Thursday Reads: Love Will Trump Hate in November

 2815Good Afternoon!!

Last night Dakinikat and I were talking about how the Donald Trump phenomenon is affecting us, and it dawned on me that it reminds me of what it’s like to live in an alcoholic family with an abusive and completely unpredictable father–only in this case it’s the entire country that is trying to deal with the crazy abuser. You never know what is going to happen next, but you know it will be incredibly stressful and emotionally exhausting.

In the case of Trump’s very public behavior, I never know what shocking news will greet me when I get up in the morning. If it’s a day when I write a post it’s even worse because I get overwhelmed trying to figure out what to write.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but it helps me understand why I feel so disoriented and stressed-out as I follow the news each day. I suppose it’s not as bad for people who aren’t paying as close attention to the campaign as we are; but judging by the polls, just about everyone except angry, racist white men is turned off by Trump’s bizarre behavior.

There have even been reports of bullying by children who have heard and been influenced by Trump’s ugly hate speech.

From The Guardian in June: ‘You were born in a Taco Bell’: Trump’s rhetoric fuels school bullies across US.

Tracey Iglehart, a teacher at Rosa Parks elementary school in Berkeley, California, did not expect Donald Trump to show up on the playground….

“They said things like ‘you’ll get deported’, ‘you weren’t born here’ and ‘you were born in a Taco Bell’,” said Iglehart, 49. “They may not know exactly what it means, but they know it’s powerful language.”

Hearing it in Rosa Parks elementary, of all places, came as a shock. “Berkeley is not an area where there are Trump supporters. This is not the land of Trump.”

Yet the spirit of the GOP presidential candidate has surfaced here and, according to one study, in schools across the country.

An online survey of approximately 2,000 K-12 teachers by the Southern Poverty Law Center found toxic political rhetoric invading elementary, middle and high schools, emboldening children to make racist taunts that leave others bewildered and anxious.

“We mapped it out. There was no state or region that jumped out. It was everywhere,” said Maureen Costello, the study’s author. “Marginalized students are feeling very frightened, especially Muslims and Mexicans. Many teachers use the word terrified.” The children who did the taunting were echoing Trump’s rhetoric, she said. “Bad behavior has been normalized. They think it’s OK.”

So my notion of the Trump campaign as a dysfunctional family that is affecting millions of Americans is not so far-fetched.


The latest Trump shock came early yesterday when his campaign announced its latest shake-up. The campaign “manager” will now be pollster Kellyanne Conway and the “chairman/CEO” of the campaign will now be Steve Bannon, editor of the far right white supremacist website Breitbart. In essence, there has been a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by the worst lowlifes in the right-wing fever swamp. I wonder how Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell feel about that?

Joshua Green at Bloomberg: Steve Bannon’s Plan to Free Donald Trump and Save His Campaign.

“I am who I am,” Donald Trump declared, shortly after the New York Times ran a story depicting chaos in his presidential campaign. “I don’t want to change.” He wasn’t lying. The next day, on Aug. 17, Trump shoved aside his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and installed Steve Bannon—ex-Naval officer, ex-Goldman Sachs banker, ex-Sarah Palin filmmaker. Until Trump called, he was executive chairman of Breitbart News, the avatar of the so-called alt-right: the nationalist, racially paranoid splinter group of anti-establishment conservatives who have rallied to Trump’s banner.

Since June, Manafort has tried fruitlessly to mold Trump into someone palatable to establishment Republicans and the swing voters he’ll need to win over if he’s to have any chance of beating Hillary Clinton. Bannon, who becomes chief executive of the Trump campaign, represents a sharp turn in the opposite direction—a fireball hurtling toward the 2016 presidential election. (In announcing the hiring, the Trump campaign quoted Bloomberg Businessweek’s description of Bannon from a profile last fall as “the most dangerous political operative in America.”) Along with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, Bannon will encourage Trump to cast aside political niceties and aggressively go with his gut. “I’ve known Steve for a long time—he is an extraordinary guy, an extraordinary talent, and he, like me, truly loves our country,” Trump said in a statement to Businessweek.

Trump’s own diagnosis of his campaign’s shortcomings led to this unusual prescription—which is the diametric opposite of what most Republicans have been counseling for their embattled nominee. “The campaign has been too lethargic, too reactive,” says a senior Trump official. “They wanted to bring in someone who understood new media, understood digital. It’s not going to be a traditional campaign.” Trump was frustrated by Manafort’s efforts to contain him and angry about his plummeting poll numbers. With Bannon in the fold, the source adds, Trump will feel free to unleash his inner Trump: “It’s very simple. This is a change election. He needs to position himself as anti-establishment, the candidate of change, and the candidate who’s anti-Washington.”

The shake-up is an ominous development for Republican elected officials alarmed at Trump’s collapse and the effect he could have on down-ballot races across the country. In recent years, Breitbart News has bedeviled Republican leaders, helping to drive out former House Speaker John Boehner and, more recently, making life difficult for his successor, Paul Ryan. Last fall, at Bannon’s insistence, Breitbart reporters visited Ryan’s Wisconsin home (which is surrounded by a wall) and published a story shaming him for not endorsing Trump’s proposal to erect a wall along the Mexico border.

Bannon, who’s as eager to attack Republicans as Democrats, is unlikely to worry much about the plight of mainstream GOP incumbents. At a New Year’s party at his Capitol Hill home last year, Bannon gave guests silver flasks stamped with his personal motto: “Honey badger don’t give a shit.”


The piece ends with this choice quote from Stuart Stevens, who managed Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign:

“This is the bunker scene in Downfall, only the Trump crowd won’t tell Hitler the truth. It’s utter madness,” says Stuart Stevens, who ran Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. “Trump is a nut, and he likes to surround himself with nuts. It’s a disaster for the Republican Party.”

Read the whole thing at the Bloomberg link.

At Vanity Fair, Ken Stern has a longer article about Bannon and Trump, Exclusive: Stephen Bannon, Trump’s New CEO, Hints at His Master Plan. It’s well worth the read.

The night before the big shake-up, Trump gave a “law and order” speech in West Bend, Wisconsin, a lily-white town about 40 miles north of Milwaukee, where protests have been raging after police shot and killed a black man whom they claim had a gun. In the speech, Trump pretended to “reach out” to African Americans, while advocating for more and harsher policing in poor urban areas. During the speech, Trump repeatedly said he was in Milwaukee. It was insulting to black people and to anyone who cares about inequality.

While he was in Wisconsin, Trump gave an interview to The La Cross Tribune. At Huffington Post, Julia Craven called attention to one very “tone deaf” comment in the interview:

Trump, whose campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again!” said he views the 1980s as the time when things were good for the nation, though he also hearkened back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

“The industrial revolution was certainly — in terms of economically — that was when we started to grow,” Trump said. “I liked the Ronald Reagan years. I thought the country had a wonderful, strong image.”

Craven notes that the Industrial Revolution was built on the backs of slaves and during the Reagan era, black neighborhoods were inundated with crack and “the war on drugs drove the incarceration rate for black people through the roof.”

I’m almost beginning to buy into Peter Daou’s theory that Trump is campaigning not for the presidency but for leadership of a white nationalist movement.  Here’s Daou’s latest at Blue Nation Review: We’re Witnessing History: The Extreme Right Just Seized Control of the GOP. Please go read the whole thing if you haven’t already.


Now here’s something to help get the bad Trump taste out of our mouths: Wired Endorses Optimism.

Wired has never been neutral. For nearly a quarter of a century, this organization has championed a specific way of thinking about tomorrow. If it’s true, as the writer William Gibson once had it, that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed, then our task has been to locate the places where various futures break through to our present and identify which one we hope for….

We value freedom: open systems, open markets, free people, free information, free inquiry. We’ve become even more dedicated to scientific rigor, good data, and evidence-driven thinking. And we’ve never lost our optimism.

…for all of its opinions and enthu­siasms, WIRED has never made a practice of endorsing candidates for president of the United States. Through five election cycles we’ve written about politics and politicians and held them up against our ideals. But we’ve avoided telling you, our readers, who WIRED viewed as the best choice.

Today we will. WIRED sees only one person running for president who can do the job: Hillary Clinton.


Why have the magazine’s editors made this decision?

Right now we see two possible futures welling up in the present. In one, society’s every decision is dominated by scarcity. Except for a few oligarchs, nobody has enough of anything. In that future, we build literal and figurative walls to keep out those who hope to acquire our stuff, while through guile or violence we try to acquire theirs.

In the other future, the one WIRED is rooting for, new rounds of innovation allow people to do more with less work—in a way that translates into abundance, broadly enjoyed. Governments and markets and entrepreneurs create the conditions that allow us to take effective collective action against climate change. The flashlight beam of science keeps turning up cool stuff in the corners of the universe. The grand social experiments of the 20th and early 21st centuries—the mass entry of women into the workforce, civil rights, LGBTQ rights—continue and give way to new ones that are just as necessary and unsettling and empowering to people who got left out of previous rounds. And the sustainably manufactured, genetically modified fake meat tastes really good too.

Our sights might not be perfectly aligned, but it’s pretty clear Hillary Clinton has her eye on a similar trajectory. She intends to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change and reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025. She hopes to produce enough renewable energy to power every American home by the end of her first term. She wants to increase the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, two major drivers of research and innovation via government funding. And she wants to do the same for Darpa, the defense research agency—without which, let’s face it, WIRED probably wouldn’t exist, because no one would have invented the things we cover.

Clinton also has ideas that clear away stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs and strivers. She proposes linking entre­preneurship to forgiveness of student loans, as a way to help young people start businesses. Clinton favors net neutrality—giving every packet of data on the Internet the same priority, regardless of whether they originate from a media corporation or from you and me. She has proposed easier paths to legal immigration for people with science, technology, and engineering degrees. And she has spent my entire adult life trying to work out how to give the maximum number of Americans access to health care; she will con­tinue to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which among other things has helped people walk away from crappy, dead-end jobs by alleviating the fear that they’ll lose their insurance.

I agree that Hillary is an optimist and she has the competence and intelligence to turn her ideas into real change. I think most Americans will also choose optimism and love over negativity and hate in November.

What else is happening? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday!


37 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Love Will Trump Hate in November”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    The Daily Mail on the story of the Olympic swimmers who claimed they were robbed.

    EXCLUSIVE: Brazil police say drunk Ryan Lochte and three Team USA swimmer friends DESTROYED a gas station bathroom and the security guard pulled a gun demanding they pay for the damage

    Read more:

    • Jslat says:

      Bad boys, bad boys what ya gonna do?????

    • purplefinn says:

      “Lochte and the three US swimmers destroyed a gas station bathroom door” I heard that they wanted to use the bathroom and couldn’t get the door open.

      They made it so much worse by lying. I hope they’re held accountable.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Very good post today BB. And I agree, Love Wins!!!

  3. Pilgrim says:

    Good insights and helpful reflections, as usual. Thanks.

  4. purplefinn says:

    Excellent post. I put the Wired link on our local Hillary FB page, Thanks!

  5. palhart says:

    Thanks, BB, for the great reads. I may return with more thoughts after I read all of them. (Dak, that naked statue of DT grossed me out!)

    Hillary’s high poll numbers have given me a lift, a boost of hope. Kellyanne Conway said on tv that, if we focus on Trump, we lose; if we focus on Hillary, we win. I trust the Hillary will have a few comebacks, zingers, and obvious subject changers, like “Your tax returns show you haven’t paid any taxes in years? Shame on you.”

    The repugs need more men and others of that hate-filled party to vote for this throwback to the dark ages.I saw the Breitbart News post titles last night and I didn’t react. I hope my numbness to Hillary attacks (I’ve heard it all) also holds. My state will be receiving DT’s first political ads tomorrow. My report to you will be negative, of course, but I’ll let you know the angle he takes.

    She, and we women, will be slammed in the next 80 days, but we’ll just keep rising. I’ll try my hardest to be one of our points of (sun)light. Don’t let this buffoon get you down.

    • joanelle says:

      No doubt if will get pretty intense. One of my daughter-in-laws sent me a ‘poster’ with a picture of the Donald saying:

      “I’m trying to disqualify myself from the race. It’s obvious I want out. I have viciously attacked:
      1. Women
      2. Veterans & POWs
      3. Hispanics
      4. Muslims
      5. Fox News
      6. The Pope
      7. The Media
      8. Republican politicians
      I lie every day on purpose. What does one need to do to get disqualified? Please help!”
      I don’t believe anything he says, but that I would believe!

      • Enheduanna says:

        Hysterical! And I truly believe this. I think he’s way more interested in the grift angle and a media empire.

        Prezidentin is hard work!!!!!

  6. palhart says:

    BB, clicking on the Ken Stern Vanity Fair article actually brings up a Huffpo post that is good, but not Stern’s.

  7. palhart says:

    The Ken Stern Vanity Fair article is a must-read for an introduction to Bannon. Both he and Conway have never worked on a presidential campaign and he is known for his white supremacist, populist philosophy. I don’t see these two as a winning team, stink-bomb throwers yeah, but we’ve had enough of this garbage. Go down inflames, DT!

    • palhart says:

      DT and Jared Kushner are eyeing investing in a media outlet or a take-over. I’m banking on after the Big November Loss.

      • palhart says:

        What a cozy pair! Fred Trump was sued by the US Justice Division of Civil Rights for racial discrimination in housing, Charlie Kushner, Jared’s father, was sent to prison in 2005 for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign contributions. Chris Christie prosecuted the case.

  8. Thank you for your extraordinarily insightful post. Your analogy of Trump to living in an abusive/alcoholic family is spot on. A friend of mine and I commiserated
    over the extreme anxiety Trump causes us, physically and emotionally, earlier today.One more troubling “concept” Trump spewed out was his plan for “regime change,” as
    if this was Russia and not the US. We truly do face a choice between a dark and an optimistic future. I pray we make the right choice.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Last night as I watched just a bit of the cable news it sounded to me as though more and more of the anchors are basically saying it’s over already. One of them actually did say that. We are less than six weeks away from advance voting.

      Trump will never be POTUS no matter what happens.

      Keep the faith!!!

    • Beata says:

      Well said, Jackie. I can relate to BB’s analogy, too. Some people are attracted to Trump precisely because he is the “chaos candidate”, but to someone who was raised in chaos, he is very frightening. I have had to avoid the news even more than usual this election season. It sets off my PTSD.

      I also pray the American people make the right choice come November. I continue to have hope, “the thing with feathers”.

      Peace to everyone.

  9. Beata says:

    Looking forward to a better world after November 8th. We will see it.

  10. palhart says:

    Charlotte Trump rally: He’s paraphrasing Hillary’s points of interest in promoting individual potential without presenting a plan to accomplish this mission. He talks and blames. No solutions.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Notice that his lines about equal opportunity don’t get cheers from the red cap brigade.

  11. William says:

    Boston Boomer, what is most upsetting to me, is the way that the media seems to do everything it can to help Trump, and to give him credence, in some insane false equivalence to Hillary. It’s bad enough to have to endure Trump’s awful and stupid comments; but then we have to wade through the media, and its, “more news about the emails” garbage. The broadxast media has amazingly managed to cover this campaign for a year, without seriously discussing one policy iissue. Every day I find myself almost afraid to turn the news on, to see what bogus anti-Hillary story they will have. I’ve essentially given up on trying to decide if they do it for ratings; because their bosses are corporate oligarchs; because they have a personal antitpathy to Hillary. What matters is that they do it. I’ve almost gotten to the point where i do not want to turn on the news at all, and I think that many others on our side feel similarly.

  12. Jslat says:

    T-rump’s first ad isn’t going to appeal to swing voters. It’s more red meat for his fervent supporters. Anti-immigrant BS….

  13. Jslat says:

    LOL! He is going to get beat by a giirrrrl! Wonkette has funny read on Hillary messing with T-rump’s mind by going into red states with her campaign.

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Trump aide Manafort implicated in pro-Russian protests against US troops.

    • janicen says:

      Every time I think I’ve read the worst about this creature, something even worse comes up.

  15. William says:

    That Trump supporter thrown out the rally in NC last night, ‘because he “fit the profile of a protester,” is really chilling stuff. How different is this from the rise of the Nazis in Germany, when people were thrown out or beaten up at rallies? With all the neo-Nazi and racist groups and people now supporting Trump, how can one imagine otherwise than that tthis would be the early signs of their fascist regime? Wake up, you stupid media!!!

  16. Sweet Sue says:

    Well, Manafort is out.