make sure that by this time next year, Trump and his collaborators will be in federal custody awaiting trial rather than the chaotic alternative.


As Trump sows chaos, Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold public hearings, help restore

confidence in election integrity

“We believe this issue is above partisan politics,” the senators wrote to the GOP Senate Majority Leader.


In order to combat those sowing chaos and backing conspiracy theories about possible results, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter Wednesday to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to create a bipartisan committee to “guarantee the integrity of our election process” ahead of November voting.

The letter (pdf), which was written in response to what Sanders (I-Vt.) called “the disturbing rise in attacks on the fundamental security and legitimacy of our elections,” pressures McConnell (R-Ky.) to form the committee “to hear testimony from state and local officials, election experts, and others to reassure the American people that the election will go smoothly and reliably.”

“Nothing is more fundamental to our democracy than the integrity of our elections,” Sens. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sanders wrote. “Sadly, there are some who are systematically undermining public confidence in the voting process, and irresponsibly fanning suspicions and conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of election results.”

“With the election less than two months away the Senate should immediately establish a special bipartisan committee, with equal representation from both parties,” the senators continued. “The function of that committee must be to hold hearings about what is being done around the country to make certain that our public institutions are prepared to conduct a smooth and reliable election which will be free from voter suppression and intimidation, that every vote will be counted, and that there will be confidence in the ultimate outcome.”




Robert Reich - Racism is profitable

To end the Oppression Economy, our government must end the criminalization of people of color, end their political suppression, and curb runaway corporate power.


Since the first colonizers arrived in the United States to this very moment, wealthy elites have used the tools of theft, exclusion, and exploitation to expand their wealth and power at the detriment of Black, Latinx, Indigenous people, and marginalized people of color.It all boils down to this simple truth: Racism is profitable. The profitability of racism sparks a vicious cycle called the Oppression Economy:Elite institutions are motivated to keep suppressing the economic vitality of people of color. That economic oppression in turn hinders their political power, and that political oppression kneecaps their ability to change the system.

This cycle plays out in every aspect of our economy and is particularly apparent in mass incarceration.The criminalization of people of color is a multibillion-dollar industry: In 2017 alone, mass incarceration cost $182 billion; trapping mostly low-income Black and Latinx people in a cycle of economic and political disenfranchisement. If we follow the money, we find that some of America’s largest banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, have all extended millions of dollars in credit lines to for-profit prison operators like GEO Group and CoreCivic.

The unregulated operations of prisons has increasingly mandated cheap service for maximum profit. For example, bail bonds companies, telecommunications, food, and commissary companies gouge both those incarcerated and their families.The exploitation doesn’t stop upon release from prison. The suppression of economic vitality of people of color is just beginning. Because of discrimination, formerly incarcerated people face an unemployment rate of 27 percent — higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including during this pandemic and the Great Depression.

Fines and fees associated with the criminal “justice” system have placed $50 billion in debt on the shoulders of approximately 10 million people who have been through the system. To make matters worse, many states bar people convicted of felonies from receiving any government assistance.That’s just incarceration. Over the past four decades, the cost of policing in the U.S. has skyrocketed, almost tripling from $42.3 billion in 1977 to $114.5 billion in 2017. Of the 100 largest cities in America, the nine police forces that kill people at the highest rate per population all take up over 30 percent of their cities’ budgets — leaving paltry resources to invest in housing, education, or health care.


Susan Collins is now down 12 points to Gideon in ME, Graham is tied with Harrison in SC

Pearls Are a Boy's Best Friend

For men, the pearl necklace represents both the unraveling and buttressing of gender norms.


It was on the pink carpet of the 2019 Met Gala that Harry Styles helped reintroduce men to the mollusk. The English former boy-bander, an event co-chair, wore a vaguely Grecian look created for him by the Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele that included a sheer black blouse with a ruffle front and pussy bow, high high-waisted pants, patent-leather heeled boots and a single, perfect pearl earring that owed as much to the theme of the evening — camp — as it did to Rembrandt’s paintings of 17th-century Dutch noblemen (and, yes, Vermeer’s). Since then, Styles, 26, has graduated to wearing a string of pearls around his neck, which he has typically paired with boyish tops: a checkered Marni polo; a Lanvin cardigan featuring Babar the Elephant; an acid-green crew-neck sweater by Magda Archer in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, fellow pearl-necklace enthusiast.

The history of men in pearl necklaces — a perilous internet search, if ever there was one — can be traced to the early 16th century, during the Mughal Empire in India, when long strands could be seen on the emperor Babur and his male descendants. In Europe, Henry VIII wore clothes embroidered with them during his reign as the king of England in the first half of the 1500s. A mourning costume presented to Captain Cook in 1774 during one of his voyages to Tahiti featured a mask and breastplate made of mother-of-pearl. For each of them, ornamentation suggested clout; in that way, pearls predicted a cowboy’s custom belt buckle, a Hollywood actor’s private jet, the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s fleet of Rolls-Royces.

And yet the reappearance of pearl necklaces on men feels fresh. In addition to Styles, the world of music, specifically hip-hop, has had its share of recent advocates, including Gucci Mane, Swae Lee and Future. As is always the case, the realms of fashion and entertainment egg each other on: On the spring 2020 runway, the American designer Ryan Roche sent out male models in airy, neutral-toned V-necks accessorized with several layered strands. A few months later, at the fall shows in Paris, Kim Jones accessorized his Dior Men turtlenecks and taffeta coats with delicate necklaces and loud brooches as well as elbow-length gloves, and Charaf Tajer added a pop of uptown to his après-sport line, Casablanca. And though the early 20th-century Japanese perliculture pioneer Mikimoto Kokichi arguably halved his revenue stream when he said, “My dream is to adorn the necks of all women around the world with pearls,” his legacy lives on in Mikimoto Comme des Garçons, a fine jewelry capsule collection for all genders — modeled in its advertising campaign by an otherwise buttoned-up young man ready for a day of mergers and acquisitions.

We have seen, in recent years, a heady unraveling of what constitutes men’s dressing; with that, the very illusion of manhood has received a drubbing, too. But a man in pearls, unlike, say, a man in a skirt, doesn’t defy gender so much as buttress a binary. It’s not drag when Troye Sivan or ASAP Rocky performs a song wearing one of these necklaces. In fact, it doesn’t really feel that femme — even as these men are referencing, and then subverting, a symbolic kind of ladylike primness. If anything, the flouting of whatever it means to “dress like a man” suggests an act of expressive alpha sex appeal, in the same way that David Bowie was at his most virile when he put on eyeliner and a skintight striped “spacesuit” to become Ziggy Stardust. Pearls — hard yet smooth, timeless yet trendy, iconic yet rare — offer an introduction to style that allows the wearer to have it both ways. They are a contradiction and a coalescence, a gateway to genderless fashion that emphasizes the very distinction it’s meant to dismantle. Pearls are elevated objects from the bottom of the sea, and they represent exactly what they are: a silky orb that lives inside an armor of rock-hard grit.


Trump Admitted To Downplaying The Pandemic, But There's Only One Way To Make It Stick

Trump committed fraud and caused almost 200,000 negligent homicides. There is only one way to hold him accountable for this.


WASHINGTON, DC -- As if we needed further confirmation of Donald Trump’s negligent homicide -- his malicious refusal to take seriously the pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans -- along comes Bob Woodward with the tapes to prove it. Woodward’s latest book about the Trump White House includes at least several bombshell revelations about the president. Former Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, told Woodward, “To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.” Trump also told Woodward -- on tape, no less, "My fucking generals are a bunch of pussies." That one adds further authenticity to The Atlantic’s reporting.

But the most disturbing quote so far has to do with the pandemic. In February, Trump told Woodward that the virus was “deadly stuff” and that it was "more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” Weirdly, Trump was (privately) correct. But in March, Trump changed his attitude and said, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” What Trump defines as “play it down” is, in reality, committing fraud and causing almost 200,000 negligent homicides. Trump didn’t just downplay the virus, which would’ve been bad enough, but he literally told us that it would vanish, “like a miracle” when it gets warmer outside. We learned last month that Trump was merely repeating the “warm weather” thing from something he heard on Fox News Channel’s The Five. And as a consequence of his downplaying tens of thousands more Americans died from a preventable crisis.

Once again, we have no choice but to ask why. Why did he catastrophically fail to follow the add-water-and-serve procedures for handling a pandemic? Why did he knowingly allow 200,000 Americans to perish, with six million more Americans permanently burdened with pre-existing conditions? The answer today is the same as it was when he inexplicably confessed to Bob Woodward. It’s always been the economy as it relates to his re-election chances. That’s it. And today, Trump continues to pat himself on the back for the status of the financial markets, and the decline in the unemployment rate from 16 percent down to eight percent.

Naturally, these trends are strictly the consequence of his negligence on the virus -- as long as he doesn’t shut down the economy to, at long last, end this crisis, the financial markets will remain buoyant, and certain economic indicators will appear to improve. First of all, call me conspiratorial, but I’m skeptical about the unemployment numbers. Trump has been purging the bureaucracy of anyone who’s disloyal to him, and it’s fair to assume that includes government workers at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. We already know that BLS undercounted the number of unemployed workers earlier this Summer because the bureau admitted it in its reports. Suffice to say, I’d like to see BLS’s receipts once Trump is gone. But ultimately, the cost of Trump’s herky-jerky, sociopathic attempt to keep the economy afloat is unfathomable by any other standard.


The Guardian view on the internal market bill: a legal wrecking ball

The government’s proposals defy international law, destabilise the union and undermine Britain’s reputation


To protect national sovereignty, the government is proposing a law that will undermine the deal it signed last year with the European Union to restore that same sovereignty. The logic is hard to fathom. It makes sense only in the context of a Brexit project that can never be completed to the perfect satisfaction of the Conservative party. The internal market bill, published on Wednesday, represents the latest stage in the quest for an immaculate separation from Europe. Every vestige of EU influence over the territory of the UK must be purged. In pursuit of that goal, no diplomatic norm or constitutional principle – not even the duty to uphold international treaties – is safe.

The most controversial target is the provisions in the withdrawal agreement that retain a requirement for Northern Ireland to stay aligned with certain EU standards. The further Britain diverges from the single market, the more checks have to be applied to goods crossing the Irish Sea and the more UK businesses operating in Northern Ireland must adhere to Brussels rules. That is the insurance policy that Boris Johnson signed to avoid land border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Perhaps Mr Johnson did not understand that policy. Perhaps he never intended to honour it. Either way, he now wants to legislate a fantasy version of what he wished he had signed into reality. That involves clauses in the new bill that grant unilateral powers to ministers to override the withdrawal agreement. Regulations issued for that purpose are “not to be regarded as unlawful on the grounds of any incompatibility or inconsistency with relevant international or domestic law”.

Thus the bill seeks to indemnify the government against any legal challenge relating to use of its special powers – a law to put ministers above the law. MPs must not acquiesce in such a thing. It is a sinister constitutional absurdity, quite aside from the bad faith it shows with regard to Brexit negotiations, and the damage it does to the nation’s reputation as a trustworthy trading partner. It depletes any moral authority that the UK might summon as a democratic state criticising the action of authoritarian regimes. It tells the world that Mr Johnson sees international law as a footling thing and that he condones casual breaches for the sake of expediency. This is a direction in British statecraft welcomed only by despots and crooks.


Word to the Base: Trump Thinks You're Suckers, Too

Though I really, really hate to admit it, this one time he’s right.


The non-revelation that Donald Trump has zero respect for the military and its deeply rooted ethos is about as shocking as the contention that he’s cheated on his wives. Really? You’re kidding me. Let’s spend the rest of the week parsing his fourth grade sentences and dissecting video of his disparaging remarks about John McCain. And while we’re at it, let’s see if we can prove O.J. Simpson has an anger management problem. Donald J. Trump basically thinks everyone who is not Donald J. Trump or tightly woven into his gene pool is a sucker. If you weren’t born rich, didn’t steal your fortune, or you like to play by the rules, there might as well be a big “S” tattooed on your forehead. But Trump reserves his hugest eye-roll for the people on whose backs he rode into the White House and by way of whose gullibility and cult-like worship he remains there till this sorry day. Donald J. Trump thinks you’re a sucker.

You’re a sucker for believing your wages were suppressed by Black and brown people rather than by technology and de-unionization. For believing 20th century skills were sufficient for 21st century jobs. For gobbling up your roughly six percent share of the 2017 tax cut like it was Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. For thinking you could sell all your corn and soybeans to Americans. You’re a sucker for believing the arsenic, mercury, and cyanide being released into open waterways would never find its way into your tap water. For living in low-lying areas and cheering our exit from the Paris Agreement. For thinking you’re getting 5G any day now. For not being able to discern a scumbag. You’re a sucker for having a grand total of $343 in your savings account and being grateful to the president for the best economy ever. For preferring a job at $11 per hour stacking boxes to a job at $40 per hour pouring concrete for the foundation of wind turbines.

You’re a sucker for sending $75 to the Trump campaign when your 12-year-old son doesn’t have the proper tools for remote learning. For doing and knowing nothing as your Social Security is gradually dismantled. For acquiring your philosophy of life from Duck Dynasty. You’re a sucker for enduring throbbing three-day migraines from listening to Mark Levin. For surrendering your “socialist” government subsidized healthcare plan in favor of a leftover bottle of Oxycontin and a shot of Jim Beam. For contracting COVID-19 at a crowded backyard barbecue. For going maskless to Sturgis. For drinking bleach. You’re a sucker for buying into the notion that an accused serial rapist is actively ridding the world of pedophiles. For accepting a sycophantic AG’s fictional summary of an investigation that showed clear coordination between the future president of the United Sates and the Kremlin. For happily handing your electoral power over to Vladimir Putin. For the Kellyanne Conway tattoo on your right ass cheek.

You’re a sucker for accepting the notion that a “caravan” of lawless, pillaging refugees was streaming across Mexico to cross the border and violate your daughters. For believing people of color are invading suburban areas that are in reality more afraid of people like you. For putting yourself in harm’s way open carrying at Black Lives Matter protests. For rooting against the survival of the only post office within 20 miles of your trailer. You’re a sucker for going to church and praying for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s demise. For hanging your picture of Donald J. Trump next to your picture of Jesus Christ on the wall above the mantelpiece. For hanging the Trump University diploma right next to it. For making death threats against Michael Cohen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Christine Blasey Ford, Alexander Vindman, Fiona Hill, Marie Yovanovitch and anyone else the president can’t handle on his own like a man. For believing Kayleigh McEnany is an actual person. For all these reasons and many more, Donald Trump thinks you’re a sucker. And though I really, really hate to admit it, this one time he’s right.

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