Monthly Archives: November 2016

Hey Laura Ingraham, I Did Nazi That Coming

Ingraham - Nazi

Back in July, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham made a gesture at the end of her Republican National Convention speech, which looked a lot like a Nazi salute.  She understandably got a lot of backlash on social media, and although it definitely looked bad to me, I thought that it could have been an awkward wave or unintentional. Besides, would someone really have the nerve to do that on national television in America, representing one of the two major political parties? I thought there might be a chance that it was sort of accidental.  Accusing someone of being a white-supremacist is a pretty heavy allegation, and it’s not something to be thrown around lightly.

However, after watching a recent video from The Atlantic which has surfaced, which shows white supremacists (I am refusing to use the passive euphemism “alt right”) offering up actual Nazi salutes and shouting “hail Trump!” at a conference in DC, any doubt that I had regarding Ingraham’s gesture has begun to fade. It simply looks like the exact same thing that Ingraham did, and there is no question as to the intention behind it, among the racists at that conference.  There are plenty of people who deny that Ingraham was actually performing a Nazi salute, and they often provide still frames of other famous leaders mid-wave which appear to look the same as what Ingraham did.  However, when you watch the video of her full gesture in context, it doesn’t look like just a coincidence.

How has the GOP come to this? I mean, full-blown white supremacists now? We have known there to be racists in the Republican party for years, but these days they aren’t even trying to hide it. Scary times, indeed.

#Resist

Donald Trump – An American Disgrace

Donald Trump - An American Disgrace

America, you’re never, ever, ever going to live this one down.  This repugnant, embarrassing, narcissistic, arrogant and disgraceful bully is the man you thought belonged in the White House.  And the photo above represents just one of a mountain of things which should have disqualified him from the presidential race, long before voting even began.

Thanks for making us the laughing stock of the world, Trump voters.  As George Carlin said, “garbage in, garbage out.”

Trump - Selfish Ignorant Citizens

Jon Stewart Is Letting Trump Voters Off The Hook Too Easily

Jon Stewart recently did an interview on “CBS This Morning”  and was asked about his thoughts concerning the recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency.  I am seeing a lot of this conversation being shared online, with a highlight on Stewart’s claims of “liberal hypocrisy” regarding viewing all Trump voters as a monolith of racists.  He makes the point that a lot of people he knows that aren’t afraid of blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, etc. voted for Trump because of reasons other than his racist rhetoric, and the message is being taken that we shouldn’t call all Trump voters racist.  The interview can be found here.

Well, nope! Jon Stewart is wrong on this point. I know some people want everyone to get along, and unify and settle our differences, but in my opinion he is letting Trump voters off the hook too easily. Racism is not something that exists in absolute forms – that is, it’s not a simple black and white, yes or no question. There are varying degrees of racism that people can have and display. And racism is not just defined by one’s behavior, but by the behavior they tolerate. And at the end of the day, Trump voters saw a man who disparaged Muslims, Mexicans, the disabled and women, and ran a campaign promising to register people based on their religion, or outright banning their immigration to the country. And those Trump voters said, by voting for that man – “hey, that’s okay with me.” And that is despicable, and we shouldn’t forget it.

It’s like when we had slavery. Not everyone was personally a slave owner, but the people who supported those in power who did own slaves were in their own way supporting that practice. So, by voting for Trump, people validated and supported all of his divisive rhetoric and the campaign promises he made (whether he actually fulfills all of them or not.)

I understand that people have an instinctual desire to get along with other people, and it’s easier to brush differences under the rug than to expose them and talk about them honestly. But the election of Trump is and should be viewed as an outrage. Those who voted for him displayed absolutely no respect or empathy for any of the groups he routinely disparaged. So, we’re divided. And I don’t know if it’s even possible that we can “heal” that division. But that’s reality, and we shouldn’t hide from it. Hiding from and denying reality are part of the reasons that led to a president-elect Trump in the first place.

Trump Voters Racism

 

Photo credit:  Defense Dept. photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

President Trump And The Beginnings Of Hate (On Both Sides)

I felt it the other day.  I think it was the day after Trump’s election to the presidency, which sent shock waves throughout America and the rest of the world.  But I felt it.  It was something that I have to try hard not to let grow into fruition.  It was the beginnings of hate.

Often I have taken a look at the world, filled with war and conflict, and asked myself the question in the abstract – how and why can humans be so cruel to each other?  How do people get to the point where they are willing to commit murder against other people on a mass scale, as in war?

It begins with dehumanization.  It starts with not seeing other people as human beings, and rather, something lesser than what you are and therefore, not deserving of the full respect that you might offer someone else.  And I feel that, on both sides, Trump’s ascendance to the presidency of the United States has opened the floodgates and legitimized hate and dehumanization.

Whatever Trump ends up trying to do policy-wise, it can’t be argued that he ran  a campaign that fed upon, stoked anger against, and debased “the others,” whether it be immigrants (Mexican or Muslim,) disabled people, women or gays.  We saw a rise in hate crimes during Trump’s campaign, and since election night, an even more noticeable spike.  This is because people have become emboldened by his legitimization of dehumanization and bullying.  If he can be president, with all of his shameful behavior and rhetoric, people start to feel less inhibited and more validated in their own misguided anger and bullying instincts.

Even before Trump won, as I followed his campaign and through all of his despicable behavior and words, I asked myself – do I hate this man?  And the answer was – absolutely.  I despise Trump.  It’s not a pleasant feeling, and it’s not a place I like to stay in, but it’s the truth.  It’s possible that this could change, but highly unlikely.  To my knowledge, Trump has only once ever uttered a half-assed “apology” for any of his disgusting antics.  I might be more open to forgiving the things I can’t stand about Trump in time, but it would have to start with him publicly acknowledging the damage of his words and actions, and atoning for them.

Trump’s election repulsed me, and instantly made me realize just how many of my “fellow” country men and women are okay with all of the dehumanizing behavior that Trump stands for.  Someone on Twitter put it best, as I paraphrase – “Trump’s supporters might not all be racist, but they decided that racism was not a deal-breaker.”  Right away, a division started happening in my mind – Trump voters vs. non-Trump voters.  And then I realized, that’s how it begins.  It begins with looking at another person and seeing some aspect that makes them lesser in your mind.  A thought that came to my mind was how, during war, people look at others and see “the enemy” and something to be reviled and destroyed.  And that’s what was happening to me.  It’s something I struggle with.  Because I am extremely angry.  I do think that there are some people who live in this country that are more morally and conscientiously evolved than others.  And I often wish our lives didn’t have to be impacted by those that want to go backwards through decades of societal progress.

Trump’s victory reinforced the knowledge that we are seemingly irreparably divided.  There have been many times in the past when I have thought that life might be better if the United States broke apart somehow.  Meaning, in my case, maybe California or the West Coast could secede from the Union and become a nation in its own right.  This all sounds crazy for many, but right now it is an idea that suddenly sounds desirable for a lot of people.  That’s how divisive this election has become.  Maybe this will fade in time, or maybe it will grow into an actual movement.  We shall see.  But, whatever happens, from here on out, it is clear that I will have to struggle to contain and channel my anger and loathing into something constructive.  It will be a tough road, but I don’t want to become that which I despise about Trump.

 

Photo credit:  Pixabay/PeteLinforth

 

Don’t Fret, America. Latinos Will Be A Game Changer.

The message to the GOP over the past several years has been “adapt or die.”
 
Their long-standing bastion of dependable voters, white men, have become a shrinking percentage of the American electorate as a whole. It has been clear to many that as minority groups made gains in population and eligible voters, the Republican party would have to try to expand their base.
 
So what did Republicans do in 2016? They ran Donald Trump, one of, if not the most, blatantly racist and chauvinistic presidential candidates in U.S. history, at least in modern times.
 
I have long stated that I don’t think this race has been or will end up being as close as it is being portrayed in the media, providing there is no horrible event such as a massive terror attack before election day. I think the key difference-makers will be women and Latinos.
 
I think the race has been presented as closer than it is for two reasons. One, the media wants to build interest in the race, for ratings. They want it to seem closer than it is to keep eyes and ears on their broadcasts.
 
And two, because the patriarchal white male power structure that still dominates most major news corporations simply doesn’t take into account the voting power of women and Latinos and the influence they would have on the election. What should have been at the forefront of the conversation for months (that women and Latinos would be mobilized by, in particular, Trump’s despicable offensiveness to those two groups) became an afterthought for far too many pundits and pollsters.
 
Well, it looks like Latinos in particular have begun answering the call that Donald Trump inadvertently put out to them with his constant racism and immigrant bashing. But it’s not only that. Latino voters don’t just care about immigrants. They, like many other Americans, are repulsed (rightfully so) by Trump’s despicable, embarrassing and buffoonish behavior. They, like many other American voters, see a repulsive pig who has the audacity to think he can take over the reins of the United States of America. And they want to send a message loud and clear, that they are here and are a force to be reckoned with.