The Enemy Is Us

big pogo

I’ve spent some time writing about the absurdity of Trump.

Now I’d like to spend a little time digging into the two fundamental dangers of his campaign.

First a couple of basic assumptions.

Trump is NOT a conservative in any conventional sense of the word.

Though he managed to capture the Republican Party nomination, his views do not reflect very much of what could be considered Republican Reagan-inspired orthodoxy. He ran against that orthodoxy and the “elites” who represent the Republican establishment.

Trump did not create the pool of white disaffected conspiracy-theory addled voters who support him. He has just become the most recent populist to capture their attention by calling out the establishment, regardless of party, who failed to deliver on the decades of promises that this group feels were made to them.

Conspiracy theories are part of our DNA. They were the source of legend and myth. They are independent of party. Conservatives have been the group that has recently brought them into politics in a dangerous way.

The danger of those who believe in self-serving conspiracy theories is that they are easy prey for those who may seek to turn them against the very institutions that provide them the only opportunity for relief. The best example is the past 8 years of Republican obstructionism. That obstructionism prevented passage of a more robust jobs creation program based on the big infrastructure investments that both candidates are talking about in this campaign.

That obstructionism was based in part on the effective campaign to delegitimize Obama. Though there was no basis in fact for any of those claims, Republican leadership became enablers of this strategy through their silence. As a result, significant percentages of Republicans still believe that Obama was born in Kenya and is Muslim. This made it much easier for House and Senate Republicans to effectively grind government to a halt for six years.

This same scorched-earth policy is being created for Clinton. She’s an historic liar, she should be jailed, she is too ill to be President, and the only way that she could be elected is if the elections themselves are rigged.

The fundamental concern of those unhappy with the direction the country is taking is that government is not working for them. The danger of this conspiracy-dominated strategy is that it erodes faith in the fundamental institutions of government rather than just the party that is in charge. Those fundamental institutions are what are SUPPOSED to work for all citizens. When a significant percentage of the citizens feel that not only elected representatives, but government itself is biased against them; the seeds for violence are being sown.

That brings us to a second danger. That is violence and the extremist in our society that advocate it.

Just like we have always had a segment of our society that believes conspiracy theories, there is also a segment of our society that supports violent overthrow of the government. These segments are also typically racist, nationalist, and libertarian.

The difference is that the hate speech associated with these groups was always relegated to the political fringe. Until recently, political leaders across the political spectrum rejected this bigotry outright.

Over the past eight years, racial hate speech has crept into the mainstream political conversation under the guise of political criticism of an African American president.

In this campaign; racial, religious, and even disability hate speech has been used by Trump. His excuse is that it is “straight” talk. He claims to take pride at speaking off the cuff and rejecting political correctness. His enablers add that he can’t be expected to show the sort of sensitivity that “professional” politicians display.

As a result, the violent extremists are moving from the lunatic fringe into the political mainstream. Right wing tribalism now provides them a cover to spread their hate and lies. Within the Republican Party, you can talk about topics that would have been embarrassing even during the Bush II administration. You need no better example of this legitimizing of the radical right than the appointment of Steven Bannon as Trump’s campaign manager. This guy has been one of the champions of the alt-right. His past history alone would have disqualified him from being involved in any previous Republican campaign. Now he is able to pass with barely a whimper.

Regardless of the outcomes of this election, we are dealing with a new reality. This reality is pick-up trucks with Confederate flags and rifle racks in the cab. It is open carry red-necks looking for confrontations at Black Lives Matter rallies. It is a rise in terrorist acts inspired by white supremacist groups rather than ISIS. It is a full-throated attack on the pluralism that is at the core of our democracy. It is a return of the cancer of white supremacy that has plagued this country from its founding.

My hope is that this is the first step to finally confronting and rejecting bigotry and racism in this country as acceptable behavior by any citizen.



27 Responses to “The Enemy Is Us”

  1. Keith says:

    And on the left, 60 million abortions, homosexual marriage, and healthcare for all have creeped into the mainstream without anyone barely lifting an eye. Not long ago no one would have dared mention these outloud. Even Hillary and president Obama less then 8 years ago opposed homosexual marriage. You are getting more blind and one sided as you age my good friend.

    I noticed the you used the term “alt-right” above. Only someone well within the bubble would use that term. Again, good job carrying the water.

    I enjoyed watching CNN after the tin hall last night. All they did for two hours was defend Hillary’s answers and tell everyone what Trump meant with his. MSNBC is fun to watch also.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And on the left, 60 million abortions, homosexual marriage, and healthcare for all have creeped into the mainstream without anyone barely lifting an eye. Not long ago no one would have dared mention these outloud. Even Hillary and president Obama less then 8 years ago opposed homosexual marriage. You are getting more blind and one sided as you age my good friend.

    Must not be much to talk about in your house. 🙂

    Abortion has been legal and a political topic since 1973.

    Gay marriage was illegal until fairly recently, but gay people have been committed to life long relationships since there have been gay people (which is likely since there have been humans). The SCOTUS struck down state sodomy laws in 2003.

    The current healthcare system was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation during the Clinton years as a conservative alternative. Discussions about universal healthcare began in this country in the 1880’s.

    Equating these with hate speech is really a stretch too long for even you.

    I noticed the you used the term “alt-right” above. Only someone well within the bubble would use that term. Again, good job carrying the water.

    I didn’t create the term. The white supremacists did. They were looking for a way to rebrand themselves so that people like you would mistake them for something legitimate. But these are the same old guys that formed the KKK, lynched blacks, burned crosses, and blew up the federal building in OK City.

    The New Yorker reported that the term “alt-right” was coined by white nationalist Richard Spencer, who “described the movement in December as ‘an ideology around identity, European identity.’”

    Steve Bannon told Mother Jones that Breitbart News is “the platform for the alt-right.”

    I’m not making this stuff up.

    Since when did you become an apologist for the white nationalist movement?

  3. Keith says:

    And Hillary was terrible two nights ago. Try something. Turn the sound off and watch her for five mins in that town hall. Her body language. Facial expressions, etc. awful. She was irritated having to answer about her email. She even came up with new answers. She came across lecturely to the guy from the audience who asked the question.

    Since she did so poorly they are now trotting her out more. As David Gergin said “to knock the rust off.” She’s being told by those in here party to “open up” warm up.” Can you imagine bein 68 years old and been at this for decades, all while being the smartest person alive, and being told hold to act. I’m not sure what’s more troubling, they there are those compelled to tell her, or, that she has to be told. Perplexing.

    The race has tightened. I still believe she will win as a republican stats so far behind on the electoral map.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And Hillary was terrible two nights ago. Try something. Turn the sound off and watch her for five mins in that town hall. Her body language. Facial expressions, etc. awful. She was irritated having to answer about her email. She even came up with new answers. She came across lecturely to the guy from the audience who asked the question.

    You serious?

    Your vote is now based on how someone looks?

    How about what they said?

    According to Politifact, Clinton only has one false statement. That was regarding her claim that Trump plans to privatize the VA.

    Now lets look at the lies that Trump told the American people during the same period of time.

    1. “I was totally against the war in Iraq.” False
    2. Obama “came in. He said when we go out — and he took everybody out. And really ISIS was formed.” False
    3. “Well, I think when (Putin) calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, OK?” False – Putin called him colorful, not brilliant.
    4. “Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there’s no real problem, it’s over-exaggerated. She did say that.” False Clinton never said the things that Trump claimed she did

    Trump also suggested that he could fire the generals that make up the joint chiefs of staff. He can’t.

    The race has tightened. I still believe she will win as a republican stats so far behind on the electoral map.

    The race has tightened but if you dig into the numbers, Trump has gained some Republican support that he didn’t have previously. Clinton lost some support, but it wasn’t to Trump. It was to third party candidates.

    I suspect that we saw this vote growing because of the big lead that Clinton had. Traditionally third party candidates lose support the closer that we get to the election. That’s because those who were choosing to vote on principal recognize that their vote really could make a difference. As the race tightens, at least some of these voters will come back to vote for Clinton because they don’t want Trump to win.

    The campaign has finally started. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next two months.

  5. Keith says:

    Well, how’d you like what happened over the “next few days, not months!”

    You simply don’t get it. It’s almost impossible at times having a discussion with you. I’m not voting on how someone looks. I’ve told you what I’m voting as I am. However, If you can’t read body language then there’s nothing I can do for you. Turns out she probably already had phnmonia… But that’s for further conspiracy theory discussion . Lol

    Jeff, the world didn’t start with GW’s presidenc. For someone to openly discuss in a public forum gay marriage “not long ago” would have been unheard of. For someone “not long ago” to openly champion the slaughter of 60,000,000 babies would have been unheard of. For someone to be taken seriously for nationalized healthcare “not long ago” would have been laughed off the stage, and was. For someone to be taken seriously “not long ago” that our biggest threat comes from climate change would be laughed off the stage.

    Jeff, because your party has become extreme you don’t see extreme. I’d ask you, what of the “alt-right” has made its way into Trumps plate form, 6 weeks paid maternity leave? Don’t touch SS.

    Hillary is sick. I like what many dens are saying. Her first I stick in any situation is to lie, distort, and be secretive. It’s who she is. It’s also why I believe nothing she says. She has not earned any trust or the benefit of the doubt.

    And the grand finally I am now a “deplorable.” Alone with millions and millions of other Americans. Also notice how she broke us up into subgroups?This is why she’s controlled and isn’t allowed to speak openly.

    Her positives go up when she is t heard from, they go down when they are.

  6. Keith says:

    And to be clear on the answer I gave above.

    “Does appearance matter?” To some extent, Yes.

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You simply don’t get it. It’s almost impossible at times having a discussion with you. I’m not voting on how someone looks. I’ve told you what I’m voting as I am. However, If you can’t read body language then there’s nothing I can do for you. Turns out she probably already had phnmonia… But that’s for further conspiracy theory discussion . Lol

    When you suggest that body language is somehow revealing of a presidential weakness and then use that theory to justify your vote, you ARE voting based on how someone looks. You are essentially saying that Clinton’s “looks” are more important than her policies.

    Your claim to be a body language expert and to associate intent, health, or anything else from body language is only evidence that you have been spending too much time in the Republican bubble. It’s just another conspiracy theory that you seem heavily invested in.

    Much of what the experts tell you about body language is wrong. The biggest misconception perpetrated by many so-called experts is that specific gestures – of your hands, say – have specific meanings. Rather, gestures are ambiguous. They can mean many things. If I cross my arms, I may be signaling my defensiveness, but I may also be cold, or simply tired and propping myself up with my arms – or just getting comfortable. And I could be signaling all those things at once. It’s possible to be simultaneously cold, tired, defensive, and desirous of comfort.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2012/10/25/7-surprising-truths-about-body-language/#5d09cc3a2987

    Jeff, the world didn’t start with GW’s presidenc. For someone to openly discuss in a public forum gay marriage “not long ago” would have been unheard of.

    You suffer from confirmation bias. That means that you ignore the data that doesn’t agree with your world view and you accept the data that does.

    The current meme that you are peddling regarding social issues is a weak defense against the reality that hate speech in this country is becoming more acceptable because it can be disguised as “political”.

    Jeff, because your party has become extreme you don’t see extreme. I’d ask you, what of the “alt-right” has made its way into Trumps plate form, 6 weeks paid maternity leave? Don’t touch SS.

    I would be very happy to have a conversation about platform, but you only want to talk about Trump’s platform.
    I’ll post something in the near future comparing the platforms of both candidates. I’ll do that on the condition that you agree that we will only talk, at least in the comments section of that post, on the platforms. There won’t be any discussion of body language, believability, off-the-cuff, or any of the other dodges that have so far prevented a serious discussion about proposals from the candidates. Should be fun.

    Trump and the alt-right share views on Muslims, immigration, trade, and admiration of Putin. Even though his campaign manager has said that Brietbart will be the megaphone for the alt-right, Trump has denied knowing that the alt-right even is.

    The future of the alt-right is currently tied intimately to Trump’s campaign.

    A huge Donald Trump loss could be catastrophic for the alt-right. Its members would return to relative irrelevance as mercenary politicians regard them as toxic losers. They would have no access to power, and the most popular outlets that cater to them, like Breitbart.com, would be regarded as ignorable, discredited echo-chambers. As Goldberg said elsewhere of the alt-right, “I think the wisest course would be to ignore it utterly, but thanks to the demons the Trump campaign has aroused—and even hired—that hasn’t been possible. I think it will be again, soon enough.”
    A narrow Trump loss would weaken the alt-right, though perhaps not fatally.
    And a Donald Trump win? That would make the alt-right more powerful than it has ever been. In GOP primaries, opportunists would try to mimic Trump’s brand of identity politics in hopes of succeeding as he did; actual white nationalists would be emboldened to vie for power; and alt-right politicians would win victories in some regions and transform the tenor of local politics in others. Breitbart.com would be read as a source of insight into what the people running the executive branch might do next.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/the-only-way-that-movement-conservatives-can-vanquish-the-alt-right/498716/

    That’s the future that you plan to vote for.

    Please educate yourself rather than treating everything as a liberal plot to get Clinton elected.

    BTW you are only deplorable if you support the racist, xenophobic, white supremacist policies of the alt-right.

    It is deplorable to undermine the credibility of a federal judge based on his Mexican heritage.

    It is deplorable to demean a Gold Star family and propose to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

    It is deplorable for a candidate for president of a major party to kick off his campaign by labeling most Mexicans as rapists and murderers.

    It is deplorable when the Justice Department feels it has to sue you a second time for racial discrimination because you didn’t get the hint the first time.

    It is deplorable to play footsie with David Duke, to repeatedly retweet white nationalists and false stats about black men and crime, to praise the enthusiasm of supporters who beat a homeless Hispanic man in Boston and punch a black man at rally, to say black people have a lazy trait and have them ushered off the casino floor when you show up.

    It is deplorable to rise to national political prominence on the bigotry that is “birtherism,” even more deplorable to have neither the character nor the courage either publicly to renounce or repeat that assertion while touting your supposed toughness as a primary reason to vote for you.

    It is deplorable that the list of deplorable things done and said by the Republican nominee for president is so long it’s hard and exhausting to try to remember them all.

    It is deplorable that a sizable percentage of his supporters love him because of those awful things — deplorable that they now feel it is OK to express those views in public. That is not excusable — no matter how much economic pain they’ve contended with these past few decades.

    But what’s most deplorable is the knee-jerk pushback against anyone who dares point out this reality, as though exposing the deplorable is worse than the deplorable things themselves. Maybe the best way to avoid being labeled deplorable is to stop doing and saying and standing for deplorable things?

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/10/opinions/how-trump-has-normalized-the-deplorable-bailey/

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQueaSlvjCw

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-olbermann-donald-trump_us_57d930fee4b0aa4b722d6e90

    This is NOT a normal presidential election.

    This IS a situation where individuals and the press are obligated to speak out in defense of pluralism, democracy, and the constitution. This is a moment in time that the founding fathers were concerned about – when a demagogue leverages populism to ultimately undermine democracy.

    One of the lessons to be learned is about the perils of conservative populism. Over the past 50 years, the political right has invested heavily in a kind of anti-elitist populism. We see ourselves as representing the “silent majority” and the salt-of-the-earth regular folks out in the heartland, as opposed to those corrupt coastal elites in New York, Hollywood, and D.C.

    But now a lot of us are experiencing the whiplash of discovering that this sort of populism can be used against us — coupled with disappointment that the salt-of-the-earth heartland types, whom we counted on to be our allies, can sometimes be talked into voting on the basis of their fears and resentment instead of heeding the better angels of their nature.

    If the Founding Fathers had anticipated a man like Trump — and they did — they would have written a Constitution designed to thwart him. And they did.

    If the Founders had anticipated Trump, they would have written the Constitution to thwart him. And they did.

    They built a whole system of checks and balances that functions to slow down political change, to counterbalance factions against each other, and to prevent the momentary passions of one group of voters from steering the policies of the federal government. The Constitution is an anti-populist document designed to thwart “the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”

    That phrase is from The Federalist No. 10, in which James Madison defended the Constitution by explaining how it could make liberty more secure in a large republic than in a small one. The advocates of small republics were the Anti-Federalists, who wanted to keep virtually all government power on the state level. Madison argued, however, that the larger scope of the federal government would encompass a greater diversity of interests and passions, which would cause any one faction to be counterbalanced and opposed by other factions.

    This from the very conservative Federalist site.

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/03/22/donald-trump-displays-the-perils-of-populism/

    I don’t know if it is possible for you to step away from the concept of defeating Clinton long enough to realize the calls coming from across the political spectrum regarding Trump. I hope that you will be able to overcome your biases and recognize that ANY of the three other candidates are preferable.

  9. Keith says:

    I can’t even follow where your responses are going you are so far off the oath I started.

    While I happen to love Keith while on ESPN he is the mega poster boy for the alt-left You sir have just entered the epicenter of the far left bubble. Should I post in return Rush saying 176 bad things about Hillary’s past? If I were a liberal I would say “I am stunned by your post and offended you respond in such a way.” However since I am not a liberal and am not stunned or offended by someone else’s thoughts or actions I’ll simply say this attempt on your part is laughable. 😄

    Jeff I clearly articulated why I will be voting for trump. Its not how she looks. Read more carefully.

    Have you ever turn off the volume and watched someone? Post all the articles you want. Doesn’t change facts. Did you know that at times large companies hire professionals to sit in on negotiations to watch the other sides body language? Did you also know people are hired to help with the presentation of ones self. ie athletes how to stand

    Hillary would think I’m a homophobe. I have a biblically based disagreement with homosexuality. And to correct you she didn’t say you have to be all of those things. She used commas in her speech so each individual item would qualify some one as a deplorable.

    So I ask you, did Hillary get phnmonia on Friday and is better today? Tell me why they weren’t honest from the beginning. This isn’t conspiracy. Why didn’t they tell folks she was sick.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    While I happen to love Keith while on ESPN he is the mega poster boy for the alt-left You sir have just entered the epicenter of the far left bubble. Should I post in return Rush saying 176 bad things about Hillary’s past? If I were a liberal I would say “I am stunned by your post and offended you respond in such a way.” However since I am not a liberal and am not stunned or offended by someone else’s thoughts or actions I’ll simply say this attempt on your part is laughable.

    Please feel free to post whatever lists you would like. The difference will be that each of the items that Olbermann cited came with a reference that can be checked. Here’s the annotated list. Feel free to go through and dispute any of his claims. This is not trivial stuff. This is evidence of why this particular person is not only not qualified for the office but actually dangerous.

    The stuff that you are going to get from Rush or whomever else you choose to cite, is not verifiable. It is conspiracy theory, like your claims regarding body language and illness, but it will be interesting to see what you come up with.

    We have entered this era of post-factual politics. Truth and facts are no longer accepted by a significant number of what currently constitutes the Republican Party. Trump’s birtherism is only one example of the depths of the delusion that has infected a significant portion of the voting public.

    Jeff I clearly articulated why I will be voting for trump. Its not how she looks. Read more carefully.
    Have you ever turn off the volume and watched someone? Post all the articles you want. Doesn’t change facts. Did you know that at times large companies hire professionals to sit in on negotiations to watch the other sides body language? Did you also know people are hired to help with the presentation of ones self. ie athletes how to stand

    Please don’t continue this ragged defense. We’ve been through this before. You are welcome to vote from whomever you choose, but you’re making an emotional decision and struggling to defend it. You “facts” regarding body language are fiction. Body language training is intended to MASK your stress levels, for example, from the public – not reveal them. Your sense that they somehow reveal the soul are just another example of your confirmation bias. You can find just as many articles regarding Trump’s body language, but you don’t look for them or read them because they don’t fit your particular narrative. Here’s just one.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-body-language-expert-decodes-us-republican-presidential-candidates-most-divisive-a6767981.html

    This article quotes a body language “expert” to confirm that Trump actually believes all of the xenophobic and bigoted things that he has said about Muslims.

    Hillary would think I’m a homophobe. I have a biblically based disagreement with homosexuality. And to correct you she didn’t say you have to be all of those things. She used commas in her speech so each individual item would qualify some one as a deplorable.

    You could hear the “commas in her speech”?

    The basic question is whether or not you would think less of a person who happened to be a homosexual. Would you refuse a homosexual services because of their sexual orientation? Would you support legislation allowing employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation? Would you refuse to vote for someone because of their sexual orientation? Those are deplorable acts and it doesn’t matter whether you use the bible or the KKK as your justification. If on the other hand, you view homosexual acts as sinful, but as you’ve said before, you condemn the sin and not the sinner – then no you are not a sexual bigot.

    BTW, you can use this same filter and replace “sexual orientation” with “gender”, “race”, or “religion” and have the same result. Some of Trump’s supporter believe dark skinned people are inferior to white skinned people. Some of Trump’s supporters are voting for him because they refuse to vote for a woman. Some of Trump’s supporters feel that Muslims are a threat to this country and should be banned. Some of Trump supporters are antisemitic. All of those attitudes should be regarded as deplorable in our society and politicians that appeal to those beliefs should be repudiated.

    So I ask you, did Hillary get phnmonia on Friday and is better today? Tell me why they weren’t honest from the beginning. This isn’t conspiracy. Why didn’t they tell folks she was sick.
    Why didn’t Trump tell people that he was overweight, didn’t exercise, didn’t watch his diet, and as a result had cholesterol issues that required medication?

    Physicians for both candidates have said that they were fit to serve. Why is it that Trump is the only one who has attempted to use health issues to disqualify Clinton?

    Clinton has released WAY more information about her health than Trump, yet she has been held to a higher standard regarding that information. Why is that?

    I would have preferred that she was more forthcoming about her health, but I also would have preferred that the press and the voters held Trump to the same standard that they and you are holding Clinton.

    As long as we are talking about transparency, why haven’t you been calling for Trump to release his tax returns? He has said that he is waiting for the IRS to complete their audit, but the IRS has said that their audit is not affected at all by a public release of information. Also their audit has finished on all by the last couple of years. Why doesn’t he release the returns that are no longer under audit? Trump’s son today suggested that Trump would not release his returns because they would “raise too many questions” Why aren’t you holding Trump to the same level of transparency that hold Clinton?

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I normally don’t post many videos because they can be easily edited. I’ll make an exception for the NYT. Here are more examples of deplorable comments from Trump supporters.

    http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004533191/unfiltered-voices-from-donald-trumps-crowds.html?smid=tw-share

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Here’s just a little more data regarding the details of those with deplorable attitudes.

    1. Islamaphobia – 65% of likely Republican voters support Trump’s proposed religious visa test. 45% of Republicans would not vote for a Muslim for president. By way of contrast, Paul Ryan denounced Trump’s Muslim ban as a “religious test” that is an affront to conservatism.

    2. Mass deportations and characterizing Mexicans as rapist and drug dealers – 75% of those supporting Trump support mass deportation and religious bans on immigration. Paul Ryan denounced Trump’s drawn out assault on a Mexican-American judge as the “textbook definition of a racist comment.”

    3. White nationalism – The alt-right white supremacist groups have flocked to Trump. He deliberately began his birtherism campaign to reach out to this audience. His appointment of Steve Bannon who has also targeted this audience only confirms this strategy. Almost 60% of voters recognize Trump’s appeal to bigotry.

    These are the attitudes that Clinton and others are calling out. While they are protected as free speech, they have no place in mainstream politics. It doesn’t matter if Trump’s economic message, or his outsider message, or even his brash off the cuff style may appeal to those who don’t have these biases. This blatant bigotry disqualifies his candidacy. Those who choose to support Trump are tacitly endorsing these deplorable attitudes and policies even if they don’t share them.

  13. Keith says:

    And president Obama wasn’t real found of Hillary’s campaign.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2008/02/obama-slams-smear-photo-008667

    Back to the above. You’ve gotten way off the track. i said turn the tv off and look at her. I did this at during the town hall. I said she looked terrible and her body langue was awful. I did t say this is way I’m not voting for her.

    Fact – I was right, she had phnamonia!
    Fact – she look as though she were angry and lecturing. Long a criticism of hers.

    Now look where you took my comments. It was simple and true. End of conversation. Just agree with me when I’m right. Lol that doesn’t mean trump beats Hillary.

  14. Keith says:

    Now you e gone into the gutter.

    This blog and our responses have never stopped to how stupid some voters are. You are showing the equivalent of the woman who was looking for “Obama dollars” because he had won. Or the women who thought her rent and other bills were now going to be paid. Stop.

    My only point to you is under the guise of Spiritual Wickedness you continue to use your gift of Nuisanced detail to point out at nusium Trumps, and republicans faults, perceived or otherwise, but don’t apply the same standard to Mrs Clinton.

  15. Keith says:

    What channel the Emmeys tonight? Geez, it’s hatered.
    Somebody please tell the non thinking Hollywood forks that it “illegal” immigration…

    Recent findings, wouldn’t copy and paste, suggest there is no surge of green card holders or almost citizens, to become citizen before the election to vote against Trump. My thought? They don’t care because they are doing it legally and they DONT care about illegals as much as dems think they do.

    CBS now says its a tie.

    Wash Post lead tomorrow – Hillary is losing Hispanics?

    I still think she wins. The map is that difficult for any republican. Trump is mostly doing what he should have done after the convention but wait four weeks to do it. He has the blond women telling him what to do and reading off the TelePrompTer…

    I like what Carl Rover said “Hillary has to convince an electorate they wants change, that she, status quo is the steady hand they need on the wheel.

    Weather she wins or loses I think you will agree she is a terrible candidate. She’s never been good. She looked and sounded aweful again today. Sorry but those things do matter to some extent. We’re not voting for the Oz behind the curtain.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This blog and our responses have never stopped to how stupid some voters are. You are showing the equivalent of the woman who was looking for “Obama dollars” because he had won. Or the women who thought her rent and other bills were now going to be paid. Stop.

    Sorry, but I’m not. The source of the money in the two audio clips was a federal fund to help the homeless or those who were in danger of becoming homeless in Detroit. It required an application and those who qualified received $3000.

    To be considered, applicants must have lived in Detroit for the past six months, been homeless within the past year and be of low to moderate income. A single applicant is ineligible with an income of more than $24,850 annually; the maximum annual income for an eligible family of four is $35,500.

    Individuals and families meeting the income criteria and facing eviction and foreclosure also are eligible. Being able to maintain housing after getting the assistance also is a condition of the program.

    The program also provides money to keep utilities turned on.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/detroits-poor-scuffle-over-free-cash/

    If those women voted for Obama because of his plans to help the poor, that seems a reasonable choice to me. At the time, the unemployment rate in Detroit was over 25%, and 30% of the population was living below the poverty level. Instead of providing any context for the desperate situation that many of these people were in, Ken Rugulski and Rush Limbaugh used them to attack the guy who was in fact keeping one of his campaign promises.

    There is no equivalent situation to the promises that Trump is making to racists, white nationalist groups, and xenophobes.

    Instead he is telling those who aren’t racist, white nationalist, or xenophobes that the problem with government is that everyone is too concerned about political correctness. That allows him to create a coalition of the most despicable groups in our country and those that are just angry because the Republican Party has been taking advantage of the working guy for three decades.

    While Clinton also has her faults, there is nothing in her campaign that even comes close to the attack on pluralism that is FUNDAMENTAL to Trump’s message. According to Trump, it is OK to suspect all Muslims of terrorism. It is OK to suspect all Mexicans of being rapists and drug dealers. It is OK to suggest that black folks are stupid for supporting the Democratic Party. It is OK to use White Nationalist graphics in attacking Clinton. It is OK to suggest that your political opponents will be jailed if you are elected. It’s OK to sanction violence against your political opponents. It is OK to suggest that that the press should lose the legal protections that allow them to criticize him. It is OK to threaten federal judges who have ruled against him. I could go on – but the bottom line is that it is NOT OK.

    We provide our politicians wide latitude to conduct their campaigns in whatever way they choose. We depend on the Press to their job in presenting the facts to voters. We depend on voters to educate themselves and vote in their best interests. Finally we depend on the wisdom of a majority of voters to elect the best candidate.

    But a significant number of voters, including you, are so deeply invested in narratives regarding Trump, that you fail to recognize how dangerous to democracy he really is.

    When Strom Thurmond and later George Wallace ran on segregationist platforms, there was NO WAY that they were going to gather enough votes to get elected. The reason is that the rest of the nation was well aware of what their platform was and rejected it.

    This is a George Wallace moment.

    So I’m doing my best to call out Trump and those who support him to make sure they are aware of who they are voting for.

    Mussolini did make the trains run on time and Hitler did keep his promise to restore lands that other nations had stolen from Germany and “purify” the country by limiting citizenship to only those who could prove they had German ancestry. Jews regardless of how long their families may have lived in Germany did not qualify. Trump is suggesting the same thing. His US is a country that is closed to immigrants and suspicious of Muslims.

    So no I’m not going to seek some sort of false equivalence which requires me to criticize Clinton every time I call out Trump.

    BTW I’m not suggesting that you vote for Clinton. Just suggesting that you carefully consider the reality that is Trump.

  17. Keith says:

    I e seriously considered the reality of BOTH.

    I’m not calling for Trump to release his taxes as it would serve no purpose. He uses the at. Code to its fullest. 90% of Amercians simply woukdnt get it. I’m confident his audit by the IRS is suffice t. If he’s done something illegal then they’ll let us know.

    Also please stop, Trump is not against immigration.

    Most of his problems that you’ve called out are because he wasn’t prepared to answer questions and speaks in hyperbole. Most of his success is because he is isn’t prepared when answering questions and he speaks in hyperbole. See the problems? The new gal has him on a leash. The same leash Hillary has been on her entire adult life. Except hers is shorter. She’s seen and speaks and her numbers go down. She holed up somewhere and isn’t heard from her numbers go up. Mostly true….

    We don’t know what Trump will do. You’re sure of what he’ll do, I’m not. I think he’s staked out some extreme positions and the bargaining has begun provided he’s elected.

    Meanwhile, horried GDP for 7 1/2 years now and 11 straight months of manufacturing recession. ( we’ve never gone more the 4 without actually being in recession since 1919) Middle East a mess and the ACA not doing so hot.

    Trump says he can get 4% GDP… Hope he can. Both, if elected will invest massively in infrastructure…. I’ve heard and read as much as $1 trillion. The difference will be Trump will spend it on building things and Hillary will make the government grows by doing it.

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I e seriously considered the reality of BOTH.

    I’m sorry, but no you don’t. The rest of this reply will demonstrate that.

    I’m not calling for Trump to release his taxes as it would serve no purpose. He uses the at. Code to its fullest. 90% of Amercians simply woukdnt get it. I’m confident his audit by the IRS is suffice t. If he’s done something illegal then they’ll let us know.

    You completely miss the issue. The question IS NOT whether he has violated any tax rules. I suspect that he hasn’t. The question also isn’t how much tax he has paid. I agree that he likely has paid little or not tax. The issue is TRANSPARENCY.

    This the very issue that is your core complaint with Clinton, and you give Trump a full pass.

    Let’s say, just as an example, that his tax returns reveal that he is FAR less wealthy than he claims and owes a substantial amount of money to Russians closely associated with Putin. Isn’t that something that the voters should know BEFORE they cast their votes. You have held Clinton accountable for supposedly providing donors to her family foundation inappropriate access to government. Shouldn’t the voters know ahead of time what investors may have provided Trump’s companies money in hopes of gaining influence to HIS administration?

    Trump has also claimed to have donated VAST sums of money personally to charity. So far NO ONE has been able to verify that claim. You have been very hard on Clinton regarding what you feel are her lies. Shouldn’t voters know before they cast their votes whether or not Trump has told the truth about his personal philanthropy?

    Finally your claim that the american people are too stupid to make a reasonable judgement given the facts is really the most hypocritical and cynical comment that you’ve made so far. You talk about me caring the water for Trump. Trump Jr. said the same thing. You are ALL OVER Clinton for what you consider her past failures, but those failures have all been the subject of MANY investigations and any personal gain that she may have enjoyed is all out there for the public to see. But when it comes to Trump, you are willing to give him a pass because his tax returns are too complicated for the voters to understand? His tax returns will tell the american people whether or not Trump is the big success that he claims to be or the big liar that I happen to think he is. I believe that you and the Trump campaign are frightened of how voters will react when they really know the truth. You would rather live in this fact-free zone and trust a dangerous man who has done nothing to earn your trust.

    This next comment is my own personal opinion. I don’t have any data to back it up yet. I believe that Trump is WAY less wealthy than he claims to be. I believe that he was technically bankrupt in the 1990’s when his casino empire collapsed. There is every indication that he had to give up effective control of his properties and agree to sell some of his personal luxuries in order to avoid personal bankruptcy. Since that time he changed his business model and began selling his brand rather than investing his own money. This is a far safer financial strategy but it also doesn’t generate nearly as much top line revenue. In part it may also be because his previous brush with insolvency made him to big a risk for at least US banks.

    In any case, as a result of this strategy, he leveraged his celebrity to avoid paying for anything. Everyone else pays him just to show up or to use his name. They provide him with free services in order to include his name on their client list. When vendors are unwilling to make that sort of deal, Trump contracts for their services and then refuses to pay the invoiced amount insisting that he deserves a discount because of his status. Then he slow pays that bill and ultimately takes an additional unagreed discount or just doesn’t pay at all. That’s why so many of his businesses are not owned by him and often are low budget shell operations. His tax returns would reveal that he has been running this game for years in order to sustain the appearance of a billionaire lifestyle without the funds to actually support it.

    Also please stop, Trump is not against immigration.

    You are delusional. Sure Trump welcomes all the white Christian people who want to immigrate to the US. But if you don’t fit that profile, you are not welcome.

    He wants to build a wall when illegal immigration is at net zero. He wants to deport 11M people, then he doesn’t, then he does. He wants to deny visa’s to people because of their religion. He wants to “profile” US citizens because of their religion.

    All of the terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11 were by US citizens. Banning Muslim immigrants will not reduce domestic acts of terror. Total casualties from terrorist acts in this country since 9/11 are less than the number of people killed during the same period of time by FURNITURE. Experts say that the best way to detect radicalized citizens is for their friends and family to alert authorities to changes in behavior. Trump’s plans will ALIENATE the Muslim community in this country. That will REDUCE the number of reports that could be used to prevent future attacks and INCREASE the number of young men who are seduced by the claim that they must defend Islam against the attacks of the west.

    Trump’s policies are not designed to solve the problem. They ARE designed to play on the fears and bigotry of that segment of our population that wants to blame others for their own misfortune and anxiety.

    Most of his problems that you’ve called out are because he wasn’t prepared to answer questions and speaks in hyperbole. Most of his success is because he is isn’t prepared when answering questions and he speaks in hyperbole. See the problems? The new gal has him on a leash. The same leash Hillary has been on her entire adult life. Except hers is shorter. She’s seen and speaks and her numbers go down. She holed up somewhere and isn’t heard from her numbers go up. Mostly true….

    We don’t know what Trump will do. You’re sure of what he’ll do, I’m not. I think he’s staked out some extreme positions and the bargaining has begun provided he’s elected.

    This is your worst argument of all. This is complete fabrication. If you don’t know what the guy is going to do, WHY ARE YOUR VOTING FOR HIM? If you can’t trust what he says, WHY ARE YOU VOTING FOR HIM? This is IRRATIONAL.

    Your whole belief about a better future with Trump is based on your expectation that he WILL NOT do any of that things that he said he will do and that he WILL do a bunch of other things that he HASN’T said he would do, but that you HOPE he will do because once he gets into office he will magically start to behave differently.

    Meanwhile, horried GDP for 7 1/2 years now and 11 straight months of manufacturing recession. ( we’ve never gone more the 4 without actually being in recession since 1919) Middle East a mess and the ACA not doing so hot.

    Confirmation bias. Did you deliberately ignore the data data regarding the biggest salary gains for the middle class on record and the fist gains since the Clinton administration? Did you also ignore the data that says that the number of people below the poverty line saw its deepest decline since 1968? Of course you did because you would like to focus on manufacturing rather than the whole economy. The truth is that manufacturing, while still offering good jobs, just isn’t as big a part of our economy or the world economy as it once was. Our economy and the world economy is transitioning to services as the driving force for both employment and economic growth.

    The truth is that manufacturing is only 15% of the entire global economy. And it’s some 12% of the US economy. So here we have a 0.4% drop, all the way back to June’s levels, in something that is 12% of the US economy. Or a fall of, potentially, 0.048% in GDP. And the thing is we don’t actually measure GDP to that level of accuracy. We only report it to the first digit after the decimal point. This is, quite literally, a change we won’t even see in our more general estimation of the US economy.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/09/15/us-manufacturing-output-down-0-4-dont-worry-manufacturing-isnt-important/#303267214917

    Trump says he can get 4% GDP… Hope he can. Both, if elected will invest massively in infrastructure…. I’ve heard and read as much as $1 trillion. The difference will be Trump will spend it on building things and Hillary will make the government grows by doing it.

    More crap. Even his conservative estimate of 3.5% is wacked. Trump has to claim to produce a high level of growth in order to justify the big tax cuts that he has also promised, his infrastructure spending, and his promise not to touch SS, increase defense spending, and not touch Medicare or Medicaid – oh yeah and also repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better. He also promises to get all of that growth while threatening a global trade war? Sorry it just doesn’t work.

    Spending that amount of money on infrastructure without growing the government is also fantasy. Is he just going to hand out block grants to all of the states without some oversight? You’ve spent some time criticizing Obama’s stimulus plan because it failed to find a sufficient number of “shovel ready” projects. This is a promise of infrastructure spending that is an order of magnitude bigger. It will require a lot of work to properly plan and coordinate the projects so that they meet federal standards, are awarded in a fair an unbiased manner, and are completed in a timely fashion.

    I made an offer to compare platforms which you haven’t responded to. You afraid of what that comparison will reveal?

    Here’s just a taste.

    The plan Trump unveiled Thursday comes with a claim by people identified as “Trump economists” that it “would conservatively boost growth to 3.5 percent per year on average” over the next 10 years.

    Far from being conservative, most mainstream economists view that promise as wildly optimistic.

    and from Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    Like many conservative economists, he is also deeply unhappy with Trump’s anti-trade positions. “They’re bad. Terrible,” he said. The damage done to the economy through Trump’s plans to impose tariffs and otherwise restrict trade would offset much of what Holtz-Eakin sees as the good effects of the tax and regulatory changes. “The trade stuff is an unambiguous negative,” he said.

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/09/15/Trump-Has-New-Economic-Plan-Numbers-Still-Don-t-Add

    Happy to compare the Clinton and Trump plans side by side if you are willing to accept my conditions that we only talk about the plans and not any of the “personality”, “body-language”, health, or non-platform issues that have clouded this election. Just an apples to apples comparison of platforms based on what the campaigns have actually released and documented. Then we can determine how a non-emotional voter should evaluate both of these candidates.

  19. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article102828747.html

    Not sure why you posted this link. I can only guess that you are supporting Trump’s claim that the Clinton campaign DID in fact start the whole “birther” claim that Trump now claims that he has ended.

    If so, this is more evidence of your confirmation bias. Here is the key quote from the article that you posted.

    Trump championed the birther issue for years. Only last Friday did he acknowledge that Obama was born in the United States.

    Asher said Friday and repeated on Monday that Blumenthal did spread the story to him, and that he assigned a reporter to check it out. Blumenthal, who did not have a formal role in the campaign in 2008, denies Asher’s account.

    Here’s what politifact said in calling the Trump campaign claim FALSE.

    Trump said, “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy.”

    There is no evidence to support this. Clinton supporters circulated the rumor in the last days of the 2008 Democratic primary and after Clinton had conceded to Obama. But the record does not show Clinton or her campaign ever promoting the birther theory, let alone starting it.

    We rate Trump’s claim False.

    You often accuse me of nuance without substance. If your claim is that Trump was accurate is his description of the Clinton campaign “starting” this, it is you who are straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

    The issue is NOT who started it. The issue is that Trump CONTINUED the bigoted charade for FIVE YEARS. He made calculated use of this conspiracy theory to build a base of support from racists who opposed the legitimacy of black man to be President. Then when he found that legacy of racism was becoming a problem with the press, he abandoned it without even the hint of an apology for the damage he may have done to the country. Instead in a cowardly way, he attempted to paint himself as a hero for exposing the Clinton campaign as the source of this rumor in an attempt to ingratiate himself with black voters. This is really the guy that you trust will follow the straight and narrow once he is elected President?

    Clinton apologized for her use of a private email server. She admitted that it was a mistake, one that she would not repeat if she had the opportunity. You have not accepted that apology or her claim that she has learned from her mistake.

    Where is Trump’s apology? Where is Trump’s claim that this was a mistake that he will not repeat in the future? Where is your righteous wrath that Trump’s mistake is unforgivable?

  20. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/the-disgraceful-gitmo-exodus/article/2004371

    Obama won two national elections. In both elections he promised to close Guantanamo.

    The author is correct is stating the Guantanamo is must less of a recruiting tool for ISIS than it was for al-Qaeda.

    But that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that Obama promised he was going to close the prison and he is doing his best to keep that promise. That’s the way elections and democracy are supposed to work.

    In this election cycle, however, at least some voters (I know of one) are voting for a candidate hoping that their candidate DOES NOT keep his promises. That must be some form of delusional insanity.

  21. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/09/19/philly-fop-chief-on-presidential-endorsment-clinton-blew-the-police-off/

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/09/19/philly-fop-chief-on-presidential-endorsment-clinton-blew-the-police-off/

    Guess what? Trump has blown off organizations too.

    The difference (again dealing delusion) is that the Philadelphia group is endorsing Trump which seems an appropriate response if they feel that Clinton isn’t interested in their issues. The Pro-Life folks, even though they are being treated badly by Trump, are still supporting him. Must be something in the water. 🙂

  22. Keith says:

    You’re rational is amusing.

    Let me make it very simple for you. Example I believe Donald Trump is taking extreme positions like illegals will be sent home. He is negotiating already. I believe illegals WILL NOT be sent home. I believe Trump will negotiate on behalf of America in a way that’s better the Hillary. He has the benefit of the doubt from me. Hillary has been lying publicly and on the record for decades. She DOES NOT get the benefit of the same doubt.

    You’re not allowing rational to seep into your thoughts as you in nuanced detail tear apart Trump. Example- you say Trump was for the war because on Howard Stern at what ever time in the morning Howard asked Trump a throw away question if he, Trump, was in favor of the war. To which Tom said “yeah, I guess, I mean it’s not good. (Or something like that at the end.) you are NOT willing to discuss the setting and the half hearted response he gave. Hardly a position.

    Again, Hillary
    Will not ;
    protect life
    Protect traditional marriage
    Name constitutional Supreme Court justices
    I’ll stop there.

    Here’s a perfect evaluation. Both say they will spend a bunch on infrastructure. Let’s say both would do $800 million. Trump would use the money to build as much as possible. Hillary would use the money to build things but also build the size of the govt.

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You’re rational is amusing.

    Thank you. I always aspire to be entertaining.

    Let me make it very simple for you. Example I believe Donald Trump is taking extreme positions like illegals will be sent home. He is negotiating already. I believe illegals WILL NOT be sent home. I believe Trump will negotiate on behalf of America in a way that’s better the Hillary. He has the benefit of the doubt from me. Hillary has been lying publicly and on the record for decades. She DOES NOT get the benefit of the same doubt.

    You are delusional regarding Trump. You are projecting your own agenda on a person who has not demonstrated that he is worthy of your trust. This is called motivated reasoning. You have decided to vote for Trump and will now twist every rational argument against that decision in order to support what ultimately was an emotional choice.

    The negotiating argument holds no water for a number of reasons. First, presidents generally do what they were elected to do. Whether they have a mandate or not, they are compelled by those who voted for them and the representatives that they help get elected to implement the things that they said they were going to do. Second, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Trump’s behavior is well documented. Becoming President will not change his basic deep psychological issues. He will only gain the power to harm a greater number of people. His interests have been and will only be what is best for him. The result will likely be the most scandal ridden administration since the Tea Pot Dome administration of Warren G. Harding. Warren G. Harding is widely recognized as the worst president in our history. He was elected because at the time there was a Victorian that good looking people where also smart, capable, and ethical. Harding was good looking. He was nothing else.

    Clinton’s lies are just your bias. You are willing to provide a world class liar the benefit of the doubt. You are unwilling to provide a politician whose life has been WAY more transparent than Trump, the same courtesy. All of the “lies” that you attribute to Clinton have ALL been done by Trump and WAY more. But you refuse to even acknowledge it. That’s how deep you are in you delusion.

    Example- you say Trump was for the war because on Howard Stern at what ever time in the morning Howard asked Trump a throw away question if he, Trump, was in favor of the war. To which Tom said “yeah, I guess, I mean it’s not good. (Or something like that at the end.) you are NOT willing to discuss the setting and the half hearted response he gave. Hardly a position.

    More confirmation bias. Politifact rates his claim that he “was totally against the war” as false.

    From Politfact

    Again, Hillary
    Will not ;
    protect life
    Protect traditional marriage
    Name constitutional Supreme Court justices
    I’ll stop there.

    This is what is irrational in your approach. You trust that Trump will not do all of those things that you fear Hillary will do, but you also Trump will not do all of those other things that he has SAID he would do, but you regard as simple negotiating positions. If anything, most of what you have listed are things that he WON’T be able to do even if he is elected. Abortion and Same Sex Marriage are SCOTUS issues. No president is going to be able to change those without a constitutional amendment. Also doesn’t matter how many justices he gets to appoint, they are not going to overturn Roe and they are not going to reverse the fundamental finding that marriage is a constitutional right. Just more examples of weak logic to support an emotional decision.

    Here’s a perfect evaluation. Both say they will spend a bunch on infrastructure. Let’s say both would do $800 million. Trump would use the money to build as much as possible. Hillary would use the money to build things but also build the size of the govt.

    I’m waiting to do a side by side comparison of Trump and Clinton’s policies, but you haven’t accepted my offer.

    Your reasoning that Trump will somehow be able to give away $800B without expanding government is more delusion. Is he going to project manage that himself? Even if he had some special sauce, he doesn’t get to choose. Congress appropriates money. Even if they are willing to spend this amount of money, EVERY elected official is going to be standing in line to make sure that their special interests and their part of the country get MORE than their fair share. Trump is not equipped to manage this. Instead he will hire some people that he trusts. They will carry out his instructions to make sure a lot of money goes to benefit Trump’s businesses, business associates, and foreign interests – and the whole thing will ultimately be a scandal of historic proportions.

    We created a non-political bureaucracy to deal with stuff like this. That’s why we have rules. That’s also why we have oversight. Trump has no experience dealing with stuff like this. At best he will fail miserably. At worst he will blow something up.

  24. Keith says:

    Like Ibama giving the Union ownership interest in the bankrupt car companies as a condition of the bailout?

    And please stop. I’m not delusional in the least bit. Not and I using motivated reasoning or confirmation bias. We have two choice that are terrible. There are many that id choose first. Hillary will not get my vote. Therefore I have no other choice. I have “hope” he will do things that are good and helpful for us. That’s it. Period.

    You deal with your support for Hillary as you like. As to your Christian responsibility if Trumpnshould win it will be more difficult by you mocking him before hand. It’s not helpful. You’re parsing words that she’s better because she’s not the liar he is unremarkable….

    I think we’ve beat this to death.

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