Trump Talks Unity While Preaching Hardline Partisanship At State Of The Union
The President's second State of the Union began and ended with calls for unity. In between, it was filled with the divisive partisanship that has marked his Presidency.
Much as he had during his first State of the Union Address last year, President Trump called for national unity last night during his second such address but also stuck to a hardline on signature issues such as immigration and his border wall even as polling continues to show that the American public does not support his positions on either topic:
WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he would continue to wage war for the hard-line immigration policies that have polarized the capital and the nation.
In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who could work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a wall along the nation’s southwestern border that leaders of the newly empowered congressional Democrats have adamantly rejected.
“We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution, and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good,” the president said. “Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future.”
Any hopes for a newfound spirit of cooperation, however, seemed elusive as the president and Democrats spent the hours before, during and after the address exchanging partisan political fire, making clear that ritualistic calls for across-the-aisle collaboration were unlikely to transform an environment that has turned increasingly toxic.
Republicans jumped to their feet at the president’s calls to curb immigration, limit late-term abortions and ensure that the United States does not turn to socialism, even chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A” a couple of times as if at a Trump campaign rally. “That sounds so good,” he exulted.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sitting behind Mr. Trump for the first time, and other Democrats largely remained in their seats without applauding and expressed only tepid enthusiasm even for his mention of goals intended to appeal to them, like infrastructure and paid parental leave. Ms. Pelosi maintained a polite, even amused smile on her face for much of the speech.
But the evening was filled with political theater as the president introduced World War II veterans, Holocaust survivors, the Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a 10-year-old cancer survivor, a police officer shot seven times at last fall’s synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh and the teary-eyed relatives of a couple killed by an illegal immigrant, all sitting with the first lady, Melania Trump.
The change in the power structure in a Capitol long dominated by men was on display as Ms. Pelosi and scores of House Democratic women wore white, the color of the suffrage movement, reflecting the fact that 131 women were sworn into the new Congress, the most in American history.
When Mr. Trump noted this breakthrough, the women leapt to their feet, cheering, dancing and high-fiving each other. “That’s really great,” he said. “Congratulations.”
He made no direct mention of the issues that may yet come to dominate the year, such as the Russia investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, or the parallel inquiries that House Democrats intend to conduct into his campaign’s ties with Russia and efforts to impede investigations.
Instead, he alluded to them only in passing, but pointedly. “An economic miracle is taking place in the United States,” he said, “and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.”
But Mr. Trump indicated no retreat from his almost singular pursuit of a border wall, directly taking on Ms. Pelosi, who has called it “immoral.” He devoted 15 minutes of the hour-and-22-minute speech to immigration with no concession to Democratic priorities like a path to citizenship for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
“This is a moral issue,” Mr. Trump said as Ms. Pelosi sat unmoved behind him. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he added. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”
The president’s speech, built on a theme of “choosing greatness,” came at a pivotal moment halfway through the president’s term as he seeks to regain momentum after the midterm election defeat that handed control of the House to Democrats and after his failed effort to use a partial government shutdown to extract money for the wall.
Stung by his retreat on the government shutdown, Mr. Trump has hardly been in the mood for collaboration with the other party. As he and his team drafted his address in recent days, he has groused about the text, complaining that it was too gentle on Democrats, according to people briefed on the matter.
After presidents suffer setbacks in midterms, they often reach out to the victorious opposition with words of conciliation, however artificial or short-lived they may be. In Mr. Trump’s case, he opened this period of partisan power sharing with a relentless confrontation over his proposed border wall, resulting in a record-breaking 35-day partial government shutdown.
That impasse nearly cost Mr. Trump his opportunity to deliver his State of the Union address, as Ms. Pelosi refused to let him come to the House chamber as long as federal agencies were closed and workers unpaid. Mr. Trump backed down and accepted a measure reopening the government for three weeks, but negotiations in the interim have made no more progress toward winning money for his wall — and the government could close again on Feb. 15.
Given that, Mr. Trump’s calls for unity were almost surely destined to fall on deaf ears. Even Republicans have publicly rebuked him lately for his plans to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, and party leaders have pressed him not to declare a national emergency bypassing Congress to build the wall.
More from The Washington Post:
President Trump confronted a split Congress for the first time Tuesday night by delivering a dissonant State of the Union address, interspersing uplifting paeans to bipartisan compromise with chilling depictions of murder and ruin.
Calling the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border “an urgent national crisis,” Trump again called on Congress to approve construction of his long-promised wall — and argued that without the physical barrier, working-class Americans would lose their jobs and grapple with dangerous crime and overcrowded schools and hospitals.
Trump also sounded an unmistakable threat to the new Democratic House majority over impending oversight investigations into his conduct and personal finances, as well as alleged corruption in the administration. The president warned that everyday Americans may suffer from what he termed “ridiculous” probes.
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” Trump said. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”
As he delivered his speech from the rostrum of the House chamber, with a stone-faced Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) observing over his left shoulder, Trump stared into a sea of Democratic women wearing bright white in tribute to suffragists who secured women’s right to vote. Together, they formed a vivid illustration of this year’s power shift and the potential political peril for Trump’s presidency.
The tension in the chamber was palpable. As Trump declared the state of the union to be “strong,” the women in white stayed seated while Republican lawmakers, most of them men in dark suits, stood to cheer.
Rare moments of joint applause came when Trump touted the bipartisan criminal justice law he signed in December, vowed to fight childhood cancer and committed to eliminating HIV in 10 years.
Trump began and ended his 82-minute speech with a unifying tone that was in conflict with many of his own actions and statements, especially over the past month, one of the more contentious of his presidency.
A president who proudly retaliates against his enemies, taunts his political foes with nicknames and considers himself one of the world’s great counter-punchers exhorted Congress to “reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.”
Trump added: “We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.”
Just eight hours earlier, Trump trashed Democrats — as well as the late Republican senator John McCain — at a freewheeling lunch with television news anchors. He assailed Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) as a “nasty son of a bitch,” ridiculed former vice president Joe Biden as “dumb” for his history of gaffes, and accused Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) of “choking like a dog” at a news conference where he denied being in a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page, according to two attendees and a person briefed on the discussion.
Trump’s speech came at one of the most acrimonious moments of his presidency. Both parties are deeply divided over his demand to construct a border wall — and leaders still are reeling from the partial government shutdown that ended late last month, which at 35 days was the longest in U.S. history.
The battle over Trump’s wall at the U.S.-Mexico border is ongoing. With Democrats refusing to meet his demand for construction money — which Trump had long said would come from Mexico — the president is on the cusp of declaring a national emergency in an attempt to reallocate other federal funds, including perhaps from the Pentagon, to build the wall without approval from Congress.
Though he made no mention of an emergency declaration in his Tuesday night speech, Trump said in recent days that he has “set the stage” for one, while administration lawyers are preparing for immediate legal challenges.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have voiced their opposition to Trump’s national emergency idea. Congress has until Feb. 15 to reach a deal to avert a second government shutdown, but Democrats have said they won’t offer funding for Trump’s wall, and the president has said he doesn’t expect much from the negotiations.
The president Tuesday sought to paint undocumented immigrants who cross the southern border, often seeking asylum, as an invading force prone to violent crime. “As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States,” Trump said, adding that he “just heard” that Mexican cities were trying to rid their communities of migrants by directing truckloads of them to areas along the border where there is little protection.
“This is a moral issue,” Trump said. “The lawless state of our southern border is a threat to the safety, security and financial well-being of all Americans.” He added, “Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate. It is actually very cruel.”
Illegal border crossings are down significantly from their historic peaks, and some research indicates that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens do. Still, Trump has claimed that only a border wall would be effective in keeping out the migrants, many of whom are families with children.
Trump used his speech to defend his “America First” foreign policy, which has rattled Western allies and sparked some backlash within his party. Several Republican lawmakers have publicly criticized the president’s recent decision to pull troops out of Syria, for instance.
Proclaiming that “great nations do not fight endless wars,” Trump highlighted his recent attempts to extract U.S. forces from foreign conflicts.
The president also touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and announced that he would hold his second summit with the dictator on Feb. 27 and 28 in Vietnam.
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” Trump said. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
Trump’s remarks highlighted just how much has changed in the past year. During his 2018 State of the Union address, Trump decried the “depraved character” of the North Korean regime and highlighted its torturous practices.
On Tuesday, Trump made no mention of North Korea’s human rights abuses or other atrocities.
Trump also called for regime change in Venezuela, where embattled President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government is facing a crisis, and said the United States recognizes the “legitimate government” of Juan Guaidó.
Trump did not shy away from his instinct for braggadocio, spending several minutes in his speech highlighting his accomplishments during his first two years in office, including job growth, the tax cut bill, reduced regulations and a manufacturing resurgence.
As has been the case for the past decade or longer at this point, I did not watch last night’s speech, choosing instead to read through the transcript and watching various excerpts on video this morning. Because of this, I can’t really judge how the speech came across on television or how it was received in the House Chamber. Based on what I have seen, though, it once again appears that things about like you’d expect for a President addressing a Congress under divided partisan control for the first time, with Republicans cheering the Presidents while Democrats largely kept quiet or, at best, offered only polite applause even at those portions of the speech designed to reach across the aisle. Additionally, it’s obvious that Trump once again demonstrated different behavior from the man we see at one of his campaign-style speeches or on Twitter. As a result, there is once again some talk about how well the President “came across” as relatively balanced and straightforward, or at least more balanced and straightforward than he ordinarily does, and certainly better than his first appearance before a Joint Session of Congress shortly after his Inauguration in 2017. As is usually the case for this President, though, the bar is so low for Trump generally speaking that one could say he “came across” well as long as he didn’t act like a blithering Palin-esque idiot. In that respect, then, I guess you could say the President accomplished what As I said yesterday, though, thanks to his behavior and past speeches, the bar for Trump was so low last night that he largely would have come across well as long as he didn’t come across as a blithering Palin-esque idiot. In that respect, I suppose, Trump met his mark but it’s unclear that it will have much of an impact the political climate in the nation as a whole or on Capitol Hill, which currently faces battles over the budget and immigration that must be resolved one way or the other within the next nine days. If the President’s speech is any indication in that regard, his position makes any such resolution far less likely.
When it came to substance, though, the President’s speech left much to be desired. His claims about immigration, many of which he has made in the past, were largely filled with lies, falsehoods, and misstatements that simply ignored the truth. For example, the President repeated the claim that El Paso, Texas was one of the most dangerous cities in America before the construction of a border barrier between the city and its cross-border neighbor Juarez, Mexico. In reality, prior to the construction of a border fence between the two cities in 2006, the crime rate in El Paso had been declining since the early 1990s just as it had in the nation as a whole and that there is no evidence that the construction of a border fence during the Presidency of George W. Bush had any impact at all on the crime rate, or that it was in any way responsible for the drop in crime that began long before there was anything more than a modest border and checkpoint between the two cities. Additionally, the President repeated previous lies regarding human and drug trafficking across the border that ignores the fact that the vast majority of illegal drugs and human trafficking takes place through designated ports of entry. The same is true of many other policy areas, but I’ll leave the job of fact-checking the President to the professionals. Suffice it to say that it seems clear that the President greatly added to the number of lies he’s told since taking office just over the course of ninety minutes last night.
The question going forward, of course, is what impact if any the President’s speech will have on the political climate, on the public perception of the President, and specifically on the ongoing negotiations to reach a budget deal before the February 15th deadline to reach an agreement to avoid another government. On the first two points, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any impact at all. For one thing, whatever positive notes the President hit last night are likely to be overridden by his rhetoric elsewhere, either in statements to the press, on Twitter, or elsewhere. Additionally, it has been the case that, historically speaking, these addresses have had a minimal long-term impact on polling to begin with, and it seems likely that this will be especially true of a President who remains mired in the worst job approval numbers of any new President since the Second World War. As was the case last year, this speech is unlikely to have an appreciable impact on those numbers, especially given the fact that attention will quickly turn from post-SOTU coverage to whatever the latest news on the potential for another shutdown and the border wall showdown, which will likely happen as early as this afternoon.
In any case, if you missed last night’s speech, you can read the transcript here or, if such is your desire, watch the entire thing in the embedded video below:
A pathological liar lied. A thug threatened. A weak and failing politician made promises he has no capacity to fulfill.
“The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
And yet, according to the Trumpkins, it was soaring! It was Periclean! It was better than the Gettysburg Address!
Objectively, this was easily the most embarrassing and disingenuous SOTU speech given in my lifetime. It was however, completely expected.
Trump has set the bar low and we have not yet bottomed out.
Trump’s definition of “unity” is “his way or else”, same as his definition of “negotiation”. It’s a consistent theme with him: the words out of his mouth bear little resemblance to their dictionary roots. You cannot preach unity then immediately pivot to partisan rhetoric without looking like a hack. Either stick with the “we’re in this together” theme or pander to your base. Dragging abortion into it and immediately going to the most extreme mischaracterization the right is flinging around is *NOT* “unity” – it’s deliberately picking one of the biggest wedge issues in America and bald-faced lying about it on camera.
This is like praising a habitual drunk for not looking drunk in public today. Oh, you weren’t weaving around and slurring – you’re looking great today! It only impresses people who mistakenly think you’ve cleaned up your act (lasts till the flask comes out) or superficial folks who think a nice tie makes a nice man.
If I were writing a parody of a right wing thumper idiot I wouldn’t have thought to go that far.
Thank God we finally have a president brave enough to come out publicly against childhood cancer. /sarc
You can use division as unity, but only when the vast majority of the population fits into one side of the divide. This is something that appears to happen in many revolutions (the subsequent civil wars show the real divisions in the unified side). Say commoners vs nobles, or proletariat vs capitalists, or Catholics vs Protestants.
The reason this won’t work for El Cheeto, is that politics is a choice. Cultural trends for the past 150 years or so, moreover, bend towards a liberal (in the “classic” sense) view of the world by the majority.
And you cannot use division as unity when you represent a minority. It comes off as I said in another thread: “Do as I tell you, and nobody gets hurt.”
I respectfully disagree. Trump’s rhetoric has what I would call a strong, inversely proportional relationship with the truth. If you lived in a cave and you gathered up all of Trump’s speeches and tweets and then just assumed the opposite of everything he said was the truth, you’d probably wind up with a good understanding of the world.
Read the comments here:
Brillant article from an Anti-Trumper
“Shouldn’t Democrats as well as Republicans rejoice that unemployment is at a generational low and that Black and Hispanic unemployment is at an historic low? Shouldn’t Democrats as well as Republicans rejoice that economic growth, well north of three percent, is at a level declared impossible under the anemic leadership of Barack Obama? Shouldn’t Democrats as well as Republicans rejoice that manufacturing is flooding back to the US? Shouldn’t Democrats as well as Republicans rejoice at the president’s attack on the regulatory state, the monstrous regime of Title IX fanatics, and other efforts to transform ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ into a safe-space for chest-less pajama boys? ”
@CSK: notice how many of those totally authentic Americans are using the wrong key for apostrophes.
This is brilliant?
What he is talking about is an attempt to rectify the wrongly decided, anti-democratic, Citizens United case.
Nullify the 1st Amendment?
You’re a maroon.
@Jake: Shouldn’t Republicans rejoice that Obama presided over the longest period of continuous job growth in American history and that it has simply continued without acceleration under Trump? It’s as if we’re in a boat race where the captain who brought the winning boat into the lead and kept it there for the longest time gets denounced (“He wasn’t even born on the boat!”) while the captain who just took over gets all the credit.
It’s a point I’ve made before this: They’re semi-literate, at best. Or, in Trumpkinspeak, There semi-literate.
Should we give credit for that to Dennison, who has actually slowed job growth? Like his wealth, Dennison inherited a good economy. He squandered his daddies money…hopefully he will be gone before he can squander the good economy.
Impossible? You mean like in Q1 of 2014 when it was 5.1%?
284,000 new manufacturing jobs…not bad. Unless you put it context of the 1.2 million factory jobs that have disappeared since the Bush Contraction of 07/08, and the other 8 million factory jobs lost before that. Then it’s hardly flooding. Kind of a trickle.
Look…If you’re going to read dumb stuff, then you are just going to keep being dumb.
It has actually slowed. More jobs in Obama’s last two years than in Dennison’s first two years.
” Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who could work across party lines ”
A legend in his own mind.
@CSK: @KM: It’s kind of like visiting from a parallel universe where the language is the same, but yet different, too, isn’t it?
@Teve: Of course not, your editor would flag it and comment “c’mon , who’s going to say something like that.”
ETA: Speaking of what editors might say: “manufacturing is flooding back to the US…” [What? Source?]
@Jake: Please don’t be discouraged by the haters. They need to hear from people like you most of all.
The exception to this rule is if you are the minority that has all the money and all the guns. In that case, you can unite the nobility against the serfs fairly successfully. See, for example, the history of the behavior of Major League Baseball owners*.
*I decided to go with a less fraught example than The Peasants’ Revolt
He’s toting a link that calls Trump’s speech as destroying “safe-space for chest-less pajama boys” and we’re haters?
Trump, Jake and your problem is one and the same: yours is a dying breed. You think you can go around insulting others but should be protected from being insulted in return. You accept blatant lies like “manufacturing is flooding back to the US” and get mad when someone dares ask you WTF you’re talking about. It’s not being a hater to point out someone’s full of shit.
Sadly for you, people aren’t buying this crap anymore because they have eyes. Where’s those manufacturing jobs flooding in? If the economy is doing so great, why are so many making less money and just got shafted hard on their taxes? Where’s all this money and prosperity because it sure ain’t going to rural America, the middle class or anyone but Trump’s friends. More factories are closing, more farms being lost, more Americans losing their shirts, and the gap between the wealthy and the average folk grows deeper every second. Trump promised to make life better for his voters and now is basically telling them things are awesome while ruining everything he can touch.
Why should we “rejoice” when we look around and can’t seem to find the things you’re telling us we should be rejoicing about? Like 1984, the chocolate ration has been reduced from 30 grams to 20 but now we’re expected to join the “spontaneous demonstration” to thank Big Brother for increasing the ration to 20!! How horrible are the Dems for not rejoicing on the increase, James? Such haters!
Mods, please rescue my comment. (It didn’t even seem to go into the mod queue, it just returned to the original page with no indication I’d ever even submitted a comment.)
Maybe it wasn’t in moderation, maybe you just needed to reload/refresh the page.
Explaining that his link is mostly fiction, with…you know…facts, makes me a hater?
You are an insipid putz.
Wait…it’s still really early in the tax season…April 15 is still two months away.
Just wait until more and more people start to see what the Republicans have done to them.
Did you know that, Trump’s rhetoric to the contrary, in Obama’s last 2 years 5.0 million jobs were created, while in the first 2 years of Trump’s ‘economic miracle’ a total of 4.8 million jobs were created? Trump has avoided screwing up the solidly performing economy that Obama handed off to him.
Go ahead, google the numbers at the BLS website, this data has been kept for years.
I wasn’t clear. You can unite a minority. You cannot unite a country based on a minority of the population.
@James Pearce: @James Pearce:
These Democrats would turn on their own Mother if Trump supported their Mother. Pure hate, not an ounce of objectivity. They have the answer they only need to pose the question
Nope. I refreshed several times. It’s gone.
Usually when a comment gets stuck in the mod queue, what happens is that I receive a notification that this has happened. In this case, I received no such message. It simply returned the top of the page, with no evidence that I’d even tried to post something new.
I’ve had this happen before, but only under one circumstance: when I mentioned the name of J*nos in full. The mods not only banned him, but made it illegal for us to utter his name. I didn’t know this at first, and I was puzzled to see several of my posts not showing up. I even asked the mods to rescue one of them, and they never did.
I can’t figure out what caused my latest comment to go to the ether. It contained two links, but that hasn’t caused my posts to get flagged in a long time, and I’ve seen plenty of people here do comments with two links without any trouble. I did mention several of the regular right-wing commenters at one point in my comment, but I was not aware that any of them had been banned or that their names had been Voldemorted.
@Kathy: You can until some significant portion of the society decides that it is better to die than to live like they do. After that decision, the situation changes.
This has got to be the most perfect instance of projection that I’ve ever seen. (What makes it perfect is that it criticizes the side that uses actual facts for not being objective.)
Jake, the part you can’t seem to grasp is that we oppose the substance, not the label. If Barack Obama were to propose building a wall to keep out brown people, we’d fight it just as hard. If Jimmy Carter wanted to take healthcare away from millions of people in order to give a tax cut to the rich, we’d fight it just as hard. If the Democratic Party wanted (as they once did) to use the law to oppress blacks, we’d fight them tooth and nail. It’s not about which team wins; it’s about what America becomes. Trump wants us to become Russia; we think that’s a bad idea no matter who wants it.
Which is not to say that Trump isn’t personally contemptible, wholly evil, and a festering boil on the face of the earth. But that’s not why we oppose his ‘policies’.
ETA: In fact, I suspect that I would like President Pence’s policy agenda even less than Trump’s. Trump is a loose evil cannon; Pence is (by comparison) a precision evil weapon.
Awwwwww…did Pelosi somehow violate your tender sensibilities? You delicate flower…
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure you have no idea of the irony of using that line to defend Trump, of all people…get a clue, sweetie…
Talk about delusion…I countered your ridiculous op-eds with facts…you know…objective data. Then you come back with this emotional projection crap.
Instead of crying because your feelings are hurt…how about explaining job growth slowing under Dennison?
Pence would be far easier to handle. If for no other reason that he wouldn’t rile up the vociferous base so much, therefore his own party wouldn’t be scared to death of speaking out or acting against him.
He also strikes me as less white supremacist and more Christian supremacist. Beyond abortion, that doesn’t play too well.
7 years ago Trump was laughed out of the White House Correspondents Dinner. Now he’s in the White House. All those white nationalists at Charlottesville were younger than me.
Maybe this “yours is a dying breed” stuff should be revisited.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
Calling me an “insipid putz” is what makes you a hater.
I think a lot of them have admitted as much.
But I still have a little sympathy. But I’m losing it…
I was surprised so few of them actually showed up considering how big of a deal they were making about it on various white nationalist sites/forums. When I was a kid growing up in a rural blue state racists jokes/comments involving blacks was a common thing. I never even knew that “n****r rigging” was an insult until I was into young adulthood. Hell at least one respected police officer was an open member of the KKK (very small town). By the time the late 90s rolled around the KKK police officer was already retired and such activity was no longer tolerated let alone supported as it had decades prior. Are there still racists rolling around town? Sure but they aren’t supported and encouraged like they used to be.
I was young and dumb when I embraced racism. Much like the kids you’re pointing at. Some will grow older and wiser and move beyond their racists beliefs. Others will double down and blame everyone else for their failures. Personally I’m still racist but I try really hard to not act upon my instinctual reactions in an attempt to be a more enlightened individual. It’s a daily battle.
That’s also why I don’t hold a racist past against someone if they’ve clearly moved on and repented for their behaviour.
@Matt: I think it’s important to recognize a distinction between casual racism and militant racism. I’ve read several books about people in the latter category–neo-Nazis, the Klan, the Charlottesville protesters. Typically they come from casual-racist backgrounds, then they describe their journey into the hate groups as a kind of awakening. In any case, these groups go a lot farther than telling a few black jokes. Many of them advocate violent overthrow of the government, or hold otherwise extremist beliefs like thinking nonwhites are literally a separate species. You may have once used the term “n****r rigging,” but if you heard of a skinhead beating a homeless black man to death, I bet you’d have reacted with as much revulsion as I would. It isn’t subconscious or accidental racism we’re talking about here, or even more outward forms like complaining about the Puerto Ricans who just moved in down the block. People in these hate groups generally have a strong sense of being outsiders to mainstream society and being forced to hide their beliefs to fit in. They do tend to be relatively young. But they represent only a tiny, tiny slice of the population. We just tend to notice them the most because they’re the likeliest to be involved in overtly racist hate crimes. The much older cohort of casual racists–including those who may have been affiliated with hate groups decades ago when that was far more common and accepted–greatly outnumber the alt-right punks.
The larger truth is that younger people, including younger white people, are much less likely to hold racist views than their elders, and much more likely to be accepting of diversity and multiculturalism. To point to the Charlottesville protests as a counterexample is kind of like the Republicans who point to the recent spell of icy weather as proof that global warming is a myth.
I was skeptical of this until I saw it confirmed at talking points memo. Apparently Trump really did say that he had never heard of Adam Schiff, before being reminded.
Yikes. We may be getting into Reagan’s-last-2-years territory here.
I’m not convinced that his own party would want to speak or act against him. They are completely down with his evangelical theocratic plutocratic agenda. Unlike Trump, he’s One Of Them.
Hobby Lobby begs to differ. Self-identified ‘Christians’ get more legal deference today than at any point in my lifetime. The trend is in the wrong direction already, and the Supreme Court is on the wrong side of that trend.
I just saw on Twitter that Alabama is about to execute a Muslim guy, and he wants his imam there, and Alabama is saying he can only have a Christian religious leader.
I saw that…it looked like he was being sarcastic to me…but who knows when you are ddealing with early onset alzheimers?
That wasn’t a comment on age but % of the population. Trolls tend to be on the young side after all. As Matt noted, the young that fall prey to racist behavior are not carrying it forward into their adult lives like they had in the past. In other words, they’re understanding that kind of thing isn’t socially acceptable before and accepting that premise. Yes, Charlottesville had the “young and dumb” but notice how many of them there were and then ponder how many have changed their tune once some sunshine shone their way. You will always have those who dig in and resist change but as the years pass, people like Trump and Charlottesville idiots are becoming fewer and fewer as society stops tolerating their crap.
What’s more, a lot of that thinking deteriorates upon contact with others outside of their bubble. It’s lot harder to hate someone to their face then the stereotype you’ve been fed. It’s why colleges tend to be liberal – people coming into contact with others they wouldn’t necessarily have had in their past and realizing that hey, that guy’s not so bad after all. What seems to have been commonplace in the 80’s South (if these damn pics are anything to go by) is now being recognized as no good in those same places. The kids doing blaceface at games and then getting pissed because the game gets cancelled? Just learned society won’t put up with that anymore even if they were being “ironic” or “trolling libs” or whatever BS they want to come up with.
A dying breed because if you’re relying on the “young and dumb” to sustain your dwindling numbers, well… just remember they’re young and dumb but won’t always stay both. Trolls grow up and often lose the dickiness that made them wanna troll in the first place. MAGA requires new adherents and for the old to stay faithful but that’s gonna be kinda hard when Trump’s determined to damage his brand as much as possible and people are wising up that mayyyybbbbeeee this whole thing’s kinda self-destructive.