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Tag: 2024 Presidential Election

Bruce’s Hot Takes for February 11, 2024

hot takes

The Forty-Niners will beat the Chiefs by three in the Super Bowl. Right-wingers will go nuts over Taylor Swift, and the halftime show will suck.

We need term limits based on age. Neither Biden nor Trump should be running for president. Both show signs of mental decline. I support an age seventy cutoff.

Biden isn’t the first president to be managed by his spouse, cabinet members, or trusted advisors. Ronald Reagan, by Nancy, and George W. Bush, by Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld, come to mind.

Biden’s unwillingness to speak out against Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians may cost him the election in November. I suspect Biden is more worried about losing more Jewish votes than Arab votes. What should matter is the violence and bloodshed. That it doesn’t says a lot about the American people and their political leaders.

Evangelicalism is in an uproar over whether Christians should attend a same-sex/transgender wedding, revealing the hateful bigotry that lies underneath the surface in many churches. Jesus said, “It’s just a fucking wedding.” Alistair Begg said Christians should attend LGBTQ weddings. He was promptly deplatformed by John MacArthur and other notable Evangelical leaders.

Our NATO allies should pay their fair share of mutual defense costs — a minimum of two percent. The question is what do we do when they don’t? Let Russia attack them, as the orange Cheeto said?

If Texas wants to protect their border so bad, Biden should let them, removing all border patrol agents and federal national guard soldiers from the border.

I’m re-reading James Michener’s book, Chesapeake. I last read it forty-four years ago. I’m a Michener fan, but his books tend to voluminous. It will take me several weeks to read the book.,

Catchers and pitchers for the Cincinnati Reds begin spring training this week. I’m so ready for baseball. I predict the Reds will win the Central Division. Hope springs eternal. 🤣

Warning about using your cellphone number for two factor authentication. Change your phone number and you are screwed — as I’m learning firsthand.

Bonus: Corporations continue to make gaudy profits by gouging the American public — raising prices just because they can, regardless of whether costs have increased. Thieves, the lot of them. This is the primary reason most Americans think the economy is in bad shape. All they see is rising prices.

If Joe Biden Loses the 2024 Presidential Election, This Will Be One of The Reasons Why

genocide joe biden

Israel continues its genocidal slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli armed forces and bombs have killed over 25, 000 Palestinians — most of whom are civilians. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Andrew Blinken, and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continue to pretend that Israel’s murderous actions are justified; that Israel is just defending itself.

Now it seems that President Biden and his fellow warmongers want to expand the conflict in the Middle East to Yemen and the Houthis — both of whom are proxies for Iran. It would not surprise me to wake up one day and find out that the United States has dropped bombs not only on the Houthis, but Iran itself. This, of course, would spark a regional war that could result in thousands of casualties and horrific property and infrastructure destruction. Successive administrations had a hard-on for Iran, going back to the days when George H.W. Bush illegally invaded Iraq and Kuwait in the Gulf War. Biden’s approach to the Middle East is not that much different from that of the presidents who preceded him. Unwilling to stand up to Israel and its American supporters, Biden refuses to call out Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. From illegal settlements, apartheid practices, and violence against innocent civilians, Biden says not a word, thinking that doing so is in his political best interest. What Biden will learn on election day is that he grossly underestimated American anger towards his callous, indifferent response to the plight of the Palestinian people. These angry Americans, many of whom are younger adults, vote. Biden’s actions have also outraged Arab-Americans, leading some Arab leaders to suggest that Biden risks losing their votes if he doesn’t change course.

Over the weekend, Representative Nancy Pelosi only made matters worse by saying that pro-Palestinian demonstrators were working on behalf of Russia’s president, Vladamir Putin, and called for some of them to be “investigated” by the FBI:

For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine. It’s about Putin’s message. I think some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia.

When asked if she believed the protesters were “Russian plants,” Pelosi replied:

Seeds or plants. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the F.B.I. to investigate that.

After being called out for her anti-American, anti-First Amendment sentiments, Pelosi, in classic Capitol Hill fashion tried to cover her ass by releasing the following statement:

Speaker Pelosi has always supported and defended the right of all Americans to make their views known through peaceful protest. Speaker Pelosi is acutely aware of how foreign adversaries meddle in American politics to sow division and impact our elections, and she wants to see further investigation ahead of the 2024 election.

I hate to tell the former speaker of the House, but her bare ass is still showing. Suggesting that protesters of any stripe should be investigated by the FBI is reminiscent of the days of Edgar Hoover and Donald Trump’s presidency from 2016-2020; days when law enforcement and the power of the state were used to stifle dissent and protest.

Nihad Awad, The Council on American-Islamic Relations national executive director, condemned Rep. Pelosi’s statement:

Her comments once again show the negative impact of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by those supporting Israeli apartheid. Instead of baselessly smearing those Americans as Russian collaborators, former House Speaker Pelosi and other political leaders should respect the will of the American people by calling for an end to the Netanyahu government’s genocidal war on the people of Gaza.

While losing the Arab vote — less than one percent of Americans are Arab — alone won’t cost Biden the election, added to an increasing number of disaffected younger Americans, it could tip the election in favor of the Republican Party. Biden has time to course correct, but I have no confidence that he will do so, or if he does, it will be too little too late, much like Hillary Clinton did in the 2016 presidential election.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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I Refuse to Play the “Both Sides Do It” Game

trump and satan

Every time I write a political post that is critical of disgraced ex-president Donald Trump or the present iteration of the Republican Party one or more commenters will object, saying “both sides do it,” or they will attempt to distract by trying to play “whataboutism.” The goal is to ignore/dismiss what I have said or paint me as some sort of hypocrite. Anything except interacting with what I actually wrote.

I make no apologies for the fact that I am a liberal, socialist, and pacifist. I don’t often write about my political beliefs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions and beliefs about all sorts of political, social, and religious beliefs. I am aware of the fact that when I write about politics, it often causes controversies. I have lost numerous readers over this or that political issue. Some people love my atheism, but hate my politics.

Yesterday, I wrote Letter to the Editor: Do Republicans Really Believe in Freedom and Liberty? Here’s what I had to say:

If rural Ohio Republicans were surveyed and asked if they believed in freedom and liberty for everyone, to the person they would say YES! However, words are cheap, and when we take a close look at Republican behavior and practices, we learn that they only believe in freedom and liberty for some people.

Most rural Ohioans voted for and currently support Donald Trump. They overwhelmingly voted for the disgraced ex-president in 2016 and 2020, and plan to do so again in 2024. Does Trump believe in freedom and liberty for everyone? Of course not. He routinely threatens people like me, calls for my arrest, and says that I should expelled from the country of my birth. Why? I have political and religious beliefs different from Trump and his MAGA followers. Evidently, freedom and liberty only apply to people who agree with Trump and the rhetoric of white Evangelical Christians. Everyone else is an enemy of God and state.

When local Republicans talk glowingly about their commitment to freedom and liberty, I don’t believe them. These same people are working diligently to undo the express will of the people as they try to neuter recently passed initiatives that legalize abortion and recreational cannabis. If Republicans truly believe in freedom and liberty, then they would accept the will of the people. Instead, both at state and local levels, Republicans are intent on forcing their moral beliefs on others.

Republicans want public school students to have freedom to attend release time programs such as Lifewise Academy — an Evangelical organization — yet when The Satanic Temple wants to sponsor a release time program, all of a sudden freedom only applies to Evangelical Christians. Everywhere we look, we see right-wing Republicans prosecuting the latest iteration of the culture war. For all their talk about freedom and liberty, Republicans deny that same right for everyone. Not for LGBTQ people, nor socialists, atheists, or humanists. Not for women seeking abortion care, nor people with moral beliefs different from the Christian majority.

I am in the minority when it comes to my political and religious beliefs. Even local Democrats distance themselves from me because I am a Democratic socialist, too liberal, or a godless heathen. That’s the price I pay for living in rural Ohio. That said, I demand and expect the same freedom and liberty as my Republican neighbors.

After reading my letter, several people commented and sent me messages that said there is “no difference between Republicans and Democrats.” Others played the “whataboutism” game, suggesting that Biden and the Democrats have done things just as bad as indicted Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans. Really? Do otherwise thoughtful, rational people really believe there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans; that President Biden is just a bad Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a fascist and authoritarian. In 2020, he tried to overthrow the government and remain in power. He is currently facing numerous criminal charges in three jurisdictions. If re-elected in 2024, Trump has made it clear that he intends to upend the federal government and the rule of law. Invoking the Insurrection Act, Trump intends to use the military to advance his domestic cause, which includes rounding up and incarcerating people such as myself. One need only look at Project 2025 to find out Trump’s intentions. Does anyone seriously believe there is no difference between Trump and Biden; that Trump is not a direct threat to the future and health of our Republic?

The Republican Party has, for the most part, been taken over by Donald Trump and MAGA zealots. Centrist Republicans have either given up or left the party altogether. Trump IS the Republican Party. Are you okay with that? Are you okay with a Party that is racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBTQ? Are you okay with a Party that doesn’t give a shit about immigrants, pregnant women, children, or the poor? Shall I go on? Explain to me how one can be a Republican and a humanist. The Republican platform is antithetical to the humanist ideal.

That is not to say that the Democratic Party is without its own problems. That’s why I am no longer a Democrat, I may vote Democratic, but I am not a Democrat. I am not a supporter of Joe Biden, but when forced to choose between the most unfit man to ever be president and Joe Biden, I am going to choose Biden every time. I am a pragmatist, not an idealist, when it comes to politics. If other Democratic presidential candidates show themselves to be viable candidates, then it is likely I will vote for one of them. Biden wasn’t my first, second, or third choice in 2020 (and neither was Clinton in 2016), and he is most certainly not my choice today. However, we have a two-party system, so that means I will likely have to vote for Biden in 2024. The United States can survive another Biden presidency (provided he doesn’t drag us into a world war). It cannot survive another Trump presidency.

The same goes for Republicans at the state level. MAGA zealots have taken over virtually every state Republican party. Here in Ohio, a supermajority of Republicans rule the roost without any regard for the will of the people. Last month, Ohio voters overwhelmingly voted to legalize abortion and recreational marijuana use. Did Republicans respect the will of the people? Of course not. They are doing everything they can to neuter the abortion amendment and recreational marijuana initiative. These Republicans are Christian nationalists and fascists who are hell-bent on shaping Ohio according to the teachings of the Bible.

So, enough of this idea that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans and between Biden and Trump. Instead of playing the “whataboutism” game, how about actually justifying the policies of Trump and the MAGA-controlled Republican Party? How about justifying why ANYONE would vote for Donald Trump (or Ron DeSantis)? I don’t see it. Hate Joe Biden? Fine, don’t vote for him. However, if you care about the future of our country, for the love of Loki, please don’t vote for Trump. He is not the lesser of two evils, he is evil, period.

Vivek Ramaswamy Disingenuous About His Religion

Vivek God is Real

Guest Post by Troy

If you’ve seen parts of the first Republican Presidential debate, you likely noticed the brash young neophyte (and obnoxious) Vivek Ramaswamy. Not only is he a practicing Hindu, he’s also the highest caste in the Hindu religious system. So I found it interesting when he makes a list of “truths” (many of which are not or are nuanced to the point of not being a “truth”), the first being “God is real.” This does have a strategic value to him. He can stave off questions about his, let’s face it, alien religion and does so because his audience isn’t thinking about sacred cows and the non-person Hindu god Brahman. By doing this he can cauterize the political wound his religion will no doubt have on the evangelical base of the GOP. Americans are so unacquainted with Hinduism that at least for now he’ll likely get a free ride on his religion. There is no religious test to be President, but since he seems to be wearing his religion on his political sleeve, I think it is fair game. Ramaswamy also gets a free ride on the caste system which no doubt has been part of his success. While he is asked questions about American racism based on skin color, the media aren’t even primed to ask about the Hindu caste system that is based on societal traditions. I suppose one question that one might ask is this: Will American evangelicals tolerate a polytheistic Hindu so long as he kisses Trump’s keester? After all, Trump is not and never will be an evangelical. In addition, can Ramaswamy “hide” his Hinduism in plain site by proclaiming “God is Real dammit!”? For those of us who’d like to see less church in our state, I’m sorry to say Ramaswamy would be as bad as Trump or Pence. The best way to hide this deficit is to overcompensate–he will overtly and loudly be a cheerleader for evangelical church-state entanglements. Hopefully, it doesn’t get that far, but I’ll be interested to watch and we need to make sure the media is asking the right questions to take Ramaswamy to task.

Video Link

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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There is No Hope for MAGA World

maga world
Cartoon by Pat Bagley

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away . . . And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,11)

Millions and millions of MAGA Republicans have come under a strong delusion, believing that the twice impeached ex-president Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election. Many residents of MAGA (Make America Great Again) World think Trump is actually still the president; that he is actually controlling the military.

Recently, Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper went to a “Trump Rally, Not a Rally” to interview Trump’s most avid supporters. Listen, laugh, and weep.

Video Link

We are at a dangerous point in American history. Millions and millions and millions of Americans believe things that are not true. From Trumpism to QAnon to Creationism, large swaths of our country have bought into lies. And don’t think for a moment that if Trump isn’t the 2024 Republican presidential candidate, we are out of the proverbial woods. Candidates such as Ron Desanctimonous DeSantis, Mike Pompeo, and Nikki Haley are hardly any better. If anything, these candidates are even more dangerous. They don’t have the temperamental problems that Trump does, yet they are every bit as racist and bigoted as the ex-president. One need only watch what is going on in Washington D.C. with Republicans to see Christian nationalism and white supremacy on full display. My God, congressmen are espousing racist, bigoted, homophobic beliefs and conspiracy theories right on the floor of the House of Representatives. It is hard, at least for me, to see a better tomorrow in the short term. I fear our Republic is hanging by a fraying thread.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Bruce Gerencser