Rounding the Coroner | Credit: John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

If you are still undecided regarding whether you will vote, or whom to vote for, consider that the final presidential debate made it clear that this election is ultimately about whether you will accept government based on irrationality and lies for another four years.

Donald Trump’s closing argument was based on so many dangerous lies it’s impossible to include all of them in this article. The most egregious could have been comparing himself to President Lincoln. The most offensive was his claim that the Obama administration, not his, created the policy of separating parents and children at the southern border. However, the most dangerous, which should preclude him from a second term, included: the pandemic, climate change, and Russia.

Given that Trump knew about the deadly nature of COVID-19 last January and did nothing to stop it, should by itself, be enoug  to disqualify him from a second term. He did not protect us! More than 231,000 of us have died so far — and a thousand on the day of the debate itself. The latest forecast projects around 315,000 deaths by the end of the year; fewer deaths if everyone wears a mask and social distances.

Trump, by doing nothing to stop the virus is relying on “herd immunity”(allowing the population to become infected) as his default approach. Herd immunity has never been relied upon in modern times. All epidemiologists, around the world, say relying on it is surrendering to the virus, which will lead to a catastrophic loss of lives without speeding up our return to normal activities.

If one needs more than that, consider his factual propaganda to obfuscate his failure to deal with the pandemic. He repeated his false claims that: “We’re rounding the corner … It’s going away … We have a vaccine … it’s ready … 99 percent of people recover.”

It’s not going away! Infections are on the rise throughout the country. Instead, public health experts say the earliest we will have a vaccine is sometime in 2021. Recovery from the disease is far from 99 percent. The more than 231,000 who have died from COVID constitute more than twice the number Trump lies about — 2.6 percent of those infected have died. Spreading this kind of propaganda is dangerous. If he is left in power the virus will kill more of us.

Science unequivocally tells us that climate change is an existential threat to life on the Earth as we know it. Trump’s view, reiterated during the debate: “best carbon emissions numbers … we’ve had in 35 years … we have the cleanest air and … water.” Reality: the billions of tons of CO2 the U.S. is producing cannot reach the “net zero” emissions science tells us is needed by the middle of this century to avoid the “tipping point” (another 1.5C of warming) which will begin the collapse of our life-giving ecosystems. The U.S. ranks 16th in air quality in the world. U.S. water quality comes in even lower, we rank 26th. Moreover, as important as air and water are, climate change is about CO2 emissions being pushed into our atmosphere creating unprecedented human caused warming of the planet.

Russia is Donald Trump’s Achilles heel. Russia is our enemy. Clearly, Russia helped him win the 2016 election and is, according to intelligence reports, attempting to do so again in 2020. Dating back to Helsinki, where Trump sided with Putin over our intelligence agencies in front of the entire world, his reluctance to take on Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been alarming. This has continued through his refusal to confront Putin over bounties being placed on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. During the debate Trump claimed Russia is meddling in the election to defeat him. This attempt to change reality is shocking.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials announced months ago that Russia is actively meddling in the election to hurt Biden, primarily by spreading disinformation about alleged “corruption” by Biden and his family regarding Ukraine. Trump raised this through a reference to Biden receiving $3.5 million from Russia.

Trump was seemingly trying to raise an unsubstantiated allegation being made against Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. This allegation is not connected to Vice President Biden. It involves a donation to a firm, Rosemont Seneca Thornton. Hunter Biden was not an owner of the firm. Trump, in a convoluted fashion, was trying to allege that a $3.5 million donation from Russia went to Joe Biden while he was vice president. Neither the Republican Senate committee that investigated the claim or Trump have provided any evidence that the payment existed, went to Joe Biden, or that Hunter Biden committed any wrongdoing. In the past, attacking a candidate’s family has been off limits. Not so with Donald Trump.

What we witnessed during the debate was Trump attempting to spin a false reality for voters. If you’re undecided don’t buy into it. Facts and reality still matter.


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