The 2024 US election is up to you, my American friends. You have my sympathies.

The 2024 US election is eight months away as I write this and what a sorry story it is.

The blue corner….

A guy with an objectively admirable record of service and leadership over a long period of time. A few mistakes made, for sure. Afghanistan was a disaster and his backing of Israel to the full extent that he has is now looking unwise.

But the economy’s humming along – the Dow is up around 25% compared to when he took over – and things, generally speaking, are OK. His environmental leadership is admirable. He’s hampered by a ultra-conservative Supreme Court and a dysfunctional House, but he’s been a steady set of hands. America’s a better place right now because he won (quite legitimately) in 2020.

If only he wasn’t so damn old.

The red corner

A guy found responsible in a court for business fraud, for the sexual assault of a woman, and for the defamation of the same woman. A multi-time bankrupt. A guy who lost money on casinos! A man who lost the presidency, the house, the senate, who lost 60+ court cases related to the above, and who oversaw a woefully underperformed half-term campaign. A man accused of a) taking and hiding classified documents, b) paying off a pornstar to keep their encounter quiet, c) fomenting an insurrection, and d) conspiring with others to overturn the results of a democratic election. A guy who’s openly admitted that his legal strategy – as all innocent people would do, of course – is to delay court cases so that they fall after the election. That way he can either kill the cases as president, or pardon himself.

And he’s the one currently leading in some polls.

You should all know where my feelings fall on all this. I’m a bleeding heart lefty, after all.

I, and many like me, held some hope that the Americal legal system would hold Donald Trump accountable for his criminality. Quoting Dr King, I do believe ‘that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’. Trump counts on extending the arc’s length, using it to escape justice by becoming president and shutting cases down from The Oval.

Any hope we lefties had of the courts doing their duty in a timely manner is diminishing.

The January 6 case

The Supreme Court declined Jack Smith’s request to hear Trump’s immunity appeal a few months ago. Now they want to hear it ….. in a few months time. If they’d come to this (inevitable) conclusion when Smith initially asked, we’d likely have a decision on the matter already. Now, they won’t begin arguments until April, which means a trial before Judge Chutkan won’t start until June, at the earliest. Probably even later. That delay that could see the American people unable to hear full evidence in court as to whether one of their candidates attempted to commit a giant electoral fraud against them.

I’m not going to say the Supreme Court is biased in favour of him. All I’ll say is that this smells, and not in a good way.

The classified documents case

In the classified documents case, Judge Cannon in Florida seems disinclined to get to trial, too. She’s taking motion after motion, offering stay after stay. She had a scheduling hearing last week that resulted in…. no schedule. Confidence is not running high.

The election subversion case (Georgia)

This case has been side-tracked by an enquiry into the Prosecutor, Fani Willis, and her relationship with one of her assistants, Nathan Wade (no relation).

This is part of the delay strategy. It doesn’t matter whether there’s any smoke there. The presence of fire doesn’t matter. Only the delay matters.

The paying-off-a-porn-star case

This is the only case proceeding to trial at this point, with jury selection beginning in late March. It’s good that it’s going ahead, and while descriptions of the presidential phallis are entertaining, this is probably the least impactful of the four cases Trump is facing. It shouldn’t be. There are 34 charges and they’re important. But ‘important’ is not how the media is covering this case right now. Hopefully that changes when the case begins in a few weeks.

——

The Media

The media (mostly) seems to be failing to meet the moment.

Followers of British politics may know that the BBC went through a time in the last five years where it insisted in allowing both sides of an argument to be given equal air time. That’s fair enough when it’s a legitimate debate that explores nuance. When one side of that debate is just outright bullshit, and the bullshitters are just exploiting your insistence on ‘fairness’, then something’s wrong.

Republicans know this. Like Donald Trump’s “delay” legal stragey, Steve Bannon’s “Flood the zone” strategy is well known.

…. the former head of Breitbart News and chief strategist for Donald Trump. “The Democrats don’t matter,” Bannon reportedly said in 2018. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”

Media outlets need to have the backbone to call a spade a spade.

But we can’t wait on them to do so.

——

The stakes

My American friends, the result of this election is in your hands.

If you’re planning to vote for Trump, then I wish you well but don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

If, on the other hand, you’re concerned about putting a would-be demagogue in charge of the economy, global peace, the nuclear codes, etc – regardless of whether you’re normally a Republican or a Democrat – then it’s up to you. Trump is preparing right now to argue before the highest court in the land that, as president, he should be immune from prosecution for anything he does in office.

Read that last sentence again and pause. Think about it.

Think about what we already know about the guy and what he would do with immunity in his utility belt.

He’s smitten with dictators. He’s OK with sexual assault (more than OK, actually). Read up on how the Christian Nationalist movement is backing him and understand that Roe/Dobbs is just the beginning. He’s dedicated to his own enrichment and bent on punishing anyone who opposes him. The only thing that matters is power and he’ll run over anyone, any institution, any issue, to get it, grow it and keep it.

He’ll appease Putin and hand over Ukraine. That will not end anything. It’ll only move Russia’s ambitions closer to Nato’s borders and the potential for global conflict will move with it.

A Palestinian solution will be off the table. Voters unhappy with Joe Biden for not doing enough to help people in Gaza will find no friend in Trump.

Donald Trump has voiced explicit backing for Israel’s war on Gaza, suggesting that he supports the goal expressed by the hardline government in Tel Aviv of continuing the assault until “total victory”.

Asked if he is “on board” with the way Israel was “taking the fight to Gaza”, the frontrunner for the Republican US presidential nomination responded: “You’ve got to finish the problem”.

Trump is oblivious to the historical fact that appeasing oppressors just leads to more oppression. Secretly, I think he’d like to be one of the oppressors, and he may just get the opportunity.

If he’s allowed to.

——

(Some of) the issues

If you care about the women in your life, their reproductive rights or just their rights in general, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about the preservation of your country’s democratic institutions, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about the separation between church and state, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about global peace and agree that we’re all better off when working together rather than fighting – and you understand that appeasing oppressors is just delaying a fight, not avoiding it – then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about climate change and its consquences, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about maintaining an economy that’s growing, that protects its middle class, provides a pathway for those who are struggling and produces enough GDP to maintain the social services a modern nation needs, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you care about truth and fairness, then think carefully about who you vote for.

If you value the work of the press – the real, genuine and critical work of investigative journalism and the truth-telling that comes from it – then think carefully about who you vote for.

——

The conclusion

The courts are not going to put Trump out of the race.

The media’s not going to put Trump out of the race.

Nobody’s coming to save the day.

The only way this is going to end is for Joe Biden to present a compelling case to the electorate on the issues and – importantly – for the electorate to respond, turn up and vote.

It’s up to YOU to install a responsible government in this race.

I don’t envy what you’re about to go through but this is what Benjamin Franklin was alluding to when he was questioned about what type of government the US would have – a monrachy or a republic?

“A republic, if you can keep it” was his response.

(And note: Benjamin Franklin was 81 when he said that. Not bad for an old guy.)

If you’re concerned by a candidate who’s already tried once to overturn the results of an election and interrupt the peaceful transition of power, one who’s currently arguing for presidential immunity, then VOTE.

I’d rather Joe’d been a one-term president, too, and let someone like Newsom or Whitmer rise to national leadership. But he didn’t. And he’s not a bad guy for it. His government has been transformational in a positive way. While he flubs a few words and isn’t going to win any athletic contests anymore, you don’t have to worry about whether Joe Biden is going to sell your country down the river. He’s not perfect. But he IS good.

I’m cheering for you to do the right thing.

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25 Comments

  1. as you are not American maybe you should MYOB
    Biden is evil lots of dead fr the open border , lots of crime fr illegals heard of deaths fr fentanyl ? 80K minors no one knows where! all the illegal women are raped getting here incl the children as young as 10 ! damn Biden!
    drugs we get fr Bidens wide open border he invited in 7 million ! a LOT of criminals gang bangers one of the sob tried to steal my car last week ! in AZ ( Arizona )
    we are close to border our car insurance is 2X other states due to illegals stealing cars and they end up in Mexico ( no wall! ) luckily I have guns !
    sorry Trump has been unfairly targeted and it’s not over most cases will be resolved on appeal in his favor
    your case for Biden leaves out heaps of facts I was liberal too not so anymore Biden has screwed up the country is crooked he took 20 million $ fr China CCP is their bitch now ! ( proven w/ bank records )
    is a weak suck no one respects him internationally and he is senile clearly
    gas is $5 gal now was 2$ ! inflation is horrible $5-7 for a dozen eggs food is 100% more people are hurting
    canceling censoring is BS you think it is OK ? you are nuts !

    1. Thanks for your measured, substantianted contribution, Jack.

      Please note the advice regarding the door and your ass.

      1. I will not vote for Trump for many of the reasons you listed, Swade, but your opinions are biased.
        Jack’s listings of Biden‘s shortcomings are real and your coverage ignores them.
        I may not vote in that race at all, or more likely, will find a third-party candidate to support out of protest.

        Tim in Denver

        1. I freely admit my bias, Tim. I’ve linked to my outlook in the piece.

          But my observations are at least substantiated by reputable source journalism (and yes, such a thing still exists, thank goodness).

          Jack’s listing of Biden’s shortcomings are neither as real as he suggests when taken in full context, or in some instances, not real at all.

          1. Yes, there’s been an increase in border crossings, but it’s been matched by massive increases in immigrants being deported. And let’s not forget the bipartisan immigration bill that the GOP spiked in the house because it would take away a Trump talking point.

          2. There’s been inflation everywhere around the world. Everywhere. The economic rebound in the USA has been much stronger than in any other western democracy.

          3. Drugs in the US are not new. They didn’t start on January 6 or January 20, 2021. They started decades ago.

          And no, I’m not for censorship or cancelling. Read my piece. What I’m against is giving an air of legitimacy to a flat-earther (for example, not definitive) by giving them equal time on air when their point is rubbish. We owe proven liars nothing in terms of air time on issues that are resolved as lies.

          1. look you dolt the border was secure under Trump
            Biden instantly OPENED IT on day one as he wants millions of grateful people who will vote for him he ended all the effective executive orders trump put in place he said COME ! you are welcome !
            many places they are allowing noncitizens to register and vote that is illegal
            ! the bill you mention was stupid did you read it ? I did ! NO it still would have allowed millions to enter ! 5K per day until they tried to stop it ! and included billions of $ for Ukraine and Gaza
            theses ( illegals ) people pay the cartels an average of $8-10K in bribes to cross they are NOT poor ! the cartels have made billions of $ biden did that ! !
            it does NO good if you let millions enter illegally and deport far fewer! they do a lot of crime ! i was a victim myself
            as for Gaza?
            they deserve to die
            they support a corrupt evil regime.
            HAMAS is like the Nazis ,even worse !
            you brits murdered millions of innocent Germans in cities at night to stop hitler w. bombing ! it was required ( you said )
            USA mostly bombed factories !
            so funny all the liberal gay trans folk protesting for Gaza would be killed thrown off buildings IF they went there ! NO gay in Islam ! LOL
            fact 20K chineses military age men have snuck in too ! they are spies for the CCP think of the damage they could do!

          2. You’re flooding the zone, Jack. Straight out of the Bannon playbook and very predictable.

            (And I’m not British but why let facts get in the way of a good story?)

            ——

            I’m going to leave Jack’s comments here as an example of what we’re all dealing with but (hopefully, if I’ve got the setting right) any new comments from Jack will go straight to Trash. Consider this example #1 in what I was talking about WRT not giving air time to bullshit.

    2. Strange. Just filled up at Marathon for $3.35/gal, and eggs at high-priced Giant Eagle are currently $3.34/doz. Maybe you exaggerate or make stuff up just a teeny bit?
      And, in my opinion, USA politics, the politics of the most powerful country in the world, is everybody’s concern. I thank Steven for making his educated opinion known.

  2. Vague laws are the pathway to tyranny. When a law can be twisted to mean whatever the prosecutor wants it to mean we are in trouble.! going after Trump civilly and criminally & repeated attempts to impeach are absurd ! it was revealed today those prosecutors had MULTIPLE meetings at white house BOTH before and after he was indicted ! video proof ! Biden saying he is not involved is absurd and a damn lie ! He is deeply involved in orchestrating, and planning the persecution & prosecution of his political opponent. & weaponizing the US dept of justice to DO injustice ! and all the polls show Trump is 10 points ahead of Biden! so Bidens evil plan is NOT succeeding is it ? most people are realizing we have sunk to the level of a third-world banana republic! Americans do not like dirty tricks ! I am a Democrat ( soon to be former ) and am ashamed of my party 🥲

    1. “Biden’s evil plan” LOL LOL LOL. Like a J6 insurrection, that sort of evil plan? A petition to the bought and paid for supreme court for presidential immunity, cause presidents are above the law? A pledge to fellow dictator wannabe Orban to zero out Ukraine aid in favor of his ruzzian master?

      You MAGAts are a frakking cancer on this country. Your orange dildo is going to lose BIGLY.

  3. It is painful. I’ve voted third-party for the last three presidential elections, and I certainly won’t stop now. I think Donald Trump did some very good things as president, but why go out of your way to polarize the populace and thwart the process? Not well suited for the job.

    Our two-party system is totally broken, we need legislative term limits, and we need anti-corruption rules for Congress. Both parties game the system for their major contributors, and the resulting laws are bloated and ineffective.

    1. Our two-party system is totally broken, we need legislative term limits, and we need anti-corruption rules for Congress.

      Yep, and yep. And I’d throw in compulsory voting and proportional representation. The power of the sensible center does wonders for rooting out the extremist points of view.

  4. Steven,
    In my opinion, this is the best post you’ve ever made. The level of ignorance in this country stuns and scares me, but I guess that’s to be expected from cult members.
    Thank you for attempting to educate the ignorant.

    1. The cult is real, Ted. That old line about people ignorant of history being doomed to repeat it looms large.

      1. I’d submit there are two cults. One seeks control by economic incentive and growth, and the other seeks control through dependance on government for everything.

        Two side of the same coin.

        1. I think you’re being both generous and not, mate. The old school GOP was about incentive and growth, but that’s some time ago now. The Trump cult is Boris Johnson style “cake-ism”, culture wars, vengance, control and the attraction of a strongman (something that I both get and completely don’t get in the American context).

          1. Well, I believe you’re also a bit of yin and yang.

            Donald Trump has to offer something besides rhetoric, and he doesn’t control the voting congress well enough to execute on his bluster. So, it’s just that: bluster. He still has economic might as his core message.

            Meantime, the Democrats have their “Heim ins Reich” policy out for all to see: agree with us completely or be ridiculed and ostracized (Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Kennedy, etc.).

            Again, two sides of the same coin. You just like the oily, venal gangsters better than the barking carny.

            I pledge to neither camp.

  5. Well said. I have a little more optimism in the justice timeline and I also am confident of a Democrat win at the polls. But I thought that about Hillary too.

    1. Yep. We’ve had their backs for decades upon decades and it feels very uncertain as to whether they’d have ours in the future. Sour taste, for sure.

  6. The secret weapon of the right wing is on full display in many of these posts. It’s saying things that are factually accurate, but in a decontextualized way that is intentionally misleading. None of those “facts” actually proves the point they’re nominally making.

    Let’s be clear, I’ll vote for Biden for the same reasons I voted for him last time…he’s better than the alternative and the alternative is potentially history ending…but I have zero passion about him as a candidate.

    But the truth is, we don’t have a national political party of the right and one of the left. We have a fascist party and a center right party. The notion that the Democratic Party is some far left threat is a particularly myopic US hot take.

    Unfortunately, none of this will change until we can treat political advertising and rhetoric like we treat consumer advertising…intentionally misleading people has consequences and those consequences need to be shared by both the speaker and listener.

  7. Interesting to see how a foreigner pays more attention and has a better grasp on the reality of America than most Americans do. EVERYTHING the former guy does is brushed off and excused by those who just get swept up in being on his winning team. Even though the winning isn’t even real. Coming in 1st by lying and cheating isn’t winning. I think the problem is we all feel like we’re loosing or one thing away from loosing our middle class lives. There’s more than enough to go around. It’s just being hoarded at the top by billionaires. The majority are left feeling like we’re fighting over scraps, and that anxiety is exploited to keep the rich being rich by blaming immigrants, queer people, and minorities for it. I actually wasn’t excited for president Biden, but relieved it wasn’t Trump. But in a way it just kicked than can down the road. And gave us an insurrection. I think Biden actually deserves quite a bit of credit. Sure he’s off on some important things like Israel, but in many ways his admin has been surprisingly progressive. Antitrust for one. Student debt.

    I’m worried for myself, country, and the world what happens the next election. There’s a better choice, but they’re both a little troublesome. Mostly because somehow this is how it ended up. I appreciate your point of view. And anyone who writes three paragraphs without a single period, you can be sure their arguments are in bad faith (even though they may not even be able to recognize it).