A ‘Rude Interruptions’ Trump Index

Joel BellmanBy Joel Bellman      October 16, 2020

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A ‘Rude Interruptions’ Trump Index
Women Who Have Accused Trump of Sexual Misconduct: 26 Coronavirus-Infected People in Trump White House Inner Circle: 34 Americans Who Have Perished in the Coronavirus Pandemic: 220,000 Cost of Trump’s Three-day Coronavirus Treatment: $100,000 Earnings at Trump Properties from 60 Special Pleaders Seeking Favors: $12 million Americans who Lost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage in Pandemic: 14.6 million Net Loss from Trump Commercial Properties, 2000-2018: $174.5 million Trump Earnings from “The Apprentice”: $427 million Outstanding Trump Personal Loans and Debt Coming Due Within Four Years: $421 million Federal Income Tax Refund Trump Received in 2010: $72.9 million Trump Charitable Giving, Excluding Conservation Easements, 1999-2020: $10.7 million Federal Income Tax Trump Paid in 2016-17: $1,500 Total Tweets from Trump on Twitter: 51,282 (as of 5/8/20, and counting) Documented Trump Lies as President: 20,000 (as of 7/13/20, and counting) Total People Following Trump on Twitter: 80 million __________________________________________ With apologies to the Harper’s Index, these statistics offer a snapshot of Donald Trump, the man, and Donald Trump, the president, a man who is deeply reckless, lacking any sense of empathy or responsibility, who has caused and continues to cause enormous harm to others. A wealthy man with no qualms about taking full advantage of public largesse for his own personal benefit, while leaving millions of other Americans to fend for themselves. A huckster who markets himself as a successful businessman, whose financial losses dwarf those of almost any other taxpayer, who squandered his enormous entertainment earnings on a string of apparently money-losing investments, who gives a mere pittance to charity and has paid no significant federal income taxes for more than 20 years. A pathological liar who nevertheless commands enormous influence among his huge social media following. Over the last few weeks, we have seen Trump’s worst anti-democratic tendencies emerge in all their depraved ferocity. He warns apocalyptically of a socialist takeover unless he’s re-elected. He refuses to accept as legitimate any election result other than his own victory and will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he be defeated. He has explicitly and repeatedly told his crowds that their Second Amendment rights will be taken away by his opponents, a clear and unmistakable invitation to followers to take up arms on his behalf. Every failed effort to hold him in check has only emboldened him. When he loses a vote in Congress, as he did with funding his border wall, he attempts to rule instead by Executive Order. When the Mueller investigation failed to identify a prosecutable crime of conspiracy in the extensive Russian efforts to boost his candidacy in 2016, he immediately called the president of Ukraine to extort more foreign assistance for his 2020 re-election. After he was impeached but acquitted by the Republican Senate for that improper action, he almost immediately publicly called for China’s political intervention on his behalf. And we still don’t know the ongoing extent of foreign intervention by Russia or other bad actors to influence and undermine our elections. The principal threat to our democracy comes not from abroad, but from here at home. Earlier this year, Trump exploited public anger, after a Minnesota police officer casually murdered George Floyd on camera, to blame Democratic mayors and governors for the civil unrest, deliberately escalating the situation with armed federal troops, and threatening to withhold financial assistance unless local officials bent to his will. As Trump’s poll numbers have been falling, his determination to subvert our free elections has become ever more intense. He has attempted to hamper and defund operations at the U.S. Postal Service, on which millions of American must depend to cast their ballots while the coronavirus pandemic rages, and voting in person for many is just too risky. He has repeatedly leveled groundless accusations of voter fraud to tar his political opponents and undermine public confidence in the election process, hoping to suppress the vote and discourage participation by those who oppose him. He continues to incite potential violence and disruption at polling stations by encouraging mobs of armed “poll-watchers” to show up, in an unmistakable echo of longstanding voting suppression tactics employed against Black voters in the Deep South. Most recently, as I write this, after the FBI foiled a violent kidnapping plot by an armed Michigan militia against that state’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, instead of expressing concern, he complained that she had failed to “thank” him for the FBI’s investigative work. We must remember that a militia enraged by Whitmer’s policies to protect Michigan from the coronavirus pandemic, were policies Trump himself had attacked in an inciteful April tweet shouting, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” Now, only weeks away from the election, Trump and the Republican Senate are poised to slam through a Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in direct contradiction to the Republican argument for blocking President Obama’s 2016 nominee to replace Antonin Scalia—securing conservative domination of the Supreme Court for as much as a generation or more. For these and countless other well-documented reasons, it’s absolutely imperative that we defeat Donald Trump on November 3—and not by a narrow margin, but by a landslide, one that leaves no doubt that Americans repudiate his racism, misogyny, xenophobia, corruption, and authoritarianism. President Obama confidently declares that, “This is not who we are,” but when we cast our ballots this election, Americans will have only one final chance to prove him right. After everything we now know and have seen from President Donald Trump, the alternative is too awful to contemplate.
Joel Bellman
      October 16, 2020

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