Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dear Trump Supporters: It May Be Just a Red Hat to You, But to Us It's So Much More

Donald Trump burst onto the political scene in 2015 spewing anger, hatred and racism. As a 3rd-rate real estate "developer " and reality TV host he was utterly ill-equipped and unqualified to be president. But he understood branding more than all of the other candidates combined. He stole the "Make America Great Again"  slogan from Ronald Reagan, slapped it on a red baseball hat and the rest is history.

The controversial hat garnered worldwide attention again over the weekend when many MAGA hat-wearing students from a Kentucky Catholic school, attending a pro-life march in Washington, DC, got caught up in a viral media spectacle outside the Lincoln Memorial which found 16-year-old Trump-supporting white student Nicholas Sandmann and 64-year-old Native American activist Nathan Phillips in a tense face-to-face standoff. Phillips was attending the Indigenous Peoples March.

On the left there are accusations that the teens mocked and disrespected Phillips in an aggressive, racially-insensitive manner. (i.e. simulating Tomahawk chops). On the right there's been unequivocal support from the boy's mother, conservative media and even the president, who on Tuesday posted this self-serving tweet:

"Nick Sandmann and the students of Covington have become symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be. They have captivated the attention of the world, and I know they will use it for the good - maybe even to bring people together. It started off unpleasant, but can end in a dream!"

Sandmann's own defense is that he did nothing wrong, was not acting aggressively and was merely trying to "defuse" an explosive situation as he and his fellow students were under verbal assault nearby by four Black Hebrew Israelite protestors. He and his supporters, including his mother, have disingenuously used this verbal assault as justification for his and his pals' behavior towards Phillips. They claim the real victims are the kids.

But the tape doesn't support that contention. Video of the entire roughly 90-minute episode, while indeed proving the kids were targets of vile homophobic, racist verbal attacks, also shows as many as 50-75 Covington Catholic High School students, many recording the encounter on iPhones, loudly and excitedly shouting, jeering and egging on a smirking Sandmann like hopped-up frat boys at a midnight rave. They could've simply walked away. They chose to engage.

These weren't just 'innocent teens.' They were MAGA-hat-wearing teens. And that changes the entire dynamic of the situation.

To non-Trump supporters, the red MAGA hat is a symbol of divisiveness. Of intolerance. Of sexual, gender, ethnic and racial animus. 

To non-Trump supporters "Make America Great Again" really means "Make America White Again."

To non-Trump supporters the MAGA-hat stands for:

*oppression of women
*oppression of Muslims
*oppression of minorities
*oppression of immigrants
*oppression of #LGBTQ
*attacks on the media
*attacks on the FBI & DOJ
*attacks on the judiciary
*attacks on the rule of law
*attacks on decency
*white supremacy

To non-Trump supporters, the red MAGA hat is the modern-day version of the white KKK hood. 

That's because Trump is a racist. There's no disputing that, especially against decades of unequivocal bigoted behavior including housing discrimination, the Central Park Five fiasco, his birther campaign, embracing David Duke, verbal attacks against people of color, the Muslim ban, defending neo-Nazis and his relentless campaign against black and brown immigrants. 

To be sure, the red MAGA hat is Trump's white hood.

And MAGA isn't just a slogan. It's a movement. Or as many believe, a cult. And as a cult, the Cult of Trump shares most of the overall characteristics with other typical cults, as outlined by researchers Janja Lalich Ph.D and Michael D. Langone Ph.D. For example: 

*The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. 

*Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

‪*The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel... leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear...

‪*The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah...on a special mission to save humanity). 

‪*The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

‪*The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

‪*The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).‪

‪*The group is preoccupied with making money.

Trump and his cultists proudly wear the red MAGA hat like a family crest. 

So when a bunch of rowdy teens surround a Native American elder while wearing this hat they're bringing to the encounter everything it's come to stand for. 

It's not...just...a...hat. It's offensive, its insensitive and it's intimidating. 

Perhaps we can't ascribe the underlying racism of Trump's MAGA credo to these kids. Perhaps they're just dopey teens who 'didn't know better.'  But now they do. And if they don't want to be associated with the ugliness that this hat represents, they should immediately apologize to Phillips. 

And they should begin to understand and appreciate what the phrase "Make America Great Again" might mean to indigenous peoples who for centuries had been robbed, slaughtered and are still clearly disrespected. People whose experiences throughout history weren't so "great."

Otherwise, if the hat fits...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Preview of Trump's State of the Union Speech

My fellow Americans...esteemed Republican members of Congress, Democrats, the five good Supreme Court Justices, any generals who still like me, and the fake-news enemy-of-the-people media. I'm excited to be here tonight to tell you, quite frankly, of all the amazing things I'm doing. And believe me...there's many bigly accomplishments. More than any president ever. Especially Obama.

Let's start with the government shutdown. Or, as many people are calling it, and this is true, and they're right,..the Schumer/Pelosi shutdown. It's all the Democrats' fault. Now when I said weeks ago that I would "own" the shutdown"...that I'd take the "mantle"...that I wouldn't blame "Chuck" and the Dems...that's not what I meant.

Look, I'm a builder...and, everyone knows this, but nobody likes to talk about it, I'm the biggest most successful builder...nobody builds buildings like Trump...everyone loves my buildings...the Chinese, the Saudi's...the Russians...and by the way, there was NO COLLUSION!...the real collusion is with Hillary and the Dems...and so I build things. I 'own' things. And, Mickey Mantle was always my favorite baseball player. The Mick! Ya gotta admit, they don't make 'em like The Mick anymore, am I right! A bit of an ugly drinker though...but we won't talk about that. Lastly, when I said I wouldn't blame Chuck, I actually meant that I would blame Chuck.

We need a wall, people. And I'm not talking about the one between me and Melania. I'm talking about a big beautiful wall. A barrier. Or steel slats. Or Levolor blinds, beaded curtains, Roman shades. Maybe some hanging bamboo. I love bamboo! I love the way it sounds...bam-BOO! Those brown people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador...and many people don't like using this word...invading America. They're thugs, gang members, terrorists. Millions and millions of terrorists. They're BAD HOMBRES! They dress like hungry women and children to fool us. It's gotta stop. And it's gonna stop right here and right NOW! It's a national emergency!

This emergency is so strong, so severe, so dangerous that I'm willing to wait days, weeks, months even years to stand firm against Nancy on this. Gonna wait to see what she does. Then I'll see what Mexico does. Then I'll see what Rush, Laura, Ann and Sean think. Then I'll read Breitbart. Then maybe see what Bobby Knight and Kimye think. Then I'll wait some more. And then, if everything else fails, I'll declare a national emergency. I can totally do it. Totally legal. I maybe definitely think I can probably do it for sure. And Brett and the SCOTUS boys will back me up, believe me.

Shall we talk about the stock market? It's the greatest market ever. It's done so well since I became president...if you don't count last year, which was all the Fed's fault. But I think it's already up 7,000 points in January.

How about Syria, huh!? We won! We beat ISIS! Don't believe the fake news disgusting fake awful fake FAKE FAKE FAKE news when they tell you ISIS just killed US troops in a suicide bombing. It's all fake. Fake fake fake. What was it that George Bush said..."Mission accomplished!"

And let's not forget that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.

And how I got MBS to admit he had nothing to do with Khashoggi's murder.

And how I strong-armed Putin into his very strong, powerful denial of election meddling.

I so got this shit, people!

America first! 

Lastly, let's talk about the 800-lb orangutan in the room. No, not me... the big fat witch-hunt. The hoax. Let me tell you, and this is the truth, and nobody knows the truth like me...everyone is lying! All of them! The Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, Mueller and his 49 angry Dems, the Southern District of NY, the local state AG's, the courts, the media, Democrats, Flynn, Cohen, Manafort, Comey, everyone else...they're all just part of a very bigly massive conspiracy to take down your president. They're just angry that we beat Hillary so 8-million popular votes I think. I am the only one telling the truth, believe me...

So in closing, everything is just wonderful. It's a beautiful administration. The fake fake double-fake ugly fat disgusting lying lying fake news ugly doodyhead media keeps telling you there's "chaos" in the White House, but that's a bigly lie, folks. A bigly, bigly lie. Everything's...running...smoothly!

My administration's great.

The stock market's great.

The economy's great.

Our standing in the world is great.

We made America great again!

God bless me...then you...then America.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

What Trump Will REALLY Be Saying Tonight

Everyone but Donald Trump's brainwashed base knows that his "address" to the nation Tuesday evening regarding the "crisis at the border" will be a reprehensible performance piece of lies, deception, misinformation and fascist propaganda. Here's what he'll really be saying...

My fellow Americans. Three years ago I launched my campaign for the presidency. I never thought I had a chance, believe me. I'm a 4th-rate real estate "developer", former realty tv host and fake billionaire. I have no political experience, no vision or core beliefs and all I care about is myself and money. And, I have the temperament of a 5-year-old. To say I was unfit for the job is a gross understatement. But what I quickly understood, that my 16 opponents didn't, was that millions of Americans are stupid and racist. And I used that to my advantage. Bigly.

Let's face it: my base doesn't give a shit about politics. They'd rather watch paint dry than listen to a discussion on infrastructure, the economy or foreign policy. They're Jerry Springer fans. Adrenaline junkies. They like drama and excitement. They go to hockey games just for the fights. They're small-minded, and like watching bullies taunt the weak and helpless. Especially if they're black, brown, Muslim and Mexican. They're angry white people who believe minorities and immigrants have taken away their American dream. Bingo!

Welcome to "Make America Great Again." Which of course means "Make America White Again." I turned these racist fools into an army of red-MAGA-hat-wearing mental zombies. 

So I promised to build a wall. A "big beautiful wall" which would keep out those horrible criminals. And I promised them that Mexico would pay for it. It became our mantra. I whipped 'em into a frenzy like Freddie Mercury at Live Aid. I'd say "Who's gonna pay for the wall?" And like pathetic sheep they'd scream "MEXICO!!"  I did this over and over and over again at all my rallies. And when I'd see them getting bored or ready to leave I'd whip 'em up again with it.  

"And who's gonna pay for the wall??!!"


Of course, it was all just a lie. I knew there'd be no way Mexico was gonna pay for it. But I knew somebody would ultimately have to.

Which brings us to tonight. My big "crisis at the border" address. Obviously, there's no crisis. Not now, and not before the midterms when I fear-mongered non-stop about the "dangerous caravan" about to "invade America." It's all bullshit. But you already know that. But like I said, somebody's gotta pay for that wall.

Yes. I bullshitted the base. Now I'm fucked. My legacy, and hopes for a 2020 reelection, are flushed down my gold-plated toilet if I don't build that damn wall. So I need to lie again about "thousands of terrorists crashing through the Mexican border"...blah blah blah. You know the drill: MS-13 gang members, thugs and terrorists coming to kill your kids and rape your women. IT'S A CRISIS I tell ya!

And if Congress doesn't give me the money to fulfill this idiotic campaign promise then I'm gonna declare a "national emergency" and just take money from the military and use it for the wall. An abuse of power? You bet. A Constitutional crisis? I really don't care, do you? Let them sue me. It'll go to the Supreme Court...where Brett and the boys will cover my ass.

No one's gonna tell me what to do. No one. I am above the law. I am the fucking law. I'm Trump, dammit, and I'm gonna run America like I run my businesses: sloppy, chaotic, incompetent, dysfunctional, dishonest, drowning in debt, bankrupt, law-breaking and dictatorial.

And no one's gonna stop me...NO ONE!

(breaks out into loud, uproarious maniacal laughter)