Saturday, January 9, 2021

AntiVaxxers and Stormers

Several years BC (Before Covid), when the vaccine being debated was the measles vaccine, many accused antivaxxers of being murderers. I strongly felt that these condemnations were misplaced. Such condemnations should be used for those who want to kill or harm people. The antivaxxers don't want to do any such thing. From their (tragically mistaken) perspective, they believe that it is vaccines which harm or kill people, and they are desperately trying to save people from them. It's not their regard for human life that needs correcting; rather, they are making a cognitive error in falling for a conspiracy theory.

The same is true with those who support the storming of the Capitol (which, according to surveys, is a distressingly high number of people). Many are condemning them as being anti-democracy. Now, there are most certainly those who fall into that category, those who were simply seeking to use violence to subvert democracy and obtain their desired ends. There are horrifying videos of Stormers chanting "Hang Mike Pence," of attacking journalists.

But for many others it's not like that. They fervently believe in democratic elections; and they equally fervently believe that such free and fair elections did not take place! I think that if Trump were to now somehow circumvent the electoral process to steal the electoral victory from Biden - say, by staging a full coup - many Democrats would be in favor of storming the Capitol in order to rescue democracy from totalitarianism. That's how many of those who stormed the Capitol look at it!

So those Stormers don't necessarily need instruction in civics; their problem is not in opposing democracy. Rather, theirs is a cognitive error, just as with the antivaxxers. And it's the exact same cognitive error - falling for conspiracy theories. 

(Since there are many people reading this who are convinced that the election was indeed stolen, let me cite Trump's own campaigner and appointee, White House Director of Communication Alyssa Farah:

Dear MAGA- I am one of you. Before I worked for @realDonaldTrump, I worked for @MarkMeadows & @Jim_Jordan & the @freedomcaucus. I marched in the 2010 Tea Party rallies. I campaigned w/ Trump & voted for him. But I need you to hear me: the Election was NOT stolen. We lost.
There were cases of fraud that should be investigated. But the legitimate margins of victory for Biden are far too wide to change the outcome. You need to know that. I’m proud of many policy accomplishments the Trump Admin had. But we must accept these results.

If you believe that Alyssa Farah and Christopher Krebs and all the Republican officials who say that Trump lost are all part of some grand conspiracy to give victory to the Democrats, then all I can say is that I think that you are making a grave, grave mistake, and we have nothing further to discuss.)

Unsurprisingly, the overlap between antivaxxers and Stormers is very high. But, as my good friend Rabbi Scott Kahn pointed out to me, while there is a cognitive error here rather than a desire to harm people or harm democracy, it's not just a cognitive error.

Let's start with Trump himself, because he is extremely easy to psychoanalyze. It's not a matter of whether Trump really believes that the evidence is in favor of his having won the election. Trump, notwithstanding everything good that he has done for Israel, has a fragile ego and extraordinary narcissism. For such a person, it is extremely difficult to ever admit to having a flaw, or to having done something wrong, or even having made a mistake. Losing an election, which he would equate with being a "loser," is utterly impossible to admit to. So it must be that he really won, and it was stolen from him. He's not even making any assessment of the evidence. (That's why it's pointless to engage in endless re-checking of the results. There is no point at which he would ever say, "Okay, I guess I lost.")

His dedicated followers who support storming the Capitol might not share the same narcissism in their own personalities, but many of them are similarly incapable of accepting that their worldview - which includes Trump winning - could be wrong. One protester held a banner saying "Biden Will Never Be My President!" - making it pretty clear that she wouldn't accept this no matter how many times the votes were checked. It would be so terrible and unjust and wrong for Trump to lose, that it's pretty much impossible. It's much easier to believe that there was a widespread, coordinated conspiracy.

When you become so utterly convinced in the justice of your worldview that you refuse to countenance being mistaken - even if you are making an absolutely extraordinary, earth-shattering claim which is disputed by all experts and by people who share the same ideals and values as you, even when the consequences of your worldview are enormously severe to the extent of destroying vaccines or storming the Capitol - this becomes more than just a cognitive error. It's a personality flaw that needs addressing. 


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97 comments:

  1. This poll was concerning: https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2021/01/07/US-capitol-trump-poll

    Regarding the storming of the Capitol: a little under one-half of Republicans approve of it, and a little over one-half of Republicans believe that Joe Biden is somewhat or largely to blame for it.

    The mind boggles.

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    1. Gotta be a conspiracy theorist to actually belive that polls are accurate or reflect the truth.

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    2. Accurate to within 10 percent is reasonable, based on past performance.

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  2. For those who believe that the election was stolen or rigged, it is easier for them to believe that we are all the victims of a vast conspiracy theory perpetrated by politicians, including many republicans and Trump supporters, judges, including many appointed by Trump himself, election officials, many of whom are republicans and Trump or former Trump supporters, the media, including right leaning and staunchly conservative publications, including the likes of Commentary, and countless other individuals and organizations that have supported Trump and/or his policies, than it is to believe that Biden simply won the election. Part of the narrative seems to be that "The Dems" stole the election, they have been engaging in election shenanigans for years, if not decades, and free and fair election are over for good in this country. If that were the case, how did Trump win in 2016? How are there so many Republicans winning other elections? Why has no party held the presidency for more than 12 years in such a long time? And why was it the last time that happened it was Republicans (Reagan/Bush)? The fact is, our country is divided on razor thin margins, and any number of factors can swing us left or right. Rather than obsessing over these inane conspiracy theories, why not focus on excellent governance? I have no doubt that the party that focuses on that, and turns back towards the middle class and away from pandering to special interest groups, Wall Street, and the uber wealthy, will win in any election. I know they will have my vote.

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    1. "If that were the case, how did Trump win in 2016?"

      My understanding of the Trumpist position is that the 2016 win came despite massive electoral fraud on the scale of millions of votes (recall that they hold Trump won the popular vote as well as the EC in 2016).

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  3. Actually, Obama is the biggest narcissist. How many autobiographies is he up to now? Nonetheless, I agree that the storming of the capitol building, the seat of democracy was wrong, and both Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell have said as much. Even Trump told them to 'go home in peace.' What I don't understand is why is it such a big deal to the mainstream media when breaking things was ok all summer? The reason I prefer Fox News is because they're at least consistent. Breaking things is always bad. Period. Any insurrection, whatever the circumstances are bad. Once you begin to break things it's no longer a "peaceful protest" but a full-fledged riot.

    Whether or not the election was "stolen" or not, the fact remains that there was a lot of fraud. Philadelphia blacked-out windows, for example. The vote wasn't transparent enough. Our election was worse than some third-world countries. It was an embarrassment. Now the Left will use the storming of the capitol as a pretext to take away our rights, guns, and freedom of speech. Already, fake news, CNN is attempting to take Fox off the air, the only real news we have left in this country.

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    1. "Even Trump told them to 'go home in peace.'" Only AFTER he was forced to. At the beginning, he was perfectly happy to see the results of what he had incited.

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    2. @RNS I disagree. I don't think he was happy at all. In any case, why complain about Trump when Biden was silent about BLM rioters all summer? The media spent months claiming that rioting was ok. Antifa didn't exist. Biden said that antifa was just a "philosophy." Chris Cuomo asked who said the protest had to be "peaceful?" Nancy Pelosi called Chaz a "summer of love." During the DNC, Biden remarkably never denounced the riots even though he insisted that Trump tell proud boys to stand down. It was only AFTER three months when he went way down in the polls did he finally condemn them publicly. Amazing.

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    3. Please stop recycling debunked bullsh*t. If you are at all interested in the truth, start with reading into the "blacked-out windows" nonsense.

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    4. Actually reading won't help they came to the conclusion by reading the conspiracy in the first place, instead they should actually become investigating journalists themselves, and call and meet people that were there. Also we should always encourage Stealmaning arguments. Ask a conspiracy
      theorist if he can show in the best arguement that he can that it wasn't a conspiracy, and then argue against it. Most of the time that isn't done. If it was, people woyld have better tools to come to the right conclusion.

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    5. Take away our guns - that is the favorite canard of the right. Don't you realize that you are being played over here? Nothing has been done to take away anyone's guns, school shootings and church attacks notwithstanding. Someone wants you to believe that your guns are being taken away, I wonder who. Maybe it's the businesses that make money every time this is threatened. How do gun sales go after these threats?

      The republicans caricature democrats, exaggerating the importance and influence of the few nutjobs they can dig out, and people just follow them blindly.

      Yeah, and blacked-out windows have nothing to do with fraud. There were republican observers inside the blacked-out windows, are you asking what they are doing inside there? I have curtains on my house, does that show that I am doing something illegal?

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    6. @TurkHill, I can appreciate your distaste for Biden and Democrats, I share some of it.

      However I'd like to point out that even if you are correct about some or all of what you say about Biden, the Dems, and the riots or whatever, you are committing a logical fallacy by simply changing the subject. The subject at hand is the fact that the election being stolen or rigged is a conspiracy theory, and a false one, yet so many still believe it, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. No one is saying that there was zero fraud or fraudulently cast votes, just that there was nothing close to the scale that would have swung this election. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that there were more "un-kosher" votes cast for Biden than for Trump. Yet the Trump supporters continue to believe these completely discredited and ridiculous theories, yourself included, apparently.

      The other point at hand is that Trump incited the riot at the Capitol through encouraging his supporters to believe these obviously false theories, and take matters in their own hands through "fighting", etc. He unequivocally did this, and has been in fact setting the table for his entire campaign, by telling his supporters to EXPECT that the vote be rigged or stolen, thus hedging and protecting his own fragile ego and image in case he did lose. Need I point out that he may have destroyed his chance at winning the election fair and square by convincing so many of his supporters that the election was destined to be rigged? Why vote in that case? He likely cost himself thousands upon thousands of votes in swing states. And then when the inevitable happened and he did lose, he has been fanning the flames of discontent ever since. There is no doubt in my mind that he is gratified by any violence in his name, and only condemned it after substantial pressure by whatever advisers he still listens to.

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    7. ZD,
      i wonder where you live. i personally had one rifle that i owned legally for a long time banned by NYC, after the city came out with a list of banned firearms (based on random criteria) that was retroactively applied to all firearm owners. i worked in western NY state where it is not at all uncommon for local news to carry an item regarding some elderly citizen being arrested by the state police for violating the governors ban on high capacity magazines (many of these people had bought their firearm years ago, and it isn't even possible to get low capacity magazines for many models, so it's affectively a ban).

      true, NY is a pretty left wing state, but these laws and bans are precisely the model that many democratic congress people wish to apply nationwide.

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    8. "At the beginning, he was perfectly happy"

      Where is your evidence? This is simply ascribing whatever belief you want to the guy you critique. No different than the cultists who ascribe all manner of good to Trump (he's secretly doing it behind the scenes, trust us!) even when he did absolutely nothing.

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    9. @Yehoshua and ZD, No, there weren't any Republicans in the building. They were "allowed" to watch 50 to 100 feet away. What you do in your home is your business, but a national election needs to be transparent, Democrats are notorious for election fraud. We didn't know for weeks who won the dem primarily elections. People I knew who were liberal lost interest. It was embarrassing. As for gun bans, Biden wants to ban all online sales from guns to ammunition and gun-parts. Few days before the biden regime takes power. That would mean you couldn't get the rare ammo for military surplus guns like the Type 44 Arisaka. Yes, "Duh," New York has strict gun rules, as does California, unfortunately. The Dems want this to be universal. Kamala talks about a "mandatory buy-back" but you know they will never pay you the full value of the gun, especially if you added parts or furniture like for example, an original sling to an arisaka. If they do demand this, however, I will give them only the receiver, which is the only part that is actually categorized as a firearm.

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    10. @Ben, I agree that Trump is fully responsible for raising the temperature to the point of boiling, however, as I said previously, he isn't responsible for the storming of the capitol, nor any violence that occurred. Trump may have overplayed his cards, but the election was "stolen," or at least there was a lot of fraud. The "black-out windows" is but one example. I even saw footage where Dems cheered at the "forced" removal of a republican poll watcher. That is not only a state crime but a federal crime, as well. Whether there is enough fraud to over turn the election is debated. But even if you're right, Trump warned voters about election fraud for months. The Dems wanted to use covid as a pretext for mass mail-in-ballots. Other than that, Trump repeatedly told us that he would win in a landslide. At the last rally there for 200thousand people. Biden is lucky if he gets three, all standing in circles.

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    11. TH - your thought processes never fail to baffle. Democrats are notorious for election fraud. Actually, they are not. Only in the conspiracies of the right. There is no proof that there is any more fraud on the Democratic side than the Republican one, and no proof that there is significant meaningful fraud on either side.
      Taking weeks to know the results has nothing to do with fraud.
      Removing a poll watcher who is acting like an obnoxious fool is perfectly justified, regardless of his political affiliation. There were other poll watchers in the room besides him.
      Trump warned people about it, yes. So what? How does that make it true? In fact, it shows that he would say such things without any facts at all, so why should people take him seriously now?
      The Dems wanted - how do you know what they wanted? How can you shoot out a statement with zero backing? Did they not take covid seriously enough in other areas? Were they always pushing for less restrictions due to covid? And again, what does all this have to do with fraud? All of your claims have nothing to do with mail in votes vs in person votes.

      What do rally sizes have to do with anything? Democratic voters took covid more seriously, so they didn't rally. Why does that mean that would not vote in massive numbers for him? What does that have to with anything?

      I see the only way to be a Republican is through throwing logic out of the window.

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    12. @Turk Hill, in your mind, why did all of the Trump administrations legal attempts at relief fail? Why were they so unequivocally shouted down but multiple conservative judges? Why did Republican election officials and secretaries of state claim repeatedly that this was the most secure election in US history? Why hasn't the conservative Supreme Court with 3 Trump appointed justices step in? In short, why has the Trump administration so miserably failed to convince anyone other than the most ardent and often uneducated and ill informed Trump supporters that any irregularities of any substance occurred whatsoever? I'm really curious.

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    13. @ZD, I disagree. The election has to be transparent. How can you have a fair election when Dems blacked-out windows in Philadelphia? Removed all Republicans poll-watchers (except that they were "allowed" to sand fifty feet away)? Tradition has it for hundreds of years that we always knew the winner on election day. Yet Dems allowed the counting of ballots after election day. Heaps of ballots were found, all marked for Biden. The Trump ballots were simply tossed out. The Dems used Covid as a pretext for mass mail-in-ballots.

      The only thing Dems really want is power. They don't have your best interest in mind. They're just power-hungry. Some of them, like Bolshevik Bernie and AOC, are communist. They want endless lockdowns. They take the virus too seriously, except for bars, casinos, and BLM riots. Churches and Shul and small business must remain closed indefinitely because they want marxism and Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

      Biden was boring with no charisma. Trump, in contrast, was extremely popular. The last rally alone saw 200 thousand people. Biden never saw huge crowds like that, ever. It's hard to believe that Trump lost to this guy when he had so many supporters. Not even Lincoln was loved more. Thus, Occam's razor would say there's a lot of fraud. Do these democrat politicians really think Americans are so stupid?

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    14. Turk Hill: It's hard to believe that Trump lost to this guy when he had so many supporters

      The fact that you find it incredulous does not mean it didn't happen.

      Thus, Occam's razor would say there's a lot of fraud.

      No, Occam's razor would say that Turk Hill's assessment what of what is hard to believe includes things that are true.

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    15. "It's hard to believe that Trump lost to this guy when he had so many supporters."
      Possibly one of the most ridiculous statements I have seen.
      Of course Trump had millions of supporters.
      That doesn't in any way indicate that he had *more* supporters than Biden.
      The last rally saw 200,000 people. The 2017 Women's March, all of whom doubtless voted for Biden, had 470,000 in Washington alone.

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    16. @mevaseretzion, I disagree. I think Occam's razor would suggest that the far simpler explanation is not that Biden was popular, but that there was a lot of fraud. For one, Biden couldn't draw huge crowds. Most of his rallies saw three people, all standing in circles. It's not because they took covid more seriously. It's because he's a terrible candidate. At one point, Biden said I’m running against Biden. In contrast, I've been to Trump rallies. There's nothing like them.

      @RNS, "The 2017 Women's March... had 470,000"
      But that's different. I could point you to the march to life which had over a million attendees. Biden was a terrible candidate. He was boring and had no charisma. Yes, he could draw large crowds for celebrities but as soon as Lady Gaga left, so did the crowd.

      More people voting for Biden has nothing to do with his popularity. Those who received ballots cast him simply because CNN told them so. They could care less about politics. Such people shouldn't vote to begin with. When I went to a Trump rally there were so many people that my friend told me: the good news is that Trump will win. The bad news is that there are so many people we won't see Trump.

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    17. Turk Hill - you repeat your nonsense, ignoring the fact that everything has been answered already.
      Why is the 'tradition' to know the results on election night significant? (This is not a 'hundreds of years old' tradition at all. How could it be, when telephones are not hundreds of years old?) In fact, the tradition is to know the results as soon as they are available. In recent years, election night was sufficient, this year it wasn't. What difference does it make?
      What's wrong with mass mail-in ballots? I think it is a wonderful thing, make it easier for people to vote.
      The only thing that all politicians want is power, no republican politician has been shown to be more altruistic than Democrats. And the same is true regarding politicians everywhere in the world. This is a red herring.

      And Trump's popularity is more than matched by his unpopularity. A huge amount of people hate him and wanted him gone. A rally to get rid of him, in normal non-covid times, would also have had huge crowds. But they turned out to be unnecessary, as the voting booth was sufficient to get rid of him.

      As I have said in the past, Occam's razor is a fancy way of saying 'the most convenient belief'. It does not denote truth or even likelihood of truth. It is just a bias

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    18. Turk Hill, it's clear you don't undertand Occam's Razor. The position that there was widespread fraud and coverup including staunch Republicans requires many more "entities" or claims than the simplicity of the position that you, Turk Hill, are out of step with reality.

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    19. "What's wrong with mass mail-in ballots? I think it is a wonderful thing"

      Of course, you'd think it's wonderful. I bet you think that not showing your ID at the voting booth is just as good. As I said previously, most people who received mail-in-ballots could care less about politics and only voted because CNN told them so. As a result, republicans, including me were disenfranchised. There should be a rule where you only vote if you show up at the voting booth. All but two countries in Europe have banned the use of mail-in-ballots because they know the fraud associated with it.

      Mevaseretzion, I disagree. There is a lot of evidence of fraud. Biden lacked charisma and was boring. It's difficult to believe Trump lost to this guy. The only explanation is that multiple mail-in-ballots were sent to people who don't know politics, and only voted for Biden because CNN told them so. I know because I received three ballots and one with not my name on it!

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  4. PS Although I disagree with antivaxxers, I do actually think this conspiracy theory is true. The Egyptians most definitely did not build the pyramids. I think there’s a lot of evidence to support it.

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  5. There cannot be free and fair elections without a free press. The media in the USA is solidly anti-Trump from day one. Dictatorship is the only solution at this point.

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    1. "Without a free press", as you write this without any censorship or repercussions. How ironic. Dictatorship meaning no freedom of the press if the solution, to a freedom of the press issue, how self contradictory!

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  6. Laplace's principle-“the weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness”
    KT

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  7. At the edges of every society, there are those that take things too far, they take take rhetoric too literally. Like the guy who light an Arab teen on fire a few years ago. At somw point all the vile jokes about dead Arabs are going make someone on the edge that they all need to be killed. Or another example is when we hear of some person physically abuse his wife citing all types of rabbinic rationale and speeches fron some rabbi. Ar the edges of society, they cannot separate rhetoric from reality. So when these people hear thst the election was stolen, from their duty elected representatives and from the duly elected president. They think it's a patriotic call to arms. They think they are George Washington. No individual is absolved from personal responsibility. But definitely those who egged this on have moral responsibility. The entire cincept that VP Pence or Congress can reject results always was pure fantasy. It doesn't work thst way. Once states certified their results, there was no other outcome. Yet betting markets still had trump at 13% chance of winning. People made big money betting against the naive.
    As for the teaching of civics. I think we need to have some. We need to stop calling every policy that we disagree with, illegal and anti constitutional. One can disagree with Affordable Care Act and at the same time admit that it is not illegal. One can be disappointed in results of an election, and even complain about how certain states handled it, without thinking that Congress is committing a criminal act by certifying the results. So perhaps lessons in civics are in order. Patriotism is about protecting the process. Not the specific policy. When policy is misguided, we can always get another chance to correct it. But if ee destroy the process, in time we will lose the policy as well.
    I've been bothered by the language of הנותן תשועה, in USA, I prefer praying for the system than praying for a specific president. Leaders of opposing parties play a strong role in democracy. It is important to pray for them too. On the other hand, allegiance is not personally to the president, it's to the constitution.

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    1. ''I've been bothered by the language of הנותן תשועה, in USA, I prefer praying for the system than praying for a specific president.''
      Here is the text of the french tefilah, I think you might like it:
      אלקים חיים ומלך עולם. המגביהי לשבת, המשפילי לראות בשמים ובארץ. אשר בידך כח וגבורה לגדל ולחזק לכל. השקיפה ממעון קדשך על ארץ צרפת (י''א על ארצנו), וברך את עם צרפת (י''א את עמנו). אמן.
      נא הסתירהו בצל כנפיך. ופרוש עליו סוכת שלומך. אמן.
      אורך ועזרך המה ינחוהו. חסדך ואמיתך תמיד ינצרוהו. אמן.
      בארץ זו (י''א בארצנו) רב שלום יפרח. ויושבי צרפת לעד ישכנו לבטח. אמן.
      יהיו לרצון אמרי פינו, והגיון לבנו לפניך, ה' צורנו וגואלנו.אמן.

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  8. So many dead people voted in this past election that my faith in tchiyas hameisim has been bolstered significantly. One wag quipped that he was so upset how his parents voted he won't visit them at their resting places anymore.

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    1. Another conspiracy theorist. As I wrote in the post, if you believe that Alyssa Farah and Christopher Krebs and all the Republican officials who say that Trump lost are all part of some grand conspiracy to give victory to the Democrats, then all I can say is that I think that you are making a grave, grave mistake, and we have nothing further to discuss.

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    2. The explanation would be a lot simpler than that. They wish to continue their political careers and their side just lost. As it is a tremendous longshot to overturn that loss, they are now attempting to save face so that they can operate for new political leaders instead of remaining unemployed "trump partisans" for eternity.

      If no dead people voted as they say, then simply present the evidence that produced that conclusion. If it's such an easy thing to refute, then it should be easy to "show the work" behind it and have us all laugh at what an idiotic claim it was by Trump. Right? So why don't they?
      Perhaps it's not so evident.

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    3. I personally have read a couple of strong refutations of the "dead people voted" claim, related to GA and MI. I haven't gone looking for others. I'm sure they're there for the reading.

      Whether one accepts the analyses, or explains them all away as part of a giant anti-Trumpist conspiracy, is another matter.

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    4. Not a conspiracy theory. In some instances, there were more votes than voters. Dead people voted. One guy voted who was dead for twenty years. See Tucker Carlson. There's a lot of fraud.

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    5. student v: can you prove you didn't vote multiple times? You may be the root of the problem. If not then simply present the evidence. If it's such an easy thing to refute, then it should be easy to "show the work" behind it and have us all laugh at what an idiotic claim it was. Right? So why don't you?
      Perhaps it's not so evident.

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    6. That's such an odd argument. Wouldn't it be more rational for the side claiming that dead people voted to produce their proof? And haven't countless courts and and officials said there is none? How would you possibly expect Rabbi Slifkin to prove no dead people voted-- to prove a thing DIDN"T happen? Show evidence that it did! Don't just repeat it ovar and over! Show the evidence!

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    7. @Simon - They already have. And I am not asking "RABBI SLIFKIN" to refute it. I am asking the people who claim it is refuted, such as Raffsberger, to show their work. That's all. He claimed that an investigation proved only 2 dead people voted in Georgia while the Trump people say over 4000 did, and they have shown evidence from names, birthdates, obituaries. If those were all misunderstandings it should be easy to explain how/why. But they don't. They just cite "our experts"

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    8. It's true dead people may have voted. Trump asked the Secretary of State in Georgia whether there were dead people that voted, and he replied that there were 2 votes being investigated as they were cast on behalf of dead people. No information as to whether there was fraud there, or a mistake. Also no indication whether the votes were for Biden, Trump, or a different candidate.
      But 2 votes is hardly widespread fraud.

      It is also true that some of the people who voted had the same name as other people who are dead. I guess if someone called "John smith" dies, that doesn't automatically invalidate the vote of everyone else with the same name.

      If you have additional information about dead people who voted, I suggest you pass it on to Trump's legal team who have been able to make YouTube videos about it, but have not found any evidence that can actually be presented in court (which has a different burden of proof from YouTube)

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  9. Donard J. Trump is for many a despised man. Your "psychoanalysis" fits the general trend of these four years, and it says more about you than about him. President Trump was great for Israel. Respect for the man is utterly due, and is absent in your post.

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    1. He was great for Israel, and therefore what? He gets a free pass for terrible behavior?

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    2. When you will understand the despised? When the despisers come for you.

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    3. He was good for Israel

      But in every other respect the absolute antithesis of a hero for orthodox Jews.

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    4. he was good for israel, that's true. but of equal importance, he was excellent for american jews as well. he strongly protected religious freedom, promoted school choice, and opposed anti white discrimination which disproportionally impacted upon the jewish community.
      so the jewish community owes him a debt of gratitude, which we must publicly express. none the less, he is not perfect, and we must acknowledge that he could and did make mistakes.
      of much greater interest than discussing trump personally, would be to try to understand what has hashem wrote? and why specifically did he use an ohev yisroel to bring it about?

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    5. Winston Churchill was a despicable man, yet the right man for the job at the time of World War II.
      I am not a big fan of Trump's work for Israel either, I think selling advanced weaponry to non-democratic Arab countries counter balances any symbolic moves of moving an Embassy. But even if he was a good thing for Israel, that does not negate the psycho-analysis.

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    6. Don't care how good he was for Israel in The short run, if this happened under his watch he is not good for Israel or the Jewish people in the long run.

      https://nypost.com/2021/01/08/camp-auschwitz-sweatshirt-seen-at-capitol-riot-sold-by-nyc-site/

      Delete
    7. @The Pragmatist, I worry that you are correct. Do positive policies enacted by such a reviled and debased figure as Trump do more damage than good? Will those who are inclined to be anti-Israel double down because Trump seems to be a supporter, and work to isolate Israel even further? Will Trumps support in itself be a signal to some that Israel is fundamentally evil? Post Capital riots, his credibility is lower than ever.

      In any case, these questions are further proof to me that Israel needs to distance itself from its de facto status as a client state of the US. Having its political viability tied to the vagaries of a given president is unhealthy. I'd urge everyone on this blog to check out visionmovement.org and visionmag.org. I think they are on the right track.

      Delete
    8. "He was great for Israel, and therefore what? He gets a free pass for terrible behavior?"

      Can you name any other president who was "Greater for Israel?" I can't.

      Delete
    9. Pragmatist:
      According to the English Forward, that was debunked.
      The T-shirts were from a previous event, nothing to do with President Trump.

      Delete
    10. Link please, the man has already been identified, so such "debunking" claims would need to have some evidence.
      Again I think it is important to Stealman arguments but both sides have to be willing to do it. To all conspiracy Theorists, please see the work of Mike West.

      Delete
  10. People can be held accountable for life threatening issues. The Rambam holds like Rava that an omer mutar (a person who acts based on a false impression of permissibility) is karov l'mezid (considered almost intentional) when he kills someone

    ReplyDelete
  11. You write:

    > many Democrats would be in favor of storming the Capitol in order to rescue democracy from totalitarianism.

    I think this is an example of unsubstantiated "both-sidesism". Many of us did believe in 2016 that a totalitarian had stolen the White House. And what did we do? We knitted pink hats and had a remarkably peaceful march on Washington DC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention BLM ''riots'', about which some people on this blog have declared that black americans have finally demonstrated their lack of compatibility with civilized behaviour. But did they storm the Capitol? no, they were rightfully too scared of being KILLED by the police, should they try anything so bold. Yes, that same police that let those far-right extremists free access and even took selfies with them. I wonder who is not compatible with civilization right now.

      Delete
    2. @Andrew Greene, nope. Dems called Trump kkk (which is a democrat movement, actually) and took to the streets on inauguration day. I remember the police using tear gas to clear the streets.

      Jew Well, The narrative that this is somehow a race thing is bs. Don't give this bs. A white woman was literally killed by police, a cop later died. Many were injured. The notion that if these were blacks it would have been different is stupid. Washington DC, Mayer, Muriel Bowser, a black woman, told federal law enforcement to "stand down" prior to the day of the riot. Federal politicians decided to stay low key on law enforcement due to criticisms that the police were too rough on BLM protesters. She discouraged "additional deployment" of law enforcement. Wall Street Journal wrote that as a result, capitol police were unprepared for the rioters. Since they said that violence occurred in Portland because of a heavy police presence, they wanted police presence at a minimum in the capitol (recall that there were 25 million BLM and antifa rioters across the country. Whole cities were shut down and were "allowed" to burn for weeks). Don't give me this bull crap that America is a racist country when they "allowed" it to go on for months and months.

      Delete
    3. @Jew Well, "they were rightfully too scared of being KILLED by the police, should they try anything so bold. Yes, that same police that let those far-right extremists free access and even took selfies with them."

      To think that police would have opened fire on blacks in mass had the rioters been black, is a lie. A blatant, damnable lie. It's disgusting. It's a mainstream media narrative, fake news. First, there were minimal arrest warrants simply because there weren't enough police officers, to begin with. When you arrest a person you carry them out with you. Not to mention that hundreds of arrests will take place in the next few days. Second, there is footage and pictures of police physically fending off protesters and using tear gas in the rotunda. Guns were drawn in the chambers. A woman was literally killed. Yes, she died. In addition to three others, a cop later died. Many were injured. True, cops removed barricades but they did so because they could be used against them and they could not consolidate their lines. Protocol. Third, widespread BLM riots were "allowed" to go on for months and months. Entire cities burned for weeks. LA was closed for an entire week. Washington DC was looted for weeks. I recall watching the riots in Washington live. There were no police. Only looters. Lastly, the left attempts to say the police were the problem is astounding since the rioters were the problem before and after the police. I saw a video live where two women were casually beating a cop who did nothing. Another video showed an Indian lady spit at a cop. Men threw bicycles at them. Assaulted them. They bled, kept in line, and did nothing. More people died during the BLM riots than the storming of the capitol. A church was burned near the White House. Chaz was allowed to experiment as a sovereign nation. The culture turned the rioters into heroes. Police knelt to BLM activists even though BLM called them "racist." People who never sinned against a black person, whose family never owned slaves, and whose ancestors may have fought and died in the Civil War, and yet BLM is the victim! The words "Black Lives Matter" were literally painted in big bold yellow words, visible from space in the streets of Washington. Imagine if conservatives painted "Stope the Steel"? Not to mention that the vast majority of conservatives at the rally was against the storming of the capitol. What you wrote here as a comment reminds me of what people posted on Facebook, a black square, which I call "slackism," since they do virtually nothing to "help" black people other than making their ego feel good in making others think that they are caring as they sit comfy at home.

      Delete
    4. @Turk Hill:
      Did I say ''racism''?
      I already wrote here that the US police firstly has a violence problem. It is true that black people are over-represented in casualties, but they're far from being the majority.
      I didn't say they would have ''opened fire on blacks in mass'' either, I said they would never have dared doing this from fear of the police. And the fact that there were casualties only proves they were right.
      But BLM is a left movement, and this one was a conservative movement. This crazy bunch of people think they're doing it for the police, so they were at first friendly, and probably though the officers would come with them. And the police also apparently though a bunch of conservative would never do such riots, therefore they started on a conciliatory mood, until it was too late. There probably were also some friends of the movement in the rank. But it turns out far-right extremists are dangerous too, and no more civilized. In fact, they are far more dangerous.

      Delete
    5. @Andrew Greene

      Thanks for raising that issue. I'd like to add another angle. There is no one in Democratic circles who both has the following of Donald Trump and uses language that encourages followers to engage in violent displays of force that Trump does. You can find Democrats who do one or the other, but without someone issuing a subliminal call in Trump's manner reaching as many people as Trump did, it wouldn't happen.

      Delete
    6. @Jew Well, To the contrary, the BLM riots killed more people than the storming of the capitol. Whole cities were in lockdown for weeks. A church was burned near the White House. The words "BLM" were painted on the streets, visible from space. Yes, the bad people who raided the capitol building does not represent Americans and does not represent conservatives, and yes they could do harm, but to even remotely suggest that they did worse than BLM would be a lie.

      Sar, You're forgetting that Biden said that antifa was just a "philosophy." Chris Cuomo asked who said the protest had to be "peaceful?" Nancy Pelosi called Chaz a "summer of love." CNN incited riots all over the country.

      Delete
  12. "It's a personality flaw that needs addressing."

    This is scary. How do you feel it should be "addressed"? Delete all conservatives from all social medial? Shut down Parler (Apple, Andoid removed the app, and now Amazon hosting is shutting down Parler)? put them in jail? Force vaccinate them?

    I should not say this but I am probably going to enjoy your reaction when you discover there is a real conspiracy and Trump actually wins.

    I will let you react to that for the next 10 days and then perhaps check in to see how you are doing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What will be your reaction when no fraud is proven, and Biden is sworn in?

      Delete
    2. @ZD, there was most definitely fraud. For example, I received three mail-in-ballots and then I got ballots that had someone else’s name on them! Imagine what some democrats did with those extra ballots? There's a lot of fraud.

      Delete
    3. After they banned Trump, I left twitter for Parler.

      Delete
    4. I have noticed Twitter becoming a more pleasant place the past few days.

      Delete
    5. @TH

      You are irrational, stupid, incapable of logical thought and a moron. And those are your good qualities.

      If you actually received extra ballots (which were valid), and could have used them, it only proves that Republicans had access to the means to commit vote fraud. It would be reasonable to assume it also happened to Democrats. It would be completely unreasonable to assume it only happened to Democrats, as you proved otherwise.

      Delete
    6. @Avi, My point was that the Left used covid as a pretext to use mass mail-in-ballots. And no, I could not use them because that's illegal. You only vote once. And you should have to bring an ID to prove it. You need ID to drink, you should also need ID to vote. Not only were tons of ballots sent for dead people or those who left the state, but the Dems also removed Republican poll watchers and "allowed" illegal aliens to vote for Biden.

      PS Most people who received ballots could care less for politics and only voted for Biden because CNN told them to. These people shouldn't be voting in the first place.

      Delete
    7. Receiving three ballots in the mail does not mean you can vote three times. Once you have voted, you can't vote again on your own name.
      That was simple.

      Delete
    8. @ZD, Yes, but Dems would have voted three times. That is why the election was fraudulent.

      Delete
  13. Yuval Harari gets it (mostly) right: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/20/opinion/sunday/global-cabal-conspiracy-theories.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have been a Trump admirer since he ran for President. His policies (national and foreign) have been superb and he did wonders for the US economy. But he has now committed a terrible offense by denying the legal and fair election of his opponent. Regardless of how much I admire him, I cannot be blinded from the truth because of my support for him. However, neither will I betray him because of this one act of denial. Truth is a virtue but so is loyalty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You call yourself Rationalist Rabbi.
      What's rational about loyalty (to anyone, not just Trump)?
      Especially loyalty to someone who could not understand why others in his office weren't similarly celebrating the takeover of the US Capital?
      And who was only bothered by it because the insurrectionists were "white trash" and were thereby ruining his legacy?

      It's rational to overlook these things and allow this guy access to the nuclear codes, just because you like what he did in the past?

      Delete
    2. @RationalistRabbi

      How could you admire trump? Do you not see how he tweets whatever his heart desires, no matter how nasty. Trump ruined america and incited violence against the capital. hopefully biden could fix the mess, plus he has Jewish grandchildren and machatanistors.

      Delete
    3. " However, neither will I betray him because of this one act of denial. Truth is a virtue but so is loyalty."

      What does "loyalty" mean, in terms of a President who has lost a bid for re-election?

      Put more directly -- what will your "loyalty" to Trump mean in terms of things you will do, that you would not have done had you not been "loyal" to him?

      Delete
    4. Loyalty means not disavowing a person because of one or several mistakes. My loyalty to Trump is purely in thought and speech. There is no probably no practical relevance anymore.

      Delete
  15. Seeing everything going on especially in the past year, everything is possible. And what should people expect when peoples rights and American (and much of the world) ways are being stripped? It's not a conspiracy when we see Big tech, globalists and opportunists taking peoples livelihoods and freedoms away. When you have a JINO like Zuckerberg and others what do you think will happen to the rest of us? People have legitimate concerns and fears and fighting for their freedom is a right. I hope it doesn't get translated on blaming the Jews for the evil of the leftist JINOS and other leftists in general.
    Ssvi

    ReplyDelete
  16. While I appreciate the psychoanalysis, I am always cognizant of the sign that Dr. Marsha Linehan (the foremost proponent of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) had in the day room of her clinic "Mental illness is no excuse for bad behavior".

    ReplyDelete
  17. "They fervently believe in democratic elections; and they equally fervently believe that such free and fair elections did not take place!"

    The problem here is that there will always be disputes in the democratic process. If you embrace democracy, then you live with the fact that these disputes themselves are resolved through democratic means even if you think the result is unjust. Al Gore did this in accepting a 5-4 SCOTUS decision that he didn't agree with where there were other reasonable alternatives that would have left him as President (e.g. a hand recount of all of FL). Because SCOTUS has that power in our democracy, he accepted the result. If you only accept the result of the full democratic process when you like the result, then you are not really embracing democracy.

    Also, if you say "I accept the results of elections if I win" as Trump has said, then you again are not really embracing democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "he is extremely easy to psychoanalyze"

    This is hilarious, including in its total lack of self-awareness of its armchair qualities. It is nearly impossible to psychoanalyze anyone, particularly if one is not a professional and even more so if one hasn't met someone personally. (Indeed, it is strictly against the ethical rules of the profession to psychoanalyze anyone one hasn't met, with exactly this as the reason. It began with Goldwater. Oh, and most psychologists and psychiatrists today will tell you psychoanalysis is bunk and pointless.)

    But if you want to play that game...well, it isn't too hard to psychoanalyze you, my good doctor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like someone once said: ''pshychoanalysis is a lot more related to faith than it is to science.'' I personnally already have a faith, I don't need another one, thanks.

      On the other hand, there's no denying Trump is an absolute self-centered clown.

      Delete
  19. I must say i admire the emuna peshuta of all those who still cling to the belief there was massive fraud in the 2020 election.

    You realize it's infinitely easier to prove a positive rather than a negative, right? Instead of demanding 64 courts and every election oversight official, both Republican and Democrat, "show their work", how about somebody "show the fraud"? Still waiting? you'd make good meshichists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Russia hacked the election" - Every democrat including Hillary after the 2016 result.

      "Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts."
      - Nancy Pelosi, May 2017.
      https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/864522009048494080

      I hope the people calling the 2020 election illegitimate and fraudulent continue to persist in doing so because Democrats deserve nothing less.

      Delete
    2. It probably was.
      I am fairly certain there was collusion (not entirely certain, no one is except those who would've been involved) Mueller said if he could have exonerated the president, he would have. Problem was he couldn't *indict* a sitting president.

      We still accepted the results of the election. We never stormed the capitol. The 2020 election was much more secure than 2016 by all credible accounts. You are an idiot, and you are fueling a fire that is going to come back to burn you.

      Delete
    3. @Student V, Yes, I agree. In addition, I hope they attack Biden's son, Hunter, who received $1.5 billion dollars illegally from China. Since they never gave Trump a break for four years.

      Delete
    4. @student v

      Everyone acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, hacking into servers, leaking e-mails, writing and promoting fake "news stories" through bot-nets on Twitter and Facebook. The organization that did so, and the names of many of its leaders, have been identified.

      There is broad bipartisan acknowledgement of this. Even Trumpists do not deny it.

      (The disagreement is over whether the Russian GRU did this alone, or in collaboration with the Trumpist leadership.)

      I don't know of anyone who alleges that the Russians actually hacked the ballot-casting or -counting process.

      Delete
    5. @Sleepy Joe Q (can I call you that?), Nope. Everyone admits that there is no evidence of Russian collusion. Dems spent millions of dollars and found nothing. Do you know who did hack our election? Democrats. Yes, the 2020 election was hacked and fraudulent.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, everyone knows there was zero evidence of collusion, just like everyone knows the election was stolen. Everyone except EVERY OVERSIGHT COMMISSION AND COURT IN THE COUNTRY. everyone knows it was really antifa who stormed the capitol too.
      you are not worth replying to anymore except to make fun of.

      Delete
    7. Besides, even if there were "collusion," it's not a crime.

      Delete
    8. @Turk Hill

      We went through this before. (And in that discussion, you also called me "Sleepy Joe Q" and post facto asked if you could call me that)

      You're confusing interference with collusion.

      Even Trumpists agree there was interference. The Russian GRU really wanted Trump to win, and worked to make that happen.

      The debate is about collusion (did the Trumpists work with the Russian GRU to make this happen, or did the Russian GRU do it on their own).

      There is zero evidence for hacking or fraud in 2020. Lots of evidence of hacking in 2016. Again -- even Trumpists agree.

      Delete
    9. @Joe Q, I disagree. Everyone agrees that there was no collusion, no hacking, and no interference. The Dems spent 40 million dollars and could not impeach him. No Trumpists agree that Russia hacked the election. Even Putin admitted that he did no such thing, and Trump agreed with him.

      Guess who did hack our election. Democrats. They hacked the 2020 election, and there is a lot of evidence for fraud. For example, Philadelphia backed-out windows to hide their mendacious actions. They also removed Republican poll watchers. Many Democrats received extra ballots. I received three extra ballots, one with a different name on it! Proof that the election was hacked.

      Delete
  20. In your previous post, you compared Trump's telling his supporters to stop after the tweets about reclaiming the country from the Democrats and RINOs prior to the storming of the Capitol to the chareidim calling their opponents Amalek. I'm curious why you don't reference Haj Amin el-Husseini's diatribes during the summer of 1929 followed by a one-off call that rioting would be an overreation, just before the Hebron Massacre.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lots of talk in this discussion about Dems, Trump, democracy, blackened windows, etc. Fact is: None of us know or have the complete evidence. DANGER factors in my estimation:
    1. Black screens on Internet across reasonable critical reviews by huge News institutioons like Fox, who is the only main stream News reporter who dare to criticize the dictatorial suppressing of non-violent voices presenting virtual facts that support 'the other side'.
    2. The fact that I have to search desperately to get moderated reviews from 'the other side' - and popular opinion as reflected mainly in this discussion here, are influenced by and reflect the 'approved' sector. I prefer to read both sides and make my own opinion. The current strategy is to censor all and promote just 'the approved' side. This is a replay of what happened in Germany in the 30's.
    3. I may have missed it, but I have never found sunstantial evidence that the Courts (incl. the Supreme Court) is prepred to consider the legally presented evidence of the Trump legal team - whoi dont look like fools to me. I have examined hours-long evidence by them which can only be discarded by a court hearing - pref. Supreme Court. This does not happen - you wonder why people get desperate - but even then do not burn down cities as we have seen in USA by parties that went mostly scott free.
    4. If this is the future that the Trump opposing voices offer us ... G-d help us!
    4. Someone should compile a list of the history shattering achievements that Trump has made in 4 years (Israel hear!). He should be awarded an International Award for that... but perhaps THAT is the reason why he is so disliked.
    5. If censorship is the modus operandi of the 'new Rule', it is sure to thus bounce evily even on those who now so blindly support them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. They just stool the election. There were most certainly huge massive amounts of fraud. There is a lot of evidence. I believe there was a lot of fraud. Trump won the night and then, all of the sudden he loses?
    Also, that guy with the buffalo head, the barbarian, he's a well-known antifa guy. Most of them were antifa but not all of them. The whole thing was a setup. Conservatives wouldn’t attack cops. Meanwhile, six months of riots. I don't think they were conservatives.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The conservatives who "stormed" the capitol weren't actually insurrectionists. They calmly, casually walking through the halls of the Capitol building like tourists. Nothing more. Certainly nothing like those blm rioters or antifa.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just as Hitler burned the Reichstag building and blamed it on the Jews and communists, so too, Dems infiltrate or organized antfia to storm the capitol building, then blame it on conservatives.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Turk hill is correct.
    The deep state banned Trump from Internet access most certainly they can rig these fake voting machines. I won’t apologize for the Jan 6 rioters until these deocRATic politicians apologize for the months of looting and burning of police stations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Jewish Dems for Trump, I agree. Thank you for your comments.

      Delete

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