Monthly Archives: December 2016
I saw another one of those hate posts about Michelle Obama slide across my Facebook feed today, and realize that we’ve missed the whole point. The post was a picture of Malania Trump and basically said “Finally a classy lady in the Whitehouse… Looking at the monkey made me want to puke.” More disturbing than the post were the comments. There were a few brave souls trying to combat the outright mean racism, and they were pummeled with an ever-escalating series of hate speak. I didn’t comment because I knew that would pass it to my feed, and I didn’t want to subject my friends with that. It was a wake-up call.
I realized we have it all wrong. The whole thing is blindly simple. Today’s climate is caused by only one thing: hate against having a black president. Nothing more, nothing less.
For weeks now, since the election, liberals have been analyzing everything from the Democratic party’s agenda, to not understanding white middle-class economic woes, to the faults of Hillary Clinton. It’s useless. That is just “bla bla bla bla” because it has nothing to do with the phenomenon of Donald Trump.
The thing is that Trump gave people permission to voice their rage. Once they went into it, and opened the floodgate, it was an unstoppable force. It was opening Pandora’s box. All that hate and rage was then poured into Hillary Clinton. That’s why people were willing to believe anything they saw posted about her. That’s why the “final straw” of more emails showing up in the last weeks of the election put a nail in the coffin of us all.
It was one simple thing: hate of a black president.
Suddenly seeing this I can at least understand it. And with understanding perhaps a path can be found to move forward.
Just think about it. Approximately 62,000,000 people in this country have been sitting around for 8 years with a knot in their stomachs every time they see or think about having black people in the Whitehouse. Imagine the rage to see constant pictures of those black faces, black hands, black children. There they are, walking around the beloved Whitehouse, dirtying everything they touch. During this whole time they haven’t heard a single thing that has been said, or noticed a single change. Their rage has been tongue-tied so that they can only mouth sideways, “niggers…” They nod at each other silently. Maybe complain in closed groups, but their ears are shut to details. Facts and figures are meaningless. They are frozen back to the day that Barack Obama was elected. In their minds it is still 2009, they are stuck in their losses of the financial crises. Rage has frozen time. Many have actually transposed their emotions back to 9/11/2001. It’s a deep, gut-wrenching angst, ready to boil over.
And then, suddenly, they were given permission. Not only were they given permission to “speak the truth” but they were given numerous targets on which to unleash their rage. Mexicans, Muslims, gay people, and Jews. That’s why it feels like a regurgitation of hate… because it is.
It’s so hard to see because it is just so blatant. No conscious thinking person would believe that this could be true. We’ve ignored it, and analyzed it to death in every attempt to turn our heads and not really see what’s going on. That deep sense of, “It can’t possibly be true” has colored our thinking.
It’s just like a mystery novel. Usually the culprit is found by following the money. But in this case all we need to do is follow the result. Look at what has happened since the election. There are so many hate crimes happening around the country that the New York Times has started a Hate Watch page. These posts referring to Michelle Obama as a monkey are everywhere. People of color are being yelled at in grocery lines. Just ask any person of color what their lives have been like since the election… I’m sure you’ll hear a story. This is the single, pinpointed, cause.
There is no logic in this at all, so trying to regain our country through “opening up a dialogue” will do no good. Surveys show that Trump voters passionately believe that the economy is worse now than when Obama took office. They believe the stock market has fallen. They believe that “Obama Care” is evil… simply because of the source and the name that has been given to it.
Hillary Clinton took the brunt of it. Bigotry turned to misogyny and was an unstoppable, invisible, force of destruction. On November 8th love didn’t trump hate. It got really, really, close. It would have won without interference, but with the constant barrage of needling against her, hate slipped us into the constitutional nightmare of the Electoral College.
Many people believe that Bernie Sanders would have won if he had gained the Democratic nomination. But I think it would have been just as bad. He was relatively unchallenged at primary time – Hillary was never nasty against him – but Trump would have come up with something. Do you really think we would have elected a Jew after a black? And a socialist at that?? Trump would have named him something like “Commie Bernie” and it would have been all over. No amount of talking about issues would have or could have had the slightest effect on this kind of blind hate.
It’s important to know that it is blind hate. I don’t think that, in the 21st Century, anyone would consciously talk themselves into this amount, or type, of hate. It’s unexamined. It’s a blind repression, deep deep down. It is a serious, deep-gut nag that has been eating away at voters as they sit on their couches and eat potato chips. It was a lethal poison ready to explode.
So what now? What happens now? If you are starting to see that this is as simple as I think it is, then there is actually room for hope.
Trump voters don’t give a twit about Donald Trump. If you listen to any of their arguments for him they have no substance. “He’s a good business man – He didn’t really mean the things he said – He tells the truth.” All that really means nothing more than, “He’s a white man.”
What’s going to happen is that on January 20th they will get to see a white man take the oath of office, and the black family will skulk away. They won!!! Just watching those black faces get into a car and drive off will be the end of it. 62,000,000 people will take a deep breath and turn away. They won’t have to face themselves any longer. They won’t have to grapple with their inner ticking’s. Some of them are really unconscious people and they will go back to drinking beer and scratching their balls. Some of them have better hearts and will start to be available to their communities again. Some of them may even start to notice as the new president does things that they never thought possible to do from the presidency.
After January 20th we may be able to have a conversation about issues again. I hope it’s not too late.
Dear Media People,
Stop talking about how we are such a divided nation and start talking about what we are divided about! After a year and a half of content-free reporting, it’s time to really take a look at the issues. Issues… remember those?
If you want to talk about the division itself, then get it right. For decades liberals have sat around and watched the people around us be brainwashed by big money. We’ve watched as they have been taught that government is too big, and that government programs are shameful, and that this thing they call a “Free Market” exists and will solve all their problems. We have sat around trying to be nice as the word “Liberal” became a nasty word, used in everyday conversations around us. We sat, nicely, and watched a black president be obstructed and disrespected for his blackness, and then watched as a woman candidate was subjected to the worst pack of lies and invented scandal to ever hit the newswaves. We let it go too long and we’re pissed.
But forget all that.
The big issue is the issues! We are talking about the future of the planet and the future of our children here. Global warming is the biggest threat that we have ever faced as a nation… and we’re ignoring it! Our world is so polluted that approximately one in every three people will get cancer and cancer rates amongst young people are skyrocketing. We live in a world where big oil has instigated huge wars with millions dying. Our history of constant war has to stop. Nuclear weapons need to be reduced (preferably eliminated). Russia is run by a new Stalin and is forming a club with the other one in Syria. Big business has proven that it has no interest in worker’s health and rights… and any effort to keep the monster down can’t even get started. And now Republicans have elected the biggest idiot ever to run the nation and he’s appointing a cabinet of evil unrivaled in our history.
These are the issues. It really matters what we are divided about. Let’s talk about that.
Okay. Our Constitution has failed us, and our communities have failed us, so it’s time to re-coop and re-organize our thinking. I’m sorting this out here to make sure I get it right.
Most important is that we don’t like blacks and we don’t like Jews. I’m not quite sure why these two are lumped together like this, because they have nothing to do with each other, but that’s the way it is. It’s not mine to question why…
I’m pretty sure that we don’t like Jews because it has something to do with money. So the richer a Jew is, probably the worse that is. And the reason to not like blacks is because they are black. But I can’t quite sort out if we dislike them all the same, or if we dislike the blackest ones the worse. I think, probably, the latter is the case… though maybe we just dislike them all. So hard to keep all this clear.
I think that if a person is only a quarter Jew that it’s okay. That’s not enough to make a difference. But I’m pretty sure that a quarter black is still fully black. I know for absolute sure that half black is still 100% black. But what about half Jews? Maybe it has to do with which way they choose to go. If they go to the Christian side, then it might be okay.
We like Japanese just fine. We used to hate them the most. In fact, we had them locked up at one time. But we let them out and we like them just fine now. I think we also like Koreans just fine now as well, mostly because they have been really good Korean wives and have behaved themselves pretty good. I’m not sure about Chinese, but I think we won’t be liking them much longer. Which is a shame, because I can’t tell all these folks apart, so I’m likely to make mistakes.
We don’t like Muslims and that’s for sure. They wear funny hats and stuff, so it’s easy to keep clear. There are some people who wear turbans though, and I think they are some other religion. I’ll have to wait and find out if we hate them or not. I’m sure my neighbors will let me know that straight off.
I don’t think we straight-out dislike Mexicans. After all, they are pretty useful to have around. I think all the bad ones are going to be shipped off, and mostly they just kind of stay quiet, so we don’t really have to worry about it.
We definitely like fetuses, that’s always been agreed on by both sides. But now we don’t give a flying ass-wipe about what happens to them after they are born. We are finally free of the baggage of having to feed and educate the things. That’s a relief!
We like women okay, but only if they are absolutely perfect. First of all, they need to be young and hot, and certainly should not be uppity or get less hot with age. Women are really handy when they are good waitresses, and when they clean up things nicely. Often these women aren’t too hot, but it’s okay as long as they smile all the time.
I think that’s it. Have I left anything out?
Many of the ideas and ideals in our constitution and rule of law are there because the founders of our country were intimately acquainted with the results of an unfair society. One of our most important ideals is “Innocent until proven guilty.”
The reason for this is subtle, so it’s important to go deeply into it and really understand how it works.
Here’s the crux of the matter: It is impossible to prove innocence.
Guilt is not a lot easier. As we know from watching movies, and maybe even reading mystery novels, it can be quite complicated to prove guilt. Especially if a person is really good at hiding their tracks. But we as a nation have decided that it is much more heinous to falsely imprison an innocent person than it is to let a few bad guys go. So: Innocent until proven guilty.
We are based on the ideals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The thought of whizzing in on someone who is just living their life, accusing them of a crime and locking them up, when they are innocent, is abhorrent to us.
Like many freedoms, the idea of Innocent Until Proven Guilty takes constant vigilance. That’s because it is human nature to jump to conclusions based on little facts.
I remember when my children were young and I was trying to teach them that they can trust friends, but they need to be wary of strangers. I really did explain it the best I could, but the next day we were driving down Main Street and there was a man with a big limp and a cane. He was also overweight and dressed shabbily.
“Look!” Shouted the kids – “there’s a stranger!”
You and I both know they totally missed the point of what I had been trying to teach them. They took my words, put them together into what made sense to them, and then jumped to a conclusion that was not my point at all. And you can imagine me trying to explain myself out of that one… because yes… that guy was a stranger. But so was the really nice woman over on the other side of the street. This was a case where I was trying to teach “Stranger until proven innocent…” and even that was tricky.
In an unexamined society everyone will quickly follow the path my children took. Some crime happens in the neighborhood and everyone will jump to blame the weird looking guy with a limp and bad clothes. There are cases where a good alibi would get him off, but other than that the mob could quickly descend on the poor fellow and hang him.
Hillary Clinton is a perfect example. She is the weird guy with a limp. Years ago people started picking on her with every conceivable allegation, and she has been cleared of each one (often against very hostile judges.) She’s never been proven guilty of a single thing, and yet our society holds on to every rumor and small fact as truth.
She’s never been proven guilty. But it is literally impossible for her to prove herself innocent.
Another good example is O.J. Simpson’s trial. In that trial he was declared not guilty of killing his wife. I have to say that I, personally, think there is a good likelihood that he did it. But I wasn’t there when the crime was committed, and I also wasn’t on the jury who examined the full case. All I know is what I heard on the media. That’s my only evidence against him, and I know it is incomplete. So, as an honest and decent citizen, I am required to follow the verdict of “Not guilty.”
As it turns out, O.J. ended up in jail anyway. It was from another crime… but I can judge that it follows a pattern. I also believe that people get a certain karma for their misdeeds, and that dishonest person often gets caught in the end. But we have to still consider him innocent of the first charge. That’s our rule of law.
We need to stop holding Hillary Clinton hostage to accusations that have never been proven. We need to look at the actual facts as we know them. It’s easy to get online and watch her speeches. Does she really look all that evil? Does anything she say make sense? Does she have a consistency that we can follow? And most important – where does she get all those pant suits (snicker.) But really, come on. In our most honored ethics she is innocent. Let’s all treat her that way.
Now on to Donald Trump (you knew I was going there… right?)
Right now Trump is being accused of all sorts of things from bad business deals to collusion with the Russians. We have to, with all our integrity, hold him innocent of anything that has not been proven against him.
We can, however, judge him for things we have actually seen. And this is what has me pulling out my hair every day (okay, well I don’t have any hair right now, but you get the picture.)
We have all seen the constant look of straight-out meanness that constantly adorns his face. We’ve heard the sneers and sidelines that come from his mouth. We’ve heard him mock a disabled person (no, it wasn’t taken out of context, what the hell would be the context of that!) We’ve heard him call for a Muslim registry, we’ve heard him call Mexicans rapists and murders. We’ve heard him call for second amendment people to take care of Clinton… and then quickly add a few more words at the end of the sentence to make it seem like he didn’t really say that.
These are things we have seen him do with our own eyes. This, people, should be enough for us to make a judgment of his character. Perhaps he was only a willing dupe with the Russians. We have to hold him innocent of that. But we do have enough empirical evidence to judge his character… and in that line he is (and has been all along) guilty as charged.
I’ve seen nothing but intelligence and thoughtfulness from Hillary Clinton. I also know that many upstanding people whom I trust have backed her and supported her: Bernie Sanders, President Obama, Joe Biden, to name a few. There is no evidence to suggest that she is not what she seems, when we really look at her. Hillary Clinton is innocent.
Donald Trump is probably not guilty of everything, but he is guilty of being a thin skinned bully.
These are things that we know.
I want to talk about my dad. He passed away this year – actually he made his transition as I was sitting on a chemo drip a thousand miles away, so I couldn’t be there. He was a victim of old age. I’m a victim of our chemical swamp of a polluted world (no… my cancer isn’t hereditary and please stop asking that, like it’s some sort of explanation).
My father was a very good man. A staunch conservative and lifelong Republican. Though I have fought conservatives my whole life, and blame them for the fact that our world is not clean and safe from the industrial soup of big business, I have always put two things together in my mind: Good person + Republican.
When my dad was a young man in Chattanooga Tennessee he was a “Young Republican.” Back in those days the party was progressive and a proponent of human rights. I can’t even say how many stories I’ve heard about gracious and kind things my dad was involved in. My dad ran a foundry in Chattanooga and many of his employees were black. One guy in particular was literally the best employee my dad had. The most responsible, smartest and hardest working. Dad wanted to promote him to manager but that was actually against the law! So dad invented some position with a silly “not manager” title and paid the guy his equal due. That’s what I remember as the Good Ol’ Party.
When I was in second grade we moved to Denver Colorado. One of the best stories of the Young Republicans from that time was when they all got together and bought a window for the weatherman… who would always report stuff like a sunny day when it was raining cats and dogs outside! He clearly needed a window and the Young Republicans stepped up to the task. That was not only a good thing to do, but it was funny and a great story to tell around town. That was the fun, kind, honest and true Republican party that I remember.
My parents taught me that goodness is an action. A good person would never just sit there and watch a bully hurt someone. I would actually stop fights in my elementary school when I came upon a circle of boys harassing a little kid. I got away with it cause I’m kind of mean, and I’m a girl. A good tongue lashing could make quite a dent in an angry crowd of peers.
I was taught to speak up against tyrants, and to be able to tell the truth from a lie. My parents were from the World War II generation and a constant topic in our house was about the forces that caused Hitler to come to power. We were taught that he didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey! Let’s start killing Jews.” Instead it was a slow, insidious, downward slide of truth and morals that made the horrors of that war a “norm” for people who would have otherwise been good human beings. I learned that leadership itself is the thing that “leads” populations into hope or despair, into kindness or cruelty. I was taught the tactics of Mussolini and Stalin, and how hard it is to overcome that kind of leadership.
Over the years I’ve had a lot of colossal arguments with my dad. I’ll admit, and admitted at the time, that he often won those arguments. I’ve been (and still kind of am) a “Get rid of all money” sort of person. But he would argue, “So then, how do we come together to do something big like build a bridge?” My rebuttals of “We would just do it because we are so full of love…” did not make it very far against his actual experience in building bridges. He made me think, and think hard. Because of him I know that changing the world is a big task, and it will require a tremendous amount of attention to details, changing of hearts and habits, and a willingness to experiment and grow with the changes. He was a constant challenge to my thinking. In other words, he taught me that when two good people have a disagreement that this is the way learning happens.
The bottom line… the total and complete bottom line, is good people. We aren’t perfect, but as citizens we at least try to be good. And we demand an even higher level of goodness in our leaders.
So this is my main shock today. What happened? I feel that our nation has been totally abandoned by the Republican party. They are not just a bunch of innocents here. In my mind that goes for the voters and the leadership alike. This is so clearly that long insidious slip of truth and goodness that gripped Germany and lead to atrocities we don’t want to think about.
And liberals too… don’t think we are off the hook. We also fell for the insidious barrage of negativity in 2016. So many of us believed it! What happened to us? Why are we just speaking up now?
Believe me, I know I’m guilty of that as well. Heck, I was sick (sort of a good excuse.) But mostly I was afraid for my business. I live in a small town in Idaho and I know that even admitting in public that I am a “Liberal” is enough to have me ridiculed and blacklisted. The posts I’m making to my Facebook page these days are clear financial suicide for me. That was my excuse… besides being much more of a chicken than I was in third grade. Yep, me.
Even I fell for the long downward slope of the Good Ol’ Party, as I watched them get meaner and meaner and either laughed and brushed it off, or just stayed quiet. I never could believe that the people around me were not good. I couldn’t believe that they were actually as mean as the mean things they were saying. I’m as big a part of it as anyone else.
I think the final thing my Dad taught me is that something can be done about this. We have history to teach us. We have a common spiritually that teaches goodness and kindness. It’s possible for both sides of the aisle to at least have a moral ground. Good people need to stand up and speak, and hold firm. It’s gotten this bad and we can see it. At this point if we let it get any worse than it’s totally on us.
Just realized that it is hopeless. For a year I have been waiting for the Republican party to stand up and do what is right, to stick up for their stated values, to stand firm with their own moral code. To at least stand for their Christian values of kindness and charity. Donald Trump is not a Republican, he’s a mean and heartless man, and I’ve never been able to believe that they could not stand firm.
It’s now hopeless. Without the Republican party standing up for unity, truth, justice and statesmanship we are left in the grip of a population whipped into a rage.
Alexander Hamilton forgot one major thing when he created the Electoral College. He didn’t realize what it is like to be trapped inside a population that is whipped into a state of “cabal, intrigue, and corruption” enough to elect a demagogue as president. He didn’t realize that lies would be rampant, that people would believe anything that their demagogue told them, he had no idea about Twitter!
He didn’t realize that the party, that had also be hijacked by the demagogue, would cave in the quest for power. Powerful people would support him in the quest of their own power. Money would follow him. It would be a black hole.
The thing is that Trump supporters will do and believe anything he tells them… and he can tell them in seconds through his Twitter account. He won this election through the smallest margins possible, and brags that it is the biggest victory in history… they believe him. If the press brings in some fact checking they shout that the press is corrupted and liars. It’s a completed trap.
So if something should happen that makes it so Trump is not inaugurated on January 20th there will be a huge riot. They will be mad, and they have guns! They will target the weakest amongst us and it will be very, very ugly. If Trump does not stand down, and it’s unlikely that he will, he will whip his supporters into the worse bloodbath we’ve ever seen in our country.
On the other hand, if Trump is inaugurated we will face a disaster to our values, our freedoms, and our planet’s future. It’s also morally wrong not to stand up against repression, ugliness, and prejudice just because we are afraid.
We are hopelessly in the grips of this heartless and cruel man.
Strangely enough, this realization is a relief. I can stop reaching for hope. It’s very much like receiving a diagnosis of cancer. It means that I have to stop fearing for the future and determine to face each day with strength, grace and intelligence. I need to plan for things to not go well, and yet stay engaged with my community. I need to constantly work to find ways to express myself that will create good outcomes.
This is a fatal flaw in the structure of the Electoral College. We need to give every person in our population an equal vote. The people did get it right this time to the tune of 2.6 million votes ahead for Hillary Clinton. We can’t let the frustrations of middle America rule our country any longer. But this time… our only hope is to start moving in a direction that calms the fears and anger. Do our best to preserve individual freedoms and rule of law. Let the flames die down.
I keep hearing that we need to understand the Trump voter. That somehow they have some mysterious fear and anxiety that we aren’t understanding. That if we look closer, and really listen, we will find some sort of solution to today’s division. But I can’t seem to go there. I can’t seem to find anything that makes any sense. I can’t get my brain around it. Braincells are literally dying in my head as I try.
Or couldn’t until I suddenly got it.
A Trump supporter isn’t in an angst, or a fear, or any sort of thing that can be understood. It has to be experienced. It has to be experienced fully. You have to go down the rabbit hole and hit the insanity head-on.
My breakthrough came from a post on dailykos.com where the writer goes full-out ballistic on Donald Trump. When I got to the sentence where he says, “Because Donald is, yes, nothing but an enormous poop.” I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Then I read it out loud to my husband and when I hit the word, “poop” I found myself slipped irretrievably into the depths of the rabbit hole. I was in and I’m not coming out!
I think we can laugh our way out of this one. Sanity will not work.
You can’t argue with a four-year-old bully. It simply can’t be done. All you can do is say back, “You’re a poop face!” And if enough people get together behind you and shout “You’re a poop face,” then you at least have a standoff.
The Trump supporter is living in a world that they simply can’t understand. Yes, they are frustrated because they literally refuse to educate and improve themeslves. The secret of Donald Trump is that he allowed them to slip into their four year old selves and start yelling insults. “Lock her up.” “Trump the bitch.” The joy and camaraderie that comes with doing that in a big group is impossible to beat. No amount of shaming and arguing is going to get them out of it.
We have an excellent example in the presidency of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy who did the same thing… and won THREE TERMS! Liberals were absolutely powerless against him as he ran vicious campaign after vicious campaign.
Let’s learn our lesson and jump down our own rabbit hole – one we can love, learn and prosper in. Let’s do it in a way that is so funny, so obvious, and so ridiculous that we literally can’t stand ourselves. It’s easy. Start tweeting out, “Trump is a poop face!” Let your four-year-old self free. Say, “Poop!” shout it out loud. See what happens. Election angst will melt away. People will want to join you.
It’s like the Harry Potter Boggart-bashing spell. Instead of shouting “Reddikkulus” shout “Poop!” Wave your wand at the ridiculousness of what’s happened and shout, “Poop!” Trump is a poop face. Let’s all tweet that Trump is a poop face and see what happens. You know full well he won’t be able to stand it. You know it will be fun…
The very worse that can happen is that you’ll understand the Trump supporter. You’ll feel the joy of speaking the truth, of not being politically correct. You’ll feel the camaraderie of fellow poopers. You may even relieve a bit of constipation. You’ll laugh. You’ll start singing again. Maybe if enough of us do it we can even poop the child out of the White House.
Join me in the rabbit hole… it’s warm and cozy in here. Poop!