Friday Reads: Voting is an Act of Citizenship not Philosophical Masturbation
Posted: July 22, 2016 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Donald Trump, RNC
I’ve pretty much had the television off all week. I could only handle Haterpalooza in small doses of video and print. The Republican Party has no claim to anything any more other than enabling white supremacists, nativists, and bigots. I am no longer patient with any one that is looking towards a third party vote. Donald Trump is not a sane person. He is not a mature adult. He is a clear and present danger to the existence of humanity, this country, and the world. The act of nominating Donald Trump is a declaration of war on humanity, the US Constitution, and civilization. There is no amount of blackmailing emotional, philosophical, or verbal gymnastics that you can do to justify a vote for anyone but Hillary Clinton at this point or you’ve just joined a war against humankind imho.
Here’s Ezra Klein from Vox on the man who wants to be Fascist in Chief. Donald Trump has a dark, hell-realm filled vision of and for the USA.
Donald Trump is not a candidate the American people would turn to in normal times. He’s too inexperienced, too eccentric, too volatile, too risky. Voting Trump is burning down the house to collect the insurance money — you don’t do it unless things are really, really bad.
Here is Trump’s problem: Things are not really, really bad. In fact, things are doing much better than when President Obama came into office.
Unemployment is 4.9 percent nationally — a number Trump knows is far from a crisis, because it’s lower than the unemployment rate Mike Pence is presiding over in Indiana, and Trump keeps bragging about his running mate’s economic record. The deficit has gone down in recent years, and the stock market has gone up. The end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars mean fewer Americans are dying abroad. A plurality approve of the job Obama is doing.
So Trump needs to convince voters that things are bad, even if they’re not. He needs to make Americans afraid again. And tonight, he tried.
“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
As Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, wrote on Twitter, this was Trump’s “Nightmare in America” speech. The address had one goal, and one goal only: to persuade Americans that their country is a dangerous, besieged hellscape, and only Donald Trump can fix it.
I have watched the Republican Party’s decline for some time. It hasn’t been pretty. But this is beyond ugly. Last night was a parade of white supremacists, theocrats, bigots, and the worst the country has had to offer. Any one that does not speak out against this cannot have the country’s best interests at heart. They are simply acting out of some kind of selfishness and privilege that’s beyond my grasp. So, now that I’ve quoted liberal Ezra Klein. Let me get you to the libertarian thoughts on the speech last night. ” Donald Trump’s RNC Speech Was a Terrifying Display of Nightmarish Authoritarianism. The GOP presidential nominee had only one solution to every problem: Give him more power.”
Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination was easily the most overt display of authoritarian fear-mongering I can remember seeing in American politics. The entire speech was dark and dystopian, painting America as a dismal, dangerous place beset by violent outsiders. In response to the nation’s problems, Trump had only one solution: Donald Trump, the strongman who would take America back, by force if necessary.
Trump framed the speech by painting America as a nation under siege from urban crime, terrorism, and immigrants. He talked of rising homicide levels in some cities. He warned darkly of terrorist and immigrants, practically conflating them with urban violence, and told stories of Americans killed by those who had entered the country illegally. The simplest and more straightforward way to interpret Trump’s speech was as a warning that outsiders are coming to America to kill you and your family.
It was a relentlessly grim and gloomy picture of America, built on thinly disguised racial distrust and paranoia. It was a portrait that was also essentially false. Violent crime has been steadily falling for more than two decades. Immigrants are less prone to criminality than native-born Americans.
But portraying America in such a dark light let Trump cast himself as the nation’s dark hero, a kind of billionaire-businessman fixer, unbound by rules or expectations of decorum—President Batman, the only one with the guts and the will to fight for the people.
Trump did not invoke superpowers, of course, but he might as well have; he had no other ideas or solutions to offer.
In addition to terrorism and criminality, Trump stoked anxiety about jobs and the economy, lamenting bad trade deals and the loss of manufacturing jobs. As president, he said, he would take our bad trade deals—especially NAFTA—and turn them into good ones. He did not say one word about how, or even what a “good” trade would look like, only that he would fix the problem. Trump promised to bring outsourced jobs back to America, and, as he has in the past, threatened unspecified “consequences” to companies that move operations overseas.
Trump’s entire speech was packed with threats and power grabs, details be damned. It was a speech about how government should be made bigger and stronger and given more authority over every part of American life, and government, in most cases, simply meant Donald Trump himself. It was an argument for unlimited government under a single man, for rule by Trump’s whim. He sounded less like he was running for president and more like he was campaigning to be an American despot.
Our Dear Miss Brooks calls it the “Death of the Republican Party”. He refers to Trump as the Dark Knight. I prefer to see him as the Joker.
But if Trump is detached from the country, and uninterested in anything but himself, he’s also detached from his party. Trump is not really changing his party as much as dissolving it.
A normal party has an apparatus of professionals, who have been around for a while and who can get things done. But those people might as well not exist. This was the most shambolically mis-run convention in memory.
A normal party is united by a consistent belief system. For decades, the Republican Party has stood for a forward-looking American-led international order abroad and small-government democratic capitalism at home.
Trump is decimating that, too, along with the things Republicans stood for: NATO, entitlement reform, compassionate conservatism and the relatively open movement of ideas, people and trade.
Another long time Republican crony has quit the Republican party. Daniel Pipes joins the likes of Mary Matalin on the rat swim away from the ship.
The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its candidate for president of the United States – and I responded by ending my 44-year GOP membership.
Here’s why I bailed, quit, and jumped ship:
First, Trump’s boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive character, combined with his prideful ignorance, his off-the-cuff policy making, and his neo-fascistic tendencies make him the most divisive and scary of any serious presidential candidate in American history. He is precisely “the man the founders feared,” in Peter Wehner’s memorable phrase. I want to be no part of this.
Second, his flip-flopping on the issues (“everything is negotiable”) means that, as president, he has the mandate to do any damn thing he wants. This unprecedented and terrifying prospect could mean suing unfriendly reporters or bulldozing a recalcitrant Congress. It could also mean martial law. Count me out.
There are more reasons. Go check it out.
This is what happens when you sell your soul to angry bigots to pass tax cuts for the very wealthy. I should be dancing on a lot of graves–happily Roger Ailes is gone from Fox because the Barbie Army turned him in–but I can’t dance. I can’t celebrate. I can only stand here with my hair on fire and scream.
I’ve got so many places to send you for folks writing about how horrified they were by last night and the entire week. I’m going to let my friend Peter rep for them. Peter, I know this goes a step beyond “fair usage” but damn you Godwinned and you Godwinned appropriately.
I am obviously biased: I hate Donald Trump and am appalled that this sociopath has won a major party nomination. Following Trump closely has led me to modify my belief in Godwin’s Law. Here’s a rough paraphrase of it: mention the Nazis in an argument and you lose. I’ve always avoided Nazi and Fascist comparisons, believing them to be hyperbolic: who was worse than Hitler, after all?While I still don’t anticipate an American holocaust in the unlikely event that Trump is elected, I have to place Godwin’s Law on the back burner for the duration of the campaign. Donald Trump and his supporters represent the dark side of the American psyche and must be stopped.
On to the speech, I thought it was, in equal parts, horrible and horrifying. It was dark, brooding, and jumbled. The delivery was LOUD and wildly OTT. I felt bludgeoned after being screamed at for 76 minutes as well as depressed by listening to a speech that didn’t describe the America I live in.In between accusing Hillary Clinton and James Comey of crimes against the state, Trump told us to be scared, very scared. Even the ostensibly “uplifting” parts were stepped on by Trump’s red-faced, angry, and shouty delivery. I have my doubts that the American people want to be screamed at for four years. It will be bad enough to be shouted at for the next 3 1/2 months.
In substance, tone and delivery, it was a white nationalist speech full of attacks on minorities and immigrants. Brown people scare Donald Trump and he wants you to be afraid too. The speech went over well in the anti-Semitic community as well:
In addition to being delivered in a rather Hitlerian manner, Trump’s solution to every problem was himself. I am your voice, he said several times. Sounds like the Fuhrer principle to me. I wasn’t sure if he’s running for President or Dictator. If you saw it, you know it was that bad. The rest of the convention was funny, Trump’s speech was not.
No one will be surprised to hear that the speech was packed with lies and half-truths calculated to scare the living shit out of the audience. Politics USA has come up with 21 fact checked proven lies in the speech. I’m surprised it was that few. The audacity of mendacity should be the campaign’s slogan instead of Making America
White Great Again.
Please notice the number of likes from last night on the David Duke Tweet and start being very afraid.
I’m going to make this short because I expect there will be another post up shortly announcing the VEEP choice of Clinton and it deserves a stand alone post.
Just rant away here because I know I feel a strong need to rant and cry. Here are some associated links.
Twitter Rants via Salon.
World Reaction via CNN.
The One Reaction Every one should have via The Root.
Celebrity Reaction via CBS (Yeah, how the great have fallen… poor Uncle Walter.)
NPR Fact Checks the speech. (Shorter NPR: Lies and Bigotry)
Oy. Just. OY.