There’s a system for defusing bad behavior.

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YES Market Media

We’ve been handling him all wrong.

For years we’ve called Donald Trump a toddler, but we haven’t treated him like one. We’ve been doing the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to when a toddler throws a tantrum.

We’ve made things worse, not better.

This realization occurred to me while reading through parenting guides for ideas on how to deal with my own child.

There’s a lot to learn here, and it’s better late than never. The worst of Trump’s tantrums are yet to come, especially the closer we get to Joe Biden’s inauguration in January. The big orange baby’s not leaving the public spotlight anytime soon. Neither are his supporters. …

Treat him like he’s boring.

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Donald Trump in Charlotte, 2020

We still haven’t learned much when it comes to Donald Trump. We keep making all the same mistakes. He’s not going away unless we do the unthinkable: Treat him like he doesn’t matter.

That would be hard, because the truth is nobody really wants Trump to go away — not even liberals. Americans are deeply angry right now. Half of us need someone to hate. The other half needs a hero who can hate on their behalf. Trump does both.

Donald Trump knows how indispensable he is. He’s a political novelty. So he intends to keep fuming over the election results. He’ll remain a looming presence in our lives. He’ll spend the next four years threatening a 2024 presidential run, even if he doesn’t actually plan on it. He might or might not get someone to ghostwrite a comeback book for him. …

The 45th president should fend for himself.

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Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

If anyone has earned life in prison, it’s Donald Trump.

Joe Biden would be better off pardoning a thousand turkeys. Nonetheless, this idea has been floating around the Internet lately, especially after a controversial op-ed piece by Michael Conway over at NBC.

It’s a bad idea, for several reasons.

Ultimately, there’s no point in offering Trump a pardon. It would do nothing but blow up in Biden’s face.

Here’s why:

Trump is guilty of too much.

Right now Donald Trump is looking at multiple charges of fraud, sexual assault, and defamation. Once he leaves office, he could be looking at additional charges over abuse of power and obstruction of justice. …

The year 2020 was just a preview.

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Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

My brother-in-law wants to visit for Thanksgiving. We had to tell him no, twice, then defend our decision over video chat.

He gave us a condescending smile. “I understand.” He’s still planning to see elderly relatives, then return home for dinner with his parents, both in their 60s now. “I’m not that worried,” he says. “I’ve got a killer immune system. I’ve been taking elderberry. You should try it.”

He’ll be driving across multiple states, with no choice but to pull over for gas and bathroom breaks.

You’d think my brother-in-law is some gun toting heathen. He’s not. He has a master’s degree in fine arts. …

He’s teaching us how to care about it again.

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Trump in Wisconsin, Sept 2020

It looked like American democracy was falling apart for most of this year, but it wasn’t. It was being tested. It was being stretched.

It was evolving.

When we say things like “the collapse of democracy,” we’re lying to ourselves. The truth is, democracy has always been a bit of a fairy tale in the land of opportunity. Studies have shown for years that Americans live in more of an autocracy, governed by a wealthy elite. Not everybody agrees, but the big take away is that there’s a bunch of rich people out there who want to strip us of our rights, and they’re working on that all the time. …

Accept the randomness, and stop overthinking.

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Diana Indiana

She cringed when he touched her. “Is that a bad sign?” He also wore a wind suit to their first date. Both things were concerning, but the cringing part was probably a deal breaker.

“Usually,” I said, “you shouldn’t cringe.”

That wasn’t the biggest problem, though. It wasn’t that my friend couldn’t find a decent guy, or that all of her relationships ended within a few months. It was that she was constantly asking for advice she didn’t need. She did this for years, until she wound up marrying a guy who ghosted her three times. …

How you live is up to you.

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Marco Ossino

There’s never been a single way to be happy in this universe. Some of us pretend there is. It’s a problem.

Too often, happiness is a prison. We use the idea of happiness to dictate to everyone else — and ourselves — how to live. Exhibit A: That person you always run into at just the wrong time. They find your lack of cheer disturbing. “Smile,” they tell you.

It’s not just them.

The Internet drowns us in books and articles on how to be happy. Gurus feed us factoids, like “smiling releases dopamine.” Truth is, you can’t force happiness. Fake-smiling can make you miserable, just like spiritual bypassing. The standard formula for happiness ignores anyone whose brain is wired differently. It only dumps a bunch of expectations on us, which we then punish ourselves trying to live up to. …

Fascists use women to make themselves palatable.

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Chanel Rion with Rudy Giuliani and Christianne Allen

It’s a simple idea. Get women dolled up, put them in front of a camera, let them spout all kinds of lies. And to think, men used to say women were “too squeaky” to be news anchors.

Then some rich guys, like Roger Ailes, realized you could use attractive ones as tools to promote right-wing propaganda.

It’s brilliant. After all, Barbie sold toxic beauty standards for a century. Women like her are ideally positioned to market all kinds of bad ideas.

This strategy has worked extremely well. I know guys whose brains shut off entirely when they see someone like Kayleigh McEnany or Tomi Lahren. Bros on the right frequently compare them to the “fat angry feminist” trope, as evidence that somehow having skinny blond women on your side equates to unquestionable moral superiority. …

He’s the true enemy of change.

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Christopher Halloran

I’ve got friends in Kentucky. They tell me Mitch McConnell can’t even walk through an airport in his own state. His plane stops on the tarmac before it reaches the gate, where he sneaks off.


McConnell knows how much everyone hates him.

He doesn’t care.

Instead he proudly calls himself “The Grim Reaper,” a nickname he picked up from House Democrats. Americans have plenty of their own nicknames for the man who’s blocked 400 different bills, many of which are bipartisan and have broad support among the public.

It’s a hard thing to imagine. Most of us have some shred of empathy or conscience. If we couldn’t even walk through an airport without getting accosted or threatened by ordinary people, we might check our behavior. …

Stubborn ideology is always a problem.

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D.C. Protest/BGRocker

The left is already pointing fingers at moderates. They say Biden was too mild. He didn’t go far enough. He and other Democrats didn’t adopt the progressive platform they wanted. For them it explains the disappointing election results across the country, and the great blue fizzle.

Oh, I’m not sure about that.

True, we barely won the presidency. We didn’t overtake the Senate like we hoped. We lost seats in the House. Overall, it’s not a great outlook. Without Biden, we would’ve done even worse.

There’s some evidence that Biden outperformed progressives who followed in the footsteps of Bernie Sanders. Where they lost districts and states, Biden won with comfortable margins. …

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