Andrew Sullivan excoriates Trump, repudiates the GOP

January 9, 2021 • 1:00 pm

Andrew Sullivan’s latest column (click on screenshot below) won’t surprise anyone who has seen him diagnose Trump as mentally ill over the last few months, a diagnosis only confirmed with this week’s insanity. But I haven’t seen Sullivan go after the Republican Party in such strong terms as the ones below. I guess you might still call him a conservative, but there’s no way he’ll tolerate the label “Republican”:

Fur hat Viking Man will carry that stigma with him the rest of his life:

An excerpt:

There is a temptation to believe that this is finally over. But for as long as this man exercises the powers of the presidency, it isn’t. He has used the power of the pardon these past few years to obstruct justice, to prevent vital testimony in a legitimate investigation, and to reward friends and relatives. In recent weeks, we’ve been told, he has also discussed the possibility of a proactive pardon for himself and his own family that will only cement his legacy of a presidency beyond the reach of any checks and balances. The next ten days, as he is cornered, are among the most dangerous. He could do anything. I favor a second impeachment, swiftly executed. The goal at this point is to get him out of there before he does even more damage, to keep him on the defensive, and to bar him from running for office ever again. This is where we are.

It pains me to say it, but this week was, in many ways, the essence of American “conservatism” in 2021. It has morphed from a politics to a theological movement to a personality cult. It is a threat to the very foundations of liberal democracy. It is nihilist, performative, incoherent and bristling with the certainty of fundamentalists and the corruption of grifters. It has destroyed this country’s fiscal standing, wrecked this country’s international reputation, trashed the norms and practices of liberal democracy, perverted the rule of law, accelerated climate change, and now physically vandalized the most sacred civil place in America.

And for what? Ratings? Soaring and destabilizing inequality? A national debt previously unthinkable in peacetime? Thousands and thousands of viral deaths that might have been prevented by the simple act of a president wearing a mask in public and urging others to do the same? The eradication of a shared concept of truth? The embrace of Kim Jong Un? The delegitimization of the entire press? The rehabilitation of Putin? The wet dreams of Netanyahu? Or the acceleration of Iran’s nuclear bomb? Pick one or all of them. The last two Republican presidents have ended their terms with the country in ruins. We cannot afford another one until the GOP is razed and rebuilt as a viable, democratic party.

“Remember this day!” Trump declared even after the disgrace had happened. And we will, we will. It exposed the GOP for what it is. These were not fringe loonies. Even after the sacking of the Capitol, a majority of House Republicans voted to endorse the insane conspiracy theories of the seditionists and not to certify a legitimate and fair election. In a snap YouGov poll, a plurality of Republicans backed a violent assault to reverse an election result. A party that does this is not fit to exist in a liberal democracy.

Unfortunately, Sullivan, whose gone farther than any self-styled conservative to call out Trump as deranged, has himself been excoriated for accusing the Left of driving people towards Trump, an accusation that in fact has some merit. Of course the Democrats are not responsible for Trump’s insanity and his foul deeds, but they may have swelled the ranks of his minions, (though probably not the ones who invaded the Capitol).

Here’s the paragraph that got Sullivan in trouble with the Left. But he’s been saying this for a long time, and I’ve expounded a somewhat tamer version. Perhaps it’s a sign of the suddenly unleashed nastiness among some on the Left that something like the two sentences I’ve put in bold would be controversial:

My first desperate hope with this administration was that it would plummet so far in popularity so quickly it would cause a revolt within the GOP. Trump’s demagogic genius, the left’s radicalization, and the pull of tribalism soon put an end to that delusional hope. My second was a thorough repudiation of the GOP as well as Trump this past political cycle in what I hoped would be a landslide Democratic victory. The rhetoric of the far left and the burning of American cities last summer scotched that one, as the Congressional tally shows. So my third is simply that we will soon begin to treat these past four years as the quintessential cautionary tale in the narrative of America. In the future, if a president refuses to be accountable to Congress in any way, or obstructs justice or tells massive lies, or refuses to concede an election, he or she will be instantly stigmatized as being a version of Trump.

Finally, Sullivan has a gold mine of quotes this week. Here are but a few. The first one makes me gag every time I hear it.

“We love you. You are very special,” – Trump, in a taped statement addressing the seditionists who attacked the Capitol.

“It turns out telling voters the election is rigged is not a good way to turn out your voters,” – Mitt Romney, on the Democratic triumph in Georgia.

“It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic,” – George W. Bush.

“Today, the United States Capitol — the world’s greatest symbol of self-government — was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard — tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution,” – Republican Senator Ben Sasse.

“Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence,” – Nikole Hannah-Jones, on the rioting and looting this past summer.

“Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the raging fires. Or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America,” – Barack Obama.

And I love this one:

“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” – Raphael Warnock, the first black senator from Georgia.

I’m still hopeful that Republicans can choose America, but I don’t really expect it. But look: we have a Democratic House, Senate, President, and Vice-President. We have several effective vaccines against Covid-19. Things are a hell of a lot better than they were 9 months ago. Will there be any more monkey business from Trump before January 20?  A lot of people say “of course,” but I’ll stick my neck out and aver that he’s has been thoroughly chastened, and, demented as he is, will keep a low profile until he’s out of the White House.

94 thoughts on “Andrew Sullivan excoriates Trump, repudiates the GOP

  1. I agree with Sullivan wholeheartedly that Trump needs to be gone NOW before he does more damage. There is good intelligence that there’s another attack being planned. If he’s neutered, maybe it will be called off. As I said earlier, this is frightening and I can honestly say I’m scared.

    1. Yes, in a sense it doesn’t matter if Trump is still in office or not. The people who planned the insurrection will have been emboldened by how lightly they got off and how easily they got away, and are quite capable of staging a follow-up without needing Trump to request it.

  2. “but I’ll stick my neck out and aver that he’s has been thoroughly chastened, and, demented as he is, will keep a low profile until he’s out of the White House.”
    I hope your powers of prediction are better than Susan Collins’ and a few others who said he’d learned a lesson after the Impeachment acquittal.

    1. Agreed. I hope so, but I seriously doubt it. The man is demented and now he has no outlet. I think looking at the number of Twitter followers he had was a way he calmed himself.

    2. Never thought I would agree with anything John Bolton said but I think his comment in an interview by the BBC that the best thing Trump could do would be to go off and play golf for the next 11 days was spot on.

    3. Maybe he is effectively neutered. Maybe the probability is even more likely than not. But can we really take that chance? Mike Pence said he’s not ruling out the 25th in case Trump becomes “more unstable.” More unstable? What the hell is he waiting for? Attempting to start a nuclear war with someone? Personally marching out and leading a riot which leaves the Secret Service in a very unenviable position of having to consider whether to protect the President or subdue him? The latter is scenario is obviously extraordinarily far-fetched as Trump is at heart a coward and didn’t even march to the Capitol as he claimed he’d do in his incitement speech. My point is, what the hell more does Pence need than inciting a riot in an attempt to destroy our democracy?

  3. “but I’ll stick my neck out and aver that he’s has been thoroughly chastened, and, demented as he is, will keep a low profile until he’s out of the White House.”

    why would a malignant narcissist like Trump (as Sullivan describes him) keep a low profile? he craves attention. Now that he’s been banned from Twitter which he could use to vent before, I shudder to think what he may do to regain that attention.

      1. But do you think he truly understands this? I’m not so sure. Maybe I’m being a total worrywart, but I’ve got relatives like him and they tend to explode at this point.

        1. I think it depends on just how effective his aides and advisors are in providing a Dantean picture of the legal inferno he will go through if he does anything along the same lines again. Trump is apparently desperately afraid of prison, and maybe at least as fearful of being bankrupted by lawsuits—which might well piggyback on criminal charges against him. He knows that the preemptive self-pardon route is dodgy; he keeps asking people about it, which suggests that he’s seriously unsure it would fly.

          If his remaining people can convince him that his best chance is to be as quiet as a mouse for the next week and a half, he may well decide that it would be better to live to, uh, ‘fight’ another day. That might indeed be the best tactic to take in convincing him that the game’s not worth the candle at this point.

          1. Thanks! I hope you’re correct. My experience with my relatives who are like this is that they ignore everyone and everything in their need to self-destruct while trying to prove they’re right.

          2. I think it depends on just how effective his aides and advisors are in providing a Dantean picture of the legal inferno he will go through if he does anything along the same lines again.

            Problem is, Trump just crossed into Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell: Violence.

            There is nothing he can do to redeem himself now to avoid his likely indictment for his earlier Dantean transgressions of fraud, treachery, and greed. He now poses the danger of a man with nothing left to lose — a desperate man still the nominal head of the executive branch of this world’s most powerful nation.

            1. This is what I’m concerned about. He’s also isolated and can’t get any strokes from his supporters to soothe his ego. I’m afraid it will cause an explosion rather than him being deflated. He has no shame. His family will be targets also. His insane behavior is all too familiar to me. I just hope fervently that I’m wrong. But I expect more violence from him.

              1. Plus it’s too late for him to change his old habit of falling into victim mode. He’ll be playing the wronged for a long time to come and griping to whomever will bother to give him an ear. I only hope he does it mostly in private, like chewing his nails, eating lots of carbs or taking it out on his golf club.

      2. I disagree that he’s losing support. 147 Republican lawmakers, including two-thirds of Republicans in the House voted to overturn the election, even after the insurrection on Wednesday. The Republican National Committee embraced Trump and endorsed him as the man to lead the party forward. Fox News spent the last two evenings claiming that the Capitol was stormed by antifa, not Trump supporters, and repeated Trump’s claims that the election was stolen. In a poll, 45% of Republicans approved of the storming of the Capitol. As Sullivan writes, the Republican party is a cult of personality now and is thoroughly radicalized.

  4. Will there be any more monkey business from Trump before January 20?

    I think he was informed, possibly by Lindsey Graham, that there were the potential Senate votes to convict, and that he should STFU until after Jan 20.

    1. That’ll have all the impact of a caddy telling the club champion he should use an iron to lay up in front of a pond instead of pulling out a wood and going for the green. 🙂

    2. Nothing personal, darwinwins, but please do not characterize trump’s most recent attack on our constitutional system of governance as “monkey business”. You are surely not alone in issuing such a casual dismissal Over the last 4 years, and especially since his November electoral defeat, I’ve heard heard repeated reference to his continuous series of assaults to “antics” or “shenanigans” and I cringe every time at such trivialization.

  5. I’m probably being over-fearful given recent events, but I worry that he’ll launch nukes, using the excuse that Iran just recently announced it was enriching uranium to higher levels again. Perfect excuse to grab power or distract or just cause chaos for the sake of it. I hope not. I’ve never liked him having nuclear codes but it’s even more worrying in these last few days of his ignominious presidency.

    I just wish Pence had the guts to go further and invoke the 25th and that the Cabinet and GOP members in Congress would be brave enough to follow. Or that the impeachment and removal stood a chance of removing him almost immediately. 12 days is a lot of time for a desperate, deranged, humiliated fetishizer of violence with the power to annihilate nations to do a lot of damage…

      1. I’d like to think not, but I’d rather we didn’t have to worry about it in the first place! (Incidentally, this should be a wake up call: the pretty much unilateral power the US President has to launch nukes is something no human being should be allowed, least of all with very few checks and little accountability. Yes, I know speed is a priority in those situations but there must be better ways than handing over the power to one person alone?)

        1. I’m willing to bet that it isn’t one person alone, and that there are other (military) humans in the chain between the nukes and the button on Trump’s desk. For one thing, there’s the minor matter of who he wants the nukes launched at.

          1. That’s the scary thing, though, is that in the event, we’d be relying on people who were legally mandated to follow the order- not to mention bound by duty to the commander in chief. US Presidents have the unilateral power to launch and those orders have to be obeyed. I’d rather a system where we didn’t have to rely on some good person at some point in the chain breaking their oath. This article from a few years ago sums the terrifying power any president has quite well:

            1. Pelosi has by her own account talked specifics with General Milley, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about this very thing. In principle, the President sits atop the chain of command, but in the very last days of the Nixon administration, the Pentagon issued orders to all nuclear facilities chiefs to do nothing in the face of a direct order from the President. The nuclear codes were rerouted to go through the Joint Chiefs, for this very reason. I would bet high that something like that is now in place, and that that’s what Milley was confirming with Pelosi. So I don’t think this particular danger, frightening as it is, is going to be realized.

              1. Again, hopefully not. But I still think it should be a wake up call to have a better system in place just generally speaking. This is something I’ve not been comfortable with for a long time and given some of the close calls during the Cold War I think it’s long overdue. But yes, hopefully the adults have taken the toys away from Trump for his last days. Still, I dread to think!

      2. Not to sound like a tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist, but we don’t know yet how far the rot has penetrated the police or military.

        1. A valid concern. The ability of the MAGA mob to storm the Capitol building so easily makes me wonder if Trump has sympathizers in law enforcement.

      3. Do you think the military would obey him …

        I should hope not under the circumstances, but do you recognize what a dangerous precedent it sets for the Pentagon, or for unelected members of an administration, not answerable to American voters, to arrogate to themselves the authority to countermand an order from the United States president?

        Do you recognize how vulnerable this renders the nation to a preemptive attack by a hostile foreign power?

        1. I don’t have a problem with the Vice President (elected) and a majority of the cabinet (unelected) effectively countermanding an order by removing the President under the 25th amendment.
          But I think the Pentagon, or at least the military, see grave problems with simply refusing an order unless it is patently illegal – it effectively puts them in the position of staging a coup, albeit a very limited one, themselves.

      4. I have several close friends in the military who all say that no one would launch solely on Trump’s orders, even before Wednesday’s riot. I sincerely hope they’re right.

        1. Standard protocol requires that a president’s order to deploy nuclear weapons be confirmed by the Secretary of Defense (although the confirmation is meant to ensure only that the order is authentic, rather than a forgery or miscommunication; it is not meant to provide the SecDef an opportunity to countermand the president’s order).

          Of course, these are not ordinary times.

          Also, I think there is cause to be concerned that, shortly after the election, Trump replaced Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and several other high-ranking officials within the DoD with “acting” officials thought to be personally loyal to Trump.

    1. “I just wish Pence had the guts to go further and invoke the 25th and that the Cabinet and GOP members in Congress would be brave enough to follow.”

      Yes. I wonder how much that would increase his chances of being assassinated by one of these nut bags.

      1. Pence, as much as I despise the man, had the courage to refute Trump’s conspiracy theory that the election was rigged against him. Pence may in fact invoke the 25th when he sees how much bipartisan support he would have. Being president for a few days is much better than never being president.

        1. Pence did not carry out Trump’s wishes because that would have been beyond his powers. Nothing that Pence said suggests that had he been empowered he would not have done Trump’s bidding.

        2. I’m unaware of VP Mike Pence’s having contradicted Trump’s lies regarding widespread voter fraud. He did, however, refuse to carry out Donald Trump’s blatantly unconstitutional direction that he refuse to accept the certified results of the electoral college. Ordinarily, this is the least that should be expected of someone in Pence’s position — though, I suppose, in these extraordinary times, some credit is due him.

          Pence has also stated that he will attend Joe Biden’s inauguration.

          Mike Pence is a religious-right wingnut, but he’s a religious-right wingnut who’s within what now passes for the establishment wing of the Republican Party.

        3. I must respectfully dissent. There is NOTHING good about Pence, he is Trump’s poodle 100%.
          He’d stand by while Trump (tried to, see Ken’s observation above about chain of command in these strange times) tried to nuke…well.. Paraguay maybe. They’ve been getting ahead of themselves lately, haven’t they?
          Hannity will be on “The March to Paraguay” and the MAGAs will be burning Paraguayan flags.
          Oh. My popcorn is ready, something to cry into.

      1. Vikings didn’t wear horns on their heads.

        Pace the magic helmet atop Siegfried’s head found in some productions of the third cycle of Wagner’s Ring opera. 🙂

          1. They had this creative way of execution, the blood eagle. Severing the ribs from the spine and pulling the lungs out like wings. It is probably a myth though.

        1. I think that is exactly where the horned Viking helmet myth comes from–Wagner’s costume designer. It is an enduring image!

    1. You beat me to it. I wonder where this trope of horned Viking helmets comes from.
      And we do have contemporary images of what they wore, eg. the Bayeux tapestry. No horned helmet in sight

      1. It started because British monks referred to the marauders as “devils”, so someone depicted them with devils horns … and from there …

  6. There is a lot of online chatter about protests starting Jan. 17. A lot of those people are armed, and are glorifying the Capital storming. Law enforcement is tracking it, but I expect something to go down – and hopefully put down summarily. Whether or not Trump “learned his lesson,” this has a life of its own.

    1. I expect there will be an overwhelming show of deterrent force outside the Capitol from 17 January through the 20th.

      I also suspect that stables doors are still being closed after the horse has bolted.

      1. “I also suspect that stables doors are still being closed after the horse has bolted.”

        It depends. If the MAGA mob is met with an overwhelming display of force, they’ll disperse and go home. A lot of them seemed to think that Capitol Riot was some kind of joke because nothing much happened to them. If they learn the hard way that insurrection is not a reality show or a video game, they might think twice about resorting to violence. Most of them are not hardened military veterans and I don’t think they’ll enjoy being on the receiving end of violence.

        Of course, this all depends on whether the police, the National Guard, and our senators have the guts and the willpower to stand up for democracy.

    2. As KK points out, I think that there will be a very large contingent of security forces in place from the 17th on. However I also think that there will be more violence and perhaps more deaths. Many of the Trump cult have stated their commitment to war and willingness to die. Suicide bombers, RPGs, and other craziness is not out of the realm of possibilities IMHO.

  7. Hey, man, as much as I hate to say I told you so (okay, maybe not really), I’ve been making a number of predictions, including in comments at this site, since the start of the 2020 campaign season: that Donald Trump would lose; that he would make baseless claims that the election was rigged; that he would never give a traditional concession speech; that he would refuse to participate in the transition to a new government; that he would decline to attend his successor’s inauguration; that the lame-duck period would be this nation’s most perilous domestically since 1860; that there would be violence by Trump’s supporters (though never in my wildest imagination did I think it would take the form of an attack on our nation’s Capitol); and that Donald Trump would rent asunder the Republican Party between his dead-end acolytes and those who wished to live on to fight again another day (possibly to the point of bringing about the utter destruction of the Grand Old Party).

    Then again, it’s said that even a blind pig occasionally stumbles across a truffle, so maybe any predictions of mine should be considered in that light. 🙂

    1. With all due respect to your prognosticatory powers, did you also predict that water would be wet and fire hot?

      It does seem to me that what we are seeing this week was eminently, tragically, predictable. But I hope you won some kind of prize with your predictions (was there a WEIT wager?). It would give this whole damn mess a bit of a shine.

      1. I won a hundred bucks from a fellow WEITer on the outcome of the election (and had the person I won the wager from donate the winnings to the FFRF in my name.)

        Way back when I began making these specific predictions, well before Joe Biden was even the Democratic nominee, I had quite a few fellow commenters tell me I was exaggerating (especially when it came to the parts about violence by Trump supporters and Trump’s tearing the GOP apart). A couple even suggested I suffered from Trump-Derangement-Syndrome.

        I haven’t seen those commenters around here lately, and doubt we will, especially now that Trump’s supporters ransacked the US Capitol.

  8. 8 minutes worth listening to: Shadi Hamid and Andrew Sullivan on the left’s redefinition of “violence” in the last six months:

    1. The media is refulgent with reflection on the hypocrisy/double standard evident in how the undermanned capitol police handled the Trumpsters (as compared with how BLM types were handled – burning and looting, and “silence is violence,” notwithstanding). I agree with them.

      It seems that everything that could possibly be said about it has been said. Possibly not everyone has said it. Once everyone so says, perhaps they will deign to also go on record and say what the police should have done (what they did during BLM protests?) and what they expect the police to do in response to any prospective additional insurgencies, whether at the U.S. capitol or at state capitols. Repeated verbal warnings -> tear gas and batons -> rubber bullets and concussion grenades -> live ammunition?

      Are the Trumpsters (reasonably expected to be) any less “triggered” by the sight of paramilitary body armor than any other group, and to be dealt with by engaging in soothing de-escalation techniques? (Were I a police officer, contemplating the possibility of being lethally bashed in the head with a fire extinguisher, I’d insist on being decked out in body armor, triggering be darned. Or they can get some other fool to do the job.)

  9. There is no reason to believe that Trump will suddenly become chastened. The insurrectionists are heartened by their success and will come back in greater numbers on the 17th. It will now depend on whether law enforcement can get organized to defend the capital, which will depend on how many Trump supporters are within the government’s and law enforcement ranks.

    It would appear that the second civil war has already begun, although it might be more accurate to say that the first one never ended.

  10. I don’t expect the Republican party to fix itself any time soon, if ever. They tend to get characterized as men and women of principle who temporarily put power over country and that they just need to revert back to their principles. Instead, as I see it, the Republican party has selected their politicians for their lack of principle and their desire to fight with no holds barred. Most of them (Mitt Romney and a few others excluded) have no principle to fall back on. Winning political battles is their only skill and their only reason for living. Ted Cruz, for example, has no principles. If it once appeared that he did, it was just a veneer of having them that he immediately dropped.

    1. “Ted Cruz, for example, has no principles. If it once appeared that he did, it was just a veneer of having them that he immediately dropped.”

      I wonder if Ted Cruz’s wife looks as joyful around him as Melania does around Trump.

      1. Cruz is the vilest thing alive, waaay worse than Trump. Trump is fueled only by the energy of his Narcistic Personality Disorder, Cruz (and Pence) are fueled by JAY-SUS. Much more dangerous.
        Viking disliker.

  11. Almost half or Republicans polled said they approved of the assault on the Capitol. They have not left the country.

  12. Impeachment is justified, but we need him out immediately. Pence and a few members of the cabinet could invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and remove him from power today. I hope they do.

  13. Most liberals are so benighted. The threat from the left of the political spectrum is at least as worrisome as anything from the right. When I mention to my further-left-than-me friends that the Democratic politicians and organizations have behaved reprehensibly the last four years, they claim incredulity. They don’t see it. Which just proves my point.

  14. After Trump’s latest grotesqueries, the evasions and weasel-wordings of most Republican politicians are strangely like an ancient episode on the Left. After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, acolytes of the USSR and its beloved leader Stalin turned similar verbal somersaults in order to evade the Pact’s obvious significance. They could not do otherwise, because of the heavy psychic investment they had made in what seemed then to be a great, world-historical social experiment. In the case of the Trumpistas, though, it is hard to see what they have invested so heavily into. Trump’s words form no coherent ideology of any kind, and his program boils down to animus against immigrants, corporate taxes, and Barack Obama. Could it be that the mere slogan of MAGA carries as much emotional charge, on the Rightwing, as the gigantic attempt to create a whole new revolutionary society once did on the Left?

  15. US politics are tragicomical, and the finale of this term does not disappoint. Not many countries can boast with poop-annointed halls of democracy, and a hilarious president like Trump. Of course, this isn’t wrestling and people suffer. That makes it also tragical.

    I don’t believe Trump has had any big plans. He and his team floated the stolen election narrative to collect dollars, more than $495 million (!) by now. Fine print allows him to take most for other than legal bills. His statements are simple and unsurprising once you see the pattern. There never was any hint of 5D chess. It was a con from start to finish, consequences be damned.

    Those consequences are terrible. I’m the last person here who wants to see Republicans ever winning any election again, seeing that they are comic book supervillains who are a danger to humankind. But the prospect of a One-Party “Democracy” doesn’t sound like a good idea, either.

    Noam Chomsky said somewhere that America has only one profit party with two wings, and in that sense, everything will continue as always. Biden’s administration already feels familiar. For instance, Biden’s Pentagon chief is going to be Gen. Lloyd Austin, member on Raytheon’s board of directors. The outgoing secretary of defense Mark Esper was also from Raytheon. It really doesn’t matter that much in certain areas. Maybe the US can dispense of its democracy theatre altogether.

    “Trump raises $495 million since mid-October, including a massive haul fueled by misleading appeals about election fraud” — Washington Post, 12/3/20

    1. Sure you wanna kick an ally when it’s down?

      Weren’t many complaints from the good guys when the US of A showed up for a pair of world wars or established the Marshall Plan.

      If you want to go it alone against the world’s bad guys without the US’s commitment to Article 5 of NATO, feel free to speak up now.

        1. You seem to do a whole lotta US-bashing, is what I’m saying, pardner.

          And what I’m saying is that, despite our many faults and mistakes, on balance, the United States of America has been a force for good in the world. Let’s not overlook that.

          Understand me now?

          1. That’s already a kind of nationalist thinking I don’t agree to. If you want flattery, don’t use the wars as example or foreign policy, because that’s mostly propaganda and reality is always much worse than the stories. Instead, take humanistic and scientific achievements, or much overlooked aspects like the establishing of national parks if that makes you feel better.

            I’m a disapointed transatlantic. Sullivan (a conservative) says the “last two Republican presidents have ended their terms with the country in ruins” and the Democrat sandwiched in between is responsible for the greatest total mass surveillance project in all of history, and a few more wars. Now there is a pandemic and people suffer, yet your country has a record $740 BN ready for the military. I’m merely saying what an actual US leftist would say as well.

            Regarding the state of democracy, here are two quotations from two papers.

            “The conclusion has to be that spending by major political parties is indeed, at first sight, strongly related to the proportion of votes they win and has been for as long as we have data. We consider this finding, in its own right, to be a significant result. If the pattern had been noticed a generation ago, discussions of politics and money might have taken a different turn.” 1

            “Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.” 2

            But you will know of money in politics, gerrymandering, the two party system where both sides can be bought, voter suppression schemes, making voting difficult by voting on workdays with few voting stations, lobbyists or board members who take roles in administrations etcetera.

            1 “How Money Drives US Congressional Elections”, Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Jie Chen, 2016
            2 “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”, Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, 2014

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