Monthly Archives: November 2016

America’s election day tantrum

Most candidates aspire to sound mature, wise, and trustworthy. Trump’s playground behavior was at the opposite extreme. He called his repulsive sexist conversation with Billy Bush “locker room talk,” but his usual campaign demeanor reflected an even earlier stage in male development. At times he resembled a kindergartner: My __ is bigger than your __.

This is why Republican candidates did not know what to make of him. It’s hard for an adult (which most of them were) to have a serious conversation with a child in the midst of having a months-long tantrum. Some tried talking above him, some down to him, some shouting back, and nothing worked because their hearts weren’t in that age group and his was.

And ultimately he dragged enough of the voters down to his own level of immaturity. When you’ve been seeing an angry child day in and day out, it’s hard not to get that way too. And on election day, those voters threw a tantrum.

“I don’t care what anyone says and I don’t care what happens tomorrow, I’m going to do this now because I’m so angry and you nasty old adults can’t stop me” could have been the mantra of many of Trump’s most ardent supporters.

No wonder the pollsters fell down on the job. How could they predict that the country’s inner child would stand up and scream at a time like that?

The frustrations that produced that resounding primal scream have underlying causes. Unfortunately, Trump is not the one to deal with those causes. He enabled the scream but now will be at a loss what to do about it.


Is this sore loser also out of his mind?

The sole subject of this web site tweeted today:

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

“Landslide”: not when 3 close states determined the outcome.

“Illegal voters”: who, where, how, how many, and in what universe?

Popular vote: he lost by over 2 million. He won only 46.5%, at most, of the popular vote.

Narcissistic personality disorder: can’t stand not to be treated as “great” in everything.

Typical pathological personality: what he wins is because he is so wonderful; what he loses, he was cheated of.

[Update: see Nate Cohn, “‘Serious Voter Fraud’? Um, No,” New York Times, 11/28/16]

Being Suckered: A Warning from Scotland

“If America wants to know what is coming, it should study what happened here. It’s predictive. I have just seen him do in America, on a grander scale, precisely what he did here. He suckered the people and he suckered the politicians until he got what he wanted, and then he went back on pretty much everything he promised.”

–Martin Ford, former chairman of the planning committee in the area of Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, quoted in Katrin Bennhold, “In Scotland, Trump Built a Wall. Then He Sent Residents the Bill,” New York Times, 11/25/16

All Americans are equal but…

“All Americans are equal but some Americans are more equal than others”–is that to be the national mantra of an Age of Trump?

It’s time to reread George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” is the ultimate perversion of the once-egalitarian philosophy under which the farm animals revolted against their human master.

Trump has known how to exploit our long-standing national problem with “All men are created equal,” the leading and farthest-reaching “self-evident truth” of our Declaration of Independence.

Our democracy began already with deep divisions. In terms of the right to vote and hold office, “all men,” as the US Constitution took effect, turned out to mean not “all people” but, depending on the states, basically “property-owning white males.” Even after all the amendments and court decisions moving toward greater voting rights, states still remain free to disenfranchise certain groups such as people in prison or even released from prison. And we know that the party of Trump, enabled by the Supreme Court, has for years been gerrymandering districts and manipulating voter rolls to chip away at the voting rights of individuals presumed to favor the other party. That effort in itself–along with that other  anti-democratic force, the Electoral College–is grounds to reject the results of November 8, 2016.

In terms of financial well-being, “all men are created equal” has been a receding dream for at least a generation, and all Trump’s campaign promises to “bring back” lost jobs will not help. And barring a sudden reversal, recent gains in health care coverage and workers’ rights–which of course assist those Americans who have less–are doomed.

When you look at median household income by race, you see that “some Americans are more equal than others” is not just a class thing but a race thing as well.

No leader can solve these historical problems, but some leaders are more equal to the task than others. And unfortunately, some leaders don’t want to solve them at all.

When a majority of white voters, whatever their economic level, throw their chances to a man who at least claims to be one of the wealthiest in the country, we see a true desperation about attaining any form of equality, even equality of opportunity, in our country.

You can reread Animal Farm to be reminded of the sad fate of that particular revolution. Is there still time to save ours?

An open letter to Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump

[Rev. Barber, who gave a memorable speech at the Democratic National Convention, sized up Candidate Trump in equally memorable terms 4 months before the election.]

by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, The Carolina Peacemaker, July 8, 2016

Editor’s Note: The following letter was penned by Rev. Barber in advance of Donald Trump’s July 5 campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C.

Your campaign, like the leadership of our Legislature and Governor, does not represent the politics of Lincoln, the call of justice, or the ethics of Biblical evangelicalism. Instead, your campaign presents an extremist philosophy of hate, greed, racism, classism, and xenophobia.

You are speaking in North Carolina on the day after the Fourth of July. On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass spoke to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, New York and asked, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Today, I ask you, “What to North Carolinians is the meaning of your campaign for President?”

So far, your campaign as the Republican nominee for President does not represent the ideals of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican who signed the Emancipation Proclamation and supported African Americans in their quest for freedom and citizenship.

Your campaign does not represent the moral vision of Teddy Roosevelt, who promoted health care for all, a minimum/living wage, support for public education, environmental protection and labor rights.

Your campaign does not represent the ideals of Abraham Galloway, an African American who rallied Blacks to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War and helped found the Republican Party in North Carolina. Nor does your campaign represent the ideals of Bishop J.W. Hood, a Black Republican from North Carolina who helped craft North Carolina’s constitution during Reconstruction to include public education and equal protection under the law as constitutional rights afforded to every citizen. …

read more at The Carolina Peacemaker

Lock him up

lock-him-up-notrump17-comSeriously? Already? Yes. Let us review the ways:

1. Treasonable collusion with a foreign government to subvert democratic process. Was Trump directly involved with the Russian hacking of emails associated with his opponent? Or only indirectly?

2. Fraud, in Trump University’s overt cheating of its victims, who were pushed from one worthless “program” to the next. The recent $25,000,000 settlement is a petty penalty for ruining people’s hopes and finances.

3. Slander against his political opponents, both R and D.

4. Income tax evasion. Maybe what he reported in income and tax due has been legal and maybe not. There surely is a reason he broke his promise that he would release his tax returns in the campaign.

5. Fraud at the Trump Foundation, apparently used to channel “contributions” of business associates who wanted to get on Trump’s good side, including one promoter’s lavish reward for Trump’s making a fluff video piece.

6. The Trump Foundation has also made an improper contribution to the Florida Attorney General, whose office was to take action on charges against Trump University and has also improperly used purchases for non-charitable purposes and has admitted transferring funds to a “disqualified person” and “self-dealing.”

7. It has become clear that far from separating his business and political careers, he intends to enrich his family and himself by connecting his Trump-branded operations and clients to his responsibilities as President.

What else? More to come, for sure!