Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Real Donald Trump

His Twitter handle is, “real Donald Trump.”

Well, we got to see the real Donald Trump on August 15, in a press conference from Trump Tower. There isn’t much I can add to the megatons of criticism that is, quite properly, raining down on this morally bankrupt pig.

I’m going to add to it anyway. Heather Heyer could have been my daughter.

A recurring phrase among his supporters has been, “Let Trump be Trump.” They’ve done just that, and the results are as repulsive and horrifying as they are predictable.

The Internet was down at work on the day of Trump’s presser, so we all got to leave early. Was home in time to see the disgusting spectacle, live on MSNBC. This repugnant filth, this so-called president, all but formally repudiated his condemnation of the racist thugs who rallied in Virginia a few days earlier.

I won’t re-hash it. But make no mistake – as if you could – those neo-Nazis in Charlottesville brought all the trimmings, from swastikas to sieg heil salutes.

They rallied with torches on Friday night. On Saturday, Heather Heyer was struck and killed by a car that deliberately plowed into protestors. Yet Trump said: “I think there is blame on both sides.”

A CNN analysis, published without a byline, cast Tuesdays press conference as “a moment ripped from the darkest pages of history and transposed into the 21st Century.” No argument with that. It concluded: “[Trump] appears to have abdicated any claim to the traditional presidential role as a moral voice for the nation and the world.”

Uh, no. Donald Trump has never had, and never will have, even the tiniest claim as a moral voice for the nation or the world.

My daughter has already been to an anti-Trump demonstration, at which I photographed a Trump thug-in-waiting (see below). She turns twenty in a few days. My heart breaks for Heather Heyer, for Susan Bro, for Mark Heyer, for Elwood Shrader.

We have seen the real Donald Trump. He is a moral degenerate.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blood On His Hands

Trump’s utter failure to call the appalling violence in Charlottesville, Virginia what is was is not the least surprising.

The death of a thirty-two year old woman was directly related, and the deaths of two state troopers in a helicopter crash was ancillary, to clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-protestors. The neo-Nazi terrorists came to Charlottesville for a “unite the right” rally, called because city officials planned to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public park.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump at a news conference a few hours after the deaths. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”

On many sides? David Duke and other known racists spoke to the neo-Nazis. Trump failed to condemn them. He made zero reference to the neo-Nazi terrorists, and their clearly racist and hate-filled agenda. His reference to Barack Obama was apropos of nothing. His remarks expose his complete lack of leadership, as well as his indifference to, and ignorance of, social realities in the United States.

As if we needed further proof.

From what I saw, the white nationalists came to Charlottesville with helmets and other protective gear, like bulletproof vests. Many of them were probably also armed. I don’t know that for sure, though one who was arrested had a concealed weapon. Clearly the intention was at very least to incite violence.

It’s reprehensible, though not surprising, that Trump went straight to “don’t blame me!” rhetoric. At that time no one had blamed him. But blame him we should. He knows perfectly well that he furthered the toxic and divisive environment that led to the Charlottesville deaths.

He only condemned the violence because politically, he had no choice. This racist, divisive fraud could not care less about what happened, and the root causes he almost single-handedly provoked.

At left is thirty-two year old Heather Heyer, the woman killed when a neo-Nazi thug deliberately plowed his car into protestors. Less than twenty-four hours ago, as this is written, she was alive. Her name belongs now with Goodman Chaney Schwerner, Emmett Till, and countless others, who died needless deaths because of white racists. Her blood, and the blood of the two state troopers, is on Trumps hands.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Systemic Evil

“The truth is out,” wrote Julian Zelizer, after the Senate failed to pass even the so-called skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “Nobody is in control of this show.”


On the day of the Trump inauguration, I posted the following to my Facebook page:
Today is a watershed moment in American history. I have nothing but a sense of foreboding for the next four to eight years.

Yesterday I came across a 1999 article by James W. Douglass called A Letter to the American People,” which states in part:

“Two prophets, a president, and a president-to-be were martyred between November 1963 and June 1968, four and a half years that raised some of the greatest hopes in American history. Has our downward spiral ever since as a people, from hope to despair, from faith in change to an acceptance of systemic evil, been because we haven’t recognized the truth of those martyrdoms, bound up as they were with unspeakable forces that continue to threaten us all?”

Douglass refers, of course, to JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X.

It is tempting to view today’s events in Washington as a logical product of those four martyrdoms, and of that subsequent downward spiral. Certainly it is an ascension of systemic evil.

But I also sense resistance: a very real pushback against this systemic evil. I won’t be in DC tomorrow, but I’ll be in Denver, in solidarity with what I expect to be a very large crowd of resisters.

I recall the words of Faruq Z. Bey:

Is it midnight yet?
Are our fears to go ungrounded?
When are the demons to present themselves?

The next day I was, indeed, in Denver, where at least 100,000 people demonstrated against the new “president.” An exhilarating experience: part of a global protest against the most unfit office-holder in U.S. history. Millions took part, worldwide.

Trump has, in the months since, repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence. Now, in late July, it seems like the administration is coming apart at the seams. A word like “dysfunctional” is not strong enough to characterize it.

I get the sense that there is growing opposition to Trump within the Republican establishment. There appears to have been a successful effort to prevent ACA repeal. They’ll try again. Certainly, it is difficult not to sense, however distant it may still be, victory over this vulgar, manifestly unqualified, grotesquely substandard, transparently corrupt caricature of a president.