Jason Wallestad

Exploring the worlds where parenting, teaching, advising, and coding coincide.



Why I’m voting for Biden: Right-wing media outlets and Trump have done a hit job on American democracy

September 26, 2020

I’m voting for Biden this fall because right-wing media outlets and Trump have done a hit job on American democracy.

This week, Fox News even admitted in a U.S. District Court that Tucker Carlson is full of it.

Fox lawyers won a defamation lawsuit brought against Carlson by arguing that any reasonable viewer would “arrive with an appropriate amount of skepticism” toward any statement Carlson makes.

But sadly, 43 percent of Americans and 65 percent of Republicans lack that skepticism and still trust Fox News.

Read More

Politics and the English Language, Revisited, Simplified, Part 1

September 23, 2020

You already know who I’m voting for, so I’ll take a quick detour today and offer some thoughts about the language we use when we talk politics.

One of my favorite essays is Politics and the English Language –– George Orwell wrote this examination of language in 1946, and in it, he describes the “swindles and perversions” politicians use when they want to mislead the public. He also warns us that slovenly language can lead to slovenly thoughts.

One of Orwell’s “swindles” is the use of “meaningless words” –– words laden with emotion, words that generalize without specific meaning, words that create a reaction (either positive or negative) rather than a thought.

Here’s a sentence I recently saw in my Facebook feed: “In the same way, to choose not to vote is a choice to hand America over to the evil forces behind the DNC platform, which is truly evil to its core.”

Read More

Why I’m voting for Biden: He is a good and moral man

September 21, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden for President because he is a good and moral man, and because the person who holds our highest office should be held to the highest standard of character.

One of the moments I was proudest to stand in support of Joe Biden was watching 13-year-old Brayden Harrington speak at the Democratic National Convention. If you missed it, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syNswizgPOU

And if you haven’t seen the video of when Biden first met Brayden, spend a minute and watch it too:  https://twitter.com/jeffreyguterman/status/1296897983385141252.

This is what compassion and goodness look like.

Read More

Why I’m voting for Biden: Trump’s base is still chanting “lock her up!”

September 20, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden this fall because Trump’s fan base is still chanting “Lock her up!” at his rallies –– rallies which Trump now describes, without irony, as “protests against stupidity.”

We all remember the fun and misogyny from 2016 when Republicans were outraged that Hillary Clinton used a private email server, but this is 2020, the opponent is now Joe Biden, and it’s the Trump administration now breaking federal rules regarding email systems.

If you’re interested in reality, here’s a list of the email misdeeds of the Trump administration:

Read More

Why I’m voting for Biden: He’ll be a better steward of the economy than Trump

September 17, 2020

I’m voting for Joe Biden in November because Democrats will be more responsible stewards of the economy than Trump and will help raise the fortunes of working-class Americans.

Here’s a chart to mull over –– it shows how the stock market has performed under each of the last four U.S. Presidents expressed as a percentage from where it started when their terms started.

I don’t for a second think the stock market results are the work of the sitting President nor do I think the stock market is indicative of the American economy, and I only include this graph for some context for those who believe Trump when he brags about the market and takes credit for its gains.

Here’s the deal –– it’s been a pretty average market under Trump. I don’t blame him for it, and I don’t give him credit for it. But if he’s convinced you into thinking that it’s spectacular and that he’s responsible, then you’ve been conned.

Have you noticed how on the days when the market goes down, it’s always someone else’s fault? Can you possibly believe that the complex forces that shape the market are less powerful than Trump’s random ramblings on any given day?

This is the Trump pattern –– brag about the stat that looks good and ignore everything else. In July, August, and September of this year, Trump tweeted “Great jobs numbers!,” ignoring the fact that there are still more than 11 million jobs that were lost between February and April that haven’t yet returned.

The American economy is in trouble, and there are Americans who are in great need. Trump is not working in a bipartisan manner to solve this problem. The Republican side seems to honestly believe that their side will create prosperity for all, at least that’s what the memes I’ve seen them post on Facebook say.

Trump’s latest gambit of a payroll tax deferment is a complete swing and a miss, and it definitely won’t bring prosperity to working class Americans. It will only aid those who already have jobs, and its assistance is temporary as the deferred tax will be due by April 30. In other words, it’s a 7 month loan to yourself. Big whoop.

I’m ready for leadership that will take a measured, intelligent, and comprehensive look at the economy and craft policies that truly help the working class voters of America.

Why I’m voting for Biden: I support the right to vote for each and every United States citizen

September 14, 2020

I yearn for the good old days when the Republican Party was simply trying to gerrymander their way into the majority or using voter ID laws to disenfranchise U.S citizens who just happened to be disproportionately elderly or from minority or low income groups.

This year we’re seeing an all-out campaign by Trump against voting by mail, and the hypocrisy of Republican messaging on this issue is beyond staggering. Don’t believe me? Head to gop.com and you’ll be greeted by a popup video of Donald Trump signing his absentee ballot that he’s going to MAIL IN! And he’s encouraging his voters to do the same! 

Read More

Why I’m voting for Biden: I believe in public education

September 12, 2020

Actions taken by Republican administrations over the last 20 years have consistently undermined schools and defunded education. Republicans give their education proposals and programs clever labels that are the opposite of what they actually do, from the Bush era “No Child Left Behind Act” to the Trump era “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

Betsy DeVos, the pyramid scheme heiress now in charge of public education in the United States, has enacted policies that are shortsighted at best and immoral at worst, as they have deliberately undermined the work being done by public school educators and diverted funding from struggling schools into voucher and charter school programs.

Read More

Why I’m voting for Biden: I want a President who will be honest and forthright in a time of crisis

September 9, 2020

We learned today that Trump knew in early February that the coronavirus was deadlier than the flu, that it was airborne, and that it posed a danger to young people.  Weeks after making these taped comments, he repeatedly assured the general public that the exact opposite was true. On February 28 at one of his rallies, he even called the coronavirus a Democrat hoax.

In a public health crisis, we need accurate information from the person in charge, and we need someone to tell us the truth. If there is public health information that could impact us, we need it to be shared with us.

Read More

Older Posts