Today was the Day I Threw In the Towel on Donald Trump’s Presidency

So here’s a dirty little secret that even most of my family and friends don’t know about and I’ve been lying about for several years because I didn’t want to take their grief.

I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. I tell most people I didn’t vote. I didn’t really like the two options, and while Trump clearly had the kind of moral baggage that usually disqualifies him for office among most people, it was clear we weren’t in normal times.

I reasoned we could either tread water for another four years with Hillary Clinton, or we could try a bold choice in Donald Trump and if the experiment failed, we could fix our mistake in 2020.

The experiment has failed.

Like New Coke, Pets.com, the recent Cats movie and hydroxychloroquine, I came to the conclusion today that the Trump presidency has seen a massive failure in the kind of leadership this country needs at this point in our existence.

I don’t really like the state of the Democratic Party, I’m not a big fan of Joe Biden and I’m still concerned he’s going to pick a running mate that speaks to polls and not the best person for the job, but I cannot imagine that he could divide the people of America between 2021 and 2025 any worse than our sitting President.

Why today?

The people of this country — or at least the ones I want to stand beside — are very angry about the George Floyd incident in Minnesota. While I don’t agree that violence is the way to show your anger, it’s not completely unfathomable why some people are now resorting to it. For those too young to remember, take a look at the Rodney King/LA Riots situation. This is probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I come from either the 49th or 50th whitest state in America (Maine trades the title back-and-forth with Vermont) and I can sense the racial unrest in this country. I can sense the frustration with civil rights. I’m not going to try and deliver a rousing speech about the Floyd incident or what it means because so many people have given so many great ones already. If it doesn’t upset you, something is wrong.

Today, this country crossed the line of 103,000 deaths of Coronavirus. It will probably be 104,000 before midnight passes on the West Coast. As I wrote in a post earlier today that you can read HERE, I think that people are launching into the new normal because the virus was not Armageddon, and the novelty of being at home 24/7 has worn off. I urge you take this moment and visit the Johns Hopkins website HERE. If you can find any information on that page that indicates things are a) getting better, b) leveling off or c) in any way not getting worse on a national level… show it to me. If this doesn’t upset you, something is wrong.

Our country is at a low point that I can’t remember.

And what is our elected leader, the person who is supposed to display strength and character and see us through this difficult time doing today?

He’s fighting with his favorite website.

No, Trump didn’t quickly get on a flight to Minnesota. He didn’t even issue a statement. His press secretary just said he was upset because really, what else can she say? Remember, this was the guy who publicly stated that there were good people on both sides of the white supremacy debate.

Trump didn’t fly to Minnesota because he was busy with one of his press conferences about the pandemic. Nope, those stopped when his advisers finally told him to shut the fuck up when floated the injection of disinfectant idea — which several people followed and died from, BTW. Yes, you didn’t, but the fact that more than one person did shows what power his words have, no matter how asinine. Nope, aside from perhaps talking to the press, answering only the questions he deems appropriate, every 10 days or so, we just don’t hear our leaders thoughts on one of the greatest catastrophes of modern time.

I’m not going to try to defend Trump’s civil rights record and I had to stop trying to defend his handling of Coronavirus. I actually thought about taking the blogs down I wrote in March urging people to give him a chance and stressing he wasn’t the problem. I’m embarrassed by those comments today.

We live in the United States. That first word is important. United. No, we’re never all going to be on the same page. We’re going to disagree and fight and argue and see bad times until the comet kills us all. But we need someone running the show who knows how to be a leader in the times that are called for and can try to make us more United.

As somebody who is neither Republican, nor Democrat and generally hates both labels and both sides, I think I can objectively say with the exception of George H. W. Bush, every President in my lifetime has been the right guy at the right time. GHWB, who I’ve actually met twice, like his son, seems like a decent guy from all accounts. He just didn’t know how to manage the economy and had to follow Ronald Reagan’s act. And in truth, I’m too young to accurately say how Carter or Ford did because I was watching cartoons.

But, I’m the only person I know who can say he has been able to vote in the past 6 presidential elections, back to 1996 and I have voted Republican in 3 and Democrat in 3. I really have no ownership on either side of the aisle.

No matter how you felt politically about Clinton, or Bush II, or Obama, or Reagan, and even the first Bush, they were the right guy for the time and always put the health of the country and the safeguard of its people at the top of their priority list.

What did Trump do today? He tried to distract you. He tried to make you think that fighting Twitter (which just about every legal scholar, both on the right and left have laughed at) was more important than the fallout of George Floyd or Coronavirus. He wants you to be upset that a private company pointed out that he lied…no, really, that’s what he wants. Screw your unemployment, personal health or fear of the police…a website made our President angry and we need to stand behind him…Who’s With Me??!!

Donald Trump doesn’t care what you think about Twitter. Donald Trump doesn’t care about the eventual lawsuits that will come over his Twitter executive order. Donald Trump just wants you to not pay attention to George Floyd or Coronavirus because they are symptoms and examples of his leadership problem.

Donald Trump is going to be successful at getting his blind legion of followers to care about Twitter today. That’s fine. The rest of us need to awaken from the zombie slumber of trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was cast under that spell for too long. I’m done with it.

It is going to suck to punch that hole next to Joe Biden’s name. It really is. But it’s time to admit the Trump experiment is a failure and we are worse off than we were before him. His leadership has failed.

Your Alarming Porn Statistic For June

We all know porn is huge on the Internet, but with all of the percentages and millions of people doing this or that, it’s easy to just let those numbers fly by. I stumbled upon a fascinating website that ranks the popularity of the Top 50 websites in the world.

Based on statistics that came out on May 1 this year, The Top 5 are exactly what you’d expect: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo. Odds are you use one or more of those sites every day.

So what are the next three most popular websites in the United States? Pornhub, Xnxx and XVideos – all sites that deal ONLY in pornography.

That means that there are three porn sites that are individually more popular than Ebay, Twitter, Wikipedia, Reddit or Instagram.

Think about that for a second. All of those people you see taking selfies and posting them to Instagram or who say “I gotta retweet this”… well there are even more people than that at home watching porn, with a decent percentage getting addicted.

Another site, XHamster, ranks at No. 17, just above Netflix. That’s right. There are four sites that stream pornography that are more popular than Netflix.

Four of the Top 20 websites in the world are nothing but pornography. When you see a list of popular websites, and there isn’t any porn on it, know that whoever is presenting it is ignoring the porn and call them out on it. Ignoring the porn is how we got here.

How We Judge Guilt of Alleged Hollywood Predators Hits Close to Home

Back when I was just starting as a reporter at a newspaper in 1994 or 1995, I fielded a telephone call from somebody who was claiming that their neighbor was doing all kinds of ridiculous stuff to their property. It was a great story, they told it well and I thought it would make for great copy in the next day’s newspaper.

My editor looked at me like I was wasting his time before 10 words got out of my mouth. He asked, “Have they filed a complaint with the police?” I didn’t know, so called the person back. They said they hadn’t. I asked if they were going to. He said that he hoped a story in the newspaper would be enough to shame the guy into behaving. He didn’t really want to get the police involved. I told my editor and he said we wouldn’t be pursuing it. Until the caller was going to document his claim through official channels, we wouldn’t be reporting about it.

Twenty-two years later, apparently Twitter is now an official channel.

I’m having a deep reaction to the ongoing news cycle of sexually inappropriate behavior in Hollywood, Washington and elsewhere, but I guess as someone who was very well-known in his little corner of the world when a similar thing happened to me – coupled with the pings of PTSD I get when talking about it – it would be more surprising if I wasn’t having a reaction.

First things first: Anybody who has criminally violated anybody else sexually should be held accountable in a court of law for their actions, as I was. It shouldn’t matter if it was 25 days or 25 years ago. Statutes of limitations are ridiculous in these cases. How is it that if a perpetrator does something wrong and then outlasts a clock, they get away with it?

I am grateful for the intervention of law enforcement officials which led to my intense introduction to recovery and the journey I continue on today, nearly four years later. I hope that the famous and powerful men who have committed these crimes are able to seriously devote themselves to understanding why they made the choices they did and how to refrain from making them in the future.

I did most of what I was accused of (which you can read about in plenty of other blog entries) and never denied it to police. While I did plead not guilty at first, it was a procedural move made at the advice of my lawyer that 99.9% of defendants make to hopefully end up with a more favorable outcome.

One of the things that I’m feeling watching these stories come out is the sense of helplessness for some of these men who perhaps did not break the law, but made horrible choices, not recognizing the consequences and who will now be paying for it for the rest of their lives. I feel even more helpless for the men who have been accused of either inappropriate or criminal behavior, but perhaps didn’t do it at all.

Take for instance, the case of Charlie Sheen. A friend of Corey Haim, who has been dead nearly a decade, claims that Haim told him that when Haim was a young teen on the set of the 1980s movie Lukas, a much-older Charlie Sheen had sex with Haim. Sheen denied these charges and even Haim’s mother said she knows it wasn’t true.

Ignoring Sheen’s reputation as a womanizer for the last two decades, there appears to be nothing to this case other than a friend of someone who has been dead for years making an unprovable claim. Even Corey Feldman, who is championing a movie to expose pedophiles in Hollywood and was Haim’s best friend, said that he had nothing to support the story.

But can you ignore Sheen’s reputation over the last 20 years? Isn’t that the part that makes the claim seems plausible? If this was a different actor with no womanizing reputation, would you have a harder time accepting it on its surface?

If the assumption is that any person can write anything on Twitter and it is 100% true, we no longer have a need for a criminal justice system. The same goes for any report in the media, whether it’s a liberal or conservative outlet. Reading Twitter reaction or comment sections on various websites shows that this wave of stories is little more than just another tool by which to bash the opposition.

Following my arrest, before I ever made a court appearance, before any evidence ever went to a grand jury or a judge, my case was tried in the court of public opinion. The public didn’t, and still doesn’t know what actually went down and what I did or didn’t do, but for a significant segment of people, those facts were insignificant details. If I had actually been wrongly accused, I don’t think things would have been all that different.

At some point in the near future, this cycle of news stories will slow down. Hopefully workplace culture will change for the better. People behaving criminally sexual need to be brought to justice more often. People like Louis CK – who seemingly didn’t do anything criminal – but based on his position of power made highly inappropriate choices, will hopefully get the message this kind of thing won’t be tolerated any more.

Whether it’s a fiercely conservative, older southern white guy running for office or it’s an openly gay, liberal Asian actor from the most famous science fiction show of all-time (Roy Moore and George Takai, respectively), when we are given a denial, it should then be up to the legal system to prove guilt. In the court of public opinion, I’ve seen people crucifying and vigorously defending both men. The “truth” has little to do with the facts (since all we really have is hearsay) and more to do with what each stands for philosophically.

What will last longer than this news cycle is what continues to happen: We keep moving in a direction where ideas like burden of proof and presumption of innocence being cornerstones of our society and system continue to erode. We are quickly becoming a world where all you have to do is point a finger to take somebody down, justifiably or not, and that’s not a good thing.