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Come here please

Come here please

Please come here.
And tell to me.
Tell me what I don’t know,
What I can’t understand.
Let me know your mind
Your heart.
What you feel
You think.
Tell me what I don’t know
Can’t invent.
Tell me love
please.

Authors: Hard to Say
Editors: BW/AW
Copyright: AMW

To the quiet wood

To the quiet wood

I want to take you
to the quiet wood.
Far away from this place.
Deep down in the belly
of the deep dark wood,
where no bombs reach,
no Hurt lingers low.
We won’t tell Luke–
Luke Hermer–
where we’re going.
He’ll not find us.
Though he wander wide,
His noise machine
Disturbing foxes,
Unsettling crows.
Yet our little glen–
So far and so secret–
He’ll ne’er catch.
There we’ll be safe.
And the clean river air
will clear my lungs.
I’ll remember things again.
Trivia, fun facts, names.
Important things too–
If there are any.
And you will wear
A dress white and long
When we go walking
Hand in hand
Through a forest world.

Authors: Time & Slip
Editor: BW/AW
Copyright: AMW

Is this Love?

Is this Love?

Is this love?
I want to spend all my time with you.
Except for when I’m writing, or taking a lonely walk, or hanging out with my brother, or otherwise here and there I need to just feel you in the back of my heart like a beacon guiding me with strong clear light steadily back home where we are one together.
I want to share everything I am with you.
I want to go to the movies with you and put my arm over your shoulders, even though it is a little uncomfortable on top of the curving metal chairs.
I want to make love to you and know you forever.
Is this love?

Who are you?
What part of you is calling to me?
Am I just being silly selfish boring typical?

You shimmer like heat rising from a desert rock.
I’d catch you but you sift up and around my tremble-tense fingers.

When can we love each other?
When can we get away?
When can we make it real?
Why should we bother?
Given there’s so many men and so many women?
What’s our justification for choosing one another?

Who are you?
I can’t find you.
You feel like the scurried rattle rustle of leaves when a tiny dustdevil twirls them up on its magic finger.
When I was a kid on a cool fall morning watching the blackasphalt street outside my redbrick rowhouse.

I’d love you if I could.
I’d love you if we would.
I love you if we should.
I want a should.
Or at least that it is fine and dandy and there’s plenty of shoulds left over we can tend to in good faith while cuddling.

Is this love when the wind tussles the treetops outside a long lonely window in another floating box house a million years from your fingers accepting mine?

authors: some lonely town
copyright: AMW

Another spontaneous Something Deeperism essay

Another spontaneous Something Deeperism essay

Something Deeperism is a pretty common worldview. In fact, it is everyone’s worldview. We all know that we cannot believe in, care about, or follow our own feeling/thinking/acting except to the degree it is grounded upon a nonrelative insight into what is really going on, what really matters, what we should really do, and how we should do it. And we also all know that our feeling/thinking/acting is finite but the insight we seek, being by definition Absolute (ie: not just an opinion, and/or some animal’s inborn way of gathering, organizing, and analyzing information, but something True); therefore, we all know that we cannot hope for a literal insight. But that’s fine—literal certainty doesn’t even make any sense to us any way. What could make sense and be meaningful to us would be an adequate organization of our feelings and ideas around a Truth shining in and through all things, including each conscious moment. Through aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind- and open-hearted/minded reflection we can gain more intellectual insight into our own emotions—though emotions are wider and deeper than ideas and will never fit literally/1:1/definitively into them. Likewise, perhaps through aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind- and open-hearted/minded reflection we can gain more emotional and intellectual insight into the Light shining in and through all things. Why not? Worth a shot. And perhaps one could reach a tipping point where it became truer for that person to say, “We are all in this together” than to say, “I don’t know what’s going on”. Perhaps. It’s the only hope. And mystics and gentle souls nod towards the goal’s feasibility. So we may as well all reach for the Light.

BW/AW
copyright: AMW

Comparing Fact Checking Scorecards

Comparing Fact Checking Scorecards

As per this July 2020 Washington Post article, Trump’s rate of false statements has accelerated through his presidency, reaching 20,000 false or misleading statements on July 9, 2020.

See below the Polifact.com scorecards (arranged in order from most to least checks end of October 12, 2020).
Note that Trump’s record is now 71% (631 of 868 checks) mostly false, false or pants on fire false. None of the others below reached 50% mostly false, false or pants on fire false; although McConnel is pretty close to 50% (45% mostly false, false or pants on fire false).

Donald Trump (868 checks: 13% true or mostly true; 13% half true; 55% mostly false or false; 16% pants on fire; so a total of 71% or 631 statements that were found to be mostly false, false or pants on fire false)

Obama (604 checks: 47% true or mostly true; 26% half true; 22% mostly false or false; 1% pants on fire; so a total of 23% or 151 statements that were found to be mostly false, false, or pants on fire false)

Hillary Clinton (300 checks: 49% true or mostly true; 23% half true; 24% mostly false or false; 3% pants on fire; so a total of 27% or 83 statements that were found to be mostly false, false or pants on fire false)

Joseph Biden (144 checks: 36% true or mostly true; 23% half true; 34% mostly false or false; 3% pants on fire; so a total of 37% or 64 statements were found to be mostly false, false, or pants on fire false).

Mitch McConnell (37 checks: 36% true or mostly true; 18% half true; 42% mostly false or false; 3% pants on fire; so a total of 45% or 15 statements that were found to be mostly false, false or pants on fire false)

Proofreading/Copyediting Samples

Proofreading/Copyediting Samples

1. In addition to editing political ads for Strother Nuckels Strategies, I helped them with a rewrite of their Precision Targeting page. References: Webster’s New World College Dictionary, AP Stylebook.

2. I recently revised a page I did years ago for FTExploring.com: The Definition of Life.
Definition of Life – Suggested Edits
References: Webster’s New World College Dictionary, AP Stylebook.

3. For the same site, we provided proofreading and copyediting services for David Watson’s pages on Neutron Stars. As of 10/12/2020, the author is reviewing our suggestions.
Neutron Star – Suggested Edits
(Shared with author’s permission).
References: Webster’s New World College Dictionary, AP Stylebook.

4. I revised this story: Mr. Awesome, referencing, though not always abiding by, The Chicago Manual of Style. [stet the author’s use of smushedtogether words, and his “5AM” style for time]
Mr. Awesome – Suggested Edits

5. I revised this essay: A Fun New War. I only made one change, because I gave the directive: stets author’s artsy use of hyphens, and smushed-together words–unless he hyphens a word when Webster’s says it should be smushed into one word (correct that); and tread lightly with author’s artsy use of commas: query rather than change unless readability is obviously impaired.
A Fun New War – Suggested Edits

6. I revised this translation: Die Sorge des Hausvaters / Concerns of a Family Man
Concerns of a Family Man – Suggested Edits.

The Failure of Something Deeperism

The Failure of Something Deeperism

Am I failing Something Deeperism or is Something Deeperism failing me?

If you believe there is a Truth that human beings can relate meaningfully to, how do you know how meaningfully you are relating to the Truth?

I think there must be more to this life than relative, but I think the Truth must be Absolute and unlimited, but I my thinking possesses neither of those qualities. So how can my thinking gain insight into the Truth and know it is gaining insight and how much insight it is gaining? 

I walk around all day long talking to myself. “What should I do? What should I do?” “How can I live in a way that is any good? How?” “Who can I be with?” “How can we humans keep from destroying ourselves? How?” “How can democracy and transparency win?” “How can we avoid nuclear Armageddon?” “Why won’t she go out with me? Or was it a vain glory to suppose she might?” “How can we keep Trump and his enablers from destroying US American democracy?” “What to do about global warming?” “I am so lonely.” “I can’t do this anymore.”

I think I’m going crazy. But how else can I get the Light to say anything to me? The Light doesn’t say anything to me, though. All I ever get is sometimes me telling myself things about some romantic interest, but through the daydream of the Light’s interest in such selfish reflections.

The thinking is magical, not spiritual. I’m failing spiritually. I’m losing my way. I want to go home. I want to quit. I am tired all the time. There’s no one to talk to. I am talking to myself.

How can I get God to talk to me? How can I know what to do? How can I keep from wasting my life? People don’t know what to do. I’m just a person. My wisdom is relative unless it connects to an Absolute Truth, but how can I connect my thoughts meaningfully to an Absolute Truth? And know I’m doing so? And how well I’m doing so?

I say there’s inborn principles that we know are True more fundamentally than we can either doubt or explicate their Truth: 
We should feel/think/act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind, compassionate, open-hearted/-minded, generous, sharing, together, joyful.

We’re all in this together.

I reason that the only possible way for us limited creatures to feel/think/act meaningfully is for there to be a Light/Truth shining within and through all things that we can gain whole-being insight into that Truth: ideas, feelings, and a Light/Truth all interacting imperfectly (as interactions between limited and unlimited powers must be) but yet meaningfully together.

I cannot emotionally or intellectually prove that there is such a Light/Truth, or that I can organize my ideas and feelings around It meaningfully. But it seems like I could gain a whole-being experiential proof of such a state of affairs: I could organize my ideas and feelings around the Truth better and better until I had enough whole-being insight into that and in what way it’s truer to say “I know we are all in this together” than it is to say “I don’t know anything.” And this would be the beginning of wisdom and direction towards more active insight into how to feel/think/act.

But I make no progress.

I meditate a little. I ask the Light to enter me, but don’t really want It inside. What I want is to curl up into a little ball and be hugged and made safe and absolved of all this scary grown-up hopelessness that I’ve wandered into by getting to the age when you cannot help but notice there is no Santa Claus. Santa Claus was just a nice story they told us kids. The truth is, the nukes are still ready to fly, the seas are rising more and more, diseases are piling up, democracies are cracking, and in my own little tiny life I don’t know how to live in a way that I can feel OK about and be happy inside of.

Dear God,

What now?
I don’t know what to do.
I imagine you do.
I’m getting older and drifting further and further out to sea.
The ocean’s sloshing on all sides; waves getting higher; water colder.
What should I do?
What is insight?
I’m lonely and tired and live in fear.

Sincerely,

Your Would-Be Servant

Author: Scrubs Tubbs
Editor: A. Whistletown
Producer: B. Willard
Copyright: AM. Watson

Let’s Write a Practice Sonnet

Let’s Write a Practice Sonnet

You want to write a sonnet. 

It’s a good goal, and easily achieved!

You just need fourteen lines, one right after the other. And some kind of order within and between the lines.

Since we’re speaking English, we’ll start our careers with the Shakespearean sonnet. 

So our lines will all be iambic pentameters — ten syllables long, with a beat structure of unstressed, stressed, … unstressed, stressed.

And, we’ll arrange the lines in the following rhyme pattern: 
ABABCDCDEFEFGG

Here, let’s do one together:

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!

That was our first line. Notice the beat: if you read the sentence without meaning to do poetry, your speech still naturally follows the unstressed, stressed, … unstressed, stressed pattern. 

For the next line, we needn’t think about rhyming. So we’ll just try to continue with some kind of a coherent thought:

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed. 

Read over the first line, counting out each syllable and exaggerating the natural emphasis of each syllable - to verify that it is indeed an iambic pentameter. 
And then do the same for the second line.

OK! All we’ve got to do next is find an iambic pentameter that continues a meaningful thought and whose final syllable rhymes with “me”. 

Many words end with a stressed “eee” sound. 
Like “tree”: it’s just one word, and if the word before it is unstressed, it will be, relative to that word, stressed. 
Or like “poetry”. The “po” is stressed. The “eh” unstressed. And the “tree” sound again stressed.
Or like “dignity”. 
And so on.

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed.
It was so lonely until poetry

And then we ought to complete that thought with an iambic pentameter ending in a stressed “eed” sound.

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed.
It was so lonely until poetry’s
clear, steady structures came to intercede.

For the sake of the sentence’s meaning, we had to make “poetry” into “poetry’s”. That’s OK. The rhyme’s still basically intact.

Whether we meant to or not, we’ve now created a thought. Do you feel it growing inside? It is whispering, it is suggesting, it is pleading that perhaps communication and human affairs could be less scary and lonely and hopeless lost if we applied a little more form, a little more structure. Perhaps if we could stick to reliable rules while expressing ourselves, we’d find the discipline, security, and solidity necessary for us to stand up tall and share not the frothy flighty passions at the top of our thought, but the deeper, more essential, and thus more universal and less egotistical underbelly of our conscious moments. We needn’t flush that thought out too much. It is enough to feel it wiggling inside as a vague thought, a titch of a joke, a dab of a conjecture, a touch of a desperate wail.

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed.
It was so lonely until poetry’s
clear, steady structures came to intercede.

We met in autumn’s softer, fonder light
to speak glad hearts from out our eager minds.
I shook and quaked and trembled that I might
betray my weakness - -where I slip behind.

Can one accept limitations without
abandoning the deeper, wider game?
It’s wise to work around wild errant doubts
reflecting side-selves– not me in the main.

So write I you a poem to share my heart:
It shows up brighter wrapped and cloaked in art.

That was pretty good!

We began sensing a notion and then, cleaving to the sonnet’s structure, we made our way carefully around the notion like mountaineers feeling their way up the mountain along a steep, narrow, winding path. With prose we might’ve blasted a staircase for ourselves right up to the top of the mountain. But that vista would’ve lacked nuances that we discovered via the more arduous route.

We could’ve just said that classical poetry’s insistence on form provides one with a structured environment that creates a reassuring safety net (the predictability and thus reliability of the form itself) while demanding discipline and encouraging invention and strangeness/obliqueness; and that this combination can help one gain insight in areas where one, for whatever reason(s), struggles to progress with a more direct and unfettered approach.

But that’s not quite what the poem is about, is it?

And you don’t feel that analysis as viscerally as you feel someone meditating around the hope that poetry will help them to be brave and poised enough to share their true feelings.

The poem did miss one important point. Part of what is critical in poetry’s structure is the rhythm: that is how poetry connects to the body, allowing us to physically participate in the language — in addition to the emotional and intellectual participation that this circuitous route to insight compels us towards. Poetry lends itself to whole-being meditations.

In any case, the poem’s kind of cool, and it is one example of a sonnet, and it is our practice sonnet — thanks for being a part of it!

I’m afraid that we at Bartleby’s Poetry Corner almost always cheat on our sonnets. 
We usually give up on the structure after ten lines, like we do here:

Hike Mt. Thumb Sonnet

A town beneath the shadow of a thumb.
A mighty thumb of splintered stone atop
a pleasant hike wound through thick needles clumped
on twisted rough-barked arms, through boulder crops.

We posed in cotton shorts and Ts beside
a giant wooden sign upon a wall
of river rocks so smooth and cool we liked
to hug and pat it like a pet or doll.

Me first up winding trail, crisp dried pine air!
Me first through sprinkling sunlight, proud I’m there.

And here again:

Christmas 2019 Sonnet

A child on whirring elbows makes her way
through wrapping rubble, hotwheels, boxes, blocks.
A child on dancing toes at manic play.
The grownups keep their chairs, content in talk.

A walk with Uncle, Aunt, and cousin all
High boulders heaped along the slipping sea.
Between bouncing boy and where ocean lalls,
with scamp’ring collie-beagle snagged on leash.

A silent shepherd mouths what Mary speaks
while parents grin and pews and programs creak.

Ah well!
What’re you gonna do?

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andrew Mackenzie Watson

Original Version of the Practice Sonnet:

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed.
It was so lonely until poetry’s
clear, steady structures came to intercede.

We met in autumn’s softer, fonder light
and spoke glad hearts from out our eager minds.
I shook and quaked and trembled that I might
betray my weakness - where I slip behind.

Can I accept limitations without
abandoning the deeper, wider game?
It’s wise to work around those errant doubts
reflecting side-mes - not me in the main.

So write I you a poem to share my heart:
It shows up brighter wrapped and cloaked in art.

Another Version:

Let’s write a practice sonnet, you and me!
Together I believe we will succeed.
It was so lonely until poetry’s
clear, steady structures came to intercede.

We met in autumn’s softer, fonder light
to speak glad hearts from out our eager minds.
I shook and quaked and trembled that I might
betray my weakness - where I slip behind.

I want to tell you truth - not hopes and fears.
My longing’s shallow, yet profoundly sweet.
Please rhythm, pattern, order, form - please steer
past lust and pride, to innocence’s seat.

So write I you a poem to share my heart:
It shows up brighter wrapped and cloaked in art.

On Voting Third Party

On Voting Third Party

Our sense of things is that the US is a two party system and the best way to effect change in a two party system is to choose the party that aligns more closely with your goals and while also working within that party to move it more towards your vision. And to work to create more diversity within both political parties — maybe even to the point that you could vote Republican in some races and Democrat in others. We think that stopping gerrymandering and changing the primary process so that it stops choosing extreme candidates would do much more towards righting our democracy than promoting third party alternatives. We’ve had eras of much healthier democracy and we had a two party system then — so it is hard to see how that is the critical issue at play here.

Now we gather some articles that we hope to later review

America Isn’t Really Set Up For Third-Party Presidential Bids

https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/how-third-party-candidates-could-upset-us-presidential-election

https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/change/science_egalitarians.html

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/09/libertarian-third-party-close-election/

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/too-much-democracy-is-bad-for-democracy/600766/

https://people.howstuffworks.com/primary3.htm

Voters need help: How party insiders can make presidential primaries safer, fairer, and more democratic

https://scholars.org/contribution/do-primary-elections-promote-extremism-us

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51273719

The Impact of Partisan Gerrymandering

https://thefulcrum.us/worst-gerrymandering-districts-example

chrome-extension://gphandlahdpffmccakmbngmbjnjiiahp/https://scholarworks.uni.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1955&context=etd

Lobbying & Corruption in Trump Admin

Lobbying & Corruption in Trump Admin

To make information about Trump’s use of public office for private gain more accessible, The American Prospect has created an interactive map:

“Mapping Corruption: Donald Trump’s Executive Branch”
https://prospect.org/power/mapping-corruption-donald-trump-executive-branch/

The executive summary begins with a few examples of eyebrow-raising brazenness, such as spending one-third of his presidency at his own hotels and “Ivanka Trump snags a valuable set of Chinese trademarks on the same day she dines with Xi Jinping. Kellyanne Conway hawks Ivanka’s products in TV interviews.” The Trumps have openly profiteered from Trump’s presidency. However, the authors maintain, these surface cash-ins distract public attention from worse crimes.

The Trump Administration takes the corrupting influence of money in politics to its logical conclusions, and much of the executive summary of the interactive map (we’re only discussing the executive summary in this overview) involves uberexamples of the kind of technically-not-bribery bribery that will to some degree undermine US American democracy until we enact adequate campaign finance and lobbying reforms.

Campaign/lobbying reform is needed to push our democracy in a more healthy and sustainable direction. But first we have to keep Trump from completely destroying our democracy. The complete corporate hand-over of we US citizen’s largest public good (our shared government and its resources) is just one prong of how Trump’s actions undermine democracy.

When you read the below consider whether the policy decisions are in the public interest, or even in Trump’s interest. Who’s benefitting and why is Trump helping them?

The payday lending industry gave an “estimated $2.2 million donated by payday groups to the Trump campaign and inaugural committees during the 2016 election cycle”. The Trump administration cancelled “an Obama-era plan to protect borrowers from being sucked into long-term debt at triple-digit interest”.

Mike Hodges, CEO of Advance Financial:

{Q “I’ve gone to [Republican National Committee chair] Ronna McDaniel and said, ‘Ronna, I need help on something,’” Hodges said on an industry webinar. “She’s been able to call over to the White House and say, ‘Hey, we have one of our large givers. They need an audience.’”}

The private prison industry—in dire straits after the Obama Justice Department, in response to a series of scandals, began phasing out federal use of private prisons—donated $575,000 to the newly elected Trump, and “a month after Inauguration Day, Sessions revoked the Obama-era guidance, by which time GEO’s stock market value had doubled, and CoreCivic’s was up 140 percent.” [GEO & CoreCivic are the Department of Homeland Security’s two biggest private prison providers.] Per the report, the private prison industry have provided Trump with “roughly $1 million in contributions to his election and re-election campaigns, at last count.”

After highlighting several examples like the above two, the executive summary of the American Prospect provides a long but “partial” list of former industry lobbyists heading agencies charged with keeping them in check (“the former coal lobbyist charged with protecting our air and water, …” etc).

The executive summary then gives several instances of corrupt-seeming behavior by heads of various departments in the Trump administration. At some point when an area stinks and stinks and stinks like a swamp, it is time to admit that what you are smelling is indeed a swamp.

Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce: “before selling his stake in [shipping company] Navigator, which happens to own ‘the world’s largest fleet of natural gas carriers,’ Ross personally negotiated a deal to facilitate the export of American-produced liquefied natural gas to China. The ethics officer who signed off on Ross’s continued investment got a promotion.”

Betsy DeVos, secretary of education has not enforced “a presidential demand for measures to ease the impact of $1.5 trillion in ballooning student debt on millions of recent college attendees and the state of the economy. DeVos, whose department would have to implement this directive, has essentially ignored it; and Trump, whose re-election prospects depend on her money and Michigan campaign ties, has done nothing to force the issue.”

Steve Mnuchin (Goldman Sachs – see the summary for his role in the subprime collapse and his for-profit exploitation of the disaster): “as head of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and leader of the agency overseeing the IRS, Mnuchin became the administration’s point man in efforts to weaken bank regulations, obscure scrutiny of financial activities, and provide favorable tax rulings for wealthy individuals and businesses—an expanse of territory filled with opportunities for him to bestow favors on his industry cronies. In 2017, Mnuchin’s office released recommendations for tax regulations that were almost entirely lifted from a memo put out by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce [a lobbying group for business interests].”

Scott Angelle, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement: “Scott Angelle came to his Interior Department job overseeing safety and environmental enforcement after earning roughly $1.5 million on the board of an oil and gas pipeline company. Before that, he fought the BP-spill-triggered moratorium on Gulf Coast drilling while serving as Louisiana’s secretary of natural resources, a job from which he resigned when a brine company he was in charge of regulating created a giant sinkhole. Addressing an oil industry audience in 2017, Angelle gave out his cellphone number and advised his corporate listeners to communicate with him by phone in order to avoid leaving a paper trail.”

“Nancy Beck, named to head its office of chemical safety after holding a top job at an industry lobbying group, on whose behalf she had battled against an EPA proposal to halt the sale of a trio of chemicals linked to birth defects, nerve damage, and a disturbing number of deaths. Within weeks of her arrival, Beck was leading the charge against that proposal, based on the same arguments she had developed as a lobbyist, and over the protests of agency professionals who had been working on the issue.”

And so on.

Giving power to industry representatives while they fill your campaign coffers is fundamentally corrupt. Instead of bestowing power and respect upon openly demonstrated competency, cronyism and lobbyists-draft-laws favors those willing to sacrifice honesty, decency and actual-usefulness for mind-/heart-less loyalty. Trump does not appear to understand or care about the essentially evil nature of putting business in charge of regulating itself. In general, it is Donald Trump’s fundamental lack of insight into what is good about the United States of America that makes him so unfit to be its president.

One might reason that lobbyists simply give money to those politicians who already support their policies, and/or that Trump’s getting rid of bureaucratic red tape by essentially letting established powers within industries regulate themselves. The former argument weakens in instances where the money so obviously talks – such as DeVos ignoring a presidential directive that would, if implemented, be both good for the country and for Trump’s political reputation (good – but apparently not as good as all the money DeVos sends Trump’s way); or Trump helping the payday industry bilk American workers/voters. The latter argument becomes less convincing if you just stop and think about it for a second: we regulate business because people invariably sympathize too much with the material interests and security of themselves and their friends/allies and not enough with everybody else’s.

The relative lack of corruption in the Obama administration and in Joe Biden’s long political career will be covered later.

The executive summary of the interactive map of Trump’s corruption ends with a pitch for the democrats to focus on anti-corruption in the 2020 election. In this context, they touch upon Hunter Biden’s work as a lobbyist while his father was vice president. They do not let the Bidens off the hook:

“Unfortunately, voters all too often set their corruption outrage aside out of a weary sense that things will be pretty bad regardless of which way they go. That perception was one of Trump’s triumphs in the 2016 campaign; it was achieved through a combination of his ‘drain the swamp’ chants and his endless attacks on a Democratic nominee [Hillary Clinton] who had made herself conveniently vulnerable. He will no doubt deploy the same techniques again if Joe Biden is the nominee, pounding away at Hunter Biden’s high-paid corporate board gigs (emblematic, if truth be told, of small-time, bipartisan corruption that masks the much worse stuff), and ginning up whatever other scandals or pseudo-scandals come to mind. His assignment could be tougher if the Democrats end up making a different choice.”

But democratic voters did choose Biden, and so Trump has recourse to:
Look at Hunter Biden cashing in as a lobbyist while his father holds important government positions! This is Trump’s rhetorical move: If people are inclined to willfully hide from heaps of readily available evidence, then they can enjoy agreeing with Trump that everyone is out to get him and the media is overlooking the real political criminals; while those who cannot help but notice the corrupting influence of money on Trump the businessman as well as Trump the politician, but who still want to enjoy the nearness of Trump and his more rabid fans, can shrug their shoulders and say they all do it and at least Trump’s a real man.

Either Joe Biden or Don Trump will be president of the US in 2021. We who would save US democracy must demonstrate that though Biden is imperfect, he is sane and decent and very willing to work for democratic reforms. This, along with the kind of people and ideas he will bring into the White House makes him a viable option for those who believe that the US democracy is unlikely to survive another four years of Donald Trump. Joseph Biden is also the only option.