From President to Prisoner

Jane Mayer writes in the New Yorker on “Why Trump Can’t Afford to Lose”:

Trump has famously survived one impeachment, two divorces, six bankruptcies, twenty-six accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits. Few people have evaded consequences more cunningly. That run of good luck may well end, perhaps brutally, if he loses to Joe Biden.

The future of Trump will be dark and devastating.

Our Last Hope

This is it, America. Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. In this election, our values, our characters, and our lives are on the ballot.

America has been through so much in the last four years. Our principles, prides, and practices have been desecrated. From caste to class to community, we are further divided than ever. America is losing its soul. Four more years of division, dishonesty, and disillusion will put our nation in danger to the point of no return. The worst has yet to come.

I hope the outcome of this election will heal our country, strengthen our democracy, restore our decency, and save our lives. We need to bring back empathy, integrity, and civility. After this election, I hope America will come together to seal our cracked nation. The scars will never go away, but we will be stronger together. So let’s skip the civil war. Instead of fighting among ourselves, let’s fight against COVID-19. Instead of tearing down each other, let’s rebuild respect. Instead of spilling out the hate, let’s show some love.

After this election, I hope family members will come back together and friends will come around. Politics isn’t worth losing relationships over. I hope I won’t have to rant about politics again, or at least until 2024.

Before I shut the fuck up, I just want to say, go vote if you haven’t. Vote your conscience. Vote like your life depends on it. I am optimist that America will pull through this time.

Peace, love, and unity.

Who Are The Vietnamese-American Trump Supporters?

The election is two days away and voters should have made up their mind by now if they haven’t voted already. At this point, it’s a waste of time trying to change people’s mind, but I have to call out the disrespectful, disturbing rhetorics in the Vietnamese-American community from Trump supporters.

Reading the vicious attacks on Kamala Harris from the Vietnamese-American Trump supporters breaks my heart. It’s fine to support someone they believed in and to oppose the other side, but it is wrong and unacceptable to be racist, sexist, and misogynist. Ms. Harris is one of us. She’s half Asian. Even if they aren’t proud of the fact that she is a heartbeat away from being the Vice President of the United States, they should respect her. I am not going to repeat their degrading language because it is a disgrace for the entire community.

Watching the confrontations between Trump vs. Biden supporters in the Vietnamese-American community shake me to the core. Again, I am not going to link to these embarrassing video clips in which Trump supporters demand the opposite camp to kneel down. They even have the audacity to tell Biden supporters to go back to Vietnam. Who the fuck do these Vietnamese-American Trump supporters think they are? The yellow supremacists?

Công giáo và bầu cử tổng thống

Thấy bài thuyết giáo về việc bầu cử tổng thống, tôi cũng tò mò muốn biết ông cha nói gì. Clip giảng gần 28:52 phút nhưng tôi chỉ xem đến 1:52 phút là phải bỏ cuộc. Ông cha cho rằng với lương tâm và trách nhiệm của một chủ chiên, ông phải hướng dẫn con chiên, nhất là giới trẻ, biết được đâu là thánh ý chúa và “biết được người nào không phải là mình muốn bầu mà chúa muốn mình bầu cho người đó.”

Tôi không biết rõ đây là ý chúa hay ông cha đặt lời vào miệng của chúa. Tôi thì không nghĩ đây là ý nguyện của chúa vì nếu thật sự như thế thì đấng chúa trời quá hẹp hòi và quá độc tài. Việc bỏ phiếu cho ai là quyền cá nhân của người đó không ai có thể xen vào. Chẳng hạn như trong gia đình tôi và vợ luôn bàn luận hoặc thậm chí tranh cãi nhau về chính trị. Nhưng đến lúc đi bầu cử, vợ không có quyền bắt tôi phải bỏ phiếu cho ai và ngược lại tôi cũng không có quyền ép buộc vợ phải bỏ phiếu theo tôi. Chẳng lẽ chuyện nhỏ nhặt như thế mà đấng chúa trời cũng không tin tưởng để con người tự quyết định cho bản thân họ?

Tôi không nghe hết bài thuyết giáo nhưng cũng có thể đoán được ý ông cha và đấng chúa trời muốn như thế nào. Như đã từng tâm sự, tôi có bạn bè và gia đình khuyến khích theo chúa. Tôi vẫn luôn do dự và e ngại một điều gì đó cho nên vẫn chưa đến được với chúa. Giờ tôi mới hiểu rằng đến với chúa tôi sẽ mất đi những tự do rất căn bản như đi bầu không phải theo ý mình mà phải bầu ý chúa muốn. Nếu như phải sống dưới cộng sản thì đành phải chịu. Còn được sống trong chính quyền tự do thì tạo sao phải lệ thuộc vào những gì người khác muốn?

Dĩ nhiên đây chỉ là lối suy nghĩ của cá nhân tôi. Ai tin vào đất chúa trời và những ông cha nhà thờ là sự tự do của họ. Chuyện bầu cử cũng thế. Tự tìm hiểu sự thật cho chính mình đừng để lời lẽ người khác khiến mình mất đi lý trí và lẽ phải. Nhất là chuyện mà mình quan tâm đến.

Chẳng hạn như lúc nào chúa cũng được khen là một đấng nhân từ giàu lòng thương yêu nhân loại. Nhưng với điều kiện là phải nghe và làm theo ý của chúa. Chúa thương yêu tất cả mọi người nhưng chúa không chấp nhận tình yêu con người dành cho một người cùng giới. Một người đàn ông yêu một người đàn ông cũng là tình yêu. Một người đàn bà yêu một người đàn bà cũng là tình yêu. Tại sao phải cấm họ yêu nhau hoặc tước đi hôn nhân của họ? Chúa có thật thương xót và yêu thương loài người hay không nếu như chúa không mở rộng bàn tay để đoán nhận hết tất cả nhân loại?

Như Loan Voted

I don’t pay much attention to Vietnamese celebrities on politics, but I am surprised and impressed with Như Loan’s view on how she voted. She posted on Facebook:

I voted for women to have the right to choose whether or not they should have a baby. Just like everything in life, there will always be exceptionally bad cases where people make poor choices but those should be the choices they get to make. #herbodyherchoice

The entire post personal, honest, and well-reason. I respect that.

A Remarkable Biden Presidency

Bill McKibben, writing at the New Yorker, makes the case for a remarkable presidency if Biden doesn’t care about his reelection in 2024. McKibben argues what Biden can accomplish in four years without looking ahead at his second term:

If Biden’s not guarding his approval ratings for a second run, he could, for instance, demand that his new majority give him a lot of stimulus money to work with, and simply not worry about the G.O.P. and the pundit class as they start warning about deficits. (The fact that the Republicans ballooned the deficit just to give the rich yet more tax breaks takes the sting out of their arguments, anyhow.) At this point, getting rid of the filibuster seems all but certain, but Biden could push to expand and reform the courts. He could embrace the Green New Deal, moving money from the Pentagon to the national-security task of building out solar and wind power and setting irrevocably in motion an industrial transition that would transform our economy over the next generation. He could take millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. He could make sure that we have a commission to examine and recommend reparations for Black and indigenous Americans. And so on. The key things that need to happen if America is ever going to get past its stalemated and sickly status quo are as obvious as they are politically difficult. But, if Biden decided that the next four years were all that mattered to him, he could get to work.

The Case Against Donald Trump

This paragraph from the Atlantic sums up the Trump presidency:

Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever. Trump has brought our country low; he has divided our people; he has pitted race against race; he has corrupted our democracy; he has shown contempt for American ideals; he has made cruelty a sacrament; he has provided comfort to propagators of hate; he has abandoned America’s allies; he has aligned himself with dictators; he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence; he has undermined the agencies and departments of government; he has despoiled the environment; he has opposed free speech; he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism; he has stolen children from their parents; he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power; and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus. Trump is not responsible for all of the 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths in America. But through his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.

Make America Lead Again

Retired Admiral William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, voted for Biden. He writes in the Wall Street Journal:

This week I went to the polls in Texas. Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative. But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy. Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility.

If we remain indifferent to our role in the world, if we retreat from our obligation to our citizens and our allies and if we fail to choose the right leader, then we will pay the highest price for our neglect and shortsightedness.

I voted for Joe Biden.

Well-said!

USA TODAY Endorses Biden

For the first time in USA TODAY’s history, the Editorial Board is endorsing a presidential candidate:

For nearly four decades, the Editorial Board has stood for certain core values: truth, accountability, civility in public discourse, opposition to racism, common-ground solutions to the nation’s problems, and steadfast support for First Amendment rights. These aren’t partisan issues, or at least they shouldn’t be.

Donald Trump has trampled each of these principles, making more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, ducking responsibility for his actions, spewing streams of invective at his critics, trafficking in racial fearmongering, governing more as the leader of the red states than of the United States, and relentlessly attacking the free press.

Everything about Biden’s nearly half-century political career suggests he would do a far better job of respecting these values. “We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country, the spirit of being able to work with one another,” the Democratic nominee said in a recent speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Evangelicals Who Sacrificed Their Faith for Trump

I don’t believe in religions, but I respect people who believe in their religions. I have evangelical family members who I can trust to have deep, honest conversations about faith and politics without resolve to confrontations. I often questioned them on how they have come to accept Jesus. I was not trying to be ignorant, but I couldn’t find their answers convincing. Unlike science, math, or logic, religion makes no sense to me.

Every evangelical family member I have talked to had offered to pray for me after all of my questions. I accepted their prayers out of respect, but I know prayers never worked. Nevertheless, I consider evangelical family members to be grounded with high standards of morality. They are successful and generous. They are happily married and raising their kids well. I look up to them in those regards.

Their support for Trump; however, goes against their faith. Trump mocked evangelicals behind closed doors. “Those fucking evangelicals,” he said, “Can you believe people believe that bullshit?” On the other hand, evangelicals have considered him a “baby Christian” or a “born-again Christian.” Most Vietnamese-American Christians go as far as worshipping him as someone God had chosen to fight against the communists and China. The more I learn about these moral corruptions, the more I question their credibility. The hypocrisy is just too glaring to ignore.

My wife keeps telling me that I am being too harsh on them and that I don’t understand the reason they support Trump. From my conversations with them, I understand their religious view on abortion and Trump can help them with his appointments of conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Just for that issue alone, they are willing to sacrifice all other Christain values. Pro-life is the commitment to the sanctity of human life from the beginning to end. Allowing 220,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus is not pro-life. “It is what it is,” he said. Trump doesn’t care about human lives. He is just hijacking their faith for his own political gains. If people of faith trade moral integrity for political power then I do not want to be a part of it.