Religion & Politics: Benjamin E. Zeller- ‘The Cult of Trump? What Cult Rhetoric Actually Reveals’

The Cult of Trump_ What _Cult Rhetoric_ Actually Reveals _ Religion & Politics

Source:Religion & Politics– Well before Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Mount Rushmore debacles.

“In August, Anthony Scaramucci—the former White House director of communications turned Trump critic—called for the political left to approach the Trump administration the way that concerned individuals would approach a cult. “When you’re trying to deprogram people from a cult, one of the first things you have to do is allow them to change their mind,” he explained on Fox News. He amplified this rhetorical move a few days later, tweeting a comparison of Trump to Jim Jones, infamous leader of the Peoples Temple and Jonestown, a religious cult that famously ended with mass suicide and murder. He also compared White House staffers to hostages suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, an alleged psychological condition wherein captives come to support their captors. Scaramucci implied that Trump acts like a cult leader and that those supporting him are brainwashed and in need of rescue…

From Religion and Politics

“Are fundamentalist Christians a dangerous religious cult? Possibly. The controversial author and religious scholar Reza Aslan posits that President Donald Trump has much of his evangelical fan-base believing that he’s somehow been anointed by God to become President. Nevermind the Russian election scandal, his affairs with porn stars and unwarranted sexual acts towards women, or his inability to remember even a single Bible verse when asked. Evangelical Christians are abandoning their core moral beliefs to follow, as Reza suggests, someone who exhibits every trademark of a cult leader. And that should terrify anyone on either side of the political spectrum. Reza’s latest book is God: A Human History.”

Is the Trump presidency a religious cult_ _ Reza Aslan _ Big Think

Source:Big Think– On paper it looks that way.

From The Big Think

_ - 2020-07-03T194536.708 (1)

Source:The New Democrat– Can’t honestly say that I disagree.

Just to talk about Reza Aslan and what he said for a minute: The Left (however you want to define them) gets into trouble with people who don’t share their world view when they try to make Donald Trump’s movement about race and culture. If there is one thing right now that probably unites Americans the most right now, it’s that we don’t like Donald Trump. And we’re simply looking for someone better to replace Trump with.

But when you throw one group of Americans away simply because of their race or complexion and their support of President Donald Trump, you lose a group of Americans that could be recruited to vote against President Donald Trump.

You look at Reza Aslan’s title of his video: “Is the Trump presidency a religious cult?” And yet he makes it all about Donald Trump and people he calls White Evangelicals.

And if you want my Donald Trump piece about the Donald Trump cult base, I’ll give it to you anyway, but do it in a race and complexion neutral way. Since this is America where everyone is supposed  to be judge by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin, or their race, or religion. (To paraphrase the great Dr. Martin L. King)

What I know about cults (religious and otherwise) is what I’ve read about them and seen about them from documentaries. So no, I’m not a scholar on them, but the way Donald Trump’s Christian-Nationalist base (Christian-Nationalist: a term that wasn’t even used 5 years ago) loves The Donald and is so devoted to him, you would have to think that they’re part of some religious cult that is always high on something illegal, or told that they’re loyal to Trump to their death.

In early 2016 when Donald Trump was just a reality TV asshole, he said that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in New York City and his base would stick with him. You could probably add robbing a convenient store, decking a foreign leader for no apparent reason, coming out in favor of publicly funded abortions (“Our dear leader, must have his reasons.) not just coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, but mandating that every gay American gets married to another gay, new taxes on the wealthy, cutting the defense budget by 50%, etc.

As long as Donald Trump is preaching to the Far-Right and arguing publicly, privately, indirectly, or directly, that the first European-Americans (Anglo-Saxon-Protestants) are the real Americans who are truly deserving of our constitutional rights and protections, who of course kiss Donald Trump’s ass or feet everyday, and even to pray to the man, that Donald Trump’s Far-Right Christian-Nationalist bases will always be with him, at the expense of everyone else.

Which is why it’s the job of Democrat Joe Biden to convince the rest of the country why he should be leading them, simply because he can and Donald Trump is simply not capable of governing for anyone outside of his Far-Right base. And that’s the only comment about race and culture that I’ll make in this piece.


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The Dick Cavett Show: ‘The Best of Carl Reiner Guest Hosting’

The Best of Carl Reiner Guest Hosting _ The Dick Cavett Show

Source:The Dick Cavett Show– Comedian Carl Reiner, guess hosting for Dick Cavett in 1971.

“With comedy legend Carl Reiner passing this week here’s a compilation of best moments from when he guest hosted the show back in 1971!”

From The Dick Cavett Show

I gotta be honest (not for a change) that I was underwhelmed by this video. Silly me thinking that this would be about Carl Reiner who just happens to be one of the best comedians, as well as comedic writers not just from his generation, but ever and I’m thinking they would show some of his best lines and standup on Dick Cavett, but it’s not my show.

The clips of these so-called interviews were either too short or they just weren’t very good. They show him talking (not interviewing Ralph Nader) and gets to the point where Reiner is telling Nader to run for President, not about what’s going in the world with the economy and consumer protection, things that Nader is knowledgeable about.

They show Reiner talking to Gloria Steinem (the Queen of the Radical Feminists) and Reiner says: “Women’s liberation has come a long way in the last few years” as if he’s the only one who knows that. I mean, this show was shot in 1971. And he calls Gloria beautiful (which she is) and he could get into trouble for calling a radical feminist beautiful, which he did. (Talk about political correctness)

And then they show Carl Reiner talking to an African-American actor or filmmaker from I guess the Blaxploitation genre from the 1970s, but they don’t bother to give out the man’s name (I guess introducing the man would’ve been too expensive) or bother to mention what movie he was on the show to talk about. (Because that would’ve been helpful and informative) And Reiner goes into the story about he was able to get into the movie theater and watch the film for free, because he’s a celebrity. But they don’t really talk about the film itself.

There was one thing early on in this video that caught my attention when Carl Reiner was doing his monologue: New York City really for the entire 1970s was going through an economic and crime crisis, as well as well as law enforcement corruption crisis in the early 1970s. And there was talk about how city of 7 million (of whatever the population was back then) was simply too big to govern.

Carl Reiner took suggestions from the audience essentially about how to help New York get through this. And the guy that they showed to give a suggestion suggested legal prostitution to help NYC with its economic and fiscal crisis. And he made a pretty good case about the extra tax revenue that would come in, as well as the money that it would save NYPD because they would no longer have to bust prostitutes, pimps or johns.

And I don’t have Reiner’s exact response, but he said something like: “We should all love sex, but not that much.” Which I thought was a clever response. I guess my response to that would’ve been: “This just in: New York City cleans up its streets with prostitutes. More breaking news from The Onion, as it breaks.”

But overall especially since this was from The Dick Cavett Show and it was about Carl Reiner guess hosting the show, I thought these clips were very underwhelming.


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Politics and Prose: Sarah Huritz- Interviewing Meredith Fineman: ‘Brag Better’

Meredith Fineman, _Brag Better_ (with Sarah Hurwitz)

Source:Politics and Prose– Author Meredith Fineman at Politics and Prose.

“Do you do a lot of hard work that goes unnoticed? Do you find it difficult to talk about yourself and your accomplishments?

If speaking up for yourself and those around you makes you nervous, you are not alone. Professional development expert Meredith Fineman, founder and CEO of a leadership development and career counseling company, has worked with, trained, and spoken to thousands of people who struggle to communicate their worth to others. Her surefire and anxiety-proof strategies have helped her clients effectively communicate their achievements and skillsets to others — by learning to “brag better.”

From Politics and Prose

I guess I would start this off by saying that if you don’t speak up for yourself, you don’t like yourself, you don’t respect yourself, don’t expect anyone to do those things for you.

There’s such a thing as people liking themselves too much and having too much self-worth and self-confidence: name any dictator in the world that you want and that person probably loves themself too much and have too much self-confidence.

But then there are people who don’t like themselves that much, because they don’t have self-confidence and perhaps don’t deserve to have those things as individuals: career criminals come to mind who are always on the run and are always getting caught and are just trying to survive each day.

But then there are people who are very talented and have a lot of worth and ability, but perhaps don’t know that. Athletes who become underachievers because they don’t know how good they are and in many cases don’t do the work as well and don’t pan out.

But most people not just have jobs, but have bosses as well who have at least some influence and authority in how much their employees are getting paid and being compensated and if their workers don’t put in the work and don’t make the case for their good work and their self-worth to the company they work for, how are they supposed to move up in the company and be successful if they don’t believe they’re excellent employees who bring a lot of value to the company that they work for?

The great NBA basketball player Charles Barkley was once quoted in saying: “Its not bragging if you can back it up.” It was true when he said when I believe he was still playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and it’s still true today.

Not calling for people to constantly try to put others down and claim that they’re better than anyone else around them: I’m more in the camp of letting your actions speak louder than your words. But don’t let people walk over you and let less qualified people do better and move up faster in life, simply because you fail to speak for yourself and advocate for your own position in life.

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Ask Phillip Williams: Larry Garfield- Other People’s Money (1991) ‘Failure to Innovate, Obsolescence’

Failure to Innovate, Obsolescence - Other People's Money - Danny Devito

Source:Ask Phillip Williams– Larry Garfield (played by Danny DeVito) in Other People’s Money (1991)

“Larry the Liquidator discusses how to kill a company.”

From Ask Phillip Williams

Larry Garfield (played by Danny DeVito) is right about one thing in this speech (and that might be the only thing) which is when you stop innovating and you get comfortable, you lose your edge, that’s when you start falling and stop failing.

When you stop innovating and stop progressing, that’s when your competition catches up and even passes you and you lose customers to the businesses that are not just keeping up with the times, but are driving them and giving them quality, affordable services that customers want.

Gregory Peck plays the President of a very old New England family company that’s been losing money and is at risk of going out of business, until Larry the Liquidator comes along and buys up stock in the company, because he wants to take it over, before he runs into into the ground. Or perhaps try to turn it around before he sells it off.

Other People’s Money is not that different from Wall Street (1987) except that it’s funnier because you have Danny DeVito in the lead instead of Michael Douglas. Not that Douglas is not funny, because he’s an excellent comedic actor with excellent comedic timing, but he’s not Danny DeVito and perhaps no one is when it comes to comedic acting from that generation.

And what Garfield is doing in this scene is using humor and sarcasm to make a serious point that this family company has stopped innovating and has lost its creativity, has lost it’s edge, and that the company is so far lost that its not even worth trying to save, at least under current management. And he makes a good case here, regardless of what you think should be done with this fictional company.


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TCM: The Candidate (1972) Natalie Wood’s Cameo

Natalie Wood cameo on _The Candidate_ (1972) - Google Search

Source:TCM– Robert Redford, Natalie Wood, and Robert Goldsby in The Candidate (1972)

“After winning the California Democratic primary, U.S. Senate candidate McKay (Robert Redford, who recruited his friend and former co-star for this appearance) meets Natalie Wood, his wife (Karen Carlson) and campaign manager (Peter Boyle) in tow, in Michael Ritchie’s The Candidate, 1972.”

From TCM

“Natalie Wood cameo on “The Candidate” (1972) Natalie Wood and Robert Redford.”

Natalie Wood cameo on _The Candidate_ (1972)

Source:Wood Stanwyck– Robert Redford, Natalie Wood, and Robert Goldsby, in The Candidate (1972)

From Wood Stanwyck

In this scene Natalie Wood plays herself and Bill McKay (played by Robert Redford) is obviously not just interested in Natalie, but is perhaps overwhelmed by her.

If you’re familiar with The Candidate, Redford doesn’t really play anyone that’s like him. He plays a progressive labor activist who is the son of a former California politician (played by Melvyn Douglas) but is someone who doesn’t want to be involved in electoral politics. I believe McKay in the movie says he hates politics or hates politicians. (Who can blame him)

Bill McKay  is recruited (if not begged )by Marvin Lucas (played by Peter Boyle) to run against the Republican Senator played by Don Porter. So McKay is not use to the limelight and being around celebrities and not used to being a celebrity himself.

What you also see in this scene is the nerd in the glasses, I mean Arthur Fleischer (played by Robert Goldsby) trying to get Natalie’s attention. But silly Natalie would rather to talk to Robert Redford, I mean Bill McKay than a foreign policy nerd who writes speeches for political campaigns. (Which should be a shocker to no one)

The Candidate is a great movie, one of my favorite political films ever and perhaps my favorite political satire. The only thing that could’ve made this film better is if Natalie had more than a cameo in the movie. I love Karen Carlson (who played Bill McKay’s wife) and I wouldn’t have replaced Karen with Natalie, but perhaps made Natalie one of the campaign strategist or spokespeople. Too great of an actress, too great looking, too funny, to just have a cameo in a great movie like this.

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METV: ‘Can you tell the difference between Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling?’

Can you tell the difference between Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling_

Source:METV– Rod Serling vs Alfred Hitchcock.

“Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock are both giants in the entertainment industry, especially among horror and sci-fi fans. They both were excellent at what they did, both clashed with censors who sought to constrain their work and both set examples that are still being imitated today.

They were obviously also very different. How well do you know these two icons of the thriller genre? Take this quiz to find out!”


“Filmed at The Social Capital Theatre on Febraury 20th, 2016.

Perfect Match has improvisers prepare scripted character monologues and then has the audience decide which characters they’d like to see do long form scenes together.

In this scene, Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling meet while waiting to pitch new TV shows.

Performed by Mark Shyzer & Rob Norman.”

Perfect Match - Alfred Hitchcock & Rod Serling

Source:Kicks and Giggles Film– Alfred Hitchcock vs Rod Serling.

From Kicks and Giggles Film

I can tell the main difference between Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling at least as far as their styles and what they brought to their TV and movies.

Hitchcock was known for suspense/thrillers, with a lot of comedy mixed in, or at least a good deal of it. North by Northwest which is a suspense/thriller, as well as an action/adventure, is also a very funny movie that’s because of Hitch, as well as Cary Grant as the lead actor, and as well as James Mason.

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour had a lot of comedy in it with Hitch basically starting out the show doing a monologue (that he probably wrote himself) as well as a comedic skit where he would go off on what he hated about Hollywood censorships (what I call political correctness) and advertising that would obviously interrupt his episodes.

Rod Serling who was perhaps just as good as Alfred Hitchcock mastered sci-fi TV and would add a lot of humor to his shows as well, including himself where he would start off his shows again with a monologue. The Twilight Zone, was a sci-fi show, but it was also a very funny show dealing with people who were experiencing nightmares and going through horrible situations in their lives with generally an avenue to deal with those issues or a real life lesson that tells the person: “This is what happens to you when you don’t do this or do that.”

Both Hitchcock and Serling were great at what they do and just didn’t make their marks i in Hollywood, but are now all over classic TV and classic movie channels where classic Hollywood fans such as myself are very grateful of that. I have a collection of Hitchcock DVD’s that I look at frequently, because he’s probably my favorite director. And I have a Twilight Zone DVD. But both were not just great at what they did, but were also pretty different as well.

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Real Time With Bill Maher: ‘Monologue: Live Free or Die Hard’

Monologue_ Live Free or Die Hard _ Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Source:Real Time With Bill Maher– Bill Maher or Donald Trump supporters: you make the call!

“Bill recaps the top stories of the week, including President Trump’s underwhelming Tulsa rally and Joe Biden’s strong lead in the polls.”

From Real Time With Bill Maher

Whether the Tulsa Arena seats 15,000, or 19,000 for any other POTUS (that’s President of the United States, for all you Americans not familiar with the American form of government) to be speaking in front of a less than half empty arena, this would be like a huge national embarrassment and one nail into the coffin of their political careers.

Similar to President Gerald Ford falling down the steps of his airplane. President Richard Nixon with the: “I’m not a crook” line. President Jimmy Carter failing to get the Iranian hostages back in the spring of 1980 because one of our military choppers ran out of gas in the middle of the Iranian desert. President George H.W. Bush puking on the Japanese Emperor in I believe 1991.

It would one of those scenes that’s so hysterically embarrassing that Americans would see their President as the biggest loser whose simply not up to being President of the United States and would not just throw his fat ass out of office, but try to get him deported and deny ever even hearing of the guy, let alone voting for the man and try to get him deported.

But with Donald Trump who just happens to be President of Idiots For Trump, as well as the United States, people tend to forget these embarrassing moments, because they’re too many of them to remember.

If there is one advantage to being a presidential asshole is that you’re so freakin stupid and struggle just to see your own hand in front of your face (even when you’re giving yourself the middle finger, perhaps by accident) that people tend to only remember your last idiotic moment. And what Americans get to look forward to or dread is another 6-7 months (and hopefully no longer) of President Donald Trump’s crooked idiocy and bullshit.

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Willy Beable: Diana Dors Documentary

Diana Dors 1

Source:Willy Beable– English Muffin Diana Dors and Rod Steiger, in The Unholy Wife (1957)

“Short documentary profiling the life of British ‘Blonde Bombshell’ Diana Dors, who died of cancer in 1984.”

From Willy Beable

English Muffin Diana Dors (as I call her) got tagged as the British Marilyn Monroe and the latest Hollywood Blonde Bombshell from the Silent Generation, when he came to America in the mid 1950s.

But if you look at the interview that Diana did with Mike Wallace (yes, that Mike Wallace) in 1957, which is available on YouTube she answered Wallace’s question by saying and I paraphrasing: “I don’t want to be Marilyn Monroe or anyone else. I’m just Diana Dors and that’s the only person I want to be. Marilyn has her life and career and I have mine.”

She wasn’t Marilyn Monroe or anyone other than Diana Dors. She was also better than all of those actresses and entertainers from that era who were also compared with Marilyn, including Jayne Mansfield and if anything had more in common with Jayne, then Marilyn.

Both Jayne Mansfield and Diana Dors were especially gorgeous, adorable, 5’6 great curves 17 months or so apart in age, both women knew what they wanted, both women extremely adorable to the point that they both sounded like little girls when they spoke and even had baby faces that matched their voices. And in Jayne’s case she had a little girl personality, really her whole life.

But Diana and Jayne both had the same weakness which gets me to a Salt N Pepa lyric from 1993 from the song Shoop and the lyric is: “What’s my weakness, men!” Both Diana and Jayne dated and married bad men who were simply untalented users who if they had any talent at all it was the talent of good conmen looking to make money off them, which Diana simply didn’t mine as long as they kept her happy and didn’t bankrupt her.

Diana’s weakness for bad men  I believe is why Diana never went back to America other than doing a few interviews and selling her books. Similar to Shelly Winters, Diana Dors was also a successful author and writer.

It’s not just the great, Hollywood blonde bombshell, that shouldn’t be the only way to tag Diana Dors, she shouldn’t be just tagged as an actress either. Diana was a great entertainer, a great comedian. Jayne Mansfield and Shelly Winters are the two American actresses and entertainers who are the best comparisons to Diana, because they’re so beautiful, the great curves, insanely adorable, and funny, as well as very intelligent.

And I think if Diana wanted to be the great entertainer in America, similar to Joan Collins whose also a great British actress, comedian, and writer, whose done a lot of work in America, Diana could’ve always had that here, because she was always that good.

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Deep Hauz: George Carlin- ‘Racism’

George Carlin - _Racism_

Source:Deep Hauz– Comedian George Carlin on soft language.

“About 15 years ago, George Carlin gave us a list of trigger words that today would send SJW’s to their safe spaces with their pizza parties.”

From Deep Hauz

I guess I agree George Carlin that it’s not the words themselves and that there’s nothing wrong with any word at all, but how those words are used and the context that they’re used and to a certain extent the person (regardless of their race or ethnicity) that’s using the word. And more about that person’s character that’s using the word or words.

I’m not just not in the habit of using I guess slurs against people other ethnicities and races, but I don’t think who does use those words against other people should be arrested or sued for using those words, but instead be singled out as being the assholes that they are.

American assholes who are so stupid in America (which is the Major Leagues when it comes to stupidity) that they judge people by their race and ethnicity. Because they’re brain is so lazy and full of shit that they won’t put in the time to actually try to know people for who they are and instead just single out someone with a different complexion and hair as automatically being inferior and as subhuman simply because they’re from another race or ethnicity.

Another problem with racism and bigotry being used as an issue in America, is that not everything that’s singled out as racism or bigotry in America, is actually racism or bigotry. And people get labeled as racists or bigots in America simply to shut those people up.

It’s not often that I agree with Representative Matt Gaetz on anything. Representative Gaetz just happens to be Chairman of the Donald Trump Ass-Kissers of America, (no, not officially) and perhaps the President’s biggest ass-kisser in Congress, but on Tuesday when he gave a speech about police reform he got into talking about what’s called white ,male privilege in America and he said: “Rep. Matt Gaetz: “Some might call that ‘male privilege or ‘white privilege.’ You know what? Those terms are just racist terms to try to tell people to shut up, and we’re done being quiet.” And he’s damn right about that. (From The Hill Newspaper)

We have hipsters and yuppies in America who claim to be social justice warriors who will argue that America is some racist, bigoted, materialistic society. And will argue that from their Manhattan lofts and swanky apartments or perhaps out in San Francisco or Los Angeles, over a glass of imported French wine, while eating their imported cheese or drinking their imported coffee that perhaps only the 1% in America can afford to have and even know about.

People who say that racism and bigotry are serious issues in America, but only talk about these so-called social justice issues in America after some horrible tragedy like a man being murdered simply because the cop didn’t like his race, aren’t social justice warriors, but they’re profiteers trying to sell their books, articles, movies, documentaries, talk shows, etc, at the expense of people who actually have to live with racism being used against them.

And they post their so-called social justice images on social media and take pictures of themselves at these events simply because they want to be seen as down with the cause. But after the latest so-called crisis dies down you don’t hear or see another damn thing from them about these issues until the next so-called crisis or tragedy breaks out.

And another thing about racism in America: people who say that racism is a big problem in America, shouldn’t be using racism themselves. Assuming (which is not as safe assumption) that they want to be heard or taken seriously by people who don’t already agree with them and are actually interested in solving the problem that they claim to care about.

When people talk about racism, they should be proposing solutions to actually solve the problem. Real solutions that can bring a solid majority of Americans behind them. Instead of trying to blame one race of Americans for every single problem that every other racial group has to go through in America. Again, assuming that they actually want to solve the problem that they claim to care about and not just talk amongst themselves and try to profit off of a real problem in America. Which I know is not a safe assumption.

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CNN: Veronica Stacqualursi- ‘Former GOP Candidate Carly Fiorina Says She’s Vote For Joe Biden’

Carly Fiorina Will Vote For Biden - Google Search

Source:CNN– 2016 GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

“Washington (CNN)Former 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says she’ll support Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, calling the presumptive Democratic standard-bearer a person of “humility” and “character.”

“I’ve been very clear that I can’t support Donald Trump. And, you know, elections are binary choices. I will say this: I think, I hope, that Biden understands that this moment in history calls for him to be a leader, not a politician,” Fiorina told The Atlantic’s podcast The Ticket in an interview released Thursday…

You can read the rest at CNN

“Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says President Trump should be impeached, but stopped short of calling for his removal from office and did not rule out voting for him again in 2020.”

Carly Fiorina_ It is _vital_ Trump be impeached

Source:CNN– 2016 GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina; talking to CNN’s Poppy Harlow. 

From CNN

Within perhaps minutes of Carly Fiorina (2016 GOP presidential candidate) announcing that she’s voting for Democrat Joe Biden the former Vice President, for President in 2020, even though Carly Fiorina is still a Republican, President Donald Trump attacks her on Twitter by calling her and this is a paraphrase: “a failed presidential candidate whose going to vote for Biden.”

I saw that tweet on Twitter, because I follow the President on Twitter (because apparently God hates me and punishes me this way) and I replied: “If she’s a failed presidential candidate, then why do you care who she votes for?” It was sort a a rhetorical question, because  know the answer to it. We’re talking about a 74 year old man who can’t take any negativity about himself, who can’t take a joke, even though he calls others who can’t take a joke snowflakes, which they are, but perhaps they got that from him.

You would think if commonsense and reality has anything to do with this, that the President of the United States would have better things to do than to worry about who a: “a failed presidential candidate” is voting for, for President. But again that would be a world where commonsense and reality rules. Not in a world where a reality TV star and two-time bankrupt businessman (a failed businessman, if you will) with no previous government experience is the President of the United States.


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