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Great article, Lev.

I never took RFK' Jr's candidacy seriously, though. No matter how bad Sleepy Joe is -RFK Jr doesn't seem to have much support beyond the whole 'online skeptic'/IDW leftover Podcast circuit. Which -in our circles may seem significant, but when you zoom out -very few in the Democrat Party base would even consider this guy as an alternative (especially in light of his views (COVID & Ukraine) and the company he keeps (mostly appearing on Right or Right Adjacent shows or podcasts)).

My dad once said, "well if things keep getting worse -and 'the collapse' is coming..."

Long term, my dad may be correct, but things are not going to get that bad before 2024. I believe despite the media's 'looming spectre' of Trump '24, Biden -senile and impotent as he is, is a shoe-in for 2024. Sure Trump has overwhelming support from the Republican base (which is de-facto his base) -never before have I seen an American politician with this much personal loyalty and fealty from his plebeian class, but it doesn't extend that far outside of said base. There were few undecideds in 2016 -even fewer in 2020. If we continue on that trajectory and game out a rematch in 2024 -there will be no 'independent' voters for either candidate to vote for. And I find the likelihood of voters crossing the aisle doubtful -if not nonexistent as well.

MAGA Rallies are quite deceiving -I've learned. They give off a false sense of genuine popularity from a majority of the population -when in truth, outside the rally -while few love Sleepy Joe, Trump is reviled.

On Ukraine -I think it's really saddening (and also telling) that it has become a partisan issue...and have no doubt it has. In the Trump/MAGA adjacent wing of the Party -which as we know has sway over the majority of the voters Ukraine is a 'money laundering scheme of the Democrat Party' or 'none of our business' -or somewhere on the spectrum of Dissident Right 'muh baste Putin' (like your old pal Gio), the "umm...um..Aktually Ukraine..umm...is the real...um..Natsys" from a smirking Curtis Yarvin, or the John Meirsheimerian dishonest neutrality -of 'not poking the bear' because 'its all NATO's fault'...etc. You've probably heard it all ad nauseam, as have I.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much to change on that front. I could go on a rant, about Gio and how he's a model target for the Russian state -but I don't want to waste your time. I will say -I once considered myself part of the 'dissident right' -but the Russian War against Ukraine (I phrase it that way specifically so there is no doubt on where I stand), and the dissident right's simping for Putin and the Russian state was the cold splash of water to the face I needed. I find it funny how the media -for years, called us all Russia bots and trolls..much to our ire. But the moment Russia invades Ukraine its -"muh base Putin's gonna save us all from the globalist Nazis harvesting adrenochrome from Donbas orphans -for George Soros and Queen Elizabeth II, in secret biolabs under the Azovstal plant."

Sad state of affairs -and I wish more people could see the situation as it is, other than pulling wool over their eyes and doubling down on bullshit from grift merchants and literal propagandists of a hostile foreign state. We talk about the media being 'an arm of the GAE' in a hyperbolic sense -while at the same time there are/were people literally pushing enemy state talking points on TV (-ehem Tucker) and in Congress (Margarie Taylor Green, Matt Gaetz, etc.). And I find that more terrifying than any insidious plot coming out of Davos.

Anyways, rant over.

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