Y’all know I’m a pessimist even by pessimists’ standards. But here’s reason for hope.


“Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[1] fair use.

Robyn Dixon, Steve Hendrix and Liz Sly, “Russia confirms big retreat near Kharkiv as Ukraine offensive advances,” Washington Post, September 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/10/ukraine-kharkiv-russia-retreat-izyum/

Thomas Grove and Evan Gershkovich, “In Major Advance, Ukraine Drives Russians Out of Key Front-Line Cities,” Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-major-advance-ukraine-drives-russians-out-of-key-eastern-city-11662807160

Steve Hendrix et al., “Russian troops in big retreat as Ukraine offensive advances in Kharkiv,” Washington Post, September 10, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/10/ukraine-kharkiv-russia-retreat-izyum/


Donald Trump

Coup attempt

Fig. 2. Original: The White House. Derivative work: J. J. Messerly, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

I was in Westmoreland County much of this afternoon and evening (Saturday). I saw campaign yard signs in the style of Donald Trump campaign signs, but supporting local candidates, where I would expect to additionally see signs of various sorts supporting Trump. I saw “Let’s Go Brandon” (code for “Fuck Joe Biden[2]) signs. But I only saw two actual signs supporting Trump. I wasn’t counting bumper stickers, but these also seemed much less common.

Westmoreland County is much more conservative than Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is and where I live. Of all the counties surrounding Allegheny, I think Westmoreland is, visibly at least, the most anti-abortion. When facemasks were required for the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed to me that a substantial majority of the population defied the requirements. If Trump’s support has evaporated here, he’s in real trouble.

  1. [1]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  2. [2]Ben Smith, “Brandon Just Wants to Drive His Racecar,” New York Times, December 19, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/19/business/brandon-brown-lets-go-brandon.html

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