The Trump Show… and What It Means for the Rest of Us

Photo above: Donald Trump and his Laughing White Men’s Supreme Chorus back when they thought they were celebrating the removal of you and your children from affordable health care in the U.S.

It’s been a bit comforting to hear more and more conservatives and liberals speak out on the threat the Trump administration poses to our democracy. Progress! But I find we continue to dance around the issue of race and skin color. Hard right Republicans and their conservative media, per their playbook, have shamed the press and the Democrats into not playing the “race card,” all while they are furiously Trumping everything with the same card in a different (white) suit. As a country, we need to stop hiding behind normalizing euphemisms, and begin calling this Trump Show what it has repeatedly proven itself to be: a bully pulpit for the most racist administration since Andrew Jackson.

And while we are calling the Trump Show what it is, it’s time to stop the notion of the professional anti-Trump punditry that there is any “normal” left: this IS the new normal. There is no longer an old normal.

The evidence is in and it keeps coming in. For near-conclusive proof, read this article which summarizes four major studies that put to rest any notion that race (and perhaps misogyny) were not the determining factors in the so-called “Trump base” — certainly not economic anxiety. Hiding behind “rural economic anxiety” became standard operating procedure for the press and Democrats to avoid the unpleasantness of calling racism by its real name. And all this politeness did was allow racism and white supremacism to flourish, openly.

The only question that now remains unanswered is whether Trump is actually a personal-animus racist, or was just eager to be branded as a racist because of the racial resentment and fear that drives his base. His early flirtation with “eugenics,” discriminatory housing practices, his eagerness to execute the “Central Park 5” and his enthusiastic leadership of the “birther” movement before the campaign certainly indicate that the vilest racism comes instinctually to him. Yet his moves during the campaign and in office are so unbelievably jaw-dropping that it’s hard to believe they are anything but hyperbolically symbolic “branding” — using the fascinated outrage and disbelief of the mainstream media as his accomplice in cementing his racist brand in the mind of the public. Let’s consider:

  • His immigration speech to open his Presidential campaign gave voice to a generation or more of stifled racism among his aggrieved snowflake supporters.
  • “Shithole countries,” “very fine people,” the trashing of Amir Khan, were not misstatements or mistakes, as the press portrayed them, but intentional signals that no one, anywhere, with colored skin, is safe from a rising tide of prejudice with brutal punishment on its mind. (This is why the ritual of the “name, blame and shame” game the news media fall into with political figures had exactly the opposite effect in Trump’s case. The media remained completely clueless when it turned out Trump’s “misstatements” were an intentional use of the predictable press outrage to signal his racist followers!)
  • The f***king of Puerto Rico after the hurricane was not incompetence as it is euphemistically being portrayed, but a deliberate symbolic display of how little-valued are the lives of dark-skinned people (as opposed to white lives in Houston and Florida and — count on it — North Carolina). Could we even call it 2500 charges of “negligent homicide for symbolic effect?”
  • Talking tough and fully enabling ICE’s round up and abuse of (colored skin) immigrants. The casual cruelty rampant in the treatment of immigrant families, the separation of dark-skinned children into concentration camps, scarcely better than Hitler’s treatment of Jews, can not be blamed on anything else.
  • The history of never, ever, apologizing for obvious race tweets.
  • Dismantling that black president’s legacy in the loudest possible terms as possibly the only consistent policy thread of his Presidency.
  • Supporting the police beatings and killings of dark-skinned people.
  • Sessions methodical dismantling of the enfranchisement gains of the civil rights era (who better to do it than a staunch “Jim Crow” Southerner, [once disqualified from being a federal judge for being racist] who learned how to put African Americans and dark-skinned people “in their place,” without once using the N word?).

None of these can been seen at this point as anything other than Trump’s continuing successful effort to brand himself as the unapologetic racist “white emperor in chief.” Isn’t it time we started just saying it, rather than let him get away with his racist bullhorn while we civilized people fumble for polite words and our press corps tries to ignore the obvious.

And ‘talk’ shows — the left/right outrage machines? For him, or agin’ him, they do more to amplify his racist message than virtually any other medium. Time for television to realize it is just being used. You must see that Trumpublicans exult when the awed press and its “daily scoop” mentality highlights Trump’s every daily outrageousness and Democrats’ predictable shock and awe: their supreme leader and avatar is getting over on MSM and political correctness once again. He dangles his baubles of outrage in front of the press. And they, like Pavlov’s dogs, collaborate with him to make Trump, Trump, Trump the center of the universe and dictator of the political conversation. Can we just stop?

In the background, away from the easy, salacious gossip of the press, a whole body of real people, are really, really getting screwed. They are being rounded up, separated from their families, divorced of their right to vote, stripped of their health care protections, subject to rampant police abuse, incarcerated again in staggering numbers under the renewed “War on Drugs” (sponsored by, you guessed it, Jeff “Crow” Sessions). What is a clear common thread between all of these government cruelties and human tragedies?  Oh yeah, skin color.

And while we are calling the Trump Show what it is, it’s time to stop the notion of the professional anti-Trump punditry that there is any “normal” left: this IS the new normal. There is no longer an old normal.

Likewise, if a newscaster or smirking panelist uses the word “unprecedented” as if this human holocaust is a comedy show review rather than the sudden dismantlement of our system of government and our personal security within it, somebody do me a favor and wring their neck!  We’ve seen enough to see that every outrage, every racist bullhorn, every dismantlement of our democratic republic, IS IS IS precedented a million times over in this corrupt idiocracy.

And finally, don’t allow anyone to say “This is not who we are…”. If you consider that “we” are the people who vote — and who don’t vote —  in our system of government, then this IS who we are! And the only solution to our predicament is for everybody — old, young, conservative, liberal, white skin or brown — to take active responsibility for our country’s mental and moral health — and to prove who we are by voting!

And that’s what we can do in response to this racist administration: stop with the enabling confusion and awe; start calling our current one-party government — The Trump Show and its Congressional supporting cast — by the real names that their public pronouncements and policies confirm: racist, cruel, violent (and inciting violence), anti-democratic (and anti-Republican), corrupt, treasonous, spoiled. Do it loudly and unashamedly. Do it everywhere. Don’t stop until the country wakes up.

And finally, don’t despair: our country has a history (thankfully) of shaking off its fever dreams and coming to its senses — even if slowly, and even if too many people’s lives are lost or damaged while we wait for a new consensus to develop. Your duty as a citizen, a duty protected by our brilliant constitution and form of government, is not just to VOTE, but to participate, participate, participate in the conversation… even if it means calling things by their real names. Even if it makes you uncomfortable and your friends mad. Do it! Our country depends on it.

By the way, I have taken to collecting news articles in special curated magazines on the Flipboard program. These are facts and opinions that interest me and which provide some of the statistical rationale (and narrative logic) for the concerns that interest me. It’s fun, and I hope you find it informative to supplement your reading.

Metadada ‘Pocalypse Review is a catch-all magazine and media repository for articles I am writing or have written or support/disagree with my trains of thought.
OK, It’s the Trump Show is my surrender to Trump, Trump Trump all the time. A collection of articles specifically about our current President.

Radical Centrism Review is my search to recover a dynamic center to our politics
Culture: Wars and Pieces is relating books, movies, music and art to the current state of our social and political structure. 
Let me know what you think!  

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