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Today is my birthday. I am now old enough to collect Social Security. Hooray.

This is surely one of the most discouraging birthdays in a long time. In my head I remain optimistic about America waking up from its four-year nightmare and finally flushing Donald Trump and his entire hateful movement down one of those toilets he’s always complaining about. But in my heart—

Well, that’s a different matter. Ratfucking operations are hardly new to American politics, but the Trump/Giuliani campaign against Hunter Biden is truly without precedent in the annals of repellent personal attacks. Partly this is because it’s so obviously a ratfuck, and yet Republicans are mostly just whistling into the wind and letting it play out. But mostly it’s because of what Trump is doing. He’s a man with a chilling instinct for what will hurt someone the most and a conscience that never gets in the way of carrying it out. In the case of Joe Biden, he knows that what will hurt him the most is an attack on his family, so that’s what he directed Giuliani to come up with. He doesn’t care if there’s any truth to it. He doesn’t care who’s behind it. He doesn’t care what damage it does. Win or lose, he wants revenge on Joe Biden, and this is his way of getting it. This is what it’s like having a sociopath for president, and the fact that he has even a chance of being reelected is profoundly depressing.

But on the bright side, I’ll get a cake today. I’m not sure that will make up for things, but it’s a start.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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