Thursday, May 11, 2023

Hillary Was Right

If anyone of sound mind and morals sat through the Trump/CNN debacle last night, I offer them both my pity and congratulations. Witnessing fascism's voice being amplified for over and hour, spewing a stream of lies and hate is exhausting and depressing. 

We can only ask ourselves, "What the hell is wrong with our country?"

This is the question I've been writing about since Bush and Cheney lied us into war and were reelected for their war crimes.

Trump is but the logical consequence of the moral decline and willful ignorance in a large percentage of our citizenry. White nationalism has taken over the American Bible Belt. We're watching good people be deceived by sociopaths and allowing their racial resentments, bigotry and fears of being replaced to dominate their politics. Now the question is, are they still good people?

Were "good Germans" still good people after willingly swearing an oath to Hitler? Sure, they may have still been good parents, and good neighbors and friends to fellow Nazis, but is that enough for them to remain good people?

The answer is no. Their willing embrace of anger and hate in service to evil cancels what might remain of any conscience or decency.

I'll leave it to others to fact check all his lies, and denounce his vile hate and outrageous behavior. We've seen quite enough of it already. 

Instead of my usual ranting, I want to share the important observations of former naval aviator Brynn Tannehill.

She knows her subject, and is the author of American Fascism: How the GOP is Subverting Democracy".

This is what she tweeted regarding CNN's horror show last night:

A ton of ink (virtual or otherwise) has already been spilled on Trump and CNN. Obviously it was Trump at his most awful. And obviously CNN did our country a disservice by hosting what was effectively a Trump rally. But, there's an angle that's missing from the discussion. 

Namely, the audience. These were all Trump supporters. Republicans and independents who were supporters of the former President. Clinton called them a "basket of deplorables" in 2016, and they got offended.

Last night was a reminder she was right.

They laughed and cheered as Trump mocked the woman he was found liable for sexually assaulting. He was cheered when he called "moderator" Kaitlan Collins "a nasty woman." They eagerly devoured the myriad of lies he told about EVERYTHING.

It was a Gish Gallop, right down to claiming he would end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours without giving details. (Hint: there's no way the US could do that, even if we cut off aid immediately. Ukraine would keep fighting and looking for alternate suppliers of arms.)

And they believe it all. They LOVE it all. The cruelty is the point. They love Trump and Putin and Orban. They love Jesus too, and have claimed all of American Christianity for their own. They've destroyed its reputation in the process.

For most decent people, who don't laugh at people for being raped, seeing someone wearing a cross is a big warning sign: this person is not safe. This person is not kind. This person does not even vaguely live in the same reality the rest of us do. 

And yes, this thread will get a lot of "not all Christians" messages here. But these folks are at the spearhead a fascist movement that revels in cruelty, domination, and abuse of power. Not everyone that wore a swastika pin was bad, but there weren't many Oskar Schindlers.

But, above all else, last night was a reminder of what America under Trump was, and will be again if we put him back in office. Cruel, theocratic, vulgar, misogynistic, unmoored from reality, ignorant, immune to evidence, and racist. 

These are not good people, even if they believe their religious beliefs make them inherently good. This is a movement centered on grievances and vengeance against enemies of the herrenvolk. What we saw are the true believers Milton Mayer wrote about. 

Hardly anyone will read this. And even if it goes viral, it still isn't enough. But for those that do read it, I hope it reminds you that what is coming is dark beyond all belief. They want vengeance on those they believe they have tolerated for too long.

There is no bottom: there is no point at which his supporters will say, "No, we're going too far, this is wrong." These are people with an axe to grind, and without empathy for anyone who seen as an enemy.

If the 2nd Trump administration was putting trans people through tree shredders, his supporters would demand that they be dipped in lemon juice first.

Last night was a chilling reminder not only can it happen here, it WILL happen here if we get a second Trump term.



One Fly said...

I don't give a shit who the trumpers/Republicans are. They are what you said and they are fucking evil. This is serious shit and none get even a little bit of a pass on this. I try not to get too close and just go the other way. Never before in my life have I felt this way about anything but it's warranted now without question.

Dave Dubya said...

One Fly,
The Union defeated the Confederacy and ended slavery. But tragically racism continued to thrive, egged on by the abandonment of Reconstruction, Dixiecrats of the last century and Republicans of the last 60 years.
Essentially we have a white nationalist party infecting and subverting our democratic republic. The fact this party is also 100% in service to corporate power brings us closer to the dark void.
We are entering the New Dark Age. Evangelical white nationalism hasn't quite gained total minority rule, but they are amassing power and already have enough influence to drag us toward the darkness of theocratic fascism.

Anonymous said...

This!is evil.

Felon Who Worked on Flint Democrat Mayor’s Campaign Arrested for Grooming, Raping Child — He Has HIV

Daily Wire

Dave Dubya said...

Thank you for your off topic deflection.
"This!is" evil indeed. Well, the raping part is.
Lying is also evil. You and the Daily Wire lied.
Nobody was arrested for grooming. That's not a crime.
Lets hope you think raping a child is evil when Republicans do it too.
Lets hope you think raping a child is evil when cops, priests and clergy do it.
In reality all of the above groups have raped children. In fact, Christians are statistically more likely to rape children than drag queens are.
If you refuse to accept these facts, and lie instead, you only enable more of it by shielding the guilty.

Green Eagle said...

They weren't good people to begin with. I think that the great majority of decent people in this country have been stunned to find out how many truly bad people live among us. I can't help thinking of a remark by W. C. Fields: "You can't cheat an honest man." These people bought the lies because they wanted to, not because the lies were so good.

Dave Dubya said...

Green Eagle,
They aren't emotionally or intellectually equipped enough to see the evil con that has taken away their conscience and consciousness. If it FEELS good to them, they have to be RIGHT.

The bottom line is the authoritarian personality is present in up to a third of any population.

Evolution selected them with overactive amygdalas (The Fight/flight center) that took us out of the caves. But now their conservative religious beliefs, fear of the new and different, especially of the dreaded "others", and their need to dominate, are turning their fear and anger onto our civilization.

They are so duped, willingly or unwillingly, they can't see it, of course. A cult isn't a cult to a cult.

But they are frightened sheeple who love and revere the strongman leader who tells them who to hate and blame.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"But, above all else, last night was a reminder of what America under Trump was, and will be again if we put him back in office. Cruel, theocratic, vulgar, misogynistic, unmoored from reality, ignorant, immune to evidence, and racist."

The outdated electoral college makes this a possibility. There are enough gullibles, cultists, and plain ignorant Americans out there who absolutely would vote this human disaster back into office.

I think about this every day.

Kulkuri said...

The problem is too many people think there is something to gain for them by supporting the Orange ShitGibbon!

Dave Dubya said...

Nice to hear from you. Good to know you're managing up in da UP.
I think with MAGAts, it's not so much what they gain, but about punishing people they hate.
This country has a growing cancer of white nationalism.
Their Tangerine Tyrant lied about the election and calls Democrats commies, and they swallow it all without question.

Anonymous said...

New psychiatric study on ‘left-wing authoritarianism’ confirms what the rest of America already knew...

If you’ve watched Twitter videos from the “Libs of TikTok” account or watched as activists burned down cities in the name of “justice” and “equity,” you’ve probably concluded there’s something wrong with the liberal Left.

Well, a new study published in Current Psychology, a peer-reviewed journal, agrees with you.

Those individuals prone to “left-wing authoritarianism,” or “LWA,” the study found, display “higher levels of narcissism” and psychopathic traits and are more likely to endorse “antihierarchical aggression” and “top-down censorship.”

Dave Dubya said...

I just love it when radical Right Wing Authoritarians triumphantly point to studies that seem to confirm their bias.

Right Wing Authoritarian leaders are people like Hitler, Mussolini, Putin, and Trump.

Left Wing Authoritarians include Stalin, Mao, Xi, and Kim Jong Un.

Trump praised both Left wing and Right-wing dictators, to prove himself to be among the authoritarian club.

Essentially the study shows how RWA and Left Wing Authoritarians share certain traits. (I’m betting anonymous DID NOT read the study.)

THIS indicates a radical LWA viewpoint: “The results of multiple regression analyses showed that a strong ideological view, according to which a violent revolution against existing societal structures is legitimate.”

We're not talking about Democrats here. In fact, all the shrieking about civil war is coming from the RWAs. They want to believe the 2nd Amendment is for shooting Democrats if they win.

Sure, there may be some leftists (hardcore communists) that advocate violent revolution. No doubt there were leftists that favored violent actions in the BLM protests. Some violence was committed by cops on protesters too.

But wait, there's more in this study the MAGAts don't want to know.

On 25 May 2020, George Floyd – an unarmed Black man –was killed by Minneapolis police. This event induced massive Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests all over the US and the world. And while most (94%) of the racial justice protests in the US were conducted peacefully, some of these protests (6%) included “violence, clashes with the police, vandalism, looting, or other destructive activity”.

But the Trump mob accepts violence for their political cause. After all, their Fuhrer PRAISED his thugs after the terrorized Congress and beat cops to overturn the election.

The study mentions the RWA side of the spectrum. In other words, Right Wing Authoritarian Trump supporters:

“On 6 January 2021, the United States Capitol in Washington DC was attacked by a group of individuals who tried to impede the validation of the presidential election. Due to the violent attack, several people were killed and injured. Many argued that the outgoing president Donald Trump had incited the attack on the Capitol – he had lost the 2020 presidential election to president-elect Joe Biden but refused to concede claiming election fraud. But who were the people following Donald Trump’s (alleged) call? According to the New York Times (Barry et al., 2021, January 9), “they came from around the country with different affiliations – QAnon, Proud Boys, elected officials, everyday Americans […]” But even though they stemmed from different traits of life, did some of these individuals share a common personality trait called authoritarianism?”



In psychological and political research, authoritarianism has been characterized as (1) a submissiveness to authority figures and (2) a dominance towards subordinates (Adorno et al., 1950). In the past, authoritarianism has been dominantly investigated in individuals with right-wing political ideologies which led to the term right-wing authoritarianism (RWA; Altemeyer, 1996). Individuals with high levels of RWA have been described as people striving for (1) the strict endorsement of conservative social norms and values (i.e., conventionalism), (2) the compliance with established authorities (i.e., authoritarian submission), and (3) antagonistic behavior toward outgroup members (i.e., authoritarian aggression). In line with this description, current research found individuals with higher levels of RWA to be more close-minded (e.g., Hodson et al., 2009), fundamentalistic in their religious orientation, and prejudiced towards minority groups.

These are Trump’s racists, bigots, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and the rest of his authoritarian mob of MAGAts, quite probably including anonymous...Unless he can condemn Trump for his Big Lie, incitement of a mob, and PRAISING them after the riot.

Will that happen? Fat chance.