Not all Republicans are neo-Nazis -- but are they still evil for not fighting the neo-Nazis?

Not all Republicans are neo-Nazis -- but are they still evil for not fighting the neo-Nazis?
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1079261603 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - August 12, 2017: Members of a white supremacist group at a white nationalist rally that turned violent resulting in one death and multiple injuries.

In previous articles, I’ve discussed how the GOP has openly become the party of racism, white supremacy, and nationalismwhy you can’t be nice to neo-Nazis or their enablers in the GOP; and how the recent racism leading to violent acts of terrorism and mass murder wasn’t started by Donald Trump himself—he just brought the kerosine and the s’mores to the fire. What I’ve always wondered is: At what point would the majority of the GOP finally come to their senses and recognize all of this, and begin to denounce Trump’s many bigoted statements and policy positions? When will they reach the breaking point?


But It seems as though waiting for Trump to go too far, or to say too much,is a fool’s errand. The rank-and-file Republicans have repeatedly said they don’t care what Trump says, or for that matter what he does, as long as they themselves are economically alright. Not that there hasn’t been a slow trickle of converts, including former Republicans and never-Trumpers like Joe Walsh, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Justin Amash, Jeff Flake, Bill Kristol, Michael Cohen, George Conway, and lately Anthony Scaramucci. But the basic bread-and-butter Republicans still don’t give a shit, even when there are neo-Nazi Proud Boys marching in the streets wearing #MAGA hats, or when thousands of children and families are being held by Trump’s immigration forces indefinitely at concentration camps in crowded unsafe conditions, without proper sanitation, and without flu shots, in violation of federal court orders and international law.

If they can’t stand up against any of this, does this mean they are providing a tacit endorsement for it? Are they not willfully permitting this abject evil?

There is danger in saying that “all Republicans” are bigots, because it’s clearly not true. It couldn’t possibly be true. It’s understandable that making such a broad and unfounded claim would clearly generate outrage and a backlash for the person making such an outlandish claim. As I’ve said before, however, there are worse things than just being a racist.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more difficult to observe Trump and not see that he traffics in bigotry and that each time he has an outburst of bias, members of the GOP scramble to ignore it, excuse it, justify it, and rationalize it.

Worse, it’s become more common that they echo the themes of supremacy by supporting ideas such as the “great replacement.”

In July 2017, white nationalist Youtube star Lauren Southern posted a video called “The Great Replacement” that has since garnered more than 670,000 views.

In the monologue, Southern blends fear-mongering about the supposed Islamification of Europe with specifically American concerns about automation and disappearing jobs to create a narrative of whites being replaced.

“The future of Europe looks pretty halal,” she says, before discussing how technology makes jobs — and people — redundant. “It’s all replaceable and there’s nothing particularly significant about the thing being replaced.”

According to Keegan Hankes, the interim research director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, the theory is a “dressed-up version” of older ideas that white nationalists have peddled about supposed conspiracies to destroy the white race.

“It’s not that the ideas are new, it’s new packaging,” he said.

But the idea has caught fire on the U.S. far-right since Trump’s election.

Rather than remaining on the fringe, these ideas have been echoed within the mainstream GOP.

Fox News has begun to propagate aspects of the racist narrative over the past year, without necessarily adhering to the theory itself. The Fox News version is more narrowly focused on domestic electoral politics, accusing Democrats of pushing for replacement for partisan political advantage.

Laura Ingraham has subscribed to the notion that Democrats are trying to use “chain migrants” to replace Americans. She said in one appearance last year that Democrats “want to replace you, the American voters, with newly amnestied citizens and an ever-increasing number of chain migrants.”

Tucker Carlson has also echoed elements of the theory — “demographic replacement” is his term — using it as a partisan bludgeon to accuse Democrats of trying to seed the country with liberal constituencies.

After the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, for example, Carlson claimed that leftists were advocating for a “genocide” of white men. He has also characterized the difference between U.S. policy towards immigrants and towards its native-born citizens as “it’s like, shut up, you’re dying, we’re gonna replace you.”

Trump himself has promoted this idea with his rallies and ads about the scary migrant “caravan” during the midterm elections.

The “Great Replacement” was a specific idea that was espoused by the Pittsburgh synagogue and the Christchurch shooters last year.

Only 19 minutes before 911 was first alerted that a terrorist shooting had occurred in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, the suspect posted a 2300-word manifesto online that outlined his motives. The suspect spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” asserting, “If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.” At the heart of the manifesto, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” was a belief that is central to modern white nationalist and white supremacist ideology: the Replacement Theory, which argues that whites are being replaced by “non-whites” around the world. And the Replacement Theory has been a primary motivation in a series of deadly terrorist acts, from Pittsburgh to New Zealand to Virginia.

In “The Inconvenient Truth,” acts of terrorism are characterized not as extremism or murdering innocent people, but as acts of self-defense against a non-white “invasion.” And the manifesto openly praises the worst act of terrorism in New Zealand’s history: an attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019 that left 51 people dead. In the manifesto written before that attack, the Replacement Theory was specifically mentioned as a motive — and “The Inconvenient Truth,” in solidarity, asserts, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The Christchurch terrorist specifically thanked Donald Trump, but somehow the National Review thought it was totally unfair to link Trump to his actions.

I do not recall hearing President Donald J. Trump urge anyone to enter a mosque and gun down Muslims. Still, Trump’s critics — whose volcanic rage makes Vesuvius resemble Old Faithful — hold him responsible for March 15’s mayhem in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Police say that an Australian white supremacist opened fire inside two local mosques, killing 50 worshipers and wounding some 50 more. Yet, somehow it’s all Trump’s fault — his detractors argue.

  • Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) said: “The president uses language often that’s very similar to the language used by these bigots and racists, and if he’s not going to call it out, then other leaders have to do more to call it out.”
  • “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.). “Instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them.”

[...]

These scathing attacks raise this philosophical question: If the president of the United States speaks, and the Trump-loathing media and his critics ignore his words, has he made a sound?

In fact, President Trump has praised Muslims at home and abroad. He has denounced white supremacists. And he has embraced the two groups whom Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their ilk detest the most: blacks and Jews. This news may shock most Americans, since anti-Trump journalists conceal these facts like classified data.

Oh sure, Trump said that he “condemns” all types of violence, and he’s criticized white supremacists once or twice. But frankly, nobody, including the white supremacists, believe any of that because he’s also criticized the “alt-Left” and Antifa. They said so during the recent Portland Proud Boys rally.

The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a “success” after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.

“A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement,” the Oregonian reported Saturday.

[...]

“Joe Biggs, a former InfoWars staffer and the organizer of Saturday’s right-wing demonstration, was asked by The Oregonian/OregonLive what message the effort got across,” the newspaper reported.

“Go look at President Trump’s Twitter,” Biggs said. “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching antifa. That’s all we wanted. We wanted national attention, and we got it. Mission success.”

In recent weeks, white supremacists have murdered dozens of people in El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California. Several others have been thwarted before they attacked, including one who praised Trump as he threatened to kill Hispanics and blacks.

Eric Lin, 35, was charged with interstate transmission of threatening communications. According to the criminal complaint against him, Lin targeted an unnamed victim who lives in Florida but is from Spain with threatening Facebook messages, repeatedly indicating he identified with Hitler’s views. He also referenced the President.

“Our Great President Donald John Trump is too Nice of Man. But I will say it,” Lin allegedly wrote on July 15 to his victim, before unleashing a series of racial slurs and saying that Hispanic, black and Muslim Americans “will be Killed!”

“I Thank God everyday President Donald John Trump is President and that he will launch a Racial War and Crusade to keep [various slurs] and any dangerous non-White or Ethnically or Cultural Foreign group ‘In Line,’” he allegedly wrote a few days later.

Another white nationalist was arrested for planning an attack in Ohio.

The FBI raided the home of James Reardon, 20, on Friday and found a stockpile of weapons that included dozens of rounds of ammunition, several semi-automatic weapons and protective gear like a gas mask and bulletproof vest, according to multiple reports. Police also found white nationalist and anti-Semitic imagery in his home.

Reardon was initially flagged by authorities last month when he posted a video on Instagram that showed a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle. Sirens and screams were heard in the background of the video, according to ABC News and Reardon tagged Jewish Community Center of Youngston in the Instagram post.

And yet another anti-trans, racist Trump fan from Connecticut was arrested for making violent threats.

A Connecticut man who had amassed an arsenal of tactical weapons and body armor, and who police say may have been preparing for a mass shooting, left a trail of virulently racist and anti-trans postings online.

TPM found that social media accounts registered to Norwalk, Connecticut resident Brandon Wagshol both reflected elements of the police accusations against him and contained rants against minorities.

[...]

In January 2018, for example, after Trump complained that immigrants were coming into the U.S. from “shithole countries,” Wagshol posted memes riffing on the term.

In one post, a meme appears to show the popular 23andme genetic testing kit offering consumers the opportunity to discover “which shithole country are you from?”

And these three were just the tip of the floating turdberg.

It’s impressive that all of these whack jobs were caught before things went completely off the rails, but none of that was thanks to Trump or the White House ,who have been repeatedly ignoring the threat of growing white nationalism.

"Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism," one senior source close to the Trump administration tells CNN. "The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on."

The National Counterterrorism Strategy, issued last fall, states that "Radical Islamist terrorists remain the primary transnational terrorist threat to the United States and its vital national interests," which few experts dispute. What seems glaring to these officials is the minimizing of the threat of domestic terrorism, which they say was on their radar as a growing problem.

"Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line," a senior source involved in the discussion told CNN. That paragraph mentions "other forms of violent extremism, such as racially motivated extremism, animal rights extremism, environmental extremism, sovereign citizen extremism, and militia extremism." It made no mention of white supremacists. (A separate paragraph in the report mentions investigating domestic terrorists with connections to overseas terrorists, but that does not seem to be a reference to white supremacists.)

Also, Homeland Security has been struggling to deal with domestic terrorists because of the White House’s obsession with immigrants.

An unnamed current DHS official told the Daily Beast on Tuesday that the department is “scrambling” to deal with domestic terrorism following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

“These two shootings have caused a mad scramble where they are pulling every publication and book off the shelf in an attempt to figure out what they can do to address this problem,” a former DHS official told the Daily Beast.

Former DHS deputy Counterterrorism Coordinator John Cohen said the struggle is a “direct result” of “no serious planning efforts by the department” to fight domestic terrorism.

“That’s due in large part because of the insistence by the White House that the department first and foremost focus on immigration and border security,” he said.

Under President Donald Trump, who’s fixated on immigration and Islamic terrorism, the department’s seen major cuts in resources for addressing domestic terrorism.

Trump has ignored asylum law, which allows people to legally enter the nation from any port of entry. He’s detained asylum seekers, even though as many of 99 percent of them make it to all of their court dates. Now he’s both implementing indefinite detention for families and children while denying them flu shots, when several kids have already died as a result of the flu. Remember that Anne Frank didn’t die in a gas chamber: She died of typhus while at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Trump’s goal is simple: to make the risk of trying to enter the U.S. so painful, dangerous, and perilous that it’s not worth it, even when the alternative is death as a result of crime, gangs, and drug lords.

And all this came after acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan revealed that domestic terrorism is now a greater threat to the U.S. than al-Qaida or ISIS.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan stated that domestic terrorism is “absolutely” a bigger threat than international terrorism on Sunday.

“Is it fair to say that you want to change the priority–that your priority needs to be domestic terrorism?” NBC host Todd asked during an interview with McAleen. “Is that a greater threat, right now, than international terrorism?”

“Absolutely,” the acting DHS secretary replied, adding that the DHS “has to balance threats.”

McAleenan said that his department’s emphasis is providing support for “prevention, awareness, and response capability” regarding domestic terrorism on a local and state level.

Just to re-emphasize: As the threat of foreign terrorism slows, the Trump administration would rather continue to focus on that and immigration issues (such as their sudden huge raid at a chicken plant in Mississippi) instead of address terrorists that are right here, right now, and who are killing Americans by the dozens.

And then you have the House GOP caucus, which concocted talking points about white supremacy intended to minimize the issue and instead attack so-called “left-wing” violence.

In an email to constituents reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) included a series of talking points that his spokesperson told the paper were “provided by the House Republican Conference.”

If asked, “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently?” the talking points falsely respond that the El Paso shooter and the man who shot Congresswoman Gaby Giffords were politically “from the left.”

“White nationalism and racism are pure evil and cannot be tolerated in any form,” the talking points included in the email said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “We also can’t excuse violence from the left such as the El Paso shooter, the recent Colorado shooters, the Congressional baseball shooter, Congresswoman Giffords’ shooter and Antifa.”

Rather than address these terrorists, the right would rather attack Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their support of human rights in Palestine, by arguing that doing so “supports terrorism.” This tactic is shown in the video below, where The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart engages in an amazing shouting match with the National Review’s Rich Lowry. He repeatedly denies that they or he support Palestinian terrorism, but repeats that the basic humanity of the Palestinians itself is inherent.  Beinart argues powerfully that Palestine is an apartheid state, and that you can’t understand how bad conditions are for the those on the West Bank until you visit there and see that it is as bad and tragic as the Jim Crow South. Lowry blows all that off.

x

During the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and groups like SNCC, led by John Lewis, were called “communist.” The same went for Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress, which fought against South Africa’s apartheid system—and not always with nonviolent methods.

This basic and clear inhumanity was what Tlaib and Omar were attempting to highlight and unveil by visiting Israel, but Trump asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to block them. Netanyahu did just that, with frankly bogus claims of “anti-Semitism” and support for terrorism on their part.

The irony of that is just delicious.

Rather than admit the truth that Beinart speaks or call out domestic terrorists, conservative columnists have instead claimed that Trump has been the “victim’ of racism, and that bringing up these white supremacist terrorists is mere “identity politics.”

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, conservative columnist Heather Mac Donald says that Trump himself is a victim of racist attacks.

In a story headlined “Trump Isn’t the One Dividing Us by Race,” Mac Donald claims that “He hardly mentions it, while his adversaries are obsessed with ‘whiteness’ and ‘white privilege.’”

“It is the media and Democratic leaders who routinely characterize individuals and groups by race and issue race-based denunciations of large parts of the American polity,” Mac Donald claims. [...]

“Identity politics dominate higher education: Administrators, students and faculty obsessively categorize themselves and each other by race. “White privilege,” often coupled with “toxic masculinity,” is the focus of freshmen orientations and an ever-growing array of courses.” [...]

“To note the inevitability of white identity politics in no way condones the grotesque violence of men like the El Paso killer,” she says. “But the dominant culture is creating a group of social pariahs, a very small percentage of whom—already unmoored from traditional sources of meaning and stability, such as family—are taking their revenge through stomach-churning mayhem,” Mac Donald argues.

And many conservatives, including Newt Gingrich and Erick Erickson, apparently lost their minds over The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which is a series of essays about the impact of slavery in America published on the 400th anniversary of the first Africans landing on North American soil.

Some commentators, like Elie Mystal, have noted the absurdity that all these complaints seem to center on the idea that no one would like America if a full and complete history of slavery and its brutality was debated publicly.

But there is another, deeper common thread that runs through all these complaints. Conservatives seem to be bristling at the idea that slavery is not just something in our past, but something that shapes what our nation is to this day.

They don’t want to grapple with the structures we have cyclically built and rebuilt to reduce black Americans to a state “almost” like slavery, from mass incarceration to attacks on voting rights. They don’t want to talk about how stereotypes we formed about black people during slavery affect everything from how willing employers are to hire them to how willing doctors are to prescribe them pain medicine. And they also don’t want to hear how white people were not, in fact, selfless saviors who swooped in and ended slavery in 1863, because that forces them to confront how unwilling they are to address its lasting effects now, from civil rights to reparations.

Admitting and acknowledging the experience of African Americans is a threat. It validates the evil, discriminatory, and bigoted acts of (some) white people during the past four centuries, and if those acts are admitted then it requires action—largely by white people—to change and correct those actions. That’s exactly what the GOP doesn’t want. It’s certainly what Trump doesn’t want.

Instead of correcting the consequences of discrimination, Trump’s Labor Department has been establishing rules to legalize LGBTQ discrimination for “religion-exercising organizations.”

Labor officials have made public a new rule—no Congress, needed, thank you—to allow companies contracting with the federal government who are “religion-exercising organizations” to ignore federal laws protecting the rights of gays, transsexuals, and who knows who else in hiring or workplace practices. Religious employers and companies with “closely held” religious ties now will be shielded from claims of bias in court or other law enforcement actions, says the rule..

Trump supporters like goofy game show host Chuck Woolery claim “racism has nothing to do with race.” Yeah—okay, Chuck.

Rather than point advocate against any of this, other Trump supporters are instead holding rallies against “hate” directed at Trump.

Trump supporter Tammy Curry, who sells log cabin accessories and CBP products at a pair of local shops, organized a “Make America Great Again” rally Friday evening at a picnic grounds, where supporters gathered to celebrate the president.

“We have to do something about all the hatred,” Curry said. [...]

The 61-year-old Curry was instead concerned about criticism against one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history.

“I just think right now the president is being attacked unjustly,” Curry said. “People don’t respect the office of the president. Never have I seen this much hate. It scares me.”

Most of Trump’s supporters are just as oblivious, if not more so. His base’s support hasn’t wavered, remaining in the 80 percent range both before and after his “very fine people” reaction to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville. They fail to see these events, his disgusting treatment of immigrants, and his dismissive attitude toward the dangers of white supremacist terrorism as being relevant to them.

His support among the GOP actually increased after his attacks on Reps. Omar, Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley, which were launched to tamp down their criticism of his inhumane immigration policies.

Support for U.S. President Donald Trump increased slightly among Republicans after he lashed out on Twitter over the weekend in a racially charged attack on four minority Democratic congresswomen, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll shows.

The national survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday after Trump told the lawmakers they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” showed his net approval among members of his Republican Party rose by 5 percentage points to 72%, compared with a similar poll that ran last week.

They don’t really mind any of this, because they like his immigration policies. But that doesn’t make them all racist. It just makes them racist-adjacent.

One of the key things learned from the 1619 Project is the fact that there was never any point in time when most Americans were racist. I believe they were not. The issue of slavery something that only impacted the slave owners themselves, and few people (even among Southerners) belonged to that class. If you read the letters of Civil War soldiers, rarely are the issues of slavery or abolition discussed. More often, their issues are personal and more prosaic. Union soldiers were, at least originally, not fighting to free the slaves, despite what Newt Gingrich says. In fact, they were somewhat concerned with the ramifications of the Emancipation Proclamation.

One of those new measures that is taken to fight the war is the Emancipation Proclamation. The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation had been issued on September 22nd of 1862 and the Emancipation Proclamation really changed the whole aim of a war that had been begun to save the Union. Now it becomes a war also to end slavery. Now those two goals had never been completely separable but the official line had always been "This is a war to save the Union" and not to have really much of anything to do with slavery. Those changes really rocked much of the Civil War North, particularly the Northern home front.

You have quite a lot of dissent among white Northerners over the Emancipation Proclamation. Black Northerners, there is no dissent. They think this is exactly what has been needed since well before the war began. There are a number of issues at stake in the 1862 elections. There are economic issues, there are issues having to do with civil liberties, what actions can and cannot the United States government take during wartime and there's the war and of course there's the Emancipation Proclamation.

All of those from the North weren’t abolitionist heroes, and all those from the South weren’t slaver bigots. Then, as now, most people were largely trying to get on with their lives and not so much concerned with the matters of others.

This is why it is only the threat of a looming recession that has Trump starting to worry he just might lose the support of his base. Trump can use the exact same anti-Semitic trope of suggesting that Jews aren’t “loyal” that Rep. Ilhan Omar was slammed for when she criticized AIPAC, and his base won’t care one wit. What they care about is their own pocketbook, and hardly anything else.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who has always supported Trump’s policy positions (even though they are all still based on bigoted ideas) is someone who reached the breaking point with Trump’s racist attacks on “the Squad” when he said they should “go back where they came from.” He believes there are other Republicans who are merely in the closet on their moral objections to Trump’s behavior.

He claims he can take five points off of Trump’s support using his new SuperPAC and gathering Republicans who supposedly have the strength of moral conviction to try and primary Trump in 2020. The goal is to continue Trump’s policies without all the embarrassing, silly, and racist parts.

Oh, really?

We’ll have to see how he does with that effort, but I’m not optimistic. The problem is the core of the “Great Replacement” idea is that it’s not just racial, it’s also economic. It’s about jobs and opportunities being supposedly taken or blocked from white people who because of immigration now have to compete on the level that the market actually demands. To keep their jobs and avoid being “replaced,” they’d have to accept a cut to their pay or their benefits, which migrants are willing to tolerate. According to the paranoid theory, white people would likely have to move to another state, or possibly even out of the country because that’s where their jobs just might be going.

Trump has been selling his base the idea that he’s going to bring those overseas jobs back, and he’s going to get rid of all those pesky immigrants (even a lot of the legal ones!) and that’s what is going to “Make America Great Again.” The economic and the racial have always been linked in his vision; it’s not really possible to separate them.

In order to bring about his economic vision, Trump has to totally amp up the cruelty toward immigrants. He has to attack even our allied nations and portray China and the E.U. as taking “unfair advantage” of us on trade, because you see “those other people” are always the problem. “They” are the issue. We just need to put all those other people in their proper shithole place, and America will be better off—the “real” America, that is: not Baltimore and all its rats and rodents, of course.

This is why the white supremacists love him. This is why they feel emboldened by him. This is why they are acting out, and have become radicalized at increasing rates: because of him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the GOP stands idly by, in denial—and often, in delusion.

During the height of the civil rights struggle, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously stated that his largest challenge wasn’t with the KKK, but with white moderates who remained idle in response to injustice.

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice [...]

It’s often said that all that’s required for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.

Then, as now, the greatest challenge we have aren’t the white supremacists and racists who have rallied to Trump’s side: It’s the other loyal supporters of the GOP who have placed their own personal gain and comfort above the damage that Trump’s tragic trade, immigration, and domestic terrorism policies are doing to the lives of tens and hundreds of thousands. They just don’t care, because they don’t think they’re in the path of the wrecking ball.

I think they’re wrong about that.

They aren’t moved by pictures of children in cages. They aren’t moved by pictures of Americans dead and dying on the ground as a result of white supremacist terror. They aren’t moved by seeing throngs of Proud Boys marching in the streets of Portland, or by the “very fine people” in Charlottesville. They aren’t moved by Trump saying black and brown congresswomen should “go back where they came from,” and they aren’t moved by Trump saying that Jews that support Democrats are “disloyal.”

They’re more concerned about being called “racist” for supporting Trump. They’re more concerned with being blamed for something, or being responsible for anything. They’re more concerned with their own 401(k). They’re more concerned with their own pension.

Technically, there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously, people can make their own choices about what they’re going to care about. But I do wonder: When there is clear and obvious evil taking place on their behalf, on their watch, and under their nose; when terrorists are being radicalized by the rhetoric of the current White House resident, when does their standing on the sidelines become an act of enabling that evil?

Are you truly innocent if you only act when your own financial interests are threatened by a recession?

And naturally, in anticipation of this Trump is already scapegoating the news media for creating a recession if there is one, so he won’t have to take the blame.

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Trump tweeted Thursday, apparently seeking to spread the outrageous theory that shadowy forces would wreck the economy for the sole purpose of damaging him politically.

“Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election,” Haberman writes

Because of course, their money is all they truly care about. As for the rest of it, they’re just not interested or worse yet, they really do believe that wackadoodle conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton (on her day off from running the Comet Pizza teenage human trafficking ring and selling Benghazi secrets to Q-anon while laughing over Seth Rich’s grave) hired Christopher Steele to pay off a bunch of Russians to lie about Trump, and then used that information to manipulate the Deep State of Comey, Strzok, Page, Clapper, and Brennan to illegally spy on Carter Page and Trump in his tower. Then they called up Bigfoot and the Sasquatch for an Illuminati clam bake at Chappaquiddick and any minute now—literally any second—Attorney General Barr is gonna have them all, including Mueller, Hillary, and Jeffrey Epstein’s best friend Bill Clinton, in handcuffs and leg irons. Just you wait.

They think Trump saying that he’s the “King of the Jews” and the “chosen one” is cute and the best thing they’ve heard since the last chosen ones, Neo of the Matrix and Anakin Skywalker.

Scaramucci is betting that GOP rank-and-file will get up off the sidelines and support his alternative candidate to Trump in 2020 on essentially moral grounds. He’s not the first to try and make this argument. Former Sen. Jeff Flake tried to stand up to Trump too, and it didn’t work out so well for him. Rep. Justin Amash is trying to do it, but the verdict is still out on how that’s going. The Mooch might have a better shot if he was willing to go third-party rather than try and work inside the GOP, because I think that the rank-and-file Republicans are frankly long, long gone from being who and what he seems to think they are. The cancer of the Trump cult —which Trump claims is a “movement based on love”—has already metastasized.

At its core, Donald Trump’s love is filtered through fascism and authoritarianism. His form of tainted love rests upon moral inversion, a state of being in which truth is replaced by lies, empirical reality itself is usurped, and the evil and immoral are transformed into the good and the noble. As Hannah Arendt warned in her landmark book “The Origins of Totalitarianism”:
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

In this malignant reality, people who are in thrall to Donald Trump (or the other ignominious fascist and authoritarian leaders whom he adores and imitates) do not know what right and wrong are anymore. When these distinctions are pointed out, Trump’s supporters double down on their investment in the Great Leader and “the Movement,” focusing their rage and violence against the political truth-teller.

Donald Trump’s love is exclusive rather than inclusive, narrow rather than broad. It is focused inward on the in-group as a way of legitimating violence and meanness towards the out-group. Trump’s love is not a celebration of the best of humanity but is itself inhumane.

They have become an authoritarian cult.  Maybe they already were after the days of George W. Bush and decades of Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson, Pirro, the rest of Faux Snooze, Sinclair, Newsmax, Breitbart and RT. They don’t flinch at his crazed, inhumane, and racist actions because they support his inhumane and racist actions. They like it. They think every little time the media has a bovine birth over his latest nutball action like trying to buy Greenland like it’s on sale at Walmart is great. He’s just trolling the media, and also “pwning the libs,”, ha ha! He called the prime minister of Denmark “nasty”? Just like Meghan Markle and Elizabeth Warren? Fine. He also said London’s Mayor Saddiq Khan was a “Nasty guy” and a “total loser” but since he’s a dude, that makes it fine.

I don’t think they’re ever coming back from being enablers for Trump’s bigotry. They like that he says out loud what they’re afraid to admit they think. He says pretty boldly what Limbaugh and Ann Coulter only hinted at previously. His supporters have completely lost their moral compass down the garbage disposal if they can’t see this man is totally bankrupt not only six times financially, but also morally and ethically. And I when Trump is finally gone—whenever that maybe—they’ll still be here, raging about immigrants and foreigners, and enabling and rationalizing monsters.

And if I’m wrong, nobody is stopping them from proving this isn’t the case.

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