Donald Trump’s Ninety Minutes Hate

Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail last night with another one of his red meat speeches. The analogies it causes one to draw are chilling to say the least.

President Trump held another one of his infamous campaign-style rallies in North Carolina last night, and his ongoing attacks against a quarter of minority Democratic Congresswomen who he clearly intends to make the face of the Democratic Party heading into 2020 continued, complete with the shouts of an audience eager to consume the red meat he was throwing at them:

GREENVILLE, N.C. — President Trump road-tested his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen on Wednesday, casting them as avatars of anti-American radicalism and reiterating his call for them to leave the country, in a preview of a slash-and-burn re-election strategy that depicts Mr. Trump as a bulwark against a “dangerous, militant hard left.”

“These left-wing ideologues see our nation as a force for evil,” Mr. Trump told a packed arena. To roaring applause, he railed against what he called “hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down.”

“They don’t love our country,” he said. “I think, in some cases, they hate our country. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.”

In recent days, similar comments by Mr. Trump have been met with repugnance across the country. But the capacity crowd in an arena at East Carolina University seemed to savor them. After Mr. Trump reeled off several controversial comments made by one of the four congresswomen, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, including ones that he depicted as sympathetic to Al Qaeda, the crowd started up a rousing chant of “Send her back! Send her back!”

It was the latest sign that the president’s plan for winning a second term in office involves playing to racial and nationalist themes that shock the consciences of many Americans, but which seem to delight his most ardent supporters.

Mr. Trump doubled down with relish on his previous calls for the congresswomen — Ms. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — to “go back” to their countries of origin, even though all but one were born in the United States and all four are citizens. It left no doubt that he was undaunted by furious condemnations of his remarks as racist, including a Tuesday vote by the House.

As his raucous audience booed repeatedly at his mentions of the women, the atmosphere had echoes of a pro-wrestling match at which the crowd thrills in its collective disdain for the villain of the moment.

Wednesday night’s event was billed as a “Keep America Great” rally — a boastful variant of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“Big Rally tonight in Greenville, North Carolina,” the president tweeted early Wednesday, saying he would play up economic growth and the booming stock market in a state that has narrowly tilted right in the past two presidential contests.

Many Republicans, including some of Mr. Trump’s advisers, wish he would stick to those themes, saying they think that he is overshadowing an economic success story by engaging in name-calling and divisive cultural clashes. Some feel that his relentless focus on immigration and other nationalist themes before last November’s midterm elections alienated suburban swing voters and helped enable Democrats to win the House.

But while the president did devote time to the nation’s recent economic growth, and took credit for data showing that China’s gross domestic product is growing at its slowest rate in 27 years, he was most animated when attacking his Democratic rivals, particularly Ms. Omar, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Pressley, who are collectively known as “the squad.”

Mr. Trump denounced Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for branding federal migrant detention centers along the southwestern border “concentration camps,” saying she had, in effect, called border agents Nazis. And he recalled the way Ms. Tlaib had used what he called a “vicious” expletive when she vowed in January that Mr. Trump would be impeached.

“That’s not somebody that loves our country,” the president said.

Mr. Trump also ridiculed the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, like mocking the name of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and saying that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had “choked” in the last Democratic primary debate after Senator Kamala Harris of California challenged him on the issue of busing.

Depicting the 2020 Democrats as a hapless and left-wing lot, Mr. Trump delivered what may have been his core pitch: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country. A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream — frankly, the destruction of our country.”

(…)

In his remarks before leaving Washington, the president responded to a question about Ms. Omar, who has faced scrutiny for filing tax records with her first husband while legally married to her second.

An investigation of public records and state documents by The Minnesota Star Tribune last month could not substantiate a claim circulated online — and which Ms. Omar has denied — that her first husband was her brother, whom she allegedly married for immigration benefits.
Mr. Trump accepted the opportunity to weigh in on the subject.

“There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother,” the president said, stating as fact something that is unproved. “I know nothing about it,” he said, adding that “I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.”

More from The Washington Post:

GREENVILLE, N.C. — President Trump held a campaign rally Wednesday night where the crowd responded to his attacks on a Somali-born Muslim congresswoman with chants of “Send her back! Send her back!”

The crowd’s response to Trump echoed the racist remarks he has aimed in recent days at four minority Democratic congresswomen he has accused of making hateful comments about the country, setting off a controversy that led the Democrat-controlled House to vote to formally rebuke him on Tuesday night.

The event here made clear that Trump plans to use his criticism of the liberal lawmakers as a rallying cry during his 2020 campaign as he seeks to frame the election around the nationalistic message that has inflamed racial tensions across the country.

“These congresswomen are helping the rise of a militant, hard left. They never have anything good to say, which is why I say, ‘If they don’t like it, let them leave.'” Trump said. “They don’t love our country, and in some cases I think they hate our country.”

The crowd responded by chanting “leave!”

On Sunday, Trump sent out a series of racist tweets attacking Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.), who have been heavily critical of his administration, by saying the four Democrats should “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came.” All four of the congresswomen are American citizens, and only Omar, a Somali refu­gee, was not born in the United States.

Early in his remarks Wednesday night, Trump elicited loud boos when he went after Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib one by one, but he reserved most of his wrath for Omar.

During his 90-minute appearance here, Trump listed controversial remarks made by Omar, including her comments earlier this year that perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes and he falsely claimed that she had praised al-Qaeda.

The “send her back” chants intensified during the rally and Trump paused to let them continue after he said, “and obviously and importantly she has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”

Omar has countered Republican charges that she has made anti-Semitic remarks by saying her criticisms of Israel are based on her concerns over how Palestinians have been treated.

She responded to the rally on Twitter by sharing a poem by Maya Angelou. “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Democrats running for president quickly condemned Trump’s remarks at the rally.

“These members of Congress — children of immigrants, just like so many of us — are an example of exactly what makes America great,” former vice president Joe Biden wrote in a tweet. “So, Mr. President, I am here to tell you this. This is OUR country: The United States of America. You’ll never understand what makes us strong.”

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), another Democratic 2020 contender, wrote on Twitter: “It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won’t share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.”

Since the controversy began on Sunday, Trump has repeatedly accused the four congresswoman of not loving America because of their criticism of past and current policies.

“Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!,” he wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

It’s worth noting that this speech was originally intended to be held on the same day as the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. That testimony, however, was rescheduled late last week to next Wednesday, July 24th and it was too late to reschedule the rally. This raises the prospect, of course, that the President and the White House will try to find some other way to distract the public next week whether it’s with another rally or a Twitter rant that goes even further than the hatred and racism that we’ve seen over the course of the last week, and which reached its apex last night in North Carolina.

Ever since these Trump campaign rallies began, I’ve been searching for an analogy for what we have seen on our television screens over the past four years. For some time now, on both social media and elsewhere, I’ve referred to them as Nuremberg rallies, the infamous rallies that were a standard part of the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. I usually try to avoid Nazi analogies in my political commentary, but the similarities are so clear, whether intentional or not, that it’s hard to resist drawing a line between those events and what happened in Germany in the years leading up to World War Two.

I’m not saying that we’re necessarily headed down that road, of course. For one thing, our institutions, although they are being battered and tested in a way they have never been since the Civil War and the Nixon Administration, are stronger than the Weimer Republic’s were. However, you can’t help but see the similarities in the way that propaganda and hatred are being used to rile up crowds and to keep the nation on the edge of its seat wondering nervously what’s going to come next.

More recently, though, it’s occurred to me that there is a much better analogy for what we’re seeing unfold before us when we watch things like last night’s speech in Greenville, and it comes not from history but from fiction and the pages of George Orwell’s classic 1984. Anyone who has read the book is, of course, familiar with the “Two Minutes Hate,” the daily exercise in which the citizens of Oceania were compelled to participate in during which the party would play its propaganda. Here’s how Orwell described it, read on tell me if this sounds familiar:

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning oTne even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

(…)

The Hate rose to its climax. The voice of Goldstein had become an actual sheep’s bleat, and for an instant the face changed into that of a sheep. Then the sheep-face melted into the figure of a Eurasian soldier who seemed to be advancing, huge and terrible, his sub-machine gun roaring, and seeming to spring out of the surface of the screen, so that some of the people in the front row actually flinched backwards in their seats. But in the same moment, drawing a deep sigh of relief from everybody, the hostile figure melted into the face of Big Brother, black-haired, black-moustachio’d, full of power and mysterious calm, and so vast that it almost filled up the screen. Nobody heard what Big Brother was saying. It was merely a few words of encouragement, the sort of words that are uttered in the din of battle, not distinguishable individually but restoring confidence by the fact of being spoken. Then the face of Big Brother faded away again, and instead the three slogans of the Party stood out in bold capitals:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

But the face of Big Brother seemed to persist for several seconds on the screen, as though the impact that it had made on everyone’s eyeballs was too vivid to wear off immediately. The little sandy-haired woman had flung herself forward over the back of the chair in front of her. With a
tremulous murmur that sounded like ‘My Saviour!’ she extended her arms towards the screen. Then she buried her face in her hands. It was apparent that she was uttering a prayer.

At this moment the entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmical chant of ‘B-B!…B-B!’—over and over again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first ‘B’ and the second—a heavy, murmurous sound, somehow curiously savage, in the background of which one seemed to hear the stamp of naked feet and the throbbing of tomtoms For perhaps as much as thirty seconds they kept it up. It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise.

Here’s how that scene was dramatized in the film version that was released in, well, 1984 and which starred John Hurt in the role of Winston Smith:

The similarities are too present to ignore, and if Orwell were around today I suspect he’d recognize exactly what is happening here in the United States for what it is.

We’re at the point now where there is almost nothing left to say about this President and his hate-filled, xenophobic, rants against real and perceived political enemies. If this week’s tirades against these four Democratic Congresswomen, and by extension the entire Democratic Party and anyone else who disagrees with or criticizes him, prove anything it proves that Trump intends to win re-election not by trying to broaden his appeal in the manner that nearly every modern two-term President before him has but by stirring up his base with more of the same xenophobia, paranoia, fear, and hatred that we’ve come to expect from Trump and his supporters. He intends to win not by uniting the country like Reagan and Clinton in particular tried to do, but by deliberately seeking to divide the nation with hatred, fear, and xenophobia.

Whether that will be enough to win him re-election remains to be seen, but it most certainly is not healthy for a pluralistic representative democracy such as ours. We are witnessing one of the ugliest times in the history of our country. As ugly as the politics of the antebellum era before the Civil War. As ugly as Jim Crow and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. As ugly as the rhetoric of men like Father Charles Coughlin and others during the early years of the Great Depression. As ugly as the way the governing authorities in the south reacted to the Civil Rights Movement. The difference this time is that the hatred is being stoked and directed by the President of the United States.

Here’s the video of the rally if you’re at all interested. Trump’s speech begins after a short introduction from Vice-President Pence

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. drj says:

    For one thing, our institutions […] are stronger than the Weimer Republic’s were.

    Perhaps. However, institutions are only as strong as the people willing to defend them. At present, only the Democrats seem to care about them.

    If the institutions themselves become the subject of partisanship in a binary political system, they are not likely to survive.

    And I don’t see the Republicans turning away from the path thay have chosen.

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  2. Jax says:

    Even if he loses the election, he will continue spewing his “brand” of hatred and divisiveness on social media, will probably continue to hold rallies, and generally make it impossible for the nation as a whole to move past this. The dude will never shut up unless he is locked up or dead.

    It would be great if Twitter banned him the second he was no longer President, for repeated violations of their Terms of Service regarding hate speech, but they won’t.

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  3. Jen says:

    These collective Hate Fests are so disturbing. I’m just not sure what to even say anymore other than this is so very appalling. He has completely and utterly debased the office of the presidency.

    If he doesn’t lose in a g#dd@mn landslide, our country is in serious trouble, because it indicates that many of our citizens are simply rotten to the core.

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  4. Kylopod says:

    I’ve long felt that Soros is the Goldstein of today.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    I have to wonder how much of troll internet culture is playing into this. How many of those people, if they were confronted with the similarity between their behaviour and Orwell’s Two Minute Hate, protest that they’re “just doing it for the lulz”? And sincerely believe it?

    One of the reasons I can’t stand internet trolls and anyone who says “I was just kidding!” after a joke goes horribly awry.

  6. Daniel Hill says:

    @grumpy realist: Sadly, my experience in talking to people who proudly wear MAGA hats is that they actually buy into his rhetoric. For them it’s a bug, not a feature.

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  7. Kylopod says:

    @grumpy realist: The merging of troll culture with the extreme right has fascinated me for some time, the whole obsession with quasi-ironic memes designed to get a rise out of the “snowflakes.” Is there any historical precedent for this? Did the mobs of George Wallace or Father Coughlin or indeed Adolf Hitler ever do anything similar? I always think back to the quote from Big Lebowski about how Walter hates nihilists because “Say what you want about National Socialists, at least they had an ethos.” That line seems hopelessly out of date these days, because the nihilists and the Nazis are pretty much one and the same, where the people who hate don’t believe in anything except raw, unmasked aggression which they try to pass off as sneering.

    I think it has its roots in Rush Limbaugh and the backlash against PC. Limbaugh was the first to take the cultural right’s obsessive hatred of feminism, multiculturalism, and the rest and deliver it in the form of bitter mockery, by turning the left into such caricatures they became ridiculous. It provided the perfect cover for good, old-fashioned bigotry, by making it into a joke so that anyone who took offense was a humorless scold. They blurred the line so thoroughly that I think even they are often no longer sure whether they mean it or not. They’ve absorbed the tactic into their very bones. Provocation has become the end in itself.

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  8. Andrew says:

    SQUIRREL…

    and now for something completely different.

    Prosecution of Child-Sex Traffickers Plummeted Under Trump
    https://www.courthousenews.com/prosecution-of-kiddie-traffickers-plummeted-under-trump/

    I wonder why….?

    Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

    Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

    Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

    Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

    Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

    Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.

    Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

    Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

    Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

    Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

    Republican Congressman Donald “Buz” Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

    Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

    Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

    Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

    Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

    Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

    Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman* was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

    Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

    Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. “Republican Marty”), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

    Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

    Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

    Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

    Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

    Republican anti-gay activist Earl “Butch” Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

    Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

    Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

    Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

    Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

    Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was charged with sexual misconduct involving a 15-year old girl.

    Republican County Councilman Keola Childs* pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

    Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

    Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

    Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

    Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter* pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

    Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

    Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

    Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

    Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

    Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a “good military man” and “church goer,” was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

    Republican director of the “Young Republican Federation” Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

    Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was charged with rape for allegedly paying a 15-year old girl for sex. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young.

    Republican state senator Ralph Shortey from Oklahoma admitted to being involved in sodomy with a 17 year old male prostitute and transporting child pornography.

    Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert in jail for the payments he made to cover up raping his wrestlers when he was a high school coach.

    Republican Judge and campaign official for President Donald Trump, Tim Nolan, indicted for human trafficking and forcing a minor (9) to engage in sexual activity and giving alcohol to minors (results from the court pending).

    There are also court files on record of Trump and Epstein raping an underage girl. That was settled before the election in 2016.

    Seems to be the President Trump is also a Child Rapist, and wants to protect his own for political power. Like any want-to-be dictator does.

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  9. Andrew says:

    @Andrew:

    There are also court files on record of Trump and Epstein raping an underage girl. That was settled before the election in 2016.

    Seems to be the Presidents Child Rapist wants to protect his own for political power. Like any want-to-be dictator does.

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  10. Kit says:

    That was a powerful post, Doug.

  11. Andrew says:

    Trump is the idiot that thought being POTUS was an easy job.
    Trump is the idiot that thought the law would not look into his business dealings.
    Trump is the idiot whom brought in obvious “hit men”like Barr to save his ass.
    Trump is the idiot who thinks those that obey him now, will not turn on him tomorrow. Like the pathetic a snowflakes they all are.
    Trump is also a Child Rapist, a criminal, and a compulsive liar. Nothing is ever his fault. And he will take this country down with him. Like the Enemy of the State he is.
    These hate rallies are Trump pissing his pants because he can not buy everyone off.

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  12. Scott F. says:

    @Jen:

    I can’t stomach listening to these Hates, but I saw some footage of the screaming on a TV in the background last night and the frothing yells scared me for our future. That spittle-flecked anger isn’t new – it’s always been there under the surface of people convinced they’ve been oppressed by the politically correct who would judge them for saying n*gger when it’s their right to do so. And that anger and hatred won’t go away so easily after the Leader of the Free World has told them they were right to feel that way.

    So yes, Trump has to lose in a landslide, but that alone is likely not enough to change the country’s trajectory. His whole facade has to be utterly destroyed. If he loses big, he must be rebranded as a loser. His financials must still come to light to show that he’s a fraud. He needs to be prosecuted for his corruption to show he’s a criminal. If he responds to all this with flailing wrath, as I suspect he would, he just might be shown as weak to the Trumpkins and the Hateful spell he holds over them could be broken.

    A whole lot of things will have to come together to save the country from serious trouble. Trump’s defeat is just where it starts.

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  13. Guarneri says:

    “For one thing, our institutions, although they are being battered and tested in a way they have never been since the Civil War and the Nixon Administration, are stronger than the Weimer Republic’s were.”

    LOL Good to see hysteria and absurdity are alive and well at OTB. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Trump is called every name in the book for almost three years, and anyone who disagrees with the loonies, including Nancy Pelosi, is a racist.

    Banal and vapid only begin to describe it.

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  14. Andrew says:

    @Guarneri:

    Shhhhh. The adults are talking.
    Go back to coloring, Sweetie.

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  15. Teve says:

    There’s a photo going around from a billboard outside of Smithfield North Carolina in 1971 that reads

    THIS IS KLAN COUNTRY
    LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT
    HELP FIGHT COMMUNISTS AND INTEGRATION

    the demographic group which were young adults then is now the highest in Trump support percentage, unsurprisingly.

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  16. Hal_10000 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    if they were confronted with the similarity between their behaviour and Orwell’s Two Minute Hate, protest that they’re “just doing it for the lulz”? And sincerely believe it?

    I suspect most of them. But I’m inclined to apply Popehat’s Rule of Goats. But mildly, if you kick a goat “ironically” or for laughs, you’re still kicking a goat. If you’re spewing racist BS because you think it’s funny, you’re still spewing racist BS.

    The rallies — and I think two minutes hate is a good analogy since the target seems to vary — illustrates the worst thing about Trump. He brings out the worst in everyone. We are all mixes of good and bad impulses. Good leaders bring out the good impulses; bad leaders bring out the bad ones. The same military that showed admiral restrain and devotion to protecting innocent under good leadership was turned to torture people under bad.

    Trump brings out all of people’s worst impulses. In people who oppose him too but mostly in people who support him. Everyone around him eventually indulges their worst instincts (see, e.g., Kellyanne Conway). In a time when politics is defined less by ideas than by tribes, this is incredibly dangerous.

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  17. Teve says:

    @Andrew: compared to a year ago, and even more so two years ago, the dwindling group of trolls really just don’t have much enthusiasm or content these days do they?

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  18. Hal_10000 says:

    @Andrew:

    Child sex trafficking is extremely rare, hysterics aside. You’re talking about 200 cases a year, so you’re going to significant variations. This is like the “War on Cops” narrative that screams that there’s a war on cops because the number murdered in one year went up from 40 to 50. Most likely, what’s happened is that the number of high-profile cases has declined and Trump has shifted more resources to the border.

    Also, it’s not clear that these statistics are remotely reliable as a measure of anything. A number of sex trafficking prosecutions — like the one in Florida — imploded when it turned out no one was being trafficked. Sex trafficking charges have been frequently been leveled when someone is just engaging in prostitution (I wrote an entire post on this subject at OT). Backpage, for example, was initially accused sex trafficking but now is only being charged with money laundering and enabling prostitution. Further, many are prosecuted at the state level (unless you’re a cop and Kamala Harris is the AG).

    In short, sex trafficking prosecutions are a garbage fire when it comes to reading anything into them. I understand you’re desperate to portray your political foes as a bunch of child molesters. But the statistics are far too junky to read anything into. And I can guarantee that a little bit of google would find an equally impressive list of Democrats accused of molesting kids or behaving inappropriately. This isn’t exclusive to Republicans.

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  19. gVOR08 says:

    I’d like to properly attribute this, but I can’t find it again.

    ‘I worry that history will repeat itself again, with Trump as farce and his successor as tragedy’

    The GOPs have learned how to campaign from Trump and the next one will know how the government works and have Koch et al money. It’s not enough to defeat Trump, the Republican Party must be destroyed, root and branch, down to your local dog catcher.

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  20. Teve says:

    @Andrew: who doesn’t remember Earl “Butch” Kimmerling? Seriously if you go back all the way to Strom Thurmond like your list does, you are talking about a group of office-holders and party functionaries that’s literally in the hundreds of thousands or millions. Find me any group of a million people where not 20 of them are involved in any kind of pervitude.

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  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @Andrew:..There are also court files on record of Trump and Epstein raping an underage girl. That was settled before the election in 2016.

    Judge says Trump’s buddy Epstein stays in jail waiting for his trial.
    Bloomberg

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  22. Teve says:

    @gVOR08:

    The GOPs have learned how to campaign from Trump and the next one will know how the government works and have Koch et al money.

    that’s the scary thing. But I’m hoping that by 2028, the natural course of time will have diminished the older whiter rural less educated more religious demographic below a necessary threshold.

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  23. Not the IT Dept. says:

    There must be an upcoming Epstein-related revelation that absolutely brutal.

    Oh, and thanks GOP for inflicting this scum on the nation. What steps are you taking to prevent your party from being taken over by the next authoritarian?

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  24. KM says:

    @Hal_10000 :

    In a time when politics is defined less by ideas than by tribes, this is incredibly dangerous.

    Right now we are having an honest to God debate on whether we should be calling someone who just voiced a clearly racist sentiment a “racist” because his tribe finds that term offensive. Not the act, not the sentiment or intent – the label is what’s offending them because even they understand that society thinks it’s a bad thing to be. They don’t want you to call Trump or any of his racist because to them it’s an unjustified slur and folks are defending this logic. Because apparently offending racists by pointing out their racist hurts their feelings and might cost you the vote they were never going to cast for you anyways.

    Even our gracious hosts have fallen prey, splitting hairs or crouching their terms and stating they’re worried about over usage of the word. NPR just posted an op-ed from their VP about how journalists shouldn’t use the term to refer to the President as it’s “loaded label”. It’s not “objective enough” and bothers people. You know who it bothers? People who engage in the same kind of bigotry and don’t want to have people say “bad things” about them. That’s it. They don’t want to be tarred with the same brush – if Trump says what’s on their minds and get lambasted for it, it means they too will be subject to the same societal scorn. He’s merely the mouthpiece, they are the foundation.

    Trump’s tribe is dangerous because they’re demanding social acceptance for their hate and get cranky when informed that, yeah it really is hate. If we can call past racists “racist” for screaming “Go back where you came from!” to Irish, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and other ethnicities, why in hell can’t we call present-day folks who do it “racist”? What makes you any different from them when you use the same words to voice the same sentiment?

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  25. Scott F. says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    The GOP will welcome the next authoritarian. They’re just looking for one who will be a little more administratively competent and a little less overtly racist. If the Republicans turn on Trump after he’s removed from office, it won’t be because he’s scum. It will be because he didn’t get the job done.

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  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Brilliant comment. Sometimes I think there is no such thing as progress, only cycles. But then I remember things like “The Great Cat Massacre”, a story that made the rounds for years in Europe centuries ago. It was told as an absolutely fall on the floor laugh riot, and concerns a supposedly true story about how apprentices in a prosperous European town decided to take it upon themselves to capture all the cats in town and torture them to death in increasingly sadistic ways. By god, at least such people are now ostracized.

  27. Andrew says:

    @Hal_10000:
    @Teve:
    I am just playing the game by their rules. Lump everyone together. Democrats were for slavery, Democrats were against Civil Rights. Every person not devoted to the dogma of the right is a liberal.
    Or AOC and the crew or group of four or the four congresswomen … are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party.

    If there are that many Republicans in the last 30 years? I’d say it’s a trend. And Trump likes to do business with the wrong people…
    So, every republican is a child rapist or supports ones. Seems fair play to me. Shrug.

    (Ps. I upvoted you both, as technically I agree with you. But, I have long given up debating or approaching Trump Prostate Massagers with logic. Good faith. And hope.)

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  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Trump brings out all of people’s worst impulses.

    Exactly this.

  29. Kit says:

    @MarkedMan:

    But then I remember things like “The Great Cat Massacre”, a story that made the rounds for years in Europe centuries ago.

    That reminded me of this:

    In village games, players with hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the frantic animal’s claws. — Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century

  30. Teve says:

    @KM: This week Twitter has shown me several examples of civilized middle-aged white men explaining why technically “go back where you came from” isn’t exactly racist per se it’s blah blah…

    I can only guess at what it’s like to be a person of color, but I imagine if you’re a person of color who’s heard that taunt since childhood, when you hear a middle-aged white person explain why it’s technically not exactly racism per se, I don’t know exactly what you think, but I suspect it’s not positive. 🙂 😛 😀

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  31. mattbernius says:

    @Kylopod:

    I think it has its roots in Rush Limbaugh and the backlash against PC. Limbaugh was the first to take the cultural right’s obsessive hatred of feminism, multiculturalism, and the rest and deliver it in the form of bitter mockery, by turning the left into such caricatures they became ridiculous.

    Have to partially disagree here. Pamphleteers and political newspapers have been doing this in the US since before the start of the Republic. Radio cranks were doing on a city level as well in the 70’s and early 80’s (though more so the angry name calling/call-in format, not necessarily the bits — see Bob Grant in NY).

    What Limbaugh did that was unique was (1) nationally syndication, and (2) using techniques of a morning zoo program — a much more rapid fire selection of “bits” (some he was directly producing and soliciting and others that were recordings (i.e. “parody” songs) that circulated in Bircher/fringe conservative circles). He also added in some “clever” name play (i.e. feminazi’s) that worked well on the radio. All of that got packaged into short segments to fit within breaks (because the assumption was that people were typically only going to hear part of the show when they were out and about).

    I think your 100% right that all of that in totally led to a sort of proto-meme culture — short, highly targeted humor pieces that would be repeated many times over the course of a few weeks.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: In fairness to he who went by the moniker “Drew” in a past life here, he was arguing for a worldview that had a logical basis and an established credibility and about which reasonable people could disagree and debate alternative worldviews and outcomes. These days, he supports Trump. How ya gonna make a logical case for THAT?

  33. wr says:

    @Hal_10000: ” Further, many are prosecuted at the state level (unless you’re a cop and Kamala Harris is the AG).”

    Funny how Republicans who like to pound their chests over “law and order” and “cracking down on crime” suddenly begin to scream about Fascism when the prosecutor isn’t a white man.

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  34. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Everybody who decides to support Trump winds up humiliated*.

    *(some people dispute this word choice on the basis that humiliation requires self-awareness of such. I understand, but language is imperfect.)

  35. Mister Bluster says:

    @Teve:..But I’m hoping that by 2028, the natural course of time will have diminished the older whiter rural less educated more religious demographic below a necessary threshold.

    Dream on…
    I was hoping for that 53 years ago when I graduated High School.
    Please tell me what the “natural course of time” even means.

  36. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: it means that the southern strategy diminishes over time which is quite clear if you chart the percentage of votes the GOP candidate has gotten for the last 50 years. It worked like gangbusters when Richard Nixon got 60% of the popular vote, but Reagan got less than Nixon, and GWB got less than Reagan, and Romney got less than GWB, and Trump got less than Romney.

  37. Gromitt Gunn says:

    There is a non-zero chance that he is going to get at least one of the Squad killed.

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  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: It’s why the acronym is ETTD instead of EWDSTWUH. Easier to remember, too.

  39. Gustopher says:

    @KM:

    Even our gracious hosts have fallen prey, splitting hairs or crouching their terms and stating they’re worried about over usage of the word. NPR just posted an op-ed from their VP about how journalists shouldn’t use the term to refer to the President as it’s “loaded label”. It’s not “objective enough” and bothers people. You know who it bothers? People who engage in the same kind of bigotry and don’t want to have people say “bad things” about them. That’s it.

    The word “racist” shuts down conversations — logic stops, and is replaced by defensiveness and emotion. “Homophobic”, “transphobic”, and “sexist” have the same effect.

    We are missing a set of words for “that was a little bigoted, not amazingly bigoted, you may even be an ally, and we all have our implicit biases, but that was a little bigoted” — and that’s the appropriate level for most offenses. But we use the same word to describe the guy who is worried his new neighbors will be playing hip-hop and the Klan. That first guy is going to get angry if described as “racist” and will stop listening.

    So, I can absolutely see a news organization having a general policy of not using the word “racist” to describe people.

    That said, it shouldn’t apply here. The NPR dude is wrong. The President is just a racist.

  40. Paul L. says:
  41. Gustopher says:

    @Teve:

    This week Twitter has shown me several examples of civilized middle-aged white men explaining why technically “go back where you came from” isn’t exactly racist per se it’s blah blah…

    Oh, I didn’t know my brothers had twitter accounts. I get this texted directly to my phone.

  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I agree, but you finessed by a part of the problem. Because we don’t reserve the words for situations where no other description is available they lose their impact. That we don’t have the ability to shade meaning shorthand means we need to do it longhand instead, but then we lose the punchy “bumper sticker effect.”

    Maybe we should do less bumper sticker-ing, but what would I know.

  43. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I have to wonder how much of troll internet culture is playing into this. How many of those people, if they were confronted with the similarity between their behaviour and Orwell’s Two Minute Hate, protest that they’re “just doing it for the lulz”? And sincerely believe it?

    You know that Bannon was involved with GamerGate, don’t you? If not, it’s an interesting story to look up.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: Yeah, I agree that it’s very unfortunate that there is an actual whatabout in this case. [insert crying emoji here to show my sincerity] Very sad. [insert again here]

    ETA: I promise I will not feed the troll again.

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri: @Paul L.:

    Neither of you is cute. Both of you are promoting evil. This is what you are, the girl screaming, “Goodbye, Jews!”

    You’re haters, racists, scum, and in the end it’s people like you, the spineless, the weak, the depraved who end up as concentration camp guards. Yeah, Godwins, and shove it right up your asses, because that’s what you are now: Nazis. You should at least try and position yourselves as ‘Good Germans.’

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  46. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: 🙂 it’s a cousin to “well technically Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t a pedophile per se he was an ephebophile blah blah blah”. It’s splitting hairs over dictionary irrelevancies. The social media shorthand for this behavior is “Well, actually…”

  47. Kylopod says:

    @mattbernius:

    Have to partially disagree here. Pamphleteers and political newspapers have been doing this in the US since before the start of the Republic.

    I didn’t say Limbaugh invented political mockery. What he did do was pioneer a style that today we would refer to as trolling. And it wasn’t that he invented the style per se, it’s that he was the first to package it in a right-wing form (or the first to popularize it, at any rate). His biggest contribution was to resuscitate old, reactionary attitudes about race, gender, sexuality, and so on that had fallen out of favor in society, by making them seem subversive. And a big part of it was taking pleasure in the outrage he would provoke in broaching these “forbidden” topics, like Carlin’s famed seven words.

    Limbaugh was somewhat of a transitional figure, since some of what he did was relatively traditional humor, but he started the conservative movement down a path where what they do is barely recognizable as “comedy” to anyone outside their bubble. Milo explained the mentality in his 2016 Breitbart piece where he promoted the alt-right by downplaying its white-nationalist elements and pretending it was all just about getting a rise out of uptight liberals:

    Meanwhile, the alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudly — albeit almost entirely satirically — expresses its horror at “race-mixing,” and denounces the “degeneracy” of homosexuals…while inviting Jewish gays and mixed-race Breitbart reporters to their secret dinner parties. What gives?

    If you’re this far down the article, you’ll know some of the answers already. For the meme brigade, it’s just about having fun. They have no real problem with race-mixing, homosexuality, or even diverse societies: it’s just fun to watch the mayhem and outrage that erupts when those secular shibboleths are openly mocked.

    A few months ago, in the aftermath of the New Zealand shooting, Amanda Marcotte wrote a good article about how the alt-right uses the “joke” excuse as cover for its true agenda:

    The fact that Brenton Tarrant is likely a mass murderer doesn’t mean he’s not a troll, however. He is both. He livestreamed his killing spree and posted an online manifesto that is stuffed full of alt-right memes and inside jokes, making it quite clear that one of his main goals in murdering all those people was, in internet parlance, “the lulz.” Messing with the libs is what trolls like Tarrant live for, and it turns out that nothing messes with people’s heads quite like mass murder.

    The fascist strategy works this way: You “shroud your sincere ideas in cartoon characters and memes and then, when called out, you mock your accuser for being a clueless normie who isn’t in on the joke,” as vlogger Natalie Wynn explained in her indispensable video “Decrypting the Alt-Right,” released after the Charlottesville riot in 2017.

  48. Gustopher says:

    Meanwhile, the Trump is a Racist extravaganza is obscuring things like this: AG Barr overriding career Justice Department officials to block charges in the Eric Garner case.

    Barr is also, likely, a racist, but he’s a less showy racist.

  49. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Oh, I know all about the ephebophiles.

    I get this shit mainlined directly to my wrist (Apple Watch vibrations). I’d turn off all alerts for my brothers, but with an 80 year old father who spent half of last summer in the hospital… sigh.

    Did you know the Democrats are the real racists? Look a photo of Joe Biden and Robert Byrd. Also Hillary, so much Hillary. And AOC faked a photograph and is so stupid she cannot understand garbage disposals. And Pops looks shaky when he walks, but refuses to use a walker or a cane.

  50. KM says:

    @Gustopher:

    We are missing a set of words for “that was a little bigoted, not amazingly bigoted, you may even be an ally, and we all have our implicit biases, but that was a little bigoted” — and that’s the appropriate level for most offenses.

    This is like saying someone who committed vehicular manslaughter isn’t a murderer. Technically accurate, legally correct, and completely missing the point. They still killed somebody. The who, what, where, when and why definitely matter but at it’s core vehicular manslaughter still took a life. To family members and those affected, he’s a goddamn murderer. The one who cares about the hair-splitting? The guy driving the car, because it makes him feel less terrible about himself and lessens his punishment.

    Gradation only works if you acknowledge they’re all on the spectrum measuring the same concept. Most people who shut down if it’s pointed out they’re being X don’t care if you call them the softer version – they’re offend you had the nerve to label them something negative. They won’t accept “racially-insensitive” either because it’s still painting them in a negative light. The entire point is *you* don’t get to judge *them* when they are judging others.

    But we use the same word to describe the guy who is worried his new neighbors will be playing hip-hop and the Klan. That first guy is going to get angry if described as “racist” and will stop listening.

    Because the word reflects beliefs and intent, not necessarily actions. One doesn’t have to be expressly racist to still qualify; gradation is fine-tuning the idea but the idea still applies. Both gentlemen in your example have the same core belief motivating them: the Other is *different* and that’s concerning enough that I should act on it. The Klan guy is just more pro-active about it instead of bitching and calling the cops secretly hoping they’ll “deal with the problem”.

    What do you call someone who joined the Nazi party back in the day because of economic anxiety? Nazi. We don’t have a separate word for it because nobody cares why you chose to cast your lot with monsters. Did his victims care what his intent was when he engaged in atrocities? No, he only seems to care when social condemnation comes crashing down and suddenly “I’m not bad! That’s not me!”

    We are all a little terrible. There’s no one that’s not said something bigoted / sexist /racist / homophobic / etc in their lives. We shouldn’t need a low-grade word for it because all that should matter is someone goes “Dude, you’re being X!” and the only acceptable reply should be “Sorry”. Accepting correction is the first step. If you can’t accept that you are doing something wrong, you can’t change. These people don’t want to be corrected – they want you to stop pointing out they are wrong in any capacity.

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  51. An Interested Party says:

    No, he only seems to care when social condemnation comes crashing down and suddenly “I’m not bad! That’s not me!”

    The amount of cognitive dissonance for racists to not want to be called (and to actually be offended to be called!) racists is unbelievable…I give more credit to bigots from the Old South…at least they admitted to what they were…

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  52. Teve says:

    @Gustopher:

    Did you know the Democrats are the real racists?

    check out the discussions between Dinesh D’Souza and Kevin Kruse on Twitter all year. If you didn’t know D’Souza was just a deliberate liar playing to idiots, you’d sincerely believe he was brain damaged.

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  53. KM says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Everyone’s the hero of their own story. Consequently, very few like being told they’re the villain in someone else’s.

    The only thing that’s uplifting in this whole mess is society isn’t budging on the idea that racism is a bad thing. Oh, they’re trying to redefine and water-down the concept, don’t get me wrong. But fundamentally we as a society still hold true that “racist” is a terrible thing to be and no one should aspire to that. It wouldn’t be considered a slur or offensive term otherwise.

    There’s still hope for us all yet.

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  54. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @KM: If you want to convince someone they are wrong, calling them a name isn’t going to help (whether it’s accurate or not). Has being called a “libtard” ever caused you to change your mind? On anything? There are absolutely people out there who wish the KKK had ethnic-cleansed the US, but most Republicans simply don’t consider themselves racist (even though more are than think they are). When they hear Trump’s quote they hear someone talking about going back to a *country*, and do not accept that he’s being implicitly racist. Write them off if you want, I’d rather win them over by not using the word racist (at all, even though I agree he is), and instead responding with quick things like “I’m from New York, dumbass.” Make him look stupid (since he is). Focusing on the racial aspect simply allows the right-wing propaganda machine to once again portray the left as snowflakes who always play the race card.

    It’s the same thing with phrases like “concentration camps.” The connotations there are all about killing millions of Jews. Thankfully, mass murder hasn’t yet started in the internment camps we are running. Yes, they meet the dictionary definition of concentration camp, but getting caught up in that again allows those who barely pay attention to politics to once again see Hannity et al mock those exaggerating snowflake libruls. Which in turn makes it harder to do anything about the actual internment camps which have an ugly history all of their own in this country.

    Look at Trump himself. Over and over it’s been pointed out he is making absolutely no effort to expand his base, throwing insults left and right. Let’s face it, it feels good to call people you dislike names and mock them. But it will never win them to your side. If you want to get voters to leave Trump, starting out by calling them racist bigots isn’t going to work.

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  55. mattbernius says:

    @Kylopod:
    Hmm… thanks for the response. I think we’re talking past each other a bit and I got caught up in some details.

    I 100% agree that Limbaugh brought trolling to the right wing/conservative movement. I just see it from a different angle. None of the tools he was using were new (or even new to the right). What was new was the way that Limbaugh used them to provoke reactions and drive attention back towards himself.

    What I love about your trolling point was that it really gets to his strategy. He supposedly once told his niece: “The only way to make millions is for half the nation to hate you.” (source: https://www.salon.com/2009/04/01/rush_limbaugh_2/). And he did that via trolling.

    And that type of trolling was exactly the sort of “Zoo” tactic that radio had been using for years. Limbaugh essentially stole Howard Stern’s model (Stern having stolen it from other DJs) and was prompting outrage to solidify his audience and drive attention back to himself — in other words: trolling.

    And it was definitely his (financial) success that led to other Right Wing media personalities picking up the formula.

    His biggest contribution was to resuscitate old, reactionary attitudes about race, gender, sexuality, and so on that had fallen out of favor in society, by making them seem subversive.

    You lose me there… I think we all convinced ourselves that those attitudes were far more out of favor than they were. I don’t think any of them really ever when that underground (especially if you revisit a lot of other popular “edgy” media of the late 80’s). But I agree he did make them feel somewhat more subversive — and, to your point, a lot of that was due to the owning the libs part of the trolling).

  56. Kylopod says:

    @An Interested Party:

    The amount of cognitive dissonance for racists to not want to be called (and to actually be offended to be called!) racists is unbelievable…I give more credit to bigots from the Old South…at least they admitted to what they were…

    It’s more than that, though. Denial of being racist isn’t just something they do, it’s an essential part of their worldview. That Milo quote I mentioned is a perfect example of the attitude. Their entire outlook is filtered through the perspective that society is being crushed under the oppressive weight of “political correctness” which prevents people from speaking the plain truth. Cries of “Racist!” and “Sexist!” are seen as tools used to foster this oppression.

    The denial of prejudice is not in itself as new as you’re assuming. In 1948, Strom Thurmond said, “I am deeply concerned over the efforts of opposing groups to smear our effort with the false trappings of race hatred. We are interested solely in protecting the rights of states to manage their own internal affairs, which is a fundamental guarantee of the Constitution.”

    In his speech opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Senator Richard Russell said, “In all of the sanctimony about protecting the rights of minorities, let us understand fully that the bill is aimed at what has become the most despised and mistreated minority in the country — namely, the white people of the Southern States.”

    Bigots always see themselves as the true victims of oppression. That was just as much the case of the supporters of Jim Crow as it is of their Trumpist successors today. What’s different today is that the bigots have made indignation at being called racist their entire focus, as a strategy to draw attention away from themselves by depicting those who take offense as overzealous and authoritarian. We’ve already seen an example in this very thread, when Guarneri commented on the “hysteria and absurdity” here, including the notion that “anyone who disagrees with the loonies, including Nancy Pelosi, is a racist.” Once the issue is framed that way, it’s no longer about whether there really is racism–that being dismissed at the outset as laughable nonsense–but about the liberals’ use of the racism charge to silence their enemies. The next step is what I talked about earlier, where bigotry is rationalized under the guise of trying to get a rise out of those “PC” liberals. The attempt at provocation is both the excuse and the end goal.

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  57. grumpy realist says:

    The next shoe that might drop.

    As said, the whole Epstein mess looks to be leading to a lot of powerful rich white men who are now terrified.

  58. Gustopher says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    When they hear Trump’s quote they hear someone talking about going back to a *country*, and do not accept that he’s being implicitly racist. Write them off if you want, I’d rather win them over by not using the word racist (at all, even though I agree he is),

    Except, the Trump statement was Racist As Fuck.

    and instead responding with quick things like “I’m from New York, dumbass.” Make him look stupid (since he is). Focusing on the racial aspect simply allows the right-wing propaganda machine to once again portray the left as snowflakes who always play the race card.

    And you elide over and tacitly excuse the racism.

    No remotely honest person is going to say that “go back to where you came from” isn’t racist. There’s no need to coddle the hardcore racists and the people who just don’t care about the truth. You aren’t going to convince them of anything, and the benefit to society of condemning clearly racist speech is greater than their hurt feelings.

    There are lots of cases where you want to avoid the literal word “racist”, or couch it in “holy shit, do you realize how racist that sounds?” to give them a chance to think about it and walk it back. But you shouldn’t pretend it just isn’t racist, especially when it is Racist AF.

    I can understand NPR having a general policy about not using the word racist to describe people, preferring to soft-pedal while acknowledging — avoid shutting down people’s thinking — but a general policy should only be followed up to a point.

    It’s the same thing with phrases like “concentration camps.” The connotations there are all about killing millions of Jews. Thankfully, mass murder hasn’t yet started in the internment camps we are running. Yes, they meet the dictionary definition of concentration camp, but getting caught up in that again allows those who barely pay attention to politics to once again see Hannity et al mock those exaggerating snowflake libruls.

    AOC and her verbal bomb throwing friends calling them “concentration camps” put the camps and the conditions there squarely in the center of the media’s attention. It was a good thing.

    Continuing to debate whether a concentration camp has to include killing, or whether the Nazis just gave concentration camps a bad name, once the media is focused on them, is counterproductive, and you’ll notice that it has died down.

    If you want to get voters to leave Trump, starting out by calling them racist bigots isn’t going to work.

    But pointing out when Trump is being Racist AF, and making them decide whether they are ok with that, is going to work. And, despite the Racist AF President being happy with his poll numbers on this, everyone other than self-identified Republicans think his comments were racist.

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  59. An Interested Party says:

    @Kylopod: Yes, reading your response reminds me that Dixiecrats in the past, just like Trump and his ilk today, in addition to be being repellent, also played the victim…in a line going all the way back to the Civil War…it makes them even more disgusting considering the victims they made with their hate…

    If you want to get voters to leave Trump, starting out by calling them racist bigots isn’t going to work.

    Maybe, maybe not, but I’m sure it makes many moderate suburbanites, particularly women who may have voted for him last time or stayed home, realize how repugnant he is and may stir them to do what they can to get rid of him…

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  60. Teve says:

    Whose feelings are the top priority–the people on the giving end of the racism, or the people on the receiving end of the racism?

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: If anyone ever tells me to “go back to where you came from” I’d have to guffaw and say something about how they obviously want me to split up into teeny-tiny pieces and then fly back to all over the world…..(am one of the Heinz 57 mutts when it comes to background ethnicities.)

    (My view on “ethnicity” and “white” is simple: can you stand on a street corner at 10 pm and get a taxi without getting passed up? If so, then you’re “white”)

  62. Gustopher says:

    @grumpy realist: David Letterman did a test to see whether a black guy or a guy in a bear suit would have an easier time flagging down a taxi in NYC. Black guy was wearing a suit, looked very Ad Executive.

    Bear suit got picked up for rides by taxis that passed the black guy. More than a block apart, so it wasn’t like “damn, I gotta pick up the guy in a bear suit”, which I could totally see.

  63. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    But pointing out when Trump is being Racist AF, and making them decide whether they are ok with that, is going to work. And, despite the Racist AF President being happy with his poll numbers on this, everyone other than self-identified Republicans think his comments were racist.

    There’s absolutely no evidence it’s working, so why insist that it will? You don’t need to convince anyone except self-identified Republicans that he’s a racist and shitty President, while his support among self-identified Republicans remains depressingly solid after years of this sort of crap. Believing you can repeatedly shout he’s racist at Trump supporters and they’ll magically see the light contradicts reality and all known research about how to win friends and influence people.

    David Letterman did a test to see whether a black guy or a guy in a bear suit would have an easier time flagging down a taxi in NYC. Black guy was wearing a suit, looked very Ad Executive.

    Bear suit got picked up for rides by taxis that passed the black guy. More than a block apart, so it wasn’t like “damn, I gotta pick up the guy in a bear suit”, which I could totally see.

    And I bet that every one of the cab drivers would deny being racist, and if you start a conversation with them by saying “you did something totally racist there” they would get defensive and not listen. Start by telling them about the experiment and the results, and some of them might start to do a better job recognizing the subtle/unconscious racism that is still rampant, even as lynchings have gone away.

  64. Mister Bluster says:

    So was it a black guy in a brown bear suit or a brown guy in a black bear suit?

  65. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: the black guy was famous Emmy Nominee Yaphet Kotto IIRC.

  66. An Interested Party says:

    Oh look, a coward lying about his demagoguery…this trash can’t be removed from the White House fast enough…

  67. Teve says:

    Putting this here cuz we are Open Thread Deficient

    Jeff Tiedrich
    @itsJeffTiedrich

    hey guys call me crazy but I’m beginning to suspect that these Nazi dipshits chanting “send her back” aren’t really anxious about the economy

    2,198
    3:13 PM – Jul 18, 2019

  68. Barry says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican: “If you want to convince someone they are wrong, calling them a name isn’t going to help (whether it’s accurate or not). ”

    These people are frankly beyond help. For example, *they* f*cked the country up under their beloved Bush II, bragging about glory and power and patriotism all the way. Then when President Obama held out his hand, they slapped it aside and spent 8 years lying non-stop.

  69. Hal_10000 says:

    @wr:

    Not a Republican. And been screaming about all of them.

  70. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Barry: “These people” includes a lot of poorly informed victims of propaganda (see Doug’s thread today on Explaining Trump’s racist attacks). It’s the equivalent of judging all Muslims by the actions of terrorists, all Jews by the actions of the settlers, or all Democrats by the (selective and misleading presented) rhetoric of the Squad (exactly what Trump is trying to do to his base!). I’m not saying the leaders of the alt-right and the spineless cowards currently representing the Republican party in Congress and the White House can be helped. They are cynical power-obsessed partisans, using misogynistic and racist dog whistles to stay in power and get rich. McConnell, Trump, Conway, Barr, Hannity, most evangelical leaders…the whole lot deserves all the contempt and disdain we have for them (and more-I truly think McConnell has functionally destroyed the Senate and betrayed his oath to the Constitution, which makes him guilty of treason).

    I’m talking about engaging with that group of misled supporters who don’t realize that AOC is more well known on the right than the left because of all the misleading attacks, the people who don’t know the history behind “send them back to their own country” and don’t see the racism, the people who associate the battle flag of Virginia with the Dukes of Hazzard and good ‘ole boys having fun rather than an army defending slavery (or, a similar example that crops up from time to time, those who associate Redskins with their beloved football team, not an insult to Native Americans with a load of historical baggage that fans today are only vaguely aware of if at all). I do not believe that most Republicans are racist bigots or aware of their racist tendencies-I believe they are poorly informed about history and many other things, and unaware of the less blatant forms or racism, misogyny, and bigotry still so prevalent in our society (compared to say, lynching). Writing them off as “those people” and not trying to engage with them will never get them to wake up.

    I’ve said it a hundred times: it’s hard for political junkies like us to comprehend just how poorly informed most people actually are (of all stripes; though studies show consumers of the right-wing sites are less well informed than the rest, it’s all relative and most voters on the left aren’t very aware of the details either, they’ve just seen/read more accurate headlines). Most people treat politics more like a team sport, and will instinctively dig in and defend their team against perceived attacks (no matter how justified).

    For years now it’s been loudly and repeatedly pointed out how horrible Trump is in SO many ways. It hasn’t dented his support any more than he’s been able to increase his support beyond his base. I’ve been accused in this thread of excusing racism. In my mind I’m trying to fight it, not excuse it, by figuring out how to effectively bring people to my point of view. It’s easier (and certainly feels better-I don’t like it that people think I’m excusing racism or giving more sympathy to the racists than the victims) to loudly denounce racism when seen. But is it the best way to actually reduce racism? I’m sorry, but I just don’t think so.