“The President of the United States openly identifies himself as a nationalist, calls for the jailing of his political opponents, attacks the press and cozies up to dictators, while Republicans in Congress stand idly by. The stakes of this election couldn't be higher for democracy.”—Robert Reich
Who is Robert Reich? He is an American political commentator, professor, and author. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. He was Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997. He was a member of President-elect Barack Obama's economic transition advisory board. He is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and "Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.
In short, he’s been around the block and knows what he’s talking about. Which is why I quoted him above.
And then there is a pathetic comparison in the person of Donald Trump, our absolute farce of a president, a selfish individual of average intelligence who has expended little effort throughout life beyond making money for himself. A small-minded and narcissistic individual.
Morally-deformed Donald on Oct. 22 blasted “globalists” in his particular simplistic way while speaking at a rally for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—and declared himself a nationalist. “A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can’t have that,” Trump said. He added that there was an “old-fashioned” word that “we’re not supposed to use,” then used it. “You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, OK,” he said to “USA!” chants. “I’m a nationalist. Use that word.”
“Frankly not caring about our country . . .”? Just another cheap shot by Donald. We non-nationalists are worried sick about our country with him in charge.
You also left out the word “white” from your “nationalist” braggadocio, Donald. But there is a better good old-fashioned word we’re not supposed to use in civil discourse and polite company. It better describes you and your sad concept of individual superiority, your racism, your sociopathic dim view of the mass of humanity, your subliminal terrorism. It’s a 7-letter word and begins with A. We know what you are, and we will use that word in response whenever you drag discourse down to that level. We want some of your “base” to be able to understand us.
I’m an old globalist myself. I was quite proud of my country’s concept of global brother/sisterhood and its efforts to create and maintain same—until Donald came along and immediately set out to re-create the entire world in his own image. He appears to be making some strides in that direction via his pandering of the baser animal instincts and his disdain for intelligent altruism. Ever enriching his family and friends. He seems intent on tearing virtue from the national soul and replacing it with neanderthalistic brutality. The serfs of the rest of the planet apparently are to genuflect and leave gifts at the altar of his greatness.
ABOUT TROLLS—Here’s a pretty comprehensive definition of “troll” that I’ve copied from Wikipedia: “In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion,whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.”
Trolls are everywhere. They’re even schooled in Russia on “troll farms” to disrupt, seemingly, the human rights and other truly democratic aspects of our political system. And, of course, we have our home-grown ones. One of the greatest is Donald Trump, who for so long maintained that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
False identities whose inaccurate words and outright lies are passed around, distorted quotations by famous people, misidentified photos, etc. circulated on good old email, Facebook, Twitter or wherever are the product of trolls. The payoff for trolls is acceptance of their work by those addicted to ego-satisfying social media and who spend little time checking in on real news via reputable sources—including the mainstream media such as actual newspapers and TV other than biased Fox News.
My latest “for example” of a susceptible soul was the empty-headed Facebook post by someone I actually know, which was passed along to me via email. The individual stated that as Halloween nears: “Don't need a scary movie... we are watching the 14,000 illegals storming toward our border.” So how many of her Facebook “friends” now have a mental image of an army suggested by Donald Trump as composed of“hardened criminals” and possible terrorists surging north to crash through the border? That illustrates what damage a little tweak here and there by a troll can do. First, there are nowhere near 14,000 refugees. The latest estimate in the news is 4,000 and the total is beginning to dwindle.
In the last such caravan, admittedly somewhat smaller, only 200 eventually reached our border. And according to federal data, most of them did exactly what they said they were going to do: presented themselves at U.S. ports of entry and applied for asylum.
“Storming” toward our border also is an obvious propagandistic verb chosen to boost the fear-factor so favored by Donald and the Trumpettes. Those thousands of desperate refugees (not exactly “illegals” at this point) are actually “slogging” their way over a couple of thousand miles on foot, bearing children rather than weapons—enduring heat, lack of food and water, etc. Those not dropping by the wayside are expected to reach our southern border well after the midterm elections.
It is not illegal to seek asylum at U.S. border crossings; however, the Trump administration has been making it harder for migrants to seek asylum legally. A for-instance would be the statement of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen last week: “We are looking at every possible way within the legal construct that we have to make sure that those who don’t have the legal right to come to this country do not come in.”
MILITIA VIGILANTES—The concept of local militia seems to be somewhat conflicted of late. A quote from Wikipedia: “While militia organizations have a variety of ideologies and objectives including anti-tax, anti-immigration, survivalist, sovereign citizen, libertarian, land rights and southern restoration tendencies, they generally share a common belief in the imminent or actual rise of a tyrannical government in the United States which, they believe, must be confronted through armed force.”
When one speaks of resisting an envisioned “tyrannical” government brings to my mind such white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that have been prominent in places such as Idaho since around 1990. I can’t see them stepping forth to oppose the administration of Donald Trump, whose actions and attitude seem to parallel their own.
They seem actually to be adhering to their racist, anti-immigrant agenda in lining up alongside Donald Trump. On Oct. 27, the Associated Press announced from Houston that “militia groups and far right activists are raising money and announcing plans to head to the Mexican border to help stop the caravan of Central Americans, often echoing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the migrants making their way toward the U. S.” However, I expect enthusiasm may fade by the time the remnants of the caravan finally reach the border well after election day.
Many border-area residents, however, are fearful of armed civilians skulking about where they live, and some areas have posted signs stating that militia members are not welcome. A number of experts surmise that the militias have been driven by the way some politicians have recently defined immigrants as “existential threats to a particular way of life” For more detail, militia leaders’ rhetoric, etc. try googling the headline “Militia groups gearing up to halt caravan of immigrants.”
CAUSE AND EFFECT, THE REALITY—The mass murder at the Pittsburgh synagogue was more than straight-out anti-semitism. The shooter prior to the assault, the news reported, had expressed anger that a non-profit Jewish organization has helped refugees settle in the U. S. . . . “I can’t sit by and see my people slaughtered.” And who has demonized refugees/immigrants more then Donald Trump? “Rapists . . . hardened criminals,” etc.
The same Donald who also said Thursday, “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News.” And by Saturday, ever unspeakably vile and callous. Donald said he had considered canceling his Illinois political rally that day not because 11 people were murdered in an anti-Semitic act of terrorism, but because he had a bad hair day due to answering questions in the rain about the murders of Jews—during a speech preceding the rally.
No mention of gun control in his remarks on national anger, etc, of course. But it should be mentioned that In 2018 alone, including the most recent carnage at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, there have been 47,220 gun-related incidents resulting in 11,984 deaths in the United States—according to data compiled by Gun Violence Archive, an independent data-collection and research group.
TODAY’S QUOTE—“History will look back and Americans will look back with shame that we ever had a president like this.”—Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”)