Volume 31, Number 4

It Is Imperative: Vote Like Your Life Depends on It, Because It Does

Fred Schepartz

What do I have in common with Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis and Bob Avakian?

We are all voting for Joe Biden. And we are urging others to do the same.

As Cornell West so aptly put it, a vote for Biden is an Anti-Fascist vote.

And let’s make no bones about it. The Giant Baby Man occupying the office is a fascist. If that fact was not clear three years ago, if that fact was not clear one year ago, that fact is absolutely crystal clear now.

He has demonstrated a complete disdain for the rule of law. He has done everything in his power to remove the guardrails of proper checks and balances. He has shown time and time again that he believes that government is his plaything, that our government exists to serve him, when the opposite is what should be true. He is a racist who stokes conflict and division to foment the sense of the other to create scapegoats. His rhetoric is pretty much George Wallace.

He is seeking to undermine our electoral process, both by hampering it and delegitimizing it. He’s already spreading accusations of fraud and will clearly claim it’s rigged if the election is close.

He fired Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General because he dared to recuse himself from the Russia Investigation, which was the proper thing for him to do. GBM hired toady William Barr, who has simply acted as GBM’s personal attorney rather than the nation’s chief counsel working for us.

Barr whitewashed the Muller Report. Barr kneecapped the Eastern District of New York and the District of the District of Columbia, replacing competent U.S. Attorneys with lackeys. He tried to do the same thing in the Southern District of New York, but his effort was so clumsy that when the SDNY U.S. Attorney finally agreed to resign, Barr had to replace him with his deputy, rather than the lackey he had intended to hire.

And when SDNY indicted former White House advisor Steve Bannon on corruption charges, it suddenly become clear why Barr was so interested in a leadership change in that district. The Department of Justice, first and foremost, is supposed to protect GBM and his friends, or at least the friends that are still in his favor.

I could go on and on. Supreme Court justices and a ton of federal judges appointed based on suggestions from the Federalist Society.

And let us not forget about the disgusting display this week where the White House—Our House—was used as a cheap partisan prop during the Republican National Convention: a clear violation of the Hatch Act and a gross departure from a sense of what should not only be normal, but proper.

And here’s a story that broke a few hours before I sat down at my computer to write this piece. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced that it will no longer hold in-person briefings with Congressional intelligence committees regarding election safety and election interference. Intelligence committees will still have access to ODNI intelligence, though I’m sure they won’t make it easy. This move, like the attack on the United States Post Office, is motivated with both eyes staring intently at the upcoming election.

Just take a moment to let that sink in.

This is serious stuff: checks and balances, destruction of rule of law and the dissolution of long-established norms.

More serious, and part and parcel of a fascist society, we are seeing government-sanctioned acts of terror committed against citizens, something that should never happen. In Washington, D.C., we saw Black Lives Matter protesters tear-gassed by federal agents, a force put together by Barr with the express intent to terrorize citizens. And it should be noted that the force wore black uniforms with no name tags or insignias. For the most part, their faces were covered.

In Portland and other cities, federal agents grabbed citizens off the streets and dragged them to unmarked vehicles. Again, faces covered, no name tags or insignias. GBM wanted to deploy federal personnel in cities all over the country, but fortunately pushback from governors and local officials stemmed that tide—at least somewhat.

Perhaps most dangerous of all, we are seeing the rise of our own homegrown Brownshirts.

We saw it most dramatically this week in Kenosha, when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle—a weapon he was not old enough to legally own—killed two people and wounded a third. And Kenosha police did nothing to stop him and let him pass when he approached with his hands in the air.

Rittenhouse had joined a right-wing extremist call to show up in Kenosha armed to the teeth, supposedly to protect people and property. The reality is that these so-called militias, largely populated by White Supremacists, exist to intimidate people who are attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest the continued killing of African Americans by police.

Giant Baby Man has spent a lot of energy denouncing Antifa and so-called agitators and anarchists. In a desperate move, he borrows from an authoritarian playbook to stoke up fear and loathing against the other, in an effort to objectify and dehumanize people so that no one will care what happens to them. After all, Rittenhouse’s victims were at fault because they were out after curfew!

GBM did not personally deploy these militias; however, he has done virtually nothing to discourage them, either, and in so doing is pretty much encouraging them to act as shock troops against citizens he sees as his enemy.

Let us not forget, that after Charlottesville, when a White Supremacist murdered Heather Heyer, he said there were fine people on both sides. I don’t know if he’s said anything about Rittenhouse, at least to denounce this degree of deadly violence. He did, for instance, “like” a Tweet praising Rittenhouse. I do know that as of right now, he hasn’t called the family of Jacob Blake, whom Biden talked to days ago.

Suffice it to say a wink’s as good as a nod in that direction. Antifa is a terror group. White Supremacist vigilantes, the antithesis of a “well-regulated militia,” are just good old Americans serving the interest of law and order.

This does not surprise me at all. He has never uttered a negative statement about White Supremacists, armed or not armed. He has demonstrated that he is a racist through and through, even though he has the utter gall to claim to have done more for African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. Facts tell a different story. African Americans are dying from Covid at disproportionate rates. His inability to denounce violence against people of color serves to encourage it.

And now we have heavily armed White Supremacists roaming our streets with impunity. There’s a lot about this Administration that scares me, but this utterly terrifies me.

I’ve written a great deal about the evolution of our nation. This is not it. This is the reaction to it, a strong know-your-place message. George Floyd and Jacob Blake have to be the message that things must change. I’m not going to say that I condone vandalism and looting, but I will not condemn it either. This is the boiling over of what continues to be a lack of justice in our country based on the color of people’s skin.


Fascists and authoritarians are often propped up by illusion. Giant Baby Man, when it’s all said and done, is little more than a con man, and really a two-bit con man at that. He and his ridiculous family are just a bunch of grifters. His position of President of the United States of America is just a means to profit.

Last issue I wrote about hydroxychloroquine and how his advocacy bears a striking resemblances to some other bogus item he peddled on his TV show, which led to a class action suit against him.

He has used his position to steer business to his hotels. He used his influence to try to move the British Open to a golf course he owns. He uses his power to attempt to stifle legitimate investigations into his finances because he knows that we know that he has committed tax evasion on a massive scale.

None of this should come as a surprise. Trump University was a total fraud. His charitable foundations have been found to be nothing but grifts. In terms of his business dealings, he has a long history of not paying people what he owes and then challenging them to take him to court. He has a long history with Deutsche Banks, which would continue to loan him money even though he generally did not pay off his debts. Laws are for lesser people to follow.

The Art of the Deal? The Smartest Guy in the Room? Nothing but illusion.

He is literally incapable of telling the truth. As someone who’s actually had business dealings with him told me many years ago, “He’s such a pathological liar, that if you asking him what time it is, he’ll tell you the wrong time just to practice.”

The Washington Post factchecked his RNC acceptance speech and found almost two dozen “falsehoods and misstatements.” I guess this is what makes him such an effective con man; he believes his own lies.

Pathological liar, narcissist—he is psychologically unfit to serve in this position. Frankly, a president should not necessarily tell the whole truth all the time, but we need a president who is willing to level with the American people. We need a president who does not politicize everything, who does not divide us at every turn. We need a president who serves the entire populace, not just those he thinks will vote for him.

We’re in the midst of the worst pandemic in 102 years. Numerous other countries have shown what leadership looks like.

Incompetent leadership in this country has led to more than 180,000 deaths, possibly two-thirds of which could have been prevented with effective leadership.

In mid-February, GBM had known about the coming danger for several weeks but chose to ride in a pace car at the Daytona 500 rather than let the populace know of the ensuing storm. All along, he downplayed the danger, clung to the insane belief that “it would all disappear.” To borrow a line, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. GBM played golf while America burned.

His messaging has been inconsistent. He was late to acknowledge the reality that was exploding across America. He never developed coherent plans for necessary equipment and supplies, testing and contact tracing.

Even more egregious, he has chosen to largely ignore the considerable expertise of members of the Public Health Corps because he couldn’t handle the truth. Reliable government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control have been politicized, and apparently now exist to rubber-stamp his whims.

Come Election Day, the death toll will likely exceed 250,000. By the end of the year, the total could exceed 300,000.

This is not the competent leadership we deserve. At the very least, we would prefer a president who does no harm, not a president whose actions and inactions literally are killing us.

But it is never his fault. The buck always stops at someone else’s desk. Of the pandemic, he has often said, “If I had done nothing, millions would have died.”

And the economy? He took credit for a strong economy, which he inherited from Obama, but won’t take the blame for driving the economy off a cliff. Yes, the economy is essentially in an induced coma, but there’s so much that could’ve been done to soften the blows. Our workers and small businesses could’ve been better protected. Instead, so much of the relief has been a handout to billionaires and large corporations. He blames the Democrats for the lack of a deal, but it has been the Democrats who have been standing up for workers. The Senate has sat on the sidelines, while the White House has taken a my-way-or-the-highway hard line.

I guess it would’ve been nice if he had realized the related economic crisis would last for more than three months.

Instead all we get is toxic rhetoric. Joe Biden will ruin the economy. Let’s face the truth and look at history. George W. Bush drove the American economy off a cliff actually twice during his presidency. His father did little to improve the economy. Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts created huge deficits and made it difficult for government at all levels to provide the services we expect.

FDR saved the economy. Obama did as well. The economy improved greatly during Bill Clinton’s tenure, though, to be fair, he did oversee the development of economic bubbles that caused problems later.

Going back to the early part of the 20th century, no Democratic president oversaw a serious economic decline. So, no, Joe Biden will not destroy the economy.

Nor will Joe Biden destroy the suburbs.

Biden is pretty much a centrist, and yet Giant Baby Man paints him with a sinister brush, going so far as to call him a socialist even when he himself gives every appearance of being a useful idiot for the likes of Vladimir Putin.

Just take a moment to let this sink in. We’re talking about Joe Biden.

They are Red-baiting Joe Biden.

Just take a moment to let that sink in.

The reality is that Joe Biden is a decent person who possesses empathy and humanity that GBM completely lacks. He will listen to public health experts and will implement a strong and coherent plan to fight Covid. He will work to rebuild our economy in a much more fair and equitable way than what we’re seeing now. He will listen to foreign-policy experts and heed their advice rather than follow to lead of Putin and other foreign autocrats. He will do away with this whole Deep State nonsense.

To be honest, I wanted Bernie. Instead, I got Joe, and I’m okay with that.

And I firmly believe that Biden will take positive steps toward racial justice, as opposed to GBM, who is clearly exploiting and exacerbating the current unrest for his own political gain. For instance, yesterday the White House announced that GBM may visit Kenosha, a move clearly intended to fan the flames of discord. And isn’t it ridiculous that GBM claims that America will burn under Biden? It’s burning now, on his watch.

We were already a divided nation when he took office, but he has done so much to divide us to an extent that it can be credibly argued that we have not been this divided since the Civil War.

This cannot continue.

We’re riding in a car speeding toward fascism. We must turn that car around now.

We need competent leadership to save lives and preserve our livelihood.

We need leadership that will finally get serious about justice and equality for all Americans, that understands that Black Lives Matter.

We need to get out and vote. And remember, voter suppression is happening everywhere, so make a plan. First, make sure you’re registered to vote. If you didn’t vote in the last election or recently moved, you may have been removed from the voter rolls. Confirm voter registration immediately.

Decide how and when you will vote. If you’re willing to vote in person on election day, be prepared for a long wait. Bring a mask and hand sanitizer. Bring water and food. If you have a lightweight chair of some sort, bring that too. And be sure to go as early in the day as possible.

If you plan on voting early, confirm your options. Do so right away.

If you plan on voting by mail, start the process immediately. The process varies from state to state so be sure to find out how the process works and what restrictions exist. For instance, in the state of Maryland, a voter must mail a request for an absentee ballot. The ballot then is mailed to the voter, but also it can be sent via email. Here in Wisconsin, there’s a great website, myvote.wi.gov, that will tell you if you’re registered to vote and can be used to request an absentee ballot. If you’re making such a request through that website for the first time, you will have to submit a copy of your photo ID, but the instructions are extremely easy. Just be sure to take a photo of your ID when prompted. Don’t take a selfie! (Yes, people have really done that.) And another cool feature of the website is you can track your ballot.

Again, plan ahead. Once you get your ballot, fill it out and send it back immediately. Be sure to follow the instructions very carefully. For instance, Wisconsin requires one witness per absentee ballot. The witness must not only sign but write out their address.

And don’t forget about the down-ticket races. These all matter a great deal.

Allow at least one week for anything you mail in, but I would say allow two weeks to be sure. If timing is tight to submit your absentee ballot or your absentee ballot application, consider dropping them off in person.

Plan ahead and act promptly. Just be sure to vote and be counted. Remember, GBM will not accept the results if he loses by a narrow margin, so let’s make sure Joe Biden wins in a landslide.

Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.