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Hello everyone! I thought I'd start with a few thoughts of my own.

1. To find out the outcome of an election, you have to count votes. That's what's going on now. It's frustrating that the result is still up in the air, but patience is key. Trump will try to make the process as unpleasant as possible. Stay focused.

2. The main reason people are surprised by last night's results is that the polls suggested a decisive Biden victory. This is why I don't really discuss horse race polls. And why I think the media spends too much time focused on them. I wrote the first ever edition of Popular Information on this topic: https://popular.info/p/1-ignore-the-polls

3. Trump argument that the vote counting should be halted will be difficult to maintain because if you stopped counting the votes now, Biden would win. This isn't a prediction but it's the current state of play.

4. One encouraging thing I've observed is that Republican elected officials are rejecting Trump's premature declaration of victory. And election officials are staying the course with the vote count. That's important.

5. Litigation has already started but its still unclear if the result will be close enough for it to play a decisive role. That's one thing I'll be monitoring closely.

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I disagree somewhat with#2...yes there is surprise because of the polls but I think it's more that people are disappointed at how gullible we've become as a nation to believe or disregard this man after everything we know. We didn't want to believe so many people are making the choice that brings out the absolute worse in our nation.

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Bridget - you nailed it with this comment and that is exactly why I am shocked and saddened by this close race. After 4 years with this hideous excuse for a human being, I had faith that a large majority of Americans would reject him. I couldn't envision the situation we're facing now.

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MORE people voted for him this time than last!! 3 MILLION more!! It's disgusting.

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I used to work with political polling professionally. I agree with you. I'd like to add that following the polls is lazy journalism. Critical analysis of the polls would make interesting reading... for me. And a small audience, I'm guessing. So we are stuck with this decades-long pattern of journalistic practice and all I think I can do about it is tell my friends "ignore the polls. Fight like your candidate is losing but might win".

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This is the absolute last time I pay ANY attention to polling. In fact, since it appears our family was oversampled this election season (phone calls to the landline every day), I'm going to stop participating in polling as well. I have always been one to search for the good in others, but I'm stick-a-fork-in-me done with that. From where I'm sitting, it appears that most of my neighbors would rather shoot me (and other "libs") than look at me. No more Ms. Nice Gal.

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I became an ace, I think, at having cold and cool conversations with dangerous people. I've had hundreds of those conversations. A couple of years ago I sat at a table in a diner talking with a man and our mutual friend. I noticed he had a huge Trump fan banner on the back window of his pickup truck. I knew that in his way of life he did not need a truck. I asked him if he owned guns. I asked him about ammo shortages. I mentioned I used to shoot. He randomly mentioned he had stockpiled 50,000 rounds. I knew he lived by the Atlantic with white middle class retirees all around. I learned that he had his back against the sea and had a mind to create a defensible fortress even though it was just him living there. Why did he need 50K rounds? "To prepare for the Muslim apocalypse". He said it dryly. Matter of fact. He is afraid he will face mobs of people coming for him, and for his property. If I show him my anger, how will he react? If I call him stupid, how will he feel? If I laugh out loud, what next? I need results. I want results. I do not have the skills for talking him off that ledge. He is terrified. His whole life revolves around that fear.

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I get what you're saying. I really do. And I was the one telling my paranoid son that he needed to see the abject fear that motivates some of these people - until recently. I'll still remember that they're afraid, and their fear causes their belligerence, but I will no longer go out of my way to do for them. No more solicitous calls when I see their animals running loose, no more offers to clean their driveways after a heavy snow, no more asking after the kids & grands. I don't know them anymore.

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Have you become afraid of them? (BTW - that guy, in my story - I do nothing at all to help him, although I supposed I could - I DO help people who ask for help)

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Nope. As long as they don't realize where my sentiments lie, I'm good. And, if they do ever realize it, I don't think they're scared enough of me to do anything to me.

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I am in a similar situation though the neighborhood is split between evangelical ‘christians who oppose abortion but would do nothing to help a struggling single mother and the gun toting 2nd amendment folks- who could not tell you what the 2nd amendment says- I try to simply not engage because they know where I live and violence is not out of the question

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Alex Burns on NYTimes Daily this morning said that polling in key states like Florida and Wisconsin was likely overestimated and even the campaigns were trying to tell media that their data was showing much closer margins. Had no idea and thought that was interesting.

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If journalists consistently tried to follow up on leads and dig into facts by consulting a Ouija board, how long would it take for you to disregard what they report (and cancel your subscriptions)? Polling stories are poison, especially when delivered as “this new twist just in.” Why do we think that predicting the future is a job for a news organization? NYT handled it especially poorly this week. 538 four years ago, Upshot this year - they are selling us an addictive mind-altering framework, not evidence. Polling is a tool in campaigners’ toolbox, I get that. But look at us consumers, handing horserace-paradigm journalists the keys to our brains.

Polls are crack for quants. Let’s all detox.

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Trump got a pretty dry reception from GOP courts at state and federal levels with his antics in Harris County TX.

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We are failing an open-book test. I understand why someone may have voted for DJT in 2016. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. But we had nearly four years of instability, deception, corruption, and complete lack of basic decency upon which to draw when casting our ballots this year. I fully realize that votes are still being counted, but I'm struggling to understand how this is even close.

So much is at stake. And an alarming percentage of Americans appear to have turned a blind eye to real problems facing our nation. Instead, they're drawn to the President's claims of a strong economy and promises to resolve the very disorder he created.

It. Blows. My. Mind.

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author

I think recognizing there are lots of things about the politics of the United States that are poorly understood is a good starting place. I'm right there with you.

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Absolutely. To include the possibility that more and more people are voting for bombast than for actual politics. I once assumed people voted for Trump's "policies" despite his personality. I'm slowly realizing it could be the other way around.

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people voted because of a world view deeply instilled in them by a billion + of weaponized content that has pummeled them since 2016.

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Yes, and this. Though I agree with Judd's assessment. There is clearly a lot we don't know about why people vote for him. If we'd figured that out in the last four years, I have to assume this race would not be so close.

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Actually, a whole bunch of people did the research and know very well why they vote for him. Not one funder on the left ever stepped up to truly build an equal digital eco system to rival what the Kochs have built.

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Agree to disagree, I suppose. It seems clear to me there is a lot we still don't understand about politics in this country. And yes, even if we did have a firmer grasp on why people vote the way they do, we likely wouldn't be as effective at communicating our message to voters as Republicans have been for the reasons you've pointed out.

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What frightens me the most is seeing huge swaths of the country (not just the south; also areas in the midwest and west) where people truly believe that covid is not real and doesn't need any action taken to control it. There are districts with the highest covid death counts that voted Trump, and that is not (entirely) Trump's own doing. It is the complicit press, social media, and the state's local leaders parroting the same deceptions.

This is a cancer to a free society. Freedom of speech is a powerful tool, but echo chambers and free access to megaphones weaponizes it against us. Opinions must be considered, but "covid is a hoax" is not an opinion.

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To be clear, I hold Zuckerberg responsible to a point because he is a GOP lapdog, but it isn't entirely Facebook's fault, it's the ability for individuals to isolate themselves from hearing and considering dissent that is destroying America.

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i AGREE COMPLETELY. ZUCKERBERG HELPED ALL THIS HAPPEN.

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Yes he did

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Everything Facebook is doing right now is to avoid government regulation of the platform. Because of my job right now I'm becoming something of an expert on social media technology, especially what's wrong with it, how the recommendation algorithms work and how disinformation is a perfect application for them. Facebook is out of control and so are the other platforms. YouTube is actually worse.

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I'm not terribly knowledgeable about this stuff at all. How does Twitter rank in all this?

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As far as market share of ads, Twitter is between the two of these. Jack Dorsey seems to have sort of grown a conscience, but it really doesn't matter. I wrote a whole bunch more, but this thread is about the election and I don't want to keep going off on a tangent.

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I worried in the election lead-up that Biden would somehow fumble at the three-yard line.

It’s soul-destroying and a crushing defeat even if he somehow manages to win. That a huge number of Americans see Trump as their saviour whilst he robs them of their health and health care is a staggering testament to herd mentality. Sadly, herd immunity will not protect many of them and they will succumb to COVID. What they fail to see is he and the GOP truly don’t care.

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My god. I mean, I can't help but think about all the stories in 2017 when self-avowed Trump voters were saying, "please, don't take away my healthcare coverage." That is literally what he was campaigning to do!

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Somehow they’ve tied it to a belief that having affordable health care for everyone is a communist plot. I am so glad I live in Canada. No, it's not perfect, but Prescription costs in the US kill. Many who get COVID may find themselves with no coverage as the consequent long-term affects are deemed a pre-existing condition.

As to the environment, those people who live with contaminated water supplies (Forever chemicals) voted for a man who told them America has the cleanest water. Ah, but they are poor and expendable as are the 230,000 + who died of COVID.

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I was watching a Trump rally last week (because I enjoy pain and feeling dead inside), and in the midst of listing of litany of fear-mongering critiques about the Democratic party he shouted to his supporters "They want to make healthcare free for everybody." And they booed! He was making fun of free healthcare!!!!

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It is sometimes so disorienting to hear that, right? I know exactly what you mean. You wonder if anyone is listening to the words, or just cheering on command like a studio audience. Now to be fair, the Democratic party also emphatically rejected universal healthcare during this election cycle, and even adopted the healthcare=socialism line from the GOP. Personally, this frustrated me even more than the surreal spectacle of people cheering for bankruptcy, insurance companies, and death, because they had the chance to really take up a huge reform for the benefit of all, and in the midst of the pandemic no less. What a squandered opportunity.

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"Free for everybody" is a dog whistle. They know and he knows that he's not making fun of free healthcare, he's making fun of people who think that BIPOC should also get healthcare.

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That makes so much sense. It is remarkable to me how successful the Republican party is at convincing people to hate something that could benefit them because it might also benefit others.

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That's an excellent observation. I guess we all need to be able to translate GOP talking points into "grievance speak".

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Lolsob

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Mine, too. But you can lay some blame on the MSM as well. They have done a piss poor job covering Trump's presidency

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The headlines have screamed, every single stinking day, about what Trump was doing and saying. You absolutely don’t get to blame “the media“ for not telling when the truth is people didn’t care as long as their portfolios looked good.

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I agree with you somewhat. However, I think it has been clear for years that most media outlets have refrained from calling Trump's words and actions what they are (racist, illegal, fascist) because they didn't want to appear biased. My other issue with MSM outlets is that they gave (and still give) airtime to people operating in bad faith to debate the issue of the day. Instead, they need to avoid headline news coverage and report things in terms and perspectives that allow viewers to fully understand how it impacts their lives.

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You make valid points; better than blanket condemnation. Thank you.

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Calling him racist would not have helped.

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Why do you believe that?

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Really? What Maddow? How about how the children at the border in detention dropped off the radar. The pardons of his henchmen, no they chased the Trump ball and dropped it over and over and over. The examples are numerous but you have your opinion and I have mine. They are to blame.

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Agreed. What are elderly people in FL thinking of? Especially when there’s a good chance #45 will take away health care. How much of a factor in all this is Fox News?

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Wait until he cuts payroll taxes people. I think that’s the next thing on his agenda.

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It is! I believe he’s said as much. I’m disappointed in Dems & Biden for not jumping all over this and campaigning hard on their commitment to preserving Social Security and Medicare.

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Eh, they'll all be dead before they figure out how they helped screw their kids.

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Please stop. Stereotyping is not helpful in any discussion. All senior citizens (or elderly as you prefer) are not the same nor do they vote the same. Additionally, seniors are not the only voting “block” in Florida. Every state (some more than others) has low-informed voters who are easily swayed by the loudest voices and pushers of fear which brings me to your question about Fox “News” being a factor - well duh!

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I think it may be called delusion.

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It’s frighteningly apt that this monster and its acolytes are on the verge of returning to lay waste to what is left of America’s soul. Some might say it has a new darker soul, but are Americans willing to accept that and follow a truly evil man?

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Pretty succinct. I struggle with the same question. I'm blown away by supposedly caring people voting for this.

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This is why we have to work in the schools to change the curriculum back to a time when asking questions was not punishable and thinking about ideas was encouraged and taught. If I take a minute and think about the evangelical teachings, I see that it is pure bullshit with gold dust and feathers of the angels. This is not made up. It exists here at a megachurch where I live. The young searchers who come here from all over the world are frisked of their money and told massive lies. It is Jim Jones again. This kind of control is in the schools, police departments and local government. All white perpetrated. If you are LGBTQ or of color you are not so welcome. In fact the former can be sent to a special place to get "cured". I see where the systemic racism is born again!

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And you think they are caring because . . . they volunteer at animal shelters? give tours of local battlefield sites? I’m legit confused by your comment.

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I see where you’re coming from, not ready to agree or disagree with you. But if they’re “caring” only in the universe of beneficiaries of their belief system, I can’t call that caring.

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I was not at all surprised by Trump taking 2016 and 2020's close margins seem about right. Woman in a STEM field see this because Every. Single. Man. we work with is a Trumper. Many are openly racist and sexist, but don't think they are because "that is the normal way to think."

I was told by colleagues for TWO separate jobs in very different locations that I would not get an internal company job that I had applied for because 1) "He won't hire a woman or any Black person" 2) Look around... see what we hire: you are not what we hire. These are Trumpers. They will just say it to your face like they are explaining something reasonable. One guy was even having me fill in while he looked for a white male. He wrote nice things about my work to his bosses, but hire a Woman?!? NO WAY. I refused to "fill in" until my replacement could be found after I found out what he really thought. It took them over a year and a half to find a suitable white guy. These are Trumpers. They are everywhere.

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More white women voted for Trump, both in terms of raw numbers and percentages, in 2020 than in 2016. With the caveat that we don't have complete numbers yet, but right now it's looking like 55% of white women voted for Trump in 2020, versus 53% in 2016. White women are just as much to blame, nonwithstanding the existing issues of sexism in STEM.

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We're watching this from Asia and are kinda shocked that the race is so close. Was expecting a blue wave after four years of this monster. Gave you guys the benefit of the doubt in 2016, but this election has shown, this is America. Even if Biden wins narrowly, half of America holds Trumpist views, whether we or you'd like to admit. I don't know what the future holds, good luck my American friends.

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Try living here. I share your horror.

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it's awful.

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I would like to leave this country. It's horrible here.

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I left to Ecuador 3 years ago although I still am a US citizen and vote in NV. .....best move I ever made. I think I was ahead of the curve.

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We moved to Italy this year. So far not regretting it.

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I love Sicily and often fantasize about living there. However we do split our time between Bangkok and San Diego. Neither Italy nor Thailand have come to a steady state of economic equality. And Italy has a pretty brazen right wing. I'm not trying to deflect everyone's despair; it's justified. But if the fantasy of fleeing occurs to us, make sure to investigate where you'd feel comfy and what aspects of that other place appeal to you. Food and climate? Ability to insulate yourself from the domestic realities of the other place? The set of individuals you personally encounter as opposed to the electoral results in that country? Then apply those criteria to the country we despair about. We now know that 35% of our population would prefer "Father Knows Best" and "The Donna Reed Show" to the realities of the 21st century. OTOH cities and their suburbs don't have that mindset. Our challenge is to reconcile these seemingly irreconcilable orientations.

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This rightwing swing has been going on all over Europe. There isn't remotely enough coverage about how Putin has funded political extremists on both right and left in Western democracies in order to destabilize them, draw attention away from his regime, and prove to his populace that our systems of government don't work. He has used the same tactics on us that the CIA has used to destabilize governments such as those in Central and South America. He has met with varying success, the most successful has been in Hungary and Poland. I don't know if the Philippines or Brazil are anything to do with him, but I wouldn't be surprised. Sadly the state of American affairs has done nothing but help his efforts along.

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I almost did leave in the 60s. Now I’m too old to relocate but sure wish I was elsewhere

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I left 3 years ago at age 67, now 70, living in Ecuador. YOU can do it!

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so Ecuador is good? I have not been a big traveler in my life, and relocating sounds hard, but I m thinking seriously about it. what about healthcare? has to better than here, I would imagine, but how do you become citizen?

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Citizenship takes 5 years of residency, but legal residency is easy......special residency visa programs for retirees. 12 hours of daylight every day, all year, with year round temps of 68 lows -87 highs. And the beach! and whales! and the Amazon! and the Galapagos! johninecuador@gmail.com

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Ecuador is good. The health care is supposed to be decent, not as good as the US. Rent is cheaper. I researched it a lot at one point. At that time there were a few cities in which a lot of expats have relocated, so there is an expat community. It is a third world country, so some things are not as convenient or comfortable, but there are good things about it. I don't know if you can become a citizen, but I think you can be a legal resident. The thing to do is read, read, read. Read books, blogs, etc. Meet people online who live there, etc., and remember not to believe everything people say.

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Since the US is becoming a 3rd world country that should not matter. Learning a new language might be a deterrent

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Can I join you?

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c'mon down!

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I've been able relocate internally. A very small, liberal county, no COVID deaths and the Trump idiots and COVIDIOTS keep their head down.

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Wherever you go, Facism will come for you. It will be easy to find you with Big Tech Google and Facebook surveillance .

Take a stand here and now.

Fight here (non-violently, duh).

Fight for your country.

Americans fight for their country. Forever.

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Alas there is no blue wave, at present Biden is ahead by a mere 25 electoral votes, and the senate is 47-47, and most of the issues and people I have been rooting for and donating to have lost to the Republicans.

Stupid freakin Americans are swayed by commercials, there is no salvation. In California Prop 22 failed, simply because Uber and Lyft spent millions on commercials.

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Let's be clear. There is a portion of the population - specifically, Black and other POC voters - who have been telling us for decades that this is how America is. That we, as a nation, care more about protecting our wealth and our status than we do about actually pursuing equality. That issues involving race cannot be compartmentalized. That socialism is just fine when it's me but it's not fine when you benefit too (think farmers getting bailouts or the stimulus checks). This is deeply frustrating and disheartening, but it isn't a surprise.

And if this isn't clear evidence that a lot of people on the left live in echo chambers of news sources, I don't know what could be clearer. So many people on the left that I know - myself included, though probably to a lesser degree - convinced ourselves that this election would be a repudiation of what Trump stood for and his ignorance and the harm he's done. Even if Biden does end up winning, the election absolutely does not represent a repudiation of Trump and the GOP. At all.

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I agree with you completely. Let’s face up to what this says about America and Americans’ fear of POC. Millions showed up to vote for Trump’s “law and order” appeals and don’t care about the pandemic deaths. It’s so disheartening but also a call to fight harder for racial justice and an end to poverty.

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One major issue is the folks who support Trump see racial justice as a loss for them. For them, it seems like equality is somehow a threat, so they fight it tooth and nail, irrespective of the dangers it poses to them and the country as a whole.

It can't be solely the responsibility of the Democratic party to address this issue, though it seems like that's the expectation. Meanwhile, the GOP seems unconcerned about the problem unless it threatens their power, and even then, that requires only the most overt and uncontested expressions of racial violence.

A Biden win is a positive thing, but as long as one of the two major political parties proudly makes itself a home for racism, misogyny, anti-immigration for non-white people, etc., many people will view all significant issues as partisan. And when everything is partisan, nothing truly matters because partisanship reduces all to political disputes, akin to a sport. However, it is not a sport, and the denial of fundamental rights is not just a game.

I don't know how this will change.

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The bigger problem is Democrats are as ignorant to the racial equity issues as the GOP. This isn't just a GOP issue by any means. The fact that the GOP is the party of white supremacy doesn't mean that the Democrats are not full of white supremacy as well. Democrats are fine with calling out the more blatant forms of racism. But when Democrats are confronted about less obvious forms of racism that are no less harmful, they start getting just as shut down and defensive as the GOP.

This isn't an issue with just one party.

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Only one party openly invites it and the other makes a concerted effort to fight for equality.

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Democrats do not make a concerted effort to fight for equality. Some Democrats do. The party, as a whole, does not. Nor does everyone or even most of the people in the party.

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The Democratic party is imperfect in this regard. I do not agree. The GOP openly invites white supremacy. There is a major difference.

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That's fair. Pelosi appeared on PBS NewsHour last night and was asked whether Democrats had underperformed among minority voters. Her answer, that "minority voters are the most brilliant voters, they see clearly what is in their interest" felt really patronizing and from a similar perspective that generated "if you don't vote for me then you ain't black."

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Yes, that was an awkward moment and inelegant phrasing, to say the least. However, I don't thick she was being patronizing. I took her comments as "Black voters have their eyes open."

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I can appreciate that.

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He loves the uneducated and the stats illustrate uneducated poor folks seem to love sucking up to the rich. I believe the large increase in Black & Latino males this time is do to the fact they despise female equality. The all want to proud pussy grabbers just like our #POUTINGpotus. It's sad that these folks think the GOP will ever do anything to improve their standing in our society. Worse yet, when progressive assistance programs are made available they are the first one with their hands out and then after they got theirs, they'll bitch about others getting theirs.

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Indeed. America's so-called "greatness" was built on the backs of enslaved black people, and that subjugation, while it has changed appearance over centuries, has never really truly been defeated.

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Yes. In fact, the current electoral map shows that the Confederacy lives on and has metastasized. How do you get absolute surrender 170 years after the defeat? I’m stumped.

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Could not have put it better myself. The South truly lost the war but won the peace.

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Because of where I live I am less surprised than if I had remained in a predominantly blue area

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Trump showed fundamentalist mainly white christians the power he would give them and they threw themselves at his feet. He showed racists and other bigots the legitimacy they craved and they lined up for him. He has exposed for everyone to see the worst of America and they lapped it up. Now he has followed through On his democracy destroying path to reelection. Declare victory prematurely, demand counting stop, tie it up in lawsuits that make their way to an SC he has packed. If that happens I fear our democracy is dead and we are a backwoods dictatorship. And the fact that so many Americans think this is ok, since they like what he says, is disheartening. Everyone who says our system of checks and balances will work it out, I don’t think factored in such a craven GOP.

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This was written three hours ago, so perhaps things look a bit different now. But I think it's important to grapple with the deep factual and ideological divides of the country. I don't believe those divides mean democracy is dead. That is democracy. It's being tested, but the outcome is not preordained.

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I agree wholeheartedly. I also think (because I'm related to some of these folks) that they legitimately do not see what seems to us to be right in front of our faces. They think all the talk of dictatorship is overblown and delusional. They don't think it is anywhere near as 'bad as we think it is'. It is a cult and so, so many have drunk the Kool-aid.

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yet they are afraid of so called "socialism" rather than authoritarianism, it's like they dont understand what that is... and I think They like the thought of that, they need a daddy. especially one who hates the liberals.

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They don’t understand. They did not grow up after WW II when there were real threats - as there are today but younger filks have grown up essentially spoiled and entitled

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This.

We have ignored how mediagenic Trump is. When combined with prioritizing power, delivering legitimacy that pulls people out of the shadows, and the right wing machine that has been operating for years — putting judges on benches and training candidates and campaigns in local races — his style, his years on TV cannot be matched by anyone wanting to have a thoughtful conversation.

Now, the Democrats — maybe thinking of the Lincoln Project — it’s better to say the non-Trumpists — have to play a long game AND a short game. Putting in place machine, building power training candidates while effectively combatting a President who is willing to say anything, consolidate power at the expense of rights and liberties.

I know it’s not over yet and he might end up being a lame duck President (terrifying before, more so now with this close vote behind him). I’m not sure that changes the reality of what’s ahead for the country.

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You nailed it!

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Sadly his cult has grown

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I agree wholeheartedly and it is sad-

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Shocked to find out that half my country, who elected a black man for president twice (only 8 & 12 years ago) is okay with systemic racism & okay with almost a quarter million Americans dying (so far) due to a mishandled pandemic. I really believed that we were better than this. The feeling of defeat, regardless of the Presidential election result, is overwhelming.

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As usual this country used a black man to save it from the economic ruins from the Bush administration and then shows its true racist ways by electing a pos racist to take the credit

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Here is a hard truth to swallow. The president has little or nothing to do with the economy. The economy is not the DOW or Wall Street. is is you and I with change in our pockets that spend it. Spending is the economy, no money to spend, no economy.

always talk of the GDP, every time a cancer of cancer is diagnosed, the GDP goes up

The Gross Domestic product is dependent on spending, not production. COVID-19 was a GDP accelerant, offset by the layoffs and unemployment

The media, which is corporate owned and reports what the corporations want to report, is fixated on the DOW Jones and other stock market indicators, not on the welfare of and the spending of the citizen. So they report a good economy when the DOW goes up.

And the stock market does not respond to spending and jobs, it responds to shareholder emotions, and shareholder emotions are driven by such things as Presidential policies and now, today, by of all things tweets.

I repeat the economy is not the stock market, but you wouldn't know that because of the reporting of the lame stream media.

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I agree 110%.

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As usual this country used a black man to save it from the economic ruins from the Bush administration and then shows its true racist ways by electing a pos racist to take the credit

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Not half. More than half would be Dems and there's the voter suppression.

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True, and we knew (well in advance) that voter suppression was going to be a huge issue, and it was still allowed to happen.

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Dems are guilty of voter suppression as well. I don't see a giant wave of Democratic legislatures allowing convicted felons the right to vote unconditionally. And those laws preventing convicted felons from voting, all enacted during Jim Crow, were designed to prevent Black people from voting.

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Which states?

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All of them.

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I agree with your sentiments, but not with your conclusion. Julie's statement was not false equivalency. The fact is that Democrats, especially when the party was racist Dixiecrats are behind the laws prohibiting convicts from voting. A hold over of the 13th Amendment which outlawed chattel slavery, but allowed for enslavement of convicts.

It is no coincidence that Angola, the largest state prison was built on the largest plantation in Louisiana and possibly the south. Named after the country from which the majority of slaves came.

Unfortunately Biden's sponsorship and vote on the Crime Bill of 1996 has criminalized people, most of whom are black, for such trivial things as marijuana possession and turned them into felons.

Fortunately votes have already been cast, but the Democratic party has a lot to do to become what it holds itself out to be, a party of the people. Rather it is the party of the plutocrats, and the peoples votes are taken for granted because "the alternative is unthinkable".

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Penny, you are a real pain in the butt, you slap down every hand offered because it is not politically correct, as I said elsewheres your penchant for being self righteous, self pitying and accusatory of those who are allies, but not sufficiently correct, is tiresome and counter productive.

Get over yourself, welcome allies rather than slap down their hands because they are not sufficiently politically correct.

You are wearing on one's patience, and frankly I really don't care

You are as obnoxious as Trump voter. The other side of the same coin.

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LOL My false equivalency? No. I'm enabling deniers like yourself to wake up and have to face the reality. Until you actually wake up and see the reality of how this has been going on, you're going to keep perpetuating the status quo and not understanding why.

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I is not really shocking. The strength of the American fight for civil rights rose to the surface again under DJT. But so did the strength of America's brutal racism. It was not destroyed in the 60's. It was not sealed in a tomb with Martin Luther King. We've lived in a divided country since before the Civil War. Since before the Constitutional Congress. Alexander Hamilton was one of a very few adamant proponents of the abolition of slavery. If anyone still believes that the Civil War settled things, they do not know the still breathing "righteousness" of the rebel "cause." So many times I have thought about what we would be if we had let the South secede. Never more than now.

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My opinion is that the racists didn't vote, because they didn't think that he would win. The minorities turned out in unheard of numbers, but he failed to deliver, and they have resigned themselves.

The Democratic party has always taken the minority, labor and gay vote for granted, because , in their mindset, the alternative is worse. And so it is with this election.

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I am reading this from Canada and deeply sick about all this. I am losing faith in my fellow man and it's crushing my spirit

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I love Canada; I lived in the Toronto area for 12 years with my Canadian husband and absolutely fell in love with your country, it's history, it's people, it's diversity, it's beauty...Unfortunately my husband passed away 8 years ago and I'm back in the Chicago area to help my elderly parents. I don't recognize this country anymore...and I would give anything to go back to Canada!

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Are you Canadian? If so, congrats. It’s too cold, but I’d take it at this point.

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I am Canadian, not that bad in say Vancouver damn chilly in the prairies and yes I imagine I'll see more interest in coming here LOL

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I will take the cold any day.....

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Do you have a room for rent?

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... path ahead.

I don't see one. Even if Biden pulls out a squeaker, half the electorate voted to reelect the worst president in history. Half the electorate wants to destroy the Atlantic alliance. Half the electorate is more comfortable with the US playing in Putin's sandbox than in the EU's. What sort of pathway is there out of that mess, aside from a cataclysmic world war (God forbid) that might possibly unite the country?

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What is the purpose of the Atlantic alliance? Why are some Dems so eager to maintain the war machine? I want to deescalate with China, Russia, Iran, and N. Korea and move half the war budget to reconstruction.

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The Atlantic alliance is economic, not just military. It represents common values of democratic principles embedded in capitalist societies. The only reason the EU goes to war is because the US drags them in.

I have no problem with reducing the military budget. Part of why we're here is because we are now a military society with patriotism measured by how much you love guns and bombs. I don't see that changing, especially since that is the heart and soul of the QOP.

We need to re-engage with China and Iran. Putin's Russia will remain focused only on what can make Russia a world power again. He has no interest in being a good neighbor. Putin would love to rebuild the USSR built around the White countries in the area. Do we stand by while that happens? If NATO stands up, Putin sits down, and vice versa. We saw that with Crimea and are seeing it with Lithuania.

North Korea is a rogue state that is not interested in playing nice. De-escalation puts Seoul at grave risk. At the same time, South Korea needs to be allowed to take the lead in making nice with Kim Jong-un.

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and to think Trump even knows what he is doing is absurd. Not only does he want military build up , he wants to use nuclear bombs! he says why not? why dont we? wow. what a mess. sure he says he doesnt want a war, but that is not true, that guy is the most wreckless.

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Here shows the problem....someone has to explain the value and purpose of NATO to Cooper.

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I agree with you that S. Korea should take lead regarding the North.

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What is the purpose of the Atlantic alliance? Is that a rhetorical question or are you genuinely interested? If the latter, then maybe we can crowd source here some good books for you to read. The United States’ alliances around the world are a peace machine and a economic machine. Like it or not, we are a global economy and share global concerns, such as pandemic control and environmental preservation and the safe guarding trade routes. If we retreat to protectionism and try to go it alone, our economy will tank, our already shrinking influence on the word (thanks to trump) will vanish, and we will live in a far more dangerous world, in which dictators and bullies can affect US internal affairs.

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You may need to change that one sentence of yours about the US being a global economy. We WERE the main driver of the global economy until trumps tariffs and his completely mishandling of this pandemic. Our “fantastic” economy has shrunk like a cheap suit caught in a rainstorm.

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This is at least the second time someone has pointed to half the population as holding reactionary and racist views. But let's recognize that the Electoral College mechanism grants outsized voting power to rural voters. And that it is most certainly not 50% of the voters painting the map red. I wish I had a link to a map that shows how our population votes based purely on their ballot choices without respect to state lines. Yes, it's awful that 35-40% are looking at the world from a rear view mirror. But are we frozen in this? I sure hope that 60-65% of us can find a way to transcend the shackles of rural know-nothing electoral hegemony. (Wow, I haven't even had my coffee yet.)

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EC be damned. Some 65 million voters pulled the lever for the fascist in orange. A few million more pulled for Biden. That's a massive problem in my book.

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I haven't had my coffee yet. And I haven't verified the numbers. Absolutely it's a problem that any sizeable voting bloc look to that authoritarian, mentally ill con man. Do we just give up when we're the majority? Do we give in to the temptation of painting Trump voters as uniformly irredeemable? Have we pondered what's in the mind of Voters who elected Obama twice and yet can vote for Trump? Quite a puzzle. It's the 50th anniversary of the Rubik's cube. Something to spin about.

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Nice segue into the Rubik’s cube 🤣

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This is at least the second time someone has pointed to half the population as holding reactionary and racist views. But let's recognize that the Electoral College mechanism grants outsized voting power to rural voters. And that it is most certainly not 50% of the voters painting the map red. I wish I had a link to a map that shows how our population votes based purely on their ballot choices without respect to state lines. Yes, it's awful that 35-40% are looking at the world from a rear view mirror. But are we frozen in this? I sure hope that 60-65% of us can find a way to transcend the shackles of rural know-nothing electoral hegemony. (Wow, I haven't even had my coffee yet.)

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The fact that this election is so close is a reflection of America’s failed educational system, a lack of understanding of American civics, and American addiction to social media. I am embarrassed that so many of my fellow voters are unable to discern fact from fiction, and don’t bother to fact check stories that they see on social media before sharing them. Misinformation and disinformation helped to make this election as close as it is.

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A perfect example of what I’m talking about: on Monday, I was talking to someone in my office in his late 20’s who is a Trump supporter. He was laughing at the attempt by Texas Trump supporters to run the Biden-Harris bus off the road. He had no understanding of the electoral college and the bicameral system of government. Trump is entertainment to him, and is worthy of his vote.

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I completely agree with the above. I relocated to rural GA 40 yrs ago and was appalled (and still Am despite marginal improvements) at the educational system. My 60+ year old step children, grands and greats haven’t a clue about how government is designed to work. They watch Fox and listen to the preachers. Really sad

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The real worry I have is that fact/fiction did not come into play - that they did or could, but did not care.

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Out with de Vos! She is continuing the destruction of our educational system. This is by design and has been in play for the last 40 years. Kochs decide the curriculum from 1st grade thru university. They fund "schools" within schools, award grants to those who do things their way, who teach the kind of economics they approve.

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Numb, sad, and enraged all at the same time. Twice in 4 years I’ve gone to bed on election night feeling like I’m living in an alternate dimension that doesn’t square with what I believe we are about.

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me too. and I cant sleep. ever.

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Honestly, I don't understand why so many (mostly white) Americans are shocked to pieces. America was built on racist individualism, has enabled racism individualism throughout its history, elected this racist individualist, allowed him to enact racist and individualist policies using racist and individualist rhetoric. So yes, half the country is pumped about elected a racist individualist. It sucks. But as a black woman, it's not at all surprising that so many people would vote for someone who is so blatantly racist and self-serving. They LIKE that about him and they HATE that all these years they've been shamed for it.

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Thanks for sharing this Phoebe.

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As someone who grew up in a very racist family, I can confirm that this is true. They like that they can say racist things out loud and in public now. The people that vote for Trump who say they aren't racist are either lying or are simply OK with looking the other way, which is being racist.

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Ditto

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1000% this. I've noted that it has been almost entirely white ppl (mostly men) who told me 'don't worry, it'll be a landslide, early bedtime etc etc' meanwhile most of the women LGBTQ and Black/brown ppl I know have been battling crippling anxiety going into this election. The ignorance around this is stunning, even 4 yrs later

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There are plenty of white women too who are shocked about this.

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Definitely true. Anecdotally for me it's been mostly men though.

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I point it out only because anecdotally for me, where I'm not surrounded by white men, almost all the white women I see are going through this shock - even those that are more aware of the issues than others.

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Let's remember that January 21, 2017 marked the largest public demonstration in US history: the Women's March.

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Phoebe, you paint a bleak but sadly true historical background. But you ought not let our electoral college obscure the fact that the popular vote did not point to Trump in 2016. Or to George W. in his first race. And the nation did muster enough popular AND electoral votes to elect Obama twice. History is full of contradictory waves. Our challenge is to somehow neutralize the haters. The coalition of antiracist people just this year is an indication that all is not lost. We need to keep the faith. John Lewis would be reminding us. He bore the scars but he got up again and went back into the arena. Let's give ourselves a few days of despondency if it's inescapable. And then let's each ask ourselves how we can strike out for equality-- and yes-- love for our fellow humans.

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It's presumptuous to assume I've given up on improving the country or that I am despondent. I am simply realistic about where we are where others have not been.

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The problem with folk talking about the popular vote in 2016, is that it didn't break for Hillary until it got to California. It was in California that she finally won the popular vote.

It is pretty hard to keep the faith, when the evidence is that at least 44% of Americans are indeed and in fact racists, and that even more are patriarchalists, but voted for Biden because of Trump's and the GOP's racism.

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Man, I really hate that you have a good point. I just want us to be so much better than this and was lulled to believing we were better. -- The narrative has to change. It has to be that keeping people down is bad for everyone instead of this idea that resources are finite and for someone to have more means that you have less. That property, business, home ownership=investment in a community so if they don't like seeing looting and destruction they would be better to help people invest, not just condemn them and say "see, I told you so, they are no good".

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I absolutely agree 100%. And I think Fox News, Facebook, and other media behemoths have fanned the flames to a point it wouldn’t have been otherwise

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Because some white people are decent.

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Well put.

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I feel sick at heart. To me this is worse than 4 years ago. We have seen the corruption and incompetence of Trump and yet so many of us still support him. I don't know how to proceed. How do we heal this insanity before it is too late?

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They have excelled at propagandising his base. They don't know the things we know from the news sources we watch but rely heavily on their separate right wing news sources so they are brainwashed with their fake news and their explanations of reality that explain away the things he's doing. That's what I learned from listening to my brother in Colorado. He's a good man but when I talk to him I say , "where do you get this baloney" cause he's got facts and reality so different from what I know it to be and he has no idea about what I see. He gets mad if I try to tell him the truth and will show him proof. This is a huge problem. Putin taught them how to do this.

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Problem: THEY believe that THEY have the truth.

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Nov 4, 2020Liked by Judd Legum

As an outdoor "poll ambassador" advocating for the Democratic party in the rural Duplin County, North Carolina town of Kenansville, I have been vilified as a Communist, told I should be in prison, and sneered at by poor local people who don't realize that they are voting against their own self-interests. This is definitely "Trump/Tillis Country."

One sympathetic gentleman who offered to relieve me from my post for 2 hours one day suggested that I should move away somewhere more conducive to my political state of mind. One enthusiast for the Republicans decided that my tires were too round and used his cordless drill to insert a drill bit into one of them, causing a slow leak and requiring a new tire purchase. These minor annoyances were offset by the gratitude of a few folks who were clearly astonished to see me at my volunteer station, seeming to believe that they were, indeed, the last Democrats within driving distance (with a full tank of gasoline), surrounded as they were on all sides by Trump and Tillis yard signs.

I stood with pride and humility and thanked every voter for coming out, even (perhaps especially) the one with the "Trumpinator" T-shirt and the multitudes wearing MAGA caps.

Win, lose, or draw -- I'll do it all again.

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Thank you Barbara.

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I've been that lone voice and I know your experience well. It's exhilarating, maddening, fascinating work! Thank you for stepping up. Do it all again!

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Barbara, you did great! Grateful for your perseverance, awed by your attitude. Thx for telling us your story.

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founding

Thank you.

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A few things:

The US media has failed this country terribly. Normalizing Trump's presidency got us here.

Perhaps, instead of relying on Republicans (The Lincoln Project) to help Democrats win, they should learn how to fight back. Fight hard - fight dirty. When Democrats "go high" they lose. Every damn time. When Republicans define the terms of the dialogue, they win. They bray "socialist" and Democrats patiently explain how they aren't socialist. Maybe laugh at them next time. Maybe avoid getting sucked into that kind of nonsense.

Democratic leadership needs changing. The old people who have a stranglehold don't know how to deal with current realities. This ain't the good old days, and they ain't coming back.

We should think about busting up the union into smaller, more manageable nations.

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Kamala laughed.

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Yeah I think I'm done with voting and politics all together. It's just exhausting with no positive outcome. Too many idiots out there who don't even care what the facts are, much less acknowledge them. This country has been dumbed down to such a point that the oppressed defend their oppressors with a cult like enthusiasm. This country has been sold to the highest bidder years ago, and we the people are just pawns in the game. At this point it's just depressing and self punishment.

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This is how Trump would like you to feel and I understand the feeling this morning but give yourself some time and then stay in game.

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This is how Trump AND Vladimir Putin would like him to feel. The only way to pull out of a dive is to PULL OUT OF IT. The Biden campaign has been urging patience for weeks because of the expected "Red Mirage" of Election Night, which did happen. The Blue Response due to late counting of mail in and absentee, and then military and Americans abroad ballot counting, will by definition and law happen over the next days. So, be patient, as Biden urges. It is Trump that wants to stop all counts while he's "up." Because he's a cheat with no respect for voters.

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I agree... stay in the game... opting out is what 'they' want you to do...

Whatever the outcome, if you opt out will you ever look in the mirror the same way?

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I agree with you. How can so many people vote for this corrupt clown?

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for my own family members that did vote for DT they believe that he will keep $ in their pockets and borders closed. It was a tough one for me to swallow, there was no giving them a legitimate discussion. Kamala was to them " a b*tch" and Biden was "senile" . No thought about babies in cages or crimes or being Putin's puppet etc..... I was sad for their closed minds.

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What I find extremely disheartening about pro-#POUTINGpotus is their constant denial of the facts, especially when it comes to our economy. Numbers don't lie and they clearly illustrate that our economy is actually worse under Trump than Obama. I ask them to choose between a 100%+ increase in their wealth versus 50-75% increase, and obviously they all choose the 100%+ until they discover that stock market growth was under the Obama & not Trump...then they all resort to the deep state for falsely maintaining the government's web-sites who are making these numbers available for the public.

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You're onto something but I'd go even further and say that a lot of the economic growth of the last decade has sadly been at least partially fictional. Under any currency but a gold standard backed monetary note...

...haha psyche not gonna start that vs. Anyways, without getting too detailed were starting to run up against a wall of (essentially) a zero interest lending rate, multiple rounds of quantitative easing (without the initial bailing out of homeowner and individually held debt that should have transpired but didn't thanks to Rohm Emanuele and Tim Geithner), the true unemployment rate or underemployment rate being marked by the gig economy and multiple part time jobs, super over-valued silicon valley based ponzi-scheme startups, and the devastating after-effects of offshoring and free-trade agreements geared towards capital flight and removing worker protections. The fact that the market averages and index trackers rebounded so massively this year after just the announcement of the fed dumping trillions of dollars into the economy (largely as convertible loans to large corporations; some of them cash-rich, with leverage of up to 4.5 trillion USD at the discretion of treasury dipshit Steve Mnuchin...anyways...) was able to return the basis point count back to pre-pandemic levels, all the while unemployment had soared and productivity had cratered...well the markets just haven't been attached to the material reality of the economy for quite some time. We were headed for a recession long before the pandemic but that's also seemingly been erased from the narrative as well now, but that's a bit out of scope so I'll leave it there.

Note: I'm not blaming Obama specifically, mostly just saying the hand of cards we're all playing now (with a joker as pitboss) was dealt long ago by Democrats and Republicans alike (insert the Sheriff Bell or Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men expounding on fate here for dramatic effect).

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I think it's belligerence and stupidity and a lust for warlordism, because they're too childish to understand history and the machinery of democracy, too impatient to cope with it, and stupid enough to believe they'll always be on the winning side of conflict.

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It takes a real effort for me to say this, but applying labels like stupidity or childishness is not the way to change any of their minds.

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Fortunately, I'm not the least bit interested in changing their minds. I gave up on trying that after the billionth time I heard or read them calling President Obama and his beautiful family "Niggers."

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The way the GOP treated Obama was disgraceful and sad. This country is more racist than I ever could imagine. Obama was a classy, intelligent president. We went from class to trash -- because of skin color.

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You won’t send you can’t change anyone’s mind. That’s a fact. The only person that can change a persons mind is themselves. BUT I do get your point of putting people on the defensive does make them come up with more reasons to justify their own stance

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Don't ever underestimate the delusion of religion and the role it has played and is still playing in our 2020 world. I've got Catholic wingnut neighbors on my left and evangelical wingnut neighbors on my right. The immediate outer fringes are just regular xians.

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You have hit on the crux of this 'worship cult' of Trump. Since early in human societal development, religion or systems of worship were primary in the culture. Worship of a deity or deities was the driver of all socioeconomics. People expected to be 'ordered' to behave a certain way or do certain things which kept them in favor of the god(s).

So we've been conditioned. In contemporary society, the right and far right wing and fringe groups rely primarily on this conditioned response - worship the god & you will be favored.

People who are more liberal rely on facts rather than beliefs, even though they may be religious.

So when you say 'wingnut' it's because these folks who may have very legitimate religious beliefs have incorporated all their religious, political and societal 'beliefs' into one jumbled ball of thoughtless babble and are playing follow the leader.

They might as well be in 2nd Century BCE Canaan worshiping Baal, the god of greed and gluttony, and his disciple, the Lord of the Flies.

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This is a remarkable assessment. Thank you.

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"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here we are, stuck in the middle with Q." (With apologies to Stealers Wheel)

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"the delusion of religion" <-- this is precisely the attitude that has driven many people away from the Democratic Party. Like it or not, if you don't want wingnuts you can't keep alienating people for having a religion. This is exactly what I have heard my "wingnut" family members complain about. People don't respond well to being told their entire belief system is a bunch of bullshit, at best they will just ignore you. At worst they'll elect an autocrat who tells them he's the only one who can protect their way of life...

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The other side of the coin is the religious condemning non believers, demonizing them. A black man can be elected president by an atheist never.

Religious people are of necessity self righteous and exclusionist. They believe that their belief is the one true faith, and given that, everybody should be a believer, my lack of belief is a personal threat to them and thus I am their enemy. They excuse evil by saying man has free will, then go on to deny free will.

The only way to come to an accord with a believer is by submission and adoption of their beliefs. There is no middle ground

If you want to track the worlds ills and evils, at root you will find beliefs. Notice I have defined A belief, because all beliefs are evil and sociopathic.

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I don't alienate them, however, I have a real goddamn problem when one of them comes into my house after I just buried my husband, screeching that he's in hell because he wasn't saved, badgering me to take jesus as my savior so I can save my husband. Twenty five years later same person is still nagging me to accept jesus as my personal savior.

Maybe the delusion of religion has driven good people away from them with their bullshit beliefs.

If they need an autocrat to protect them, maybe they aren't such good xians in the first place.

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Can we really be surprised that shaming "them" and insulting "them" didn't convince thump voters to start seeing things our way?

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As a grandmother and teacher, I have witnessed the gutting of our school curriculums. The present ignorance can be overcome by demanding the schools teach civics again. Testing the students on knowledge of how this republic is supposed to work and what their responsibilities as citizens are could help lead us out of the darkness.

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As a sister teacher, I wholeheartedly agree.

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I agree! You should run on that!

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Gary Kasparov said “ The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” They’ve been chipping away at you, getting you to give up. Exhausted you. But either you care enough to fight them to the end or you don’t. I’m not begging anyone to engage in the fight - you’d just get in the way.

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Yeah, I feel like that too. I am also thinking this is not a good country. So many people sick and dying and literally no one in the government gives a shit. When the borders open, I may shop around for a different nation. Fuck this place. I think about my mother's family in Germany in the lead up to Hitler. If I was watching that movie, I would be yelling at them to get out, go to Australia, Canada, get off that continent.

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Additionally, who wants to live among the brownshirt monsters who elected this creep?

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Many Americans will be thinking of “shopping for a different nation.” What they will find, however, is there are very few options available to them. The idea that you can just live anywhere you want is nonsense. Just like for people wanting to move to the US, each country has strict immigration rules. And thanks to Trump, those rules have gotten even stricter. If you are a multimillionaire, you can buy your way into a few countries. Otherwise, you’re stuck.

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Unless you are referring to the post COVID scenario, what you just said is not correct. I successfully became a legal resident of another country, and there were definitely a number of other options.

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That’s understandable and I do empathize. I also hold the stance that I will Never give up on America or Americans. Get this: I live in Trumpville and less than 50% of registered voters voted. For all of our efforts, we didn’t reach enough people and certainly not enough poor people who long ago gave up. We haven’t lost the War.

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Before you quit altogether, might cheer you up a little to consider the Movement for a People's Party. You might not be alone in how you feel.

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Seems like we'd need more universal adoption of ranked-choice voting to make a 3rd party candidate feel they had a chance.

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Totally agree. I also like the binding "none of the above" option used in Australia, where if a majority of voters select that, then new candidates get nominated. So many good ideas out there in the world that we could consider to improve our elections.

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Our current system is not working for many people, so why not look for ways to improve it? I see that you and I will personally disagree here, but doubling down on a system that isn't working rather than looking for new ways to approach the problems seems silly to me.

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10 years ago I agreed that ranked-choice was the way forward.... now I'm not so sure. Not sure that bringing forward more fringe and extreme voices will help.

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