…and it ain’t over yet. There is encouraging news for #NeverTrump types from many polls that indicate GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is running behind the levels of voter support enjoyed by the most recent Republican nominees, even in places that have been solidly Republican for a generation. If the polls are to be believed, and if Trump stays true to form and shoots himself in the foot again this week or next, there seems little chance that he will win two weeks from now. But don’t throw up your hands in victory and think it’s a done deal—you still have to vote. The polls are telling us what people say they believe or who they plan to support, but the polls don’t predict who will actually cast ballots; if the people who want to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, or just want to vote against Trump, don’t actually vote, Trump could still win. Then, we’d all lose.
Trying to do my little bit, I’ve been keeping notes on what seem to me to be the clearest examples of Trump as an unstable narcissistic buffoon who is unfit to hold office, and comments thereupon, and re-tweeting them (@patryan12) as a way to remind people that we have to be vigilant against Trump’s behavior becoming normalized. (You can see my Twitter feed in the sidebar, just to your right and down a bit.) That’s things like:
It’s been hard, I’ll admit; there is so much that is so out of touch with American normality that it’s hard to stay surprised. (Be strong, America; just two more weeks!) On the topic of the “rigged election” that Trump is floating as a way to protect his fragile ego from having to face up to a yuuuge failure, I offer this explainer video. It’s from the Internet, so it must be true:
Polls are now showing that my own state of Texas, which hasn’t voted for a Democrat in a statewide election since 1994, is now considered a toss-up, or in play, or closer than anyone would have thought it would be. Point is, Trump is so bad that even this reddest of red states might vote against him, if not for Clinton. So please: there’s no good excuse for you not to vote…and if the early voting in your area is as busy as it is in mine, there may not even be any lines at the polls on November 8.
I wouldn’t be much of a television professional if I didn’t watch a lot of TV, have an opinion on all of it, and insist on sharing that opinion even when you don’t ask. But I do; I do; and even though you didn’t, here goes.
I hope you’re watching Cosmos. If you’re not, you can catch it online here as well as on Fox and a few of the Fox-affiliated networks; next new episode is Sunday night. Astronomer/rock star Neil deGrasse Tyson is an engaging if slightly self-absorbed host for a journey of the imagination that’s not only exploring out in space, but back in time. This version takes full advantage of the capabilities of the medium in the modern day and tells a great story. I don’t find it as enthralling as the original with astronomer/rock star Carl Sagan back in 1980, but it’s not fair to compare the two, not for people like me who saw the Sagan series when we were young and the things he talked about were actually new and unknown to us. For me, it had the advantage of provoking wonderment in a way the current version just can’t; I hope it does for the kids of today.
The new series, produced by Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan, Seth McFarlane and others, is providing easy-to-follow explanations of some difficult scientific concepts. The writers and producers have found a way to lay things out so you can understand the concept in the same way you eat an elephant (one bite at a time); it’s not scary to learn new things here. I particularly liked Episode 2 for the explanation of evolution by natural selection. Anyone who didn’t watch that show with a preset determination that evolution is for atheists could grasp the basics; yes, you’ve got to give up the notion that the Earth is only 6000 years old and that people and dinosaurs lived side by side, but you will understand what the scientific terms “evolution” and “natural selection” really mean. It should be required viewing for the members of the Texas State Board of Education, that’s for sure.
If you prefer yours in a handy graphical form, here’s a swell chart from Reddit user SlipperyFish done for The Infographics Project (thumbnail image via Thinkstock). Thanks to Upworthy for the link to this short answer to a perennial favorite dumb question:
Good for Gov. Jan Brewer, for taking a stand against hate and discrimination. Nobody over the age of reason is falling for this “religious freedom” argument. It’s a sign—a good sign—that the extremists see the writing on the wall, and are getting more desperate.
Hell, even a judge in Texas has struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage! What more evidence do you need that things really are changing…
But, I do: I was surprised—pleasantly surprised—to see the headline “Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich Defend Mandela Against GOP Critics.”
My new senator hasn’t impressed me much, not during the campaign last year or since he’s been in office. He’s been unapologetic up to now at toeing the ultraconserative Tea Party line, pandering to some of the least “American” elements in American society…the very people who are criticizing him now for his glowing praise for Nelson Mandela: “He endured decades of imprisonment and steadfastly continued his fight for equality. And, when justice prevailed in his battle against apartheid, and Mandela was elected president of his nation, he nobly chose reconciliation instead of retribution — a legacy for which he will be remembered forever.” Cruz is even making the trip to South Africa for the Mandela memorial as part of a congressional delegation.
When I saw the headline I thought, “Cruz disagreed with the right-wing fringe? Did I read that right?” Sure enough…and now it turns out that, not only do I share an opinion on an issue with Ted Cruz, but I have to add a new exercise to my workout: fighting the urge to jump to conclusions.
…and I have confidence in you, America; I don’t have to worry about another Texas governor being elected president and screwing things up from that end. (Don’t let me down!)
Photo: Politico screen grab Caption: HIPRB