Articles from November 2016

Dedicated to Trump…

…and to all the Republican leaders who are now lining up lockstep behind Trump, after months of saying how much they hated him:

You speak out of both sides of your mouths.  Republicans, we needed you to keep Trump in check, not suddenly act like he’s so wonderful.

Rule #5: Don’t make compromises. Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,” Republican politicians have fallen into line. Conservative pundits who broke ranks during the campaign will return to the fold. –Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival (after Trump win)

…And Paul Ryan, who just a short time ago was ripping on Trump for the horrible things he kept saying, now is praising Trump and saying how great it is that Trump won and the great things he’ll do for the country.

(Things which, by the way, don’t sound so great for lots of us, such as those about to lose their health insurance.  Or people scared to death about deportation or violence against them.  Or seniors about to lose their Medicare and get a voucher instead.  Hubby and I had a voucher instead of health insurance for several years, and that’s the reason we HAD NO INSURANCE, because the voucher paid for diddly-squat.)

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return. –W. H. Auden, part of September 1, 1939

Now for two songs which make me think of Trump and the Republican leaders:

First, in honor of Leonard Cohen, RIP:


But especially this one:



Why we are scared of a Trump Presidency

Yeah, I remember how people got upset about Obama being elected.  I remember hearing things like “This is not the same America it was yesterday.”  I remember people thinking he was Hitler.  I remember being disgusted by ex-friend Richard’s constant ridicule of Obama.

I also remember the rule against comparing any politician you don’t like, to Hitler.  But at the same time, as they say, you have to actually learn from history or else you’re doomed to repeat it.

Thing is, Obama and Trump are NOTHING alike.  Obama is a reasonable, dignified person who spoke on policy, regaining the respect of the nations, and making war a last resort.  The economy has dogged him, but then, Bush left a mess for him.

Meanwhile, Trump has spent the entire campaign making fifth-grade schoolyard potshots at pretty much everybody.  For example, his treatment of people like Rosie O’Donnell is appalling, yet he imagines that everybody thinks he’s right about her.  He degenerated the tone of the primaries so much that even otherwise sane candidates started acting like him, out of desperation.

I’ve seen people use terms like “Hitler-y” for Hillary.  That boggles my mind because Hillary has not been even vaguely Hitler-like, just as Obama has not.

We’re probably being called sore losers, but that’s not what this is.  I’ve seen many elections, and most of the time my choice, lost.  I get upset, I mourn, I complain about the one who won.

In the case of Bush, my choice won, but I soon came to regret that when he began bringing unnecessary war, torture, and the worst part of the Patriot Act into American policy.

Bush was a horrible president, one of our worst.  I didn’t vote for Obama the first time, but still felt happy when he won, because now we could correct the damage Bush had done.  Obama was a huge improvement on Bush.

And yet, when Bush won in ’04, I didn’t feel the way I feel now.

I already knew the damage he could do.  I remember our local venerated Langdon Divers, already past 100, said he’d voted Republican all his life, but he felt he had to vote for Kerry because of what Bush had done to the GOP.  Lots of people apparently felt this way, and rushed out to vote.

And yet all I felt in ’04 was a combination of disappointment and relief that we didn’t have a repeat of the 2000 Recount Nightmare.  I settled in and waited for his term to end, while voting against anyone who agreed with him.

This isn’t just “waaaah, we didn’t get our way.”  For one thing, Hillary actually won the popular vote: It’s the outdated Electoral College model that got Trump to win.  Also, Trump as president is truly terrifying for many reasons:

  1. Hillary was immensely better qualified than Trump.  Trump’s intimidating behavior during the debates–skulking around, constantly interrupting and talking over her–very much demonstrated an old-school male chauvinist not wanting to let some woman beat him.  We thought we’d left this kind of sexism behind decades ago.  Now a guy is in power because of soundbites and rage, when we could’ve had somebody who actually knows what she’s doing.  Yet every time we pointed out the sexism, we got claims that Hillary was somehow worse (and even deserved jail) because of some frickin’ e-mails.
  2. There is no dignity in Trump.  There is no diplomacy.  Making fun of people, bullying people, taking potshots at them every chance you get, and just because they pointed out the truth about you, that’s a recipe for war.  Prepare for WWIII–us against the rest of the world, including our allies.
  3. I am concerned because when Hitler was appointed, the conservative Junkers thought they could keep him under their control.  But I doubt that Trump is truly “Hitler” because for that, you’d need an entire party backing up one’s plans for world domination and totalitarianism.  Even though they voted for him, many Republicans in power detest Trump, and probably will not help him transform the US into Nazi Germany.  But yeah, the Junkers thought they could control Hitler, so I do feel a bit queasy.
  4. Still, with that caveat, let’s see if I can remember everything about Trump that makes me think fascism: wants to deport immigrants, has stirred up violence against Muslims, speaks of marking Muslims and surveillance on mosques, is supported by the worst dregs of society (KKK and neo-Nazis), wants to hamstring the Press, has insulted Latinos as a whole….
  5. Just look at this post found in the Sanctuary Radio shoutbox this morning: “WHITE POWER: TIME FOR YOU PUSSYS TO LEAVE THE US. DEPORT ALL MUSLIMS, NIGGERS, SPICS AND PUSSY WHITE PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN PURITY AND THE OLD WAYS THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS BUILT ON. BRING SLAVERY BACK AND TAKE WOMEN’S VOTING RIGHTS AWAY!”  That…says it all about why Trump winning, terrifies me.  I’ve seen the videos from Trump rallies, and these people are out there.
  6. Oh, yeah, don’t forget that this guy thinks joking about sexual assault is somehow normal “locker-room banter.”  Yet when you point out that it is not, he deflects attention from himself onto other people’s shortcomings.  He is also lawsuit-happy.
  7. Lack of responsibility taken for his own shortcomings.  Deflects and blames others, just like the classic Narcissist.
  8. He speaks of pulling out of treaties, carpet-bombing cities, killing innocent civilians just for being related to terrorists, bringing back torture, and has even dissed the Geneva Convention!  He is worrying our Allies!  The Geneva Convention has those restrictions on indiscriminate bombing for a reason: WWII!  Both the Axis and the Allies bombed civilians on purpose.  Do we really want to bring that back?  Geneva was also the only reason the Nazis treated our POWs so “well.”  And note I put “well” in quotes.  They were absolutely brutal to POWs who were not covered by it.
  9. Trump’s rallies may not have been to the level of Nazi rallies (for one thing, his speech is subpar), but he still has the power to hypnotize.  He gets whole rooms chanting “Lock her up!  Lock her up!”  That smacks of brainwashing.

Van Jones eloquently explained on Anderson Cooper last night that Muslim parents are scared because Trump said over and over that he wants to ban people of their faith.

If you talk to the actual people at the base, here’s what hear: terror. Terrified Latinos, terrified Muslims. I had a Muslim mother asking me ‘Should I leave this country? Are they going to intern us?”

…You need to have a little bit of empathy and understanding for people who are afraid because your candidate has been one of the most explosively provocative candidates in the history of our country….You have people who are terrified.

…If you want unity, we have to hear the pain first, before you tell them not to hurt.

He goes on to speak of fears by immigrant communities that they will be deported.  I’ve also seen reports of Muslim Americans who are terrified of a rise in violence and discrimination against them now that Trump is president-elect.

Kayleigh McEnany protested that Trump never spoke of internment camps.  While this may be true, the US speaks of the “American Way” but has a checkered past that includes internment camps.  That makes people scared it could happen again, without anybody saying it will.

See the snippet video here on CNN.  The more complete video is embedded below:

For some time, we’ve been hearing about narcissists that you can’t trust them when they behave just as Trump has behaved for years.  You can’t trust their apologies, you can’t trust them to change, you can only trust that they are the same but are changing tactics.

Now we hear that Trump is going to be “presidential” and that he’s no longer the person who made those jokes about sexual assault.  Why should we believe any of it?  How are we supposed to trust now that he will change and unite us, rather than that he will continue to marginalize the various communities which have been fighting for so long for their rights?

There are all sorts of reasons why we are upset about Trump becoming president, and just dismissing us as “sore losers” is a sure way to fire the revolution.  I see the energy and passion in the videos of yesterday’s protests by young people.

As reported by Claire Landsbaum in Trump Voters Celebrated Yesterday by Threatening Women and People of Color:

Less than a day after Donald Trump was named president-elect of the United States, his supporters celebrated by using racial slurs, defacing public property with racist graffiti, and otherwise intimidating women and minorities, according to multiple accounts.

Journalist and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King’s Twitter feed is filled with stories of intimidation from across the country, where the president-elect’s campaign rhetoric appears to be manifesting in ugly ways.

For details, go to the article.  There are chilling pictures reminiscent of Kristallnacht: swastikas and “Seig Heil” and white supremacist messages painted on buildings and shop windows.  Muslims being assaulted and intimidated.  Black and Latino students being told to move to the back of the bus.  Asians told to “get the f**k out of my country.”  White kids trying to grab a woman by the p**sy just like Trump.  Students chanting “white power.”  Threats against blacks.  Gay couples told to burn in Hell and that their marriages will be overturned.

Articles getting the Kristallnacht connection:

What Is Kristallnacht? Trump Elected President On Nazi Anniversary

Vandals destroy shop windows and graffiti anti-Semitic slurs in Philadelphia on 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Has the world forgotten the terrible lesson of Kristallnacht?

And oh yeah, along with the sexism that’s been coming out of the woodwork as well, I’m reminded of the Nazi insistence that the liberated women of Weimar Germany must leave their professions and be good little submissive housewives.  (Not that I’m dissing housewives: I am one.  But women should choose for themselves.)  They also banned Aryan women from both contraception and abortions.

In Hillary we would’ve broken the presidential glass ceiling (where we lag behind even conservative countries), and she would’ve worked for further equality; Trump is like the ultimate sexist caveman, rolling back decades of progress.

We fear that, rather than address the causes of abortion, which is far more effective in stopping it, Trump’s administration will simply cry “lock her up.”  This is especially a problem with the rise of Christians turning against contraception and not just abortion, and recent legislation in some states reflecting that.  And now the party whose members tried to pass such legislation, is in full power.

THIS is why people are scared.  THIS is why people think of Nazi Germany, because this is how the Nazis behaved.  We’re not just “sore losers.”

Can the Republicans keep Trump under control?  I hope so.  But it may be less Trump we have to worry about, than the undercurrent of white supremacy in this country which sees his election as license to do whatever the heck they want.

Despite what many have said in the past year, I’m not sure Trump is truly “Hitler.”  But coming out of the woodwork are actual Nazis, people who believe in Jewish conspiracies and want a white America, people who would gladly take Trump’s outrageous statements and make them reality.  People who have seen him as some kind of pied piper rallying them into a fever pitch.

People have reason to be terrified.  I feel like we’re living in one of those movies where history was meant to go one way, but somebody came back in time and screwed it up, and now we’re suffering the consequences.  Where is Frank Parker when we need him?




Reblog: “Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss spells heartbreak for women everywhere”

How did the most experienced and qualified presidential candidate in generations lose to a real estate magnate and reality television star whose understanding of policy seems marginal at best?

…Ever the salesman, Trump offered a simple rallying cry: Make America great again. To his supporters, the slogan acknowledged their anger and disappointment while still promising a better future, one in which jobs would return from overseas, the country’s borders would close to outsiders and good ol’ fashioned law and order would triumph.

To many ears, however, the slogan recalled an America of days gone by, days when women and minorities were subjected to systemic discrimination. The implicit racism and xenophobia in Trump’s message made a Clinton win that much more important to feminists and progressives determined to prevent a cultural backslide.

…Clinton’s stunning defeat is a catastrophic loss for women who were poised and ready to fight for a progressive agenda, one that Clinton promised to deliver. She proposed capping childcare costs, providing paid family and medical leave to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member, closing the wage gap and repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortion care for nearly all low-income women.

Those plans are all but lost now. It’s hard to imagine a Trump-Pence agenda that doesn’t amount to an all-out assault on the issues progressive women hold dear, especially with Republicans having maintained control of the House and Senate.

–Rebecca Ruiz, Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss spells heartbreak for women everywhere