Monthly Archives: November 2016

A New National Anthem?

[no little credit is due to a post last March – https://toritto.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/trumpism/]

 

Tweets front and center, all informing,

Trump-Pence are making us so great again.

Those left behind by liberal globalization

parade with us among our ranks to win.

 

Jobs and goods for all our left-out brethren,

voices not muted by political correctness.

Millions, full of hope, look up at our banner;

The time is now for better things to come.

 

It’s now or never, too soon our chance may disappear;

We’ll not give up our privileged circumstances.

Trump-flags must festoon every street and corner;

Foreigners must never ever triumph here.

 

Tweets front and center all informing,

Trump-Pence are making us so great again.

Fellows left behind by liberal globalization

parade with us among our ranks to win.

 

can be sung to “How Great Thou Art” or “The Horst Wessel Song”

not familiar  with “Die Horst Wessel Lied” of German National Socialism, i.e. Nazis

listen here      http://www.anesi.com/east/horstw.wav

 

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Drain the Swamp?

Well, maybe The Donald is on the look-out for alligators and other crocodillians, but he seems to have missed a few reptilian threats. Help me with this, will you? Nominating one of the DeVos clan, archetypal anti-public-school champions, to be Education Secretary is a part of a swamp-clearing effort? Apparently one man’s swamp is another’s backyard water-feature. Or to switch homey metaphors, how could a fox more plainly be assigned to the hen house? And then there is Jefferson [Davis, Confederate States President] Beauregard [Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, Confederate General] Sessions as Attorney General. The “N-word” is a part of that man’s everyday vocabulary; he doesn’t bother confining it to the locker room. Of all the slithering varmints, I’d prefer to keep that kind of venomous creature out of my water-feature and swamp.

So, help me understand this! As one of the majority of voters who thought Hillary, though not the very, very best choice, was one hell of a lot better than The Donald, yes, as one of the defeated … how am I being encouraged to give this man, our President-elect some space? His choices, so far, seem to have much, much less to do with better wages and a better life for a forgotten and neglected middle-America and much,much more to do with forwarding an alt-right, racist, anti-democratic (note small ‘d’) agenda.

Calvin Trillin seems to have struck the proverbial nail correctly again:

The résumé shows Muslim-hating? Good.
Misogyny? That wins some points for men.
And bashing immigrants is quite a plus.
The model here is Jean-Marie Le Pen.  (The Nation, Nov. 17, 2016, ‘Applying for a White House Job’)

OMG, where is Rod Serling when we need him? Who would have thought that The Donald, when he said that he would serve ‘all of us,’ as our President, was really thinking of a recipe book?!

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We’ve Danced This Dance Before?

Don’t worry, ‘we have danced this dance before,’ contends Zachary Karabel, writer for the Washington Post in an article that drew my attention in the Sunday, November 20, 2016 Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch. Karabel denigrates the liberal hue and cry that this election portends the ‘end of our republic.’ (The Columbus Dispatch, Section H, Sunday, November 20, 2016)

He reminds us that the same liberal wail was heard following the elections of Nixon and Reagan. “And yet here we are, decades later, still enamored with the republic they were sure was doomed.” “If the past is at all prologue, we will find that the sum of all our fears amounts to far less than many of us now believe.”

Yes, we are still a republic after Nixon and Reagan. After Nixon, we are a republic profoundly changed by the ‘Southern Strategy’ of the Richard Nixon-Kevin Phillips campaign that reinforced the political South in its indelible racially biased stain. Apparently the normalization of racism is OK? I do not find such racism a norm by which I want my republic measured.

Yes, we are still a republic following Ronald Reagan’s role, playing a statesman and leader of the Free World. It was not however, an Oscar-worthy performance, and it left our republic a lesser institution. Are we a stronger republic for Reagan, as President-elect, actively undermining the foreign policy of his predecessor? Are we a better republic for Reagan’s having cooperated/approved supplying arms to Contras in the Nicaraguan war? Well, that is the normalization of our republic left in Reagan’s wake.

The Reagan Legacy is a republic with a norm that applauds/approves the invasion and destruction of a country and culture based upon lies and fabrications regarding weapons of mass destruction. That is not the normal that assures me that I have less to fear from a diminished republic.

Karabe says that Trump has ‘tapped into a dark anger to an exceptional degree,’ but doubts this will lead down the “ugly road’ of earlier times and other countries. As an assurance that such is a mere possibility but not a probability, Karabe ends on the cheery note that ‘we have danced this dance before.”

A danse macabre  is hardly a reassuring image. It is a rite to drive home our fragile mortality, as individuals and republics.

 

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Whence Bends the Arc of Justice

Populism is a political construct in which it is asserted that ordinary people, regular people, have the right to order and control their own lives. Such an idea is not a bad one, with a provision or two, i.e., that regular people are committed to the common good and that this commitment is expressed by a homogeneous populace.

Ours is not such a populace. We are an amalgam of nativist, racist, self-interested, uneducated, educated, non-nativist, non-racist, other-regarding cultures, enclaves and geopolitical groupings. There is no such thing as American exceptionalism. We are like every other human population, a motley collection of diverse morals, abilities and interests struggling for 240 years to become a nation the ideal of which always looms beyond our reach. We do, from time to time, make progress in moving closer to that ideal but we also easily achieve a retrograde motion. That such inching backward is possible is now the threshold on which we stand.

The campaign rhetoric of our president-elect gave permission to nativist, racist and sexist elements among us regular people to voice fear, anger and bias and in doing so revealed the ugly truth about us that we’d prefer lay hidden. When we awakened Wednesday, November 9th, the only thing that had changed was that we could no longer deny America’s embarrassing identity. But no one familiar with Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” should have been all that surprised or shocked. Ours has always been an uphill effort to find the moral high ground. The arc bends toward justice only when we pull the bow in that direction. To suppose otherwise is magical thinking.

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Winnie-The-Pooh and the Election

The eve of the first day it started and has continued. Protest gatherings and marches across the country proclaim ‘Not My President.’ This is not simply sour grapes, it is some of the other half of the electorate giving voice to our deep resentment and revulsion that such a moral/ethical degenerate could become the President of the United States.

Yes, Bill Clinton was a moral/ethical embarrassment, but Bill’s sexual escapades  behind closed doors (and beneath desks) were mere adolescent sexual games compared to the bigotry, sexism, racism and xenophobia of D. J. Trump.

Progress in Feminism LGBT freedoms and race relations have been set back to the early 60s by Trump’s election, which is precisely what his supporters elected him to do. To pass off the motives of his supporters as the anguish of neglected and disillusioned white working-class males is to miss the point. Yes, there are a very large number of such working class deprived, but deprivation is not the reason for the weight of his win. It is depravity not deprivation, as was co-joined in the lyric of ‘West Side Story.’ A vast number of D. J. Trump supporters were in no way deprived. They are among the morally depraved who cannot abide the newer society evolving in which the liberation of women, Latinos, Blacks and anyone who differs from their notions of real traditional Americans.

I began to see this more clearly when an acquaintance complained that she, a college educated, white, female Trump supporter, was sick and tired of hearing the newscasters attribute Trump’s victory to less-educated white males. She seems obviously proud to be in the company of the depraved majority of Trump supporters. Heavens! We wouldn’t want her pigeon-holed with those deprived masses! She is much above that class!

Hillary was ‘right on’ with her description , with some modification. Some Trump supporters weren’t deplorable, no, they were among the great number of working class folk whose needs have been ignored. But those who do not live under that sign in the Thousand-Acre Wood cannot escape having their address labelled ‘Deplorable and Depraved.’

With news reports that ‘White Power’ signs appearing in Junior High Schools and people with brown skins being pulled from cars and being assaulted, pundits are beginning to speak of Trump’s election encouraging such morally retrograde behavior.

For both of President Obama’s terms, we have had to stand by and  watch a recalcitrant Republican Party attempt, most often successfully, thwart the President’s every effort. Now we are being asked by appeasers to recognize that yesterday is gone, to forgive and forget, to smile in a conciliatory mood and carry on as though the wound inflicted to our body politic is but a soon-healed knee-scrape.

The wound inflicted has been no accidental tumble. It has been inflicted by the deliberate actions of a very powerful bully. To let him and his ilk spread such attitudes and behavior without protest and intervention is moral cowardice.

 

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