Donald Trump is a disaster, but Joe Biden's party is democratic in name only. Why this year's election is a vomit milkshake
Give Trump his due.
He was the ONLY politician to see just how fed up the American ppl were with Free Trade, endless wars and with the DC establishment.
HE DID manage to bring some semblance of peace to the Middle East.
He DID manage to force DC to accept that China is a real threat.
He DID manage to get NAFTA renegotiated.
He DID manage to appoint 3 highly qualified justices whether you agree with their philosophy or not
He DID manage to banish the very imperialists you mention for 4 yrs.
He DID oversee a very large economic expansion.
He DID manage to be the only president since Ford to not send troops to some new shit hole.
SO...that is NOT a bad record given the alternatives we would have had with HRC.
Biden poses a greater long term risk to the nation for exactly the reasons you mention. The illiberal nature of the liberal left is a greater threat to us over the long term. THEY tear at the very machinery, the civics of this country.
For those reasons, I cast my ballot for Trump. I will not say I was thrilled to do it but I was proud to make that choice.
It took me a while to pull myself out of the bubble of the left (when the New York Times had their meltdown because Twitter had a fit it hit me that there was something very wrong with the news) and eventually find my way into Trump world to discover for myself if all of it was true. Turned out almost none of it was. Once you watch the rallies, watch Fox News, listen to those who support him either enthusiastically or reluctantly you figure out that the left is like the person who has been held captive its whole life and warned about the danger of the outside world - a world they then witness for themselves and see it as basically a Walmart parking lot. Really? That? The accusations of fascism fell flat - a fascist would have shot all of them on the spot during the protests. There would be no Twitter. Trump pulled back immediately with federal troops and waited to be asked. He pulled back on almost every major action and yet HE is the fascist? No all of the potentially fascist, or at least totalitarian stuff, is coming from the left. 60% of people are afraid to say what they really think online. College kids are afraid to say what they think. The oppression on the left is getting worse and we're all supposed to be happy about it reaching the highest levels of government?
No, I was an early Biden supporter - a good liberal - your typical centrist liberal. I thought it was the right thing to do. But this year I notices we were surfing on nothing but unbridled, unfiltered HATE against Trump and his family and his supporters. A friend of mine died of a heroin overdose because of COVID and for whatever reason my emotions shut down. I could not abide one more second of watching that kind of casual dehumanization. So I vowed I would not be one of those people who thinks that's all just fine. Now I want to be friends with Trump supporters. And Bernie supporters. The news has lied completely to the American people - to a shameful horrific degree. And they deserve to be taught a lesson, as the punitive left, with another term of Trump. And saying so could end my career. Yes, that is where we are.
I voted for Biden. But now I sort of wish I had done what you are doing and simply not voted. At least on Trump's side they really do love their candidate because he SEES them. On our side Biden is trying to cling to the America the left wants it to be. Not the America it is. What do we plan to do with these millions of Trump supporters? Just pretend they don't exist so Chelsea Handler can be happy again?
Thanks for the great piece.
I couldn't agree more, but there are a few other significant things that bear mentioning. 4 years ago I could ship manufactured goods from China cheaper than from Pennsylvania. That was fixed in a Trump administration reform. This was the first year drug prices went down and next year if I can buy from Canada or Mexico, well USA prices are about 10x more than elsewhere. That was a Trump administration executive order. This was the first administration since 1973 where FEWER troops were deployed abroad. His administration has been nominated for three Nobel peaces prize. In this case for actually doing something.
I do not want a packed Supreme Court, I like an independent judiciary. The filibuster protects minority party rights. Creating new states that you can reliable win forever has to be the pinnacle of gerrymandering. We already have a press the is little more than Pravda and HighTech social media and search which believes in their right to censor.
And the only reason we have Trump is because the empire, thinking he was the worst candidate gave him 2 to 3 times the coverage as the other candidates and grossly underestimated how abhorred their queen was.
Yes, this Trump stuff is complicated, but anyone whose enemies include:
--The Deep State
--Corporate globalists/big banks
--The Mainstream Media
Can't be all bad, can they?
Unlike you Matt, to me the Church of Woke Orthodoxy is the greater risk. Trump, in spite of your article has actually done little and, on balance, it hasn’t been awful. And little, from a President, is far better than big.
Setting aside differences I have with your assessment of Trump vs. Biden specifically, I would say this: that the damage of four more years of Trump will only last until the next election; whereas the damage of a Biden/Democrat victory could last a generation or more. You hint at this, but never quite come out and say it, but a Biden win will validate and empower all of the illiberal forces you've been railing against for some time.
I understand if you can't stomach voting for Trump. I can't understand how you could even consider voting for Biden. You would be voting in favor of everything you've steadfastly opposed in your writings here.
"Donald Trump is going to be a difficult case for future historians because he’s simultaneously the biggest liar and the most lied-about politician in American history." You hit the bullseye on this one
I know Matt can speak for himself, but I find it necessary to speak up on his behalf based on the comments I'm seeing. First, Matt is pissing off a lot of people on both the right and the left. That tells me he's doing his job. I didn't agree with much of what he said, but I'm not reaching for the unsubscribe button. Not now, not ever. I'm a six-year Navy Veteran who once helped pull Vietnamese Boat People out of the South China Sea. I also visited visited South Korea and the Philippines when both were under martial law.
Ergo, I'm an extreme freedom and free speech guy. I've seen the darker alternatives close up.
It troubles me greatly that Matt Taibbi and now Glenn Greenwald, two of the finest investigative reporters on the world beat imho, have to blog on Substack when they both should be managing editors at major newspapers like the New York Times if those organizations were indeed operating like a free press should. Sad state of affairs when Pulitzers are only good for doorstops.
Don't like what Matt has to say? Go to FOX or CNN and hear only what you want to all day, depending on the flavor of your politics. I subscribe to Matt because I know he's not going to bullshit me or try to hide the truth on me. He said a lot of things I didn't particularly care to hear. But you know what, people? I'm from an old school America that thrived and even socially progressed from heated arguments in the press or even Congress to social action. Silencing conflicting opinions for political gain or worse, suppressing real news, is more the CCP model.
So I stand with Matt, thick or thin, shine or rain, rainbows or shitstorms. I would recommend you look closer at what Matt says that you disagree with, and analyze why you do instead of going all social media mental with your only thought process being blind anger at perceived offenses. I know it's becoming a lost art in America, but are you so unsure of your convictions you cant respond eloquently with evidentiary facts and reasoned thinking to rebut what you disagree with?
I am not an American, so I don't have to vote. But if I as a Dane had the opportunity to vote, I surely wouldn't vote for Biden. I don't care very much about American domestic policy, it is for Americans to decide what wing of the corporate party they want to be suppressed by. But I care very much about the USA being the greatest threat to world peace. With this in mind I might vote for Trump, as he has started no new wars, unlike every other American president since WWII. He even expressed a desire to talk to other nations, rather than bombing them. With Biden we are just going to get more wars.
Matt, I am envious of your ability to piss off everyone. It's why I shell out money for your journalism.
This article perfectly encapsulates why I voted for my ex pat Zambian buddy for president.
This year was literally a choice between a bowl of shit & a bowl of vomit. (Actually nothing new there).
If I was given that choice in a restaurant I'd walk out.
Which is exactly what I do now. Vote for anyone who isn't running. Usually my dog who has, to my knowledge, no political aspirations.
I just wish you'd have written it sooner.
Sending people to this piece would have saved me much lip flapping time as I continually had to explain to my Democrat & Republican cohorts why I think their candidate sucks.
Although being both an America hating commie & a white supremacist Trumper was an interesting hat to wear.
For a while. Then it just became tedious.
If I were forced to pick one though, it would probably be Trump. Primarily because he can't fart sideways without 43 op-eds being written explaining how that sideways fart will usher in a fascist apocalypse of undreamt horror.
Like Jimmy Dore said, a Biden presidency will just send the media back to sleep.
Like they were napping during Obama's stay in office.
Honestly, I think we're watching the collapse of America.
The problems the country faces, from climate change to an aggressively out of control military industrial complex to egregious wealth inequality, are monumental, yet we continually shit out ethics challenged "leaders" who make Bernie Madoff look like Saint Francis.
As a country, we've been continually shooting ourselves in the foot. When the wound becomes apparent we just wrap it with the flag and call anyone who points out that there really is a wound in our national foot a "traitor" or an "America hater."
The whole idea of self reflection seems to be something a collective America is genetically incapable of pulling off. As a country we just blunder from one fuck up to another while our ruling class of cheesy shit shovelers works double time to convince us our blunders are really pure genius.
Last weekend I must have seen 50 ads telling me to "Make my voice heard. Vote."
None of them explained how "my voice" could be heard when "my voice" doesn't align with either of the two corporate approved nitwit shitheads I have to choose from.
While I'd love to say that this current political shit show will wise America up, I know that it won't.
At the end of the day, whether we get a Biden or a Trump as president, America will still continue it's favorite hobby of flushing itself down the drain.
Eventually it will succeed.
The pain inflicted by Trump's incompetence will be temporary. Freedom, once lost, is nearly impossible to regain, and certainly not without tremendous bloodshed.
The most chilling line in your article, because I believe it to be true, and so eloquently stated, is this:
“what we’ll actually be doing this week is voting the empire back, only this time, it’s had four years to think about loopholes at home that need closing.”
As I see Twitter mobs threaten to make lists of all those that voted for conservatives and send them to re-education camps, I am beginning to wonder if the America I came to for the promise of freedom and opportunity is soon to be relegated to the ash-heap of history.
'unforgivable crime of getting elected without their [imperial America] permission'
Finally somebody managed to say it.
Matt's mistake in this article is framing the election as a contest of two corrupt personalities. Cancel culture, big tech censorship, leftist authoritarianism, the unimpeded destruction of public art, critical race theory, Robin DiAngelo, looting-as-reparations, "trained Marxists" BLM, kneeling for the national anthem, gender reassignment to elementary school kids, etc., are ALL on the ballot. The vast majority of the country are opposed to all those things; Biden and the Democrats are their champions. This is what most people will be voting against.
The most important thing to me is that we don't let the establishment back in the door. You can think Trump's a dope, but at least he's not part of the established machine that got us here in the first place: the Bush/Cheney/Obama/Biden/Clinton political dynasties that put us into and kept us in never ending wars in the Middle East. Trump, to date, is the first President in 40 years to not start a new war and has overseen three peace deals. I find it funny how the left have become the warmongers and the ones to incite violence; the party of peace and tolerance as they burn down small businesses in Portland and Kenosha and a dozen other cities. People blame Trump, and he's no hero or without blame, but the legacy media has completely failed us. The career politicians who sell us out to line their pockets have failed us. The Bushes and the Obamas and the Clintons and the Bidens and all politicians like them don't deserve to be let back in the door. They have failed us, and the very idea that an 80 year old man with CLEAR cognitive decline, no platform, flip-flop policies, who hasn't accomplished ONE good thing in his entire career and is part of that same machine that led us here in the first place astounds me.
People act as if the next President decides the fate our country in a four year timeline, regardless of who is voted in. This is incredibly shortsighted. If Trump wins climate change will reach apocalyptic levels within the next four years and the Earth is doomed, or that if Biden wins all babies on the planet will be aborted within the next four years. What matters is the long term, not the insane fears of the short. You may hate Trump's guts, but him winning another election allows a whole new wave of people to follow in his footsteps who aren't career politicians; ideally better, more nuanced and less bullish individuals who can still win the Presidency as an "outsider".
Biden winning means we get the same old, and you may think that's a better option in the short-term, but in the long it means the dynasties will always be in charge and will always rule us, and it won't be for the better.
I voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and was very liberal. In 2016 I didn't vote at all, hated Hillary, thought Trump was an idiot and was a moderate. In 2020, I'm a conservative, I support Trump, and I'm voting for Trump.
What a terrible ending to an otherwise great article, Matt. Trump may be incompetent, but his actions and inactions with regard to climate change make him the single greatest threat to humanity alive. You won't want to be part of the demographic that sat out this election (and published your reasons for doing so) if he wins and gets to finish the disastrous job he started.