In light of today’s white supremacist terror incident in El Paso, let’s revisit this moment from a trump rally in Florida from a few months back, in which trump laughs off a comment from someone in the crowd yelling “shoot them!” about immigrants, and follows it up with a joke.
No, this is not the most important issue we are facing, by far. But it’s an embarrassing symbol of just how out of touch this disgusting family is with anything less than opulence. And if you think they’re not aware of how this looks, I’ve got a wall to sell you, which Mexico is going to pay for.
So…Dr. Ben Carson, our new HUD Secretary, was making a speech recently, when he brought up the notion of the American Dream. While doing so, he further exemplified the fact that you should never confuse education with intelligence.
Carson’s statement caused such a stir, that he even got a response from Gene Wilder on the subject. Okay, maybe I am just making this part up.
Some people come to define words and concepts better than anything else possibly could. When I think of Ann Coulter, all I think of is “ugly.” I’m not commenting on her physical appearance. I’m talking about the disgusting and repugnant hate and ugliness that she exhibits at seemingly every opportunity she gets. Truly an ugly person.
I have been reading different reactions to these statues of a naked Donald Trump that have popped up in cities around America, and it seems that most people find them somewhat distasteful. There’s also the “imagine if someone did this to Hillary…” trope. Some people say that while Trump may have it coming, that we shouldn’t stoop to the level of “body shaming,” etc. The statues are from the art group INDECLINE.
I look at it in the context of protest art. Sure, the statues may be in poor taste, offensive to look at or humiliating. But let’s not forget that this is a man who has slandered the president as the founder of America’s most hated terrorist enemy, as well as not so subtly suggested that people shoot his opponent. These are just the recent examples of the type of garbage that has come from Trump’s mouth, and don’t begin to demonstrate the types of things he has said and done to shame and mock other people.
So, it’s not surprising to me that an artist or group of artists might go to extremes in desecrating Trump’s image. To quote Cesar A. Cruz, “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” The time for politeness regarding Trump is long gone.
And comparing it to someone doing the same to Hillary is bogus. Like her policies or not, Hillary Clinton has not gone out of her way to insult and degrade a multitude of people across the nation. So, yes, if someone did the same to Hillary, it would be seen as going too far, and with good reason. It’s just not the same with Trump.
As a general rule of thumb, when talking about how people relate to one another, “when they go low, we go high” should be the approach. We should try our best to not stoop to the level of someone like Trump. But when it comes to art, I think all bets are off. I don’t see this the same way I would see someone sending out private pics of Trump to humiliate him, for example.
Donald Trump has taken a no-holds barred approach to his campaign. He speaks his mind. He says what he means. He’s not “politically correct” Let’s not expect the opposite from artists making a statement about him.
There is a meme floating around that proclaims that the Sandy Hook tragedy was, in effect, the end of the debate on gun control in America. That if nothing changed after children were slaughtered, it never would.
I think the same can be said about that time Donald Trump mocked a disabled journalist. If that didn’t convince people that this man is of so low character that he is truly unfit to ever be president, I don’t think anything would.
An exchange happened about a week ago at one of Donald Trump’s rallies between the champion of making America great again himself and a female audience member. For myself, it has come to symbolize everything wrong with Trump, his followers, and the state of stupid in this country.
As seen in the Youtube clip below, during a Q&A session a woman asks Trump why we’re not putting military retirees on the border or perhaps to work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA,) and in the process, getting rid of all of those “hibeejabis” they wear there.
In case you are wondering what the fuck “hibeejabis” are or what this person is talking about, she is referring to hijabs, the traditional headscarves that those Mooslim women wear, and I guess the fact that she has seen people wear them at the TSA.
It has become difficult for me to decide what part of this exchange is more problematic – the bigoted, xenophobic anti-Muslim sentiment or the flat-out ignorance on the part of the woman…Or Trump’s failure to correct the embarrassingly incorrect name that was used or the anti-Muslim sentiment behind the question, and simply answer by saying “we are looking at that….we’re looking at a lot of things,” which not only fails to really say anything (which is nothing new for Trump,) but also reinforces the ignorance and bigotry.
It has become abundantly clear to me that Donald Trump and his campaign have offered up and fed upon the xenophobic and racist anger of many working class and poor Americans that feel resentment of “the others” (as in minorities,) in particular brown people such as Mexicans and Muslims, who are seen as people to fear and the source of America’s problems. Oh sure, supporters of Trump will offer up all sorts of excuses for his bigotry, but I think any reasonable person would have to be wearing massive blinders to not see the glaring, ugly truth at this point.
And all of that is obviously disconcerting, but none of it surprises me. I have been awake to the fact that America is still a very racist nation for a long time. Racism from whites directed at minorities, to racism from minorities to other minorities, to that of some minorities toward whites – take your pick, it’s there. What’s particularly insidious about the Trump campaign, though, is that he has the support of a pretty formidable voting block (white people.) While racism and xenophobia can emanate from a variety of demographics, it has more institutional and social influence when it comes from the dominant population.
But perhaps what may be more unsettling is the extreme stupidity of it all, which is allowed to pass, by Trump and the crowd as if it is completely normal and okay. The rise of news media outlets like Fox News around twenty years ago was reflective of a growing trend in America away from things like facts and towards blatant bias and ignorance, which has only seemed to have metastasized among disgruntled right-wingers since then. Maybe Trump didn’t see fit to correct the woman, or maybe he didn’t want to alienate his xenophobic base or appear to be too “politically correct” or “elitist.” Or maybe he is simply not that smart or doesn’t want to appear to be so. And this is what we’ve got, people. Isn’t it sad that having an education and not being ignorant is now seen as elitist by a lot of people? People that vote? Can you picture someone like JFK or any of the other notable past presidents fielding and responding to such a question in the same manner?
The late George Carlin mused about the sad status of intelligence in America often. I can’t imagine what he would say about Trump’s candidacy if he were alive today.
Look, not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist. People need to do the best with what they’ve got. But this is willful ignorance. Meaning, this person probably has the mental capacity to see the error of their ways if they would only bother to actually read something or do any kind of analytical fact-seeking, but it’s a culture of laziness and mediocrity that has infected this country for years. And regarding Trump’s response, shouldn’t someone who is trying to be the president of the United States him/herself be, or at least aspire to be, intelligent or at least smarter than the average person? Don’t you want your president to be smarter than you are? I do. If America elects Trump, we truly deserve him. As Carlin has also pointed out, if you have ignorant, selfish citizens, you’re going to end up with ignorant, selfish leaders. That has probably never resonated more truthfully than with Trump’s candidacy.
Donald Trump photo By Marc Nozell – https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/24622320840/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46901376