White Nationalists March in Charlottesville

Discussion in 'World Events' started by ecdc, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. ecdc

    ecdc Active Member

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    Can we stop pretending that Trump won because of some vague (and now thoroughly debunked) notion of economic anxiety and straight up admit it's racism? It's hard to see the forest through the trees when we're so deep in it, but in the future historians will look back and easily draw the threads together: the election of our first black president and the rise of black lives matter are the primary reason we elected an openly racist man who appoints white supremacists and Nazis to positions of power. It is a response to a perceived loss of power. For every racist scumbag marching in Charlottesville there's 1,000 white Americans who would never march, who would denounce overt white supremacy, but who nonetheless voted Trump over their discomfort with shifting tides in our country, whether they'll admit it to themselves or not.
     
  2. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    Though Clinton was much derided for it at the time, I think she probably got it just about right when she said that "half" of Trump's supporters were in the "basket of deplorables."


    I don't think it's quite as extensive as ecdc; there were people who voted for Obama, sometimes twice, who then turned around and voted for Trump, so it's hard to characterize them as hardcore racists. I think Trump really did con a lot of working class people into thinking he a). really could bring their jobs back (when in certain industries, you just can't, and Clinton stated that uncomfortable and unpopular truth), and b). he gave a crap about them, when he's never actually given Crap One about the average man or woman in his freaking life.


    On the other hand, I don't think Trump's electorate was, as conventional wisdom/punditry would now have it, almost entirely "forgotten" white working class good folks with just a smidgen of racists/Islamophobes/misogynists/anti-immigrant/homophobes, etc. People were horrified when Clinton dared say that half of Trump's supporters were one kind of "deplorable" or other, as though it couldn't possibly be that high, but I think she probably came pretty close. Not that half were hardcore Klansmen or Nazis, but people who - deep down - are thinking they want a country where white male is the "norm" and others are tolerated-if-they-behave-and-if-we're-feeling-generous... yeah. When THEY say that Trump cares about them, they're not necessarily talking about their jobs; they mean he cares about white folks at the expense of others because don't you know those others have gotten everything recently and white folks are the "real oppressed" now. About 50% of Trump's voters said that "reverse racism" is a bigger problem than racism, so that's not a smidgen. That's... well... about half. And there's no question that he (and Bannon) see the more hardcore alt-right as the vanguard of this slice of the populace - where the energy is.


    And boy, wasn't it something to see Trump do absolutely everything he could to not risk alienating any of them with his comments over the weekend? First with the "on many sides" stuff, and then with less obviously ridiculous but still mealy-mouthed statements that he wouldn't even issue under his own name ( just nameless "White House spokesmen") lest he upset the far right. There's a word for both of those approaches, and it's "cowardice."


    It's axiomatic, of course, that you should almost never mention Nazis (or even over-use "fascist"), but Charlottesville has to be an exception for the simple reason that that's how the people marching in Charlottesville describe themselves (!) Or as John Oliver put it last night, “Wait, on many sides?” Oliver said. “This was a white-nationalist rally, you have to call that out by name. There honestly aren’t many instances in modern American politics where you can honestly think, ‘That guy really should have mentioned the Nazis,’ but this is emphatically one of them. It’s like a reverse Godwin’s Law: If you fail to mention Nazism, you lose the argument.”


    Today, of course, Trump finally denounced those people by name, but he only after dozens and dozens of people, many of them Republicans, called him out for not doing so, and his team obviously made the political calculation that it was worse for him to not do so. But he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to get there, so it clearly didn't come from his heart - his cowardly statements over the weekend are who he really is. But there's some satisfaction that he may now lose some enthusiasm from the alt right now that he's denounced them by name... and certainly if he lets Bannon (and/or Gorka) go, as is rumored.


    But... if he doesn't get rid of them, look for some dog whistles that say essentially "they made me say that, but I'm really still with you guys." Because he barely squeaked by last November, and he knows he can't lose support among the deplorables and have a chance at re-election.
     
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  3. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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    Re: Godwin's law ...

     
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  4. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    I hate to quote myself (okay, I don't hate it that much :p), but...

    <But... if he doesn't get rid of them, look for some dog whistles that say essentially "they made me say that, but I'm really still with you guys." Because he barely squeaked by last November, and he knows he can't lose support among the deplorables and have a chance at re-election.>

    Well. It didn't take him long to start tweeting (literally) the dog whistle. Just a few freaking hours, in fact.

    First, yesterday evening, he re-tweeted the odious conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who attempted to equate Charlottesville with street crime in Chicago. Posobiec is well known to the alt-right (he pushed the Seth Rich and "Hillary molests children in a DC pizza parlor!" stories, among others), so this was definitely a dog whistle.

    Then, even more outrageously, this morning he re-tweeted a cartoon of the "Trump Train" mowing down a person with the CNN logo for a head.

    President retweets image of Trump train running over CNN reporter

    He took it down quickly; apparently someone pointed out to him that after Charlottesville, making a joke out of vehicular homicide might be just a little tone-deaf right now. But of course, his impulse (i.e. true feelings) was to put it up there.

    He's clearly trying to have it both ways. Condemning violence and white nationalism "officially" (so he can say "Hey! I denounced that!") and almost immediately making damn sure to wink wink at the alt-right to say "You know I'm still with you guys, right?"

    I'd crow about calling it and my awesome powers of prognostication, except that it was about the most predictable development imaginable.
     
    #4 Dabob2, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  5. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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  6. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    She's supposedly in negotiations now to go to Fox News.
     
  7. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    Holy crap.

    He just couldn't let it go. He's been roundly criticized for the weekend and he just can't take that. He was reportedly seething all day and went off script (apparently to the horror and embarrassment of his handlers) and just let his id out bigly.

    So he doubled, tripled, quadrupled down. Traded in his dog whistle for a freaking air horn wifh a megaphone.

    I'm sure the supremacist part of his base will love it. Luckily, no one else seems to be buying it. He's damaged himself with this with everyone but the deplorables.
     
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  8. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    “very fine people on both sides.” [​IMG]

    VERY FINE NAZIS!!??!!
    We went to a candlelight vigil in Issaquah last night as we felt we had to do something. I feel so hopeless and heartsick right now.
    When we get home we are going to find an action group to work with. The time for talking is past.
     
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  9. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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  10. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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    But ... this too:

     
  11. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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  12. Goofyernmost

    Goofyernmost Active Member

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    I have to say that nothing that has happened in response has been a surprise. Sadly, I knew that last summer, and still cannot understand what part of our life here in this country is so awful that moral, level headed people could not see it as well. This whole situation will make DT famous if for no other reason then he pulled of the biggest con that has ever been attempted.
     
  13. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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  14. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    I think Trump's rise was sort of a perfect storm type of thing. So many things had to converge to make the unthinkable happen:

    1). The fact that there were 17 GOP contenders. Trump always brags that this proves how great he is, but he needed that - it benefited him. If there had only been 4 or 5 serious contenders like usual, one of them would have shook out much sooner as the sensible alternative. As it was, for a long time the evangelicals cancelled each other out, the centrists cancelled each other out, the more libertarian-leaning cancelled each other out... leaving the always-his-own-category Trump to stand out. This was aided and abetted by:

    2). The insane amount of media attention lavished on him. He was entertaining, if only in that "we could have a train wreck here today!" sort of way, so the media fell over themselves covering him, and thus legitimizing him. Even if they were often trashing him, it was attention, which he thrives on. A "no publicity is bad publicity" sort of thing, which was important in that crowded field. Cable news covered his every speech live, which they did for no other candidate. Further legitimizing him. Later they justified it by saying he was the front-runner, and yet they never did it for Clinton, who was the front-runner in her party.

    3). The unmistakable racism, misogyny, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric, whether dog-whistle or overt. There was a disturbingly large chunk of the GOP electorate (and later the whole electorate) who ate that up, and let's not pretend there wasn't. He (and Bannon) energized that crowd and made them think they were going to have a champion in the White House - and they weren't wrong.

    4). The fact that he did con a lot of struggling non-deplorable people into thinking he was some kind of champion of the average guy. His whole life showed that, far from being that, he actually had a huge history of stiffing the average guy, bullying the average guy, scamming the average guy, using the average guy until he was no more use to him and then discarding him. Yet he did successfully con a lot of people into thinking he was their friend, could bring back their jobs, could give them better health care for less money ("so easily!"), etc. etc. etc.

    5). The fact that he had the great good fortune of running against Hillary Clinton, the 2nd-least-liked major party candidate in history. It's quite possible she was the only Democrat (who could plausibly have gotten the nomination) he could have beaten. Of course, even with her to run against, he lost the popular vote, and only won 4 big states by 1% or less.

    6). The electoral college (see above).

    7). The Russian meddling/possible collusion. Maybe this was just the final piece that barely put him over the top. It's impossible to quantify what effect it all had, of course. But considering that the Russian assault was multi-pronged and included not just hacking but also employing hundreds of people and thousands of 'bots to spread fake news about Clinton (which was spread and shared literally millions of times) in order to make her unacceptable to people, it's also impossible to say it didn't swing an election this close, whether there was provable collusion or not. You DID have Democrats and former-Obama voters voting for Trump this time because they found Clinton unacceptable (this was polled - it was not an insignificant number of people), and you also had a large number of Sanders voters who couldn't bring themselves to hold their noses and vote for Clinton, and just stayed home instead. Again, impossible to quantify, but did this massive campaign by the Russians sway just 1% of the populace? Just 1%? That's plausible. More than plausible. And enough to swing those states.

    So when people ask "how the hell did that happen" and point to one thing or another, I always think it's more of a perfect storm, "all of the above" kind of thing. They all had to happen. Sadly, they all did happen.
     
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  15. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    And now we are drowning.
     
  16. Goofyernmost

    Goofyernmost Active Member

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    Seriously, how stupid do you think we are? And even if it wasn't his doing, why didn't he stop it when it became obvious. And if he was oblivious to the whole thing he was still to stupid to be President. I, for one, am done even allowing the pile of festering manure con me into believing anything thing he says and it would do everyone else well to follow suit. Right now if he tells me his name is Donald Trump I'd insist on seeing some form of ID.
     
  17. iamsally

    iamsally Well-Known Member

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    Remember Reagan and the Iran deal. He had NO idea what was going on right under his nose.
     
  18. mawnck

    mawnck Well-Known Member

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  19. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    He can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the "you" in Goofyernmost's question was Trump.
     
  20. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    I basically agree with that. I still think Charlottesville could be important, though, because if we're going to get rid of Trump, the ultimate arbiters are the Congressional GOP. And something like this can be at least one piece of weakening his support there. (And support among GOP voters has gone from 91% to 79% in the latest polling - still high, but softening).

    In other words, if Muller (who won't be distracted by Charlottesville) uncovers something between zilch and an unmistakable smoking gun, Congress will be faced with a decision on impeachment. If Democrats take the house in 2018, they may well do it. If they don't, but the House is closely divided... or if Democrats impeach and then the Senate has to get to 2/3 to remove... it's a good thing if Trump continues to lose friends in Congress, or if Senators especially feel like associating with Trump is a net drag on their own election chances, if their states are any shade of purple at all. Charlottesville may be only one piece of that, but it could still be a piece.
     
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