We have to elect Joe, if only for these 545 children

Back during the 2018 campaign, I used to say I’d be voting for, and working for, James and Mandy if only for one thing: their promise to expand Medicaid. There were so many other reasons, but that alone would have been enough.

In this election, I can say something similar. Discount everything else… withholding military aid appropriated by Congress to pressure an ally into serving his personal political advantage; talking about “very fine people on both sides;” forcing protesters out of the park so he could stage an amazingly stupid and pointless photo op; firing people who did their duty by testifying truthfully against him; “shithole countries;” getting his crooked friends off the hook with the law; stiff-arming allies and having “love” affairs with tyrants; 220,000 dead from the pandemic… obviously, I could list hundreds of utterly horrific, wildly abnormal things he has done to degrade this country and damage its ideals and interests.

But we would have to do everything we could to get him out of office, and replace him with Joe Biden, if all there was was this:

Advocates for immigrants say they still have not found the parents of 545 minors who were separated from their families starting three years ago during President Trump’s immigration crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 545 children are among more than 1,500 who were separated from their parents as far back as July 1, 2017, and they include cases that were part of a pilot immigration program at the time and were not immediately disclosed to the U.S. District Judge who ordered the families reunited in June 2018, said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Lee Gelernt….


17 thoughts on “We have to elect Joe, if only for these 545 children

  1. bud

    That issue alone should have ended Trump’s political career. We stooped to the level of thuggish regimes like Russia. Disgusting.

    By the way I invoked your blog on Keven Cohens radio show. They keep claiming the Democrats are less civil than Republicans. They cited yard sign vandalism as one example.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      It remains hard for me to imagine that supporters of Joe Biden are vandalizing Trump signs. I accept that it’s happening, because I’ve heard about it from reliable sources.

      It’s just that from where I sit, it seems extremely unlikely. Because that ain’t what’s happening in my neighborhood. And what’s happening here is pretty much what I would EXPECT to happen…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        My neighborhood has a mix of signs for all parties and political candidates. Doesn’t appear that anyone has messed with anyone’s signs, though.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, but how would you know?

          When mine have been defiled or stolen, I just replace them. The only reason people know what has happened is I keep telling them. Most people — normal people — don’t do that.

          The one Trump sign I can think of in my neighborhood (I seem to recall there’s a second one, but I can’t picture it now — I guess I don’t pass that way often) seems fine, day after day. But I don’t know: Maybe they’ve replaced it over and over…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Meanwhile, new signs for Joe and Jaime keep popping up. Here are some new ones I saw yesterday. They’re well placed — excellent defensive position. Who’s going to climb up through all that ground-cover junk to get to them? I have some of that same stuff on my property, and I have good reason to think copperheads live in it. But it’s nowhere near any good spots for placing signs…

            new signs

          2. Bryan Caskey

            You’re correct, Brad. I don’t know with universal, omnipotent certainty. Just making an observation.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Oh, I’m not arguing with you. It’s just something I think about, as someone who thinks WAY too much about yard signs. I wonder whether other people are having trouble, but I have no way of knowing. Unless I knock on all their doors and interrogate them, which I don’t have time to do…

              1. Randle

                People on a neighborhood website I read have been complaining for weeks about people stealing their signs. These are in-town hoods, and the signs are for Democrats. They say people drive by in trucks and grab their signs, as well as the usual walk-by thefts. A friend who lives in the only Republican district in Maryland said she finally made stencils for Biden supporters to use so they could repaint their signs after people spray paint them. The Democratic Party couldn’t keep replacing them. Persistence is key.

  2. Ken

    That’s not enough.
    I’ve written my representative and both senators to ask them what they are doing to reunite these families.
    Have you?
    It may not produce any concrete result, but at least they are aware that people “back home” are concerned.

  3. Norm Ivey

    Non- scientific observation. I just drove back roads for an hour. Biden signs outnumber Trump signs 10-1 or more. Of course, many Trump voters may not be advertising. And almost every Biden sign had a Harrison sign as well.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yep, that’s sort of what I see, too, but aside from my precinct — which has been Republican, although I would say fairly moderate Republican, as long as we’ve lived here — I’ve mostly only been in Democratic-leaning areas. Shandon and the like.

      A friend who lives in Pelion says all he sees is Trump.

      One thing that worries me is the thing you say about “many Trump voters may not be advertising.” That was definitely the case in 2016. There was ONE Trump sign in my neighborhood. And I think pollsters were undercounting the Trump vote that year because respondents didn’t want to admit they were voting for Trump, even though they were.

      Now, though the dynamics are different for several reasons, and I’m not at all sure how it adds up:

      • In 2016 people voted for Trump for a couple of reasons. One was the usual, simple reason of people who were going to vote for the Republican no matter what — even if it was Trump. But what put him over the top was all those people who would NEVER have wanted Trump to win, and assumed he was NOT going to win, and just wanted to do a protest vote because they don’t like Hillary. Or, to be more clear, because they HATE Hillary.
      • That last point isn’t a problem this year, because generally speaking, people like Joe. But… Republicans who were embarrassed that Trump was their nominee in 2016, and only voted for him because they assumed he’d lose, have now gotten used to thinking of him as THEIR guy, and defending him. And they’ve convinced themselves that all the criticism of him is from partisan Democrats, so they’ve gotten defensive. I’ve seen it. Of course, this is the most dramatic example we’ve ever seen of people letting themselves being blinded into supporting their guy for partisan reasons. Lord knows, Democrats do it too — look at the excuses they made for Bill Clinton. But that was nothing compared to this. Clinton at least had a clue how to do the job, and was able to ACT like a president when he wasn’t chasing the female help. To get behind Trump because he’s “our guy” requires ignoring MOUNTAINS of incompetence and sliminess. It just never stops; he never acts like someone who is fit for the job for a moment. And they sweep it away.
      • All of that said, it’s impossible to get into those people’s heads and see what they’re going to do. It’s even hard to read his most fervent base — but then they were always impervious to any sort of rational analysis. But just look at how the stupid stuff they believed in has turned out to be empty. They believed he was a brilliant businessman, but his one talent seems to be driving businesses into the ground. He’s all about being a “winner,” but his campaign’s going around with a begging bowl. He brazens his way through the pandemic, and ends up in the hospital — while 220,000 Americans die. He was going to clean up the swamp, but that swamp has never had a more sleazy denizen than him and the buddies he protects (until their usefulness to him fades). Yeah, he says all this hard information is “fake news,” but seriously, how stupid can they be in the face of such facts?

      Anyway, that’s enough.

      Aside from the fact that it’s a HUGE mistake to read too much into yard signs — if they were a reliable indicator, I assure you James Smith would be governor now — there are just too many variables in other areas as well.

      Yes, the polls are encouraging, and the pollsters have learned a lot from 2016. But they are still WAY too close for my comfort. We still have in front of us the extremely amazing, disturbing fact that millions of Americans actually want to VOTE for this idiot.

      Support for Trump has always defied logic, and it still does. So no matter how many encouraging signs I see, I still worry. A lot…

      1. Barry

        I received a Trump letter over the weekend from his campaign. I opened it and wrote “I already voted for Joe” and mailed it back to them in the paid envelope they provided.

        I really enjoyed that.

      2. Norm Ivey

        I believe many of the same voters who put Trump in office also put Obama in office. They were voting for something different, and in both cases they got it. I also believe that at least some of those voters have buyer’s remorse, and they’ll vote for boring rather than different.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh, I think you’re right.

          But of course, what you just offered was a powerful argument against letting people vote for president. Voting for “something different,” no matter what that meant?????

  4. Ken

    To summarize the thrust of the comments above:
    Claiming the moral high ground for the country takes a backseat to color commentary on front-yard games of “capture the flag.”

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