Every day, Trump does or says something so nuts, so indecent, so opposed to the my understanding of America--to the open, tolerant, and free America in which I grew up, to the America I've been hopelessly devoted to all my life, the America whose political genius I've--
--proudly explained everywhere in the world--that I really don't know if we can return after this.

Before him, we were in the Garden of Eden. We had our political differences, but we didn't hate each other so much that we truly hoped the others would die.
But the bitterness and division are so deep now, so rancorous, that we've become like all the other countries, the ones we fled from.

We'll never trust ourselves the same way again.
Certainly, we'll never forget we were capable of coming to the verge of civil war--
--over what? Over a man so objectively useless and cynical that he insists daily that everything I believed in, with all my heart, is just "fake news" or "stuff for pussies" -- like our allies, for example. I bought the Kool Aid with that whole "American Exceptionalism" fantasy--
the belief that my country was unlike the others because it was based on an idea, and therefore welcomed anyone willing to accept this idea, and was thus a country so welcoming that everyone who came to America could enjoy life,and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It was an America where I could start by bagging cookies at Mrs. Fields and wind up selling the film rights to a novel I wrote in between my shifts.

An America full of happy, big-hearted people who encouraged others to pursue their dreams--
because they instinctively knew there was enough to go around, enough of everything, for everyone.

No one felt poor because the rich were rich; everyone felt rich, except for a minor financial embarrassment.

Opportunity was always just around the corner--
--and it really was. If you were successful, no one envied you because it would their her turn next.

This happy, confident, contented America of my childhood seems gone forever now, replaced by a bitter vision in which Trump screws everyone,
and we're all suckers and losers for falling for it.

Or enemies for refusing to fall for it.

There's violence in the air.

And misery, and poverty.
And it makes me so sad.
How much damage one man can do.

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More from @ClaireBerlinski

18 Sep
Donald Trump either doesn't know that ISIS is still "on the rampage" or he knows it perfectly well, but doesn't care. Which is worse?

If you plan to vote for Trump because you don't want ISIS "on the rampage," may I draw your attention to the following?
Read 54 tweets
18 Sep
Hey Democrats--is this so? Do you want to abolish capitalism, Whiteness, and America? Do you think America is irredeemable? Because I didn't see that in the platform: demconvention.com/wp-content/upl…
ImageImageImageImage
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Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
As an anxiety-reduction exercise--I got this from a therapist, once--let's envision every element of the worst-case scenario. Let's say we fail to hold an election that's widely viewed as free and fair, and the US descends into chaos and violence.
What's the very worst thing that could happen? Be detailed and plausible. What will *you do* if this happens? What's your plan?

The theory is that envisioning the worst case scenario, in detail--and then making a plan to cope with it--will diminish your anxiety.
The idea is that the most anxiogenic state is the vague sense of dread that accompanies feeling you have no control over a future you can't predict.

So describe the worst-case scenario, as far as you're concerned, then tell me how you plan to cope with it.
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep
In poll after poll, we find the Americans no nothing. They don't know when the Civil War was fought. They don't know whether we should bomb Agrabah. They can't name the three branches of government. They're always stumped to name a single Cabinet member. They can never
remember when or why we fought the first or second world wars. Barely half of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. 40 percent believe the earliest humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.
73% of Americans can't distinguish between astronomy and astrology. 60 percent don't know how many justices serve on the Supreme Court. Only 13 percent know when the Constitution was written.Asked to name the United States’ largest trading partner, most get it wrong.
Read 13 tweets
14 Sep
I agree with almost all of this.

I'm not sure that all 200,000 deaths are his fault. A very significant number are, however. If we'd had a by-the-playbook response from the President, our death toll would have been similar to that of other developed countries.
We probably wouldn't have done as well as East Asia, but there's no reason we couldn't have done as well as Canada.

Canada: 243 per million pop. deaths
USA: 599 per million pop. deaths.
Denmark: 109.
Germany: 112.
Greece: 29.
Finland: 61.
France: 473.
Hong Kong: 13.
Ireland: 360.
Israel: 122.
New Zealand: 5.
Peru: 929.
Senegal: 297
Switzerland: 233.
Thailand: 0.8.
Vietnam: 0.4.
From:worldometers.info/coronavirus/#c…
Read 18 tweets
12 Sep
On the one hand, this is glib, QAnon isn't just a rebranded Nazi cult. justsecurity.org/72339/qanon-is… On the other, it's too close for comfort, and something has gone terribly wrong with our education system, because people should know this.
People shouldn't be able to graduate from High School without knowing about the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the important role they played in the Nazis' propaganda arsenal. If they had been taught that, they would see the echos for themselves and reject it.
But we seem to be sending a lot of Americans out into the world without any knowledge of history, and in a case like this, it's dangerous: It seems to be the case that under certain forms of social stress, ideas like this gain purchase--ideas, in particular,
Read 8 tweets

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