25 Comments

I am a registered Democrat, and have been for 50 years. But I will be voting straight Republican in 2024 (yes, including for Trump), because the Democrats are now all-in on race essentialism and transgenderism. EVERY Democrat in Congress is on record as favoring a new law (the "Equality Act") that would allow any man free access to any women's space, place, organization, event, or competition that is open to the public. Biden once again called for the passage of this new law in his SOTU address.

Enough. The Democrats are totally off the rails, unanimously so, and I can no longer support any of them.

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They have become the scolding party of naive schoolmarms.

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Be careful what you perpetuate.

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I really enjoy your articles, Yascha, as they are thoughtful and measured. That stands in stark contrast to the "Falling Into Trump's Trap" piece today. This was just a bunch of knee-jerk opinion. The most divisive politicians on the scene today are OAC and the rest of "the squad" as well as Biden himself, always going on about the end of democracy. A state taking a presidential candidate off the ballot is the most undemocratic thing I have ever heard of! Just FYI, not a Trump fan, just a fan of facts.

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I guess its a good thing this is a paid subscription - otherwise people might be seeing that you just said the quiet part out loud: "... did lasting damage to the integrity of journalism and, ironically, it weakened the media’s ability to help stem Trump..." Oh. Oh, I see. Your job is to "... help stem Trump". Not respond to his evil points (which, ironically, is the point of this article) but to "stem" - that is "stop" - Trump. I subscribed to this publication last week for an article by a writer I like - I cancelled a couple of days after that because I stuck around to read what else is here. I don't like Trump much - but every day - every goddam day - I get another reason to give the guy another chance. You should really try to be journalists - actual, what's the facts and damn the politics journalists - instead of confirming his basic charge that the "professional" class in this country only thinks about themselves and their virtue, never (and I know you will laugh at this) America. Buh bye.

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The fantastic intellectual dishonesty and one-sided anti-Trump hyperbole did not work before (Democrats mistake their 2020 win as proof that their attack strategy worked, and not just the fortuitous election benefits of the pandemic) and it is now doing damage to the forces against Trump as confirming their unhinged irrational behavior.

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I too find it impossible to vote for Biden. He has had his “education “ and has fully signed up to the equity promise. Worse still, he has opened the border to undocumented immigrants indiscriminately. Unless you are white and trying to get into this country to do a real job. A vote for Biden is a vote Harris and Ocasio-Cortez.

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All Democrats in Congress are unanimously behind favored-race preferences and favored-men in women's spaces. All of them, there are no exceptions, check their voting records, check their policy web sites. The notion that there are "moderate" Democrats and "left wing" Democrats is false, at least on social issues.

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Not sure how I would look that up but I am not dismissing your claim. The thing that makes me lean towards it is the silence before the people on these matters. In the background they are drivers but Biden never addresses them honestly.

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On race-based preferences, Biden made a strong speech condemning the SCOTUS decision to prohibit anti-asian and anti-white bias in college admissions: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/29/joe-biden-supreme-court-affirmative-action-00104215 I am not aware of any Democrat in Congress who has dissented from this publicly.

On allowing men to enter women's spaces at will, EVERY Democrat in Congress is on record as in favor of the "Equality Act", which would make instantaneous gender self-ID a matter of federal law. Biden once again called for the immediate passagoe of the Equality Act in his SOTU.

And this is already the law in most blue states, thanks to typically unanimoous votes by Democrats. To change your official sex on your state ID, you just need to fill out a form. Here, for example, is Pennsylvania's: https://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DVSPubsForms/BDL/BDL%20Form/DL-32.pdf

But the law does not even require you to do so: if you claim your "gender identity" is "woman", you can then enter any women's "public accommodation" (think locker room at a gym that sells memberships to the public) at will.

So far, it seems that not very many predatory men and pedophiles have gotten the memo that they can go into any women/girls locker room that they like in a blue state, get naked, even get erect, and ogle away. But this is their "right" under the laws of those states. Eventually more and more of them will figure it out.

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I agree strongly with the thrust of this article, but I want to suggest that its scope needs to be expanded. The same prominent media folks that misrepresent Trump also write articles and headlines that denigrate Biden based on issues that are false-- those that have been circulated and gotten traction by the Republicans. Frequently the headlines do not match the articles, and the actual state of the issue is not discussed until way into the article. This behavior just reinforces nonsense all around.

There are plenty of good reasons to call into question Trumps policies, and same for Biden. The difference with Biden, in my opinion, is that there are also reasons to praise him based on detailed analysis of his accomplishments and the obstacles he has had to overcome. Properly contextual questioning and explaining would go a long way to turn down the heat.

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One blinding glimpse of the obvious is that Trump and his supporters are now the Republican party. Trumps views are now part of the establishment and should be branded by the media as such. No wishing otherwise will change that reality. In order to win the presidency and congress in November, the Democrats will have to change direction, tack into the wind, to attract independents and disaffected Republicans; broadening their base at the risk of alienating the more progressive and unrealistic elements of the party. The old coalitions are not enough. If the Democrats can't win with the self-defeating wing of the party, they should try winning without it.

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The problem is that all Demcrats holding elected federal office are in the "self-defeating" wing.

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This is so frustrating! Especially when just telling the truth in an impartial way could potentially do so much good.

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I initially came here to comment on the post, but ended up being more interested in the comments, especially subscribers who are argue that they're so fed up with Democrats embracing what Mounk calls the identity synthesis that they're voting for Trump this year. I can sympathize with this frustration. I think this ideology poses a serious threat to liberalism--but I can't see how it compares with the more immediate threat that Trump poses. It's not just Trump's and his follower's illiberalism that worries. It's the idea of handing over the US nuclear arsenal to Trump that absolutely terrifies me. I'm really curious how people who are genuinely moved to vote against Biden for his social policies see this. Trump lacks the impulse control to stop talking about E. Jean Carroll, knowing it's likely to cost him millions of dollars. While I hate the fact that any president has unilateral control over the US' nuclear arsenal, and while I'm not arguing that Biden is the absolute perfect candidate here--but having to choose between Trump and Biden (or Harris) doesn't even seem like a choice to me.

The words of Isaiah Berlin come to mind: "How do we choose between possibilities? What and how much must we sacrifice to what? There is, it seems to me, no clear reply . . . . Priorities, never final and absolute, must be established. The first public obligation is to avoid extremes of suffering."

I would argue that supporting Biden is fundamentally about fulfilling this first public obligation. What do others see here that I'm missing?

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Mar 26·edited Mar 26

Yes I entirely agree!!!! The comments if at all representative of educated American middle and upper middle class (they are paid subscribers) are spectacular. Beneath the identity trap we also have our true identities, the bundle of impressions, as David Hume describes it we have each used to make ourselves into our "selves." We have made our hard earned "selves," over years of experience in the real world. And the scolding left rejects that, and instead tell us to be like them instead. No just plain No. Some realities are much more accurate than others. So I will likely not vote for Biden, he has lost his way. A woman is not a woman a man is not a man a truth is not true rapists and murders and terrorists are not rapists and murderers and terrorists, 2+2 can equal anything anyone wants it to mean. Baloney.

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Taking "bloodbath" out of context was a mistake and should be acknowledged and corrected. That being said, in light of how Trump has spoken many, many, MANY times, it was an understandable mistake. It ought to be possible to acknowledge both at the same time.

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Sam, why does the will of the American electorate "scare you to death" if Trump is elected POTUS? Readers comments suggest that what they are trying to avoid is a repeat for the next four years, of the present ruling class at present in the White House. What is much more scary for sure is that the Dems don't have a viable option for the American eletorate for whom to vote. That is scary for sure. 😐

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I agree, Sam. The worst thing for Trump would be to praise his skill as a candidate and think of his campaign as a juggernaut. Raise the expectations. He's most effective as the martyr and the underdog.

Start calling him "canny," which he is in running for office. I want to see MSM headlines like "Is a Trump Presidency Inevitable?" That would do his candidacy the most damage.

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For the avoidance of any doubt, I was not being sarcastic or ironic. I really like the word canny to describe Trump as a tactic. Sam is right. The Pavlovian response is the wrong one.

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That which you resist only grows stronger. It is an interesting thought exercise to imagine where we would be if the Trump hysteria/rage had been dialed back several notches. You can blame Trump all you want for the state of divisiveness in the country, but the over reaction and no holds barred/no limits to what we will do to get rid of you including manufacturing Russia collusion stories, letter from intelligence agency operatives pooh poohing (downright lying, sorry) about Hunter's laptop before the 2020 election), lawfare (hate the word but it's useful) have in large part created the monster we have today. He IS highly skilled in politcal trench warfare, he does operate in very gray areas that can be maddening, AND he has taken the hysteria and over reaction and turned it all to his HUGE advantage. The tail of uncontrolled visceral hatred for him has been wagging the Left's dog now for 8 years and apparently nothing has been learned. He is stronger than he has ever been. He is also angrier and therefore more dangerous, and his supporters are far more hardened in their beliefs and angered about him than ever. I like to imagine what it would be like if the media and political operatives had just cooled their jets, chanted the mantra, "and this too shall pass' for 4 years and simply reported even handedly on him. It could be that he would be coming into our rearview mirror by now. But no. I truly fear for the state of the country come November. It will be a slim win no matter who, so half the country one way or the other will be enraged. What could go wrong?

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It seems that some commenters here are having trouble separating your own stated opposition to Trump from your point that the media needs to get back to journalism rather than advocacy.

I'm guessing their problem is of a piece with today's general tendency to make every argument 𝘢𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘮 and declare victory when you've established that your opponent is 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮.

In any case, you're quite right about the media, and they're quite right that the reason for the media to get back to journalism is not for the sake of defeating Trump. I don't see it happening, but one can hope.

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I have lost all doubt that, barring something fully out of the blue, Trump will be our next president. And this brilliant article explains exactly why. Trump knows his audience and plays to his audience and instigates his audience. Biden simply does not. Also it will not be the end of Democracy or the end of the world either. It will however be the end of the Democratic party. The Republican party I once knew has long ago vanished.

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He and his team are very clever.

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No, they are not so clever. Listen to James Carville, the Democrats have just become very priggish, pompous and self convinced, mostly just very Not clever at all.

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