61 Comments

I am amazed at how many people justify their actions by citing someone else who did the same thing. They don't admit that the other person's actions were wrong too.

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One would think that more than 160 years later mankind might have progressed a bit, but nastiness begets nastiness and it only takes one big bully to set the stage to embolden the rest. I still believe that the majority of us want discussion and compromise, otherwise you just have Putin, Hitler, Xi............

Do everything you can to hold a mirror up to your elected officials, e.g., highlights of my response to my Representative when he wrote me that he voted for Mike Johnson for Speaker because "he is a principled conservative who will put our country's interests first." I wrote back, "I'm finding that a little hard to swallow when in fact he was one of the primary architects and supporters of Donald Trump's attempt to overthrow the election and last week endorsed Donald Trump for President... Then of course there's Mr. Trump's New Hampshire Veteran's Day speech where he stated..'We pledge to you we will root out communists, Marxists, fascists, and radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.' Congressman, I have just one question for you. Do you support Donald Trump for President in 2024? A straight YES or NO answer will do. Thanking you in advance for your response.

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I bet you did not get a response. The silence from people like that is deafening!

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I have to agree with Trump about there being a lot of human vermin in the country -- at both extremes. However, it is not up to government to "root them out" as long as they confine their radical advocacy to their "right to peaceably assemble," their right to freedom of speech, and their right to vote (subject to reasonable, non-discriminatory eligibility requirements).

I would be tempted to revoke the visas of foreigners engaged in advocacy of terrorist organizations such as Hamas.

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Vermin is never a term to be applied to humans. It is a term used by tyrannical forces as the first step in dehumanizing a group of people to make it more palatable to citizens when they are being roundup up to be destroyed en masse. Any elected official or one that wants to be, especially for President, that uses that term should NEVER be elected to any office in America.

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When trump uses derogatory terms like that he is slandering Americans. He’s describing how he feels about some Americans. Yet he wants to be the president who is supposed to be Everyone’s president. How is that going to work trump?

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P.S. One definition of "vermin" from the Oxford English Dictionary:

"people perceived as despicable and as causing problems for the rest of society:

"the vermin who ransacked her house""

If you want to be part of the woke mob in policing people's language, perhaps you should complain to the publishers of that and other dictionaries.

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sorry but that is not how trump used it- he used as how previous tyrannical leaders used it. it is a step toward fascism and dangerous.

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Yes, and I qualified my agreement with Trump’s observation about “vermin” as to the strict Constitutional limits on the right of government to “root them out.” Among the many reasons that I have for knowing that Trump is unfit for any office is his total contempt for the the responsibilities of the President under the Constitution.

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I understand and agree with you evaluation of trump. But using that term no matter what context when we know what the purpose is in political speak and how autocratic leaders use it to gain power, it is a dangerous term. Also the definition says "perceived" so that is an opinion. We see how it is used to target groups in society. "First They Came ..." by Niemoller.

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Sorry to offend your sensibilities, but I think that “vermin” is an appropriate term for the sort of people who advocate and commit extreme violence against innocent people.

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Good grief, Carlton. People are never VERMIN, even if you believe them to be evil. You’re writing in exactly the same manner as Israelis who repeatedly call Gazans “human animals” and “beasts.” Trump took that language from Hitler. And all three of you have assigned the term based merely on politics!! Politics!! Please, get a grip and tone it down. Nobody cares whose visas you would be “tempted to revoke.”

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#makeitstop What you have predicted in the past has already come true. Is anyone thinking about the fact that given all

we have endured after Trump’s 1st presidency, what will be left in the wake of a 2nd Trump presidency? How many more Congressional investigations? How many more state & federal investigations? Trials-criminal & civil? Are people oblivious? Can the country withstand more?

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there will be no longer a democracy to hold investigations if Trump is elected. The answer to your questions are YES, and NO.

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If some of these vitriolic politicians had to stand in front of their kids and/or grandkids and explain the motivations behind their appalling and childish behavior I’ll bet they couldn’t explain their actions. They are extremely shortsighted. Don’t they realize that the continued “ramping up” of words to gain attention will continue to its end, and tragic consequences happen? January 6th showed them that. When will we have quality leadership to vote for? Thank you, Adam for your thoughts and leadership on the national stage. We need you to continue to speak out even if it seems as if it’s falling on deaf ears.

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We can’t have quality leadership or representation so long as: 1) we lack fully tax-payer funded political campaigns to end dark money in politics, 2) Citizens United continues to give corporate profits--even those not realized but merely expected!--all the sacrosanct protections of the 1st Amendment as “free speech” (mind-boggling, that), 3) we continue to erode free public education, 4) we allow elected representatives to make bank through insider trading, influence peddling, and legislator-to-lobbyist careers, 5) our system continues to support self-identified leaders over community-identified ones, 6) we utterly lack true investigative journalism, & 7) we expect billionaires to be brilliant and give them free rein to plunder the world.

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These points are all valid and noteworthy especially number 4. Too many of our elected leaders treat, what our founding fathers viewed as service to our country, as a career, an occupation to be nurtured, always advancing to more. More money, more power, more influence. They need term limits; go to Washington, go about the people’s business for two or three terms of six years and then GO home and go back to your real occupation.

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Well I see that as part of the problem if not having legislators who can think above a high school level. We can agree to disagree on the point of term limits. If we had higher level thinkers who had the ability to analyze they should be able to understand issues and construct solutions that benefit all. Too long in the “good ‘ole boys (and girls) club is too tempting to succumb to the money, the lobbyists, and other nefarious groups. I don’t think our founding fathers envisioned life long politicians.

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We disagree as to term limits, Joan. Part of the problem is that our founding fathers had PhDs, or 24th grade educations, while our current House in Congress barely maintains 10th grade reading skills. (Lauren Boebert got her GED equivalent of a high school graduation during her first campaign— which she then won.) We live in a highly complex world and have convoluted, interconnected systems to deal with it all. 12 to 18 years would just about bring your average rocket scientist (that’s a joke) to a level of governmental competency. To lose such a one at the height of their abilities based on some arbitrary limit is unwise, at best. Besides, we already have term limits; we call it voting. If voters took their civic duties seriously, they’d be more involved, learn more about their choices, & do far more than vote for a name they merely recognize! Of course, it would also be helpful if elected politicians knew when to let the next generation have their chance—but see, my other points all make leaving highly unpalatable to those for whom not civil service but power and influence are paramount.

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Our democracy needs to be saved by not electing Trump, that may be the first step to cooling down this behavior. I don’t think that it will automatically disappear but think that may be a way to cool this down. If this violence, appalling behavior & dangerous rhetoric does not stop, we will be in such a terrible situation as a country, as well as the world. Thank you, Adam.

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The only thing almost as scary as a second Trump presidency is that he will scream "rigged and stolen election" if he loses! I sincerely pray that Trump is NOT selected as the Republican candidate for president in 2024 (Yes, I am a dreamer.)

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It is all a bad situation.

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I only sent it a few days ago, so I'm not counting out a response just yet. I've worked with this guy on environmental projects to restore salmon etc. He's basically a decent guy, but the fact is that most of them are afraid of Donald Trump and his political power. This will be the most stark election of values since the Civil War, I believe, and we have to get everyone out there to vote. There was not one word of condemnation from the RNC on Trump's New Hampshire speech! We have to demonstrate to the silent majority where this is headed and that if they are complacent and don't stand up, speak out and vote, they will deserve what they get, but I believe many of them may not even know what they will be getting. "The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." --Albert Einstein

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Totally agree. My fear now is that we are seeing issues with Biden's support among young people and Americans of Muslim faith due to the Israeli/Palestinian war. I don't think they would vote for trump but if they choose not to vote that will help trump. Do they realize we are at risk of autocracy if trump wins? What can we do about this?

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Diane, I’m still trying to figure out replies on this sub stack platform. My response to your question is below under general comments. Sorry for inconvenience!

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This is getting scary. Do people really understand what war means? Your hospital could be blown up, grocery stores looted and no food available, elected officials imprisoned and people killed-dead. The Republicans that follow Trump have gone down a rabbit hole so deep they may drag the rest of us with them. We can do better, there are more of us than the people who want violence. Get out and vote, get your friend to vote.

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Trump's rants were never "innocuous rhetoric." People described them as such due to fear, denial, and squeamishness.

One of the more astute observations I've heard about the former guy is that he never laughs. He is incapable of humor, even as he tries to pass off his more extreme comments that way. For example, he was deadly serious in March of 2018 when he made comments about staying in power for life just like Xi Jinping.

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I love how Markwayne used examples from over 100 years ago. Society has changed a little, don’t you think?

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Has humanity evolved from violence? Where, when, WHO? (Buddhists on remote mountaintops don’t count, not because they’ve completely eschewed violence, but because how are we to know?)

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The people who lack intellect turn to violence. Look no further than Donald Trump to prove that point.

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Ooh, I can think of any number of highly intellectual individuals who were/are also often and repeatedly violent. (Ted Bundy pops to mind immediately, but choose any historical war strategist: head up with Bonaparte, for example--since they just came out with the movie.)

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Perhaps, but Bundy was a diagnosed psychopath. My comment was more general. I was referring to (relatively) 'ordinary' people who, due to a lack of intellectual thinking, turn to violent and aggressive ways of communicating and addressing issues.

Mark Cuban once said that 'Trump never takes the intellectual route' when addressing issues. Everything is a nail to him. He's a perfect example of a human that is void of a rational, intellectual mindset. It's why his rhetoric and actions (almost always) have a violent tone.

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I think, Dan, that many of us have significant mental health issues we don’t have coping mechanisms for--and that there are ample reasons for those issues, whether or not one is smart. We had a false belief in thinking we were safe, surrounded by friendly countries north and south with sea all around a natural fortress, but 9/11 dismantled that fictitious sense of comfort, leaving us fearful, cowardly--and violent without proportion. Gross inequality coupled with the nationally imposed, mandated necessity of wealth as the sole indicator of success, while we have destroyed public education to deny the bootstrap myth, has created dissonance. A few have plundered more than half our wealth; most lost financial ground as manufacturing was shipped overseas in the 80s. This has been disastrous for the national psyche--but it’s also very real. I read recently that one in three Americans report that they don’t know where their next meal’s coming from. It’s that bad. The pandemic imposed long-enduring hardships on families requiring both parents to work full time to make ends meet. Our loved ones died; COVID is no flu, it’s SARS. We dread the next epidemic we know will come. Most, even climate deniers, are now suffering climate change. Our children must wear bulletproof backpacks to school. Since 1968, more have died here from guns than have died in all our wars--combined. Our alleged leaders are useless; Congress, self-isolated, geriatric and glacially immobile, is itself turning violent. Trump is bringing hate to all hearts; he’s no intellectual, sure--he was both viciously abused and viciously spoiled as a child and has turned to abusing everybody who doesn’t pay homage, which is, eventually, everybody. People have been led through the nose to disbelieve science and live with alternate facts--lies and conspiracies they’ve been led to believe with religious fervor. But Trump’s only a symptom--fascism has always had deep roots in this country. People are learning the cozy history we teach ourselves is a farce, even as some seek to reimpose our national myths, even with state-sanctioned, institutional violence--witness Ron DeSantis, SCOTUS, Texas, as just a few examples. American exceptionalism is dead and everybody is either secretly or openly terrified that these are end times.

People who are stressed and hopeless experience anger and easily react violently. Our so-called leaders casually use violence to whip up their celebrity! It isn’t a matter of lack of intelligence; it’s a symptom of acute mental stress. Our nation, our planet, is in peril. Trump could pass away tomorrow and our problems would not be eased.

Violence is a hardwired, instinctive reaction to threat, just as tribalism is also hardwired in our brains--in the beginnings of human interaction, those instincts allowed homo sapiens to thrive. As a species, we may be unable to advance with those same instincts. Once necessary for preservation, they may also be our doom.

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You covered a lot of ground, and I can't argue with much of it. That said, you seem to imply that citizens are at no fault for the "stress" in their lives. In other words, everything is collapsing around them, and they are blameless.

My view is that stress comes with life. Instead of mitigating stress, too many of our citizens are making poor life choices that only exacerbate their stress. They eat poorly, exercise is non-existent, too many turn to drugs/alcohol and they are 'knowledge stagnant' (as I refer to it). I'm 60 and believe me, I know too many people that haven't learned a damn thing since high school.

And this brings me to WILLFUL ignorance. We're all ignorant of something but there are too many people, especially Trump supporters, who are WILLFULLY ignorant. I'm embarrassed to share a country with some of the ignoramuses that get interviewed at Trump rallies. Their lack of intellect, which is how we got here, is THEIR fault. They only have themselves to blame.

Finally, as someone that grew up in blue collar PA, didn't have a 'pot to piss in', got a college degree late in life (while raising a family), and struggled for a long time to get out of the muck, I understand the struggles in this country. I just see too many lacking any sort of life-long learner mindset, willfully staying ignorant and stupidly thinking a buffoon like Donald Trump is going to make their lives better.

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We grew up in a completely different milieu than these following generations have. Today, less than 4% can achieve more than their parents did. We grew up when 80% of families could rely on a fair pension upon retirement; today, only 15% have access to a pension plan--and most of those depend on what the individual can save. All of the benefits we derived from the federal government are being stripped from those who follow after us. Healthcare alone causes more than 66% of US bankruptcies--a thing virtually unheard around of in our day. We were raised to defend whatever someone said, no matter our disagreements about it. We were raised with a smattering of collective conscience which has been deliberately erased, replaced by the ridiculous notion of “I did it all by myself.”

Yes, many are willfully ignorant. Most of those are people in power. The rest are helpless to change much of anything, either personally or on any larger scale.

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"Yes, many are willfully ignorant. Most of those are people in power."

-> And how do they get into power? Perhaps. the willfully ignorant are putting them there.

"The rest are helpless to change much of anything, either personally or on any larger scale."

-> Helpless? I disagree. It doesn't cost that much to read, listen to (educational) podcasts and overall, increase knowledge.

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I feel SO overwhelmed by all the verbal and physical violence. October 20th, I suggested that we who Believe say a short prayer 🙏 about this very battle knowing "wherever there are 2 or more" WILL make a difference. I have been doing this, (😏 well, I did miss a few 3pms(EST)😉!) My hope is others have, and now, will join me! I DO feel more at peace and know we CAN make a difference!

Thank you Adam for giving us valuable information and this outlet to communicate! You and your family are in my 3pm daily prayer .🙏 I am thankful for all who are participating in this substack.

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I like that idea! Reminds of of the grateful response people expressed for the essential workers during COVID. Everyone went outside, on balconies wherever they were and applauded the workers. Group positivity spreads positive vibes in the world.

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I will join in also at 3pm beginning tomorrow. Not wanting to sound like “Debbie Downer” from my last post, I want to say how very grateful and appreciative to have been born and raised in America. We have (for now) the freedom of so many things that other countries can only dream of. It is for the love for my family, community and these United States that we have to keep sounding the warning that our continued freedoms are not automatic. We must be vigilant and speak truth.

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Joan, you were just speaking the truth! I'm excited you're joining the 3pm prayer! 🙏

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like you said before...acting like 4th graders! I'm so tired of these schoolyard bully antics and men acting like little boys who can't control their emotions...when will they grow up and act like compassionate adults?

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No one has answered this question to my satisfaction.

When someone like DT points fingers at those who try and hold him accountable, ehat makes anyone believe this same man would have controlled rage, balanced judgement , temperate personality, discerning ability to hear anything,lead in any decision making capability, listen and execute w sound sober judgement when he was able to take and use finances wrongly for his benefit. Walk w an agenda for self service, self fame, self grandiosity?

What makes any of this work FOR YOU?

Have u ever seen anything work that way for the better of society as a whole?

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OMG, you just made me realize Trump and I have the same initials. Eeew

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Hahaha. Keep your spirit!! Any of us can have same initials of anyone. 26 letters in the alphabet... hummm...its small world after all...

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I feel contaminated.

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Personally I think we need a more even handed policy with Israel and Palestine. It’s quite complex because Hamas imbeds and threatens the Palestinian people, so it’s impossible to root them out without huge civilian damage as is happening in Gaza. On the other hand, Israel keeps expanding its boundaries with new settlements on Palestinian lands, which I believe goes beyond the ability to defend itself. After Hamas is mostly rooted There needs to be a Palestinian state, perhaps governed or overseen by an international or better yet regional organization of Arab states until the Palestinian state is strong enough to govern itself without being overrun by a terrorist organization like Hamas. The longer Israel stays in Gaza the more likely the chance of war spreading. I’m questioning Biden’s “over support” of Israel. We need to step back and start diplomacy fairly soon for a two state solution or war just goes on and on. Balance is essential!

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I guess this is the response to me? lol. Anyway I agree with everything you said here. With regard to "it's impossible to root them out without huge civilian damage,"I think that is what I think some young people may be wrestling with- what's the balance? rooting out Hamas -how many casualties is acceptable? Maybe using the most advanced technology and equipment IDF has to target better and going slower to avoid overwhelming casualties is a better option? Also in the beginning, it wasn't good optics for IDF to withhold all services, water etc and not allow the humanitarian aid and help to get set up in the south first. Also I hear IDF is moving south now too which I don't believe the international community will be happy with. But I agree with all you said and hope there is an end soon.

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Becky, I think you misunderstood. I didn't ask Adam, I asked (via letter) my Congressman.

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Well stated, Mr. Kinzinger.

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