AlterNet.org: Amanda Marcotte http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/authors/amanda-marcotte en It’s Science, Stupid: Why Do Trump Supporters Believe so Many Things That Are Crazy and Wrong? http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/video/its-science-stupid-why-do-trump-supporters-believe-so-many-things-are-crazy-and-wrong <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064658'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064658" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Science can explain why Trump supporters believe so many things that are demonstrably false.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-09-30_at_4.40.59_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Last week, The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper went to a Donald Trump rally to interview the spray-tanned oaf’s supporters about some of their more fantastical beliefs. The results were bizarre, even by the standards of a presidential campaign that long ago broke the wacky-meter.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eFQhw3VVToQ" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Trump supporters suggested that Hillary Clinton had multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and even AIDS, and was using a body double to conceal her ill health from the public. They also dug into birther conspiracy theories about President Obama.</p><p>One man even ranted that, “Barack Obama had big part of 9/11,” because he was “always on vacation, never in the office.” (Pro tip: Barack Obama was <i>not president</i>when 9/11 occurred.)</p><p>To liberal viewers, this whole display is boggling. These folks clearly are competent enough to dress themselves, read the address of the rally and show up on time, and somehow they continue to believe stuff that’s so crazy and so false that it’s impossible to believe anyone that isn’t barking mad could believe it. What’s going on?</p><p>“There definitely are conspiracy theorists. There definitely are facts where people have fundamentally misinformed beliefs. But there are also propositions that they’ll affirm for a display purpose,” Dan Kahan, a Yale professor of law and psychology explained to me over the phone. </p><p>Kahan also works as a researcher and educator for the Cultural Cognition Projection, where researchers look into “the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact … to values that define their cultural identities.” The project looks at issues, such as climate change or vaccination safety, where huge swaths of people stubbornly reject scientific facts, because those facts don’t conform to their worldview.</p><p>There are a couple of reasons that people might embrace flatly false beliefs like the ones on display at this Trump rally, Kahan explained to me. One explanation is that they sincerely believe these false things.</p><p>“People have a stake in some position being true,” Kahan said, “because the status of their group or their standing in it depends on that answer.”</p><p>“But then there are other things that people will say because that’s kind of like a declaration of who they are,” he added. “Part of the reason they might be doing it is because they know it’s really going to get an aversive response from people who have an alternative identity and who know that’s the true answer.”</p><p>With birtherism, Kahan continued, there are people who actually believe that Obama is hiding the facts of his birth, but there also a lot of people who are saying that more because it’s a “kind of a middle finger” and because it gives conservatives pleasure to drive liberals batty by saying these things.</p><p>As evidence, Kahan pointed to <a href="http://poq.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/17/poq.nft080.full" target="_blank">a paper</a> by published in Public Opinion Quarterly in 2014 that found that minor changes in survey wording found very different rates of birtherism in the public. </p><p>With some questions, researchers hypothesized, “respondents might have viewed this question as constituting a quiz to assess whether they were well informed about political facts,” leading Republicans to be more inclined to admit that Obama was born in the United States.</p><p>Other questions, however, might have been viewed “as offering them an opportunity to express anti-Obama sentiment by challenging the legitimacy of his presidency.” In these cases, aligning one’s self with birtherism was less about actually believing the president was born in Kenya, per se, and more about expressing one’s racism and hostility towards liberals.</p><p>It’s not exactly <em>lying</em>. It’s more that the truth is secondary to the goals of expressing political views and antagonizing liberals by staking out these positions. </p><p>This distinction might explain some of the positions that Trump supporters staked out in the Daily Show video.</p><p>“I don’t have any,” one man told Klepper when asked for proof of his outrageous claims. “It’s my opinion.”</p><p>This, of course, makes liberals nuts, because whether or not Clinton has Parkinson’s is not an opinion, but a matter of empirical fact. But folks who say things like this are “telling you something about this belief,” Kahan explained. </p><p>“It’s not even a matter of fact for them,” Kahan continued, noting that some beliefs, “by their essence, defy empirical assessment.” </p><p>“Do I have proof? No. Do I have articles? No,” one woman in the Daily Show interview proudly declared. “My mind is made up.”</p><p>“I think at that point someone’s just telling you that it’s some kind of performance,” Kahan said. </p><p>This no doubt goes a long way towards explaining how on earth it is that Trump is considered more honest and trustworthy than Clinton by <a href="http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/26/13016146/donald-trump-liar-media" target="_blank">voters.</a> According to Politico’s fact-checkers Trump <a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/2016-donald-trump-fact-check-week-214287" target="_blank">tells a lie</a> an average of once every three minutes. Clinton, in contrast, was rated by Politifact as the <a href="http://www.politifact.com/personalities/hillary-clinton/" target="_blank">most honest candidate</a> in either party in this year’s primary season.</p><p>For a lot of people, a candidate’s adherence to empirical facts isn’t really relevant to their estimation of how honest they are. “Honest” is more about a tangle of beliefs, stereotypes and wishful thinking than about the facts on the ground.</p><p>The fact that Clinton is female, for instance, works against her, since she’s carrying years of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/22/hillary-clinton-women-trust" target="_blank">misogynist stereotypes</a> about women’s mendacity as baggage. Many people have a kneejerk belief that ambitious women are inherently conniving and deceitful, and that is more powerful than actual facts in shaping perceptions of Clinton’s honesty.</p><p>On the flip side, Trump’s willingness to thumb his nose at “political correctness” may not be fact-based, but it is blunt, and that often gets confused with honesty by a lot of people. Conservatives aren’t wrong to think that a lot of people believe racist or sexist things, but fear to say them out loud for fear of social censure. Trump throws caution to the wind and says the foul things that many people fear to say out loud, and that makes him seem “honest” in their eyes, even though he literally struggles to make it through five minutes without telling a lie.</p><p>None of this means that facts don’t matter. But in understanding why people believe the things they do or say the things they do or vote the way they do, facts matter less than things like identity, values or what social circles people run in. That Trump can lie his head off, day in and day out, and never lose the support of his fans is just further evidence of what social science has been demonstrating for years.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064658'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064658" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:37:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1064658 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Video Election 2016 Video donald trump science trump supporters trumpster 2016 elections 2016 debate Donald Trump Is Every Woman's Workplace Nightmare: Debate With Hillary Clinton Was a Crash Course in Everyday Sexism http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trump-every-womans-nightmare <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064445'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064445" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Donald Trump, conservative pundits and even Chuck Todd exposed some ugly male insecurities Monday night.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_388723852.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/catherine-rampell-why-women-are-far-more-likely-to-vote-then-men/2014/07/17/b4658192-0de8-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html?utm_term=.5ffc2bc67c3c" target="_blank">Most voters are women</a>, a fact that only becomes more true every election cycle. Under the circumstances, one would think that the man running for president and his male supporters would be diligent in their efforts to not remind the female voter of every sexist boss, condescending ex-boyfriend and street-harassing chump she’s ever encountered.</p><p>But apparently, the sexist id is stronger than common sense, as demonstrated by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his legion of piggy defenders. One could nearly hear Kellyanne Conway’s teeth grinding as Trump <a href="https://mic.com/articles/155223/here-s-what-it-s-like-to-be-interrupted-28-times-in-a-presidential-debate#.18kPQoxfx" target="_blank">abandoned the pretense of respect</a> and swiftly devolved into <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2016/09/27/last-nights-debate-or-the-mansplaining-olympics/?utm_term=.382c238499bc" target="_blank">the living incarnation of mansplaining</a>—the art of pompously lecturing a woman who is clearly smarter than you—during the debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.</p><p>It was a performance that culminated in Trump, in a fit of anger, saying, “But you want to know the truth? I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, ‘I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice.'”</p><p>It’s a classic Trump move, to bring a topic up by claiming that he’s above mentioning the thing he just mentioned by claiming he didn’t mention it. But in case you didn’t get the implication, Trump made it clear backstage that <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-decided-not-to-raise-bill-clintons-scandals-out-of-respect-for-chelsea-031635817.html" target="_blank">he was talking about former president Bill Clinton’s infidelities</a>. Because the best way to prove to female voters that you’re not sexist is to blame the wife for a man’s infidelities. Women <em>love</em> hearing that men only cheat because their wives are failing to please them. I highly recommend that Trump continue to use this as his outreach strategy to female voters.</p><p>Clinton directly accused Trump of being a sexist pig during the debate, noting that he calls “women pigs, slobs and dogs” and bringing up the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe who claims that Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Rather than deny the charges, <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/09/27/donald-trump-miss-universe-alicia-machado-was-absolute-worst.html" target="_blank">Trump went on Fox News Tuesday morning </a>to basically defend his God-given male right to tell ridiculously hot women that they are failing to do enough to please his boner:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Trump on fmr Miss Universe: "she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem." <a href="https://t.co/tLS56Wainw">pic.twitter.com/tLS56Wainw</a></p>— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) <a href="https://twitter.com/alivitali/status/780732874731421696">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But it wasn’t just Trump. Watching Clinton kick his ass all over the debate stage last night exposed the raw insecurities of men across this great nation of ours. While <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/03/16/470627330/amid-big-wins-tuesday-clinton-told-to-smile-during-her-speech" target="_blank">Clinton usually gets yelled at by men</a> for not smiling enough, her grinning visage as she watched her male opponent self-immolate caused this pouty reaction from Atlantic editor David Frum:  </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Who told Hillary Clinton to keep smiling like she’s at her granddaughter’s birthday party?</p>— David Frum (@davidfrum) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/780580701422755840">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Whatever position your mouth is in, it’s wrong, ladies! Clearly the only solution is to shut yourself inside your house and cook something and never put yourself in the public eye again. And there’s this charmer from Brit Hume:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">On Fox, Brit Hume says Hillary Clinton’s face was “not necessarily attractive” <a href="https://t.co/djKyB5AKj2">https://t.co/djKyB5AKj2</a> by <a href="https://twitter.com/RobertMackey">@RobertMackey</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debates?src=hash">#debates</a></p>— The Intercept (@theintercept) <a href="https://twitter.com/theintercept/status/780606769773047808">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Conservative polling expert Frank Luntz, at least, sees through the pathetic insecurities of men who cannot handle the thought of a woman being smart, capable, and self-composed:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Text from a GOP friend of mine in Congress.<br /><br />I'm sorry, Congressman, but tonight Hillary is coming across as presidential. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DebateNight?src=hash">#DebateNight</a> <a href="https://t.co/DsEEV2FSho">pic.twitter.com/DsEEV2FSho</a></p>— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) <a href="https://twitter.com/FrankLuntz/status/780594882104598528">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><p>The dudes at Breitbart are so uptight they appear to have a stopwatch timing how much Clinton is “allowed” to celebrate her own badassness:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">folks <a href="https://t.co/CwxlwALhnx">pic.twitter.com/CwxlwALhnx</a></p>— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) <a href="https://twitter.com/SimonMaloy/status/780766772651851777">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><p>But even NBC commentator Chuck Todd, who isn’t on the right, wallowed in ugly stereotypes about smart women:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/chucktodd">@chucktodd</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/debatenight?src=hash">#debatenight</a> exposed Trump's lack of preparation, but Clinton seemed over-prepared at times.</p>— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) <a href="https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/780598101937643520">September 27, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>This is what women have to put up with if they believe they have just as much of a right as a man does to be in public, to be ambitious and seek power. And then they have to put up with men scoffing at them and telling them they’re imagining how hostile the world is to a woman who truly thinks she is equal. Monday night, however, exposed the ugly truth: Women are not making this up, sexism is real and a lot of men are the worst. And hopefully they will be shown the door come November.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064445'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064445" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:04:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1064445 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 donald trump workplace sexism sexism election 2016 presidential debates Trump's Racist Ruse: His Farcical Outreach to Black Voters Is Just White Supremacy in Disguise http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-racist-ruse-his-farcical-outreach-black-voters-just-white-supremacy-disguise <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064324'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064324" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump&#039;s speeches this week had a common theme: African Americans don&#039;t deserve the same rights as whites.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_353100965.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Donald Trump’s “outreach” to black voters is a farce. Luckily, the mainstream media is beginning to clue into the fact that when Trump speaks about black people, the message is about reassuring his white supporters that they aren’t <em>really</em> racist, more than trying to win over black voters.</p><p>On Tuesday, Trump gave a speech in North Carolina — at the same time that protests were <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/09/21/charlotte-erupts-with-protests-after-police-kill-disabled-black-man-family-says-was-reading-book-in-car/" target="_blank">erupting in Charlotte after police killed Keith Lamont Scott</a>, a 43-year-old black man who had nothing to do with the warrant they were serving on someone else — where he painted, for his nearly all-white audience, a picture of black life that was rooted in racist caricature rather than any known facts.</p><p>“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever,” Trump told the crowd in Kenansville.</p><p>“You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street. They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities,” he continued, adding the claim that his numbers with African-American voters are “going, like, high.”</p><p>It hardly bears mentioning that every word of that is a lie. Trump’s poll numbers with black voters are hard to nail down, but overall, <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-in-fourth-place-among-black-voters/" target="_blank">they are lower than those of any Republican nominee since 1948</a>.</p><p>More importantly, as other journalists have detailed, Trump’s claim that black communities are “in the worst shape they’ve ever been” is flatly a lie.</p><p>As President Obama joked, “He missed that whole civics lesson about slavery or Jim Crow.” Even in more recent years, data shows that for black Americans<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/09/21/494883725/trump-says-african-americans-are-in-their-worst-shape-ever-the-data-disagrees" target="_blank">unemployment is down</a>, <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/trump-black-americans-1ec608c58410#.dl05t9kzt" target="_blank">poverty is down, incomes are up and education levels are rising</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12933072/far-right-white-riot-trump-brexit" target="_blank">As Zack Beauchamp painstakingly detailed at Vox</a>, Trump supporters are primarily motived by a desire to reassert white male dominance over the culture. So why does Trump even bother with this feigned concern for the well-being of black people?</p><p>What he’s really pushing is an old and ugly narrative: Black people are incapable of handling responsibility and therefore need white people to control them. You know, for their own good.</p><p>It’s critical to remember the context of this speech, both in that we have a black president and that Trump and his supporters are obsessively angry about having a black president.</p><p>By suggesting that black people’s fortunes have declined under President Obama, Trump is invoking a paternalistic narrative. The black president elected by a diverse coalition couldn’t help black people, he’s suggesting. Therefore, it’s time to restore nearly exclusive white male control over government.</p><p>As a feminist writer, I’ve frequently encountered a similar narrative coming from anti-feminists. The right-wing press is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/opinion/26douthat.html?_r=0" target="_blank">forever publishing articles</a> <a href="http://observer.com/2016/05/five-ways-feminism-has-made-women-miserable/" target="_blank">arguing that feminism</a><a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/07/21/333582322/phyllis-schlafly-explains-why-feminism-has-made-women-unhappy" target="_blank">has made women unhappy</a>, and that we were all so much happier when we didn’t have to deal with the stresses of equality with men.</p><p>In other words, it’s an argument in favor of female inferiority. No one disputes the idea that men are capable of “having it all” — that men can handle the responsibilities of a job and a family — but women are viewed as too delicate to put up with the scary world outside the white picket fence.</p><p>It’s the same narrative that Trump is using on black people: OK, we tried it your way and let you have some equality — and look where that got you! Now it’s time to return to a system where you are subservient.</p><p>The same assumptions informed Trump’s comments about stop-and-frisk. “One of the things I’d do,” <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/22/us/politics/donald-trump-don-king-black-voters.html" target="_blank">he told a mostly white audience in Cleveland Heights</a>, “is I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive.”</p><p>Trump wasn’t even trying to pretend that stop-and-frisk isn’t a racially discriminatory practice, as some conservatives do — the speech was specifically focused on the black community and he was quite clear that he wanted to target predominantly black neighborhoods with these tactics. (Which, to be clear, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/09/22/trumps-stop-and-frisk-fiasco-a-terrible-plan-for-fighting-crime-in-chicago-or-anywhere/" target="_blank">don’t work to reduce violence</a>.)</p><p>“Beyond the weak substantive case for Trump’s proposal, there’s the audacity of a candidate who rails against moderate gun-safety reforms as civil-liberties violations — but suggests that racially discriminatory police searches are an acceptable means of promoting public safety,” <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/trump-calls-for-nationwide-stop-and-frisk.html" target="_blank">Eric Levitz at New York Magazine wrote</a>.</p><p>It’s further evidence that Trump’s underlying narrative is: White people should be allowed rights and power, but not black people, because, in Trump’s view, they can’t handle the responsibility.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064324'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064324" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 09:30:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1064324 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 trump clinton Yeah, There’s a Difference: Wells Fargo Scandal Is Another Reminder That We Can’t Afford Trump and the GOP http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/video/yeah-theres-difference-wells-fargo-scandal-another-reminder-we-cant-afford-trump-and-gop <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1064231'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064231" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump has promised to destroy the agency that uncovered Wells Fargo&#039;s abuses; Clinton has vowed to bolster it</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/sen._warren.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><div id="pre-continue"><p>Even as Republicans were striking poses of outrage during Tuesday’s Senate hearing over Wells Fargo’s abuses of customers, they were pushing for measures that would terminate the federal government’s ability to root out bank abuses — like the ones discovered at Wells Fargo.</p><p>The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was instrumental to exposing the way that Wells Fargo employees opened unauthorized accounts under customer names in order to meet the company’s impossible-to-meet sales goals. The CFPB discovered “that employees opened roughly 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers,” according to the agency’s press release, and “employees applied for roughly 565,000 credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers.” Under the authority of the Dodd-Frank bill, <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-fines-wells-fargo-100-million-widespread-illegal-practice-secretly-opening-unauthorized-accounts/" target="_blank">the agency is fining the bank $100 million</a>.</p></div><p>But Republicans want to kneecap the agency, even though in its five-year existence it <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/housing/news/2016/07/21/141664/many-happy-returns-for-consumers-the-cfpb-at-5-years/" target="_blank">has returned nearly $12 billion</a> to victims of the financial industry’s malfeasance. Despite its high-profile victory over Wells Fargo, Republicans are still looking for excuses to destroy an agency that protects consumers and helps prevent some of the exploitative banking practices that led to the financial collapse of 2008.</p><p>“Generally speaking, Democrats have been staunch defenders of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB,” Joe Valenti, <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/about/staff/valenti-joe/bio/" target="_blank">the director of consumer finance</a> for the Center for American Progress, told me over the phone. </p><p>If you look over the past few congressional budget bills, he continued, “every single year, the Republicans have had some kind of measure that would weaken the CFPB.” He explained, “Some would take away its independent budget. Some would turn it into a commission. Some would block it from going after payday lenders or auto lenders or other types of predatory lenders.”</p><p>In June Republicans unveiled a plan to repeal the Dodd-Frank law and replace it with legislation that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/07/business/dealbook/republicans-to-unveil-plan-to-revamp-dodd-frank.html" target="_blank">would defang the CFPB</a>, making it the only bank regulator <a href="https://morningconsult.com/opinions/the-consumer-financial-protection-bureau-is-working-so-why-is-congress-trying-to-cripple-it/" target="_blank">without independent funding</a>. In other words, Republicans want to restructure the CFPB so they can quietly bleed it dry, making it an agency with no real enforcement power to protect consumers against predatory bankers.</p><p>Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has promised that, if elected, <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/05/18/trump-dodd-frank-wall-street/" target="_blank">he plans to dismantle Dodd-Frank altogether</a>. Under his leadership, Republicans might skip the budget games altogether and simply eradicate the CFPB, which would give banks like Wells Fargo winking permission to return to unrestrained exploitation of their customers.</p><p>In contrast, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been vocal in her support of the CFPB:</p><p>“The unfair and abusive practices at Wells Fargo remind us that we need tough watchdogs looking out for customers,” <a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/statements/2016/09/20/hillary-clintons-open-letter-to-wells-fargo-customers/" target="_blank">Clinton wrote in an open letter</a> to Wells Fargo customers. “The CFPB worked with local authorities and enforced the law — assessing its highest penalty ever, and bringing the bank’s illegal activity into the national spotlight.” She promised not to let Republicans “put the CFPB under their thumb.”</p><p><a href="https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/wall-street/" target="_blank">Clinton has also proposed</a> sweeping expansions of existing powers — ones that would make it harder for banks like Wells Fargo simply to pay their fines and return to business as usual.</p><p>During Tuesday’s Senate hearings, Republicans continued to make disingenuous arguments, trying to portray the CFPB as a poorly managed organization that needs to be restructured.</p><p>During his opening remarks for the Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Wells Fargo fiasco, <a href="http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/9/shelby-opening-remarks-at-wells-fargo-hearing" target="_blank">Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., kept trying to pin blame</a> for what went wrong on CFPB regulators.</p><p>“How many millions of unauthorized accounts does it take before the CFPB notices?” Shelby said.</p><p>Shelby neglected to mention that if the Republicans got their way and CFPB were disempowered, the answer would be, “Who knows?” There would be no government agency tasked with investigating and putting a halt to Wells Fargo’s abuses in the first place.</p><p>“Finally, where were the federal regulators while certain Wells Fargo employees were taking advantage of unsuspecting customers over a period of many years?” Shelby went on.</p><p>One way to get rid of slow investigations, of course, is to make sure there are no investigations at all, much in the same way that death is a surefire cure for cancer.</p><p>The House Financial Services Committee hasn’t even bothered to hold its own hearings about this. When a reporter confronted a spokesman for Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., who serves on the committee, <a href="http://www.kentucky.com/opinion/editorials/article103044862.html#storylink=cpy" target="_blank">he blamed the regulators themselves</a>: “It is ironic that supporters of Dodd-Frank claim the law protects consumers, when this alleged fraud occurred after the law went into effect.”</p><p>In a sense, it’s the same logic that Shelby is employing. It is technically true that one way to stop hearing about all the lawbreaking is to get rid of the people who actually catch the criminals. But putting the abuses in the closet does not stop them from happening, as much as Barr might like to think otherwise.</p><p>Most of the coverage of Tuesday’s hearing focused on how awesome Sen. Warren is, and what a sleazemeister Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf is. Which is great, as it is clearly true that Warren is a badass and Stumpf is a monster.</p><p>But the hearing should also serve to remind us of the vast differences between the two parties and their respective presidential candidates, especially with regard to regulation of the financial industry.</p><p>To keep banks from destroying people’s lives, we need the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank law. Trump and the Republicans want to get rid of both. Clinton and the Democrats want to protect and even strengthen both.</p><p>There are countless reasons to fear a Trump ascendency to the White House. But not least among them is the fear that he, with the assistance of congressional Republicans, will lay waste to the economic regulatory system built up under President Barack Obama, just as it’s starting to work to make our economy secure again.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrollable="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4620850" width="512"></iframe></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064231'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1064231" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 07:48:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1064231 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Video Election 2016 Video donald trump hillary clinton gop 2016 elections wells fargo elizabeth warren Senate Banking Committe Clinton's Health Is a Barely Disguised Way for Conservatives to Wallow in Bigotry http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/clintons-health-new-obamas-birth-certificate <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063577'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063577" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The Clinton health hysteria is about painting women as too fragile to hold office.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_386144515.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Any other year, a presidential candidate who got wobbly at a 9/11 memorial service because he was battling a minor case of pneumonia would be regaled as a hero. How tough and patriotic he is, to brave the summer heat while wearing a Kevlar vest, even though his doctor told him to stay in bed for a couple days!</p><p>But since the candidate in question is a she and not a he, the narrative is very different this time around. Now that it’s Hillary Clinton, everyone’s wondering if Grandma is too weak and fragile for the job. Never mind that she’s running against a man who is himself an elderly grandfather, or that most presidents have been older men. Or that, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/09/12/health-hysteria-and-hypocrisy-heres-a-news-alert-republicans-have-taken-ill-too/" target="_blank">as Digby noted in Salon on Monday</a>, previous male presidents have had a slew of common health problems, from the common flu to cancer surgery. Or that getting sick occasionally is just the price you pay for being human.</p><p>“Have you told everyone every time you’ve come to work with a bad cold?” Sady Doyle, a feminist author whose upcoming book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Trainwreck-Women-Love-Hate-Mock-ebook/dp/B01CBLP27Q" target="_blank">“Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear ... and Why”</a> looks at how women in the public eye are shamed for having human flaws we tend to forgive in men. “It’s very strange to me because we know that campaigns are long and grueling and candidates are working seven days a week. They don’t get a lot of sleep. They’re constantly on airplanes and buses and shaking hands with strangers. We know they get tired. We know they get sick. But with Hillary there is this weird, conspiratorial, possessive attitude.”</p><p>The hysteria over Clinton having very normal and minor health problems is “uniquely tied to her gender.” Doyle continued. </p><p>“The fact is that Trump is older than her,” Doyle continued, also nothing that Bernie Sanders is 6 years older, as well. </p><p>“But <em>she</em> is the one we want to see as this withered up, useless old crone,” she added. “We want to believe that an older woman is not capable of contributing to the world in any important way. For that reason, people are exaggerating and exaggerating concerns about her age, which is coded as physical fitness.”</p><p>A huge part of the reason that this episode is catching so much media attention is that, for weeks now,  Trump has been making insinuations about Clinton’s “stamina” and allowing his right-wing shock troops to spread ridiculous myths about her health. Even Wikileaks got in on the misogynist feeding frenzy by putting up a poll — which they quickly deleted — inviting people to speculate about Clinton’s body.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/wikileaks">@wikileaks</a> deleted their tweet. Obviously in the nature of openness &amp; transparency I have preserved it right here: <a href="https://t.co/IdrgFlxP3A">pic.twitter.com/IdrgFlxP3A</a></p>— andrew kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) <a href="https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew/status/775110996071424001">September 11, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Previous presidential candidates have endured partisan chatter about their health, of course. John McCain’s disability has been the source of speculation, as has Barack Obama’s history as a smoker. But there’s never been this much attention paid to a candidate’s body.</p><p>Women are perceived as public property in the way men are not, which is why “nip slips” and “upskirts” are a much bigger business than monitoring the state of celebrity penises.</p><p>Trump, in particular, has a long history of displaying outright disgust at any evidence that women have biological bodies. As I noted on a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/salon/videos/10153964440266519/?pnref=story" target="_blank">Facebook live video for Salon</a>, the list of instances here Trump has shamed women for having normal and basic bodily functions is as long as your arm.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WheresHillary?src=hash">#WheresHillary</a>? Sleeping!!!!!</p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/766791143291916288">August 20, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Or this lovely exchange, <a href="http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/282051/melania-trump-poop-fart-stern/" target="_blank">from the Howard Stern show</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Trump: Howard let me just ask you. You said something a while ago about Beth that amazed me because it applies to Melania. You said you’ve never seen her do anything, like, bad, in terms of her own personal.</p><p>Stern: That’s true. She would never even do another chick.</p><p>Trump: No, no, not even that. You said you’ve never heard her fart…</p><p>Stern: Not only is that true, she doesn’t make doody. She hasn’t made doody…</p><p>Trump: I can say the exact same thing about Melania.</p></blockquote><p>I cut much of it because they talked, at length, about their shared obsession with believing that women don’t — or shouldn’t, anyway — have normally functioning digestive systems.</p><p>Or, last December, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/12/21/donald-trump-calls-hillary-clinton-disgusting-for-using-the-restroom-during-a-debate/" target="_blank">Trump went on a rant shaming Clinton </a>for using a commercial break during a primary debate to use the bathroom.</p><p>“I know where she went — it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it,” Trump sneered, though he clearly wanted to talk about it. “No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.”</p><p>And who can forget what <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/07/trump-says-foxs-megyn-kelly-had-blood-coming-out-of-her-wherever/" target="_blank">he said about Fox News host Megan Kelly</a>, when he was angry with her for asking him tough questions during a primary debate: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”</p><p>Or what attorney <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/politics/trump-breast-pump-statement/" target="_blank">Elizabeth Beck said about how Trump </a>reacted during a meeting when she asked for a break to breastfeed: “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there.”</p><p>“Historically, women’s physical weakness relative to men has been used as an excuse to prevent us competing for everything from corporate promotions to Olympic medals,” <a href="http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-friedman-hillary-clinton-health-conspiracy-20160824-snap-story.html" target="_blank">Ann Friedman wrote for the Los Angeles Times</a>. “A similar fallacy about female fragility crops up in politics.”</p><p>But there is no evidence-based reason to think Clinton is fragile. Quite the opposite, in fact.</p><p>“A 68-year-old woman, with pneumonia, still kept a schedule that most of us wouldn’t make it through, flying here and there, holding multiple events and briefings a day,” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillarys-pneumonia-the-medias-lowest-moment_us_57d5d5fae4b0f831f70721ff" target="_blank">Eric Schmeltzer wrote in the Huffington Post</a>. “That’s not weak. That’s actually strong and tough as hell.”</p><p>If she were a man, it would be easy to see that. Especially when the opponent is Trump, a man <a href="https://politicalwire.com/2016/07/19/trump-flew-home-after-first-night-of-convention/" target="_blank">who rejects the grinding schedule of the typical presidential campaign</a> in favor of flying home, in his private jet, to sleep in his own bed. It’s hard not to notice that Trump’s preferred outreach — rallies and phone calls to cable news shows — are exactly the sort of things that make it a lot easier to sleep in your own bed at night, whereas Clinton <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/08/21/nprs-tamara-keith-dismantles-right-wing-medias-clinton-health-conspiracy-theory/212550" target="_blank">maintains a grueling campaign schedule</a>.</p><p>This fits into history, as well. <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-on-foreign-policy-ive-got-no-time-to-travel-abroad-america-needs-my-attention-now-10475659.html" target="_blank">Trump isn’t shy about his hatred of traveling</a> overseas and he famously once <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/31/us/politics/donald-trump-hong-kong-riverside-south.html?_r=0" target="_blank">nearly lost out on an important business deal</a> because he didn’t want to travel to China and eat foreign food.  Clinton, in contrast, was the Secretary of State and kept a schedule — including mountains of foreign travel — so dense that her two-and-a-half year stint resulted in 3,721 pages of schedule.</p><p>(Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager, is reportedly <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/trump-ground-game/" target="_blank">trying to steer Trump away from the rally-heavy schedule</a> and towards more time-intensive voter outreach efforts, and it will be fun to see if her efforts have an influence over her notoriously stubborn — and travel-averse — candidate.)</p><p>The feigned concerns over Clinton’s health strongly resemble the feigned concerns that Barack Obama was faking his natural born citizenship, right down to the posturing about how this is all the target’s fault for not providing more and more documentation, to drive home how much those of us who aren’t white men cannot be trusted. In both cases, it’s about wallowing in ugly stereotypes — that black people aren’t patriots, that women are inherently fragile — without admitting that’s what’s going on.</p><p>And no surprise that the person behind the Clinton health hysteria is also the same man that was pushing the Obama birth certificate hysteria: Donald Trump.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063577'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063577" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 07:12:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1063577 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media hillary clinton candidate health donald trump electionm 2016 double standards A Modest Proposal: Trump Has It All Wrong, to Prevent Crime, We Need to Do Some 'Extreme Vetting' of Men http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/modest-proposal-trump-has-it-all-wrong-prevent-crime-we-need-do-some-exteme-vetting <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1063075'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063075" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">If we need a police state to stop crime, the target shouldn&#039;t be immigrants but those committing the most crimes: men.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_312956096.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Donald Trump’s alarming speech on Thursday night was built around the claim that immigrants are a uniquely terrifying source of murder and mayhem and therefore, in the name of self-defense, the U.S. should expunge undocumented immigrants and narrow the standards for legal immigration.</p><p>The problem with his argument — which is barely an argument and more a bunch of right-wing buzzwords expectorated at top volume — is that immigrants, undocumented or not, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/07/02/surprise-donald-trump-is-wrong-about-immigrants-and-crime/" target="_blank">commit crime at lower rates</a> than native-born people.</p><p>There are, however, two groups of people who really do commit crime, especially violent crime, at wildly different rates: Men and women.</p><p>According to FBI crime statistics, men are arrested for roughly <a href="https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-33" target="_blank">three-quarters of all crimes</a>. When it comes to violent crime, the stats are even worse. Nearly 9 out of 10 people arrested for murder are male. Ninety-nine percent of rape arrestees are men. Men are arrested for 8 out of 10 aggravated assaults.</p><p>If Trump is right and the crime rate is serious enough of a problem to compel us to abandon basic human rights so as to subject certain groups of people to monitoring and legal intimidation, then it’s not immigrants we should target. It’s men.</p><p>Trump argued that all “energies of the federal government and legislative process” should be geared toward preventing immigrant-caused crime through extreme police-state measures — monitoring, draconian punishments, mass deportations, that sort of thing. The problem is that doing this won’t do much to reduce crime, since immigrants aren’t committing crimes in disproportionate numbers.</p><p>But if we took that police state model that Trump is suggesting and applied it to men, well, say what you will about squishy liberal values like respect for human rights and the concept of  “innocent until proven guilty” and “not holding all members of a group accountable for the actions of the few,” but it’s hard to deny that this would significantly reduce crime.</p><p>Using Saudi Arabia, which has really perfected gender apartheid, as an inspiration, I have crafted a 10-point plan, aimed at controlling men, that Trump should embrace if he’s really serious about preventing crime at all costs.</p><p>1. Chaperoning. No man is allowed to leave the house, even on simple errands, without a female relative to chaperone him. It can be his wife, sister, mother or even sister-in-law, so long as there is proper documentation to show that this woman has the authority to mind him while he’s out. It’s hard to rape and murder people with your mom watching you.</p><p>2. A driving ban. We know that male criminals frequently use cars to escape a crime scene, and in some cases, like drunken-driving accidents (<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/mens-health.htm" target="_blank">which men cause at twice the rate for  women</a>), the vehicle is the instrument of the crime. Given men too much accelarating power makes it too easy for men to indulge their criminal urges. They can either get a ride from a woman or take the bus.</p><p>3. Guardianship. Men shouldn’t be able to get jobs, go to school or leave the country without the permission of their female guardian. This precaution will keep them from socializing with other men who are unknown by their female guardian, as this activity is a known precursor to criminal activity. Men will be banned from leadership positions as well because they can’t be trusted to deal fairly and strictly with their fellow males who commit crime.</p><p>4. A ban on nonmarital sex. Men commit nearly all rapes, but they often get away with it because they simply claim that the sex was consensual. Banning nonmarital sex solves most of the he-said, she-said problem. Men will definitely be motivated to make sure a woman doesn’t feel violated by a sexual encounter, if she can get him 40 lashes with an accusation of fornication.</p><p>This ban, like all bans on this list, will be for men only. Women have proved they are more responsible, by committing less crime, and can be trusted to make their own decisions.</p><p>5. Modest clothing. Under the new law, men will be required to wear heavy robes that cover everything but their hands and face. They will don head coverings so that no one can see hair or a bald spot. It is very hard to rape someone if you have to spend an hour removing your clothing. It’s also hard to flee from a crime scene if you’re tripping over your robes. Most important, making men look ridiculous will discourage their showing off for their bros, which leads to all sorts of criminal mischief, from vandalism to bar fights.</p><p>As a side benefit, this will rid the world of cargo shorts, aviator sunglasses and backward baseball caps.</p><p>6. A ban on congregating in public. During his speech, Trump railed about how “the gangs are all over the place.” Most gang members are not immigrants, but most of them are male. Under the new law, all-female police forces will roam the streets, making sure that any group of men larger than three individuals is dispersed immediately to prevent the formation of gangs.</p><p>7. A ban on bank accounts. Money is the reason men commit a lot of crimes. If they can’t have any of their own, that should dampen their enthusiasm for stealing.</p><p>8. A ban on drinking alcohol. Male consumption of alcohol is a factor in a whole mess of crimes, especially rape. From here on out, only women will be allowed to drink. Married men will be allowed one glass of wine at dinner, if their wives allow it.</p><p>9. A ban on overly masculine pop culture. There are entire swaths of pop culture that only men really seem to like and this probably means that these art forms contribute to crime. As a precaution, they will be banned.</p><p>Rap rock, dubstep and Rush records will be the first to go.</p><p>On the highbrow end, all independent dramas that feature a young man falling in love with a girl who is beautiful but too broken to marry will be banned, and their screenwriters sentenced to a life of hard labor. If “daddy issues” are a major theme in these dramas, a board of female censors will screen these movies to determine if they are too boring for them to allow them to go into wide release.</p><p>Anything made by Zack Snyder will be burned.</p><p>Computers full of pornographic anime will be seized and destroyed.</p><p>Owning those “V for Vendetta” masks will result in a minimum five-year sentence.</p><p>“My Little Pony” will be allowed for little girls, but grown men engaging with its fictional universe in any way will be put in a harness and made to pull a carriage around the park for a year.</p><p>With inspiration from this year’s “Ghostbusters” release, all Hollywood remakes of classic films will star majority-female casts.</p><p>10. A ban on social media. For years, women have had to endure harassment from men on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and now from heaven only knows what other social-media app that’s popped up lately. And everyone throws their hands in the air and says there’s nothing we can really do about it.</p><p>False! If you ban men from social media, you can cut back on the vast majority of the harassment. Having a Twitter, Facebook or other social-media account will land a man a year in prison. Using any of these services to send a dick pic will get him 10 years. Going on Reddit will result in having a hand cut off.</p><p>If you’ve gotten this far in the piece, congratulations. My proposal may sound tough, but tough times call for tough measures. I am the law-and-order journalist. Trump should immediately drop his anti-immigration plan and adopt this plan that’s guaranteed to lower the crime rate.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063075'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1063075" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sat, 03 Sep 2016 11:29:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1063075 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 trump Porn Addiction: The Christian Right's Latest Quack Crusade Is No Excuse for Trading in Child Pornography http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/right-wing/porn-addiction-quack-christian-right <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062787'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062787" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">There&#039;s no evidence that millions of men are addicted to porn, whatever the desperate Christian right claims.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_164158238.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Until late last year, Christian Hine was primarily known as a ferocious Tea Party activist and prominent volunteer for North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s 2012 campaign. <a href="http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/crime/article46491655.html" target="_blank">But in November 2015</a>, Hine was arrested and hit with over 20 charges of sexual exploitation of minors for the cache of child pornography that South Carolina officials found on his computer. Last week, <a href="http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/article98360772.html" target="_blank">he pled guilty to 10 felony charges</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/article98360772.html" target="_blank">To make this strange story even stranger, Hine’s lawyers floated a relatively novel argument</a> in an effort to get the sentence reduced: They claimed Hine is a porn addict, and that his alleged disease led him to keep seeking harder stuff to get his fix, which is why he ended up trading child porn on the internet for what the police say was more than a decade.</p><p>“His descent into depression and pornography abuse was as swift as it was tragic,” Hine’s lawyer, Johnny Gasser, wrote, while emphasizing Hine’s history of conservative political activism and his youthful religious participation.</p><p>Blaming Hine’s depression and lack of romantic prospects, Gasser argued that Hines “became addicted to pornography,” and that he has “no intention of ever returning to pornography.”</p><p>While Hine was still slapped with some jail time — he will likely be out in two years — it’s understandable why his lawyers went with these arguments. In the Christian conservative circles, which are dominant in South Carolina, the idea that pornography is “addictive” has become a widely accepted truism.</p><p>The only problem is that there’s no real evidence for the idea that porn is actually addictive.</p><p>It’s easy to see why Christian conservatives would be drawn to this idea of pornography as an addictive substance like cocaine or alcohol. While the Christian right has no real compunction about controlling female sexuality through punitive means — see attacks on legal abortion and affordable contraception — when it comes to controlling male sexuality, things get a little stickier. It’s hard to police male sexuality without threatening male privilege, after all.</p><p>That’s where the notion of porn “addiction” becomes useful. By taking a medicalized approach, religious conservatives can discourage porn use while still letting men off the hook, painting them as not entirely responsible for their own sexual decisions. It preserves the notion of male virility as a force that can’t quite be contained, while still maintaining social disapproval of the behavior. <a href="http://www.christianpost.com/news/pornography-in-the-pew-a-hidden-sin-part-one-59666/" target="_blank">No wonder up to half of conservative Christian men</a> describe themselves as porn addicts, or that there’s a <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-013-0257-z" target="_blank">strong link between religiosity</a> and believing that porn addiction is real.</p><p>In recent years, there’s been an effort in conservative circles to claim scientific evidence for the porn addiction theory.</p><p>“You see, your brain comes equipped with something called a ‘reward pathway.’ Its job is to motivate you to do things that keep you and your genes alive — things like eating or having sex to produce babies,” <a href="http://fightthenewdrug.org/porn-is-addictive/" target="_blank">the anti-porn site Fight the New Drug argues</a>. “The way it rewards you is by releasing dopamine into your brain, because dopamine makes you feel good.”</p><p>The notion that feeling good is suspect should be a reader’s first clue that this site is dealing more in conservative Christian propaganda than science, but I reached out to an expert, Dr. Nicole Prause, for a response to this argument. Prause, a scientist who started the research firm <a href="http://liberoscenter.com/about/" target="_blank">Liberos</a>, has done research that turned up <a href="http://www.socioaffectiveneuroscipsychol.net/index.php/snp/article/view/20770/28995#AF0001_20770" target="_blank">no real evidence for porn addiction</a>.</p><p>“Sex films are rewarding,” Krause explained over email, “and there is greater activity in dopamine associated with learning rewards (not pleasure) when people view sex films.”</p><p>“However, the same could be said for watching puppies play, and we do not call puppies addictive,” she added.</p><p>To be clear, no one denies that there are people who act out sexually in inappropriate ways, or whose sexual behaviors are compulsive to the point of being destructive. (Everyone watching this week’s edition of the ongoing Anthony Weiner saga can see that with their own eyes.) But that doesn’t mean that the behavior should be classified as an addiction, which is one reason that <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/27/porn-rehab-is-not-a-thing.html" target="_blank">various editions of the DSM</a> have rejected porn or sex “addiction” as a legitimate diagnosis.</p><p>“We have ruled out addiction,” Krause explained. “The three best candidates at the moment to explain these behaviors are: high sex drive, social shame (i.e., behavior is normal, but they are shamed for it), or compulsivity,” any of which requires “different predictions from addiction models and would require different treatment approaches.”</p><p>Believers in porn addiction also tend to be big believers that the so-called addiction escalates over time.</p><p>“The problem is, when a person consistently looks at porn, their brain is constantly being flooded with a high level of dopamine,” <a href="http://fightthenewdrug.org/porn-addiction-escalates/" target="_blank">Fight the New Drug argues</a>. This supposedly creates a tolerance, so “consistent porn users often find themselves looking for harder and harder images” in order to get the same fix.</p><p>It’s the old “smoking weed leads to heroin” theory, and it’s clear how this idea seeped into Hine’s legal defense. His legal defense, after all, was that child porn is the “harder stuff,” as if a man who likes looking at naked adult women will somehow get his fill and graduate to looking at minors.</p><p>But actual research shows no evidence that people grow a “tolerance” for porn and need to start hitting the “hard” stuff in order to get a rise.</p><p>“There is one study showing that people over time became more likely to view BDSM scenes, but there was not evidence that a tolerance had developed or that they continued to watch this type of material,” Krause said.</p><p>Comparing it to someone who enjoys running 5Ks and therefore is more open to running longer races, Krause added, “There is no evidence that viewing ‘needs’ are actually escalating, but it seems reasonable from the one study that people who enjoy sex films might at times explore other material in a way normal to any entertainment interest.”</p><p>If someone enjoys “Star Wars” and that leads him or her to start reading more in-depth science fiction, we don’t characterize that person’s interest as an addiction, even though the goal is clearly the pursuit of pleasure. Nor do we assume that person will continue to escalate until she or he embraces criminal behavior, like breaking into NASA to steal a spaceship. But the conflict between Christian expectations of strict monogamy versus people’s lived realities — which inevitably include sexual fantasies — has created an incentive to label normal sexual appetites as “addiction.”</p><p>The problem, as the Hine case shows, is that once you start regarding normal sexual behavior as dysfunctional, that allows people who are engaged in genuinely deviant and harmful behavior (like child porn) to, perversely, recast themselves as normal. That person is just a porn addict, like so many others! Such a false or dubious diagnosis simultaneously stigmatizes non-harmful behavior like sexual fantasy and masturbation while minimizing genuinely harmful behavior.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062787'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062787" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 07:34:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1062787 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org The Right Wing Culture The Right Wing christian right porn christian hine tea party porn addiction They Want to Destroy Leslie Jones: Harassment Targeting 'Ghostbusters' Star Exposes the Ugliness Driving the New Right http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/culture/leslie-jones-online-harassment-alt-right <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062526'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062526" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The attacks against Jones lay bare the resentments fueling what is euphemistically known as the &quot;alt-right.&quot;</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_450258253.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Even for someone who has been researching and writing about misogyny for over a decade, it is hard to comprehend the level of obsessive hate that had to go into the attack on actress Leslie Jones. The 48-year-old comedian and actress became a big star over the summer, with her breakout role in “Ghostbusters” and her public stint as <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/788571/leslie-jones-takes-home-the-gold-for-biggest-fan-at-the-2016-rio-olympics-see-her-best-moments-from-the-games" target="_blank">America’s funniest Olympics enthusiast</a>.</p><p>But to the racist, misogynist internet, just letting Jones and her fans enjoy this moment could not stand. You see, Jones is black, female, and middle-aged, and therefore, in their eyes, she must be punished and humiliated for her success. On Wednesday, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/08/24/leslie-jones-website-hacked-replaced-with-nude-photographs-and-personal-information-of-comedian/" target="_blank">hackers attacked Jones’s website</a>, replacing her regular content with stolen nude photos, private information, and racist gorilla imagery.</p><p>This comes on top of a summer-long campaign of Twitter harassment that was so vile that it drove Jones off Twitter, forcing the company—which is notoriously reluctant to do much about internet harassment—to actually take measures to stem the tide of abuse.</p><p>It is tempting, of course, to write off the attacks on Jones as the work of a few bad apples, an unfortunate artifact of an internet that allows a small number of people to get a lot of attention simply by being the absolute worst. I personally wish that were the case.</p><p>But this story goes straight back to the presidential race. You see, one of the main reasons that Jones is a favorite target of the worst people on the internet is because <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/twitter-just-permanently-suspended-conservative-writer-milo?utm_term=.slbbJzNyj1#.yw5zyZ7Y21" target="_blank">she was chosen as one by Milo Yiannopoulos, a writer and editor at Breitbart</a>. He spent so much time and effort riling up the rats against her that it got him suspended permanently by Twitter, in fact. And Yiannopoulos’s boss Stephen Bannon now runs the Donald Trump campaign.</p><p>Make no mistake: Yiannopoulos got his job at Breitbart not despite, but <em>because</em> of his skills at whipping up the sociopathic internet into a frenzy of resentment at even the hint that they might have to share the world with women and people of color.</p><p>Under Bannon, Yiannopoulos was brought on to be the editor of their supposed “tech” vertical, even though <a href="http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/10/28/gamergaters-applaud-hiring-of-fake-gamer-as-breitbart-tech-editor/" target="_blank">there’s no evidence that he knows much about tech</a> and despite <a href="http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/10/20/gamergates-gamerhater-heroes-milo-yiannopoulos-and-mike-cernovich/" target="_blank">his history of bashing video game players</a>.</p><p>Yiannopoulos got his gig after doing the yeoman’s work of riling up basement dwellers on Twitter, cheerleading a phenomenon known as “Gamergate,” when a bunch of misogynists ran around the internet attacking female gamers for the crimes of being <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/anita-sarkeesian-gamergate-interview-20141017" target="_blank">critical of sexism in video games</a> or <a href="http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2015/04/28/gamergate/" target="_blank">believing they have a right to break up with a dude if they want to</a>. His real talent is mining the resentments of reactionary losers, and encouraging them to bash any women, especially women of color, whose success reminds them of what losers they really are.</p><p>The intended message behind taunting a woman with nude pictures and racist imagery isn’t subtle: “No matter how funny and well-liked and successful you are, we are still better than you because you’re a black woman.”</p><p>This is what feminists are talking about when we say things like sexual violence and harassment aren’t really about men being sexually incontinent or bad communicators. No one accidentally hacks someone’s website with racist jokes. No one posts pictures to humiliate someone because they were confused about consent.</p><p>We live in a culture where a lot of men think that a woman’s success diminishes them. We live in a culture where a lot of white people think the same of black people’s success. We live in a culture where some white men think the best way to react to this ridiculous fear is to turn sex into a weapon to hurt women.</p><p>I want this to be a small phenomenon, but this is why one of the major parties of this country has nominated an unrepentant misogynist and bigot to be their presidential candidate.</p><p>If you want a full eyeball of how Trump Country thinks, <a href="https://twitter.com/DRUDGE_REPORT/status/768487220332290048" target="_blank">look at the reaction of Drudge readers to this story on Twitter</a>. It’s all racist jokes and mockery of Jones’s body and sexuality. Not a whiff of understanding that she is a human being. Not even a moment of concern for a woman who is being victimized like this, even though she has literally done nothing wrong—on the contrary, she has made a career out of trying to make people happy. Just dehumanizing, racist garbage.</p><p>They aren’t the majority of Americans. Most Americans are better than this. But if you want to know how it is that Trump still manages to pack his rallies full of people, here is your answer.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062526'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062526" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:36:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1062526 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Culture Culture The Right Wing Leslie Jones ghostbusters online trolls Online harassment alt-right Trump's Favorite Combo of Sexism and Racism is on Display with Comments on Merkel... and Hillary http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-favorite-combo-sexism-and-racism-display-comments-merkel-and-hillary <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1062258'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062258" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump can&#039;t stop himself from constant knee jerk blather about women leaders and immigration.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_152322278.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><div id="pre-continue"><p>Donald Trump has a new obsession: comparing Hillary Clinton to Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. <a href="http://time.com/4453084/donald-trump-angela-merkel-germany-immigration/" target="_blank">During a Monday speech</a>, Trump denounced the “massive immigration” to Germany under Merkel, for which he blames crime rising “to levels that no one thought would they would ever see.” He followed up this speech with press releases and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AmericasMerkel?src=hash" target="_blank">a hashtag aimed at equating Clinton and Merkel</a>.</p></div><div>The choice is an odd one on its surface because most Americans don’t have an opinion about Merkel, even when they know who she is. But as <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trumps-new-attack-on-hillary-echoes-white-supremacist-websites-70579c9d7e50#.qlobtg6no" target="_blank">Alice Ollstein of Think Progress persuasively argued</a> on Wednesday, the meme makes more sense when one considers that white supremacists definitely know who Merkel is, because they hate her:</div><blockquote><p>To white nationalist communities that <a data-="" href="https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trumps-veiled-signals-to-white-supremacists-6a3d80bcc04e#.a1lgsvyg8" target="_blank">fervently support Trump</a>, Merkel has been a popular villain. Sites like the Daily Stormer, the White Genocide Project, American Renaissance, and The White Resister have <a data-="" href="http://www.dailystormer.com/tag/angela-merkel/" target="_blank">posted constantly</a> about her since the Syrian refugee crisis began escalating earlier this year. They have <a data-="" href="http://whitegenocideproject.com/merkel-finally-admits-that-pseudo-refugees-will-change-germany-forever/" target="_blank">accused her</a> of making a “deliberate attempt to turn Germany from a majority White country into a minority White country.” They have <a data-="" href="http://whiteresister.com/index.php/16-events/921-germany-thousands-rally-against-anti-white-traitor-angela-merkel-in-erfurt" target="_blank">called her</a> a “crazy childless bitch,” an “anti-White traitor,” and <a data-="" href="http://www.dailystormer.com/mama-merkel-still-wants-unlimited-terrorist-quota-for-germany/" target="_blank">“a patron saint of terrorists.”</a> They have <a data-="" href="http://www.dailystormer.com/following-attacks-mama-merkel-announces-brilliant-plan-to-keep-doing-the-same-thing/" target="_blank">asked,</a> in articles about Merkel, “Why would you allow a woman to run a country, unless you were doing it as a joke?”</p></blockquote><p>It’s yet another example of how Trump is <a href="http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-07-05/donald-trump-is-mainstreaming-anti-semitism-and-white-supremacy" target="_blank">mainstreaming white supremacist sentiment.</a> But by making two women the center of an attack, he is also highlighting the way that antifeminism and white supremacy are tied into each other, since people in alt-right, white supremacist circles like to blame feminism for what they see as the “decline” of the white race.</p><p>Trump alone cannot be blamed for the mainstreaming of this ideology. For years now, mainstream conservative figures have been playing footsy with the antifeminist, racist fringe, cleaning up its ideas and passing them off as mainstream conservative thought. Trump’s elevation to nominee of the Republican Party is just the logical conclusion of these efforts.</p><p>In white supremacist circles, there’s a lot of chatter about fears of miscegenation and the related fears that white women aren’t having enough white babies. They aren’t particularly subtle about it, as evidenced by this, um, “cat meme” that was posted on Facebook by a group that claims to fight “white genocide.”</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="749" width="800"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="749" width="800" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/racist-cat-meme1-1024x959_0.png" /></div><p>(Besides being repugnant human beings, white supremacists also seem dim enough not to grasp that cat memes are supposed to be <em>funny.</em>)</p><p>Overt racism is generally looked down upon in more mainstream conservative circles, but the antifeminism of white supremacists — especially their fixation on the notion that white women aren’t cranking out enough white babies — has created a pathway for their ideas to become more acceptable on the right.</p><p>If blatant white supremacy is not acceptable in mainstream conservative circles, opposition to feminism is completely standard on the right. By mainstreaming this “white genocide” hysteria in terms that focus less on immigration and more on attacking “Western” women for having too much ambition and too few children, these arguments have made their way into respectable conservative circles.</p><p>“A new genre of declinist literature, ranging from anxious to apocalyptic, has appeared to warn of the coming population implosion and the loss of Europe to more fertile, faithful Muslims,” Michelle Goldberg wrote in her 2010 book <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Means-Reproduction-Power-Future-World/dp/0143116886" target="_blank">“The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World.”</a> She cites Mark Steyn’s <a href="https://www.amazon.com/America-Alone-End-World-Know/dp/1596985275" target="_blank">“America Alone”</a> and Pat Buchanan’s <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Death-West-Populations-Immigrant-Civilization/dp/0312302592" target="_blank">“The Death of the West”</a> as books that raise the alarm about “Westerners” and their supposedly low birth rates. Both books focus heavily on blaming women for this purported decline.</p><p>Here’s an excerpt from Goldberg’s book:</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="431" width="800"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="431" width="800" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/goldberg-1024x552.png" /></div><p>Authors like Steyn and Buchanan will usually sidestep the more overtly white supremacist fear of interracial sex. But the basic outlines of the “white genocide” argument are similar: Some foreign Other is “outbreeding” white people, and it’s because white women are too selfish, too slutty or too secular to do their duty to make more white babies.</p><p>Because of the antifeminist angle, this argument has really taken root in antichoice circles, as well.</p><p>“The real root of racial tensions in the Netherlands and France, America’s culture warriors tell anxious Europeans,” <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/missing-right-babies/" target="_blank">Kathryn Joyce wrote in the Nation in 2008,</a> “isn’t ineffective methods of assimilating new citizens but, rather, decades of ‘antifamily’ permissiveness — contraception, abortion, divorce, population control, women’s liberation and careers, ‘selfish’ secularism and gay rights — enabling ‘decadent’ white couples to neglect their reproductive duties.”</p><p><a href="https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/dubunking-the-over-population-myth" target="_blank">Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse,</a> two of the biggest names in the “demographic winter” movement, riffed off these racist fears in a 2013 piece for LifeSiteNews, where they warned that “the French, German, Italians and British will virtually cease to exist. Arrivederci, Roma!”</p><p>The embrace of these ideas by antichoice activists, who are far more mainstream within conservative politics than are overt racists, created an avenue for these ideas to enter prevailing Republican thought. Mitt Romney, a supposedly moderate conservative, was <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/07/us/politics/08romney-transcript.html" target="_blank">sounding a similar alarm during his concession speech </a>in the 2008 Republican primary campaign.</p><p>“Europe is facing a demographic disaster,” Romney warned. “That’s the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality.”</p><p>He went on to suggest that if the United States doesn’t “change course,” which seems to mean pressuring or perhaps compelling American women to have more babies, “Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower.”</p><p>Since then some conservatives, such as Ross Douthat of The New York Times, have tried <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/opinion/sunday/douthat-the-birthrate-and-americas-future.html?_r=0" target="_blank">to salvage</a> this “<a href="http://kathrynjoyce.com/articles/review-demographic-winter-the-decline-of-the-human-family/" target="_blank">demographic winter</a>” argument from its racist roots by arguing that <em>all</em> women, not just white women, are failing in their duty to have more babies. But the rise of Trump has put racist and anti-immigration hysteria front and center in Republican politics, eclipsing any efforts to forward a deracialized antifeminism.</p><p>It’s impossible to know what Trump is thinking, but the campaign’s clear cooperation in putting out this message through press releases and tweets suggests this “Clinton=Merkel” narrative is very intentional. As ambitious women who haven’t had many children — Merkel has none and Clinton only has one — they make easy villains for those who fret about “white genocide” or “demographic winter.”</p><p>Trump is as usual playing with fire here. But the wider conservative movement shares the blame. For years now, mainstream conservatives, including Romney, have been elevating this theory that feminism is undermining the republic by discouraging breeding.</p><p>Efforts to clean up that argument and make it seem less racist aren’t ever going to work. When someone tells a specific demographic group that its kind of women need to be having more babies, listeners will inevitably wonder, “More babies than who?”</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1062258'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1062258" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 12:23:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1062258 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 angela merkel donald trump hillary clinton anti-natalism 2016 elections An Abuser’s Best Weapon: The Murder That Wiped out a Pa. Family Is a Reminder That Guns Are Too Easy to Get http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/civil-liberties/abusers-best-weapon-murder-wiped-out-pa-family-reminder-guns-are-too-easy-get <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1061830'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061830" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The NRA wants you to believe guns prevent domestic violence — the grim reality is that they make it deadlier.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/gun_bullets2-620x412.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Over the weekend, five family members — Mark and Megan Short, along with their three children and even the dog — were found shot to death in their home in Berks County, Pennsylvania.</p> <p>Initial media coverage made it seem like a great mystery as to what likely happened here. <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Dead-Murder-Suicide-Berks-County-389398512.html" target="_blank">Stories played u</a>p the heart disease struggles of the youngest victim, Willow Short, and her mother <a href="https://phillyatheart.com/2016/04/13/learning-to-heal-my-experience-with-ptsd/" target="_blank">Megan’s public struggle </a>with PTSD that she developed in reaction to the stress. <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Dead-Murder-Suicide-Berks-County-389398512.html" target="_blank">NBC 10 in Philadelphia interviewed a social worker </a>who focuses on the “pressures” that might lead people to “snap.”</p><p>Even though most of the articles did mention, almost in passing, that the couple had been struggling with “domestic issues.” this coverage could very easily lead readers to believe that the likely story here is that one or both parents committed this horrible crime as a reaction to the stress of Willow’s illness or Megan’s mental health issues. But then — in a development that should be no surprise to anyone who actually understands the issue of domestic homicide — new details suggesting a very different story emerged.</p><p>“Megan Short, who died alongside her husband, Mark, and the couple’s three children in an <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Dead-Murder-Suicide-Berks-County-389398512.html" target="_blank">apparent murder-suicide</a> over the weekend, had been planning to leave her husband, ” <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Murder-Suicide-Family-Pennsylvania-Megan-Mark-Short-Children-389508411.html" target="_blank">read the follow-up report at NBC 10</a>. The story went on to detail that the couple had started dating when Megan was only 17 years old and Mark was 24, and that <a href="http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/a-young-familys-final-anguish&amp;template=mobileart" target="_blank">Megan had been communicating with friends about her desire</a> to leave and her belief that her husband was abusive.</p><p>While there’s no way to confirm for sure what happened here, the entire story is a potent reminder that while mass shootings where madmen attack strangers grab the most headlines, the much larger problem in this country is people, mostly men, killing partners and family members — and then often themselves — in a desperate act to maintain dominance and control.</p><p>“In approximately 70% of domestic violence homicides (current or ex-intimate partners) there has been prior domestic violence against the female (not necessarily reported to police) ,” <a href="http://nursing.jhu.edu/faculty_research/faculty/faculty-directory/community-publichealth/jacquelyn-campbell" target="_blank">Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, a domestic violence researcher</a> at Johns Hopkins University explained over email, adding that “leaving the abusive relationship increases risk” of domestic homicide occurring.</p><p>“But the strongest risk factor — over and above prior DV – is gun ownership on the part of the male partner,” she added.</p><p>The National Rifle Association, naturally, begs to differ, instead trying to push guns as a way to <em>prevent</em> domestic violence and homicide.</p><p>“Here’s a message to every rapist, domestic abuser, violent criminal thug, and every other monster who preys upon women,” <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuNe5fXfxQ" target="_blank">Dana Loesch of the NRA sneers in a July video commentary for the NRA</a>.</p><p>“Maybe you’ve heard the stories about millions of us flocking to gun stores,” she continues, turning the very real horrors of violence against women into a sales pitch for the gun industry, by suggesting that having guns in the home protects women against such violence.</p><p>“A gun in the home can be used by either party,” William Rosen, legal counsel for Everytown For Gun Safety explained in a phone interview, pouring cold water over that fantasy that victims can protect themselves by bringing a gun into the home.</p><p>“When we say that a gun present in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be murdered, that includes instances where the gun was purchased by the murderer, but also cases where the gun was purchased by the woman,” he added.</p><p>“Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides in the U.S. have been committed with guns than with all other weapons combined,” <a href="http://everytownresearch.org/reports/guns-and-violence-against-women/" target="_blank">explains a report from Everytown For Gun Safety</a>. “Women in the United States are eleven times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries.” As Rosen noted, the presence of a gun quintuples the likelihood of a domestic violence victim being murdered.</p><p>Campbell sent me a PowerPoint that she and her team and put together that puts these statistics into perspective.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="375" width="600"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="375" width="600" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/five-times-1024x640.png" /></div><p>The NRA wants women to believe that having a gun into the home will keep them safe, but the sad reality is that it just makes it easier for an abuser to kill you.</p><p>In 2009, <a href="http://National Institute of Justice" target="_blank">the National Institute of Justice convened a panel on familicide</a>, which is the name for what happened to the Short family. At it, researcher Dr. David Adam reported on a study of 591 murder-suicide cases that showed that a gun was used in 92% of these cases.</p><p>“Furthermore, states with least restrictive gun control laws have as much as eight times the rate of murder-suicides as those with the most restrictive gun control laws,” <a href="http://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/July_2009/nij.htm" target="_blank">the Community Policing Dispatch coverage of the panel explained</a>.</p><p>The increased likelihood of gun use might suggest that these are impulse crimes — the “he snapped under stress” narrative — but there’s reason not to think that’s so. Most femicide-suicides are premeditated, <a href="http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/vav/2006/00000021/00000001/art00001" target="_blank">according to a 2006 paper published in Violence and Victims</a>.</p><p>“That femicide-suicides typically occur following estrangement and are planned acts support” the theory that most of these crimes are rooted in “male proprietaries, a pathological possessiveness that deals with power and control”.</p><p>Rooting out millennia of male dominance that leads to some men developing those attitudes will take decades, at least, of work, but there are things that can be done right now to make it harder for those men to kill.</p><p>Everytown’s Rosen explained the four legislative steps states can do to reduce domestic homicide: “Background checks on all gun sales; making sure you have comprehensive prohibition, on the state level, of people who have been convicted  of domestic violence or are under domestic violence restraining orders; making sure those people have to turn in guns they already own when they become prohibited; and making sure stalkers, convicted stalkers, can’t buy guns.”</p><p>Of the four, Rosen emphasized, improved background checks matter the most.</p><p>“Most states only require background checks from licensed dealers,” he detailed. “Which means that every year, millions of guns are exchanged in unlicensed, private transfers without a criminal background check. So it’s easy for domestic abusers, who are not allowed to have guns, to get them anyway.”</p><p>“In states that have closed this loophole and required background checks on all gun sales, 46% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners,” he added. </p><p>Another important step is making sure that for domestic abusers who already have guns,  “state laws should make sure there is a process, for those people, to turn in guns they already own.” </p><p>The NRA, which works for the gun industry and is interested in selling more guns, wants you to believe guns are the solution to the problem of domestic violence. But, as the Short family tragedy suggests, injecting guns into already tense and abusive family situations only makes it more likely that things will turn from ugly to deadly. These common sense fixes might not prevent all murders like this one, but it can help stop some of them.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1061830'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061830" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 12 Aug 2016 12:29:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1061830 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights nra domestic violence gun control short family Trying to Make America Male Again: Women Control the Ballot Box—and Angry, Sexist Trump Voters Can't Deal http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-make-america-male-again <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1061758'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061758" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Gender war: Trump&#039;s rise is the direct reaction to the growing influence of women in politics.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/24949501440_8f88d1f08c_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is drenched in layers of nostalgia. The <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/donald-trump-is-americas-stupidest-person-has-never-heard-of-google-20150325" target="_blank">slogan itself has been swiped</a> from the schmaltz-fueled 1980 campaign for Ronald Reagan. The naked racism spewing from Trump suggests that the what he feels will return America to its mythical glory days is to embrace of the white supremacy of the past. His widespread support amongst <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/07/donald-trumps-love-affair-white-supremacists" target="_blank">bona fide white supremacists </a>shores up this reading.</p><p>But this kind of nostalgia is also about gender, as the America of many decades ago was also one where men controlled the ballot box.</p><p>Women may have won the vote in 1920, but men were the majority of voters for the next six decades. That started to change in the early ’80s, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/catherine-rampell-why-women-are-far-more-likely-to-vote-then-men/2014/07/17/b4658192-0de8-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html" target="_blank">when women started out-voting men</a>. In 2012, <a href="https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2012/tables.html" target="_blank">58.5% of women reported voting, compared to 54.4% of men</a>. While most office holders are still men, women have quietly reshaped the nation’s political discourse.</p><p>The nomination of Trump — a loudmouthed misogynist who can’t seem to <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/trump-declines-to-name-women-hed-put-in-his-cabinet-besides?utm_term=.xkxO1GB0QW#.ceEdjWZnLR" target="_blank">name a single talented woman </a>besides his own daughter — can be understood in large part as a reaction to this trend, a temper tantrum thrown by angry men whose idea of making America great again means wresting control of it back from women.</p><p>“It is women who decide elections,” Kate Black, the vice president of research at <a href="https://www.emilyslist.org/" target="_blank">Emily’s List</a>, said in a phone interview. “It’s women who show up.”</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="332" width="581"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="332" width="581" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-08-11_at_2.58.11_pm.png" /></div><p>Source: <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/research/women-voters-and-gender-gap" target="_blank">Center for American Women and Politics</a></p><p>Women’s voting patterns helped reshape the Democratic party, explained Kelly Dittmar, a political scientist at Rutgers who does research for the <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/" target="_blank">Center for American Women and Politics</a>.</p><p>“The conversation around women’s economic security issues certainly has increased over the past few election cycles,” Black added. “You used to see these issues siloed on candidate websites under the ‘women’s issues’ section. Now they’re front and center.”</p><p>All these efforts to tailor their message to female voters paid off for the Democrats. They consistently win the women’s vote in presidential elections, which is a major coup, considering that women vote more than men.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="549" style="width: 400px; height: 523px;" width="420"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="549" style="width: 400px; height: 523px;" width="420" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-08-11_at_2.59.41_pm.png" /></div><p>Source: <a href="http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/research/women-voters-and-gender-gap" target="_blank">Center for American Women and Politics</a></p><p>“Women are the Democratic Party,” Marcy Stech, the vice president of communications for Emily’s List, said. “We are dominating the conversation.</p><p>But the partisan gender gap isn’t just the result of women moving to the left, Dittmar argued.</p><p>“A lot of the shift is men’s shift to the right,” she explained. As the Democrats became “a more progressive party”, male voters, who are more conservative on average than female voters, started moving into the Republican camp. </p><p>So, just as the Democrats have become both more female-centric and progressive, the Republicans have become more male-centric and conservative. The result can be seen not just in their voting bases, but in their elected officials. While the Democrats have been <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/upshot/gop-women-in-congress-why-so-few.html?_r=0" target="_blank">steadily adding to their female representation</a>, the Republicans are backsliding.</p><p><a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/gop-republican-women-politics-disparity-feminism-214140" target="_blank">As David Bernstein at Politico reported over the weekend</a>, “Since 2006, the proportion of women in the House GOP caucus has dropped from 11 percent to just 9 percent today. Although there are now 247 Republicans in the House, up from 229 a decade ago, there are fewer women: 22, down from 25.”</p><p>None of this surprised the women at Emily’s List.</p><p>“If you look at primaries, Republican women can’t get through Republican primaries,” Black explained. “Typically, that’s because Republican primaries skew so far to the right that Republican women, who tend to be more moderate, can’t persuade those Republican primary voters to support them.”</p><p>“I think a lot of Republican women have tried” to get more women onto the ballot, Stech argued. “And they’ve been met with deaf ears by Republican leaders.”</p><p>Looking over the past few decades, one of the dominant political trends — perhaps<em>the</em> dominant trend — is that women are flocking to the Democrats, pushing them to the left, and in reaction, the majority of men are running to the Republicans and pushing them to the right.</p><p>This election season is the apex of this trend. It’s not just that the Democrats have elevated the first female presidential nominee for a major party. Hillary Clinton is also explicitly feminist and her campaign messaging is strongly centered around the economic security concerns that Dittmar and the folks at Emily’s List have flagged as the major draw for female voters.</p><p>On the flip side, you have Trump, a man who always seems on the verge of telling some woman to make him a sandwich. For men who resent the way women are amassing political power and shaping legislative priorities, supporting Trump sends a strong message: That a woman’s place is, <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2015/08/07/watch-trump-s-ugly-drop-to-your-knees-comment.html" target="_blank">to quote Trump directly</a>, “dropping to your knees” instead of pulling the levers of power.</p><p>The dramatic contrast exacerbates the already significant partisan gender gap. <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-clinton-opens-double-digit-lead-over-trump-n625676" target="_blank">An NBC News poll released Wednesday shows </a>that Clinton has a whopping 24 point advantage with women over Trump, which is up from 14 points last week. Compare that to 2012, when Obama’s advantage over Romney with female voters was 11 points.</p><p>(Meanwhile, Trump is still besting Clinton by 5 points with men in this poll, though he is thankfully losing ground.)</p><p>But while this shift is extreme, it’s also the logical conclusion of a multi-trend of a block of progressive women gaining political ground while reactionary men flip out about it. Trump/Clinton isn’t an outlier of a race, but representative of the political forces that are shaping this country.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1061758'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061758" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:42:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1061758 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 LGBTQ The Right Wing donald trump hillary clinton male voters female voters election 2016 Kudos to Hillary for Playing the Woman Card http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/kudos-hillary-playing-woman-card <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1061017'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061017" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Clinton has turned gender into an asset.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_378987952.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p id="yui_3_18_1_10_1469803383303_47">Hillary Clinton ascended the stage on Thursday night in Philadelphia, having to face down the nuttiest political season in my lifetime and quite possibly in hers. Her opponent is a madman. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/27/us/politics/trail-of-dnc-emails-russia-hacking.html?_r=0">Russian spies are trying to dupe her left-leaning critics</a> into thinking she’s conspiring against them. For a couple days there, it looked like her primary opponent’s supporters were going to prioritize their hurt feelings over preserving the progressive movement.</p><p>On top of that, she is facing a wall of resistance that’s so sexist that it probably stuns even her. Oh, Clinton haters, both on the left and right, never admit it’s about gender, but the fact that she draws so much more hate than male Democrats who have the exact same political views as her belies that claim. The claims that her haters make about her—that she’s mendacious, manipulative, bossy, and shrill—bear no relationship to the woman herself, but sure do sound exactly like the same things people have always said about women who seek power and independence, since the days such women were burned as witches.</p><p>Hell, Ben Carson even fiddled with the idea that <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/20/politics/ben-carson-hillary-clinton-lucifer/">Clinton consorts with the devil</a>.</p><p>Clinton is no Barack Obama, who is one of the greatest political orators of all time. <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/7/28/12308198/hillary-clinton-speech-dnc">As Matt Yglesias at Vox argues</a>, the very skills that make her a good leader—coalition-building, focusing on the details, humility—lead to saggy, overstuffed speeches that say a lot but hardly get the soul soaring. I worried she would do that this time around, try to overwhelm the crowd with policy chatter in an effort to get people to believe she is competent. </p><p>But most people already believe that about Clinton. No, what she really needed to do in this speech was find a way to turn her gender from a liability to an asset, to get people to stop associating “woman president” with all their witchiest fears of women with power and instead associate her with another female stereotype, of the humble but hard-working team player. To revive her “bitches get shit done” image that she had as Secretary of State and that made people like her so much. </p><p>And that is exactly—and I mean <em>exactly</em>—what Clinton did.</p><p>Donald Trump gave Clinton a huge gift with his ridiculous “I alone” line from his convention speech last week. It allowed her to portray herself as the opposite: A team player, a listener, a coalition-builder, and  humble public servant. She literally said of being a public servant that “the service part has always come easier to me than the public part.”</p><p>“None of us can do it alone. That’s why we are stronger together,” Clinton added. It was a masterful stroke. By framing the presidency in terms of service and community, Clinton both contrasted her vision with Trump’s narcissistic one and fought back against stereotypes that hold that ambitious women are heartless shrews who don’t care about anyone else.</p><p>It’s the theme that the Democrats have been working all convention: That Clinton is that smart, efficient lady in your office who makes sure everything is running smoothly and never gets the credit she deserves for it.</p><p>It turned Clinton’s biggest electoral liability—her gender—and turned it into an asset. As Sady Doyle and others have pointed out, <a href="http://qz.com/624346/america-loves-women-like-hillary-clinton-as-long-as-theyre-not-asking-for-a-promotion/">Clinton’s approval ratings go up when she’s working</a> but plunge when she is campaigning, showing that her notoriously high disapproval ratings are about hostility towards female ambition and not about her.</p><p>“So it’s true, I sweat the details,” Clinton joked. She may be a witch, but she’s Hermione Granger, not the Evil Queen.</p><p>Having Chelsea Clinton introduce her mother was risky. It emphasizes Clinton’s gender—a lot of people still have trouble reconciling the roles of “mother” and “powerful person who does an important and time-consuming job.”</p><p>But I think it worked, and not just on the already-voting-Clinton feminists who think that women <em>should</em> be able to work and be mothers at the same time. Chelsea’s speech was warm and believable and full of great stories, unlike the speeches given by Trump’s family at his convention.</p><p>By portraying her as a caring mother, they were able to connect her public work—especially in health care, women’s rights, and children’s rights—to an image of her as a woman who strives not because she has that oh-so-scary ambition, but because she’s a doer. We are all aware, on some level, that it’s anonymous but hard-working women that make the world run, who do all the thankless and unglamorous organizing, cleaning, planning and detail-sweating that the big important men of the world count on so they can be big important men.</p><p>Clinton’s pitch was, “Why not let one of those behind the scenes women that do all the work anyway have the job for once?”</p><p>There were a few holdouts who booed Clinton. Of course, there was. Women can’t walk down the street without being harassed, so you for sure can’t run for president without some jackass heckling you. But overall, the mood on Twitter and in the room was enthusiastic, jubilant even.</p><p>Polls will show next week, but just being at this convention all week, I have to say I think the Democrats and Clinton herself did a magnificent job of convincing the country that they really do think it’s time the country is run by the nerdy girl with the frizzy that you know damn well studied harder than anyone for that test.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1061017'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1061017" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:43:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1061017 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 hillary clinton 2016 elections feminism sexism donald trump Convention Nightmare: Voters Needed More Time to Absorb RNC Horror Show before the Dems Took Stage http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/convention-nightmare-voters-needed-more-time-absorb-rnc-horror-show-dems-took-stage <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1060754'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060754" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The RNC was an authoritarian disaster, but the press has already moved on to the Democrats.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/23173019973_f3e5bac1b1_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>It’s time to start spacing the conventions out, putting two weeks — a month, even — between the Republican and Democratic national conventions.</p><p>I don’t say this because I, personally, was only home for 36 hours after Cleveland before I had to leave for Philadelphia. This weekend showed that the rapid-fire scheduling that has become the norm in the past few presidential cycles is simply not giving the voters enough time to breathe and take in what they learned from one convention before another happens.</p><p>Last week’s Republican convention in Cleveland was an epic disaster, with a new horror story being rolled out every day: <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/three-problems-with-the-melania-trump-plagiarism-admission" target="_blank">Melania Trump’s plagiarism</a>, <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/288607-no-trump-endorsement-from-cruz-who-tells-gop-vote-your" target="_blank">Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement</a>, <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/07/21/laura_ingraham_s_nazi_salute_examined.html" target="_blank">Laura Ingraham’s hate-mongering</a>, and <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/ivanka-trump-promotes-fashion-line-rnc-stage-n615111" target="_blank">Ivanka Trump’s shilling</a>. And then it was all capped off by <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/22/bill-maher-on-trump-s-scary-rnc-speech-he-looked-a-lot-like-mussolini.html" target="_blank">Donald Trump giving his best Mussolini impression</a>, a speech that utterly rejected the “pivot to the general” rhetoric and bet instead that he could win by <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/07/22/unity_through_racism_trump_makes_his_big_play_to_make_the_gop_a_white_nationalist_party/" target="_blank">whipping white Americans into a racist frenzy of fear</a>.</p><p>The country needed some time to absorb the horrors. Journalists needed some time to really dig in and analyze what happened. Fact-checking Trump, just by itself, is such a momentous task that the media needed a week to effectively do it. Readers and viewers really needed some time to take in how terrible Trump was and really understand how big the lies he told really were.</p><p>Instead, the next 72 hours of the news cycle shifted quickly away from the most important story in the country — how the Republican party has been taken over by a man who has fascistic leanings and <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-putin-yes-it-s-really-a-thing" target="_blank">unsavory connections to Vladimir Putin</a> — to endless and mostly pointless analysis of what it means that Hillary Clinton picked Tim Kaine as her running mate and what the fate of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is going to be.</p><p>Kaine has a few issues where he is more moderate than the more progressive wing of the Democratic party would like him to be. Wasserman Schultz, an unpopular DNC head, had a staff that said a few less than politic things about Bernie Sanders and his staff on email, and is now her job is being offered as a sacrifice to Sanders die-hards who really wanted to see someone pay for their primary loss.</p><p>Neither of these stories is actually all that important, at the end of the day. The selection of Kaine neither impacts Clinton’s chances nor does it really make any difference in what her policies as president will likely be. The emails that are currently vacuuming up so much of the news cycle are being blown out of proportion — <a href="https://www.facebook.com/joshua.holland.7545/posts/10154325527397790?pnref=story" target="_blank">the real takeaway for people reading carefully is that there is <em>no</em> evidence</a> of a coordinated effort against Sanders at the DNC —  and it seems that <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/debbie-wasserman-schultz-dnc-226100" target="_blank">Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were looking for an excuse</a> to push Wasserman Schultz out anyway.</p><p>Neither of these stories would probably be in the news right now, but that they are pegged to the convention. So now we have two stories that ultimately don’t matter that much sucking up headlines, while the far more important story, about the rise of a nationalist right driven by bigotry, has been relegated to the back pages.</p><p>If it wasn’t for the reveal that the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/25/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-emails.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">DNC email dump might be a Russia-orchestrated attempt</a>to get Trump elected, the more serious story that is in dire need of media attention might not be getting any headlines at all.</p><p>There’s a lot of reasons for this disaster, including the speeding up of the news cycle and the short attention span of our modern media. But the timing of the conventions, which are back to back, is not helping. The country is in crisis, and here we are talking about some barely interesting emails and a not really that interesting (by design) vice presidential pick. Something has got to give.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1060754'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060754" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:26:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1060754 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 dems gop Grifting USA: Snake Oil Salespeople Rule the Stage at the RNC http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/snake-oil-salespeople-rule-rnc <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1060576'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060576" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump is a con man, so it&#039;s no surprise that his campaign studded the speaker&#039;s list with disreputable people.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/28390916815_d138e77d8e_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>While the second half of Wednesday night’s RNC programming was dominated by the usual professional politicians one expects at events like this (<a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/07/21/ted_cruz_refuses_to_endorse_trump_vote_your_conscience_for_candidates_you_believe_will_be_faithful_to_the_constitution/">and fireworks thanks to Ted Cruz)</a> the earlier parts of the evening were downright puzzling. After Laura Ingraham worked the crowd into an orgasmic frenzy of hate towards both Hillary Clinton and the press, the hard-won energy drained out of the room as the gathered were subject to one frankly weird speech after another.</p><p>Phil Ruffin, Pam Bondi, Eileen Collins, and Michelle Van Etten: These speakers ranged from uninspiring to being Ambien in human form. Bondi managed to look alive at parts and Collins confused the audience by talking about government having roles outside of cracking skulls and kicking hippies, but it was Ruffian and Van Etten that truly made no sense from an aesthetic or political perspective.</p><p>Ruffin was a trollish man whose speech was so boring that it started to feel like a human rights violation. Van Etten, portrayed as an entrepreneur, was somehow even worse, so bad that the cringe could be felt across Twitter.</p><p>Sure, the Trump campaign is scooping from the bottom of the barrel for convention speakers, but was this really the best he could do? The crowd, as evidenced by the ecstatic response they offered Ingraham, was primed and ready to go nuts at the drop of a hat. It took <em>effort</em> to bore and confuse them. So one has to wonder: Why these people? Why not roll out a few more talk radio demagogues like Ingraham, since that’s clearly who the crowd wants to see?</p><p>Perhaps the reason is that three out of four of these people — more than the pundits, family members or career politicians otherwise populating the stage — represent the true heart and soul of the Trump campaign. With the exception of Collins — <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eileen-collins-rnc_us_57901c41e4b0fc06ec5ba918" target="_blank">who  didn’t endorse Trump </a>— and whose presence simply makes no sense at all, what these speakers have in common is a certain affection for the hucksters and grifters of the world.</p><p><a href="http://fortune.com/2016/07/20/phil-ruffin-meet-the-casino-owner-speaking-at-the-republican-convention/" target="_blank">Ruffin is a casino owner</a>, albeit a more successful one than his buddy, Trump. Bondi ostensibly has a respectable job, as the attorney general of Florida. But she is also in serious political trouble, as it came out months ago that she dropped a lawsuit against Trump University, one Trump’s most obnoxious scams, <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/7/20/12242170/pam-bondi-trump-rnc-convention" target="_blank">after Trump donated $25,000 to her campaign</a>. And Van Etten is not really an entrepreneur. She’s a grifter who made her money <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/18/cleveland-rnc-star-sells-pills-that-make-alex-jones-crazed.html" target="_blank">running a multilevel marketing scam selling useless vitamin supplements</a>.</p><p>Between these three, we get a full eyeball of what Trump means by making America “great” again, which apparently means making America safe for sleazy operators who would rather make their money through grifts and bribery than through a hard day’s work.</p><p>There’s something telling about the Trump campaign’s willingness to trot out the kind of bottom-feeders  that most Republican politicians politely pretend are not the backbone of their party. Perhaps it is a sign of unawareness, a demonstration that Trump’s people have no idea that there’s something unsavory about being unsavory. Or perhaps it’s a savvy move, to populate the byways of a respectable institution of the RNC with snake oil salesman, in order to make their candidate seem normal instead of what he is, a lazy reality TV personality who is so bad at business that his various ventures have performed less well than <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/09/donald-trump-has-lost-between-1-and-6-billion-over-his-business-career" target="_blank">putting his money in basic investment account</a>.</p><p>Of course, that is attributing savvy to a campaign so lazy that they allowed Melania Trump, who was supposed to humanize the candidate, go out on stage with a plagiarized speech.</p><p>No, the likelier explanation for this roster of embarrassments is that these grifters are just the kind of people Trump likes and the kind of people he wants to roll out as the best and brightest that his campaign has to offer as surrogates.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1060576'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060576" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 13:50:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1060576 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing donald trump rnc con men election 2016 Phil Ruffin Pam Bondi Eileen Collins Michelle Van Etten Don’t Fear the Poképocalypse: Pokémon Go Is a Fun Phone Game, Not the End of Life as We Know It http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/culture/dont-fear-pokepocalypse-pokemon-go-fun-phone-game-not-end-life-we-know-it <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1060246'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060246" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Hands are wringing over the supposed dangers of Pokémon Go, but history suggests it&#039;s an overblown tech panic.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/pikachu.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p><a href="http://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/" target="_blank">Pokémon Go</a> is a new smartphone game that has become an instant international sensation. The game uses GPS technology to populate the real world with digital creatures called Pokemon, which can be seen through a player’s phone screen, in a technology called “augmented reality” (AR).</p>The players collect these cartoon characters and then play combat games with them at virtual “gyms”, which are also located digitally throughout the cities using modern mapping technology.<p>To players, it’s a silly game, a way to while away the time and explore your city.</p><p>To many others, however, Pokémon Go is a portent of doom, a terrifying new technology that puts people, especially children, in mortal peril, while also signaling the destruction of life as we know it.</p><p>“Pokémon Go is a harbinger of things to come,” <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/7/12/12152776/pokemon-go-augmented-reality-beginning" target="_blank">Ezra Klein writes dramatically at Vox</a>. “We are being warned. By Pikachu.”</p><p>“The easy analogy here is drugs,” Klein writes. “We know drugs are a cheap way for people unhappy, or unsatisfied, with this reality to escape to a (temporarily) more pleasurable one.”</p><p>“How far are we until your VR life is far more interesting, far more pleasurable, than your real life?” Klein wonders. “How far are we until your walk to work is better with augmented reality than without it?”</p><p>Many people are already augmenting their reality during their work commutes by listening to podcasts, radio or audiobooks, but sure, cartoon animals on your phone will be the tipping point where alleviating boredom turns into social catastrophe.</p><p>Klein is far from the only one intoning about the grave dangers of Pokémon Go. The news features a steady stream of overblown <a href="http://www.today.com/video/pokemon-go-craze-is-causing-real-life-injuries-and-danger-722616387654" target="_blank">stories about players getting hurt</a>, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/07/10/four-suspects-arrested-string-pokemon-go-related-armed-robberies/86922474/" target="_blank">being robbed</a> or being <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3684228/Is-world-s-dangerous-game-terrifying-Pokemon-app-craze-killed-one-person-make-children-easy-prey-PAEDOPHILES-s-coming-Britain-soon.html" target="_blank">predated on by pedophiles</a>. <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/07/12/police-don-let-your-pokemon-game-lead-you-into-danger/CwnnOp6KhLuliyBqnG866H/story.html" target="_blank">Police are reporting phone calls from</a> busybodies who claim to believe that people goofing off on their phones is “suspicious activity.” (911 is an important public service, people. Don’t abuse it.)</p><p>“Concerns about social decay are nothing new — and they’re certainly not exclusive to video games,” Norman Caruso, the host of “<a href="http://thegaminghistorian.com/" target="_blank">The Gaming Historian</a>,” explained. “Before people were wringing their hands over Pokémon Go, there was panic over the Harry Potter series. Before that, there were concerns about the way Elvis danced and before that, people worried about flapper-style haircuts.”</p><p>There’s an irony in this particular panic, IGN writer Kallie Plagge argued, as the typical “anti-technology sentiment is that young people are on their phones too often, not going outside and doing things,” but with Pokémon Go, the panic is “about going outside and being with people.”</p><p>“It was inevitable that Pokémon Go would bring out ironically viral neo-luddism, in the form of fake news stories and rumours about causing traffic accidents or paedophiles luring kids to their doom,” <a href="https://twitter.com/Quinnae_Moon" target="_blank">feminist sociologist Katherine Cross argued</a>. “Moral panic attending new technologies is inevitable, and if nothing else, proves that augmented reality has well and truly arrived.”</p><p>An instructive historical example is the Dungeons &amp; Dragons panic of the ’80s. Nowadays, most people see the role-playing game, correctly, as just a fun, immersive game that encourages players to use their imaginations, but in the early ’80s, the immersive aspects set off a nationwide panic.</p><p>“The 1980s were prime years for accusations that the game fostered demon worship and a belief in witchcraft and magic,” <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/us/when-dungeons-dragons-set-off-a-moral-panic.html" target="_blank">Clyde Haberman notes in a historical piece for the New York Times</a>. “Some religious figures cast it as corrupting enough to steer impressionable young players toward suicide and murder.”</p>The concerns over D&amp;D, a game where players sometimes act out their characters, echo Klein and others’ fears about Pokémon Go: That the fantasy is <em>too</em> immersive, and that people who play with it are in danger of going so far in they can never come back.<p>This fear was stoked in the ’80s by a movie <a href="http://mashable.com/2015/10/28/tom-hanks-dungeons-dragons/#K3agCtLBPZqq" target="_blank">called “Mazes and Monsters”,</a> a cautionary tale about  fantasy role-playing games. The main character, played by Tom Hanks (!) in his first major role, gets so caught up in the game that he starts to think that he <em>is</em>his D&amp;D character. For some reason, this makes him think that the World Trade Center is not only a fictional set from D&amp;D, but that he has to jump off it. No, the plot doesn’t make much sense, but neither do these moral panics.</p><p>Caruso traced concerns over video games to 1976, when the game Death Race led to “psychological studies on the effects of video games,” and into the ’90s and 2000s, when games like DOOM and Mass Effect caused what-about-the children panics.</p><p>Caruso argues that “some concerns are valid”, and those valid concerns have led to productive conversations about rating video games and the portrayal of women in them.</p><p>“Most of the time,” however, Caruso adds, “panic over the latest video game is overblown. The hysteria dies down almost as quickly as it starts.”</p><p>“This isn’t the first time that people have panicked over Pokémon,” Caruso continues. “When it came out in the United States in 1998, parental groups said that it created a drug-like addiction. Religious groups said that it promoted Satanic activities.”</p><p>“Is Pokémon Evil?” asked <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/pokemon-evil-164556" target="_blank">a headline in a November 1999 edition of Newsweek</a>.</p><p>“Schools are banning it; parents worry about addictive behavior,” the piece reads. Parents that journalist Malcolm Jones spoke with compared it to drugs. There was even a lawsuit against Nintendo that tried to argue the game was illegal gambling.</p><p>“Some also have expressed concerns that because the Pokemon figures include characters that suggest supernatural powers apart from God, they may provide children with an entree into witchcraft and the occult,” <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/1999/dec/23/19991223-123502-5648r/" target="_blank">the Washington Times reported in December 1999.</a> One church reported a service where children relinquished their Pokemon cards, which were then burned.</p><p>The panic grew so large that the Vatican stepped in, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,26334,620818,00.html" target="_blank">issuing a press release</a> that reassured parents that Pokémon has no “harmful moral side effects” and is instead “full of inventive imagination”.</p><p>The same pattern is repeating itself, but there’s no reason to panic about the panic.</p><p>“What is miraculous about Pokémon Go, compared to D&amp;D back in the ’80s, is that it’s not a niche hobby,” Cross explained.</p><p>“There is just as much press, if not more, celebrating Pokémon Go than there is stoking anxieties about it,” she said, which she attributes to the fact that “‘early adopters dramatically outnumber the hand wringers,” demystifying the game and making it harder to scare people about it.</p><p>“Pokémon Go is nothing to fear,” Caruso says. “It’s getting people outside, it’s bringing people together, and most importantly, it’s fun.”</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1060246'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1060246" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 19:26:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1060246 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Culture Culture pokemon go tech panics NRA’s Offensive Hypocrisy: When Will the Organization Demand Justice for Black Gun Owners Shot by Police? http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/civil-liberties/when-will-nra-demand-justice-black-gun-owners-shot-police <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1059808'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059808" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were shot while carrying guns, but the NRA isn&#039;t stepping up to defend them.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/gop_nra_incorporated2_alternet.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Right in the midst of a national outrage over <a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/16311988-77/report-one-baton-rouge-police-officer-involved-in-fatal-shooting-of-suspect-on-north-foster-drive" target="_blank">a video of police in Louisiana shooting Alton Sterling while holding him on the ground</a>, yet another video of a police shooting of a black man has come out.</p><p>This video, filmed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shows <a href="http://www.startribune.com/aftermath-of-officer-involved-shooting-captured-on-phone-video/385789251/" target="_blank">a man named Philando Castile writhing in pain</a> with blood splattered all over his car while his girlfriend says that a police officer shot Castile after asking Castile, responding to requests for his license, reached for his wallet. Castile later died of his wounds.</p><p>Beyond being yet more videos of senseless violence by police against African-Americans, what these two videos have in common is the police in question excuse their actions by citing the presence of a gun.</p><p>In the Minnesota video, the woman tells the camera that Castile informed the office that he had a licensed gun on him before he reached for his wallet. The officer then returns, arguing, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”</p><p><a href="http://theadvocate.com/news/16311988-77/report-one-baton-rouge-police-officer-involved-in-fatal-shooting-of-suspect-on-north-foster-drive" target="_blank">In the Louisiana video</a>, officers can be heard yelling, “He’s got a gun!”</p><p>In both cases, there seems to be no question that the shooting victims were armed. It’s a point that’s <a href="https://mediamatters.org/video/2016/07/06/fox-s-mark-fuhrman-says-alton-sterling-has-take-responsibility-his-own-death-hands-cops/211399" target="_blank">already being flogged by conservatives</a> in an effort to excuse these officers.</p><p>However, and conservatives should be the first to remember this, guns are legal in this country.</p><p><em>Guns are legal in this country</em>. <a href="http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a46477/alton-sterling-police-shooting/" target="_blank">Louisiana is an open carry state</a>. <a href="http://www.usacarry.com/minnesota_concealed_carry_permit_information.html" target="_blank">Minnesota allows concealed carry</a>. Police officers in these states know full well that people have a legal right to carry. They have, according to conservatives themselves, no reason to believe that a man with a gun is a bad guy. Why, he could very well be one of those good guys with a gun, at the ready to stop crime, that we keep hearing about from conservatives.</p><p>Which brings up a critical question: Where is the gun rights lobby?</p><p>Here are two American citizens that were killed while doing what the NRA claims is a constitutional right. Surely this must be a gross injustice in the eyes of the NRA! Surely they will be demanding action, petitioning congressmen, demanding the Department of Justice to step forward and make sure that every American has a right to arm themselves without fear of being gunned down by the police! Right?</p><p>But while progressive Twitter is all about protesting these deaths, if <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA" target="_blank">you go to the NRA Twitter feed</a>, this is what you’ll find: <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/751059449280888832" target="_blank">Whining about Matt Damon’</a>s gun opinions. Harping on <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/750783596055695360" target="_blank">some impolitic words</a> from a community college professor. <a href="https://twitter.com/AmericanHunter/status/750762017057832960" target="_blank">Putting up some free advertising for Remington</a>.</p><p>But when it comes to the deaths of these two Americans who appear to be killed while exercising their legal right to carry guns? Crickets.</p><p>What you do get, however, is some overt race-baiting from the NRA, tweets that unsubtly try to imply to their largely white audience that they are in danger of being victimized, mostly by people of color, and that they need to arm themselves in response.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Licensed concealed carrier shoots at attackers <a href="https://t.co/yyIV8X0PlL">https://t.co/yyIV8X0PlL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2A?src=hash">#2A</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/armedcitizen?src=hash">#armedcitizen</a></p>— NRA (@NRA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/750721038959386628">July 6, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>(The two men in this screen grab, by the way, have nothing to do with the crime and just happened to be standing there while the news crew was filming.)  </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Good guy with gun stops suspected robber, holds him until police arrive <a href="https://t.co/pLl3p9VG6h">https://t.co/pLl3p9VG6h</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2A?src=hash">#2A</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/armedcitizen?src=hash">#armedcitizen</a></p>— NRA (@NRA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/750707343889956865">July 6, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>(Quote from the news story: “Everything seemed normal until he saw a guy with a wallet in his hands trying to run past the restaurant. ‘He couldn’t run though; his pants were sagging too far,’ Caddy said.”)</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Gun-Controlled Chicago: More Homicides Than LA, NY Combined <a href="https://t.co/yv6e7HmaLX">https://t.co/yv6e7HmaLX</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2A?src=hash">#2A</a></p>— NRA (@NRA) <a href="https://twitter.com/NRA/status/751052648699297792">July 7, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>The NRA bills itself as a guns rights lobby. But whoever runs their Twitter feed is more interested in chronicling stories about muggers, pickpockets, and teenage gang wars than they are these two national stories about cops killing people who were exercising the right that the NRA claims they exist to protect.</p><p>Any true rights organization would be up in arms about these deaths, but the NRA can’t even be bothered to take a break in the “scary muggers so buy guns!” drumbeat to make even a peep of protest.</p><p>While not all gun owners are racist (obviously), a growing body of research suggests that hostility to gun control is less about belief that guns are a “right” and more about white paranoia about people of color and crime.</p><p>Last year, social scientists Alexandra Filindra and Noah J. Kaplan <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11109-015-9326-4" target="_blank">published a study in the journal Political Behavior</a> that found that showing pictures of black people to white people reduced white support for gun control. The effect was much stronger in white people who held higher levels of racial prejudice.</p><p>“Juxtapositions of ‘law abiding citizens’ and ‘criminals’ [are] evocative of racialized themes as crime has <a href="http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7090.html" target="_blank">long</a> <a href="http://assets.cambridge.org/97805211/34750/frontmatter/9780521134750_frontmatter.pdf" target="_blank">been</a> <a href="http://psp.sagepub.com/content/29/5/637.abstract" target="_blank">associated</a> with blacks in the white mind,” the researchers wrote.</p><p>Gun ownership is a way of “expressing my ‘more-equal-than-others’ status in a society where egalitarianism is the norm,” <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/04/white-resentment-is-fueling-opposition-to-gun-control-researchers-say/" target="_blank">Filindra told the Washington Post</a>.</p><p>This confirms previous research, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3815007/" target="_blank">published in PLoS One</a> in 2013 that found that the more racist a white person is, the likelier he is to own a gun.</p><p>It’s time to admit the NRA is not a “gun rights” organization. The NRA—and their allies in the Republican party—are about one thing and one thing only: Stoking racialized fears of crime amongst paranoid white people for political gain and gun profits. The inability to give two hoots about the police killings of two gun owners, who happen to be black, just confirms it.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1059808'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059808" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 08 Jul 2016 11:51:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1059808 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights nra racism black lives matter gun control police shootings It's Not Just Saddam Hussein: Trump Has a Long History of Googly-Eyed Admiration for Dictators http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/its-not-just-saddam-hussein-trump-has-long-history-googly-eyed-admiration-dictators <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1059691'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059691" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump has quite the track record of praising dictators for supposedly being strong and effective leaders.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_saddam_hussein.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Donald Trump, ever ready to snatch the news cycle away from Hillary Clinton (<a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/07/05/extremely_careless_not_criminal_fbi_director_james_comey_recommends_no_charges_against_hillary_clinton_in_private_email_server_case/" target="_blank">even when the news about her isn’t flattering</a>), did it again Tuesday night during a rally, when <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/donald-trump-saddam-hussein-iraq-terrorism/" target="_blank">he praised ousted and executed dictator Saddam Hussein</a>.</p><p>“He was a bad guy—really bad guy,” Trump said, in his standard ass-covering way, before he launched forth with the meat of his opinion. “But you know what? He did well. He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism.”</p><p>(<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1wTgyWvQ38" target="_blank">To quote “Game of Thrones,”</a> “nothing before the word ‘but’ really counts.”)</p><p>This isn’t the first time that Trump has trotted out that non-witticism about the “Harvard of terrorism.” He <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/trump-praises-hussein.html" target="_blank">rolled out that same line in January 2014</a>, at an event for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and the New England Council.</p><p>“You know, whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, he used to kill terrorists,” Trump said. “I mean, terrorists did not have fun in that country. Now, that’s the Harvard of terrorism.”</p><p>In 2011, he gave <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/trump-praises-hussein.html" target="_blank">an interview to Human Events sharing the same sentiments</a>, saying, “He didn’t give them a trial like this country, where the trial lasts for 21 years. He used to shoot the terrorists and kill them. There were no terrorists, very little terrorists in Iraq.”</p><p>And, in February this year, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-na-trump-south-carolina-20160216-story.html" target="_blank">Trump offered Hussein the highest praise he can imagine</a>: That he’s not “politically correct.”</p><p>“Saddam Hussein killed terrorists,” Trump told rally-goers in South Carolina. “He didn’t do it politically correct.”</p><p>This infatuation with Hussein is just part of a larger pattern of Trump’s. Trump loves a dictator. He can’t help but gush with praise at those who use violence to oppress their people.</p><p>At the top of the list, of course, is Vladimir Putin, who Trump repeatedly swoons over like he’s a 12-year-old at a Justin Bieber concert.</p><p>In 2015, Trump went on “The O’Reilly Factor” to <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/09/donald-trump-fox-news-bill-oreilly-214248" target="_blank">gush over how awesome it is that Putin</a> is backing Bashar al Assad.</p><p>“I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A and our president is not doing so well—they did not look good together,” Trump griped, openly wishing that President Obama was a little more like Putin.</p><p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1603/11/acd.02.html" target="_blank">Trump returned to the well of comparing Putin</a> positively to Obama in March, telling Jake Tapper, “As far as Putin is concerned, I think Putin’s been a very strong leader for Russia. I think it’s been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you.”</p><p>As <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/07/vladimir_putin_has_a_plan_for_destroying_the_west_and_it_looks_a_lot_like.html" target="_blank">Franklin Foer at Slate convincingly argued</a> this week, Putin and his aides are quite aware that Trump goes to sleep snuggling a photo of the Russian dictator every night, and are seeking ways to support Trump’s run, knowing that nothing would destabilize the United States and strengthen Russia’s position like a Trump win.</p><p>After all, Trump’s campaign manager is Paul Manafort, a man who literally <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/04/paul_manafort_isn_t_a_gop_retread_he_s_made_a_career_of_reinventing_tyrants.html" target="_blank">built a career out working public relations for dictators</a>, including <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/27/paul-manafort-donald-trump-campaign-past-clients" target="_blank">shoring up Ukrainian support</a> for pro-Putin candidate Viktor Yanukovych.</p><p>But Trump’s love of dictators expands well beyond just his swooning infatuation with Putin. His enthusiasm is far-ranging and even crosses ideological lines.</p><p>In 1990, for instance, <a href="http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/donald-trump-has-praised-the-chinese-government-over-tiananmen-square-as-well-as-kim-jongun--Wk35kIvHhg" target="_blank">Trump turned his goggly eyes towards the Chinese government</a> in an interview with Playboy.</p><p>After sneering at Mikhail Gorbachev for not having “a firm enough hand”, Trump praised China for knowing how to really stomp out freedom.</p><p>“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,” he explained. “Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”</p><p>When asked about this by Jake Tapper in 2016, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1603/11/acd.02.html" target="_blank">Trump tried to hedge</a>, saying, “I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength, and they kept down the riot. It was a horrible thing. It doesn’t mean at all I was endorsing it.”</p><p>This is the game that Trump plays, whether he’s praising Putin, Hussein, the Chinese communists, or any other dictator that he admires: He swears up and down that he thinks it’s “horrible” or “bad” to violently oppress people, but then makes it very clear that he still thinks it’s the best way to go about business.</p><p>Trump’s message is clear: Yeah, they’re the bad guys, but you need to be a bad guy to get things done.</p><p>“We would be so much better off if Qaddafi were in charge right now,” <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/02/donald-trump-qaddafi-saddam-219834" target="_blank">Trump said during</a> a Republican debate in February.</p><p>His reasoning wasn’t just about the instability caused by deposing leaders. It was clear he though that Qaddafi was uniquely capable of leading in a way that a leader who respects human rights cannot be, saying at least Qaddafi ” killed terrorists, all right?”</p><p><a href="http://www.factcheck.org/2016/05/did-trump-praise-kim-jong-un/" target="_blank">He did the same two-step with Kim Jong-Un</a>, saying, “If you look at North Korea—this guy, he’s like a maniac, OK? And you have to give him credit.”</p><p>“I mean, this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him,” he continued, all but wiping the drool off his chin.</p><p>Yes, they’re evil, but evil is admirable because it’s effective: That’s the through-line that holds all these Trump arguments together.</p><p>Trump should not get an ounce of credit for his half-hearted ass-covering about how whatever dictator he’s loving today is “bad,” because “bad” isn’t really all that bad in his eyes. Not when he mistakes it for a sign of strength, which is all that Trump really cares about in the in end.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1059691'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059691" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:52:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1059691 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing trump It's 'Political Sleight-Of-Hand': For Their Next Trick, Republican Magicians Will Make Your Federal Land Disappear http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/environment/republican-magicians-make-federal-land-disappear <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1059653'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059653" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">When federal land becomes state land, it can be bought and sold to the profit of small-government billionaires.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/9054088795_272332fc7c_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Earlier this year, a group of right-wing extremists, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oregon-militia-idUSKCN0VK05F" target="_blank">led by the infamous Bundy family of Nevada</a>, took over the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/malheur/" target="_blank">Malheur National Wildlife Refuge</a> for 41 days before the FBI and state police were finally able to apprehend them. The occupiers have slowly been revealed to the nation for what they are: a <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/05/11/the_bundys_wont_go_away_the_family_gears_up_for_another_battle_which_means_more_embarrassment_for_conservatives/" target="_blank">cluster of conspiracy theorists</a> who can barely articulate a coherent opinion, much less an intelligible ideology.</p><p>But looking past this group of yahoos, with their guns and their handles of Wild Turkey, one finds a much more sinister and powerful effort to sell off huge swaths of public land to private interests looking to exploit the land’s resources for profit.</p><p>“A couple of years ago, we started seeing legislation popping up in state legislatures,” John Sterling of the <a href="http://www.conservationalliance.com/" target="_blank">Conservation Alliance</a> explained, “asking federal governments to transfer federal lands to the state.”</p><p>These bills, invariably introduced and supported by Republicans, are wrapped up in a “small government” ideology, the same kind that the Bundys were spouting when they commandeered the wildlife refuge. The rhetoric appeals to “a vocal group of people who don’t want the federal government doing anything,” Sterling explained, and so are easily lured into the idea that the federal government’s control of these lands is somehow a violation of “states rights.”</p><p>But, as conservation experts understand, there’s a multitude of reasons that this land is better held by the federal government than state governments. “I can go to any state with federal lands and a) have public access and b) predict how those lands are managed,” Sterling explained.</p><p>“All Americans have the right to experience and enjoy” federally managed lands, Tania Lown-Hecht of <a href="http://www.outdooralliance.org/" target="_blank">the Outdoor Alliance added</a>. By contrast, “state lands are not public, and are governed by different rules than federal public lands. You don’t have a right to be on state lands, or the same rights as to how they are managed and sold.“</p><p>But the most important reason of all is money.</p><p>“The federal government has the resources to manage those lands,” Sterling said. The federal government has deeper coffers and can run at a deficit in lean times, which states can’t do. </p><p>“States are also required to balance their budgets — meaning if they have a budget crisis (say, due to wildfires), they would be forced to sell off formerly public lands to balance the budget,” Lown-Hecht explained.</p><p>And it’s this possibility — that states which have gained ownership over this land will eventually sell it to raise money — that is driving this entire campaign. Pulling back the curtain, one finds that the movement to transfer federal lands to state ownership is being funded and driven by conservative business groups that want that land to be turned over to corporate interests to be exploited for profit, even if doing so destroys the environment.</p><p>“The politicians and corporations pushing this agenda are doing it under the false pretenses of states rights,” Brad Brooks of the <a href="http://wilderness.org/" target="_blank">Wilderness Society </a>argued, “knowing states can never afford to manage the land, and that states can sell off their lands, unlike public lands.” </p><p>It’s “political sleight-of-hand,” he continued. First, get the lands out of federal hands into state hands. Then, wait for the inevitable state budget crisis. Then, buy the resource-rich land, turning it from a beautiful, publicly accessible slice of nature into a resource extraction site.</p><p>“Idaho has sold or traded 41 percent of the land it was granted at statehood,” Brooks continued. “Nevada has sold off 99 percent of its original state land holdings. In total, Western states have sold 31 million acres of state lands that were given to them at statehood, an area roughly equivalent in size to the state of Louisiana.”</p><p>The shadiness extends right down to the methods Republicans are using to try to sneak these lands away from their rightful owners, the American people. The <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/congress-puerto-rico-bill-promise/483572/" target="_blank">original text of PROMESA</a>, a bill to help Puerto Rico restructure its debt and prevent economic collapse, had a provision that would transfer the gorgeous <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/vieques/" target="_blank">Vieques National Wildlife Refuge</a> to Puerto Rico’s ownership, with a clear eye toward forcing the commonwealth to sell this land off to corporate interests.</p><p>Luckily, <a href="http://wilderness.org/blog/update-you-helped-prevent-politicians-selling-vieques-national-wildlife-refuge-puerto-rico" target="_blank">an outcry from environmentalists and the Hispanic Federation</a> forced Republicans to take this provision out before it was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/senate-approves-puerto-rico-debt-bill-financial-oversight-board-crisis" target="_blank">passed</a> this week, protecting the various flora and fauna, <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Vieques/wildlife_and_habitat/index.html" target="_blank">including many species of endangered turtles</a>, from destruction at the hands of short-sighted profit seekers. It also helps protect Puerto Rico’s economy, as the refuge is a popular tourist destination.</p><p>The land heist, which is being masterminded by the American Lands Council as well as Koch brothers-funded groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity, has two basic fronts: 1) Lobby Republicans to pass bills, often written directly by ALEC, that make the corporate land grab possible, 2) Propagandize to the public about how their rights are supposedly being violated by having publicly accessible land that is owned by the American people.</p><p>The lobbying efforts are fairly straightforward. Here, for instance, is a photo of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaAFP/photos/a.192340087606571.1073741828.189044857936094/588266034680639/?type=3&amp;theater" target="_blank">AFP staffers visiting Alaska Rep. Don Young’s office on June 10</a>. A few days later, Young,<a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00007999" target="_blank">who gets hefty amounts of campaign funding from oil/gas and fishery interests</a>, kickstarted his efforts to pass a bill <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3650/all-info#committees" target="_blank">to transfer 2 million acres of national forests from federal to state hands</a>, where it can then be sold off to corporate interests.</p><p>The amount of sleaze and dishonesty in the propaganda effort is truly stunning. Witness, for instance, this excerpt from <a href="http://2fti8514us06118tkc38fclj-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FederalLands_NtK-updated.pdf" target="_blank">an AFP brochure on federal land management</a>, which a wonderland of doublespeak.</p><blockquote><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="236" style="width: 400px; height: 200px;" width="609"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="236" style="width: 400px; height: 200px;" width="609" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-07-06_at_11.46.19_am.png" /></div></blockquote><p>This is the kind of propaganda that snakes its way down to people like the Bundys and their supporters, convincing them that the existence of national forests is somehow hurting them.</p><p>But nearly every word in that paragraph is a lie. The land is <em>already</em> owned by We the People, and AFP is agitating to take it from us and sell it off to private interests. And it is not sitting idle or inaccessible. National forests and other lands are used for hiking, camping, rafting, fishing or just sitting in to enjoy the bounty of nature. By “inactive,” they obviously mean that the land is not being strip-mined for corporate profit, but it’s a small mind that thinks that the only value nature can provide is squeezing every penny you can get out of it.</p><p>But just in case you’re a person who cares little for nature and can only think in dollars and cents, the conservationists I spoke with were quick to point out there’s real money to be made in letting nature survive relatively unmolested.</p><p>“Outdoor recreation produces $646 billion for the economy every year, and relies on access to public lands,” Lown-Hecht explained.</p><p>Sterling agreed, calling federal lands “the infrastructure for outdoor recreation.”</p><p>“Not a lot of people are getting rich, but it creates jobs that are sustainable,” he added. In an effort to bolster profits for oil, gas and timber companies, Republicans are threatening the bottom lines of smaller companies that sell everything from mountain bikes to fishing gear. </p><p>But really, the main reason to oppose these efforts isn’t about money at all, but about living in a country that puts a value on things more enriching and permanent than quarterly profit margins.</p><p>“Our ancestors had amazing vision about protecting some of the most beautiful and iconic places in this country for everyone to enjoy,” Lown-Hecht argued. “If we decide now that we should sell these places off to the privileged few or to developers to make a quick dollar, these decisions aren’t reversible and all of us lose access and ownership of the places forever.”</p><p>“Public lands provide the opportunity for all Americans, regardless of wealth and social status, access to incredible forests, deserts, rivers and mountains to hike, hunt, fish, climb and camp,” agreed Brooks. “Public lands create opportunities for everyone, not just the wealthy elite.</p><p>“The land grabbers are trying to take the land away from you and give it to state and private entities. Where I come from that’s called stealing,” Brooks added.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1059653'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059653" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 08:37:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1059653 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Environment Environment The Right Wing public land national parks republicans small government alec Oregon Militia 5 Priorities for the Choice Movement After the Supreme Court's Major Abortion Decision http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/activism/5-priorities-choice-movement-after-texas-abortion-law-was-overturned <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1059107'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059107" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The end of Texas&#039; abortion law is wonderful, but there&#039;s far more work to be done to protect reproductive rights.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-06-27_at_3.18.41_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Monday’s <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/06/27/pro_choice_victory_the_supreme_court_strikes_down_texas_abortion_law_further_shredding_the_religious_right/" target="_blank">Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt</a>, which struck down a Texas law aimed at regulating legal abortion out of existence, was a resounding victory for the reproductive rights movement. But while everyone should take a day to celebrate this win, the sad fact of the matter is that, after decades of abuse at the hands of the religious rights, the state of reproductive health care is not even close to what it should be in the United States.</p><p>Our unplanned pregnancy rate is still high and access to abortion and other reproductive health care simply isn’t what it should be. Ending Texas’ draconian abortion law is just the beginning. There’s a lot more work to be done before the pro-choice movement can rest on its laurels.</p><p><strong>1) End the Hyde Amendment.</strong> Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has banned abortion from being covered by federal funding, except in the rare instances of rape or a threat to the health of the mother. That means no federal employees, service women, veterans or women on Medicaid have access to coverage for abortion. These are often the women who can least afford to pay out of pocket in the event of an unplanned pregnancy that they need to terminate.</p><p>The effects of the Hyde Amendment have been devastating. <a href="https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2009/restricting-medicaid-funding-abortion-forces-one-four-poor-women-carry-unwanted" target="_blank">One out of four women</a> on Medicaid who wants an abortion simply isn’t able to get one, resulting in forced childbirth. Of those women who do get an abortion, raising the money often results in major hardship for the family. The $300-$500 that an abortion costs pinches a middle-class budget, but for those who live in poverty, that often means having to sell things off, borrow money from relatives, or choose between getting the abortion and other life necessities. Women on Medicaid often delay the abortion <a href="https://www.guttmacher.org/report/restrictions-medicaid-funding-abortions-literature-review" target="_blank">at least 2-3 weeks</a> in order to raise the money.</p><p><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21712143" target="_blank">Servicewomen face many of the same barriers</a>, with the additional problem of often being unable to even see a doctor who offers abortion, since military hospitals are barred from doing them. Research shows that many of these women consider unsafe black market methods.</p><p>Repealing the Hyde Amendment would go a long way towards making sure that every woman, no matter her job or income, can get an abortion is she needs one.</p><p><strong>2) End laws restricting private insurance coverage of abortion.</strong> On top of the Hyde Amendment, <a href="http://kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/coverage-for-abortion-services-in-medicaid-marketplace-plans-and-private-plans/" target="_blank">many states have laws</a>, some tied to Obamacare and some not, that restrict or even ban private insurance plans from covering abortion. These laws are less well-studied than the Hyde Amendment, but it’s reasonable to assume they create similar burdens for women on private insurance seeking abortion.</p><p><strong>3) Expand access to affordable contraception.</strong> Under Obamacare, women are supposed to be getting copay free contraception through their insurance. Unfortunately, as many women are finding, the <a href="http://time.com/money/3672529/free-birth-control-aca-obamacare-insurers-must-cover/" target="_blank">insurance companies are using red tape</a>, throwing up so many confusing rules between women and their free birth control that many women just give up. There needs to be an effort to force these companies to make free birth control not only available, but easy t0 understand and get without having to spend hours on the phone with customer service people to figure out exactly what you’e entitled to get under what elaborate bureaucratic rules.</p><p><strong>4) Protect Planned Parenthood and other non-profit women’s health care centers.</strong> The anti-choice movement has already moved beyond the efforts to regulate abortion out of existence and now has an eyeball on a juicier target: The non-profit health care infrastructure that helps women find quality reproductive health care at an affordable cost. Planned Parenthood and clinics like it offend the right because they make contraception both cheap and easy to get, which allows the women they like the least — young women and low income women — enjoy the same access to sexual autonomy as older, wealthier women have in our country.</p><p>Right now, there’s a targeted movement of Republicans aimed directly at destroying these clinics. The pretext is “abortion” or lies about “selling baby parts”, but the focus is on ending the funding for contraception services, as well as medical care like STI testing that makes sex safer and easier for women. The pro-choice movement was able to expose the bad faith behind the Texas law, and hopefully that will free up even more energies to expose the bad faith behind the anti-Planned Parenthood movement.</p><p><strong>5) Improve our sex and contraception education system.</strong> Sex ed in this country is a disaster. Many states <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/07/01/3671946/the-sexual-miseducation-of-americas-youth/" target="_blank">continue to push failed abstinence-centric curricula</a> that is based on the utterly ridiculous pretense that students can and will refrain from having sex until they’re married. Even more comprehensive programs still fail to address important issues like consent and the diverse options for contraception.</p><p>The pro-choice movement can and should demand a standardized system of sex education in this country, where every junior high and high school student is taught about STI prevention, contraception, and consent. Contraception education should be expansive, educating students not just about condoms but about methods like the IUD, which are known for having an exponentially lower failure rate than condoms. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/health/teen-birth-rates/" target="_blank">Teenagers are already using contraception more effectively than ever before</a>, suggesting that they are educating themselves about their options through the internet. If our school system helped them out, we could get our teen birth rates to the low levels experienced in other Western nations that do offer better forms of sex education.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1059107'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1059107" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:09:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1059107 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Activism Activism LGBTQ The Right Wing abortion Brexit Bombshell: Donald Trump and Nigel Farage Have Much in Common—Disdain for Immigrants and Extreme Nationalism http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/right-wing-populism-two-rooted-more-base-nationalism <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1058974'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058974" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">The right-wing populism of the two is more rooted in nationalism than in economic insecurity.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/pjimage-4.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party that just <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/25/world/europe/britain-brexit-european-union-referendum.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=span-ab-top-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=1" target="_blank">helped lead Great Britain to a disastrous vote to leave the European Union</a>, is a man with <a href="http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/ten-other-things-nigel-farage-has-tried-to-blame-on-immigration--ey8RKw_kFg" target="_blank">a fondness for race-baiting rhetoric</a> that will be quite familiar to Americans who’ve endured a year of the Donald Trump campaign.</p><p>Like Trump, Farage blames crime and disease on immigrants and loves telling audiences that unemployment is a direct result of immigrants taking their jobs. He argues that Great Britain has “frankly become unrecognizable” and looks “like a foreign land.”</p><p>In one memorable interview, Farage complained about riding in a train through suburban London and hearing all the chatter in foreign languages on it. “It was a stopper going out and we stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green. It was not until we got past Grove Park that I could hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage,” he whined.</p><p>(The host, James O’Brien, dryly pointed out that this cacophony of foreign voices must include his own wife’s, who is German. But, as with Trump, who is also married to an immigrant, it’s only the dark-skinned ones that are scary.)</p><p>This anxiety about not being able to eavesdrop on other people because they aren’t speaking English is a common trait among Trump supporters in the U.S., as well. A <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/23/who-supports-donald-trump-take-a-republican-and-make-them-more-wary-of-outsiders/" target="_blank">recent study from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Brookings Institution</a> demonstrates exactly how out of control the how-dare-they-speak-Spanish-near-me attitudes are in the Trump camp.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="362" width="600"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="362" width="600" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/imrs.php_.png" /></div><p>The language issue is an important one because it’s so fundamentally irrational. Many of the arguments against immigration—they are taking our jobs, they bring crime and disease—are <em>untrue</em>, but it’s easy to see why people who believe these arguments might have cause to be afraid. If you really do think immigrants are taking your jobs or bringing diseases, the anxiety seems rational, if still distasteful.</p><p>But the language thing betrays the anti-immigration forces. There’s simply no rational argument for why it should matter to you if people you’re sitting next to in public are having a conversation in a language you don’t understand that doesn’t include you.</p><p>Sure, they could be talking about you—though what a narcissist you must be to assume that—but that’s also true of people sitting across a room that are speaking in volumes you can’t hear. It’s anxiety unmoored from any rational justification, however tenuous. It’s hate for its own sake, fury that people dare to be different than you without apologizing for it.</p><p>In both the U.S. and the U.K., a lot of digital ink is being spilled analyzing the rise of right-wing anti-immigrant populism. There are two general arguments over its cause. One is the economic argument: Our changing economy, coupled with the damage done by free trade and declining government investments in infrastructure and social services, causes skyrocketing economic anxiety, especially in areas outside of urban centers. This, in turn, causes people to look for villains to blame, and they settle on blaming immigrants, people of color, and liberal urban “elites.”</p><p>The other is a culture war argument: The right-wing populists are petty, resentful people who dislike change, and their hatred of immigrants, feminists, and urbane people generally is neither complex nor particularly tied to economic insecurity. They’re just small-minded and ugly to anyone that isn’t like them.</p><p>This is an admittedly oversimplified take on the issue. Most people—I count myself amongst them—who closely follow the rise of right-wing populism would argue that it’s some combination of these two factors. It would be foolish to pretend that racist white people are okay with darker-skinned people sharing in the bounty if the economy were more robust. But it’s also foolish to deny that it becomes much easier for a racist to feel justified in blaming the immigrants for all their problems if the quality of local social services is in decline.</p><p>(This is but one example. <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/6/20/11965064/brexit-immigration-economic-decline" target="_blank">Daniel Davies at Vox</a> has a really good explanation of how economic anxiety and culture war intertwine when it comes to the issue of anti-cosmopolitanism in England, since people living in more depressed coastal areas are seeing their children stampede to places like London, where they become more urbane, and therefore different, than their parents.)</p><p>Still, it matters how much this kind of right-wing populism is due to cultural resentments vs. economic anxieties. Many on the left see the high levels of opposition to free trade among Trump supporters or Leave voters and optimistically conclude that this provides a way to ameliorate their ugliness and hate. If their nastiness really is a reaction to economic anxiety, after all, there are options here. Perhaps they can be educated about a more liberal path toward their economic goals. Perhaps a return to more robust social spending or more restrictive trade policies will help restore economic health to their communities, reducing their anger and hatred.</p><p>But if this kind of right-wing populism is rooted in hate, and the economic stuff is just slathered on top, then it makes it much harder to conceive of a solution to this problem. If people hate immigrants and urban “elites” not because they are reacting poorly to economic insecurity, but just because they really don’t like difference, there’s not much you can do about that.</p><p>Unfortunately, there’s a significant amount of evidence that right-wing populism is rooted more in plain old small-minded bigotry than it is a form of economic anxiety that simply expresses itself in nationalist, bigoted terms.</p><p>In Great Britain, voters were continually warned that a vote for Leave was a vote for economic devastation. Yes, a lot of people rationalized that away, accusing the Remain folks of fear-mongering. But people who are truly worried about their economic status would probably hesitate more to gamble with the future this way. Instead, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10555158/Id-rather-be-poorer-with-fewer-migrants-Farage-says.html" target="_blank">you had Farage saying things like</a> he would happily give up economic growth in exchange for less immigration.</p><p>Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been eagerly trying to wed European right populism to American right-wing populism, echoed this sentiment on Twitter Thursday:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Fuck the global economy. We have to save our civilisation.</p>— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nero/status/746166186765848577">June 24, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>While there was no exit polling, the widespread belief is that Leave folks skew older and are more likely to be retired, just like right-wing populists in the U.S. The decline of the pound has got to be hitting people on a fixed income hard. So, this is a fairly ugly example of people choosing to screw themselves over economically rather than accept cultural change.</p><p>One of the strongest predictors of <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/11539388/Mapped-where-is-Ukips-support-strongest-Where-there-are-no-immigrants.html" target="_blank">whether an area of England voted Leave</a> was how few immigrants actually live there, bolstering the sense that this is largely about culturally isolated people lashing out at abstract fears about the unknown foreign Other.</p><p>In the U.S., there’s similarly troubling evidence that right-wing populism might be more about base bigotry than economic insecurity, starting with the fact that the rise of Trump coincided with an improving economy and dropping unemployment. The assumption that Trump is mainly appealing to economically unstable white people appears to be more driven by urban journalists mistaking the cargo shorts-and-baseball-caps aesthetic of his followers for actual working class status.</p><p>In reality, <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/" target="_blank">as Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight showed</a>, “As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off.” Not by a small amount, either. The average Trump household draws a median income of $72,000, which is $16,000 more a year than the average American household. Both Clinton and Sanders supporters have a median household income of $61,000.</p><p>None of this means that liberals should abandon the cause of economic justice, better trade regulation, stronger unions, or more robust social spending. These things are good in and of themselves, and help stabilize the economy and the lives of people across the demographic and political spectrum.</p><p>But we should let go of the hope that liberal economic policies will do much to end nationalism and racism. God knows American red states, which keep electing Republicans who impose austerity measures so serious that it’s causing their governments and school systems to collapse, proves the point. A lot of right-wingers would rather burn their own homes to the ground rather than share them fairly with people of color. I wish I had an answer to that problem, but if the threat of economic devastation doesn’t change their minds, apparently nothing will.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1058974'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058974" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 13:46:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1058974 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing World anti-immigration right-wing populism donald trump nigel farage brexit 2016 elections Abigail Fisher's Supreme Court Loss: A Massive Blow to Mediocre White People Coasting on Their Racial Privilege http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/abigail-fishers-supreme-court-loss-massive-blow-mediocre-white-people-coasting <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1058916'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058916" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Abigail Fisher&#039;s anti-affirmative-action case rested on the assumption that white people deserve priority over others.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/9141003736_b47c141ab4_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Abigail Fisher, the plaintiff in the latest round of affirmative action cases heard before the Supreme Court, is the perfect villain in a liberal morality play about the evils of racism.</p><p>Fisher’s case before the Supreme Court, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2015/12/09/abigail_fisher_deserves_an_f_for_her_race_baiting_supreme_court_case_aimed_at_boosting_subpar_white_students/" target="_blank">in which she demanded that she be admitted to the University of Texas at Austin</a> despite not having the grades to get in, confirmed every liberal suspicion about the opposition to affirmative action, namely that it’s not about “equality” at all, but about making sure white people are always first in line, ahead of all people of color, for job and education opportunities. That her lawyer, Edward Blum, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/edward-blum-supreme-court-affirmative-action-civil-rights" target="_blank">has made a career out of creative litigation</a> designed to keep people of color from getting jobs, schooling, and even political representation simply confirms it further.</p><p>But all this just makes it all the more emotionally satisfying to report that Fisher was handed a huge defeat in the Supreme Court on Thursday, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/us/politics/supreme-court-affirmative-action-university-of-texas.html" target="_blank">when conservative justice Anthony Kennedy</a> sided with the liberal side of the court to preserve UT Austin’s admissions protocol aimed at promoting racial diversity at the school.</p><p>“A university is in large part defined by those intangible ‘qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness,’” Kennedy wrote in his decision. “Considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”</p><p>The invocation of “intangible qualities” is especially critical in this case, which addresses a small number of slots the school offered for provisional admission in 2008. These are students that are admitted even though they don’t have the grades or SAT scores that you usually need to get into the school. The school brings these students in anyway because they see potential for them, despite their mediocre scores. Fisher sees herself as one of those people, but the school did not.</p><p>In 2008, <a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/a-colorblind-constitution-what-abigail-fishers-affirmative-action-case-is-r" target="_blank">47 such students were admitted</a> who had lower grades or test scores than Fisher. Forty-two of them were white. Only five were people of color.</p><p>Fisher and her lawyer Blum were not challenging the admission of the 42 white students.</p><p>Instead, Fisher’s argument was narrowly that she should have been admitted instead of one of those students of color. It was the case that collapsed any distinction between opposing affirmative action and demanding that white people be given preference.</p><p>But, even though this ruling is really narrow and does little to truly increase diversity at universities, <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/affirmative-action-gone-wild-read-justice-alitos-50-page-dissent-about-university-2385963" target="_blank">Justice Samuel Alito issued a lengthy, blistering dissent</a> that accused the school of paying “little attention to anything other than the number of minority students on its campus and in its classrooms.”</p><p>It’s an argument that depends on wholly ignoring the 42 out of 47 students who are white who got in despite having lower grades than Fisher’s. Like Fisher and Blum, Alito simply assumes that the white students have merit and the students of color do not.</p><p>It’s sadly not surprising that Alito so quickly defaults to the racist assumption that white people are more deserving of their opportunities than people of color. During his confirmation hearings to the court, it was revealed that <a href="http://www.salon.com/2006/01/13/alito_controversy/" target="_blank">Alito had been a member Concerned Alumni of Princeton</a> (CAP), a group formed in 1972 to keep women and minorities from attending the Ivy League university.</p><p>During Alito’s 2006 hearing, Sen. Ted Kennedy read passages from CAP’s magazine, Prospect.</p><p>“People nowadays just don’t seem to know their place,” Kennedy read from on 1983 article. “Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they’re black and Hispanic. The physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports. And homosexuals are demanding the government vouchsafe them the right to bear children.”</p><p>Alito denied agreement, saying the article was “antithetical” to his views. And yet, his dissent from Thursday betrays him, as he wallows in the same false assumption that people of color are only getting education and job opportunities because of their race, and not because they are just as worthy as white people.</p><p>Alito wants to portray this decision as some kind of radical progressivism, but in reality, it’s an extremely conservative opinion that, in classic Kennedy fashion, doesn’t do enough to shut down attempts to preserve the white dominance over institutions like elite universities.</p><p>“Kennedy’s opinion makes it clear that universities have a high and ongoing burden if they want to maintain affirmative action programs,” <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/06/23/3791737/surprise-affirmative-action-just-won-victory-no-one-expected-supreme-court/" target="_blank">Ian Millhiser at Think Progress explains</a>. “It could also potentially inspire a rash of harassment suits targeting these programs.”</p><p>Millhiser goes on to highlight how much work UT Austin had to do in order to meet Kennedy’s onerous demands for race-sensitive admissions to be acceptable: Over a year of research and study resulting in a 39-page proposal proving that any other strategy was failing to meet diversity needs. And all this, it’s worth remembering, is only aimed at the tiny fraction of applicants considered on a provisional basis, as most slots are filled by students who meet the grade and SAT requirements. It was such a fight to protect 5 out of 47 students that it pretty much invites future litigation from conservative lawyers who think 5 out of 47 is just too many.</p><p>Still, Thursday is a victory all the same, because it’s a blow to this ridiculous notion that any time a person of color gets an opportunity, they are stealing it from a more deserving white person. It’s a good step in the right direction and, if Democrats are able to overcome Republican obstructionism on court appointments, it’s something for future, more liberal judiciaries to build on.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1058916'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058916" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 16:45:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1058916 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics Abigail Fisher's anti-affirmative action case rested on assumption that white people deserve priority over others Fear, Racism and Hatred: Why the Gun Industry Makes So Much Money off Mass Shootings http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/right-wing/gun-industry-makes-money-mass-shootings <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1058326'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058326" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">A vicious cycle—now aided by Trump&#039;s demagoguery—continues to improve the gun industry&#039;s bottom line.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/432945997_4c65ed6080_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Even though the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend is the largest in our nation’s history, the fallout is following a standard pattern, a narrative so well-worn that it’s impossible not to become numb to it: Liberals call for gun control, conservatives act like you are trying to take away their precious babies, nothing gets done, everyone eventually drifts away until the next horrible mass shooting.</p><p>Oh yeah, and the gun industry makes an absolute mint.</p><p><a href="http://www.salon.com/2015/12/03/who_benefits_when_someone_shoots_up_a_crowd_the_gun_industry_does/" target="_blank">I wrote about this after the San Bernardino shooting</a>, and I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but really, the problem here is that mass murder is, itself, a broken record: The crying parents, the frantic phone calls, the deadening realization that there is no body count high enough to get any movement on the issue of gun control in this country.</p><p>The gun lobby has ever reason to dig its heels in harder against gun control after a mass shooting, because high profile mass murder is a big driver of sales and profits for the gun industry. This shooting was no different. While sales numbers aren’t in yet, as soon as the stock market opened Monday, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-stocks-up-orlando-shooting_us_575ec16de4b0ced23ca895a4" target="_blank">gun manufacturers saw a spike in stock prices</a>.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/742408491474812929/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc^tfw" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-06-14_at_12.51.10_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p><p>And lest there is any doubt about whether or not gun manufacturers themselves are aware of the correlation, rest assured, they are. Michael Fifer, the CEO of Ruger, <a href="http://www.ruger.com/corporate/PDF/ShareholdersLetter-2016.pdf" target="_blank">sent a letter to shareholders a month ago laying out</a> clearly how much the industry looks to mass shootings for profitability.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="192" style="width: 400px; height: 129px;" width="595"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="192" style="width: 400px; height: 129px;" width="595" typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/screen_shot_2016-06-14_at_12.59.18_pm.png" /></div><p>“As I write this letter, there are some early, anecdotal hints that the spike in demand might be easing and the normal seasonal pattern of demand might be taking hold,” he continued. “It is, however, an election year and the rhetoric from both sides is likely to continue, keeping consumers aware and thinking about their firearms rights.”</p><p>So yeah. All this screaming and hollering about the libs coming for your guns and posturing about “gun rights” is, at the end of the day, a sales tactic to separate some fools from their money.</p><p>It’s a vicious cycle. Every time there’s a mass shooting, there’s a surge in sales in guns and ammo, coupled with even more pressure from conservatives on their legislators to make it easier to buy guns. That means more guns and more fetishizing of guns, all of which just encourages more men with rage and masculinity issues to unload their guns into the bodies of family members, coworkers, or, in the most high profile cases, a bunch of random strangers. <a href="http://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-calendar-june-2016" target="_blank">That’s why we have had 133 mass shootings in this year alone</a>.</p><p>There’s reason to worry that this latest shooting may be even worse than most in terms of spurring pro-gun enthusiasm and gun sales.</p><p>Research shows that there’s a strong correlation between gun ownership, especially enthusiastic gun ownership, and racism. <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3815007/" target="_blank">In a study published in PLoS in 2013</a>, researchers found a strong link between gun enthusiasm and holding racist beliefs.</p><p>“After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home,” the researchers found.</p><p>(“Symbolic racism” is social scientist speak for people who deny that they are racists, but still hold biased beliefs, such as believing black people are more violent or lazy than white people.)</p><p>The results suggest that the belief that people of color present a threat to one’s safety increases interest, among white people at least, in owning a gun. This particular study was looking at anti-black racism specifically, but common sense would suggest that holding similar views about Muslim Americans—that they are violent or dangerous—would also increase interest amongst white, conservative crowds in buying guns.</p><p>And the gun industry has a friend in Donald Trump, who chose Monday afternoon to set loose a bone-chillingly racist diatribe, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/14/us/politics/clinton-trump-speech-highlights.html" target="_blank">painting the entire Muslim world as somehow complicit in terrorism</a> and blaming immigration for this recent shooting, even though the shooter was born in the United States.</p><p>Fear, racism and anti-liberal sentiment translates directly into gun sales. Fear, racism, and anti-liberal sentiment are the defining traits of the Donald Trump brand. The entire narrative of his campaign is that Hispanics/Muslims/African-Americans are out to get you, liberals are too “politically correct” to do anything about it, and so be very afraid. He’s a walking advertisement for the gun industry, stoking the fear that moves weapons every time his sorry mug goes on TV.</p><p>People like Trump like to strut around like they are doing something to fight gun violence, but of course, all they do is stoke it. They stoke it by encouraging the fear that leads directly to more guns on the street. They stoke it by valorizing <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/06/13/overcompensation_nation_its_time_to_admit_that_toxic_masculinity_drives_gun_violence/" target="_blank">the politics of domination and toxic masculinity</a>. And when that toxic brew boils over into more violence, it just becomes more fuel for the fire: More guns, more chest-banging, more violence. Something has to give, because this vicious cycle is spiraling out of control.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1058326'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058326" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:46:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1058326 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org The Right Wing Human Rights The Right Wing gun industry gun advocates donald trump orlando shooting election 2016 Overcompensation Nation: It's Time to Admit That Toxic Masculinity Drives Gun Violence http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/culture/its-time-admit-toxic-masculinity-drives-gun-violence <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1058278'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058278" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Our national attachment to dominance models of manhood is a major reason we have so much violence.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-06-13_at_5.13.12_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>In the wake of the horrific shooting in Orlando that left 50 dead, a political struggle is forming on whether to define this act as an anti-gay crime or an act of radical Islamic terrorism.</p><p>The answer, it’s quickly starting to seem, is both of these, and more. A picture is quickly starting to form of who Omar Mateen, the shooter, was. His ex-wife <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/14/us/sitora-yusufiy-omar-mateen-orlando-shooting.html" target="_blank">describes a man who was controlling and abusive</a>. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/live/orlando-nightclub-shooting-live-updates/suspect-spoke-of-killing" target="_blank">A colleague says he</a> was always using racial and sexual slurs and “talked about killing people all the time.” Both his ex-wife and his father describe him as homophobic, with his father saying he spun into a rage at the sight of two men kissing. He was clearly fond of guns, having not one, <a href="http://gawker.com/orlando-nightclub-shooter-identified-as-omar-mateen-po-1781834616" target="_blank">but two concealed carry licenses</a>. He worked at a security firm, a career that can be attractive to men with dominance and control issues. He was investigated by the FBI in 2013 for making threats to a coworker.</p><p>There is a common theme here: Toxic masculinity.</p><p>Every time feminists talk about toxic masculinity, there is a chorus of whiny dudes who will immediately assume—or pretend to assume—that feminists are condemning <em>all</em> masculinity, even though the modifier “toxic” inherently suggests that there are forms of masculinity that are not toxic.</p><p>So, to be excruciatingly clear, toxic masculinity is a specific model of manhood, geared towards dominance and control. It’s a manhood that views women and LGBT people as inferior, sees sex as an act not of affection but domination, and which valorizes violence as the way to prove one’s self to the world.</p><p>For obvious political reasons, conservatives are hustling as fast as they can to make this about “radical Islam,”  which is to say they are trying to imply that there’s something inherent to Islam and not Christianity that causes such violence. This, of course, is hoary nonsense, as there is a long and ignoble history of Christian-identified men, caught up in the cult of toxic masculinity, sowing discord and causing violence in our country: The gun-toting militiamen that caused a showdown in Oregon, the self-appointed border patrol called the Minutemen that <a href="http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/060816_simcox/minutemen-co-founder-simcox-convicted-child-molestation/" target="_blank">recently made news again</a> as their founder was convicted of child molestation, men who attack abortion clinics and providers.</p><p>Toxic masculinity aspires to toughness but is, in fact, an ideology of living in fear: The fear of ever seeming soft, tender, weak, or somehow less than manly. This insecurity is perhaps the most stalwart defining feature of toxic masculinity.</p><p>The examples are endless: Donald Trump flipping out when someone teases him about his small fingers. (Or about anything, really.) The ludicrously long and shaggy beards on “Duck Dynasty,” meant to stave off any association with the dreaded feminine with a thicket of hair. The emergence of the term “<a href="http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/08/02/cuckservative-the-dumbest-neo-nazi-hashtag-since-culturalmarxism-hits-the-big-time/" target="_blank">cuckservative</a>,” flung around by hardline right wingers to suggest that insufficient racism is somehow emasculating. <a href="http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-real-subtext-of-pajama-boy-by.html" target="_blank">Conservatives melting down</a> about an Obamacare ad that suggested that, gasp, <em>sometimes men wear pajamas</em>.</p><p>(This ad traumatized them so much that many <a href="http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2016/05/cogito-ergo-some-asshole.html" target="_blank">conservative pundits are still freaking out, years after the fact</a>, that the Obama administration dared suggest the emasculating fabric of flannel pajamas, ever touched the skin of the American male. Indeed, it’s probably emasculating to suggest men have skin at all, since “skin” is such a ladified concept in our culture, what with the moisturizers and stuff.)</p><p>If toxic masculinity was just about men posturing around each other in a comical fashion, that would be one thing, but this persistent pressure to constantly be proving manhood and warding off anything considered feminine or emasculating is the main reason why we have so many damn shootings in the United States. Whether it’s Islamic terrorism or Columbine-style shootings or, as is the case with some of the most common but least covered mass shootings, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/most-mass-shootings-target-women-and-families-study-finds-men-legal-guns-are-blame" target="_blank">an act of domestic violence</a> by a man who would rather kill his family than lose control, the common theme is this toxic masculinity, a desire on the part of the shooter to show off how much power and control he has, to take male dominance to the level of exerting control over life and death itself.</p><p>Toxic masculinity is also the reason it’s so easy for men with major issues to get a hold of the high-powered weaponry necessary to commit these crimes. Sure, the pro-gun movement in this country likes to roll out a bunch of half-baked pseudo-arguments pretending at rationality to justify the lack of gun control in this country, but really, the emotional selling point of guns is that they feed the cult of toxic masculinity. Being able to stockpile weapons and have ever bigger and scarier-looking guns is straightforward and undeniable overcompensation insecure men, trying to prove what manly men they are.</p><p>That’s why any attempt to discuss putting even the smallest, most commonsensical restrictions on guns turns into a bunch of right-wingers squealing about how the liberals are coming to take their guns. This isn’t a discussion being held on the plane of rationality, but is a psychological drama about these men’s fears of emasculation, represented in an unsubtle way over their attachment to guns and their fear that liberals, stereotyped as effeminate in their imagination, are coming to steal the guns away.</p><p>And, of course, in the Orlando situation, we have the added problem of homophobia, which is called a “phobia” for a reason, since it’s so often rooted in toxic masculinity and the terror of anything even remotely feminine.</p><p>What is particularly frustrating about all this is that, even though toxic masculinity is clearly the problem here, you have a bunch of conservatives running around and pushing toxic masculinity as the <em>solution, </em>as if all we need to end violence and terrorism is a bunch of silly posturing about who is the biggest man of all the menfolk out there.</p><p>Trump, of course, was leading the pack on this, <a href="http://gawker.com/donald-trump-is-a-shameless-opportunistic-bigot-1781857294" target="_blank">posturing about how we need</a> “toughness,” which he appears to define as a willingness to tweet ignorant, belligerent nonsense. Posturing a lot, in general, is the preferred strategy of the toxic masculinity crowd in response to terrorism. Lots of chatter about how Democrats refuse to say “radical Islam,” supposedly out of cowardice, and how the bravest and manliest of men will say it and the sheer force of the bravery demonstrated by the words they use will somehow be the magic ticket to ending the problem.</p><p>That, and, of course, you have the chorus of conservatives who imbue their tokens of toxic masculinity, guns, with near-magical powers to somehow stop the violence.</p><p>“Under Florida law, guns can’t be carried into bars,” <a href="http://www.villagevoice.com/news/thoughts-and-prayers-after-orlando-rightbloggers-defend-guns-denounce-muslims-8730650" target="_blank">John Hinderaker of Powerline tried to argue</a>. “So Pulse was a gun-free zone. That is one legal change that should be made.”</p><p>The idea that a bunch of drunk people dancing around a nightclub are safer with loaded weapons on their bodies is clearly not coming from a rational place, but from a place of deep insecurity and gender weirdness that treats phallic symbols like they are magical totems. But the reality is that <a href="http://graphics.wsj.com/orlando-shooting/" target="_blank">there was armed security at the club</a>, an off-duty police officer who did engage Mateen, but failed to take him down. Our country is saturated in guns, and yet the mythical “good guy with a gun” who is promised to stop mass shootings has yet to actually produce himself. That is because the “good guy with a gun” is a myth, propped up to justify toxic masculinity’s obsession with guns, and nothing more.</p><p>The horror story of Orlando lays bare what damage that this kind of dominance-oriented masculinity does to our society, right during an election when a overcompensating bully who is completely immersed in the discourse of toxic masculinity is the Republican nominee for president. It’s a stark reminder of why we, as a country, need to get past the politics of tough guy posturing and move towards a more thoughtful, inclusive society. One with more dancing and less waving guns around while talking about what a manly man you imagine yourself to be.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1058278'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1058278" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 14:12:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1058278 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Culture Culture guns The GOP Owns Trump University's Sleaze: Republicans Have Been Tolerant of Con Artists for Decades http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/republicans-have-long-been-tolerant-trump-con-artists <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1057923'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1057923" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Republicans want distance from Trump U, but their party&#039;s long acceptance of grifters makes the stigma stick.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trumppinocchioohanian_5.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>The Trump University scandal just keeps gaining media steam as new details about the scam keep getting released. Now the blowback is expanding beyond the Donald Trump campaign itself and affecting other Republicans.</p><p>And it’s not just the ones who <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/06/06/donald_trumps_campaign_is_a_raging_dumpster_fire_and_the_republicans_who_endorsed_him_will_have_to_defend_it_every_day/" target="_blank">embarrass themselves by standing by Trump</a> as he is exposed as a fraud and a racist. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and the state’s current attorney general, Ken Paxton, are now under fire for taking measures to protect Trump from paying legal or political penalties for perpetuating this fake university grift. The whole incident shows yet another way that, far from being some kind of anomaly, Trump is simply the logical extension of the way the Republicans have been doing business for decades now.</p><p>Last week, John Owens, a former deputy director of the attorney general’s consumer protection division, <a href="http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/greg-abbotts-top-consumer-attorneys-built-a-5-4m-case-against-donald-trump-but-it-never-happened.html/" target="_blank">came forward with allegations that his division</a> was all ready to file a lawsuit against Trump and Trump University, asking for $5.4 million in damages, penalties and fees for defrauding Texas consumers who signed up for the scam courses. But while Owens says the case was strong, the attorney general’s office, then controlled by now-governor Abbott, decided to quash the case instead.</p><p>“The decision not to sue him was political,” Owens told the Dallas Morning News. “Had [Trump] not been involved in politics to the extent he was at the time, we would have gotten approval. Had he been just some other scam artist, we would have sued him.”</p><p>To back this argument up, Owens points out that his office “routinely got approval to sue people. We routinely went after bogus schools that offered false diplomas.” But, in this case, Abbott’s office decided against the effort to recoup the money that Texans lost to Trump’s get-rich-quick scheme, instead agreeing to drop the suit if Trump University stopped working in Texas. Now the current AG, Paxton, is <a href="http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/ag-ken-paxton-tries-to-silence-former-gov-abbott-aide-who-called-axing-of-trump-u-suit-political.html/" target="_blank">trying to silence Owens</a>, which just makes it look more like a cover-up.</p><p>That said, David Morales, the former head of the consumer protection division, might be able to keep Abbott from taking the blame for this, through the old-fashioned method of taking the bullet for his former boss.</p><p>“My decision to approve the request to investigate and to devote state resources to that investigation was made without regard to the fact that the company was associated with Donald Trump,” <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/03/former-ag-official-abbott-did-not-pull-strings-tru/" target="_blank">Morales told the Texas Tribune</a>. “To be clear, I did not discuss this matter with General Abbott.”</p><p>Morales’ statement is probably the end of this particular kerfuffle, barring any new information linking Abbott to this decision. But the whole thing shows how deep and scalding the water that Republicans find themselves in truly is.</p><p>There isn’t any attempt here to deny or minimize the extent of the fraud. Instead, Abbott’s communications director, Matt Hirsch claimed his boss is exonerated because, “Trump U was forced out of Texas and consumers were protected.” Which, while the word “fraud” wasn’t used, amounts to a tacit admission that they know Trump U is fraudulent, so much so that it had to be forced out of the state to protect Texans from Trump’s economic predation.</p><p>As with most things in this Trump-dominated election cycle, it’s important to take a moment to really consider this and not allow yourself to become numb to it: The governor of Texas has basically admitted, in public, that the presidential nominee of his own party is a grifter who was running a fraudulent business that had to be strong-armed out of the state. Trump is so undeniably corrupt that even his own party members are having to admit it and just try as hard as they can to keep their distance.</p><p>But it won’t be easy for them. One of the major reasons a transparent huckster like Trump was even able to get the Republican nomination is that the party has spent decades being tolerant, even welcoming, to all manner of grifters and frauds who, for whatever reason, see the conservative base as a bunch of easy-to-exploit marks for their shady money-making schemes. From Glenn Beck to Mike Huckabee to Sarah Palin, the entire Republican party is full of sleazy operators who use hyperbolic reactionary rhetoric as a sales tactic to push all manner of snake oil.</p><p>Trump U, for instance, has a lot in common with SarahPAC, the political action committee run by Sarah Palin, that fundraises by promising donors that the money will help elect more conservative politicians into office. The <a href="http://crooksandliars.com/2014/10/sarah-palins-pac-mostly-spends-its-money" target="_blank">problem is that almost none of the money raised goes to candidates</a>, and instead seems mostly to be spent on promoting Palin’s brand, leading to more book sales and paid appearances for her.</p><p>“Of the <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.php?txt=Q03&amp;cycle=2012&amp;view=R">417 leadership PACs</a> that made at least one contribution in that cycle,” <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/10/sarahpac-like-palin-herself-light-on-donations-to-fellow-republicans/" target="_blank">Open Secrets reported in October 2014</a>, “SarahPAC was one of only 19 to give less than 10 percent of its total expenditures to candidates, other PACs or party committees.” Of the PACs that spent over a million dollars, Palin’s was only one of 3 to be so parsimonious with donation to candidates.</p><p>In fact, the amount of money that SarahPAC spent on its ostensible mission is so low it’s almost hard to believe. In the two-year cycle for the 2014 midterm elections, SarahPAC spent $2.7 million overall. Only $150,000, or 5.5 percent, actually went to candidates. The rest went to paid consultants, buying Palin’s books for giveaways, travel for Palin and her staff and other activities that are more properly understood as “advertising Sarah Palin” than fundraising for candidates.</p><p>Palin is hardly alone in the sleazy behavior. <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/super-pac-scams-114581" target="_blank">Scam PACs are a major problem on the right</a>, with dozens and possibly hundreds of groups rising up, claiming to be there to help elect Republicans, but actually just taking most of the money for themselves instead.</p><p>Scam PACs aren’t really surprising, however, since <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/conservative-circles-scams-abound" target="_blank">conservative politicians and pundits</a> have long been ensconced in all number of sleazy direct mail and other schemes for decades. <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/2010/12/maddow-newt-gingrich-direct-mail-scam-artist/" target="_blank">Newt Gingrich appears to be making a mint of his direct mail scams</a>, which include sending out fake awards and charging people fees ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 to collect them. <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/01/03/mike-huckabee-sold-out-his-fans-to-a-quack-doct/202000" target="_blank">Mike Huckabee’s email list </a>is always hawking fake “cures” and other shady products. <a href="http://gawker.com/5599293/how-glenn-beck-and-goldline-rip-off-fox-news-viewers" target="_blank">Glenn Beck has been deeply involved</a> in a gold-selling scam through the company Goldline. <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/02/05/here-are-5-conservative-outlets-that-promoted-t/197943" target="_blank">Multiple conservative outlets and even former senator Scott Brown</a> have been outed for pushing fake Alzheimer cures. <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/ben-carsons-campaign-is-still-spending-like-crazy/458925/" target="_blank">Ben Carson’s presidential campaign</a> was structured more like a direct mail scam than a legitimate campaign.</p><p>Just as with his belligerent authoritarianism, embrace of conspiracy theories and racism, Trump’s grifter tendencies cannot be understood as a departure from regular Republican politics. Instead, this is just another case of Trump taking something that already existed in conservative circles and turning the volume up dramatically. Republicans have long had a broad acceptance for con artists and frauds using conservative rhetoric and channels to defraud people out of their hard-earned money. Trump University was just doing the same thing, but bilking people out of even more cash than the usual right wing grifts would take. Which is why it’s not going to be so easy for Republican politicians to escape the stain of being associated with Trump and his fraudulent ways.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1057923'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1057923" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 07 Jun 2016 13:04:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1057923 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing trump election 2016 donald trump Military Women Who Speak out About Sexual Assault Are Being Branded With 'Personality Disorder' and Pushed Out http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/personal-health/military-women-who-report-rape-are-being-silenced <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1056900'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1056900" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Noxious stereotypes about women being nuts and liars are being used to silence military women who report rape.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/flickr_-_israel_defense_forces_-_karakal_winter_training_1.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>As all too many rape victims discover when they speak out, many react by just wishing the victim would shut up and go away.</p>Most rapists attack someone they know, which means that holding them accountable means tearing apart whatever community—school, work, friend group—that the accused and accuser belong in. Often, it feels just easier to pressure the accuser to shut up and go away so everything can return to normal, even though that often requires ignoring that there’s a sexual predator in your midst.<p>In a report released on Thursday, <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/05/19/us-raped-military-then-punished" target="_blank">Human Rights Watch turned up alarming evidence</a>that, in the military, forces that want to shut accusers up and make them go away have found a disturbingly potent weapon: Misogynist stereotypes. By leaning on prejudiced beliefs that women, especially outspoken women, are either dishonest or crazy, the military was able to get rid of women who came forward with rape accusations.</p><blockquote><p>The 124-page report, “<a href="https://www.hrw.org/node/288710/">Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors</a>,” found that many rape victims suffering from trauma were unfairly discharged for a “personality disorder” or other mental health condition that makes them ineligible for benefits. Others were given “Other Than Honorable” discharges for misconduct related to the assault that shut them out of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system and a broad range of educational and financial assistance. The consequences of having “bad paper”—any discharge other than “honorable”—or being labeled as having a “personality disorder” are far-reaching for veterans and their families, impacting employment, child custody, health care, disability payments, burial rights—virtually all aspects of life.</p></blockquote><p>Dismissing women as crazy or liars or both is a long-standing tactic of rape denialists, who feed of false social beliefs about women being less mentally stable or straightforward than men. That’s how, for instance, Bill Cosby was able to coast so long, despite having settled a lawsuit out of court in which the plaintiff had <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/154160_timeline_of_bill_cosby_sexual_assault_allegations/" target="_blank">13 women ready and willing to speak out</a>.</p><p>The belief that women are inherently off somehow is so ingrained that it was easy for the public to believe that more than a football team’s worth of women was just doing this out of a female strain of crazy vindictiveness. It wasn’t until the numbers swelled to the dozens that most of the public had to start questioning whether it might just be possible that the explanation for the accusations was that they were true instead of that women are crazy monsters who lie for sport.</p><p>The notion that women are crazy liars is so ingrained in our society that it’s often hard to see it. But it’s the go-to way to dismiss any woman who speaks out or resists a male-dominated social order. The percentage of women who have been called “crazy” during a domestic spat with a man probably hovers around 99.9%. (Kudos to the men, most of whom admit to having done this in the past, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/09/men-really-need-to-stop-calling-women-crazy/" target="_blank">who are publicly pushing back</a> against <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/damon-young/men-just-dont-trust-women_b_6714280.html" target="_blank">how easy it is for men to win an argument</a> by simply “diagnosing” their partners as crazy.) Feminists have always faced down accusations that their activism is rooted in the crazy-lyingness of women, <a href="http://theweek.com/articles/461455/12-cruel-antisuffragette-cartoons" target="_blank">since the days of the suffrage movement</a> to the constant drumbeat of “crazy” accusations that feminists get these days on Twitter.  <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Wallpaper" target="_blank">One of the most famous books of American 19th century literature </a>deals with the way that women’s ambitions and outspokenness is so frequently rewarded with “diagnoses” of mental illness.</p><p>As evidence for the power of the “women are crazy liars” stereotype, consider the current election landscape. Hillary Clinton is, in objective terms, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson" target="_blank">the most honest candidate who ran a presidential campaign this year</a>. But she is usually rated the least trustworthy. The widespread gap between reality and perception is due largely, probably entirely, to ugly stereotypes about outspoken women as mentally unstable hysterics who lie for sport.</p><p>Under the circumstances, it’s no surprise that calling women crazy or liars is to standard way societies dismiss rape charges that they don’t want to deal with. That’s terrible in and of itself, but for military women, it’s even worse, because these trumped-up charges end up in their military discharge papers, imperiling their opportunities to get work in the future. As the report notes, the stigma of being labeled with “personality disorder” or “mental illness”, even if you don’t have one, can be used against women in child custody cases and make it harder for them to get health care.</p><p>Worse, there’s almost no recourse.</p><p>“US law prohibits service members from suing the military for any harm suffered related to their service,” the report reads. “The Boards for Correction of Military Records and Discharge Review Boards, the administrative bodies responsible for correcting injustices to service members’ records, are overwhelmed with thousands of cases.”</p><p>The cases that HRW collected are horrific. One woman reports that she was groped, bullied, and raped by her male colleagues in the Navy. She finally complained when they—no joke—waited until she was asleep and <em>set her on fire</em>.</p><p>“[T]he perpetrators were only given an oral reprimand and, when she complained to a supervisor, she was told she was overreacting,” the report reads. After she complained again about an officer who kept groping her, she was “diagnosed” with a “personality disorder” and discharged. She has since struggled to find work, since no one wants to hire a supposedly crazy lady.</p><p>Obviously, in some cases HRW looked at, there was a decline in mental health. (That happens to rape victims a lot of the time. Shocking, I know.) But, as HRW found, victims who really do need a mental health discharge are often not informed that there is a process to leave for mental health reasons where you are not stuck with an other-than-honorable discharge that can affect future job prospects. The eagerness to get rid of them leads to people who didn’t do anything wrong and really need help being stuck with a stigmatized discharge that often makes it even harder to get that help.</p><p>HRW recommends many policy fixes to make it easier for rape victims to survive without having to carry a dishonorable or other-than-honorable discharge around for the rest of their lives, including not allowing the military to discharge a victim with a “personality disorder” without proper diagnosis and making it easier for victims to get a hearing to change their discharge status.</p><p>But this problem is also a microcosm of a larger social ill, which is our tendency to lean on stereotypes of women being “crazy” or “liars” whenever they speak out about injustice. We’ve come far, as a society, on gender issues, but we still live in a world where a woman can be groped, raped, and even set on fire, but she ends up being told she’s the crazy one while no one asks about the mental status of men who would do such things. That needs to change, and we can all help by resisting the urge to dismiss any woman who tips our applecart with the word “crazy.”</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1056900'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1056900" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sat, 21 May 2016 12:29:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1056900 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Personal Health Personal Health Sex & Relationships bill cosby hillary clinton sexual assault military rape us military sexism Trump Is Clueless About Women's Reproductive Rights—That's What Makes Him So Dangerous http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-clueless-about-womens-reproductive-rights-thats-what-makes-him-so-dangerous <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1056834'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1056834" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump could still curtail women&#039;s rights despite doing a poor job pretending he understands this &quot;pro-life&quot; thing. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_385504714.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Back in March, Donald Trump embarrassed himself and the Republican party when he was asked <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/trump-s-hazy-stance-on-abortion-punishment-655457859717?version=meter%20at%200&amp;module=meter-Links&amp;pgtype=article&amp;contentId=&amp;mediaId=&amp;referrer=http:%2F%2Ffeedly.com%2Fi%2Fsaved&amp;priority=true&amp;action=click&amp;contentCollection=meter-links-click" target="_blank">by Chris Matthews if women who have abortions</a> should be punished and Trump, with a blasé attitude, agreed that the only logical way to enforce a ban on abortion is for there to be “some form of punishment.”</p><p>The furor that erupted spun out of control in no small part because of the anti-choice movement itself, which has long understood that <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/donald_trump_says_he_wants_to_punish_women_who_have_abortions_making_him_just_like_every_other_pro_life_politician/" target="_blank">one never admits to wanting to punish women for abortion</a>. The statement was, like Trump’s inability to recognize a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/01/donald-trump-accidentally-put-money-in-the-communion-plate-at-a-church-in-iowa/" target="_blank">communion plate</a> or <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/" target="_blank">his seeming ignorance of the basic tenets of Christianity</a>, evidence that he doesn’t recognize the customs of the religious right movement he wishes to claim membership in.</p><p>Well, even Trump realizes you have to placate the religious right to run for office as a Republican, and so he and his campaign have been hustling really hard to learn the anti-choice lingo and throw the movement some cookies to win their love. Right- wingers may not care if you can quote the Bible, but if you want them to pretend you’re a Christian, you best learn to pander to the anti-choice movement.</p><p>Trump is trying, but his efforts are ham-fisted. Wednesday, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/magazine/donald-trump-primary-win.html?_r=4" target="_blank">the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile</a> of Trump by Robert Draper where Trump took another go at trying to talk about this abortion thing.</p><p>“I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison. I’m saying women punish themselves,” Trump told Draper. “I didn’t want people to think in terms of ‘prison’ punishment. And because of that I walked it back.”</p><p>Uh-huh. To most people, this excuse sounds like so much word salad, but for those who follow the anti-choice movement, it’s clear what is going on here. Trump, realizing he doesn’t know jack about this abortion thing, obviously brought some consultants in to coach him in how to push anti-choice talking points without admitting that you want to punish and control women, because that, no duh, sounds misogynist.</p><p>The proper anti-choicer <em>never</em> admits that he thinks women who have abortions are dirty sluts that he wants to punish. The official belief is that women who have abortions are wayward children who were only having sex because of peer pressure. Forcing childbirth on them is constructed as a favor you’re doing them, protecting them from the supposed guilt they’ll feel. You’re not supposed to be “punishing” them so much as <em>correcting</em> them, through forced childbirth, in an attempt to get them onto the one true path of righteous womanhood, centered around chastity and child-bearing and ideally wifely submission.</p><p>Claiming the abortion and supposed shame and guilt a woman feels is punishment enough <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/shaming-women-now-donald-trump-policy-position" target="_blank">is a favorite deflection technique of anti-choicers</a>, as is declaring that <a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=women+are+victims+of+abortion&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8" target="_blank">women are “victims” of abortion</a>. Trump clearly had to take a couple meetings where he was told that anti-choicers prefer to portray their desire to shame and punish as an attempt to “help”, and this is just his awkward attempt to spout the talking points he was given.</p><p>Of course, pandering to the religious right is going to take a little more than robotically repeating half-remembered talking points some overpaid consultant gave Trump in a meeting. But that’s where Trump is lucky. As long as he shows a willingness to help them achieve their goal of getting a fetus in every uterus, it’s safe to say that the religious right will forgive his ineptitude at pretending to care about this crap.</p><p>Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks may appear <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/us/politics/donald-trump-supreme-court-nominees.html" target="_blank">hastily taped together from about five minutes of Google searches</a>, but one thing is for certain: Pleasing anti-choicers was clearly a guiding principle in making this list.</p><p><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/trumps-supreme-court-nominees-nod-towards-evangelicals" target="_blank">As Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones notes</a>, most of these judges are hardcore right-wingers on social issues: Anti-gay, anti-abortion and, as she explains, even anti-contraception. Three of the 11 people listed have ruled in favor of companies that want to deny contraception access to their employees, claiming that even though the insurance plans may belong to the employees themselves, the employer should have veto power over how you use your own plan. (It’s the same logic as saying that because your employer gives you time off for vacation, he should get to tell you where you can go.)</p><p>While the war on abortion rights has been amping up in recent years, this whole effort to remove a woman’s control over her contraception choices and give it to someone else, preferably an employer, is an exciting new flank of the war on women. Trump just signaled his eagerness to play along.</p><p>That’s why <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/anti-choice-leader-who-said-trump-mistreated-women-now-making-case-trump" target="_blank">anti-choice leaders are lining up behind Trump</a>, even though there’s almost no reason to think he’ll become any more convincing at pretending he gets or even really cares about their issue. He doesn’t really need to, so long as they can count on him to give them the judicial appointments they want. (And to sign any abortion bans that Congress sends to the White House for approval.) Which he will, of course, do, because he may not be a smart or coherent man, but Trump understands the basic premise of making a deal: Their votes for his cooperation.</p><p>That’s also why liberals shouldn’t take any comfort from Trump’s personal disinterest in the reproductive rights issue. He doesn’t need to care in order for anti-choicers to use him as a tool to get their way. This potential judge list shows exactly how this works: He needs to offer some names in order to seem serious, they have some names to offer, so a deal is made, without him having to spend a single minute worrying about why they have such a silly obsession with keeping women from exercising their reproductive rights.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1056834'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1056834" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 19 May 2016 13:17:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1056834 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 LGBTQ The Right Wing donald trump trump and women election 2016 reproductive rights abortion rights Trump Embraces Blunt Sexism: His Supporters Love the Absurd Idea That Even the Smartest Woman Isn't as Good as a Man http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-embraces-blunt-sexism-his-supporters-love-absurd-idea-even-smartest-woman-isnt <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1055745'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1055745" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">His constant slams on women works with his ardent backers—but it will destroy him in November.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_312956195.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Donald Trump never met a preposterous statement he wasn’t willing to stand by, and so it is with his apparent belief that women are unfairly advantaged over men in our society. <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-defends-womans-card-attack" target="_blank">On Fox News on Sunday</a>, Chris Wallace asked Trump why he would say that Hillary Clinton is a talentless hack who is coasting on the “woman card,” i.e. the unearned privilege he believes women enjoy over men, and Trump defended himself by pulling his P.C.-police-suppress-the-truth card.</p><p>“Well, I’m my own strategist and I like that—what I said and it’s true,” Trump said. “I only tell the truth and that’s why people voted for me.”</p><p>The audacity of it is stunning, of course. If he hadn’t been born a white man in a wealthy family, Trump would be a used car salesman in Des Moines who spends his weekends on desultory Match. com dates with divorcees who never call him again. Meanwhile, a huge amount of Clinton’s appeal is that she’s a smart and talented woman who has overcome a huge amount of sexist abuse in order to get as far as she has.</p><p>But Trump’s bleating about the “woman card” epitomizes the appeal he has to his supporters, even as he manages to alienate everyone else in the country. There’s a certain logic to his argument if you believe, as most conservatives do, that sexism is a thing of the past and that feminists are just making up stories to “play the victim” and earn the sweet, sweet cash they supposedly get from saying sexism still exists.</p><p>The problem with the “sexism is over” argument is that women in this country are still not equal. <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/04/13/its_not_choices_its_pure_sexism_women_get_paid_less_for_one_reason_theyre_discriminated_against/" target="_blank">There’s a persistent pay gap</a>. Women are underrepresented in congress and no woman has ever been the president. While women <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/10/31/women-more-likely-to-graduate-college-but-still-earn-less-than-men" target="_blank">graduate from college at greater rates than men</a>, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/12/22/3606282/women-promotions/" target="_blank">they are less likely to get plum jobs and promotions</a>.</p><p>Looking over the statistics, there’s really only two ways to explain the inequities: Either women are being treated unfairly or women are simply inferior to men. Feminists stand by the first argument, <a href="http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/" target="_blank">pointing out multiple studies </a>that show that sexist beliefs about women and systematic discrimination holds women back.</p><p>Conservatives, however, reject the notion that sexism is still a thing, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/04/13/its_not_choices_its_pure_sexism_women_get_paid_less_for_one_reason_theyre_discriminated_against/" target="_blank">forcing them to argue that women fall behind</a> because they’re simply not as good as men. There are a lot of euphemisms for this argument—they usually say it’s because of women’s “choices” instead of bluntly claiming that women are inferior—but the gist is there: It’s not sexism, it’s that women aren’t good/smart/ambitious enough.</p><p>Once you buy into the argument that women’s inequality is due to women’s inferiority, it’s not much of a leap to start assuming that any woman who does go far must be getting some unfair advantage. For Trump and the sexist men who support him, it’s easier to believe that Clinton’s success is due to a feminist conspiracy to promote women over more deserving men than to admit that there are women out there that are smarter and more capable than they are. It’s the same mentality that led Trump and the folks who support him to embrace “birther” theories about Barack Obama. It was easier to believe he was installed by a shadowy cabal than accept the possibility that an African-American man could be a legitimately elected official.</p><p>Trump’s simplistic sexism has become déclassé in mainstream conservative circles. Instead, the trend has been to accept some women into leadership positions, as long as they remain firmly in the minority and don’t ever rise to the tippy-top positions reserved for men. This simultaneously props up the argument that conservatives aren’t sexist while maintaining a belief in female inferiority. The gist of things is that while a small handful of exceptional women are good enough to compete with men, most are not. And even those who are smart enough will never be quite as good as the men at the top.</p><p>Ted Cruz’s selection of Carly Fiorina as his running mate is a perfect illustration of the delicate dance that conservatives are performing with gender politics. On one hand, he’s trying to show off how non-sexist he supposedly is by picking a woman. On the other hand, he went out of his way to pick someone who isn’t as smart as he is, as evidenced by her long history of professional and political failures. The pick allows him to appear to respect women while reinforcing conservative beliefs that women aren’t quite as capable as men. If anything, by picking someone who isn’t very good, Cruz is subtly reaffirming the belief that women in leadership are incompetents who get a leg up not because of talent but because of “political correctness.”</p><p>John McCain did the same thing in 2008 with his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Now there is a hack who only got as far as she did because powerful men wanted to be seen as the kind of people who promote women. She was a bad pick for his campaign, but a good pick for pushing the belief that women aren’t as smart as men and can only really get far because of their supposed female privilege.</p><p>Under the circumstances, it’s easy to see why so many voters prefer Trump. He doesn’t play these complicated games of pretending to respect women while rejecting the possibility that women really can be equal to men. His belief systems are far more straightforward: He doesn’t think women are smart and any woman’s success that challenges him will be waved away as a gimme handed to her because of “political correctness.” For those who are sick of pretending to believe things they don’t want to believe, such as in the possibility that women can be smart, the Trump method is far more appealing than the elaborate systems of B.S. that other conservatives have built.</p><p>That, plus it’s always thrilling to misogynists to hear that, simply by virtue of being male, they are better than a woman who was her class valedictorian, an accomplished lawyer, a senator and the secretary of state. But odds are low Trump will get far with the general electorate by suggesting that even the smartest woman somehow pales in comparison to a mediocre man.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1055745'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1055745" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 02 May 2016 15:05:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1055745 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 LGBTQ trump donald trump election 2016 hillary clinton women Lying Is the Business of Right-Wing Propagandists http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/media/lying-business-right-wing-propagandists <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1055059'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1055059" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Author Ari Rabin-Havt explains how modern conservatism is built on an entire industry built to lie.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/boughtandpaidfor121715not.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>We live in troubling times, what many have dubbed a “post-truth” era, where there’s little, if any, political penalty for conservatives to tell outright lies about everything from health care to climate change, an environment that has led directly to the situation we face now, where the Republican primary is a race between <a href="http://www.dailywire.com/news/3451/so-whos-real-liar-cruz-trump-or-rubio-ben-shapiro" target="_blank">two stunningly belligerent and shameless liars</a>.</p><p>Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters have come together to chronicle how things got this bad in a new book, <em>Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics</em>. I interviewed Rabin-Havt about the industry that’s grown up to create and spread the lies that are the basis of much of modern right-wing propaganda.</p><p>Your book is titled <em>Lies, Incorporated</em>, which you say is more than a snazzy title, but a reference to “this industry made of lobbyists, PR companies, media lackeys, unethical experts and unscrupulous think tanks.” And it’s all for the purpose of spreading and ingraining lies into the public consciousness, usually from the right. Why do you think this deserves a designation as its own industry?</p><p>When I started digging in, I found it to be something different than your day-to-day run-of-the-mill D.C. lobbying and corruption. I found it to be something wholly more unethical and wholly strategically separate. Even though it’s part and parcel of the tactics used in those efforts, it becomes something different when you think about the fact that these are individuals who set out to intentionally manipulate public policy by manipulating the truth.</p><p>This whole system started with the tobacco industry and its efforts to shut down discussion about how smoking causes cancer. Can you talk about that history?</p><p>Sure, and full credit to Naomi Oreskes and her team and her work at Harvard and her book, which I think really opened a lot of eyes around this.</p><p><a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/50359/how_a_pr_firm_helped_establish_america's_cigarette_century" target="_blank">John Hill</a> met with kind of the tobacco barons in the 1950s and they had a problem—their issue was that there were a series of articles coming out where the linkages between their product and cancer were becoming more and more clear. In fact, the research that linked tobacco to cancer dates back decades before that. By the time they met it was kind of becoming widely accepted. </p><p>So Hill sets up a PR infrastructure to combat the very idea that tobacco was causing health problems. They basically decided that the best way for them to maintain their profits as an industry was to join together and deny facts and knowingly lie.</p><p>What’s interesting is John Hill, this legendary PR guy, before he had this meeting with the tobacco barons, he himself had quit smoking because of health concerns!</p><p>And yet still was willing to push this.</p><p>If you look at the quote-unquote tobacco scientists, and then if you look at a lot of the people I cite in the book, it’s very easy to say—you hear this all the time with climate scientists—"these are people who sold out for money." It’s really easy to say that. That’s not true in most of these cases. There is financial gain, let’s not toss that to the side, but these people do it for ideology.</p><p>For example, in the case of climate, if you look at the ideology of some of the distinguished researchers that were coming out who were climate deniers, a lot of it is anticommunism. Why? Because they believe that big government and government intervention in such a large scale problem invariably takes a road towards more government control, hence, communism.</p><p>It seems to me that while the climate denialist movement started with this well-funded industry attempt to find some dirt on climate scientists, the attacks really got traction because all of these right-wing ideologues started dog-piling these scientists. What happened there?</p><p>You have <a href="http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/debunking-misinformation-stolen-emails-climategate.html#.VxUoJ6vWyf4" target="_blank">a hack of East Anglia University</a>, which was a pretty unknown university to people outside this world, where a bunch of emails from climate scientists all around the world discussing their research get exposed. They’re people on an email list together, and when people are on an email list together in the confines of friends, they talk in a fairly casual manner because you assume good faith. If you take things out of context when people are speaking in a casual manner, especially scientists, you end up with ideological weapons that can be used.</p><p>Ken Cuccinelli, who was then attorney general of Virginia and trying to run for governor, tried to get climate scientist <a href="http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/index.php" target="_blank">Michael Mann</a>'s records from UVA, where he had been a professor. You have investigations launched, all of which find, of course, that there’s nothing wrong.</p><p>At the same time, people who are ideologically interested in trying to shoot down global warming constantly use “<a href="http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Climategate" target="_blank">Climategate</a>” as an excuse. Back in my old <a href="http://mediamatters.org/" target="_blank">Media Matters</a> days, when we got an inbox with a bunch of internal Fox emails, one of the ones I mention in this book was an email where the Washington managing editor ordered reporters to kind of cite climategate when talking about climate change. So you see this <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/11/14/study-confirms-fox-news-creates-alternate-reali/165691" target="_blank">repeatedly carried out through the media</a> to convince people that, “Oh, this proves that climate change is just some giant liberal scam,” which is what a lot of people believe somehow.</p><p>The death panels issue is a crystalline example of how industry needs come together with right-wing ideology to push this ridiculous idea into the public and it somehow takes off. How did that happen?</p><p>You have Betsy McCaughey, who is a known liar. <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/what_betsy_mccaughey_knows.html" target="_blank">Ezra Klein</a> had written back in 2009 that the thing about Betsy McCaughey is, “She’s an exciting liar.” So her lies work.</p><p>In the 1990s, she’d written an article called “<a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/69935/no-exit" target="_blank">No Exit</a>” in The New Republic, which became an infamous piece that the right, people like Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole and Bill Kristol, heralded as the piece that brought down the Clinton health care bill. It was full of lies about the Clinton health care bill, but in a pre-internet age it took a long time to debunk it, almost a decade. <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/05/15/the-woman-who-killed-health-care.html" target="_blank">The New Republic only apologized for it years later</a>.</p><p id="yui_3_18_1_15_1461279384815_47">McCaughey was a person who was knowingly a liar about health care, and when the Obama health care bill comes up, she takes the opportunity to re-enter the spotlight. During an interview with Fred Thompson, who was then a radio host after running for president and being on “Law &amp; Order” and being a senator, she implies that the Obama bill has a section in it that tries to make seniors end their lives early.</p><p>Then Michele Bachmann picks this up and repeats it on the floor of the House of Representatives. Sarah Palin sees Michele Bachmann’s speech and writes about it on Facebook and coins the term “death panel.” So there’s a kind of right-wing chain that leads to Sarah Palin’s death panel post, which sparked the entire conversation.</p><p>With the book coming out, I decided to do a survey. I had a few questions about lies that I wanted answered. I wanted to see if the death panel lie still existed: Do people still think there are death panels? We’re seven years out, and right now, at this moment, 60 percent of Americans, of registered voters polled, either think that there is a death panel or are not sure.</p><p>We’ve now had Obamacare for a number of years and there’s clearly nobody killing grandma. One would think it might be in the news if there was a death panel killing grandma. Here’s what’s even more amazing: 51 percent of Democrats either think Obamacare establishes death panels or aren’t sure. And of course, 74 percent of Republicans believe that. That’s how sticky that lie was.</p><p>You lay out a really good case that lies tend to be believed on how exciting they are rather than how likely they are or what the evidence is. How does the left fight this sort of thing if debunking doesn’t work?</p><p>First, I don’t want to say that debunking is not important. Even if debunking is not a perfect methodology, it needs to be done or the situation gets even worse. Can you imagine if it wasn’t debunked?</p><p>But I think there are things that we need to do tactically. One mistake is there is a tendency among progressive politicians and others, even when we know something is a lie, to sometimes cave to it.</p><p>So with the end of life counseling provisions, that was actually something fairly important in Obamacare. It was something the AARP thought was good. Anyone who has had a relative who was a senior pass, you understand how those last days can be very, very difficult. You want people to be able to make decisions about the medication they’re on, about whether they should be resuscitated or not. People should be able to make those decisions themselves, and those things are complicated conversations that require medical professionals. But what happened is the administration ended up stripping that out of the bill.</p><p>Another issue is trying to enforce, through social structures, a mechanism where you cut off media access if somebody is a known and repeated liar—not if somebody is like a spinner, not if somebody disagrees with you—but somebody like Betsy McCaughey. She should not be given a platform to talk on TV because she’s interesting.</p><p id="yui_3_18_1_15_1461279384815_55">Take Donald Trump. The problem right now is you can’t cut Donald Trump out of the media. He’s the leading Republican candidate. But you <em>could </em>have cut off Donald Trump way back when he was a birther. It’s a media responsibility to say that certain people sacrifice their right to go on TV. This shouldn’t be a government decision, but networks can set policies to say, “If we know you’re gonna come on and lie, it’s not cute.” </p><p>You say in the book that you think the anti-abortion movement might be the most mendacious of all, that pretty much everything they do is based on lies.</p><p>It’s very strange to me because it’s something that could be grounded in a moral difference. That’s what it’s supposedly grounded in, but then you look at all of their actions and they’re based on lies, and easily fact-checked ones. It’s led to a world with these horrendous <a href="http://www.reproductiverights.org/project/targeted-regulation-of-abortion-providers-trap" target="_blank">TRAP laws</a>, which in and of themselves are lies. The very idea that Texas was passing these laws for the benefit and health of women is laughable even to the people who passed it.</p><p>It’s the same thing with voter ID laws. The idea that anybody believes that voter ID laws are being passed to prevent voter fraud is laughable, because there isn’t any of that type of voter fraud.</p><p>Everything is an urban legend at this point, that they then legislate on. Your book was written before this became an issue, but you see the same thing going on with the <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/12/video-heres-truth-about-anti-lgbt-bathroom-predator-myth/209862" target="_blank">bathroom predator nonsense</a> and the anti-trans laws.</p><p>Exactly, it’s the same thing. In that case you see people coming up with an outrageous falsehood to scare broad swaths of the population into believing that a problem exists that doesn’t exist. Assault is bad. If assault happens, that’s illegal already. But there is no rash of people pretending to be trans to enter women’s bathrooms. The bigger problem is that trans women are being victimized in our society.</p><p>When we think about corruption and how our democracy is hacked, we think about money and lobbying. But we also should think about how when those lobbyists enter meetings, they come in with fact sheets and talking points, a lot of the time based on lies. The issue should be this culture we’ve created where lies serve a strategic benefit in Washington and we really need to put a halt to it.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1055059'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1055059" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 15:58:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1055059 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Media Books Media News & Politics The Right Wing ari rabin-havt right-wing Right-wing Propaganda Early Retirement for Rush Limbaugh? His Show Is in Peril, but the Right-Wing World He Helped Build Will Sadly Live On http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/early-retirement-rush-limbaugh-his-show-peril-right-wing-world-he-helped-build <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1054886'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054886" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Limbaugh&#039;s radio show is on the rocks and his station is bankrupt, but the right will survive when he&#039;s gone.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/4377537515_157cdf3d30_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Is the clock ticking for Rush Limbaugh’s infamous radio show? The man who <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2016/04/18/cheer-up-rush-limbaugh-is-not-long-for-this-world/?cmpid=NLmorford" target="_blank">has done more than anyone besides possibly Roger Ailes</a> in defining the modern-day conservative movement is facing a serious contract situation this year. His contract with iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel) is about to be up, and frankly, there are good reasons for the behemoth radio corporation to drop him: His ratings are down, his audience is aging, he’s lost advertisers and frankly, there’s a lot of competitors that are equally good at spewing right-wing bile at a much cheaper price tag.</p><p>Eight years ago, Limbaugh was flying high. Not only were the Democratic prospects of winning the presidency looking good after eight years of George W. Bush, but neither of the viable candidates for the nomination was a white man. Bad for the Republicans, but in theory, good for Limbaugh, whose show is all about conservative outrage. This is a man who rose to prominence in the ’90s by having daily multi-hour rants about the supposed evils of then-president Bill Clinton. The prospect of another Democrat in office to hate on, especially one who isn’t a white man, must have had him salivating.</p><p>Perhaps this is why iHeartRadio, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/12/rush-limbaugh-facing-big-pay-cut/209876" target="_blank">Eric Boehlert of Media Matters reminds us</a>, offered Limbaugh a staggering $400 million contract in the summer of ’08, complete with a $100 million signing bonus.But the past years have not actually been that great for either Limbaugh or iHeartRadio.</p><p>“The talker is facing <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rush-limbaugh-ratings-sagging-article-1.2263146" target="_blank">ratings hurdles</a>, aging demographics, and an advertising community that increasingly views him as <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/03/01/rush-limbaugh-still-toxic-for-advertisers-one-y/192865" target="_blank">toxic</a>,” Boehlert writes, “thanks in part to his <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/03/05/limbaugh-launched-46-personal-attacks-on-fluke/184269" target="_blank">days-long</a> sexist meltdown over Sandra Fluke in 2012.”</p><p>In addition, iHeartRadio’s own finances are in serious trouble, “teetering on bankruptcy,” according to Boehlert. Limbaugh is probably facing a major pay cut, or, worse, being cancelled altogether.</p><p>Limbaugh’s troubles mirror the larger problems of the Republican party. The Republicans have spent the past few decades fetishizing the idea of the “real” conservative, driving the party to the right and making it a competition to see who can be the most conservative right wing ideologue of them all. Now that hyper-conservative voting base has decided the Republican party itself is not pure or conservative enough. The result is a flocking to Donald Trump, who can portray himself as a Tea Party-remisicient outsider, a man who isn’t afraid to say or do the other things that the supposed quislings in the party are too afraid to say or do.</p><p>Similarly, Limbaugh might be a victim of his own success. When he started getting really popular in the ’90s, right-wing talk radio wasn’t the monster it is now. There was no Fox News. The Internet was brand-new and there wasn’t a bunch of right wing blogs and message boards. There wasn’t even a Drudge Report.</p><p>But Limbaugh’s popularity helped usher in this explosion of right wing media. His high ratings led to radio stations starting up hundreds of imitators, all vying to be the most outrageous with their political incorrectness. His aesthetics and obsessions helped shape the right wing Internet as we know it. It’s hard to imagine a world with Fox News, Breitbart, and the Free Republic if Limbaugh hadn’t shown and helped create the enormous appetite for right wing paranoia and bombast.</p><p>But now it seems there might be market glut. <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2016/04/18/cheer-up-rush-limbaugh-is-not-long-for-this-world/?cmpid=NLmorford" target="_blank">As Mark Morford of SFGate writes</a>:</p><blockquote><p>But the fact remains: Limbaugh’s <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2014/04/15/has-rush-limbaugh-finally-reached-the-end-of-the-road/#5d5cb98d6222" target="_blank">superpower days are largely over</a>. The younger generation of hardcore conservative trolls—and they are legion, just ask Trump—they’re finding new outlets, new ways to express their bile, often online (hi, Reddit). After all, who needs old-timer, old-man talk radio when you have the Internet? Who needs Rush when every undereducated right-wing white male can <em>pretend</em> he’s Rush, in chat rooms, Twitter, Facebook and commenting forums?</p></blockquote><p>Of course, as I like to remind my fellow car-free New Yorkers, there will always be a market for radio as long as people are still driving cars, or, more importantly, sitting in traffic. This is why Limbaugh was such a powerhouse in the first place, because he harnessed an outlet that many people, in the TV-obsessed 90s, didn’t even really remember was still an influential medium.</p><p>There, however, Limbaugh is still facing a much different environment than he used to have. Every two-bit conservative blowhard out there now has his own radio show. Finding someone spewing fact-free right wing propaganda isn’t hard to do. On the contrary, in some parts of the country, you’d be hard-pressed to find an AM station that plays anything else. Limbaugh came up in a world where he was the only show in town. Now right wing radio is like Baskin Robbins. Why order vanilla when there are 30 other flavors to choose from?</p><p>Which is why, even though it’s fun to imagine Limbaugh being forced into an early retirement, it’s also not some great liberal victory. The truth is that Limbaugh has built a powerful legacy that will endure long after he’s retired or even dead. He helped shape and mainstream modern conservative propaganda, selling it not just as a legitimate form of entertainment, but, even more disturbingly, a replacement for the actual news for millions of Americans. Between talk radio and Fox News, huge numbers of Americans take in hours upon hours of political programming a day without actually engaging with the facts. The result is a world where Donald Trump can be the frontrunner for a major political party and lies about everything from climate change to abortion are a normalized part of everyday discourse.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1054886'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054886" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:38:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1054886 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org The Right Wing Media The Right Wing rush limbaugh right wing media talk radio iheartradio media Bill O'Reilly's Revolting Comment to Trump About African-Americans Is the Newest Chapter in His Long History of Bigotry http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/bill-oreillys-revolting-comment-trump-about-african-americans-newest-chapter-his <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1054454'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054454" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Many &quot;are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads,&quot; O&#039;Reilly said about African-Americans seeking jobs.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-03-01_at_10.35.37_am.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>It was a moment of such stunning racism from Bill O’Reilly that even those who are well-apprised of his racist history were stunned. Donald Trump was on “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday and made a promise to reduce unemployment for African-Americans.</p><p>“How are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly retorted, suddenly offended because Trump—<em>Donald Trump</em>—is somehow failing to be racist enough. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it—but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”</p><p>Tattoos on their foreheads? You have to give it to O’Reilly: Not only is he familiar with all the classic racist stereotypes, but he’s pretty good at making up entirely new ones. He seems to have forgotten that he and Trump were on TV and not in some wood-paneled Manhattan bar consuming their 5th order of expensive scotch, and some half-remembered incident where he saw a black person with a face tattoo (Lil Wayne, who is definitely not unemployed) came spilling out in a torrent of inchoate rage that involves assuming that this fashion choice is far more common than it actually is.</p><p>If you have been following O’Reilly career of race-baiting, this level of anger and obsession is sadly what you’d expect from the man. “The O’Reilly Factor” pretends it’s a political show, but really it’s more a nightly opportunity for O’Reilly to scare his elderly white audience with lurid tales about how young black people are out of control and threatening to destroy this country, mostly through the power of wearing clothes and listening to music that do not remind his audience of Pat Boone at all.</p><p>O’Reilly grew up in Levittown on Long Island, perhaps the most iconic suburb of the white flight era, a place that openly barred black people from living there. In 2014, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/10/17/bill-oreillys-levittown-denialism/" target="_blank">Jon Stewart confronted O’Reilly with how his own hometown</a> is an example of how racist systems perpetuate themselves, because white veterans like O’Reilly’s father were able to get low-rate mortgages there and build a nest egg for their families, while black people were denied the same opportunities. O’Reilly was having none of it, refusing to accept that having wealth and savings to pass on to your children might give white people an advantage over black people that last generations.</p><p>Instead, O’Reilly’s preferred theory for economic disparities between black and white people is about some abstract notion of “culture,” i.e. that white people have a superior culture that breeds hard work, but black culture supposedly breeds laziness and sexual degeneracy. (This, from a man who got sued for foisting <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/oreilly/bill-oreilly-falafel-lawsuit-turns-ten-897562" target="_blank">his unwanted and lurid loofah fantasies on an underling</a>.)</p><p>His bizarre reference to forehead tattoos is an example of this. It’s easier for him to believe that a huge percentage of black people have forehead tattoos than accept the much better-evidenced theory that racial discrimination plays a role in economic outcomes in our society.</p><p>To bolster his argument, O’Reilly has a long habit of hammering on and on about hip-hop and R&amp;B artists, who he treats not as performers making artistic statements but as representatives of how everyday people actually live.</p><p>Take, for instance, his long war on Beyoncé. To most people, Beyoncé is a great singer and pop star and seems like a really nice person who has it together in business and in life. But to O’Reilly and his audience of hysterical racists, she’s reduced to this gross racial stereotype of a supposedly oversexed black woman.</p><p>In 2014, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/04/27/3431245/oreilly-beyonce-teen-pregnancies/" target="_blank">O’Reilly had a lengthy meltdown</a> over Beyoncé’s last record, which had a lot of songs and videos that explored the theme of love and sexual desire. (Shocking, I know. It’s like it was a pop record aimed at young people.) In one notable segment of his show, O’Reilly played a clip of her video for “Drunk In Love,” before railing about how girls, especially black girls, were going to see it and get this crazy idea that sex is fun.</p><p>“She knows—this woman knows—that young girls are getting pregnant in the African-American community,” he railed. “Now it’s about 70 percent out of wedlock. She knows and doesn’t seem to care.”</p><p>It was a particularly telling moment because the song is quite obviously about <em>married</em>sex. Beyoncé has her own husband in the video! Not that married sex is more moral, but the whole debacle just perfectly illustrates how O’Reilly’s freakout was about promoting a racist narrative, unimpeded by basic facts.</p><p>But even without that forehead-slapping moment (to soon be commemorated in a tattoo), it’s not hard to see what O’Reilly was up to. Sexuality is a theme across all genres of music and has been to one degree or another since forever. Rock and country-western have<em> plenty</em> of songs about getting it on. It’s only when the musicians are black that O’Reilly suddenly can’t understand that music is an art form offering commentary but instead treats it like it’s some kind of handbook of moral instruction for the youth of today. As if young people wouldn’t feel sexual stirrings without Beyoncé telling them to.</p><p>It’s not just Beyoncé. O’Reilly’s obsession with scolding black musicians for supposedly “teaching” the wrong lessons is so legendary that <a href="http://mixing.io/playlist/apple-music-hip-hop-rappers-criticised-by-bill-oreilly" target="_blank">Apple Music put together a tongue-in-cheek playlist</a> of rappers criticized by O’Reilly.</p><p>Similarly, <a href="http://noisey.vice.com/blog/a-brief-history-of-bill-oreilly-knowing-dick-about-hip-hop" target="_blank">Dan Ozzi of Vice</a> put together a hilarious, must-read list in 2015 titled “A Brief History of Bill O’Reilly Knowing Dick About Hip-Hop.” It features many must-watch-through-your-fingers moments like O’Reilly telling Lupe Fiasco that your “constituency are not exactly political science PhDs.” (Ozzi snarks, “unlike Fox News viewers who are across the board educated doctors and learned people of science.”)</p><p>In the real world, hip-hop is a musical form, an important one for sure, but hardly the end-all, be-all that explains everything that O’Reilly wants it to be. (It’s also a lot more diverse than O’Reilly, who appears to think Common is a gangsta rapper, acknowledges.) But there’s a reason he hammers at this nonsense all the time, and it’s not just because scaring old white people living in suburban enclaves is profitable.</p><p>It’s to feed his narrative that racial disparities aren’t due to structural, but due to “culture” and “bad choices.” It allows his audience to feel good about their white privilege, telling themselves they somehow earned it by dint of their virtuous natures, when the blunt truth is that it’s easier to do well when you aren’t being constantly discriminated against because of ugly stereotypes of the sort that O’Reilly dishes out on a nightly basis.</p><p>It’s quite a bit like what happened to O’Reilly’s Irish ancestors, who were demonized in the 19th and early 20th century as drunkards and ne’er-do-wells in order to justify trapping them in poverty and preventing them from getting decent jobs.</p><p>Sometimes O’Reilly accidentally tips his hand to what his real motivations are here, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2007/09/21/oreilly-surprised-there-was-no-difference-betwe/139893" target="_blank">such as when Al Sharpton took him to dinner at the famous Harlem restaurant Sylvia’s</a>.</p><p>“I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City,” he said of the experience. “I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.”</p><p>But while Sharpton clearly was hoping this could be an educational experience, O’Reilly didn’t learn anything from it, going right back to his nightly diatribes that assume that black people are somehow categorically different from white people when it comes to manners, morality, or knowing the difference between real life and what’s in a song.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1054454'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054454" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 13:22:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1054454 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org The Right Wing Election 2016 Media The Right Wing bill o'reilly donald trump media racism jobs The Mystery of Republican Women Backing Sexist Trump: They’re Female Misogynists Who’ve Grown to Accept Oppression http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/mystery-republican-women-backing-sexist-trump-theyre-female-misogynists-whove-grown <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1054226'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054226" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Most women hate Trump, but some are all too happy to go along with his ugly views on women.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/donald_trump_signs_the_pledge_04.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>It’s safe to say most women don’t like Donald Trump. <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/190403/seven-women-unfavorable-opinion-trump.aspx" target="_blank">Polls show about 70% of women openly dislike the man</a>, an unfavorability rating that far surpasses any other candidate/gender combination out there.</p><p>But, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/04/07/some-women-actually-do-support-donald-trump-heres-why/" target="_blank">as Melissa Deckman for the Washington Post reminds us</a>, Trump does have his female supporters. Amongst Republicans, Trump is nearly as popular with women as he is with men, with 41 percent of GOP women vs. 43 percent of GOP men citing him as their favorite presidential candidate. Deckman, who <a href="http://nyupress.org/books/9781479866427/" target="_blank">wrote a book on Tea Party women</a>, suggests that these female voters are so invested in Trump’s views on immigration and race that they’re willing to overlook his misogyny.</p><p>Deckman is dead right about that, but I think there’s even more to it. The sad truth is that many conservative women are simply accepting of misogyny. If anything, for many conservative women, misogyny is a value-add.</p><p>As illogical as it might seem on the surface, many, many women share all manner of sexist and derogatory beliefs about women. Female misogyny has been central to the conservative movement for decades now. A reliable career path for a conservative woman who wants a career in politics is to be a spokeswoman for female misogyny, using her gender as cover to advance anti-feminist goals, such as stripping away reproductive rights, fighting women’s equality in the workplace and even, disturbingly, undermining efforts to reduce sexual harassment and violence.</p><p>Since the ’70s, when Phyllis Schlafly was organizing efforts to stop the Equal Rights Amendment, to today, when many anti-choice leaders are women and <a href="http://mediamatters.org/tags/outnumbered" target="_blank">Fox News has its own mostly female show</a> whose purpose is excusing sexual harassment and bashing feminists, female anti-feminism has been a critical component of the right-wing ecology.</p><p>Not that this is just a cynical money and power grab by heartless women willing to throw other women under the bus (though some of it probably is). Anti-feminist female punditry works in no small part because a whole lot of women sincerely agree with sexist ideas.</p><p>The reason is that misogyny is almost never about some categorical hatred of women just for being women. It’s about dividing women up into two categories, good women and bad women, and then dumping all this bile and hatred on women who are deemed unworthy for whatever reason. Even blatant misogynists like Trump will swear up and down that they don’t hate women, they’re just bashing some women.</p><p>On its surface, this kind of logic doesn’t seem so offensive. After all, we all accept that there are good people and bad people. Are feminists saying that women are somehow exempt from that? Of course not. The issue here is that women are being judged by unfair, irrational standards that are nothing like what we judge men by. What makes one a “good” woman in sexist thinking has little to do with whether you’re kind or even smart, but has more to do with adherence to unfair gender norms.</p><p>Women are judged more by their sexuality or their submissiveness than their actual character. So someone gets more points for being a virgin or being a doting housewife than they do for being smart and talented at their job. Or, in the case of Donald Trump, women are judged by their adherence to his very narrow views of what constitutes fuckable, and the rest of us are a waste of oxygen.</p><p>Another measure, in sexist thinking, of how good a woman is also has to do with how much she puts up with this crap, too. Women who smile politely or giggle indulgently when men say sexist or derogatory things are “good”, whereas women who talk back are bitches.</p><p>For women who are caught up in this way of thinking, it’s very intoxicating to imagine that you’re one of the good ones, and to reinforce your status as a Good Woman by ganging up on the supposedly bad ones. There are a lot of benefits to being a female sexist, from that rush of self-righteousness you get from calling some other woman a slut to getting male approval when you agree with sexist men around you that Trump’s nasty jokes about women are all in good fun.</p><p>For a lot of women, especially those living around a lot of conservative men, agreeing with sexist community norms is just less stressful. No one likes being told over and over again that they have a mouth on them or that they’re a bitch. But let’s face it, a lot of women get a kick out of policing and putting down other women. They may not get the status of men, but they can at least feel like they’re higher on the totem pole than some woman who flouts conservative norms about how women are supposed to dress, talk, and behave.</p><p>The anti-choice movement in particular is stuffed to the gills with women and it’s not because they are dumb enough to actually believe the hype about an embryo being the same thing as a baby. It’s because <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a32624/boston-abortion-planned-parenthood-protests/" target="_blank">policing other women’s sex and parenting behavior</a> makes them feel good about themselves, like <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a38642/heartbeat-international-conference-crisis-pregnancy-centers-abortion/" target="_blank">they are righteous and godly women </a>trying to corral all those wayward sluts.</p><p>Of course, Trump mostly indulges in a different stripe of misogyny, one that’s geared more towards pressuring women into being silent sex objects than pressuring them into being virginal blushing brides. But the same kind of pressures are in play. Laughing along with Trump’s hateful slams on women to show how chill and able to hang you are, while sneering at other women for getting mad about it is a cheap and easy way to feel good about yourself at the expense of other women. Plus, sexist men congratulate you for it. They don’t respect you, but that was never happening anyway, so you can see why some women might settle for condescending praise.</p><p>The good news is that there’s a reason to think feminism is slowly seeping in and more women are rejecting this entire paradigm where men, especially sexist men, get to tell us what makes a woman good or bad. Instead of being able to bully the women of America into feeling bad because we don’t fit  his stupid idea of what women should be, most American women are telling Donald Trump to shove it. That’s progress, even if we still have a long way to go before everyone gets there.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1054226'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054226" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 08 Apr 2016 11:46:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1054226 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 donald trump gop misogyny Roger Stone, Riot Organizer and Unapologetic Racist, Is the Trump Campaign's Best Friend http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/roger-stone-riot-organizer-and-unapologetic-racist-trump-campaigns-best-friend <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1054096'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054096" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">One of Trump&#039;s best allies and surrogates, Roger Stone, is a major racist who used riots to help Bush win in 2000.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/25999409220_26ab597ac1_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>After he was charged in the state of Florida for <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/29/politics/trump-campaign-manager-charged-with-simple-battery/" target="_blank">misdemeanor battery</a> for grabbing a reporter at a campaign event, Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been the focal point for attention paid to the rather, um, <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/inside-the-donald-trump-presidential-campaign.html" target="_blank">unusual team of unsavory people that Trump</a> has surrounded himself with in his bid for the presidency. But there was (is?) another member of the Trump team that <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/donald-trump-corey-lewandowski-220742" target="_blank">Lewandowski is alleged to have pushed out</a> who has been making some noise lately and deserves more attention: Roger Stone.</p><p>Stone is a long-time right wing operative who is still working with Trump in an unofficial capacity. In a report published Tuesday afternoon, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/05/trump-ally-roger-stones-scrubbed-tweets-stupid/209761" target="_blank">Media Matters found that Stone has been busy scrubbing</a> his Twitter account of a mind-boggling number of racist, sexist, and just plain offensive tweets. A sampling of some of the more colorful ones:<img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-04-06_at_5.48.37_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>Note: he called Herman Cain “Mandingo” repeatedly.<img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-04-06_at_5.50.08_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>That this is what goes on in Stone’s head doesn’t really surprise anyone. This is a man who started an anti-Clinton group in 2008 and named it C.U.N.T., to give you an idea of what kind of person we’re dealing with. As Media Matters notes, Stone’s Twitter history got him banned from both CNN and MSNBC, and yet he was still on the Trump campaign team, is still on Fox News regularly, and is still quoted as a Trump surrogate without much mention of how his Twitter feed reads like the bathroom wall at a white supremacist rally.</p><p>This isn’t even the first story about Trump advisers being flagrant public racists. It used to be that Stone, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, and a man named Sam Nunberg were the entirety of Trump’s campaign staff, until Trump hired Lewandowski, who supposedly pushed Stone and Nunberg out. <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/08/trump-campaign-has-descended-into-civil-war.html" target="_blank">Nunberg’s fall came shortly</a> after <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-advisers-racist-facebook-posts-2015-7" target="_blank">Business Insider outed his racist online history</a>, featuring gems like this:</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-04-06_at_5.51.23_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>So two-thirds of Trump’s original staff were people who just can’t help making crude racist jokes online.</p><p>Nunberg has defected to supporting Ted Cruz now (not sure if Cruz wants him), but Stone still seems to be working for Trump, though it’s hard to say how closely, due to the fact that Stone runs a super PAC and is supposed to not be communicating with the campaign in that capacity.</p><p>Either way, Stone is definitely taking the lead on using threats of violence as a weapon to secure Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.</p><p>“We’re going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal,” <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/roger-stone-to-trump-delegates-be-loyal-or-else.html" target="_blank">Stone told  Stefan Molyneux in an interview</a> this week.</p><p>It’s not an empty threat. Even though Stone was pushed out of respectable Republican politics in 1996 after <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/06/02/the-dirty-trickster" target="_blank">the National Enquirer outed him as a swinger</a>running ads seeking group sex encounters, he ended up playing a central role in helping the George W. Bush campaign muck up the vote-counting process in Florida long enough for Bush to sneak past Al Gore in to the White House.</p><p>As <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/06/02/the-dirty-trickster" target="_blank">Jeffrey Toobin recounted in a 2008 profile of Stone</a> for the New Yorker, Stone was the central figure in organizing the “Brooks Brothers riots” that helped stop the vote recount in Miami in 2000. With targeted advertising and by busing in young Republican elsewhere, Stone was able to orchestrate a threatening presence outside the Stephen P. Clark Government Center.</p><p>Inject a rumor—a false one—about the Gore representatives smuggling ballots out of  the counting room and boom! Stone got his riot. He led the crowd to rush the doors, stoking a lot of “screaming and yelling”, in his own words. The result was the election officials were so spooked they ended the recount.</p><p>“The recount in Miami was never re-started, depriving Gore of his best chance to catch up in the over-all state tally,” Toobin wrote.</p><p>So yes, when Stone starts saying that he’s going to get hotel numbers and insinuating he’ll provoke riots, it’s a threat with teeth.</p><p>The enthusiasm that violent people and racists have for the Trump campaign is not some unintentional side effect or accident. The presence of Roger Stone, who has been with Trump in one capacity or another from day one, shows that this kind of authoritarian politics is baked right into the campaign’s DNA.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1054096'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1054096" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 14:46:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1054096 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing roger stone donald trump election 2016 trump campaign Mississippi on Verge of Passing Most Hateful LGBT Law, Which Could Also Force Women to Wear Makeup http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/civil-liberties/mississippi-verge-passing-most-hateful-law-lgbt-law-which-could-also-force-women <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1053769'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053769" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Mississippi is on the verge of passing a bill to legalize discrimination against LGBT people and anyone who has non-marital sex—seriously.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/images/managed/storyimages_1340832151_capitolandlgbt.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>The 2016 legislative session has been a competition between red states to see who can pass the most hateful anti-LGBT bills under the guise of “religious freedom,” but Mississippi state Republicans look like they’re going to emerge the winner. Friday, the state house <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/mississippi-scheduled-for-final-vote-on-anti-lgbt-religious#.xwY61M7EqN">passed the final version of a bill meant to protect and encourage business owners</a> in the state to discriminate against LGBT people, while simultaneously enshrining, in violation of the Constitution, the idea that conservative Christianity is the only legitimate religion.</p><p>But, because they have to win the war of the Bible-thumpers, Mississippi Republicans went a step further than other states that have passed similar anti-gay bills. This law not only protects discrimination against LGBT people, but against <em>any</em> person who has sex outside of marriage. It also makes it easier for employers and schools to strictly police the way you dress to make sure it’s masculine or feminine enough. If your boss thinks proper ladies wear makeup, he can cite “religious freedom” as a reason to force you to do so, and the law will protect him for it.</p><p>The state <a href="http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2016/pdf/HB/1500-1599/HB1523PS.pdf">laid out three religious beliefs</a> that give business owners broad permission to discriminate against people on the basis of:</p><blockquote>The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:<p>(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;</p><p>(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and</p><p>(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.</p></blockquote><p>These are, to be clear, the only religious beliefs the state deems worthy of extra-special protection. If you belong to a church that doesn’t preach hate—and there are many faiths, both Christian and otherwise, that accept LGBT people and don’t think premarital sex is a sin—too bad, so sad. The state of Mississippi doesn’t think your religion is a legitimate one. The only faith deemed worthy of this kind of legislation is the kind that teaches that religion’s purpose is in policing other people’s sexual behaviors.</p><p>The bill then goes on to offer two levels of protection for bigots who want to discriminate, with religious organizations getting broad rights and private persons and business owners getting somewhat less expansive, but still terrifying rights. Religious organizations are allowed to deny employment, housing and other services. Private businesses are allowed to deny any marriage-related services (including jewelry selling) to anyone who meets the three criteria. State employees can refuse marriage licenses, as well, and they are offered special protections to “express” the above religious beliefs. Which means that if you work for the state and enjoy haranguing gay coworkers or single women about how they’re going to hell, it will be close to impossible to fire you for it.</p><p>To be clear, being able to discriminate against gay people, transgender people and fornicators is already legal, to one extent or another, in Mississippi. What this law does is deny the state the right to “discriminate” against anyone who would do so. That might seem minor, but in reality, removing any threat of losing government money or contracts for forcing your bigoted religious beliefs on others is actually a pretty strong check on a lot of this behavior.</p><p>For instance, a lot of this bill would make it easier to discriminate against people who are seeking social services. <a href="http://www.aclu-ms.org/news/2016/03/31/nohb1523">As the ACLU of Mississippi points out</a>, homeless shelters, food banks, and day cares who call themselves “religious organizations”—i.e., many to most of them—would be able to turn away a single mother and her children on the grounds that she’s a sinful fornicator. Religious charter schools who get government money could expel students who are believed to be having sex. Adoption agencies can discriminate not just against gay couples and single people, but against any couple they believe had sex before they were married.</p><p>The law also offers broad protections to those who would deny medical care to people. If you work for hospital or clinic that gets government money, you can deny transgender people treatments related to their transition or “psychological, counseling, or fertility services” to anyone in the official list of naughty people. If a counseling service kicks you out for being gay or having sex outside of marriage, they can’t lose their government contract over it under this bill.</p><p>As the ACLU points out, this also allows foster parents to force kids into “conversion therapy” run by quacks who believe you can pray the gay away, and the state cannot do anything about it.</p><p>The bill also grants broad rights to businesses and organizations to play the gender police: “The state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the person establishes sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming.”</p><p>So if a school decided to punish a girl or a trans boy for getting a short haircut or for refusing to wear skirts or makeup, then the state couldn’t do anything about it.</p><p>Beyond just the specific threats, this bill is troubling because it’s about building up legal precedent for two repugnant ideas: That discriminating against people on the basis of sexuality and gender is acceptable and that the state should be flagging certain religious beliefs as better than others. In a sane world, both notions would be seen as flagrant violations of the Constitution, which forbids establishment of religion and upholds equal protection under the law. But with the Supreme Court in disarray, it appears that Republicans are feeling feistier than ever in stomping all over the foundational principles of this country.</p><p>On top of all that, this bill violates some pretty important federal regulations and could lead to the <a href="http://www.aclu-ms.org/news/2016/03/31/nohb1523">federal government stripping the state of education funding</a>. Hopefully, Gov. Phil Bryant will realize this kind of radical bigotry against not just LGBT people but <a href="https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2006/premarital-sex-nearly-universal-among-americans-and-has-been-decades">the 95 percent of Americans who have had premarital sex</a> is a step way too far, and will veto it.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1053769'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053769" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:42:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1053769 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Human Rights Human Rights LGBTQ News & Politics mississippi bill legislation lgbt non-marital sex anti-gay civil liberties Anti-Choicers Try to Exploit Donald Trump's Gaffe by Pretending Their Misogynist Views Are 'Moderate' http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/anti-choicers-try-exploit-donald-trumps-gaffe-pretending-their-misogynist-views-are <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1053673'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053673" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Anti-choicers are using Trump&#039;s comments to portray themselves as nicer to women, but in fact, they are worse.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/12986993103_b16d084374_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On Wednesday, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/donald_trump_says_he_wants_to_punish_women_who_have_abortions_making_him_just_like_every_other_pro_life_politician/" target="_blank">Donald Trump caused a lot of outrage</a> by saying there should be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions. But while the outrage is understandable, what he said pales in comparison to the wickedness of the response from every other anti-choice politician and organization that responded to it, who all used this as an opportunity lie their fool heads off, pretending to be compassionate and more moderate than Trump.</p><p>But in reality, the rest of them are way, way worse. And by taking their feigned poses of outrage at Trump’s comments at face value, the media is letting anti-choicers get away with hoodwinking the public about the seriousness of their misogyny and the huge amounts of suffering they want to dish out to women to punish them for having sex. Compared to the rest of the “pro-life” community, Trump is a pussycat.</p><p>It was depressing watching anti-choice politicians and activists use Trump’s comments to propagandize about how they’re kind, gentle souls who have no ill will towards women, a preposterous stance coming from people who literally want to force women to endure unwanted childbirth.“[O]f course women shouldn’t be punished,” Gov. John Kasich, all saccharine lies, <a href="https://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/cruz-and-kasich-wont-actually-explain-why-they-wouldnt-punish-women-for-abortion-like-trump/" target="_blank">told Chuck Todd</a> when asked about it.</p><p>When Todd pushed him on how you enforce this ban without, you know, enforcing it, Kasich gave a non-answer:  “Well, look, I think it’s rape, incest, life of the mother, and you build some restrictions around it.” But he wiggled around explaining exactly how you enforce those restrictions when women, invariably, decide to abort anyway.</p><p>“On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother — and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life,” <a href="https://www.tedcruz.org/news/cruz-donald-trump-hasnt-seriously-thought-issues/" target="_blank">Cruz’s campaign statement read</a>. “Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.”</p><p>This is the trick the anti-choice movement is trying to pull: Claiming that forcing a woman, against her will, into giving birth is somehow respecting her and affirming her dignity. Because nothing says “dignity” like being told you’re nothing more than an incubator whose own life, desires, and autonomy don’t matter at all.</p><p>Look, Donald Trump hates women. But Kasich and Cruz hate them more. Trump at least gives women a small amount of credit for being able to make decisions. Kasich and Cruz literally talk about women like they are extremely feeble-minded, quite literally too stupid to know that they all want to be having babies all the time, and just need Papa Misogynist Bible-Thumping Dirtbag to force them into their supposedly true desires.</p><p>But anti-choicers are using Trump’s comments to frame as “moderate” the deeply misogynist view that women are too stupid to be allowed to decide against giving birth.</p><p>“But let us be clear: punishment is solely for the abortionist who profits off of the destruction of one life and the grave wounding of another,” <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-comments-anger-anti-abortion-groups" target="_blank">the anti-choice SBA List said in a statement</a>.</p><p>And March for Life chimed in:</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-31_at_1.04.31_pm.png" style="height: 212px; width: 500px;" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>As did Americans United for Life:</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-31_at_12.57.36_pm_0.png" style="height: 568px; width: 500px;" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>These statements are offensive on two levels. One, they are lies, full stop. <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/donald_trump_says_he_wants_to_punish_women_who_have_abortions_making_him_just_like_every_other_pro_life_politician/" target="_blank">As I noted on Wednesday</a>, anti-choice policies are about making the procedure more expensive and miserable than it has to be, which is clearly intended to punish. Indeed, anti-choicers have been concocting creative and malicious ways to add legal penalties to abortion, leading to situations where <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/31/anti_choice_witch_hunts_the_movement_turns_to_mccarthyist_tactics_to_intimidate_women_and_doctors/" target="_blank">parents of teenagers who get abortions are being threatened with arrest</a> and doctors who provide abortions or research fetal tissue are being subject to legal harassment. And yes, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/31/the_scariest_thing_about_donald_trumps_abortion_comments/" target="_blank">some women are going to jail for abortion</a>.</p><p>Two, even if they weren’t lying, the implication of this stance — that a woman who chooses an abortion can simply be assumed not to know what she is doing — should chill us all to the bone. It’s far uglier with much worse implications than anything Trump said.</p><p>After all, if you really believe women are that stupid, it’s hard to imagine you think they are capable of making any other decisions or handling anything with cognitive demands besides pouring a bowl of cereal. To look at your life and decide if it’s good or bad to have a baby right now for you is a pretty basic decision. It might be emotionally taxing, but on an intellectual level, it’s not that hard. Research shows that women who have abortions are pretty clear about their reasons,<a href="https://www.guttmacher.org/about/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives" target="_blank"> as this table from the Guttmacher shows</a>:</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-31_at_1.00.31_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>According to these anti-choice groups and Republicans like Kasich and Cruz, women simply aren’t smart enough to understand basis concepts like “having a baby makes going to school harder” or “tying myself to a man who I’m not interested in marrying is a bad idea”.</p><p>If you think women are too stupid to understand really basic concepts like that, then it’s hard to imagine you trust women with decisions that require more cognitive abilities: Voting, going to school, holding a job. To really embed, into law, this notion that women are simply too stupid to be trusted with straightforward decisions like abortion is a terrifying notion. What other rights will be taken away on the grounds that women just aren’t smart enough to handle the responsibility?</p><p>Well, actually, the answer is pretty clear: They’re coming for contraception next. Anti-choicers have been quietly chipping away at contraception access, using “religious liberty” as <a href="https://rewire.news/article/2016/03/24/zubik-burwell-oral-arguments/" target="_blank">a feint to attack insurance coverage of birth control</a> and using abortion hysteria as cover to <a href="https://rewire.news/search/?s-keyword=defunding+planned+parenthood&amp;s-year-start=2016" target="_blank">defund family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood</a> that offer affordable birth control to women who often can’t get it elsewhere. At the same time, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/07/01/3671946/the-sexual-miseducation-of-americas-youth/" target="_blank">they haven’t given up efforts to dismantle sex education</a> and replacing it with classes that “teach” that there is only one option and that option is abstinence.</p><p>The belief that women are simply too stupid to be trusted with choices has already expanded beyond the abortion choice. The choice to have sex in the first place is already viewed with suspicion by conservatives.</p><p>Anti-choicers are eagerly using Trump’s statement to push the idea that there’s something “compassionate” and “moderate” about their belief that women, as a class, are mentally inferior and cannot be trusted with the full slate of human rights. They should not be allowed to get away with this and need to be called out for the deep misogyny of this view as much as Trump was called out for his punish-women stance.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1053673'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053673" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:02:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1053673 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Human Rights Election 2016 LGBTQ The Right Wing donald trump John Kasich ted cruz Republican primary abortion abortion rights election 2016 Hillary Clinton Fires up Voters More Than Bernie Sanders Does, so Why Is No One Talking About It? http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/hillary-clinton-fires-voters-more-bernie-sanders-does-so-why-no-one-talking-about-it <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1053569'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053569" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">According to a Gallup poll, Clinton’s supporters love her more than any candidate besides Donald Trump. But the media won’t tell you that.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/17135290756_1293f7a16e_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Hillary Clinton suffers from an “enthusiasm gap.” Or so we are told, over and over and over again. Even people who like her can’t really like her, can they? But she reminds middle-aged male pundits of their ex-wives! Surely everyone sees things the same way, don’t they?</p><p>On Sunday, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/could-the-urge-to-vote-against-trump-help-bridge-clintons-enthusiasm-gap/2016/03/27/b360db08-f2c4-11e5-89c3-a647fcce95e0_story.html" target="_blank">Howard Gutman of The Washington Post argued that Clinton</a> is so uninspiring that her only hope of winning swing states is anti-Donald Trump sentiment. "Some people like her and many more tolerate her, but virtually no one is enthusiastic about her,” he writes.</p><p>Part of the problem, he suggests, is she’s such a boring feminist, which we all know is such a tedious ex-wife quality.</p><p>“Clinton still talks about glass ceilings rather than gig economies, and everyone has heard her by now, on many occasions,” he writes, calling it the “same pitch, different day” problem.</p><p>Gah, doesn’t it remind you of how your ex-wife was always on and on about how she expects you to do half the chores and support her career as much as hers and take care of the children and on and on and on?</p><p>Except not, because the day after Gutman wrote yet another entry into no-one-loves-Clinton story, <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/190343/trump-clinton-supporters-lead-enthusiasm.aspx" target="_blank">Gallup released a poll showing that actually, her supporters love her more</a> than any other candidate besides Donald Trump, a man who literally expects everyone around him to act like he’s God’s gift.</p><p>And yes, Bernie Sanders supporters were polled, and fell about 10 points behind Clinton supporters in the enthusiasm department. Over half of Clinton supporters—54 percent—rated themselves as “extremely enthusiastic” or “very enthusiastic.” Only 44 percent of Sanders supporters could say the same.</p><p>Sixty-five percent of Trump supporters are high on enthusiasm, which is unsurprising, given that the man literally has his people making loyalty oaths at campaign events. Sanders and Clinton earn their enthusiasm by asking for, rather than demanding, love.</p><p>As anyone with a computer or TV knows,the narrative has been the opposite of what this hard polling data shows. The assumption is that Sanders is the one with the enthusiastic base and that Clinton’s supporters are dragging their feet to the polls. This is why the Sanders mantra has been that high turnout benefits his candidate,<a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bernie-sanders-continues-to-dominate-caucuses-but-hes-about-to-run-out-of-them/" target="_blank">even though he actually performs better in caucus states</a>, where turnout is low compared to primary states, where Clinton does better. (Both common sense and research show that <a href="http://journalistsresource.org/studies/politics/primaries/voter-participation-in-presidential-primaries-and-caucuses" target="_blank">the higher demands on people’s time and participation</a> is a barrier to entry in caucus states.)</p><p>It’s not hard to see why this false narrative that Sanders inspires more enthusiasm has taken root.  He is the challenger running up against the favorite, and it is knownthat everyone likes an underdog. That, and his surprisingly robust chances against Clinton suggest a rising tide narrative, again not unfairly.</p><p>On top of that, most journalists who echo the Sanders enthusiasm narrative spend a lot of time on social media, and if you do that, then it’s safe to say that it looks like Sanders is inspiring a lot of enthusiasm. There is an explosion of memes and chatter about the “revolution” and sharing every single story they can find that says something positive about Sanders’s chances.</p><p>But if you dig in, it also becomes quickly clear that much of the online enthusiasm isn’t really pro-Sanders so much as it’s anti-Clinton. There are  thousands, probably millions of social media messages which are more about using Sanders as a cover to harass women and <a href="http://peterdaou.com/2016/03/why-i-plan-to-pursue-defamation-action/" target="_blank">their allies</a> than as legitimate advocacy for the candidate. Remove the mansplaining, harassment, and gotcha trolling, and the amount of Sanders traffic isn’t quite so awe-inspiring in volume.</p><p>The online boors aren’t the majority of Sanders supporters, to be clear. On the contrary, this poll and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2015/12/16/bernie-sanders-voters-hillary-clinton-poll/77414862/" target="_blank">others show</a> that the majority of Sanders supporters are pretty chilled out. But this small percentage of angry men (and a few women) are really loud online and their anti-Clinton vitriol contributes to the false notion that Sanders has the wind at his back. </p><p>Clinton isn’t a meh candidate, in other words. She inspires passion, both in her haters and in her supporters.</p><p>If you give it a moment’s thought, that Clinton would be such an inspiring figure to her supporters makes perfect sense. She has spent two and a half decades in the spotlight, enduring huge amounts of sexism as every single man in the country who feels threatened by smart women or powerful women projects all his anxieties on her with the passion of a thousand burning suns. But she hasn’t stopped striving. She eats haters for breakfast and keeps smiling, all while more haters are telling her she doesn’t smile enough.</p><p>For supporters, especially female supporters, who are sick to the teeth of all this sexist nonsense and sometimes wonder how they are going to keep on fighting another day, Clinton’s resilience is the stuff of legends.</p><p>It’s a symptom of how male-dominated our media continues to be that this narrative is so stifled. To get ahead in such an environment, most women feel the need to wear their <a href="http://jezebel.com/the-cool-girl-is-not-fiction-but-a-phase-1642985632" target="_blank">Cool Girl</a> armor, to show they’re down and not at all threatening to the men around them. Rah-rah feminism is most definitely not Cool Girl behavior.</p><p>Saying Clinton’s moxie inspires you invariably attracts derogatory sneers about how you’re a “vagina voter”. Supporting Clinton requires dialing down the enthusiasm, couching it in lots of reassurances that Sanders is a great guy (reassurances Sanders supporters feel no need to offer about Clinton), and striking an apologetic stance for wanting to see a female president. Ideally, you have a daughter you can wield as shield for the female president thing, since it may not be okay to want it for yourself, but you are a little more allowed to want it for your daughter.</p><p>There’s a lot of pressure on Clinton supporters to tone down the enthusiasm, but that shouldn’t be confused with an actual lack of enthusiasm for Clinton. They may be quieter, but as Clinton’s continued dominance at the polls shows, volume doesn’t matter when you’re casting a ballot. Or as Dave Weigel was saying on Twitter Tuesday morning:</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-30_at_11.31.30_am.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1053569'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053569" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 08:24:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1053569 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media hillary clinton bernie sanders election 2016 democratic primary hillary clinton supporters Hillary Clinton Thinks Breaking Up the Big Banks Won’t End Racism and Sexism—Is She Right? http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/hillary-clinton-thinks-breaking-big-banks-wont-end-racism-and-sexism-she-right <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1053378'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053378" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Clinton’s remark prompted a furious debate. Is there any truth to it—and why did she say it? Moe Tkacik and Amanda Marcotte debate. </div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/645fc1c8c4802307912d63e5f53a3e358497f4a9.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>On February 13, ABC reporter Liz Kreutz tweeted a snippet of a Hillary Clinton speech and promptly sent the Internet into a frenzy of debate:</p><blockquote><p>Clinton: “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow….would that end racism? Would that end sexism?” “No!” crowd yells out.</p></blockquote><p>NBC later supplied a lengthier version:</p><blockquote><p>“Not everything is about an economic theory, right?” Clinton said, kicking off a long, interactive riff with the crowd at a union hall this afternoon. </p><p>“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow—and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will—would that end racism?”</p><p>“No!” the audience yelled back.</p><p>Clinton continued to list scenarios, asking: “Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”</p></blockquote><p>To discuss the quote and its context, In These Times invited Moe Tkacik, a former Wall Street Journal writer and the author of an essay in the forthcoming collection <a href="http://www.versobooks.com/books/2121-false-choices">False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton</a>; and Amanda Marcotte, who writes for Salon on politics, feminism and culture, and in November 2015 wrote a column titled,<a href="http://www.salon.com/2015/11/09/lets_get_excited_about_hillary_clinton_shes_not_a_savior_but_she_is_exactly_what_we_need/">“Let’s get excited about Hillary Clinton: She’s not a savior—but she is exactly what we need.”</a></p><p><strong>MOE:</strong> When I saw this quote on Twitter, I just stared for a few minutes, as if into the abyss or at a really gross zit under a magnifying glass. I didn’t want to know the “context” because the statement itself defecated all over the very idea of context.</p><p>Obviously, no one ever promised a piece of legislation would “end” hate and injustice. Anyone even notionally sincere about battling the prejudices and cognitive dissonances that oligarchs and overlords have forever promulgated to divide and conquer humanity understands that “racism” and “sexism” are not forces you can arrest with a pen. </p><p>Then there are the banks, the biggest and rottenest of which have been with us for more than two centuries. To want to see them curtailed is to have absorbed more than enough history to understand that such things don’t happen “tomorrow.” </p><p>When I finally caved and read the full speech, I found a veritable orgy of straw men, each catering to some crucial segment of the Democratic coalition. It wasn’t just racism and sexism that would persist in a landscape of smaller banks, according to Hillary Clinton. “Gerrymandering and redistricting” would also persist, as would discrimination against immigrants and gays.</p><p>Something about the line just screamed “Bill.” Not shit-eating-grin President Bill Clinton at the height of his virility/virulence, but the Clinton of today who is occasionally given to weirdly bitter rants that are simultaneously nonsensical and illuminating, like a warped decoder ring for understanding how the Democratic Party could maintain its monopoly on self-righteous rhetoric while selling short the New Deal and Great Society constituencies that got out the vote all those years: Just remind Democratic voters that Republicans want to outlaw affirmative action and abortion and quarantine everyone diagnosed with AIDS.</p><p>The thing is, we were never dumb enough to sign on to this gutted, soulless, leveraged-buyout version of the Democratic platform. Bill Clinton eked out a White House win with only 43 percent of the popular vote. His triumphant job performance as president is a fiction in which Democrats have been inculcated because his surrogates have so effectively marginalized anyone who dares acknowledge history.</p><p>But when the going gets tough, as it conspicuously has, Hillary (like Obama in 2009, alas) falls back on what worked for Bill, the old New Dem coalition strategy: getting the black community leaders and abortion lobby to get out the vote, the bank lobby to pay for the ad buys and the eternal GOP majority to prevent anything from transpiring that might alienate the bank lobbyists. </p><p>Today, as in 1992, this strategy only works by sacrificing a thing that Hillary now maligns as eggheaded “economic theory” but what Sanders supporters see as coherence.</p><p><strong>AMANDA:</strong> We’re in the thick of primary silliness when a supporter of Bernie Sanders—Bernie Sanders!—feels entitled to accuse anyone of hyperbole. Not picking on the Bern, to be clear. Like his fellow career politicians, Bernie has a shtick that works for him. But glass houses, stones, all that.</p><p>And poor Hillary Clinton! Dinged repeatedly for an uninspiring nutsand-bolts approach, only to get dinged again when she tries her hand at the same grandiose rhetoric her opponent is applauded for. She can’t win. And we wonder why so many women see their lives in hers.</p><p>Setting aside the debate over whether Hillary Clinton should be permitted the use of the over-simplified, revolutionary rhetoric her opponent is allowed by birthright, it’s quite clear to me that Clinton is arguing that Sanders’ single-minded focus on Wall Street isn’t going to be enough to deal with the nuanced problems of racism, sexism—all the -isms, really.</p><p>No need to blame Bill Clinton, or to treat Hillary like she’s an extension of her husband. (Though the way she’s treated as her husband’s puppet is a nice reminder to me why I will never get married.) Clinton picked this talking point up from anti-racism activists who have been critical of Sanders for his dodgyness on any race issue that can’t be reduced to “income inequality.”</p><p>David Freedlander of the Daily Beast interviewed black leaders from Sanders’ home state of Vermont and found that Sanders had a habit of “benign neglect” on any race-based issue that wasn’t about generic “income inequality.” Curtiss Reed Jr. of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity told Freedlander that Sanders “was just really dismissive of anything that had to do with race and racism, saying that they didn’t have anything to do with the issues of income inequality.”</p><p>Under pressure from anti-racism activists, Sanders has gotten smarter about this sort of thing, but he still does things like dismiss reparations as a pipe dream. The fact that Sanders loves pipe dreams—like free college—when white voters are in the imagined group of recipients is not something that is unnoticed. Clinton, a politician, pounces. If Sanders wins the nomination, his supporters, as David Roberts of Vox said, “should get a thicker skin, quick,” because the Republicans aren’t going to be as gentle as Clinton.</p><p><strong>MOE:</strong> If it felt a bit hyperbolic to identify Hillary’s true nemesis as “coherence,” well, it wasn’t. The Clintonists don’t want the electorate to make sense of the world—or to link cause and effect.</p><p>If they did, they might begin to see breaking up massive unaccountable money syndicates as a vital step toward achieving racial tolerance and gender equality.</p><p>At some point between the financial crisis of 2008 and the rise of Occupy in 2011, Americans began to understand that predatory lending was the cornerstone of modern finance. Usurious interest rates, extortionate fees and vicious cycles of ever-inflating indebtedness were a phenomenon that united black retirees in Detroit with Mexican day laborers in Hollister, Calif.; underemployed Vassar grads with underemployed University of Phoenix grads; the evaporating coffers of Jefferson County, Ala., and Harvard’s $36 billion endowment. The mechanics and fine print might differ case to case, but the business model was identical, needing two critical ingredients to thrive: a culture efficient at dehumanizing victims, and legal impunity.</p><p>First, at Washington Mutual—picked off for pennies on the dollar in 2008 by TBTF bank JPMorgan—subprime mortgage salesmen who didn’t sell enough predatory negative-amortization mortgages were assigned “trainers” whose first words were, “Do not feel sorry for ‘these’ people.” At Wells Fargo, where mortgage executives called minorities “mud people” and “niggers,” salesmen were directed to solicit new customers at African-American churches. Sexual harassment was indisputably rampant in the industry. “Mortgage sluts” peopled a 2008 Business Week cover story. Is there a more vivid embodiment of rape culture than the photos of the 2010 Halloween party held by staffers of the Steven J. Baum foreclosure mill?</p><p>Second, no major financial institution is as singly responsible for the “mainstreaming” of predatory lending as Citigroup. No other institution has employed as many veterans of the Clinton administration. Merely listing the relevant names could fill the better part of a book, but here are three: Peter Orszag, Jack Lew and Michael Froman. By 2007, Citi’s balance sheet was the biggest on Wall Street—when you included all its off-the-books assets, in any case—and in 2008 Citi became the recipient of the single biggest bailout.</p><p>If any corporate monstrosity was worthy of a breakup, it was Citi. Celebrated analyst Meredith Whitney said so, FDIC chairman Sheila Bair said so, TARP overseer Elizabeth Warren said so and former Citi exec Sallie Krawcheck said as much after she was fired by (serial sex-discrimination lawsuit defendant) Vikram Pandit.</p><p>No one listened. Warren and Bair were marginalized—dismissed for failure to be seen as “team players” by the Clinton/Citi alums who infested the Obama White House. Nevertheless, a lot of powerful men came around, including Larry Summers and then (unbelievably) former Citi CEOs Sandy Weill and John Reed, both of whom wrote op-eds arguing that Glass-Steagall needed to be reinstated and their old bank broken up.</p><p>Hillary thinks otherwise—that we have not yet reached the hypothetical in which “they deserve it.” Could that be because Citi, in its current and apparently invincible state, is the second biggest donor to her campaign?</p><p><strong>AMANDA</strong>: I was just sitting around thinking about how I’m going to miss Jeb Bush and his desire to convince us that Bill Clinton was president on 9/11, but I shouldn’t have worried! Now I get to enjoy Sanders’ supporters telling me that Hillary Clinton was president from 2000 to 2008, during which time I was under the impression she was the queen of Fillory. Why shouldn’t I vote for her now, seeing as she was the power behind Bush all that time? She is clearly a witch and she won’t just know that you voted against her, but will secretly curse you with her sorceress powers. </p><p>The efforts to lull Clinton supporters into defending the “big banks” have failed, for good reason. There’s no evidence of a semi-secret conspiracy of Democrats that fucked up our economy out of the evilness of their traitorous hearts. Do they listen too much to people who are inside the industry? Sure. Is Larry Summers a dick? Absolutely. Do I think that Democrats got lulled into believing they could win over some Republican votes by embracing conservative deregulation schemes? The record shows they did. </p><p>But I also think the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have embraced reining in Wall Street and protecting financial consumers.  Read the White House summary of how effective the Dodd-Frank bill has been, which has included creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in order to protect consumers from predatory banking practices. (Sanders fans might look into the role Elizabeth Warren played in that, because I’ve been assured that they really like her.) If Clinton had some secret agenda to undo all that, I doubt Barney Frank would be advising her on this front.</p><p><a href="http://inthesetimes.com/community/profile/322458/"></a></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1053378'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053378" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sun, 27 Mar 2016 07:49:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Moe Tkacik, In These Times 1053378 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 clinton banks hillary Trump's Attack on Cruz's Wife Proves He's Too Sexist to Stand a Chance Against Clinton http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/trumps-female-problems-donald-trumps-attack-ted-cruzs-wife-proves-hes-too-sexist-stand <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1053162'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053162" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Trump sneers at Cruz&#039;s wife, showing why he&#039;s not just going to lose female voters, but a lot of male voters, too.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_353116961.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>While most of the U.S. political world was focused on the terrorist attacks in Brussels and the primaries in some Western states Tuesday night, Donald Trump—surprise, surprise—was sitting around nursing a grudge. <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/23/be_careful_or_i_will_spill_the_beans_on_your_wife_trumps_twitter_fingers_threaten_ted_cruz/" target="_blank">And he decided it needed airing out on Twitter, of course</a>.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-23_at_4.53.38_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-23_at_4.56.32_pm.png" style="height: 492px; width: 600px;" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p>There’s <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/3/21/11279018/melania-trump-slut-shaming-ad" target="_blank">been a robust discussion</a> <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/03/22/anti_trump_ads_try_to_win_over_mormons_by_slut_shaming_melania.html" target="_blank">in feminist circles about this ad</a> that is actually a meme and how it’s unfair and slut-shaming. There’s a strong argument to be had supporting this, but you have to give the woman who made it, Liz Mair, <a href="https://twitter.com/LizMair?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank">some credit for finding</a> and exploiting a real vulnerability when it comes to Trump and female voters, both liberal and conservative.</p><p>While it’s true that Melania Trump is smarter than a lot of people realize and isn’t doing anything wrong by taking risqué photos, this ad isn’t really about her. This ad is about Donald Trump, highlighting that he really is a cartoonish stereotype: The wealthy sexist who talks about women like they’re objects for purchase and who is probably not interested in his wife because she speaks five languages and has studied architecture and design. One can politely ignore that fact in public, but there’s simply no way women aren’t taking note of it in private.</p><p>(Conversation I heard from two women talking in public recently: “Well, she’s probably smarter than the rest of us. We’re working and she’s probably out on 5th Avenue shopping right now.” “Yeah, but him? Ugh. He can’t really think she wants him for himself.”)</p><p>Trump’s reaction to this—to try to drag Ted Cruz into a wife-measuring contest, like they are debating the merits of owning a Ferrari vs. a Toyota Corolla—just confirms the suspicions that this ad is trying to raise.</p><p>This is why those who worry that Trump’s over-the-top sexism will somehow help him in a general election match-up against Hillary Clinton are completely misreading these particular tea leaves. Sure, there are a lot of men out there who see things the way Trump does. Those men admire him for his <a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/131853/donald-trumps-huge-problem-women" target="_blank">history of categorizing women</a> as either sex objects or wastes of space whose continued existence is a mystery to him.</p><p>But those men are not the dominant voting bloc in a general election. In fact, men, as a group, do not make up the majority of voters. <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/catherine-rampell-why-women-are-far-more-likely-to-vote-then-men/2014/07/17/b4658192-0de8-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html" target="_blank">Women vote more than men and have since 1980</a>. <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/03/21/women-hate-donald-trump-even-more-than-men-hate-hillary-clinton/" target="_blank">And women hate Trump</a>. Sure, there’s a lot of sexist dislike for Clinton, which explains why her unfavorability ratings are significantly higher with men than women. But Trump’s sexism has an even more profound impact on his popularity with women, as <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/03/21/women-hate-donald-trump-even-more-than-men-hate-hillary-clinton/" target="_blank">Jon Schwartz at The Intercept explains</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Women dislike Trump with what’s likely a historically unique intensity for a national politician. Trump’s average net favorability among women over the past six weeks is minus 33 percent—far worse than the minus 2 percent net favorability among women for Marco Rubio or the minus 14 percent for Ted Cruz. Likewise, in a <a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/11/04/top16.pdf">poll taken just before the 2012 election</a>, Mitt Romney had a net favorability among women of minus 2 percent.</p></blockquote><p>And this is before the general election even really gets underway and Trump starts pulling his “why is this woman I don’t want to have sex with even talking” act with Hillary Clinton. <a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/131853/donald-trumps-huge-problem-women" target="_blank">As Jeet Heer points out at the New Republic</a>, the only time Carly Fiorina was really doing well with Republicans was when Trump was disrespecting her in this way. And that’s with a crowd that has way higher tolerance for overt sexism. The public at large is not going to like it, not one bit. Nor will this hurt Trump with just women, either. Sure, Trump plays well with the Maxim crowd, but he takes the sexist vitriol so far that it repulses a whole bunch of men, both liberal and conservative. The exchange with Cruz was a good example of how the way Trump talks about women is also insulting to men.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.alternet.org/files/screen_shot_2016-03-23_at_4.59.36_pm.png" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/03/23/donald-trump-threatens-ted-cruzs-wife-elicting-angry-retort/?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">Most news sources are assuming that Trump</a> was referring to Heidi Cruz’s history of struggling with depression, and if so, then congratulations, Trump. You did the impossible: You made Ted Cruz, by far the creepiest politician on the national stage since Ross Perot, seem like a decent man who cares for and stands by his wife.</p><p>That sort of thing doesn’t just impact female voters, but a lot of men, as well. Even some men who might have some sympathy for Trump’s leering sexism are going to draw the line at treating a beloved wife like she’s a defective product who needs to be returned to the factory just because she has some health problems. Most men’s marriages are more like the Cruz marriage than the Trump marriage. They aren’t going to be keen on the idea that Trump would look down on them for that.</p><p><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/half-voters-embarrassed-trump-president-poll-finds/story?id=35895956" target="_blank">Six out of 10 female voters think Trump is an embarrassment</a>, but it’s also true that 4 out of 10 male voters think that. Just wait until the general election, where his sexist antics will get even more attention (as hard as that may be to believe) than they are getting now. This is a man who can’t crack 50% of Republican voters, even in Arizona, where his xenophobic campaign should be going over like gangbusters. On a national stage, against a female opponent whose very existence counters Trump’s reductionist attitudes about women’s worth, Trump is going to look even more like an embarrassment.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1053162'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1053162" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:51:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1053162 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing donald trump Heidi Cruz ted cruz melania trump election 2016 Stop 'Helping' Hillary: Sorry, Guys, but Clinton Doesn't Need to Smile, Whisper or Have John Kasich as Her Running Mate http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/stop-helping-hillary-sorry-guys-clinton-doesnt-need-smile-whisper-or-have-john-kasich <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1052705'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052705" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Instructions to Clinton to smile more or pick Kasich as her VP are just sexism disguised as advice.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_366157547.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Tuesday night, those who were lucky enough to be watching their primary coverage on MSNBC were treated to what <a href="http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/03/let-me-type-this-brilliant-idea-on-my-invisible-typewriter" target="_blank">may be a record-setter in scorching hot takes</a>, courtesy of, who else, Chris Matthews. “I do think if you could ever find a way to put a ticket together that would actually end some of this mishegoss, to use a Yiddish word,” Matthews spun out before coughing up, and you could feel this coming, that he’d like to see Hillary Clinton pick <em>John Kasich</em> as her running mate.</p><p>“If Hillary Clinton were smart,” Matthews said, with a certainty that is unique to men discrediting the intelligence of women who are, in reality, much smarter than they are, “she’d make herself the alternative” for Republicans who don’t want to vote for Trump by putting Kasich on her ticket.</p><p>“Of course, this doesn’t happen in American politics,” he added wistfully, “because American politics is so free of wonder anymore. It’s so predictable.”</p><p>Yes, he said this during the administration of the first black president, during a campaign that pits the first major party female candidate against a reality TV star who is winning his party’s nomination against the party leaders’ wills and while running a fascism-reminiscient campaign. But what we really need to get out of the doldrums is for <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/02/25/this_is_what_political_insanity_looks_like_the_idea_of_a_clinton_kasich_dream_ticket_is_rooted_in_fantasy_and_confusion_over_what_the_candidates_stand_for/" target="_blank">a liberal Democrat to pick a running mate</a> that stands against everything she and her party stand for.</p><p>This isn’t the first time that <a href="http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/scott-whitlock/2016/03/15/excited-chris-matthews-speculates-clintonkasich-2016" target="_blank">Matthews wallowed in this bizarre fantasy</a>. Part of what’s motivating him is likely the Beltway media idealization of bipartisanship that rests on this asinine idea that political differences between the parties are minor issues that hardly matter at all. But I’d also venture that part of what makes Matthews go back to this well over and over again is his <a href="http://jezebel.com/345237/chris-matthews-has-a-sexist-history-with-hillary-clinton" target="_blank">well-documented history of having major anxiety in the face of female power</a>.</p><p>Matthews has chilled out a bit in recent years, but it’s easy to see why the idea of pairing Clinton off with Kasich, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/02/10/kasich_is_almost_as_bad_as_trump_dont_let_the_donalds_repulsiveness_distract_from_the_ugliness_dished_out_by_other_candidates/" target="_blank">an avuncular sexist who talks at women like they are children</a>, might have some subconscious appeal. It might seem like the way to contain her, keep her in line, make sure that she’s still kowtowing to a sexist establishment even as she vies for the highest office in the land. To a certain kind of man, Kasich feels like the kind of man you want to babysit the female president, on the grounds that she can’t be trusted to run things on her own. (It just so happens that this notion that women can’t be trusted fuels Kasich’s war on reproductive rights, as well.)</p><p>In general, Tuesday night was an ugly reminder of how many men’s reaction to female power is to look for ways to contain and control women. Clinton’s massive sweep of primaries was met  met by a bunch of men — and a few women — <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/03/15/right-wing-medias-sexist-obsession-with-clinton/209282" target="_blank">rushing forward to put Clinton in her place</a>, to remind her that no matter how high an office she holds, her first duty, as a woman, is to soothe and placate the most delicate of male egos.</p><p> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Smile. You just had a big night. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrimaryDay?src=hash">#PrimaryDay</a></p>— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/709909770619248640">March 16, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Hillary shouting her speech. She has the floor; a more conversational tone might be better for connecting with folks at home</p>— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) <a href="https://twitter.com/HowardKurtz/status/709908949810724864">March 16, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she's shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What's she mad at?</p>— Brit Hume (@brithume) <a href="https://twitter.com/brithume/status/709908860836962305">March 16, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p> </p><p>That’s the bad news. But there is good news to be scratched out of this shameful display of manhood so fragile that it shatters the second woman speaks above a whisper or offers anything but a please-don’t-hurt-me smile: The sexism was called out, unapologetically and unguardedly, right away.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1052705'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052705" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Wed, 16 Mar 2016 18:19:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1052705 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 LGBTQ News & Politics hillary clinton election 2016 sexism feminism John Kasich kasich 2016 Democratic candidates Why Conservatives Seeking Social Revenge Have Gravitated to Trump's Campaign http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/why-conservatives-seeking-social-revenge-have-gravitated-trumps-campaign <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1052533'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052533" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">“Make America Great Again” is the Trump campaign slogan, but “It’s Payback Time” is the one driving his campaign.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/5440384453_4669d0096b_z.jpg" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Over the weekend, Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns published a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/us/politics/donald-trump-campaign.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=1" target="_blank">fascinating story</a> in the New York Times about how much of Donald Trump’s presidential bid is rooted in his desire to be taken seriously and his resentment against political elites, both on the left and right, who see him as a joke.</p><p>“Mr. Trump’s campaign is driven by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: A desire to be taken seriously,” they write. Events in recent days suggest that since that will never actually happen — even as people fear Trump’s rise, they still don’t see him as a legitimate or serious political thinker and never will — his campaign has turned into an act of revenge against those who shun him.</p><p>Trump’s personal motivations are fascinating, but what is even more so is how much his pettiness, his hurt ego, and his desire for revenge on those who think aren’t giving him his due is what compels his supporters to rally around him. A lot of his support comes from people who see themselves in him: People who believe they — white conservative Christians who shun city life — deserve to be at the center of American life and culture, but look out and see a world where the president is a black man from Chicago, the charts are ruled by Rihanna and Beyoncé, and Lena Dunham is a celebrity.</p><p>The modern conservative movement is filled with people who believe they are owed due deference from the rest of us but are getting mockery instead. The conservative media has stoked this narrative of cultural resentment for decades, too. “Liberal elite” is a common catchphrase on the right. Some might think that term is an economic one, but in reality, it’s a cultural one. The “liberal elite” is mostly composed of people who belong to the middle class: Journalists, college professors, artists, even lawyers, most of whom are not millionaires. Meanwhile, the right absolutely hero worships conservative billionaires like the Waltons, the Kochs, and yes, Donald Trump.</p><p>No, the “liberal elite” is a term of cultural resentment, rooted in a thwarted sense of conservative entitlement. It’s backed by this narrative that there once was a time when America was “great” because the culture was controlled by white Christians, but at some point, usually the 1960s, the undesirables — hippies, artists, people of color, secularists, feminists, gay people — started taking over. This sense that something has been stolen and needs to be taken back is the organizing narrative of conservative populism.</p><p>Trump is tapping into the same narrative that propelled Richard Nixon into the White House, fueled the “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/sports/baseball/05disco.html" target="_blank">Disco Demolition</a>” night of straight white men burning records associated with said “others,” helped start the Moral Majority and the Christian right, and is the engine that drives right wing talk radio and the relentless rage machine of Fox News to this day. And while it’s trendy, especially amongst those who believe the white working class is one pamphlet on democratic socialism away from leaving the Republicans, to say that it’s based on economics, the fact is <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/03/how_donald_trump_happened_racism_against_barack_obama.html" target="_blank">these flare-ups aren’t quite as pegged to economic trends</a> as one might think but can quite easily be linked to white conservative anger over cultural moments that remind them they are not the actual owners of American culture. With Obama to leave office soon in triumph, his legitimacy as not just the first black president but one of the greater American presidents secured, the anger is boiling over.</p><p>Trump’s vendetta against the political elites for laughing at him perfectly echoes the larger white conservative anger over not getting the respect they believe they deserve.</p><p>And make no mistake: Trump knows this. He knows how to speak directly to his followers’ anger at being disrespected and fear that they are being laughed at by the cool kids. He’s not just <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/03/donald-trump-basically-encouraging-violence-now">encouraging his supporters to violently retaliate against protesters</a>, but framing that violence as a way to get revenge against all those snooty hipsters who think they are so cool and are laughing at you, the salt of the earth white conservative Americans.</p><p>On “Meet the Press” on Sunday, <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/donald-trump-supporter-who-sucker-punched-black-man-just-wants-to-see-america-made-great-again/">Trump used this frame to justify an incident </a>where a 78-year-old white man at one of his rallies sucker-punched a young black protester who was being escorted out by security.</p><p>“I will say this, I do want to see what that young man was doing,” <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/donald-trump-supporter-who-sucker-punched-black-man-just-wants-to-see-america-made-great-again/">Trump told Chuck Todd</a>. “Because he was very taunting, he was very loud, very disruptive. And from what I understand a certain finger was up in the air.”</p><p>“And that is a terrible thing to do in front of somebody who, frankly, wants to see American made great again,” he added.</p><p>While he claimed he wasn’t condoning the punch, it’s clear from this language that he was at least excusing it. The narrative is crystal clear here: Young people, especially young black people, owe older white conservatives respect and deference and failure to give it is so outrageous that it justifies reacting with violence.</p><p>Another interesting aspect of Trump’s escalating rabidity on this is his focus on Bernie Sanders, or more specifically, Sanders supporters.</p><p><a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-calls-for-mass-arrests-of-protestors-blames-sanders">Trump continued this line of attack in person</a>, calling Sanders a “communist” and saying, “You know where [the protesters] come from? Bernie’s crowd. They’re Bernie’s crowd.”</p><p><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/12/politics/donald-trump-protests/">Sanders has denied the accusations</a>, pointing out correctly that it’s Trump’s supporters who are inciting the violence. But it’s interesting that Trump is going after Sanders, who is still not expected to win the nomination, over the frontrunner Hillary Clinton on this.</p><p>But in terms of stoking culture war resentment, this move makes total sense. Sanders’s supporters are younger and perceived as hipper by the larger public. Since Trump is pushing the “hipsters are disrespecting their conservative elders who made America great” narrative, it makes way more sense to go after Sanders supporters than Clinton’s supporters, even though that defies the usual campaign logic of attacking the frontrunner of the opposing party.</p><p>“I love this country. We’re going to make this country great again. It’s payback time,” <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-it-s-payback-time-really">Trump said over the weekend at a Dayton event</a>. It was a telling line. “Make America Great Again” might be the official Trump campaign slogan, but “It’s Payback Time” is the real one that is driving not just the candidate, but his supporters.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1052533'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052533" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:09:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1052533 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 trump election election2016 trump election gop This Is Where Right-Wing Radicalism Is Festering: While the Nation Watches the Presidential Race, Scary Things Are Happening at State Legislatures http://millionaiwww.alternet.org/election-2016/where-right-wing-radicalism-festering-while-nation-watches-presidential-race-scary <!-- iCopyright Horizontal Tag --> <div class="icopyright-article-tools-horizontal icopyright-article-tools-right"> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_content_id = '1052456'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/horz-toolbar.js"></script> <noscript> <a class="icopyright-article-tools-noscript" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052456" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/> Click here for reuse options! </a> </noscript> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div><!-- iCopyright Tag --> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-teaser field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">What&#039;s going on in Republican-run state legislatures is just as terrifying as the GOP presidential race.</div></div></div> <!-- All divs have been put onto one line because of whitespace issues when rendered inline in browsers --> <div class="field field-name-field-story-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img typeof="foaf:Image" src="/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-03-13_at_2.30.10_pm.png" /></div></div></div> <!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>After Thursday night’s Republican debate, where candidates competed to see who was most eager to commit war crimes, it’s understandable to be very afraid of the dark place Republicans want to take this country. Unfortunately, the news is even worse than that. While the nation’s eyes are riveted to the national stage, Republicans continue the multi-decade project of turning our nation into a right-wing wasteland by focusing their efforts where they can have the most impact with the least attention: state legislatures.</p><p>It’s easy to get inured to the relentless drumbeat of stories of Republican-controlled state legislatures passing bills codifying the culture war obsessions of the right, and with the Republican primary serving as a distraction, the state horror show is getting less national attention than it usually does. Which is how Republicans like it, because they can maximize the damage while minimizing the pushback. That’s why it’s critical to pay attention, even if it can, at times, be overwhelming.</p><p>As it has been for years now, the No. 1 priority for Republican state legislatures is making sex as fraught and unsafe an experience as possible for women, especially low-income women. As I reported earlier last week, <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/03/09/floridas_war_on_women_state_passes_massive_anti_choice_bill_to_shut_down_access_to_abortion_and_contraception/" target="_blank">Florida passed a massive bill that will cut off access to both birth control and abortion</a>, by reducing funding and passing medically unnecessary restrictions to make it simply too expensive to offer affordable care to women, especially through Planned Parenthood.</p><p>Now <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/even-some-abortion-foes-balking-at-tough-indiana-bill/" target="_blank">Indiana’s Legislature has passed a bill</a> that forces women to give birth if a doctor has detected a fetal abnormality. Which, yes, would mean that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/indiana-abortion-bill_us_56e28901e4b0b25c918184d9" target="_blank">a pregnant woman who contracts Zika</a> would lose her right to abortion, while a woman with a healthy pregnancy would retain her right to say no to giving birth. Even some Republicans balked at the sadistic pleasure their colleagues take in the idea of forcing women to give birth to children who will suffer, die or be too much for women to care for.</p><p>“Today is a perfect example of a bunch of middle-aged guys sitting in this room making decisions about what we think is best for women,” state Rep. Sean Eberhart, a Republican, said. <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2016/03/11/3759097/indiana-abortion-republicans/" target="_blank">He voted no on the advice of his wife</a>.</p><p>The breathless obsession with making sure all those sex-having women pay has completely enthralled state legislatures across the country. <a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/oklahoma-senate-oks-plan-to-suspend-licenses-of-abortion-doctors/article_dd07dda9-e621-58f7-b7bc-419f85c304f9.html" target="_blank">Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm is pushing a bill</a> that would strip any doctor who performs an abortion of his or her medical license.  His colleague, state Sen. Joseph Silk, went one further, <a href="http://kfor.com/2016/03/08/oklahoma-bill-proposes-abortion-providers-face-murder-charges/" target="_blank">authoring a bill that would charge anyone who performs an abortion</a> of murder. Both bills have come out of committee, though Senate Republicans are holding the murder bill from a vote right now. Hopefully they’ll keep it that way, because they look like a bunch of yahoos.</p><p>In Iowa, <a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/rekha-basu/2016/03/10/senators-offensive-bid-make-abortion-hate-crime/81588562/" target="_blank">state Sen. Jake Chapman is trying to make abortion</a> a “hate crime.” This is no doubt based on right-wing propaganda that argues that women get abortions because they have irrational bigotry toward embryos and not because of mundane things like they want to control when and how they have children.</p><p>And, of course, you have the Planned Parenthood defunding orgies. On top of Florida, the legislatures in <a href="http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article64930367.html" target="_blank">Missouri</a>, <a href="http://pilotonline.com/news/government/virginia/mcauliffe-says-he-ll-veto-plan-to-defund-planned-parenthood/article_bcdc7339-c3d9-56ea-9f81-2288e79bba7f.html" target="_blank">Virginia</a> and <a href="http://knau.org/post/house-passes-bill-targeting-planned-parenthood#stream/0" target="_blank">Arizona</a> all took steps to cut Planned Parenthood patients off from getting affordable checkups and contraception.</p><p>But while the obsession with female sexuality is so strong that one is tempted to label it “single-minded,” the sad truth is that state legislatures have plenty of time for other right-wing hobby horses.</p><p>Wisconsin’s assembly passed a bill in February that would  <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/state-senate-unlike-to-take-up-sanctuary-cities-bill-b99673340z1-369431031.html" target="_blank">fine cities</a>, dubbed “sanctuary cities” by right-wingers, that have policies against police harassing people about their immigration status. The bill is aimed at Madison, which has a policy of not turning <a href="http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/undocumented-immigrants-oppose-bill-banning-sanctuary-cities-in-wisconsin/article_6b5e461a-edbc-5186-b37e-e287831a11e5.html" target="_blank">arrestees</a> over to federal immigration unless they are charged with violent crimes.</p><p>In Iowa, legislators are literally considering a bill that would remove age restrictions from firearm handling, <a href="http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Advocacy-groups-face-off-in-Iowa-over-bill-to-allow-kids-to-use-handguns-371440311.html" target="_blank">allowing kids</a> younger than 14 to use handguns with parental supervision.</p><p>In Arizona, <a href="http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/only-on-ap-arizona-bill-quietly-loosens-dark-money-rules/article_5eb5797e-9891-50e2-b517-2d40d600bdae.html" target="_blank">lawmakers quietly started moving a bill</a>, under the guise of simplification of campaign finance, that would double the amount of dark money that can be spent on campaigns in the state.  “Dark money” is money that is donated to groups by anonymous donors, and the bill is being pushed by Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers-run political action group.</p><p><a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2016/01/05/arizona-legislation-would-ignore-obama-gun-actions/78304064/" target="_blank">Arizona is also pushing a bill that would ban state officials</a> from enforcing any federal executive action, policy or court decision that restricts access to firearms.</p><p>Of course, the right-wing conspiracy theory about our courts practicing “Sharia law” is still being chewed over by state legislatures. This year, Idaho is considering <a href="http://www.postregister.com/articles/featured-news/2016/03/03/bill-targets-sharia-law" target="_blank">a law that would ban this nonexistent practice</a>. It appears the main reason for bringing such bills to the table is to use the legislative floor to make speeches demonizing Muslims. “There is no issue right now, there is no issue,” Democratic state Rep. John Rusche said. “And to bring this piece of legislation and the supporting documents that showed severed hands and called the Prophet Mohammed a pedophile was just beyond the pale.”</p><p>Then there are the bills codifying and protecting anti-gay discrimination that are being pushed in the guise of “religious liberty.” <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/03/10/missouri_religious_liberty_filibuster_draws_political_and_corporate_support.html" target="_blank">Missouri just passed one</a>, despite the noble 40-hour filibuster conducted by Democrats to stop it. <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/georgia-senate-passes-anti-gay-bill-2016-2" target="_blank">Georgia’s legislature passed one</a>, too.</p><p>The Republican governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal — no doubt <a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/02/29/the-growing-corporate-backlash-to-georgias-religious-liberty-bill/" target="_blank">influenced by the major corporations and other business interests speaking out and even threatening to pull business</a> — is <a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/03/03/nathan-deals-remarkably-forceful-opposition-to-georgia-religious-liberty-legislation/" target="_blank">refusing to sign the bill</a>. <a href="https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/georgia-governor-protecting-pastors-from-homosexual-activists-un-christlike" target="_blank">Now the religious right is casting shade on Deal</a>, insinuating he’s not the conservative Christian he clearly is. (He’s just one that doesn’t want to see his state bleed money so a few bakers can be mean to gay couples.)</p><p>A lot of these bills will die in the legislative process, of course. But not all. The Florida and Indiana anti-choice bills, for instance, are slam dunks. But even if the bills don’t become law, the frequency and severity of these bills should be alarming. The state legislatures of red states have become rat’s nests of the worst kind of paranoid right-wing nuttery. What we’re seeing on the national stage has been bred by years upon years of this nonsense, which is now trickling up and presenting a very real threat to us all.</p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1052456'; </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://license.icopyright.net/rights/js/copyright-notice.js"></script> <noscript> <a style="color: #336699; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;" href="http://license.icopyright.net/3.18566?icx_id=1052456" target="_blank" title="Main menu of all reuse options"> <img height="25" width="27" border="0" align="bottom" alt="[Reuse options]" src="http://http://license.icopyright.net/images/icopy-w.png"/>Click here for reuse options!</a> </noscript> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> Sun, 13 Mar 2016 11:27:00 -0700 Amanda Marcotte, Salon 1052456 at http://millionaiwww.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 right wing gop