“When racism was tamped down in this country before its resurgence lately it was because of public shaming and opinion. To get things back on track we must begin publicly shaming Republicans for their acceptance of this vile hatred through inaction.”
— Dennis Brault – friend and occasional Commoner Call contributor in email discussion (8/10/19).
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (8/12/19)
Dear Fellow Readers,
Trump is our racist, conspiracy theorist and accused rapist in charge. Credit where due, he’s making it increasingly difficult for supporters and media to deny this – I say to both: Embrace your reality. A few days ago former Congressman and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke did a great job of truth-speaking and I’ll come back to this. But the nod goes to conservative columnist, author and never-Trumper David Frum:
Frum’s sub-head is: On Saturday, President Trump spread a conspiracy theory accusing the Clintons of murdering Jeffrey Epstein. Something I witnessed myself talking to a Trump supporter; the facile what-aboutism. Am I to care more about the Clintons than the accused rapist in the White House? I don’t. If they broke the law, send them to jail. What’s amazing, as Frum points out, “Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug. What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter.”
More to the point, Frum offers:
“Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever more widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States, and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon; a conspiratorial, racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people.”
But what the hell, Trump is the 45th president of the United States, not your crazy uncle wearing a MAGA hat to Thanksgiving dinner.
Nor is it just the racism or the hate or his obstruction – he ignores a handful of missile launches by North Korea to tout his latest love letter from Kim Jong-Un. Is he seriously played this easily while envying the lack of consequence for global authoritarians? Trump is fighting a trade war he can’t win but true to form, he doubles down at every turn where he is out maneuvered by the Chinese.
If there is yet another defining moment for the lack of empathy for anything not about him, it’s the picture of him smiling like a bad game show host, giving his thumbs-up beside his wife Melania as she holds a baby recently orphaned by the Trump-inspired terrorist seeking to kill Mexicans in El Paso. Please let this one stick.
Author Richard Parkers sub-head is: A day of racist comments left him looking small and isolated, while the city united against him. Many in El Paso made it clear Trump was not welcome. Beto O’Rourke made this clear a week ago by calling out Trump, “He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country.” Followed by this:
“You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals,” O’Rourke, who lives in El Paso, said. “Members of the press, what the fuck?…Connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country.”
Back to calling out racism; this is from the New York Times article:
“As if to symbolize just how out of touch Trumpism is here and in much of America, a sole woman approached the makeshift memorial at the Walmart where 22 people died. She wore a bright red MAGA hat, and quickly over 30 people surrounded her chanting: “Take it off! Take it off!” She refused, yelling back that the president should be accepted here — only to be drowned out. Later, young people appeared, dressed in black, chanting: “white violence, White House.””
Is there a shift, is it real, will it last?
Let’s hold this up against the news of impeachment of Trump – it’s ‘on’.
“House Democrats have begun impeachment proceedings against President Trump. A key Democrat admitted as much Thursday.
““This is formal impeachment proceedings,” the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), on Thursday, after weeks of whether his committee would formally consider impeaching Trump.
““We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence,” Nadler added. “And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.””
Let’s cover one more angle and we’ll come back to impeachment.
There are many opinions offered – Trump is not winning his personal trade war against China, instead of learning, he doubles down – and there is no end in sight.
“His views on trade are incoherent. His demands are incomprehensible. And he vastly overrates his ability to inflict damage on China while underrating the damage China can do in return.
“The second thing you need to realize is that China’s response so far has been fairly modest and measured, at least considering the situation. The U.S. has implemented or announced tariffs on virtually everything China sells here, with average tariff rates not seen in generations. The Chinese, by contrast, have yet to deploy anything like the full range of tools at their disposal to offset Trump’s actions and hurt his political base.”
In a nutshell, the Chinese have already demonstrated their ability to limit any damage to their economy while also showing they know exactly how to surgically attack the US economy. Most of the world gets this – but Trump does not. As if lying about how US consumers and companies don’t pay the cost of tariffs against imports changes the fact that we do. But I’ll wager a bet, the woman wearing the MAGA hat at the El Paso Walmart shrine also believes Trump is ‘winning’.
Do I care if Trump is impeached over Trump-Russia coordination and obstruction? Like the Clintons, let the chips fall. If Trump’s racism, his stoking global risk by his bromance with Kim Jong-Un, his planned renewed nuclear arms race against Russia or his threatened war with Iran is the risk that carries momentum for impeachment, I’m on board.
Trump and his supporters see him as a unifier, fighting the fights that need to be fought. All I can surmise is that his supporters have not been negatively affected and agree with his view of ‘others’ as the enemy. As the saying was defined, “it’s not that I see you as a racist…” so to supporters Trump’s unwillingness to confront white nationalism is a feature, not a flaw.
Am I the only one picturing Trump adviser Steven Miller as “White House officials”?
“White House officials rebuffed efforts by their colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security for more than a year to make combating domestic terror threats, such as those from white supremacists, a greater priority as specifically spelled out in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, current and former senior administration officials as well as other sources close to the Trump administration tell CNN.”
Can Trump win reelection? Should we be concerned with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican unwillingness to secure elections? Here’s a Republican ad targeting ‘Moscow Mitch’ for his reluctance to protect our elections:
The ad is towards the middle of the article, don’t be fooled by McConnell’s ‘poor-me’ speech at the top of the article.
Trump is not working for me, he’s not working for the majority of Americans. He’s running a reelection race based upon racism and appealing to white nationalism and a base that is Okay as long as demonized ‘they’ are the ones he’s attacking. Trump’s supporters are not the majority. Politely but persistently confront and demand that supporters ‘own’ their biases. Time to put racism back in the bottle again.