Donald Trump Jr brutally reminded of his 'drunken circus chimp' dad after failed swipe at Biden's speech
On Tuesday, amid President Joe Biden's press conference on efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump Jr. tried to mock him on Twitter, suggesting that he was struggling to speak.
Biden really makes reading a teleprompter look hard.— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.) 1628023844.0
But the attack didn't go the way that he might have hoped. Swarms of commenters on social media flooded his mentions with clips and quotes from his father stumbling and bumbling through press conferences, often garbling his comments to the point of near unintelligibility — including his excessive slurring, his discussion of "Yo-Semites" National Park, and his inability to pronounce words like "coronavirus" or "contingency."
@DonaldJTrumpJr Who’s this guy and why can’t he read a teleprompter without slurring? https://t.co/C4ROzI1x3P— Pamela Johnson (@Pamela Johnson) 1628026080.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr What does this mean https://t.co/WSuivJNgQM— Susan Abbott (@Susan Abbott) 1628026916.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr Your dad is about as articulate as a drunken circus chimp with or without a prompter - and you soun… https://t.co/Pqb9xyDHA8— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer) 1628028209.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr Of all the people in the world that can mock anyone at teleprompter fail, you ARE DEFINITELY NOT on… https://t.co/k87jn8har2— 🌊🌊🌊Kelvin Resists🌊🌊🌊 (@🌊🌊🌊Kelvin Resists🌊🌊🌊) 1628038455.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr Check yourself, Junior.. I wouldn't go there.. https://t.co/zDhxogAHpU— Angie Nickamin✡️ (@Angie Nickamin✡️) 1628025801.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr LMAO.... You really want to go down that road, junior? Next... https://t.co/AR9x9uO8in— Ruth Cohen (@Ruth Cohen) 1628025692.0
@DonaldJTrumpJr Your dad makes drinking from a bottle of water look hard, dude.— Tess Gregory (@Tess Gregory) 1628023897.0
The covid pandemic should have revealed to us how hard it is doing democracy. The plague could be over by now had everyone agreed it's bad, had everyone agreed masks are good and had everyone agreed vaccines are the road of the righteous to liberation. While consensus is always difficult to achieve in any democracy, the radicalization of one of two major parties, such that it's more like a separatist movement than a legitimate bargaining partner, has meant consensus has become nearly impossible.
But the covid pandemic should have revealed something else, something related to how hard it is doing democracy. When one of two major parties is willing to hurt itself in order to achieve its objectives, that party is always going to have a political advantage over the other. Mutual benefit and trust are impossible when betrayal is optional. Put another way, having a political advantage over the other party is important enough that the Republicans will gladly hurt themselves. This is so important it will move heaven and earth so it does not appear to be suicidal but instead honorable—so self-harm doesn't look like masochism but instead freedom.
Consider recent remarks by Madison Cawthorn given during a speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives during which he railed against new rules requiring members wear masks: "If I am to cowardly bend the knee here, like those on the left wish, then what is to stop you all from taking your tyranny to the rest of this country that I love," the North Carolina Congressman said. "How dare anyone in this institution attempt to dictate to the patriots on my staff how they may live their lives. … What makes this nation special is that here in this free land, the people are the royalty. So arrest us if you will, but I will not cower and I will not bend. You have come to take away our liberties, but Madam Speaker, in this country you are outnumbered."
Cawthorn is a carbuncle on the haunch of the Republican Party, but nevertheless he captures the democratic predicament I'm talking about. The more we ask these authoritarians to do the right thing—to get vaccinated for themselves and everyone they love—the more these authoritarians will recognize, because we keep asking so nicely, that they have an advantage over us. The more we ask them to do their part in the democratic exercise of collective problem-solving, the more they see the value in sabotage. Liberals often call them crazy, but they are not. They are making a rational choice. In order to continue this advantage, they continue refusing to "give in."
That the political advantage they imagine for themselves is fictional—you know, on account of they're dying from the covid—does not detract from democracy being made more difficult when one of the major parties is willing to hurt itself in order to maintain or gain a political advantage. Democracies can't live with authoritarians. Democracies can't live without them either. In any given democracy worldwide, there's always a sizable chunk of its population jim-dandy with the idea of liquidating their enemies. There's always a sizable chuck prepared to die for such "principles." Don't take my word for it, though. Here's Dr. Michelle Fiscus, a former health official fired by the state of Tennessee for doing her job too well. This is what she told CNN:
I think, you know, the other thing in Tennessee, and I think in a lot of our southern states what's happening is this ideology that if you get this vaccine, you're somehow placating the left part of the political spectrum. And so, what we're actually seeing is our most hesitant population in Tennessee is the white male rural conservative and that they are stating that they're not going to get the vaccine, really, out of spite, and are willing to put their own lives and the lives of people that they love at risk because they feel that if they get the vaccine, then they have, you know, placated the left or done what the Biden administration wants them to do. (The emphasis is mine.)
The result is a covid pandemic that should be over by now.
What can democracies do? I dunno. What can they do when sizable chunks of their populations are prepared to blow themselves up out of spite? While we can't prevent that in the absence of a federal mandate (I'll return to a mandate in a moment), we can prevent them from getting the respect they desperately crave. Make no mistake. Respect is the point of all those make-believe arguments, voiced by that carbuncle on the haunch of the Republican Party, about self-harm not really being self-harm but really being a principled fight for freedom. Noop. It's not. Suicide, yes. Liberty, no. Dying because the Biden administration wants you to live isn't brave. It's pathetic.
What the rest of us can do is point out that these authoritarians hurt themselves not out of principle but fear. They are deeply, deeply afraid. Of what? Not what they should be afraid of, like the covid, but of ordinary humiliation. Why do you think they talk to each other exclusively? It's because authoritarians inhabit lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations about themselves and the world around them that cannot exist "on the outside." They won't risk the humiliation that comes with engaging the "reality-based community" that the rest of us live in. They won't risk the humiliation of having to defer to the authority of facts—of the possibility of being wrong and not being as great as these authoritarians believe themselves to be. If they accepted as right and true the facts informing the "reality-based community," they'd be surrendering. They'd be accepting their "replacement." They'd rather replace by force the "reality-based community" with lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations about themselves and the world around them. Once that happens, then—only then—will they feel respected.
You can't ever let that happen. The democratic exercise of collective problem-solving—for instance, putting an end to this goddamn pandemic—demands loyalty to facts. It also demands humility. Humility, to the authoritarian, isn't humility as the rest of us understand it. It's humiliation, which is a source of pain, which is of their own making. It's humiliating when people on the outside don't believe lies believed true on the inside. It's humiliating when the rest of us don't believe their ridiculous claim to be fighting for their liberty. Long before they chose to hurt themselves during a plague in order to gain some kind of imaginary advantage over their imaginary enemies, they were already hurting. Pain is the simple result of encountering a modern, literate and technologically advanced society. If existence itself is painful, what's a little more, especially when the pain is seen as evidence of the rest of us being against them?
It may seem ironic to say this but a federally enforced vaccine mandate will probably put an end to all this. Sure, some will resist. Many will die before getting a shot. But most of the rest of these authoritarians will cave under the weight of government's authority. They won't admit to it, of course. They will convince themselves they are getting a shot out of their own free will. It's the right thing to do! Whatever works.
The director of Pray Away, a new Netflix documentary about the so-called "ex-gay" therapy movement, says that contrary to popular belief, the dangerous, deadly practice of attempting to change people's sexual orientation or gender identity is alive and well. In fact, despite the shuttering of prominent organizations like Exodus International, the ex-gay movement appears to be growing as conservatives dig in their heels against "woke" and "inclusive" culture.
Although numerous states have banned ex-gay therapy, those laws typically apply only to licensed mental health professionals whose clients are minors, and not to religious practitioners who may be protected by the First Amendment.
Kristine Stolakis, who directed the film that was executive produced by Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum, told the Daily Beast that the "urgency in making Pray Away stemmed in part from a desire to battle the assumption that in 2021, when 'woke' and 'inclusivity' are buzzwords, practices like gay conversion therapy don't exist anymore."
"When pop culture turns the concept of gay conversion therapy into a joke, as shows like Saturday Night Live have done several times in recent years, it fosters an assumption that, because it's being laughed off, it must not be a serious problem in modern society," the Daily Beast reports, adding that an estimated 700,000 people have gone through a form of conversion therapy in the U.S., and a survey found that youth who experienced it were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.
"This is a message that we hope our film sends, which is that as long as some version of homophobia and transphobia exist, some version of the conversion therapies will continue," Stolakis told the Daily Beast. "I wish I could say something rosy, that this collection of leaders has defected, therefore this is going away. It's not the case. There are always going to be new leaders essentially in training, ready to take this place if this larger culture of homophobia and transphobia continues. ... I think it is a mistake if we look at this as a red versus blue issue, as Republican versus Democrat. This is not that. We're talking about making sure people are more or not more likely to kill themselves. That's what we're talking about. There's no room for politics. We need to make sure that people are safe."
Julie Rodgers, one of several former ex-gay leaders and participants whose stories are chronicled in Pray Away, said the Exodus International affiliate with which she worked, Living Hope, is larger and more influential than ever. That's because "the more progressive certain parts of society become, the more aggressive and protective these communities are of what they consider to be morally upright and pure lifestyles," according to the Daily Beast.
"There's definitely a sense in which we are seeing polarization and we are seeing more people that I'm connected to still in the Christian right really digging their heels and doubling down," said Rogers, who finally left the ex-gay movement after she was sexually assaulted in college, and neither Living Hope or Exodus International provided any help.
Read the full story here, and watch the trailer below.
Pray Away | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com
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