Too Much Malarkey

I watched the debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden last night, so I might as well comment on that and related political issues. Do people really change their minds about whom to vote for based on debates? It’s not like you’re likely to learn anything new about the candidates at this stage. I’m genuinely scared that Trump will get another term, not really for myself, but for the many people who have suffered under his policies. It’s terrifying that he even has a chance of winning. While I don’t have hard data on the subject, I’ve certainly seen enough people who seem to like his bullying and racism, and don’t care that he constantly contradicts himself. Then there are the people who think he’s secretly trying to end child trafficking, or those whose only concern is outlawing abortion (even though I’m sure Trump would still get them). These people are probably way beyond help, but they can still vote. I’ll admit I’m pretty out of touch in many ways. I can’t really say I know too many people who supported Biden in the primaries, but he still won. Of course, Trump is attacking for Biden for things other Democratic candidates supported, which is frustrating as it keeps making me think, “Wait, why ISN’T he in favor of single-payer health care or the Green New Deal?” Still, Biden did a good job at both answering the questions and responding to Trump’s idiocy. He even called out Trump’s racism, which is obvious but significant because it seems like there was some kind of media agreement that they could talk about the racist things Trump said or did, but had to stop short of actually saying they were racist. Not only did Trump use Nixon’s phrase “law and order” that obviously can’t be taken literally, as I can’t think of two things more antithetical to Trump’s whole deal than law and order; but also refused to condemn white supremacists and instead told them to “stand by.” It’s weird how he doesn’t even try to hide it, as I would suspect the more common thing nowadays would be to denounce it publicly but celebrate it privately, but I guess he figures it’s worked so far.

I’m also still confused by the position of people who think we can’t do anything about the environment because it would cost too much. Rich people have to live on the same planet as everyone else, right? If they ever made working space colonies, I’m sure they’d be entirely for the rich, but I don’t think that’s currently feasible. Obviously poor people bear the brunt of environmental disasters, but isn’t the entire world being threatened here? But then they find ways to force the cost onto people who want to drink with straws or forget to bring their reusable shopping bags instead of the ones who are creating the majority of the pollution, and that’s something that really needs to be dealt with. I think there’s a similarity with the pandemic, not with the virus itself but with the total lack of a contingency plan. People really shouldn’t have to risk exposure in order to make a living, especially in a wealthy country.

As far as the Supreme Court goes, from what I know of the legal procedure, Trump is allowed to appoint a new justice. I want the Democrats to delay the vote, but I don’t know that they can. But that’s kind of the whole thing, that he’s a guy who’ll break laws, but also take advantage of legal technicalities when he can. I heard some Trump supporter on the radio today saying that the President exposes the flaws in the system. I agree, although I don’t think I’m interpreting it the same way he was. He exposes the flaws by constantly using them to his advantage. It’s messed up that it’s a total crapshoot when a new justice is appointed, that impeachment only works if the Senate isn’t full of toadies, and that our immigration process is disgustingly inhumane. And really, one reason I have trouble believing that there’s any universal justice is that, if karma or whatever were real, wouldn’t it have caught up to people like Trump by now? And his insulting Biden’s son and spreading conspiracy theories about him is pretty messed up. Why should he have to answer for his son, anyway? It would have been cool if Biden could have thrown the idiot son thing right back at him, but I’m sure things are different when it’s actually your kid being discussed. The President is clearly a clown without pity. And speaking of feeling bad for people, I don’t like Chris Wallace, but this debate made my sympathize with him to a degree. It’s like how I felt about Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican debates. Maybe the long game for the Republicans is to get liberals to have pity on their rank-and-file members by having an even worse guy scream at them, but if that were the case, they probably wouldn’t have elected the screaming guy as President.

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