Post by CassandraW on Oct 26, 2018 13:55:25 GMT -5
A good piece by David French in the National Review:
As my colleague Jack Crowe has noted, a bombing suspect is in custody. His name is Cesar Sayoc Jr., and as you can see the instant you log on to Twitter, he apparently drove a white van covered in pro-Trump stickers. That is not a vehicle a normal human being drives, and now I’m seeing the right side of the Internet light up with takes saying that he’s obviously “crazy.”
Let’s use caution with that claim. It’s a word that can allow us to wrongly minimize the significance of the attack. There is a huge difference between obsessed, violent, unstable, and truly insane. And that difference matters both legally and practically. When a person who’s afflicted with severe mental illness assaults another person (think of the terrible attack on Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz.), the reasons are often so completely disconnected from reality that preventing such attacks is mainly a question of medication or other forms of mental-health intervention.
But there are other kinds of violent people, including angry obsessives. They’re not normal. They act strangely. But they’re also legally and morally responsible for their actions. If you spend any time in politics or the public eye, you encounter them with some frequency. Usually they’re harmlessly annoying, but sometimes they launch harassment campaigns online, sometimes they make violent threats, and sometimes they’ll show up at, say, a pizza place with an AR-15.
The angry obsessive is absolutely vulnerable to being stoked, inflamed, and inspired by angry rhetoric. Speech can inspire violence. It can. It’s one reason why civility and a sense of proportion in your speech aren’t just abstract, sanctimonious, or elitist concepts. They’re moral responsibilities for people with any kind of meaningful platform. Not all listening ears are sober-minded or entirely rational. And when they hear a public figure they admire thunder against his political opponents with extreme language, sometimes they’ll take extreme action in response.
Sure, Trump, why not keep encouraging hate chants against the bomb targets? It's not like there are a room full of potential whackadoodles around you who might feel inspired to build their own bombs or pull out a trusty gun.
I mean, if the POTUS still thinks they're enemies of the Republic.
Immediately after one of his kookball rally followers tries to kill these people, Trump cheers on hate against them at a rally. This is our fucking president.
THIS IS NOT OKAY. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. NO POSSIBLE POLICY ARGUMENTS MAKE THIS ACCEPTABLE.
Last Edit: Oct 27, 2018 10:54:37 GMT -5 by CassandraW
Post by CassandraW on Oct 27, 2018 11:28:13 GMT -5
Let's not forget that in addition to cheering on his rally supporters hatred of the bombing targets, he's also cheering on their hatred of the media in the wake not only of the bombings, but also of the slaughter of a Washington Post journalist in the Saudi consulate. (Still waiting on those repercussions...) Oh, and he's whipping up the racism and xenophobia with his caravan scare closet talk in the wake of a couple of white supremacist slaughters.
His rhetoric is incredibly dangerous. This isn't funny and it isn't harmless. We ignore it at our peril.
Coincidence, do you think, that just before these bombings and shootings, Trump declared at a rally, "You know what I am? I'm a Nationalist."
President Trump on Monday declared himself a "nationalist" as he railed against Democrats and "globalists" who put the wellbeing of the world over the country.
At a raucous campaign rally in Houston, Trump warned supporters that Democrats will seek to restore influence to "corrupt, power-hungry globalists."
"You know what a globalist is? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much," Trump said. "And you know what, we can’t have that."
The crowd began booing as Trump moved on to his preferred descriptor.
"You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist," he continued. "And I say, 'Really, we’re not supposed to use that word?' You know what I am? I'm a nationalist. ... Use that word."
The crowd broke out into chants of "USA" in response.
Yeah, I think Trump used that term pretty deliberately to rouse the kookball neo-Nazis and white supremacists in his base to vote. The fact it might also rouse them to violence, meh, you can't make an omelet, amirite?
With that, the president — who rarely offers unvarnished, accurate descriptions of what motivates him when he’s out on the hustings — provided a candid, calculated and honest self-assessment. Hold on to that moment, because authenticity is a scarce commodity in the Oval Office. Ponder that moment, too, because it represents Trump pandering to his political base by lobbing racially charged grenades into the midterm-election frenzy — and reveling in it.
As a working definition of nationalism, one that has been making the rounds on social media over the last day, look no further than “Notes on Nationalism” by George Orwell: “By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions and tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad.’”
The term “nationalism” also evokes the Nazis and Aryan supremacy, of course, something some Trump’s supporters dismissed as an unreasonable interpretation of what the president meant when he described himself as a member of the nationalist club. The Nazis’ “nationalism was about racial purity, it was about blood and soil,” said Steve Cortes, a commentator and Trump backer, on CNN. “American nationalism — which by the way defeated Nazism — American nationalism is about shared ideals. It’s about a Constitution.”
There’s a bit of uncomfortable history with Trump and Nazism, though. His first wife, Ivana, told her lawyer during their divorce that Trump kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s collected speeches by his bedside in their Trump Tower triplex. When a reporter questioned Trump about the book in 1990, he balked and then said it was a gift. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them,” Trump also told the reporter. (Trump doesn’t read books, or much of anything else, so he may have been telling the truth when he said he didn’t read the Hitler collection.)
Little Nazi-like things crept up in later years, too. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump retweeted an anti-Jeb Bush post from a Twitter user whose handle was “WhiteGenocideTM” and whose website featured a pro-Hitler documentary. Trump was also criticized during the 2016 campaign for tweeting an image of the Jewish Star of David that had reportedly been featured on a website favored by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. In perhaps the most high profile example of the president’s coddling of this kind of extremism, he didn’t criticize Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and helped stoke the riots there that left one woman dead.
After Trump declared himself a nationalist in Houston, he received a quick endorsement on Twitter from David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who is a prominent white nationalist and white supremacist. Duke noted that what Trump was extolling wasn’t just nationalism but was “White Nationalism” because “there is no ethnic or racial group in America more Nationalist than White Americans.” (In interviews during the presidential election, Trump declined to disavow Duke and other white supremacists who were supporting his campaign. "I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists," he told CNN.)
You don't think all this shit is stirring up the crazy fringe of Trump's base to commit violence? Yeah. I sure as hell do.
Last Edit: Oct 27, 2018 11:50:14 GMT -5 by CassandraW
“MAGA Bomber” Cesar Sayoc was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday for sending 16 mail bombs to 13 people around the United States last year, including leading critics of President Donald Trump such as former President Barack Obama, ex-Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro and financier George Soros.