A Complete Rundown Of The Four Seasons Total Landscaping Mess

On Saturday, just as millions of us began drinking to celebrate Joe Biden’s apparent victory in the Presidential election, one of the most instantly memeable moments of all time was being born in Philadelphia. Just minutes after media organizations finally began to call the race, Rudy Giuliani stood at a podium in the parking lot of Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping, shouting about widespread voter fraud (of which no evidence exists). This unbelievable scene is already the stuff of legend, so let’s break down exactly what happened in this real story that is somehow not an episode of Veep or a headline from The Onion.

On Saturday, as President Trump headed to the golf course, he tweeted that his attorneys would be holding a press conference that morning at the Four Seasons Philadelphia. You know the one! The fancy hotel where you got drinks at the bar once, but where you could never afford to actually stay. Turns out the President couldn’t make a reservation there either, and his tweet was quickly deleted after the hotel clarified that no such press conference was taking place. The President soon posted an update, clarifying that the briefing was actually being held at Four Season Total Landscaping.

A quick Google search revealed that the new location was, in fact, a literal landscaping company. Whereas the Four Seasons hotel is just a few blocks away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where votes were being counted throughout last week, Four Seasons Total Landscaping is 11 miles away, nestled between a crematorium and an adult bookstore in an industrial part of the city. When this location was initially announced it was hard to believe that they were serious, but the visuals of the press conference, with Trump signs plastered on the side of a dilapidated green building, confirmed that the location was exactly what it seemed.

The immediate narrative that took hold here was that someone on Trump’s team must have made a massive mistake, and booked the wrong Four Seasons. That still seems like a likely possibility, but of course, the campaign would never admit that. On Saturday evening, as most of us watched President-Elect Biden give his speech, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski tweeted praise for Four Seasons Total Landscaping, saying that they “are American Patriots,” and that “All great Americans in PA use” their services. Sure, Jan.

Not everyone is convinced that the press conference’s location was a mistake. Reporting from The New York Times suggests that the location may have been a strategic choice, given that the downtown area around the convention center had been largely overtaken by Biden supporters. Additionally, Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a women-owned small business that has grown substantially in its 27-year history, is also the type of American success story that Trump and his administration like to take credit for. But my favorite theory, which may only exist on Twitter, is that the location just off Interstate 95 was appealing to Giuliani & Co. because it would allow them to quickly GTFO of Pennsylvania after giving their press conference. Probably not a bad idea, considering that more than 80% of Philadelphia County voters chose Biden over Trump.

While another meaningless Giuliani press conference in a hotel lobby would have been quickly forgotten, Four Seasons Total Landscaping is something very different. On Sunday, as we all dealt with our hangovers from the previous day’s celebration, the images of the Trump campaign’s tragic last stand became the biggest joke of the moment, and two days later, we’re still not over it. On Tuesday, an employee from Fantasy Island Book Store, one of Four Seasons’ neighboring businesses, complained to TMZ about Saturday’s commotion, saying that they were given no advance notice, and due to the swarm of traffic, “customers were spooked and couldn’t get to Fantasy Island’s front door.” Fantasy Island isn’t happy with Rudy Giuliani, but the employee told TMZ that “a check from Giuliani for a few hundred bucks would make things right.” Uh, good luck with that.

But while Fantasy Island may have missed out on potential profits due to Saturday’s press conference, Four Seasons Total Landscaping is suddenly reaping the rewards of their weird involvement in this whole situation. The owners of the landscaping business quickly capitalized on the attention, rolling out online merch and posting numerous updates on their Facebook page, thanking followers for their support, and adding that their phone lines are “blowing up with calls from the conspiracy theorists.”

And of course, most importantly, the memes and tweets about this bizarre event have been absolutely on fire. In a Twitter poll from @jpbrammer that received more than 60,000 votes, Spirit Halloween was chosen as the ideal location for a campaign’s last stand, though my personal choice would be the alley behind SUR.

I myself considered driving down to see this historic landmark for myself over the weekend, and with an endorsement like this from SNL‘s Stefon, who wouldn’t want to go? Honestly, there’s nothing more convenient than being able to buy a dildo and a bag of mulch in the same place, so it seems like an ideal location, minus Rudy Giuliani.

One of Melania Trump’s only tangible projects as First Lady was redoing the White House Rose Garden, which had kept the same design since Jackie Kennedy’s time in the 1960s. Her new garden design received lukewarm reviews when it was unveiled this year, and some are hopeful that Dr. Jill Biden will restore the Kennedy-era landscaping. If she does decide to take on this project, she knows who to call…

We’ve heard that the sex shop customers were caught off guard by Saturday’s press conference, but just imagine those poor gardeners who wanted to pick up some supplies to do their weekend yard work. I would probably need therapy if I showed up to buy fertilizer and saw Rudy Giuliani yelling about dead people voting.

Obviously, a lot of important news has happened in the last few days, but we won’t forget about the poetic chaos of the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference any time soon. I’m just waiting for the next family Zoom with my conservative relatives, so I can bust out my new Zoom background—can’t wait!

Images: mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com; FSPhiladelphia, clewandowski_, jpbrammer, drivont, caissie, fatcarriebshaw / Twitter

Presidential Debate Recap: Will You Shut Up, Man?

If you’re reading this on September 30, last night was the first presidential debate, and holy f*ck am I emotionally exhausted. However, democracy doesn’t take mental health days so, here I am. 

Last night’s debate was in Cleveland, Ohio (go Cavs), and was moderated by Fox’s Chris Wallace. Heading into the debate, Wallace planned to focus on the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, COVID, the economy, race, and election integrity. Trump was also expected to be asked questions about discoveries regarding his taxes. However, the debate’s main themes ended up being fragile masculinity, gaslighting, and interrupting each other. 

For some context, with only five weeks left until November 3rd, over a million voters have cast their ballots, and 86% of voters have made up their minds, according to Politico. So, we’re not sure how informative or influential this shit will end up being in the election. Quite honestly, if I wanted to see three guys yell at each other incoherently, I’d watch frat guys argue. 

Whether you watched it and got too wrapped up in our ‘drink or donate’ game to remember most of it or you decided not to subject your mental health to the sh*t show that was last nights debate, I’m here with what I think are the most importantly insane moments from the debate. Let’s talk about where this wild ride took us. 

On The Supreme Court

The debate started with a discussion over the Supreme Court that focused on Amy Coney Barrett, health care, and election results. While Trump claimed that he, as President, has the right to nominate a new justice, Biden held that the American people have a right to have a say in who gets to make the nomination, especially since people have already started voting. 

Trump also said that filling the late Justice Ginsburg’s seat was crucial before the election if the Supreme Court is tasked with a ruling on election results. This very much fits with the Republican party’s goal of politicizing the Supreme Court and court system in their favor rather than neutralizing the institution. 

On COVID

Last night, the President continued to demonstrate his concerning misunderstanding of and desire to distract from the coronavirus pandemic. Voters have overwhelmingly disapproved of the Presidents’ handling of the virus, which has now killed over 200,000 Americans and 1 million people worldwide. Trump continued pushing the unsubstantiated claim that children and young people aren’t affected by the coronavirus. 

Donald Trump also claimed that his rallies that completely ignore social distancing guidelines have “no negative effect” as if Herman Cain didn’t just die after possibly contracting COVID at, wait for it, a Trump campaign event. The President tried to distinguish between his rallies and Joe Biden’s in a way that made Biden look weak and unpopular. IDK about anyone else, but I feel like following social distancing guidelines, taking precautions to make sure attendees are safe, and modeling mask-wearing behavior is a little more presidential than pretending that the virus doesn’t exist.  

On The Economy

Vice President Biden’s weakest moments were during discussions over the economy, if for no other reason than the fact that he made some exaggerated claims. While the economy in 2016 was not horrible and unemployment was falling, it certainly wasn’t at its best. However, President Trump’s claims that he “had to close the greatest economy in the history of the country” (due to the pandemic) were also incorrect. Trump came into office during a period of economic expansion that was in trouble before COVID-19. 

Trump also claimed that he brought back 700,000 manufacturing jobs, which is blatantly incorrect. According to the Washington Post‘s fact check of the debate, at most, 480,000 manufacturing jobs have been created during the Trump presidency. However, due to recent unemployment rates, Trump is responsible for a net loss of 252,000 jobs. 

On His Taxes

He did it again! President Trump claimed that in 2016 and 2017, he spent millions of dollars in federal income taxes as if the New York Times doesn’t have the receipts saying he paid $750 both of those years. When asked to back up his claims that the New York Times report about his taxes was fabricated, Trump decided to latch on to his excuse that his tax returns/audits are in progress. Sure, Jan.

On Family Matters

Like the true heartless asshole he is, the President had no issue attacking Joe Biden’s family. The President repeatedly brought up the Moscow mayor’s wife, unsubstantiated claims about Hunter Biden’s board membership with a private equity firm that has links to the Chinese government, and implied issues with nepotism. And, as much as I wanted to see Biden absolutely destroy Donald Trump’s adult children and the Trump family’s own issues with nepotism, Biden took the high road, which was probably the smart thing. 

Instead of absolutely dragging Ivanka, Eric, and Don Jr., Biden turned to face the camera and reminded viewers that this debate and the presidency were not about the Trumps and the Bidens but about American families, many of whom have suffered devastating losses due to the pandemic. 

Biden did, however, take this chance to discuss Beau’s military experiences in context of the disrespect with which the President talks about people who are enlisted in the military and veterans. Instead of, like, apologizing for being extremely disrespectful to the people who risk their lives for America, Trump responded with an out of pocket and unnecessary attack about Hunter Biden’s history of addiction. Biden responded with compassion, acknowledging the toll drug abuse has taken on his and so many other American families but noting he’s “proud of his son” for his recovery. 

On White Supremacy

Unsurprisingly, when asked if he would condemn white supremacists’ actions, Donald Trump refused to do so. It’s not that he didn’t answer the question; he gave us a pretty clear answer by telling Proud Boys, a white supremacist/nationalist group, to “stand back and stand by.” Call me radical, but I feel like condemning white supremacists and telling them to f*cking stop doing what they’re doing should be the primary litmus test for Presidential candidates? 

Trump also took this moment to talk about how ANTIFA and “the left” is a more significant threat and cause more violence than extremist groups on the radical right. Biden responded that, of course, he condemns white nationalists, opposes violence, and that “ANTIFA is an idea, not an organization.” As a fun reminder, ANTIFA quite literally means Anti-Fascist. 

TL;DR

Trump’s pre-debate strategy seemed to be setting an incredibly low bar for Joe Biden’s performance. The thing with this is that it was just a stupid idea because all Biden had to do was the bare f*cking minimum to overcome expectations. 

While Trump behaved like a bizarre combination of an out-of-control toddler and gaslighting ex, voters got a glimpse of the same Joe Biden who said “this is a big f*cking deal” during a bill signing. Biden may have made comments that would traditionally be considered inappropriate and crossing a line (read: “would you shut up, man?”) with a sitting president, his frustration was totally called for. Since Biden undoubtedly cleared the incredibly low bar the President set for him, the consensus seems to be that the former Vice President came out on top. 

Like Jake Tapper said, the debate “was a hot mess, inside of a dumpster fire, inside of a train wreck.” But, if you’re asking my opinion: 

Losers: Biden, Trump, Chris Wallace, and The American People

Winner: The viral tweets and memes that were made among the way



Images: Photos by Jim WATSON and SAUL LOEB / AFP; Giphy (7)

Here Are Links To Register To Vote And Request A Mail Ballot In Every U.S. State

Amid a global pandemic that will see unprecedented levels of mail-in voting, it’s more important than ever that you plan your vote now. Below, you will find direct links to your state’s Board of Elections to register to vote (39 states will let you do so online right now) and/or request your absentee ballot.

The deadlines listed below are deadlines to register to vote. Some states continue to extend deadlines for requesting or returning your absentee ballot, so make sure to check that regularly. In any event, you can absolutely still vote in person on election day or earlier in many states. If you plan to vote by mail, we cannot stress this enough: request your ballot ASAP. Fill it out ASAP.  Return it ASAP. You can return your absentee ballot in the mail or drop it off at a safe location in your area.  And if you never receive your absentee ballot or forget to fill it out, you can still vote on election day in person.



Alabama

General Election Deadline: October 19, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot. 

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Alaska

General Election Deadline: October 4, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Arizona

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Arkansas

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

California

General Election Deadline: October 19; also offers same-day registration 

Every registered voter in California will receive a ballot in the mail — make sure your address is updated.

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Register online now. 

 

Colorado

General Election Deadline: October 26, 2020 but also offers same-day registration for those who want to vote in person on election day. 

Every registered voter in Colorado will be sent a mail ballot — make sure your address is updated.

Register online now and check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Connecticut

General Election Deadline: October 27, 2020 or same-day registration.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Delaware

General Election Deadline: October 10, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Florida

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot.

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Georgia

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Hawaii

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020, also offers same-day registration.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Idaho

General Election Deadline: October 9, 2020

*Can register to vote in person on election day

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Illinois

General Election Deadline:

By Mail: October 6, 2020

Online: October 18, 2020 

Also offers same-day registration to vote in person. 

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Indiana

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Iowa

General Election Deadline: October 24, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Kansas

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Kentucky

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Louisiana

General Election Deadline:

In person/by mail: October 5, 2020

Online: October 13, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Maine

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting.

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Maryland

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Massachusetts

General Election Deadline: October 24, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Michigan

General Election Deadline: October 19, 2020, but also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Minnesota

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Mississippi

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Missouri

General Election Deadline: October 7, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Montana

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020, offers same-day registration to vote in-person on election day. 

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

 

Nebraska

General Election Deadline:

By mail or online: October 16, 2020

In person: October 23, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Nevada

General Election Deadline: October 6, 2020 to vote by mail, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day.

Every registered voter in Nevada will be sent a mail ballot — make sure your address is updated.

Register online now and check your absentee ballot deadlines.

New Hampshire

General Election Deadline: October 21, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day. 

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

New Jersey

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020

Every registered voter in New Jersey will be sent a mail ballot this year.

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

New Mexico

General Election Deadline:

By Mail: October 6, 2020

In person: October 31, 2020

Register now and check your absentee ballot deadlines.

New York

General Election Deadline: October 9, 2020

Register now (online if you have an ID) or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

North Carolina

General Election Deadline:

By Mail: October 9, 2020

In Person: October 31, 2020 

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

North Dakota

To vote in North Dakota, you just need to bring a valid proof of ID and residency to the polls. 

Find your polling location or request an absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Ohio

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Oklahoma

General Election Deadline: October 9, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Oregon

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020

Every registered voter in Oregon will be sent a ballot in the mail.

Register now and check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Pennsylvania

General Election Deadline: October 19, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Rhode Island

General Election Deadline: October 4, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting, but for the presidential election only.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

South Carolina

General Election Deadline:

In Person: October 2, 2020

Online: October 4, 2020

By Mail: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

South Dakota

General Election Deadline: October 19, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Tennessee

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Texas

General Election Deadline: October 5, 2020

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Utah

General Election Deadline: October 23, 2020, also offers same-day registration to vote in-person on election day. 

Every registered voter in Utah will be sent a mail ballot — make sure your address is updated or register online now 

Vermont

General Election Deadline: November 3, 2020, also offers same-day registration to vote in-person on election day. 

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Virginia

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Washington

General Election Deadline: October 26, 2020

Every registered voter in Washington will be sent a mail ballot. Register online now and make sure your address is updated

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Washington, D.C.

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting. 

This year, every registered voter in Washington, D.C. will be sent a mail ballot. Check the deadline to return by mail, or drop off at a dropbox location.

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

 

West Virginia

General Election Deadline: October 13, 2020

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Wisconsin

General Election Deadline:

By Mail or online: October 14, 2020 

In Person: October 30

also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day. 

Register online now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

Wyoming

General Election Deadline: October 19, 2020 by mail, also offers same-day registration for in-person voting on election day. 

Register now or request your absentee ballot

Check your absentee ballot deadlines.

U.S. Territories

Voter registration and absentee ballot deadlines here.

All New Yorkers Can Now Vote By Mail To Avoid Exposure To Coronavirus

If you watched literally any part of the Democratic National Convention over the last few days, you’ve had a lot of different people telling you how important it is to vote in this election. And, like, yes, we all agree. However, in a handful of states, uncertainties remain about who can vote by mail, where, and for what reason. 

Some states are starting to clear up the process and attempt to make voting make at least a little sense. Yesterday, NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo, passed legislation allowing voters to request an absentee ballot if they prefer to avoid voting in person due to the pandemic. Previously, it was unclear if requesting an absentee ballot to avoid risking exposure to the virus qualified as an “excuse” to vote by mail, which some states require. The deadline to submit your application for a mail-in ballot in New York is October 27. When you receive it, you can select illness/temporary disability as your excuse. 

While a majority of Americans believe we should be able to vote by mail for any reason (called “no-excuse” absentee voting), a minority of states require voters to provide a documented reason why they are unable — not just unwilling — to cast an in-person vote. Amid a pandemic that has killed 174,000 Americans and infected nearly 6 million, most states have lifted these restrictions to allow absentee voting for people who can’t or would prefer not risk exposure.



 

As of today, 83 percent of Americans can vote without going to the polling place this year. A number of states will also send a ballot directly to registered voters. Click here to find the rules and deadlines in your state, and check out this map via the Washington Post for an overview of your state’s offerings.

BTW — you can still vote early in person or on election day in person, of course! 

New York’s clusterf*ck of a primary process – where some results were delayed up to six weeks – raised questions about how postmarking and prepaid envelopes will work in November. Thankfully, the state is working on getting its sh*t together as quickly as possible before the general election in November. 

Cuomo also said the state will be counting all postmarked ballots received on or before election day and for the following week. New York will also be counting all ballots without a postmark received on November 4. 

While this obviously provides some relief in terms of having mail-in ballots count, it also raises an important point that we need to start seriously talking about. We probably won’t know the election results for at least a few weeks after November 3. And, yes, typing that sentence basically launched me into yet another election-based spiral. Still, it is comforting to know that at least one state is addressing all of our concerns about voting this year. 

If you live in New York, request your ballot here today (like, literally right this second, I’m not kidding)!!!!

We’re All (Still) Being Gaslit

While it’s no All Too Well or, even, Cruel Summer, since Folklore came out last week, I’ve listened to the song Mad Woman too many times to count. I then went back and made an entire Spotify playlist with songs about being gaslit because, tbh, I’m kind of going through it right now. 

Obviously, songs like Mad Woman always hit differently, but, around my 15th listen, I also happened to be scrolling through Twitter when I saw one too many Trump tweets and started to get, like, really angry. Then I remembered that the Trump campaign and most of the GOP is relying on the same gaslighting tactics as every boy Taylor writes about and the all of the f*ckboys I’ve *almost* dated. 

Before I get ahead of myself, gaslighting is a form of manipulation that makes someone feel like they’re actually crazy, forcing them to invalidate their own thoughts and feelings. While it’s most common in interpersonal and romantic relationships, it can happen at a wider scale, like when the president gaslights his entire country.  

Here are a few examples of talking points that they use to gaslight Americans: 

“The Radical Left”

The Radical Left Democrats: First they try to take away your guns. Then they try to take away your police!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2020

Donald Trump, everyone who works at Fox, and most of the Republican party have latched onto the phrase “radical left” over the last several years. They tend to like using it as a description of most of the policies that the Democratic party supports and advocates for. As someone who studied politics in London for a semester and hasn’t shut up about it, it’s really important that we deconstruct the myth that a “radical left” exists in America. “Radical left” policies like increased access to healthcare and gun control are commonplace in most countries. In many, they’re even seen as the bare minimum.

While political commentators like to talk about the fact that American parties are more polarized – or further apart – than ever. This narrative implies that the Democratic and Republican parties have moved left and right, respectively, at the same rate.

This is absolutely not the case, as demonstrated by this New York Times article from last year. The Democrats certainly have moved to the left, but the GOP has moved much further right at a quicker rate, leaving Democrats way closer to the center than the Republican party. 

The term “radical left” is really just a way to force the left to concede on important legislation and aspects of the Democratic party’s platform.

It’s also worth considering that the fear of having a candidate that was seen as radical is part of the reason we went from the youngest, most diverse field in history to picking an old white guy for a nominee (love you, Joe!). 

IDK about anyone else, but this has direct parallels to the guy who told me I was being crazy and controlling when I said I’d appreciate it if he maybe stopped hooking up with other girls, please? Like, I was really asking for a bare minimum level of respect, but to him, it was “moving too fast, and it was way too much!” 

IDK!? I just feel like whether it’s from guys or politicians, we shouldn’t have to beg for the bare minimum. 

 

“They’re Taking Away Our Rights” 

THANK YOU to the 5 million members of the @NRA for once again entrusting me with your FULL & COMPLETE ENDORSEMENT! As long as I am President, I will ALWAYS protect our Great Second Amendment, and never let the Radical Left take away your Rights, your Guns, or your Police! @NRAPVF https://t.co/8ZhChqxgBI

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2020

Let’s go back to things like gun control for a hot sec to talk about rights. Conservatives love to use the Second Amendment to push back on arguments for increased gun control. While I’m not going to fully get into this debate because I can only dedicate one or two of the very few brain cells I have left to this, I want to point out what the actual amendment says. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

So, the Second Amendment was written and ratified in 1789, when our country was literally brand new. We didn’t have a legitimate army, in fact, part of the motivation behind the Second Amendment was that the founders were nervous about the country having a strong standing army like Britain’s. They were worried that a standing army would limit citizens’ rights. There would always be a looming threat that the federal government could deploy against its citizens.

If you think this sounds like anything that might be happening around the country today? You’re right. But, I digress. 

The argument that gun control is taking away Second Amendment rights reminds me of a guy who likes to revise history and change the meanings of words mid-fight. You know, the kind who says, “just because I said I really liked you, slept over every other night for two months, and brought you to my grandpa’s 94th birthday party doesn’t mean I had feelings for you, I thought you knew that.” 

 

“This Is What Joe Biden’s America Will Look Like”

Joe Biden and the Radical Left want to Abolish Police, Abolish ICE, Abolish Bail, Abolish Suburbs, Abolish the 2nd Amendment – and Abolish the American Way of Life. No one will be SAFE in Joe Biden’s America!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020

 

You may have noticed a new round of Trump ads that depict what he thinks America will look like under a Biden presidency. These ads have footage of protests, riots, and violence that have all happened during the Trump presidency. The ads also falsely say that Biden is in favor of defunding the police despite him saying the opposite in several interviews. 

These ads are the same as saying “seriously, I can’t believe you’re upset about the way I talk to you, it could be so much worse. It’s not like I’m manipulating or lying to you, all I did was say it’s psycho that you told your friends about me and punched a hole in the wall.” 

While we’re on the subject, let’s touch upon how Trump gaslights his own base. It cracks me up that his supporters keep walking around with MAGA hats as if Trump’s campaign didn’t briefly try to use “Keep America Great.”

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020

MAGA gives his base a goal and a fictional enemy, completely distracting from the reality that over the last almost four years, Trump has accomplished almost nothing he promised his supporters he has, and America is further from ‘greatness’ than it has been in quite a long time. 

 

“Mail-In Ballots Lead to Fraud” 

 

There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020

 

This is one of the more dangerous examples of manipulation by the Trump campaign, and one Twitter flagged as misleading. In a typical year, somewhere around 20% of Americans vote either by mail or through absentee ballot (spoiler alert: they’re literally the same thing). Though this 20% includes the Trump family and most of his administration, Trump has recently picked safe, mail-in ballots, as his new enemy. He has called them unsafe and said that they would put us at further risk of election tampering. More candidly, he expressed fear that expansion of early voting and vote by mail means that “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” 

Multiple studies have shown that not only is voting by mail safe, but it is proven to favor neither party. However, in a normal year, in-person voting serves as a barrier to many people getting to cast their ballots at all, and, in a pandemic, this will obviously be worsened. What Trump really is saying is that when people who may not ordinarily get to vote are given the option and when more people vote in general, Republicans often lose. (He has also openly said this.)

Here, we’re being told not to trust an institution that is not only very trustworthy but vital to the functioning of democracy. It’s like being told that your friend is lying to you and jealous after telling a significant other that the same friend saw them cheating on you or pointed out your significant other’s problematic behavior. 

Personally, I think that these manipulation tactics coming from elected officials impact women in different ways than they do men. Women are often gaslit by their significant others, co-workers, family members, and even friends. While some women do the gaslighting, we are more likely to be on the receiving end. 

When these tactics become commonplace in daily interactions, they can have devastating psychological impacts. According to Psychology Today, over time, a victim of gaslighting will stop trusting their own judgment, over apologize, question their knowledge or memory, and have difficulties making decisions. 

Gaslighting is just one of many forms of emotional abuse and manipulation that society conditions women to accept and that we see in our political world. Last week, AOC was verbally attacked in front of the media, our president regularly comments on female politicians and reporters’ looks, the list of misogyny in politics goes on and on. All of these things are connected to one another. 

The idea that Trump is a misogynistic, manipulative narcissist who uses gaslighting for political power is not new at all, but it’s getting worse. The effects of gaslighting by Trump and his cronies have already impacted the 2020 election and will continue doing so. 

Just like our toxic exes, Trump probably won’t change, so it’s up to us to be aware of what he is doing and dump his ass on November third. 

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