The Hatemonger
November 23, 2015 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Donald Trump isn't funny anymore. Currently leading the polls in part due to a reaction to the Paris attacks that saw him inciting hatred against Muslim Americans with defamatory lies, Trump has eased off calls for a database of Muslims in favor of a new target, Black Americans, retweeting fake crime statistics provided by neo-nazis and supporting the beating of black protestors at his rallies. Let’s be clear, millions of Americans love Trump and are perfectly fine with him advancing racist lies. writes activist Shaun King, It’s ugly, but this, ladies and gentlemen, is America. 2015.
posted by Artw (789 comments total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
 
This makes me so angry I could spit. Preferably in his eye.
posted by nzero at 9:56 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


We have to protect our way of life, say his supporters, and apparently this is what that looks like.
posted by rtha at 9:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]




David Neiwert is essential reading on how we got to this point. For example, a piece he wrote in 2004/2005: The Rise of Pseudo Fascism (PDF).
posted by metaquarry at 10:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [30 favorites]


*shrugs* I mean, what do you expect? I say this as an American. We get the government we deserve, and time and time again, the people who vote tend to say, "We're okay with shitting our pants."
posted by qcubed at 10:05 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


I added a "Donald Trump" section to my Google News homepage 2 months ago, and I encourage everyone to do the same, because it is amazing. I mean, every single day this guy exceeds my expectations of WTF.
posted by sidereal at 10:06 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


David Atkins: It Really Is Trump’s Republican Party Now
As for Marco Rubio, the leading establishment candidate? Well, after seeing Donald Trump threaten to create (wildly unconstitutional) national registries of Muslims in the United States, Rubio decided to up the ante by pushing for unconstitutional government spying measures in order to shut down any locations where muslims might gather, from mosques to diners. At a time when the anti-establishment GOP candidates are saying increasingly outlandish and terrifying things that, at the risk of fulfilling Godwin’s Law, can only be described as proto-fascist, the leading establishment candidate isn’t pushing back but rather doubling down on the crazy.

By doing so, Rubio is conceding what should by now already be obvious to even the D.C. pundit circruit: the GOP is Donald Trump’s party now. Whether Mr. Trump is the eventual nominee or not, Trumpism (or Carsonism, in its more mild-mannered but equally extremist form) is what GOP voters want. And lagging not far behind is the despised government shutdown huckster Ted Cruz. Collectively they represent 64% of the GOP vote, in addition to the smattering of support garnered by far less prominent anti-establishment candidates. That’s what the party is now. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio combined can’t even manage to pull down a fifth of GOP voters between them.

Journalists need to acknowledge this reality. Trumpism is not a passing fad in an otherwise responsible GOP electorate. It’s all that’s left of a Republican Party that long since gave up any pretense at serious governance and instead became the unapologetic, Koch-owned plutocratic political arm of the resentment-fueled outrage machine created by talk radio, Fox News, and Breitbart.
and also It’s Not the Media—It’s Just the GOP Base
The difference this year isn’t the media. It’s the GOP base. Something has happened over the last 15 years in the American conservative psyche that most journalists and centrist political observers don’t want to admit. Conservatives are locked in an increasingly hostile defensive crouch against reality and demographic trends. Supply-side economics, once unquestioned in its Reagan ascendancy, has been shown to be a failure on multiple levels. President George W. Bush’s signature war in Iraq turned out to be a bungled disaster. Secularism is on the rise, gays can legally get married, and America is fast becoming a minority-majority nation. Climate change and wealth inequality are the two most obvious public policy problems, neither of which has even the pretense of a credible conservative solution. This, combined with the election of the first African-American president, has had a debilitating effect on the conservative psyche, which now sees itself under assault from all directions.

Conservatives have responded by creating their own alternative reality in which rejection of basic facts and decency in the service of ideology is a badge of merit and tribal loyalty. That has created an environment in which the most popular voices tend to be the most aggressive and outlandish.
[...]
This is what the GOP base really is and what it has become. The media has little to do with it, except insofar as it has hidden and failed to report the Republican Party’s unilateral march toward reality-free extremism.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:06 AM on November 23, 2015 [159 favorites]


I'm torn because this ugliness was always there (obviously). Ignoring and denying racism didn't end it. Liberals labor to drag it into the open and expose it.

But now Trump has brought it out and said "Yeah this is awesome." And too many people are cheering.

So...now what?
posted by emjaybee at 10:07 AM on November 23, 2015 [35 favorites]


The sheer number of people who find Trump's brand of xenophobic racism appealing is horrifying. And the way Trump himself fails to acknowledge any responsibility to tell the truth, or to hold his supporters back from actual physical violence, is terrifying. I don't know what to do with the knowledge that I'm living in a culture where this shit isn't marginalized into late night cable access territory.

I wish I could think of something constructive to do about it. I live in a deep red state and I feel entirely helpless to swing things in another direction even by a tiny degree. I'm not quite to the point of vowing to leave the country if the wrong guy gets elected...it's a cliché that nobody ever seems to follow through on and I'm not sure where I'd go. But Trump is successfully making me love my home country less.
posted by Ipsifendus at 10:08 AM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Disgusted and embarassed by what went on in Birmingham. Made the mistake of reading some of the comments about this incident and saw some of the most openly racist stuff I've ever seen in my life.

There was a peaceful demonstration by african american protesters at the state inauguration in Montgomery last year. There was no confrontation about it, no violence. No telling what was said later behind the closed doors of the 100% white, republican slate of officers being sworn in, but at least in public people on both sides acted with dignity.

I only point this out to contrast that with what bottom of what putrid barrel they must be scraping these mouth-breathers who support Trump from.

The idea of Donald Trump scares the ever-loving shit out of me, and I am a white straight Christian cisgendered, mostly Republican-voting middle-aged guy who lives in Alabama. I just don't know anymore. This is beyond politics.
posted by randomkeystrike at 10:09 AM on November 23, 2015 [36 favorites]




He never WAS funny.
posted by town of cats at 10:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [48 favorites]


Fascists historically start off seeming buffoonish. And then turn out to be extremely popular.
posted by PMdixon at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [40 favorites]


Let's be clear, Donald Trump was never funny. What's been funny has been seeing the GOP establishment soil their pants that such an overt con man was stealing all their screen time.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Trump's not really that different than most other Republicans, he just doesn't try to hide who he is and what he's saying behind coded dog-whistles and plausible deniability.
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [64 favorites]


My first reaction to this was to look up "How to deal with Brownshirts". I was disappointed to find a lot of right wing fear-mongering, including some Christian Identity homophobia (that I'm not going to link to).

Which makes me think that it might be a lot to ask for a reasonable, non-extremist response to divisive extremism. At least one that the public consciousness keeps around long enough to be useful the next time they actually show up.
posted by wormwood23 at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okaaaaaaaayyyyy, Republicans, you got us. Consider us punked. Good one. For real, though: who is your actual frontrunner?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Another thing that's funny is forgetting you have this chrome extension installed and reading this page.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:14 AM on November 23, 2015 [27 favorites]


who is your actual frontrunner?

Rubio or Romney
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:14 AM on November 23, 2015


It can't happen here.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:14 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Yeah. I made a pretty conscious decision to not watch the debates, because I don't want to be part of the charade.

Meanwhile, Nate Silver says that the polls are mostly noise at this point, and that we shouldn't be freaking out just yet (lest we go chasing after a false narrative, and accidentally make it real in the process).

I hope he's right.
posted by schmod at 10:15 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


The crazy part is, first the religious right took charge of the Republicans, and we all thought we were at peak stupid. Then came the Tea Partiers, and they made people wistful for the days when crazy was an overliteral interpretation of the bible paired with a repressed/weird sexuality. Now we have Donald, and he makes Tea Partiers seem reasonable by comparison. Just when you think things are a dumb as they can get, along comes something else. I'm terrified about what's next.

It's like the (very) concise history of Russia; "and then things got worse..."
posted by Keith Talent at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2015 [59 favorites]


He kicked off his campaign with "drug traffickers and rapists," which was a gamble. It could have gone wrong - the media could have decided to treat him like a pariah, like they already do with the third parties - but it paid off big, and now he's doubling and tripling down. The only consolation is that he has zero appeal outside the Asshole Uncle demographic, which is about 20% of the country at the most.
posted by theodolite at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


David Neiwert is essential reading on how we got to this point. For example, a piece he wrote in 2004/2005: The Rise of Pseudo Fascism (PDF).

And I will go to my grave insisting that Jonah Goldberg wrote the execrable Liberal Fascism largely to insulate the Republican Party against charges from those observing its relentless march to the right-wing fringe.
posted by Gelatin at 10:17 AM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Ha! And that's not just any pollster, that's Frank Luntz.

And David Duke just gave Trump his sieg heil endorsement.

I don't know. I'm all for making fun of Trump butter faces, but when the Ron Paul brownshirts jump ship and pledge their allegiance to someone this high in the polls, maybe it's time to rethink this buffoon's buffoonery.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:28 PM on August 25

posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:17 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Trump is a complete piece of shit
posted by infini at 10:18 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Easy enough to dismiss Trump for what he says. However, his standing in the as yet limited polls in but a few states indicates a lot about the electorate that favors him, and what this might suggest about Jeffersonian democracy.
While the party elders, ie, the establishment, the money guys, still do not want Trump as their candidate and are in fact making plans to topple him (noted by Wall St Journal), we nice people who belittle Trump might well ask ourselves if it is only the Tea Party types who seem so anti Muslim, anti Black...begin by checking your very own neighborhood, your schools, your workplace, etc. But then we do not support candidates that so openly make clear their dislikes.
posted by Postroad at 10:18 AM on November 23, 2015


Easy enough to dismiss Trump for what he says.

Oh no, I take him very seriously.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, Nate Silver says that the polls are mostly noise at this point

He also said "Donald Trump Won’t Win A War Against Fox News," and look how that turned out.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:21 AM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Another thing that's funny is forgetting you have this chrome extension installed and reading this page.

This improved my day.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:22 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump: Simple Answers for Simple People.
posted by mpbx at 10:24 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Rubio or Romney

Mmm, Rubio I can see, but Romney? That ship has sailed.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


pøsted by infini Trump is a complete piece of shit

I want to improve the little bronze sign in the upper right corner so it reads, "NO TRUMPING ALLOWED"
posted by mattdidthat at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah - this has been on my mind a lot for the past month or so. Not just Trump, per se, but the overall shift to the right we're seeing world-wide. Trump is but a part of that, and the US Tea-Party Brownshirts he's attracting does not bode well. The left needs to come to terms with this, and not play kumbayfuckinyah and we need to be prepared for something massively bad. Don't pin your hopes on Hillary. We can try to play rationality all we want, and I hope to god that she wins, but that doesn't mean the stain that's underneath his hatemongering will go away. As whites become a minority, this sort of shit will grow more vociferous and the left has weakened itself and it needs to find a strong voice and tactics to counteract this, beyond mere rhetoric on websites. That is important, we need to win the "hearts and minds" battle, but I worry about this latent neo-fascism in the US (and abroad).
posted by symbioid at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2015 [31 favorites]


Let's be clear, Donald Trump was never funny. What's been funny has been seeing the GOP establishment soil their pants that such an overt con man was stealing all their screen time.

What's much less funny is the extent to which the rest of the Republican field has responded by dropping the pretense entirely and doing everything they can to mimic Trump's act.
posted by Gelatin at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Today's History Lesson
posted by tonycpsu at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


okay, so, when I started saying this I was just posturing, but now I actually believe it: The ideologies with popular support in America right now are fascism and socialism. Liberalism has no real base in America anymore.

Liberalism — the idea that the abstract freedom to participate in the marketplace is sufficient to make people free — is unpopular with everyone except the managerial class that benefits from it. However, both parties, and most of our governing institutions, are built along liberal lines. The Democratic Party is a liberal party that occasionally endorses mild social welfare measures, while the Republican Party is a liberal party that (somewhat more occasionally) endorses fascist ideas about nationalism and racial purity.

Because our institutions are liberal (despite the lack of support for liberalism among the people in general), non-liberal ideologies are treated as beyond the pale — this has kept liberalism in power, even though no one really likes it. However, the liberals are increasingly losing control over their institutions. Although the Democratic Party remains fundamentally liberal, they're facing significant pushback from socialist-leaning Democrats. And it's obvious to even the most casual observer that the fascist tendencies in the Republican Party are in open revolt against that party's liberal leadership.

As a socialist, I'm... well, I'm excited that socialism is becoming mainstream, but I must admit that I fear that America is a majority fascist nation with a socialist minority, and that once the liberal mask slips off, the face we see under that mask will be genuinely horrific. I'd make a joke about Trump's appearance here, but, well, joking about Trump's hair is a little bit like joking about Hitler's mustache. And, look, you can cry "Godwin's law!" all you want, but even John Ellis Fucking Bush admits that Trump is an overt fascist. The difference between Trump and the fascist leaders of the 20th century is a matter of opportunity, not ideology.

There are many people here who will react to the situation of living in a fascist-and-socialist country with liberal institutions by saying that we must do everything we can to keep the liberal mask in place — that we must support Democratic Party liberals at all costs because they are our only hope for keeping America's true, largely fascist, nature in check. And, well, those people might not be wrong. For my part, though, I just don't think that liberal institutions will continue to get even halfhearted support should the situation in America get more dire. Liberalism offers few comforts for genuinely hungry people — but socialism might. That's why I'm a big fan of those few socialist groups that are more interested in pragmatically going about achieving power than they are in posturing to the left or building capacity for the revolution or whatever.

I'm not (yet) a member of Socialist Alternative (that link goes to an address by Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative's sole elected official, in response to Sanders's speech on democratic socialism), but I give money and support to them as a pinko fellow traveler. One thing that I find particularly heartening about this organization is that they're making a conscious effort to reach out to and work with Sanders supporters, even though most Sanders supporters are social democrats (people who believe that electoral politics can be a lever for change in and of themselves) rather than democratic socialists (people who believe that electoral politics can be part of establishing change, and a remarkably useful tool for organization, but that electoral politics are insufficient by themselves to make real change).

Sanders is not going to win. However, he is doing a fantastic job of helping Democratic Party supporters realize that they are socialists rather than liberals. Hopefully SA (and other sensible socialist organizations) can pick up those supporters after Sanders leaves the race.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2015 [94 favorites]


Just when you think things are a dumb as they can get, along comes something else. I'm terrified about what's next.

Caligula had sex with all his sisters and then made his horse a priest.
posted by colie at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2015 [54 favorites]


I guess it's my turn to go all hipster, but I was comparing Trump to Hitler before it was obvious.

But a different sort of Hitler for an age built on mass media consumerism. The real Hitler had to push his ideas on the German people. He went to jail for them and wrote a book to get his message across, and basically led the German people into his particular vision. Trump is just whatever gets attention. He's not leading anybody. He's the Hitler his brownshirted followers demand - a sewn together human-like skin they can stuff with all their fear and cowardice and petty hatreds and then prop up on a podium and call their leader. If it wasn't Trump, they'd find somebody else.
posted by Naberius at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


My first reaction to this was to look up "How to deal with Brownshirts".

You know who else dealt with Brownshirts?
posted by thelonius at 10:28 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


What's much less funny is the extent to which the rest of the Republican field has responded by dropping the pretense entirely and doing everything they can to mimic Trump's act.

This - Trump might have been funny to the smug, mainstream NPR brand of liberal who thinks that nothing will ever spoil the endless party of abundance and privilege, but he has always been frightening. This is exactly what fascism looks like, and how it happens.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:28 AM on November 23, 2015 [24 favorites]


The idea of Donald Trump scares the ever-loving shit out of me, and I am a white straight Christian cisgendered, mostly Republican-voting middle-aged guy who lives in Alabama. I just don't know anymore. This is beyond politics.

Nothing is beyond politics. Politics is literally life and death for many people, as it affects policies that will have a major impact on their lives.

Also, if this stuff bothers you, stop voting Republican. Please.
posted by dhens at 10:28 AM on November 23, 2015 [84 favorites]


Except for fomenting insurrection among a demographic that has almost unlimited access to weaponry and capable of resorting to outright terrorism in the face of an overwhelmingly large adversary.

Pretty sure that demographic would consider themselves "freedom fighters".

A lot of other groups think that, in the Mideast and the Midwest.
posted by qcubed at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Surely the only possible explanation is that Trump is following the examples of Milgram and Zimbardo in an elaborate spectacle whose purpose is to demonstrate that, yes, it can happen here.
posted by acb at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


How long until leftists start arguing over adventurism again?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2015


This is what the GOP base really is and what it has become. The media has little to do with it, except insofar as it has hidden and failed to report the Republican Party’s unilateral march toward reality-free extremism.

Yeah, but the so-called "liberal media"'s enabling actually has a lot to do with it. That's like saying "oxygen has little to do with fire, except insofar as fire can't burn in its absence."
posted by Gelatin at 10:31 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


All that said, I do think a lot is riding on the Iowa caucuses. Trump's base might be broad-but-shallow, and broad-but-shallow doesn't get you out of the door in the middle of winter in Iowa to go sit under fluorescent lights and argue with cranky old people about politics for hours — and winning Iowa means getting as many of your supporters as possible to do just that. If I had to guess, I'd say whoever has the most support from fundamentalist churches in Iowa is going to win the caucuses. I've read that that may be Ted Cruz, but, well, I don't have deep knowledge of the Republican Party in Iowa, so I can't venture a guess as to whether or not that's actually true.

At least half of the reason I'm posting this comment, incidentally, is to ask people in Iowa, or who have been following Iowa politics closer than me, who seems to be getting the most support from the right-wing churches there.

That said, Trump is tapping into a deeper vein of fascism than any Republican candidate to date, and maybe his base isn't just broad but shallow — maybe he's got legit brownshirts willing to go to the ends of the earth for him, and maybe those people will get him over the top in the caucuses.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]




Donald Trump was never funny, and his recent anti-Muslim commentary won't affect his popularity much. He's only popular with Palin voters (which, unfortunately, is a considerable group). He has a very good chance of getting the nomination, but I can't see him winning the whole thing. He gets 0-10% of hispanic vote; 0-5% of black vote; 99% of racist white votes, he still loses.

I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT DONALD TRUMP ONE BIT (but I don't worry about much.)

who is your actual frontrunner?

This oddschecker site is a useful link. It compares betting odds on all the presidential candidates.

Hillary's been 1-1 or 6-5 forever, but recently her odds shot down to well above even (8/13? 13/18? those are some odd odds...).

Trump is as high as ever now: 11-2 to 8-1, but he's never passed Rubio. He recently passed Bush.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually; unlike what the first link claims; registering certain citizens, putting them in databases, and eventually in camps is as American as apple pie and has been for quite some time.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


H. L. Mencken: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
posted by ubiquity at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


So will Trump get the nomination on the first vote? The winnowing of the candidates is the first detail that reduces the probability. Remember the delegates votes are only committed for the first vote.

So if he does not get the nom on the first vote, what are his chances on the second or (plz plz plz for entertainment value) the 23rd vote?
posted by sammyo at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2015


Caligula had sex with all his sisters and then made his horse a priest.

The funny thing is everyone knows that Caligula made his horse a senator, when he never did. The other funny thing is that almost no one knows that Elagabalus actually made his horse a senator.

It's this kind of shoddy education that leads to candidates like Trump.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2015 [73 favorites]


Okay, well, there's going to come points in all our lives, then, where we have to stand up for what's right at some personal risk. I would argue that many of those moments are now, but I think they're going to become more numerous and obvious as time progresses.

What are we doing now to support the good side? Who is with Black Lives Matter? Who is working on immigrants' rights? Who is calling and writing city council members and other influence-able local politicians? Who is supporting the campaign for $15/hour? Who is standing up for affordable housing and against cuts to food stamps and social benefits?

If we're not, we need to get started now.

Overt fascism and overt, militant white supremacy are apparently becoming acceptable postures now. Are we ready for when there are databases for Muslims? For when mosques get shut down? Are those of us who are US-born, or who are white, or who are non-Muslim ready now to work with people who will need help?

Are we ready, emotionally, for taking the kinds of risks that may come down the pike? We look up to the Righteous Among the Nations and their like, but would we be ready to take those risks? Would we even be ready to risk our employment?

And if we think we'd be ready then, we need to get ready now, because fascism is already here if you're poor and Black, or poor and a trans woman, or poor and undocumented.

If there's a bad tide coming in, we need to get ready now.
posted by Frowner at 10:36 AM on November 23, 2015 [81 favorites]


Not to mention what we are doing to citizens (mostly muslim) of other countries. But of course Trump is beyond the pale? Why? Because he is unable to kill or terrorize with a smile?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:36 AM on November 23, 2015


Elagabalus Is a barrel of laughs.
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]




And honestly, even if Trump became president, it's not as if his movement is a party. Right now he's a man with many grassroots supporters and fellow travelers, but few of them are actually legislators.

All of the fascist regimes in the '30s rode to power not just with the Leader in charge, but also a Party. Who is Trump's party? The Tea Party is not synonymous with Trump's base, and their incompetence in the past few years have sent them on the wane. How many Congressional candidates are saying "I'm with Trump"? A Trump presidency is the stereotypical "Ron Paul/Ralph Nader in the White House" scenario, where he would be beset by difficulties in Congress from all directions. Your "fascist USA" scenario is far less easy than you think.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:41 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump is the Colbert Report made flesh.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:42 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


my concern is how he's continually normalising views that are toxic & harmful.'

The flip side is that he's bringing the important battle of us (progressive, tolerant, peaceful, ecumenical socialists) vs. them (racist, totalitarian, violent Christians) to the national discussion.

Their time is over--these are the last gasps of a dying empire (though it may take a few hundred more years). Pushing that debate--facism vs. communism--into the national discussion is important.

But of course Trump is beyond the pale? Why? Because he is unable to kill or terrorize with a smile?

That would be the most effective and perverse political strategy. Use the racist buffoon to distract people from the true evil work "The Party" is doing.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


[A few comments removed; let's leave metacommentary to MetaTalk and let's sure as shit not go down the "what would be good here is some assassination" road.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


The Tea Party is not synonymous with Trump's base, and their incompetence in the past few years have sent them on the wane.

They unseated one of the most powerful people in the country less than two months ago. Don't run the Tea Party obituary quite yet.
posted by Etrigan at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


There may be enough ordinary people who want 'Fascism USA', but not ruling elites. Capitalism USA is still pretty healthy for them - in fact they're taking a bigger share than ever of the wealth.
posted by colie at 10:43 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


*shrugs* I mean, what do you expect?

Better. I fucking expect better.
posted by ersatzkat at 10:44 AM on November 23, 2015 [19 favorites]


a different sort of Hitler for an age built on mass media consumerism

Zadoplh Hitlebrox
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:46 AM on November 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Better. I fucking expect better.

I used to too, but America in the past decade and a half has disabused me of that quite thoroughly.
posted by qcubed at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess it's my turn to go all hipster, but I was comparing Trump to Hitler before it was obvious.

I've been Cato-ing "Remember Weimar" for a year now but nooooooooo
posted by Apocryphon at 10:47 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


When I was in high school and college in the late 80s, I was dumbfounded and angry about generally condoned attitudes about minorities, gays, pot, and abortion, and I protested and engaged cultures alien to me and escorted women past abortion protesters, participated in a civile rights march that had been turned out begfor ...had I known the conservatism of this country would linger so, I would have rebelled with ten times the ardor.

Naturally, over the last ten years, my appreciation for how slowly any society evolves...and that minorities and women first made advances in some corporate sectors and that such advancement is only now happening in politics on a national level...I know that there has always been a gap between how people truly behave in a polling booth and what they profess they'll do.

These next cycles are unprecedented...it's exciting stuff really.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cato the Younger at The South Lawn: It Can Happen Here, Unless...
Trump’s supporters and their sympathizers are not stupid. They are not crazy. They are angry and afraid. They are a product of the current economic crisis and the government’s tepid response to it. They see flat or declining wages and slow job growth in their communities. They see the good jobs they had being offshored, leaving them to work at Walmart for nine dollars an hour. They know people who have lost their homes to foreclosure because of job loss. They know people who have had to file bankruptcy because of lack of health insurance. They are a people who look backward and see their lives being materially better than what their kids will get.

Bluntly put, these people are those the recovery has left behind, and Trump’s appeal to them is that he gives a simple, straightforward explanation about what the problems facing them are and what the solutions to those problems require. In a prior age or a different country, the labor movement would stand in the gap here, organizing these folks and pushing for changes to public policy that would arrest or even reverse the conditions that have made things worse for these people. Instead, with the unions’ power at a historical nadir and no other working class political institutions, it’s not a surprise that a well-groomed salesman with a message that’s compatible with existing narratives is able to go far.
[...]
The only anvil upon which Trumpism can be broken is a strong leftist political movement that advances the interests of the working class. Nothing else will suffice.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [67 favorites]


Just when you think things are a dumb as they can get, along comes something else. I'm terrified about what's next.

traditionally the next step is that all the people who were forced to register their race and/or ethnicity are put onto trains and never seen again.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


And honestly, even if Trump became president, it's not as if his movement is a party. Right now he's a man with many grassroots supporters and fellow travelers, but few of them are actually legislators.

Just because they're not publicly supporting him doesn't mean that they don't largely agree with him. There's a ton of legislators (at both the federal and state level), governors, and other politicians who regularly vote for and express opinions very close to his.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think we may be underestimating how pervasive these violently white supremacist/Christian supremacist attitudes are, and how bad it is that they are being rendered highly visible and respectable. Here in Minneapolis, I'm relatively insulated from all this, because I live in a place that is basically liberal as long as you're white. But you don't need a party if what's happening is more and more of the city council and more and more of the police and more and more of the local mayors and more and more small time political figures decide that it's respectable to act in overtly racist ways, which is what I see happening.

I could easily see a scenario where liberal enclaves and our part of the internet continue as usual, but on the ground, for anyone who's not white and not in the enclave, things go to shit.
posted by Frowner at 10:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [49 favorites]


For so many years the right touted the benefits of someone who was not a Washington insider, so real candidates would claim it, although they wouldn't
Go 'full non-Washington insider'. Only the Green Party and Ralph Nader have ever managed to be viewed as non-Washington insiders in a relevant way before, and the Green Party really has never been relevant, just managed to get enough signatures to make a debate or two... Point being, Trump declared some sort of political allegiance towards the Republican Party - enough so they gave him time, but little enough so that the threat of him going 3rd party was legitimate enough that they had to give him more time. The end result of a xenophobic populist being unrestrained within the xenophobic political right that has been nurtured as such for years is that the right has no choice but to pull themselves towards the chasm of bigotry, racism, and faschism even more than they were headed there before.

Donald Trump will either grow the lurking hydra of institutionalized racism ingrained within the Republican Party to the light of day and folks will either walk away with a better understanding of themselves, or he will steer them off that cliff completely and we will finally see how many members the enemy really has. Either way, he is doing an amazing job of showing us all the true nature of the rebublican electorate.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:53 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not particularly concerned about Trump being elected into any position of power. However, giving a voice to the extremism he represents is dangerous and hurtful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


'My fear isn't Trump "becoming President"; my concern is how he's continually normalising views that are toxic & harmful.'

This is the issue that is not going away, no matter who wins in 2016. Trump becoming President is a disaster that may or may not occur, but this is like climate change - it is happening *right now*, and it's not a one-off thing.

Fascism and racism, as have been pointed out upthread, are as American as apple pie. I know a woman whose grandparents met in a WWII internment camp for Japanese-Americans. That is a thing that still touches lives today. I am obviously of Middle Eastern descent. Due to my particular age, Desert Storm is when I lost faith in how we do things here.

It's not merely that it *can* happen here. It did. A lot of people thought it was a good idea. A lot of people still do, and this keeps getting pushed more and more into the mainstream.

Upon preview, (and whoa this thread moves fast):
Frowner's got it. This isn't a case of 'defeat one guy and things return to normal.' This has been the normal for some demographics since day one. The whole thing getting a lot worse is all too plausible.

Also:
Their time is over.

The thing is, their time will never really be over. There will always be people who *want* this - a certain amount of the population who want the easy answer, and do not care what the truth actually is because they are too afraid, too angry and not capable of grasping the complex causes underlying their troubles. Figuring out what to do about that has to take into account that it's not something that will die off, but is an ongoing societal concern.
posted by mordax at 10:57 AM on November 23, 2015 [31 favorites]


There may be enough ordinary people who want 'Fascism USA', but not ruling elites. Capitalism USA is still pretty healthy for them - in fact they're taking a bigger share than ever of the wealth.

Keep in mind that IG Farben, Daimler-Benz, Krups, and other huge German industrial concerns were enthusiastic supporters of the Nazis, and profited massively from their connections to the Reich via contracts and access to forced labor.

Capitalism in its purist and most advanced forms is innately fascistic and hostile to democracy. The surveillance state and the militarization of state and local police occurring in tandem with "disruptive", peon-making economic models and the gutting of the social safety net is not an accident of history - the rich want it all, and are perfectly happy to crush whoever opposes that. This fight happens cyclically, and Americans are decidedly back in it.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [38 favorites]


Trump may have already had his pants-down moment, though. I suspect this will turn the tide against him quite considerably, seeing as he's probably claimed that the home of the bulk of NYC's first responders were having block parties on 9/11.

Trump, buddy, I know that the 9/11 Card is a common stunt in campaign gymnastics, but you really blew it on the dismount.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Capitalism in its purist and most advanced forms is innately fascistic and hostile to democracy.

Then why are they often found together?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's getting harder to pretend that the Republican base is moderate anymore. It is increasingly clear that many care more about the 2nd amendment than the 1st, and are vaguely inspired by racist vitriol.

People often lament how Americans are too divided. I say fuck that. We have given the radical right a seat at the table for far too long. Finally, a fatuous demagogue like Trump has traded in the dog whistle for a foghorn. Now we can hear it loud and clear. I realize that voice could make his insanity more respectable. That may be a necessary step if we're going to defeat it.

Yes, that insanity is itself destructive, even if Trump never becomes president. But it's plenty destructive now, even if it isn't prominent. I guess I'm more concerned with defeating it than keeping it quiet.
posted by andrewpcone at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Then why are they often found together?

OK, I'll elaborate - genuine representative democracy where the state acts in the interests of average, working citizens. All you have to do is look at the current Congress to see what kind of legislatures tend to exist in end-stage capitalist "democratic" states.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:01 AM on November 23, 2015


Trump may have already had his pants-down moment, though.

There is nothing about what Trump has said this weekend that will change anyone's opinion of him.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:02 AM on November 23, 2015 [29 favorites]


It's getting harder to pretend that the Republican base is moderate anymore.

Anymore? I remember (though only vaguely, as I was a child) Richard Nixon getting re-elected in 1972.

We're seeing even today the echoes of the "Southern Strategy" Nixon pursued.
posted by Gelatin at 11:03 AM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


...you really blew it on the dismount.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM


The reason I don't share your conviction is because I know people who also remember celebrations on 9/11. Fourteen years is a long time for mass delusion to take deep, deep root.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:03 AM on November 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


Rachel Weiner: Meeting about Virginia mosque exposes deep divide
[Samer] Shalaby was giving a presentation to a packed room Tuesday night on the proposed center — at 8,000 square feet, it would be more than twice the size of the current mosque — when the protesters stood up.

“Nobody, nobody, nobody wants your evil cult in this county,” a bearded, tattooed man who identified himself as a former Marine said to scattered applause, according to a video posted online by the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. “I will do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen, because you are terrorists.”

The would-be mosque-builders were accused of planning a site for Syrian refugees or illegal immigrants. Attendee Elizabeth Wiley, 59, said that one of the protesters threatened her.

“He said, ‘Yes, ma’am, I am threatening all of you,’ ” she recalled.
[...]
Fawiza El-Ahwal, 38, said she had never felt uncomfortable in her 28 years in the area. But at the meeting, she said, the man sitting next to her said it was his country and she should leave.

“That really triggered something in me,” she said, “because my brother served [in the Marines]. When I hear, ‘Go home,’ I think of Fredericksburg.”

Along with Muslim immigrants such as El-Ahwal, whose family moved from Lebanon when she was young, hundreds of refugees have settled in the Fredericksburg area. At one point in 2010, churches said they couldn’t keep up with the newcomers. According to pastor Don Rooney of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 108 refugees came to the area this year through Catholic Charities.

“Fredericksburg is a place that people can still kind of afford to live,” he said. But “the county has a tendency to be more rural, a lot less tolerant; there’s not a lot of diversity in spots.”

Rooney was at the meeting and “appalled,” he said, especially since the various religious communities in the area have strong relationships with each other.

“A lot of them identified as veterans; I guess there’s some real painful experiences there,” he said.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


If he wins the nomination, Trump will have a party — the Republican Party.

The Tea Party as currently configured is best understood as a (very effective) entryist group. I'm a big fan of entryism as a tactic — hell, in this very thread I'm promoting a group that's got historical organizational ties to Militant Tendency, the Marxist group that used entryist tactics to take control of parts of the UK Labour Party back in the 70s and 80s. I don't blame the Tea Party for being entryists. I blame them for being fascists.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


The only anvil upon which Trumpism can be broken is a strong leftist political movement that advances the interests of the working class.

If people voted their interests, we would have had a Socialist government long ago. The US has a 100 year history of poisoning that well and demonizing any non-capitalist movement. At least when the unions could point to jobs, they had a fighting chance. What do you go when globalization moves ask the jobs overseas?

Trump would be less of a problem if the other Republican candidates would call him on his lies. Unfortunately, too many of them have bought into the plot to sell fear in order to get elected and are saying watered down versions of the same thing.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I suspect this will turn the tide against him quite considerably, seeing as he's probably claimed that the home of the bulk of NYC's first responders were having block parties on 9/11.

"Oh, he doesn't mean all New Jerseyans. Just the ones I don't like anyway."
posted by Etrigan at 11:04 AM on November 23, 2015


Capitalism in its purist and most advanced forms is innately fascistic and hostile to democracy.

I agree, but this is tempered by its love of stability. Wall Street can't keep up the year after year growth for Apple and Goldman Sachs if Trump is cruising around with his hair starting wars with China or whatever.
posted by colie at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am deeply uncomfortable with comparisons to the Nazis. They are thrown around too lightly and inherently cheapen the sheer scope of the evil acts committed by Hitler and his henchmen. But that doesn't give lesser nods to fascism a pass until they rise to Holocaust levels

Every time I've dared broach the similarities with my friends, I've been summarily shut down. We've made the subject of Hitler taboo. But the parallels are alarmingly obvious, exactly as pointed out in tonycpsu's Today's history lesson link. What good does it do to understand history if we're not allowed to put that understanding to use? At what point will it be okay to discuss this history in any context other than solemn remembrance?
posted by HotToddy at 11:08 AM on November 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


The only anvil upon which Trumpism can be broken is a strong leftist political movement that advances the interests of the working class. Nothing else will suffice.

So basically that's saying the US is doomed -- because if that's the only way to stop the Trump Trainwreck, then it won't be stopped.
posted by aramaic at 11:08 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Capitalism in its purist and most advanced forms is innately fascistic and hostile to democracy.

This is the sort of vague bromide that discredits the left. Capitalist societies do not reliably empower Trumps any more than non-capitalistic ones, either historically or "innately."

If we bundle the fight against Trump's neofascism with laments about capitalism generally, we'll give him as much ammo as ISIS or white supremacy or anything else.

Stop with the absurdities. This is not a goddamned social theory seminar. This is an actual threat of fascism.
posted by andrewpcone at 11:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


Capitalism, as an engine for concentrating wealth, gradually slides from being vaguely democratic to oligarchy to absolutism as the "it takes money to make money" effect it establishes moves power into fewer and fewer hands. The only reason why capitalism coincided with democracy for so long is that the capitalist governments of the West during the 20th century supported democracy as a tactic to keep Bolshevism in check. Bolshevism is no longer a threat to capital, and capital has largely completed the task of concentrating the wealth of the world into a few hands, and so capitalism and democracy are now largely going their separate ways.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [53 favorites]


I suspect this will turn the tide against him quite considerably, seeing as he's probably claimed that the home of the bulk of NYC's first responders were having block parties on 9/11.

If only. Seems like Trump's "recollections" are just a little bit contagious.
posted by palomar at 11:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is not a goddamned social theory seminar.
It would be more wrong if it was.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wall Street can't keep up the year after year growth for Apple and Goldman Sachs if Trump is cruising around with his hair starting wars with China or whatever.

At what point will it be okay to discuss this history in any other context but solemn remembrance?


It's good that these two posts were made in succession. The thing about Godwinning is that it relies upon one historical model, which is often formed from lazy stereotypes derived from a pop cultural understanding of history. There were multiple fascist states in power, and not all of them operated in the same way. How many foreign wars did Francoist Spain, or Iron Guard Romania start?

You can't be too reliant upon a single case study, because not only does it make your argument sound hyperbolic (and thus, dismissible), it might blind you to other ways in which history plays out.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


The reason I don't share your conviction is because I know people who also remember celebrations on 9/11.

they probably remember them taking place in Palestine. Trump is saying they were happening in New Jersey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:12 AM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


goddamned social theory is what explains why liberals in the Democratic Party are disliked. It doesn't generate that effect. Don't blame the microscope for the germs you can see under it. People are not going to rally under the flag of liberalism anytime soon, because there's nothing there for them. Liberalism isn't Tinkerbell — clapping loud and pretending hard isn't going to bring it back to life.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:13 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Trump is funny. Hitler was funny when he was competently skewered - Chaplin. Humor is a weapon when wielded correctly. Chaplin would have been useless as a soldier, but in reducing Hitler into the slandering that was his core, he was more powerful than a thousand soldiers. Tina Fey (thank you) helped keep Palin out of national office. The problem is how to best skewer him and to stop telling toupee jokes.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Despite my better judgment, I am not 100% convinced that Trump is at all serious about actually becoming President. If I was an egotist like Trump, if I was pushing 70, if I had his billions at my disposal and I saw a nation around me of deliberately-undereducated rubes ripe for the picking, doing what he's doing would be tempting -- shaking the American tree as hard as I could. He's not the only one looking at modern movement conservatism as a giant Ponzi scheme and looking to profit from it and have a grand old time as the center of America's attention.

Trump is not a True Believer. Someone like the Koches or Sheldon Adelson is tied to a very specific set of political/financial/religious beliefs and has an overriding compulsion to transform America accordingly, whether it's Destroying All Regulation Everywhere, Continuous War Until Israel's Completely Safe, Bringing Jesus Back To Rule Us All or all of the above. Trump has shown very little interest in such ultraconservative crusades; much like the dwarves of Narnia, the Trumps are for the Trumps. Mind you, he has correctly identified those who _are_ spear-carriers in those crusades as being easily duped, easily led and easily relieved of their spare cash, and has correctly identified the kinds of phrasings that resonate in their xenophobic ears. (He's not the only one -- many others have described Ben Carson's campaign as appearing to be more of a fundraising tour than an actual political campaign, among others. Though I suspect Carson is more likely to truly believe that God will put him on Pennsylvania Avenue in the end.)

This is not to paint Trump or his soundbites or his inflammatory rhetoric as at all admirable or desirable. He's a bird's turd. But Trump is not the cause of this madness -- he is a symptom, one of forty years of think tanks and media deregulation and talk radio barrages and the Mirror Universe Media Streams. He didn't build this runaway fire truck but he's happy to sit up front and take the wheel. It will be interesting to view his inevitable exit strategy -- whether he will choose to back down gracefully or choose to deliberately flame out. Knowing Trump, safe money's on the latter.
posted by delfin at 11:15 AM on November 23, 2015 [22 favorites]


The reason I don't share your conviction is because I know people who also remember celebrations on 9/11.

they probably remember them taking place in Palestine. Trump is saying they were happening in New Jersey.


Hence the next line about mass delusion.

TheNewWazoo is not the only person who knows people who are absolutely certain those happened in New Jersey. I've had people tell me with absolute certainty that there are photographs of people having those celebrations with the Towers falling in the background.
posted by Etrigan at 11:16 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Stop with the absurdities. This is not a goddamned social theory seminar. This is an actual threat of fascism.

I spent 8 hours a day, every working day for year cataloging SS deportation and asset seizure documents for the Holocaust Museum. If I'm being a bit reactionary, it's because I am genuinely - and I think rightly - frightened by the direction the US is heading in.

I don't believe capitalism uniquely produces monsters like Hitler, Pol Pot, or Pinochet, but it has an excellent track record in midwifing them into being.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:18 AM on November 23, 2015 [66 favorites]


Now Carson totally remembers it too.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:20 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


There are some historians around here, so:

Are there historical examples of protofascist movements (especially in the U.S.) which failed to ascend to actual political power? If so, how and why did they fail, and are there ways to apply their lessons to the Trump situation?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:23 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, the actual governor of New Jersey (and fellow GOP candidate) doesn't have the balls to actually say it absolutely didn't happen:
"It was a pretty emotional time for me because, as I've mentioned before, there's family involved, there were, you know, friends involved and so it was a pretty harrowing time," he said. "I do not remember that, and so it's not something that was part of my recollection. I think if it had happened, I would remember it, but, you know, there could be things I forget, too."
posted by zombieflanders at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, Christie still wants to be President, too. It's a shame he doesn't have the balls to do what's right.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Are there historical examples of protofascist movements (especially in the U.S.) which failed to ascend to actual political power?

I'm thread-sitting now and will leave, but:

Silver Legion of America
German American Bund
posted by ryanshepard at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


"It could of happened if that would help me in the polls slightly, I guess."
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


Genuine question, weren't we having this same exact conversation in the Sarah Palin days? If there's a significant difference between then and now, I'd be interested in knowing what it is, because it seems essentially the same. The only real difference I can ascertain is that the GOP has dropped any pretense of being separate from the tea party but everyone pretty much knew that anyway in 2008 (ie, everyone wanted to distance themselves from Bush and so everyone called themselves an independent, but they were still effectively republicans; and it was at that time that the GOP took the hard turn toward some really appalling party-sanctioned outright racism/sexism). In other words, it's just as horrifying, but it's not a surprise. This is what they've been doing for the last 8 years. Trump is just the latest spokesperson.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trump is saying they were happening in New Jersey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 13:12 on 11/23


I hate to be the one to break it to you, but accusations of a Fifth Column are incredibly popular and almost never have a downside. See: Andrew Sullivan (reenacting the self hating homosexual's attraction to fascism because it bolsters a fragile masculinity and has snappy uniforms)
posted by PMdixon at 11:31 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


triggerfinger, sure, but a lot more people wanted Barack Obama to be POTUS than want Hillary Rodham Clinton.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:32 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


At the time, Palin was the vice presidential candidate, and so on the side of the party establishment. (I'm still fuzzy on why her post-2008 career has been such a dud.) The difference here is that Trump is running as an insurgent candidate against the party, dropping real talk bombs and hard facts, a resistance leader against their old order. It's a riskier gambit with higher payoffs, as the American people love an underdog, and his efforts seem to be reaping in those rewards so far.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:33 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Genuine question, weren't we having this same exact conversation in the Sarah Palin days? If there's a significant difference between then and now, I'd be interested in knowing what it is, because it seems essentially the same. The only real difference I can ascertain is that the GOP has dropped any pretense of being separate from the tea party but everyone pretty much knew that anyway in 2008 (ie, everyone wanted to distance themselves from Bush and so everyone called themselves an independent, but they were still effectively republicans; and it was at that time that the GOP took the hard turn toward some really appalling party-sanctioned outright racism/sexism). In other words, it's just as horrifying, but it's not a surprise.

We're further down the terrible, terrible road the GOP turned down in 2008, and thus this represents a more credible and realistic threat than it did seven years ago.
posted by Dysk at 11:35 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


I still think he's trolling.

Past elections have proven that even a mediocrity can become president, so why would that hold any special appeal for a living ego like Trump, when he could become history's greatest ruseman instead?

Anyway this theory helps me sleep at night
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:35 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Palin wasn't a billionaire.
posted by colie at 11:35 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm still fuzzy on why her post-2008 career has been such a dud.

No actual interest in doing anything other than letting the money roll in.
posted by Artw at 11:35 AM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Genuine question, weren't we having this same exact conversation in the Sarah Palin days?

Sarah Palin was a side conversation about the race in 2008, despite the prospect of her backstopping a 72-year-old President. And most of her real crazy didn't come out until after that race. She never even bothered trying in 2012, so we weren't having similar conversations about someone with an actual chance at being the next President.
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some short reasons why this is different from Palinism:
  • Palin was unqualified to participate in politics at a national level. She has enough low cunning to rule a high school or a small state, but not enough to compete at larger scales. Trump, who was born into a position of real power and so is used to ruling at larger scales, has vastly more canniness and low cunning than Palin did.
  • If McCain hadn't plucked Palin from Alaskan obscurity, no one outside of Alaska would have ever noticed her. Trump has decades of media experience and media exposure to his credit, and so is much better able to take advantage of the opportunities available to him than Palin was.
  • Palin doesn't have money, and so she's beholden to the people she can fundraise from. Trump has money and is beholden to no one.
  • Palin was a Vice Presidential candidate. The liberal McCain picked her to sheepdog Republican fascists back into the mainline liberal fold by giving a relatively harmless, inept fascist a more or less meaningless position in his campaign. With Trump, fascism is at the head of the ticket.
  • We are eight more years into the Great Recession than we were when McCain/Palin ran. Peoples' nerves are more frayed now than they were then, and they're more open to fascist solutions that let them blame people of color and foreigners for the social problems caused by our long economic decline.
  • Likewise, fascist organizations are, simply put, better organized than they were then.
Hope that helps...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:41 AM on November 23, 2015 [61 favorites]


No actual interest in doing anything other than letting the money roll in.

Between her, Huckabee, Carson, and maybe Trump doing the same, perhaps it's the American spirit of free enterprise and self-promotion that will prevent a true believer demagogue from taking power. Those who rise to the top using those tactics of charisma and crazy talk are really just in it to win the big bucks from the book deals, lecture circuits, and other post-defeat memorabilia. They are there because they're the best salespeople who know what restive demographic to market to. But they don't have any actual interest in governing. On the other hand, true believers such as Pat Buchanan fall flat- they fail to moving masses, they are theorists who are bad at the sales pitch. And so, they are kept safely from power. So the American system works. Maybe capitalism really will defeat fascism in the end???
posted by Apocryphon at 11:41 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyway this theory helps me sleep at night

Even if he is trolling, his supporters sure as shit aren't.
posted by PMdixon at 11:42 AM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


TheNewWazoo is not the only person who knows people who are absolutely certain those happened in New Jersey. I've had people tell me with absolute certainty that there are photographs of people having those celebrations with the Towers falling in the background.

....Huh. That is actually a new one on me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:42 AM on November 23, 2015


This is what they've been doing for the last 8 years. Trump is just the latest spokesperson.

They took control of state legislatures and the redistricting process, giving themselves control over a majority of governorships, state legislatures, and the US House. Those same changes make it essentially impossible to retake many of those seats until 2020 at the earliest. There's a hell of a lot of major damage those can do, and a lot of fixes they can prevent.

So now, having given themselves free reign to sabotage government (or at least the parts meant to help anybody but the rich), conservatives have turned around and created "grassroots" movements like the Tea Party to convince Americans that government was the problem all along.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:42 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


So hey, can I ask something of my fellow Mefites? I'm (non-observant) Muslim-American, and when I saw Trump calling for a goddamn database of Muslims, I was so angry and horrified I nearly burst into tears. Because post-9/11, I was 12 years old and I knew my history, and I was genuinely worried that the US would repeat history and decide internment of citizens was a good idea. It didn't happen then, and as shitty as the following years of Islamophobia were, I didn't often feel actively unsafe.

I'm feeling pretty goddamn unsafe now, seeing a presidential candidate go full fascist. And one thing that helps, that really genuinely helps, is to see Jewish-Americans and Japanese-Americans saying "uh, wtf, we've been down this road before and it's horrifying, and we won't let it happen to anyone else." Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that they won't, that they know what it was like to be in this position. So I'm asking you, if you hear someone supporting Trump on this, can you please, please have our backs and shoot that shit down?

Because it's not fucking funny any more, if it ever was.
posted by yasaman at 11:48 AM on November 23, 2015 [213 favorites]


Also Trump is not actually totally daft like Palin. I mean in that way where you watch 20 seconds of someone talking, and in Palin's case her eyes sometimes didn't match up with her mouth like one of the Muppets.
posted by colie at 11:48 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


I suspect this will turn the tide against him quite considerably, seeing as he's probably claimed that the home of the bulk of NYC's first responders were having block parties on 9/11.

People have been saying this for months now every time he says something hateful or ludicrous: first he was finished because he made the "immigrants are rapists" comment, and then he was finished when he got into a fight with Fox news, and then he was finished when he made the comment about John McCain not being a war hero, and now he's finished because of the "celebrations in Jersey City" comment, on and on. All of it just solidified his base; the more outrageous he became, the more his supporters saw him as the only one unafraid to speak the Truth. The only thing that could finish him right now is if he used a baby as a human shield a la Greg Stillson, and I'm not even so sure about that, quite frankly.
posted by holborne at 11:51 AM on November 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


This is why 'civility' is such a goddamned dangerous fucking norm, because ironically enough it demands that civilization disarm.
posted by PMdixon at 11:51 AM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


You can prove that there weren’t Muslims thronging the Jersey shore to cheer the ruins of the World Trade Center, but you can’t prove that Donald Trump didn’t see Super-8 footage of a Jersey warehouse show of a Kharijite Supertramp cover band playing in front of a van airbrushed with the words “Death to Breakfast in America”. You can’t prove Donald Trump isn’t Batman. You can’t prove he’s remembering a different timestream that he changed using the Icarus Device.

- Jeb Lund: Donald Trump doesn't care what's true, just what his base feels is true
posted by ndfine at 11:52 AM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Between WW1 and WW2, the American attitude toward Mussolini was pretty positive. And there may have been an aborted attempt at a fascist coup within the US (the "Business Plot") as a response to the New Deal.

History repeats itself.
posted by Foosnark at 11:53 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Palin was a Vice Presidential candidate. The liberal McCain picked her to sheepdog Republican fascists back into the mainline liberal fold by giving a relatively harmless, inept fascist a more or less meaningless position in his campaign. With Trump, fascism is at the head of the ticket.

McCain was 72 years old at the time of the 2008 election, and has become more and more visibly decrepit over the last 7 years. The "meaningless position" he gave Palin could've easily become a rather lofty throne.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:56 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't have a perfect theory or method regarding this, but I feel in my gut that the way for socialism to trump (haha) fascism among the angry working class is to join them and redirect their anger. KYnect is, perhaps, an example of how this works. Many people on insurance from KYnect have little to no idea that their program emerged from the ACA - the branding choice was chosen specifically to allow people who think they hate the ACA to sign up for much needed insurance.

One of the main challenges we face is the constant trumpeting (haha) of "FEAR FEAR FEAR." My therapist tells me that you shouldn't make any major life decisions within about 3-6 months of some sort of major loss or trauma - like a break-up or a death. We tend to make huge decisions when we, as a nation, are upset. I think sometimes the politicians just wait for tragic events to occur to push hard on their pet laws. Frightened, traumatized people don't make good long term decisions and can be controlled by the people making them feel frightened and traumatized.

To some extent, what needs to happen is for people to go to the churches and workplaces and bars of these frightened, xenophobic people and redirect their fear towards things that actually serve them well. "You're right, our jobs are all going oversees - we should be mad at the bosses who are deciding to do that." What have you.

I don't have a solution for racism other than to try and make frightened white people try and recognize that they have more power against the real people oppressing them (the very bosses and politician and news channels) they support when they work with other people who are being oppressed by those people. That's a harder sell.

These are frightening times. Our opponents are creating and encouraging fear. We're stronger if we're able to put the fear aside and make some plans and decisions that are long term and designed to change the direction of their fear and anger instead of replacing the fear and anger. I don't think that's going away.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is the best thing that could possibly happen for the Democrats. The real elites in this country are just as afraid of Trump as they are afraid of Bernie. They'll do anything to stop him from becoming president. An unpredictable president who changes policies on a whim would be an utter catastrophe for the financial markets.
posted by miyabo at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2015


> I suspect this will turn the tide against him quite considerably,

Let Josh Marshall help you here:
Next time Donald Trump says something outrageous, offensive, ridiculous or demonstrably unconstitutional and you find yourself saying he's now going to decline in the polls, let me help. No. That's not going to happen.

Some people seem to be having a hard time detecting this pattern.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [28 favorites]


The reason it doesn't matter whether the 9/11 thing is true or not is that large numbers of voters want it to be true. They're not interested in whether Trump is lying or the actual facts; they're interested in the warm emotional buzz they get from believing this kind of thing. People believe this shit because it makes them feel special and righteous and powerful, but also embattled and victimized and deserving of pity.
posted by Frowner at 11:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [50 favorites]


2008 had 7 fewer years of unnecessary unending recession.

Bush has a lot to answer for, and if I ever hear anyone say both parties are basically the same in my presence I may need to be physically restrained.
posted by PMdixon at 11:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm very interested in the general topic here--which (in my mind) can be stated as: Why does the appearance of certain issues and problems lead to a backlash, often primarily among conservative voters, where support for realistic attempts to solve the problem has the legs kicked out from under it while support for the very policies that led to the problem in the first place grows by leaps and bounds.

In the case of the OP: Why does the growing threat of DAESH/ISIS impel some people to up their attacks on refugees. Why do we think attacking the same poor victims that DAESH is already attacking (er, that's exactly why they're refugees now), is somehow an attack on DAESH?

Or: DEASH bad. Must invade with army and blow them to smithereens NOW! Without any apparent recognition that the very reason we have DAESH as a problem now, is because of the last time we went marching into that region and blew everything to smithereens.

John Judis tackled a similar question in the recent article The Paradoxical Politics of Inequality.
[O]ver the last fifteen years, Americans have become increasingly concerned, and even angry, about gaps between the very wealthy and everyone else.

Yet, except among Democratic primary voters, that concern has not translated into increased and widespread support for government action to reduce income inequality. During the Great Recession and its aftermath, overall support for programs to reduce inequality has actually dropped. That suggests a disturbing disconnect between the concern about income inequality and the proposals to reduce it . . .
Worth a read. I think he has at least some of the answers.
posted by flug at 11:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Imagine a future where Trump is required to negotiate with someone like Putin.
posted by poe at 12:00 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


People believe this shit because it makes them feel special and righteous and powerful, but also embattled and victimized and deserving of pity.

Curdled entitlement.
posted by aramaic at 12:00 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Despite my better judgment, I am not 100% convinced that Trump is at all serious about actually becoming President.

I'm not either. I still think he may be running a false flag campaign on behalf of someone else. Meanwhile, the longer he stays in the more he can undermine the "regular" GOP. What will be interesting I think is if the GOP party bosses manage to get rid of Trump in favor of someone they can manage, and he then starts running as an independent. Would enough Republican voters follow him to prevent the GOP candidate from getting elected, or would they just decide to stay home and not vote out of spite? The result might be same either way.

I still think he's trolling.

If he is, I guess I'm still wondering how he'll walk back some of the ugly and extreme stuff he's said. It's gotten way past the point where he can at some future date say, "Psych! Just kidding!" and expect not to be digging himself out of a massive excrement-filled hole for the rest of his life.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:02 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


via fivethirtyeight: Right now, he has 25 to 30 percent of the vote in polls among the roughly 25 percent of Americans who identify as Republican. (That’s something like 6 to 8 percent of the electorate overall.

It's a small, loud, vocal, extreme minority. The less coverage we give them, the better we're going to be.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:02 PM on November 23, 2015


Palin was the embryo. Trump is the fetus. Let's all hope and pray that the pregnancy doesn't come to full term.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:03 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's a small, loud, vocal, extremely small minority.

This reasoning drives me nuts every time I hear it. How do you think revolutionary parties start?
posted by PMdixon at 12:04 PM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


It's a small, loud, vocal, extremely small minority.

They are certainly loud and vocal, and even small, but extremely small? Six to eight percent of the electorate is a hell of a lot of people. And with an average presidential election turnout of less than 60% in recent decades, it's potentially (assuming his supporters vote) well over 10%. And this is looking at current figures - if he wins the nomination, he will pick up support from Republican voters who were backing other candidates in the primaries.

This is not an extremely small minority.
posted by Dysk at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


>> It's a small, loud, vocal, extremely small minority.

> This reasoning drives me nuts every time I hear it. How do you think revolutionary parties start?


also, "revolution" as such isn't necessary for the Tea Party vanguard, since power under our style of electoral democracy tends to fall to the best organized and best funded plurality rather than to the majority as such.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:12 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, I get it - for most people who don't have a behavioral health issue the idea that a large fraction of the other monkeys around them are basically vicious and dangerous is a really unpleasant one. At some point tho, the assumption of good faith is just willful blindness. I have literally lost count of the number of incidents that "everyone knew" would doom Trump. At some point you have to face it: cruelty is popular.
posted by PMdixon at 12:16 PM on November 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


If we bundle the fight against Trump's neofascism with laments about capitalism generally, we'll give him as much ammo as ISIS or white supremacy or anything else.

Is Trump reading this thread? shit
posted by Greg Nog at 12:21 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


The mythical Average American has a lot of beliefs that are pretty god damned awful. Trump has simply taken this and (literally) run with it rather than pretending it doesn't exist.

Bernie Sanders gets called a populist but when you get down to it no one is more of a populist than Donald Trump.
posted by tommasz at 12:26 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Palin was the embryo chestburster. Trump is the fetus xenomorph.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:27 PM on November 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


False flag, yes. For Clinton? I have wondered.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 12:29 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm feeling pretty goddamn unsafe now, seeing a presidential candidate go full fascist. And one thing that helps, that really genuinely helps, is to see Jewish-Americans and Japanese-Americans saying "uh, wtf, we've been down this road before and it's horrifying, and we won't let it happen to anyone else." Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that they won't, that they know what it was like to be in this position. So I'm asking you, if you hear someone supporting Trump on this, can you please, please have our backs and shoot that shit down?

Because it's not fucking funny any more, if it ever was.


I hear you, yasaman. I am in exactly the same boat. I'm not as worried about myself as I am worried about my parents, who are deeply religious and visible in their area.

I remember telling a journalist friend, who is Jewish, that I felt that US was sliding towards a Nazi ideology in their attitude towards Islam during Obama's first campaign. And she said, it couldn't happen here because people like her wouldn't let it. I hope to God she's right.

I am trying to stay away from some people at my place of employment who have been very vocal in the past of their support for Trump. I can't even look at them right now. It's gotten to the point where I really don't trust those around me. Because unlike my friends, I doubt they would do or say anything if the situation arose. And that is the saddest thing. I don't think the distrust will ever leave.
posted by nikitabot at 12:30 PM on November 23, 2015 [21 favorites]


Despite my better judgment, I am not 100% convinced that Trump is at all serious about actually becoming President.

I still think he may be running a false flag campaign on behalf of someone else.

I still think he's trolling.

The thing is, I think these ideas ascribe to him a level of rational thinking that he literally may not be capable of.
For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”
The man believes his own bullshit. What's going on in his brain is not what goes on in the brains of rational, everyday people.
posted by dnash at 12:30 PM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


WELL. This shit motivated me to post about politics on Facebook, which I almost never do. I'm connected with a fair number of right-leaning folks over there for family and professional reasons. I don't want to be part of the Wall of Silent White Friends which allows people to be comfortable in their bigotry.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:31 PM on November 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


It's gotten way past the point where he can at some future date say, "Psych! Just kidding!" and expect not to be digging himself out of a massive excrement-filled hole for the rest of his life.

An excrement-filled hole looks like a pretty classy place if you're betting everything outside the hole will soon be filled with something even grosser than excrement.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:31 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The End of Godwin's Law
Everything I know I learned from webcomics
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:32 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


He didn't build this runaway fire truck but he's happy to sit up front and take the wheel. It will be interesting to view his inevitable exit strategy -- whether he will choose to back down gracefully or choose to deliberately flame out. Knowing Trump, safe money's on the latter.

I'm skeptical. Even if this madness somehow enhances his brand, the payout doesn't *really* come until he's in position to actually play the aristocrat handing out patronages. Nobody ever got rich plowing billions of dollars into a campaign he knew from the start was theater, with the possible exception of Monty Brewster. Trump's no fool; he's in it too deep to flame out without it hurting his own bottom line.
posted by Mayor West at 12:32 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ezra Klein: The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump's constant lying

Maybe not cover him so much? How much boost in the polls did, say, Bobby Jindal get?
posted by Gelatin at 12:36 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Maybe not cover him so much?

The problem, of course, is that Trump brings in more ratings and money than any other candidate, including Clinton, probably ever will.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:39 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm still trying to deal w/ the thing linked above where the world's most pusillanimous jackass Chris Christie can't even muster up the fucking balls to say "stop lying about my fucking state you toupeed daisy canned ham"

How. How can anyone be so pathetic
posted by poffin boffin at 12:39 PM on November 23, 2015 [49 favorites]


I hope Bruce springsteen challenges him to the holmgang
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is really not helping me put away my growing estimate of the likelihood that minus the weird S&M Stockholm syndrome part the Accelerationists are basically right and capitalism will inevitably eat us all to give birth to some new terrible entity.
posted by PMdixon at 12:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Trump's no fool; he's in it too deep to flame out without it hurting his own bottom line.

I'm not sure "Trump's not a fool" is a valid position to take. Although he's carefully groomed the media into treating him as a genius dealmaker, he primarily has money because he was born with it, rather than because he has any particular smarts about money or business.

to be fair: he clearly is tremendously smart about how to play the media, even if he's kind of dimwitted about money. I'm not saying he's an idiot, I'm just saying he's a mediocre businessman.

wasn't there a thing going around a while back that noted that if Trump had just held onto all of the NYC property he inherited from his dad, just sat on his inheritance rather than coming up with business schemes or reality shows, he'd have more money than he actually does?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Trump's supporters are hardly in denial of demographic or socio-economic change.

In fact, Trump's support is based upon his supporters recognizing and accepting (if unhappily) that change, and conducting themselves as an aggrieved minority in contest with other interest groups for their piece of the political and economic pie.

That Trump's campaign speaks to this, as opposed to speaking from a perspective of cultural and economic incumbency, is the radical departure from all prior Republican campaigns, and Democratic campaigns as recent as those of Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The posture of country club noblesse oblige is just one of the ways that Jeb Bush manages to seem so much of yesterday's man.
posted by MattD at 12:42 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm feeling pretty goddamn unsafe now, seeing a presidential candidate go full fascist.

I think the Trump threat is overblown, to put it mildly. We are still two months away from the first actual primary with real live people voting. Trump leads in polling, but the best he's getting right now per state polls is about a quarter of a deeply divided Republican electorate. (I'm not sure how many of those polled are likely voters, either.)

Also, this is not new. Overtly racist political figures with the ability to draw substantial minority support from party voters is a phenomenon the U.S. has seen before. That is clearly because racism (including overtly discriminatory religious attitudes like anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism and anti-Muslimism) is an ongoing part of U.S. political thought. It is impossible to wipe out racism -- it is the monster that waits in the corner in every nation, even in places like Germany that are very enlightened these days.

But it is very tough for populist demagogues who appeal to the haters to win national elections. And I don't see a path for Trump. I question whether he will get the nomination. If he does, the economy is frankly too healthy, and the demographics are much too tough, for him to win. And even history points out how tough his path would be -- Hitler, who Trump does remind me of, and the Nazi party never won a majority vote. Hitler won an appointment as Chancellor and then parlayed that into an abolition of democratic government. Trump has no route to take which would allow such a government takeover.

I think we have to be vigilant, and we also have to be sickened by seeing that terrorist attacks overseas have succeeded in strengthening those who thrive on hate. But I'm not convinced our times are really presenting us with something new in history. Rather, it is a depressing reminder that a lot of flawed human beings share this aspirational country with us.
posted by bearwife at 12:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe not cover him so much?

Doesn't work. Partly because you tell someone not to do something, they'll want to find out why they shouldn't do it, which causes them to inadvertently do it. Trumps like some kind of memetic hazard.

I mean, even right now, we are absolutely failing terribly at not talking about Trump so much.
posted by FJT at 12:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is really not helping me put away my growing estimate of the likelihood that minus the weird S&M Stockholm syndrome part the Accelerationists are basically right and capitalism will eat us all to give birth to some new terrible entity.
posted by PMdixon at 12:41 PM on November 23 [+] [!]


The way I've split the difference here is by being for Accelerationist science fiction, but against Accelerationist political movements and social theory. I've willfully stolen this position from Steven Shaviro, who writes remarkably cogent political analysis for someone best known as a film theorist.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


'My fear isn't Trump "becoming President"; my concern is how he's continually normalising views that are toxic & harmful.'

Well, I fear Trump becoming president. I understand my Facebook feed is not representative, but it is scary as hell right now. More than half of my Facebook friends are evangelical Christians from Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and they are all excited about Trump and Carson right now. It's sort of the mirror image of the early Obama stuff. I've seen people post "I've never voted in a primary before, but I'm going to vote for Trump!" and "I've never contributed to a political campaign before, but I just sent money to Carson." These are not people who would strike you as crazy radicals--the Carson-funder is a soft-spoken, gentle person with masters degree. The Trump-voter is my perpetually down-on-her-luck blue collar cousin, just trying to provide for her kids and have a little left over for beer. They and others I see on Facebook like that Trump/Carson "tell it like it is" and "aren't afraid to tell the truth." They see them as sticking up for the real Americans. I absolutely think it is possible Trump gets the nomination. Even if you say his support is small(ish) the Trump/Carson/Cruz combined support is over 60% of Republicans, and they would all be radical disasters. Rubio, the leading "mainstream" candidate is barely in double digits. Could that change? Sure. Is it equally likely that the party's base eventually coalesces around one of the nutjobs? I don't see how you discount that possibility.

The GOP has structural disadvantages in a presidential election that make it unlike Trump could beat Hillary, but I don't see how people are so sure that it can't happen. If Trump is the nominee, almost every Republican I know would vote for him.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [31 favorites]


The problem, of course, is that Trump brings in more ratings and money than any other candidate, including Clinton, probably ever will.

I know; Klein makes that point himself: It doesn't hurt that Trump is ratings gold compared with the likes of Jeb Bush or past frontrunners such as Mitt Romney, either.

In fact, it's kind of cute how he pretends that that concern is secondary to Trump's current front-running position in the campaign. I'd argue that the media's LOLTrump coverage early on helped put him there.

(Klein also said that the interviewer was in an "impossible position" and unable to call out Trump's falsehoods, to which I say, stuff and nonsense.

TRUMP: Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, that wrong, false, and simply isn't true. Moving on to reality, our next guest...)
posted by Gelatin at 12:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm feeling pretty goddamn unsafe now, seeing a presidential candidate go full fascist. And one thing that helps, that really genuinely helps, is to see Jewish-Americans and Japanese-Americans saying "uh, wtf, we've been down this road before and it's horrifying, and we won't let it happen to anyone else." Because I know without a shadow of a doubt that they won't, that they know what it was like to be in this position.

We do. And we will. But....

Japanese Americans
US Population: Approximately 840,000. (Including those of mixed race: 1.3 million)
Sixth largest Asian American group
Concentrated in two states (60% of their population): California and Hawaii

Jews
US Population: Approximately 5.7 million (Globally, 16 million - we have not yet returned to the number of Jews worldwide before WWII.)
Second largest religious affiliation in the US
There are Jews in every US state, although our numbers in some states (North Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi) are very low.

There are 320+ million people in the United States.

Most Jews would and will scream from the rooftops for as long as necessary to prevent a fascist witch hunt of any minority population. And protest as often and as loudly as necessary. But Jews and Japanese are severely outnumbered in the US. I don't have high hopes for our ability to persuade or stop such insanity against those odds. The fascists and their followers are clearly capable of atrocities.

I fear this is going to get much worse before it ends. History is repeating itself before our eyes.
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on November 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


Trumps like some kind of memetic hazard.

Roko's Hairpiece.
posted by cortex at 12:48 PM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


wasn't there a thing going around a while back that noted that if Trump had just held onto all of the NYC property he inherited from his dad, just sat on his inheritance rather than coming up with business schemes or reality shows, he'd have more money than he actually does?

Was it this? Vox: Donald Trump isn't rich because he's a great investor. He's rich because his dad was rich.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:49 PM on November 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


This stuff scares me deeply, as it does many of you.

I want to think that this is much like what a trainer did with a child soon-to-be golfer when I was at a driving range earlier this year. The trainer had the kid pick up this weighted bag and slam it into the ground several times before he took to practicing chip shots with an iron.

Right now we have a majority (or sizeable minority) populace that actually believes this garbage and would like to implement policies around it nationwide. This is akin to a beginner golfer who believes wholeheartedly they'll be able to take any club and drive a ball to their intended destination.

What I hope will happen is that enough of these people will, having let their beginner's feelings air and get correctly shot down or negotiated dead, change their approach to things, realize they can't just swing the club, and at the end of the day have a better shot by picking a better candidate (either a more moderate republican or the competing nominated Democrat).

With their ball in the hole being a better economy, or overall better life, we have a couple weeks shy of a year, we can do this, let's correct this course.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:50 PM on November 23, 2015


I genuinely don't know what to do. All I've got right now is that if Trump or Carson is the likely nominee, I'm going to start making sure that the people in my orbit who aren't straight white and Christian have passports until I run out of money for application fees.
posted by PMdixon at 12:50 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


(okay Steve Shaviro hasn't been best known as a film theorist for like a decade; he's best known as a philosopher, and a damn good one. wanted to correct that before the edit window closed, but then it closed, and yeah.)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gotta hand it to him, though. Judging from his new anti-Hillary video, he does know how to aim straight for the limbic system.

P.S. To be clear, it's absolutely awful. But for a certain contingent of folks it's going to be very effective.
posted by vverse23 at 12:55 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


if only there was some way for progressives and those opposed to the right to utilize the same tactics as the right to win support from the people, without compromising their own ideological positions
posted by Apocryphon at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked this series of essays on "Decoding Trump-Mania," looking at the psychological reasons behind Trump's popularity, especially Part Two:
So, when a person says something that isn't seen as "self-serving" or "normative" for the position that they're in, other people are not only more likely to think that those statements are what that person truly believes, but they're also more likely to feel more generally like they can know what that person is truly like deep down. It makes the person saying those things seem more "authentic." And it makes us more likely to feel like that person isn't lying. Even though Trump has given us just as many reasons as the other candidates to think that he's a "flip-flopper," the fact that he's not saying things that you would expect a politician to say means that his audience will be more likely to overlook those flip-flopping reasons and assume he's actually a truth-teller.

So, Trump isn't saying what you'd "expect" a politician in his shoes to say, and people are responding to this by calling it "refreshing" -- because it creates this feeling that, for once, they can really, genuinely know what someone running for office is actually like. But of course, this all relies on the assumption that Trump's comments aren't actually "self-serving." Given the enthusiastic response that he's received from some voters and the fact that his "controversial" comments seem to be gaining him fans, we can't really claim that these comments aren't self-serving, can we? It may actually be the case that calling more attention to the calculated, manipulative nature of his comments (and how they seem to be winning, not losing, him fans) might reverse the trend in his popularity -- once people begin construing his comments as "politically manipulative," politician-y, and self-serving after all.
(The series understates how racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. are playing into this, but it's interesting nonetheless. I think it explains some of the rabid support of Carson, too.)
posted by jaguar at 1:01 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


if only there was some way for progressives and those opposed to the right to utilize the same tactics as the right to win support from the people, without compromising their own ideological positions
posted by Apocryphon at 1:00 PM on November 23 [+] [!]


Probably we should just start organizing for and militating for things that we actually believe in, instead of just propping up the corpse of liberalism.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:04 PM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


The series understates how racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc. are playing into this, but it's interesting nonetheless.

I do think it's reasonably fair to say that racism, sexism, xenophobia etc are always there at some level, and mostly not moving within an especially wide range. So if you just look at those, there's a "why now but not before?" question. The ongoing breakdown of the legitimacy of elite institutions is in some sense the answer to *that* question.
posted by PMdixon at 1:04 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Trumps like some kind of memetic hazard.

Trumpypool
posted by ian1977 at 1:05 PM on November 23, 2015 [24 favorites]


Maybe not cover him so much?

WHY IS THE GODDAMNED LIBERAL MEDIA TRYING TO COVER UP DONALD TRUMP'S CANDIDACY I MEAN THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW THE LIBERAL COMMUNIST MEDIA TRIES TO CONTROL YOUR MIND
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:09 PM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]




From (Koch-sponsored) Reason Magazine: Donald Trump Is Your Dad
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:15 PM on November 23, 2015


Arendt: "The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and when they can pick it up."

Mao: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

(Yeah I know the next line after the Arendt quote seemingly directly contradicts the Mao quote. They're actually different things, I think: The power in the street is the power to point the gun [the capabilities of the state to do violence, which, at the end of the day, is the reason states were invented]. You can't usually use force of arms to do that.)
posted by PMdixon at 1:16 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My concern about Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, etc, is this: They'll lose the election to Clinton. They will. Whichever one that is left standing will lose. Period.

Then what? Will they have created such a divide that Clinton can't govern? Will it just be the same as recalcitrance of "whatever the president is for, we're against," but instead of a black president, it's a female president?

Really? Eight more years of the last eight years?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:18 PM on November 23, 2015 [35 favorites]


> The reason I don't share your conviction is because I know people who also remember celebrations on 9/11

I remember those celebrations. They didn't actually happen and I never thought they did, but I have an image in my head of the photographs in the newspaper. My guess is that I saw them being debunked and that has stuck with me, even though I know better.

At the time I was working as a factchecker. I followed politics. I lived in NYC. I was (and remain) a lefty. So if even I remember those celebrations as if they had happened, I'm not at all surprised other people do, too.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:19 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Clinton is never going to be able to govern. That's why many of us have been looking for another candidate.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:21 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Someday the American left is going to discover the other branches of government but it's looking a long ways off.
posted by Artw at 1:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [33 favorites]


The reason I don't share your conviction is because I know people who also remember celebrations on 9/11

Did this photo start the meme of people celebrating? Are we still dealing with this lie?

More on the photo.

Rich's view of the picture was instantly disputed. Walter Sipser, identifying himself as the guy in shades at the right of the picture, said he and his girlfriend, apparently sunbathing on a wall, were in fact "in a profound state of shock and disbelief". Hoepker, they both complained, had photographed them without permission in a way that misrepresented their feelings and behaviour.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Clinton is never going to be able to govern. That's why many of us have been looking for another candidate.

I fear that no one would be able to govern, to be honest.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:23 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Clinton is never going to be able to govern. That's why many of us have been looking for another candidate.

I don't know that any other Democratic president is going to have it any better.
posted by jaguar at 1:24 PM on November 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


That's why many of us have been looking for another candidate.

Looking for individual based solutions to structural problems ends in looking for a single great leader to restore us to greatness. No President with a D will be able to govern. Period.
posted by PMdixon at 1:24 PM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Someday the American left is going to discover the other branches of government but it's looking a long ways off.

we have yet to notice the existence of actual entire other countries
posted by poffin boffin at 1:26 PM on November 23, 2015 [28 favorites]


Anti-Muslim is Anti-American by Charles Blow
posted by emjaybee at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


From (Koch-sponsored) Reason Magazine

Reason's attempts to try and hold the moral high ground when it comes to bigotry, and especially racism, are pretty laughable given their history.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


My fear is that Trump is tapping into a genuine zeitgeist. I can't count the number of times over the last five or so years that perfect strangers at a bar have struck up a conversation with me about their feelings on race/immigration/whatever and expected me to commiserate. These have been people of varied ages, sexes, economic status, and geography. It kind of reminds me of the Eddie Murphy "White Like Me" skit, except not funny.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


If someone were to tell me that a few yahoos held a tailgater in NJ on 9/11, I'd believe it, because we're just always going to have yahoos. But that's not what he said. What he said was "thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down". I think that right there is the key to his popularity. Find what irks or terrifies his voting base, balloon it to ridiculous proportions, and profit.
posted by vverse23 at 1:33 PM on November 23, 2015


I don't understand what demographic his Jersey lie is targeting, though? What is the race or ethnicity or religion or whatever of the people in New Jersey that he wants his cretinous minions to hate? has he even thought that far or do words just fall from his mouth like shit from an asshole
posted by poffin boffin at 1:35 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someday the American left is going to discover the other branches of government but it's looking a long ways off.

This looks like wise cynicism but is actually more than a little bit lazy. Senator Sanders, for example, previously Representative Sanders, is clearly aware of the existence of the legislative branch of the federal government. Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, previously state legislature candidate Kshama Sawant, certainly knows that the executive branch of the federal government isn't the end-all be-all of electoral politics. Likewise, their supporters, who spent a lot of time and money on their campaigns, are aware that those campaigns are for offices that actually exist.

Like, who are you referring to? Are you talking to Naderites from 2000? Because there aren't very many Naderites around anymore....
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:36 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


The reason it doesn't matter whether the 9/11 thing is true or not is that large numbers of voters want it to be true. They're not interested in whether Trump is lying or the actual facts; they're interested in the warm emotional buzz they get from believing this kind of thing. People believe this shit because it makes them feel special and righteous and powerful, but also embattled and victimized and deserving of pity.

God, so true. Spend ten minutes looking through Facebook hoaxes on Snopes. That shit runs purely on the need for validation of one's worldview.
posted by duffell at 1:37 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


poffin boffin

"It was on television. I saw it," Trump said. "It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good."

Arabs. Trump wants "Real Murrikans" to hate Arabs.
posted by qcubed at 1:37 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight just this afternoon: Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls
It can be easy to forget it if you cover politics for a living, but most people aren’t paying all that much attention to the campaign right now. Certainly, voters are consuming some campaign-related news. Debate ratings are way up, and Google searches for topics related to the primaries have been running slightly ahead of where they were at a comparable point of the 2008 campaign, the last time both parties had open races. But most voters have a lot of competing priorities. Developments that can dominate a political news cycle, like Trump’s frenzied 90-minute speech in Iowa earlier this month, may reach only 20 percent or so of Americans.
...which only deals with the part of the fear that involves Trump actually gaining the presidency, and not at all with the part that involves the (not really a) realization that a wide swatch of America consists of terrified racist fascist-lovers. (I am still more or less convinced that Hillary has this in the bag; that said, I hit voting age in exactly 2008, and currently have seen nobody but Democrats with my vote gain the presidency. I don't know what it feels like to lose an election—yet.)

What really intrigues me, and what I think will really define this chapter in America's history, is that 21st century media culture is so drastically different from anything we've seen before. Organizing communities of voices is easier than it's ever been before (ahem), and this leads to cultures forming around central points that aren't determined by the same nodes of power that controlled the 20th century. To be sure, a lot of what we have today is a kind of parasitic growth on increasingly-outdated 1900s institutions, but there seems to be more decentralization of how groups organize today. Those groups then tend to be taken over by more powerful central forces, such as the gracelessly toupee'd man we're talking about here, but there's more chaos in how these groups emerge, and more opportunism at play when people like Trump grab the reins and run with it.

My hope—if you want to call it a hope—is that this favoring of extremes occurs to both sides at once. You Can't Tip A Buick's argument here that liberalism is gonna be torn to pieces by socialists and fascists really resonated with me, and I think that's because liberalism requires a cultural imbalance which decentralized media platforms directly counteract. Which isn't to say that new platforms aren't emerging; however, today's media centers, like Facebook or Twitter or Reddit, are far more individually-driven, with the creators and owners having less of a direct say as to how exactly conversations unfold and culture emerges. This doesn't magically make capitalism goes away, and if anything it might entrench it even more, but I do think it changes the way in which people develop, discover, and express their opinions, and that this favors socialism or fascism, which offer fundamental ideas of how we ought to participate within a society, over theories which favor more of an apathetic approach.

(As I write this, I realize that I don't quite agree with YCTaB, in that I think there's a distinction between the terrifying followers of Trump/Carson and the libertarian wing of the right—particularly the West Coast technocratic group exemplified by your Peter Thiels and Marc Andreessens. They want more of a feudalistic approach, in which "tiers" of wealth emerge as each newly-minted rich person becomes an angel investor in turn. I don't know how powerful that group is in this election, especially since Rand Paul has fallen utterly flat; if the Right loses this election, however, I could see them increasing in power come 2020 or 2024. Anyway, this is all a derail—sorry.)

What I'm getting at is that I think there's a serious polarization of opinion happening that bolsters the left as much as it does the right. Leftist movements that would've been seen as radical less than a decade ago are starting to go mainstream, and it feels like that is becoming more true rather than less. The reaction to those movements is more vitriolic and openly hateful than it was when those movements were weaker and easy to mock away; xenophobes and misogynists congregate in response to what I do think feels like a more potent left than I've seen in my conscious lifetime. As they do, the dividing line between them and the center becomes more stark, and even more people take up leftist causes in response.

I have a lot of hope that the potent and terrifying minority on the right is only emerging alongside a similarly potent group on the left. I think, moreover, that the right has spent far more time organizing than the left has, and that this might make it seemingly monopolize far more of the emerging radical culture than it perhaps has. I also think that, especially since 9/11, leftist positions have been vilified in a way that reactionary ones have not, and that it's taking the left some time to find its voice. But it is happening. People I know who, somewhat unknowingly, embraced misogynist or racist stances as recently as 3 years ago have suddenly started caring about these issues, and working actively to better understand them. There's a movement there, and it's one that I hope can rival what we're seeing pop up around Trump right now.

My even-more-idealistic hope is that, when communication becomes easier, our potential to accidentally stumble upon empathy and compassion vastly increases, and that that leads people further and further away from regressive tribalism. I think it's easier to reach out and open a conversation with people, even closed-minded bigoted people, than ever before, and that those conversations do help. I guess that ultimately I have an underlying hope/faith/wish that people are, if not fundamentally, good, at least fundamentally capable of moving towards good, and that our contemporary world makes that movement easier than it's ever been before. Certainly I think I'd have been a much worse person in an earlier era. But I'm not a student of history, and I'm curious about/dreading the possibility that I'm as naive and wrong about this as it's possible to get.
posted by rorgy at 1:38 PM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Trumps like some kind of memetic hazard.

I prefer to think of Trumpism as the grey goo of American politics.
posted by duffell at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like, who are you referring to?

I'm referring to the people who never show up for the midterms and then whine about it when it turns out the office of president doesn't control everything. Every damn time.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on November 23, 2015 [27 favorites]


Donald Trump isn't rich because he's a great investor. He's rich because his dad was rich.

Well, one of the weird things about compound interest is that anyone's descendants can be rich if you save continuously and keep reinvesting it over several lifetimes without any financial recklessness. Donald Trump's grandpa opened his first business (a brothel in Seattle) in 1891; he was already investing in New York real estate in 1918 when he died. There's 124 years of compound growth leading to Trump's current wealth.

So give credit where credit is due: the Trumps have a habit of inheriting a bunch of money, investing it reasonably well at a young age, and then living to a very old age while the money grows. That's not genius, but it is pretty unusual. Most families have too many disputes and too many financially reckless members to pull that off. And the Trumps did it all before index funds had been invented.

Of course there are selection effects at play too. There are plenty of people who made reasonably prudent decisions and still lost everything, and now they don't have enough money to run for president.
posted by miyabo at 1:41 PM on November 23, 2015


Arabs. Trump wants "Real Murrikans" to hate Arabs.

ugh i was hoping it was elderly retired mafiosi so we'd never have to see him again
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not with your analysis, rorgy. The U.S. was more deeply divided and stratified than today and the left and right were miles apart back in the good old 1960s. And that's just one period in recent memory. The big middle prevails nationally, however.

Having said that, I'm in complete agreement with ArtW that the crazies are definitely doing well in the Congress and the states. I don't understand why the Democrats have let the Republicans get away with taking over the drawing of districts, which should be a nonpartisan exercise, and of local/Congressional elections.
posted by bearwife at 1:45 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Because Rahm Emanuel would rather have a Republican win an office than the "wrong" kind of Democrat.
posted by delfin at 1:49 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just imagine if there another terrorism thing in the U.S. I mean, we're already at pro fascist levels I had thought died with GWBs terms
posted by angrycat at 1:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


With regard to the rise of Hitler, remember that Germany was not only in the middle of the Great Depression (and barely recovering from disastrous monetary policy decisions intended to diminish their Versailles obligations), but had also gone through what had essentially been a civil war in the early '20s. Similar circumstances existed to a lesser degree in Italy (with added Balkan adventurism). In Spain, Franco actually started a civil war, and was actively abetted by an external power. The US is not there yet.

That's not to say that Trump's rhetoric isn't inherently fascistic- it most certainly is, down to its incoherence and basic denial of reality, and we must remain eternally vigilant. However, we do not yet see the other hallmarks of a fascist putsch- no organized militias (yet), no street fighting, no physical attacks on mainstream opposition politicians and their supporters (with the blessing of the police).

At best, he is an Enoch Powell, or perhaps an Oswald Mosley without the Blackshirts. All is not yet lost. Trump represents a vocal (and frankly, alarming) minority, and one that seems somewhat likely to resort to violence if they don't get their way, but the best response to this is for sensible people to continue to call them out, to continue to struggle, and to not give up hope.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:52 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Arabs. Trump wants "Real Murrikans" to hate Arabs.

Basically, if you're not White, you're a target.

And as mentioned in the post, a Black activist was beaten at one of his rallies in Birmingham over the weekend, and Trump sanctioned the beating.
Donald Trump said Sunday that the protester who interrupted his rally at a convention center here on Saturday morning was “so obnoxious and so loud” that “maybe he should have been roughed up.
He's not just providing cover for racists, he's giving them his blessing.
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on November 23, 2015 [21 favorites]


2008 had 7 fewer years of unnecessary unending recession.

What definition of recession are you using? By the standard economic definition, there hasn't been a recession since 2009.

Thats not to say things are better for most Americans, but the normal definition of recession has to do with the economy as a whole.

Whats happened recently is the economy is growing and doing well, but the gains from that have not been distributed even close to evenly. Thats not a recession, thats inequality.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:54 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whats happened recently is the economy is growing and doing well,

False. False. False. 3% NGDP growth in the recovery phase is not normal. I wish people would stop saying it is.
posted by PMdixon at 1:56 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's the austerity shit. austerity is inherently generating of fascism wherever it has struck.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on November 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


Also, the claim about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating as the towers fell doesn't even stand up to basic examination. We didn't know who was responsible for the attacks until weeks after 9/11. Certainly, people in other countries might have been celebrating, but that was because they were in places like Iraq, and this was something, anything, bad happening to America.


People need to continue calling Trump out on this bullshit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:57 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


People need to continue calling Trump out on this bullshit.

This only works if the calling out is received consistently across audiences. For many people, Trump being called out makes him more credible.
posted by PMdixon at 1:58 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


False. False. False. 3% NGDP growth in the recovery phase is not normal. I wish people would stop saying it is.

If you wish, although other economists disagree.

It's absolutely not a recession, however.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:59 PM on November 23, 2015


Have you missed the entire secular stagnation thing? The constant worrying about whether near 0% interest rates and 0% trend growth is the new steady state?
posted by PMdixon at 1:59 PM on November 23, 2015


This only works if the calling out is received consistently across audiences. For many people, Trump being called out makes him more credible.

Calling the delusional cult that agrees with Trump a delusional cult isn't sufficient, but it's still a thing that needs to happen. Partly for the sakes of people who might otherwise think of Trump as a reasonable, potentially-viable candidate, out of sheer ignorance alone.

It's the same as with Scientology. You can't save current Scientologists by calling it a cult, but you make sure the rest of society gives it a wide, wide birth, no matter how depleted their thetans are.
posted by rorgy at 2:03 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


The rise of Neo-Nativism: Putting Trump into Proper Context
Many argue that Trump’s rise in the polls is nothing but a fluke (link, link, and link); that once the Republican voters come to their senses, a more credible candidate will emerge (link, link, and link). These people may be right; horse race polls are ephemeral at best this early in the election season (Ipsos analysis of election poll accuracy).

This, however, misses the critical point about Trump – and the current anti-establishment furor gripping the Republicans. Independent of the polls, there is a method to Trump’s madness.

Simply put, Trump’s candidacy taps into a deep, visceral fear among many that America’s best days are behind it. That the land of freedom, baseball and apple pie is no longer recognizable ; and that ‘the other’—sometimes the immigrant, sometimes the Non-American , and almost always the nonwhite—is to blame for these circumstances. This pure unabashed nativism (link, link, and link) is Trump’s brand of populism and is fit for purpose in 2015. It both gives him electoral strength and popular appeal.
Are We Witnessing a Major Shift in America's Two-Party System?
The likeliest scenario, due to a variety of factors ranging from campaign funding to party-influenced voting procedures, is that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination and some established Republican politician like Marco Rubio will capture the G.O.P. nomination. Despite this, however, we may nevertheless be witnessing a substantial shift in the political duopoly. More and more, both major parties are using modern Conservative and Liberal ideology as the main filter for attracting voters, as older filters like geography and class begin to fail.

The Republican Party has stationed itself on the far right of virtually every conceivable issue. Meanwhile the Democratic establishment is struggling to maintain its center-right economic platform as the party's base demands a shift to the left.

As the parties continue their process of purging and ideological purification, we find that there are no more conservative Democrats, nor are there any liberal Republicans. Eve moderate Republicans are an increasingly rare breed, and moderate Democrats may not be far behind.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:07 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Then what? Will they have created such a divide that Clinton can't govern? Will it just be the same as recalcitrance of "whatever the president is for, we're against," but instead of a black president, it's a female president?

Really? Eight more years of the last eight years?


Clinton is ferociously intelligent. No way has she looked at the past eight years, and the mistakes Obama has made w/r/t believing that the Fascist Toddler Party will negotiate, and not drawn conclusions as to exactly how few fucks she will give about trying to get them to do anything. I strongly suspect that the first four years of a Clinton presidency will look exactly like the last two of the Obama administration.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:08 PM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


....So we move further towards an elected Caesar, in which all government is by executive order, and everything is completely reversed when parties changed hands.
posted by PMdixon at 2:11 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yeah. Isn't the knock against Hillary that she's too relentless of a pragmatist? The notion that anti-Hillary people are anti-Hillary because she couldn't get anything done (and are turning to Bernie Sanders, of all people, to be effective amongst a gridlocked legislature) seems like the exact opposite of why people dislike Clinton.
posted by rorgy at 2:13 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm concerned that she'll be Bill Clinton 2.0 but frankly after the Bush administration, I don't see myself ticking any box without a D next to it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:16 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Obama is not exactly un-pragmatic and has trouble making ground with them, so it could be argued being just as willing to dig in would be a better approach.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on November 23, 2015


Unless and until you folks can sideline the assbags in Congress, that's the best possible option, PMDixon.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:17 PM on November 23, 2015


Clinton is ferociously intelligent. No way has she looked at the past eight years, and the mistakes Obama has made w/r/t believing that the Fascist Toddler Party will negotiate, and not drawn conclusions as to exactly how few fucks she will give about trying to get them to do anything. I strongly suspect that the first four years of a Clinton presidency will look exactly like the last two of the Obama administration.

Oh man, don't get my hopes up. But yes, there's also the worrying trend of concentrated executive power. One more thing to lay at the feet of those tearing at democracy's guts. Might benefit us with a Democrat in power, but a bad thing in the long term and it makes me nervous.

However, we do not yet see the other hallmarks of a fascist putsch- no organized militias (yet), no street fighting, no physical attacks on mainstream opposition politicians and their supporters (with the blessing of the police).

We have seen violence and violent rhetoric though, and the police...well...just ask anybody who's been to a progressive cause protest lately. I am not reassured by this at all.

Simply put, Trump’s candidacy taps into a deep, visceral fear among many that America’s best days are behind it. That the land of freedom, baseball and apple pie is no longer recognizable ; and that ‘the other’—sometimes the immigrant, sometimes the Non-American , and almost always the nonwhite—is to blame for these circumstances. This pure unabashed nativism (link, link, and link) is Trump’s brand of populism and is fit for purpose in 2015. It both gives him electoral strength and popular appeal.

I wish we could tap into people's ability to hope the way the right taps into their fears.
posted by emjaybee at 2:26 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nothing is beyond politics. Politics is literally life and death for many people, as it affects policies that will have a major impact on their lives.

Also, if this stuff bothers you, stop voting Republican. Please.


dhen - both are fair statements, and after I posted I thought about that statement about politics. Maybe I meant "politics as usual," I dunno. I'm trying to express the idea that people can (at least they used to be able to) disagree and arbitrate disagreements without coming to blows. That *is* why we do politics. You know, instead of just bashing each other with clubs.

As for the second statement - guess I'm heading that way. I have serious, fundamental differences with both parties, and with the whole idea of having parties, which I consider to be this mafia-like structural growth on the back of the US. I'm not going to get into why in the past voting Republican often seemed less intolerable than voting Democrat, but as I hope you can tell, I'm not voting for Trump. So it's a start... :-)
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:32 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Isn't the knock against Hillary that she's too relentless of a pragmatist? The notion that anti-Hillary people are anti-Hillary because she couldn't get anything done (and are turning to Bernie Sanders, of all people, to be effective amongst a gridlocked legislature) seems like the exact opposite of why people dislike Clinton.

It's certainly possible for people on the left to have as self-contradictory and angry complaints as people on the right do. The Democrats have both failed to be sufficiently ideologically progressive in terms of economic policies, and they have failed at pragmatically playing the political ballgame, especially against the Republicans in Congress.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:35 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


However, we do not yet see the other hallmarks of a fascist putsch- no organized militias (yet), no street fighting, no physical attacks on mainstream opposition politicians and their supporters (with the blessing of the police).

Why do you need a putsch, when the fascists are already in power and their shit-kicking hick supporters are already threatening American Muslims with lethal violence?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:35 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


My 86-year-old grandmother is so terrified of the extreme xenophobia and racism being spouted and supported, that the only way she can calm herself about the election is to tell herself she'll be dead by the time it happens.
She is heartbroken at how hateful America is.
posted by missmary6 at 2:37 PM on November 23, 2015 [30 favorites]


Trvmp: like Larouche with money and no history slide-show.
posted by clavdivs at 2:46 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Reporting from quality parent time pre-Thanksgiving, I can tell you the thought process is currently:

1) No, we don't like Trump
2) But he is saying what a lot of people are thinking and they like hearing it said (note: no stated disavowal of any of his more awful statements happened here)
3) We sure as hell don't want Hillary as president so if that's what it comes down to, well....

So yeah. Even if Trump does not currently have majority support among Republicans, if he can get the nomination, all that will matter is that enough anyone-but-Hillary voters get out to vote. And there are a lot of those left over from the 90s who might not consider themselves Trump's current target audience.
posted by olinerd at 2:50 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


If it'll help, I have been informed that Americans can join the UK's Official Monster Raving Loony Party -- there have been attempts at a US branch but not much presence by them online.

Rumors that the Constitution Party is the OMRLP in disguise are completely unfounded as not a single member seems to have a measurable sense of humor.
posted by delfin at 2:51 PM on November 23, 2015


These are frightening times. Our opponents are creating and encouraging fear. We're stronger if we're able to put the fear aside and make some plans and decisions that are long term and designed to change the direction of their fear and anger instead of replacing the fear and anger. I don't think that's going away.

"We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you Bob Rumson the GOP leadership is not the least bit interested in solving it. They are interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family, and American values and character, and you wave an old photo of the President's girlfriend Reagan and you scream about patriotism..."
"We've got serious problems, and we need serious people. And if you want to talk about character, Bob Donald, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This a time for serious people, Bob Donald, and your fifteen minutes are up."

...paging Andrew Shepherd...
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:02 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


a Black activist was beaten at one of his rallies in Birmingham over the weekend, and Trump sanctioned the beating.

Yeah, I'm less immediately concerned about the prospect of Nominee Trump than I am that he's gonna preside over an actual lynching at one of his rallies along the way, at the rate that he's going.
posted by TwoStride at 3:14 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Erik Loomis at LGM finds Trump's base in poll results showing that White Americans are expressing concern about discrimination (against White Americans): On White People
posted by tonycpsu at 3:19 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, the irony of that neo-nativism article.

Simply put, Trump’s candidacy taps into a deep, visceral fear among many that America’s best days are behind it.

I tend to agree with this. I differ with Trump's supporters, on the other hand, at who is causing this. And to be honest, I can't really say what I want to say without being horrifically racist about those misbegotten white people.

I was born and raised here. I might have a different color skin and my ancestors might have spoken a different tongue, but I'm just as American as they are, if not more so. And the rage, shame, and sorrow that their idiocy engenders in me is not one I can easily abide.

How easy it must be for those failures of being, who, when speaking of their Christianity, bear false witness and willfully misread their Bible. How easy it must be to be perpetually ignorant, clutching sheets of paper upon which "Constitution" has been scrawled, never actually understanding the words within, just slavishly repeating some nattering nabob's misrepresentation. How easy it must be to talk about liberty while complaining about how awful liberal New York is and forgetting the words inscribed at the Statue's base.

Trump's supporters, to an individual, are embarrassments. I do not see how their twisted beliefs can be redeemed. I'm not sure I believe they can, either.
posted by qcubed at 3:30 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


...paging Andrew Shepherd...
posted by ApathyGirl


I've never watched that movie, but it sounds to me like I'd like it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:36 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


willfully misread their Bible

I was reading this the other day:
What most of the jihadis appear to have in common is a lack of any serious religious training: according to most studies, there is an inverse relationship between Muslim piety and attraction to jihad. As Olivier Roy, the author of several books on political Islam, recently said, ‘this is not so much the radicalisation of Islam as the Islamicisation of radicalism.’
Old time religion, guns and pickup trucks are bad news no matter what part of the world you're in.
posted by Rat Spatula at 3:37 PM on November 23, 2015 [36 favorites]


holborne: The only thing that could finish him right now is if he used a baby as a human shield a la Greg Stillson, and I'm not even so sure about that, quite frankly.
That would not finish him either.

I just got up from the dinner table. The news reported about a state program to provide skilled nursing care for children with severe health problems that was in fact trying do as little of that as possible in clear violation of state law. They showed a mother forced by unjustified reductions to act as a nurse for her daughter with severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Including giving complicated injections that she felt like one really should have a clinical background to administer.

Seeing the little girl, non-verbal and having to be fed through a tube, the question that got asked by one of my dining companions was, "That's no kind of life. Why am I paying for that?"

However, naturally and as usual, I'm the asshole. Not that I'm allowed to ever forget it.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:39 PM on November 23, 2015 [36 favorites]


It's exhausting and demoralizing waiting for a "surely this.." moment that never comes.
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Seeing the little girl, non-verbal and having to be fed through a tube, the question that got asked by one of my dining companions was, "That's no kind of life. Why am I paying for that?"

60,000 Reichmarks. What this person suffering from is hereditary defects costs the People’s community during his lifetime. Comrade, that is your money too.
posted by Talez at 3:52 PM on November 23, 2015 [43 favorites]




Donald Trump, Candidate
5B/R - Legendary Creature, Douchebag Candidate 5/7.
Protection from: losers, haters, dopes, hacks, clowns, bimbos, immigrants, rapists, immigrant rapists, imaginary Syrians.
Flavor text: This card is even better than my last card. You can tell because it costs more. We spared no expense to make this card a card that every player will need in his deck.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:02 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The ideologies with popular support in America right now are fascism and socialism. Liberalism has no real base in America anymore.

when 'hive minds' collide... but which group is (collectively) 'smarter'? re: liberalism and 'the West Coast technocratic group exemplified by your Peter Thiels and Marc Andreessens', check out yuval noah harari on: Techno-Religions and Silicon Prophets

oh and speaking of fascism vs. socialism, one interesting thread among many that paul mason pulls out in _postcapitalism_ is how WWII wiped out the labour movement in europe:
The scale of death [and its impact] on the politics and the sociology of the working class has been the subject of a horrified silence. But let us puncture it. The majority of Jews killed in East Europe were from politicized working-class communities. Many were adherents either of pro-Soviet, left Zionist parties or the anti-Zionist Bund. The Holocaust wiped out an entire political tradition in the global labour movement in the space of three years.

In Spain, the unions, co-ops and militias of the left were destroyed by mass murder – and their traditions suppressed until the 1970s. Meanwhile, in Russia the working-class political underground was exterminated by the gulag and mass executions.

What Orwell called 'the flower of the European working class' was crushed. Even if it had only been a question of numbers, this deliberate slaughter of politicized workers – added to the tens of millions of people killed by military action – would have been a turning point in the story of organized labour. But there was a massacre of illusions going on as well. As the Second World War approached, the extreme left – the Trotskyists and anarchists – tried to maintain the old, internationalist line: no support for wars between imperialist powers, keep the class struggle going at home. But by May 1940 the war was a bigger fact than the class struggle... Working-class politics would become dependent on an Allied military victory. After the war, those who survived the slaughter, conscious of how close organized labour had come to total obliteration, now sought a strategic accommodation.
also btw...
-No country For Anyone Not Already Here
-George Takei has the perfect response to a mayor who praised Japanese internment
-Robert Reich on How to Change Capitalism to Work for the Many: "In his new book 'Saving Capitalism' former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich lays out the many ways he thinks the free market has failed America, including creating a 'working poor' and a 'non-working rich'. The solution, Reich suggests, is to reframe economic policy so that it looks more after the interests of the individual than those of the corporation."
posted by kliuless at 4:04 PM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Full marks to Bernie for trying but I don't think there's that many socialists in America... I think what you are seeing is a bunch of fairly centre right types who just look sort of left wing compared with the far right wackos the GOP have become.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on November 23, 2015


how WWII wiped out the labour movement in europe

At least Europe was still to the left enough to have the main political conflict be between Social Democrat, Christian Democrat, and Socialist parties. Though ironically that was accomplished through American capitalist Marshall Plan dollars.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:32 PM on November 23, 2015


angrycat: Just imagine if there another terrorism thing in the U.S. I mean, we're already at pro fascist levels I had thought died with GWBs terms
I'm not sure it's even necessary to have another attack at this point. Somebody posted online that ISIL was going to attack the wrasslin' this past Sunday, and a whole arena's worth of wrasslin' fans stood in lines literally being covered with rifles by nervous people in military garb with their fingers and weapons in the high-ready position and the news said that was "the new normal." I watched it and just felt sick to my stomach.

zarq: He's not just providing cover for racists, he's giving them his blessing.
So you, thought you, might like to go to the show…
posted by ob1quixote at 4:45 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, like, what does one do with this?

at the point i'm hoping that a dish of water under the bed can keep him away
posted by poffin boffin at 4:49 PM on November 23, 2015


> I think the Trump threat is overblown, to put it mildly. We are still two months away from the first actual primary with real live people voting.

I heard a bit on the radio maybe two weeks ago, and I can't find a link to it, but they said that there is only one candidate who has met the requirements to be on the Virginia republican primary ballot: Donald Trump.

Getting on the primary ballot in Virginia is difficult, you need to gather 10000 signatures, including 300 from each of the 11 congressional districts. Additionally, your ballot circulators must be residents, so you can't import your ground game from another state; you need to have local campaign people on the ground or pay money for local contractors to gather signatures.

In 2012, only Ron Paul (ground game) and Romney (money) managed to make it on the ballot. Santorum failed (not enough signatures), Perry failed (his petition circulators came in from out of state), Gingrich failed (was defrauded by a pay-by-the-signature arrangement with an outside firm who copied 1500 names out of the phonebook). Bachmann and Huntsman didn't even try, focusing their efforts to make a splash in Iowa.

Virginia is a Super Tuesday state, the primary is March 1, 2016; so 98 days from now. The deadline for these clowns to register to be on the ballot is December 10, just 17 days away.

So there are important timelines other than the actual day when real live people vote. These campaigns are working to get onto upcoming ballots. They need volunteers or money to make it happen, that's what they're competing for right now.
posted by peeedro at 4:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


if only there was some way for progressives and those opposed to the right to utilize the same tactics as the right to win support from the people, without compromising their own ideological positions

drvox's politics explainer:*
The demographics that tend Democrat — minorities, single women, young people, LGBTQ folks, academics, and artists — cluster in the "urban archipelago" of America's cities. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has increasingly become the voice of white people who live around other white people in rural and suburban areas, where they have been radicalized by burgeoning right-wing media and a network of ideologically conservative think tanks and lobbying groups.

It is not surprising that small-government ideology appeals to people who view government as a mechanism whereby special interest groups make claims on their resources, values, and privileges. Conservative whites, freaked out by hippies in the '60s, blacks in the '70s, communists in the '80s, Clintons in the '90s, Muslims in the '00s, and Obama more recently, are now more or less permanently freaked out, gripped by a sense of "aggrieved entitlement," convinced that they are "losing their country." (If only someone would come along and promise to make it great again!)

As the GOP has grown more demographically and ideologically homogeneous, it has become, in the memorable words of congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein, "a resurgent outlier: ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; un-persuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."

As the ongoing Republican primary is revealing in gruesome detail, asymmetrical polarization seems a long way from burning itself out.
No Cost for Extremism
In short, Republicans have found a serious flaw in the code of American democracy. What they have learned is that our distinctive political system—abetted by often-feckless news media—gives an extreme anti-government party with a willingness to cripple governance an enormous edge. Republicans have increasingly united two potent forms of anti-statism: ideological and tactical. And they have found that the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts...

As difficult as it surely will be, there is no substitute for restoring some measure of public and elite respect for government's enormous role in making society richer, healthier, fairer, better educated, and safer. To do that requires encouraging public officials to refine and express that case, and rewarding them when they do so. And it requires designing policies not to hide the role of government, but to make it both visible and popular. A tax cut that almost nobody sees, and which those who do see fail to recognize as public largesse, will make some Americans richer. It will not make them more trusting of government.

We are under no illusion about how easily or quickly our lopsided politics can be righted. But put yourself in the shoes of an early 1970s conservative and ask how likely the great right migration seemed then, when Richard Nixon was proposing a guaranteed income and national health insurance and backing environmental regulations and the largest expansion of Social Security in its history. Reversals of powerfully rooted trends that threaten our democracy take time, effort, and persistence. Yet above all they require a clear recognition of what has gone wrong.
paul mason again: "we need to inject into the environmental and social justice movements things that have for twenty-five years seemed the sole property of the right: willpower, confidence and design." (spoken like a technocrat? ;)
posted by kliuless at 4:56 PM on November 23, 2015 [13 favorites]




I disagree with those who see a silver lining in the fact that "at least it's out in the open" now.

I would very much prefer it if this kind of racist nutbaggery was considered deeply deeply shameful to say and anyone who did so was immediately condemned as a terrible person by every major political party and media outlet.
posted by kyrademon at 4:59 PM on November 23, 2015 [18 favorites]


> "The other funny thing is that almost no one knows that Elagabalus actually made his horse a senator."

I will only be *really* impressed if in conics you can floor peculiarities parabolous.
posted by kyrademon at 5:01 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think, in this context (rising Trump neo-facism) I'm most encouraged by the actions of a) Black Lives Matter protesters willing to show up at all to his rallies, and b) the actions of white supporters of Black Lives Matter protesters at colleges and universities in the last few weeks who've made human shields.

I think we'll be at a point soon in this country where we're going to need defend ourselves and others (immigrants, muslims, black & brown people, whoever this thing decides to go after next) from physical violence. I think it's bravery like that that's going to be the best defense against a growing, increasingly xenophobic and bigoted movement.
posted by wormwood23 at 5:08 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Mefi's own" Scott Adams seems to be having a yoooge man crush on His Derpulency, Herr Trümper, which, when combined with the lovely things he's had to say about the ladyfolk recently, doesn't seem that surprising at all.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:21 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


So here's the thing about calls to quell Trumps airtime: it is in the liberals best interest to increase Trump's airtime. The longer trump stays full front of mind within the Republican Party, the longer people within it have to choose between aligning within what will eventually make bad press with the Christian Right or admit their own very clear bigotry. Full stop. Getting him out of the way just allows republicans the opportunity to disassociate themselves with his politics and clamp on to a Jeb as a reasoned and moderate republican. Make no mistake, the only way to beat this enemy is to feed this enemy himself - which is something Trump particularly enjoys anyway.

Trump can neither hold the Republican Party together nor rebrand it in his own image of populism, but he can be used as an effective tool in dismantling it just by being himself. Give him time and rope enough for everyone - he's leading them to a spot that is high and wide enough to politically end any and all who follow him over the edge. Who knew the Pied Piper had a toupe?
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've seen this happen in other people's lives. Now, its happening in mine.
posted by 4ster at 5:26 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Mefi's own" Scott Adams seems to be having a yoooge man crush on His Derpulency, Herr Trümper

A friend of mine came up with an even better nickname: Il Douché
posted by jonp72 at 5:32 PM on November 23, 2015 [21 favorites]


> Also, the claim about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating as the towers fell doesn't even stand up to basic examination. We didn't know who was responsible for the attacks until weeks after 9/11.

I think it's more accurate (and depressing) to say that many people's suspicions weren't verified until weeks after 9/11. There were plenty of people blaming Muslins on the day of.

I think this celebrating Muslim story is going to be just like the Vietnam vets getting spat on when returning home story. It's going to be something that a lot of people insist happened in a big way, without any actual evidence from contemporaneous accounts. Their insistence will tell you more about their political mindset than any history of that time.
posted by peeedro at 5:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


My even-more-idealistic hope is that, when communication becomes easier, our potential to accidentally stumble upon empathy and compassion vastly increases, and that that leads people further and further away from regressive tribalism.

How to sway the other side: Use their morals against them
Evidence continues to mount that political sensibilities are, in part, determined by biology. These inborn sensibilities create our "moral foundations." It's the idea that people have stable, gut-level morals that influence their worldview. The liberal moral foundations include equality, fairness, and protection of the vulnerable. Conservative moral foundations are more stalwart: They favor in-group loyalty, moral purity, and respect for authority.

Politicians intuitively use moral foundations to excite like-minded voters. Conservative politicians know phrases like "take our country back" get followers' hearts beating. What moral foundations theory tells us, however, is that these messages don't translate from one moral tribe to the other. "You’re essentially trying to convince somebody who speaks French of some position while speaking German to them," Willer says. "And that doesn’t resonate."

For a liberal to effectively argue with a conservative, Willer hypothesized, she has to go after the conservative gut (or vice versa)... So, in that case, Willer suggests reframing this way:
Gay Americans are loyal patriotic Americans who contribute to the military and the American economy, and they deserve the same rights that you have as an American.
Reframing messages in this way isn't easy. It requires one to empathize with the other side and try to understand what they might be thinking. And studies suggest we're bad at doing that. In the same paper, Willer asked liberal and conservative study participants to craft persuasive arguments to sway the other side on some topics. Very few participants used the other side's moral language — which suggests we don't even consider that our opponents have different morals than we do.
-Economists tested 7 welfare programs to see if they made people lazy. They didn't.
-Americans don't trust government. But they still want government to do a lot.
posted by kliuless at 5:56 PM on November 23, 2015 [18 favorites]


The only anvil upon which Trumpism can be broken is a strong leftist political movement...

Or, you know, the RNC.

They ain't gonna nominate Trump. This is not a democratic process, and history most certainly does not suggest that the policy swings candidates make to compete in primary season have any bearing at all on how they actually run and/or govern later on. Trumpism dies as soon as they have a real candidate.

Sure, they might continue today to be embarrassed and frustrated at all this Trump attention, but I still don't see how it matters, in the end. The actual Republican kingmakers will nominate someone they can actually control, which at this point is still looking like Rubio or Bush to me, and that candidate will swing right back to where they planned to be all along, once they're no longer competing with Trump for the podium.

The rest is noise, noise, noise, noise and more noise.
posted by rokusan at 6:03 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


which suggests we don't even consider that our opponents have different morals than we do.
Well, or that those moral foundations are in some sense illegitimate. If you're of a more idealist than pragmatic bent, it seems perfectly possible to understand to they have different morals while refusing to speak in those terms.
posted by PMdixon at 6:03 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The actual Republican kingmakers will nominate someone they can actually control, which at this point is still looking like Rubio or Bush to me

There are ~650 unpledged delegates. A majority is 1191. This means someone else has to have at least a third, basically, of the ~1700 pledged delegates. If we don't see the winnowing process happen as quickly as it has historically, as indeed it seems not to be this cycle, it seems quite plausible (not certain, or necessarily even likely but plausible) that that threshold will not be reached. And Bush is dead already.

history most certainly does not suggest that the policy swings candidates make to compete in primary season have any bearing at all on how they actually run and/or govern later on.

False.

I'm not saying Trump is a lock for the nomination, by any means. But it is absolutely a very real possibility.
posted by PMdixon at 6:14 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


On the one hand, we absolutely should use sweet-talk to sway conservatives toward non-reprehensible politics. But on the other hand, as a past master of using other peoples' terms in exactly the way they don't intend them, I can say that cutesy tricks like the one in the WIller piece don't work — people can smell that sort of thing a mile away. What happens when you use the "gay Americans are loyal patriotic Americans who contribute to the military and the American economy, and they deserve the same rights that you have as an American" is the conservative you're talking at thinks you're trolling them, and — oops! — thinks that you think that it's alright to value people primarily for their patriotism and for their contributions to the economy.

From the anecdata of my experiences talking with my politically godawful southern relatives, the thing that comes closest to getting them to coming around on LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ humanity is just being completely willing to keep talking about queer people (and trans people) as people, specific people, specific fellow humans, no matter how much snickering pushback you get.

Many humans will relate to their fellow humans as people rather than as things when given the chance, and when someone else takes the risk of going first. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does. It takes a long time, though.

Most people (I include myself in this estimation) are reflections of their environment. By reflecting good values, you make the environments of the people around you brighter, which in turn sometimes leads those people to themselves become brighter.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:19 PM on November 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


The problem with the argument that we have separate moral languages is, even if it were true, only one of those languages is currently in political use. Democrats like to talk about loyalty and America and patriotism, and the military, as much as Republicans do. The language is the same, although banded in with a certain caution in the Democrat's case. We never get to hear our language spoken, just conservatism yelled at various volumes.

Here's how I want my politicians to speak to conservatives:

Politician: "When I'm elected, everyone gets a basic income, that is guaranteed to you and can never be taken away."

Interviewer: "But the economists say--"

Politician: "Shut up. I am going to have the government write a check to every citizen. Nobody will starve, nobody will go homeless."

Interviewer: "But the political reality is--"

Politician: "Fuck off. I am taking this money from the rich, handing it out to everyone, and nothing will stop me."

And I think that's why people like Trump...certainly why the people on my street who are the most apolitical people ever, have started putting up little signs. They like talk that sounds like plain talk. They don't care about policy, I don't even think they want to hear patriotism, they want plainness, preferably with entertainment. They want to hear someone who sounds like they believe in something, even if that something is something terrible.

I was so disappointed in Sanders. I saw him speak down here a few weeks ago. I kept hoping for him to bust out the socialism. What industries will we nationalize first? How many days into your term will you wait before declaring student debt jubilee? But no. He was so careful, in that way that politicians so often are, "I will sound stern but essentially promise you nothing." You're going to lose anyway, you might as well make some big promises. Right?
posted by mittens at 6:24 PM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


posted by You Can't Tip a Buick Palin was the embryo. Trump is the fetus.

Cheney was the dick.
posted by mattdidthat at 6:29 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Mefi's own" Scott Adams seems to be having a yoooge man crush on His Derpulency, Herr Trümper

From the article: "Adams, as you might have guessed, is not a Trump supporter..."

Not an Adams fan, but fair is fair.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:31 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


As horrible as he may be, Trump is no Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, or even Pinochet.

Trump is America's Rob Ford.

The guy is just a loud-mouthed shnook. He doesn't have legions of brownshirts or blackshirts or a private army, the military doesn't look like it is about to suddenly back a Trump dictatorship, and the USA still has a constitution and a robust system of checks and balances to limit the power of one man.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


It seems quite plausible (not certain, or necessarily even likely but plausible) that that threshold will not be reached. And Bush is dead already.

I hear what you're saying, but this terror-panic blip notwithstanding, as more not-Trump candidates drop out, the remaining not-Trump candidates pick up more than enough of those dropped votes to keep Trump diluted, and I don't see how anything changes that calculus from here on out. Trump has always had, and continues to have, a solid plurality but nothing close to a majority. 30 percent doesn't mean much more than 26 percent did. He's not going to sniff 50, and nobody else individually needs to, not until the end, anyway.

A brokered convention would be delicious, of course, but even in that, he loses to whichever not-Trump remains.

I mean, I see and delight in the slow painful Republican suicide as much as anyone, but they're not going to actually pull the trigger when it comes down to yes-or-no.
posted by rokusan at 6:39 PM on November 23, 2015


He doesn't have legions of brownshirts or blackshirts or a private army

But he has plenty of fans with a lot of guns who believe his crap about immigrants and Muslims.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:39 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


> As more not-Trump candidates drop out, the remaining not-Trump candidates pick up more than enough of those dropped votes to keep Trump diluted

But here's where the prisoner's dilemma aspect kicks in. Scott Walker decided he easn't going to make it and dropped out, so did Perry, and I guess Jindal did too? And probably Christie will. But as a result, each of Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and Fiorina bumped up a tiny little bit. And the zombie corpse of the Bush campaign just keeps plodding along, powered at this point just by plain indignation, I think. ("But it's my turn!")

Who should fold first for the greater good? Not Rubio, surely, since he's on the upswing. And not Cruz, not with his glorified opinion of himself. Carson is caught on a real-life Producers show with no good way to back down. Fiorina is the only woman, and a lock for VP nominee against a Hillary campaign if she holds out. There may not be enough time or debates left for the clown car to empty out. And after last cycle's bloody primary, the RNC has set up this cycle to generate a massive overwhelming favorite as quickly as possible.

I can't believe I'm saying this. But it's coming up Trump, no matter how I try to figure this out.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:59 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the rare event that Trump has been a double-agent all along, I can't wait to see how his ardent followers will rationalize once he pulls a Sabbatai Zevi.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:09 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


But he has plenty of fans with a lot of guns who believe his crap about immigrants and Muslims.

If guns really represent this much power, then the left are a bunch of dipshits for not going and buying some. They are legal, cheap, and available in every Walmart and sporting goods store in the country.

Or maybe we all realize that, compelling and sexy though guns are, they don't actually represent any realistic political path to power in the US?

Trump is an offensive jackass and I would quite happily send him and his supporters on a one way trip to an isolated island somewhere cold and unpleasant. I'd even be ok with dropping pallets of MREs to them on a monthly basis. That he appears to be being taken seriously is itself offensive and represents a real failing, either in the electorate or in the press -- he gets a lot of attention for being outrageous, and that attention seems to then become something more real, which is a strange dynamic.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:17 PM on November 23, 2015


And studies suggest we're bad at doing that. In the same paper, Willer asked liberal and conservative study participants to craft persuasive arguments to sway the other side on some topics. Very few participants used the other side's moral language — which suggests we don't even consider that our opponents have different morals than we do.

There have been plenty of studies showing that conservatives and liberals speak a different language, operate from a different mindset and have a different worldview in pretty much every way (links to studies are in the article):

1. Brain responses to a disgusting image are sufficient to make accurate predictions about an individual's political ideology.
2. Neurocognitive responses to conflict differ among the children of liberals, moderates, and conservatives.
3. Compared with liberals, conservatives tend to have stronger physiological responses to negative environmental stimuli.
4. During risk-taking behavior, liberals have significantly greater brain activity in the left insula area, while conservatives have significantly greater brain activity in the right amygdala.
5. People right-of-center politically spend more time looking at unpleasant images, and people left-of-center politically spend more time looking at pleasant images.
6. Reliance on quick, efficient, and "low effort" thought processes yields conservative ideologies, while effortful and deliberate reasoning yields liberal ideologies.
7. People who react strongly to disgusting images, such as a picture of someone eating worms, are more likely to self-identify as conservative.
8. Liberals have more tolerance to uncertainty (bigger anterior cingulate cortex), and conservatives have more sensitivity to fear (bigger right amygdala).
9. Conservatives have stronger motivations than liberals to preserve purity and cleanliness.
10. Liberals are more likely than conservatives to shift their attention in the direction of another person's gaze.
11. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to interpret faces as threatening and expressing dominant emotions, while Democrats show greater emotional distress and lower life satisfaction.
12. Conservatives and liberals react similarly to positive incentives, but conservatives have greater sensitivity to negative stimuli.
13. Conservatives have more activity in their dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, the part of the brain that activates for complex social evaluations.
14. Conservatism is focused on preventing negative outcomes, while liberalism is focused on advancing positive outcomes.
15. Genetics influence political attitudes during early adulthood and beyond.
16. Conservatives learn better from negative stimuli than from positive stimuli and are more risk avoidant than liberals.
17. Individual political attitudes correlate with physiological traits, such as sensitivity to sudden noises and threatening visual images.
18. Liberals are more open-minded and creative whereas conservatives are more orderly and better organized.
order and creativity
19. When faced with a conflict, liberals are more likely than conservatives to alter their habitual response when cues indicate it is necessary.
20. Conservatives sleep more soundly and have more mundane dreams, while liberals sleep more restlessly and have a more bizarre, active dream life.


What liberals need to do if they want to have any hope of swaying conservatives is learn how to speak their language based on what we know about the differences in our brains. It's been done before.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:18 PM on November 23, 2015 [16 favorites]




If guns really represent this much power, then the left are a bunch of dipshits for not going and buying some. They are legal, cheap, and available in every Walmart and sporting goods store in the country.

If it comes down to this then I'm out. Just straight out. I'll find another country.
posted by Talez at 7:46 PM on November 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


From the article: "Adams, as you might have guessed, is not a Trump supporter..."

Not an Adams fan, but fair is fair.


One can be effusive and complimentary towards a candidate without supporting him, and that's what I was getting it by characterizing it as a "man crush." It's sort of like how certain corners of American wingnutistan talk about Vladimir Putin with praise and admiration in sort of a "game respect game" kind of way.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like Carson was backing Trump up and then backtracked and said 'nope, not New jersey, elsewhere'


So there's that.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:54 PM on November 23, 2015


The rest is noise, noise, noise, noise and more noise.

No. The rest is the people who believe the shit being spouted, and they vote (as is everyone's right). They make life dangerous for people like me, for women, for people of colour, for trans people, for differently-abled people, for poor people (also like me), for non-Christians (ditto). That is what people are talking about here. Trump is a symptom, not the disease. And a symptom that gets an unreal amount of media coverage.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:16 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


"I'm not quite to the point of vowing to leave the country if the wrong guy gets elected...it's a cliché that nobody ever seems to follow through on and I'm not sure where I'd go."

I looked into it. It's reaaaaaaally not that easy to do. No foreign spouse? No elite skills to get a job in another country? Not doing foreign exchange in school? Then good luck!

It does seem like we alternate from Democrat to Republican with each election and have whopping backlash. I guess in some ways it's not a surprise that after electing someone who isn't white, the next front runner is preaching bigotry and hitting it off with tons of people.

I hate people.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:46 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


John Oliver on the refugee overreaction.
posted by Mitheral at 9:04 PM on November 23, 2015


That's not to say that Trump's rhetoric isn't inherently fascistic- it most certainly is, down to its incoherence and basic denial of reality, and we must remain eternally vigilant. However, we do not yet see the other hallmarks of a fascist putsch- no organized militias (yet), no street fighting, no physical attacks on mainstream opposition politicians and their supporters (with the blessing of the police).

I guess I don't really see how the constant gunning-down of people of color in the street by police doesn't fit into this parade of horribles? Despite the fact that Black Lives Matter has entered the "national conversation" in a big way, what's actually changed in terms of policy and action? The complete inability on the part of the liberal establishment to address ongoing authoritarian racist murder is a preview broadcasting to any proto-fascists in our midst exactly how much they will be able to get away with.
posted by threeants at 9:25 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]




The complete inability on the part of the liberal establishment to address ongoing authoritarian racist murder is a preview broadcasting to any proto-fascists in our midst exactly how much they will be able to get away with.

not just authoritarian racist murder, but the inability of the liberal establishment to address any of the problems facing us at all.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:08 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Three protesters were shot Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the 4th Precinct police station in north Minneapolis.

According to Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”

When protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about 6 protesters,” hitting three of them. The shootings occurred near an alley about a block away from the precinct station.

posted by Artw at 10:25 PM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


holy shit.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:34 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


But guns aren't a big deal.

You can bet those guys or friends of theirs will be "defending" polling places come election day.
posted by Artw at 10:38 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The police haven't made any arrests. This is terrifying. If MPD tactics are like OPD tactics, there's no way that protest site wasn't totally surrounded by police.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:43 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Three protesters were shot Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the 4th Precinct police station in north Minneapolis.

It's not entirely clear exactly how many people were shot/injured yet, or who did the shooting or how they weren't arrested at the scene, surrounded by police, at a police station, the most policed area in the entire state atm. Regardless, this is fucked up beyond belief. I have friends involved in that particular protest who are often there. This is insane, it's obviously the biggest story in the US, but I'm terrified it won't be.

I imagine there will be a new post about this soon, and I have more to say and relay, but I'm very thankful metafilter is here right now.
posted by neonrev at 10:47 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay, looking at the livestream, it's not an area with a lot of people around? It is plausible that they didn't go past police while getting away?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:48 PM on November 23, 2015


Jesus christ. I started reading the story about the guy who was shot in the head by the police last week in Minneapolis, not understanding that this was an entirely different episode than the BLM protestors who got shot tonight in the same area. Part of the exhortation to "Say Their Names" is surely the fact that this crisis is rapidly moving into a place where it's near impossible for the average concerned person to even keep track of these attacks.
posted by threeants at 10:51 PM on November 23, 2015


Well, it'd be bad enough if three people were shot for any reason outside a police station and the shooters were not arrested, but during a protest it's pretty much unforgivable, especially considering the efforts to oust them physically and harass them generally. I know people maced and punched at around this same time at night, I'm pretty sure it's not empty of police. I saw pictures and video of the white supremacist guys there earlier today, they were certainly armed and angry. Also, if the livestream is current, I'm guessing the gunfire and such cleared it out a bit. I don't know what livestream you mean though.

Either way, black dude nearby assault call gets shot, handcuffed on the ground, white dudes who shoot a bunch of black people in the open next to a police station get away completely fine. The fucking way of things.
posted by neonrev at 10:59 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


> "The other funny thing is that almost no one knows that Elagabalus actually made his horse a senator."

I will only be *really* impressed if in conics you can floor peculiarities parabolous.


I hear he can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:38 PM on November 23, 2015


If you look at the Black Lives Matter MPLS twitter it seems clear that not only was emergency response dilatory but that the cops were refusing to take witness accounts and steering people away from investigation.

I cannot process this. I was just up there for the labor rally on Saturday and was putting together plans to go drop off supplies tonight. I can't process this.

Also, what I was reading on the twitter suggested that some of this may have been coming out of white supremacist message boards run through one of the big social media sites. The people who showed up the first time with a gun seemed to be young internet right wingers.

I just can't believe it. I just - this is an escalation of just a wildly dramatic kind, I can't even process it. Fuck the cops, though, just fuck the cops. It's just dizzying. This is really, really bad, you guys, the fact that protests are places where people get beaten and arrested, yes, but not shot - that's always been a really important line in this country. This is so bad, it's a really bad escalation.
posted by Frowner at 2:58 AM on November 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


Black Lives MPLS ‏@BlackLivesMpls
Wear all back for the March. 2pm at the precinct. We will not be intimidated. #4thPrecinctShutDown
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:05 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's also important to remember that the police who shot and killed Laquan McDonald is expected to be charged with his murder today, in Chicago. Laquan, who was 17, was shot 16 times for refusing to put down a knife, and the video of his murder is going to be released either today or tomorrow, by judge's orders. Everyone who has seen the video has said it is horrific.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:10 AM on November 24, 2015


Also, so far the news coverage seems to be shit, avoiding saying that it was white men or that the protests had been threatened by overt white supremacists. I feel like they're trying imply that it was BLM who did the shooting, or at least to leave that impression on people who don't read more than the headlines.
posted by Frowner at 3:12 AM on November 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jesus. Definite echoes of the Greensboro Massacre, which happened 36 years ago this month.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:13 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


And also - upthread folks were talking about how Trump didn't have paramilitaries, therefore not fascism, etc. These aren't Trump's paramilitaries in any formal sense, but a group of white men with bulletproof vests just shot up a peaceful community protest. That's not in the same league with, say, Chile under Pinochet or the freikorps, but it's definitely well down that road.
posted by Frowner at 3:15 AM on November 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


Mourning In America
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:17 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just a few months ago a Latino man was beat up in Boston by brothers who told the police "Donald Trump is right, all these illegals need to be deported."
posted by threeants at 5:25 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]




From a Minneapolis perspective, what I keep thinking is that I did not expect that this could happen here. I actually thought about this when the protests started and there were white supremacists hanging around - I literally thought, these people will not dare to attack a large group. In Minneapolis, we have - or had - a history of running these people out of town, often at the punchy end of a fist. If neo-nazis showed up at a demo, or wanted to protest the YWCA or march on the capitol building etc, people showed up en mass and scared them off. I've been at a number of those protests over the years, and the white supremacists were always few (and always men) and they always turned tail because we outnumbered them by a factor of ten at worst and hundreds at best.

Differences this time: times are different, white supremacy is visible and respectable at the national level, major political figures urging violence, the widespread hatred of Black Lives Matter by white people of all sorts, that this took place in a majority Black part of town (which is a huge factor, I realize - all the other things before were in either the multiracial parts of South or at the capitol).

But over all, I think it's a bad, bad shift - not just the intensification of something that already existed, although it is that as well.

I have to say, it's scary, because these internet racists want to go out in a blaze of glory - it used to be that I'd feel like nothing too bad could happen at a really big, peaceful, media-heavy demo, nothing worse than arrests at any rate, but now I'm starting to worry about one of these people shooting up a protest with the intent to die on live TV.

I bet those men will never be found or arrested, too. I bet they're known to the police in some capacity, and I bet this will be winked at. It was all over the Twitter that the cops were not very interested in taking witness statements last night.

There is this Sarah Schulman novel, People In Trouble, that's set around ACT-UP. A younger, more militant woman is having a relationship with an older artist who is a former radical. The older woman tells the younger one that she'll be there "when people are on the barricades" and the younger one says that's bullshit, people are already on the barricades, it's just that people like the older woman are protected and do not see. I am really, really feeling that perspective right now. Fascism is here, for some people.
posted by Frowner at 6:23 AM on November 24, 2015 [23 favorites]


The Republican Party has stationed itself on the far right of virtually every conceivable issue. Meanwhile the Democratic establishment is struggling to maintain its center-right economic platform as the party's base demands a shift to the left... Even moderate Republicans are an increasingly rare breed, and moderate Democrats may not be far behind.

Given how the Republican Party's new far-right direction has been pretty much business as usual for the corporate stakeholders in the status quo, albeit in a more Semi-Automatic Baby Jesus-flavoured guise, I wonder whether they could pull a similar bait and switch when the extinction of moderate Democrats looks inevitable and the far left is ascendant. Could America's corporate oligarchs pivot on a dime and reinvent themselves as apparatchiks of a vaguely Leninist state-capitalist enterprise, complete with a totalitarian police state to keep labour costs down (albeit a fine-grained one, driven by big data, mass surveillance and nudge theory, not legions of snitches and street committees) and eliminate trouble before it happens, with the main thing changing being more freedom for the powers that be to crush resistance, less freedom for everyone else, and a switch in rhetoric from the “freedom and liberty of the free market” to some kind of apple-pie-flavoured Bolshevism and/or Scandinavian Jante-law social-democratic rhetoric?
posted by acb at 6:25 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I bet those men will never be found or arrested, too. I bet they're known to the police in some capacity, and I bet this will be winked at. It was all over the Twitter that the cops were not very interested in taking witness statements last night.

Or worse, they'll be found and let go due to some stand-your-ground bullshit/police indifference.
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or worst of all, maybe they were cops disguised as vigilantes. Which would further explain how a group of armed assailants were able to gun people down in cold blood outside of a police precinct teeming with cops, and get away without apparent fuss.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:37 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could be Oathkeepers - "some of whom are current and former U.S. military and law enforcement officers", they've been trying to start shit at a protest since Fergusson and generally get a free pass from the police.
posted by Artw at 6:42 AM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Or worst of all, maybe they were cops disguised as vigilantes. Which would further explain how a group of armed assailants were able to gun people down in cold blood outside of a police precinct teeming with cops, and get away without apparent fuss.

That's actually what I'm wondering about. I doubt it will ever be possible to know. I would hate for it to be true, because I still do keep a corner of my mind open to the hope that the cops at least don't want vigilantes operating right under their noses.

But it's scary. I apologize for posting so much, but I've been thinking about it since about 3:30 this morning. Always before, I feel like I had the analysis but not the visceral understanding - I knew in my head that cops don't serve the people, that they won't protect you if you're a marginalized person, that if you're a marginalized person you will be treated in this country as an enemy of the state and persecuted accordingly. Knowing that this happened, that makes it so terribly real. I always hope that I'm wrong about stuff like this and that I'm just being all cynical because, on some level, I am naive and think it's cool. But every time it seems like there's just more violence and more oppression.
posted by Frowner at 6:45 AM on November 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


The BLM Minneapolis protests deserve an FPP of their own. I'm avoiding reading most local news coverage of it because the flat-out racism in this town is incredibly upsetting.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:49 AM on November 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


New York Times has coverage now
posted by Artw at 7:10 AM on November 24, 2015


Ryan Cooper at The Week: Donald Trump's alarming skid toward outright fascism
As of August, Trump had most of the ingredients for a fascist movement: the victim complex, the fervent nationalism, the obsession with national purity and cleansing purges, and the cult of personality. He was missing the organized violence, a left-wing challenge strong enough to push traditional conservative elites into his camp, support for wars of aggression, and a full-bore attack on democracy itself. He's made much progress on all but the last one.

It's clear now that the Paris attacks enormously energized the Trumpist movement. He's now speculating openly about invading Syria. Trump's proposals have gone from overt prejudice to things literally taken out of late Weimar history — closure of mosques and a national Muslim database. The rank-and-file have both fed off and stoked this behavior. When a lone protester started chanting "black lives matter" at a Trump rally, Trumpists jumped him (he was luckily not badly injured). Trump later said, "Maybe he should have been roughed up." Hours later he lied about witnessing Muslim crowds celebrating 9/11, and retweeted nonsense racist garbage from a literal neo-Nazi.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:16 AM on November 24, 2015 [14 favorites]


Donald Trump's Politics of Fear
posted by Artw at 7:28 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Greg Sargent: Here’s why Donald Trump’s lies don’t matter: He’s ‘strong.’
[I]n the minds of his supporters, Trump has converted even the simple act of dismissing pointy-headed media fact-checks into a sign of his “strength.” Trump’s big insight is not simply that the details don’t matter. It’s that getting mired in the details is itself a sign of weakness.

This dynamic is perfectly captured by a single quote from an NBC News reporter. The subject was Trump’s latest glaring falsehood: his claim that “thousands and thousands of people were cheering” in New Jersey as the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. This has been decisively debunked by Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

But Trump’s supporters simply don’t care in the least. Here’s what NBC reporter Katy Tur, who interviewed Trump supporters at an Ohio rally, told the network’s Steve Kornacki:
"I spoke to a lot of his supporters who are waiting to come into this rally. And I asked them what they think of Donald Trump and whether or not they’re bothered by his inaccurate statements and whether they think they matter. And not a single one of them said that they thought it mattered. They said they like him because they think he’s going to be a strong leader, and they think he’s going to bring the change to Washington that they want.

“In fact, they blame the liberal media, as they say, on perpetrating lies against Donald Trump. They repeatedly asked, why don’t you ask this about Hillary Clinton, why don’t you ask this about President Obama? So there’s definitely a party line feeling among his supporters, that it is us-versus-them. And unfortunately, the media is very much the ‘them’ in this situation.”
That’s it, in a nutshell. Trump’s supporters have been persuaded that he will be a “strong leader.” Once that decision has been made, any liberal media fact-checking of Trump’s statements, particularly criticisms that seem “politically correct,” only confirm that original impression. Trump’s willingness to “say what needs to be said,” in spite of media attacks on him, only further illustrates that he’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish whatever it is his supporters think he’s promising to accomplish when he vows to “make America great again.”
posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 AM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


His supporters want a "strong man," you say. Hmm.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:37 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


What zombieflanders said--also, this is the same group of people that is convinced that Hillary Clinton engaged in some massive conspiracy and coverup with regard to Benghazi, and is under the impression that the (non-Fox) news media covered for Clinton1 on Benghazi. So asking the 'liberal' media "why don't you ask this about Hillary Clinton?" comes directly from the same narrative that's been running 24/7 on Fox for a very long time.

1I mean... Jesus.
posted by duffell at 7:46 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]



The BLM Minneapolis protests deserve an FPP of their own. I'm avoiding reading most local news coverage of it because the flat-out racism in this town is incredibly upsetting.


It really does. I feel like I'm not the best person to put one together myself - although I'd be willing to do it maybe tonight or tomorrow - because I am both white and very peripheral to the whole thing and I think there are mefites who are closer and/or mefites of color who are following this or who are engaged with Black Lives Matter.

There's a solidarity demo in New York City tomorrow, apparently. I never thought I'd see the day when NYC was demonstrating in solidarity with MPLS.

There is a short video here.

What is weird is that this is all a very ordinary space. It's just a regular street, very Minneapolis-looking, houses, little empty lot, trees. The photos make it look like a more dramatic location than it is, somehow. You must picture all this happening on a very ordinary residential street, the kind that I think you don't really get in NYC or Chicago, but that's very common in smaller "big" cities like Toronto or Cleveland, where it's city kinds of houses, older, balloon frame ones, people's yards, grass, trees. That is what always strikes me as so strange about these things - you somehow expect the landscape to reflect the gravity of the situation instead of it taking place in the middle of daily life. About suffering they were never wrong, the old masters, I guess -

They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
posted by Frowner at 7:51 AM on November 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


He doesn't have legions of brownshirts or blackshirts or a private army

Or perhaps, in a world where most people wear jeans and T-shirts and wearing a hat or a necktie is bordering on an affectation, one just cannot expect legions of thugs to wear colour-coordinated shirts.
posted by acb at 7:53 AM on November 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Carson is caught on a real-life Producers show with no good way to back down.

Also, isn't Rupert Murdoch still pushing him hard?
posted by acb at 7:54 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


NYTimes Editorial Board: Mr. Trump’s Applause Lies
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:28 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke charged in shooting death of Laquan McDonald - probably should be its own FPP.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]




Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke charged in shooting death of Laquan McDonald - probably should be its own FPP.

Glad he's been charged, but still boggle at the fact that the incident occurred in October of 2014 and as far as I know, the only thing that has changed with regards to the evidence is that the video is going to be made public. But that's what it takes to bring charges, I guess.
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


So yeah. Even if Trump does not currently have majority support among Republicans, if he can get the nomination, all that will matter is that enough anyone-but-Hillary voters get out to vote. And there are a lot of those left over from the 90s who might not consider themselves Trump's current target audience.

Who would win in a Trump / Sanders race, I wonder? (Taking the "anyone but Hillary" vote out of the picture.) Would the VP candidates be significant?
posted by theorique at 8:50 AM on November 24, 2015


From the story about Mercutio Southall Jr:

and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me

That line belongs in 1984, or maybe a Shirley Jackson story. If there were an actual American horror story, I mean a story that focused on the horror of the American identity, that would be in it. "All lives matter," the crowd shouted, while they brutally kicked a man.

All lives except Black ones, of course. There are not words in the language to convey how much disgust and hatred I feel for the people who say "all lives matter" to mean "we won't let Black people talk about racism".
posted by Frowner at 8:55 AM on November 24, 2015 [50 favorites]


Funny, Frowner, my immediate thought of it was to place it in Animal Farm: All lives matter, but some lives matter more than others.

I'm finding the world is a hideous place today.
posted by nubs at 9:01 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Your daily reminder from conservative White America that their 2nd Amendment rights will always trump (pun intended) anyone else's 1st Amendment rights:
@ajjaffe Huckabee notes protesters are free, won't get shot, and jokes "I know there’s some people in the audience that wish they would," to laughter
A real knee-slapper, that one.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:09 AM on November 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Let's not get into who we think should be killed, just better to avoid that whole arena.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:17 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm still not convinced that Donald Trump isn't just a creation of Warren Ellis who somehow escaped the page.
posted by Drexen at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]




Trump is a little too charismatic to be The Beast.
posted by phearlez at 10:07 AM on November 24, 2015


I guess Trump could be the result of The Beast and The Smiler having smeared together and then escaping the page. Where is our Spider Jerusalem to take him down?
posted by phearlez at 10:11 AM on November 24, 2015


That's the surprise ending: Turns out you can be openly horrible and nobody gives a shit.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


so Oakland has been ground zero (or one of the ground zeroes, at least) for state-sanctioned / state-managed murder of protestors since way back when they started murdering Panthers in the 60s, and as a result there's a huge focus among protest organizers here on providing security independent of the police at all protests — much more of a focus on security than at protests I've been to in Seattle, where security existed but was sort of lackadaisical, as far as I could tell. I used to think, in the back of my head, that the insistence on security that you see down here was a little bit paranoid, but, no, it's absolutely necessary.1

Can I encourage everyone here who's in support of BLM but who has never quite made it out to a protest (because protests aren't your thing, because you don't think of yourself as a protest person, or because you always want to go but something turns up) to get to the solidarity demos for this? You're needed. If you had any doubts that BLM is as important as the Civil Rights/Black Power movements of the 1960s, those doubts should be dispelled now. Now as then, vigilantes are aiming to murder protestors, and just like back then, the police are letting them do it. We need safety in numbers. Please help.

I think I'm in a similar headspace as frowner here — I am flatly horrified to find out that my analysis of the situation is, well, maybe not as crazy as I sometimes think it is?

1: okay, I've always known it's not paranoid, it's just that I've never myself developed the instincts needed to always keep an eye on the security situation and to bug out when there's no one there to protect us from the police and their bagmen. This is absolutely 100% because of my white skin — I look exactly like tech industry money to Oakland and Berkeley cops, especially when I'm wearing my uber-preppy teaching clothes, and I've come to expect that no matter what I do, no matter how much I troll them by baiting them into tweaky You Can't Tip a Buick-ey conversations, they won't attack me, and I've come to expect that if I want I can slip out when things get dicey by pretending to be a Nice Polite and Very White passerby rather than a protestor.

But now I feel like my white invincibility has vanished, and I don't know what to do with that feeling.

THIS, incidentally, is why I insist on following PoC leadership, and ideally leadership from women of color. As a white man I miss things, important things, because I know at a non-cognized lizard hindbrain level that the world is much safer for me than it is for the average person, because the world is set up to coddle me, no matter how ridiculous I get. In many key ways, this has made me stupid, in ways that women and people of color can't afford to be stupid.

posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:17 AM on November 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


Police have arrested one suspect for the BLM shooting:

A 23-year-old white male has been taken into custody in Bloomington as part of the investigation into Monday's shootings, Minneapolis police say.

They're still looking for the others.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:27 AM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Emails from the shooters. They're exactly who you'd expect and the emails are exactly what you'd expect.

I am at least glad that they weren't cops, and that one of them has been arrested.
posted by Frowner at 10:31 AM on November 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Not sure of the provenance of that... The rants about social justice warriors and white chucks make it sound a bit too much like redditors/channers, even if that stuff is bleeding over heavily.
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the mpr link:
It's unclear whether authorities will choose to call the shootings a hate crime.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on November 24, 2015


From the article posted by Frowner just above, emphasis mine:
The white supremacist mocked “social justice warriors” and other anti-racist whites, who they described in psychosexual terms.

“Best to act as much like a beta white cuck as much as you can,” one the racists said.
Golly gee willikers, who ever would have guessed that a right-wing domestic terror group would use exactly the same language as Gamergate?
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:47 AM on November 24, 2015 [36 favorites]


That's the surprise ending: Turns out you can be openly horrible and nobody gives a shit.

This is sort of the whole thing in my mind about Trump's ongoing horrible bullshit and the fact that it hasn't gotten in his way: I feel like there's this thing with political media coverage in the US where the dynamic of (for lack of a better word) a "gaffe" is (1) pol says something especially dumb/shitty/backwards, (2) people tentatively report "pol committed gaffe" incident, (3) the political media collectively goes "ooooooooooooooh!" like a crowd of middle schoolers waiting to see if a fight is going to break out in earnest, (4) the pol makes ritual attempt to navigate out under or apologize for gaffe, and (5) political media more or less take the self-inflicted outcome there (bailing under pressure vs. apologizing-ish but sticking around) as the outcome and move on to the next story.

Like it's axiomatic that the incident reporting and the ooooooooh bit leads inevitably to a reasonable outcome: if someone did something bad enough to bail/resign, then they will; if they didn't, though don't. The abstract collective shaming of bad behavior, as expressed by the general ooooooohing, is taken as the serve and the pol's reaction as the volley, and that's that.

And there's always this weird little tinge of surprise when the oooooooohing is really loud but then the pol doesn't actually bail. You see this now and then with stuff like affairs, where people unambigiuously think the guy (it's usually the guy) did something Totally Not Okay, but then instead of a tearful apology and a step away from office or public life you get maybe a tearful apology and then Nope, Status Quo.

But the thing with Trump is, this is all just sort of the pattern we're in rather than an actual axiomatic fact of nature, and he seems to not give a fuck about it, and that detooths the standard political reporting process. If you rely on an unstated tension between political liability and collective shaming, and someone doesn't give the least shit about that shaming process, the tension collapses and that bad actor's revealed as basically immune to the standard process.

Trump is never going to tearfully acknowledge that he's gone too far, that he's made a terrible error, that he's hurt his family or his constituency or whatever. He's never going to agree to participate in that step of the political theater ritual in the first place, and the whole arc of the political narrative of this shit turns on the assumption that things follow, one way or another, from that step.

That's why people keep saying "well, this will be the thing that does him in" and it keeps not doing him in. That's why sitting and waiting for the other shoe to drop on him being repeatedly and loudly awful seems like an increasingly pointless approach. You can't count on a shameless person to quit out of shame, and we have a shame-based approach to popular political gabbing that can't cope very well with that.
posted by cortex at 10:48 AM on November 24, 2015 [45 favorites]


Strange interlude: Gamergate *is* a right-wing domestic terror group. They seek to uphold the honor of their twisted, reactionary masculinity by scaring the living shit out of anyone who argues. They have literally forced people into hiding and on at least one occasion forced a university to cancel a lecture on account of their threats.
posted by andrewpcone at 10:54 AM on November 24, 2015 [26 favorites]


Yeah, that whole "if you have this lecture, we will kill people" business - why exactly did that not trigger an intensive federal investigation?

There's all this handwringing when students are like "actually, let's NOT invite racist or anti-trans speakers onto campus and pay them large speaker fees", but the whole Gamergate-mass-shooting-at-a-popular-event lecture threat thing sank without a trace.
posted by Frowner at 10:57 AM on November 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


If you rely on an unstated tension between political liability and collective shaming, and someone doesn't give the least shit about that shaming process, the tension collapses and that bad actor's revealed as basically immune to the standard process.

One of the things with Trump is that he's been solidly in the public eye, not as a politician, but as a real estate developer and "impresario" for at least 30 years. So he's had a great deal of practice at this "screw the haters" approach to things. One of the (non-political) things that people seem to like about him is that he punctures the mainstream media's self-importance. It looks strong and confident.
posted by theorique at 11:02 AM on November 24, 2015


There's all this handwringing when students are like "actually, let's NOT invite racist or anti-trans speakers onto campus and pay them large speaker fees", but the whole Gamergate-mass-shooting-at-a-popular-event lecture threat thing sank without a trace.

Again, I'd be a little wary of this due to the immense clouds of disinformation those guys put out.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trump Aide Warns 'Woe Be On' The RNC If It Goes After The Billionaire: "Reince Priebus has an obligation to Donald Trump in order to treat him fairly, make sure the process treats him fairly and if they don't—this will be a very, very bad thing for the Republican party," Cohen said.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:07 AM on November 24, 2015


Gamergate is a right-wing domestic terror group.

Oh, undoubtedly so. But it never hurts to redraw the connection for those are may not yet see it. Granted, most of those folks probably aren't reading this, but still.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:29 AM on November 24, 2015


The rants about social justice warriors and white chucks make it sound a bit too much like redditors/channers, even if that stuff is bleeding over heavily.

In the video embedded in that piece, the two men directly reference /pol/, and in a longer version I saw last night, they could barely get through a sentence without referencing 4chan/Reddit memes and phrases that I've only seen before in the context of MTGOW sites, like '2D women'. They treat their whole 'recon mission' as a jolly wind up, chatting to protesters nicely - AKA acting 'like a beta white cuck', I suppose - then wittering meme drivel and giggling as soon as their backs are turned. The parts at the protest were a livestream capture, too, with a comments section that was scrolling too fast for me to catch much beyond words like 'cuck' and 'dindus'. (I think I watched it inside a Twitter app, so the URL for the full video isn't in my history, annoyingly.)

If the men in the video are the same men that carried out the attack - huge 'if', obviously - this could be terrorism for lulz. I honestly have no idea what to think about that.

Golly gee willikers, who ever would have guessed that a right-wing domestic terror group would use exactly the same language as Gamergate?

I'm not sure it makes sense to see Gamergate, Redpill types, MTGOWs, MRAs, Stormfront posters, Dark Enlightenment nitwits, r/c**ntown Redditors, &c. as separate groups at this point - they're one foaming mass of far right extremists and people who just enjoy attacking people, and don't care who they're aligned with.
posted by jack_mo at 11:29 AM on November 24, 2015 [22 favorites]


That if is a super big if.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2015


Not sure of the provenance of that

I don't know what the provenance is either, but this was posted on the BLM Facebook page on November 20. (That's when I saw it and shared it in disgust.) I see all of these defenders of these men popping up with "the BLM people assaulted these men first!" and "of course they were wearing masks, it's cold out!"

Bullsh*t. If two white racist men with masks and a gun make it a point to send you a hate-spewed video about coming to your protest, you are going to be hyper aware of two white men in masks actually showing up at your protest.
posted by jeanmari at 11:39 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Channers probably post that shit on regular basis though, until there is a direct link I would just assume it's them getting lucky - probably before long we'll be hearing about how their terrorist threat wasn't a real terrorist threat and this proves that blah blah blah talking fedora talking fedora and so channers are smarter than you and racism isn't real.
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on November 24, 2015


Economic policies benefitting only the elites while harming everyone else tend to lead to a rise in right wing politics. I've never quite understood why leftists are so afraid of pointing the finger at the actual culpurits (bankers, CEO's, basically the upper 0.1%). Even in Greece when a party was elected on little but a mandate to end austurity and bring about economic justice they failed, and I suspect that the Golden Dawn, or others of their ilk, will soon be rising as a result of that.

So it doesn't surprise me in the slightest that Trump's embrace of the fascist talking points, blame the other, blame the foreigner, blame all the minority groups, assure your audience that prosperity is their birthright and they are only poor due to nefarious plotting of liberals/Jews/Mexicans/blacks/whatevers.

What does deeply disturb me is that apparently the political opponents of Trump are still so in the thrall of big money that they cannot take out a clear position opposing him. Sure, they'll call out his racism, misogny, xenophobia, and so on, but they won't call it out as scapgoating to give his audience a villain to hate while protecting those who have been hurting them. They limit themselves to the milquetoast response that racism is bad, and that of course has no effect at all.

Even Sanders, our theoretically bold economic warrior has not really gone out presenting the only counternarrative that has a chance of working, namely the truth.

Because Trump's supporters, Republican voters in general, are 100% right. They are worse off, they are economically hurting. The American Dream is failing them, and has been for a long time now.

The only possible way to end the fascist threat is to address the core issue: the income disparity and the suffering that causes. To construct the truth based narrative that yes, we are hurting, yes we are worse off, and it is the fault not of illegal immegrants, not of black people, not of gay people or environmentalists or liberals or whatever the FOX News villain of the day is, but of the rich people who are hoarding all the money.

I will add that people are making a mistake in assuming that Trumpism's descent into fascism is particularly going to follow the pattern seen in Itally or Germany, and that both Itally and Germany took often radically different paths to fascism.

If it continues towards fascism Trump won't need to actually raise militias and Trumpshirts and so on for a while. As noted, the police are already doing a lot of the job of using violence to suppress the Trump designated victims, likewise the extant violent groups will doubtless be coopted by Trumpism, the Minutemen and the Oathkeepers and so on.

The general pattern of violence to suppress political opponents will take place, the specifics such as groups identifying with and officially being lead by the rising fascist aren't guaranteed and probably will happen differently.

I'm fairly convinced that Trump will get the Republican nom and will lose to Clinton. But the problem will continue to fester and get stronger so long as the economic elites keep riding roughshod over everyone else. Eventually that has to end, whether by a rising fascist government or a trust busting populist I don't know. I hope for the latter, but the former seems a lot more likely.
posted by sotonohito at 11:53 AM on November 24, 2015 [7 favorites]




There's a pernicious double standard, too, one that's encouraged by the wingnuts:
The appeal and power of old-fashioned, overt and transparent white racism is growing in the United States. The prime example of this phenomenon is the rise of Donald Trump, but the GOP front-runner is but one data point in a longer trend. Since the election of Barack Obama, white supremacists have increased their enrollment of new members. To that end, they have infiltrated Tea Party organizations to recruit racially resentful and angry white people who are beginning to think about politics in terms of “white group interests.”

While anxiety about ISIS dominates the American news, the FBI has in fact identified domestic terrorism from white, right-wing Christians as the greatest domestic terrorism threat to the United States since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The right-wing news-entertainment media complex routinely uses eliminationist and violent rhetoric to describe liberals and progressives. There, the implicit (and often explicit) narrative is one that those who people who are not members of the American right-wing are “traitors,” “un-American” and deserving of whatever violence comes to them. This is not empty talk, hyperbole, or “playful” rhetoric designed to cheer on Republicans and build up morale before a presidential election. The right-wing media has actually weaponized its followers. The results are those black folks killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston, the woman’s reproductive health doctor George Tiller, and the other victims of right-wing domestic terrorists shot dead at Sikh Temples, Jewish Community Centers, and elsewhere in the United States.
They riled up the right-wing fever swamp to make it even more difficult to track domestic terrorists going back to almost the moment of the inauguration, and they've only ramped up their efforts since then. Instead, it's often the victims of violence that have been made out to be the boogeymen. It's not outrageous to think that, had the protesters been white and the guys in the video been speaking Arabic or claiming they were Black Panthers, things would be completely different. There'd be 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage, calls for moderate Muslims/African-Americans/etc to step and and denounce, SWAT teams busting down doors on live TV, and so on. But when it comes to the shootings in Minneapolis, all the threats from groups like Gamergate, the craziness at the meeting in Fredricksburg, the now-monthly protests by white gun nuts at mosques? Relative silence. The reality that Americans (especially women, PoC, and religious minorities) are more likely to be a victim of terrorism, mass shootings, and similar violence from conservative white bigots seems to be completely invisible to the press. That's scary enough in the normal political environment, but in one like this? It's downright dangerous.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:13 PM on November 24, 2015 [25 favorites]


Republican voters in general, are 100% right. They are worse off, they are economically hurting. The American Dream is failing them, and has been for a long time now.

I don't agree that they are 100% right. The world changes. Their lot is not worse off, it's just everyone else is catching up and evening out. If they can't cop the fact that American post-war success was based on a unique set of circumstances because the US was largely unscathed after WWII (and the labor market still discriminated against everyone except white men), the rest of the world had it's industrial capacity trashed, and former colonial countries were still in the process of recovering from being deindustrialized by colonial powers during the first round of globalization, then their viewpoint is not based on sense of reality or fairness. I'm getting a little sick and tired of essentially being told, "Well maybe republicans are right and we should appease them so they don't throw another tantrum."
posted by FJT at 12:15 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is no magical way to appease them anyway - their "solutions" to their problems only make things worse or harm other people, they never actually solve anything.
posted by Artw at 12:20 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Their lot is not worse off, it's just everyone else is catching up and evening out.


These aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.
posted by DiscountDeity at 12:27 PM on November 24, 2015


Sorry, that may have been needlessly vague: I mean that right-wing whites could very well be losing economically AND dealing with the loss of their privilege and the intersection of these may be the core of the problem.
posted by DiscountDeity at 12:30 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Both are true. Things have been evening out and they are worse off. But that's because we're all worse off. Income has basically remained flat for decades, while productivity has soared. All of the gains have been going to the top.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:34 PM on November 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


The 'muslims celebrating' trope is interesting to me because it started immediately and has had a really long shelf-life. I say this because on the evening of 9/11/2001 I had a gig scheduled at a restaurant owned by someone from the middle east, and when our band arrived there that night the owner refused to let us play because he didn't want it to appear as if he was celebrating. Despite fervent arguments from the bandleader who tried to insist we get paid.
posted by ianhattwick at 12:42 PM on November 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "NYTimes Editorial Board: Mr. Trump’s Applause Lies"

Seriously. How has it taken, like a week, for a major paper to outright label Trump and Carson's statements as an outright fabrication and lie (and an extremely pernicious one at that; taken right out of the fascist playbook).

The editorial board (which I've been agreeing with unusually often lately) did not mince its words, and calls on the media to drop the show, and hold these assholes to a higher standard (emphasis mine):
Mr. Trump relies on social media to spread his views. This is convenient because there’s no need to respond to questions about his fabrications. That makes it imperative that other forms of media challenge him.

Instead, as Mr. Trump stays at the top of the Republican field, it’s become a full-time job just running down falsehoods like the phony crime statistics he tweeted, which came from a white supremacist group.

Yet Mr. Trump is regularly rewarded with free TV time, where he talks right over anyone challenging him, and doubles down when called out on his lies.

This isn’t about shutting off Mr. Trump’s bullhorn. His right to spew nonsense is protected by the Constitution, but the public doesn’t need to swallow it. History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one.
posted by schmod at 12:52 PM on November 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


FTJ: I believe I may have been unclear. The Republicans are 100% correct in their realization that they're being economically abused, not in anything else. I don't at all advocate appeasing them.

But it isn't simply everyone else catching up, in fact everyone else is typically doing even worse than the stereotypical Republican cis, white, male, heterosexual, Christian. As others have observed, wages have been stagnant since at least the 1980's and productivity has soared and new costs (internet for example) have appeared. The money has all been leeched away by the parasites of the upper 0.01%.

For example, in the 1950's the average CEO earned roughly 12X what the lowest paid person in their company earned. Today the **AVERAGE** CEO makes over 200X what their lowest paid employee does, and a great many make upwards of 600X to 1000X what the lowest paid employee makes.

There is a very real problem, it is true that in general people of color are suffering worse, economically speaking, than white people, but that doesn't invalidate that fact that the Republican base is seeing their own income dwindle and therefore they have a legitimate complaint.

Where things go wrong is that they listen to people like Trump who tell them the soothing lies that their economic woes, which are real, are the result of people of color, liberals, immegrants, college educated people, and whatever other scapegoat they can think of. The real villains, that top 0.01% of mostly parasitic bankers and CEO's, are not ignored, rather they're praised and held out as the birthright of white Christian men and the Republican voter is told that if it weren't for those vile unions, or liberals, or hippies, or black people, or whoever, they'd be rich and rolling in it so they need to vote Republican because the Republicans will punish the bad black people who have stolen the birthright of white people.

But we don't win by arguing that the problem is not real. It is very real. And I hold out hope that some Republicans who are less wedded to the racist, sexist, xenophobic, narrative can be swayed by the truth. Which is that they are being abused, that they are poor because people are screwing them over, but that the actual villain is the economic elite, not the even poorer black guy next door.
posted by sotonohito at 1:05 PM on November 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


Can I encourage everyone here who's in support of BLM but who has never quite made it out to a protest (because protests aren't your thing, because you don't think of yourself as a protest person, or because you always want to go but something turns up) to get to the solidarity demos for this? You're needed.

I am flat-out terrified. I have small kids. I had an inkling to bring one of them to a protest. Now we're literally getting shot at. I've been at protests. I've participated in this stuff very directly, and this is just an insane situation.
posted by odinsdream at 1:38 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


A 23-year-old white male has been taken into custody

I am shocked, shocked, that it somehow was done without violence.
posted by phearlez at 1:59 PM on November 24, 2015 [13 favorites]


They didn't shoot the Hispanic guy either. Maybe his name was George.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


When he becomes the decider, I fear that leaving 8 years ago won't be enough. the rest of the planet might not be safe.
posted by infini at 2:46 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I went to the BLM march this afternoon but had to leave early due to a friend's emergency. It was very large, and another probably 150 people stayed behind at the encampment. A lot of people dropped everything, canceled classes, walked out of school, etc to attend. It was definitely one of the largest marches I've been on (other than the big ones before the Iraq war) and I was sorry I could not stay longer.

If you can't go to a protest, you can write your city council about police brutality issues and racial justice issues in your town. You can look at what the school board is doing to address racial inequality in the schools. Local stuff like that is super important and a few dedicated people can make a big difference, and in fact, I think that while protests are very important because we need to show popular, motivated opposition to this stuff, it is equally important to put individual pressure on local politicians. There are many, many ways to work on this stuff. Lots of people can't go to protests - can't leave work, can't leave the kids, have health issues, are carers, etc. There are many, many ways to do important work that don't involve taking it to the streets.
posted by Frowner at 3:59 PM on November 24, 2015 [15 favorites]


Can I encourage everyone here who's in support of BLM but who has never quite made it out to a protest (because protests aren't your thing, because you don't think of yourself as a protest person, or because you always want to go but something turns up) to get to the solidarity demos for this? You're needed.

How would you find out where they were? Or if there even was one?
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 PM on November 24, 2015


Cato the Younger with a sequel to his previous piece:
Today brings word that five people protesting police violence in Minneapolis were shot by three white supremacists in front of a police station. Some reports have the cops refusing to render aid to the wounded and macing the protestors, which is entirely believable. Thankfully, the specific Nazi scum that opened fire on the crowd are poor shots and those targeted were just wounded and not killed. However, this is not an anomaly but is instead a reflection of an ongoing march of right-wing political violence.

A man who believes myths about whites facing genocide marches into a church and murders nine people for nothing other than being Black. Another Nazi attempts to bomb the Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane. A leading Presidential candidate suggests that a protester who was assaulted at a rally of his deserved the attack he faced and is pro-torture for interrogations and for the hell of it. And these are just three examples. In another hour, I could pull up another dozen.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:36 PM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


"At the end of the day, the Chicago Police Department is trained for, and we're world leaders in, mass demonstrations. We're prepared to facilitate people's first amendment right to free speech, but we will be intolerant of criminal behavior here in the city of Chicago."
The police chief of the Chicago PD said this. The police fucking chief of the Chicago fucking PD. World leaders. I'm so absolutely blind with rage right now at this asshole. Chicago PD is a world fucking leader in beating some protester's head in. They should not be emulated or considered "trained" for handling mass demonstrations.

Fucking Chicago PD. World leaders in mass demonstrations. Makes my fucking head spin.
posted by Talez at 5:01 PM on November 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


Also this is response to them sitting on video evidence that one of their officers executed a 17 year old kid in public (he was shot over 13 times when he was on the ground!) for an entire YEAR! and now that the video is out they arrest the guy. They deleted security footage from the Burger King. They ran actual TORTURE DUNGEONS. Christ fucking wept.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:05 PM on November 24, 2015 [14 favorites]


Did you see the video. The kid was walking away from them. The police edge forward and then eventually just open fire.
posted by Talez at 5:08 PM on November 24, 2015


I cannot bring myself to watch it to be honest. Just the autopsy report is blood-boiling. No wonder the city paid the family $5 million without a trial.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:10 PM on November 24, 2015


Pardon my language. That cop is a sick fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:10 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every other cop there is complicit in the coverup. It's too bad they're going to sacrifice the one cop and go on like nothing else was wrong.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:15 PM on November 24, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm sure it's just a coincidence that so many of the cases where black men and boys being shot by cops and/or racist dudes turn out to be the fault of the guy with the gun drawn when they're caught on tape, yet somehow turn out to be Violent Thug Who Listens To The Rap On The Loose when there's no one recording it.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:25 PM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


At the time I posted it, I was trying to protect my parents' reputation from people here who know them. Given all the posts they make on social media that I've since blocked, I figure they're putting it out there already, soooo... a few months ago, I posted an anonymous Ask about how to talk my parents out of voting for Trump. I was kinda surprised by the amount of answers telling me not to bother, but reading this thread, seeing the calls to speak out, I'm really glad I asked the question. I continue to engage in general terms (oh, D's did this for your pet issues while R's did this against) and sharing things on Facebook with no commentary (which has absolutely made a difference, as one of my parents has started sharing some of these posts). Talking about this does matter and it does help. If a Phelps can be shown and taught tolerance, so can others.
posted by Ruki at 7:28 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Let's ask a Nazi what he thinks about Trump. (He likes him, but he's lost faith in the ability of one candidate to change the system.)

(Okay this content has already been deleted twice so I guess let's just see what happens?? Let's ask a Nazi about that.)
posted by grobstein at 8:48 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to admit to feeling just a bit smug as I see people slowly waking up to the idea that they need to take Trump seriously. I took him seriously very quickly, owing to how many people in my neck of the woods were really enraptured by the Donald. White, working-class people. Young, white, working class people.

The guy is, at worst, an even money bet to be the next President, and that should scare the hell out of anyone with a modicum of intelligence, conservative or liberal. I have no confidence that either Clinton or Sanders can mount a winning campaign against a loudmouthed bully who has no problem with outright, shameless lying, and a constituency that doesn't care.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:54 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


So you're saying that you think Trump has at least a 50% of being the next President? I would pretty much literally bet the farm at 1-1 odds that Trump won't be the next President. It's not out of the realm of possibility by any means but its not remotely higher than 50% at this point. Either you think he's got the nomination basically sewn up and a 60%+ of winning the general or you think he's got the general sewn up and a 60%+ chance of winning the primary and I don't see how you can be sure of either of those things.

He may win the nomination but he won't win the general.
posted by Justinian at 9:05 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


For what its worth, if you actually meant it when you said you think Trump is currently over 50% to be the next President you should be falling all over yourself getting into the betting markets right now since they are putting Trump at something like a 10-1 underdog. That's the opportunity of a lifetime.
posted by Justinian at 9:07 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


For what its worth, if you actually meant it when you said you think Trump is currently over 50% to be the next President you should be falling all over yourself getting into the betting markets right now since they are putting Trump at something like a 10-1 underdog.

Thank you for checking this cuz I saw the original claim and got scared, like what
posted by grobstein at 9:12 PM on November 24, 2015


That sounds like a pretty good idea. If he wins, I'll have some solace.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:12 PM on November 24, 2015


I dunno, I'd probably liquidate my position if he won the primary and pocket the profits. But then I obviously think that since I don't believe he'll win, so I'm biased.
posted by Justinian at 9:20 PM on November 24, 2015


Oh yeah. The most likely, and probably really >50% likely, individual person to be the next President is Clinton, hands down. Unless the economy free falls again, D is structurally favored pretty heavily. Presumably a war would only increase that, assuming 2004 would be the more relevant comparison than 1968.

This shit ain't going away tho.
posted by PMdixon at 9:23 PM on November 24, 2015


He may win the nomination but he won't win the general.

He won't even win the nomination.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:47 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trump might not win this time.

Let's all breathe a sigh of relief at that.

But even if he loses, the ugly, rotting face of entitled, embittered white America isn't going away. All the sins and crimes they blame POC for they display in spades, and they're just going to get more aggrieved, more aggressive, more spiteful as time goes on.

So we'll see more of this shit in 2017 for the run up to 2018, and in 2019 for the runup to 2020, and so on. And eventually, one of them will win. Maybe 2042 will arrive first. Maybe not.
posted by qcubed at 10:28 PM on November 24, 2015 [5 favorites]




Donald Trump touts his ability to predict world events, including terrorism - I think he is literally claiming to have psychic powers.
posted by Artw at 11:26 PM on November 24, 2015


Let's ask a Nazi what he thinks about Trump. (He likes him, but he's lost faith in the ability of one candidate to change the system.)

Lol buts.

Who said it, Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler?

Now, don't get me wrong. I kinda like Donald Trump. I have a soft-spot for delusional, narcissistic blowhards with a flair for the dramatic and a gift for the long con. From P.T. Barnum to L. Ron Hubbard, they've been, by and large, my role models. That said, I wouldn't want them to represent me in government, whether at the local, the state, or the national level. Actually, I take that back. They're great at the local level. I mean, who else runs for school board?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:39 AM on November 25, 2015


Libor Jany and David Chanen: 3 men in custody, 1 released in 4th Precinct protest shooting
Minneapolis police said Tuesday that they have arrested three men in connection with the shooting. Allen Lawrence “Lance” Scarsella III, 23, was arrested in Bloomington. Sources said Nathan Gustavsson, 21, of Hermantown, and Daniel Macey, 26, of Pine City, were taken into custody after they turned themselves in. All three suspects are white. Earlier Tuesday, police arrested a 32-year-old Hispanic man in south Minneapolis, but he was later released because, police said, he was not at the scene of the shooting.

Authorities are weighing whether to treat Monday’s shooting as a hate crime, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
[...]
The gunfire erupted around 10:45 p.m. Monday on Morgan Avenue N. about a block north of the precinct station where protesters have staged demonstrations and camped out since Nov. 15, when police fatally shot Jamar Clark, an unarmed 24-year-old black man.

Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”

When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. The victims — all black men ages 19 through 43 — were taken to local hospitals. Their injuries were not life threatening.
I don't know if this qualifies as enough information for a new FPP yet, because there are some details still coming out. For instance, Scarsella apparently admired Confederate paraphernalia (quelle surprise!), and the police may have known about the video (if not the perpetrators) before the shooting occurred. And as far as their social media pictures could be correct, they do resemble what little we can see of the racists in the video.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:16 AM on November 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Though I think it could be an FPP on its own, I also think it could be combined with the BLM protests in Chicago following the release of the video of a fatal police shooting last year and the charging of the officer (I think with first degree murder??)

(I would do it but I have a super busy day at work so won't be able to dedicate the time to put something together that would do it justice until later tonight)
posted by triggerfinger at 5:14 AM on November 25, 2015





How would you find out where they were? Or if there even was one?


Your profile says that you're in Pittsburgh - there's a group called What's Up Pittsburgn which seems to be white people doing white-directed anti-white supremacy organizing. Their website is active. You could probably email them for information about community stuff.

It looks like the Black Lives Matter-related organization of Pittsburgh isn't active.

You could get in touch with the Urban League and ask about how to find out about local intiatives. Urban Leagues are generally, IMO, a bit conservative/respectable politically and sometimes sympathize with the cops (not in cases like the ones Black Lives Matter is talking about, though) but there are good people around those organizations and there are people who know about policy.

There is a Quaker organization here which seems to do racial justice work.

I notice there's a radical bookstore, The Big Idea, in Pittsburgh. (Looks suspiciously clean and sunny for a radical bookstore, if you ask me.) If there's marches and stuff going on, there will probably be flyers posted there. You might even be able to ask the front desk volunteer for suggestions for smaller local projects.

You could also keep an eye on the New Pittsburgh Courier, which is a Black-run local paper/news website. If Pittsburgh is anything like MPLS, they will have information on school board issues, local policing ordinances, elections, etc. If you read regularly, it should help you develop a sense for what the big local issues are.

I'm assuming there's a lot more local stuff - look for small neighborhood papers/news websites, for instance; my neighborhood paper, which is very small and serves a poor neighborhood, often has a lot of interesting hyperlocal political stuff in it - and if you are familiar with any left-wing churches, those might also be good starting points. There might be stuff through Pitt.

I think it can be difficult to find your way into these scenes and movements, especially as semi-public leftwing cafes, bookstores, etc have been forced to close. I notice that Pittsburgh used to have one of the oldest African-American bookstores, Marcus Books, but it lost its lease due to gentrification [plus racism, it looks like to me]. There's a cafe/art gallery, the Soul Pitt (which totally sounds like it should be a Samuel Delany story) as well.

Basically, if you're like me and perhaps a bit shy, it might be hard to figure out what to do. I would say that it's okay to just go to meetings every month or something for a while as a way to get your bearings - ie, you don't need to feel bad if you can't find a way to jump in as a giant ultra-active community super-activist. For you to be able to do decent work in the long term, it's important for you to know people and to feel at ease (unless we're talking about all-hands-on-deck, protest/occupy/emergency situations where a lot of people are needed right away of course).

It is all right to push your boundaries, but don't push them so much that you'll fail and give up. For instance, I just don't do door-to-door flyering stuff, although I've done get-out-the-vote. I have a lot of anxiety around strangers, it's hard for me to argue with people and I hate it so much that it ruins my whole week with dread and stress if I know I have it coming up, and also I"m not very good at it. So I have decided that unless it's an absolute emergency, I don't do it.

If you are worried about violence or arrests, etc, remember that you do not have to go to street protests. Also, protests with a substantial left-religious component are usually likely to be pretty peaceful and calm. Your tolerance may vary, but I am a big old atheist and have no problem attending left-religious events in general.

Another possibility: find something that you really care about and try to bring a racial justice aspect to that. If you really like books, for instance, can you find a project that donates books to school libraries or otherwise does book-related stuff and help get more books [and more books by authors of color] into schools?

The big protests are very important because they show the people to ourselves, and they show us to our enemies. They take a lot of work and they do have effects - I am convinced that MPLS would not have even the little traction that has been obtained on the Jamar Clark case without them, and frankly both the protests and the shootings are huge embarrassments to the mayor and the city. There have been lots of unarmed Black men shot by cops here in the time I've lived here - I literally have two friends who have witnessed such shootings - and those cases sank without a trace.

But at the same time, all that other work supports the big protests and the movement itself. Books for kids, for instance - and computer access, and whatever else Kids These Days need in terms of popular culture and skills - support movement building. The mills of god grind slow but passing fine - all that little stuff adds up as people grow up and communities mature.
posted by Frowner at 6:18 AM on November 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


They're great at the local level. I mean, who else runs for school board?

This position - accepting the presence of extremist politicians in lower-level positions like the school board or the town dog catcher is even more chilling, though, because

a) If they are on the school board, they're in a position of power to influence people's kids, and

b) Sometimes, taking these low-level positions is considered an entry-level tactic to get further into a political career. Yeah, not too many people run for school board - and not too many voters pay attention to who is running for school board either, so it's considered an easy "in". And that makes it all the more easy for someone who's been on the school board for a number of years to then run for the next step up - town council, say - and they can now use "served 5 years on the school board" as a campaign talking point, which in turn makes it more likely for the average voter to shrug and say "eh, I haven't heard of either one of the candidates, but at least this guy has more experience so I'll pick him."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 AM on November 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


And as far as their social media pictures could be correct, they do resemble what little we can see of the racists in the video.
Here's the longer videos of 4chan users at the protest that I mentioned upthread. (Scroll down to the '/k/ visits' videos - I don't want to link directly in case they autoplay, since they're incredibly vile from the off.)
posted by jack_mo at 6:45 AM on November 25, 2015


Is there anything Canadians can do to show support?
posted by peppermind at 6:51 AM on November 25, 2015


Provide asylum if he gets elected.
posted by zarq at 7:09 AM on November 25, 2015 [25 favorites]


Minneapolis police 'suggested Jamar Clark protesters wanted shootings'

From that link:
After the shots, everything was “very chaotic”, Omar said. Several people, including Sumaya Moallin and Oluchi Omeoga, ran back to the precinct to ask the police for help.

Moallin said they needed a squad car and an ambulance. “He looked at me and he said: ‘Call 911,’” she told the Guardian. “I said: ‘I thought you were 911.’ Then he looked at me directly and said: ‘This is what you guys wanted.’”

“Six [officers] were outside [the precinct building],” she continued. “They all just shuffled back into the door. They were not making eye contact ... I pleaded a good amount of time.”


Wow.

Remember that iconic photo from the Ferguson protests of the police kitted up like they were about to carry out an operation in ISIS-controlled territory, silhouetted against the Season's Greetings decorations? I recall that several of us were of the opinion that if something like that had occurred in a work of narrative fiction, there would be complaints about the forced feel of it, how heavy-handed and anvilicious (to use a TV Tropes term) it would be, and yet here it was in real life.

I feel the same way about the exchange and events Moallin describes in that report. Put it in a dramatic film about the BLM movement, about this moment in US history, and even allies would complain that it's over the top.

And yet it occurred. That should frighten any American, regardless of where they stand on race relations, police reform, and what it takes to promote the general welfare of all of our citizens.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:28 AM on November 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


Charlie Pierce: The Powder Keg
There is a wildness in our politics that goes back beyond this administration. But the election of this president—​and his stubborn insistence that he be allowed to act like a president—​has brought a focused volatility to that wildness that is unprecedented in the years since the turmoil of the 1960s. The lost illusions of American exceptionalism, and the loss of the dominant postwar American economy, make the results of that poll sadly unsurprising. But that basic disillusionment has been percolating around American politics for decades. There is something different about it now that is the result of years of exchanging history for desperate propaganda, a yearning for a past that never was, at least not for all Americans. In the 1960s, protests like those going on at various universities, and like the one that's ongoing in Minneapolis, would have been completely unremarkable.

Now, though, thanks to 50 years of steady drum-beating about how it was in the 1960s in which the country began to slide into decline, and how it was in the 1960s that the power drained away from You in the direction of Them, a culture of victimization has arisen despite all the data proving that the victims in question have not been victimized at all, at least not in comparison to their fellow citizens, anyway. What has victimized them are economic and trade policies that have drained the country of decent paying jobs, the decline of organized labor, and a lot of sleight-of-hand political jibber-jabber that continues to this day. It's just easier to get people to blame each other. And that's what's coming to a head in the country now.

That poll is chilling in its detachment from actual empirical reality. The people polled in it are chilling in their certainty. That certainty makes them believe that the police are their Myrmidons holding back the power of their fellow citizens who happen to be black, and who wield so much power that any means of resisting that power is wholly justified. That certainty makes them believe that protesters on a campus in Missouri are some kind of threat against the dwindling promise of a real American middle class. That certainty makes them jump at shadows, predictably. That certainty eventually curdles into a rage that lashes out blindly at all the wrong targets. For too long, too many people have been willing to believe that which is not true. At some level, people rebel against the nonsense they've come to believe. They feel stupid. They feel like suckers. They look for easy targets. Rage is general, like Joyce's snow, all over this country. It is not a good time.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:30 AM on November 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Laquan McDonald thread
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on November 25, 2015


Okay, I had to share this. A "coalition of 100 African-American preachers and religious leaders"--most of them profit pastors and televangelists--is poised to endorse Trump on Monday.

And thus does the world move a little closer to becoming a Bloom County comic strip.
posted by duffell at 5:15 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Another Nazi attempts to bomb the Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane.

For anyone who doesn't know the story: The Bomb That Didn't Go Off
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on November 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fan video of Trump video clips - scans like populist propaganda. The interesting thing is that people can honestly read this as a fan video. (i.e. you could actually believe that a fervent Trump supporter put this together)

We aren't seeing people creating content like this about Clinton, Bush, Jindal, etc. Done for them, it would feel artificial, like a political ad. Sanders is the only other candidate for whom a grassroots propaganda video like this would feel really authentic.

What this means, I'm not sure. But it's interesting.
posted by theorique at 7:52 PM on November 25, 2015




Let's see, so far he's attacked foreigners, minorities and now people with disabilities. I can't wait to see what he has to say about Jews.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:54 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe he could start quoting /r/childfree or something?
posted by Artw at 9:43 PM on November 25, 2015


If he actually apologizes is the spell broken?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:03 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the Kasich campaign (link to youtube video caution: *scary* background music):
You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with their government because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he's going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it's OK to rough up black protesters, because you're not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you're not one. But think about this: if he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there's someone left to help you.
posted by peeedro at 11:24 PM on November 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


The reference in the Kasich attack ad is to First They Came, if anyone missed that.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:08 AM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]




If he actually apologizes is the spell broken?

Part of Trump's 'appeal' (excuse me while I vomit), is that he is completely shameless and unapologetic. I believe people find shame uncomfortable and hard to tolerate and so are now rooting "woo hoo!" for the shameless and fact-less guy.
posted by puddledork at 7:14 AM on November 26, 2015 [1 favorite]




The Ecstasy of Donald Trump
This is the thing Trump knows: You can stand around fretting about truth and propriety and the danger of pandering to baser instincts.

Or you can give the people what they want.

posted by andoatnp at 10:33 AM on November 26, 2015


These people aren’t skinheads. They don’t seem like jerks. Most of them are wearing jeans. There are guys with mullets and satin jackets, and well-groomed young men in blue blazers with gold buttons. There are people with babies and people with canes. There are women in plaid shirts and women in tight dresses and matrons with pearl earrings. There are trucker-hat versions of Trump’s famous Make America Great Again cap, and camo versions, and one in hunting-vest blaze orange.

The fact that racists can look like your next door neighbor seems to only be news to white people.

Oh, right, it's the Atlantic. No wonder they're surprised. They're more worried about college students asking racists to stop being racist than they are about actual racists.

Happy Fucking Thanksgiving.
posted by qcubed at 11:44 AM on November 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


These people are not confused. They are sticking with Trump, the only candidate who gets it, who is man enough to show the enemy who’s boss.

Yes, they actually are confused. Confused as to what it means to be American, confused as to what America stands for, confused as to who their real enemies are.

That's really the only reading possible that can be had if we are to assume in good faith that these are good people.

Happy Fucking Genocide Day.
posted by qcubed at 11:48 AM on November 26, 2015 [3 favorites]




Yes, they actually are confused. Confused as to what it means to be American,

Are they, though? I want that to be true but I am not sure if it is.
posted by phearlez at 7:47 PM on November 26, 2015


I've had people tell me with absolute certainty that there are photographs of people having those celebrations with the Towers falling in the background.

And if you look way in the background, you'll see hippies spitting on American soldiers.
posted by JackFlash at 8:41 PM on November 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Armed mosque protesters publish Irving Muslims’ home addresses

What else to say but that these people are absolute trash.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:32 AM on November 27, 2015




Jesus. That's four miles from me.

We had another shooter less than a month ago who was shot down six blocks from my house. Checking on friend who lives across the street from there...
posted by mochapickle at 12:05 PM on November 27, 2015


Friend is OK.
posted by mochapickle at 12:12 PM on November 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me


I am going to be repeating this to every person who ever defends that phrase or response until they're punching and kicking me. And afterwards, until I never hear anyone defend it again.

Holy shit. What a bunch of disingenuous assholes. I can't even really form a response other than that movie trailer voice going "you thought fascism was an overused phrase to the point it had lost real defined meaning... UNTIL NOW"
posted by emptythought at 12:58 PM on November 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


According to this NYT article about the PP shooting:
Security concerns at the clinic were high enough that the clinic had a “security room” with a supply of bulletproof vests[...]Planned Parenthood clinic moved into the building a few years ago because it is surrounded by private property, which provided a buffer zone between patients and abortion protesters who demonstrated.
This is what we have to do just to provide health care to women in the US in 2015.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2015 [14 favorites]




From The Gazette, our local newspaper:
There was a moment this afternoon when a man walked up to the scene with a handgun strapped to his waist and ammunition vest around his chest. He appeared to be asking police if he could help. Officers told him to leave immediately because appearing at the scene while wearing firearms and that equipment was a bad idea.
I just... I just can't.
posted by mochapickle at 4:17 PM on November 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


He's a white man "exercising his 2A rights" against a "controversial" organisation, he won't be called a terrorist. They'll blame it on mental illness or something like that, but these guys don't get called terrorists unless he kills dozens. A couple randos and some local fuzz getting winged are "acceptable" collateral damage.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:57 PM on November 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Christ. I'm in the area spending the weekend with my SO's family. I guess her mom sees a doctor with an office right around that intersection.

Nobody I've talked to today seems all that surprised, which is its own sort of commentary. I don't personally feel all that surprised, given my nearly every experience with the ideological and cultural vibe around here.

I'm glad you and your friend are all right, mochapickle. I'm so sorry this shit keeps happening in my adopted home state. I wish I had the faintest idea what to do about any of it.
posted by brennen at 4:57 PM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, Colorado Springs is a hotbed of wingnuts, so don't be surprised if the local media to go easy on him if he turns out to be a fellow traveler.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:06 PM on November 27, 2015


Both the police and Planned Parenthood officials emphasized, however, that they did not know the gunman’s motive. “Since this is still active,” Lieutenant Buckley said, “it would be premature to speculate” about a motive.

Of course. We can't know the mind of a right-wing terrorist.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 5:14 PM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


We can't know the mind of a right-wing terrorist.

Don't you mean "emotionally disturbed lone wolf"?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:19 PM on November 27, 2015


Seriously, though. Fuck this shit. One of the most damning aspects of the shootings today is how unsurprising it is. There is a deep sickness in this country, and there are powers that feed into and off of that sickness.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:23 PM on November 27, 2015 [4 favorites]




Also, Colorado Springs is a hotbed of wingnuts, so don't be surprised if the local media to go easy on him if he turns out to be a fellow traveler.

That's the thing, zombieflanders. We have our share of bonkers wingnuts here, but most people here are relatively normal (myself included). This being the second mass shooting here in less than a month, people are not going to forgive this terrorist.

It's an insult to 99.99% of the people here in my community to suggest that the whole town and our media would be sympathetic.
posted by mochapickle at 5:36 PM on November 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


My sincere apologies, mochapickle. My friends from Denver have strong opinions about Colorado Springs, but I shouldn't have gone off like that.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:52 PM on November 27, 2015 [3 favorites]




We're witnessing an end to something. To what, I'm not sure anymore.

And that's the part that bothers me.
posted by Ashen at 8:06 PM on November 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's OK, ZF. I think we're all just reacting to a chain of awful situations.

COS is the closest thing I have to a hometown, for better or for worse, and we get a bad rap due to a vocal minority. It's funny, but most people live here despite the politics instead of because of them. Tell your Denver friends they're welcome to stop by for supper if they're in the area. You, too. :)

It's awful. Three people dead, including a police officer who had come by from the local university to lend support.
posted by mochapickle at 8:21 PM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


There have been plenty of studies showing that conservatives and liberals speak a different language, operate from a different mindset and have a different worldview in pretty much every way (links to studies are in the article):

Just for the record those studies come with all of the replicability problems of modern psychological research not to mention the conceptual and research design problems of the subject area. Most importantly, the coverage of them glosses over the puny actual effect sizes. So while the studies may have statistical significance the small actual effect sizes provide almost no support for the notion of two distinct populations because their real world behavioral distributions have massive overlap.
posted by srboisvert at 5:24 AM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]




"I built ramps so you people could lose your life savings in my slot machines. What more do you people want?"
posted by tonycpsu at 9:18 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Virtually no-one has spent more money in helping the American people with disabilities than me. Will discuss today at my speech in Sarasota

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND
TRUMP TAJ MAJAL, LLC and
TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS, INC.

UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
(PDF)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:22 AM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]




Virtually no-one has spent more money in helping the American people with disabilities than me.

"You should see how accessible the Trump Camps will be!"
posted by mittens at 5:36 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


The web interface for the Undesirable Persons database will be totally WAI-ARIA compliant.
posted by Artw at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]




Lauren Fox: FBI: Anti-Muslim Activist Could Be Headed For NY Muslim Community
“F--k you Muslims. We're gonna stop at virtually every mosque along the way, flip them off and tell them to get f-----," Ritzheimer said in the video, according to the Daily News. The video, which has since been taken down, also reportedly included Ritzheimer showing off a handgun.

The Muslims of America are located in the village of Hancock, New York, which is nicknamed "Islamberg." An ex-congressional candidate in Tennessee, Robert Doggart, was charged earlier this year with plotting to enlist militia members to burn down buildings in the Muslim hamlet.

An FBI spokesperson told the Daily News that the agency notified authorities of Ritzheimer's video because it "could have been perceived as threatening against the Muslim community in Hancock, N.Y."

Ritzheimer has a long history of dishing out anti-Muslim vitriol and making threats. He is well known for staging the anti-Muslim rallies like the "Draw Muhammad" cartoon competition in Phoenix. TPM reported earlier this year that Ritzheimer launched a $10 million fundraising campaign after that rally to protect his family or else run against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). He also made threats to arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) "for treason" because she supported the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. His plan was to arrest any lawmaker who voted for the bill.
More, including the video, is at the NYDN article that can be found here.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:51 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


mittens: "Virtually no-one has spent more money in helping the American people with disabilities than me.

"You should see how accessible the Trump Camps will be!"
"

Big, beautiful camps, really you should see how beautiful they'll be!
posted by symbioid at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


So this happened in my fair city a few days ago. This is what happens when people are fed a constant diet of hatred against immigrants in general and Muslims in particular. I can't imagine that this will be the last incident of this kind.
posted by octothorpe at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Political F-word
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


We - people of good will here on metafilter - really, really need to step up on this stuff. I feel like we talk about it and lament about it, and I know that sometimes folks act on what we say here, but I feel like sometimes we just talk. Which normally is the human condition, but I look around and I do feel like what if this is the point at which something merely average American-bad (that will resolve itself and go away eventually) is changing into something really, really bad that will only get worse on its own.

I feel like we have to connect with local Muslim organizations and local immigrant organizations, or big blanket groups like CAIR, and find out what solidarity actions we can take. I imagine that everyone can do something no matter where they are or what their situation - people can write emails if they don't want to make phone calls, and people can donate money if they have it, or go to events.

I also think we need to be visible in some way, at least those of us who it won't endanger, even if that's just stickers or buttons. This always gives me a little pause, because I think "what if people break my windows" and "what if people think I'm an enormous hypocrite because I benefit from white privilege and citizen privilege". But I think the time has come where we need to try. I might see if I can make some buttons or outdoor quality stickers or something, just something simple that is like "I support refugees" or a slash through "Islamophobia".

What's going on now isn't just a physical injury to us as a society; it's a spiritual injury, because when we are forced into silence in the face of injustice it erodes our ability to be full beings in the world. When we're forced to accept that our citizens can be murdered in the street and nothing happens, it erodes our sense of how humans should be, it erodes our sense that we can create a decent world, it forces us to hide from large parts of our experience and to lie to ourselves. This situation we're in - even if we can't win, even if it keeps happening - the one thing we can do is live in a meaningful way instead of letting ourselves be killed in the spirit.
posted by Frowner at 7:13 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Frowner; I'm so glad to hear that kind of idea and hope it becomes more widespread. I'm also in the Twin Cities. I'd imagine some groups around here might already be working on similar initiatives, but I'd love to keep in touch with you if you find something compelling, or start it yourself.
posted by odinsdream at 8:16 AM on November 30, 2015


I feel like we have to connect with local Muslim organizations and local immigrant organizations, or big blanket groups like CAIR, and find out what solidarity actions we can take. I imagine that everyone can do something no matter where they are or what their situation - people can write emails if they don't want to make phone calls, and people can donate money if they have it, or go to events.

I will say that my very first reaction upon reading about that guy who the FBI thinks is headed for Hancock, NY was to google how far away it was from Brooklyn, so I could maybe round up people to go up there and do like a human-shield thing or something.

I mean, not that me and five friends could do jack-all, but.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on November 30, 2015




I can't imagine that this will be the last incident of this kind.

this was a month ago, not sure if it was linked already.
posted by twist my arm at 10:57 AM on November 30, 2015


The Latest: Prosecutor defends charges in protest shooting - charge is apparently "riot", whatever that means.

Sounds like a bullshit lesser charge to me but there's probably some dumb reason it isn't attempted murder.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on November 30, 2015


Josh Marshall: The Great Convergence
The article in The American Thinker is about what it terms "rape jihad", by which it means what it claims is the "disproportionately high numbers" by which Muslim men rape non-Muslim women in country's with Muslim minority populations.

You could easily swap "Muslim" and "Black" and have something close to indistinguishable from a million things written in the South about black men endangering the chastity of white women in the South in the century before 1965.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:44 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


In re Minneapolis:

The mayor gave what seems to have been an exceptionally mendacious speech today, alleging that the protesters are threatening the cops. This is wildly out of line with anything I have seen at the 4th precinct, although I would not be surprised if young and truculent people had shouted unpleasant things once or twice - like after the cops refused to help the people who got shot. The actual policy of the groups involved is to avoid all unnecessary contact with police, including spoken contact.

Of course, she's trying to get the protesters to quit, but she's not addressing their grievances. It would be just terrible if some angry teen shouted something rude at a cop, but it's really not that bad that people get shot dead by police or get shot by white supremacists.

I've heard just now that it looks as though the police may be massing to evict the protest. The mayor was totally "will no one rid me of this troublesome priest"-ing it - she didn't call for an end to the protest but she "hoped" that one would happen. This is not a mayor who is committed to police accountability or to the "equity and diversity" upon which she prides herself.
posted by Frowner at 11:51 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Leticia Miranda: Four Men Charged In Shooting Of Protesters Near Minneapolis Police Precinct
Four men were charged Monday in connection with the shooting of five protesters at a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside a police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Nov. 23.

Joseph Backman, 27, Nathan Gustavsson, 21, Daniel Macey, 26, and Allen “Lance” Scarsella, 23, were each charged with one felony count of rioting with a dangerous weapon, Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman announced at a news conference Monday.

Scarsella was charged with three additional felony charges of assault with a dangerous weapon resulting in bodily harm.

Federal investigators are continuing to gather evidence against the group, which may lead to hate crime charges, Freeman said.
And now it's time for everyone to get their fake surprised face on:
A police officer who works outside the Twin Cities and knows Scarsella described him as being a “sovereign citizen and pro-Constitution,” according to court records. The officer knew that Scarsella owned and carried guns and had “negative experiences with and opinions about African Americans.”

Scarsella’s phone was filled with photos of himself with guns, including a 45 caliber handgun and an M1 rifle as well as racist images, according to court records. Police also found photos of Scarsella and Macey, who is Asian, posed with a group of other men wearing camouflage and holding guns in a meeting where several confederate flags were waving.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:25 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


...were each charged with one felony count of rioting with a dangerous weapon...

Why the fuck is this not attempted murder?
posted by odinsdream at 1:13 PM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why the fuck is this not attempted murder?

"Because racism" is a depressingly easy and too-often-true answer to questions about America these days.
posted by Etrigan at 1:15 PM on November 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


At least MN doesn't have stand your ground, because this is exactly the fuckery that SYG enables, especially when it comes to white men "defending" themselves from black people.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:41 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Each state of the process that this gets through where it doesn't get dropped on bullshit self defense grounds is a pleasant surprise.

But it should be attempted murder.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2015


"Muslim Free" gun shop owner takes aim after judge tosses lawsuit against him

To pay his legal bills, Hallinan teamed up with George Zimmerman to sell a series of prints of a Confederate flag painting by Zimmerman. The painting included the inscription, “The 2nd protects our 1st,” which Zimmerman described as a “double entendre.” The proceeds were supposed to be split evenly among the two men.


"among the two men," Washington Post? Really?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:34 PM on November 30, 2015


(why is it double entendre? are they talking about genitals?)
posted by mittens at 4:31 AM on December 1, 2015


Why the fuck is this not attempted murder?

I had assumed because they shot people while being confronted and escorted away, so in a more complex situation than just walking up and opening fire. As someone noted, this gets very close to what would be covered by a "stand your ground" law, and I wonder what they could be charged with in such a state?

The article quoted the prosecutor claiming that these were the most serious charges possible, but you'd think there would be some more conspiracy or hate crimes options as well.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:25 AM on December 1, 2015


That prosecutor had the option to drop homicide charges against Cece McDonald when she was defending herself from a group of drunk racists and stabbed one of them with scissors in the midst of a melee. He had dropped charges against white people who were defending themselves in other situations, but he didn't drop them for a black trans woman, no matter how plausibly she might have feared for her life.

Maybe these are the most serious charges possible. But the fact that the city and the prosecutor have acted so badly in the past makes it very difficult to believe them.

In a way, this whole thing is the culmination of a long series of bad faith and racist actions by those in power - it's the kind of situation where people might have different feelings if the city had acted in an accountable and honest way in the past.
posted by Frowner at 5:57 AM on December 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think George Zimmerman got in over his head with semiotics and shit
posted by angrycat at 5:59 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]




(why is it double entendre? are they talking about genitals?)

It isn't. Sounds like Zimmerman is trying to come over cleverer than he is.
posted by Dysk at 7:49 AM on December 1, 2015


Sounds like Zimmerman is trying to come over cleverer than he is.

Well, he would almost have to.
posted by phearlez at 7:59 AM on December 1, 2015




Speaking of George Zimmerman, does anyone know if this twitter feed is legitimately him? Because it's pretty much straight up KKK-level racism, and you'd think the dude would at least try to keep that shit somewhat on the downlow.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2015


Never mind. I found the actual account, which is much more banal in its idiocy. But still very much racist.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:24 AM on December 1, 2015


So people from MPLS Black Lives Matter were protesting at City Hall and some guy - apparently employed at City Hall - greeted one of the protesters with a racial slur. This whole thing just gets grosser and grosser. I feel like I am losing all respect and optimism about the city as a whole.
posted by Frowner at 12:38 PM on December 1, 2015


NYT: Wary of Donald Trump, G.O.P. Leaders Are Caught in a Standoff

For months, much of the Republican Party’s establishment has been uneasy about the rise of Donald J. Trump, concerned that he was overwhelming the presidential primary contest and encouraging other candidates to mimic his incendiary speech. Now, though, irritation is giving way to panic as it becomes increasingly plausible that Mr. Trump could be the party’s standard-bearer and imperil the careers of other Republicans.

You know what they say about about sowing the wind. This might be - finally - the payback for Richard Nixon's Southern strategy of white resentment and paranoia coming back to decimate the modern Republican party. (I can hope, right?)
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:20 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Decimate isn't sufficient.
posted by odinsdream at 1:29 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist

Though all Trump supporters surely aren’t racists or bigots, even a cursory examination of social media reveals that many are. Those supporting Trump tend to be white, less-educated and middle-aged and older – those who are anxious and angry because they are losing ground as the American economy changes. An analysis of the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll by my colleague Scott Clement found that Trump, who has the support of 14 percent of registered voters overall, does particularly well among white men who aren’t college-educated (24 percent) and white, non-evangelical Protestants (27 percent), but gets only 3 percent of non-whites and 5 percent of those under 30 years old.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:36 PM on December 1, 2015


Why the fuck is this not attempted murder?

The videos and various commentary suggested that the interlopers placed themselves in the middle of the protest (armed), and then shot at people when it seemed like they were in physical risk, being pursued by protesters when they were leaving. So they will probably go for a self-defense plea.

It feels like a technicality, of course, like when you were in the back seat of the car and your mom said "stop touching your little brother, it's bothering him" and you waved your hands an inch in front of his face while repeating "I'm not touching you ... I'm not touching you". Yes, you're technically in compliance with the specific rule, but you're being deliberately provocative too.

These guys obviously placed themselves at the location of the protest for the specific purpose of provoking some kind of confrontation, against which they could then "self defend". So it's tenuous, but maybe a judge or jury will go for it. We will have to see.
posted by theorique at 6:52 PM on December 1, 2015


My understanding is that you can't pick a fight and then kill the person in self-defense when you're losing, but I don't think that applies if you're white and your victim isn't.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:53 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, Zimmerman did explicitly that.

or is that a joke?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:01 PM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


My understanding is that you can't pick a fight and then kill the person in self-defense when you're losing, but I don't think that applies if you're white and your victim isn't.

I suspect the legal details would hinge on how close these guys got to "picking a fight". There's probably a lot of case law precedent that details the distinctions between "provoked/baited someone into a fight" and "minded your own business when you got attacked".

Back in the the Trump situation: the latest appears to be that he's seeking a $5M fee (to be donated to charity) to participate in the next CNN debate. The circus continues.
posted by theorique at 7:08 PM on December 1, 2015


Ray, that's one of the theories about what Zimmerman did, and IMO probably the closest to accurate.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:14 PM on December 1, 2015


When I went through armed security guard training in Virginia (don't ask) one of the things discussed was duty to retreat. You get into some sort of face-off situation, regardless of "who started it," you must make an effort at getting out of the condition where you have to use deadly force. It might be that the best you can do is take two steps back, depending, but you have to have done something to defuse the situation precisely for that reason - to demonstrate that you didn't just keep pushing shit until you could claim you were in fear of your life.

Another thing discussed was that you couldn't claim self-defense while in the process of committing an illegal act. If you're in the process of burglarizing someone's home you're not entitled to claim that you were defending yourself.

This is not legal advice or even legal advice from someone else - this was from a instructor in a class about safe and legal firearms, but I think it's somewhat illustrative about what used to be the training mindset when it came to firearms defense. This was before stand-your-ground - which amazingly even firearms nutty Virginia still doesn't have - and also came with a sizable helping of you are not police don't be trying to do police things so it's maybe not in line with what weekend warriors in personal self-defense classes are getting now.
posted by phearlez at 8:58 AM on December 2, 2015


Coarsening the culture: Republicans need to do some housecleaning
Simply put, Trump prospers because Republicans’ rhetoric and political strategies have gradually coarsened their own party base, which looks less and less like the rest of a changing America. As of 2012, 89% of self-identified Republicans were non-Hispanic white. That may even understate the blinding whiteness of the Republican primary electorate. These demographics, combined with Republicans’ problematic track record on social inclusion, are fundamental.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2015


First Donald Trump changed Loudoun’s geography—now he’s going after its history

In Donald Trump’s world, there’s a magic kingdom called Trump National Golf Club Washington, D.C. Although it is actually located in Sterling, the presidential candidate insists his kingdom is in Washington, about 25 miles downstream, where he covets a stately, white house on the National Mall.

Trump indulges his fantasy with a castle (clubhouse) that sits on a bluff overlooking Lowes Island in the Potomac. He’s clear-cut 400 trees along the banks of the river to provide an unobstructed view.

Trump has spent millions turning 800 acres along the Potomac into Trumpland. Now the master marketer who’s leading the GOP presidential polls is re-interpreting history.

Unveiling his new golf course on the property earlier this year, Trump paused between the 14th hole and the 15th tee at his monument to history: a plaque designating “The River of Blood” at a section of the Potomac on Trumpland.

“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,” the inscription reads. “The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’”

The inscription, beneath his family crest and above Trump’s full name, concludes: “It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!”

Now for the real world. Not much of what Trump says is true.

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:42 PM on December 2, 2015




Yet the increasingly frequent tendency of Trump’s critics to label him a liar is wrongheaded. Trump is something worse than a liar. He is a bullshit artist. In his 2005 book On Bullshit, Harry G. Frankfurt, emeritus philosophy professor at Princeton University, makes an important distinction between lying and bullshitting—one that is extremely useful for understanding the pernicious impact that Trump has on public life. Frankfurt’s key observation is that the liar, even as he or she might spread untruth, inhabits a universe where the distinction between truth and falsehood still matters. The bullshitter, by contrast, does not care what is true or not. By his or her bluffing, dissimilation, and general dishonesty, the bullshit artist works to erase the very possibility of knowing the truth. For this reason, bullshit is more dangerous than lies, since it erodes even the possibility of truth existing and being found.
Yeah, I've been making this distinction re:Trump a lot lately.

Frankfurt on the Daily Show: Harry Frankfurt Pt. 1, Harry Frankfurt Pt. 2
posted by homunculus at 6:13 PM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]




{/} But those are compliments, see! You PeopleTM should be happy to be appreciated like that! {/}
posted by rtha at 9:47 AM on December 3, 2015




Shades of Ross Perot speaking before the NAACP.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:01 AM on December 3, 2015


Is it right to say jeeeeesus in response to this? Because.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on December 3, 2015


This is trolling. There's something deliberate going on here. This cannot be explained by mere stupidity and tone-deafness.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:27 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is trolling.

This is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...:
The book is known for its sadistic and dastardly (yet true to life) portrayal of parasitic relationships so commonly found in humanity.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be a bit fairer to the candidates, they are speaking to a Republican Jewish group. Still, they're pretty tone-deaf even for that crowd. On the other hand, stuff about opposing a two-state solution, which is supported by a majority of Jewish Americans, a majority of Israelis, and even a large minority of Jewish Israelis, went over like gangbusters.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:50 AM on December 3, 2015


AP: Trump says Mideast peace rests with Israel

"I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it," Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Republican front-runner said his concerns are greater regarding "one side in particular." While Trump wouldn't say whether he was referring to the Israelis or the Palestinians, he said the chances for a lasting peace rest with Israel.

"A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel's willing to sacrifice certain things," Trump said. "They may not be, and I understand that, and I'm OK with that. But then you're just not going to have a deal."

posted by Apocryphon at 1:05 PM on December 3, 2015


@woodruffbets: "Last night I was watching Schindler's List. Everybody here has seen Schindler's List." -Jim Gilmore to the Republican Jewish Coalition

Amazing. I would totally have paid money to attend this shindig for entertainment value alone.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:18 PM on December 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is it right to say jeeeeesus in response to this?

Could you be more insensitive? The correct response is "Holy Moses!"
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:00 PM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


We would also accept a dejected, drawn-out "oy" accompanied by a slow shaking of your head.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:07 PM on December 3, 2015 [14 favorites]




Maybe Jim Gilmore watches Schindler's List every night, you don't know
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:11 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


David Neiwert: Donald Trump May Not Be a Fascist, But He is Leading Us Merrily Down That Path
People who have studied the extremist right as a historical and sociopolitical phenomenon in depth are acutely aware of a simple truth: America has been very, very lucky so far when it comes to fascistic political movements.

And now, with the arrival of the Donald Trump 2016 phenomenon, that luck may be about to run out.

Nor is this phenomenon just a flash in the pan. Trump is the logical end result of an endless series of assaults on not just American liberalism, but on democratic institutions themselves, by the American right for many years. It is the long-term creep of radicalization of the right come home to roost.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:49 PM on December 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


The GOP's problem is that Trump The Donald (by Fred, out of Mary Anne) is not of the purebred Republican line, and has no GOP pedigree. Rather, he is a random, one-in-three-hundred-million genetic fluke, a human Seabiscuit, created and trained entirely outside the soundproof bubble of the GOP paddock. So it is no wonder these self-absorbed stable owners, who have not bothered to look at the competition beyond their own fence rail in three decades, sneeringly discount his potential to win.

In their arrogance, they fail to see that Trump's unique and privileged rich-boy upbringing has instilled within him not just some, but virtually all of the political deformities they have so long tried to breed into their own stock. And they stupidly remain unaware that he in fact carries them all in much higher concentrations than they could ever achieve with a candidate who meekly toes the party line for a decade or two, and passively allows himself to be groomed for The Big Race by those cautious billionaire owners and chart-gazing strategist-trainers that make up the very innermost of the GOP's inner circles.

posted by tonycpsu at 10:35 AM on December 5, 2015 [4 favorites]




"At Donald Trump Rally in North Carolina, the Protesters Just Keep Coming" (NYT)
The calls for “Security!” rang out through the crowd near the podium 15 minutes before the event even began.

Loud boos poured down from the rafters of the cavernous arena, as three police officers quickly descended on the man with a long ponytail wearing a brown hoodie, who walked out peacefully.

That early escort, for what other attendees described as rude behavior, set the tone for one of the most protest-riddled campaign rallies held yet by Donald J. Trump. More than two dozen people were escorted from the event at Dorton Arena here for various forms of protest, causing the candidate to stop his stump speech about 10 times until the shouts and boos subsided.
Glad to know there is still some fight in the Old North State!
posted by oakroom at 5:19 AM on December 7, 2015




The calls for “Security!” rang out through the crowd near the podium 15 minutes before the event even began.

Pathetic and shameful. As if the people at the event were in danger from protestors.
posted by odinsdream at 8:08 AM on December 7, 2015


Donald Trump and the F-word
posted by nubs at 8:49 AM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Trump County, USA - "America’s most reliable bellwether county has fallen for the wild man from New York."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:12 AM on December 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honestly, if it weren't for the various totally blameless people who are going to be immiserated under our New Model Fascism, I would say that this country is getting what it deserves, and bad cess to us.

In America’s most prophetic county seat, Trump enjoys a diverse coalition of support, from the 17-year-old punk high school student on the eve of his first election...

Jeez, I guess we need #youain'tnopunkbruv now. Or what did we used to say? "Nazi punks fuck off", I think it was. We could stick with that one.
posted by Frowner at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump and the F-word

Great piece—maybe the best yet that I've read about the phenomenon of Trumpism. And of course it was written by Rick Perlstein. I hope this is a preview of the next installment of his excellent series tracing the course of right wing politics in the U.S.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:17 PM on December 7, 2015


I read that as Fashion expert... no such luck, given that hair style
posted by infini at 12:44 PM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]




At some point other candidates and the media has to move on from critiquing his insane statements to flat-out saying that a Trump presidency is unacceptable and his supporters are anti-democracy and anti-American.
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Jumping into this with unsupported anti-Muslim talking points isn't really a workable position on this site.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:14 PM on December 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


[andy_t, cool it with this subject. I'm giving you the night off, and officially warning you to stay away from any Muslim-related discussion here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:28 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Zack Beauchamp: Donald Trump has a base: 76% of Republicans think Islam is un-American (emphasis in original)
A full 76 percent of Republicans, currently Donald Trump's target audience, see Islam's values — and thus, presumably, the Muslims who adhere to them — as incompatible with the American way of life.

And a majority of the general public agrees with them! Fifty-six percent of all Americans in the survey agreed Islamic values are incompatible with American values — as a did substantial minority of Democrats (43 percent). Hostility toward Muslims and Islam is fairly popular, as far as bigotry goes.

This finding is hardly unique. After Ben Carson said that Muslims shouldn't be president in September, a YouGov poll found that 57 percent of Americans agreed with him. Thirty percent of Republican voters in Iowa, a critical primary state, told Public Policy Polling that Islam should be illegal.

This data explains why Trump is hardly the only Republican in the race pandering to anti-Muslim sentiment: it's disturbingly popular. And it's starting to manifest in actual, real-life bigotry.

One final ironic twist: The American Values Survey also asked Americans which groups there was "a lot of discrimination against" in the United States. The group that more Americans singled out than any other as a target for discrimination?

Muslims.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:36 AM on December 8, 2015


Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious. Jeb Bush
posted by infini at 6:43 AM on December 8, 2015


And a majority of the general public agrees with them! Fifty-six percent of all Americans in the survey agreed Islamic values are incompatible with American values — as a did substantial minority of Democrats (43 percent). Hostility toward Muslims and Islam is fairly popular, as far as bigotry goes.

Of course, most of those people couldn't tell you a goddamn thing about Islamic theology, don't know any Muslims personally and could tell you absolutely zip about any element of Islamic history or culture. You could probably punk them all with some kind of faked-up quiz, actually.

"Islam should be illegal, and by "Islam" I mean random people who I think of as being all people of color but don't really know anything about, who believe some things I can't describe, who come from places I mostly couldn't find on a map, who have histories I don't know the first thing about," that's what we're talking.
posted by Frowner at 6:50 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


(I mean, at this point in my town, plenty of Muslims come from Minnesota, since we have established, long-term Muslim communities here. This nonsense really pisses me off. On a selfish, personal level, I find it insulting to the great state of Minnesota, because it suggests that a substantial chunk of our population is somehow suspect and does not belong here, and our legislators and everyone who represents us at the national level should be pushing back on this stuff as a slur on our state.)
posted by Frowner at 6:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ryan Lizza: A House Divided: How a radical group of Republicans pushed Congress to the right
[Rep. Devin] Nunes, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, told me that the biggest change he’s seen since he arrived in Congress, in 2002, is the rise of online media outlets and for-profit groups that spread what he views as bad, sometimes false information, which House members then feel obliged to address. The change has transformed Nunes from one of the most conservative members of Congress to one of the biggest critics of the Freedom Caucus and its tactics.

“I used to spend ninety per cent of my constituent response time on people who call, e-mail, or send a letter, such as, ‘I really like this bill, H.R. 123,’ and they really believe in it because they heard about it through one of the groups that they belong to, but their view was based on actual legislation,” Nunes said. “Ten per cent were about ‘Chemtrails from airplanes are poisoning me’ to every other conspiracy theory that’s out there. And that has essentially flipped on its head.” The overwhelming majority of his constituent mail is now about the far-out ideas, and only a small portion is “based on something that is mostly true.” He added, “It’s dramatically changed politics and politicians, and what they’re doing.”
[...]
[Rep. Raul] Labrador then pointed to another chart, which showed that the G.O.P.’s favorable ratings this year dropped from forty-one per cent, in January, to thirty-two per cent, in July. “This is what happens when we do nothing,” he said. “This is the new G.O.P. majority in 2015, when we stand for nothing.” The problem, in his view, was that the Party was “governing,” he said, adding air quotes to the word. “If people just want to ‘govern,’ which means bringing more government, they’re always going to choose the Democrat.”
Really, the article is worth reading all the way through for just how deep "the obvious prion disease that has afflicted the Republican party since it first ate all the monkey-brains in the mid-1970's"--as Charlie Pierce lovingly refers to it--goes just among elected officials, as long as you think it won't permanently affect your blood pressure.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


What Happens If Donald Trump Wins the Republican Nomination?

Or the *gasp* election?! President Trump Would Destroy the Economy

Donald Trump May Not Get the Nomination, But He Has Already Won as Donald Trump's Destruction Test of the Republican Party Continues Apace

We know this becaause there's been 95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue
he New York Times analyzed every public utterance by Mr. Trump over the past week from rallies, speeches, interviews and news conferences to explore the leading candidate’s hold on the Republican electorate for the past five months. The transcriptions yielded 95,000 words and several powerful patterns, demonstrating how Mr. Trump has built one of the most surprising political movements in decades and, historians say, echoing the appeals of some demagogues of the past century.
Demogogues like Stalin and Kim Jong-Il

Looks like The Left Must Defend Secular Liberalism from Fascism of All Stripes

anyway let's talk about Trump's Plan To Ban Muslims And Not This Poll
Monday was supposed to be all about Ted Cruz.
In the afternoon, the respected polling institute at Monmouth University released a poll that, for the first time, showed the Texas senator winning the Iowa caucuses. His 24 percent support rate in the politically important state marked a “clear lead” over historic frontrunner Donald Trump, the university said. It was pretty big news.
But Donald Trump eventually became bigger news.

many via OMNIVORE
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not just Trump...

Donald Trump’s “Ban Muslims” Proposal Is Wildly Dangerous But Not Far Outside the U.S. Mainstream

That mayor that favorably cited Japanese internment camps is a Democrat, btw.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2015




My best friend and I were talking, and we think the entire Trump campaign is the result of a late night bet...like, "if I make this putt, you have to run as a republican candidate for president", sort of thing, and everything DT says is him trying to get out of the race. I mean, you would have thought that any of the gross racism he's spewed so far would have buried him, but it hasn't, so he keeps getting more and more outrageous in the hopes that he can just call it done, but the RightWing has so primed the Teahadists for a return to fascism that he's suddenly become the accidental fuhrer.

And even if/when the Donald walks away from this election, the divide he's illuminated is deep and frightening and I've no idea how to reunite a country this far apart on basic understanding of rights.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


By banning all Muslims, what Trump actually proposes is:

- Making the US an unacceptable place for multinational companies to locate their corporate headquarters.

- Barring all major global shipping companies and cruise lines from docking in US ports.

- Barring major international airlines from landing in our country.

- Never hosting the Olympic Games, the World Cup, or any other global sporting event ever again.

- Closing down the UN, and never hosting any international diplomatic meeting or Middle East peace negotiation ever again.

- Banning the hosting of multi-national business meetings, and global non-profit, scientific, medical, or trade conventions ever again.

- Causing good shortages, price increases, and a major exodus of jobs, while putting millions of Americans out of work.

Why does Mr. Trump hate America? What does he have against capitalism and free trade?
posted by markkraft at 1:58 PM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


we think the entire Trump campaign is the result of a late night bet...like, "if I make this putt, you have to run as a republican candidate for president", sort of thing, and everything DT says is him trying to get out of the race.

I don't understand this compulsion some people feel to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, when everything we've known about the man going all the way back to the Reagan years shows him to be a horrible, racist, greed-sucking scumbag with little-to-no impulse control who will do or say literally anything for just a bit more money, a bit more power, or a brief suckle off the teat of sweet celebrity.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's the benefit of doubt, we're just trying to come with any scenario that explains the madness.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:37 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


By banning all Muslims, what Trump actually proposes is:

You forgot "drag humanity back to the damned Dark Ages"

He's using Japanese. Internment. Camps. as a positive example, ffs.
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


‘This Will Be The End Of Trump’s Campaign,’ Says Increasingly Nervous Man For Seventh Time This Year

Also we can't dismiss the possibility that Trump might be a plant for (or be being manipulated by) the Clintons. Only slightly joking with this one.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 2:51 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noisy Pink Bubbles, you've got company.
posted by nubs at 3:11 PM on December 8, 2015


I don't think he's in the company of Hillary, but I think there's a good chance he's a smart, moderate conservative who's out to make the Republican Party look ridiculous.
posted by miyabo at 3:15 PM on December 8, 2015


I sort of feel like Trump might prefer to go down in history as the man who pulled off the most incredible political stunt the world has ever seen, rather than just another reprehensible sack of shit who ran for/became President, which is why I remain hopeful that this theory will prove correct.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:21 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think in reality Trump is indeed a self aggrandizing, vain bigot. I also think it is NOT NEWS that a substantial percentage of Americans are bigots too, and neither know nor care that our laws and Constitution are opposed in spirit and language to bigotry. But that substantial percentage is nowhere near a majority of the people who are actually going to vote. I think Trump has no hope at all of being the Republican nominee, and less than no hope of being U.S. President.

This reminds me of being in France some years ago and seeing news in the paper about Le Pen doing very well in the French elections. Our hotelier, a sweet man, saw me checking out the headlines and told me very seriously in French that it was a humiliation, indeed a "catastrophe," for someone like to get enough success to give France an international black eye. So part of what makes me sick about Trump is that he is essentially our Le Pen, even if he hasn't stood for election with actual voters as yet.

More importantly, Trump, besides giving aid and comfort to our haters and unforgivably insulting our minority citizens, is making the U.S. a lot less safe. Hillary Clinton's tweet about this is right on point.
posted by bearwife at 3:46 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of being in France some years ago and seeing news in the paper about Le Pen doing very well in the French elections.

Sadly, it wasn't just a few years ago: National Front Gets a Boost in French Regional Elections.
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton's tweet about this is right on point.

And if you don't believe the tweet, try the Medium article.

That’s something I’ll bet a lot of Muslim Americans need to hear right now. Imagine hearing political leaders threaten to register and track you, implying that your religion is violent, that you’re violent, that you’re the enemy. Nearly 3 million Americans are Muslims. They’re our family, our friends, our neighbors, and co-workers. They serve in the military, save lives as doctors and nurses, and serve our communities as police officers, firefighters, teachers, and civic leaders. They’re patriots — proud Americans, just like the rest of us. They deserve better than this.

So today, I want to send a different message.

To Muslim Americans: What you’re hearing from Trump and other Republicans is absolutely, unequivocally wrong. It’s inconsistent with our values as a nation — a nation which you are helping to build. This is your country too. I’m proud to be your fellow American. And many, many other Americans feel the same way.

posted by zabuni at 3:56 PM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sadly, it wasn't just a few years ago

I know. But his sense that France was humiliated before the world was communicated to me then. I am pretty sure he feels the same way today about Le Pen and daughter's ability to keep the threat alive.
posted by bearwife at 3:59 PM on December 8, 2015


I think there's a good chance he's a smart, moderate conservative who's out to make the Republican Party look ridiculous.

Yes, and Hitler was just a performance artist spinning a cautionary tale about the evils of intolerance, but all those Nazis were too dense to pick up on the subtle irony of his message.

Again, why are people willing to read so much nuance into this one man's repeated naked expressions of hate? Is it because he used to be on a popular TV show?
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:03 PM on December 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's absurd. If you espouse bigotry and hate you're a hating bigot. Let's stop with the mental gymnastics.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump wants to ban the internet, will ask Bill Gates to ‘close it up’ (The Independent (UK))
"We're losing a lot of people because of the internet," Trump said. "We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening.

“We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."
posted by Pink Frost at 4:50 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like most hate movements that attempt to excuse their actions by claiming it's for the lulz, it's essentially meaningless what his actual motivations are. He's normalizing bigotry and creating a hostile atmosphere, full stop. I don't care if it's Trump being Trump, the Clintons pulling a fast one, or Vince Foster's zombie corpse framing the Clintons, the effect is the same.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:55 PM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Again, why are people willing to read so much nuance into this one man's repeated naked expressions of hate? Is it because he used to be on a popular TV show?

He's still on a popular TV show - every news program. So he must be saying something right.

Oh sorry, I missed some punctuation there. It should be "So he must be saying something, right?"
posted by filthy light thief at 8:40 PM on December 8, 2015


But the media’s patience with Donald Trump is clearly running out
Fed up with the Republican front-runner’s attempts to commandeer an interview for his own talking points, MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough simply dumped Trump and went to commercial break Tuesday.
Great rebuttals to everything from Trump by Hussam Ayloush with the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Well, reality is he still gets close to 20 percent of the Republican support. That's not a small fringe group. These are people who are possibly our neighbors, people who we arrive on the buses with, people who work with us. It just scares me that there are some people who hold so much ignorance or hatred in their hearts towards fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim. What's happening? We have leaders who are exploiting people's ignorance and fear to advance their political careers at the expense of our country's security. This is exactly what ISIS would like to see. He is doing the work of ISIS. He is polarizing our country, polarizing the world, creating a war between America and Islam.
And he's doing that work for free, thanks to continued media coverage of his bigotry and hatred. But hey, he's still polling so strongly, and people react to what he says! Let's keep talking about him and inviting him to talk on our programs! It's great for ratings, and our sponsors love that!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:05 PM on December 8, 2015


'Ban Donald Trump': UK demands grow to use anti-extremism laws to keep out US presidential hopeful

Also, online petition to Parliament...

"Government responds to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures"

"At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament"

Launched on Wednesday, last time I looked, .54,420, 54,780, 55,465 signatures and rising.

Only British citizens or UK residents have the right to sign: petition.parliament.uk
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:26 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like most hate movements that attempt to excuse their actions by claiming it's for the lulz, it's essentially meaningless what his actual motivations are.

I'm reminded of this blog post and references cited therein.

In particular:
In other words: if you create a neofascist party accidentally as part of a long-game trolling routine, you've still created a neofascist party. If you cause fascist policy, reinforce its ideology or produce thug-squads enforcing its views of the world, you've still caused it no matter how many "Ha Ha Only Serious" and "master troll" caveats you dress your behavior up in.
There's obviously some motivation in radical or entryist political movements to conceal real goals in comedy and "ha ha jklol" because it gets the real message out while providing a smoke screen.
posted by theorique at 5:26 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


More than 130,000 people signed on Wednesday a petition to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from Britain following his call to stop Muslims from entering the United States.

Having topped 100,000 signatures, the petition now has to be considered for debate by parliament and will require a written government response


Source
posted by infini at 6:52 AM on December 9, 2015


This would be fun to see... the Donald gets visa bans and can't leave NA
posted by infini at 6:53 AM on December 9, 2015


I don't know if anyone else has been watching the cover pages at New York's Daily News recently, but it feels like someone there kind of snapped - in a good way. About a week ago they flat-out accused the NRA chairman of being a terrorist, and also had an angry retort for the congressional tweets about their "prayers" following the San Bernadino shooting. Then a couple days later they responded to angry readers who didn't like that with a cover featuring a bunch of kitties and puppies.

Today, "New York's hometown paper" weighed in about Trump.

(FYI - the DAILY NEWS is basically a tabloid that's usually only slightly to the left of the NEW YORK POST, so seeing these covers is like seeing, say, Colin Powell suddenly out on the front lines of a peace march.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:41 AM on December 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


The NYDN hired Shaun King as their senior justice writer in early October. He's the reason you're seeing what you're seeing.
posted by palomar at 7:49 AM on December 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


(I've been following him on Facebook for a few weeks and he is blowing my damn mind.)
posted by palomar at 7:50 AM on December 9, 2015


Holy shit. I had no idea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


More than 130,000 people signed on Wednesday a petition to ban US presidential hopeful Donald Trump from Britain following his call to stop Muslims from entering the United States.
Having topped 100,000 signatures, the petition now has to be considered for debate by parliament and will require a written government response


Unfortunately Parliament doesn't have any powers here - denying someone entry is a matter for the Home Office, it's a government thing. So this petition is pretty much pointless, other than symbolically.
posted by Pink Frost at 11:17 AM on December 9, 2015


Greg Sargent: Why Donald Trump’s call for a Muslim ban may work for him, in two charts (emphasis in original)
So 65 percent of likely GOP primary voters support Trump’s new proposal, 51 percent strongly. By contrast, likely voters overall oppose it by 50-37.

That’s not all. The pollsters then read respondents some arguments about the new proposal, including this one against it:
Leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned this policy, saying that banning members of an entire religion from entering the country goes against everything we believe in as Americans. And it will make our country less safe by alienating the allies we need to fight ISIS.
After hearing that argument, likely GOP primary voters still support the policy by 64-28, 52 percent strongly. That’s after the case is explicitly made that Muslims would be banned solely on the basis of their religion, and that this would run contrary to American values and alienate allies in the battle against terrorism.
[...]
As I noted the other day, Trump has taken to repeating variations of the idea that “something is going on,” that “something is happening that’s not good.” These formulations express generalized uncertainty and anxiety. But we need to know more about why that might be working — if, indeed, it is working.

Look, it’s true, as Brian Beutler says, that it is becoming a cliche to point out that Trump’s supporters might be attracted specifically to his xenophobia and bigotry. But if the press corps is now going to make a big effort to call out Trump for what he is really up to, it only seems fair that we should also drill down into why it might actually be resonating with living, breathing voters. This could also help shed light on why candidates like Ted Cruz are sidling up to Trump’s Islamophobia while pretending not to and on why (given that Cruz is rising in the polls) that might be working for him.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:35 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gun control is what countries like Japan or Britain have. I'm not really sure what the right answer is for America --- as I said, I'm a gun owner myself and a full Japan-style defacto ban on guns is probably wildly impractical. But the only way California can be deemed to have "strict gun control" is if you believe any laws or restrictions on guns are inherently wrong (as the NRA essentially does).

Apparently restrictions are another thing that folks with strong opinions about are completely ignorant of. Some friend of a friend on facebook make similar noises about it needing to be easier and I said I didn't see how that could possibly be unless they started putting HKs in cereal boxes. I'd bought from a consignment shop many years ago, even before rapid background checks, and all I had to do was fill out a form less onerous than if I was trying to get a department store credit card. When I bought from a coworker I simply handed him money and put the new pistol in my bag to take home.

This person, who was so put upon by the existing process of firearm purchases, asserted that in that case I'd committed a felony and just confessed to it in public. Because someone who feels like they are that oppressed had never heard of the gun show loophole regarding private purchases. It's sort of hard to understand where people get this impression that it's tough. Do they just feel really strongly but don't buy themselves? Or do they have trouble with processes like dropping off dry cleaning?
posted by phearlez at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


They announced the 13 candidates that qualified for the Republican primary in Georgia on the local evening news last night. Georgia is going to participate in the "SEC Primary" with six other states on March 1st. They have Ted Cruz topping the "power rankings" as of a week ago, but I'm not so sure. With so many other candidates that sensible or sensible-ish people might support, I fear that Trump may wind up with a plurality here.

Meanwhile, somebody painted graffiti of Trump's likeness superimposed over a swastika on a couple of bridge support pillars in Atlanta.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2015


Donald Trump’s increasingly anti-Muslim presidential campaign is now hurting the Trump Organization. One of the region’s largest home retail chains, Lifestyle, is pulling “Trump Home” branded products from its 160-plus stores.

Sachin Mundhwa, the CEO of Lifestyle, said in a statement to Quartz:

As one of the most popular home decor brands in the Middle East, Lifestyle values and respects the sentiments of all its customers. In light of the recent statements made by the presidential candidate in the US media, we have suspended sale of all products from the Trump Home décor range.

As Quartz reported earlier, wealthy Muslims helped Trump build his empire, and his business’s profits rely on citizens of the Middle East to rent Trump-branded apartments and buy Trump-branded products.

posted by infini at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2015


There's a reason why diplomacy and trade tend to go hand in hand, but hey getting the shit bombedout of you is a great way to promo that new product line
posted by infini at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2015




There are a couple more related links in a deleted thread.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:23 PM on December 9, 2015


I really don't like this shitty timeline.

It has sort of awakened this patriotism in me, however. I believe our country strives, often fails but strives to be fair and just. When I think about this bullshit with the refugees I think about the Puritans, and there are a lot of differences there but the Puritans were arguably refugees. I think about how many of my Irish ancestors made it over here, escaping poverty, enduring great hardship to get here, and then got treated like shit but ultimately were integrated into society, leading to me and the privileges I enjoy. I think about the beauty of the civil rights movement and how we got gay marriage this year.

I guess it would be stupid to say I would like to round up all the ignorant and racist people and put them somewhere where they couldn't do any harm, but I will say that although I have no love for Hillary, I will be working mighty fucking hard for her. If assholes want to do shit like stage mass shootings at UT in order to encourage people to carry arms at colleges, if people want to say that Muslims can't come into the country, come on, I'll take you on.

I dunno, at some point I went from laughing to annoyance to fear to great anger at Trump and his supporters. This country has a lot of garbage aspects to it without this working anus of a person smearing shit all over it.
posted by angrycat at 4:01 PM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Noah Millman, The American Conservative: Fascism, Style and Substance
You know, I really do get it.

Fascism is a variety of right-wing populism; so is “Trumpism” to the extent that such a thing exists. Trump appeals to the core demographic that animates fascist movements: the less-educated cohorts of the majority demographic group. And his appeal has a fundamental irrationalism to it. Trump plainly plays on and stokes xenophobia in his followers. He invokes a glorious past, blames our current difficulties on presumptively unpatriotic groups, and promises a return to glory if he’s elected. He encourages a cult of personality, fetishizes action, and displays little regard for democratic and liberal norms. So yeah, I get it.

On the other hand:

It was President Bush who instituted torture as a regular practice by America’s military and intelligence agencies, who routinized indefinite detention without trial, who launched an aggressive war explicitly to reshape another part of the world according to American dictates, and whose deputies argued that through sheer force of will the President could alter reality itself.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:25 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


On the other hand: It was President Bush who instituted torture as a regular practice by America’s military and intelligence agencies, who routinized indefinite detention without trial, who launched an aggressive war explicitly to reshape another part of the world according to American dictates, and whose deputies argued that through sheer force of will the President could alter reality itself.

And the people who spoke out against Bush also got crowds of people telling us we were being unAmerican commies then too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 PM on December 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


“FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com Will Make You Want To Delete Your Facebook,” Jenna Amatulli, The Huffington Post, 09 December 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 11:36 PM on December 9, 2015


Politico: White supremacist groups see Trump bump: "The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s."

More:
Trump does not belong to or endorse white supremacist groups. He has said that he does not need or want Duke’s endorsement and his campaign has fired two staffers over racist posts on social media. A man displaying a Confederate flag was ejected from a Trump rally in Virginia earlier this month.

But its leaders consistently say that Trump's rhetoric about minority groups has successfully tapped into simmering racial resentments long ignored by mainstream politicians and that he has brought more attention to their agenda than any American political figure in years. It is a development many of them see as a golden opportunity.

Meanwhile, analysts from the two leading organizations that track violence against minority groups say Trump is energizing hate groups and creating an atmosphere likely to lead to more violence against American Muslims.

According to experts at the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center who monitor hate groups and anti-Muslim sentiment, Trump’s call on Monday to halt the entrance of Muslims to the United States is driving online chatter among white supremacists and is likely to inspire violence against Muslims.

“When well-known public figures make these kind of statements in the public square, they are taken as a permission-giving by criminal elements who go out and act on their words.” said Mark Potok of the SPLC. “Is it energizing the groups? Yeah. They’re thrilled.”

posted by zarq at 7:36 AM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really don't like this shitty timeline.

Yeah, me neither. Especially since even getting Hillary in office is unlikely to end the forces behind Trump's popularity. They will still be there and they will be angry and it will be ugly.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:41 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]




Bald Eagle fails to get on with Trump.
posted by biffa at 8:10 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Two from National Review Online

Victor Davis Hanson: PC Suppression of Public Concerns Fuels the Trump Phenomenon
In short, millions of citizens think the nation is headed for a financial reckoning. They feel threatened by radical Islamic terrorism. They sense that cultural and social stability has disappeared. And they know that expression of these worries can be a thought crime — hounded down by politicians, media, universities, and cultural institutions that do not enjoy broad public support and are not subject to the direct consequences of their own ideologies. Amid these crises and the present absence of responsible leadership, if there were not a demagogic Donald Trump ranting and raving on the scene, the country would probably have to invent something like him.
David French: For Good and Ill, Donald Trump Has Brought Discussion of Political Impossibilities into the Open
Then along came Donald Trump. On key issues, he didn’t just move the Overton Window, he smashed it, scattered the shards, and rolled over them with a steamroller. On issues like immigration, national security, and even the manner of political debate itself, there’s no window left. Registration of Muslims? On the table. Bans on Muslims entering the country? On the table. Mass deportation? On the table. Walling off our southern border at Mexico’s expense? On the table. The current GOP front-runner is advocating policies that represent the mirror-image extremism to the Left’s race and identity-soaked politics. The shattering of the window reflects the shattering of the American consensus.
from reddit: And you're going to eat these words because you're not taking the man seriously. Didn't you take debate and public speaking growing up? Did you learn nothing about how to influence crowds and manipulate discourse? ... Here's how Trump works:
1. Say something incendiary that magnetically draws all media attention his way, flooding the news cycle with stories about Trump™ and denying his opponents screen time. ...

2. Focus the public on issues he will predictably poll well in, and which serve the broader narrative/psychological image, and divert attention from topics that other candidates could debate him on. ...

3. In Trump's own book The Art of the Deal he outlines a classic negotiation tactic of opening with an extreme offer. ...

4. Consistently maneuver and discuss topics in conventions of strength and weakness; As an anti-establishment candidate it's in Trump's favor to make the reigning political parties look weak and ineffectual in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world. ...

These are classic psychological persuasion techniques that play on the subconscious mind, and pair well with someone who understands how to manipulate the media.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:40 AM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Microsoft engineer Jacob Rossi: "Don't worry Donald, our team got the bug filed and BillG is on it!"
posted by rorgy at 10:22 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


“FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com Will Make You Want To Delete Your Facebook,” Jenna Amatulli, The Huffington Post, 09 December 2015

I am pleased to report that when I tried this, the app yielded zero hits among my Facebook feed.

I know good people.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2015


For me it pulled up two way lefty Trump-haters and a couple of cousins I don't talk to. Sooooo not bad then.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:33 AM on December 10, 2015


The only friend of mine who it says likes Trump is someone I met campaigning for Obama in '08 so unless he's had a severe change of ideologies, he's just using the "like' as a bookmark.
posted by octothorpe at 10:34 AM on December 10, 2015


Mine had zero hits as well but I think it's not as much that I know good people (though I do and you're awesome) but because I am not the slightest bit shy about cutting out the cancerous shitbags on Facebook.
posted by phearlez at 10:35 AM on December 10, 2015


Mine had zero hits as well but I think it's not as much that I know good people (though I do and you're awesome) but because I am not the slightest bit shy about cutting out the cancerous shitbags on Facebook.

My sentiments exactly. Although I will admit that it does make me a little worried that I'm living in an echo chamber.
posted by holborne at 10:57 AM on December 10, 2015


A worthy concern but I think in this case it's less lockstep agreement and more that the shit was scraped off everyone's shoes before they came in.
posted by phearlez at 11:00 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]




[Philadelphia Mayor] Nutter and Trump Continue War of Words
The animosity between the two first flared Tuesday when the mayor, at a news conference, used the word a-hole to describe Trump, who has drawn fire this week for his call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

A peeved Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to say Nutter was doing a terrible job and "should be ashamed for using such a disgusting word in referring to me. Low life!" Trump, in another tweet, called Nutter "a crude dope." Nutter, in response, said that "rather than tweeting at me, what he needs to be doing is apologize to Muslims here in America and all over the world for his inappropriate and insulting proposal."

Nutter, who previously told reporters he would ban Trump from Philadelphia if he could, called Trump "basically a cartoon character" who is "failing the intellect threshold for what it seriously takes to be a real presidential candidate."
This has gotten a lot of local resonance after someone threw a severed pig head at a local mosque, which may or may not be related to an earlier incident of harassment.
Marwan Kreidie, head of the city's Arab American Development Corp., a community development group, said those behind the incident "might have thought they were doing something against" the Islamic State.

"In fact," he said, "they are doing exactly what the radicals want them to do. They want America to appear to be anti-Muslim. This will help them in their recruiting; this will help them in their propaganda. We can't let the extremists win."
posted by cjelli at 11:39 AM on December 10, 2015


FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com

I got about five. I would have expected a little more, but I went to school in a foreign country so many people I know aren't US voters. And most of my peers from school and college are pretty liberal ... so I guess it's hardly surprising.

I wonder if some of these would carry over from people who were fans of Art Of The Deal or something, from before he started running for President.
posted by theorique at 11:48 AM on December 10, 2015


The only friend of mine who it says likes Trump is someone I met campaigning for Obama in '08 so unless he's had a severe change of ideologies, he's just using the "like' as a bookmark.

Yeah, I follow him on Twitter just because I use it for political news and he is making so much of it right now you might as well just go to the source.

Amid these crises and the present absence of responsible leadership, if there were not a demagogic Donald Trump ranting and raving on the scene, the country would probably have to invent something like him.

I think the issue is more that you have spent two Presidential terms ranting and raving about the responsible leader in the room and every responsible thing he did so now irresponsibility is all you know anymore.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:55 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


“FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com"

3 hits. Not bad. Two hatefollowing, one worshipful follower.

My friend who used to work for Trump doesn't like him on FB anymore. :D
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on December 10, 2015


“FriendsWhoLikeTrump.com ... ”

Looks like a person who already blocked me for informing her that drug testing welfare recipients has been proven to be a waste of money and the guy who gave me the argument that mass shootings are a hoax perpetuated by gun control advocates. Seems like I could have guessed these results.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:55 PM on December 10, 2015


@costareports: Breaking: National GOP leaders now preparing for a brokered convention, per multiple sources. 20+ huddled Monday w/ Priebus and McConnell

This could be fun. As someone else on Twitter put it: #Mittmentum!
posted by honestcoyote at 1:28 PM on December 10, 2015


Ah, brokered conventions. The illusory masturbatory fantasy of every Beltway politics wonk.
posted by Justinian at 2:09 PM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Doesn't some reporter push the idea of a brokered convention ever four years? And we never even come close to one.
posted by octothorpe at 2:17 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The idea does get pushed every contested campaign season. 2016 will probably not have one since the villainous and plotting Cruz will be the surprise winner. But I liked this rumor since it was directly tied to the Republican leadership, and comes on the heels of the leaked memo about what the party should do in case of a Trump win.

Also, I like the thought of Mitt. Tanned, rested, and ready. Swooping in (wearing his batcape!) to save the day.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:25 PM on December 10, 2015


In his house at La Jolla, dormant Romney waits dreaming.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:44 PM on December 10, 2015 [6 favorites]






Y'all made me think of the #Romney Death Rally, and I was reminded of this story from The Onion in 2012, “After Obama Victory, Shrieking White-Hot Sphere Of Pure Rage Early GOP Front-Runner For 2016.” [Caution: Autoplaying Video]
posted by ob1quixote at 4:55 PM on December 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Borat: Trump not a real person
posted by XMLicious at 6:07 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]






After Obama Victory, Shrieking White-Hot Sphere Of Pure Rage Early GOP Front-Runner For 2016.” [Caution: Autoplaying Video]

The Onion being eerily prophetic is always the best.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:41 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]






I feel like the left -- nay, let's just say people who embrace the fucking first amendment-- should develop a symbol to express solidarity with Islamic people.

I teach just out of West Philly, and wheeling home yesterday, I passed this white lady muttering, "It's like you don't know what country you're living in anymore," at two women wearing scarves.

I mean the white lady was probably crazy*, but I say that about every one of Trump's supporters, so /shrug

*It's an incredibly diverse and sometimes violent community, and fucking around with people's ethic status is dangerous, so she at least was inviting trouble.
posted by angrycat at 4:30 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


In case any of your Trump-curious Facebook friends tries to tell you that he's just doing what Jimmy Carter did during the Iran hostage crisis: Snopes is on the case.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:41 AM on December 12, 2015


The Onion being eerily prophetic is always the best.

Well, in a way. In other ways maybe not so much...
posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sikh Fans Refused Entry To Chargers Stadium Because Of Their Turbans

Sikh people ending up targeted by American Islamophobia is one of those things that just makes me really want to rage. Like, people, can't you idiots even do bigotry right?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:24 AM on December 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeep...Trump is giving a speech in town. Judging by the parking, he's getting ten times as many people as Sanders got--and the Sanders thing filled up the building. Lots of sirens and flashing lights.
posted by mittens at 10:48 AM on December 12, 2015


Trump is giving a speech in town. Judging by the parking, he's getting ten times as many people as Sanders got

I suspect more Sanders supporters took public transportation and/or carpooled.
posted by Etrigan at 2:42 PM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like Cruz's focus on Iowa evangelicals is paying off. The gold-standard Selzer poll shows him at 31% after whopping 21-point surge, ten points ahead of Trump.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2015


At a rally in Las Vegas, in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrators, Trump supporters yelled for a Black Lives Matter demonstrator to be set on fire, yelled "Shoot him!" "Kick his ass," and "Light the motherfucker on fire!" "Sieg Heil" and "He's a Muslim".
posted by dhens at 11:23 PM on December 14, 2015


I'm a little bit skeptical about an actual Trump supporter shouting "Sieg Heil" ... seems a bit too perfectly aligned with the media narrative thus far. (Although, who knows, a unhinged supporter may have thought it was a good idea for some reason.)

In any case, I would be very surprised if these Trump rallies didn't have a non-zero percentage of dedicated opponents pretending to be dedicated supporters, and praying either to spark or to be involved in some kind of media/video event. Sort of the IRL equivalent of trolling. This happened with the Jeb Bush intern asking her question, and it's likely happened with others who were not discovered.
posted by theorique at 10:10 AM on December 15, 2015


At a rally in Las Vegas,

The other bizarre moment from that rally:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday night at a campaign rally in Las Vegas that if he had been present for the Paris terror attacks, he would've personally shot at the attackers and "those people would've been gone."

More than 100 people were killed and more than 350 injured in coordinated terror attacks across Paris at the end of November. The incident reignited attention on the Islamic State, which took responsibility for the attacks carried out by people believed to be French and Belgian nationals.

But Trump said he would've been able to kill the shooters if he had been there with his gun in tow.

“If a few of those people that are now dead, if a few of those people had guns strapped to their ankles or strapped to their waists, you wouldn’t have the problem, right?” Trump said. “If I were there, I’m licensed to carry, I will tell you this. If I were there, if somebody were there, if we had some firepower in the opposite direction, those people would’ve been gone.”
posted by cjelli at 10:14 AM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The jokes just write themselves at this point: "As your President, let me tell you, I'll make sure you have the right to carry a gun. Fantastic gun, yuuge gun, best quality manufacturing, absolutely top-notch."
posted by theorique at 10:38 AM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm a little bit skeptical about an actual Trump supporter shouting "Sieg Heil" ... seems a bit too perfectly aligned with the media narrative thus far. (Although, who knows, a unhinged supporter may have thought it was a good idea for some reason.)

In any case, I would be very surprised if these Trump rallies didn't have a non-zero percentage of dedicated opponents pretending to be dedicated supporters, and praying either to spark or to be involved in some kind of media/video event. Sort of the IRL equivalent of trolling. This happened with the Jeb Bush intern asking her question, and it's likely happened with others who were not discovered.


Weird how the article doesn't say that people nearby turned to Sieg Heil and told him off for associating the xenophobic right-wing demagogue and his supporters with Nazism.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:43 AM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


As for Sig Heil there is video of an American woman in a shirt with the slogan "Support Israel" shouting heil Hitler at an Israeli Jewish man who said he supported universal health care. So a person at a Trump really shouting Sig Heil doesn't really seem impossible or even all that new to me. The American right has a fringe do are quite comfortable with Nazi slogans.

Video here
posted by sotonohito at 10:58 AM on December 15, 2015


If I were in the presence of a person shouting "Sieg Heil" at a political event, given the, uh, charged history of that particular phrase, I'd prefer not to confront them directly - they might be crazy, armed, dangerous, etc. I consider someone doing that (shouting the phrase) to be showing poor judgment, broadly speaking.
posted by theorique at 11:26 AM on December 15, 2015


Why would you fear for your safety when he's probably just a liberal troll anyway?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:37 AM on December 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Trump has literally praised mobs for beating up Black activists at his rallies. He's attracted widespread support and media attention for demonizing Mexicans, poor people, foreigners, Muslims etc. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that he's attracting racists.

The only aesthetic touch missing from the Trump rally crowds is a sea of white hoods.
posted by zarq at 12:26 PM on December 15, 2015 [10 favorites]




[A few comments deleted. theorique, please don't play devil's advocate about people shouting Nazi slogans; it's impossible for anyone to engage with that, and doubly so if you want to do this have-it-both ways dance.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:48 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've confronted angry Nazi's that were standing in front of me. Like face to face couple of feet in front.

It went okay and I discovered what really upsets and makes them all flustered so that part was good.
posted by Jalliah at 12:51 PM on December 15, 2015


It went okay and I discovered what really upsets and makes them all flustered so that part was good.

...what?

(were you carrying an instrument of some sort?)
posted by twist my arm at 12:56 PM on December 15, 2015


...what?

(were you carrying an instrument of some sort?)


I sang little rhyming ditties about penis size.

Honestly I don't know why I came up with that. Nothing else was doing anything, it was a bit of a standoff and they were saying awful things. (It was a First Nations Protest). So I just started singing off the top of my head and they got all squirmy and couldn't stare me down anymore and seemed at a loss for words.

Sorta amazing that it worked but *shrug* whatever works works.
posted by Jalliah at 1:05 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey, a thing's about to happen. Is this the spot?
posted by box at 5:40 PM on December 15, 2015


It can be the spot if you want it to be the spot!
posted by Justinian at 5:45 PM on December 15, 2015


Why... why is she singing the national anthem...
posted by Justinian at 5:45 PM on December 15, 2015


That's not a bell.
posted by box at 5:48 PM on December 15, 2015




We've been betrayed! Let the melodrama begin.
posted by homunculus at 5:51 PM on December 15, 2015


yeah i definitely don't have enough booze on hand for this
posted by palomar at 5:52 PM on December 15, 2015


Every b-word in the book.
posted by box at 5:53 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Marco, honey, is jingoism the basis of your entire platform?
posted by palomar at 5:56 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If one of these jokers ends their intro with "END TRANSMISSION" I win $5000 in the office pool.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:57 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Moment of silence? That's a daring way to use your 1:15.
posted by box at 5:57 PM on December 15, 2015


That wasn't much of a moment.
posted by homunculus at 5:58 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


How much of Trump's shtick is describing things as great and large and terrific and big?
posted by box at 6:01 PM on December 15, 2015


That's like 75% of his schtick in everyday circumstances, 90% in intimate moments.
posted by palomar at 6:02 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuck, I hope Jeb Bush can step up his game.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:03 PM on December 15, 2015


I mean... Trump is horrible but he's right about JEB!'s campaign being a disaster and an embarrassment.
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on December 15, 2015


It's the greatest, hugest, most luxurious part of his shtick, you won't believe how big it is
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:04 PM on December 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


'Doublespeak,' the Orwellian reference might be like (makes over-the-head gesture.) Horse-thief reference gets a polite chuckle tho.
posted by box at 6:07 PM on December 15, 2015


I mean... Trump is horrible but he's right about JEB!'s campaign being a disaster and an embarrassment.

I know, but he's the best by far of a bad bunch. The thought of Cruz as the nominee is flat-out scary. I'm hoping against hope that JEB! can turn it around.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:10 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




Pay me now, or pay me a lot more later.
posted by box at 6:13 PM on December 15, 2015


If someone makes a habit of saying 'bad guys,' they may themselves be a bad guy.
posted by box at 6:14 PM on December 15, 2015


Cruz to Rubio: you're an Alinsky!
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who is "Alinsky" a dog-whistle to? I mean, I know who Alinsky is and alll... but who precisely is the target audience for whom calling something "Alinsky-like" makes them go OH MY GOD NOT ALINSKY.
posted by Justinian at 6:17 PM on December 15, 2015


To whom is Alinsky a dog whistle. I am ashamed.
posted by Justinian at 6:17 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Obama-haters. There may be some overlap with white racists there.
posted by box at 6:18 PM on December 15, 2015


I don't think they expect anyone to actually know who Alinsky is, beyond that his name has been tied to Obama before, and in their simplistic worldview that means he's bad.
posted by palomar at 6:19 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are Paul and Rubio wearing the same tie?
posted by box at 6:19 PM on December 15, 2015


I am ashamed.

There is no place for shame in the GOP.
posted by homunculus at 6:20 PM on December 15, 2015


If you thought Christie said, "We stopped four dicks." - Take another drink.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:21 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Andrew Sullivan used to talk about epistemic closure, the emergence of an exclusive talk-radio language of dogwhistles and codewords that make the conversation of die-hard conservatives basically impenetrable to normal people
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:21 PM on December 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I never cease to be amazed at how Trump can ramble on without actually saying anything.
posted by homunculus at 6:28 PM on December 15, 2015


I penetrate the Internet anytime I'm left home alone for more than an hour.

HEY-OOOOOOOO00000
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:28 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]




I really like how Carly Fiorina went to such lengths to talk about how well the private sector would handle fighting ISIS. I mean, Twitter can't get its shit together enough to stop ISIS from using it to recruit, but sure, Carly. The private sector would totally rock that shit.
posted by palomar at 6:31 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


'Political correctness' is killing people.
posted by box at 6:31 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Political correctness is really making a comeback
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:35 PM on December 15, 2015


Holy god these people scare the crap out of me.
posted by malocchio at 6:35 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really like how Carly Fiorina went to such lengths to talk about how well the private sector would handle fighting ISIS

I occasionally used to have cause to question David Friedman on how, exactly, the private sector would have stopped the 2nd SS Panzer Division. I was never particularly satisfied with his answers.
posted by Justinian at 6:36 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, sure, all of us want to watch our boyfriends on television.
posted by box at 6:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Woah, Rubio just got a stiffy.
posted by malocchio at 6:38 PM on December 15, 2015


did a room full of people just applaud intentionally murdering children

I think I might have had enough of this
posted by theodolite at 6:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


i just can't. these people are honest to god just walking garbage fires. every last one of them.
posted by palomar at 6:39 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


I find it amusing that George Bush's brother is the one trying to speak for the Reality-Based Community. He just can't can't accept that Donald Trump is his brother's true heir.
posted by homunculus at 6:40 PM on December 15, 2015


Could you kill innocent children by the hundreds?
posted by box at 6:41 PM on December 15, 2015


How far have we come when Jeb Bush and Rand Paul are the voices of reason?
posted by malocchio at 6:41 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like jeb almost had a Moment there but blew it at the last second
posted by theodolite at 6:41 PM on December 15, 2015


A thousand pricks.
posted by box at 6:42 PM on December 15, 2015


Ben Carson: "I'm gonna open your head up"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:42 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not actual reason, of course, but just Not. Completely. Insane.
posted by malocchio at 6:43 PM on December 15, 2015


I think I might have had enough of this

At this point I'm just waiting until The Expanse comes on.
posted by homunculus at 6:43 PM on December 15, 2015


Why is Rand Paul the reasonable one? WHY? How can this be?
posted by Justinian at 6:43 PM on December 15, 2015


"It's not fair that terrorists get to kill civilians and we don't" - a front-running presidential candidate supported by millions of people
posted by theodolite at 6:45 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Rubio reminds me of a high school junior who memorized a book report by rote and is just regurgitating it.
posted by Justinian at 6:48 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


theodolite, did he really say that? I am taping this freak show but not watching atm
posted by futz at 6:48 PM on December 15, 2015


boots
boots
boots on the ground
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:52 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, Carly is out.
posted by malocchio at 6:52 PM on December 15, 2015


There better be a Carson boots on the ground remix by tomorrow, internet
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:53 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fark livethread.

Some highlights :
CNN is marketing this all wrong.  They should go with something like this:

Need a break from incessant, inescapable, saccharine "happiness" and "good will towards all people" that permeates the holiday season? Tonight at 8:30 EST, CNN has the antidote. CNN (and Koch Industries) is proud to present that holiday classic "How the Republicans Stole America".
Starring:
Jeb Bush - cuddly as a cactus
Ted Cruz - charming as an eel
Marco Rubio - bad banana with a greasy black peel
John Kasich - heart's an empty hole
Ben Carson - brain is full of spiders
Rand Paul - garlic in his soul
Carly Fiorina - termites in her smile
Chris Christie - a crooked jerky jockey who drives a crooked horse
Donald Trump - soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots.
---
This should be the first question to Trump: "You said that you wouldn't be here unless we paid you $5 million, we told you to pound sand, and here you are.  Why is that?"

/not subby
//bring back the img tag
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:53 PM on December 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Bootsy Carson.
posted by malocchio at 6:55 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Libya is now a bad place. -Cruz
posted by malocchio at 6:57 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cruz/Assad 2016!
posted by homunculus at 6:59 PM on December 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well I'm terrified.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:01 PM on December 15, 2015


Somebody is about to lose a lung up there
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:06 PM on December 15, 2015


It's time we punch the Russians in the nose.
posted by box at 7:11 PM on December 15, 2015


Or, y'know, under his nose.
posted by box at 7:12 PM on December 15, 2015


Instead of shooting down Russian planes, maybe President Christie could just challenge Putin to settle things mano a mano instead. That would be fun to watch, at least.
posted by homunculus at 7:19 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jeb! is dead
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:21 PM on December 15, 2015


Bring out the Shrimp
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2015


Y'know. There is an incentive not to answer the question. Since the CNN mod will say, "Well, you haven't answered the question" and then give you more speaking time.
posted by FJT at 7:24 PM on December 15, 2015


I can't even go through the motions for these debates. Cheers to those of you who are keeping up - at least I'm enjoying the commentary.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:25 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


The firemen and the arsonists.
posted by box at 7:26 PM on December 15, 2015


800,000 cops on the beat.
posted by box at 7:29 PM on December 15, 2015


It's because Turkey's in NATO, you turkey.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:32 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, Chuck Schumer is way more high-profile among Republicans than he is among Democrats.
posted by box at 7:34 PM on December 15, 2015


I had to go have dinner and get into a domestic quarrel. Mildly better than watching the debate.
posted by malocchio at 7:36 PM on December 15, 2015


Wolf: 'we are only just beginning'

REPENT
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


A root canal followed by a colonoscopy would be preferable to this debate--Godspeed.
posted by box at 7:40 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


#GOPTodestrieb
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:40 PM on December 15, 2015


A root canal via colonoscopy
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:41 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


A root canal via colonoscopy via urethral sounding.
posted by box at 7:45 PM on December 15, 2015


Thankfully, we have a ritual known as "the Cat of Truce." Seems to placate everyone but the cat.
posted by malocchio at 7:46 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The triad /= the three-legged stool.
posted by box at 7:50 PM on December 15, 2015


A wonderful temperament.
posted by box at 7:51 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


They are all fucking loony tunes. Lord help us all.
posted by malocchio at 7:52 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


For the last six months, I've been a politician.
posted by box at 7:55 PM on December 15, 2015


Did I mishear or did Carson just call Preibus "Reince Pubus?"
posted by homunculus at 7:56 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's actually going to be Trump, people
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:57 PM on December 15, 2015


Did I mishear or did Carson just call Preibus "Reince Pubus?"

Sounded like it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:59 PM on December 15, 2015


An unholy alliance.
posted by box at 7:59 PM on December 15, 2015




An unelected, irresponsible, insincere blowhard demagogue of a politician, but let's not pick nits.
posted by malocchio at 8:00 PM on December 15, 2015


Ohio. It's not that important.
posted by box at 8:00 PM on December 15, 2015


HP, the true victim of 9/11.
posted by malocchio at 8:02 PM on December 15, 2015


NJ, also the true victim of 9/11.
posted by malocchio at 8:03 PM on December 15, 2015


Cruz is literally just saying random words like INTEGRITY and REAGAN
posted by mochapickle at 8:05 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


We will win a lot.
posted by box at 8:06 PM on December 15, 2015


We will win again, it'll be great, way better than my last deal, those guys are assholes, just sign here.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:06 PM on December 15, 2015


God, CNN is shit



I'd suggest everybody enjoy the holiday season because we might not get another
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:07 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Cruz is based on a notion that President Reagan signed into law.

No, wait, that's a reverse mortgage.
posted by malocchio at 8:08 PM on December 15, 2015


Ray Walston, Luck Dragon: “I'd suggest everybody enjoy the holiday season because we might not get another”
Oh, come now. Inauguration day isn't until January so we'll get at least one more in 2016.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:10 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did I mishear or did Carson just call Preibus "Reince Pubus?"

Sounded like it


Aha! That explains why he's still free. It's "Subup Ecnier," not "Subeirp Ecnier."
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on December 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, its either going to be Trump/Cruz or Cruz/Trump.

Trump is agreeing not to run as an Independent, and NYT pointed out that nobody (except Jeb) is going at Trump. And Trump looks like he's shifting to the general election, as he's taking swipes at Hillary rather than the other Republicans.
posted by FJT at 8:15 PM on December 15, 2015


I'm pretty sure Christmas will survive in the post nuclear US, but Hanukkah seems unlikely and Kwanza is right out.
posted by malocchio at 8:15 PM on December 15, 2015


Chilling Video Terrifies Nation

Authorities were urging people to remain calm on Tuesday night after the broadcast of a chilling video that terrified millions. The video, which was broadcast nationally on CNN, appeared to show nine extremists glaring into the camera and making a series of escalating threats.

(The Borowitz Report)
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:18 PM on December 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


I had to unbutton my account here just to unload a little steam, and that sounds far more disgusting than it should but thanks to you all anyway. :)
posted by malocchio at 8:20 PM on December 15, 2015


did the steam come out of your reince pubis
posted by Greg Nog at 8:23 PM on December 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


ewwwwww.

(welcome back, malocchio)
posted by mochapickle at 8:25 PM on December 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm just jealous that the head of the freaking RNC gets an awesome name like Reince Priebus while a Luciferian goth musician/stock trading Freemason like myself ends up with "Mike."
posted by malocchio at 8:38 PM on December 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Change it to Mhÿche?
posted by mochapickle at 8:42 PM on December 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's all in the umlauts. ;)
posted by mochapickle at 8:42 PM on December 15, 2015


Prior to Junior stealing the 2000 election I'd have said I welcomed Trump as a candidate because that meant the Democrats would automatically win because there's no way America could be so far gone from reality that any significant number of people would vote for a guy like Trump.

After the 2000 election was close enough for Junior's friends in the Supreme Court to steal for him, I'm no longer at all confident that America won't actually elect a Trump, as we actually elected Junior in 2004.

Candidate Trump frightens me because I think he's got a real chance of winning (or making the election close enough to steal again) and becoming President Trump.

There are those who say that since Trump isn't really a leader, but rather surfing a wave of resentment and hate, and since therefore he doesn't really have an ideology but rather jumps almost randomly from deranged shouting point to deranged shouting point, that thinking of him or his followers as Fascist or proto-Fascist is categorically wrong.

I disagree. What we're seeing with Trump, it is true, doesn't fit the charismatic leader model of Fascism, but it's very much a 21st century take on Fascism. He's got crowd sourced, just in time processed, ideology, a smart responsive ideology that can change in an instant to match the demands of right wing consumer/content creators as the national mood shifts. Which is a business speak sort of way of saying he watches what his base wants and says whatever they want him to.

Basically we've got, if it isn't too much of an oxymoron, democratic fascism. The official head not being the source of the ideology, but a puppet who echos what the base wants.

Read again, if you haven't already, Umberto Eco's essay "Ur-Fascism". Then look at what Trump's followers want and tell me it isn't, if not completely Fascist at least rushing that direction quickly.

I doubt Trump will ever need to assemble an army of Trumpshirts, again this is the 21st century and things never happen exactly the same way. Rather than an official, formal, group of Trumpshirts he'll continue with what he already has: spontaneous violence from his followers directed at his enemies, which he will encourage and endorse post-factio. Trump didn't order the beating of Mercutio Southall Jr (the Black Lives Matters protester assaulted by volunteer Trumpshirts in Alabama), because he didn't need to. All he had to do was create the environment then praise the people who did it.

Plus, of course, why would he need to raise an army of Trumpshirts to beat, murder, and generally oppress American minority groups when the official police are already doing such a good job of it? The few the police miss, his flashmob Trumpshirts can handle easily.

Remember how, in 2000, the Republicans bused in staffers to pound on the doors and windows and shut down the recount? Trump won't need to do that, and I think that if it comes to something like that they'll engage in real violence, not just the intimidation tactics used in the 2000 elections.

At first I was with all the people who said Trump wouldn't run, then I was with the people who said he was a joke. Now he just scares the shit out of me.
posted by sotonohito at 9:03 PM on December 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well, I've never said Trump is a joke. I do maintain that with Trump running, the joke is on us. And it's not funny.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:08 PM on December 15, 2015


Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

“Congress negotiators get tax, spending deal: lawmakers,” Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell, Reuters, 16 December 2015
Congressional negotiators on Tuesday wrapped up a sprawling deal to keep the U.S. government operating through next September, while setting new policies ranging from repealing a 40-year-old ban on oil exports to making many business tax breaks permanent, according to Republican lawmakers.
September. “[…A] deal that would eliminate any possibility of government shutdowns until at least next October[….]” Why does Congress hate America?
posted by ob1quixote at 11:27 PM on December 15, 2015


If 'Trumpshirts' become a real thing, in the sense of an irregular paramilitary force, they will probably emerge from the supporters who shout down and/or tackle the protesters at the Trump events.

In addition to the Umberto Eco paper, I would recommend that people interesting in reading about fascism/Fascism take a look at "The Anatomy of Fascism" by Robert Paxton. It goes into the historical roots to attempt to define the essential characteristics of fascism as a political movement.
posted by theorique at 4:59 AM on December 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd suggest everybody enjoy the holiday season because we might not get another

"♪ Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last ♬"
posted by entropicamericana at 6:18 AM on December 16, 2015


my SO announced that he had read Hitler was getting regular injections of meth. Then we listened to a compilation of Trump bloviating at a manic pace, saying the same bullshit enthusiastically at like eight different media outlets on a single day, and we were like, hmmmm
posted by angrycat at 8:20 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]




His doctor says he is in excellent health and has never used any drugs. I see no reason not to trust him.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:28 AM on December 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




Hitler was getting regular injections of meth.

Inded: Recently discussed on Metafilter.
posted by cjelli at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2015






Fortune: Donald Trump Lost All of These Business Deals Since June
"Trump’s efforts on the links were dealt another blow when the Scottish government approved the construction of wind turbines just two miles from the Trump International Golf Links resort, despite the facility’s attempt to block it. According to Bloomberg News, Trump said that the turbines would ruin the view, and the Trump Organization blasted the court’s decision in a statement.

“History will judge those involved unfavorably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy,” it said."
Gotta watch out for that dangerous, experimental wind energy, man.
posted by zarq at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]




Game respect game.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


How many divisions has the Trump?
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Putin comments sort of crystalized a notion I'd been kicking around in my head since people started associating Trump with fascism. Trump isn't a fascist. He's an oligarch. He's a Putinist.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Betcha 5 bucks Putin's rolling around his dacha in the snow after sauna with vodka laughing his funny gait off...
posted by infini at 9:59 AM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Russian President Vladimir Putin has described leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as "a very outstanding person, talented, without any doubt".

He also called for Sepp Blatter to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Can't help wondering if just maybe he's trolling us at this point...
posted by Pink Frost at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


Every Word Jezebel Used to Describe Donald Trump in 2015

I'm going to award the gold star to "Dusty barrel of fermented peepee", but it's a close call.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:12 PM on December 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


“History will judge those involved unfavorably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy,” it said."

Yeah, that's what history will judge.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:15 PM on December 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Election and the Death Throes of White Male Power
This moment, this election, these years represent the death throes of exclusive white male power in the United States. That the snarling fury and violence are contemporary does not make them less real than the terrors of previous periods; it makes them more real, at least to those of us living through them. And the presidential-primary contest, while absurdist and theatrical, is reflecting very real fury and violence in the non-electoral world: the burning of crosses and black churches, the execution of black men by police, the resistance of male soldiers to women in elite combat positions, a white man with a history of rape and violence against women himself a “warrior for the babies” after killing people at an abortion clinic, and a younger white man killing nine black churchgoers with the explanation “You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country.”

The political contest just projects these panicked resentments on a bigger, more official screen.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:47 PM on December 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have this feeling that Jezebel had this white board in its offices and people would just add monikers to it. And maybe, like in the case of something that was like "squirrels nesting in rotted pumpkin," somebody was stoned/drunk and in the office and sort of lurched over to the white board and started writing.

Actually, I think that is just my fantasy of where I want to work.
posted by angrycat at 4:21 AM on December 18, 2015 [2 favorites]




Assuming what's reported there is accurate, how the hell did anyone manage to select the Shahada of all things for calligraphy practice out of the entirety of literature, poetry, and science from Islamic civilizations? Maybe they were just following some sort of curriculum package that was originally designed for use in Islamic schools? Or is there some special reason I'm unaware of that the Shahada is exceptionally suitable for your first Arabic calligraphy exercise?

Not to pile paranoia upon paranoia but it seems so inexplicably and phenomenally stupid as to make me suspect a false flag operation, exactly what you'd do if you wanted to validate fears of a secret conspiracy to make America Muslim by goin' after the children.
posted by XMLicious at 8:17 AM on December 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anti-Islam panic closes down a Virginia school district.

I think the teacher was in the wrong. I think the fact that parents have hounded and threatened the school district so aggressively that it closed today is completely appalling.

But I also think the parent in Fairfax county is correct when she says:

"If a similar lesson was taught within the context of any other major religion, she said – if you asked students to say that “Jesus is my one Lord,” for example – “someone is going to go bonkers over it.”

“It’s absolutely acceptable to learn about all of these other great religions that may not be our chosen faith, but there is a line, and that line is where you don’t go into very specific things like professions of faith,” Butterfield said."
If my kids were being taught to write or say "Jesus is my one Lord" in their public school, I would do everything I possibly could to stop that from happening. Loudly and angrily. Professions of faith are not value neutral statements, and it's perfectly possible to teach kids about a religion's history, controversies, believers and detractors without them.
posted by zarq at 8:29 AM on December 18, 2015 [11 favorites]


Very true and I'd be there with you. But it's worth mentioning that we would be completely and roundly demonized for it and our opinions described as unreasonable and fringe. Not all stories need to have a hero in them.
posted by phearlez at 8:58 AM on December 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Professions of faith are not value neutral statements, and it's perfectly possible to teach kids about a religion's history, controversies, believers and detractors without them

My dad forbade me to attend choir rehearsals after our music teacher picked me for the school choir, for this exact reason.
posted by infini at 9:05 AM on December 18, 2015


"Anti-Islam panic closes down..." is pure editorializing given that the headline is actually "Furor over Arabic assignment." Students should not have been made to write a profession of faith any more than, as others have said, students should be forced to recite the Nicene Creed as part of a history assignment.

However this is almost certainly a case of "never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity" rather than a SEKRIT MUSLIM INDOCTRINATION. That's some impressive stupidity though.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 PM on December 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some quality trollin' reported in the Grauniad: 30% of GOP voters support bombing Agrabah, the city from "Aladdin".
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:44 PM on December 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mos Eisley is next, mark my words. You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
posted by longbaugh at 12:39 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


in that poll, did the pollsters then say after the bombing Aladdin question, "Heh-heh. That's from a Disney cartoon movie. Do you feel really fucking stupid now? Do you? Hmm?"

Because that would be another fun job.
posted by angrycat at 1:05 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The calligraphy exercise is explicitly part of learning about religion of the Middle East, and specifically Islamic culture. (It also mentions mosques as works of art, presumably there's a nice picture or so). It's also explicitly says to try, and that the point is to show the "artistic complexity".

It looked incredibly obvious to me why you'd jump to the declaration of faith, as a well-known example. Assuming it's ability-appropriate. And not objected by the religion. (And I'd swear I'd seen this a while back. Certainly the idea isn't limited to one school). Personally I'd enjoy a geometric design more, but calligraphy is very accessible.

It looked pretty harmless, the declaration of faith on its own, so long as it isn't part of repeated indoctrination. (And yes, I'm quite happy to consider Church-of-England school style hymn singing as such. I don't see why it's considered appropriate to have such a bias in our state school system). Maybe there's more scrutiny in an all-secular system, i.e. where it's forbidden to promote the in-group's religion over others?

It's just not obviously 100% wrong to me, e.g. as a quiz answer when learning about the Five Pillars. You might equally talk about accepting Jesus as your savior as being necessary or sufficient for eternal salvation, where relevant. (How would you learn to understand your country, and the wider world, without learning about beliefs which are so important to its people?)

In retrospect I can see it's been counter-productive. It will be changed, and other schools will take notice. But it's not even clear this is about the declaration of faith! Not if we have reactions implying a completely non-religious example could have been used instead ("science from Islamic civilizations"), and the school choosing to "use a different, non-religious example of Arabic".

It seems non-obvious to segue from calligraphy as a sacred art to a secular exercise. Most elegantly you'd move the illustration of Arabic writing elsewhere, reduce the emphasis on calligraphy and shift slightly to a different exercise on Islamic art. In that case you'd be deliberately avoiding the obvious idea. I can't work out how it'd be proportional, except as a response to threats of force coming from a place of fear.
posted by sourcejedi at 7:36 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's more scrutiny in an all-secular system

Yes, very much.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:00 AM on December 19, 2015


In a non-secular system, particularly a non-secular system based on another Abrahamic religion, wouldn't this be even more objectionable? According to the Wikipedia article the name "Shahada" translates as "testimony"; you're reciting it so as to testify to specific theological doctrines. My impression has always been that the point of it is to implicitly renounce polytheism and things like Trinitarianism or Cathari-type dualism and to explicitly acknowledge the prophethood of Mohammed and consequently the theological validity of his pronouncements.

So having students "learn" about Islam or Islamic civilizations specifically through reciting the Shahada or writing it down in their own hand is kind of equivalent to having them learn about legal systems by signing a contract. Somewhat different in significance from answering a quiz question.
posted by XMLicious at 8:56 AM on December 19, 2015


Post-9/11, a lot of evangelical churches started presenting introductory courses on Islam to their parishoners. Such courses undoubtedly covered such elements as the Shahada, the Five Pillars, and so forth. It's kind of ironic that it's easier for a Christian church (explicitly at odds with Islam) can teach such a course without controversy, while a public school (intended to be open to all faiths) finds it harder. It makes sense though: as an explicitly non-Muslim faith community, the church doesn't risk accusations of indoctrination; as a non-government entity, the church has more of a free hand; finally, its likely the courses were presented in a "know your enemy" manner.

In any case, a larger proportion of evangelicals have read and studied the Koran and Hadith and the foundations of Islam than you might suspect.
posted by theorique at 9:29 AM on December 19, 2015


In Junior state school (age 8-12) I had a weekly assembly with a hymn (and the lords prayer iirc). A single class where you squiggled your attempt of something like the lords prayer for a different religion? "Lost in the noise".

I think that's why I don't understand this. (We're also less vocal about Christianity in general public life, but I don't think that's it). I assume the same could apply even with more polarized public opinions (e.g. post-2001 UK education).

Not all state schools are C of E. But UK compulsory religious education class generally covers a range of religions, so there's an understanding of fairness. And for values of fairness where the majority/in-group is given a corresponding weight. (Required in law to "reflect that the religious traditions of Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain". I wouldn't expect this sort of coverage in Geography, because of the role of R.E).

If R.E. is underdeveloped I can see it as inappropriate. Not because it's wrong for students exactly, but because it will be misinterpreted. (And as breaking a bright line, which the in-group is chafing against). Google tells me you're supposed to learn different religions in World History, but it may be glossed over, and people get the impression it's a very bright line and religion doesn't belong in school at all.

Improving education would be far preferable. But I can see you need to tread carefully in doing so :(.
posted by sourcejedi at 1:39 PM on December 19, 2015


So having students "learn" about Islam or Islamic civilizations specifically through reciting the Shahada or writing it down in their own hand is kind of equivalent to having them learn about legal systems by signing a contract.

Except that a contract creates meaningfully enforced obligations, backed by the coercive power of the state through the courts. The Shahada does not. Signing a contract cannot be a meaningless or consequence-free exercise in the US, writing or reciting the Shahada can.
posted by Dysk at 2:11 PM on December 19, 2015


So having students "learn" about Islam or Islamic civilizations specifically through reciting the Shahada or writing it down in their own hand is kind of equivalent to having them learn about legal systems by signing a contract.

Except that a contract creates meaningfully enforced obligations, backed by the coercive power of the state through the courts.


Not for minors.

But really, it's a metaphor. We don't need to pick it apart to agree that this was at best a slightly dumb way of introducing Arabic to students in the U.S.
posted by Etrigan at 3:05 PM on December 19, 2015


But really, it's a metaphor. We don't need to pick it apart to agree that this was at best a slightly dumb way of introducing Arabic to students in the U.S.

I... don't agree with that, actually. I think it was a perfectly harmless way to introduce Arabic to students in the US, or would be, but for the utterly pointless, unnecessary, and harmful way people reacted. Maybe it was at worst a slightly dumb way of introducing Arabic to students in the US. Picking apart the metaphor analogy (which itself seemed to be tacking more toward agreeing with you) was a way of demonstrating that and explaining why (because I don't fundamentally see it as meaningfully analogous).
posted by Dysk at 3:43 PM on December 19, 2015


I think it was a perfectly harmless way to introduce Arabic to students in the US, or would be, but for the utterly pointless, unnecessary, and harmful way people reacted.

That's a huge but-for, though. Not taking into account that people in America today would -- for good reason or no -- react badly to a school having students writing out a declaration of faith in Allah as the one true God and Mohammad as his prophet was dumb on the part of the teacher/school/district/whoever came up with that particular part of the lesson plan.
posted by Etrigan at 3:47 PM on December 19, 2015


I just think that's on the people reacting, not on the person carrying out the activity they're reacting to.
posted by Dysk at 3:53 PM on December 19, 2015


In the USA, at least, the church-state separation, combined with a strong cultural Christianity in many parts, leads to a certain hypervigilance on the part of both the religious people and organizations, as well as the activist groups who police the church-state separation (ACLU, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, etc).

It generally leads to a sort of uneasy peace, but I can see where Christian groups would get resentful that the Shahada can get taught in this way but the Nicene Creed or the Heart of Perfect Wisdom sutra do not. (On the other hand, if those other texts did get taught, that suggests a proper neutrality toward religion that would be expected of a secular system of government schools.)
posted by theorique at 5:51 PM on December 19, 2015


Martin O’Malley Calls Donald Trump Fascist Billionaire With Big Mouth

(We're talking about tonight's Democratic debate here, btw.)
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on December 19, 2015


but I can see where Christian groups would get resentful that the Shahada can get taught in this way but the Nicene Creed

But this is a false assumption. If you had kids reciting the Nicene Creed as part of class it would most certain receive strenuous objections.
posted by Justinian at 6:35 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Shahada is a really lazy, obvious choice as a teaching device (easy bullet points on faith, art, culture, history) made without much (any?) thought about the problematic aspects of trying to divorce something so meaningful from its context. Pretty much anyone from any perspective (including an Islamic one) has a reason to be annoyed. And the same would be true of any other kind of sacred writing or ritualized art form, turned into a classroom exercise. Prayer flags. Phylacteries. Totem poles. Whatever.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:28 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Except that a contract creates meaningfully enforced obligations, backed by the coercive power of the state through the courts. The Shahada does not. Signing a contract cannot be a meaningless or consequence-free exercise in the US, writing or reciting the Shahada can.

People who actually believe in a religion may not regard the formalized denial of its core tenets as consequence-free. This seems like saying that because the rest of us believe that the religious parts of someone's identity are meaningless, we can violate that religious identity as we see fit, even casually and unnecessarily.

Growing up as an atheist, other little kids would constantly try to convert me to their religions and trick me into using common expressions which mentioned God or Christ or something like that and use this to "prove" that I wasn't really an atheist. I experienced that as fundamentally disrespectful and negating of my autonomy (though obviously I couldn't have put it into words that way as a third-grader) and I really resented it, and that's even without believing that making such statements had any supernatural significance. I just don't think schools should get anywhere near doing similar things.
posted by XMLicious at 11:12 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I agree; look at it like taking the (Roman rite) Eucharist. If you're an atheist or something you could view it as nothing but eating a tasteless wafer and so a consequence-free and meaningless way to learn more about the Roman Catholic faith. That's sure not how a believer in the faith looks at it and it wouldn't be an appropriate thing for a group of students to do.
posted by Justinian at 2:16 PM on December 20, 2015


For all the hand-wringing about how it might be offensive to people of the faith in question, does anyone have any evidence of any Muslims actually speaking out against this or being offended?
posted by Dysk at 2:54 PM on December 20, 2015


For all the hand-wringing about how it might be offensive to people of the faith in question, does anyone have any evidence of any Muslims actually speaking out against this or being offended?

Has anyone here been handwringing about whether Muslims would be offended? I haven't seen any, but may have missed it.
posted by zarq at 3:30 PM on December 20, 2015


The two comments immediately preceding the one you're responding to certainly imply very strongly. I mean, I ask because I consider myself Christian, and none of the analogous situations mentioned (or indeed any that I can think of at all) would strike me as a problem whatsoever. Come and take communion and don't believe in it? It's a meaningless, tasteless wafer (and a lovely drop of port). Doesn't move me in the slightest either way.
posted by Dysk at 3:41 PM on December 20, 2015


Come and take communion and don't believe in it? It's a meaningless, tasteless wafer (and a lovely drop of port).

I don't know how universal that is. My best friend's mother used to restrain me from taking communion when I was a kid (because I'd automatically stand up when everyone else did, not because I was so eager to take communion), because I wasn't baptized and it was considered not at all ok for unbaptized people to take Catholic communion. I know each church's or denomination's rules on that are different, and things may have changed over time, but I know I recently-ish attended services at an Episcopal church that made it clear that only people who were baptized as Christians could take communion (though they didn't have to be baptized in the Episcopal church).
posted by jaguar at 3:55 PM on December 20, 2015


If you're referring to anything I've said Dysk, at no point have I been talking about Muslims objecting to non-Muslims reciting the Shahada. What I'm saying is that part of the purpose of the Shahada is ritualized apostasy from non-Muslim religions, so it's people from non-Muslim religions who might object to reciting it or to people they've entrusted their children with having the children recite it. I definitely know some Christians who would not be cool at all with finding out they'd just testified that the doctrine of the Trinity is false or testified to the prophethood and special authority of Mohammed.

And although I know fewer specifics about Judaism I know about crypto-Judaism and other historical situations where under duress Jews acceded to profession of other faiths I have to imagine some, if not most today, would not be happy with it.
posted by XMLicious at 4:03 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, whether or not it is offensive to Muslims doesn't seem like the sticking point. Having students recite the Lords Prayer before class wouldn't be offensive to lots of Christians but I would still oppose that.
posted by Justinian at 4:12 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Zaid Jilani: CBS Edits Out Criticisms of U.S. Policy From Frank Luntz Focus Group With Muslim Americans
When Luntz asked the group how they respond to attacks such as the recent one in San Bernardino, New York City activist Amelia Noor-Oshiro told The Intercept she asked Luntz, “Why don’t you ask that to people who actually commit acts of terror? Why don’t you ask that to White America who are responsible for a majority of domestic terror attacks?”
[...]
For example, Harvard wrote that after Luntz asked the group whether they were Americans or Muslims first, she chose to demonstrate the offensive nature of the question by asking, “Well, are you an American or Jewish first?”

That didn’t make it on the air either.

Harvard wrote that several participants expressed criticisms of U.S. government policy toward Muslims, such as “entrapment cases and surveillance programs” as well as institutional racism. None of that made it into the segment.

Luntz “also decided to stop letting me speak when I started talking about how Muslims should start focusing on combating government policies rather than rushing to condemn terrorism or Islamophobia exclusively,” Harvard wrote. “They also cut out portions of where participants talked about media accountability when discussing Islam.”
posted by zombieflanders at 6:34 AM on December 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


California man arrested for building a pipe bomb and threats to Muslims

William Celli, who has declared support for Donald Trump, allegedly posted derogatory references to Hispanics and Muslims on his Facebook page
posted by Artw at 10:51 PM on December 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ever wonder why Trump styles his hair that way?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:40 AM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]






Someone should sound out Trump on the Confederacy. They were, after all, losers. He opposed the battle flag, I think. A non-trivial amount of Trumpers are probably lost-causers.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:48 AM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dana Milbank breaks out the Yiddish.

Amusingly enough, the URL says "Oy vey! Trump is such a putz!" but the article headline is "Oy vey! Enough of Trump!" Looks like someone at the paper got cold feet.
posted by zarq at 7:13 AM on December 23, 2015


Jeff Greenfield states, apparently with a straight face, that "schlonged" is a "commonplace" in NY. (Hint: No, it isn't.)
posted by holborne at 8:28 AM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like someone at the paper got cold feet.

Who knows... for what it's worth I've noticed the Post has been A/B testing their headlines for a while. They post the story online during the day, A/B test the headline, use the winner and stop changing the headline when they go to print. During this process, the headline will change but the URL will remain the same. I found these other examples in 30 seconds of clicking. There are times you can find the same article posted twice on their front page with two different headlines.
posted by peeedro at 8:37 AM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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