Friday Reads: Nearly Every one Loves Hillary these DaysPosted: August 5, 2016
Things keep getting stranger and stranger on the U.S. Political front. I guess that’s what you get when one of the candidates likely has a severe personality disorder.
Dubya’s CIA Director is the latest foreign policy guru to dump on Trump. Michael Morrell just endorsed Clinton on the op Ed page of NYT. This is the guy that was in charge of the agency during 9/11. He was also the Director under Obama during the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. He’s technically a registered independent and stays out of politics.
On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Between now and then, I will do everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president.
Two strongly held beliefs have brought me to this decision. First, Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president — keeping our nation safe. Second, Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.
I spent four years working with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, most often in the White House Situation Room. In these critically important meetings, I found her to be prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing to change her mind if presented with a compelling argument.
I also saw the secretary’s commitment to our nation’s security; her belief that America is an exceptional nation that must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; her understanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived as willing and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to make the most difficult decision of all — whether to put young American women and men in harm’s way.
Mrs. Clinton was an early advocate of the raid that brought Bin Laden to justice, in opposition to some of her most important colleagues on the National Security Council. During the early debates about how we should respond to the Syrian civil war, she was a strong proponent of a more aggressive approach, one that might have prevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Syria.
I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room. In fact, I saw the opposite. When some wanted to delay the Bin Laden raid by one day because the White House Correspondents Dinner might be disrupted, she said, “Screw the White House Correspondents Dinner.”
In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on national security. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.
You can go read the latest complete evisceration of Trump’s unsuitability for the Presidency. Crazy Charles Krauthammer also spends a lot of ink in WAPO doing a Trump Take down but only strongly suggests he mends his evil
Of course we all try to protect our own dignity and command respect. But Trump’s hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability.
This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.
Most politicians seek approval. But Trump lives for the adoration. He doesn’t even try to hide it, boasting incessantly about his crowds, his standing ovations, his TV ratings, his poll numbers, his primary victories. The latter are most prized because they offer empirical evidence of how loved and admired he is.
Prized also because, in our politics, success is self-validating. A candidacy that started out as a joke, as a self-aggrandizing exercise in xenophobia, struck a chord in a certain constituency and took off. The joke was on those who believed that he was not a serious man and therefore would not be taken seriously. They — myself emphatically included — were wrong.
As Boston Boomer posted yesterday, the polls continue to show a tremendous post convention bounce. States are at play that would normally not elect a Democrat.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has surged to a 15-point lead over reeling, gaffe-plagued Republican Donald Trump, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
Clinton made strong gains with two constituencies crucial to a Republican victory – whites and men – while scoring important gains among fellow Democrats, the poll found.
Clinton not only went up, but Trump also went down. Clinton now has a 48-33 percent lead, a huge turnaround from her narrow 42-39 advantage last month.
The findings are particularly significant because the poll was taken after both political conventions ended and as Trump engaged in a war of words with the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in an explosion in Iraq 12 years ago while trying to rescue other soldiers.
In this latest poll, Clinton enjoys a significant advantage among women (51 percent to Trump’s 35 percent), African Americans (91 percent to 1 percent), all non-white voters (69 percent to 17 percent), young voters (46 percent to 34 percent), and white voters with a college degree (47 percent to 40 percent).
Trump leads among white voters (45 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent), seniors (46 percent to 43 percent), independents (36 percent to 32 percent) and white voters without a college degree (49 percent to 36 percent).
The two candidates are running nearly even among men, at 43 percent for Clinton and 42 percent for Trump.
As Charles Blow put it yesterday, the one demographic she seems to lose are fragile white men and mostly those without college educations. How fragile are these guys anyway?
These are the voters keeping Trump’s candidacy alive.
He appeals to a regressive, patriarchal American whiteness in which white men prospered, in part because racial and ethnic minorities, to say nothing of women as a whole, were undervalued and underpaid, if not excluded altogether.
White men reigned supreme in the idealized history, and all was good with the world. (It is curious that Trump never specifies a period when America was great in his view. Did it overlap with the women’s rights, civil rights or gay rights movements? For whom was it great?)
Trump’s wall is not practical, but it is metaphor. Trump’s Muslim ban is not feasible, but it is metaphor. Trump’s huge deportation plan isn’t workable, but it is metaphor.
There is a portion of the population that feels threatened by unrelenting change — immigration, globalization, terrorism, multiculturalism — and those people want someone to, metaphorically at least, build a wall around their cultural heritage, which they conflate in equal measure with American heritage.
In their minds, whether explicitly or implicitly, America is white, Christian, straight and male-dominated. If you support Trump, you are on some level supporting his bigotry and racism. You don’t get to have a puppy and not pick up the poop.
And acceptance of racism is an act of racism. You are convicted by your complicity.
The white male agita has become worse this week and I’ve seen and heard angst about Clinton from that same demographic since the focus has been high on the historic nature of the nomination.
We’ve been having conversations about if white men really have that many mommy issues here. See Samantha B and Amanda Marcotte for that too. It’s more like one group having a national temper tantrum more than anything else. The complaints are openly delusional and patently false. It’s a weird siege mentality.
Here’s a few things you may want to check out:
First, this is how a real man handles a crying baby.
Some believe that many of those who support Donald Trump do so because of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.
The seemingly obvious solution would be to try to reach those people through political ads, expert opinions, and logical arguments that educate with facts. Except none of those things seem to be swaying any Trump supporters from his side, despite great efforts to deliver this information to them directly.
The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.
A Purple Heart Recipient takes it to Trump. J.R. Martinez to Donald Trump: Stop Disrespecting Military Veterans and Fallen Soldiers
My hope is that your actions and words do not continue to erode our civil discourse. I pray that good people in this country continue to be shocked by your rhetoric because that means they agree that your words and actions have no place in society, much less in the Oval Office.
You have stated that all press is good press. It’s an interesting strategy that has thus far worked for you. But this, the memory of our fallen soldiers, their families, former POWs, and the proud recipients of the Purple Heart honor. This is not the position from which you should be getting your press. This is off-limits.
Please remember that the people you are speaking about, our brave men and women of the armed forces make up less than 1% of the population. However, if you become commander in chief, they will be the people who are going to fight for you regardless of personal politics. These are the people who will defend you. These are their families you are talking about. These are not the people you want to continue to carry out your petty grievances and personal attacks with.
I respectfully suggest you get a primer on the word sacrifice, as well as a lesson in human decency.
You may have noticed I’m a little absent here recently. I’m going through some enormous challenges in my life right now. The University where I have worked for the last five years has changed some rules and created a situation where I cannot teach. The result has been an enormous strain on my finances and right now, I’m fighting to keep my home. I’m also finding out how challenging it is for a 60 year old woman to be taken seriously as a job candidate any where. My life has pretty much gone into a free fall over the last six months with freak things happening to my car and house and this. The anxiety is really causing me severe health problems and of course, I’ve lost my health insurance too. Anyway, be good to each other and appreciate all that you have today. Every thing is so fragile and impermanent.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?