Marking the occasion: what happened today, for those looking back (including me) from the future.
Joseph Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president and, despite threats from right-wing groups, and honest fears from security officials, there was no apparent protesting during the ceremonies, let alone armed insurrectionists storming the Capitol (again).
Trump withdrew ignominiously.
Perhaps we can stop thinking about him. Perhaps not about his supporters.
What most struck me today — aside from the moving, traditional inauguration ceremony, with its speakers and singers — were several articles about how supporters of QAnon are apparently astonished that its claims didn’t come true — that Trump didn’t triumphantly appear to arrest or kill Biden and rescue all the babies the Satanists were going to slaughter.
This phenomenon is a variation of the sunk cost fallacy: People who believe baseless conspiracy theories often stay down the rabbit hole because they feel it’s embarrassing to admit that they’ve been misled. (This principle applies to religion in general, of course.)
Perhaps we can move on from wondering why so many people support Tr*mp. But first, a few links on the past we’ve survived.
Not a credit to Christianity, or religion in general. (Supporters will commit the No True Scotsman fallacy.) Curt Landry, Kat Kerr, Mark Taylor, Hank Kunneman.
Let us not forget: The Complete List of Trump’s Twitter Insults (2015-2021)
And there are people who *admire* this man.
The Atlantic: The Worst President in History, subtitled “Three particular failures secure Trump’s status as the worst chief executive ever to hold the office.”
The three are:
First, he failed to put the national-security interests of the United States ahead of his own political needs. Second, in the face of a devastating pandemic, he was grossly derelict, unable or unwilling to marshal the requisite resources to save lives while actively encouraging public behavior that spread the disease. And third, held to account by voters for his failures, he refused to concede defeat and instead instigated an insurrection, stirring a mob that stormed the Capitol.
Salon: Donald Trump’s most enduring legacy: The right-wing has a dangerously overblown sense of entitlement, subtitled “Republicans were bad before, but with Trump, they’re more empowered to cheat, lie and deny reality to get their way.”
This last part hinges on the role psychology — not just T***p’s authoritarian policies — plays in his support. More links about that next time.
Slate: Trump’s “1776 Report” Would Be Funny if It Weren’t So Dangerous, subtitled “The right’s fervid belief in American historical innocence won’t disappear with the new administration.”
The notion of American exceptionalism, which may be true in limited ways, is parallel to the way people think God is on their side, because it’s about *them*.
NYT, Paul Krugman: Who’s Radical Now? The Case of Minimum Wages, subtitled “Evidence has a well-known liberal bias.”
T**** has been misguidedly focused on the performance of the stock market (which affects only the wealthy) to assess the healthy of the economy… but even there:
People like Paul Krugman and David Brin repeatedly point to the evidence of history: that the economy does better under Democrats than under Republicans. And ***** tripled the national debut. But! — you can’t expect people to change their minds from evidence. That’s one significant thing I’ve learned (changed my mind about) in life. Political beliefs derive from herd mentality.