I’d rather put something in the mail than sacrifice myself for Donald Trump


I don’t know who Josh Bernstein is, but he’d be fine with me dying. He compares voting in person to storming the beaches at Normandy and thinks we ought to be willing to do that. Sacrifice yourself for Donald Trump!

Some of these folks may actually get sick, and that’s sad, and it’s unfortunate, and I hope that it doesn’t happen, Bernstein continued. “And some of them, yes, they may even die and pass away. So be it. I don’t mean to be callous. I don’t mean to be cruel. I don’t mean to be insensitive. But we’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy here, and we’re certainly not asking you to try to overtake Hamburger Hill either. We’re asking you to get out of the house and go down and vote for President Trump so that you can secure your children and your grandchildren’s future, to make sure that they live in the freedom that you have enjoyed as well. OK? Some people are going to die. So be it. It will be their last sacrifice for this country.

He might as well announce that “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” by voting Republican.

Of course, military action in WWII was necessary to oppose a totalitarian force that threatened to invade us, and was killing its own citizens. If we had an alternative to D-Day that involved simply mailing some letters, I would have suggested we do that. We didn’t have that alternative, but we do have a way to vote that doesn’t require me to risk my life. I think we should do that, despite Bernstein’s paranoia about imaginary voter fraud.

Also, if I had to vote in person, it wouldn’t be for a Republican of any kind.

Comments

  1. microraptor says

    And, of course, Hamburger Hill was just one of many pointless wastes of the lives of American soldiers in Vietnam that accomplished nothing and was quickly forgotten by the people who originally said it was vitally important.

    The comparison seems apt.

  2. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    It is also hilarious that the fascist invokes the necessity of a prior effort toward the defeat of fascism. War is Peace.

  3. KG says

    Of course, military action in WWII was necessary to oppose a totalitarian force that threatened to invade us, and was killing its own citizens. If we had an alternative to D-Day that involved simply mailing some letters, I would have suggested we do that.

    Actually, “we” (the western powers) didn’t even need to post any letters at that point! D-Day was not necessary to defeat Nazi Germany – the USSR could and would have done that without further help. Hitler had probably lost the war with the Soviet counter-offensive of December 1941 outside Moscow, certainly by the time of the encirclement at Stalingrad. The facts that the UK stayed in the war, and that the USA was helping it do so, forced Hitler to divide his armaments effort between building up the force to invade the USSR, and getting ready to fend off possible attacks from the west. But material western aid to the USSR didn’t become important until 1943, at which point it certainly sped up the Red Army’s advance considerably, but no more than that. On all this, see Adam Tooze’s The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. Whether this was the actual calculation in June 1944 I doubt, but what D-Day actually achieved was preventing the Red Army reaching the Channel!

  4. says

    Just goes to show how essential it is for Republicans to suppress the vote by any means necessary, and they know it. It’s not like they’re talking to some ‘libs’ they want to own. This guy is on right-wing media telling the base they have to go die for Trump. I’m sure quite a few of them are willing, too.

  5. raven says

    According to Josh Bernstein, the USA has become such a dangerous place due to high levels of Covid-19 virus circulating, that even leaving your house to vote could be fatal.
    That isn’t what anyone would call, Making American Great Again.

    It’s not a good reason to stay home though.
    It’s a good reason to vote to get rid of the Trump/GOP leaders who let our country fall apart to such a low level.

  6. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Hmm, over the past several months, we’ve had:
    1) folks like Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calling on Seniors to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the economy;
    2) DeVos, Pence and Darth Cheeto saying we need to sacrifice our children, because “it is what it is;”
    3) Rush Limbaugh saying we may have to be ready to resort to cannibalism
    4) Now Ol’ Josh is saying is calling for infantry charges against entrenched machine gun nests.

    I think we need to take a serious look at where Republican policies might be leading the country.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    För a look at more Trumpist verbal (or scriptorial?) diarrhea, look at the latin title for Tiucker Carlsson’s latest book.
    It was intended to mean ‘Live free or America dies’ but unfortunately he used Google translate instead of paying five bucks to consult anyone who actually knows latin.
    This is the combination of being cheap and being stupid that is perfect MAGA.
    ‘Vivamus mel libero perit americae’ is soo bad Mano Singham has put up a link to the relevant scene in ‘Life of Brian’.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    @a ray in Dilbert space
    Also, the ‘friends’ of Rush Limbaugh are not scrambling over taking his place when he dies. They are not Christian, it is some kind of para-zoroastrianism where instead of letting vultures eat the dead, they do it themselves.
    Very MAGA.

  9. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 KG
    To be fair, Stalin really wanted a Second Front in 1942 and possibly even in 1943.

    Still, you are correct, it was the material aid from the Britain and the USA not the tardy Normandy landings that was the key to defeating the Nazis. The trucks and the corn beef shipped to the USSR alone probably contributed more.

  10. garnetstar says

    These people just aren’t any good at this, are they? The last time they proclaimed that seniors needed to sacrifice their lives for the stock market, “the future of our children and grandchildren”, Trump lost the support of seniors so much that they’re now breaking in favor of Biden.

    This is not likely to win Trump Florida.

  11. says

    There was no one key to defeating the Axis in Europe. Every single explanation that there was a “single factor” or a “superior alternative” — the Tooze polemic being an excellent example — willfully ignores a huge body of other evidence. The irony that the “single factor” arguments strongly resemble “It’s all about how life success is determined by Mendelian genetics!” is a bit much before assimilating more caffeine. Tooze, for example, fails to assimilate the value of the promise of future material aid in enabling reallocation of current resources in late 1941 and early 1942 — and that reallocation was essential to holding Moskva, which was a much nearer thing than Western sources make clear.

    The key to many of these theories is treating Stalin as a trustworthy enemy-of-my-enemy who had no other agenda than doing the Anglo-American political and merchant classes a huge favor, or perhaps as a true friend. The truth — both as believed then and as believed since — is much more complicated than that. And it’s much more complicated regarding everything else, too; the contrast among different regions in Italy and their treatment of Jews bears considerable reflection, for example, and that’s just a particularly obvious example that doesn’t rely upon government secrets (whether or not “classified” or “recently revealed” or whatever).

    Broad, sweeping theories sound great, especially regarding military and governmental affairs in the past. They seldom hold up to examination when applied to human behavior. Which, returning to the initial posting, is precisely the point: Those of us who served did so fundamentally in the service of a system of self-determination that at least facially rejected primogeniture as the sole determinant of governmental legitimacy — that is, the right to vote for our own (all too often corrupt and fallible) governance. It’s also both a lot more and a lot less than that; but “defending the right of self-determination” is an inescapable element.

  12. raven says

    These people just aren’t any good at this, are they?

    No.
    PZ got it slightly wrong here.

    Trump/GOP don’t want you (plural) to sacrifice yourselves for them.
    They want instead to sacrifice you themselves.
    The GOP is quite willing to sacrifice as many Americans as necessary to keep their and their 1% oligarchies’ power.

  13. unclefrogy says

    you can bet that all of these guys advocating “sacrifice for the cause” will not be making any such sacrifice themselves
    including Josh Bernstein
    uncle frogy

  14. KG says

    Jaws@11

    Every single explanation that there was a “single factor” or a “superior alternative” — the Tooze polemic being an excellent example

    It’s completely false to claim that Tooze presents a single factor explanation. He has a whole chapter: “Britain and America: Hitler’s Strategic Dilemma” explaining that Hitler felt constrained to attack the USSR when he did because of the pace of Amrican rearmament; and another: “Preparing for Two Wars at Once” on the difference the need to prepare to fight the USA made to the resources he was able to devote to Barbarossa – as I mentioned already.

    Tooze, for example, fails to assimilate the value of the promise of future material aid in enabling reallocation of current resources in late 1941 and early 1942 — and that reallocation was essential to holding Moskva, which was a much nearer thing than Western sources make clear.

    Evidence? How far would, or could, Stalin rely on such a promise? And regardless of promises, he’d likely have put whatever he had into holding the capital. The crucial point was the second week of October 1941, when he nearly fled Moscow – if he had done so it would very likely have fallen, but if he’d thought it was going to fall, he would have fled.

    The key to many of these theories is treating Stalin as a trustworthy enemy-of-my-enemy who had no other agenda than doing the Anglo-American political and merchant classes a huge favor, or perhaps as a true friend.

    Er… wut? Absent a second front, Stalin’s self-interest would have led him to continue rolling up the Nazi forces. Certainly he wanted a second front, as jrkrideau@9 says, because he wanted to expel the invaders as soon as possible; but he didn’t need one to defeat them.

    Those of us who served did so fundamentally in the service of a system of self-determination that at least facially rejected primogeniture as the sole determinant of governmental legitimacy

    At this point, I’ve simply no idea what you’re on about. “Those of us who served” seems to imply that you fought in WW2, which admittedly is possible if you’re into your 90s – but what on earth has primogeniture to do with anything? In none of the major protagonists in WW2, even the monarchies, was primogeniture “the sole determinant of governmental legitimacy”.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Going off on a tangent with good news. Sweden had no new virus victims recorded today, instead the total death toll actually decreased for the first time.
    It is not known to me if this is due to zombie activity, vampirism or shoddy record keeping.
    .
    OT -I want to correct an urban myth: Sweden never planned to rely on herd immunity to stop this virus.
    This claim originated with a person who left Folkhälsomyndigheten in 2011.
    I am not a defence attorney for the Swedish government; they screwed up mightily by not introducing social distancing earlier. But this particular claim is false.
    (Also, the claim Swedes commit suicide at greater frequency than others is bogus, and goes back to a 1950s article in Reader’s Digest. Additionally, the vortices in a bathtub do not rotate differently on the North and South hemispheres. Sharks do not have a miraculous sense of smell. Spitfire Mk I did not make tighter turns than Messerschmitt bf 109 E)

  16. consciousness razor says

    He compares voting in person to storming the beaches at Normandy and thinks we ought to be willing to do that.

    No. You quoted him saying this:

    But we’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy here, and we’re certainly not asking you to try to overtake Hamburger Hill either.

    So, he does not think it’s like storming the beaches of Normandy, and he’s not saying you should be willing to do that.

    But look, what some random guy thinks about that analogy doesn’t matter anyway. We should ensure people can exercise their voting rights safely. That’s where our focus should be. Or rather, that’s where it should’ve been months ago, as soon as we knew about the pandemic, because there’s very little time left to do much about it now.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    If your state or county does not permit mail voting- or if the local Republicans seem hell-bent to sabotage the count of mail-in votes by various shenagians- I suggest you go voting even if you have to borrow those oxygen tanks firefighters use to enter buildings full of toxic smoke.
    -Also, make sure the record-keeping of the state is updated if you have moved in the last few years. Republican-lead states have been purging thousands of names from the voting rolls using the flimsiest of pretexts.
    You may discover you are no longer on the voting rolls. Or your ID is no longer sufficient- the rules have often been changed to make it really hard to be sure you have the right kind of ID.
    And the usual polling place may have been closed down, with up-to-date information hard to locate. The remaining polling places may have lines where you literally have to stand in line half the day (especially in areas mostly populated by blacks or other groups unlikely to vote for the ‘right’ candidate) Of course, no portapotties will be available.
    -None of this is coincidence. The new voting districts will be drawn in a year, and the Republicans are determined that their jerrymandering of 2011 must not be reversed.

  18. stroppy says

    …And some of them, yes, they may even die and pass away. So be it. I don’t mean to be callous. I don’t mean to be cruel. I don’t mean to be insensitive…

    IOW, he doesn’t mean to callous, cruel, and insensitive, he has to be that way. It’s because you’re so disposable that you’re forcing him to shove you into the pit.

  19. stroppy says

    By contrasting the situation with Normandy, he’s trying to minimize away the risk. I mean asking a bunch of people to go out and die, due in large part to Republican incompetence, is nowhere near as bad as, say, blowing up the whole planet with nuclear weapons. So hunky-dory, right?
    /s

  20. unclefrogy says

    @18
    to paraphrase a bumper sticker I saw years ago
    “Lead on brother hell ain’t half full”
    uncle frogy

  21. says

    Non sequitur: I recently saw a headline, “Trump Says Biden Is Against God,” and my immediate thought was a counter headline: “God Says, ‘I Don’t Exist.'”

    Slightly more on topic: my hope is that even with the apparent election mail sabotage in the works, the people who make it to the polls in person are mad as hell at Trump, and there is an upset like with that Wisconsin election earlier this year.

  22. nomdeplume says

    World’s greatest democracy? The claim was always nonsense, in the last few decades it has become comical. The Republicans have the view that democracy would be fine except for all those pesky voters.

  23. says

    I did warn that I needed more caffeine…

    KG@14
    (1) My “those of us who served” should have had “at any time” afterward. I didn’t serve during the Second Thirty Years’ War — I’m getting old, but not that old — but I did serve. Including a tour as a major command military historian.

    (2) We clearly differ in our opinions of Tooze. I viewed most of his other “I’ll mention this and then dismiss it” causes as the magician’s assistant distracting from the rather-limited-source evaluation of two fronts (and more important than the Allies invading Western Europe was Japan’s noninvasion, which was definitely much higher on the discussion list among both the senior military staff and in Stalin’s inner circle than was France/Italy, especially once there was a relatively secure logistical chain established). But then, I no longer have access to Certain Source Materials (and could not discuss some of the details due to their origin).

    (3) The reference to “primogeniture” is to what the Colonists faced in 1776, and what the US Constitution established as an alternative a dozen years later. My point was that all American military personnel have, at least since the founding and in part before then, been serving in furtherance of a non-inherited form of government (Adams, Daley, Bush, et al. are remarkable as much because they’re outliers): Specifically, the right to vote for who will be in charge.

  24. chrislawson says

    birgerjohanssen–

    It’s great news that Sweden’s COVID19 deaths have hit zero.

    But even if Anders Tegnall insists that he never supported a “herd immunity” strategy, his implementations were the same as those suggested by “herd immunity” strategists. And the result has been 4,000 avoidable deaths in Sweden compared to neighboring countries. The biggest mistake he made (which now he admits was a mistake), refusing to lock down nursing homes, was an obviously predictable disaster and in fact only makes sense as a policy under the presumption that COVID19 should be allowed to run its natural course…i.e. the herd immunity strategy. So I don’t have a great deal of sympathy for his efforts at distancing himself from the concept.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-30/anders-tegnell-architect-of-the-swedish-model-coronavirus/12384966

  25. KG says

    Jaws@23,

    Ah, so the mysterious reference to primogeniture was just a routine irrelevant claim to authority “because I once served in the US armed forces”. Thanks for the clarification. But primogeniture wasn’t even the sole source of political legitimacy in 18th century Britain. Your deep knowledge of history notwithstanding, you seem to have forgotten the so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 which threw out James II and his infant son in favour of his daughter and son-in-law (and nephew), and the subsequent Act of Settlement, which passed over numerous people with a better claim to the throne by primogeniture, to settle the succession on “Sophia Electress of Hanover, and the heirs of her body Protestant”. It’s still the case that no Catholic can inherit the throne of the UK, nor can anyone who is married to a Catholic. What the legal situation would be if the monarch or heir to the throne announced their conversion to Islam or Buddhism, or their atheism, I’m not sure. In practice, the Act of Settlement established that Parliament determines the laws of succession – which were recently changed by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 (admittedly, the Queen had to sign it into law, but refusal to do so would have caused an immediate constitutional crisis). Even in the time of George III, contrary to common American mythology, the monarch’s power was limited. He could choose his Prime Minister, but the latter had to be able to get legislation, and specifically that giving the right to levy taxation, through Parliament – in which only the Lords, not the Commons, was based on primogeniture. And if George had tried to reinstitute personal rule, he’d have found himself packed off to Hanover before you could say “Crown in Parliament”.

    I viewed most of his other “I’ll mention this and then dismiss it” causes as the magician’s assistant distracting from the rather-limited-source evaluation of two fronts (and more important than the Allies invading Western Europe was Japan’s noninvasion

    Since Tooze’s book (some 670 pages, with another 90-ish pages of notes) is about the Nazi economy (the hint is in the subtitle), it’s not that surprising that in the part about the war (around half the text) he focuses on the fronts on which German troops fought, and the economic constraints which limited their ability to fight, but he does in fact mention the transfer of Soviet troops from the far East when Stalin received information that the Japanese intended to respect the Nonaggression Treaty. But since your sneer appears to be a response to my noting that two whole chapters (totalling over 60 pages) deal with Hitler’s preparations for fighting the USA – and there’s a fair bit about the campaigns of the western allies further on – the claim that he attributes the Nazi defeat to a single cause is just silly. And my opinion of the book seems to be rather widely shared, including by other highly respected historians of Nazi Germany and WW2 such as Michael Burleigh and Richard Overy, while yours seems to be based on nothing much that you’re actually able to specify, other than another claim to authority, this time from secret sources you once had access to but now don’t.

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