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5 on 45: Four Voters (And One Non-Voter) On Trump’s First 100 Days

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After 100 Days, would these Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Sanders Write-In and Non-Voters Change Anything?

It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

For many across the country, even if Trump had their vote, that isn’t something they believed they’d ever read. (And, full disclosure, not something this writer believed he’d ever write.)

But whether you’re a believer in Donald Trump or a detractor of his, certain (not alternative) facts remain. On his 100th day in office, he is as loathed as he is loved, as cheered as he is jeered, and we are a nation divided on just how to Make America Great Again: by his remaining in office, or by his departing it.

To mark Trump’s 100th day, NCRM spoke with five willing individuals about the current president. Each participant’s name has been changed and they self-identified as follows:

A straight, white female and Republican who voted for Donald Trump.

A straight, black female and Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton.

A gay, white male and Independent who voted first for Bernie Sanders and then for Gary Johnson.

A bisexual, white male and Democrat who voted first for Bernie Sanders and ultimately wrote him in.

And finally, a straight, white male and Republican who didn’t vote—intentionally.

Below, edited for clarity and brevity, 5 on 45:

The Trump Voter

Amy Johnson of Florida, 39, previously voted for Bush, McCain and Romney. She’s always been opinionated and vocal about politics.

She considers herself open-minded, having no issue with same-sex marriage and having begun “to change [her] views on abortions since having a child,” which she describes as a personal choice. (“I don’t want to pay for them for other people, though,” Johnson said.)

Between mental health and drug abuse, she believes the country has a major crisis on its hands, and feels that white Christians are the “punchline for most jokes.” (“People don’t want to offend gay people, Muslims, illegal immigrants, etcetera, but have no problem offending us,” she said.)

“We are on this earth for a short amount of time,” she said. “Enjoy life and stop letting the current president ruin your life. Lighten up and just be nice!”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

AJ: My primary vote was for Trump. Truthfully, I wasn’t always sold on him when he first announced his run, but as time went on, I became more impressed with his ideals, goals, objectives and accomplishments. He made the other candidates “man up” and take a tougher stance on their views, which was refreshing!

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

AJ: Yes, I was very satisfied. He got the official nod.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

AJ: I was energized when Trump was announced and not surprised Hillary was announced. Truthfully, I had no opinions on the others.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

AJ: Yes. I voted in person, after work.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

AJ: DJT!!!  I wanted him to win.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

AJ: Honestly, total shock. I went to bed thinking Hilary was going to win and I randomly woke up at 3 A.M. when Trump was declared the winner, and I could not even believe it. It was awesome!!

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Trump after the results?

AJ: Yes, I am still satisfied with my vote because he won and it proved my vote counted. I felt the country could really make some serious forward progress.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

AJ: Yes, I am still satisfied with my vote. Being the president doesn’t mean having everyone like you. He isn’t rattled by that. The expression being lonely at the top certainly rings true. He has an extremely unorthodox method of getting things accomplished, but he does what he says and will continue to follow through. I’m not ignorant to think things are going perfectly, but I fully support him.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

AJ: I appreciate his follow through and tough stance on terrorism. He will continue to work on stimulating the economy and keeping the citizens of the US safe. Cutting back on the bleed of money. Stop funding to sanctuary cities. Hands down he did the right thing with dropping the bombs in Syria and Afghanistan. Trying to change Obamacare. Unsuccessfully at the moment, but it’s in progress…

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

AJ: His tweets.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

AJ: I would vote the same way.  I’m pleased with him and his presidency so far.

The Clinton Voter

Cecelia Knight of Florida, 32, tends to vote Democrat and “tow the party line,” having previously voted for Barack Obama (twice) and before that, John Kerry.

She currently believes the country is the “laughingstock of the world” following the election of Donald Trump and that the country finds itself in a tailspin. “But we need to come together to find a way to survive the next four years,” she said, fully believing any hardship can be overcome.

“Let this election be a lesson to us all that we all need to support one another and provide one another with love, respect, kindness and unconditional acceptance,” Knight said. “Unless you are a racist or you have hate in your heart for any group.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

CK: Yes, I happily voted in the 2016 primary. I voted for Hillary Clinton. I tend to vote democrat and tow the party line when voting.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

CK: I was satisfied with my vote as I felt I chose the person who was most qualified. I was not satisfied with the votes of others, however.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

CK: I was in disbelief regarding the Republican candidate, however I expected it. I feel that a lot of Republicans and those that support them wanted someone they felt would serve them best.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

CK: I voted early, as I always do, in person at my local court house in downtown Clearwater.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

CK: I voted for Hillary. She was most qualified candidate, and her stance on countless, important issues mirrored the world I want to see.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

CK: I was absolutely horrified. I felt that the country voted against its best interests and chose an ill-equipped person with no history of political involvement to be the leader of the “free world.” That, over a person with a lifetime of experience and impressive credentials. I didn’t watch the results live because it gave me too much anxiety. I turned the television off and blocked out all social media until the final results were in, and when I saw Trump had won I had almost an existential crisis. I cycled through a few of the five stages of grief for a good month: lingering somewhere between anger, disbelief and depression. I never thought it would impact me in the way it did. I didn’t think he could actually win.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Clinton after the results?

CK: I stood by my vote then, and I still stand behind my vote 100%.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

CK: Regardless of what happens, I’m satisfied with my vote and my conscience is clean. I just remain disappointed with the racism, xenophobia, homophobia, gynophobia and every other phobia that this president and his administration seem to do nothing but cultivate.

NCRM: Currently, what do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

CK: The only positive I see is that people can actually now see what happens when they do not engage in their civic duty and stand idly by thinking things won’t happen a certain way. In addition, they can see just how everyone’s vote matters.

NCRM: Currently, what do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

CK: Everything. A “businessman” shouldn’t be president. The country isn’t a business. Megalomania and narcissism are not qualities a person responsible for strengthening diplomatic relationships or safeguarding confidential information and nuclear codes should have.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote (or abstain from voting) in the same way? Why/why not? What do you think could change your mind?

CK: F**k yeah! (Can you use f**k? I want you to use all of this!) I believe it’s both my duty and responsibility to vote in every election. Not even 50 years ago, there were women that looked like me—black women—that would be killed or beaten just for this simple, inalienable right that so many take for granted. I will vote until the day I die, because I owe it to those who gave their lives and I owe it to myself to be active in the political process.

The Sanders-Turned-Johnson Voter

Kyle McKenna, 36, voted Democrat from 2000 to 2012. In 2016, however, he went Libertarian after Bernie Sanders didn’t clinch the Democratic nomination.

He likened Sanders to Barack Obama, another candidate that wasn’t another “pre-selected candidate cut from the same mold,” and one who might change just how Washington was run. “I know he’s a Democratic Socialist,” McKenna said, “but I felt if he would’ve made it, he would’ve compromised.” Sanders further excited him because, like McKenna himself, he was actually an Independent.

McKenna doesn’t vote party, he said, “I vote candidate.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

KM: Yes I did.  I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary.  I voted Bernie not because I saw eye to eye with him on many policy aspects.  I, for one, do not align myself with Democratic Socialism.  I voted for him because in my adult life I have voted in every election from 2000 on.  There was an energy in Bernie I hadn’t seen in a candidate since Obama.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

KM: No.  I’m not a fan of how the Democrats award their delegates—and the idea that they have Super Delegates at all doesn’t sit well with me.  

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

KM: I was shocked about Trump.  I couldn’t believe the United States of America nominated that guy to be president. I mean, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton… Trump? I kept expecting it to be a joke.  With Clinton, I felt the Democrats got lazy. It came as no surprise because she has been the heir apparent, and is technically the most qualified person to ever run for President of the United States. But the only people she excited was the Democratic Base. And rule of thumb is, to win a general election, you have to win over Independents and the undecideds.  She wasn’t able to do that.

Gary Johnson? Hang on a second.  (That was literally my reaction when I read about him being the Libertarian Nominee.) He’s not a true Libertarian, he’s a Republican. Most true Libertarians didn’t like him being their nominee. And honestly, I didn’t give Jill Stein much thought. She’s far too extreme for me so I gave it as much thought as I just typed.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

KM: Yes. In person at my Fort Worth polling place on Election Day. (I just like the old fashioned way of going to my polling place on the day of.).

NCRM: Who received your vote?

KM: Gary Johnson, because as a third party candidate, he wouldn’t have been beholden to the Partisan Politics that have infected Washington. In order for him to get things done, he would be forced to compromise and it would force the Republicans and Democrats to compromise as well. I think we need a president that is neither Republican nor Democrat, but I didn’t vote for him purely for that reason. I love his advocacy of free speech, his opposition to the Patriot Act, censorship of the internet, militarization of the police and the indefinite detention of prisoners. Johnson was focused on Millennials.

Clinton pandered to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers (I am closer to that one, but still), whereas Johnson offered the only plan with a credible chance of leaving a safety net for millennials and their children. In fact, when he ran in 2012, the ACLU actually gave him the highest score of any presidential candidate., and he preached that the government should stay out of our bedrooms and wallets. While his plan to abolish the IRS was out there, it was well thought out.  His idea to replace most of the tax code with a single consumption tax was pretty creative.  It would eliminate loopholes for the 1% and businesses. He was adamant about a balanced budget, which he had promised to submit within his first 100 days. And it wasn’t just talk: he’d proven in New Mexico as governor that he knew how to handle tax payers’ money.  I knew he wouldn’t win, and many people told me that I was wasting my vote. But I disagreed. It’s my vote, only I can determine if it had value. I wasn’t voting thinking my candidate would win, and I knew it was going to be Clinton or Trump, but someone has to vote for someone who can actually do the job that isn’t one of the “big two.”

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

KM: Pardon my French, but literally, “What the f***?”  What happened to America?  Am I secretly in an interactive movie?  We just elected a con man, a misogynistic, sexual predator, reality TV star who rode the wave of hate to the top?  What the hell are we going to tell our children when they ask why the bully won?

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote for Johnson after the results?

KM: I was. Gary Johnson received 3.3% of the vote.  While it was not the 5% goal, it was more than anticipated. Hopefully it will make a difference going forward.  .

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

KM: Yes, I still am. I’ve had people tell me I’m part of the reason Trump won because I didn’t vote for Hillary. Well, I live in Texas.  Hillary was NOT winning Texas. Not a chance. And my vote did more for Gary Johnson than it ever would’ve done for Hillary.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

KM: I think it’s opening the eyes of the American people about what can happen when we don’t take the election seriously.  

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

KM: Where do I begin?  The man has no clue what he’s doing. There’s one screw up after another. He has proven he lied and conned his way into the White House. Put down the damn Twitter!!! You’re the President for crying out loud!!!!! Gutting the EPA and the Parks Department is deplorable. I don’t care how many jobs you may create, those jobs aren’t going to do an ounce of good if our planet is inhabitable!

Stop pissing off our allies please. They are our allies. We really do need them. I also think he’s the biggest hypocrite to sit in that office in my lifetime. He has a Republican dominated House and Senate who have been foaming at the mouth for seven years to get rid of and replace the ACA and they still can’t get it done because they actually haven’t thought up a good plan in seven years!  His budget proposal is a joke. He has this need to attack anyone who criticizes him. He’s not strong enough or mature enough to focus on what matters. His image is the most important thing. All the obnoxious boys we hated growing up: the bullies, the brats that never seemed to deal with consequences from their well-to-do parents? Yeah, we just elected him president, FYI.  

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

KM: Thing with me is, I never decide this far in advance.  I don’t know which party I will vote with in 2020.  We’ll see who shows up to run this country.

The Sanders Write-In Voter

In the back of his mind, Ellis Roberts now feels that “a ‘Donald Trump’ had to happen to the United States at some point.” He’d previously voted for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and initially supported Bernie Sanders last year, leading the 29 year-old Democrat to ultimately write-in the Vermont Senator’s name for president.

“Instead of being negative I am going to celebrate that I get to have a role in shaping history,” he said. “I am going to be prouder, louder and more involved.”

Roberts sees the “regressive left” as becoming an issue, and feels that “overreaction and the dismissal of any values that are not seen favorable is becoming too common.” Citing a need for the left to pick their battles, he cautions others to accept that there are those in the world that may not like you. (“And that’s okay,” he said.)

“Fight for what you believe in, but simply understand others are doing the same,” Roberts said. “At the end of the day, we’re all just human and we’re on this planet together for a very, very short time.”

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential primary? If so, for whom?

ER: I voted for Bernie Sanders. The crowded, Republican stage was pretty terrifying, and I felt hyper aware of how behind we were on progressive issues compared to other countries. There are laws on the books regarding wages and regulations that date back to the 70s. Inflation has not kept up with wages.

I felt like Bernie had a message that connected with people, that he made people proud to be political and excited about the process. He had a progressive agenda that was loud and unapologetic, and he wasn’t afraid to call out the staged, political bulls*** and talk about our outdated policies and real feelings.

Most importantly, I followed poll numbers and did a lot of what I like to call “listening to the ground.” Hillary was unpopular in the polls from the very beginning, and that was an understatement. She was unpopular with half of her own party, and Republicans were trained for years to loathe her. Right or wrong, it was what it was. I spoke to my Republican family members and friends who had no negative feelings about Bernie, and they just disagreed on policies. When in it came to Hillary, they’d implode just by hearing her name. Counting bumper stickers seems silly, but it’s one way people tell the world who they are excited to vote for. It was not Hillary.

I concluded that the opportunity for real change was going to come from Bernie, not just for his policies, but because I felt sadly confident she would lose to a Republican candidate. This was a popularity contest.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your vote after the primary results?

ER: Yes and no. I was satisfied in that I felt I made the right decision, but I felt that I was cheated and rightfully so. We now know that the DNC cheated. Hillary was handed questions early, Bernie was worked against by what was supposed to be a neutral party. The worst part of it all, though, was that it was unfortunately doing nothing but damaging Hillary even more, especially within her own party.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

ER: I thought Donald was going to be the death of the Republican Party. It actually made me more excited for Hillary. Donald continued to be outlandish, so I thought there was a chance she could win. After the first debate I thought the whole thing was over. (How wrong I was.) I was excited for Jill and Gary: they both had soaring popularity compared to many other third party candidates, and I liked that they were getting attention. I strongly believe that we need more national support for other political parties.

NCRM: Did you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

ER: Yes, I voted by mail-in ballot.

NCRM: Who received your vote?

ER:  I knew I wasn’t going to immediately just vote for Hillary, especially after an interview she did with Rachel Maddow that has permanently stuck in my head. Maddow asked her how she was going to “bridge the gap” between her supporters and Bernie’s, and her extremely hubris response about how she was winning so essentially there was no need to reach out made me feel like she truly didn’t care enough about me to have my vote. That she was truly okay with that. So, I was okay with not voting for her.

That being said, I was pretty floored that Donald Trump had gotten as far as he did. I decided I was going to cast a protest vote if I lived in a safe area. I did some research for my area and found that where I lived consistently voted Democrat. Jill was my first protest vote choice due to my strong support for anything third party, but then her running mate (whose name I can’t even remember) said some ridiculous things, so that was that.

I threw my hands up and decided I wanted my heart to feel happy, and since my area was going Democratic anyway: Bernard Sanders as a write-in for president it was! I actually got teary eyed when I wrote his name down.

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

ER:  I literally almost fainted. I thought for sure Hillary had it in the bag: if not for being a normal candidate then because the establishment would cheat to make sure she was voted in. I thought there was no way she would not win. Democracy won… for better or worse.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with writing Sanders in after the results?

ER:  I was satisfied with my vote, but not by my actions. I felt that maybe I was too nice about Hillary in the primary. I kept thinking that maybe if I campaigned harder for Bernie we wouldn’t be in this situation.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your vote now?

ER:   I am. The horror that is Donald Trump being president is not my fault, it’s the opposing candidate’s. Votes shouldn’t just be given under any circumstance: votes are earned by the candidate. If they don’t earn them, that’s ultimately their fault.

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

ER:  I’m actually far more optimistic than people realize. Not for Donald, but because from the darkness comes light. People are woke as f*** when it comes to politics now, moreso than at any other point in my life. (And at every level.) They are tuned in and focused on issues. The spotlight is on every aspect of politics in a way that it is absolutely historic. Donald won, sure…. but progressive policies are more popular than they’ve ever been, and people are paying more attention than ever. Trump was the b****-slap in the face that America may have needed to wake up.

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

ER:  Prestige, class and respect that used to come with the highest office in the land has all but eroded. America look like a joke to the rest of the world, which weakens our position on everything. Image is very important.  And the environmental rules and regulations that are being overturned and relaxed may have permanent damage. A lot of policies and regulations can be changed and updated, but you cannot simply replace the world we live in.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you vote in the same way?

ER: Hillary could change my mind easily. She could have changed my mind easily. She would need to lose her sense of entitlement. The fact that she has yet to take honest blame has left me disheartened. Apologize, admit your wrongs and proudly take visible action to show you mean it. That’s the key to win over anyone that you have wronged, in life and in politics.

The (Intentional) Non-Voter

Bruce Conroy’s overall stance on politics is to stay educated and “stay out of it for the most part.” The 33-year-old Republican, who voted for George W. Bush, John McCain and Barack Obama, does understand why the current political climate is so important to so many, however.

“I’m a straight, white male with a graduate degree in Business,” Conroy said. “I’ve never had to struggle for equal pay, marriage equality, healthcare or to find a decent job. I’ve never really been impacted by particular politics.”

He considers himself a “RINO,” or Republican in Name Only, and while he agrees with basic concepts of the Republican party, he feels it’s drastically drifted from its message in the last decade.

“I’m extremely liberal on social issues,” he said. “A woman should have the right to choose, a person should be able to marry whomever they love, and although I think modifications need to be made, everyone is entitled to quality healthcare.”

NCRM: Why didn’t you vote in the 2016 presidential primary?

BC: There wasn’t a single remaining candidate on the ticket that I wished to endorse as a presidential nominee. Had either Jeb Bush or Rand Paul been anywhere near the top of the pack, I would’ve voted for one of them.

NCRM: Were you satisfied with your lack of vote after the primary results?

BC: Yes. I have a strong opinion that even though I may be registered with a specific party, I shouldn’t be forced to endorse a candidate that I feel is nowhere near capable of being a successful president. That was the case last year.

NCRM: What were your reactions when Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were named candidates for POTUS?

BC: I would like to say I was shocked that Trump gained the nomination, but I was more confused as to how a large portion of this country’s population felt (and still feel) that he is what this country needed in order to “shake things up.” I wasn’t surprised at all to see Hillary as the Democratic nominee. As for Johnson and Stein, to be perfectly honest, I find both of their nominations completely irrelevant.

NCRM: Why didn’t you vote in the 2016 presidential election?

BC: Just like with the primary, I did not have a candidate that I supported and would endorse as president. The “lesser of two evils” scenario doesn’t sway my vote one way or another, which is truly what I feel this election was. If anything, I would’ve voted for Gary Johnson, but if we are being completely honest, why would I take the time out of my day to basically throw a vote away?

NCRM: What was your reaction when Donald Trump was declared the victor?

BC: I had already anticipated that he would win the election, so I wasn’t that surprised. One way or another at the end of Election Day, half of the country will be happy and half will be sad.

NCRM: It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became POTUS. Are you satisfied with your lack of vote now?

BC: I’m satisfied because he wasn’t a candidate I would’ve been able to endorse. At the same time, however, I feel I do not have the right to complain because I did not exercise my right to vote.  

NCRM: What do you consider to be positives about the Donald Trump presidency?

BC: Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

NCRM: What do you consider to be negatives about the Donald Trump presidency?

BC: The fact that he continuously taunts and threatens our enemies, and obviously the fact that I consider him very emotionally unstable with thin skin, which isn’t a strong characteristic for a president. He has the nuclear codes… enough said.

NCRM: As of now, do you plan to vote in the 2020 election?

BC: I may… it will certainly be interesting as I don’t necessarily think Trump will run mostly unopposed or without a reasonable threat, like most incumbent presidents typically do. If it is feasible, I will consider voting in the 2020 primary.

NCRM: If the 2020 presidential election featured the same four candidates, would you still abstain from voting?

BC: I would. What would truly change my mind is if the candidates got to switch parties. If Gary Johnson was running as the Democratic nominee and had a chance to participate in all the debates while obtaining the funding and endorsements that Hillary received, maybe it would shake things up a bit. And I know if there are any Johnson (or Stein) supporters reading this they probably think that if more people who thought like that had voted for him, things would be different. But no. They wouldn’t be different; he still wouldn’t have a chance in hell.

It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.

 

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'DANGEROUS FOOLS'

QAnon Sends Death Threats to Gay Senator for Trying to Make Sex Laws Less LGBTQ-phobic

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image via Wikimedia Commons, Scott Weiner

Democratic California State Senator Scott Wiener has received death threats from far-right supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory after he introduced legislation to reform the state’s sex offender registry to be less queerphobic.

Right now, California law allows judges to refuse to list the full names of certain offenders from the sex offender registry if the judge finds a valid reason to do so—let’s say, for example, if an 18-year-old has sex with a 16-year-old. The rule only applies for offenders who have sex with minor ages 15 to 17 and it only applies to penis-in-vagina sex.

As such, in any cases involving digital penetration, anal or oral sex—sexual methods often used by LGBTQ people—the judge has no choice but to list the offender’s full name without exception.

Wiener wanted to change the law to include all types of sex, and that’s when the death threats started pouring in.

“You’re dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. I’ll publicly execute you. I’m gonna embarrass you. Pedophile,” one Instagram user wrote.

Another wrote, “I’ll come cut your head off and deliver it to your mom if you even considering introducing your ‘bill.’ Got it?”

Others messages were anti-Semitic or accused Weiner of being a child rapist. Because it’s against the law for elected officials to block users on social media, all of his social media channels have to remain open to such threats.

The QAnon conspiracy theory believes that the Trump administration will expose a top-secret international child sex trafficking network run by “deep state” senior Democrats who are determined to stop Trump at all costs. Its theories infamously led an armed gunman in 2017 to enter a gay-owned Washington D.C. pizza parlor, Comet Ping Pong, to investigate “Pizzagate,” the claim that the pizzeria had child sex slaves locked in its nonexistent basement.

QAnon conspiracy theorists have become more active during the COVID-19 lockdown and the runup to the November 3 presidential elections as many U.S. residents find themselves at home without jobs.

“Whether its QAnon or Russian troll farms, these are factories of false info designed to undermine democracy and public discourse, and also to send a message to elected officials that if you pursue unpopular progressive change to help marginalized groups like queer kids, ‘We’re going to target you,'” Weiner told Mother Jones.

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'DEEPLY EMBARRASSING'

“I’m Not a Racist” Says Republican Politician Who Repeatedly Uses N-word to Discuss Black Lives Matter

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Tom Eckerle

Tom Eckerle—a Republican road commissioner for Leelanau County, Michigan—is reportedly resigning after political pressure for repeatedly using the n-word, an anti-Black racist slur, to describe racial justice protestors.

Before a meeting of the road commission started last Tuesday, Eckerle was asked by a commission member why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He responded, “Well this whole thing is because of them (n-words) down in Detroit.”

When Bob Joyce, the commission’s chair, told Eckerle he couldn’t say that, Eckerle said, “I can say anything I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us.”

Let’s be clear: the social aims listed on the Black Live Matters (BLM) website do not mention white people. According to its website, the BLM movement seeks to unite Black communities worldwide to oppose state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism while also create creating healing, empathetic communities free from prejudice.

When asked about his comments during a Thursday interview with Interlochen Public Radio, Eckerle said didn’t realize the public found out about his comments and said, “No, I don’t regret calling it an (n-word). A( n-word) is a (n-word) is a (n-word). That’s not a person whatsoever.”

Eckerle also told the Associated Press, “I’m not a racist. Black Lives Matter is racist. If I believed in Black Lives Matter, I would be racist. … Black Lives Matter has no heart. And that is as offensive to me as the N-word,” before saying the actual n-word again, just to make his point.

“If I could get a few people that, when they see a Black Lives Matter sign up, to think the N-word, I have accomplished what I’m after,” he added.

Eckerle was elected to his eight-year position in 2018. Of Leelanauhas County’s 21,700 residents about 90 percent are white. Black people are less than 1 percent of its population.

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'ANGRY AND APPALLED'

Trump’s Postmaster General Destabilizes Postal Service Just 87 Days Before Presidential Elections

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In a memo released yesterday, President Donald Trump ally Louis DeJoy — who was hired by Trump’s handpicked Postal Service Board of Governors — reshuffled two top executives and 21 to 31 other executives and staffers who represent “decades of institutional postal knowledge” out of leadership roles or into new positions in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

This move, along with other recent “cost-saving” measures which have slowed down mail delivery and threatened to worsen the service, comes as an unprecedented wave of mail-in ballots are expected in the November presidential elections as voters avoid in-person polling stations to reduce possible COVID-19 exposure.

The USPS was already in financial trouble because of a 2006 law requiring it to pre-fund 75 years worth of retirement benefits — a $110 billion cost. Also, like many U.S. businesses, the epidemic significantly harmed the USPS. Many workers fell ill or began quarantining, causing USPS leaders to spend millions on personal protective equipment, plexiglass and social distancing equipment for offices while its reduced workforce began working overtime at increased pay to help continue services.

New measures instated by DeJoy ban employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail while reducing hours at different branches nationwide. The Friday memo also said the service would implement a hiring freeze, ask for voluntary retirements, and reduce its operating units and service regions.

These moves are allegedly meant to help the USPS stay financially solvent as it’s expected to run out of money anytime between March and October 2021, despite the recent approval of a $10 billion Treasury loan approved in the upcoming coronavirus relief package.

The moves are also eyebrow-raising seeing as DeJoy and his wife have between $30.1 million and $75.3 million in assets in USPS competitors and contracts who might directly benefit from the USPS’s failure.

People suspect Trump of deliberately sabotaging the USPS as a way to try and sway the upcoming November elections in his favor. Trump, who has repeatedly and falsely claimed that mail-in voting increases voting fraud, wants to deny the service billions in federal aid unless USPS quadruples its prices, something that would compel people to use USPS competitors.

The Trump campaign has sued state and local governments nationwide over mail-in ballot rules, and according to Vox.com:

Different states have different laws about how mail-in ballots work. Currently, 34 states — including swing states like Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — require ballots to be received by election authorities by Election Day, so any delay in the mail could lead to untold numbers of votes going uncounted.

“We’ve been doing mail ballots as postal workers for generations,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. “It’s been increasing in popularity. In the last election, 31 million people voted by mail. There’s virtually no fraud.”

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