La La How The Life Goes On

Put the Needle on the Record

Posted on: March 3, 2016

It will seem like I am a broken record in these posts. It will seem like all I can do is ring the alarm about Donald Drumpf. It will seem like I am singularly obsessed with defeating him.

Those assumptions will be correct.

I remember wondering in high school history class why the Jews stayed in Germany to be rounded up like lambs to the slaughter. I very literally could not understand why or how an entire group of people so clearly targeted would just kind of hang out and wait to see what would happen, hoping for the best.  Then you realize that almost no one believed that what happened would actually happen. It was unimaginable and the stuff of paranoid fever dreams. I mean, gassing humans? What in the world?! Impossible in a forward thinking society like Germany. A proud people! A nation that would be made great again by it’s charismatic new leader. A leader just using rhetoric to bring pride back to a broken nation. Nothing to see here. Move along, paranoid unpatriotic losers.

Let us remember that Hitler did not come out of the gate proposing genocide. Who would vote for THAT? What decent, God-fearing person of any nationality would vote Yes to participating in genocide? But getting to genocide is really quite easy.

First, you identify the problems of the nation. The reasons why good, decent folk aren’t getting ahead; aren’t getting a fair shake.

Second, you humanize those reasons by attributing them to people. Jews, Mexicans, Chinese, Muslims, Tutsis, Hutus.

Third, once you have humanized the problems, you dehumanize the people you say are the causes. Humans become vermin, animals, diseases, tumors, insects, criminals. Jews are vermin. Black people are apes. Tutsis are cockroaches. Mexicans are rapists. Chinese are a corporate thieving horde.

Fourth, violence against these groups becomes acceptable. You know this because if you watch any Trump rally you see his goons at work. If you look a little swarthy on the street you are getting jumped by his supporters. Seeing a white older male veteran push and manhandle a peaceful young Black teenaged girl yesterday was absolutely sickening. And this is just the beginning. My kids are not white. How soon until some Trump goon decides my American citizen/Chinese-born kids are not American enough and need a beating for “stealing our jobs”? You cannot tell me it will never happen because they operate like terrorist cells, on their own with the tacit blessing of their leader.

Note how Donald Drumpf never takes a stand to disavow any violence in his name. I’m pretty sure Hitler himself didn’t walk into a Jewish neighborhood and pistol whip 6 year olds. He had the Gestapo to do it for him. Brown shirts. Thousands of decent, God-fearing, law-abiding Germans who willingly beat the shit out of Jewish women and children on the streets. Hitler’s hands were clean of the hand to hand, face to face violence. As are Donald Drumpf’s.

But he is not clean. He is leading a know-nothing movement of disaffected people prone to racism and violence. He is not funny. He is not a successful businessman seeking to improve our country. If he is, please outline his policies in the comments. What are his plans–specific plans–for trade? For supreme court nominees? For environmental concerns? For infrastructure? For literally any aspect of our national life—what are his precise policies and prescriptions? And how will he pay for them? Specifically. Not “The Mexicans will pay; trust me.” How will he do whatever it is he proposes to do? The answer is: he has no idea and neither do you.

Donald Drumpf is dangerous. Not because he himself plans to round up Muslims and deport them even if they are third-generation US citizens. It’s because he is creating a storm, a maelstrom, a wind from which we will reap the whirlwind. He is releasing a genie that will not easily be put back in the bottle. He is deputizing thousands of people to independently decide who is and is not American.  Who does or does not deserve to be here. Who is or is not worthy of citizenship. He has already said that he will alter our First Amendment so that he can sue newspapers who speak ill of him. He has already ordered  war crimes that an Army General has said US troops will be required to disobey.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Donald Drumpf is showing us who he is. He is telling us who he is. He is demonstrating his total lack of morality, decency and character. He is not lying about himself. He is, rather, doing everything he can to illustrate precisely what his presidency will entail. He is telling us who he is. So let’s believe him.

He wants to make America great again.What does that even mean? Great like from when? The 80s? The 60s? The 50s? What specific Elements of Greatness does Mr. Drumpf wish to revisit upon us? Because–as a reminder that being white in America is a different journey than being non-white in America–there are not a lot of great times pre-1950 for Black folks. For Chinese folks. For Latino folks. As Louis CK presciently said (I’m paraphrasing), “People who aren’t white have to be real careful around time machines. White people can pretty much go anywhere at any time in history and be fine. Black people probably don’t want to go anywhere before, like, 1962.”

So what “greatness” does Drumpf speak of? Back when people knew their place? When women knew their place? When Japanese-made meant it was junk? When the US had a manufacturing base? Well, you know what made that economy possible? Investment in our industries. CEOs like Trump not outsourcing their work to other countries, as Mr. Drumpf himself does with his suits and ties. YES. Donald Trump, savior of America, has his garments made in China. But it’s the Chinese “stealing” our jobs. Not the rapacious CEOs handing our jobs over so they can turn even more of a profit. If Trump gave a single solitary shiz about the forgotten American worker, he’d produce everything right here rather than giving the Chinese his business with one side of his mouth while calling them thieves with the other.

So, I have a plan for making America Great Again. You know what it is? Repudiating a fascist racist demagogue by any means necessary. Because words have meaning. And “great” means something:

He was a great teacher except for all that child-raping.

He is a great husband except for the daily beatings he delivers his wife and kids.

She is a great cook except for all the burned meatloaf and daily Tuna Helper casseroles.

Great has meaning. And if more than 50% of your population elects a man dedicated to whipping up hate and fear and paranoia directed at other human beings, then you no longer get to use the word.

You are instead Finished. Debased. Fallen. Disgraced.






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