By my back of the envelope calculation, every second counts about $38 for Mylan.

By my back of the envelope calculation, every second counts about $38 for Mylan (or about $3.3 million each day).

So here’s the usual market cycle, say for example, the HDTV. You first introduce the product into the market. Usually its price pretty expensively when you first start out. You are not in mass production yet so you are only going to be able to sell so many units, plus you want to recoup the costs of R&D and such. If the product gets a foothold into the market (like clearly the HDTV did), then you will enter a growth stage. As you are able to ramp up production, the cost per unit will start to drop and generally so will prices (as in a healthy market, you will have competitors also trying to sell units…plus you need to make the product more affordable so you can sell more units). The products will become more affordable to the masses. Eventually the market matures and each company will try to figure out how to hang onto share anyway they can, whether it’s pricing or maybe minor feature differentiators or what have you.

But as far as I know, nobody has ever died by not having a HDTV. Which brings me to Mylan and their EpiPen. The price of their product has reportedly increased over 400 percent since 2007. The point of the above is to state my belief that it can’t be because the price of production has gone up. As they have made more and more units, the price per unit should drop, not increase. So if it’s not the cost of production, then why are they selling EpiPens at a price of $250 per unit (though my understanding is you have to buy the $500 twin packs, singles aren’t available anymore) now when they could be sold at $57 per unit in 2007?

The CEO of Mylan responded by criticizing insurers and pharmacists and the health system in general, some of which may be well and proper. But it doesn’t answer the question, why did the price go from $57 to $500? Any answer that doesn’t address the question specifically is just noise. She said if she reduced the list price she couldn’t guarantee that everyone who needs a EpiPen would get one, but didn’t say why that would be (and I don’t think I even accept the premise that everyone who “needs” one is getting one right now).

So about EpiPen and Mylan…….EpiPen is NOT a new product. It was actually invented in the 1970’s by a former NASA engineer with taxpayer funding (the inventor did not get rich….it was made for public use). Mylan didn’t acquire the rights to EpiPen until 2007 (hmm….that’s when the price started going up…I’m sure that’s a complete coincidence!). Given the Mylan didn’t even develop the product, there shouldn’t be any R&D to recover and the manufacturing process should be well refined by now. In other words, I suspect production is cheap. (One more tidbit to Mylan, they moved their corporation to the Netherlands in 2014 to avoid taxes.)

The reason why I think price is up is the same reason that Mylan won’t talk about it. They are charging more because they can. It’s an fairly inelastic demand curve now (what’s the price you put on life saving???? On the other hand, you can’t sell EpiPens to people who don’t need then….dropping prices isn’t going to generate much more demand), though in fairness Mylan did do a lot of marketing initially to raise product awareness that did generate the level of demand you see now (though they have also taken advantage of lobbying and government legislation). And for various reasons, there’s no competition. It’s a monopoly and being a stock company, Mylan is just trying to generate as much profit as they think they can get away with.

Mylan has said they are offering discounts now, but that doesn’t really solve the problem. Not everyone gets the discount and even if they did, insurers are still paying those costs so the consumer ultimately pays one way or the other. Ultimately though, I think there needs to be recognition that there are some areas where the free market works great but some areas where it doesn’t. You need to have competition and consumers need to have choices, including the choice to not participate in the market at all. That’s hard to do when literally lives are on the line.

2016-democratic-national-convention-stage-set

I can’t do it. I had planned to do the same kind of mocking of the Democratic National Convention as I had the GOP National Convention. I even started to write it….and it was turning into more of a college paper summarizing the thing than anything else. To be fair, in my eyes, this year’s GOP Convention was just so easy to mock. And really, I do mean this year’s, because in all fairness, generally in the past, you give either party four nights to put their best foot forward, they do exactly that. That this particular GOP convention was so uniquely odd this year is yet another flag against Trump having the skills to be President.

So instead, I’m just going to mention my favorite quotes from the Democratic National Convention and leave it at that:

  • “To the Bernie or bust people, let me just tell you, you’re being ridiculous.” Sarah Silverman
    Hey, I voted for Bernie too, so I get it. And I think we should push for many of things Bernie had stood for, including changing the nomination process. But you do have to realize that he lost. And you really generally don’t change the rules for any current contests midstream, you have to change them for the next time anyway. Make no mistake though, Bernie did good, he got some nice things into the Democratic platform.
  • “How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”Michelle Obama
    This is what she tells her children when they are subjected hateful language from public figures and people questioning their dad’s citizenship and faith. More high road please!
  • “I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”Michelle Obama
    I thought this was a very effective summation and take down of Donald Trump, all without even mentioning his name. Very succinct too (still too long for Twitter, though, 231 characters).
  • “That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”Michelle Obama
    I’m not sure I would have even included this had it not been for the reaction of people who either don’t know history, don’t understand history, or want to hide from history. What I heard was a recognition of how far we have come as a nation. What other people apparently heard was ‘omg, she said ‘slavery’ and that’s probably not true and why did she even mention that and she should probably not even bring that up’. Or Bill O’Reilly’s odd point in “fact-checking” that the slaves building the White House were “well fed” and had “decent lodging”, which is so beside the point that it’s absurd.
  • “I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America”President Barack Obama
    I have been giving some thought lately in regards to how unique it would be to have somebody serving as President who spent 8 years as First Lady (and let’s be honest, we all know she wasn’t a ‘Good Housekeeping’ first lady baking cookies), 8 years as U.S. Senator, and another 4 years as Secretary of State and would have a former President as her spouse. Whether that’s all good or not, that seems like a much better background than Trump’s career as a celebrity, scam-artist, and at best very mixed business record.
  • “Let me ask you: Have you even read the Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law’.”Khizr Khan
    This is the father of a Muslim man who served our military and was killed in the line of duty. Most times this would be ridiculous, but with Trump, I think it’s a fair question. After all, at one point Trump declared he would defend Articles of the Constitution that don’t even exist. Trump responded with appreciation for this family’s sacrifice before…..yeah, of course that’s not how Trump responded. Instead he insulted the mom, saying she had “nothing to say” and maybe she wasn’t “allowed to have anything to say”. Ghazala Khan, the mom in question, responded that she was still in too much pain to speak, though she thinks she said that without saying a word…..but that would take empathy to recognize, which I’m not sure is in Trump’s DNA.
  • “None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone. America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.”Hillary Clinton
    This is a vision for the country that we need to get back to in my opinion. We are all in this together.

To me, the difference between the two Conventions was night and day (or should I say midnight and morning). The GOP’s Convention was a disorganized mess pushing the politics of fear and division with a solution of a savior to save us all. The Democratic Convention was a well-ran (which again is typically true for both parties…) event that while warning against a potential Trump administration given his shortcomings, pushed a message of optimism and unity for moving forward to the future. That message is much more appealing to me, and right now I don’t see this choice as being close.

trump

He’s totally going to add a “Trump” sign over the White House if he wins, isn’t he?

The Republican Convention was this past week, and if you are like most people, you didn’t really have time (or want to make the time) to watch. Well fortunately for you, I watched* so you didn’t have to. (*Ok, I didn’t really watch, I did what any sane person does if they want to pay attention but doesn’t want to spend hours watching cable news television, I read about it just like you did. Just go with it….I did watch Trump’s 15 hour acceptance speech and you know you didn’t, so I think I deserve a little credit!) Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Day 1: Make American Safe Again: Oh, they had themes for each night. But no worries, by-and-large, the speakers ignored the theme and talked about whatever they wanted to anyway. By which generally speaking was about how Hillary will get us all killed. And Benghazi! (No, that’s not from The Big Bang Theory. You’re thinking of “Bazinga!” Pay attention.) Lock her up! And then there was Melania Trump. I guess she told her speechwriter she wanted to sound like the first lady, and the speechwriter took it as literally exactly like the first lady….has happened to us all! (seriously, how do you think you can rip off a convention speech that was only eight years ago and think you won’t be caught?)

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 4 Number of speakers who were/are “Charles in Charge”? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 2

    Line of the Night: “He will lead by leading.” – Rudy Guiliani

  •   Day 2: Make American Work Again: First, the Trump campaign spent much of day pretending that Melania’s speech wasn’t partially plagiarized, even though they were caught red-handed. Second, the “Never Trump” movement finally succeeded……in delaying Trump’s nomination by about 15 minutes! But alas, Alaska’s last-ditch effort in procedural protest failed and Trump became the official Presidential nominee of the Republican party. This was also the night where party leaders made their obligatory appearances while somehow saying Trump’s name as little as possible (looking at you Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell). Not much talk of jobs, unless the jobs being made available are for lynch mob to go after Hillary Clinton, led by Chris Christie’s “trial”. (Hey, the pitchfork and torch industry does need a pick-me-up!) Oh, and then Ben Carson dropped the pretenses and just pretty much said directly that Hillary is one with Satan. Hey, if you are going to claim somebody is evil, may as well go all the way, amirite?

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 2 Number of speakers who are mediocre (by LPGA standards) golfers? 1 Number of speakers who run fighting organizations? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 2

    Trolling of the Night: Donald Trump Jr. used lines almost word-for-word from an article in The American Conservative by F.H. Buckley. When the internet took the bait and shouted ‘plagarism!’, Buckley pounced to say ‘aha, but I wrote Trump Jr’s speech!’. Well-played sir.

  • Day 3: Make America First Again: Wow, this was straight out of WWE. Ted Cruz is making a speech, maybe he’s going to go “face” and endorse Trump and the crowd is digging it. But as the speech continues, he totally turns and goes “heel” and urges everyone to “vote their conscious”. The crowd turns on him and eventually starts chanting “we want Trump!” And then Trump appears in the crowd! The only thing missing was Trump rushing the stage with a steel chair to chase Cruz off the stage and then playing some theme music and the victorious Trump poses to the fans. Also, Mike Pence accepted the VP nomination, and proved he can fill the role of conventional VP candidate. Plenty of making sure you still remember that Hillary is a bad, bad person.

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 0 (hmm, must have been an oversight) Number of speakers who gave an awkward wave that sorta looked like a Nazi salute? 1 Number of speakers with last name of Trump? 1

    Line of the Night: “A tsunami is coming! His name is Donald Trump!” – Phillip Ruffin, apparently in support of Trump and not warning of an impending disaster.

  • Day 4: Make America One Again: And that one America? It’s the one you are going to totally die in! The GOP turned the fear volume up to eleven. Danger Will Robinson Danger. But there’s one man, and one man only, who can save us all, Trump. And Trump accepted the Presidential nomination….after a very, very long speech that meandered all over the place…that I listened to. Mostly. It was definitely on my television. Anyway he used a lot of words, whereas if he just wanted to get to the point, it would have been ‘Clinton = danger, Trump = savior, Trump out’. But getting to the point (ever really) is not really Trump’s style, is it?

    Numbers: Number of speakers who were/are television stars? 0 (guess TV stars are just for openers) Number of billionaire speakers? 2, bringing the total to 4 for the whole convention….with 1 one more being a former billionaire. Number of speakers with the last name of Trump? 2

    Line of the Night: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” – Donald Trump – explaining why he is the savior.

    So Trump has basically laid out his strategy, Hillary is bad and evil incarnate and he is the savior (just trust him, he is). It definitely felt like the GOP was more uniting behind an anti-Hillary movement rather than pro-Trump. It will be interesting to see what balance the Democrats strike this week between pro-Hillary versus anti-Trump in response.

 

 

Cm1VcQZWIAA2kCy.jpg

Even during the horrible event in Dallas, humanity shined through as seen as these civilians surround a buggy to help protect a baby.

Here’s what I believe (I would like to say that ‘we can all agree’, but given some of what I’ve seen said on television and online, it doesn’t seem to me to be given that we all agree). No one should be shot and killed because they were selling CD’s in a parking lot. No one should be shot and killed because they were driving with a broken tail light. No kid should be shot and killed because they were playing with a toy gun in a park. No kid should be shot and killed because they showed up for school. No one should be shot and killed because they are providing escort and traffic control services for protestors exercising their first amendment rights. No one should be shot and killed because their chosen profession happens to coincide with those who may be guilty of negligence or worse. In fact, short of self-defense or the defense of the lives of others, no one should be shot and killed, period.

All that said, if we believe life is precious, I think it’s beyond time to maybe see if we can reconsider how things currently are and see if there are any improvements we can make to better protect life.

  • So far this year, over 500 people have been killed by police. That seems to be way too many to me. While specific cases help bring the issue to light, I think sometimes getting too caught up in any given incident or two means we don’t see the forest for the trees. In my opinion, we need to take more of a systematic approach. Are there flaws in the way we approach policing in general? Campaign Zero is an organization that studies and seeks policy-based solutions with the goal of minimizing fatalities from police interactions. Whether you agree with their proposed solutions or not, I do think that should be the goal. (From what I’ve read so far, they do seem like pretty reasonable ideas to me.)
  • So far this year, 26 police officers have been shot and killed. That also seems to be way too many. I know I’ve talked about it before, but in my opinion, it does speak to the gun culture of this nation. We can talk about “good guys” with guns and “bad guys” with guns, but at the end of the day when you are a stranger, you are just somebody with a gun to us. And with so many of us with guns, it can be understandable why officers may be on edge. (I can also point out in Dallas, there were a whole lot of “good guys” with guns that failed to stop the “bad guy” with a gun before he shot 13 people, 12 of which where literally “good guys” with guns. In fact, it wasn’t a “good guy” with a gun that stopped the primary “bad guy” at all, but rather a “good guy” controlling a robot with a bomb.)
  • This should not be used as an excuse to shut down the exercise of free speech and dialogue. Guns can’t solve problems, but words and understanding can. No good can come from fear of letting people express their opinions and frustrations.
  • Prayers are great for comfort, strength, and healing. But they don’t solve problems. Talk about the “immorality” of the nation doesn’t solve problems either. We can express the need of “better parenting”, but I’m not sure there’s any evidence that “better parenting” (whatever that is supposed to mean) would make any difference and it’s not really an actionable solution anyway. I don’t mean to offend, but when presented as things we need, I find it akin to saying “yeah, all of these are terrible, but the world sucks so what can you do”.
  • We also need to be more willing to put egos aside, allow that we all have room for improvement, and ideally all work together toward solutions. One thing that will also involve is to be willing to accept even very micro incremental steps toward improvement and not worry about who gets credit for ideas. For example, in the latest round, the GOP proposed a bill which would have added more mental health information to the background check database. The Democrats argued that this provision didn’t go far enough, which I agree with such as it is, but I would say it did go farther than the nothing that passed. Personally I think this was politics, as there was no way the Democrats were going to allow a GOP bill to be the one that passed for gun control. If so, that’s got to stop. But even if the Democrats did just honestly think the bill didn’t go far enough, then I think they need to realize that any progress is better than no progress at all. There can and will be more debates and bills later.

I guess the tl;dr version of this is that I’m tired of reading stories about people getting shot and killed and then nothing changing. That’s the very definition of insanity.

Malaysian Muslims hold placards as they protest against gay rights, outside Kuala Lumpur November 4, 2011. REUTERS/Samsul Saidchristian anti-gay rally

Obviously any time murder is committed, hate is probably a factor (at least a basic disregard of the sanctity of life anyway). Further, if you decide to shoot folks indiscriminately, I think likely the hate is more broad-based. The Orlando shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS on the night of the shooting. Certainly ISIS hates America. And they flat do the worse you can think of to those in the LGBT community. So it’s not a stretch to think that a LGBT nightclub in American was specifically chosen. (Since he’s dead and can’t ask him, I guess we can’t totally rule out that he just picked the nightclub because he knew it would be crowded and knew he could easily pull off a mass murder and that it was LGBT was coincidence. He may have even been gay himself, though even if true doesn’t necessarily preclude him from still hating the LGBT community. That said, it’s clear he was an ISIS fanboy and wanted to make it clear that this was for them, so I would assume that he would have known that the fact it wasn’t just any club but a LGBT club would score major points with ISIS.)

Some thoughts:

  • Most people are basically good and kind, but there’s still too much hate in the world. For sure, it only takes one person with massive hate in their heart for a terrible event to happen (just think, at the night club, we can pretty much assume that hundreds were there just to have a good fun time and only one was there to cause pain and death, but that’s all it takes). Still, there are also levels of hate. Some hatred is in and spread by people who would never ever shoot a place up or anything even close to that. But I think with enough hate, it kind of becomes like a petri dish that allows hate to grow. And in a very few, it grows to destructive levels.
  • Extremist groups tend to eventually reach a point that they hate everyone that’s not in the group. That actually leaves a lot of common ground between extremist groups, regardless of religion or whatever cause is bringing the group together. After all, most people are not members of extremist groups.
  • To wit, Eric Rudolph committed a series of bombings in part to ‘fight against the homosexual agenda’ while citing passages of the Bible as justification. Staff and former students of a Catholic school violently beat a gay couple in Philadelphia. In fact, assaults and murders outside gay bars are all too common. The common thread between all these seem to be violence and hate.
  • At least one Christian preacher in Sacramento and one Christian preacher in Fort Worth praised the Orlando murders. These preachers would likely be called on the fringe (though once again, it’s more evidence that the thoughts and views of those on the extreme look a lot alike). Most people have/would repudiate those remarks. However, there is certainly a larger group that think homosexuality is a “sin” and “evil”. They may say things like ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. But it’s clear that the viewpoint is that these people are doing something wrong and need to “repent” and change. That seems to me to be one step closer to ‘needing to do something about that’ than a more ‘live and let live’ viewpoint and in my opinion, the more widespread that viewpoint is, the easier it is for somebody to justify to themselves into taking that next step to end the “sin” and “evil”.

To once again refer to something the Dalia Lama says, on a fundamental level, we are the same. I’m not sure we can ever prevent every single person from building hate in their heart, as there are many, many factors. Still, to the extent we can remove some of those factors, it seems to me that if we became more focused on what makes us all common and realize that (at least to my knowledge) no harm has ever come from love and respect, maybe, just maybe, the petri dish would be a little less fertile.

 

Orlando

Orlando. Of course I’m referencing the worst mass shooting in this country in modern history. There are lots of discussion regarding the reasons why. Lack of gun control? Hatred against the LGBT community? Mental health issues? Terrorism? In my view, it would really be nice if it was just one thing and if we could just figure out what that one thing was and we fixed that, we would be good to go. But the real world and its people are complicated. I think most likely ALL of these factors had a contribution (though I don’t think we will ever know by how much each factor contributed). Bottom line, we have plenty of problems to work on.

I think I kind of want to write my thoughts on each….just since these are rattling in my head. First, in regards to gun control:

  • We really do need to have a discussion as a country on whether we think guns should be totally unfettered by regulation or not. In other words, is the freedom to manufacture, sell, and own any kind of gun one can imagine really worth the trade-off of safety.
  • In regards to the 2nd Amendment, that “well-regulated militia” thing has to mean something, right? If not, why is it there? At any rate, we frown upon owning tanks. We don’t let you buy automatic weapons. So we’ve established that we can have some lines drawn. It’s just a matter of deciding if the lines we’ve drawn need to be tweaked.
  • Lots of talk about “preventing” these kind of attacks, and that’s part of it. But truth be told, we are also trying to mitigate the impacts of such events too. Had the Orlando attack been 25 dead and 27 injured, it still would have been a most horrible tragedy, but many lives would have been saved too.
  • Along that vein, yes, other means have been used to kill people. That said, when a rock is used to kill 49 people and injure 53 more or when fertilizer bombs become as common as gun attacks, we probably should visit those issues too. Until then though, guns are probably the appropriate focus.
  • Gun control measures will need to be smart. In my mind, the focus should be both on who can possess firearms and the nature of the firearms themselves. For that latter, we should discuss how many rounds should you really be able to fire off at a time without reloading, and how fast you can fire a round. What should be the purpose of firearms for the general public? Hunting? Recreation? Self-defense? If all that, what is really required to meet those purposes? And should anything beyond that be disallowed? Are some of the features of current arms really for just killing people (for instance, the family of the inventor of the AR-15 says it was designed strictly as a military weapon, not for civilians)?
  • Not all gun control measures are equal. The original assault weapon ban of 1994, for instance, was flawed mostly because it focused more on cosmetic features. This was mostly due to the fact that Congress really didn’t want to wide sweeping ban on guns and tried to focus its law on certain guns. However manufacturers pretty easily got around the bans for the most part by simply modifying the models so they would be within code.
  • However, there are some measures that seem like such low hanging fruit that I don’t see why they shouldn’t be done today. For instance, closing the background check loophole seems like just common sense. Also, I find it hard to believe that high-capacity ammo magazines really serve any good purpose.
  • Unfortunately, even if we pass good gun control measures, it is going to take a long, long while to reap the benefits. We have let the sales of military-style weaponry go on for so long, the market is just flooded with this stuff. Stopping the manufacture and sale today doesn’t make what’s already been manufactured and sold go away. (We could ban certain weapons/ammo/ammo capacity outright, perhaps with some sort of buyback program…..but since the biggest fear among some is that government will “take our guns away”, that seems highly unlikely. Of course, given our history, we will be lucky if ANYTHING AT ALL gets passed.)

One final thought: Let’s just clear one thing up. The NRA is not an organization of the people. It’s an industry advocacy organization, namely the gun manufacturing industry. And that means they have a built-in advantage. First, the organization is backed by the support of the industry with $12 billion of sales a year. Second, the goals of the organization is clear. Anything that promotes the sales of guns = good, anything that might possibly reduce gun sales = bad.

In a way, there’s nothing wrong with advocating for an industry. The problem is that there’s no true counter-organization to the NRA to argue and advocate for the other side, which means the NRA has outsized influence over policy. While it’s natural for gun manufacturers to ban together for their own mutual cause, there’s no natural grouping for the other side. So instead, you get several smaller and separate counter groups organizing independently from each other. Also, it’s easy to say we need some form of gun control generally. But it’s much harder to reach an agreement on what that should look like, so the goals for counter-organizations are muddier.

But even so, we either have to make a stand and take measures to see to it that these matters are at least seriously debated (one action I’ve taken is making a donation to Violence Policy Center). Or we need to come to terms with the fact that we collectively have settled on this issue, and we have decided to be ok with having occasional mass shootings as a trade-off for keeping things the way they are in regards to guns.

 

the donald

Last week I posted about Trump’s rhetoric, which as I mentioned, as awful as it is, it is not that different from the GOP’s standard spiel these days. However, I think there are boxes you need to be able to check off to be qualified to be President that go before even any consideration of political views and policy positions. In my view, not just anybody can be President (or maybe I should say, not just anybody SHOULD be President). I think to be considered for the office of the Presidency, you must have the ability to reason. You have to have good analytical skills (no one can know everything about everything, but as President, you do need to have the ability to understand what your team of experts is telling and make sound decisions based on that information). I also think a President needs to have an intelligent curiosity. They need to have a good grasp of history, economics, sociology, civics, etc., both on a domestic and global scale. A President needs to have empathy, as he/she has to remember that they represent 324 million people, who obviously have different backgrounds, needs, desires, etc. than the President himself/herself. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

I think there are a lot of people who are saying “anyone is better than Hillary Clinton”. The implication of that statement is that either everyone has the qualities required to be President or that amazingly Hillary literally possesses the least amount of qualifications of every single eligible adult in this country. Now I’m not a Hillary fan by any stretch. I disagree with many of her viewpoints (her penchant for military use comes to mind) and do have trust issues with her, not to mention that having the Clintons back in the White House just feels so oligarchical. Still, is she qualified to do the job? Personally I think that’s an easy yes. She has the capability of doing the job, even if I don’t think I’m going to like the way she does it.

So in my view, the “anyone is better than Hillary Clinton” statement just simply isn’t true. Some? Yes. Many? Possibly. All? Of course not. So I really think that comment can be better translated to “I’m voting for the Republican no matter what”. If Bernie Sanders was the nominee, it would be “anyone is better than Bernie Sanders”. It’s a rationalization for voting for somebody that’s not a strong candidate. It means that in your view, political affiliation is by far the most important thing, and without the proper affiliation, none of the other things matter.

The flip side of the argument is “anyone is better than Donald Trump”. Statistically speaking, it is also pretty much impossible that literally everyone is better than Trump. The question really should be is Trump qualified enough (or closely enough as qualified as his opponent) to be considered for the highest office of this country?  In my mind, the answer is a clear no. (At which point, you don’t even move on to comparing policy/political positions….you don’t have to.) Here are just a few things that has led me to this conclusion:

Now maybe this is my own bias and I am not thinking clearly. But I would like to think if somebody like Barbara Streisand or Alec Baldwin somehow was the Democratic nominee (or heck, Donald Trump himself as I think he could have easily decided to run as a Democrat…I don’t think he personally cares that much), I wouldn’t support them because “anybody is better than the “R” candidate”. All I know is I think Trump’s main “qualification” is that he is a celebrity who the press is obsessed with. Otherwise he is not qualified at all. On top of that, he is a very bad person. Not “anyone” would be better than him, but the list of people who are is large enough that it most certainly would include Hillary Clinton.