Still recovering but here is something to think about. 6 Minutes of images worth 613 pages or 1 Trump rally.
Still recovering but here is something to think about. 6 Minutes of images worth 613 pages or 1 Trump rally.
Edited on 7/26 for awkward wordiness. And a link.
One of the things I missed in my first go round here that should have been obvious is the fact that having something in common with those who you oppose politically can be a bridge builder. In my wrestling with this topic and in speaking with gun enthusiasts and owners across the spectrum I’ve found that being educated on the topic of guns, holding, firing and identifying them, the political side of the debate is softened a bit.
There are people who I’ve met, mostly online, who think the idea of a liberal gun owner is ridiculous, who routinely make fun of the same liberals who they claimed were ignorant on guns and berate us for speaking about something we don’t know about. Yet when we do educate ourselves, and come around somewhat to understanding their position, they mock us still. Those people will never be reached, they have put up a wall against liberals and progressives as thick as the walls of their safes and no longer see us as people. There are equivalent people on the left to be sure, intolerant elitists who make fun of what they don’t even try to understand, I have occasionally been one of them and sometimes still am.
The bottom line is this though, we need to respect each other even if we don’t like each other and every single conversation I have with someone who does not share my values is made less difficult through a common bond, if shooting is that bond, in any form, so be it.
It all comes down to money, doesn’t it?
Money coupled with power. Power over people via “ideas” that have more in common with emotional revulsion than logic. This is what we are now.
Steve Bannon was at the left hand of the seat of power; he was the co-pilot of the administration, arguably the primary architect of the Trump victory. You’d have to be utterly blind, delusional, Stockholm Syndrome-addled or just uncaring not to see this. The nearly transparent lie that there was no collusion on the part of Bannon’s appeals to race resentment and the violence that often erupted at Trump rallies doesn’t need calling out, it is there, in plain sight, for all to see.
Nor does the connections to the Alt-Right, real Nazis, and other assorted white supremacists, they too, are plain. Through the denials (what common criminal ever said, “Yeah, I did it, that was me” when being cornered by the cops?) the obstrufications and every logical event to the contrary, Bannon, Breitbart and its network of ideologues and hangers-on continue to play a role in the conversation or at least continue to keep the discussion about them, bolstering the profiles of both the wave riders and the hard idealogues.
There is no such thing as bad press.
So why are we still playing this game?
Why are we still under the delusion that we are living under anything but a proto-fascist state, a state that combines the worst elements of our cold war and second world war enemies. We now represent the things we have purportedly fought against for most of the 20th century. It’s no longer about left and right ideologies because both would be crushed under the weight of the oligarchy. When there isn’t freedom for anyone, ideology is moot.
It is a cold hard fact that for all of the history of the United States we have been awash in white supremacy. Its taken many forms as the idea of whiteness have been adopted by various Europeans and those of European descent. It isn’t unique to this nation, but the brand of white superiority and supremacy is. We are unique in the fact that we’ve inhabited a Janus-like guise, out of one face we say we are pluralistic and generous, the huddled masses are welcome to come and add their uniqueness to our own and to our collective culture, on the other we are xenophobic, racist and fearful of difference although demonstrably, once we know each other personally those elements diminish.
We also claim to value our collective contributions to our society. We claim to not see race or sex and that the value we place on our fair values is absolute. Even on our political left, there is this illusion, the corridors of power in our entertainment are littered with the desiccated bodies of the women who know better. Liberal Hollywood is awash in its form of hypocrisy. Weinstein, Cosby, and Baldwin, either get a pass or use their considerable power as men to create false personas that defy their goodness while hiding their toxic badness.
At the risk of sounding SWJish, White Male Superiority in general. Yes, even Cosby.
Masculinity is at least a convening force in all this. I’ve spoken before about how this mirror universe came to pass, how the power structure that was had been challenged by an educated, non-white man, and then an educated (albeit universally unlikeable) white woman and the resulting pushback gave us a starring role in the Truman shitshow we live in now. How the years of ingrained, assumed norms of power and who was inherently qualified to wield it, unraveled while Rural White Male America slept soundly in their beds, secure in the fact that their hegemony wouldn’t be undone by a one-term Nigger president.
See how that happened?
We didn’t elect a white knight, we chose the anti-Nigger, the crass boldness embodiment of everything we would have lynched Obama for, and some things lesser, that we tried to. Trump’s money, his conspicuous consumptive nature on full display in House Horrific gold inlay pimp my penthouse bling, his pussy grabbing dullard braggadocio, his obviously ignorant grasp of policy and its implications, all of it punishable by death for any nonwhite who isn’t signed to Bad Boy or in the NBA. Trump is gangsta personified.
Must be the money…
I’m not fond of the Obama as savior aspect of this, but it does feel remarkably prescient. Post-presidential second acts in this day and age are often as or more potent than their presidencies.
So I was on a semi-self-imposed news blackout until very recently due in no small part to my own personal upheavals, but also just because….Trump.
So now I’ve begun paying more attention, watching and reading more news and following more closely, the national goings on. Thankfully I’m in a much better headspace for all of this because if I’d decided to forgo reason and dive head first as my personal life was unraveling, I’m honestly not sure I’d still be writing today.
Watching our president move with the sound off is frustrating enough, but with the sound on, it’s utterly terrifying.
How could we have been so stupid? How in the hell could we have elected this orange-thin-skinned pussy grabber, the leader of the free world? How do we not see this as the horrible national embarrassment it truly is? That a uniquely unqualified buffoon who clearly has no aptitude for the truth because he hasn’t a clue as to what that word even means, could possibly win a plurality of electoral college votes, with not a single dissenting maverick to stand in the way of this thoroughly embarrassing national disgrace?
Where are our Paines, our Parks our Kings and Peltiers? Why don’t we see how obviously our dissenting voices are absent from the debate, and how obviously we’ve become twisted up in what it means to dissent in the first place? How did the Alt-right, an animal crafted as a propaganda arm of Nazis and internet trolls who finally feel like they have a place at a table that is owned by the Jewish Cabal, actually become a legitimate voice in national politics?
I’m not of the mindset that this country is over, that with this one election we have sealed our fate. I do believe this is the last death spasm of an old skin being shaken off, but what of what’s underneath?
When will we, as a country, as a people, realize that we’ve entirely fucked up.
When we have people like Alex Jones and Mike Chernovich actually participating in the public dialog as legitimate players, how do we not see how truly fucked we are?
At the same time though, it easy to become un-fucked, just pay attention.
Edited 10/26/16 @10:46 EST for clarity and stupid grammar tricks.
A continuing irony in this election cycle has been the outcry by many Republicans at Trump’s apparent distaste for the American system of elections. His bloated, arrogant, and above all ignorant toss-off of peaceful power transitions and little things like the will of the people mirroring exactly what they have done for the past eight years. His manipulation of the drooling doglike obedience of his followers maligns the very constitution they collectively seem unable to comprehend, something the Republican establishment knows full well how to do.
As has been the case with much of Herr Trump’s rhetorical upchucking, mainstream conservatism has been caught with its pants around its ankles, bent over, inviting the diddling it publicly decries.
They have been riding this pony sidesaddle for some years now, and now that it is trying to buck them off they are suddenly aware of its wild nature? There is no doubt that Democrats have done similar damage to their base over the years by not adhering to fundamental fairness (in the case of the infamous Sanders emails) and refusing to appear with the current president for fear of political self-immolation, putting their re-elections against the better nature (and needs) of the party.
Democrats are equally (in measure) guilty of half-stepping but not nearly as guilty (in scope) of torching the country in a burning hatred that consumes all reason.
The Republicans have taken it several steps further into wackadoodledom. While espousing fairness, honor, and dignity they have spat and shat on both concepts repeatedly by reflexively blocking everything the Obama administration has put forward, not even allowing a break-fix of Obamacare, just setting out to break it. They have stirred racial animosity through the coded language of the Tea Party and its affiliates and promised a one term president instead of working with him to get some of their agenda included in the discussion at the adult table. They have done for the past eight years what the Donald has threatened to do for at least the next four, not recognize the duly elected president of the united states, just not in those words.
Again, the conservative “establishment” is late to its party. It’s been off somewhere snorting coke with supermodels that look suspiciously like David and Fred while its “base” raids the local white sale. Arriving near the end of the soiree, they, still snowblind, are amazed at the sight of so many Black men hanging limply from the burning cross in the middle of the living room. It only takes a year or so for them also to realize that the word effigy has nothing to do with this scene, oops.
I’ve said it before; the GOP owns Trump, and every word that comes out of his mouth is a distillation of the entitlement rage complicitly and explicitly stirred up by them. Trump is the Frankenstein’s monster assembled from puppet parts by the puppets themselves, made of hate, anger, and fear and brought to life with the words and actions of the party’s surrogates.
Aside from the fact that they knew that Trump was a sociopathic, groping, drooling, egging on-ish boor who’d look at the burnt out remains of the GOP’s grotesquely scorched statue as its centerpiece and not recognize it as his doing. They invited this party crasher inside, not only by giving him the keys but by laying out clear, concise directions to the mansion and in a coca leaf fueled haze giving him free rein to bring all his friends in and trash the place.
Just because they blacked out doesn’t mean they get to disavow the destruction they’ve wrought, not only on the Republican party but the entire country.
And you know what? They probably never will.
Edited 10/20 for grammar, spelling and general wordiness.
So is this a case of the snake swallowing its tail or of it sliding its scaled head slowly past its sphincter?
What at one time was the only rational voice in the Republican party (save Chris Shays) has increasingly become one of its most insane, ego-driven, extreme, and sad relics.
In a story that surfaced early in the week but was swallowed in the shit-quicksand that is “all Trump all the time” media coverage, McCain preemptively vowed that the Senate (if it remains in Republican hands, that is) would block any Clinton appointee to SCOTUS.
Let that sink in, actually, let the multiplicity of fuckwadded assumptions absorb deeply…
First, the one time “moderate” senator from Arizona has already set the tone for the next 4 to 8 years, basically saying that the next presidency, be it Democratic, will be handled like the last one, as a slapstick pastiche of knee-jerk obstructions that will do nothing but further erode both national faith in our houses of government and do further damage to the Republican “brand.”
Secondly, he has all but admitted that there is no real way for Trump to win so when he loses, house and senate Republicans will do what they have been discouraging Trump from doing, inciting their base by not accepting the results of the election.
Thirdly, we are to expect the end of a distinguished and once respected (by Democrat, Republican and Independent alike) member of Congress’ career.
The death knell seems to have come sometime around 2008, when compelled by some demonic force, McCain felt the need to ditch his tough as nails but relatively fair persona in favor of the rabid base “base,” forgoing any rationality and grasping with two full hands, the hair of the tea party, wacko, “I can see Russia,” masses. Copulating wildly with them as they screamed about God, guns, and gays, slamming themselves back into the party that always seems to leave them hung over and unsatisfied the next morning, he shared the ticket with insane-hair-demagogue 1.0. It was all downhill from there.
So now, preemptively, he’s showing his hand for the next four years at the very least. A calculating gambit that could very well backfire but not soon enough to matter to his flagging career.
In his home state of Arizona, despite growing resistance from “patriots” the Hispanic population continues to grow, unabated by citizen patrols and Jan Brewer. The insanity that befalls kings and popes when they fail to understand that the people below them and the people they think are below them are becoming the same people is beginning to take hold on McCain and the GOP as a fever. It is destroying the last vestiges of rationality and common sense and immolating reason in a firestorm of racial fear and lost potential. It is obliterating the very same notions that supposedly underpin the party and the country. In this, the Great Defender becomes part of the Destroyer Class.
I used to have respect for Senator McCain. I still have respect for the man who survived a trial I couldn’t imagine going through myself, but I have lost any and all respect for this man who has abandoned his post as a standard-bearer of reason in a party that continues to slip off the silty cliff of moderation and into the murky waters of batshit insanity.
Mr. McCain, what the hell happened to you?
Edited on 3/14/17, For clerical errors. 😉
I feel on some days that I’m watching the country I love descend into madness.
Anyone who has watched a loved one slip into a bout of dementia and then ascend to relative normalcy and experienced the false hope that the person you knew and loved would continue to be recognizable to you as the disease progresses knows this feeling. The surfacing of someone over months or years, instead of the death throes of a once vital personality, become the delusion of “getting better.”
I fear that this country may be in those throes.
We seem to surface just long enough to elect a Black president and then dip below the surface in calling for his “papers.” We take a deep breath, rising above the waves in securing a free market solution to “health care for all,” but then go down a second time when the very people who came up with the idea denounce it based on fears that never materialize, or “death panels” that never existed. We barely turn our faces to the sky, open our mouths and aspirate when we finally recognize the dangerous influence of money and its exertion of power over everyone else, we have OWS and yet the Tea Party.
We seem constantly clinging to a raft and letting go, to be drowned willingly in madness.
Alexandre Dumas, the author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo,” places an extraordinary value on memory as both a plot device and a philosophical concept. In “Monte Cristo” the Count is left to rot, he and his crime are lost to the ages, his captors have moved on with their lives and forgotten him and the wrong they did him, this concept resonates today.
Our memory of our history and its revisionism is spelled out for us in this storyline. Dumas, whose father was the product of a relationship between a French nobleman and a Black slave, and who himself was subjected to racist taunts at the height of his artist prowess, stresses remembrance by showing us the product of our forgetfulness. In making an allegory of the Count, his unfair imprisonment, and subsequent release, he has not only set the stage for one of the greatest and most influential literary and filmic devices, the revenge story but makes a serious case for the determents and merits of remembering and forgetting.
We have forgotten much in our America.
Textbooks in the South insist that Slavery was a benign institution, one benefitting Africans by giving them religion and culture and by keeping them safe and warm, clothed and fed. I was watching Netflix the other day and came across “Chelsea on…” a series where comedian Chelsea Handler takes on particular topics, one of which was Race. One of the segments stuck out to me with this very idea at its core. Forgetting and remembering, conveniently forgetting the historical guilt and committing the greater sin of willfully changing the past to cover it up.
Many white southerners (and a growing number of others), especially those who self-describe as conservative, have an interesting blind spot for the culpability of the peculiar institution and its role in causing a rift between North and South. Even as I type this I am extra cautious in choosing my words, somehow feeling the need to protect the delicate ego of a place that has more bones in its racial closet than almost anywhere else on the planet. I feel the need to protect the very same people who enslaved my ancestors from their uncomfortable truths. Forgetting and remembering at odds inside me too.
As I watched apologist after apologist claim their feelings were being hurt by Ms. Handler’s lines of questioning I contrasted the very real image of the heavy slave shackles in a later segment, shackles very similar to those in the possession of my aunt, a collector of what she calls “memorabilia.” I wrestled with my seething anger and knew what Dumas’ concentration on memory and reemergence was all about. All of this bring home the notion that remembrance is probabaly our weakest human trait, as human-Americans it is even weaker.
As I watched Trump apologist Jeffrey Lord rewrite history in the worst, most bizarre way, I got that same feeling. He essentially argued that the KKK was a left-wing organization and that the left was solely responsible for the divisions in this country (see the exchange between he and Van Jones here, courtesy of the Washington Post) pulling out every rhetorical stop to nullify Jones’ argument about Trump and race. How this and much else on subject to debate can even qualify as “debateable” boggles my mind.
Unfortunately, this is more common than not. When someone screams “know your history” most often it is they who do not. Dumas, in the 18th century, understood this concept all too well.
The manipulation of memory is easier when those memories are accusatory; painful in the way they puncture the empowered’s sense of privilege. They are harder to change when the person bearing them has been ground under the boot heel of the memories themselves. They are mutable, through tons of pressure, pressure from those reacting to the wrongs they feel have been fostered upon them by the weak and powerless. All of what precedes, what is occurring now is why literature is so important, why philosophy matters and why curiosity counts.
Though there is no guarantee that knowing will lead to a saner life. In the case of the drowning man, another breath of air prolongs the struggle enough to fight on some more, but only for a limited amount of time. If no one is willing to see the water surrounding him, if no one is willing to understand that the same is surrounding them as well, eventually everyone will drown.
So supposedly there is this tape floating around the New York Times that confirms what anyone with half a brain already knows, “the Donald” is full of shit.
Earlier this week he started rumbling about suing the media when they print mean things about him (damn that pesky 1st amendment, you know that one that wouldn’t exist without the one following it) and now in a conveniently not at all retaliatory fashion the NYT’s Gail Collins strongly hinted that the tape was a game changer for Trump, although given the fervor of his legion of zombies, I highly doubt that.
Right now, nothing short of Trump revealing himself as Barak Obama’s Kenyan uncle could derail this campaign. Part of the appeal of any sort of fascistic movement is its complete divorce from reality, its utter anti-intellectualism and cultural understanding outside its own angry demographic.
Does anyone really think this guy who famously wrote about his style of “winning” which consisted of saying whatever people wanted to hear to get them in the door and then, once they are trapped inside, completely changing the rules? Has anyone actually read “The Art of the Deal?” Seen the Apprentice?
Trump’s juggernaut is about one thing anger, no rage. Rage at the fact that what was guaranteed by status was not fulfilled, and that average Joe White is losing ground, ground overlooking average Joe Minority but slowly eroding. Ground lost because Average Joe White allowed his natural advantage to distance himself from the plight of Average Joe and Jane everyone else. The ground lost because instead of looking at opportunity in equal measure with effort, he championed effort without equal opportunity all the while ignoring his own privilege. And yeah, I said it, privilege. So instead of recognizing the fact that the opportunities that they had all along, that others never had, should be expanded to include everyone, their skin takes precedence over their situation.
The ethnic lines that once divided them (Irish, German, Swiss, English, Dutch etc…) are now uniting them and ironically, they are turning on themselves as much as they are anyone else. I’ve already written about the sad fact that middle aged white men are dying off in large numbers due to a combination of lifestyle diseases and suicide.
WTF??? ANY group that has that high a death rate should be assisted, treated and taken care of, but again irony intercedes. Because of the very myths of independence they still cling to, myths that time and time again are disproved, they are not seeking help, and therefore, literally dying off.
This cancerous anger, resentment and fear is killing off people and that is something to bemoan regardless of whether you agree with them politically or not. People are people and they deserve the same life, liberty and happiness that everyone does.
They just may have to give up a little status to get it.
Something many, sadly, just cannot do.
As I said before, too fucking little, too fucking late.
So you can tolerate all the bullshit I mentioned previously, all the implicit threats of violence, the dog whistling candidates (many of which are running against Trump, STILL) and the numerous collisions between some of your own columnists and the organized racist far-right. Charles Murray, for example.
So, again, after benefiting for so long from the recruitment of working class whites into voting against their own interests by appealing to their inherently racist fears, now you want to suddenly sound the alarm against the human manifestation of that politic?
Again, fuck you, Trump is a direct result of all of you not standing up for your “brand.” If America goes down in flames because of him, it really isn’t because of him at all, it’s because of you.