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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Quacks Like A Duck

 

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
  --Maya Angelou

 

 

I asked social media a question.

If you think Trump and Clinton are the same, ask yourself this: would you honestly be this afraid for the future if Clinton had won?

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Would you have been this afraid if Clinton had won?

Would you?

Really?

It’s a simple question. But hard to answer, because you have to be honest with yourself.

Now by implication that question was addressed to Third Party voters, specifically those who’ve been telling me for the last year how Republicans and Democrats are really no different despite radically divergent platforms and how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are essentially identical in evil.

And so I wondered.

Since the election of Trump, I wondered if those same people who I now see losing their shit in a spectacular fashion would be equally as fearful for the future if Clinton had won instead.

The response from the target audience was about what I expected.

Yes!

Yes we would!

Liberal Jill Stein supporters were certain Clinton would start World War III on her first day in office and Conservative Gary Johnson supporters were convinced Clinton was a corrupt lying dyke and possibly a serial murderer. So yes, went the general consensus, they would have been even more afraid for the future if Clinton had won instead of Trump.

I thought I could maybe get some mileage out of that. An essay. A couple of in-depth Facebook posts, perhaps. Maybe an article for a media column. But there’s really nothing interesting there. Lets see, frightened people who are always frightened for the future are still frightened for the future and would be no matter who was running things? Not exactly a captivating or surprising narrative.

No, instead it was the responses from conservative Trump supporters I found most interesting.

A day after Trump’s election I wrote:

The conservative extremists who will soon control those bodies will not hesitate to force their ideology upon the country. And they will do so without restraint. They’re already gleefully crowing about it and they can’t wait to get their revenge for all the wrongs they believe they have suffered.

It doesn’t take any great clairvoyance to see what’s coming. 

Today every white supremacist, every religious lunatic, every raging gun nut and beer-bellied militiaman, every flag-humping jingoist is cheering.

They have indeed, at last, taken their country back.

In that essay, Bug Hunt, I outlined the Left’s worst fears for a Trump presidency: loss of civil rights, persecution of LGBTQ people, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, isolationism, war, and fascism. 

Now, I admit I was purposely engaged in a bit of worst case hyperbole as a lede.

 

Or was I? 

 

The responses from Trump supporters and conservatives were about what I expected:

- Really? I mean come on. You all are some kind of crazy […] Not all conservatives are racist, homophobic, islamiphobic [sic] monsters. This is offensive people […] Get over yourselves and quit acting like conservatives are about to declare war on you all or something.

- As a conservative with a deep desire for unity, I wanted to share some thoughts […] the reason why I voted the way I did is because of our national security, healthcare turmoil, and sad economic plight. Terrorism is real. I don't know why liberals ignore this. I don't want my African-American, Hispanic, LGBT brother/sister/neighbor (you name it) get thrown off a building because of their sexual orientation or color of their skin. That's happening. I don't want that to happen here in the USA […] I really don't want anyone to die. I really have a true question - do liberals really not worry about this stuff?

- The first half of your post is fear-mongering bullshit, Hillary talking points, and voters know it. If Trump was really going to build a wall, then throw all the Mexicans over it, how did he manage to get nearly 30% of the Latino vote? Your precious lesbian Muslims can relax. He's not rolling back anything.

- Your fears are just blind speculation. Get a grip!

- You are reaping what you sowed. Nothing more. If you are afraid, its because you know you earned it.

- [Y]ou need to drop the ignorant attitude of the liberals that anyone who does not agree with you is 'gun loving, bible toting, pick up driving red neck'. Or in more plain speech: Racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, anti-LGBT.

- Try and protect your Muslim, gay, black, etc friends, from whom?

Really? Come on, Jim! You’re all crazy. We’re not racists. We’re not homophobes. We’re not afraid of Muslims. We’re not going to herd people into camps. We’re not going to build a wall. We’re not gun-toting bible-thumping rednecks! There’s no need to be afraid. We love all Americans. Sure. Between the hundreds of comments here on Stonekettle Station and the associated thousands on social media and via email, conservatives informed me that the fears outlined in Bug Hunt were unwarranted and undeserved.

Trump, they said, will make a deal, he’ll find the middle ground, he’ll unite the country.

And I’d like to believe that.

I would. Honestly. I’d like to believe that Trump’s rhetoric to date was just the kind of things people say during a particularly nasty campaign and now that he’s won he’ll do as Republicans promised and pivot to a more presidential demeanor.

I really would like to believe that. 

I’d love to go the next four years without using or seeing the word “Nazi” or “fascist” associated with the US government even if I don’t agree with how they might be running the country. I honestly would.

But … we’re still waiting for that pivot.

The president elect has spent the last 24 hours raging on Twitter like a snotty 14-year-old who didn’t get picked for the cheerleading squad. Given the chance to go high, Trump has gone low every single time.

Every. Single. Time.

 

And nowhere is this more apparent than in the people Donald Trump is now selecting for his administration.

 

If you think the fears outlined in Bug Hunt were unwarranted, you have only to look at the future Trump administration.

Mike Pence. Rudy Giuliani. Mike Huckabee. Reince Priebus. Steven Bannon. Tom Cotton. Mike Flynn. Jeff Sessions. Mike Pompeo. And a host of conservative cronies dating all the way back to Reagan.

Around the edges are Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Nationalists.

Hell, Trump is openly listening to Alex Jones.

Conspiracy theorists, the wretched refuse of failed politics, religious nuts, cashiered generals, Washington insiders, and the oily gray foamy fringe of congress. You’d be hard pressed to assemble a more homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, xenophobic, jingoistic group of science denying fanatical nationalists if you tried. We’re on our way back to being a nation of torture, rendition, and warrantless wiretaps. Out in the streets the racists are enthusiastically chanting hate and intolerance. Swastikas and anti-Semitic  slogans are being painted on homes and businesses. Politicians and law enforcement are talking unabashedly about Internment camps and Muslim registries and rounding up immigrants.  A Washington State lawmaker is right now promoting legislation that would charge political and environmental protestors with “economic terrorism” – and if you don’t understand why designating US citizens as terrorists in post-911 America is goddamned chilling, then you haven’t been paying attention these last 15 years.

I mean, if you’re not a racist, if you’re not a homophobe, if you’re not an anti-Semite and an Islamophobe, if you’re not a misogynist, then what in the hell are you doing standing with these people?

And it’s not like the new administration is taking action to stop this trend.

Two days ago, Vice President Elect Mike Pence was booed at a Broadway presentation of Hamilton.

The cast of that show, many people of color, LGBT, admonished the crowd to stop. Then they politely and respectfully addressed their fears of the coming Trump Administration directly to Pence at the end of the show.

Mike Pence could have addressed the audience then.

Right then.

Sincere or not, the new Vice President of the United States of America could have assured the nation, those most afraid right now, that the new administration would be a government for all Americans. He could have assured us that this president would work to protect the rights of all citizens, all people, black and white, gay and straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, atheist. All of us.

He could have turned that moment into a triumph of reconciliation.

Oh yes, he could have.

Pence is an accomplished politician. A man comfortable in front of crowds. A man used to speaking on matters of state and government. He could have taken that opportunity to reassure the nation – even if he didn’t mean it the same way you and I might.

But he didn’t.

He didn’t because he doesn’t believe it.

Because he knows those fears are justified, because he himself is an architect of that fear. 

The new president himself could have taken this opportunity to do the same, to demonstrate that he is a leader for all people and not just the racists and bigots and the haters right now cheering his name.

Instead Trump took to social media and attacked those who spoke up.

And that tells you everything you need to know.

 

The world has been here before.

 

The lessons of history are clear.

America, indeed the world, has every reason to fear and absolutely no reason not to.

If you’re not speaking up

If you’re not speaking out

If you’re not standing against this madness

Then you are a goddamned fool.

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak for me.
-- Martin Niemöller

145 comments:

  1. Legislation that can charge protesters for economic terrorism.
    So where will the defining line be I wonder? Journalists calling out and reporting on war crimes, people gathering to air their grievances with police brutality, war crimes and other actions?

    Yep, if that goes through, it is a pretty safe that democracy in the US is dead.
    There might still be elections, but only for show.

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    1. I don't think republicans really thought that bill through, nor how much they will upset the NRA with it once the NRA realizes possible ramifications. If protestors can be charged with economic terrorism, then that means Walmart, or some other big chain can press charges against open carry protestors on their property. All they have to prove is that one person chose not to enter their business or left without purchasing due to the open carry protestors and card carrying NRA members will no longer be able to own a firearm.

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    2. While I don't worry about this passing, or making it past the governor, I am concerned other states where it will pass may grab the idea. :(

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    3. This gomer is from Ferndale, right near Lynden, the weird little Dutch Reformed enclave that I swear the town in Footloose was modeled after. He can't pass such a law in the state legislature. He couldn't pass such a law in Whatcom County unless somebody nukes Bellingham--and even the Snouts in Footfall left Bellingham alone.

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    4. Anonymous: I don't think white good 'ol boys need worry about carrying their machine guns into Walmart. Cops have considerable discretion about whom to arrest.
      If I were colored in Trump's Amerika? I wouldn't dare touch a gun with a ten-foot pole.

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    5. Yes "Anonymous"...the "gomer" State Rep Doug Erickson lives in Ferndale...so do I. He grew up in Bellingham, graduating from Sehome HS. Lynden is a pretty town that has some interesting rules...and yes, it is a little bit creepy - but, my husband grew up there, so did my father.
      It's sometimes better not to disparage a person's community just because that person needs to have a rectal lobotomy...
      This isn't the first time Doug has been in the news, a couple of years ago it was his time spent with lobbyists in question. That didn't hit the national level like this piece of brilliance did. He may live in my town and by the State Rep for my area, but I voted against him and am not pleased with his performance. He is quite good at suckupery with the locals though, good church going family man and such....maybe they will remember this nonsense next election? Probably not,.

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    6. "Colored" people in America have read A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines. Have you ever heard of the Deacons of Defense in Bogalusa, Louisiana? I guess you know the ghettos in this country are full of guns, don't you? There's fear but there's also wisdom.

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  2. Frightened? I voted for Clinton. Yes, there is a certain amount of fear. More significant, though, I am filled with sadness and resignation. These motherfuckers burned down their country, or at least lit the match. I'm 63 years old. Men in my family generally don't live even that long. My future is, actuarially speaking, very short. My sadness is for those who came and will come after me. They have no idea how bad this can get.

    Max: "The Nazis are just a gang of stupid hooligans, but they do serve a purpose. Let them get rid of the Communists. Later we'll be able to control them."
    Brian: "But who, exactly, is 'we?'"
    Max: "Germany, of course."

    Really, though. Come to the Cabaret, old chum.

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    1. I feel your pain! I'm 57 and a female. I have 3 grandaughters and 1 grandson and I fear for them and my children! We are indeed in a very dark place!

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    2. What we are seeing now is 1934 Germany. The ones voting for Trump are the "Good Germans", who never thought that Hitler really meant what he and his supporters said. The good Germans got to rent the empty apartments after 1938 and never asked where their neighbors went, they bought the really nice used clothing and shoes that showed up for sale, they got better jobs, because a lot of people had left. Then they also drove the trains with cattle cars, dropped the zyclon b pellets and supplied the guards at "work camps" with food. But when their country was a pile of smoking rubble, and millions were dead, they had "no idea" how that happened.

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    3. I'm 66. I am retired, and probably not in any immemdiate danger, being Caucasian as fuck. But I, like you, am terrified for what the world will be like for my 12 year old grandson, or my lesbian best friends, or my lesbian daughter. Or people of color, Americans who are Muslim, or even Sikh.
      I am trying not to think about it too much or I will literally make myself sick or have a stroke or heart attack, which will do no one any good. But I am scared shitless. And angry, too.

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    4. You're a woman on SS and Medicare. You are in immediate danger.

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    5. Add me to that list...about to turn 65, retired, on SS and about to be on Medicare. I'm scared as crap, for me and for my grandchildren.
      And I may have 20 more years of this to live through.

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    6. Well, looks like the "irrefutable" logic of this piece has helped calm everyone down.

      Let's try a mildly different lens on the Pence/HAMILTON situation: you're the Vice President-Elect of the USA. You go to see a Broadway show. And you get booed by the audience and lectured by the cast.

      You:

      A) Fall to your knees and humbly beg the forgiveness and understanding of everyone. Because the only people that know truth and justice are New York audiences and Broadway performers, after all. New York = America (And I write that as a native New Yorker who, horror of horrors, has lived in Michigan for the last 25 years).

      B) Launch into a Hitler-like (or I guess Himmler-like) rant against the Jews and homosexuals in the room.

      C) Immediately assure everyone that all will be well (aka, the Stonekettle Station solution), because you were totally expecting this sort of incredibly rude and disrespectful attack on a social occasion.

      D) Feel just a bit put out and keep quiet.

      I personally would be put out, but hey, I'm a progressive, and my ideas are blessed by the angels, so anyone who disagrees with me is clearly a racist, homophobic, misogynistic anti-Semite (yeah, I'm Jewish). But how dare Pence be put out? He's on the wrong side. And how dare Trump back his Veep? Obama, were the situation reversed, would no doubt have failed to back Biden. Sure.

      This sort of piece and the reactions it entails, particularly the "Fourth Reich" crap, are making me ill. As are the extreme nastiness from the far right.

      I recommend viewing the CBS summer replacement series BRAINDEAD. Absent the mind-eating alien insects, we're living that series. Both extreme right and self-righteous elements of the left, particularly the Clinton camp who can't figure out why they lost and are blaming everyone but themselves, are hitting new lows with their ugly rhetoric. Surely that's going to guarantee that things go well. But no matter if they don't: both sides have each other to blame.

      I think there are sane folks on both sides who see through the shit-storm, but not enough. Much easier to say "Hitler!" and "libtards" after all.

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    7. I disagree. I think Obama would have gone high; he would have stepped up to assure the cast that he understood that we are 1 nation and that his administration would do its best to serve all of us. He would certainly not have called for an apology.

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    8. I'm going to assume that you haven't actually viewed a clip of the cast's statement. It was respectful and more request than lecture. It was also probably prompted as much by the crowd booing Pence earlier in the show, as it was to make a political statement to Pence.

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    9. If i were out and someone with a dissenting opinion from me took an opportunity to politely but firmly tell me their opposing beliefs, unsolicited I'd be annoyed, possibly really annoyed. (keep reading, its important). There is, however, freedom of speech, so as much as they're allowed to tell me those things, I'd be free to tell them to F*** off...the establishment would also be free to kick either party out.

      If I were a state representative, and The same thing happened, understanding that it is one of my constituents, whom I have the duty to represent, I might be annoyed, but it would be my duty to hear them out. And to be quite frank, I SHOULDN'T even be annoyed, as it would be my job to "have my ear in the community.

      Step that up to a federal government representative as high up as the Vice President...someone who helps dictate the nation's policies, then everyone is his constituent. He is a public figure of the highest caliber. That carries many MANY responsibilities with it. One of which is not getting all offended when the people he's sworn to lead in a representative democracy tell him their views. As has been proven time and time again, the President and Vice President do not have a private life from the moment they win the election to the moment the next president steps in, and often extended quite a bit before and after that (candidacy and ex-president)

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    10. Michael Goldenberg: "I personally would be put out"

      But you're not the Vice President Elect. Going high is his job now.

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    11. Thing is, sure he can be put out when it happens. I would be, too - when I go to a show I'd hate it if the cast lectured me and the audience boo'd me. I don't blame him in the slightest for not responding right then.

      Thing is, the administration *still* hasn't responded, even now that they've had time to cool down and think through a measured, reasoned response to what was a rational and polite statement (no matter how poorly timed the delivery). Instead of doing that, they've taken to throwing yet another tantrum on social media about all of the perceived attacks on them.

      And if Biden had been boo'd and "lectured" by the audience and cast of Hamilton, respectively, here's how I imagine that would have played out: Biden wouldn't have said anything during the show either. Within 5 hours of the end of the show though, there would've been a press conference talking about what happened in a calm and reasoned manner. They would have taken the opportunity to reassure the nation and tried to put out some of the various fires rather than throwing a childish, public tantrum.

      And that's the difference between a statesman and what we have scheduled to take office next January: one would have taken the opportunity to calm our fears, the other perceives attacks from every corner. If we're not with them, we're against them. Us vs Them. That kind of attitude has been slowly tearing our country apart for the last 8 years, and now we're reaping the result of that schism.

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    12. It was not the cast, but the audience that booed. According to a report of his appearance on Fox News Sunday, Pence says that he was not offended. He says he walked into the theater and heard some booing and some cheering. He nudged his children and told them "that's what freedom sounds like." He stated that he would like to assure the American people that he will, indeed, represent ALL, and they need not worry.
      This assurance would have had a much better impact, had he taken the time to convey that message when he had the opportunity, at the theater. The delay implies he needed time to think about the best way, politically, to respond.

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    13. Terror is a good word for it. I have family members, women with daughters just starting to make their way out into the world, who made the incomprehensible decision to vote for that man. For myself, I have chosen to cut ties with long time friends who voted for hate, for the candidate beloved by the KKK and alt right extremists. I will not stand with anyone who stands with him.

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    14. Pence, in an interview on Fox News, said that he wasn't in the least offended. And he thoroughly enjoyed the show, and recommended others go see it.
      Pence is an experienced politician and knows the drill.
      Trump doesn't. He's the one who demanded an apology. He's used to being a celebrity who can control the media, and hasn't yet adjusted to his change in status to a public figure.

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    15. Michael Goldenberg: There was nothing rude or out of line about what the Hamilton cast did. Their job as artists is to comment on the society around them. Hamilton, itself, is a social commentary.

      Please read and listen to the actual statement read by Mr. Dixon. It expressed concern and hope. It made a request for the upholding the rights bestowed in this democratic republic by our founders. It was not, by any means, either harassment (as Mr. Trump characterized it) or a lecture.

      Mr. Pence is not an ordinary citizen. Those cast members are part of his constituency now, and it is his duty to both listen to their fears and assuage them not just in word, but in deed.

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  3. Trump knows exactly what he is doing, and what he is doing is stoking the hate and outrage of his fringe. He is creating a legion of Brownshirts that will harass and intimidate any who oppose him. Today I got a Facebook reply to a comment I had made over a year ago. It was posted at 2:00 AM. I blocked the poster immediately because a) anyone who writes multiparagraph replies to year-old comments is either drunk, crazy or both and b) that confederate flag she had at the top of her page. I don't know for a fact that Trump's ascendancy is responsible, but it sure seems plausible.

    Shit's about to get real, folks

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    1. There seems to be a 1:1 ratio between scandalous things happening in the Trump Universe and ridiculous things Trump sends out by Twitter or otherwise.

      With fewer than 140 characters he knocked the news that he settled a FRAUD case for $25M right off the front page.

      Any time Trump says something outrageous, it's probably a good idea to look to see if there's something more outrageous that he wants to distract attention from.

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  4. There is a meme running around Facebook that is relevant to the quote from Neimoller that you ended the post with...

    "First they came for the Muslims, and we said 'Not this time, motherfucker.' " (this quote apparently comes from April Daniels)

    It's not enough to leave me feeling very optimistic...but I do take it as a reason for some small amount of hope. But ultimately, the real answer will become clear with time.

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    1. That's a pretty great quote. Thank you

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  5. typo: ...if you’re not a misogynist, then wait in the hell...

    presumably, s/wait/what/

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  6. Trump has been amazingly honest about who he is and how he does things. He goes low, he says whatever sounds good, and he has absolutely no plan. He's a third party candidate that discovered it's much more effective to take over on of the two parties.

    Here's what I worry about, and may be interesting fodder. I think Trump will be allowed to be a kleptocrat and scare everyone silly. In this way, a GOP Congress will actually hold back, and thus gain some allies that the true GOP isn't insane. Meanwhile, Trump rubber stamps everything from the GOP, starting with Ryan's Better Way that sunsets Medicare. And then, when Trump is quickly dumped in 2020, all the bad things will get blamed not on the GOP, but on Trump... who really wasn't a real Republican anyway.

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    1. That's basically what I've been saying. The Republicans are about to do some really shady shit that no one likes, and since they can't blame the Democrats they'll throw Trump under the bus at every available opportunity. I'll also add, now they'll probably start using the existence of the alt-right to scare everybody into uniting with them...which we may have to anyway.

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    2. I'm not so sure. I suspect that's what Republican's might have planned, but so far the Republican Party has shown no ability to beat Trump at this sort of game. He's a better BS artist than they are and now he has access to the Presidency. It's every bit as likely that Trump will block some particularly odious pieces of Republican legislation to boost his own low numbers and blame the Republicans in Congress, particularly Ryan and the old guard if things go down in flames.

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    3. Trump: I need a bill that repeals and replaces ObamaCare!
      Shitty Speaker: How about we ditch it and Medicare, replace it with block grants to the states and make it their problem?
      Trump: That sounds bad
      Shitty Speaker: We'll call it A Better Way. Better Ways make America Great Again!
      Trump: Brilliant!

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  7. I grieve for all those who voted Republican because they saw no reason to support yet another establishment politician and instead decided the snake-oil salesman might actually give them the cure this time. And I grieve that so many people are now condemning them as racist, misogynist, homophobic xenophobes, clearly demonstrating, first, the effectiveness of the corporate media in designing the narrative and, second, that they live in a comfortable middle-class bubble that protects them from having to deal with people who have had the promise they would achieve their dream if they just worked hard enough shattered over and over again.

    Yes, I firmly believe we are about to experience a revival of the 1960s, with all its violence and bigotry. It's how those in control stay in control—by keeping the serfs at each other's throats, and the politicians are past masters at it, regardless of party affiliation. I also firmly believe that if those workers and farmers and others who've lost hope are ostracized by the same college-educated snobs who've been ignoring them for the last forty years (when they were't telling them to buck up and work harder), we will lose the war.

    There are millions of people who are about to see their dreams shattered again, unless the GOP makes good on Trump's promise to spend money on infrastructure. And even then, any triumph is likely to be short-lived given the track record of the kind of private-public partnerships the Republicans are so obsessed with. If all we've done is continue to belittle them, they will be ripe for the next snake-oil salesman who'll offer to fix things.

    Which brings me to the other thing that concerns me. After the Democratic convention, many, many people who had been enthusiastic Sanders supporters turned on him savagely because he failed to do what he said very specifically he would NOT do—become the leader of a third-party movement. They still call him a shill and a sellout and worse. In other words, they, too, are looking for a Fearless Leader who will tell them what to do so he or she can magically fix everything.

    If we're going to win, we need lots of heroes, not one Shining Knight. For one thing, that never works out well. For another—and yes, I know it sounds paranoid—I sincerely believe any single individual who becomes the focus of a progressive movement to counter the party now in power will have a target on his or her forehead. Just as the commanding officers in a battle never wear their rank insignia, those who will coordinate our efforts need to be as anonymous as the foot soldiers for their own safety.

    Okay, that's my paranoid rant for the day. Contrary to how it might seem, I do have continued hope we can save this country and move it forward to what it was meant to be. I also know it won't happen unless and until everyone who embraces that goal is willing to do whatever they can to reach it. I'm a crippled old lady, but I can write and I know how to review the news as a professional editor; so, that's what I'll be doing, mostly. And sending what money I can to organizations like Our Revolution and Brand New Congress and independent news sources like Truthout and FAIR.

    And I will continue to do what I started doing two years ago—expanding my knowledge of modern history and politics and civics and whatever else I need to stay aware.

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    1. I'm not as worried for the return of the '60s as I am for the return of the '30s and '40s.

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    2. That was a wonderful rant! Please keep writing and get it out there for many to read.

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    3. Unknown 11:40 I agree that I am worried about this country sliding back to the stone age or at least into a theocracy. I read an article about a trump supporter suggesting that the women's right to vote be taken away. I was so stunned, I didn't even think to save the article or the name of the author. I turned off my computer and have not listened to one news report-local or national- since. I made me sick.

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    4. But doesn't this election sort of prove the falsehood behind your Horatio Alger story that "if you work hard enough" everything will turn out all right? Clinton is that story--started from a poor childhood and became a Senator and Secretary of State. Trump is the rich bully who started with "a small million-dollar loan" from his father and built it into a snake-oil empire. So why should we feel sorry for them for believing Alger when Trump is proof that it just isn't true?

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    5. And then you have people like this from the CNN telephone poll about the election :

      "I voted for Obama, and I believed in him. But he let me down."
      Voted for Trump
      Marcia Tennessee
      Marcia, a 70-year-old retired teacher, cast her vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012, because she had hope — for a better America, for a better life. That's not what she got. Marcia felt like Obama spent his time apologizing for the country, rather than loving it. The turning point for her, however, was when football players began kneeling during the National Anthem. Marcia, a lifelong Democrat who protested the Vietnam War and wasn't a fan of Ronald Reagan, says she felt like America was losing its identity.

      Yes, kneeling during the National Anthem... That triggered this woman vote for Trump. I am sorry, I have no words for that level of recklessness and lack of rationality. America is well and truly fucked.

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    6. To Anomymous Nov.20 @ 3:18, The comment you encountered about women losing the right to vote is a common theme with the neo-Nazi, white supremecist, anti-everything knuckle draggers who frequent Breitbart News. That the man who has held the bullhorn for these reprobate assholes is now the on his way to being White House Chief Strategist is outrageous, and IMO, the most frightening and telling thing DJT has done so far.

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  8. I'm terrified. Truly terrified. And I live in liberal NJ. A state with the toughest gun laws. I fear legislation the most. Because, it seems, only a few Democrats are speaking up against Don the Con. The rest are silent. THAT scares me even more. Because they are safe. The average citizen is not.

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    1. I'm scared for the future and I live in Australia, the world's largest ocean away.

      US elections have global impacts and these last for decades. My nation -and many others will no doubt be in whatever wars Trump launches like we were in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The implications and flow on effects and consequences for our whole planet are horrific starting - but by no means ending - with the now near certain lack of adequate action on Human-Induced Rapid Global Overheating. ("Warming" is too misleadingly mild a word for what we're doing to our planetary climate.)

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  9. In my 73 years on this planet, I don't think I have ever been this afraid, felt this uncertain. I am classified medically fragile. What happens when they turn my Medicare into a coupon? I don't know. Probably, I die. And yet, I am surrounded by a fair number of people approaching middle age who are blithely unconcerned. "I don't get involved in politics" is their standard answer. SMDH

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  10. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You write how I think, but I'm not as articulate. I had ano experience today shopping. I was wearing my "safety pin", and to make a long story short, he called President Obama and me a communist! I love your writings!

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  11. We are well and truly fucked and the sad thing is that many of the people who voted for #heWhoShallNotBeNamed are the ones who will suffer the most.

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  12. Glad to see that Chief Jim has at last posted. I bet living in FL has to cause him some terrible culture shock. I'm still in mourning and wonder if quite possibly the hackers were able to rig the election results? Of course the Gerrymandering has caused "rigging" anyway. The Professor from American U who has successfully predicted (I forget how many) every presidential election, was right again. His "gut" prediction is that tRump will be impeached rather soon. Unfortunately, that will still leave us with a theocratic Pence.

    I still think that the dud/bomb dropped by Comey on Friday, 10/28, and allowed to simmer until the day before the election, had to sway some voters. Well, I hope that women are going to stand up and not let the progress we've made be flushed down the toilet by the rethugs. Thanks Jim for your words of wisdom.

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  13. So Conservatives don't understand why the rest of America is worried? For one thing, I remember the hysteria with which they greeted Pres Obama's election. The National Mall would be renamed to Red Square. We would all learn to sing "The Internationale". The President was a Communist. A Socialist. Remember the Old Glen Beck - the tears and diagrams and his crazy talk? And the Crazy Talk has never ended, even if it now comes from others. Now I wonder how much of it is projection- what they would do to dissenters if they could.
    Here's the other scary thing- the Republican Party has essentially been an opposition party since 2006. They've learned how to obstruct, but can they govern? What we've seen in some of the Laboritories of Democracy like Kansas and North Carolina doesn't give me a lot of optimism.

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  14. Thank you, Jim, and godspeed.

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  15. A rural friend of a friend commented on the post he made the other day about why the Orange One's supporters voted for him. She said that it was actually a vote against Hillary, because to them, "she's every teacher we've ever hated, she's every boss that we couldn't stand, and she's every woman who ever made more than her husband and made him feel less than. Rural people do not like women who have power."

    So what they're afraid of is the loss of their privilege, no matter how they try to hide and deflect behind their supposed fears of terrorism and having their guns taken away. They're afraid of being not as important as they used to be.

    It was more important to them to keep a woman out of office, especially an accomplished woman, then it was to elect someone who knew what they were doing.

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    1. I've heard the same from several older women, not all of them rural. It sounds like sour grapes. Paraphrasing: We gave up our lives to raise kids and kiss our wage-earning husband's asses. Why does she think she's better than we are?"

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  16. I think this is a bit over the top. I am fearful. Not for a nazi like regime. More so for just rolling back progresss. Economically and environmentally. Supply side is a failure. The economy will most certainly grow. But for who? I will admit though that some fear is warranted. How else to explain my sense of relief that Romney is being considered for SOS. Damn.

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  17. Another excellant essay! Are there enough establishment Republicans in office who called out the craziness during the elections for the BS it represented and cross the ailse to stop some of the more insane agenda items? Or will they all fall into line? Interesting times indeed.

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  18. In the early evening Hovember 9 I received this well-intentioned message from the keeper of the listserve of my Amherst Class of '58:

    'Friends/classmates:
    'As much as recent events might move many of us to make serio-comic/celebratory/mournful/astute/critical political commentary, let us maintain the sanctity of our cybersanctuary and keep such postings off this list.

    'Thanks very much.'

    I could not let it out of my mind, and a couple of hours later I sent the following reply:

    “I've thought hard about your request. I think I understand the trepidation which led to it and also the special obligations that govern our participation here. But I'm also troubled by its broader import.

    “I found myself instantly reminded of the Protestant pastor who was for 48-years a contemporary of ours, one Martin Niemöller, and his trenchant poem speaking of Socialists, Trade Unionists, Jews, and himself.  This campaign, at last thankfully concluded, was filled with contemporary 21st century social group references today's equivalents of those Niemöller identified.

    "In the final analysis each of us needs to be trusted to conduct ourselves responsibly. But I would argue that silence is not an option. We should be able to confer with one another as we feel the need with the same kind of magnanimity that last night's losing candidate displayed in her concession speech. Even just before this election day the extreme obstructive practices applied to Obama's presidency beginning even before his first inauguration were advanced conjecturally to be applied again by yesterday's winners who were just days before anticipating an opposite outcome to what occurred.   Today I have already heard and read that those who yesterday lost are contemplating returning the obstructive 'favor' now that the electoral tables have been so sharply turned. 

    “This nation is in trouble, deep trouble. If we can't talk about that with one another, we risk being undone.  There are those among us, myself included, who fear it may already be too late. And that's not a reference to my being eighty and counting . . .”  

    Others chimed in and in relatively short order the requested was reconsidered, withdrawn, and commentary since then has been spirited but always respectful. We can do this. We must!
    Thank you for this, Jim.

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    1. Thank you for doing this. I think you are a hero and I wish there were more like you. You've inspired me to try to be brave too.

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  19. I feel like I'm in a movie based on Germany circa 1935, the signs are all there but the public at large are for some reason not noticing it or ignoring it. What's happening in this country??

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  20. Thank you Jim- well said! I keep asking everyone to think and decide where they will draw the line. Third-party or trump- whatever one thought they were voting for, or against, if that's how it's viewed- trump has been clear about what is likely to happen through his cabinet and adviser choices. So no matter what you thought you'd be getting out of a trump presidency, what will you see taken away and who will you see hurt to get your 'thing'? Is there a point for each person where they are willing to stand up and say no?

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  21. Another great essay, indeed! As usual, your analysis is spot on. I only wish you, or anyone for that matter, had some idea how to get those voters who claim not to be racist to look deep inside and ask themselves how they can dismiss Trump's hateful words, and now actions. I'd like to comment on that one statement that 30% of Hispanics voted for Trump. Without any poll data at my disposal, I could be way off, but my impression is that much of this support is probably from the religious right. Many Catholics abandoned the Democratic Party because of the single issue of abortion rights. Their hope is that Trump will appoint someone that will help overthrow Roe v. Wade.

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  22. It does look dark. It truly does. And yet...

    I am encouraged that he lost the popular vote. I am encouraged that even in that giant swath of red between the coasts his margins were thin. I am encouraged to see how many people do see the danger. Hope is not dead.

    But it's going to be a long 4 years, and we can't let our guard down even for a moment. We can't allow any of this to become normal. And we must try to find a way to stem the tide of fear that washed this bit of orange flotsam to accidental victory.

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    1. All of this, yes, yes, yes.

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  23. I, like the vast majority of Americans, paid my income taxes, property taxes and sales taxes, with the expectation that this country would continue to build upon its strengths and benefit everyone. I supported my own family (kids and grandkids), gave financial support to my mother, brother, nephew when they needed help. What I expected in return was comfortable but modest retirement with my pensions and social security and reasonable health insurance (Medicare). Am I terrified? You bet your sweet bippy. I am not the one that is breaking this contract with the American people. I voted Hillary but I was a Sanders supporter during the primaries. Like Bernie, I was being pragmatic about what the future would be under a Trump presidency. It's beyond deplorable and well into despicable.

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    1. I could be your twin sister (except for the Bernie part).

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    2. I agree with as well Cindy. I paid the maximum into Social Security for over 50 years, paid Medicare since it started, worked almost all my life, raised my family. I never collected unemployment, nor took any handout. And therefore times when I could have used it. I resent have the benefits I paid for called entitlements, and the threats to take them away make me extremely angry. I will do whatever I can to keep these benefits flowing to all who paid for them, as well as those who will depend upon them in the future. I just need to understand what to do.

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    3. "I just need to understand what to do."

      Well... There are a few things that you can do:

      1: Find out how your representative and senators have voted in the past on an issue you're worried about.

      2: Put their state office phone numbers on your speed dial and call them. (You'll wind up speaking with a staff member, so if you feel shy just remember that this person's job is to answer that phone and tell his or her boss what people talk to them about.)

      3: Ask the the staff member what Senator X or Congressman Y's position is now on issue X, given how they've voted and what they've said in the past. Make your concerns known firmly and politely.

      4: Continue calling if they don't give you a straight answer on the issue.

      5: Call them some more to lobby for your views if they are going to vote in a way that will harm you and yours.

      6: Call them to express your support if you agree with their position.

      7: Call them about the other issues you worry about too. Keep calling so that they don't forget you're watching them.

      8: If you can't call, write letters. (But not email; it'll get lost in all the SPAM everybody gets these days.)

      You may think you have no power beyond your vote, but that's not true. I have actually seen this work, so don't be discouraged. You too can be a lobbyist!

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  24. I am more afraid than I have ever been in my 55 years. Even if the Dems take pack at least the House or Senate in two years, a lot of harm can be done before then. Frankly, I fear Trump will find an excuse to impose martial law and then we're all screwed.

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  25. In 1971 the Yippies (Youth International Party) put together the antiwar movement that shut down DC. SDS, Black Panthers, VVAW (vietnam vets against the war) ALL pulled together ... The results were that the U.S. policy was redirected to get the U.S. out of the conflict that had taken over 55,000 American lives.
    Maybe we need the Yippies again...???

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    1. There is a million woman march in the works. See the Internet. :)

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  26. The GOP has been tearing down the pillars of our democracy for decades, and it has gotten ten times worse during each Democratic administration. They wanted to make government dysfunctional during the Obama years and succeeded by blocking him at every turn. We are now at a point where there is no faith in our institutions and we are putting an autocrat in the WH who will ensure he personally profits while crushing dissent.

    Last weekend, my BIL was in town and he said, "My biggest fear is that once he gets in we will never get him out." I initially laughed, but then stopped. He just may be right.

    And we are in a place where there are no good options. While I fear DT, he doesn't care about the Republican party and may not be willing to enact everything Ryan wants to do to this country while Bannon is at his side. We get DT out somehow at some point and Pence will gladly enact every draconian thing Ryan dreams about.

    At this point, I am hanging on to the hope that it hasn't been long enough from the end of the Bush years that we remember how to fight what is coming. But I fear for my daughter and grandkids.

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  27. You said the white nationalists and KKK are on the fringe.

    I point to Sessions and Bannon and say no, sirree. They are smack dab in the center.

    I expatriated 18 months ago. Hadn't regretted it - now, I'm so freaking glad we left I can't even express... being gay, atheist, & female in the Bible Belt was bad enough 2 years ago. What will it be like 2 years from now?

    Uruguay is awesome, BTW. Come on down.

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    1. Unfortunately, there are many who can't repatriate. My 22 year old, articulate, college-graduate daughter is also autistic, and as such many countries wouldn't consider allowing her to become a resident. We're stuck here, for good or, as seems likely, for bad.

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  28. For those who didn't vote or voted for a third party because they didn't "think there was any difference", wait until AG Sessions and the DEA start cracking down on your medical and recreational marijuana laws (at least in the blue states). I think Florida's pretty safe, because our Gov. Scott has been kissing Trump's ass since day one, but if you're in California or Colorado or Massachusetts, you better lay in a 4 year supply before Jan. 20th. Oh, and you should probably use cash and a fake name. How's that for "no difference"? Jim, I don't think Bug Hunt was at all hyperbolic. I think just about everything you said in that essay is a very strong likelihood, and I honestly don't know that there's much we can do about it. As someone on Twitter recently said, it's not "alt-right", it's "alt-Reich".

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  29. I'm afraid for myself, but I'm more afraid for my country. For myself, my healthcare and the social security I've paid into for so many years seem doomed. I'm afraid for other relatives who may be destroyed by having Medicare reduced to a voucher that will purchase only the worst possible insurance. But I'm afraid for my country as well. I'm afraid for Muslim friends who will be forced to register, for gay friends who will be subjected to discrimination and possibly mandatory "conversion therapy," for blacks and latinos who will see discrimination, with an attorney general who despises them and will not help them. I'm afraid for the destruction of the environment, and the possible loss of national parks, and so much more that is on the Republican agenda.

    I've read articles today that people in the poorest county of Kentucky, which is heavily Republican, are now afraid of losing their health coverage. After voting for people who have said over and over that health care is not a right, suddenly they're concerned? Have they secretly been depending on Democrats to save them?

    I don't know what the next four years will bring. I've already seen signs that there will be civil oppression, and more prisons for those who disagree with policy, and possible war. Every name mentioned for Secretary of State scares me more than the previous one. Some are already proclaiming they want a war; Giuliani wants one in Iraq, Bolton wants one in Iran.

    And the Conservatives say, "oh, poo, don't worry. Everything will be fine." No. No it won't. We need to make our voices heard. We need to contribute to those organizations that will fight the new rules, that will continue to protect what they can. And in two years we need to elect senators and representatives who will speak for us, and not for big business. And two years after that we need to find a candidate who can oust Trump and start bringing this country back to sanity.

    Don't mourn. Organize.

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  30. Imagine, if Pence had taken the high side and stood up and said that he would represent and protect all American citizen's, he would have received a standing ovation. The place would have been thundering with applause from both sides. He missed his chance just like Trump missed his chance. Neither can afford to miss anything when it come to citizens fear. They both failed a very easy political test. And that's a damn shame.

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  31. Comrade Trump will do something that will be so heinous he will be impeached. Which is why I figure the GOP is now sucking up to him. They will wail and gnash their teeth but figure the base is too dumb to realize they were waiting for it. If you truly didn't want to vote for Trump, you could have voted for Bush or Rubio in the Primary. But they chose this racist, bigoted, misogynist. It is exactly what they wanted and they got it.

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    1. The enduring problem is that when/if Trump is impeached, we are left with President Pence. Impeachment won't help anything one damned bit.

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  32. Thanks, Jim, for voicing the concerns of many heart broken Americans so elequently and with such wonderful humor. Please don't ever lose your voice.

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  33. The fear is real. It's not due to a chance in policy or a change in party control. The fear is based on people taking a bully at his word. He has said he's going to target groups of people and going to engage in strong arm tactics to get done what he promised to his base. I am truly glad that the ACLU is taking him at his word and is willing to force his hand when it comes to the Constitution. He and his minions said they don't trust government - they are now 'the government' and no one should trust them at all.

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  34. I live in Ohio. It is a red state. I am on Medicaid waiver right now. What that means is I get service inside my home that gives me the medical care I need so I don't have to go into a nursing home. It is an optional part of Medicaid and my understanding will be one of the first to go on the chopping block.I stay informed. I have been political since the Bush election of 2004. Once I go into nursing home prison I will be considered invisible. I'm only 55 years old. If I stay in my home I will live longer. If I don't I will die sooner. and many in my family voted for Trump. I truly do not understand. I have never been more frightened in my life.

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  35. How the hell could someone vote for Trump over healthcare. And how the Hell can our (Brit) govt dismantle our NHS in favour of a private system. Oh yeah...they all have shares in the companies that'll take over :(

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  36. Thank you Jim. If this post does nothing more than encourage people to be aware and active, I thank you. It's hard when you know people that believe they are good and kind, have no idea what they have unleashed. I will stand and not be distracted from the fight we face.

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  37. Not MY President; not now, not ever.

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  38. Thank you sir. As usual, you've articulated my concerns better than I could have done.

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  39. I just published Niemollers poem on my wall yesterday. More and more I see how Hitler came to power. I always wondered, as an adult, looking at my grandmothers neighbors and friends, how they could have let that happen. They were all good, hard-working people. Pleasant to know, courtesy aunts and uncles to all of us...........Does nobody read history and understand what can happen??

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    1. I posted further down the page about this, but if people really read history they would understand more of what was really going on in Germany pre-Hitler. The German people had a lot to be genuinely afraid of, far, far more than anything Donald Trump supporters can pull out of their asses from inside their bubble and their fake news.

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  40. Yes, yes and yes.. I am a blogger and posted my concerns and truths about my disappointment with the election and how frightening DT is and why I'm amazed that anyone, let alone a woman, would vote for that (I don't like calling him a man..) person.. one woman told me she was proud of me for sticking my head above the parapet and speaking out. You, my friend, do that every day. And I appreciate it. You are so right and I will be with you speaking out and doing what I can but to be honest.. I'm feeling doomed.

    On another point, I read you on Facebook and have wanted to comment several times but I seem to have no option to comment.. do you have to press a magic button to give me free speech? If so.. can you do it? :-)

    Again.. I am with you and will do what I can.

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  41. Heh. The article's question directed at 3rd party voterys but drawing instead the interesting responses from the "conservatives who voted Trump but say they are not like him" is reminiscent of a question I have posed to these same people a number of times before:

    "If you are not bigots, racists, Islamophobes, mysogynists, xenophobes, no nothings, why then did you vote for a guy who IS all those things and then some?" That he is all thise things is not conjecture. It's provable fact, proven by none more than himself

    To date I have not gotten a single logical or rational explanation in response to said question.

    I remember positing this to a conservative who believed that Trump's election was a wake up call to liberals who were being arrogant about how they regarded conservatives ass all those things listed above and more.

    I asked him then how would voting for a guy who IS all those things (and because he is, by logic and rationality, should be unfit for president) would help change liberal's perspectives about the conservative Trump voters?

    Long story short, he took umbrage at the fact that I said there was no rational or logical reason to elect Trump (to which I responded by pointing out why I said that along with examples of how Trump himself has shown his ineligibility. He never rebutted this), to saying that that was an indication that, although he could "give any number of reasons" for electing Trump he would not because why bother because by that statement it showed that I did not want a discussion (ironic when I was the one who initially stated without premption for him to put forward his reasons, and also how that statement of his is indicative of what he accused me of, one that indicates an intent to NOT discuss. And yes he never stated any reasons for why electing Trump is within rational bounds).

    In the end he never answered the original question at all. This example, as well as other similar encounters, have made me believe that these same people who say they are not like Trump yet voted for him do NOT have any logical reason as to why they chose to vote for him.

    It has further reinforced my impression of the American voter as one who votes not on facts or logic, but on feeling and impulse.

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  42. Yes, some of us read history. Some of us had parents who lived that history. And Trump isn't Hitler. Pence isn't Himmler. The United States, for all its many sins, isn't Weimar German or the Fourth Reich.

    I guess it makes many people feel like they're doing something to yell "Nazis" in a crowded theater, so to speak. Do you presume that everyone who isn't yelling with you isn't alert? Maybe some of us don't think that yelling is the right strategy or tactic. Just another one of my crazy ideas, I know.

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    1. You're talking about the Hitler of 1942. Do you know what he was like in 1931 or 1932? Do you know that in 1928 and 1929 the German and American papers poo pooed his statements and characterized them as campaign tactics that he would never carry out? Perhaps yelling is not such a bad tactic at this point.

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    2. Sooo..we should all just Shut Up and Wait? No, no, I don't think so..I think a bit of yelling NOW is a damn good thing. And by the way, Pence has zero class for not saying anything at the 'Hamilton' show. You know who had class? Obama. Whether being hit with a "YOU LIE!" for a douchebag congressman, or being ambushed by the Arizona governor at the airport, he engaged calmly and showed restraint.

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  43. I find it interesting that some have characterized theatre as some kind of "social occasion," where one is supposed to not be "rude" to guests. Theatre has been in your face probably since before Aristophanes and Euripides. It is the perfect place for a statement to be made. Pence did seem to get it to some extent unlike der Tweeter-in-Chief.

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    1. As the "some" who suggested that there was a social aspect to a night in the theater (there's a wild notion!), I feel that I should respond. This isn't ancient Greece and the theater hardly serves the same purposes socially as it did then. I doubt, too, that HAMILTON is likely to be quite as timeless as the works of the two you mention, though who knows?

      I realize that no one cares, but maybe save the Hitler, Fourth Reich, "Germanizing" your English, etc, until after the Inauguration. It's not that far off, and then you can do it for an entire four years.

      I'd rather organize, prepare, and plan for 2018 and 2020 so that it doesn't become an entire eight years. I see an obscene amount of hate coming from both Trump's most vehement supporters and opponents. Lots of obsessing about all the evil he's absolutely guaranteed to do. And of course, it might be true, though I'm unclear on what is accomplished by finding more and more 'reasons' to make Nazi references.

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    2. Michael Goldenberg

      Enough. It's not your job to respond to every commenter on my blog. You're more than welcome to organize or whatever it is you intend to do. But here, you don't get to dismiss other commenters' fears or concerns.

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    3. During the Occupy wave, a group of occupy activists got into an opera performance in St. Louis, and startled the audience at intermission with a rendition of "Who's Side Are You On?"

      If you can find video of the incident, you can see several octogenarians in the audience who were unable to conceal how delighted they were that suddenly opera was relevant to current affairs again.

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  44. Michael, he's not the Hitler of any point. And please don't patronize me. I've read a good deal of the history of the German Reich and its psychotic leaders. Trump isn't my go-to guy for mental health, but then, neither is Hillary Clinton. And I find those who call her "Hitlery" offensive and clueless.

    Have you perchance seen last summer's CBS show, BRAINDEAD? Absent the mind-eating space bugs, I believe we're living it. And frankly, I'm way sick of it. Yelling for no strategic or tactical reason is just noise.

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  45. At every stage of the election. Primaries to general. No matter how stunningly stupid and surreal things were at any given point they somehow managed to become more so. What is more, every time it became worse than I thought it could. It seems that trend will continue.
    I am finding if difficult at this point to not equate optimism with naiveté.
    The one silver lining is that the fiction following the 2008 election of a post racist society is exposed for the wishful thinking born myth that it is.
    The dark stinking beast of racism and intolerance that has always been there is out in the daylight. We cannot look away and we cannot deny its existence. Now we have to deal with it.
    We were always going to have to deal with it.
    Maybe it was always going to be like this.
    We are in the fight now. We must not lose our heads. Chose the blows. Have heart, but do not let emotion dictate action. Don’t carelessly make more enemies. Don’t let the urge to do something cause you to do just anything.
    Be wise, be resilient, be relentless.

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  46. I have two thoughts on these matters. For those who think they've read a lot about the Third Reich, they probably know nothing about what preceded it except for Weimar Republic and hyperinflation. The actual history of Germany in the early 20th century is far more complicated and there is no way one could summarize Hitler's ascent to power in a paragraph. Same with Trump. His ascent to power is rooted in many trends over the last couple of decades, and he seized upon the basest emotions in his ascent. Two common threads between the two. First, both rose to power peacefully and without the majority of popular support. Second both men had a good instinct for their opponents' flaws. Their instincts were goo enough to gin power, but they confused their ambition for strategy. They both won their battles but both will lose in the end (and both will blame everybody else for the defeats), we just have to try to keep him from taking us all down with him.
    The second line of thought is that somehow, conservatives (real conservatives) have to somehow get the right wingers off our backs. They call themselves conservatives, but they don't have a single conservative bone in their bodies. Reactionary does not equal conservative. A conservative respects the future. A reactionary hates the future (and the present for that matter). A conservative looks both ways and walks across the street. Republicans just run out in the street, because they know traffic will try to stop. A conservative knows his or her kids have to clean up after us, Republicans don't care.

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  47. How did the Weimar Republic become the Third Reich? It wasn't that hard. Hitler and his small band of like-minded lunatics made a lot of speeches to the people who felt disenfranchised, who had been pushed to the fringes, who were angry. They named a scapegoat (the Jews) who were blamed for all the ills of society. They recruited the sociopaths and psychopaths in that group into a paramilitary force (Brown Shirts) and urged them to let their brutality run free. The vast majority of people, when faced with brutal violence or the threat of violence, will back away. After all, nobody wants to end up badly beaten, or dead. Then, they ran for office, like any dutiful political party. When the votes were counted, they had captured about a third of the seats in the Reichstag. Clearly not a majority, but enough to give them control, and Name Adolph Hitler Chancellor. Upon taking office he abolished the Reichstag, tore up the Weimar constitution, outlawed all political parties except his, created a secret police force (Gestapo) made up of thugs, sociopaths, and psychopaths, and the rest is history. Please tell me that history is not repeating itself.

    Robert Anson Heinlein wrote a book back in 1953 called "Revolt in 2100" in which he postulated (prophesied?) a United States that had been taken over in much the same way by a self-styled Prophet named Nehemiah Scudder and turned into a theocracy. It is worth a reading, if you can find a copy. I fear that we may be one heartbeat, or one impeachment away from Mr Scudder's theocracy.

    I live in the deep red heart of the so-called blue state of California, where Republicans run virtually unopposed by any meaningful competition except from other Republicans of a more right persuasion. I hear it all, and I marvel at what normally sane people say when politics comes up. They parrot the alt-right fake news heard on FOX and get downright vicious when they hear Obama or Hillary or any other moderate name mentioned.

    I recommend another book (much easier to find) by George Lakoff, called "Don't Think of an Elephant". It's a fascinating little book that will help you understand the very basic difference between the Conservative and Liberal mindsets, He also writes about how an almost completely obliterated Conservative movement rose out of the ashes of the Goldwater debacle to become as powerful as they are now,

    "Do not go gentle into that good night, but rage, rage against the dying of the light."

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    1. I've read that Heinlein.story many times, and one line has stayed with me. The Prophet gets elected, then re-elected, then, "in 2012, there were no more elections." Seems more and more possible these days.

      Delete
    2. Geez, this is what I was talking about in my post above. Hitler's rise to power was a lot more complicated than just blaming the Jews and taking advantage of angry people. Imagine this: in 2004, Communists seized control of many federal buildings in Washington, and in the fighting to restore control, thousands are killed. At the same time, communists also briefly control Atlanta and Dallas. Again, more thousands killed in the fighting to gain control back. Over the next ten years, countless politicians are assassinated. Then, a worldwide depression drives unemployment and inflation sky high.
      The German people weren't angry, they were terrified. Hitler didn't gain power by blaming Jews, he gained power by convincing enough people that he could "take charge" and restore order to chaos. When he started stabilizing things, people acquiesced to he concentration of power. There is far more to the story than even that thumbnail, but the point is that you can't just say the Germans were angry and Hitler blamed it all on the Jews.
      Nor can you simply say he created a secret police out of psychopaths and thugs and "the rest is history". Again, far more complicated. The German people pretty much knew that they would have to go back to war, particularly with the Soviet Union. Hitler was able to use that to his advantage, but, as usual, history is far more complex than people want to think.
      If I were to compare 1930s Germany to 2016 America, I really couldn't do it. In a stretch, I suppose you could argue that with all the fake news and the slanted news, many people believe that Obama / Clinton is out to take their guns and then their freedom, that the dozen or so people that ISIS kills here is the states is somehow going to get us all beheaded or following Sharia (I know, a lot of people think that way), but the Germans in 1030s had a shitload more than we do to worry about.
      Trump gained power more by insisting he was the authoritarian hero than by blaming brown and black people. You can can him and his followers racists until the cows come home and they won't care. To strike back you have to strike at his core, and that is his strongman image. Reveal his financial problems, his competency problems and his lack of a plan.

      Delete
    3. The Heinlein story you are referring to is called "If This Goes On —". the book Revolt in 2100 contains two other stories and even more stories in that context were gathered in The Past Through Tomorrow. Both are widely available used.

      Younger readers are likely to be put off by the older cultural context of the books (Heinlein was born in 1907 and had his share of the prejudices of his time), but if you can push through them, it is astonishing how much Heinlein got right: he foresaw the rise and power of televangelism.

      Delete
  48. I have never felt until this year, that it was imperative that I become involved in politics. I have called and written more representatives, the DOJ etc in the last month then ever before. And I'm not going to stop...it's too important. Jim is correct, DO something, be HEARD. Posting your opinion on FB, Twitter or here is not going to do the job.

    ReplyDelete
  49. After everything we have seen in the last 10 days, I feel it is time for Americans to rise up, and loudly, plainly call on the Electoral College to do the job it was created to perform: keep an unfit, dangerous demagogue from being placed in the executive seat. Any thing less is un-American.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a petition for exactly that with over 4.5 million signatures:
      http://electoralcollegepetition.com

      Delete
  50. For those who don't think Trump will sign the bills the legislature sends him; he will if they pay him enough.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This election was won by sexism, racism, bad press, and bad luck, more-or-less in that order. This doesn’t mean that all Trump supporters were sexist and racist; many of them have not taken him at his word. But the sexists and racists tipped the balance, as well as the media sexism that made a woman’s minor failings seem major while ignoring the huge failings of a man.

    What scares me is that none of the major actors here, not Trump, not Pence, not Ryan, have any grasp of the consequences of their plans; for different reasons they are all acting without realistic assessments. I don't see how we can get a good result, especially since they are all so uncompassionate. What we get may not, exactly, be the thing called fascism, but it is not going to a kind and wise thing.

    Also, I fear synergies with global environmental policies and the foreign policies of other nations. No thought has been give to consequences there, and there also outcomes are likely be unkind and unwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Jim has noted elsewhere, and paraphrased:

      If they have not taken him at his word, then why the
      fuck did they vote for him?

      As for the Congresslime that don't have a grasp of the consequences - of course they don't. Most have been completely disconnected from reality for a very long time. While I see problems with term limits, that is one reason for them.

      Delete
  52. Am I missing something or did you, by ending with the Martin Niemöller quotation, infer that Trump = Hitler?

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think, for me, the thing that gives me the most hope is the popular response. In 1955, most of the public would scarcely blink at the sexism, racism, & homophobia of Trump & company. And so I find hope.

    ReplyDelete
  54. As a certified and state licensed healthcare clinician, I've had to take a mandatory state course in child abuse; Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse: Mandated and Permissive Reporting in Pennsylvania. (Look it up, read it if you can)

    By law, a parent that abuses a child is guilty of child abuse, and subject to criminal charges, prosecution, and imprisonment. The other parent or person living in that household who doesn't abuse the child, but does nothing to intervene or stop the abuse, is also guilty in the eyes of the law and subject to criminal charges, prosecution, and imprisonment. They are Guilty by Complicity. It doesn't matter WHY they were staying in the relationship and remaining passive to the crime.

    Don't mind me. I'm just thinking out loud.

    ReplyDelete
  55. My grandparents left Poland in 1904 and lived in Denmark for 10 years, where my mother was born, and then emigrated to America. My maternal grandmother lost everyone on her side of the family except her brother and two nephews. Her nephew, his wife and the triplets born in the DP camp after they survived Auschwitz, came to America and lived with us for two years until my Grandfather could afford to put the down payment on a house for them and get them a small dinner.

    To the day he died, he always told me that if it ever happened again, take as many of THEM with me when they come after me.

    It is very hard for me to reconcile this with my anti-gun, pacifist, Buddhist philosophy. However, if push comes to shove, I, a Jew, will not go peacefully onto the cattle cars.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was stunned and disgusted when that man won the nomination, but not surprised. That didn't come to election night. While we will all be subject to he and his goon squad's whims and wishes, it is the toxic supporters we will be facing on the day to day. It's not going to be a fun ride. But I will be damned if I live in fear and hate in my country. Thank you, Jim, for the things you say and rationality you bring . Don't ever stop.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Sorry, no. I couldn't get past this:

    "Liberal Jill Stein supporters were certain Clinton would start World War III on her first day in office and Conservative Gary Johnson supporters were convinced Clinton was a corrupt lying dyke and possibly a serial murderer. So yes, went the general consensus, they would have been even more afraid for the future if Clinton had won instead of Trump."

    I'm a third party Johnson voter and I am marching in DC Jan. 21. I never harbored hatred toward HRC, in many ways I was proud of her running. Yes, I did feel there was history of corruption but it wasn't enough to send me over the edge if she had won. In my mind she was no more corrupt than her male predecessors, but that didn't mean I had to vote for it. Also voted in the bluest of blue states, Washington. Lets not pretend for a second that my third party vote would've changed a thing in WA state, except for maybe help to advance third party voices. My choice was rational and informed, and I deeply resent the idea that it was a protest or done with malice.

    I am just as frustrated and scared as much as you are by Trumps win. I was convinced Clinton would win, and I thought, at the end of the day I can be ok with that. I did not see this coming nor want it to. Most of the Johnson voters I knew (myself included) are only *conservative* in the fiscal sense.

    Gary Johnson (like Sanders) took a hard line stance against war and interventionism and being a war widow that spoke to me...it was not because I thought Clinton was some dykey serial murderer.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Adam your post makes me cry. I've listened to media trying to tell us what the f happened and yet hatred for Hillary is what I've experienced.

    ReplyDelete
  59. My husband often says (and I agree) that you can't convince the true believer. That is, if someone is so very married to their opinion, coming across anything that can shatter that opinion may, in essence, destroy them.

    The majority of us want to be right. We want to speak the truth. But, unfortunately, there are some who will buy any story that supports their world view as truth. It is even more the case now, with social media and the yellow journalism that is being produced as clickbait.

    The future - from my perspective - is frightening indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  60. The charge of fascism has been tossed at both parties since the 60's, but as I watch sports on TV and see the ever more extreme pageantry, with a giant flag and an ominous "let us honor America" rumbling from the speakers, I realize the suggestion that we are honoring our fighting men is just a subtext- the real message is " America, love it or leave it," a warning to be blindly obedient to the Flag. The religious right is paranoid that "Merry Christmas" is being snuffed by pagans,and they remind us that we are pledged "under God," oblivious to the fact that it was inserted by the commie-hunting conservatives of the 50's.The devil is the vulture capitalists who have paid lip service to gun nuts,racists, xenophobes,misogynists and the rest of the tinfoil hat crowd,in order to cobble together a voting constituency, necessary for corrupting the political process until Grover Norquist's bathtub-sized government becomes a reality.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Things didn't work out for the way I voted. I accept it, but am afraid of where we are going and what we are going to be when we get there.

    Of immediate concern is the filling of the numerous positions in the administration. I have been watching the ongoing interview of numerous candidates play out and it is simply theater of the absurd. It gives the illusion that Donald is being inclusive to all (former Republican rivals, Democrats, Independents, etc.).You can bet that the final selection has already been made and you can also be the 'Chief Strategist' Steve Bannon had his slimy hands in the process.

    Anyone who believes that Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon are co-equals on Trump's team is dreaming. Reince has been relegated to a 'yes man' role and will roll over and play dead upon command from Steve.

    CS in Fla.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Okay. I have to say this as a Libertarian voter.

    I voted Libertarian because I want to see the Republican Party cast down. I feel Libertarians and their belief in smaller government and eliminating civil rights restrictions would be better for the nation as a whole.

    If I lived in a swing state I would have voted Hillary over Trump in a heartbeat. I detest Clinton. I feel she and her husband betrayed old Democratic ideals, I dislike how she attacked women who said they were having affairs with her husband, and there is something about her that I just don't like.

    Despite my dislike I would vote for her over 95% of Republicans if my vote were in a state where it mattered.

    And I did urge any third-party voters in swing states to vote for Clinton instead of their candidate because I felt it was that important to keep Trump out of office.

    That does not make me an ally of the Democratic Party, which I dislike and feel would gleefully violate my civil liberties (as the War on Drugs shows, and on taking a concept such as political correctness and turning it into something that devours its own people by going overboard to a ridiculous level).

    I am horrified at the thought of Trump being President. I am even more horrified at the thought of him impeached, removed from office, and Pence getting in because Pence is far worse when it comes to violating civil liberties.

    Rob H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I voted Libertarian because I want to see the Republican Party cast down

      Just out of curiosity, how do you feel that's going for you?

      Delete
    2. And Ryan would succeed Pence. It's turtles all the way down.

      There's levels. Libertarians talk about "government interference." But that is how governance is done, after all: interfering, hopefully in a constructive way. There are degrees. The drug war (itself an invention of Republicans, introduced under Reagan) is not constructive. But it is not even on the same level as the fascism the Republicans have embraced.

      I'm on the opposite end of the political "spectrum" from you; I seem to be to the left, or at least a few steps ahead, of Bernie Sanders. But I recognized early in the campaign that regardless of how short the Democrats fell of my hopes they were still in the space of normal politics, that the Republicans had fallen off the cliff on the right, and that if there was a path forward it was through a Clinton victory.

      Delete
  63. I inherited a number of firearms from my Dad when he passed away a few years ago. I've never been much of a 2nd Amendment type & haven't fired a gun in 40+ years, but I kept some of them because they are antiques (a Spencer saddle carbine like the one handled by Morgan Freeman in The Unforgiven, among others) or have memories associated with them. Since this election, what amounts to partisan violence has me wondering if I shouldn't take a couple of the pieces into the shop, then take some lessons. I don't think there will be any trouble where I live, but I can't know, plus I keep animals who would be vulnerable, and there is such a very thick layer of stupid over the country these days.

    The most unnerving aspect of all this is that I'm seriously considering, for the first time in 62 years on the planet, arming myself. I don't like that at all.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Warren Zevon song Send Lawyers, Guns & Money, keeps going through my head recently. I'm choosing to send as much money as I can to organizations that wield lawyers to keep this scourge at bay as best we can. Standing up and will continue to stand against all this hate.

    ReplyDelete
  65. From a conversation some years ago >> " It matters not what you do when they come for you, it only matters what you did when they came for your neighbor " Fine work as usual Jim. If there is an opportunity to rise to minionhood, I'd like to.

    ReplyDelete
  66. The cast of Hamilton was indeed rude. Mike Pence wasn't there in any official capacity. He was spending an evening with his family. He was a patron, a voluntary paying customer and should have been treated as such. It was also poor business practice, as conservatives will likely not attend the show when it goes off Broadway.

    Also, from today's headlines: "Russia Deploys Nuclear Missiles In Retaliation To NATO 'Threats'". ..."Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments, confirming previous media reports of Russian intentions to once again blanket central Europe with potential nuclear ICBM coverage." "What should we do? We have, therefore, to take countermeasures, which means to target with our missile systems the facilities, that, in our opinion, start posing a threat to us," Putin said.

    So, yes, Hillary would have started WWIII. A hell of a lot scarier than anything Trump has on tap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, you're saying Conservatives -- CONSERVATIVES -- were going flock to an off-Broadway musical performed by gay black people? But now they won't.

      Okay. Sure, let's go with that. It makes almost as much sense as the rest of your non sequitur logical fallacy conclusion.

      Delete
    2. I didn't say "flock". Conservatives attend Broadway productions. This one is about the founders and reportedly treats the story respectfully, tailor-made to attracting Conservatives.

      Trump's pre-rally playlist was loaded with show tunes. Mike Pence, a conservative, was actually at a musical performed by gay black people.

      Conservatives boycotted Target over their bathroom policy, so they do vote with their wallets. Hillarious that Target now advertises on Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to try to win them back.

      Delete
    3. While I agree with you, Jim, there IS one little kernel this particular Anonymous (there's so many of you these days!) got right. I think there's lots of conservatives interested in Broadway musicals.
      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/homophobes-might-be-hidden-homosexuals/

      Delete
    4. So, wait, a quote by Putin that's militaristic says that Hillary Clinton would have definitely waged World War III?

      I don't think that follows.

      I think Hillary Clinton would have a whole lot of other options than doing that in response to Putin's moves and I don't believe she'd wage world war III with Russia although it is possible - not certain but quite plausible -that her administration would engage in some wars overseas. It is also plausible and possible that her administration would avoid overseas wars too just as Obama largely has.

      I think a Trump Presidency is vastly scarier than the possible Hillary Clinton one was because Hillary seems far more rational and calm and intelligent and compassionate than Trump who is famously thin-skinned, ignorant and boasted of using nuclear WMDs and torture.

      Delete
  67. Mr. Wright has been telling all citizens in almost every political post that "the fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves."

    Anyone who could not predict a Trump win after he rolled over his opponents (clowns that they were), and after the "Hillary revelations" kept popping up, the DNC emails were hacked revealing collusion with her, and her lack of charisma, was a fool or fooled themselves. Shock and awe time is over, stop whining, it is time to roll up your sleeves and begin the hard work, it is time to get yourself, your neighbors and friends, your colleagues, your kids and grandkids organised on the block and in the local areas.

    I retired in Turkey over 16 years ago after meeting and marrying a Turkish woman. The current government started out 15 years ago as a conservative party which forced transparency in banking, modernised health care, took serious strides toward joining the EU, made peace with its Kurdish citizens, and gave a voice to citizens who for years had been treated as second-class. That is all gone now and one-man rule has become a reality.

    United States citizens do not YET live where Parliament (the Congress) is a rubber stamp, where "opposition parties" are afraid to oppose, where academics, school teachers, reporters, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police, and members of parliament have been branded "enemies of the state" and are in prison, "detained" because they spoke their minds or were alleged to be conspirators without due process of any kind.

    United States citizens do not YET live where a "state of emergency" was declared after a July coup attempt and will probably continue for the indefinite future. Where over 50,000 people have been "detained" and where 90,000 actual criminals (you know, murder, rape, robbery) have been released from prisons to accommodate the "detainees," and where torture and rape of "detainees" is alleged.

    If you do not think these things can happen in the United States then you have not been listening to Mr. Jim Wright.

    I do not feel sorry for the "nattering nabobs of negativism" (Spiro Agnew--remember him?) of the Clinton camp, it is they who picked the wrong woman to be the first woman president. So please, stop whining, the United States does not have REAL problems YET. Voting is not enough to make a democracy work, and an informed electorate is essential. You still have time to do the real work at the grass roots. If this election told you nothing it should have told you this.

    Good luck America, I fear for thee...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Hillary Clinton was the "wrong woman" and so bad then why did she win the popular vote? She's come within a hair of the Presidency as it is and she isn't now the POTUS-elect due to :

      1) The undemocratic absurd Electoral college system, which gives voters in small states like Wyoming vastly more electoral power than the majority in the US coastal cities like NY and LA.

      2) The lack of preferential /run-off voting allowing Libertarian /Green candidates to act as spoilers

      3) Voter suppression especially of African-Americans and some outright dodgy vote cheating as noted by Dana Hunter's En Tequila Es Verdad blog :

      ".. The state of WI ignored a judicial ruling that they overturn and remedy some of worst of the new voter restrictions. 80K votes were missing after the computer “glitch” in Durham, which has NC’s highest concentrations of African American voters. Both of those were states Clinton lost by less than the amount of missing votes. In both states, especially in WI, they may affect the downticket races as well.

      ADDED: 800K mail-in votes in FL were “never returned” according to the election board there. INVESTIGATE!"


      -Dana Hunter's friend in her 'Stop Trump Take Action Today' post on En Tequila Es Verdad blog.

      So arguably Clinton should be considered the winner of the election and the Trump presidency considered illegitimate especially if it was result of the above election rigging.


      So Clinton is hardly the "wrong woman" because she so nearly actually won and, arguably, really did win being robbed by a poor system and outright cheating.

      Apparently from another article which Jim Wright posted on facebook the other week only 19% of Americans voted for Trump -rounded up at that - meaning 81% did NOT.

      Delete
  68. So, with respect to the whole using Trumps name thing at Starbucks (who makes crap coffee, but that's another rant), the potential issue I see, besides the obvious, is what happens when a rational person stands up to these morons? You know, the guy in the video yelling at the servers? Yelling "Trump"? What happens when you tell him to chill the fuck out, and he pulls a gun, because he is now justified? This is what's going to happen folks, you stand up against the bullies, and the bullies slap leather, because Trump has their back. So the poor little server has to take the abuse, because most normal people, who would ordinarily stand up, are now afraid to, and I can't blame them. Who wants to risk getting shot by some brown shirt wanna be?

    ReplyDelete
  69. I keep hearing that Trump is going to find being President overwhelming, etc., etc.

    No he won’t! Because he doesn’t care about governing. He cares about getting richer, fleecing the entire country to enrich his family.

    Trump doesn’t care about you or I or the country. He wants to be like Putin – an autocrat who rules his country not for the better, but to get rich. You can see it already – his daughter and son-in-law running his supposed blind trust getting top secret clearence; his daughter sitting in on secret meetings with Japan PM; making deals with Brazil to get his property developed. He’s setting us up for the biggest con ever.

    Christ, he even said on the campaign that he will turn over everything to Mike Pence while he holds rallies to make America great again!!! WTF.

    Trump will not keep a single promise except to cut taxes for the rich and raise up White Nationalists (because he’s one of them). Infrastructure? That’s for liberals. Shipping immigrants to Mexico in box cars? Too hard. Building a wall on the Mexican border? Only if he gets something out of it.

    So, thank you White people. In your desire to “Trump that Bitch” you just fucked us all.

    Peace
    Chris in S. Jersey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he may do something about infrastructure because there's news of trillions being set for it. But this, of course, makes me think that it's a great way for him to get rich and fuck over the very people that have the most hope in him.

      Because there's already moves to remove overtime pay. tRump, I'm sure, can get in on that sweet, sweet, construction money, hire non-union workers, and if they succeed in getting rid of minimum wage altogether, pay them slave wages.

      Or at least the people that do the work. Hey, why pay at all when you've got a work force all handy in immigration detainment!

      It's fuckin scary, Chris in S. Jersey. Scary.

      Delete
  70. Would love to see some really good writer (hint, hint) do an "alternate reality" piece on what would have happened in the past two weeks if Hillary had won. Just to compare to all the "whiny liberals" peacefully protesting. Maybe base it off real statements made prior to 11/08/16 by Trump supporters.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yes. Yes. Yes.
    I am also hoping to one day become a minion, but until then I'll keep reading as long as you keep writing. And I'll keep writing too.
    Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  72. The saint of the right is Ronald Reagan. His appointment book was full of tarnished ideologues with disquieting agendas. James Watts was just one.

    ReplyDelete
  73. MAGAT's: vermin attracted to old, rancid meat.
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I am sick of the prophets of conciliation who argue that people expressing their fears, are being hysterical. The person who will be our President has specifically called for the removal of, violence toward, and discrimination against different groups. He has advocated policies that will hurt and kill many people. And the ideolougs in Congress are no better, and in some cases worse.

    Are we likely to see the united States become some autocracy? Probably not, but democracies are plenty capable of ruining peoples lives.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Relevant?

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
    domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

    6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

    9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

    - Dr Lawrence Britt

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have not read the other posts, so it may have been covered previously. But I did share what you wrote on my FB (giving you credit of course) because I felt you communicated a lost opportunity quite well. A friend of mine pointed out that "Secret Service ushered him out ten minutes before the show ended for security reasons. He wasn't in the building to hear anyone's concerns so he couldn't have addressed him if he wanted to." Now, I have seen a couple of the videos and they are all focused on the stage and the ones I have seen do not pan the audience for VP-Elect Pence. Do you know if there is one that shows he is still "in the theater"?

    ReplyDelete
  77. when will there be a real or manufactured "incident" that will require martial law, for the "duration that never ends" It can happen here

    ReplyDelete
  78. Just learned that would-be Chief-of-Staff Steve Bannon, when speaking of a "trillion-dollar infrastructure" investment, invokes "ship yards and iron works"!!1! Now, there's a name, isn't there, for a political philosophy that uses government to build industrial plant? It's, it's, it's on the tip of my tongue, but... oh yeah!

    It's National Socialism.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Neglected to include link, above comment re: Bannon's "infrastructure":
    Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan--That's Power ~Salon

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thought you might like this:
    http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/niem.htm

    Neimoller was an interesting fellow. His "quote" or the spirit of it, is still meaningful and relevant.

    ReplyDelete

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