“When you hate someone and fear something, you shot down the brain and stop thinking”. This is how Democratic strategist and former President Bill Clinton’s Aide, Paul Begala, described the extreme right wing of the Republican party’s hatred for President Barack Obama.
NN’s political commentator, and former White House Environmental Adviser, Van Jones was castigated for describing Donald Trump’s recent presidential election victory as “whitelash”. But that does not detract from the poignant point he was making. Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, riding the wave of white nationalism, partly engineered by Mr. Trump himself, and partly by inheriting an Obama hate machine already in place, operated by the Tea party. Recall, Donald Trump launched his presidential bid with the birther crusade, when he did his worst trying to delegitimize President Barack Obama, insisting that he was not born in the United States. Trump’s birther crusade caught fire with white nationalists and buoyed his popularity within the far most right of the Republican party. Michael D’ Antonio author of, “The truth about Trump” actually said Donald Trump found out some dark psyche of the American corner that he can provoke, starting from the birther movement.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump operated an unabashed race-baiting messaging that appealed to white nationalists. According to legendary film maker Rob Reiner, Donald Trump gave voice to racial feelings. In other words, he energized white nationalists who could not stand the idea of a black man being the leader of the United States. That was how Mr. Trump defeated a field of qualified and sometimes moderate Republican candidates to emerge as the party’s nominee.
It was comedian Bill Maher who said Donald Trump's supporters live in a fact-free bubble. And the Republican presidential candidate has quite a cult-like followership. This explains his idiotic outburst that even if he were to stand in the middle of the Fifth- Avenue and shoot someone he would not lose any of his supporters. Trump's supporters are so faithful to him that they do not believe any bad news concerning their idol, no matter how unassailable the source may be. They did not believe any tracking poll that showed that he was trailing his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, at any point. They did not ever believe any poll that showed that Clinton beat him in the debates. Of course, the Trump people always had their own alternate polls produced by their alternate media. And they live in an alternate universe. His fanatical supporters so believe in the righteous stance of their man that they did not believe him when he confessed on tape, watched on public television around the world, that he had been sexually assaulting women. Former Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston. flatly denied that Trump ever did what the President-elect himself said he did on tape. And this begs the question, why are Trump's supporters so loyal to their man? For such a phony character who shows no regard for the truth and who has little or no idea of how the modern world works, a total lack of ideas, and a total lack of understanding of foreign affairs, a gross incompetence in running businesses, as demonstrated in his record bankruptcy filings and ton of losses? Tom Brokaw, the veteran NBC News anchor said of Donald Trump, “ his ego overrides everything, including reason”.
So who are Donald Trump's core supporters?. We have been told that economic hardship, in other words, those who feel left behind by the system are attracted to Trump's false hope rhetoric .However, this claim has been debunked .If you do not believe my fellow liberal, Nobel Prize winning Economist, Paul Krugman, who said Trump's supporters are not driven by economic fears but by racism, you are likely to believe the Never-Trump Independent-turned Republican candidate, Evans Mcmullin who said Trump espouses white nationalism. Of course, the Ku Klux Klan has made no secret of their embrace of Donald Trump .
The white supremacist organization actively campaigned for him. They endorsed Mr. Trump , with his photograph decorating the front page of their newspaper. And with Mr. Trump elected President, white supremacists are celebrating all over America, spewing hate messages and threatening every other person who is not “supremely” white.
The other day a Trump supporter, an old white man, said on the CNN, the reason he is supporting Trump is because Democrats want to bring in more refugees into the country, and that would make America more liberal!
So it is no secret that the base of Donald Trump’s supporters happen to be those who resent a diverse America. So Trump’s fanatical supporters are ever willing to overlook whatever flaws, and there are so many flaws in the man, he has to stand by their man. I heard some “white working class” or is it blue collar workers in Ohio State the other day on TV saying that they voted for Trump because they couldn’t trust Hillary Clinton with her email problems. Really? But they could hold their noses and vote for a presidential candidate who has refused to release his Income Tax Returns; the first not to have done so in recent memory. And this is a guy who has business and financial ties all over the world, including with sovereign nations who are hostile to the United States. This is a guy who has not hidden his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a staunch foe of the country he has now been elected to govern. Trump’s voters do not see anything wrong with his stupendous conflict of interests all over the map.
Now, political pundits in the United States have been sermonizing on how Hillary Clinton lost the election because she failed to connect with the “white working class, blue collar workers” in rural America. In other words, Hillary Clinton failed to address the concerns of the rural whites. However, what they fail to spotlight is that Donald Trump has mastered the art of getting angry white people in rural America angrier; and so sufficiently incited them against Democrats in 2016. A recent example is a great lie, he lies all the time anyway, Donald Trump has been telling on his so-called “Thank You” tour in parts of the country. He has been going about claiming that the crime rate in the country is at 45 year high. Fact-checkers who have been stretched to their elastic limits by Trump’s daily lies have established this claim to be flatly false. But Trump continues to score his points among his supporters, anyway. And guess who to blame for Trump’s bogus high crime rate claim? It is those who do not look like those who live in rural white America- blacks, browns, Mexicans (immigrants) whom Donald Trump has noted on day one of his campaign, export crimes to the United States. And they wholly believe him when he claims that he is their savior, the only one who can save them from the “ violent intruders” into their neighborhoods.
When former President Bill Clinton recently observed that although Donald Trump does not know a lot, he knows how to get angry white men to vote for him, he was immediately portrayed as a sore loser, but he was only stating the obvious truth. That was how Donald Trump won the election, of course, with the help of his friend Vladimir Putin of Russia and yes, the FBI.
When Donald Trump said that he is better for the economy, that he is going to create 25 million jobs in ten years because he is a businessman who knows how to create jobs, he tended to be taken seriously. Yet, those who believe him fail to reckon with the fact that this Con Artist (apologies to Senator Marco Rubio) do not have a good record in running his own business empire.
The Congressional Business Office has examined Trump's economic proposal and concluded that it would add trillions of dollars to the national debt and that the 25 million jobs figure he claims he would create is far beyond realization. On the contrary, Secretary Hillary Clinton's economic proposal was rated as being more realistic and was estimated to add a "manageable" $5 billion to the national debt. According to the Democratic flag bearer, her economic plan would have created 10 million jobs.
Another big economic lie that Donald Trump kept telling on the campaign trail is that he is going to bring back those manufacturing jobs that have been lost in the rust belt states, such as coal and steel mining. It was Senator John McCain of the Straight Talk express, who during his 2008 campaign looked the people in the eye and told them the bitter truth that “ those jobs are not coming back” . Yet, the clean energy technology jobs such as solar energy, biotechnology, wind energy that Secretary Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were campaign on, promise more better paying jobs than the environmentally toxic dirty energy jobs of the past which Donald Trump fraudulently promised to resuscitate.
Then, Mr. Trump calls for massive increase in defense spending- a move that would add trillions of dollars to the national debt. Already, the US defense budget tops that of 13 industrialized countries put together. However, when it comes to defense spending Republicans have no problem with budget deficit.
Again, Republicans like to denigrate President Obama as they accuse him of making America weak at home and abroad. I think the reason they hold this view is because President Obama has refused to start more wars. However, mainstream Republicans at this time seem war weary. They claimed it was the weakness of President Obama that allowed President Putin of Russia to invade Ukraine and Crimea. However, they forget that a Republican President, George W. Bush was there when Russia invaded Republic of Georgia. Thanks goodness, President Bush did not go to war with Russia over the invasion of Georgia. Similarly, North Korea has been provoking the US with their test of nuclear capabilities for decades, with Democratic and Republican Presidents in power. None of them went to war with North Korea. Now, Republicans are saying that it is the weakness of President Obama that emboldens the North Korean regime to continue to provoke the United States with its nuclear tests.
Iran has remained a torn in the flesh of every American administration since the 1970s, yet even with the 1979 hostage crisis, the United States did not go to war with Iran. Now, Republicans are saying that it is President Obama’s weakness that is emboldening Iran. President Bush could not stop Iran from enriching uranium. President Obama achieved that , marshalling a coalition of world powers, including Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, China without a shooting war.
Republicans even attribute Russian’s intrusions, including hackings of the American political process, to President Obama’s weakness in dealing with President Putin. This is silly. Contrary to that claim, it is the tough stance of the Obama administration towards Russia’s aggression that led Mr. Putin to target Hillary Clinton who as Obama’s Secretary of State, he has accused of inciting pro-democracy activists in his country against him. We now have a Republican President-elect who because of his shady business deals in Russia has openly embraced a belligerent Russian dictator and who has nominated as Secretary of State, Exxon/Mobile CEO, Rex Tillerson who himself has in the past protested President Obama’s economic sanctions on Russia, also because of his company’s business connection in that country. So, in effect we have a Republican administration who because of its business interest in Russia is now poised to betray America and NATO’s security interest.
The truth is that America is more respected today around the world than when President Obama took over the reign of power eight years ago. This is because President Obama was able to lead a coalition of world leaders to peacefully tackle global challenges. These include, the Paris Climate Change Pact and the Iran nuclear deal among others.
And blaming President Obama for the rise of the Islamist state, ISSIS is flatly wrong. The Islamist state jihadists came as a result of the Republican government invasion of Iraq in 2003. Before the invasion there was no A l qaeda in Iraq. And from Al qaeda in Iraq rose ISSIS, which has now spread to other parts of the Middle East, including Syria. President Obama was not going to commit America to another and third simultaneous wars in the Middle East.
James Baker III, Secretary of State in the George H.W. Bush administration, has largely endorsed President Obama’s foreign policy, including his approach in dealing with both Russia and Iran, and of course, Israel. World leaders and diplomats continue to attest to President Obama’s pragmatic and steady leadership, bringing the world together as opposed to former President George W. Bush’s resentful and arrogant, alienating cowboy diplomacy.
And the United States is stronger at home today than eight years ago, as a result of President Obama’s sound economic policies in spite of relentless Republican obstruction. On the very day President Obama was sworn in, Republican leaders met and resolved to “filibuster” him out of governance. They decided to oppose and obstruct all his economic and political agenda.
They even opposed his first legislative bill, the economic stimulus package that staved off the otherwise impeding economic depression. And there was no looking back on the Republican obstruction agenda.
It still frustrates me to note that some people of color are falling for the Republican blackmail, believing that President Barack Obama has failed them, when it should be abundantly clear to them that it was not President Obama’s fault not to meet their expectations as much as it was the Republicans strategy to obstruct and oppose his economic policies that would have made a greater impact on our lives. Republicans who spent all of eight years of the Obama presidency frustrating his economic recovery efforts are now turning round to blame him for the “slow pace of recovery”.
By the way, before we talk of slow recovery why don’t we consider the state of the economy when President Obama took over from President George W. Bush in January 2009. President Obama brought the unemployment rate down to 4.9 from 11 percent while income level is going up. And now the same Republicans who plunged the economy into the abyss are now complaining of slow recovery. They also claim that the economic condition of African Americans has gotten worse during President Obama’s tenure. That is a lie. Blacks as well as the rest of America have seen much improvement in their economic situation, compared to 2009 when President Obama came into office . In fact, a recent opinion survey showed that 54 percent of Americans believe that things are going well for them now. However, African Americans and indeed all Americans would have fared better if Republicans have not obstructed the Obama administration’s economic programs such as infrastructure development, raising of the minimum wage, equal pay for women, clean energy production et al.
It is regrettable to note that Donald Trump is going to inherit the current economic boom in the country brought about by President Obama’s economic policies which Republicans neither helped him to achieve nor gave him any credit for. President Obama saved the Auto and Banking industries and thus preventing the American economy from going into a depression. Republicans unanimously opposed the economic stimulus package which ultimately saved the economy. True to type, Donald Trump has shamelessly claimed credit for President Obama’s economic achievements, even before he is sworn in as president.
Donald Trump like other Republicans before him talk about repealing and replacing “Obamacare”. Yet, he fails to explain what he is going to replace Obamacare with. The idea of Obamacare was to provide affordable healthcare to those who would otherwise not have access to healthcare, the poor. However, premiums are going up as a result of the conspiracy by insurance companies and drug manufacturers who traditionally back Republicans. In fact, what was originally proposed was universal healthcare or single payer system, but Republicans and their insurance companies backers fought to defeat it. Republicans do not want the poor to have access to healthcare.
It is a shame that you can fall sick and die in the greatest and richest country on the planet, simply because you are poor. So why can’t the United States government which spends so much money on “defense” provide universal healthcare for its citizens like the United Kingdom? Republicans deride the British healthcare system, calling it socialize medicine. If universal health care amounts to socialism, give me socialism, not heartless capitalism as it is practiced in America today. So in Great Britain, the Conservative government through the implementation of the National Health System practice capitalism with the milk of human kindness. Whereas, in America, capitalism as the late renowned environmental right activist, Ken Saro Wiwa would say, in describing Shell, is “ a satanic octopus which demands men’s souls in exchange for cash and profit”.
We have just been told how the Republican government in Michigan poisoned the people of Flint ( a majority black city) with lead contaminated drinking water; to save money for the state. The state’s Attorney-general Bill Schuette, squarely put it this way :” Fixation on balance sheet at the expense of lives ,money over health,” led to the poisoning of the people of Flint. This is classic American capitalism, especially when Republicans are in charge.
The “socialist” Bernie Sanders was absolutely right to advocate for universal healthcare system for America. He will continue to be the conscience of America and the hero of the poor and the oppressed .
Capitalism as practiced by Republicans could be very heartless. For instance, when it comes to the environment Republicans choose corporate profit over human lives. They continue to oppose every environmental protection regulations, calling them job-killing. They do not believe in the science of climate change. They connive with the fossil fuel industry to destroy the environment , while they pocket the spoils of those environmental wars. They do not give a damn to the human toll their heartless gamble with the environment continue to unleash. The World Health Organization recently released a report which shows that air pollution kills over 600,000 children, annually. According to the report, this fatality is more than those lost to HIV and malaria, combined.
According to a news story on the MSNBC, on Thursday December 2016, an Algerian city on the edge of the Sahara Desert, saw snow fall for the first time in 37 years. Those of us who believe in the science of Climate Change would accept this as impact of climate change.
To buttress Donald Trump’s vow to deregulate environmental devastation, he has nominated a Climate-change denier and agent of the fossil energy industry, Mr. Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency. As Oklahoma State Attorney-general, Mr. Pruitt reportedly filed dozens of lawsuits against the EPA, for daring to regulate environmental pollution. It does not matter to Mr. Pruitt that Oklahoma has been suffering from devastating earthquakes, as a result of petroleum fracking, a reckless operation carried out by the fossil energy industry. In fact, Republicans have been so opposed to the EPA that they have threatened to scrape it whenever they got back to power. They are opposed to any form of regulation, whatsoever. Now, with the anti-EPA guy in charge, the days of the EPA may well have been numbered.
Donald Trump’s war on the environment is more apparent in his nomination of the Exxon/Mobile CEO, Rex Tillerson , as his Secretary of State. It is all for oil business. Rex Tillerson reportedly criticized the US led western sanctions against Russia, having just concluded a multibillion dollar oil deal with a Russian oil company, to drill oil in the Arctic region. Rex Tillerson as Trump’s Secretary of State, can’t wait to work towards lifting the sanctions on Russia, to further Exxon/Mobile and Trump’s business interests in Putin’s kingdom.
In fact, Trump has already sent emissaries to Russia to assure his business interests there that his administration is going to lift sanctions. Trump’s surrogate former Georgia Congressman, Jack Kingston, just back from Russia, openly criticized the sanctions on Russia as he claimed it is hurting business. Mr. Kingston on the CNN laboriously explained how the lifting of sanctions on Russia would help create jobs for both Russians and Americans living in Russia, and promised that the president-elect would come in to look at the sanctions “with fresh eyes”.
So when it comes to business interest, the business wing of the Republican party as it is now represented by Donald Trump and big oil represented by Rex Tillerson, human rights and not even national security matter. We are not even talking of environmental right, which of course, is no go area for Republicans. It is instructive to note that those who reportedly recommended Exxon/mobile CEO Rex Tillerson to Donald Trump, Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates , Dick Cheney e tal, all have business ties to Exxon/Mobile.
And yes, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s helped Donald Trump to win. We do not need to find out if the voting machines were hacked into in order to confirm that Russia tilted the election towards Mr. Trump. The hacking of the DNC, Democratic National Committee, and the Chairman of the Hillary Clinton Campaign chairman, John Podesta, has already done the damage. The negative information about Hillary Clinton which the Russian hackers channeled through Wikileaks influenced a lot of voters who voted against her. The torrents of negative information about Secretary Hillary Clinton that American voters were daily been bombarded with, reinforced the feelings of those who felt that the Democratic presidential flag bearer was not trustworthy. In fact, Donald Trump himself who did not know he was going to win, now appreciates how much the Russian hackings helped him to win. And this is the reason he does not want to talk about it, or has so irresponsibly denied that the Russian hackings ever took place.
Now, the rest of the world outside of America, is unitedly repulsed by the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. The world is now in a panic mood uncertain of what an erratic President Trump would mean for an already unstable world. Could you imagine a President-elect who continue to irresponsibly spread lies and propagate absolute falsehood, such as claiming that an election which he has just won was rigged in favor of his “losing” opponent , simply because he lost the popular votes?. He even has as National Security Adviser, a fake news merchant, Lt. General Michael Flint!
Donald Trump is going to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States because he managed to appeal to white nationalism and got a good respond from those white people who are afraid of their country being taken away from them by those who do not look like them. The so-called “blue collar” rural population turned out in great numbers to vote for their man, Donald Trump. On the other hand, black people, the base of the Democratic party, and the bedrock of the Obama coalition did not show up enough for Hillary Clinton. Although they were (as always} targeted for voter suppression through purging out their names from the voter registers by Republican controlled states governments, they could have overcome this by coming out to the polls more forcefully wherever they were allowed to vote. So black people in America, called African-Americans have themselves to blame for allowing Donald Trump to be elected President. They cannot blame Hillary Clinton. Neither could they blame President Obama. They were dully warned on the consequences of staying at home on election day and allowing Donald Trump to be elected President.
According to the CNN election data, if African Americans have turned out in the same numbers they turned out for President Obama’s re-election in 2012 in just three battle ground states- Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, Hillary Clinton would have won the election. The Democratic Party is ours; it does not matter who is on the ballot. Modern history shows that black people and indeed every other minority population in the United States would always fare better in a Democratic administration.
To demonstrate how the fate of the modern Democratic Party rests with the black population, consider this analysis: in 2008 Obama was on the ballot and blacks turn out to vote in record numbers, Obama became President and Democrats won. In the midterm election of 2010, President Obama was not on the ballot blacks did not turn out well and Democrats lost. In 2012 President Obama was on the ballot blacks turned out well and Obama was re-elected. In 2014 President Obama was not on the ballot, the black vote fell short and Democrats lost. In 2016 Presidential election again, President Obama was not on the ballot and African Americans’ turn out fell short in the battleground states ,and the Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost the election even after winning the popular votes with close to three million votes.
Yes, our black brothers and sisters in the United States need a lot more of political education. If the white nationalists could channel their anger through the ballot box why can’t black people do the same?
Of course, the other reason Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election is because of her wholesale embrace of President Barack Obama and his legacies. Those in the so-called “blue collar” rural America where Donald Trump succeeded in appealing to their negative instincts actually complained that Hillary Clinton during the campaigns only addressed the concerns of blacks and other minorities and that they did not hear from her what she was going to do for them. However, this is unfair to Hillary. She actually outlined and articulated her economic programs more than Donald Trump. She talked about raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women , paid leave, early childhood education, free college tuition, massive investment in infrastructure and clean energy jobs. And like I noted earlier, economists on both sides of the political spectrum have analyzed and rated Hillary Clinton’s economic package more realistic as opposed to Donald Trump’s. Maybe, the only difference is that Donald Trump was able to fool the rust belt states into believing that he is going to bring back closed coal and steel mines, to give them jobs that are not going to be there. So they refused to listen to Senator John McCain’s straight talk of 2008.
However, our “blue color rural white population should not have felt threatened by the simple point of Hillary Clinton and Democrats talking about criminal justice reform, voting right, civil rights, accountable policing.
The Donald Trump birther campaign against President Obama was racism at its core. His entire campaign was based on race-baiting and fear- mongering. America has just elected as President- a racist, a bigot, hate- monger –he hates Blacks, Latinos, Muslims and every other person who do not look like him. So is America still the leader of the free world? With Donald Trump at the helm, I do not think so.