Youthquake

I was reminded of the word “Youthquake” on a podcast this week. It was a word used to describe the young voter turnout during the UK General Election in 2017. Whether young people are better represented or not is up for debate, but something that’s clear to me in the dying days of 2018, is that we badly need a youth movement in politics.

I’m sat watching highlights from a discussion in the Oval Office between Trump, Pence, Pelosi and Schumer and I’m embarrassed for a generation that has refused to hand over power to people in their forties and fifties, let alone my generation.

I’m sorry, I just checked — Mike Pence is 59 years old. Although given the fact that he just sat there like a barely sentient showroom dummy, I don’t think he’s doing any favours for the fifty-somethings of America.

The squabble, and it was a squabble, was over the approaching government shutdown. This shutdown is due to happen because Trump can’t secure funds for his wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

Trump was the least surprising of the group, given that he was just his usual self. His sort of wound-tight ego never changes — And why would he? It got him to the highest office in the land.

He’ll be at the end of all things and still be bragging about something he just did.

“I do the most solid s**ts — Nobody has seen s**ts as solid as mine. The nursing staff love dealing with my s**t!”

— Trump, aged 76

Pelosi and Schumer are still playing the game that Trump beat in 2016. They might be closer to my political stance than others in the room, but they’re still from that old-guard of politician.

The sort that see it all as one big game, complete with addressing the TV camera instead of your colleague because that’s how you best reach the people; The illusion of a strong democratic discussion.

They’re ill-prepared, with a lack of facts, statistics and case studies. Instead of explaining coldly, calmly and concisely why a border wall is a populist idea that’s designed to secure the votes of extremists and tear lives apart in the process — And that we see through it. We instead get…

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

“No I don’t, build wall.”

“Won’t build wall.”

“Then shutdown.”

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

And so on.

Those aren’t their exact words, I should point that out. Although the gaps between each of those lines could be the words of Mike Pence, because he said absolutely jack all in that entire meeting.

The older guard, the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s of the world, don’t want to challenge the status-quo of politics. They want to keep everything as a points-scoring system, so that they can read about how they won in the morning papers.

Trump claimed to play a different game in the 2016 election, and to an extent he did, but he’s still a part of the swamp he promised to drain. He parades around as though public service is a birthright and not a civil duty. And he still watches the morning news to see if he won.

For better or worse, the public can hear your political opinion and “winning” viewpoint via social media. What we want during official meetings is progress, otherwise cracks start to form in this whole illusion of power thing you have going on.

Can’t make progress by agreeing? Then have gritty, intellectual discussions and see who comes out on top then. These one-liners and childlike arguments are getting tiresome.

When the young elected officials are saying more in 280 characters than the four of you can in a televised discussion, then something is wrong with the way you’re doing things.

I just realised that I started talking to them directly, even though they’re not here. That’s how fired up this makes me.

Yes, we have members of congress and the house who will be in their early thirties when they begin serving the public. This is an excellent start, and probably also the point in the piece that I should use the term “youthquake” again.

I know it’s tempting to single-out specific names, because some are living up to the job description of elected representative of the people extremely well. But the way we change the game is to empower the ideas over the individuals.

If we want this whole social-democracy to work, in which people receive fair representation and treatment by the government, we can’t put individuals on too high a pedestal.

But what we can say, with confidence, is that one of these images looks more like modern American society than the other.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.30

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.41These are the new members of the house of representatives for the Democrats and Republicans. I’ll leave it to you to decide who best represents America.

And to all the fragile caucasian men out there, we still make up the equal-biggest demographic in the top image.

Politicians should represent the views and will of the people. And while you don’t have to belong to the same specific demographic as someone else to represent their views, a democracy is healthy when people from all backgrounds are represented.

Now, back to the whole age thing. Youthquake and all that.

After watching four baby boomers squabble like point-scoring children whilst sat in the highest office in the land, I couldn’t help but see that four members of the same generation currently represent the entire county.

That feels wrong, and it sounds wrong when you listen to them. The vast majority of people born before 1961 are now retired, and they should have their views represented by a proportionate number of people.

Instead, most of the people in office are representing them and playing their old game on their behalf.

I don’t know, maybe a Youthquake is coming and everything will be fine. The point is that it should’ve happened already. The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers — Let that one sink in as well.

It’s not that we don’t love you baby-boomers (I really do), it’s just that it’s time other generations had a crack.

We also need to find a better word than Youthquake. It was tedious to type out, and on top of that I’m probably going to make it the title of this flimsy and disjointed morning jumble of words.


Today is Wednesday, December 12th and my 2018 Spotify playlist has more new music than 2017 did.

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People or Political Pawns?

At what point does a person stop becoming a person? That’s a dark sentence right there — One that could lead in a number of directions. I’ll keep you hanging for one more sentence though, just for dramatic effect.

I’m thinking about this in regards to the migrants who have been trying to cross the US/Mexico border in recent days. The women and children who have had tear gas thrown at them by border security because they were “very dangerous”.

So I wonder, as far as some are concerned, when do people stop being people?

I understand that border security and immigration is a tough subject, and not one that can be answered swiftly in a blog — No matter what some far-right websites claim.

Despite what the majority of the media would have you think, immigration isn’t a simple black and white issue. Some people want to lock a country down entirely, others want controlled immigration, some want open gates, and others want somewhere in between all of these.

Some people are okay with the use of violence, some are okay with the use of tear gas on children, and others are not.

What the Trump administration has going on at the border right now is a flex, and all on the tax-payers dime. For decades the Democrats have been (rightly) accused of vanity spending in order to prove a point, and well, old Donald has taken a page right out of their blue book.

The events that are taking place at the US/Mexico border right now are happening because of the following chain of events:

  1. Donald Trump flippantly says he will build a wall
  2. Followers begin chanting it as a mantra
  3. Trump makes it policy during his campaign
  4. Trump says Mexico will pay for wall
  5. Trump becomes president (eyes collectively roll)
  6. Mexico say they will not pay for wall
  7. Trump demands wall be made
  8. Republican congress says they will have to tax Americans to build wall
  9. Advisors say that higher taxes won’t get him re-elected
  10. Trump in a pickle
  11. Makes anti-immigrant display with money available
  12. Defends the tear gassing of children

Twelve easy steps that explain why children were blinded and thought they were going to die. Of course, they’re innocents who’ve been running through Mexico from violent gangs, so unfortunately an attack by the US probably wasn’t their first brush with violence.

What we’re seeing at the border right now is “the wall”, or the closest we’ll ever get to it anyway.

He’ll never build a giant wall, and it certainly won’t begin construction before people go to the polls in 2020, and yet he’ll win a second term because God has apparently decided to skip this season of “Earth”, in his great binge-watch of all known existence.

Putting some barbed wire and some extra soldiers at the border is the closest he can get to showing a display of power that’s tough on immigrants, without taxing the poor even higher, and it’ll be enough for many of his followers.

Many will forget that he was supposed to build a wall in the first place, and when they go to vote in 2020, they’ll remember images of women and children being tear-gassed and they’ll smile and vote for their orange king.

teargaschildren

Wait…what?

See, that’s why I ask, and wonder — When does a person stop becoming a person?

As I stated, immigration is complex, and not everyone who wants a hard-line on movement wants violence to be used against the people trying to enter the country illegally.

If we tar everyone with the same brush then the whole world burns. And that goes all ways.

But there’s a huge portion of Trump supporters who do lust for the violence, and given that Trump himself defended the use of tear gas just this morning, I’d say that he personally salivates over the idea that he’s currently causing a visceral chaos thousands of miles away, all because he can’t fulfil a campaign promise.

As always, the people who stand by Trump, even though they don’t want violence to be used against immigrants, are going to have to ask themselves a few questions — How long do I stand by this man? What does he have to do to lose my support? How far is too far, and are these people, people?

We’re all the same, at our core. Before you throw on the pressures, expectations and self-made constructs of whichever society we come from, we’re all just fleshy sacks of meat who’re trying to stay alive.

We’re intelligent animals who want the best for ourselves and the people we care about, and if any one of us were born into some of the horrors that are prevalent in less fortunate countries, well, we’d all be running for that border.

It’s a political power play in a vicious game, but one that uses real humans as the pawns. People aren’t pieces in a game, they’re individuals whose right to life should be respected.

What’s my solution then? Because I’m writing as though the current way isn’t the answer and so I better have a solution.

Well, I guess I’ve never understood why we don’t send immigration case workers to the border to process people fairly. If someone is denied, then it can be explained what it is they need to do to be accepted, and if someone is accepted then they’re in America legally and so what’s the issue?

People are more likely to respond to love than hate — I think I have to believe that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this yesterday:

If you’re wondering why she’s getting so much attention lately it’s because the left-leaning youth of America finally have a leader who is saying the things we’ve been thinking. Oh, and also because she’s a woman who wears clothes — At least that’s why Fox News-Entertainment have been paying attention to her.

Trump and other right-wing leaders conjure up images of exclusively male migrants who are forcing their way across the border. The reality of the situation is they’re families who’re seeking asylum from dangerous homes.

They come to make a legal case, but are met with a barrage of barbed wire and tear gas. All because old Donald doesn’t have the stones to tax his base in order to build a giant wall.

Which, in turn, is all because his father never said he loved him.


Today is Tuesday, November 27th and misinformation scares the hell out of me.

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So…Lock Her Up…?

One of the more bizarre battlecry’s from the 2016 Presidential campaign was “Lock her up!” The chant was championed by various Republican personalities, and used at Trump rallies. The ‘her’, in the ever-so witty chant, referred to Hillary Clinton. Her crime? Using a personal email to conduct government business.

It was revealed yesterday that Ivanka Trump has spent the last year doing the exact same thing, in what is only the ninth biggest act of hypocrisy from the Trump presidency so far.

I always go on about how difficult it is to talk politics with a die-hard Trump supporter. I can always get beyond the hate to address the person behind the opinions, because as awful as it is, there’s usually a reason why they’ve started thinking about people that way, and it’s usually not entirely their fault. I do struggle with the logical inconsistencies though.

Hillary using a private email for government business was the epitome of the “swamp” that Trump talked about during his campaign. You know, the one he wanted to drain, but instead he has offloaded a quagmire of corruption into American politics. The swamp, now 45% more swampy.

To Trump and his merry band of bigots, Hillary was the epitome of a corrupt swamp politician, and one who needed to go.

So let’s assume those opinions are true for a minute, because there is something a little off about using an account that can’t be documented when working for the public. My opinion at the time was that she shouldn’t have done that, but compared to Trump’s crimes it was a drop in the ocean.

I never have and never will be a supporter of Hillary Clinton. She was simply the lesser of two evils in a horrible campaign, one filled with all the elements of a corrupt and poisoned democracy.

But Trump supporters died on the hill of sending Hillary to jail because of her emails. And so therefore, for them to remain principled and hold-true to the beliefs of their established political perspectives, they should also demand that Ivanka be locked up.

The timing of this Tweet made yesterday is unbelievable. “Quick, I need to help incarcerated women right now, in case I end up in there with them!”

Now, I’m not calling to lock Ivanka up, at least not for this anyway. She made a shady mistake, but it’s one that politicians have made for the last couple of decades — People in power have done worse things.

It’s Trump supporters who should be calling for Ivanka to appear behind bars. I would certainly have a lot more respect for them if they did. As it would prove that they aren’t just about following a populist figure to the bitter end.

It would prove that Trump genuinely spoke to them in 2016 about the issues they were concerned with, but that they’re smart enough to recognise when one of their own breaches that trust.

I don’t want any jokes about that not being likely, and that I shouldn’t hold by breath. We need to put more faith in them to do the right thing, because I still believe that they can.

Not all of them, some are too far gone of course. But most were caught up in a wave of populism, and found themselves having to defend their party, despite who it offered up as its leader.

Some will have to realise, especially in the dying days of this first term, that none of the promises made were kept. I mean, thank God we don’t have an inhumane wall, or we haven’t started locking people up for no reason (well, unless you’re a minority, but that was happening long before Trump).

But really, the Trumps are no different to your average, highly corrupt politician. They’re Nixon, but with all the folds tucked away and stapled into the skin. Ivanka’s email incident is proof that they’re still the swamp-folk who they claimed they wanted to cull.

The cries and shouts of “lock her up” didn’t come from Trump himself, they originally came from men like Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Trump simply applied them to his brand, because he liked how much support and power it gave him.

Roger Stone has always followed the Nixon MO of “accuse your opponents of the crimes you commit”. I mean, Nixon wasn’t the first to do that, but Stone has a massive tattoo of him on his back, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s the inspiration here.

nixonstone

This incident likely won’t be the straw that breaks the camels back. Because migrant children in cages, mass-shootings by known Trump supporters and stripping freedom from the press wasn’t enough.

So why on Earth would it be the emails? Matt, you absolute simpleton, you didn’t think this through!

I just thought I’d try and make the argument, because it was an issue that they’d previously rallied against. People love it when you point out their hypocrisies, right?

Wrong. I guess I just have to hope that every time the Trump administration does something they originally accused opponents of, another person falls away from the deep red crowd.

I have to hope because I have to believe that people can be better, if we don’t have that then we’re not going to get very far as a species.

The way I see it, Trump supporters have three ways of reacting to this situation:

  1. Admit they were wrong when calling for Hillary to be locked up, that she didn’t commit a crime, but Roger Stone and Steve Bannon should be blamed for the rhetoric. Lock them up?

  2. Condemn Ivanka as they condemned Hillary, because this is their principal and they’re sticking to it.

  3. FAKE NEWS, Ivanka did not use a personal email to conduct government business, despite hard evidence from several independent sources.

Options one and two take a big person, and would earn them a lot of respect from non-Trump supporters. Option three is why we’re slowly and collectively walking into the scalding surface of the sun as a democracy.

I know what you think, but like I said, I have to believe that people can be better. I really do.


Today is Tuesday, November 20th and The Sunset Tree is a terrific album.

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Say No to Michael Avenatti

Brexit may finally be happening, as a draft deal now appears to be on the table. People are resigning, defending, attacking and the general public still feels uneasy about the whole thing.

I could attempt to unpack all of that today, but I feel as though I need one more loop of the twenty-four hour news cycle before I remotely understand it myself. So instead I’m going to write about something else that makes me feel uneasy — Or rather, someone…

Michael Avenatti is a lawyer. Most notably he’s the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who signed an NDA with the President before 2016, that she’s now trying to get out of. He also claimed to represent women who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, although to me, his gas-blowing in that situation only muddied the waters of a clear and personal testimony from Dr Ford.

You may also know Avenatti from Twitter, where he regularly roasts and “triggers” the President of the United States. He claims to be able to get under Trump’s skin because he’s not afraid to talk at his level. Is it hot down there Michael?

Whenever a major news story breaks in America, Avenatti isn’t far behind. You can usually find him becoming legally involved with someone who is a part of that story. Which tells me that the similarities between Avenatti and Trump ring-true in at least one way; They both chase fame no matter the cost.

You may have heard that yesterday he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He has denied these allegations. If they turn out to be true, then I can see why he compares himself to the Orange God-King on Earth.

Avenatti invites these comparisons because he wants to position himself as an anti-Trump. A person who plays his game but fights for the “good guys”. He’ll insult and intimidate, but don’t worry folks, this bully is in our side!

Yeah, I don’t think so.

There have been strong rumours that he will run as a Democrat in the 2020 Presidential election primaries. All to capitalise on the position he has carved out for himself over the last few years. This is nothing but terrifying to me, and is worse than the rumour that Hilary is planning on running again. 

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

It’s clear, given the laughing-stock that America has become to the global community, that a President should have at least a small amount of political experience. They shouldn’t just be famous lawyers or businessmen who fancy a gander at glory.

The ideal politician has worked in education, healthcare, the armed forces or the public sector for a decade or two, before they transition into a different public-servant role. I’m aware they can’t all have those credentials, as most decent people from those backgrounds are smart/humble enough to not run for office.

We can do better than Trump and Avenatti though, I think — I mean, I have to hope. Otherwise I’m living in a room with upturned furniture and pretending everything is fine by sitting on the back of the sofa and watching TV upside-down, all whilst trying not to drip marinara sauce onto my stupid face.

In 2018 America, we are all that burning “this is fine” dog.

Maybe the rumours of Avenatti running in 2020 are just meant to scare Trump — He’s drumming-up hot-air to intimidate the President because that’s what Trump did to politicians for decades. Except, Trump eventually ended up running, and he won. So I can’t disregard these threats to run for office anymore.

Democrats don’t need Avenatti, and I want to warn people now to not fall for his Trump-esq anti-charm.

His proclamation of beliefs and ideologies are basic for left-leaning people in 2018, but that’s all they are. Of course we all want women to have equal rights, for children to not die at school, and for EVERYONE to have access to healthcare. Those are the standard beliefs of any social-minded individual.

But what makes you stand out to the point you should represent us en-masse? What have you done for the communities you’ve lived in? When have you put those ideologies into practice? Because even if that accusation of domestic violence is proven false, you still have it swirling around you.

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

He might be able to throw insults, and make the Orange Big Boy turn a deeper shade of red, but that doesn’t mean we should take politics in that direction. There should be as little insult and bullying as possible, and the only hard words in a strong democracy should come from the press, as they push for answers that accurately inform the people.

If we side with Avenatti in 2020, we sink to a Republican level. I would rather win the race the right way in 2024, than win the wrong way in 2020.

Despite the narrative that’s sang by many, liberals are currently in the passenger seat, and we’re riding shotgun to a maniac driver in the losing lane. The only thing we have left is the moral high ground, and if we back someone like Avenatti just because they have the stones to go toe to toe on insults with Trump, well, we’ll fall from that too.

Avenatti 2020 would be like reaching for the wheel of the car and swerving us into a tree at ninety miles per hour. It’d be terrifying and interesting for all of about twenty seconds, before everything explodes in our face, and our spinal cord launches itself through our eye-sockets.

Sure, we might have to sit Bernie or Biden in the losing seat, and endure another four years of being driven around by the maniac. But that means by 2024 we’ll have a star driver, some young hotshot with experience beyond their years because of the climate they had to endure.

Someone ready to take the wheel from the maniac, pull the car over, get out and go to work, because this is politics and not motor racing.

Once more, with feeling — The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.


Today is Thursday, November 15th and the British government is being shaken-up as I type.

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Conservative Does Not Mean Far-Right

When I use the term “far-right” to describe someone or something in politics, it’s partly as an accurate description of the shift towards nationalism, race-baiting policy and figurehead populism, but partly as a get-out clause to my conservative friends and family.

I have no issues with conservative, centre-right or right-wing ideologies.

Well, that’s not strictly true, I do have issues with them, but ones that deserve debate and discussion because some conservative ideas have merit and are worthy enough of discussion. And we can’t all be the same, because that would be dull.

America is becoming increasingly politically divided, largely due to the ruling party and their pesky nationalistic tendencies. I really shouldn’t use the word “pesky” to describe nationalism. It’s like saying Hitler was a naughty little boy who didn’t play well with others — It just sounds so wrong.

With these divisions I fully understand that people who’re politically centre-right and right-wing exist. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the majority of people who voted for Trump in 2016 belong to one of these two groups.

Only the zaniest group of his supporters actually want immigrant children to be caged, American children to be shot as a “price for freedom”, and innocents to be murdered in the name of their political beliefs. Only his absolute far-right followers want to commit acts of domestic terrorism.

I bet that most of the people who voted for him even understand that the giant wall is a false-promise pipe-dream, of a man who goes all-in on the first solution that comes to his demented mind.

Besides, it’s a totally redundant idea. Construction wouldn’t finish until 2030, and Elon Musk invents teleportation in 2036. So it’s billions of dollars for what? Six years of hard-border security? Come on.

I use the term far-right to describe the people who actively want, and support, the above causes, because those are far-right solutions to very real problems. Maybe the whole “build that wall” policy could be argued as classic right-wing, if it weren’t conceived as an idea in chant-form, that then spread around rallies as a populist slogan for a man to achieve political office.

But allowing the slaughtering of American children in exchange for the illusion of freedom? Threatening news organisations with violence? Taking the commands of your leader and acting without specific instruction? Shooting your fellow American citizens because you believe that’s what your orange god would want? These acts, however bizarrely they may be worded, are acts of the politically far-right.

So I say far-right to describe these acts. I don’t use far-right to describe other Trump policies, because they’re not and that would be reductive.

If you hate Trump for all of the above things, but are still glad you voted for him because he; Provided tax-breaks to the rich, backed-out of climate change agreements, defunded public services, and supported Republican candidates in the midterms. Well then congratulations! You’re a conservative. Classic right-wing all the way.

Of course I have issues with those policies, but I’m a filthy liberal, so of course I do. But right now I would absolutely take a ruling party that’s nothing more than classic conservative. There are issues to be debated, arguments to be proven right or wrong, protests to be had that would fight for the continued existence of our very planet.

There’s barely any debate or discussion to be had with someone who fundamentally thinks that you shouldn’t be in their country because you don’t share their beliefs or skin colour. How do you debate tax policy with someone who genuinely believes that some humans have more of a right to life than others? You can’t.

Politics in a strong democracy should be an eternal balancing act based on the genuine will of the majority of citizens. It shouldn’t be a race to the bottom; A popularity contest to see who can drum up the most support through vague statements and nationalistic slogans.

American politics should be purple — A group of elected officials who argue on behalf of the people who brought them to the dance. Poorer districts should send strong leaders from their own communities, who will fight tooth and nail for funding. Instead, they have historically sent lesser, rich outsiders who will say anything for a shot at power.

Leaders can be charismatic, absolutely. A strong public speaker will presumably then use that voice to fight on behalf of their constituents. But if that charisma is used only to serve an individual ego, that’s when the danger shifts occur.

“Danger shifts”, I used a lot of decent and appropriate terminology and then I go and write something like “danger shifts”. Language is about communicating a point though, and I think “danger shifts” does so effectively.

When the majority of us use the label of far-right, we don’t mean all Trump voters, conservatives or Republicans. Maybe some people do, but they don’t represent centrists, liberals or lefties. Just like the far-right, domestic terrorists and their enablers don’t represent the traditional right-wing.

We don’t have to be who people at the top say we are.

Although a lot of people who sit in the old-school right-wing territory are going to have to ask themselves some questions before 2020, particularly if terror attacks in the name of their president increase during that time.

How long will I stand by and put my name beside the party that encourages this?

How much does winning matter to me? And am I genuinely getting the policy I want from my party?

Should I protest my incumbent president by rooting for a genuine conservative politician to take his place?

I want the old debates back, I want tax-cuts for the rich vs tax-cuts for the poor. I want funding social services vs cutting. I want regulated immigration vs limited immigration.

“Beat the hell out of them”, “Enemy of the people”, “Nazis are good people”, “Proud nationalist”, “Grab ’em by the pussy” — I can’t handle that stuff anymore. I never thought I’d say this but… I really miss George Bush.

I use the term far-right to describe the far-right, and the only way we remove that cancer from our country is by unanimously agreeing that certain things are just too-far. I promise I’ll do the same if a communist leader ever takes office, because I happen to like being able to say whatever I want about the government.


Today is Tuesday, November 13th and I didn’t post anything yesterday and that’s okay.

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Did Jim Acosta?

Like, “accost her” — As in to approach someone aggressively, but also because his surname is Acosta. I know all the tabloids are probably running with that gag, but I read grown-up news (mostly), so I haven’t seen it yet. It’s early, give me a break.

This is the news that the White House has suspended the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta, due to how he manhandled a white house intern. Live, HD footage shows that he didn’t and that he danced his arm around her to try and avoid unnecessary physical contact. Doctored, pixelated video shows him force his hand down on her arm.

It’s suspected that this footage was created by far-right blogger and Infowars editor-in-chief, Paul Joseph Watson, and shared on his channels. This is typical behaviour from him, a man who makes a living on conspiracy, and who thinks that smoking in a profile picture will make him look like a right, proper badass.

But, get this, the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, then shared the video as evidence in support of the removal of Jim Acosta’s press pass.

There’s a lot of Orwellian nightmare to unpack here, but first I want to clear something up about Jim Acosta and CNN. I don’t watch CNN, I don’t consider it to be an outstanding news source. It’s better than some but worse than others.

My main gripe with them is that they’re too easily baited by Trump, and the interactions between Trump and Acosta that lead to the microphone being taken from his hand by an intern are a prime example of this.

Acosta asked his question and got an answer that was damning for the President, it exposed that he was only really using the migrant caravans as bait for the midterms and now it’s in the past (so we won’t hear anything about them from Mr Trump going forward). Now, if Acosta had left it at that one question, and handed the microphone to the next reporter (who also had a question that exposed the President), then he wouldn’t have found himself in that situation.

<> on November 7, 2018 in Washington, DC.

In an open-forum press conference, the best way to create an accurate view of who Mr Trump is, is for each network to ask a question, and maybe one follow-up if the answer demands it. Acosta was onto his fourth question before the White House intern attempted to remove his microphone, and quite frankly we needed to hear from other news networks.

Despite what he says, Trump loves CNN. They gave him so much air-time during his 2016 campaign, and their outright negative portrayal of him certainly helped to fire-up his diehard supporters. He loves them because “no publicity is bad publicity”.

Covering Trump is obviously an uncharted minefield, but to the majority who can see through his charade of prejudice and projection, all we need is one perfectly worded question to be reminded of who he really is. Sure, with CNN constantly berating him, we see that he’s a bully, but we know he’s a bully — It’s the one established truth about him that even Republican voters have agreed with me on.

The back and forth between Trump and CNN is not healthy, and they share the blame equally. Despite what Trump says, their ratings are strong, and that’s because they cover Trump. Which, again, he loves.

Now, onto the “fake news”, a term that often means “thing I don’t agree with”, especially when it comes from the mouth of Trump. Whatever your definition of this terrifying phenomenon is, we can agree that doctored video would be an example of misinformation.

Well, that means the White House have shared Fake News, all to justify a decision they made. The edited video speeds up a few frames, to make the contact between Acosta and the intern look violent, and they also cut the audio where he says the words “pardon me m’am”.

Sarah Sanders sharing this video means one of two things; Either she knowingly did it, and was aware that this was edited footage, or she had no idea. The second option is, honestly, perfectly reasonable given how many people are falling for it online without viewing the original broadcast.

If she logged on to Twitter after the conference and saw a video that supported her administration’s decision, then of course she’s going to share it — Because it justifies her worldview, it’s evidence that backs-up the words of her and her colleagues.

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And this is the real danger of misinformation, and spreading it so readily, because many of us like being right, we like it when things go our way. This will only become more dangerous as technology advances and we inevitably reach a point where video editing doesn’t look so obvious.

I read websites like the BBC, The Guardian, AP and NPR — Not just because they largely report in ways that I consider ethical and are supported by multiple sources before they run a story, but also because people on both extremes of the spectrum accuse them of being “too liberal/too conservative”. If people are saying both of these things about your news network, then you’re doing your job.

It terrifies me that some people see a doctored video on Twitter, from a non-credible news source (Not even Infowars, just the personal Twitter account of a conspiracy theorist who works there!) and take it as the absolute truth that they’re willing to bet their morals on.

Please, if you’re reading these words — Use multiple and neutral sources for your news. Personal blogs (like this one) are not news sources, and Infowars is just a personal blog with financial backing, presented as the truth.

If you believe the words of people like Paul Joseph Watson, I’d love to have a one on one conversation with you, in order to understand you better. The only way we’re going to reduce the divide in this nation, is by understanding the perspectives of one another.

You’ve read my words, I don’t like Trump or CNN and I think on balance they were both in the wrong, and that the real enemy is misinformation — So now I want to hear from you.

This is all a dangerous situation, and while I don’t agree with the way Jim Acosta handled his allotted time for questioning, he certainly didn’t assault a White House intern. Although maybe he does deserve a time-out from his press-pass for another reason; Simply for being a below-par reporter in an age where we need precise and vigilant journalists who won’t fall for Trump’s Us vs Them bait.


Today is Friday, November 9th and while it has some of the best individual tracks, The White Album shouldn’t be considered as The Beatles’ best offering — It has a lot of guff.

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Election Day Hangover

I ended up watching a stream of the BBC election night coverage. I gave the American channels a go, but they were either too loud or too dumbed-down. Election night is supposed to be a mix of complex issues, tight races and bright colours, and the BBC provides all of that.

Don’t give me any grief about illegally streaming the BBC News Channel. I paid my licence fee as a student, where many others did not, and so I feel like I’m owed the occasional broadcast in my life overseas.

Don’t worry Tony Hall, I’m not illegally watching your precious Bodyguard. I bet you can’t believe your luck, can you? That the hot-guy-generic-plot formula has worked for you yet again.

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I’m feeling sort-of neutral about the mid-terms, because everything happened as expected. You’ll hear both sides claiming victory, and they’re right to do so. Neither party did anything unexpected, but Democrats had to take the House and Republicans had to hold on to the Senate.

Trump is seeing this as a personal victory, due to the fact that the “blue wave” was a mere blue ripple. Only getting covered in a little bit of bird shit is not a victory, it’s just not quite as bad as falling head-first into a cart full of manure.

Although, if you’d been told by the media for months that you are to expect a head-first dive into a steaming pile of horse dung, and all that happens is a seagull craps on your left shoulder — Then I guess you’d be celebrating.

“We have the best, American-made seagulls, okay? I welcome the white substance that is now upon my person. This creamy puddle of waste even says it’ll vote for me! Sean Hannity, get up here and talk to the people!”

Trump says that the candidates who kept to his party-line were re-elected and those who didn’t are now gone. That’s not strictly true, as most Floridian candidates distanced themselves from Trump on issues such as climate change and immigration, and many Republicans found re-election there.

A huge positive for America as a whole is the higher-than-usual voter turnout. It’ll be some time before we see the official figures, but most are predicting that they’re extremely high for midterm elections. A higher voter turnout means a stronger Democracy, and while 50-60% is far from perfect, it’s better than the usual 40%.

There were still huge pockets of eligible voters who didn’t cast a vote this time around, and that’s okay. We have two years to convince them otherwise. Especially as those who support nationalism (he said it, he called himself a nationalist) are already casting their votes.

In theory those who remain are the apathetic middle, who’re sick of the back and forth of American politics — Which is a fair viewpoint to have. What I would say to those people is that you can make all of that go away by voting against the party who is currently trying to divide America in ways we haven’t seen for decades.

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Beto O’Rourke didn’t win in Texas, but he fought the incumbent Ted Cruz to within 250,000 votes. Texas is officially purple. Either that or they recognise that Beto is a good human being regardless of his party affiliation. He had an uphill battle, like most Democratic senate races this time around, but fought respectfully to serve the people of his state.

This certainly won’t be the last we’ll hear of Beto. If you can nearly turn Texas blue in a senate race, then you’ll be making a presidential campaign bid in the future, perhaps as early as 2020.

I wouldn’t be mad at this, what the Democratic party needs more than anything else right now is youth. Every time I hear Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden speak, I can feel how out of touch they are. Their hearts are in the right place, but their time has been and gone. I probably shouldn’t be saying that about the future speaker of the house but, for me, it’s the truth.

Bernie Sanders is about the only member of the old-guard who still sounds like an idealistic thirty-year-old, albeit with the surly undertones of a hippy grandfather who has been through some serious political battles.

I want Bernie to act as the Professor-X to a whole team of young Democrats who’re all under the age of fifty. They can call them the B-Men, or the S-Men, or maybe a more gender-neutral term. Even though I’m fairly certain the term ‘X-Men’ is gender neutral because many of them are women.

Young people voted somewhat this time around, but many still dread the idea of casting a vote for some old guy who doesn’t inspire them. Get Beto on stage with his bass guitar and have him finger-away for seven-minutes straight and I guarantee that’ll get young people to the polls. He might have to stream Fortnight on Twitch for a few weeks to gain some extra credibility, but I’m sure that’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

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Arizona’s senate race is still officially too close to call, but either way Arizona will be sending their first female senator to DC, and that’s a huge step towards equality. It was a battle billed as activist vs veteran, with the Republicans spending millions on vicious attack-ads against Kyrsten Sinema.

The truth of the race is that both women are ideologically strong, and both are good choices for the state of Arizona. I just always side with the candidate who isn’t launching attack-ads, and is instead stating what they stand for. It’s not my fault they usually happen to be Democrats.

In a way, these midterms have kept everything business as usual. Democrats were expected to take the house and Republicans were expected to hold the senate. These events are typical of the first elections following a new President.

I know many were hoping for a blue wave, but personally all I hoped for was Democratic control of the house. For what it’s worth I read a lot of blogs from people on both sides of the aisle, and it has only been right-wing blogs who have been touting the “laughable idea of a blue wave”, whereas liberal bloggers have remained quietly optimistic at most.

Before I sign-off for the day, I want to warn my fellow filthy lefties about the right-wing controlling our narrative. They think we want communism and so they brand us as communists.

In reality we want someone left of centre who makes most people happy and tries their best, so we can all go back to talking about the politics of Game of Thrones, instead of this impossible Game of Trumps everyone seems to be playing with our lives right now.


Today is Wednesday, November 7th and if anyone rats me out over the licence fee thing I’ll be livid.

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If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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