When all that’s left is fear and hate

Since news broke a few days ago that the President’s former personal attorney had pled guilty to numerous felonies, naming the President himself as a co-conspirator, things haven’t been looking so good for the Trump administration. And Donald Trump has responded just like the organized crime boss that we know him to be, talking openly about those who turn against their criminal superiors in criminal cases as “rats,” and saying on Fox News that it should be illegal for prosecutors to encourage criminals to “flip” on one another. Today, though, things took an even darker turn, as Trump, now facing real legal jeopardy for the first time since taking office, signaled that, unlike Richard Nixon, he would not leave the White House willingly, choosing instead to push us to the brink of civil war rather than accept responsibility for his actions and step down from the presidency.

Today, in a clear signal to his white nationalist base, Donald Trump posted about the plight of white land owners in South Africa, a favorite subject of the race-obsessed far right, who love to talk of the white farmers of South Africa as the “canary in the coal mine,” in world headed hurdling toward “white genocide”. Trump, on Twitter, expressed grave concern for these white farmers, saying that he’d asked his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to monitor the “large scale killing” of white farmers closely.

Of course, the reality is that instances of such murders have fallen significantly over the years since apartheid was abolished in South Africa… The following comes by way of the Washington Post.

…White-nationalist groups have for years spread false claims about the murder rates, assertions that have been widely debunked. Local police data shows the number of people murdered on farms has dropped by half over the past two decades — from 140 in 2001-2002 to 74 in 2016-2017, according to the Associated Press…

White nationalists in the United States and South Africa, where a fringe group called Afriforum has advanced the conspiracy ­theory, hailed the president’s remarks. David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, thanked Trump on Twitter and tweeted an image of a white woman holding a sign reading “Stop white genocide.” Mike Peinovich, a far-right podcast host, called Trump’s endorsement “very big” and said that “this is how we slowly chip away at the all-consuming anti-white discourse.”

Critics lambasted the president for endorsing the conspiracy ­theory to his 54 million Twitter followers. Patrick Gaspard, who served as U.S. ambassador to South Africa under President Barack Obama, noted that this was the first time Trump had mentioned Africa on Twitter since he took office…

It, of course, is not a coincidence that the President chose this moment to tweet about Africa for the first time in his presidency. Fear is all that he has left, and he knows it. He knows that the best chance he has to avoid responsibility for his criminal activity is to push us toward an internal conflict along racial lines. As much as I hate to quote Omarosa Manigault Newman, I fear that she was probably right when she said yesterday that Donald Trump “wants to start a race war in this country.”

And it isn’t just that he’s started pushing this narrative of black people rising up in South Africa, and taking the lives and property of white Afrikaners. He and other Republicans, over the past two days, have also started leaning heavily on the story of Mollie Tibbetts, a white college student from Iowa who is thought to have been murdered by an illegal immigrant. While the family of the young white student has asked that her death not be politicized, the Republicans clearly think that this is a story that will serve them well during the midterms. As Trump ally Newt Gingrich is reported to have said today in a letter to the conservative news site Axios, “If Mollie Tibbetts is a household name by October, Democrats will be in deep trouble.” Requesting them to cover the story of her death, the former Speaker of the House then went on to say, “If we can be blocked by Manafort-Cohen, etc., then GOP could lose [the House] badly.” In other words, he asked them to cover the death of Mollie Tibbetts not because he felt anything for her, but because he had come to the conclusion that exploiting her death, and stoking the fires of racial animus, was the GOP’s best chance of stopping the Democrats from retaking the House in the wake of the Mueller investigation, which has already claimed half a dozen of the President’s closest associates, including his national security advisor, campaign chairman, and personal attorney.

So, as the Republicans can’t talk about their signature tax legislation, which gave $1 trillion to America’s most wealthy while doing little for anyone else, or their plans to reform health care, by gutting Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for said tax cuts, they’re left to tell a story of fear… a ridiculous story about how Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want MS-13 gang members to rape and murder the young, white women of America. And, so, they’re moving farther toward the right, embracing the talking points of those who discuss “the future Africanisation of the planet” on white nationalist websites like Stormfront.

Desperate people do desperate things. And Donald Trump, as probably the most desperate politician we have ever seen in our nation’s history, is now moving into new, uncharted territory, promising the American people that, without him, they will face poverty, violence and death. There is no appeal to our humanity, no invitation to work together to form a better world. There is no positive vision of the future. There is only fear.

Ignoring the fact that the economy grew significantly faster under President Obama, Donald Trump went on Fox News today to say that our families would essentially starve without him. “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash,” he told Fox News today. “I think everybody would be very poor.” And, meanwhile, speaking from a Trump golf resort in Scotland, our President’s new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, warned of violence in the streets if the President were removed from office. “The American people would revolt,” he said.

These threats, for what it’s worth, and I know I don’t need to tell most of you this, are not sufficient reasons to support a party that has proven to be both thoroughly corrupt and comically inept… When the continued existence of your party depends on young white women to be murdered by men of color, it is time to burn that party to the ground and build something new. And when you’re a politician that cannot articulate a vision of the future that doesn’t involve rape, murder and starvation, you should find a new profession. Oh, and when your best idea to improve schools involves shifting funds earmarked for mental health services to the purchase of firearms for teachers, you should probably just walk straight into the ocean.

I could go on, but I suspect you get the point. We need leaders with vision who can lead. We don’t need fear. We don’t need demonization. We need real solutions. We need healthcare, education and an optimism for the future that reflects the great diversity of our nation, and not just the fantasies of unemployed, under-educated, white incels who are convicted that, if not for affirmative action, and feminism, they would be heroic captains of industry. In short, we need a return to reality. And, god willing, we’ll have a chance to make that happen come election day.

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23 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted August 23, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Robert Reich agrees.

    “Can we stop for a second to acknowledge that the lawyer for the President of the United States is warning of civil unrest. Trump and his enablers are escalating their rhetoric to frighten the nation into submission.”

  2. Tom
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    There’s already a race war in this country, you moron. And, Obama started it !

  3. John Brown
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    And the party of Putin is stopping a bill to resist election meddling at Agent Oranges request.

    https://www.alternet.org/republicans-kill-secure-elections-act-white-house-request

    They will stop at nothing. We must be prepared to resist by any means necessary. If you have the resources and the conviction to preserve the Union then get yourself a decent AR and show up at the Washtenaw Sportsman Club in your Prius with your “Resist” bumper sticker ASAP. We live in an militarized society. Gun control is not a luxury we can afford if we save the country from bigots.

    Then get back to work on the midterms in MI-7th, 8th, & 11th. And work extra hard on the elections if you lack the cojones to face your fellow misguided Americans at the gun range.

  4. Laura Ingraham
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    If what happened to Mollie Tibbetts happened to a loved one of any of these pro-amnesty, open-borders leftists, I don’t think “toxic masculinity” wd be tops on their minds.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Waiting for Trevor Noah’s response to Trumps South Africa tweet, meanwhile this is an excellent summary of the state of race dialogue in the US.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/thembarumbu/status/1032637886334623745

    Also, Australia. Fuck. White supremacy is not just on the rise in the US and scholars with an understanding of the rise of Nazi Germany have been warning us about this for decades. We ignored the warnings. Didn’t seem close enough. Now it’s so close it feels like the new normal. (Although, when I hear Aussie leftists complain of the social problems in Their country, it sounds almost quaint. )

    I’m thinking of an interview I saw with Marsha Gessen in which Samantha Bee asked her what we can do to stop totalitarianism and she replied, ‘absolutely nothing.’

    PS I don’t get my news only from comedy news sources. They offer the remedy to consuming the other news sources. And a handy easily-digested and shareable summaries of the issues of the day.

  6. site admin
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I looked it up and that really is a Laura Ingraham tweet.

    https://twitter.com/IngrahamAngle/status/1032914956885401601

  7. another anonymous person
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Torn between fighting/resisting and finding a bunker in which to keep my family safe.

  8. Kim
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    To your point about the economy. A friend sent me this factoid earlier today.

    Change in Dow Jones Industrial Average:
    –during Trump presidency so far +29%
    –during Obama presidency +149%

  9. XXX
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    It’s game over for Trump. They’ve now got him for Russian money laundering. Weisselberg knows where every body is buried.

    “Longtime Trump Organization CFO Weisselberg granted immunity in Cohen probe”

    • Allen Weisselberg, longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors as part of their investigation into President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

    • Weisselberg’s ties to the president go back decades: He has overseen the Trump Organization’s finances, been involved in the Trump Foundation, the president’s charity, and has managed Trump’s private trust alongside his eldest sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

    • Weisselberg was subpoenaed by prosecutors earlier this year to testify before a grand jury as part of that probe.

    CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/24/longtime-trump-organization-cfo-weisselberg-granted-immunity-in-cohen-probe-dj-citing-sources.html

    Things are about to get even worse.

  10. Lynne
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I am really hoping that people get out and vote in November. I don’t think there will be mass violence if Trump gets impeached although I would expect some additional domestic terrorist attacks.

    re that Laura Ingram tweet. It is ironic because from what I can tell this murder was a good example of toxic masculinity. A man got angry because a woman refused him so he killed her. That he happened to be immigrant is not especially relevant. How many women get killed by men who are citizens for the same reason? A lot.

  11. BuzzFeed
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    There’s a fake screenshot going around of a GoFundMe to raise cash for Cristhian Rivera, who is accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts. There is no such campaign.

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ishmaeldaro/cristhian-rivera-fake-gofundme

  12. Original Anonymous
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of toxic masculinity.

    https://twitter.com/LauraStroudd/status/1032062965351174145

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Illegal immigrants have a lower violent crime rate and a lower overall major crime rate than the population at large.

    That’s the only reasonable response to the Mollie Tibbetts side show.

  14. CNN
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    A startling number of women say they have been harassed while running https://cnn.it/2woZdPp

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted August 24, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    That’s not at all startling… to women.

    It’s annoying to have men come on to you in a gym, but really scary outside in a park or on the road. Most of it is cat calls, but I have a friend who was almost run over by a pick up truck in dexter years ago, and then they turned around and came back. She ran into a cornfield to get away.

  16. Ypsidoodledandy
    Posted August 25, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Jean Henry says:

    “White supremacy is not just on the rise in the US and scholars with an understanding of the rise of Nazi Germany have been warning us about this for decades. We ignored the warnings. Didn’t seem close enough”

    You might have chosen to ignore the warnings but not all of us made that choice. I have been worried about this since the 2009 foreclosure crisis when millions of lower class Americans lost their homes. Couple that with a failed primary and secondary school system and flat real wages for the last 30 years, weakened unions….well that combination has never turned out well historically.

    I can commend to you a book I recently read which was written by a woman who as a young adult was present for and tried to fight the rise of the Nazi’s. What I learned from the book was how fast the population got behind the Nazi’s due to the fear their brutality inspired. The people who go to Trump rallies are zero degrees away from becoming enthusiastic brownshirts if Trump tells them to. (the book is Solidarity and Treason: Resistance and Exile, 1933-1940, by Lisa Fittko).

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the rec Ypsi Doodle—
    I’m stunned at how difficult white nationalism is to deter. Open white supremacy we can resist effectively. But white nationalism arising from fear of demographic and cultural change is much harder to counter. I have always understood the complexity and pervasiveness of systemic racism. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that white nationalist sentiment grows at a point when systemic racism and implicit bias is being actively discussed finally, When Obama’s was elected I was worried he would be killed by a white supremacust. The FBI warnings were about a rise in white nationalism. At the time I don’t think I understood how different those movements are really. One open and so less appealing. One ensconced in code and hidden from plain sight and so very attractive to those with racist thinking who don’t self-identify as racist. —Which is a whole lot of White America and not just Republicans.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/what-trumps-supporters-think-of-corruption/568147/?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=the-atlantic-fb-test-312-4-&utm_content=edit-promo&utm_medium=socialWhy

  18. Ypsidoodledandy
    Posted August 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. From what I know, fascist nationalism always feeds off underlying economic issues. When the rats’ cage gets smaller and food becomes scarce, the rats turn on each other. Humans are no different.

    This article about the dynamics underlying the Brexit vote I think applies to why Trump won as well.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/08/brexit-consequence-low-upward-mobility.html

    A lot of white Americans seemed to feel Obama was giving special help to black Americans while he was President–ironic since black Americans suffered the single biggest destruction of their wealth in history under Obama.

    If Obama had bailed out homeowners in 2008, and prosecuted banks, we might not have Trump.

  19. breaking news
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    From the New York Times: “Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, will leave this fall. He is a key witness to the question of whether the president obstructed justice.”

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    You are openly racist. You throw people under the bus because they have European genetics. You lie that white supremacy is “on the rise.” If anything it is way down. You were probably disappointed nothing seriously bad happened at ‘unite the right 2’. No doubt you are sorry more than a handful of people didn’t show up because you are in love with your “narrative” (lies you tell yourself) and vanishing white supremacists goes against that.

  21. Posted August 29, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    He’s still at it.

  22. Meta
    Posted September 4, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    A letter from the father of Mollie Tibbetts: Don’t distort her death to advance racist views

    Ten days ago, we learned that Mollie would not be coming home. Shattered, my family set out to celebrate Mollie’s extraordinary life and chose to share our sorrow in private. At the outset, politicians and pundits used Mollie’s death to promote various political agendas. We appealed to them and they graciously stopped. For that, we are grateful.

    Sadly, others have ignored our request. They have instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie’s tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed. I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family and is, to quote Donald Trump Jr., “heartless” and “despicable.”

    Make no mistake, Mollie was my daughter and my best friend. At her eulogy, I said Mollie was nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.

    Throughout this ordeal I’ve asked myself, “What would Mollie do?” As I write this, I am watching Sen. John McCain lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda and know that evil will succeed only if good people do nothing. Both Mollie and Senator McCain were good people. I know that both would stand up now and do something.

    The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set. Beyond that, he deserves no more attention.

    To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food.

    My stepdaughter, whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons — Mollie’s cherished nephews and my grandchildren — are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.

    Given that, to knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag. It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

    We have the opportunity now to take heed of the lessons that Mollie, John McCain and Aretha Franklin taught — humanity, fairness and courage. For most of the summer, the search for Mollie brought this nation together like no other pursuit. There was a common national will that did transcend opinion, race, gender and geography. Let’s not lose sight of that miracle. Let’s not lose sight of Mollie.

    Instead, let’s turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt. Let’s turn toward each other with all the compassion we gave Mollie. Let’s listen, not shout. Let’s build bridges, not walls. Let’s celebrate our diversity rather than argue over our differences. I can tell you, when you’ve lost your best friend, differences are petty and meaningless.

    My family remains eternally grateful to all those who adopted Mollie so completely and showered us with so much care, compassion and generosity. Please accept our desire to remain private as we share our loss. We love Mollie with all our hearts and miss her terribly. We need time.

    Read more:
    https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/09/01/mollie-tibbetts-father-common-decency-immigration-heartless-despicable-donald-trump-jr-column/1163131002/

  23. New York Times headline
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Prosecutors took a step toward a plea deal for Paul Manafort, dropping most charges. It’s unclear if he will cooperate with the Russia inquiry.

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