(R) stands for (RACIST)


If you are a Republican, you’re racist. If you vote Republican, you are a racist. If you live in a county that voted for Trump, you live in a racist county. Trump himself is an unabashed racist.

That isn’t name-calling. That’s simply an obvious fact at this point. Our incompetent bigot of a president is letting it all hang out.

At an arena rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump quadrupled down on his recent racist attacks on four female Democratic lawmakers. He also chastised one of them for using “the big, fat, vicious…F-word” against him, alleging, “that’s not somebody that loves our country.”

“She looks down with contempt on the hardworking American, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” the president said of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), to cheering from the crowd, many of whom began chanting, “Send her back,” enthusiastically joining in on the collective anti-Omar hate.

Ilhan Omar is a hardworking American. How dare he treat her as something else. “Send her back” is a shout of racism. There are no dogwhistles necessary anymore — the Republican party is openly drawing on the ugliest strain of American politics and is amplifying it.

The president’s comments came at a time of his announced nationwide raids on undocumented immigrants, as well as his recent asylum plan that could pose his gravest threat to migrants. This week, his racist tirades were defended, excused, or even laughed off by major players in the national Republican Party, with Team Trump arguing that the president didn’t mean it, or that he was correct to say it, or that he was merely being his typical, funny self.

It seems like it was just a few months ago that conservatives and centrists were wringing their hands over whether it was fair to call these people new American nazis, and they were splitting hairs over whether they were really fascists or not. Can we at least regard that argument as over? We’ve got a demagogue holding rallies (Why is he still doing that? Doesn’t he have work to do?) and leading mobs in racist chants, threatening to deport or jail people, journalists and opposition politicians, for being brown. He’s laughing at us. He knows the Democratic party is spineless and will do nothing. If we accuse him of being a new Hitler, I wouldn’t put it past him to grow a toothbrush mustache to mock us.

It’s 1932. What are you doing?

Comments

  1. says

    USA was teethering on the brink of fascism ever since McCarthyism. Sometimes it weered closer to it, sometimes a bit away from it, but it was always closer to it than to anything else. Since WW2 USA was not involved in any form of justifiable war, only interventions into foreign countries murdering civilians en masse, mostly purely in the interests of corporate profits. It was just a matter of time before someone like Trump emerges, whips up the racists and ignoramuses into a frothing rage and thus gives the trend the final nudge..

    We are screwed. And by “we” I mean the world. USA won’t get reasonable and get their shit together for decades now and because when America sneezes the whole world gets the cold (or, in this case, global climate change), I fear this will lead to World War 3 one way or another.

  2. mamba says

    “send her back”, eh?

    OK Trump, let’s play…

    Omar’s an American. If this is what you’re saying, then where you’re born no longer matters, it’s your genetic race that determines your nationality? You really want to go there? Fine…

    Then your own wife is not an American. Send her back!
    Also, your own parents aren’t American (German)…meaning neither are YOU by bloodline.

    When can we call to send YOU back overseas???

  3. johnson catman says

    mamba @2: I am afraid you will have a hard time convincing ANY country to take him off of our hands.

  4. Dunc says

    If this is what you’re saying, then where you’re born no longer matters, it’s your genetic race that determines your nationality? You really want to go there? Fine…

    Then your own wife is not an American. Send her back!
    Also, your own parents aren’t American (German)…meaning neither are YOU by bloodline.

    Yeah, but that’s different. They’re white.

  5. PaulBC says

    The Republican party is now officially the party of racism, but I’m not sure what I can conclude about all registered Republicans. Maybe a lot can still be explained by denial and compartmentalization. That’s not an excuse. I am just trying to comprehend how far this country has gone downhill.

    We’ll be hammered with stories about “swing voters” in the upcoming year, and I just wonder who are these people still thinking they might cast a vote for Donald Trump? If they can still think that and live with themselves, aren’t they too far gone already?

  6. christoph says

    I can’t help but think of the scene in Cabaret when they sang “Tomorrow Belongs To Me.”

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Back during the ‘Nam war/civil rights protests, a slogan was ‘if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Any republican not condemning the use of racial language by the president, is showing themselves to part of the problem, hence racists, whether overt or covert.

  8. stroppy says

    #5 PaulBC

    It’s a worthwhile question. But I’m afraid the deeper underlying issues can only be addressed by a massive revamping of the education system, both in terms of philosophy and practice. In the end we’re left with short term solutions for constantly putting out fires. IMO.

    @ #1 Charly

    For so many reasons we are indeed screwed. It’s just a question of how badly.

    We’ve done this to ourselves.

  9. packbat says

    …not to be too nitpicky, but I don’t think it’s 1932.

    It’s 1934. Maybe 1935. The concentration camps have been going for at least a year at this point.

  10. says

    Trump’s grandfather came over from Germany, to avoid military service, and wound up in California profiteering off of gold-rushers by running restaurants/brothels. Then Trump’s father became a rent-farmer, and Trump followed the family tradition of grifting and whoring. That’s three generations of “some of the worst people” – send ’em back.

  11. lochaber says

    If someone doesn’t care about racial issues, but still supports a blatantly racist candidate, because they think he’ll save them a couple bucks come tax time, well, I still consider that racism.

  12. microraptor says

    PaulBC @5: There’s also a strong number who are “I don’t care how racist/sexist/homophobic a candidate is so long as I get promised a tax cut.”

  13. kome says

    The centrist and conservative Democrats aren’t spineless. They’re complicit. They pay lip service to being an opposition party, but they are paid by the same lobbyists and donors that the Republicans are. They benefit from Republican policies, so they don’t fight them.

  14. Oggie: Mathom says

    One of the men in my office is a Republican. He says that he doesn’t like Trump, but he was the only one who could have prevented the takeover of America by the Clintons who would have made it into a socialist nation.

  15. petesh says

    WTF is this “socialist” (e.g. Sen. McConnell) and “communist” (e.g. Sen. Graham) crap? I understand that even ancients like myself do not actually remember seeing Joe McCarthy on television, but there is video frevvinsake. Are we (collectively) that stupid? Some wretched Senators think so, and they may be right. What a fustercluck.

  16. Akira MacKenzie says

    WTF is this “socialist” (e.g. Sen. McConnell) and “communist” (e.g. Sen. Graham) crap?

    Deflection, pure and simple; i.e. make your opponent scramble to defend themselves to draw attention from their initial criticism.

  17. Taylor Baker [Student] says

    Trump is actually correct on this one.

    I DO hate America.

    And I am not a democrat, republican, or libertarian. I am not a rightist, leftist, OR centrist. I’m just an autistic nobody trapped in college who’s struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, and growing up in this piss-ant nation let alone Georgia is not helping. I thought I was a panromantic asexual, but the truth is that I am not sure that I have feelings for anybody except the characters in my own imagination. I have grown to hate my whiteness and maleness. I was never proud to be a white male and I never will because I refuse to espouse superiority over others. I want to become a cartoonist; I want to write stories of good overcoming evil, but more and more that is getting harder to justify.

    You know what? I don’t care about good and evil either.

    This never was my country. Hell, I refuse to believe in the existence of any “country.” All borders are gang turf. It was robbed by a bunch of ingrates who believed that their skin color made them superior to everyone else. I hate how everyone here worships a piece of paper they insist on calling either a constitution or a declaration, the same for a song they insist on calling an anthem. I for one did not consent to their assertion let alone their signing, so they mean nothing to me. Nowhere is “my country.” I’ll die before I wind up on the receiving end of anyone’s “foreign policy,” too.

    The last time I declared that I was a citizen of the universe, I was demonized. I apparently offended others so much by asserting my own needs before everyone else that I was declared an invalid. I was laughed at, I was called “edgy.” So yeah, this planet doesn’t really matter to me.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    And I am not a democrat, republican, or libertarian. I am not a rightist, leftist, OR centrist… You know what? I don’t care about good and evil either.

    Well, since you can’t pick the right political party/ideology, why should anyone expect you to make proper moral choices either?

    So yeah, this planet doesn’t really matter to me.

    The problem is, it kind of matters to the other 7.66 billion people who live on it. Whatever your problems, they’re ultimately insignificant compared to the rest of the species. Perhaps you can pull your head out of whatever orifice you’ve stuck it up and realize that this world isn’t just about you.

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    All the (R)acists in Congress objected to using the word racist to describe “45” during Pelosi’s official condemnation of the Tweeet, citing house rules about not describing any one of them directly. I wondered why Pelosi, or any other Democrat, didn’t reply by saying they are not describing “45” as racist, only what he wrote { twote (?) } as racist, and they are condemning that, not “45” personally, IE it is unacceptable for a president to write such racist tweets, who needs to be censured for it, and this does not violate the House Rules in any way.
    I know the (R)s would have kept haggling over it, being so racist themselves.

  20. mnb0 says

    “(Why is he still doing that? Doesn’t he have work to do?)”
    Are you serious? You want Donald the Clown to do actual work?! Wow. The less the man works the better for everyone.

    @14: “The centrist and conservative Democrats are ….. complicit.”
    Exactly. Which means that anyone voting for say Joe Biden to get Donald the Clown out of the White House according to PZ’s own logic is a racist too. Still exactly this is what PZ has announced to do.
    It’s almost impossible for irony to be more bitter.

  21. johnrockoford says

    And (D) stands for (Disillusioned)

    I’ve worked for every Democratic campaign since 1988. I used to be a fan of Nancy Pelosi. Right now I’m more disgusted with Democrats than Republicans because I thought that Democrats at least had a moral compass. Yet Pelosi now is indistinguishable from any other Trump/Republican enabler. Not only she won’t apparently impeach under any circumstances, she’s denigrating her own progressive caucus and she’s slow-walking all the investigations. WTF? She — along the majority of “moderate” Democrats — have done nothing, nada, zilch since they’ve been given power in 2018. Morally they’re complicit but also politically this is so stupid. They will lose their base (me!) by trying to appeal to imaginary white voters who will switch from Trump to Democrats next time.

    One American party consists entirely of psychopathic racists and sexists and the other is led by mostly spineless, feckless morons. I’m totally disillusioned right now.

  22. says

    It’s 1934. Maybe 1935. The concentration camps have been going for at least a year at this point.

    Holy shit, why didn’t I know the camps went back that far? I really should have, I just didn’t think about it before.

    We’re actually there, aren’t we?

  23. PaulBC says

    Oggie: Mathom@15

    He says that he doesn’t like Trump, but he was the only one who could have prevented the takeover of America by the Clintons who would have made it into a socialist nation.

    Trump may have neglected that his opponent in 2020 won’t be someone with a built-in hysteria manufactured through a billon-dollar smear campaign carried out over two decades. Hillary Clinton was just a terrible candidate. Not because of anything unique to her but because so much had been invested in destroying her candidacy (swap in John Kerry and what’s the difference; the leftwing never attacked Kerry that strongly) .

    I do blame Sanders supporters for their complicity. I blame Nader supporters in 2000 too. Hell, I have a long memory, and that is just scratching the surface. I blame the “liberal news media” for calling the 1979 Iran hostage crisis “America Held Hostage” day after day, destroying Carter’s presidency. America wasn’t held hostage, you f**kers. Some embassy staff were hostage in Iran. I call shenanigans. Only the left lets itself get suckered this bad.

    It doesn’t mean Trump won’t win in 2020. He has three things in his favor: incumbent advantage, unwavering GOP support, and the fact that nobody is shocked by overt racism anymore.

    Uh, four things. Fox News “informs” some enormous section of the population. The US has figured out how to privatize Pravda, and in this case the private sector really is a lot more effective.

    That said, Trump is entirely out of touch with the thinking of most Americans, particularly those younger than me. The question is whether those who don’t like Trump can manage to agree on anyone else.

    The GOP are also trying to drum up the “socialism” thing as someone noted, and maybe it will work. McConnell has suggested Trump is “onto something” and has actually criticized the policies of the Squad.

    It is a mere unfortunate coincidence that his denouncement of four non-white American women (“go back to your own country”) superficially sounds like racism. It is really a pure policy disagreement. So, maybe the GOP is a bit skeptical on “We’re going all in on racism.” Time will tell. I say Bring It On. If Trump can win on racism in 2020, I don’t want to live in this country anyway.

  24. says

    We’re actually there, aren’t we?

    Our equivalent of the Wannsee Conference hasn’t happened yet. But Miller’s been out of the limelight lately, perhaps he’s organizing it.

  25. PaulBC says

    Marcus Ranum@27

    Anyway, it’s safe to say “America” was not held hostage. It took 40 years before it hit me, but what an irresponsible, demoralizing, factually inaccurate news banner to show every day. Like if CNN did “America in Putin’s Thrall” as a running theme, how long would that go on.

    And, seriously, I have tremendous respect for Jimmy Carter as a decent man, but he wasn’t such an effective president. For all that, he’s probably underrated and did understand the nuances of foreign policy. He didn’t have to let the media get away with it. I am angry at him for being such a sucker. Of course, his disastrous rescue attempt was another thing.

    A Republican would have showed up with force and got everyone killed. I do not advocate that, but I suspect it would have been a more effective political strategy. Or just “America, Standing Tall, and Definitely Not Held Hostage.” I mean nearly anything would have been better than getting suckered. Have we learned anything?

  26. says

    I feel like the only reason we didn’t go full fascist in the 1930s was the labor movement was still strong enough to fight effectively, and then WW2 happened, and the fascists became The Enemy. Now, it doesn’t seem like there are any clear factors like that to interfere with the fascist sewage flood that’s rising.

  27. jrkrideau says

    The US has figured out how to privatize Pravda

    Ah, Pravda was probably a lot more honest than Fox News.

    Twenty years ago, I had thought that the USA had begun to settle its racist issues and become a normal country. Now I am horrified. Well terrified.

  28. says

    One of the weirdest criticisms of The Squad is that they should “stop complaining and work to change things” as if running for and winning public office wasn’t working to change things.

  29. unclefrogy says

    besides the white supremacists and neo-nazis that support this regime there are the corporatists who are benefiting from the lower taxes which are adding to the debt.
    I doubt the banks and the government contractors will be so happy when the inevitable default comes because if there is anything we can be sure of about trump is that he does not like paying his debts and does not care at all about using someone else’s money. he has a long history of driving his ventures into the ground.
    I think we are not so much in a time analogous to 1930’s germany as we are 1980’s argentina just prior to the Falkland’s war when the right wing Argentine government went just a little bit too far for domestic political reasons. At least that’s the best I can do to keep my spirits up.
    uncle frogy

  30. says

    Also Trump IS doing work – he’s doing the work of building fascism, and pushing the country into a state of permanent crisis (like climate change wasn’t going to do that anyway), and setting up the GOP for more authoritarian rule even if Trump doesn’t get a second or third term.

    He does seem to be working, just not at the job of President.

  31. andiek712 says

    I know this is a lot to ask, but could America come to its senses and get rid of this…is there even a word strong enough for Trump anymore? As Mr. Myers points out, it’s 1932, and if you’re Nazi Germany, then up here in Canada I’m beginning to feel an Austrian fearing the coming Anschluss. And I’m not fit enough to climb the Alps Von Trapp family style!

    And if you’re Republican, then you’re either an idiot, a psychopath, or a collaborator. You have no claim to honour or strength, and certainly not to the moral highground. You also might actually be blind; that’s the only explanation I can think of for not seeing the sheer destruction you’re wreaking to every institution and law you have always claimed to hold so dear.

    Democrats, seriously, grow a spine.

  32. F.O. says

    @Taylor Baker [Student] #19
    You don’t want borders, that’s as leftist as it gets.
    Also, I understand that you are ranting, but you obviously care about good and evil.

    And since you like stories, I’ll leave you with a quote from Ursula K Le Guin (you should read her The Dispossessed BTW, just to see what can be done with a story…)

    “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”

  33. ansonk says

    Regarding people who voted for Trump because they hated Hillary Clinton: In December 2016 I was talking with a Trump-supporting coworker about the election (something I normally never do). I lightly criticized Trump as not being qualified for the job. He got very defensive and tried to explain why he voted for Trump. His reasons were hatred of Hillary Clinton and his desire to put the “right” (literally..) people on the Supreme Court. He was nearly in tears when he was done. We seldom spoke after that and he’s moved on to other opportunities so I can’t check with him to see how he feels about it today.

    For some reason I don’t think he’s crying now.

  34. petesh says

    @25 & 30: “There is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia” — Russian saying from the Communist era. [Yes, the two names meant exactly what you think they did.] Current US media is definitely giving them a run for their money.

  35. PaulBC says

    petesh@37

    Fox News has accomplished something that may be new. They are not a government run news agency as much as a private news agency running part of the government. Trump literally takes directives from Sean Hannity and the like over national TV. Philip K. Dick could have almost predicted it, but not many other writers.

  36. raven says

    We’ve got a demagogue holding rallies (Why is he still doing that?
    Doesn’t he have work to do?)

    Short answer. NO!!!

    Trump doesn’t work.
    He has no real idea what is going on and doesn’t care.
    I doubt if he even writes some of his own Tweets.
    The really racist ones that are grammatically correct are probably from Steve Miller.

  37. KG says

    up here in Canada I’m beginning to feel an Austrian fearing the coming Anschluss – andiek712@34

    Austria already had a clerical-fascist regime before the Anschluss, and many Austrians were enthusiastic Nazis before, during and after Anschluss. Post-1945, it was convenient (particularly to most Austrians) to pretend Austria was simply Hitler’s first conquest.

    More fundamentally, fascism 2.0 so far appears to lack most of the overt military-imperialist drive of fascism 1.0: its focus is on exclusion of the “other” rather than conquest. That’s not wholly the case of course: Putin has grabbed parts of Georgia and Ukraine, Bolton clearly wants to attack Iran. And it may change – but I don’t yet see any prospect of the USA wanting to annex Canada. Though I did read a fiction about that, set in a few decades time, with climate change making large parts of the USA uninhabitable.

  38. says

    Yeah, the really open blatant racism of the Republicans is worrying, but honestly they’ve been dog-whistling racism since the civil rights movement made blatant racism uncouth. It is horrific, but I guess not very surprising. I’ve watched Republicans lawmakers enact tons of racist policies my whole life while voters cheered it on and I’ve watched Democrats make excuses for their Republican friends and neighbors for that time too.

    On the other hand, I can’t help but think basically all USAians are racist. I remember back in 2011 when the United States and France obliterated the country with the highest standard of living in Africa and murdered its head of state Gadaffi. Under Democrats, just in my short 31 years of life, I’ve seen tons of open warfare and imperial pillaging (of countries that just so happen to be majority non-white most of the time too), while basically tearing my hair out at people trying to tell me that Obama is really a good guy or whatever other horseshit excuses for mass murder and plunder.

    I know there’s layers of ignorance and propaganda that blocks most USAians from really grasping and admitting what their country is, but it has long been a horrific settler state and then an empire that has a long history of slavery, annexation, genocide and political disenfranchisement.

  39. PaulBC says

    Matthew Ostergren@43

    On the other hand, I can’t help but think basically all USAians are racist.

    Basically all human beings grow up with some form of racism, reinforced by cultural norms that some choose (to their credit) to work against and others don’t even notice. But a lot of what you are saying here is BS.

    Most US citizens do the same thing everyone else does in the world. We work to take care of ourselves and our families. We care about friends and communities more than we care about abstractions. While I’m not going to excuse Southern Jim Crow racists who brought picnic lunches to eat with their kids at lynchings, I still share humanity with these people. They are not monsters, even if that behavior is monstrous. 90% of what they wanted out of their life is the same thing everyone else does. I share humanity with the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer. That is the disturbing part, not that there are monsters on the loose who are so very unlike me, but that the monster could be me.

    So gimme a break. I do not get to set US government foreign policy. I did not get to choose where I was born. In my lifetime, the US has bombed Vietnam and Cambodia, supported the Shah in Iran, interfered in governments in Central America, attacked Iraq and used it as an opportunity to showcase early “smart bombs” for TV viewer entertainment. And I’ll stop at 1991 because you get the point and there is a lot more to cover here.

    Am I complicit? Sure. I was raised on land stolen from Native Americans at some point. I was educated here. I have a job here. I claim ownership to a tiny parcel land that Ohlones had long before I did. I don’t even know who stole it first (DeAnza, the Spanish missions?)

    Am I more complicit than most Western Europeans? Gimme a break. Nearly everyone lives on land that was seized by force at some time. Relatively few people seized it themselves and nobody chooses to be born in whatever nation they originally claimed native citizenship.

    And to get to the point, are US citizens on average more racist than Western Europeans? Let’s not talk about foreign policy, because nobody consults me about foreign policy. US culture varies greatly to the extent to which it embraces pluralism. Some places are nearly entirely one race. Others are very mixed. Even places that are mixed are not racial utopias. It’s obvious to me which ethnic groups are more likely to have better jobs whether in the Asian/Latino/white Bay Area or the mostly black/white demographics of east coast cities.

    But I’ve lived in Europe, and the lack of diversity there is more striking to me than the lack of racism. I am not accusing anyone of unusual bigotry. In fact, I think Western Europeans are on average a lot more sensible when it comes to the social responsibilities of a society. But unusually non-racist? Really? I would not trade life in the SF Bay Area for anywhere else in the world, on my little postage stamp of stolen land. I have one life and I am neither more nor less guilty than most other beneficiaries of Western colonization.

    I don’t feel particularly good about saying that, and abstractly speaking, I would support policies that attempted to provide reparations. What I will not do is accept any kind of guilt by association. We’re all soaking in it.

  40. stroppy says

    It really gets me how some people can dance around the word ‘racist’. I saw Nora O’Donnell on Colbert last night lauded for being the only anchor to label Trump’s tweets as racist. Great. She then made a point of saying that while she called the tweets racist, she carefully did not call Trump racist.

    Like it’s just a ploy, and deep down inside maybe Trump isn’t really, you know (shhh… a racist). What a distraction! It’s exactly what racism is, using a shit made-up ideology to manipulate and exploit people. Period.

    It’s like saying there are good people inside both sides of Trump’s brain. Let’s say it out loud, when Trump acts like a good guy on the subject that’s the sham, it’s for the sole purpose of manipulation. Deep down inside there’s rot. Same with his enablers, his supporters, his apologists and the ones who just don’t care. Hard white supremacy to soft “we love our darkies” it’s still racism to one degree or another. Deal with it already.

  41. PaulBC says

    stroppy@46

    Major printed news outlets are at least using the word “racist” to describe Donald Trump. If it’s not nearly enough, it’s at least a step in the right direction. The dancing around is nothing new, nor is the racism inherent in US immigration policy.

    I’d be the last person to say things are “better” now but things are more complicated than acknowledged. Consider, for example, the policy of turning back Haitian refugees at sea in the early 90s (under Bush Sr. and continued under Clinton). I can’t think of a major news organization that would have dared to refer to “racist immigration policy” (yeah, you could hear it on leftish local radio). That was the old normal. The new normal may be different, but the old normal was very racist too.

    Trump represents a giant gambit to send us far back in a short period of time. That’s what MAGA means. It is scary, but let’s not fool ourselves that he’s anything new.

  42. stroppy says

    @ 47

    I’m well aware. That it’s nothing new is exactly the point. When is enough, enough? The promise of American democracy is circling the drain and dragging along the rest of the world with it. There’s no point in soft pedaling it just because people might be uncomfortable with it. This is what happens when you keep ignoring an issue…”Pay me now or pay me later.”

    Case in point: AGW.
    And: Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.

    Hey America! Your goddamn teeth are falling out!

  43. stroppy says

    Look, you can point to instances in the past that are like the present, so nothing new (so go back to sleep?). And you can say that this or that thing was worse so cheer up. True and interesting factoids but…

    Please let’s not pretend that the rightwing hasn’t been quietly and assiduously moving the Overton window rightward for the past 40 years.

  44. PaulBC says

    stroppy@49

    I am not saying any of that. I do have a shred of optimism that things could improve if people ten or twenty years younger than me were in government. Or at least voting (in which case thirty or more years younger would work).

    The thing about Trump is that he’s just like a lot of old geezers his age. Sure, some of them were hippies and kept their leftwing politics all these years. Some were hippies and sold out long ago. A lot were like Trump, just bringing their parents’ racism into the next generation. In private, they sound just as racist as Trump and have the whole time. His “innovation” is coming out with it publicly as a national leader. The only daylight between Trump and David Duke is that the former conned his way into the presidency.

    My formative years were with Reagan as president, and maybe he didn’t have to come out railing against immigrants because a certain amount of anti-immigrant sentiment was built into the culture. On the flip side, it’s also true that his loathsome Interior Secretary James Watt had to resign over a racist comment that looks tame by comparison to Trump’s (Watt is actually still alive and a little younger than Wilbur Ross). Reagan also approved an amnesty policy for immigrants that would make Trumpies apoplectic.

    So are things better or worse? I agree that on balance the Overton window has shifted, but I would still bet that there are more Americans who feel completely comfortable in a pluralistic culture than before. My kids for instance, or my nieces and nephews. In major cities and in popular entertainment, diversity is more of a norm than it was in the 80s.

    Clearly, not all younger people are less racist than my generation or Trump’s or we wouldn’t have Nazis with tiki torches. That is a real threat. My optimism is that we have the means to face that threat if we have the will.

    Finally, if Trump wins in 2020 using his current racist strategy, then the US isn’t a nation I really want to be associated with. “I will always love the false image I had of you.” comes to mind. Maybe I can write a self-help book “How to tell if your country just isn’t into you.” because that’s basically the conclusion I am close to reaching.

  45. stroppy says

    50

    Fair enough, but good-minded majorities don’t always prevail as we’ve already seen here.

    I think this is worth a read even though the breezy pessimism at the end, that nothing can be done, is too much even for me:
    Trump/Mussolini
    https://www.salon.com/control/2017/03/05/trump-and-mussolini-the-same-only-different-eleven-key-lessons-from-historical-fascism/

    A very good read for historical perspective:
    How America Lost Its Mind
    “The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.”
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/

    IMAO, when your institutions become divorced from reality, all bets are off.

  46. Taylor Baker [Student] says

    Mackenzie, shut your goddamn fucking mouth.

    Just shut up.

    Pharyngula, I am so sorry for what I am about to say to Mackenzie, but I am done being invalidated everywhere. If you want to block me, fine, it suits me, but I am done.

    Mackenzie, people like you make me physically ill to last a lifetime. Get my head out of my orifice? Picking apart small bits of my venting and turning it against me? Oh, how clever, kid of the comeback over here. Maybe you exemplify why some people believe that christians AND atheists are both two cheeks of the same smelly derriere, and this is coming from a former methodist. You think your consciences are so spick and span that you can throw caution and responsibility to the wind and just do whatever you want without the fear of consequences. You are so up on your intellectual high horse that putting others down is not just a right, it is not just right in itself, it is goodness. If that is how your lot defines intellect, I refuse to participate in it.

  47. PaulBC says

    @52
    “Picking apart small bits of my venting and turning it against me?”

    I shouldn’t be inserting myself into this, but honestly, that is par for the course in Internet communication, and has been since I’ve been online (some time in the late 80s, posting to Usenet). If you feel specific comments are taken out of context, you can put them back in context (rarely worth the trouble) or just ignore reactions.

    FWIW, I found the whole of your venting in 19 on the nihilistic side. Since I can’t read minds, I don’t hold any of it against you personally, but it’s hard for me to grasp how your outlook would translate into effective action.

    E.g., I consider it reasonably likely that there are planets out there with intelligent life, some perhaps a lot more deserving their continued existence than this one. Occasionally I take solace looking up at the night sky and thing “Well, they can’t fuck that up at least.” I guess Trump could put a big blotch on the moon if he wanted it enough, but some things are literally out of reach, and it’s a relief.

    But from the standpoint of my actions, none of that matters. Because I can’t do anything about the rest of the universe either. So I do care about this planet. You are entitled not to care. I’m not the thought police. Actions are what counts.

  48. Golgafrinchan Captain says

    @Taylor Baker #52,
    I had started to write this yesterday, but one of my kids woke up. I was going to suggest giving more weight to replies like F.O. #35 than Akira #20. I took your writing to be venting and, if you state that “I DO hate America.”, then clearly you care about good and evil. I’m Canadian and, while I don’t actually hate America, I hate a lot of things about it. Some of the most amazing people in the world are American, but so are the racist fucks shouting “send her back.” There are researchers trying to cure cancer, and cops shooting black kids.

    Thing is, this is that battle that’s gone on everywhere throughout history, to varying degrees. I don’t think I’m kidding myself to believe it’s getting better. Women have only been “People” in Canada for 90 years, ffs. First Nations people have only had the right to vote for 59 years.

    Everything we ever do makes a difference, however small. I try to make my difference a positive one, and hope it’s enough, along with countless others doing the same. Dog knows there’s a lot still to do. Worst case (from the human perspective) we destroy ourselves and the bugs and bacteria throw a big party.

    P.S. I’d be shocked if you got banned for your #52. I largely agree with it.

  49. John Morales says

    Golgafrinchan, it’s good to be hopeful, just don’t be expectant.

    (But yes, it’s always a win if you end up saying “not as good as I hoped, but better than I expected”)

  50. shadow says

    I refer to my Reich Wing friends and family as “trumpanazis”. It reveals their true fascist leanings and their devotion to their Führer,

    I have stopped calling Trump “Cinnamon Hitler” because Hitler actually served in his country’s military and didn’t wimp out by having daddy get a doctor to give him a ‘get out of Vietnam free’ card.

  51. says

    @PaulBC 45
    Yeah, I definitely think “Western European” countries and their populations are pretty racist too. Colonizing and plundering the rest of the world is pretty horrific and the mental gymnastics deployed to defend these imperial projects are almost always racist both ideologically and more importantly racist in their effect.

    I understand that to some extent people are just ignorant and/or just want to get by in their own lives without trouble, but there are tons of people that will rhetorically defend every sort of horror, from sweatshops to signature strikes (a creative anodyne term for an assassination) to sanctions, to third world debt, to outright invasions. These are actual people’s lives being destroyed, not abstractions. They might be people distant and unknown, but that doesn’t excuse the way USAians go along with it so often.

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