AlterNet.org: Adele M. Stan http://www.alternet.org/authors/adele-m-stan en The Patriarchy Strikes Back: Warren's Strong Stand on Race Undermined by Senate Leader http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/mitch-mcconnell-silenced-elizabeth-warren <!-- 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 = '1071975'; </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=1071975" 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">Effectively telling the progressive senator to sit down and shut up, the Senate majority leader played the card of an abuser.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/elizabeth_warren_nov_2_2012_2.jpg?itok=-dYgqWja" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>There’s nothing the patriarchy hates more than a woman who’s got a point to make, especially a powerful point to make against the man the white patriarchy means to install in the highest law-enforcement office in the land. And the patriarchy really is not down with the fact that the point was originally made by a black woman, one of the most revered civil rights activists in modern history.</p><p>On Tuesday, when Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, read the words of Coretta Scott King from the Senate floor—words originally written in opposition to the 1986 nomination of Republican Jeff Sessions, currently the U.S. senator from Alabama, to the federal bench—Republicans invoked an arcane rule to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/us/politics/republican-senators-vote-to-formally-silence-elizabeth-warren.html">shut down Warren’s speech</a> and send her back to her seat. Warren’s remarks last night were offered in opposition to the nomination of Sessions to the position of attorney general.</p><p>Citing Senate <a href="http://www.rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXIX">Rule XIX</a>, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Warren of “impugning the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” thereby violating the rule, which prohibits such a condemnation by one senator against another. At issue are the conduct and motives of Sessions during his tenure as a federal prosecutor with regard to the voting rights of African Americans, as described by King in a letter submitted to the Senate in 1986 as written testimony against Sessions’s nomination for a federal judgeship—a letter Warren read in her speech. McConnell appeared to take special umbrage at King’s accusation that Sessions used “the awesome power of his office” to “intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot” by African American voters. (In 1985, Sessions brought an apparently racially motivated case alleging voter fraud against three civil rights activists who were registering elderly black people to vote.)</p><p>It is worth noting here that King’s letter was never written into the record of Sessions’s 1986 nomination hearings for his federal judgeship, even though it was submitted as written testimony after King was invited to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter only came to light after it was <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/10/read-the-letter-coretta-scott-king-wrote-opposing-sessionss-1986-federal-nomination/?utm_term=.b9ef0f168112">unearthed by <em>The Washington Post</em>’s Wesley Lowery</a>, acting on a <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnstanton/coretta-scott-king-letter-jeff-sessions?utm_term=.bs9WVMgGq#.gopLzWGjy"><em>BuzzFeed</em> report</a> of its existence. What the silencing of Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor really amounted to was a second Republican attempt at the erasure of Coretta Scott King’s damning letter—and the erasure of CSK as a leader of her people. Warren, of course, is embraced by many progressives as their leader in the Senate.</p><p>While Republican senators would, naturally, try to diminish any attempt, by either a male or female Democrat, to re-examine Sessions’s unsavory history on matters of race, I have my doubts whether they would have chosen the blunt-force method of silencing used against Warren had she been a man. I also wonder over the lengths to which they would go to erase Coretta Scott King’s letter had it been written by one of the eminent male civil rights leaders of the day. They know they’d have a much harder time getting away with such displays of contempt were their targets of the male persuasion. Institutional misogyny is so ingrained in the fiber of American culture that people of every stripe often fail to see in such attacks on women leaders the particular markers of that disease. But in our hearts, women know. Elizabeth Warren was effectively told, in the words of <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/elizabeth-warren-sessions-silence-234779"><em>Politico</em>’s Seung Min Kim</a>, to “sit down—and shut up.” Any domestic violence expert will tell you that those are the sort of words that often precede the connection of a male fist to a female face.</p><p>Never mind that Warren wasn’t reading the King letter to comment on Sessions’s motives or conduct in his role as U.S. senator; she was speaking against his nomination to one of the most important jobs in the executive branch—a job that is, among other things, charged with enforcement of the citizens’ franchise of the vote. Never mind that King’s letter spoke directly to that concern. Never mind that over the course of the last two years, as <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/us/politics/republican-senators-vote-to-formally-silence-elizabeth-warren.html"><em>The New York Times</em> reports</a>, both Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas appear to have violated the rule according to its true intent, without having it invoked against them. Cruz’s 2015 impugning of a fellow senator’s conduct motives was a critique of McConnell himself, described by Cruz as a liar. They’re men, and white men at that (and Republican).</p><p>Senate Republicans may not all love Donald Trump, but a significant aspect of their agenda dovetails nicely with Trump’s base-stoking, and that is the revival of a white male patriarchy that sees itself as threatened by a multicultural population and the changing roles of women in society. Trump’s courtship of the religious right speaks to this, as does his chief strategist’s courtship of white nationalists and supremacists, whose ideological misogyny is often overlooked.</p><p>Make no mistake: McConnell’s bullying of Elizabeth Warren for reading the words of Coretta Scott King was intended to convey to women—white, black, and of every other color and identity—just who’s boss. </p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2017 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1071975'; </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=1071975" 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, 09 Feb 2017 07:15:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1071975 at http://www.alternet.org The Right Wing The Right Wing elizabeth warren mitch mcconnell coretta scott king Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III What Progressives Need to Beat Trump—The Answer Isn't Copying What Right-Wingers Do http://www.alternet.org/activism/how-progressives-can-win <!-- 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 = '1071791'; </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=1071791" 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 first step is to identify the real activists—not to create a leftist Breitbart, or to replicate the Koch network.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/16270800166_c4c66dfd8f_z.jpg?itok=emP-WNf5" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>When you’re in the midst of <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/01/31/critics-debate-five-ways-president-trump-may-have-violated-constitution/lROExwrjgyRDT6Qu9dm6jN/story.html">multiple</a> <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/23/donald_trump_sued_for_violating_the_constitution_s_emoluments_clause.html">constitutional</a> <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/leaked-draft-of-trumps-religious-freedom-order-reveals-sweeping-plans-to-legalize-discrimination/">crises</a>, it’s hard to focus on the future. But without that focus on the part of progressives and liberals, the fate of the republic looks bleak.</p><p>Donald Trump may not have been the dream candidate of right-wing leaders, but in the end, they deemed him close enough. For that, they’re being richly rewarded. In the course of a week, the religious right has gotten nearly everything its leaders <a href="http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-leads-religious-right-promised-land/">ever longed for</a>, short of overturning <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. But they seem confident, given the president’s pick of Neil Gorsuch to the high court bench, that it’s just a matter of time—four, maybe eight, years—before that aim is achieved.</p><p>The people around Trump know that the reality star’s ascent to the highest office in the land could not have happened without the political infrastructure built by the right over the course of the last 40 years. The Tea Party movement was subsumed and partly driven by Americans for Prosperity, a ground-organizing operation funded by the Koch brothers. The churches of the religious right have been networked for years by right-wing leaders to effect significant voter-turnout efforts. These two strains of the right enjoy significant overlap.</p><p>Much discussion is now taking place in liberal and progressive circles about the need for a liberal/progressive infrastructure that’s comparable in strength to that of the right. You’ll get no argument from me there. But when I hear people enthusiastically cheering models that simply replicate those on the right, I see a flow of donor cash going to efforts that will ultimately fail, while progressive media starve and the work of existing grassroots organizations are never leveraged at the national level.</p><p>Our people are not their people. Our movement is a coalition of many parts—different kinds of people with a range of concerns and policy priorities. You cannot create a structure built on that of the right’s and expect progressives to sign up for whatever you’ve built. We don’t roll like that.</p><p>What we need is a structure based on needs identified by real activists, not people who barely venture outside the Beltway, or people who want to build “a <em>Breitbart</em> of the left.” And we need spaces—physical spaces.</p><p>I’m no expert on political strategy, but I have spent much of my career reporting on the right as it built its infrastructure. While the shape of the right’s political infrastructure is not amenable to the needs of the left, one important characteristic of right-wing infrastructure that is transportable—and necessary—to liberal and progressive organizing is that of interlocking parts. Look at the Koch network: Its parts are entirely interlocking—the get-out-the-vote groups, the think tanks, the events. For progressives, “interlocking” might yield to something less rigid, given the nature of the base. We need physical spaces designed to encourage cross-pollination between the constituencies of the left. To achieve that, the kind of donor cash that flooded certain election-based efforts could, when redirected at building progressive spaces in the cities where they’re needed, help locally based organizations amp up their efforts while encouraging interaction and collaboration between the various constituencies that form the progressive coalition.</p><p>If donors would fund strategically placed facilities for use by progressive groups—facilities that included meeting and event spaces, and were each staffed with a full-time manager and scheduler—you might greatly increase collaborative work among various groups. With collaboration, creativity is catalyzed. And right now, we need all the creativity we can muster.</p><p>In an interview with Michael Tomasky in <a href="http://democracyjournal.org/arguments/can-marches-become-a-movement/"><em>Democracy</em></a>, Theda Skocpol, a scholar of right-wing movements, introduces a promising idea that could be turbo-charged through the use of shared spaces. Working from the “sister city” model used in the 1980s to establish partnerships with the besieged towns of Latin America, she suggests forming partnerships with the progressive elements of cities in “purple” states—those that have populations that are a mix of left and right, but that went red in the 2016 Electoral College vote.</p><p>I’d like to add a thought to that idea for donors looking to invest in something innovative. It won’t be cheap, but if it worked, it would be awesome. Why not seed some of those purple-state cities with progressive young people by creating incentives for them to move there? Silicon Valley is reportedly finding itself frightened by Trump. Maybe they could plunk down some offshoot of their businesses in these places and attract talent, but do so with a plan for integrating into the surrounding community. Yes, there’s a gentrification risk. But for some of these cities, there’s also a death risk in allowing things to drift as they are.</p><p>The left doesn’t need its own version of <em>Breitbart News</em>. It has no shortage of pugilistic political websites that present the news through a progressive lens. It doesn’t need another organization focused solely on the election cycle. What the hundreds of thousands of engaged progressives throughout America really need are ways to connect and incubate place-based communities. An influx of cash to build a structure that will support and encourage community would be extraordinarily helpful in this moment of great consequence.</p><p>In the meantime, we can’t wait for the money. As shown by the success of the Women’s March, progressives know how to marshal scarce resources to launch an opposition. It’s time for an epic barn-raising. </p><p> </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2017 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1071791'; </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=1071791" 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, 06 Feb 2017 12:51:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1071791 at http://www.alternet.org Activism Activism women's march protests black lives matter activism breitbart The Feminist Movement Will Survive After Trump's Victory—But It Needs to Change http://www.alternet.org/activism/feminism-needs-change <!-- 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 = '1069972'; </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=1069972" 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">To counter Donald Trump’s victory, the very structure of liberal and progressive politics must be seized by 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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_523880869.jpg?itok=UMahT6rK" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>It was supposed to be the ultimate moment of the feminist project—that moment when the national media networks would call the 2016 election for the nation’s first woman president. That didn’t happen, of course; instead, a man, who has made a display of his contempt for women, won the White House. Since Donald Trump’s great Electoral College triumph, women dedicated to the cause of equal rights, whether they describe themselves as feminists or womanists, have been taking stock.</p><p>For many, it’s hard not to fall into despair, especially as pundits and analysts allied with the Democratic Party tell us that the failure of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was due to her ostensible neglect of the white working class—by which they usually mean white, working-class men. As Kali Holloway, a woman of color, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/stop-asking-me-empathize-white-working-class">wrote</a> in the days following the election, this amounts to “the endless privileging of white pain above all others.”</p><p>Especially distressing is the irrefutable fact that a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump: 52 percent, according to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls">exit polls</a> reported by CNN. Because white women comprised a significant chunk of the electorate—37 percent, according to the exits cited above—that’s a big deal, especially when you consider that 94 percent of black women voters pulled the lever for Clinton, as did 69 percent of Latina voters. (By contrast, black women made up 7 percent of the electorate, and Latinas comprised 6 percent.)</p><p>“Feminism lost. Now what?” reads the headline of Susan Chira’s January 1 <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/opinion/sunday/feminism-lost-now-what.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&amp;smid=nytcore-iphone-share">essay</a> on <em>The New York Times</em> op-ed page. While Chira, a senior editor and writer at the paper on gender issues, contends that the 2016 election was not a referendum on the subordination of women (I’m not so sure), she writes that “it’s a warning that feminism, as it has been defined, did not inspire enough people in enough places around the country.”</p><p>Chira makes a good case for the problem being the identification of issues classically defined as feminist (reproductive rights and justice, subsidized daycare, equal pay) with a particular class of women: white, middle-class women. Citing focus groups conducted by Lake Research Partners, Chira argues for a reframing of some of these issues as economic measures designed to help all families.</p><p>That’s all well and good, but framing alone won’t fix the problem. The problem is structural, both in the make-up of feminist leadership, and in the dominance of men as the leaders funders turn to when liberals periodically deduce that there’s a problem with the liberal and progressive political infrastructure.</p><p>Resistance to the anti-woman Trump agenda and the reconstitution of a grassroots women’s movement will require ways of listening and organizing that have long been absent (or at best, not strong enough) in liberal and progressive politics.</p><p>While Chira is right that certain issues long relegated to the feminist sphere can likely be reframed as economic measures designed to aid all families, there’s far more to the feminist agenda than economic issues, and the economic fixes applied in the name of feminism often do not take into account the needs of working-class women and women of color. The assault on women’s reproductive health and rights that has been ongoing for decades is about to get a major boost under Trump, who has said he would like to see <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide, overturned. He’ll have the opportunity to appoint justices who are inclined to do just that.</p><p>Republicans in Congress have long shown hostility to protecting women from domestic violence. And the continuous hole-poking at the social safety net, such as attempts to gut nutrition assistance programs, is nothing short of an assault on the very sustenance of women and children.</p><p>Writing in Slate last month, Michelle Goldberg <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2016/12/_2016_was_the_year_the_feminist_bubble_burst.html">laid out</a> just how much of the feminist agenda is at stake. It’s a grim read. Leaders of women-focused national organizations are professional and knowledgeable in the ways of national politics. But the feminist project cannot be saved by them. However in touch they may be with what’s happening on the ground and in the states, they are <em>not</em> on the ground and in the states. Those who are must not only be heard; they must be acknowledged as the ones who will conceive and build the new ground-level organizing infrastructure that victory over the tyranny of the oligarchs will require.</p><p>Trump’s Electoral College victory came in no small part on the back of organizing in the states by groups like Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the Koch network. It’s been a state-level effort that ultimately delivered enough state legislatures and governors’ mansions to Koch-allied Republicans to effect a seemingly intractable GOP majority in the House of Representatives, through the redrawing of congressional districts in ways designed to diminish the impact of non-white and progressive voters. At the same time, it is in these very legislatures that laws gutting voting-rights protections and access to reproductive health care have been enacted. And the governors elected with help from the Koch network are those who refused the Medicaid expansion that was part of the Affordable Care Act—a purely retaliatory refusal with little impact on elites, since those who would have benefited from the expansion include <a href="http://www.urban.org/research/publication/opting-medicaid-expansion-under-aca/view/full_report">significant numbers</a> of women and people of color.</p><p>As liberals and progressives regroup and reassess in the wake of Trump’s victory, news media have predictably turned to the leaders of big organizations in a spate of <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2016-12-23/groups-on-the-left-prepare-to-resist-the-trump-administration">“What do they do now?” pieces</a>. There’s talk of war rooms and opposition research, and lots of money flowing into them. That’s all well and good, but these efforts will not save the day. Neither will pouring money into existing institutional organizing structures, which tend to be election-focused. Turning the tide against the oncoming wave of assaults on the rights of women—especially working-class women, a class in which women of color are amply represented—will require the leadership of women at state and local levels in the general progressive grassroots political structure, and their empowerment to envision and create a new infrastructure that engages the whole of the progressive movement.</p><p>Women, especially women of color, have long histories as leaders and ground-level organizers of movements for social justice. In the Age of Trump, these movements will struggle to survive unless women are at the forefront—not simply “dealt in” or “at the table.”</p><p>This is no time to wait for inside-the-beltway groups to get their war rooms up and running. Let the big donors pour their money into that for the time being; we need to begin building without those resources, if only to prove the need for them.</p><p>In North Carolina, Reverend William Barber has shown what consistent, 24/7, intersectional organizing can accomplish. In the most unlikely of years, a Democrat was elected to the governor’s mansion. The threat perceived by the Koch-bought legislature was revealed when, shortly following the election, the Republican majority passed a measure stripping the governor’s office of much of its power.</p><p>But leaders at the state and local levels will now have to fight on two fronts—the congressional as well as the state legislative arenas—if rights are to be maintained and reclaimed. While Barber’s Moral Mondays movement shows what state-level mobilizing can accomplish, organic grassroots opposition to the Trump agenda in Congress is also mandatory.</p><p>In a succinct and <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5855a354cd0f68bab2089b40/t/5867cd26be65940ffdeeac1e/1483197741124/IndivisibleGuide_2016-12-31_v1.pdf">instructive handbook</a>, former congressional staffers Ezra Levin, Leah Greenberg, and Angel Padilla advise a sustained mobilization of resistance to the Trump agenda that targets members of Congress from both parties, using the Tea Party as their model. Especially helpful is Chapter 3, which has suggestions both for creating new groups and resetting the focus of existing groups to create the opposition. They suggest that groups need not be large in order to stop or impede a legislative proposal.</p><p>“If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama,” they write, “then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.”</p><p>Under President Trump, legislative proposals designed to stick a knife into any prospect for gender equality will abound, as Goldberg duly noted. The same goes for racial equality. Economic oppression of out-groups will only intensify, as opposition to such basic elements of civilized life, such as the federal minimum wage and basic food supports for poor people, are likely to take hold.</p><p>If the liberal project is to be saved, it will be women who do it, and women of color who lead it. Men need to listen up.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2017 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1069972'; </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=1069972" 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, 04 Jan 2017 14:43:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1069972 at http://www.alternet.org Activism Activism feminism women in politics progressives democrats after trump Rex Tillerson: An Oligarch’s Dream at the State Department http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rex-tillerson-russia-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 = '1068815'; </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=1068815" 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">To succeed in setting up your U.S. oligarchy, you’re going to need to be friendly with oligarchs in other major powers..</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/tillerson.jpg?itok=zDFDLGCz" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>If confirmed by the Senate, the next secretary of state will enter into the service of the second employer he has ever had in his life: the United States government. Since his graduation from the University of Texas in Austin, <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/rex-tillerson-from-a-corporate-oil-sovereign-to-the-state-department">according to <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Steve Coll</a>, Rex Tillerson has known only one boss (in aggregate): the shareholders of Exxon Mobil.</p><p>Already even Republicans are chafing against President-apparent Donald J. Trump’s pick of the oil giant’s CEO for the post of the nation’s top diplomat, on account of Tillerson’s close ties to Vladimir Putin, whose government is implicated by U.S. intelligence services in cyberattacks intended to tip the election toward Trump. If Putin and Trump aren’t quite locked in a bromance, it’s clear that Trump would like one.</p><p>Trump’s global business holdings, if maintained during his term in office, already amount to an unconstitutional conflict of interested, according to respected constitutional scholars. In the past, he has conducted business with Russian oligarchs, as when he staged the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, in a venue owned by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch said to be close to Putin. Trump subsequently sought to engage Agalarov in a Moscow building deal, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-russia-moscow-miss-universe-223173">according to <em>Politico</em>’s Michael Crowley</a>.</p><p>When word of a prospective Tillerson nomination hit the internet, journalists and wags began wondering out loud about Trump’s own investments in the fossil-fuel sector. Although little is known of the full scope of Trump’s financial interests, it is known that he has investments in the company that is building the pipeline whose construction set off the Standing Rock protests.</p><p>But to focus on Trump’s interests in a single sector is to misunderstand the value of Tillerson in a Trump administration, a presidency that daily proves itself to be a clique of private capitalists convened to leverage the assets of the U.S. government in the service of private capital. Tillerson’s draw is not simply that he knows the ways of Big Oil—not a small thing—but that he’s close not only to Putin, but to the Russian oligarchy. Most notable among the deals Tillerson crafted on behalf of Exxon Mobil is one with the Russian firm Rosneft, which has been on hold since the imposition of sanctions against Russia for its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. A state-owned enterprise, Rosneft is run by the oligarch Igor Ivanovich Sechin. Essentially, to do business in Russia is to be in deep with the oligarchy.</p><p>So, let’s say you want to create an oligarchy of your own, say, in the United States. You have your favorite companies—perhaps your own and those of your cabinet friends who, like you, earned their millions and billions through <a href="http://prospect.org/article/President%2520Trump%2520and%2520the%2520Triumph%2520of%2520Private%2520Capital">privately-held corporations</a> and entities. They’re all (with the exception of your secretary of state) people who hail from the opaque world of private capital, ill-disposed to transparency and regulation, who will back you up when you conduct the business of the U.S. government in the service of your own business interests—so long as you cut them in on the deal in some way.</p><p>To succeed in setting up your U.S. oligarchy, you’re going to need to be friendly with oligarchs in other major powers, since what you’re really aiming for is a global oligarchy run from the White House. Why wouldn’t you want a guy like Rex Tillerson as your secretary of state?</p><p>While Exxon Mobil—unlike <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/betsy-devos-and-gods-plan-for-schools.html">Betsy DeVos</a>’s Amway or Seth Mnuchin’s Dune Capital or <a href="http://prospect.org/article/trump-labor-secretary-could-be-fight-15-worst-nightmare">Andy Puzder</a>’s CKE Restaurants—is a is a publicly-traded company, it is a company like no other, and one whose executives see it, <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/rex-tillerson-from-a-corporate-oil-sovereign-to-the-state-department">according to Coll</a>, as “an independent, transnational corporate sovereign in the world, a power independent of the American government, one devoted firmly to shareholder interests and possessed of its own foreign policy.”</p><p>If you’re looking to build an oligarchy of your own, how cool would it be to have a guy running your foreign policy who’s accustomed to doing so in the interest of generating profits? And how much better for you would it be if that same guy knew “all the key players” in the oligarchies of the world, and had operational knowledge of the ways of successful oligarchies?</p><p>As I write, talking points from the Trump transition team lauding Tillerson’s accomplishments are circulating through the offices of GOP senators and members of Congress. (<em>Politico</em>’s Seung Min Kim got ahold of the document and published it <a href="http://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000158-fa0f-da32-a1dd-fb4f69b00002">here</a>.)  Among them is the asserted fact that in a two-year period, Tillerson spent two-thirds of his time in Russia.</p><p>Unlike other of Trump’s controversial cabinet picks, Tillerson has the support of the GOP foreign policy establishment in the form of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary and CIA Director <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2016/12/bob-gates-praises-tillerson-for-secretary-of-state-232555">Robert Gates</a>. Noteworthy, however, is the fact both Rice and Gates are <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/donald-trump-administration/2016/12/bob-gates-praises-tillerson-for-secretary-of-state-232555">paid consultants</a> of ExxonMobil.</p><p>In Trump’s selection of Tillerson, the flows the presumptive president envisions are likely not limited to those of oil. Imagine a spigot of money flowing, unfettered, from oligarch to oligarch, across the deserts, plains, seas and steppes. Factor in the <a href="http://prospect.org/article/michaels-flynn-and-politics-thuggery">politics of thuggery</a> that have characterized the campaign run by the man poised to be the commander-in-chief.</p><p>We are perilously close to the demise of the republic. Those who refuse to oppose this nomination vigorously will have much to answer for.</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 = '1068815'; </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=1068815" 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, 14 Dec 2016 11:36:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1068815 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing rex tillerson exxon mobil trump's cabinet russia oligarchs. election 2016 A Thug in a Tin Foil Hat: Donald Trump's National Security Adviser Puts Us All At Risk http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/thug-tin-foil-hat-donald-trumps-national-security-adviser-puts-us-all-risk <!-- 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 = '1068583'; </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=1068583" 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 nomination of Michael Flynn demands nothing less than full-throated opposition.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-12-09_at_8.58.11_pm.png?itok=m99Cw5iW" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, President-elect Trump’s nominee for the position of national security adviser, traffics in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/-michael-flynn-trump-fake-news-clinton.html">conspiracy theories</a> so detached from reality so as to be disqualifying for the position he is poised to occupy. But if that isn’t enough to cost him the plum that awaits him as one of the presumptive president’s top men, the violence his tweets—a combination of Islamophobia and sexualized sadistic fantasy—seem designed to incite bodes ominously for the security of the nation, whose Constitution he has sworn to uphold and defend.</p><p>Consider the very words of his title: national security adviser. “National,” as in all of the people of the nation. “Security,” as in the safety of all of the people of the nation. “Adviser,” as in a title for a man in the West Wing who has the ear of the president.</p><p>The promotion of false narratives by Flynn and his ilk in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/-michael-flynn-trump-fake-news-clinton.html">fever swamps</a> of the right culminated on December 4 with an act of violence at a pizza parlor favored by high-powered Democrats and people with kids, when Edgar Welch, a North Carolina man armed with an assault rifle and a pistol, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/pizzagate-comet-ping-pong-edgar-maddison-welch.html">stopped by Comet Ping Pong</a>, the pizza place, and fired a shot into the door. His visit, Welch said, was prompted by his desire to “self-investigate” claims that the restaurant was the hub of a child-sex-trafficking ring ostensibly presided over by Clinton and her compatriots.</p><p>While Flynn himself promoted a different false child-sex-trafficking smear against Clinton, his very close adviser and then-Trump transition team member Michael G. Flynn, the nominee’s son, not only promoted the smear against Comet Ping Pong—which has been set upon by hordes from the ugliest corners of the internet—he also defended the premise held by the gunman in a subsequent tweet. “Until <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pizzagate?src=hash">#Pizzagate</a> proven to be false, it'll remain a story,” the younger Flynn tweeted. “The left seems to forget <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PodestaEmails?src=hash">#PodestaEmails</a> and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it.”</p><p>In his work for the transition team, <a href="http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/12/05/gen-flynns-rumor-mongering-son-has-been-active-in-trump-transition/">reports <em>Foreign Policy</em></a> (h/t <em><a href="https://thinkprogress.org/michael-flynn-jr-trump-transition-gab-7d747c46c5bb#.f4e35rnbq">Think Progress</a></em>):</p><p>Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the man Trump picked to be his national security adviser, has assisted in personnel vetting, managing his father’s schedule, and fielding transition-related emails for the general, according to a person close to the Trump transition team. “He also accompanies his dad to a ton of meetings,” said the individual.</p><p>Once the younger Flynn’s tweet made the news, Vice President-elect Mike Pence <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/06/politics/mike-pence-michael-flynn-jr-trump-transition/">promptly denied</a> that Sonny-Boy Flynn was employed by the Trump team. Then several news outlets reported that he had a government email address because of his position on the transition team. On Tuesday, he was fired by the Trump transition team with no explanation, although acquaintances say it was because of that tweet.</p><p>In February, Flynn tweeted a link to a video called “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” reiterating the claim in the title of the video, a purported exposé of “Islamic ideology.”Because of the torrent of crazy that is Team Trump, reports of the elder Flynn’s antics during the campaign barely caused a ripple in the accelerated news cycle the Trump campaign created through its use of social media, and its candidate’s relentless incendiary rhetoric. But there was Flynn on July 18, leading chants at the Republican National Convention, calling for the jailing of Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. “Lock her up! “Lock her up!” he gleefully shouted, stoking the crowd. “You’re damn right!” he added. “There’s nothing wrong with that!”</p><p>He also <a href="https://twitter.com/GenFlynn/status/794000841518776320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">tweeted</a> a link to a completely false story that alleged Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff were involved in a child-trafficking ring involving now-convicted sex-offender <a href="http://nypost.com/2016/10/09/the-sex-slave-scandal-that-exposed-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epstein/">Jeffrey Epstein</a>, with whom Trump has also been known to hang out.</p><p>News reports have focused on the “fake news” element of the Flynn scandal, how facts no longer matter, and the dangers that portends. But there’s another narrative thread that needs to be explored: why the presumptive national security adviser and his most trusted right-hand man are engaged in deploying such fake news against perceived enemies.</p><p>Make no mistake, the false conspiracies tweeted by Flynn <em>père et fils</em> are incitements to violence, to internet hounding, to the smearing of opponents with made-up stories that can’t be shaken off once the mob has found a narrative that suits its collective rage. Whether by a lone wolf, as in the case of Edgar Welch at Comet Ping Pong, or a pack, as in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/technology/fact-check-this-pizzeria-is-not-a-child-trafficking-site.html">internet hounding</a> of Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis and his employees, the man poised to become the president’s national security adviser is summoning wielders of pitchforks and torches to have their run at anyone who dared to oppose his candidate in a democratic election. </p><p>The nomination of Michael T. Flynn to the post of national security adviser demands nothing less than the full-throated opposition of any who would dare to call themselves liberals. It’s not an overstatement to say that the fate of the republic rests with relentless resistance to the politics of thuggery. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1068583'; </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=1068583" 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, 09 Dec 2016 15:37:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1068583 at http://www.alternet.org News & Politics News & Politics michael flynn Donald Trump’s Calibrated Race and Sex War http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-calibrated-race-and-sex-war <!-- 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 = '1067906'; </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=1067906" 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">Don’t let his reluctant disavowal of a white nationalist group fool you—the real battle begins in the Senate.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/23893286935_db3e021c93_c.jpg?itok=wweq-QzL" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>In the presidential appointments made so far by Donald Trump, the president-elect has signaled his willingness to feed his base of angry white people the race war they crave, if only thus far by means of posturing. But early next year, a race war of words will break out on the Senate floor, and there is little escaping the conclusion that this is what the next occupant of the Oval Office wants.</p><p>For his chief of staff, Trump selected a talented propagandist whose specialty is fanning the flames of outrage through the use of incendiary themes. As chief executive of Breitbart News, Stephen K. Bannon oversaw a web empire which, he boasted, provided “a platform for the alt-right,” the Trump-loving white supremacist movement that the president-elect was finally shamed into disavowing on Tuesday by the editorial board of <em>The New York Times</em>. Trump’s national security advisor will be General Michael Flynn, who has claimed that Islam is not a true religion, and tweeted, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” While those comments are best categorized as religious bigotry, it is notable that most Muslims are either brown or black.</p><p>The appointments of neither Flynn nor Bannon require Senate confirmation. But the nomination of Jeff Sessions, the U.S. senator from Alabama, to the post of attorney general is another matter. In 1986, Sessions won the distinction of being the first nominee in 48 years to be denied Senate confirmation to the federal bench when racially loaded comments he made came to light in his confirmation hearing. A former colleague, who is African American, alleged that Sessions <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/us/politics/specter-of-race-shadows-jeff-sessions-potential-trump-nominee-for-cabinet.html">called him</a> and other black attorneys “boy,” which Sessions denied. But the senator did not disavow comments ascribed to him in which he said that he used to think <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/us/politics/specter-of-race-shadows-jeff-sessions-potential-trump-nominee-for-cabinet.html">the Ku Klux Klan was OK</a> until he learned that its members smoked pot (Sessions disdains marijuana and its users), or that the NAACP was “un-American” for trying to “<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/us/politics/specter-of-race-shadows-jeff-sessions-potential-trump-nominee-for-cabinet.html">force civil rights down the throats of people</a>.” All of this, and likely more revelations along these lines, will be aired once again in 2017, in what promises to be a riveting Senate confirmation hearing. And that’s likely exactly the way the president-elect and his advisers want it.</p><p>Were Trump not looking to shore up his white-power <em>bona fides</em> with his base, he could have easily avoided the likely spectacle of the Sessions confirmation hearing by simply granting the campaign loyalist a plum job that does not require the advice and consent of the Senate: a job like chief White House counsel, or counselor to the president.</p><p>In addition to playing the race card with the Sessions nomination, Trump will also again bring his demonstrated need to dominate and abuse women to the fore. After the Access Hollywood video leak revealed Trump’s boast of grabbing women by the genitals, Sessions said that he wouldn’t characterize such behavior as sexual assault. “It think that’s a stretch,” he <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/jeff-sessions-behavior-described-by-trump-in-grab-them-by-the-p-y-tape-isnt-sexual-assault/article/2004799?custom_click=rss">told the<em> Weekly Standard</em></a>. The website of the Department of Justice, which Sessions, as attorney general, has been tapped to lead, defines sexual assault <a href="https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault">this way</a>: “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Perhaps a new definition is in the works.</p><p><strong>ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19,</strong> a gathering of white supremacists in the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, D.C., applauded the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency as a victory for their cause.</p><p>“Donald Trump’s campaign was the first step towards identity politics in the United States,” said Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, the white nationalist organization that sponsored the confab. At a press conference convened in conjunction with the NPI gathering, Spencer explained, “Donald Trump is the first [Republican presidential candidate] who doesn’t say ‘I’m going to stick up for capitalism’ or ‘I’m going to stick up for the Constitution.’ He said, ‘I’m going to stick up for you—the people who voted for me.’ This is something new.” The people who voted for Trump, of course, are mostly white.</p><p>It was Spencer who rebranded a collection of white supremacist, anti-Islam, and misogynist activists as the “alt-right.” By the end of the NPI conference, attendees would be saluting him in the Nazi style as he concluded a full-bore anti-Semitic speech with the words, “<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/richard-spencer-speech-npi/508379/">Hail Trump!</a> Hail our people! Hail victory!”</p><p>On Tuesday, Trump abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting with editors and writers of <em>The New York Times</em> after the paper’s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/opinion/donald-trump-rages-at-the-wrong-target.html">editorial board called on him</a> to personally disavow the support of the NPI conference organizers and attendees. (On Monday, Trump’s transition team spokesperson Hope Hicks had issued a statement disavowing the group’s support.)</p><p>During the campaign, Trump <a href="http://prospect.org/article/gop-reconsiders-trump-standard-bearer-candidate-retweets-white-supremacist">retweeted posts</a> from the Twitter accounts of white supremacists and other members of the so-called alt-right, amplifying their voices to his millions of followers.</p><p>Before the day’s end, the president-elect reversed himself, going to the <em>Times</em>’s headquarters for the meeting with the paper’s journalists, and <a href="https://twitter.com/grynbaum/status/801134710810255360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">disavowing and condemning</a> the white nationalists who had so saluted him.</p><p>It really shouldn’t have been so difficult a call. Come January, when the Senate takes up its confirmation schedule, the real race and sex war will unfold in the upper chamber of the United States Congress.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1067906'; </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=1067906" 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 Nov 2016 09:20:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1067906 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 trump A Government Of, By, and For the Deplorables http://www.alternet.org/government-and-deplorables <!-- 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 = '1067460'; </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=1067460" 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 frightening array of Islamophobes, xenophobes, homophobes, racists, and misogynists is assembling around President-elect Trump, normalizing the language and actions of hatred.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/20161112_151747.jpg?itok=VXxdiWsM" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>The joke had long been that if Donald Trump won the presidency, the White House would be reappointed with the gold-plated kitsch so prevalent in his real-estate holdings. A better choice, it seems, would be wicker, for if there ever was a basket of deplorables, it’s taking shape in the West Wing.</p><p>Most notable among them is Stephen K. Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief executive who will serve as Trump’s chief strategist. As Breitbart’s head honcho, Bannon told journalist Sarah Posner that he fashioned the website as “<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news">the platform for the alt-right</a>,” the once-fringy movement that encompasses white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and hate-mongering conspiracy theorists. Bannon’s appointment <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/11/14/steve-bannons-rise-points-to-aggressive-anti-globalist-trump-media-strategy/">won applause</a>, according to <em>The</em> <em>Washington Post</em>’s David Weigel, from white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who is convening a conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend at the Ronald Reagan building. But Bannon is but one of a number of appointees, advisers, and potential cabinet members who have been tagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate-mongers.</p><p>Friday morning brought word of Trump’s appointment for attorney general: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who, during the campaign, said that he <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/gop-spokesman-doesnt-know-if-grabbing-genitals-sexual-assault">didn’t think the act</a> described by Trump as his right in that leaked <em>Access Hollywood</em> video—the nonconsensual grabbing of women’s genitals—amounted to sexual assault. Sessions was denied Senate confirmation for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/17/us/politics/specter-of-race-shadows-jeff-sessions-potential-trump-nominee-for-cabinet.html">allegations</a> that he addressed a black attorney as “boy,” and said he was OK with the Ku Klux Klan except for the fact that its members smoked marijuana.</p><p>In response to the election of Donald Trump to the White House, one of the largest chapters of the Ku Klux Klan announced it would have a <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-updates-trail-guide-kkk-trump-north-carolina-1478822255-htmlstory.html">victory parade</a> in North Carolina. And Trump was famously <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/08/david-duke-donald-trump">endorsed by David Duke</a>, the former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.</p><p>The night before the Sessions appointment was announced, Trump appointed retired General Michael Flynn to be his national security adviser, a post that does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Flynn, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/us/politics/michael-flynn-national-security-adviser-donald-trump.html">according to <em>The New York Times</em></a>, has advanced the false narrative that Sharia law—a religious code adhered to by Muslims—is being written into U.S. law. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes Flynn as an adviser to ACT for America, an anti-Islam group that SPLC describes as convening and annual “racist gathering.”</p><p>In February, <a href="https://twitter.com/GenFlynn/status/703387702998278144">Flynn tweeted</a>, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” The new national security adviser is said to be considering a plan that would require all Muslims in the United States to register with the government—an idea also <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/kris-kobach-says-trump-team-considering-a-muslim-registry/">pushed by Trump adviser Kris Kobach</a>, who currently serves as the Kansas secretary of state. (On Thursday, Carl Higbie, who runs a pro-Trump super PAC, told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II provided legal precedent for such a registry.) It was Kobach who fashioned the language used by Trump during the campaign for building a wall on the southern border, and making Mexico pay for it. Kobach was also the <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/20110130/when-mr-kobach-comes-town-nativist-laws-and-communities-they-damage">mastermind of Arizona’s S.B. 1070</a>, the law that empowers police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone, anytime.</p><p>As the point person for domestic policy on his transition team, Trump chose Ken Blackwell, the senior fellow for human rights and constitutional governance at the Family Research Council, which is designated by SPLC as an anti-LGBT hate group.</p><p>And let’s not forget Trump’s own <a href="http://www.jta.org/2016/10/14/news-opinion/politics/donald-trumps-conspiracy-theories-stir-uneasy-echoes">anti-Semitic coding</a> about alleged secret meetings between rival Hillary Clinton and “international banks” and “global financial powers” to plot “the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.”</p><p>The FBI just released its annual compendium of hate-crime incidents for the year 2015, finding a marked uptick—a <a href="http://ktla.com/2016/11/16/fbi-report-shows-spike-in-hate-crimes-nationwide-crimes-against-muslims-had-sharpest-increase/">67 percent increase</a>—in hate crimes against Muslims. While not all are attributable to the environment created by the Republican presidential campaign, Trump and the people around him have been loudly banging the war drums against Muslims and non-white immigrants for years. And just since the election, SPLC has collected anecdotes of some <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/11/15/update-more-400-incidents-hateful-harassment-and-intimidation-election">400 incidents of hate</a> directed against people for some aspect of their identity, be it religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation.</p><p>On November 12 in East Windsor, Connecticut, Trump acolytes gathered around a bonfire, joined by a man dressed in the white robes of the KKK, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/11/15/a-man-in-kkk-robes-waved-a-trump-flag-at-a-bonfire-in-connecticut-police-say/">according to police</a>. The next day, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, anonymously authored flyers titled “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men” were <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/11/16/why-white-women-shouldnt-date-black-men-fliers-discovered-at-southern-methodist-university/">distributed on campus</a>. Two days later, the university condemned the screed—which said that black men were more likely to abuse women, give them sexually transmitted diseases and produce stupid children—and its appearance on campus. Then there was my own Election Day experience in Manhattan, when a normal-looking young man, accusing me of stepping in front of him as I walked to a cab as directed by a taxi-line dispatcher, called me a c**t and screamed he hoped Trump would win. Looks like he got his wish.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1067460'; </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=1067460" 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, 18 Nov 2016 13:10:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1067460 at http://www.alternet.org News & Politics The Right Wing us senate Southern Poverty Law Center ku klux klan the new york times Trump Victory Exposes Weakness in Liberal Political Infrastructure http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-victory-exposes-weakness-liberal-political-infrastructure <!-- 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 = '1066937'; </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=1066937" 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">It was not Trump’s mastery of the media alone that won him the big prize.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_97629527_0.jpg?itok=WZ9wBsvb" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>As the dust settles with the terrible news of the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency, there will be no shortage of analysis of just how the reality show king pulled it off, what with his lean campaign staff and ostensible lack of ground game. Most will likely be wrong.</p><p>It was not Trump’s mastery of the media alone that won him the big prize, nor did he lack ground game. Trump’s triumph is as much the product of a political infrastructure built by right-wing operatives over the course of the last 40 years as it is the candidate’s prowess at manipulating the press. Liberals and the left have no comparable political infrastructure, and left-wing donors have shown little interest in building one. And so we have President-elect Trump, the ultimate backlash candidate to the barrier-breaking presidency of Barack Obama, whose ascendance to the White House was a feat built on Obama’s own knowledge of political organizing. Yet the work done to organize the Obama candidacy was never leveraged as it could have been to build a sustained, long-term movement. The same could be said of umpteen liberal candidacies and campaigns focused on legislation that came before and after.</p><p>Trump has never been one to pay for something he needed when he could either convince someone else into ponying up on his behalf, or simply bully them into doing so. In his pursuit of the presidency, he didn’t need to build the vaunted “ground game”—the mechanism for turning out the vote in one’s favor—because a comprehensive get-out-the-vote (GOTV) machine was already in place, built by leaders of the religious right (whose denizens apparently turned out <em>en masse</em> for Trump), and Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists.</p><p>The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity, taken together with the religious-right organizing of Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed, represent a pretty impressive ground game.</p><p>As I wrote <a href="http://prospect.org/article/make-no-mistake-koch-brothers-are-helping-donald-trump">here</a> in August, for all of their purported disgust with Trump and unwillingness to support his candidacy, the Koch brothers would have the machine built by their donor network working overtime to bring Trump voters to the polls. Ditto for the network of conservative church-goers mobilized by the religious right. Taken together, the Koch GOTV machine and the religious-right operation offer all the ground game a candidate could need, especially when mobilized in opposition to a woman candidate for president, with its players stoked, as well, by racial and religious bigotry. It’s a machine that’s been 50 years in the making, and it’s not just engaged at election time. The machine runs every day of the year, conducting events and outreach around the latest outrage said to be perpetrated by liberals—say, regulations on business designed to save the planet, or false accusations by right-wing operatives about the conduct of Planned Parenthood. Then those events and outreach are leveraged as organizing tools for the next election.</p><p>Those who fund the liberal establishment have shown little interest in such sustained movement-building, leaving liberal candidates to rely on the shrinking resources of labor unions and the often-meager budgets of other liberal and progressive organizations, many unconnected to each other, to mobilize the vote.</p><p>The campaign for a single candidacy can be mighty and overfunded and highly staffed, but it’s no substitute for the infrastructure of a sustainably built movement with interlocking parts.</p><p>Now the <a href="http://prospect.org/article/yes-donald-trump-could-win-presidency">unthinkable has happened</a>: A presidential candidate whose campaign was fueled by outright misogyny, racism, nativism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia has succeeded. He won not in spite of, but because of, his expression of those resentments and hatreds.</p><p>Protests are important for calling the nation’s attention to the disapproval of the masses. But protest alone won’t turn the tide. That will take a movement—one with some well-forged apparatus. Time to start building.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066937'; </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=1066937" 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, 10 Nov 2016 09:16:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1066937 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics Donald J. Trump americans for prosperity ralph reed koch brothers Charles Koch david koch labor unions liberal liberal establishment White America Proves How Much It Hates Women (and Latinos, Muslims, Blacks and Jews) http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/white-america-proves-how-much-it-hates-women-and-latinos-muslims-blacks-and-jews <!-- 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 = '1066856'; </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=1066856" 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">Women are in for it under President Donald Trump.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_103560293.jpg?itok=ck0ljIoL" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>For many of the women of America—excluding those for whom the importance of their white, Christian identity supercedes that of the daily cruelties of misogyny—election night 2016 was the bitterest of pills. When Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office as he assumes the presidency, America will welcome into the White House a man who has boasted of sexually assaulting women, of referring to his opponent in negative, gendered terms, and of using his wealth and power to allow him to walk in on women in states of undress. </p><p>Nice goin’, America!</p><p>For this feminist, at least as difficult to grapple with as the Trump victory itself are the numbers of women who voted for him. Yes, Hillary Clinton won a majority of the female vote, but Trump still convinced 42 percent of women who voted to vote for him, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls">according to exit polls</a> posted by CNN. Among white women, Trump won the majority, 53 percent. And Trump won a far greater number of white, college-educated women than anyone expected: 45 percent.</p><p>In their day-after assessments of what went wrong for their candidate, liberals and progressives can be expected to advance the economic argument, the one that says it was the white people left behind in the new economy who elected Trump. But that’s just too simplistic an explanation to cover the whole reason for his victory. This did not happen simply because of economic displacement; it’s about changes in the social order.</p><p>Trump and Clinton <a href="http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls">evenly split</a> the vote between people who earn more than $100,000 per year, and Trump won among those who earn between $50,000-$100,000. It was Clinton who won a strong majority among those who earn less than $50,000.</p><p>No, the Trump victory is not about the economic suffering of his voters; it’s a backlash to a new societal composition that allows non-white people to compete alongside whites; one in which non-Hispanic whites are shrinking in the share of U.S. population they represent. And one in which a woman dared to presume to seek the presidency.</p><p>On Election Day morning, I dashed from the taxi stand in front of Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan to the cab I was directed to by the dispatcher, when a young man accused me of rudely walking in front of him, and began screaming that I was a c*nt. “I hope Trump wins,” he said, looking me over. He continued yelling, hurling the c-word at me, saying I looked like garbage, saying he was glad his mother didn’t look like me.</p><p>Shocking, yes, but easy to write off as a chance encounter with a crazy person. But when I posted on social media and listservs about the incident, women began telling their own stories of similar recent encounters—a journalist was groped coming out of a Trump rally, another was yelled at. And then there’s the account published by <a href="https://rewire.news/article/2016/11/01/trump-misogyny-dangerous-precedent-set-election/">Alison Turkos on Rewire</a> of a particularly creepy act of aggression directed at her for the sin of wearing a Hillary T-shirt—a man sidled up to her as she waited at a street corner for the light to change, and whispered in her ear that Clinton was a c*nt and so was she.</p><p> </p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">Texas ag commissioner Sid Miller just called Hillary Clinton the c word. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/txlege?src=hash">#txlege</a> <a href="https://t.co/zkxsEo5FeI">pic.twitter.com/zkxsEo5FeI</a></p>— Edgar Walters (@ewaltersTX) <a href="https://twitter.com/ewaltersTX/status/793551136242274306">November 1, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Welcome to the Age of Trump. The president-elect has normalized this kind of behavior. After all, when Sid Miller, a Texas politician on the Trump campaign’s Agriculture Advisory Committee <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/01/texas_official_trump_supporter_describes_clinton_as_cunt.html">referred to Clinton</a> herself by that awful, dehumanizing word, Trump never batted an eye, and even lauded Miller afterward for touting poll numbers that reflected positively on Trump. It was another of what Trump’s fanboys on the <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/09/alt-right-leaders-we-aren-t-racist-we-just-hate-jews.html">anti-Semitic</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/donald-trump-hate-groups-neo-nazi-white-supremacist-racism">racist alt-right</a> would call a Trump <a href="http://fortune.com/donald-trump-white-supremacist-genocide/">wink-wink</a>. He didn’t specifically reward Miller for using the c-word to describe Clinton; he just <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2016/10/31/election-home-stretch-millers-basks-trumps-spotlig/">talked up the tweet</a> in which Miller did so.</p><p>Trump himself has made a habit of publicly demeaning women, sometimes sexually, even saying it would be OK for a radio host to refer to Trump’s daughter as “a hot piece of ass.” And who needs to be reminded of that Access Hollywood tape? Note, however, that Trump’s appeal to his voters is not something that exists in spite of such evidence of the president-elect’s misogyny; the appeal is in the misogyny.</p><p>In his <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article100968667.html">pact</a> with leaders of the religious right, Trump promised to appoint only anti-choice justices to the Supreme Court, and to defund Planned Parenthood. With a Republican House and Senate churning out anti-woman legislation, he’ll be expected to append his signature, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t.</p><p>The women of America—especially women of color—are in for it. For the other part of Trump’s appeal to his voters is his <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/trump-tweeted-fabricated-murder-stats-from-a-neo-nazi-and-this-is-how-the-media-reported-it-125064da6372">racism</a>. And his <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/01/trump-doubles-down-on-impenetrable-physical-wall-during-immigration-speech.html">nativism</a>. And his <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/">religious bigotry</a>. This was the backlash election to beat all backlash elections—backlash against a black president with a foreign-sounding name, and against the portent of a woman president.</p><p>For all of its glorious machinery, the Democratic Party (and the liberal establishment) has consistently failed to address the strength of the right-wing strain of populism in American politics. Designed for the launching and working of cyclical elections, the party apparatus, however sophisticated, is ill-suited to the sort of sustained base-building required to counter that of the right.</p><p>The Trump presidency is the result of more than 50 years of organizing and infrastructure-building by right-wing leaders, first among them <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/phyllis-schlafly-dies">Phyllis Schlafly</a>, whose political career began with the 1964 Goldwater campaign, and reached its pinnacle with the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. Before her death in September, Schlafly <a href="http://prospect.org/article/trump-conservatism%E2%80%99s-old-guard-sees-new-goldwater">endorsed Trump</a>. One imagines her today, bursting with pride in the great beyond.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066856'; </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=1066856" 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, 09 Nov 2016 05:05:00 -0800 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066856 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing feminism phyllis schlafly donald trump election 2016 Now That Trump Won: 10 Plagues Unearthed by This Election We Need to Face http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/now-trump-won-10-plagues-unearthed-election-we-need-face <!-- 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 = '1066837'; </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=1066837" 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">AlterNet weighs in on the worst of what comes next now that Donald Trump has won the presidency.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_363690710.jpg?itok=Swqd_Fat" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p dir="ltr">This election laid bare what has long plagued us.</p><p>The clash between Trump and Clinton slit open the underbelly of America and a toxic stew has oozed out. Old, familiar race hatred and anti-Semitism have reemerged, newly swathed in the cloak of the “alt-right.” Misogyny has proved its enduring electoral strength. Anti-immigrant hysteria, ironically, has given validity to anti-American policy proposals. With Trump at the lead, all this has been married with old-fashioned fear-mongering, racial profiling and contempt and disdain for the "other," be they Muslims, people of color, the handicapped, or even journalists just trying to do their jobs.</p><p>The U.S. was a divided and traumatized place before the election, but the coarseness of this campaign has made the environment more polluted. White Christians and working-class white men feel threatened by a world they see as passing them by. Their fear and anger has made them easy pickings for extreme right-wing media outlets including Breitbart, Alex Jones and far worse actors. Trump, whose presidential aspirations were built on the lies of his “birther” claims, embraced a number of their wildest conspiracies.</p><p>Unprecedented (and perhaps exhausting, tedious and maddening) is the only way to describe what we’ve all just gone through. The 2016 election was a tortuous 18 months long, all leading to an unthinkable verdict and offering a horrifying view of the future. This bizarre, mean-spirited, angry campaign season is a portent of more of the same ahead.</p><p>With that in mind, here are 10 of the worst plagues released by this campaign.</p><p><strong>1. Displacement</strong></p><p>This election has made fundamentally clear that perhaps the most powerful factor that has contributed to the polarization, anger and pessimism prevalent among many in the U.S. is displacement and the trauma that can follow it.</p><p>Displacement is defined as “moving of something from its place or position.” Millions of Americans, for a host of reasons leading up to the election, have been feeling fundamental loss. Their displacement is a loss of culture, jobs, community, religion, economics, identity and hope for the future.</p><p>Displacement has exacerbated fear of the “other,” of immigrants, of minorities, providing increased permission for racism and misogyny. It can produce paranoid thinking, blaming-the-victim psychology and fantasies of reverse discrimination. It has played a role in generating a vicious troll culture that traffics in misogyny and has invented a kind of hipster racism associated with what is euphemistically called the alt-right.</p><p>Displacement can lead to new levels of loss and trauma. It exacerbates deeper levels of unresolved trauma from childhood and can trigger fear, anger and domestic violence. People who feel psychologically displaced and fearful are more likely to respond to authority figures who talk of law and order. Manufactured fears lead to the loosest gun laws imaginable despite the fact that whites in America are probably safer than they have ever been.</p><p>The feeling of being displaced can be a loss experienced so deeply it has led to increasing levels of addiction, alcoholism, violence and suicide. The trauma caused by various psychological and physical displacements has affected people’s thinking and helped to nurture an anti-science reality fueled by a wide range of conspiracy theories.</p><p>And the consequences of feeling displaced have led people to desperately embrace Donald Trump, a man has promised to bring America back to the white Christian past for which much of red America yearns.</p><p>As Robert P. Jones, author of <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/End-White-Christian-America/dp/1501122290/?tag=alternorg08-20">The End of White Christian America</a></em>, offers in his <a href="http://www.alternet.org/books/end-white-christian-america-and-trumps-desperate-promises-save-it">interview</a> with AlterNet:</p><blockquote><p>“My best read of what's happened on the ground is a combined economic and cultural anxiety, particularly among white conservative evangelical Christians. In addition to the cultural fears, about eight in ten white evangelical Protestants say they still think we're in a recession today. They still feel economically distressed. I think that plays a role in this as well. It's the combined sense that evangelical Christian values have lost their power in the center of American culture and that working-class jobs that make ends meet are hard to come by."</p></blockquote><p>As Jones underscores:</p><blockquote><p>“What has become most important to the eight in ten white evangelical voters who say they're voting for Trump over Clinton is that in Trump they see someone who is going to restore their vision of America. It is a vision which really does look like 1950s America. It's pre-civil rights, it's pre-women's rights, and it’s before immigration policy was opened up in the mid-1960s. And most of all, it’s a time when white Protestants were demographically in the majority. But just over the last two election cycles, we’ve gone from a majority white Christian country to a minority white Christian country, from 54 percent white Christian in 2008 to 45 percent white Christian today."</p></blockquote><p><strong>2. Economic Trauma</strong></p><p>The election of 2016 proved just how little the economic recovery has affected tens of millions of Americans who live on the margins, and fear for their economic future. Loss of jobs, aging workers and the arrival of immigrants are all factors in the economic displacement of many Americans, but acutely among those 100 million Americans who did not attend college.</p><p>Nearly half (43.9 percent) of U.S. households live on the edge of financial collapse with almost no savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss, health crisis or other income-eliminating emergency, according to a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).</p><p>Things are as bad or worse for those in retirement or on the brink. In December 2014, 42.9 million people received Social Security retirement benefits that averaged $1,328.58 a month, or roughly $15,943 annually before taxes. One-third, or 14.3 million people, derive almost all of their income this way. For most of the other two-thirds, Social Security provides over half their income. That means more than 20 million additional people live on less than $32,000 a year. These figures are averages and don’t reflect racial differences. For example, for every $1 white families have in savings, African Americans have just 5 cents and Latinos have 6 cents.</p><p>In terms of general poverty, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that “45.3 million people lived at or below the poverty line in 2013 ($11,888 for one person) for the third consecutive year.” Looking at this population broken up by race, blacks account for 27 percent; Latinos 23.5 percent; Asians 10.5 percent; and whites and others make up the rest.</p><p>For many of us it is almost incomprehensible to live daily life with this level of financial stress. But more than 100 million do.</p><p>Researcher Galen Buckwalter, the head scientist at Payoff, a company that researches the impact of debt, concluded that huge levels of financial stress and debt produce symptoms of PTSD, a state he describes as acute financial stress. He points out that, “In reality, a majority of us don’t have the natural cognitive and organizational styles of those who excel at the kind of thinking that financial planning requires, leaving many of us exceptionally vulnerable to chronic stress.”</p><p>Buckwalter offers that:</p><blockquote><p>“Our studies led us to surprising findings: 23 percent of adults and 36 percent of millennials experience Acute Financial Stress at levels that would qualify them for a diagnosis of PTSD. We knew people were feeling under the gun and often anxious about their futures, but this degree of clinical stress was more severe and pervasive than we could have imagined."</p></blockquote><p>PTSD and acute financial stress, according to Buckwalter, change one’s beliefs and feelings:</p><blockquote><p>“The world feels more threatening and relationships become difficult, leading to depression and isolation. Perhaps most important in all of this, PTSD symptoms results in hyperarousal, in which it’s chronically difficult for people to fully calm down, even in sleep. The mind and body are always prepared for trouble, leading to chronic stress that wears at all of the body’s systems, hastening the natural processes of aging the body and mind."</p></blockquote><p>Buckwalter's research has found that financial stress affects cognitive processes. As Buckwalter told AlterNet, "It’s also damaging our bodies and minds, leading to deeply destructive health outcomes, leaving millions of Americans sick in ways we’re just beginning to understand. We know that stress disproportionately contributes to all-cause mortality nationwide, and stress over money is a significant, though widely ignored, contributor."</p><p><strong>3. Race and the Emergence of the Alt-Right</strong></p><p>While anti-black racism was predictably common across the board among whites, multiple surveys have found that Trump supporters are particularly likely to hold <a href="http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-ELECTION-RACE/010020H7174/USA-ELECTION-RACE.jpg">negative views</a> of African Americans, in <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_majority_of_trump_supporters_surveyed_described_black_people_as_less.html">one study</a> describing them as “‘savage,’ ‘barbaric,’ and ‘lacking self-restraint, like animals.’” An <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/02/donald-trump-voters-dislike-american-muslims-219877">NBC News/Survey Monkey</a> poll found 67 percent of self-identified Trump voters hold animus toward Muslims, with a staggering 87 percent supporting Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration. The overwhelming majority of Trump voters, nearly <a href="http://www.people-press.org/2016/03/31/2-views-on-immigration-diversity-social-issues/">70 percent</a>, say immigrants “burden the country,” according to a study from Pew Research Center. And an Anti-Defamation League <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/us/politics/anti-semitism-trump-supporters-twitter.html?_r=0">review of</a> the precipitous rise in anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish journalists on Twitter found that the “words appearing most frequently in the Twitter biographies of the attackers were ‘Trump,’ ‘nationalist,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘white.’”</p><p>Trump has unabashedly stoked the flames of racial hatred throughout his campaign. From the moment he launched his presidential bid with a speech declaring the vast majority of Mexican immigrants lawless criminals, to his <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/11/07/watch-donald-trumps-last-campaign-ad-is-a-fitting-end-to-an-anti-semitic-campaign/">closing ad</a> filled with anti-Semitic stereotypes and dog whistles, the Trump campaign has preyed upon the fears of white Christian Americans who feel they’ve been pushed aside in a country they believe rightfully belongs to them. Without doubt, the poisonous tenor of Trump’s campaign has contributed to a recent rise overall in hate crimes committed <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/us/politics/hate-crimes-american-muslims-rise.html">against</a> both <a href="http://www.adl.org/press-center/press-releases/anti-semitism-usa/2015-audit-anti-semitic-incidents.html?referrer=http://www.newsweek.com/anti-semitic-incidents-college-campuses-nearly-doubled-2015-adl-474394#.WCIaCBIrJ0t">historically</a> and more recently <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/kansas-crusaders-american-terror-plot-targeting-somali-muslim-immigrants-a7362816.html">marginalized</a> groups. Trump’s vitriol has also helped <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2016/year-hate-and-extremism">drive up</a> the number of Ku Klux Klan chapters and anti-government militia groups that have now taken root around the country.</p><p>Trump supporters are more likely to live in areas where industry has failed, manufacturing jobs are disappearing and life expectancies are <a href="http://www.alternet.org/gender/white-women-are-dying-prematurely">dropping</a> <a href="http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-delusional-nostalgia-killing-white-working-class">off</a>. There have been calls for <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/02/what-is-this-election-missing-empathy-for-trump-voters/">greater</a> empathy and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/19/podcasts/understanding-the-trump-voter.html?_r=0">understanding</a> for those who made Trump president, who have had their trauma exploited by the campaign. But it seems far more important to recognize the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/psychopathic-president-8-psychological-terms-making-sense-traumatic-moment-us-election">trauma that</a> Trump has already caused—and will only continue to cause—in the lives of those already vulnerable to this country’s ugliest and darkest biases.</p><p><strong>4. The Rise of White Supremacists and the Militia Movement</strong></p><p>There has always been an American militia movement, in which mostly white men and a handful of women embrace a mix of armed survivalism and self-proclaimed fealty to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. This movement's members have threatened to take the law into their own hands to defend a white Christian America. Barack Obama’s election in 2008 led to an exponential growth of these extreme anti-government groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks 1,000 anti-government groups, including more than 276 armed militias (a 37 percent increase compared to 2014) and “citizen” coalitions that do not recognize the federal government.</p><p>However, Trump has brought groups like Oath Keepers out of the woods and into the Republican Party, where they took it upon themselves to police urban polling places for “suspicious activities”—meaning anything helping Democrats to vote. Other groups (like the Three Percenters, who are named after the 3 percent of colonists who fought the British to win American independence) not only voice the same pro-gun, anti-Obama, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal views as Trump but also embrace using violence, if necessary, to advance their beliefs.</p><p>Trump has elevated and unleashed these dark beliefs. It remains to be seen what role they will play in his presidency, but because many are retired military and law enforcement officers, you can bet they will be eagar to help Trump with his deportation plans for undocumented immigrants.</p><p><strong>5. Conspiracies, Disinformation and Low-Information Voters</strong></p><p>Rush Limbaugh, the <em>Wall St. Journal</em> and Fox News have been the right-wing media triumvirate, the kingmakers of GOP politics for over two decades. That changed in this presidential election. As fiendish as those three are, this election has been deeply influenced by far more fringe-y media figures including the Breitbart news site, radio hosts Michael Savage and Alex Jones, and the cauldrons of hatred, paranoia and conspiracy that fuel their media empires. Alt-right is now part of the mainstream.</p><p>The reviled and mendacious Breitbart quickly emerged as Trump HQ since the primaries, knee-capping Trump's GOP rivals at every opportunity and amplifying Trump's wide array of hate-filled attacks on almost every minority group imaginable. Breitbart and Trump got so close he hired the company's CEO, Steve Bannon, to run his <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/08/17/trump-campaign-hires-breitbart-exec-stephen-bannon-cozies-closer-alt-right">campaign</a>. Right-wing xenophobe and hatemonger Michael Savage hosted Trump on his radio show regularly throughout the GOP primaries and the national election to his <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Nation">audience of millions</a>, and he rightly described himself as the "<a href="http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/michael-savage-im-architect-of-trumps-message/">architect</a>" of Trump's <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/where-donald-trump-got-his-secret-recipe-channel-white-male-rage-front-runner-status">constant attacks</a> on Muslims and the need for a border wall with Mexico. Alex Jones, with a cult following through his radio show and online news and video, was the launchpad for countless bizarre conspiracy theories that ended up getting wider play in the mainstream media, including a variety of insinuations about Hillary's physical and mental <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=alex+jones+hillary%27s+health&amp;oq=alex+jones+hillary%27s+health&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57.3240j0j4&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8">health</a>.</p><p><strong>6. Misogyny</strong></p><p>Donald Trump has a long and <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/politics/donald-trump-sexism-tracker-every-offensive-comment-in-one-place/">rich history</a>, traceable some three decades back, of speaking his misogyny aloud and on-the-record. He has not wavered in his sexism during the 2016 campaign, never letting a thing like “seeming presidential” get in the way of an opportunity to criticize a woman’s looks or body. For the last 18 months—though it feels like far longer—we’ve watched Trump shuttle from one misogynist moment to the next, leaving a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-times-twitter-attack-women/story?id=32955313">trail of Twitter</a> insults behind him. Perhaps the moment when Trump’s pathological views of women were on peak display came early last month, in a leaked <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koTrmin5n0g">video</a> showing him boastfully describing what can only be categorized as criminal sexual abuse. In the ensuing flood of sexual assault allegations from numerous women, Trump’s <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/10/14/trump-mocks-sexual-assault-accuser-she-would-not-be-my-first-choice/">alibi has</a> <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/10/13/trump_suggests_that_people_writer_isn_t_hot_enough_to_assault.html">been that</a> none were hot enough to warrant his attention.</p><p>It makes sense, then, that researchers have found a key predictor of support for Trump is negative attitudes toward women. As early as June of last year—long before the Access Hollywood tape leak—a team of political scientists surveyed his supporters <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/10/23/how-sexism-drives-support-for-donald-trump/">and concluded</a> that “sexism was strongly and significantly correlated with support for Trump” and that misogynist attitudes among Trumpites were “equivalent to the impact of ethnocentrism.” In other words, Trump fans are as myopically misogynist as they are racist.</p><p>Trump’s legacy may include effectively driving up the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/10/19/after-the-trump-tape-womens-calls-to-rape-hotlines-spike/">number of callers</a> to rape crisis lines, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/study-trumps-misogyny-having-negative-impact-girls-self-esteem">negatively affecting</a> the body images of America’s teenage girls and <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-trigger-how-his-misogyny-and-hatred-are-literally-causing-millions-mental-and">triggering the pain</a> of millions of sexual assault survivors. But also, this: Having a man who is so consistent in his disdain for women become president of the most powerful country in the world is a reminder that gender matters, and feminism is necessary, even in 2016.</p><p><strong>7. Trolls</strong></p><p>In addition to being one of the most toxic campaigns in history, the 2016 election may well be remembered as the first time internet trolls played a role in shaping the tone of mainstream political discourse. They did this mainly by hurling abuse: torrents of racism and misogyny, lobbed both online and offline at those who spoke up against injustice on social media or in other digital spaces.</p><p>In Donald Trump, the candidate most likely to be <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/clinton-on-trump-a-man-you-can-bait-with-a-tweet/">baited with a tweet</a>, those racist, misogynist trolls found both a kindred spirit and inspiration to become more prolific in their abuse. Under the guise of fighting for free speech—to say the most vile and disgusting things to the same groups of people they’ve always said them to—some of the worst trolls have gathered under the banner of the alt-right, a movement <a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/09/29/the_hatemonger_next_door/">its founders</a> proudly note is rooted in white nationalism and the fight against the creep of multiculturalism, race mixing and the "Jewish influence.”</p><p>Stephen Bannon, the CEO of Trump's campaign, is also the chairman of Breitbart, a publication <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news">he refers</a> to as "the platform for the alt-right." Richard Spencer, who <a href="http://newsone.com/3481164/roland-martin-clashes-with-white-supremacist-over-white-angst-donald-trump/">eschews</a> the title "white supremacist," even as he advocates for a white ethno-state and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/richard-spencer-trump-alt-right-white-nationalist">forced sterilization</a> for people of color (which sounds pretty darn white supremacist-y by anyone's definition), coined the term and has been a big fan of Trump's campaign. Recently, Spencer told <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/richard-spencer-trump-alt-right-white-nationalist">Mother Jones</a>, "I think if Trump wins we could really legitimately say that he was associated directly with us, with the 'r[acist]' word, all sorts of things. People will have to recognize us."</p><p>These are Trump’s people, and they have made the internet, and non-virtual life, inhospitable for millions. Alt-righties like Milo Yiannopoulos <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/">have attempted</a> to turn it all into a bit of provocative fun designed to upset the “normies”; less light-hearted adherents such as Andrew Anglin, founder of alt-right site the Daily Stormer, have been less capricious in expressing their mission. “The goal is to ethnically cleanse white nations of non-whites and establish an authoritarian government,” Anglin <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/08/25/whose-alt-right-it-anyway">has written</a>. “Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated.”</p><p>Trolls—and that includes Kremlin-backed fakes like those <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OauLuWXD_RI">exposed</a> by Samantha Bee—amplify the ugly hatred present in American society to deafening levels. They intimidate and harass, using trauma and fear to shut down the voices of those who are speaking loudly for the first time. In other words, they embody, in many ways, the Trump ethos.</p><p><strong>8. The Red-Blue Divisions That Will Remain Long After the Election</strong></p><p>The final vote counts do not have to be in for Americans to be reminded of how deeply polarized the country has become, with blue states lining the coasts, and apart from New England, Colorado and New Mexico, most of the rest of the country red. Presidential elections stopped being national landslides years ago, when one party swept most of the states. Some of that is due to Republican redistricting after the latest Census, in 2010, when GOP state majorities redrew political boundary lines benefiting their incumbents and pushing Democrats into electoral ghettos.</p><p>Republicans didn’t realize then that they created a pathway for their party’s extremists, led by the Tea Party, to start winning their nominating primaries, which brought a new uncompromising crowd to Congress and state capitals. Trump’s candidacy is the consequence of a GOP that has no room for moderates—who typically describe themselves as independents to pollsters. Trump is the perfect standard-bearer for a political culture that now has more power than ever.</p><p>After the election, the GOP controls the executive office, more than 30 governorships and the U.S. House. Needless to say, Latinos, who comprise a growing segment of the population, will be increasingly powerful. Of the eight states with populations that are higher than the national average, there was only one in which Trump was expected to win: Texas. Parts of the South are also tilting blue, such as northern Virginia, eastern North Carolina, urban Georgia and southern Florida. But the GOP will retain its grip on parts of the nation where the population is older and whiter than the rest of the country, such as much of the South and Rust Belt. And because Republicans gerrymandered political districts after 2010, the conditions remain for stretches of the country to keep electing far-right extremists. That means the harsh political rancor will continue.</p><p><strong>9. Pessimism and Dislike of Both Candidates</strong></p><p>Disgust with the establishment and a deep pessimism that either of the two major party candidates would offer any meaningful improvement in the lives of most Americans was a theme throughout this long depressing presidential campaign. On Election Day, six of 10 voters were still saying they were dissatisfied with their choices, and half said they would not support the new president no matter who wins. Not quite the message of hope and change that resounded at the beginning of the Obama years.</p><p>Both major party candidates seemed flawed. Reality TV star Donald Trump was initially seen as a curiosity, a laughable addition to the overstuffed clown car, more a boon to late-night comedy than an honest-to-goodness contender. Hillary Clinton, the inevitable, establishment insider, seemed to promise more of the same-old-same-old system that was failing too many people. Bernie Sanders breathed some fresh life and new hope into people, especially for millennials, but his ultimate defeat left a bitter aftertaste and a return to cynicism. Of course, Donald Trump ignited some passions in people as well, but they were mostly dark, xenophobic, divisive ones.</p><p>Still, the equivalence, always false, ends there. While both candidates were historically unpopular, Trump represented dark authoritarian impulses, sexually predatory remarks and stubborn ignorance about the world. Sadly, he turned out to know precisely what many American voters wanted.</p><p><strong>10. Violence and Guns</strong></p><p>Among the many false claims that Donald Trump made on the campaign trail is the big lie that Hillary Clinton intended to abolish the Second Amendment. Although PolitiFact rated the claim as <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/may/11/donald-trump/donald-trump-falsely-claims-hillary-clinton-wants-/">false</a>, the result was exactly what Trump’s endorsers at the National Rifle Association likely wanted: a surge in the sale of guns.</p><p>Since the onset of the presidential campaign, gun sales have climbed (for one company, Sturm, Ruger &amp; Co., <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/02/news/companies/sturm-ruger-gun-sales/">earnings</a> increased by 66 percent in the quarter that ended October 1, according to CNN, when compared with the same quarter the year before). <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/11/05/500846194/firearms-industry-soars-amid-election-year-angst-shattering-records">NPR reports</a> that the FBI saw a major uptick in the number of background checks it performs: In October, the bureau processed 2.3 million background checks, an increase of 350,000 when compared with figures from October 2015. <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/11/05/500846194/firearms-industry-soars-amid-election-year-angst-shattering-records">According to NPR</a>, “October marked the 18th month in a row that the number of <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf/view">FBI background checks</a> set a monthly record, putting 2016 on track to shatter the previous annual record.”</p><p>Although it has become American tradition that gun sales surge in advance of a presidential election, 2016 beats previous records. Trump, meanwhile, darkly suggested that “Second Amendment people” might take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton assumed the presidency. As <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-rallies-south-and-rust-belt">AlterNet reported</a>, at a Trump rally in Virginia, a vendor did brisk sales in gun targets with Clinton’s face superimposed on them, emblazoned with the tagline: “Chipping Away at Your Gun Rights Since 1993.” Now there are millions more guns in the hands of Americans who have been emboldened by Trump’s hateful calls to violence, and no doubt, by his ascent to the presidency.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066837'; </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=1066837" 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, 08 Nov 2016 20:27:00 -0800 Don Hazen, Kali Holloway, Steven Rosenfeld, Adele M. Stan, Janet Allon, Jan Frel, AlterNet 1066837 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 donald trump election 2016 Yes, Pantsuit Feminism Is Real Feminism http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/yes-pantsuit-feminism-real-feminism <!-- 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 = '1066655'; </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=1066655" 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">Hillary Clinton and the signaling of female power.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/hrc_by_jenny_warburg.jpg?itok=QGGc9xow" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>On November 8, if America doesn’t make history by electing its first former beauty-pageant owner and reality-show star as president, it will do so by electing the first woman to occupy the Oval Office. A woman in a suit; a suit that has pants.</p><p>Much is made of Hillary Clinton’s sartorial choice of the matching jacket and slacks as her signature look. But whether the subject of celebration or mockery, the response stems from the same fact—that a woman in public life who shucks nylons and pumps in favor of the freedom of movement long afforded men, well, that’s a woman who is claiming power.</p><p>Some might claim that the pantsuit is merely a symbol of feminism, one that can belie the motives of the woman who wears it. Symbol though it be, there is nothing “mere” about it: the pantsuit, as worn by the first presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party, is feminism itself. Its existence as an acceptable form of female dress in the halls of power is the result of thousands of years of feminism, and in Western culture, particularly the last few hundred.</p><p>The battle to unbind women from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_corsets">corsets</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crinoline">crinolines</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bustle">bustles</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busk">busks</a> was the work of feminists. It’s hardly a coincidence that the doffing of the corset in the 1920s, together with the adoption of a <a href="http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1921fashions.html">shorter dress</a> that hung loosely on the frame, coincided with the time women gained the right to vote. But pants were another thing entirely. Pants were—and often still are—symbolic of something other than comfort or even ease of movement. Pants are a symbol of power and self-possession. Pants encase and protect the genitals while skirts offer access. A woman in pants is claiming her body as her own, treading her own path in the world.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><img alt="" class="media-image" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/locbicyclesm.jpg?itok=W8q50F72" /></div><p><em><small>Image from an 1897 stereoview by Strohmeyer &amp; Wyman, New York, N.Y.</small></em></p><p>Feminists in the 19th century sometimes stepped out in pants, often in the context of bicycling (itself a controversial activity for women). Even in those circumstances, the sight of a woman in pants stirred outrage and fear. A photographic illustration from 1897 bears the caption, “The New Woman—Wash Day,” and shows a man in an apron hunched over a laundry basin while a woman wearing pants stands over him, jauntily smoking a cigarette. It would be another 24 years before American women won the right to vote, and another 72 years before a woman serving in the United States Senate would be permitted to wear pants while delivering a floor speech.</p><p>As late as 1938, a woman was arrested in Los Angeles for <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-california-retrospective-20141023-story.html">wearing pants</a> in a courtroom, and was jailed for five days. The movie star Katharine Hepburn was <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/05/katharine-hepburn-style-pants">frowned upon</a> by Hollywood for wearing blue jeans to the set. In 1969, I was sent home from public school for wearing pants to class. The walk to school was long, the winter was cold and skirts were short. Had I worn a floor-length skirt, I would have been deemed weird, but not in violation of the dress code. But the sight of pants on the female form, it seemed, was transgressively distracting. It earned me my junior-high nickname, "Stan the man."</p><p>In 1993, only months after Hillary Rodham Clinton became first lady, Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, the first African-American woman to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, joined Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland in wearing pants on the Senate floor, prompting the sergeant-at-arms to change the archaic rule prohibiting women senators so clad from standing at their desks in the upper chamber.</p><p>* * *</p><p>As first lady, Hillary Clinton wore her share of skirts, and was hardly the first in that ceremonial role to wear pants from time to time. It wasn’t until she launched her own bid for a U.S. Senate seat, however, that the pantsuit became her everyday look.</p><p>It was in 2000, as Bill Clinton was finishing his second term as president, that the first lady threw her hat in the ring of electoral politics to vie for the seat being vacated by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, who was retiring. I was the Washington correspondent for the now-defunct <em>Working Woman</em> magazine, and managed to arrange a <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/330138630/Woman-on-the-Verge">White House interview</a> with the candidate.</p><p>I wore my best suit, a blue, brushed-silk number consisting of a matching jacket and skirt. With my limited resources as a freelance reporter, I wouldn’t have considered sinking real money into a suit of the sort that featured trousers. In conservative Washington, I didn’t want to risk having my best suit be one that might be frowned upon in some of the spaces my reporting took me to.</p><p>I was ushered into the Treaty Room, where I was greeted by Hillary Clinton, coiffed in an elegant but unfussy manner. She wore a brown suit with pants, a pink knit shell and a short, simple necklace of chunky beads. She looked great. And subtly transgressive. For the genius of a woman’s pantsuit is not only the power and self-agency conveyed by the pants; it’s that power combined with the elements of sartorial self-expression traditionally reserved for the female sex—choices of color, proportion, jewelry and other accessories. She’s clearly a woman—and she’s wearing THE PANTS.</p><p>This is why no amount of mockery by those who deem themselves arbiters of fashion—at least when It comes to the clothing choices of the first woman nominee of a national party, of heaven forfend, the first woman president of the United States—can dissuade supporters of Hillary Clinton from embracing the pantsuit. There were fundraisers called “The Night of 1,000 Pantsuits,” and a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxHT4kFG14M">flash mob</a> of dancers that poured into New York City’s Union Square on October 2.</p><p>In our interview, I <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/330138630/Woman-on-the-Verge">asked Clinton</a> how she endured the constant scrutiny and criticism, which seemed as much about the changing role of women in society as about her as a person. She paused for a minute, and said: </p><blockquote><p>“You know, I stopped thinking about it very much because I want to live my own life the best way I can. And if I think too much about how other people may be perceiving it, that becomes burdensome. ... I want to be as grounded, as centered as I can be, in who I am and what I believe and what I want to help make happen for people.</p></blockquote><div><blockquote><p>“I can’t really worry too much about what any one person or any group of people may see in me. I can only keep doing the best I can, and if that provides support or it provides some example to others—not about the way I’m living my life, but about the way I’m trying to make choices that are right for me—then I will be very happy about that.”</p></blockquote></div><p>On Election Day 2016, many women will choose their attire with intention. Though the white pantsuit is yet to be considered a fashion-forward ensemble, it will be soon enough. Hillary Clinton is poised to ascend to the presidency, and those men made queasy by the notion of a woman in the nation's top job may take comfort in the fact that, just like they do, she puts her trousers on one leg at a time.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GxHT4kFG14M" width="560"></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 = '1066655'; </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=1066655" 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, 05 Nov 2016 20:47:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066655 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Culture Election 2016 News & Politics hillary clinton pantsuit feminist feminism pantsuit feminism Meet the Activist Who Smelled Something Fishy With the FBI's Anti-Clinton Records Dump, and Got Internal Watchdogs Investigating http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/meet-activist-who-smelled-something-fishy-fbis-anti-clinton-records-dump-and-got <!-- 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 = '1066545'; </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=1066545" 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 an official FBI Twitter account that had been dormant for a year sprang to life with old documents about the Clintons, Jonathan Hutson took action.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/fbi_seal.jpg?itok=0jezJ3as" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>As AlterNet <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/reckless-comey-seeking-revenge-critics-fbi-twitter-account">reported</a>, the FBI on Sunday suddenly reactivated a long-dead Twitter account whose purpose is to announce the release of FBI documents obtained by members of the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Amid a flurry of ho-hum releases (including the Bureau's own ethics handbook) over the next two days, two stood out: a nothing-burger on Fred Trump, the father of the Republican presidential nominee; and heavily redacted documents from a 15-year-old closed investigation into President Bill Clinton’s pardon of financier Marc Rich, and the William J. Clinton Foundation.</p><p>This took place just as Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, entered the final round of her bout against Donald Trump. Jonathan Hutson, a Maryland-based communications consultant, smelled something fishy.</p><p>The <a href="https://twitter.com/FBIRecordsVault">@FBIRecordsVault</a> Twitter account sprang back to life as FBI director James Comey took heat from Democrats (as well as politicians across the political spectrum) for <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/fbi-sitting-explosive-info-trump-and-russia">sending a vague letter</a>, just 11 days before the presidential election, to the chairmen of eight congressional committees, informing them his agents had found emails on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, that might be pertinent to the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.  </p><p>While many on Twitter and in the political-punditsphere took umbrage at what looked like an attempt to insert a negative narrative about Clinton into public discussion just days before the election, Hutson decided to take action, registering a citizen’s complaint with the FBI. Candice Will, assistant director of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, responded to Hutson’s complaint, confirming that she has referred the matter to the Bureau’s Investigation Division, which will deliver its findings to her office for adjudication.</p><p>To Hutson, who has a law degree from New York University, the November 1 tweet and the timing of the release of the documents about the pardon appeared to be a violation of the Hatch Act, the 1939 law that bars government agencies and their employees from acting to affect the outcome of an election.</p><p>“I saw on Twitter that the @FBIRecordsVault had suddenly awakened a week before the election, after a year's dormancy, and started tweeting biased and incomplete information a week before the election,” Hutson told AlterNet via email. “So as a concerned citizen, I filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Justice's Inspector General and with the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility.”</p><p>In Hutson’s letter to Wills, he described the materials released by the @FBIRecordsVault account:</p><blockquote><p>[A]t 4:00 a.m. Eastern on October 30, 2016, within two weeks of a presidential election, this FBI Twitter account began tweeting documents relating to Fred Trump, the father of Donald Trump, in which Fred is falsely characterized as a "philanthropist" although the FBI records and public records do not support this unfounded but flattering characterization. On the other hand, the FBI did not release any records on the federal lawsuit against Fred Trump for housing discrimination against people of color in New York. This is the same Fred Trump who had reportedly been arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally.</p><p>On the same date, again at the unusual hour of 4:00 a.m., this FBI Twitter account tweeted documents which portrayed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a negative light.</p><p>Then again, less than one week prior to the presidential election, at noon Eastern on November 1, 2016, in violation of Department of Justice guidance and policy against making public statements that might unfairly influence the electorate within 60 days of an election, and in possible violation of the Hatch Act, @FBIRecordsVault tweeted records of decade-old, debunked William J. Clinton Foundation scandals and records of President Clinton's 2001 pardon of Mark Rich where no wrongdoing had been found in an investigation that has been closed. </p><p>The William Clinton Foundation records linked from the tweet do not indicate that there had been no indictment and no finding of any wrongdoing in this closed case. This incomplete nature of the records posted without proper context convey a false and unfair impression that there is some reason for a cloud of suspicion to linger over this matter which has been resolved for more than a decade.</p></blockquote><p>“I found it ironic, significant, and revealing that at the same time, @FBIRecordsVault tweeted the ethics handbook banning FBI employees from interfering or affecting the outcome of elections,” Hutson, a former investigative reporter, told AlterNet via email. “So they knew perfectly well that there was a clear appearance of impropriety in issuing biased tweets even as the FBI director faces criticism for his unprecedented actions on the eve of a presidential election. Why would they do that?”</p><p>As <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/fbi-launches-internal-investigation-into-its-own-twitter-account-8d5fc2a81fdc#.mw2aba90v">noted by ThinkProgress</a>, the decision by the FBI’s Candice Will to refer the matter for investigation runs counter to the flippant statement the Bureau released in response to the initial outcry against the documents dump. In that statement, FBI officials asserted that the resurrected Twitter account was simply conducting routine activities in regard to documents released via FOIA. “Per the standard procedure for FOIA, these materials became available for release and were posted automatically and electronically to the FBI’s public reading room in accordance with the law and established procedures.”</p><p>The statement does not address the standard procedure for publicizing such releases via the @FBIRecordsVault account. Now, the FBI’s own internal watchdogs will determine whether the timing of the tweets was in violation of the Hatch Act or Justice Department guidelines—and who made the decision to reactivate the Twitter account.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066545'; </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=1066545" 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, 03 Nov 2016 11:42:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066545 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Activism Election 2016 Huma Abedin anthony weiner james comey fbi @FBIRecordsVault How the Anti-Choice Movement Paved the Way for Trump's Rise to the Top of the GOP http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/how-anti-choice-movement-paved-way-trumps-rise-top-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 = '1066458'; </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=1066458" 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">Making a conservative case against Trump, Ross Douthat descends into denial about anti-choice 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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/antiabortion_protest.jpg?itok=9wJNZgMZ" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>In a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/opinion/campaign-stops/from-roe-to-trump.html">stunning piece</a> titled “From Roe to Trump” in Wednesday’s <em>New York Times</em>, columnist Ross Douthat serves up a revisionist history of the anti-choice movement, holding up its alleged pacifism as the rationale for conservative opposition to the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump. There are plenty of reasons for anyone of any political stripe to oppose Trump, but to accept Douthat’s premise of the anti-choice movement as some peaceable kingdom of fetus protectors is to live in upside-down land. For, if any cultural movement paved the way for Trump, it is the one that seeks to deprive women of agency over their own bodies.</p><p>Douthat does a neat trick of trying to separate what he calls the “mainstream pro-life movement” and the anti-choice extremists who incite with violent rhetoric those who do physical violence.</p><p>I’ve sat at evangelical gatherings in which anti-abortion violence is either dismissed as not so bad, or smugly chuckled over, as during a 2007 “Reclaiming American for Christ” conference at the late Reverend D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, when former right-wing “It Girl” Ann Coulter (now a Trump supporter) <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/april-2007-church-state/featured/religious-right-still-wrong">suggested</a> that abortion clinic workers killed by anti-choice murderers could be said to have had “a procedure with a rifle performed on them.”</p><p>It’s precisely that kind of rhetoric that helped open the gates of American politics to Trump, and that so-called “principled conservatives” are guilty of having tolerated. Where were the “principled conservatives” who called out Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for having repeatedly described George Tiller, a physician who provided late-term abortions, as “Tiller the baby-killer”?</p><p>Tiller is now dead, shot in his own church by an anti-choice murderer. Apparently, an anti-choice extremist could <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/23/politics/donald-trump-shoot-somebody-support/">shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue</a>, and principled conservatives would still support those who rhetorically aided and abetted him.</p><p>Since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in <em>Roe v. Wade</em> that legalized abortion, 11 people have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists.</p><p>Between the years of 1977 and 2009 in the U.S. and Canada, according to statistics <a href="http://www.prochoice.org/pubs_research/publications/downloads/about_abortion/violence_stats.pdf">compiled by the National Abortion Federation</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence#Arson.2C_bombing.2C_and_property_crime">summarized by Wikipedia</a>:</p><blockquote><p>[P]roperty crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid ("stink bombs"). <em>The New York Times</em> also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson, over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of vandalism between 1978 and 1993.</p></blockquote><p>All of these acts of violence were of a piece with a rhetoric of violence, and the appearance of a woman-shaming rabble on the sidewalks in front of abortion clinics, staffed by so-called “sidewalk counselors” who stalk women on the way into the clinics and accuse them of killing their babies. How more perfect a cultural preparation for the likes of Trump—who calls women names, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-jennifer-hawkins-video_us_58137b85e4b0390e69cfbbba?niqfgfcfziu23xr&amp;link_id=1&amp;can_id=&amp;source=email-new-video-shows-trump-sexually-humiliating-a-woman-on-stage-before-thousands-of-people&amp;email_referre">sexually shames them</a> in public, and has called on “Second Amendment people” to provide a solution to a Hillary Clinton presidency—could one imagine?</p><p>When anti-choice Republicans, especially those claiming a religious belief as justification for their argument, are confronted with Trump’s many personal moral failings, they often say they’re willing to look past all that philandering and cursing and divorcing and pussy-grabbing because of the fate of the Supreme Court, which they dare not leave in the hands of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Douthat argues against voting for Trump by asking conservatives to model their opposition to Clinton on what he casts as the gentler, incremental approach of the anti-choice movement, and wraps it up in the “just war” theory put forth by the Roman Catholic Church.</p><p>Fine, let’s look at the Catholic Church’s involvement with anti-choice groups. In 1989, New York City Archbishop John Cardinal O’Connor <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-12-11/news/8903170187_1_group-of-abortion-rights-protesters-demonstrators">welcomed the group Operation Rescue</a> to his church. The group was then headed by Randall Terry, who would go on to stage blockades of Tiller’s Wichita, Kansas, abortion clinic in 1991, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/04/us/drive-against-abortion-finds-a-symbol-wichita.html">described this way in <em>The New York Times</em></a>:</p><blockquote><p>Demonstrators stand on both sides of bustling Kellogg Street, holding signs that say, “Babies Killed Here” and “Tiller's Slaughter House,” waving to the drivers of Mack trucks and minivans that honk their horns in support as they pass.</p><p>At times it has taken 40 police officers, some on horseback, to keep the clinic’s doors open. And even then, John Cowles, Dr. Tiller’s lawyer said, “protesters shoved their way through and crawled beneath them.”</p></blockquote><p>Catholic clergy were reported by the <em>Times</em> to be well-represented among the protesters.</p><p>Don’t come to me with tales the church’s supposedly pacific response to <em>Roe v. Wade</em>. It just simply outsourced the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/141287/rabid_anti-abortionist_tries_to_use_sotomayor_hearings_for_comeback">hate speech</a> to the very extremists from whom Douthat would like to separate himself. As late as 2009, when I learned that Randall Terry was on the speaking agenda for a conference taking place at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/144987/updated%3A_catholic_bishops_embrace_anti-abortion_terrorizers_missy_smith_and_randall_terry">church refused to denounce</a> either Terry or his associates, even after Terry called the murdered Tiller “an evil man who reaped what he sowed.”</p><p>The primary driver of the Donald Trump campaign is misogyny. Trump may not always have been anti-choice, but he’s happy to jump on the bandwagon. After all, constraining women is all of a piece with the contempt he’s shown for them throughout his campaign. And the hate-mongering rhetoric he flings has ample precedence in the bullying speech and tactics of the anti-choice movement.</p><p>Just as movement conservatism created the conditions for Trump’s candidacy (with its racism, nativism, homophobia, and misogyny dressed up in states’ rights principles and moral outrage), the anti-choice movement modeled a way of moving in the public sphere for Trump’s campaign—by making false assertions in shocking and often violent language.</p><p>And that “mainstream pro-life movement”? Its leaders are lined up behind Trump. Just look at the people who form his <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/trump-names-pro-life-advisory-council-in-attempt-to-reassure-anti-choice-movement/">Pro-Life Advisory Council</a>: Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads the ironically named Susan B. Anthony List, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, and Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, who is also a Republican campaign strategist. These are people who lead significant anti-choice organizations—the moralists who are OK lining up behind a candidate who as all but admitted sexually assaulting women.</p><p>So, if Douthat can’t bring himself to vote for Trump, good on him. But don’t pretend the anti-choice movement holds some moral high ground as an example of high-minded principles advanced by the Roman Catholic bishops. Randall Terry and Donald Trump are cut from the same cloth; Trump may have learned a thing or two from Terry, who has known the support of the church fathers. In the world of misogyny, there is no decency.</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 = '1066458'; </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=1066458" 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, 02 Nov 2016 09:08:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1066458 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing ross douthat randall terry Roman Catholic bishops John O'Connor donald trump anti-choice Is Reckless Comey Seeking Revenge on Critics via FBI Twitter Account? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/reckless-comey-seeking-revenge-critics-fbi-twitter-account <!-- 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 = '1066420'; </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=1066420" 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 FBI director&#039;s actions may harm the very process of democracy.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/fbi_4.jpg?itok=WjURVYFR" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Something very dangerous is happening in the Federal Bureau of Investigation: The nation’s foremost law enforcement agency appears to be at war both within itself and with the Department of Justice, to which it belongs. The disagreements all involve our national politics and the FBI’s appropriate role in them, leaving the American people with yet another major institution on their do-not-trust list. The government is coming ever more undone, so much so that a recent Twitter post from an FBI account is raising questions about who's behind it—the director of the FBI, or agents seemingly beyond his control.</p><p>The chaos burst into public view on Friday, October 28, 11 days before the 2016 presidential election is scheduled to take place. That’s when FBI director James Comey issued—against the wishes of DoJ officials and counter to department guidelines—his infamous letter informing the chairmen of eight congressional committees that agents investigating a possible sex crime by former congressman Anthony Weiner had found correspondence on his computer, involving his estranged wife Huma Abedin, that may be pertinent to the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. (Abedin is a longtime Clinton aide.) Comey hadn’t seen the emails, he said, and didn’t know what was in them, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads and wondering if he just wasn’t trying to sway the election.</p><p>In the meantime, as noted in a letter to Comey from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the FBI was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/veteran-spy-gave-fbi-info-alleging-russian-operation-cultivate-donald-trump">investigating links</a> between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the government of Russia. There again, it may well be that the FBI hasn’t uncovered any actionable information, but its director has not seen fit to write a letter to Congress in order to inform committee chairs that it has discovered a server used by the Trump Organization, <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/10/was_a_server_registered_to_the_trump_organization_communicating_with_russia.html">possibly to conduct</a> traffic between itself and the Alfa Bank of Russia.</p><p>According to news reports, the Bureau has <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html?_r=0">also investigated</a> the Trump Organization’s use of the server, but doesn’t know what’s been transmitted on it. Kind of like Anthony Weiner’s laptop, except that it involves a foreign government that is also believed by leaders of U.S. intelligence agencies to be behind the hacks of the emails of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. (The Intercept published an article Tuesday claiming to <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/11/01/heres-the-problem-with-the-story-connecting-russia-to-donald-trumps-email-server/">debunk</a> the theory of the “Trump server” communicating with Alfa Bank.)</p><p>So it seems that from a law enforcement perspective, the FBI behaved properly in not sending word to Congress about the server, or any as-of-yet unproven links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. But that same standard was not applied in the case of the Weiner laptop.</p><p>It’s been reported that Comey was feeling pressure, not just from Republicans who are furious with him for not indicting Clinton for her use of her private server for the conduct of government business, but from his own agents. And it would seem that Comey feels stung by the criticism he’s taking from Democrats regarding the letter he sent to Congress on Friday.</p><p>Now comes word, via <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/laptop-may-include-thousands-of-emails-linked-to-hillary-clintons-private-server-1477854957">Devlin Barrett</a> of the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, that agents who were investigating allegations of influence-peddling involving the Clinton Foundation were incensed when higher-ups at the Justice Department urged them to tread carefully so as to adhere to department guidelines against taking action that could influence an election, and that members of the Department’s anti-corruption unit didn’t think the FBI had a strong case.</p><p>It seems as if whoever controls a Bureau Twitter account called <a href="https://twitter.com/FBIRecordsVault">@FBIRecordsVault</a> has struck back against all those Clinton surrogates who are calling foul on Comey. The account, whose purpose is the posting of documents released through Freedom of Information Act requests, appears to have been dead for a year—no postings since Oct. 7, 2015. Suddenly, on Tuesday, it sprang to life with a handful of posts, one a nothing-burger on Fred Trump, father of the Republican standard-bearer; and another on an <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-01/fbi-surprises-with-files-on-bill-clinton-01-pardon-of-marc-rich">old investigation</a> of the Clinton Foundation and President Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich, then a fugitive hedge-fund manager whose wife had donated to the DNC and the Clinton Foundation. It was Comey who brought the criminal case against Rich, Bloomberg News <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-01/fbi-surprises-with-files-on-bill-clinton-01-pardon-of-marc-rich">reports</a>, and is said to have been “stunned” by Clinton’s pardon of the financier. The documents linked in the tweet don’t say much of anything (they're heavily redacted), but the tweet itself does reinforce in the public mind the controversies advanced by Clinton’s enemies about the foundation. It's not the fact of the tweet that's at issue—the material was released via FOIA—but the timing of it from an account that was only reactivated Sunday.</p><p>Over the years, leaders and members of the FBI have given the American people many reasons to draw the conclusion that, in matters involving the American political landscape and the people who inhabit it, the Bureau cannot be trusted. Among them are the FBI’s attempts to undermine Rev. Martin Luther King at the height of the civil rights movement, and the bureau’s infiltration of civil rights and anti-war groups in the 1960s through its <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO">COINTELPRO</a> operation and a similar operation that targeted the American Indian Movement.</p><p>In subsequent years, the Bureau was seen as more or less chastened and rehabilitated, thanks to the 1976 Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, popularly known as the Church Committee (named for its chairman, Sen. Frank Church of Idaho).</p><p>Now we have entered a new era, in which the director of the FBI, with his letter to Congress, is acting so recklessly as to harm the very process of democracy. It seems that he's either signed off on an election-week records dump, via Twitter, from an old investigation of the Clinton Foundation, or has lost control of the agents who staff the FBI's Twitter account. Either way, he's made a choice to let chaos reign in the closing days of a presidential campaign.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066420'; </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=1066420" 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, 01 Nov 2016 15:12:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066420 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics james comey fbi hillary clinton clinton emails Huma Abedin anthony weiner donald trump kremlin russia putin Is Comey's FBI Sitting on a Scandal That Could Destroy Trump's Candidacy? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/fbi-sitting-explosive-info-trump-and-russia <!-- 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 = '1066303'; </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=1066303" 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">Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accuses FBI director James Comey of playing favorites.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/comey.png?itok=7nYdUm3E" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>So, whatever happened with that FBI investigation of the hacks of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, as well as the email account of John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign? That’s what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wants to know. Reid claims the bureau is sitting on “explosive information” linking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to the Russian government, which is implicated in those email hacks.</p><p>On Friday, FBI director James Comey threw the 2016 presidential race into turmoil with a <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/paul-krugman-scorches-fbi-head-comeys-weakness-his-attempt-appease-right-will-never">vague letter</a> sent to the chairmen of eight congressional committees informing them that his agency had located additional emails that may be pertinent to the ongoing investigation of the Democratic presidential nominee’s use of a private email server for conducting government business during her tenure as secretary of state. At the time the letter was delivered, Comey had not yet examined the emails, and he admitted that they might amount to a whole lot of nothin’. (The FBI has since obtained a warrant to seize the newly discovered cache.)</p><p>According to Reid, in a <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/harry-reid-letter-fbi-james-comey-clinton-emails-trump-russia-ties-hatch-act/">letter</a> to Comey on Sunday, the FBI director “possess[es] explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government—a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity.”</p><p>Reid <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/harry-reid-letter-fbi-james-comey-clinton-emails-trump-russia-ties-hatch-act/">continued</a>: “I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public...and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.” </p><p>The latest episode in the Clinton email saga involves the FBI’s investigation of former congressman Anthony Weiner of New York for allegedly sexting a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. (Because the alleged crime took place across state lines, it is in the purview of the FBI.) During the course of that investigation, the FBI discovered emails from Clinton aide Huma Abedin on Weiner’s computer. Abedin is married to Weiner, but the two separated after Weiner’s last reported <a href="http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/08/anthony-weiner-is-reportedly-sending-dick-pics-again.html">transgression</a> in August, when he texted a woman a photograph of his bulging crotch as his four-year-old son napped in bed next to him.</p><p>Yet in a news conference, after news broke of one of the DNC email hacks and alleged Russian involvement in the breach, Trump invited Russia to have at Clinton’s private email server, despite whatever consequences that might portend for U.S. foreign policy. And Trump’s own involvement with Russian interests is <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-very-weird-russia-thing">well-documented</a>.</p><p>In his letter to Comey, Reid also suggests that the nation’s top cop may have <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/31/politics/what-is-the-hatch-act/">violated</a> the Hatch Act, a law that forbids actions by members of the executive branch—including all employees of the federal government—from taking actions that could sway an election.</p><p>If legal action is taken against Comey charging a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/31/politics/what-is-the-hatch-act/">Hatch Act violation</a>, it will create an interesting test of the law, which is more often applied to such situations as federal employees using their work emails for political purposes, or wearing campaign gear to work.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-very-weird-russia-thing">Read more</a> </em><em>from AlterNet on Donald Trump’s links to Russian figures.</em></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066303'; </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=1066303" 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, 31 Oct 2016 08:18:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066303 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing james comey harry reid clinton emails donald trump hillary clinton Huma Abedin anthony weiner The Great 2016 Campaign Mystery That Could Change Everything: Who’s In the Electorate? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/who-will-show-vote <!-- 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 = '1066239'; </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=1066239" 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">As Clinton tries to up turnout, Trump tries his hand at high-tech suppression—and no one really knows who will actually turn up at the polls.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_413108107.jpg?itok=Hf2Uh89b" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>It’s often said that the 2016 presidential campaign is unlike any other, starting with the barrier-breaking gender of one candidate, and the use of misogyny and racism as positive brand-identifiers by the other. But there’s another factor that could spell a departure in the 2016 race from the presidential contests of 2012 and 2008, which will not be known until after the vote is in: just who will decide to vote?</p><p>A <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/29/clinton-47-trump-45-in-post-abc-tracking-poll/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_fix-poll-750am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory">Washington Post/ABC News poll</a> released Saturday shows Clinton squeaking by Trump with a mere 2-point lead, a far different result from the 12-point Clinton lead the very same poll showed a mere five days before. The survey’s pollster says the sudden shift is more indicative of a changing view of who’s likely to turn out than of changes in the preferences of voters previously surveyed. Among them, a big bump up in the percentage of non-college-educated white women identifying as Trump voters, and a reluctance on the part of certain Democratic-leaning eligible voters to actually turn up at the polls.</p><p>As described by Gary Langer of Langer Research Associates, the firm that conducted the polling for the news outlets, according to an ABC News <a href="http://www.langerresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/1184a72016ElectionTrackingNo7.pdf">press release</a>:</p><blockquote><ul><li>In one example, there are 6 points more Republicans and GOP-leaning independents showing up in the ranks of non-college white women. This group was broadly for Trump a few weeks ago, then less so; it’s now back, favoring him by 59-29 percent.</li><li>Loosely affiliated or reluctant Clinton supporters look less likely to vote, perhaps given their sense she can win without them—a supposition that looks less reliable today.</li></ul></blockquote><p>These surveys were taken before news broke of FBI director James Comey’s dark and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/oct-28-fbi-letter-to-congressional-leaders-on-clinton-email-investigation/2113/?ex_cid=newsletter&amp;tid=a_inl">vague letter</a> to the chairmen of a number of congressional committees stating that new emails had been found on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner that may be pertinent to the FBI’s earlier investigation of emails hosted on Hillary Clinton’s private server while she was secretary of state. (Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin; the FBI is currently investigating his lewd text messages sent to a 15-year-old girl. In short, he’s disgusting.)</p><p>While the Trump campaign is likely reveling in news that a growing segment of the electorate is inclined toward its candidate (those Trump-appreciative women who were not expected to vote in this election), Bloomberg News published an exclusive report on the Trump campaign’s attempts to actually depress voter turnout among certain segments of the potential electorate, through the use of marketing techniques. The voters they hope to keep home are from constituencies more naturally aligned with Clinton: young women, African Americans and “idealistic white liberals” (Trumpspeak, one imagines, for Bernie supporters).</p><p>Campaign staffers who <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go">talked to</a> Bloomberg’s Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg said Trump’s publicity stunt in the hour before the second presidential debate, when he sat at a long table in a hotel conference room, flanked by women who accused former president Bill Clinton of assaulting them, was designed to depress turnout for Clinton among young women. More quietly, the Trump people are pushing to black audiences a line Hillary Clinton delivered in a 1996 speech in which she referred to members of violent gangs as “superpredators,” a remark Trump and his <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/aug/28/reince-priebus/did-hillary-clinton-call-african-american-youth-su/">surrogates describe</a> as a broad-brush characterization of black teenagers. (Clinton has repeatedly expressed regret for her use of the term, which was in vogue in that era.)</p><p>From the October 27 <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go">Bloomberg report</a>:</p><blockquote><p>On Oct. 24, Trump’s team began placing spots on select African American radio stations. In San Antonio, a young staffer showed off a <em>South Park</em>-style animation he’d created of Clinton delivering the “superpredator” line (using audio from her original 1996 sound bite), as cartoon text popped up around her: “Hillary Thinks African Americans are Super Predators.” The animation will be delivered to certain African American voters through Facebook “dark posts”—nonpublic posts whose viewership the campaign controls so that, as Parscale puts it, “only the people we want to see it, see it.” The aim is to depress Clinton’s vote total. “We know because we’ve modeled this,” says the official. “It will dramatically affect her ability to turn these people out.”</p><p>The Trump team’s effort to discourage young women by rolling out Clinton accusers and drive down black turnout in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood with targeted messages about the Clinton Foundation’s controversial operations in Haiti is an odd gambit.</p></blockquote><p>The Bloomberg writers <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-27/inside-the-trump-bunker-with-12-days-to-go">report</a> that the Trump campaign’s organizing model, according to its data and marketing guru Brad Parscale, is a Facebook strategy which, if it doesn’t succeed in suppressing the more progressive segment of the vote, is destined to at least yield Trump a fat list of dedicated followers before it’s all over.</p><p>* * *</p><p>In the meantime, a group of purported political insiders who talk regularly to Politico are still expecting to see a “Bradley effect” in the final vote tallies that shows voters who talked to pollsters were reluctant to admit that they planned to vote for Trump. <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-shy-voters-polls-gop-insiders-230411#ixzz4OUZi93rT">According to Politico</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Most Republican insiders don't believe [the polls are] accurately capturing Trump’s true level of support.</p><p>That’s according to the Politico Caucus—a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 key battleground states. More than seven-in-10 GOP insiders, 71 percent, say the polls understate Trump’s support because voters don’t want to admit to pollsters that they are backing the controversial Republican nominee.</p></blockquote><p>Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump among women overall is looking to be epic. When FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/men-are-treating-2016-as-a-normal-election-women-arent/">parsed the polls</a> by gender on October 17, Clinton enjoyed a 20-point lead among women voters in FiveThirtyEight’s “average of the most recent live-interview polls from each pollster to test the race in October.”</p><p>Anecdotally, there is some evidence of Republican women choosing either to vote for Clinton or to vote only in down-ballot races, skipping the race for the presidency. The <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/us/politics/donald-trump-republican-party-women.html">New York Times</a> </em>talked to several women leaders in the GOP, following Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich’s attempt to slut-shame Fox News Megyn Kelly when the host of “The Kelly Files” dared to bring up the Republican nominee’s alleged groping of women.</p><p>From the<em> New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/us/politics/donald-trump-republican-party-women.html">report</a> by Trip Gabriel:</p><blockquote><p>“I think we’ll see a lot of women walk away from the party over this,” said Katie Packer, who was Mr. Romney’s deputy campaign manager. “What you’re seeing is 20 years, 30 years of frustration coming together and really, really compounded in the last couple of weeks.”</p></blockquote><p>In <em><a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a23149/the-secret-hillary-clinton-voters/">Marie Clarie</a></em>, Lyz Lenz wrote of her friends in her nearly all-Republican evangelical community <a href="http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a23149/the-secret-hillary-clinton-voters/">secretly vowing</a> to vote for Clinton. Lenz interviews a friend:</p><blockquote><p>"It's just not worth the capital for me to support Clinton in a visible context," she says. "But one on one, I try to convince people that there are other alternatives to Trump."</p><p>For the most part, though, she's content to "pass" as a Trump voter. "In a normal election cycle, most Evangelical Christians are assuming others are like them," she says. "I don't correct their assumption."</p></blockquote><p>* * *</p><p>In any election, evidence of the makeup of the electorate is delivered no sooner than election day. But this election may not even offer that if there are an appreciable number of “shy” Trump voters and “shy” Clinton voters. Would these people even tell exit pollsters the name of their candidate?</p><p>And this election is different from all those before in other ways: Facebook itself has changed, and the Trump campaign is taking advantage of those changes with its use of “dark posts” and other new features designed for marketers.</p><p>In every election cycle, the electorate changes, according to the cycles of life. People turn 18 and register for the first time; other people die. People move to other states, drop out of voting, or decide to vote after not having done so in a while. But in a chaotic cycle in which the Democratic Party has seen a primary battle between its liberal and progressive wings, and the Republican Party has been all but wrecked by a candidate whose few stated policies often diverge from the party’s stated policies (say, on tariffs and trade), a very different assemblage of people from past presidential years could turn up at the polls. Will a sizeable number of white women who did not go to college and who haven’t voted in a while turn up to vote for Trump? That latest Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests that could happen.</p><p>The trick for pollsters will be to find ways of measuring any such changes to the composition of the electorate. The trick for everybody else: understanding what it means for our politics.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066239'; </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=1066239" 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, 30 Oct 2016 11:55:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1066239 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics donald trump hillary clinton electorate polls women's vote gender gap Misogyny Is Trump's Brand http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/gingrich-attack-megyn-kelly-not-gaffe <!-- 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 = '1066075'; </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=1066075" 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">Gingrich&#039;s attacks on Megyn Kelly are the latest clear indicator of the fuel Trump&#039;s campaign runs on.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-10-26_at_9.51.59_am.png?itok=Jpi4YtSj" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>When, as a campaign surrogate and once-powerful white man, you answer allegations that your candidate may be a sexual predator with a sex-laced attack on your female interviewer, you’re probably a misogynist. A desperate misogynist.</p><p>That’s what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is looking like this morning.</p><p>During a <a href="https://youtu.be/1RVqTfIKGbU">Tuesday discussion</a> of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s sinking poll numbers, Gingrich accused Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated with sex” after she dared to mention Trump’s fortunes began falling after the now infamous <em>Access Hollywood</em> video became public on October 7. Kelly pointed out that nearly a dozen women have come forward to allege that Trump had either assaulted them or taken liberties with their bodies.</p><p>From the beginning, the primary animating force of the Trump campaign has been the candidate’s misogyny, as he set his position for challenging the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major political party. I say this not to make light of the extremely threatening rhetoric Trump uses to describe <a href="http://time.com/4509413/presidential-debate-donald-trump-immigration/">immigrants</a> and <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-immigration/">Muslims</a>, his <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-responds-assault-claims-nazi-speech">dog-whistling</a> to the anti-Semitic alt-right, or his demeaning portrayals of <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/19/politics/donald-trump-african-american-voters/">African Americans</a> and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/08/22/donald-trump-to-african-american-and-hispanic-voters-what-do-you-have-to-lose/">Latinos</a>.</p><p>Taken together, these attacks by Trump serve as a rallying point for white Americans who feel unnerved by changes in the social order of their nation. But Trump is running against a white, Christian candidate—who happens to be a woman. If he loses the election, he will not lose to a Muslim, a black person, a Latino, or a Latina. He will have been bested by a woman, the category of human for which he may actually have the most contempt. The assault allegations against him were all made by women. That’s the common thread.</p><p>America may have a racism problem and a religious bigotry problem and an anti-immigrant problem and a homophobia problem, but it also has a <a href="http://prospect.org/article/fear-women-key-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-misogyny-and-america%E2%80%99s">big misogyny problem</a>—a fact that is often overlooked, given all of the other problems. But one need only look at the make-up of the United States Congress, where women hold only 19 percent of House seats and 20 percent of Senate seats, in a nation where women comprise greater than 50 percent of the overall population.</p><p>Gingrich’s conflation of sexual assault allegations with sex are typical of what feminists call “rape culture,” as is painting a woman who would make such allegations, a "slut." And in the eyes of a sexist, a woman who is “fascinated by sex” must surely be a slut.</p><p>The minute Kelly mentioned Trump's accusers—the women who have come forward—Gingrich pounced.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1RVqTfIKGbU" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Let’s have the <em>Washington Post</em>’s Rebecca Sinderbrand <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/25/you-are-fascinated-with-sex-that-megyn-kelly-newt-gingrich-showdown-was-one-for-the-ages/">describe</a> it for us:</p><blockquote><p>Gingrich, on Fox in his role as a Donald Trump surrogate, had questioned the stories of women who’ve come forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault—and the relative importance of the controversy itself, relative to Hillary Clinton’s alleged misdeeds.</p><p>Kelly pushed back. “As a media story, we don’t get to say that 10 women are lying. We have to cover that story, sir,” said the Fox anchor.</p><p>“Sure. Okay,” Gingrich said. “So, so it’s worth 23 minutes of the three networks to cover that story, and Hillary Clinton had a <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/19/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-hillary-clinton-wants-have-open-/">secret speech</a> in Brazil to a bank that pays her 225,000 [dollars], saying her dream is an open border where 600 million people could come to America—that’s not worth covering …”</p><p>“That is worth covering,” interjected Kelly. “And we did.”</p><p>Gingrich was still speaking: “ … I mean, you want to go back through the tapes of your show recently, <strong>you are fascinated with sex</strong>, and <strong>you don’t care about public policy</strong>.” [Emphasis mine.]</p></blockquote><p>Make no mistake: Misogyny is the brand. This was not a gaffe. It was a cry to every white man who ever felt one-upped by a woman. (“Don’t be a Pussy, Vote for Trump,” to quote a campaign sign.) It was a cry to that percentage of white women who never got over seeing a man in their lives get one-upped by some smartypants woman, or to those in radical denial that bad things that have happened to them may have happened <em>because</em> they are women.</p><p>Poor Gingrich was ultimately one-upped by Kelly, a fact I would celebrate if I wasn’t left wondering whether the humiliation of the former speaker would actually work in Trump’s favor. Turning out the base, it’s called.</p><p>Closing out the interview, Kelly said to Gingrich: “And you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker.”</p><p>Drops mic.</p><p>Gingrich <a href="https://twitter.com/newtgingrich/status/791110323889516544">tweeted out</a> video of the interview. Job well done.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1066075'; </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=1066075" 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, 26 Oct 2016 11:21:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1066075 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing newt gingrich Meygn Kelly trump campaign slut-shaming ACCESS HOLLYWOOD At Trump Rallies from Rust Belt to Bible Belt, Threats of Violence Combine with Nostalgia for White Man's Glory http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-rallies-south-and-rust-belt <!-- 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 = '1065969'; </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=1065969" 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 rallies well-heeled Southerners and dispossessed Rust-Belters with promises of return to the past—and lots of misogyny.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trumpjohnstown.jpg?itok=O5_F3kzV" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a city down on its luck, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump appeared before an enthusiastic crowd of several thousand at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. He reminded the citizens of Cambria County of that which required no reminder: that the median annual household income in Johnstown, once a humming steel-manufacturing town, is a mere <a href="http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk">$25,000 per year</a>. Then he promised them the return of their jobs, with no explanation of how he would do so.</p><p>They responded by chanting his name.</p><p>From Pennsylvania Route 56, the way into town from the east, you catch your first glimpse of Johnstown, enveloped in the beauty of the Allegheny Mountains and marred by the unsightly evidence of poverty: boarded up homes and outbuildings, rusty residential trailers. On a windy day under gray, low-hanging clouds, the bleakness is amplified. This is Trump country—at least according to the signage.</p><p>Trump-Pence yard signs line the shoulder of the road; someone has taken out a Trump-Pence billboard, as well. Faded American flags hang from beat-up houses, and one I saw bore a Confederate flag. Nearly half of the Johnstown media market’s FM radio stations have a religious programming format, whether Christian contemporary music or religious talk. Eighty percent of residents are white.</p><p>As of 2010, people 65 years old or older made up <a href="http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/4238288">18.5 percent</a> of the city’s population, according to U.S. Census data, compared with a national measure of <a href="http://www.aoa.acl.gov/aging_statistics/index.aspx">14.5 percent</a>. Since the 1992 closing of the Bethlehem Steel plant on the site of the old Cambria Steel works, Johnstown has offered young people little reason to stay. </p><p>The line to enter the arena stretched across an adjacent bridge that spans the Little Conemaugh River. The composition of the almost entirely white crowd reflected Johnstown’s shortage of younger people, and it appeared about half of Trump’s audience was female, many of the faithful holding signs passed out by the campaign that read, “WOMEN FOR TRUMP” (white lettering on a hot-pink background, naturally).</p><p>Trump’s visit to Johnstown capped off a week in which his alleged groping of women remained the focus of media attention, in addition to his description of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as “a nasty woman” during the October 19 final presidential debate. It was a week that followed the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood videotape in which Trump boasted of his license to “grab” women “by the p*ssy.”</p><p>The War Memorial arena has the feel of an oversized high school gymnasium. Built in 1950, it’s a bare-bones concrete structure where the seats look down on a floor suited to playing hockey. Its capacity is listed as 4,000, and Trump nearly filled it.</p><p>I donned one of the Trump campaign’s signature “Make America Great Again” caps, and sat in the stands. I listened to Trump describe the residents of Johnstown as having been forgotten and neglected by their government, whose current steward, Barack Obama, Trump described as “stupid.”</p><p>He pleased with his attack on the media, alleging that the people behind the video cameras refuse to show the crowds he says fill his arenas. However, if a protester were to show up, he said, they’d find a way. Then he asked if anyone in the stands would pretend to be a protester. “Oh, look,” he said, sneering at the cameras, “there’s a protester!”</p><p>“They just said this is a record for this arena, and there are thousands outside,” Trump added. There were not thousands outside. There were maybe a few homeless people outside, begging for quarters. The videographers on risers are wedged cheek by jowl, standing behind cameras fixed on tripods, and trained on him. They couldn't show the arena audience if they wanted to. Trump knows this.</p><p>“Hillary Clinton, as WikiLeaks proves, is a corrupt globalist,” he said, dog-whistling to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/us/politics/anti-semitism-trump-supporters-twitter.html?_r=0">anti-Semitic right</a> that has embraced his candidacy. The crowd ignited. “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” yelled the woman sitting next to me, who appeared to be in her 70s. The arena resounded with the chant.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/188716089" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p><p><em><small>"<a href="https://vimeo.com/188716089">Lock her up!</a>" </small></em><em><small>Trump supporters chant in Johnstown PA, from <a href="https://vimeo.com/alexpreditor">Alexandra Rosenmann</a> on Vimeo</small>.</em></p><p>Trump chalked up Johnstown’s woes to bad trade deals and over-regulation by government. In his administration, he said, for every new regulation enacted by government, two would have to be eliminated. He did not specify how the rules slated for axing would be chosen. He promised he would put “your miners back to work” through the extraction of “beautiful clean coal.”</p><p>The last coal mine in Cambria County closed in the 1990s due to overproduction and competition from other energy sources, not over-regulation and trade deals. There are no miners to put back to work. The crowd nonetheless rewarded the candidate. "Trump! Trump! Trump!" they shouted. Knowledge was not what they were there for; they came for a full-throated indictment of those they were told had done them wrong: the political establishment, the media, Barack Obama, and most of all, Hillary Clinton.  </p><p>That “deplorables” comment Hillary made? That was meant for you, Trump told the crowd, referring to the videotape of Clinton telling the audience at a fundraiser that half of Trump’s supporters belong in a “<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/sep/11/context-hillary-clinton-basket-deplorables/">basket of deplorables</a>,” while the other half belong to a basket made up of decent Americans who have been left behind by the economy. </p><p>Trump served it all up, including a new allegation that the Democratic National Committee and Clinton had paid protesters to infiltrate his rallies and agitate the crowds. (This latest charge is based on a purported "<a href="http://time.com/4536212/james-okeefe-project-veritas-video-democrats/">sting” video</a> by James O’Keefe, who is known for crafting deceptively edited propaganda pieces he tries to pass off as documentaries.) The election was rigged, Trump said, in favor of his opponent. In short, it was a normal Trump rally, full of appalling accusations, paranoid fantasies and outright lies. There was the invective against immigrants, replete with the “Build the wall” chant. There was a promise to “look into” Clinton’s interview by the FBI, invoking a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-podesta-emails/">promise</a> to jail Clinton, which Trump has made at <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-podesta-emails/">past events</a>.</p><p>When he called Clinton a liar, he said she’d done so “over and over and over and over,” and then <a href="https://www.c-span.org/video/?417256-1/donald-trump-campaigns-johnstown-pennsylvania">conducted the audience</a> to chant the same words, gesturing as if he had a tiny baton pinched between his stubby thumb and forefinger. He did the same with other stock phrases from his stump speech. It was like that moment at a Springsteen show when Bruce stops singing and turns the mic to the audience, which sings every single syllable of the lyric in unison. The human heart needs a song, and Trump had given Johnstownians a bitter one to sing.</p><p>“U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” the lady next to me screamed.</p><p>After the rally, supporters crowded the sidewalk across the street, straining to catch a glimpse of the candidate boarding the Trump bus. They shouted like denizens of a sports bar. Two young men, one in a camouflage cap, held professionally printed signs reading, “Don’t be a Pussy: Vote for Trump.”</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><img alt="" class="media-image" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/trumppussy.jpg?itok=ZEU8rKvs" /></div><br /><small><em>Photo credit: A.M. Stan</em></small><p> </p><p>It’s hard to understand what Trump is up to with his visits to <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/pennsylvania-could-be-an-electoral-tipping-point/">Pennsylvania</a>, a state pollsters say he has little chance of winning. (According to the poll-explaining website FiveThirtyEight, Trump has about a <a href="http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/pennsylvania/">12 percent chance</a> of winning the Keystone State.) Even if a natural constituency exists for him here among the dispossessed whites of the Rust-Belt cities and the rural stretches in between, there likely isn’t enough of a populace in those parts to win him the state. Johnstown, for instance, has only 20,000 residents. In this part of Pennsylvania, however, Trump does enjoy the support of the state and local Republican Party—not a claim he can make everywhere he travels. In the battleground state of Ohio, where Trump appeared Saturday night, the state GOP is on the verge of breaking apart over the Trump candidacy.</p><p>If Pennsylvania is announced for Clinton on Election Night, perhaps Trump means to point to his well-attended rallies as evidence that the system is rigged. Because if you live in Johnstown, in a bubble filled with Trump signage and right-wing radio and inflated by Trump’s two rallies here, it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to conclude that he is right.</p><p>Among the politicos who preceded Trump to the mic in Johnstown was Jackie Kulback, chairwoman of the Cambria County Republican Party.</p><p>“That was my first time speaking in front of a crowd that size, but we were definitely among friends," Kulback told the <a href="http://www.tribdem.com/news/local-gop-leaders-trump-appearance-energizes-election-puts-johnstown-in/article_f4e44492-97e8-11e6-80ea-4b92383eeae9.html"><i>Johnstown Tribune-Democrat</i>.</a> "This is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. This was a great event. It really energizes the whole election."</p><p>Donald Trump’s is probably the biggest show to hit Johnstown in a long time. The price of admission (free) was affordable to people living on the edge, and the message one that confirms their darkest suspicions—that they've been screwed not by the Trumps of the world, but by the people who changed the culture, who messed with the social order of man as breadwinner and the white man as superior, no matter how poor, to one of a darker hue.</p><p>* * *</p><p>The following day, Trump made a bid for a distinct but overlapping constituency, the Southern evangelicals of the religious right, with a stop at Regent University. The Virginia Beach institution was founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, the televangelist and would-be kingmaker who was once feared by politicians in his guise as leader of the Christian Coalition. Under the direction of Ralph Reed, the political operative who served at the Coalition’s executive director, the organization became famous for distributing skewed voting guides in right-wing churches, and for its annual Washington, D.C., political conference, called the Road to Victory. </p><p>Pollsters have placed Virginia firmly in Clinton’s column, but the Virginia Beach/Chesapeake media market reaches into seven  counties in North Carolina, a state deemed a toss-up. While the older set was well represented in the crowd at Regent, the tilt was less pronounced than in the Johnstown audience. People appeared to be more solidly middle-class; the annual median household income in Virginia Beach is $62,000. Although the 20 percent of the state’s population represented by African Americans is far higher than the nation average, few are represented here. Nearly everybody attending the rally is white.</p><p>The manicured lawns, equestrian fields and sun-dappled shady lanes of Regent University are still lushly green on this late October day, as evangelicals and other Trump supporters shop for Trump tchotchkes and memorabilia from the tables set up by vendors.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><img alt="" class="media-image" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/trumppeeing_2.jpg?itok=SN3U0Rq0" /></div><p>Along with standard Trump campaign gear—the “Make America Great Again” caps and “Trump-Pence” T-shirts—are items you might be shocked to see sold on the grounds of a religious institution. Take the T-shirt featuring a cartoon Trump peeing on the word “Hillary.” Or one inscribed, in BeDazzler fashion, “Hot Chicks for Trump.” And, of course, there was the ever-popular “Trump that Bitch” tee, and others that echoed the Alex Jones/Roger Stone messaging, urging the jailing of Clinton, and buttons with the slogan, “Deplorable Lives Matter.”</p><p>One clever vendor had printed up gun targets superimposed on an image of Hillary Clinton, and was selling them for $1. “Chipping away your gun rights since 1993,” read the header. Presumably, the Secret Service had swept the premises and found these not a threat to the safety of a presidential candidate.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="353"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="353" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/hillary_target_1.jpg?itok=GQlCzXV1" /></div><br /><small><em>Photo credit: Peter Montgomery/Right Wing Watch</em></small><p>While Peter Montgomery of <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/photos-hostility-toward-hillary-clinton-at-regent-u-trump-rally/">Right Wing Watch</a> and I were making our way from Washington DC to Virginia Beach, which sits just south of Richmond, the former capitol of the Confederacy, Trump delivered the weekend’s newsmaking speech in Gettysburg, Penn. After seemingly comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln, he promised to sue all of the women who have come forward with groping and assault allegations since the campaign-defining release of the 2005 Access Hollywood videotape. He then laid out a plan for his first 100 days in office, which included the nonsensical formula for cutting regulations on business that he debuted in Johnstown.</p><p>Just hours after Trump lionized himself in the shadow of Lincoln, a politician warming up the Regent crowd compared him to Confederate General Robert E. Lee. “A hundred-fifty-two years ago, in a place called <a href="http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/wilderness/wilderness-history-articles/battle-of-the-wilderness.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/">The Wilderness</a>, right here in Virginia, the entire center of the rebel line was collapsing,” said Frank Wagner, the Republican candidate for governor. “Lee saw, and ran to the sound of the gunfire. And when all those troops saw Lee running to the sound of the gunfire, they finally rallied and said, ‘Lee to the rear, Lee to the rear. It’s our fight now.’ … Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump has been fighting our fight and it’s time we said, ‘Donald, it’s our turn now, we’re fighting for you.’”</p><p>Wagner began his speech with a litany of identifiers he said rendered the crowd “deplorable” in Hillary Clinton’s book—including being “a hardworking Southerner” and “a person of faith”—and wound up with a plea to the audience to get their friends and neighbors to the polls on election day. “You need to talk to everyone you possibly can,” he said. </p><p>* * *</p><p>The event kicked off with Rev. Pat Robertson welcoming Trump—who had not yet arrived—and his supporters to the Regent. Eager to insert himself into the Trump story, he described how he first met Trump in Atlantic City, where he prayed with Evander Holyfield prior to a boxing match Trump had produced. His invitation, he said, came through boxing trainer Lou Duva.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bxIMrjAXKXM" width="560"></iframe></p><p>(Robertson seemed to think the fight had taken place at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino, but it appears he was talking about the Holyfield-Foreman fight that took place at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.)</p><p>It was at ringside, Robertson said, that he first met Trump, who was facing bankruptcy at the time.</p><p>“The banks were closing in on him,” Robertson explained. “It looked like he was going to lose his shirt, and he says, 'Preacher, don't count me out. I'm coming back, I'm going to be great again.'  And, you know, he's gone from bankruptcy to $10 billion, so that's not too shabby.”</p><p>Then, Robertson, an evangelical pastor who would presumably know nothing about gambling (other than as a definition of evil), offered a word of advice to those making book on the election: “I want to give a warning to the bookies in Vegas. If you bet against Donald Trump, you’re gonna lose your shirt.”</p><p> </p><p>* * *</p><p>Ralph Reed, who made his mark in politics as Robertson’s right-hand man at the now-defunct Christian Coalition, stepped to the podium to gin up the crowd, also working the “deplorables” theme. In addition, Reed asserted, Clinton “said that Donald Trump’s supporters were ‘irredeemable.’” (In fairness, she only said that about half of Donald Trump’s supporters.) And with that, the crowd launched into a fierce chant of “Lock her up!” that seemed to knock him back.</p><p>“I think what we’re going to do is to defeat her on November 8th,” he said, trying to cut into the chant. He returned to his reference, saying no one who ever lived is irredeemable. “We stand here today as men and women…who have been redeemed only by the sacrifice and the blood of Jesus Christ.”</p><p>Then Reed got down to business, pointing out that the election is not just a matter of choosing a president. “There are at least six, and maybe eight, U.S. Senate races that are within the margin of error,” he said. He mentioned the current vacancy on the Supreme Court. “And not just any vacancy,” he said, “a vacancy created by the untimely death of one of the most articulate and brilliant voices for conservative judicial thought in American history.”</p><p>When Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, he was a month shy of his 80th birthday. The average life expectancy for an American male is 79 years. So when right-wingers refer to Scalia’s “<a href="http://www.infowars.com/why-scalias-death-suggests-cover-up/">untimely death</a>,” they’re dog-whistling a conspiracy theory from the fever swamps of <a href="http://www.infowars.com/why-scalias-death-suggests-cover-up/">InfoWars</a> that posits Scalia was murdered by his political opponents.</p><p>Reed, who did much to elevate the religious right as a brand, was an early endorser of Trump, the thrice-married, foul-mouthed, one-time secularist. Like Robertson, Reed is a pragmatist when it comes to matters of political power. He’s also an organizer, having made his name in national politics during his time at the Christian Coalition, where, in addition to the skewed voter guide enterprise, one of his specialties was the takeover of local governing bodies—school boards and local Republican organizations—by members of the religious right. His skills combined with his entrepreneurial lust led him to create a successful political consulting firm, Century Strategies, in partnership with Tim Phillips, who left the firm in order to lead the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.</p><p>Reed also knows a thing or two about casinos, having been caught up in the Jack Abramoff <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/the-deceptions-of-ralph-reed/63568/">lobbying scandal</a>. Reed, who was implicated but not indicted in the scandal, organized evangelicals in Louisiana to oppose a casino planned by a local Indian tribe. Later it was learned that Abramoff set Reed to the task in order to benefit a client who owned a casino that would have been in competition with the one Reed’s army of church-goers was mobilized to oppose.</p><p>Today, Reed sits on Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board, along with former Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Bishop Harry Jackson, who led the fight against same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. (Jackson also spoke at the Regent rally.) Reed’s the guy tasked with <a href="http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/08/02/why-ralph-reed-was-almost-donald-trumps-campaign-manager/">turning out</a> the evangelical vote, big league, for Trump. To the faithful gathered on Regent’s Library Plaza, Reed promised that his Faith &amp; Freedom Coalition would deliver 30 million voter guides to 35,000 churches in battleground states.</p><p>“You know, there are people who would have you believe that this is just a choice between the lesser of two evils and that we don’t really have a stake in the outcome. My friends, there’s a candidate that stands for policies that advance intrinsic and grave moral evils. And there’s a candidate who stands for the greater good and the common good.” Reed went on at length, inveighing against abortion and questioning the religious devotion of Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, for being pro-choice.</p><p>He complained that too many evangelicals stayed home from the polls in 2012, saying that FFC “has done an analysis of census-track data, voting returns and exit polls and concluded that four years ago, 17 million evangelical Christians in America didn’t even bother to vote—half of whom because they weren’t registered to vote; the other half were registered, but didn’t bother to show up. And this is not a phenomenon that is confined to the Christian community. According to the Pew Research organization, there are 61 million eligible adult … citizens in the United States who aren’t even registered.”</p><p>Once the rally was over, each attendee would receive an email message from the Trump campaign, Reed said, asking for volunteers for get-out-the-vote activities. He asked them to talk to everyone they know—“at a Bible study, in a tennis team, at the country club, at the union hall”—to convince them to turn out at the polls. This is apparently all that Trump has for a ground game, having invested virtually nothing in get-out-the-vote organizing and having alienated Republican Party leaders—this, plus Reed's prayer that “God’s people are going to rise up like a mighty army, and they are going to show up at the polls, and we are going to shock the political establishment on November 8.”</p><p>After the crowd heard from Tony Suarez, another member of Trump’s evangelical council (who made the point of telling the crowd that he is Latino in addition to being “deplorable”), and Ray Tranchant, whose daughter was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver who was an undocumented immigrant, the air once again filled with the sounds of the Trump campaign soundtrack, an odd mix of classic rock, forgettable pop and one aria, “Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep),” from the Puccini opera, “Turandot.” Despite the fact that the singer’s family has <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2016/08/donald_trump_s_favorite_aria_by_puccini_nessun_dorma_is_sort_of_fascist.html">asked</a> the Trump campaign to stop using it, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATmgtmR5o4">Pavarotti’s version</a> is the one that continues to loop on Trump’s mix tape.</p><p>Just as the strains of “Nessun Dorma” began to swell, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared near the podium. “I hate to interrupt that great Italian music,” the emcee said, “but we have a great Italian American coming out as a surprise.”</p><p>Giuliani seemed to have been sent forward to clean up Trump’s <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-very-weird-russia-thing">Putin mess</a>, seeking to deflect attention from the Republican candidate's links to the Russian dicator, who is believed to be the force behind the hacking of the emails of the DNC and Clinton campaign staffers. So as Giuliani bashed Putin for his wily ways—even for having seized the Crimea, which at one time, Trump <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/31/politics/donald-trump-russia-ukraine-crimea-putin/">seemed to deny</a> had even happened—he made the case that Hillary Clinton wasn’t up to taking on the former KGB agent who now rules Europe’s largest country. "Since Hillary Clinton reset the relationship with Russia and gave up the defense of Poland and the Czech Republic for nothing, Russia's been pushing us all around, because Russia figured out we have a patsy," Giuliani said, ending his sentence with the word Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald used to describe himself. </p><p> </p><p>* * *</p><p>By the time Trump made it to the stage, he was enough off-schedule to deliver only a compressed set of remarks, in which he stressed his plan for a massive rebuilding of the military (nearby <a href="http://prospect.org/article/atlantic-surging-virginia-sinking">Norfolk hosts</a> the base for the Navy's Atlantic fleet) and continued to make his case for how, he contended, corrupt forces are arrayed against him, this time by virtue of the simple fact that he has to run against Hillary Clinton. "Our system is rigged," he said, "and the best evidence of that is that Hillary Clinton is even allowed to run for the presidency of the United States in the first place."</p><p>The very pious Christians on the Regent University plaza obliged with the chant, "Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!"</p><p>Trump went on to repeat his lie that the murder rate in the United States has surged during the Obama administration to its highest rate in 45 years. (It's actually the lowest it's been in <a href="https://mises.org/blog/fbi-us-homicide-rate-51-year-low">51 years</a>, according to the FBI.) He hit the usual anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant notes. “And yes, we will build a wall…” And the crowd, naturally, chanted Trump’s most famous campaign slogan.</p><p>“Either we win this election, or we lose our country as we know it today,” Trump said, and the very white crowd expressed its concurrence.</p><p>As Peter and I walked back to the car after the rally, we came across a couple in rubber masks: he in a Donald Trump mask and wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, she in a black-and-white striped prison jumpsuit. Everybody on the sidewalk whipped out their cameras. When one of the picture-snappers requested that the man put his hand on the woman’s neck “like you’re going to choke her,” he gamely complied.</p><p> </p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="270"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="270" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/choking.jpg?itok=IpguXkmV" /></div><br /><small><em>Photo credit: Peter Montgomery/Right Wing Watch</em></small><p>On the way out of the Confederacy, we stopped at Pop’s Diner in Chesapeake. A sign on the wall read “Make Waffles, Not War.” Half of the patrons were African American, the hostess was Latina and our white waitress wore a hoop through her nose. The country so feared by the people gathered in support of Trump at Regent University was right here, in a biscuits-and-gravy joint.</p><p>I had the chicken and waffles. It was delicious.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065969'; </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=1065969" 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, 25 Oct 2016 16:35:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065969 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing regent university Johnstown Donald J. Trump rudy giuliani Pat Robertson Welcomes Trump, Using Bankruptcies and Gambling Hall as Evidence of Greatness http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/pat-robertson-welcomes-trump-using-bankruptcies-and-gambling-hall-evidence-greatness <!-- 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 = '1065914'; </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=1065914" 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">Robertson warned Las Vegas bookies, &quot;If you bet against Donald Trump, you’re gonna lose your shirt.&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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/pat_robertson_-_trump_rally.png?itok=PGX-oS7Q" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The Rev. Pat Robertson, ever thinking himself a kingmaker, welcomed Donald Trump's supporters to his Regent University on Saturday with his personal story of meeting the Republican standard-bearer. Trump came to Virginia Beach for a campaign rally at the school founded by the right-wing television preacher who blames most of society's ills on feminists and LGBT people, an event that also featured speeches by Ralph Reed—who learned much of his craft running Robertson's Christian Coalition, back when that was a thing—and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Robertson’s Trumpian parable included several key elements: a boxing match, Trump’s bankruptcies and a warning to Las Vegas bookies.</p><p>It should be noted that evangelicals generally eschew gambling, and even think it evil. But a significant part of the evangelical storytelling catalog also includes the comeback story, used as evidence by Robertson of a kind of anointing.</p><p>In his anecdote, Robertson tells of being invited by a boxing trainer to pray with Evander Holyfield before a bout in Atlantic City. (Robertson claims it happened at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino, but it’s likely he’s talking about the Holyfield v. Foreman match that Trump produced in April 1991 at the city’s Boardwalk Hall.)</p><p>After praying with Holyfield in the warmup room, Robertson said, “they escorted me down to ringside, and there was a young entrepreneur whose name was Trump….He, by the way, was facing bankruptcy, the banks were closing in on him. It looked like he was going to lose his shirt, and he says, 'Preacher, don't count me out. I'm coming back, I'm going to be great again.'"</p><p>The punchline: “And, you know, he's gone from bankruptcy to $10 billion, so that's not too shabby.”</p><p>He then offered a prophesy for the benefit of wagerers: “But I'll tell you this, in closing, I want to give a warning to the bookies in Vegas. If you bet against Donald Trump, you’re gonna lose your shirt.”</p><p>A transcript of Robertson’s remarks appears under the video, below.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bxIMrjAXKXM" width="560"></iframe></p><p>TRANSCRIPT, REV. PAT ROBERTSON, REGENT UNIVERSITY, VIRGINIA BEACH, OCT. 22, 2016</p><p>On behalf of Regent University, I want to welcome you and Donald Trump and the Trump team to this plaza for Regent University this glorious day. And you know, a few years ago, we had something called the Road to Victory, and I wonder if today is another one of them. I hope. </p><p>I want to tell you a real quick story, then I'm going to get off the platform. About 25 years ago, I had the privilege of meeting a prize-fight trainer and manager whose name was Lou Duva. And Lou had a guy named Evander Holyfield that he was training. And he said to me, I'm taking Evander up to New Jersey to something called the Trump—Trump Mahal—Trump Taz—whatever they called it. Anyhow, and he said, 'Would you like to come along and pray for Evander?' And I said, 'Sure, I'd be glad to, because I used to box, and I like that. So, I got up there to that magnificent structure, and I went behind the scenes into the training room where Evander was warming up, and we prayed together. Then they escorted me down to ringside, and there was a young entrepreneur whose name was Trump. And he said— He, by the way, was facing bankruptcy, the banks were closing in on him. It looked like he was going to lose his shirt, and he says, 'Preacher, don't count me out. I'm coming back, I'm going to be great again.' </p><p>And, you know, he's gone from bankruptcy to $10 billion, so that's not too shabby. </p><p>But I'll tell you this, in closing, I want to give a warning to the bookies in Vegas. If you bet against Donald Trump, you’re gonna lose your shirt.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065914'; </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=1065914" 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, 24 Oct 2016 05:29:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065914 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing pat robertson donald trump regent university Donald Trump's Very Weird Russia Thing http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trumps-very-weird-russia-thing <!-- 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 = '1065666'; </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=1065666" 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’s a toxic brew of archetypes served up in the Russia election drama, starting with Putin as the daddy Trump aims to please.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_putin_x.jpg?itok=gaIwi77-" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Donald Trump, the Republican Party presidential nominee, has a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/18/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-bromance/">Putin thing</a>. The Trump campaign has a <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-campaign-faces-new-questions-about-russian-ties">Russia thing</a>. And Trump Tower has a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/trump-russian-mobster-tokhtakhounov-miss-universe-moscow">Russian</a> mobster-running-an-illegal-gambling-operation thing.</p><p>The Clinton campaign has a <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/sheerafrenkel/meet-fancy-bear-the-russian-group-hacking-the-us-election?utm_term=.scyqQgYv7#.kyRyN5rqM">Russian-hacker thing</a>, as does the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-government-hackers-penetrated-dnc-stole-opposition-research-on-trump/2016/06/14/cf006cb4-316e-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html">Democratic National Committee</a>. WikiLeaks is apparently on the receiving end of the yield from the Russian-hacker thing—the Clinton campaign and the DNC being the purloined-upon.</p><p>Roger Stone, the dirty trickster and Trump campaign adviser, seems to have a very good <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-dirty-trickster-roger-stone-how-hero-assange-could-help-our-campaign">WikiLeaks thing</a> going for him, but it would have gone much better if that video footage of Trump on the “Access Hollywood” bus hadn’t crapped all over it. Still, you’ve got to admire the sheer ambition of certain men, the lengths to which they will go to achieve their idea of world domination.</p><p>Stone’s former business partner, Paul Manafort, had to <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/19/politics/donald-trump-campaign-chairman-paul-manafort-resigns/">leave</a> the Trump campaign, of which he was chairman, when documents unearthed in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/us/politics/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html">Ukraine</a> called attention to his work for the pro-Russia side in Russia’s grab of the Crimea. Oops, wrong side.</p><p>The persistent subdominance of Russia-linked themes in this election has reached levels a Russian absurdist would love. Had it not been for the leak of the 2005 Access Hollywood video, this campaign would be all Russia, all the time. Russia messing in our election with a very psy-ops approach, Russia messing with our heads. And that’s f*cking weird.</p><p>While there may be an anti-Russia bias in U.S. media, that doesn’t disprove the obvious fact that the Trump campaign has ties to Russia, that Trump has admired Putin and has sought his favor, and that law enforcement and U.S. intelligence sources seem convinced Russian intelligence agents are involved in the hacking of the emails of Trump’s opponent. It’s like a “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36S2FtqSJ9k">Get Smart</a>” plot.</p><p><strong>Daddy’s Boy</strong></p><p>There’s a toxic brew of archetypes served up in the Russia election drama. In Vladimir Putin one finds the kind of classic, cold authoritarian who served as a role model for Trump, starting with his father, whose “stinginess with praise” for his children was noted by Jason Horowitz in a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/us/politics/for-donald-trump-lessons-from-a-brothers-suffering.html"><em>New York Times</em> story</a> about the Trump family.</p><p>When challenged in a televised forum about expressing admiration for Putin, the dictator who disappears journalists and has incited violence against LGBT people, <a href="http://time.com/4483355/commander-chief-forum-clinton-trump-intrepid/">Trump responded</a>, “Well, I think when he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment, OK?”</p><p>Maybe I shouldn’t be indulging in such armchair psychologizing, being completely unqualified. But shit, you don’t need to draw me a picture. Truth be told, this campaign has completely unshackled me. Pussy pussy pussy pussy, <em>piz’da  </em>(Russian for pussy). But enough about me.</p><p>What we have in Donald Trump is a little rich boy spoiled with everything he could possibly want, save his father’s affection—the one thing he couldn’t grab with impunity.</p><p><strong>The Evil Prankster</strong></p><p>Roger Stone is long known as a dirty trickster who does his thing by jamming the works, sneaking through the back door and planting false narratives, sometimes through the use of a little walking-around money. For Stone, the thrill in winning is the thrill of the cheat, as when he <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/article/15381#!">told the<em> Weekly Standard</em></a> how he worked for the candidacy of third-party candidate John Anderson in 1980 in order to help Ronald Reagan win the electoral votes of the state of New York. He’s the ultimate evil imp, the joker, dandied up in a striped suit, transparently transgressive of the truth, boasting of his ability to change the dynamic of a race.</p><p>For Trump’s 2016 presidential run, Stone started out as an official member of the campaign staff, but left in August 2015 after conflicts with others on the campaign, only to assume a role as an “informal” adviser. He helped usher the exit of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and the hiring of his old business partner, Paul Manafort, to take Lewandowski’s place.</p><p>In the same <em>Weekly Standard</em> story, writer Matt Labash mentions in an aside that Stone, during the course of the writer’s interviews with him, suggested the two go to Ukraine together, where Stone has a client in Volodymyr Lytvyn, who was making a run for Parliament. What Labash doesn’t mention is that Stone’s client has been <a href="http://cjonline.com/stories/030505/pag_ukraine.shtml#.WAbqIZMrJ8c">implicated</a> in the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze, a thorn in the side of then-president Leonid Kuchma, for whom Lytvyn served as chief of staff. It’s a story full of intrigue—surreptitiously recorded tapes, an interior minister who may or may not have killed himself. The perfect client for the likes of Roger Stone.</p><p>Perhaps Stone’s most epic bit of stagecraft—thus far—is the so-called Brooks Brothers riot, when, as recounts of the 2000 election returns took place in Florida, he organized Republican Capitol Hill staffers to board buses to Miami and raucously storm the Miami-Dade board of elections offices where the recount was taking place. </p><p>In the interest of boosting Trump’s electoral fortunes, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-paid-accusers-to-appear-before-debate-20161009-story.html">according to</a> the Associated Press, Stone gave $2,500 through a pro-Trump PAC to Kathy Shelton for her story of Hillary Clinton’s work as a public defender on behalf of a man who had sexually assaulted Shelton when she was 12 years old. At Trump’s pre-debate press stunt October 9, which also featured three women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault or harassment, Shelton accused Hillary Clinton of making her life a misery during the course of the trial, which resulted in Shelton’s rapist (who pled guilty) ultimately gleaning a light sentence on a lesser charge. Trump has alleged that Clinton “laughed at” Shelton’s victimization during an interview with an Arkansas reporter, a charge PolitFact has deemed "<a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/10/donald-trump/trump-says-clinton-laughed-about-rape-case/">false</a>." (There’s no evidence of Clinton doing anything other than what a good public defender should do on behalf of her client.) </p><p>Stone is also said to have raised money for Kathleen Willey, one of Bill Clinton’s accusers, to pay off her mortgage, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-paid-accusers-to-appear-before-debate-20161009-story.html">according to</a> the AP. Stone has also coordinated with radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to advance the claim that Hillary Clinton belongs in jail. (Jones’ latest contribution to campaign rhetoric is a contest with cash rewards for people who attend Clinton rallies and shout, “Bill Clinton is a rapist!”)</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="video-embed" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="http://mediamatters.org/embed/212261" width="480"></iframe></p><p>But Stone’s biggest boast of the 2016 campaign so far was made <a href="https://mediamatters.org/video/2016/08/09/roger-stone-confirms-hes-communication-julian-assange/212261">August 8</a>, regarding his purported communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-dirty-trickster-roger-stone-how-hero-assange-could-help-our-campaign">through</a> “a mutual friend,” promising an “October surprise.” On August 21, <a href="https://twitter.com/RogerJStoneJr/status/767366825743097856">Stone tweeted</a> that “it will soon [be] [Clinton campaign chair John] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” On October 4, as he periodically does, Assange appeared from his self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, live-streaming on the laptops of reporters throughout the world like a Cardassian general popping up on the screen of the Starship Enterprise command deck, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/wikileaks-october-surprise-julian-assange-229083">promising</a> a pre-election dump of documents that would embarrass Hillary Clinton.</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" height="270" id="flashObj" width="480"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=5155088592001&amp;playerID=1764219419001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAETmrZQ~,EVFEM4AKJdRI6UgfPhFgV0s-3wZ2v95n&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=5155088592001&amp;playerID=1764219419001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAETmrZQ~,EVFEM4AKJdRI6UgfPhFgV0s-3wZ2v95n&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" height="270" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480"></embed></object></p><p>The surprise turned out to be the hacking of Podesta’s email account by perpetrators purportedly linked to Russian intelligence agencies, according to <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/top-russian-officials-shift-away-from-denying-dnc-hack-1476295233">FBI sources</a> who talked to the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>—a charge Vladimir Putin himself does not deny.</p><p>“Everyone is talking about 'who did it' [the hacking]," Putin said in a speech at the October 12 VTB Capital ''Russia Calling!'' Investment Forum in Moscow, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-russia-putin-idUSKCN12C1H6">according to Reuters</a>. "But is it that important? The most important thing is what is inside this information."</p><p>Big Daddy speaks. Trump is simply the conduit through which Putin communicates with America, chuckling as he executes a massive headtrip. It surely plays well to the folks back home in Russia. Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out….</p><p><strong>The Nefarious Consultant</strong></p><p>From 1980, when he worked on the Reagan campaign, to 1996, Roger Stone was business partners with Paul Manafort in the consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly (BMSK). A staple of their business was representing the interests of dictators and strongmen such as Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi, before the U.S. Congress and government agencies.</p><p>In 1992, the Center for Public Integrity published a report called "<a href="http://cloudfront-files-1.publicintegrity.org/legacy_projects/pdf_reports/THETORTURERSLOBBY.pdf">The Torturers’ Lobby</a>," naming BMSK among the top five public relations and lobbying firms representing regimes with horrendous human-rights records. When BMSK merged with another firm in 1996, Manafort left to form a new entity, Davis, Manafort &amp; Freeman, and <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/donald-trump-aide-paul-manafort-scrutinized-russian-business-ties-n631241">got in deep</a> with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, and Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Putin president of Ukraine who was deposed in a 2014 <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/21/-sp-ukraine-maidan-protest-kiev">popular revolution</a> sparked by Yanukovych’s about-face on his promise to sign an association agreement with the European Union in favor of stronger economic ties with Russia. He fled to Russia, where he remains today.</p><p>On August 14, the <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/us/politics/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html">New York Times</a> </em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/us/politics/paul-manafort-ukraine-donald-trump.html">reported</a> that ledgers left behind in a Kiev office by officials of Yanukovych’s Regions Party showed $12.7 million in cash payments designated for Manafort in what Ukrainian officials describe as an illegal, off-the-books operation. Manafort denied ever having received such payments, but the revelation was too much even for the Putin-loving Trump campaign, and Manafort made his way toward the door. Initially, it looked as if he would stick around after the hire of Breitbart News chief executive Stephen K. Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway to run the show, but that arrangement soon proved untenable, and Manafort left the <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/paul-manafort-resigns-from-trump-campaign-227197">campaign</a>.</p><p><strong>The Oligarchs and Mobsters</strong></p><p>It’s not just Manafort and Stone who enjoy the company of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs; Trump has shown himself to be quite impressed with those who have reaped the rewards of being part of <a href="http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/12/18/how-he-and-his-cronies-stole-russia/">Putin’s kleptocracy</a>. Upon announcing that the 2013 Miss Universe pageant (of which Trump was then part-owner) would take place in Moscow, Trump <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-russia-moscow-miss-universe-223173#ixzz4NTGPE692">tweeted</a>: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant? [I]f so, will he become my new best friend?”</p><p>Although apparently disappointed after having tried so hard to lure the Russian dictator to the pageant, the man who is now the Republican standard-bearer was nonetheless pleased with the draw of his November event. “All of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump told the <em>New York Post</em> after he returned to the U.S., according to a <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/donald-trump-russia-moscow-miss-universe-223173">report</a> by Michael Crowley in Politico. Among them were Aras and Emin Agalarov, the father-and-son team whose Crocus City Hall was the pageant venue.</p><p>Emin Agalarov, Crowley tells us, is a B-list pop star who got Trump’s attention when he made a music video featuring 2012 Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, whom he stalks in the vid. Soon Trump was making the deal for the Moscow pageant with Emin’s dad, and talking about teaming up on real estate development projects in Russia. (Trump even appeared in a later video of Emin’s, reciting his trademark line—“You’re fired!”—from his reality show, “The Apprentice.”) Agalarov is said to be close to Putin. As of yet, no Trump-Agalarov partnership has been announced, though Crowley notes that Trump’s attention may have turned toward his plans to run for the U.S. presidency.</p><p>But just months before Trump announced his pageant plans for Moscow, something far stranger took place at Trump Tower, according to an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/trump-russian-mobster-tokhtakhounov-miss-universe-moscow">investigation</a> by David Corn and Hannah Levintova of <em>Mother Jones</em>. In April 2013, federal agents raided an apartment in Trump Tower—luxurious digs a floor below the Donald’s own sumptuous sanctuary—as “part of a larger raid that rounded up 29 suspected members of two global gambling rings” that were allegedly overseen by a big-deal Russian mobster named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who was said to have collected $10 million in just two months from the gambling operation. Caught in the web was the owner of the Trump Tower apartment, Vadim Trincher, and his business partner in the gambling enterprise, Anatoly Golubchik. Each was sentenced to five years in prison and made to forfeit $20 million in assets. Corn and Levintova <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/trump-russian-mobster-tokhtakhounov-miss-universe-moscow">write</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The indictment also targeted an associated gambling ring operated by Trincher's son Illya, Hillel Nahmad, the son of a billionaire art dealer, and others. (Nahmad also reportedly <a href="http://observer.com/2013/01/art-dealer-hillel-nahmad-completes-his-trump-tower-collection-buys-out-entire-51st-floor/" target="_blank">owned</a> the entire 51st floor of Trump Tower.) This crew managed a high-stakes betting operation and money-laundering shop. </p></blockquote><p>Nahmad and Illya Trincher pled guilty.</p><p>Not caught was Tokhtakhounov, who remains a fugitive from U.S. justice. But that didn’t stop him, just months after being indicted by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, from attending Trump’s Miss Universe pageant, and walking the red carpet.</p><p>Not quite Putin, but one big kahuna.</p><p><strong>'I have no loans with Russia'</strong></p><p>Overshadowed by his #pussygate scandal in the second presidential debate was Trump's defensive response after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accused him of being a Putin admirer when agents of Russian intelligence operations were hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee.</p><p>“I don’t know Putin,” Trump said. “I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin.” Apparently not in that “new best friend” category yet.</p><p>Trump continued: “But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are—she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know—I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.”</p><p>Had anybody asked Trump if he had loans from Russia? No. Clinton simply mentioned that he might have business interests there, which is probably a fair bet, if for no other reason than Trump’s Miss Universe adventure in Moscow where, gee whiz, all the oligarchs were in the room.</p><p>He then went into a seeming non sequitur about what a “great balance sheet” he has, saying because of that balance sheet, the U.S. government chose him to develop the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington DC.</p><p>“One of the primary area things—in fact, perhaps the primary thing—was balance sheet,” Trump continued. “But I have no loans with Russia. You could go to the United States government, and they would probably tell you that, because they know my sheet very well in order to get that development I had to have.”</p><p>Still, no one had asked him if he had loans with Russia, and now he had mentioned it twice.</p><p>Not only that—he had contradicted himself with his assertion that he had no knowledge of Russia, having said during a Republican primary debate, “I know Russia well. I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago, Miss Universe contest which was a big, big incredible event, an incredible success.”</p><p>While Trump may have no firsthand knowledge of hacking, during a July press conference, he <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/incensed-spotlight-hillary-trump-vies-attention-act-near-treason">invited Russia</a> to hack into Clinton’s private email server, the one on which she controversially conducted government business during her tenure as secretary of state, and the subject of endless investigation by Republicans in Congress.</p><p>MSNBC’s <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trump-no-proof-that-putin-kills-journalists-d8e46389abd2#.rz7vly5hk">Joe Scarborough</a> asked Trump to justify his praise for Putin in light of the fact that Putin “is a person that kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries.”</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lAT61aXRid8" width="560"></iframe></p><p>“Our country does plenty of killing also, Joe,” <a href="http://time.com/4154624/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-killing/">Trump responded</a>. He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”</p><p>It’s a hell of an election season, what with the Russian thing, and the pussy thing. Which has me thinking, pussy, Russia, pussy, Russia, Pussy Riot. Whatever happened to them?</p><p>Huh.</p><p> </p><p><em><strong>Editor's note:  </strong>Since this article first published, Pussy Riot released the English-language video, below—"Make America Great Again"— which we have used to replace the Russian-language video, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/russia-pussy-riot-latest-punk-protest-prison-selective-weapon">CHAIKA</a>, that was originally in this space.</em></p><p><strong><em>T</em></strong><strong><em>HIS VIDEO CONTAINS VIOLENT IMAGERY.</em></strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s-bKFo30o2o" width="560"></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 = '1065666'; </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=1065666" 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, 20 Oct 2016 22:02:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065666 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing donald trump vladimir putin Corey Lewandowski roger stone Paul Manafort Leonid Kuchma Volodymyr Lytvyn Matt Labash Brooks Brothers riot julian assange Call Me a Nasty Woman, Thank You Very Much http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/call-me-nasty-woman-thank-you-very-much <!-- 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 = '1065721'; </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=1065721" 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 more Trump makes this election all about himself, the more women of America will choose to make it about themselves.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/las_vegas_debate.png?itok=J3x3ZGGk" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Donald Trump just couldn’t help himself. At the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night, after calling Hillary Clinton a liar, a thief and a criminal, he buckled under a crack she made about his character. Discussing her plan for changing the ceiling on taxable income for Social Security, she noted that even Trump would only have to pay an incremental increase under her plan, “assuming he can’t figure out a way to get out of it.”</p><p>“Such a nasty woman,” Trump interjected.</p><p>And with that, every smart woman who’s sought to make her way in the world summoned a memory.</p><p>Maybe it was a schoolyard memory of a boy she bested in an argument. Maybe a memory of a coworker describing her after she made a forceful defense of an idea. Maybe some random guy on the street who felt rejected after she ignored his order to smile on command.</p><p>Note that Trump didn’t simply say, “that’s unfair,” or maybe, “that’s nasty.” It was important to label Hillary Clinton, the person, in a gendered way. His opponent is not merely “nasty," she is “a nasty woman,” something far more horrifying. </p><p>Because, in his estimation, women are always supposed to be nice to Trump. It’s their duty, and his right to expect. Grab ‘em by the pussy, and expect them to be nice. Walk in on them in their dressing rooms, and expect them to be nice. Tell a radio shock jock it’s okay to call your daughter “a great piece of ass,” and expect her to be nice. It’s his birthright, after all, to have all women, everywhere, be nice to him, regardless of what he says or does to them. Surely, all of the women in his life are nice to him—but they all report to him, in one way or another.</p><p>I’ve been called nasty simply for arguing politics with a man at a party. Nasty for trying to keep a know-nothing at a workplace from doing something that would have harmed the company. Nasty for challenging brogressives on their support of a neo-libertarian. But I digress….</p><p>Yet if Trump can turn even a question about the Supreme Court to an answer about how he felt treated by an individual justice (Ruth Bader Ginsburg said mean things about me!), why can’t I make this debate all about me?</p><p>I’ve been grabbed by the pussy, rated on my appearance, walked in on while dressing, had my rights abridged by the law, my status as a menstruator mocked, and my intelligence insulted when I was deemed—physical flaws notwithstanding—too hot to be smart. And you know what? So have a lot of other women—women who vote.</p><p>The more Trump makes this election all about himself, the more women of America will choose to make it about themselves. And in that event, Trump clearly loses. Not that he’ll necessarily accept the outcome.</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" height="270" id="flashObj" width="480"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=5176899933001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Ffor.tn%2F2es76co&amp;playerID=2112050698001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAB668kGak~,LMlvL4u4ShNOp7KTS6ZmqG8Agt8v7bJW&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=5176899933001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Ffor.tn%2F2es76co&amp;playerID=2112050698001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAB668kGak~,LMlvL4u4ShNOp7KTS6ZmqG8Agt8v7bJW&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" height="270" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="480"></embed></object></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065721'; </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=1065721" 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, 19 Oct 2016 20:48:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065721 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics donald trump hillary clinton such a nasty woman #nastywoman Las Vegas debate Prepare to Be Triggered: Sexual Assault Survivors Gird Themselves for Debate http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/prepare-be-triggered-sexual-assault-survivors-gird-themselves-debate <!-- 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 = '1065683'; </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=1065683" 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">It’s been a rough few weeks for those who bear the psychic scars of sexual transgression, and the final debate won’t be easy to watch.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/scarytrump.jpg?itok=0DdRouWh" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>If the second presidential debate of the 2016 campaign season was tough to watch for those who have been sexually assaulted, tonight’s debate in Las Vegas between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could be one epic trigger.</p><p>The October 9 debate, which took place two days after the Republican presidential nominee was revealed to have crudely boasted in 2005 about grabbing random women by their genitals, would have been hard to watch under any circumstances. Trump compounded the difficulty with a pre-debate stunt featuring four women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual transgressions, including rape, and a rape survivor who accused Hillary Clinton of callous behavior in Clinton’s 1975 <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/10/11/the-facts-about-hillary-clinton-and-the-kathy-shelton-rape-case/">legal defense</a> of the alleged perpetrator, who was convicted of a lesser charge. As brutal as that was to take in, tonight’s installment of the three-debate series could be worse.</p><p>The thing to understand about some sexual assault survivors is that their trauma often stems not only from the event itself, but in many cases, also from <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1705531/">not being believed</a>. (See Kali Holloway's <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-trigger-how-his-misogyny-and-hatred-are-literally-causing-millions-mental-and">AlterNet report</a>.) Ever since the October 7 release of the now-infamous video footage of Trump talking to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush on a studio bus, a legion of women has come forward to accuse Trump of just the kind of behavior he was bragging about to Bush. Trump has gone on the offensive, telling the audiences at his raucous rallies that the women accusing him are not to be believed, despite corroborating evidence that has emanated from his own forked tongue. Why? Because according to him they’re not attractive enough to have warranted his attention.</p><p>Trump also, in 2005, <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/trump-beauty-pageants-naked-2dc4b6c6d507#.eqamfdyfl">boasted</a> to radio host Howard Stern how, as part-owner of the Miss Universe beauty pageant franchise, he used his position to justify walking in on the dressing rooms of pageant contestants, some of them teenagers, when he knew they were unclothed. Several of those contestants have noted their personal experience of Trump’s self-proclaimed prerogative.</p><p>If Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace does his job properly as he moderates a debate that is truly historic, Trump will be challenged on all of these claims. Those watching who have endured sexual assault had best gird themselves for Trump’s counterassault on his accusers, and consequently, on anyone who has ever been assaulted and not believed, or even blamed.</p><p>A 1998 report by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in six American women was a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Using Trump’s parlance, women who have been grabbed “by the p*ssy” would not be part of that cohort. Neither would the beauty contestants he barged in on, or <em>People </em>magazine writer Natasha Stoyoff, who says Trump pinned her up against a wall at his Mar-a-Lago estate and shoved his tongue down her throat. Referring to Stoyoff, Trump said at an October 13 rally in West Palm Beach, Florida: “Take a look. You look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don't think so. I don't think so.”</p><p>Every time such words are spoken in national media, and embraced by hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters, many people who have been sexually assaulted—and who know firsthand the trauma of society's gaslighting when they speak their truth—revisit the shame visited upon them by that disbelief.</p><p>I know that feeling. In 1978, I was raped by an <a href="http://addiestan.blogspot.com/2004/08/women-warriors.html">acquaintance</a> and didn’t even bother to report it. The term “acquaintance rape” wasn’t even a thing then. I was in college, there was a party going on in my apartment—why would I even try to seek justice? And that’s not to mention all the other countless “lesser” transgressions that I, like some many women, have endured. The butt-grabbing by strangers on the street, the creep who rubs up on you in the subway, the otherwise sweet colleague who asks you for a hug, and then hugs a little too tightly for a little too long.</p><p>It’s been a rough few weeks, not just for me, but for probably half of the female U.S. population, and a portion of the men who bear the psychic scars of sexual transgression.</p><p>Tonight, as Bette Davis once said, could be a bumpy ride. If only it weren’t so historic, I’d be inclined not to watch. But it’s the final presidential debate in which the first woman nominee of a major political party will face off against a male opponent—one who boasts of his sexual hostility toward women. You bet I’ll be watching, and gritting my teeth through the night that follows.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065683'; </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=1065683" 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, 19 Oct 2016 09:14:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1065683 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Human Rights News & Politics donald trump sexual assault survivors hillary clinton bill clinton In Nazi-Like Speech, Trump Responds to Sexual Assault Claims With Broad Conspiracy Theory Designed to Foment Mayhem http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-responds-assault-claims-nazi-speech <!-- 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 = '1065405'; </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=1065405" 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">Telegraphing anti-Semitism and disparaging the women who say he assaulted them, Trump delivered a piece of crafted propaganda via teleprompter.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_wpb.png?itok=9pngsh7b" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>It would be tempting to label as “unhinged” the speech Donald Trump delivered in West Palm Beach on Thursday—a speech in which he dog-whistled a worldwide conspiracy against him (without actually uttering the word “Jews”) and disparaged the appearance of women who have accused him of sexual assault and transgressions.</p><p>But it was not unhinged. The speech was hinged to the original purpose of his campaign: to trade on the resentments of a restive remnant of white America—angry white men and the women who love them—and set the stage for mayhem in the wake of his likely electoral defeat.</p><p>This was not your standard, off-the-cuff Trump rant. This was a scripted speech, delivered with a teleprompter. It was crafted. It featured the key words of right-wing complaints: “sovereign,” “global bankers” and “slander.” Really, it came right out of a Nazi propaganda playbook. And when one considers the themes common between Nazi propaganda films and the films made by top Trump campaign staffers Stephen K. Bannon and David Bossie (as <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-campaign-honchos-bannon-and-bossie-produce-propaganda">analyzed by AlterNet</a>), we should hardly be surprised.</p><p>Trump began with an attack on the <em>New York Times</em> (whose majority owners are a Jewish family), which he said was engaged in a conspiracy of global proportions with the Clintons, international bankers and major corporations, all to stop him from winning the presidency.</p><p>“For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don't have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat, like they haven't seen before. This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we, the people, reclaim control over our government,” Trump told a cheering crowd. A few beats later, he said, “We've seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”</p><p>He then went on, at great length, describing what he alleged was coordination between the <em>New York Times</em> and the Clinton campaign, noting the newspaper’s Wednesday night report detailing <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/us/politics/donald-trump-women.html?action=click&amp;contentCollection=Politics&amp;module=RelatedCoverage&amp;region=EndOfArticle&amp;pgtype=article">allegations by two women</a> who said Trump had sexually accosted them. Of course, he contended the women were liars. He also offered a disquisition on previous <em>New York Times</em> pieces about his behavior with women. It was all a grand conspiracy, he said, not just against him, but against the United States of America.</p><p>The agenda of the "media establishment,” Trump said, was to elect “crooked” Hillary Clinton, in the service of “special global interests rigging the system.” There are a lot of ways in the land of Wingnuttia to telegraph that your target is Jews, and these are two of them. Remember them: You’ll be hearing a lot in coming days about the "media establishment,” “global special interests,” oh, and “bankers.”</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrollable="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4625053" width="512"></iframe></p><p>“Anyone who challenges their control,” Trump continued, “is deemed a sexist, rapist, xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and your family. They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again they will do worse than that. They will do whatever is necessary. The Clintons are criminals. Remember that, they're criminals.”</p><p>When the crowd began chanting, “Lock her up!” Trump chimed in, “So true. Honestly, she should be locked up. She should be. Should be locked up.”</p><p>Of his accusers, Trump told his audience to have a good look at them, implying they weren’t good-looking enough to have attracted his attention. Of the women interviewed by the <em>New York Times</em>, Trump said, “You take a look at these people. You study these people and you'll understand also. The claims are preposterous, ludicrous, and defy truth, common sense and logic.”</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrollable="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4625058" width="512"></iframe></p><p>Speaking of Natasha Stoynoff, the <em>People</em> magazine writer who Wednesday night <a href="http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-attacked-people-writer/">published an article</a> detailing what she said was an assault by Trump against her at his Mar-a-Lago home, Trump said, “Take a look. You look at her. Look at her words,” he said. “You tell me what you think. I don't think so. I don't think so.”</p><p>Trump went on to say he has evidence to refute the claims made against him in the <em>New York Times</em> report, evidence he would reveal “at an appropriate time.” He also promised to take down the <em>Times</em>—put it out of business—with a lawsuit he is preparing against the newspaper. It is telling that one of his big supporters is Peter Thiel, who took down Gawker by backing Hulk Hogan’s privacy-violation lawsuit against the website.</p><p>Perhaps most chilling in all of the hate-stoking and conspiracy-mongering Trump demonstrated Thursday is his assertion that “this is war”—that the "media establishment” and the Clintons are engaged in a conspiracy that is making war on the American people “no matter how many lives they destroy.”</p><p>“For them, it's a war,” Trump said. “And for them, nothing at all is out of bounds. This is a struggle for the survival of our nation.”</p><p>Trump has learned well from his white nationalist friends. After all, the guy who likely wrote Thursday’s script—Trump campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon—is the one who boasted of providing “the platform for the alt-right,” that anti-Semitic, misogynist movement from which Trump has derived such succor.</p><p>With Thursday's speech, Trump has baldly laid out his true agenda: a post-election insurrection.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrollable="no" src="https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?416882-1/donald-trump-calls-allegations-absolutely-false" 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 = '1065405'; </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=1065405" 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, 13 Oct 2016 14:56:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065405 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media The Right Wing trump West Palm Beach Steven K. Bannon Nazi propaganda Trump Might Have Destroyed Himself, but the Christian Right Will Continue to Plague Us for Decades http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-might-have-destroyed-himself-christian-right-will-continue-plague-us-decades <!-- 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 = '1065313'; </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=1065313" 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 Republican nominee simply exposes the movement’s true aim: preservation of white patriarchy.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/warburg_20_trump_not-so-fast_.jpg?itok=yxdMBec4" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Leaders of the Christian right find themselves at a most uncomfortable moment: Do they stick by their man, the GOP nominee, who claimed a right to sexually assault women, boasted of a failed attempt to commit adultery, and generally revealed himself to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-caught-on-video-making-lewd-crude-remarks-about-women/2016/10/07/f4320dea-8cf3-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506_story.html">be a pig</a> in the endlessly looped video recording of Donald Trump and Billy Bush bantering on a hot microphone in 2005?</p><p>Truly, they have <a href="http://biblehub.com/matthew/7-6.htm">cast their pearls before swine</a>.</p><p>And nonetheless, the ones who count are standing fast. The big names—<a href="http://www.christianpost.com/news/james-dobson-hypocrisy-donald-trump-bill-clinton-oral-sex-oval-office-170756/">James Dobson</a>, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/ralph-reed-christians-you-must-vote-trump">Ralph Reed</a>, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/tony-perkins-defends-alt-right">Tony Perkins</a>, <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/trumps-new-pro-life-adviser-doesnt-want-to-talk-about-contraception/">Marjorie Dannenfelser</a>, <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/broken-hearted-penny-nance-tries-to-come-around-to-donald-trump/">Penny Nance</a>, <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/pat-robertson-hails-donald-trump-you-inspire-us-all/">Pat Robertson</a>, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/10/jerry-falwell-jr-the-gop-establishment-could-be-behind-donald-trump-video-leak/">Jerry Falwell Jr.</a>—remain at Trump’s side.</p><p>Much is being made of the defection or long-term opposition of other right-wing Christian figures, but these are not the operatives who mobilize voters. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics &amp; Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has long stood against Trump on religious grounds, explaining himself yesterday in a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/09/if-donald-trump-has-done-anything-he-has-snuffed-out-the-religious-right/"><em>Washington Post</em> commentary</a>. Media were also abuzz yesterday with news of an <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/october-web-only/speak-truth-to-trump.html?visit_source=twitter&amp;start=1">anti-Trump editorial in <em>Christianity Today</em></a>, one of the more staid publications in right-wing media. <em>CT</em> Executive Editor Andy Crouch <a href="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/october-web-only/speak-truth-to-trump.html?visit_source=twitter&amp;start=1">writes</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Most Christians who support Trump have done so with reluctant strategic calculation, largely based on the president’s power to appoint members of the Supreme Court. Important issues are indeed at stake, including the right of Christians and adherents of other religions to uphold their vision of sexual integrity and marriage even if they are in the cultural minority.</p><p>But there is a point at which strategy becomes its own form of idolatry—an attempt to manipulate the levers of history in favor of the causes we support.</p></blockquote><p>But really, who cares? With his breast-beating, Crouch assumes the religious right is a religious movement. It never was. It is a political movement, grown from the roots of <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/republican-party-must-apologize-america-trump">resistance to racial desegregation</a>, designed to preserve white Christian patriarchy. Trump’s misogyny, racism, and religious prejudice, however impolitely stated, are simply expressions of the movement’s animating essence.</p><p>When the founders of the religious right, none of them evangelical Christians, sought a face for their voter-organizing movement, they turned to Jerry Falwell, who had built the Lynchburg Christian Academy in order to give white students a school that he believed could legitimately bar blacks from entering on religious grounds. But the religious-right movement really took off with opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, led by the late Phyllis Schlafly.</p><p>Since then, the religious right has been the organizing force not only against abortion, but against many forms of contraception. When Majorie Dannenfelser, president of the ironically named Susan B. Anthony List as well as Trump’s <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/trump-names-pro-life-advisory-council-in-attempt-to-reassure-anti-choice-movement/">pro-life advisory council</a>, claims that various forms of contraception cause abortions, she is lying in an obvious attempt to constrain women’s lives and behavior. She <a href="http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/abortion_ultrasound_bill_anti_choice_activist_twists_facts_on_hardball">supported a 2012 bill</a> in the Virginia state legislature that would have required women seeking abortion to submit to a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound, involving a probe stuck up her you-know-what. That’s all of a piece with Trump’s claim to a right to “grab” women “by the pussy.”</p><p>If anything defines the 2016 election, it’s the misogyny, stupid. And that’s why jeremiads such as Russell Moore’s, which decries the hypocrisy of Christian-right leaders who stand by Trump, will fall on deaf ears in the pews. The Christian right has always been a white patriarchy identity movement, and Trump is the obvious warrior to take on a feminist candidate poised to become the first woman president of the United States. He may not win, but he will stoke the opposition to her presidency.</p><p>On Monday, <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/after-rough-week-for-trump-ralph-reed-tells-liberty-u-students-they-have-duty-to-vote-for-him/">reports Peter Montgomery</a> of Right Wing Watch, Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, delivered a speech at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. After saying he did not “appreciate” Trump’s “offensive” and “inappropriate” comments made to Billy Bush, then of <em>Access Hollywood</em>, in the 2005 videotape, Reed made the case for voting Trump:</p><p>We must confront the choice before us and vote for someone who actually has a chance to become president. We dare not and we cannot surrender our vote during such an important election. Retreating to the stained-glass ghetto from whence we came, refusing to muddy our boots with the mire and muck of politics is not an option for followers of Christ.</p><p>The Reverend Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, attributed Trump’s sexual-assault boast to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/10/pat-robertson-what-donald-trump-said-in-lewd-video-was-macho/">“macho” talk</a>. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, penned a <a href="https://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=WA16J18&amp;f=WU16J06">commentary</a> explaining that his choice to support Trump wasn’t because he shared the candidate’s values, “it was common concerns over the Supreme Court, abortion, religious liberty, and our nation’s ability to protect itself.” In other words, abortion, abortion, contraception and freedom to discriminate against LGBTs, and the Iran deal. There’s a whole lotta misogyny in that pile.</p><p>The tensions in the religious right exposed by Trump have always existed; they do not spell the end of the movement. It’s a movement that periodically falls in on itself, and then always re-emerges in a more virulent form.</p><p>Many cite the fact that millennial evangelicals are more accepting of LGBT people than their elders, and are more comfortable with the notion of a multiracial, multi-ethic, religiously diverse society. But they’re every bit as <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/generational-cohort/younger-millennial/religious-tradition/evangelical-protestant/#views-about-abortion-by-generational-group">opposed to abortion</a> as those who came before them. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that they’ll organize against women’s rights, all in the grand tradition from which they come.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065313'; </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=1065313" 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, 13 Oct 2016 10:46:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1065313 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 donald trump 2016 elections christian right The Floodgates Open: Growing Numbers of Women, Including People Magazine Writer, Come Forward With Stories of Being Assaulted by Trump http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/naked-contestants-fully-clothed-airline-passenger-no-woman-safe-trump-0 <!-- 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 = '1065341'; </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=1065341" 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">Looks like it could be a tidal wave.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_butthole_mouth.jpg?itok=uYLqusMg" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>No woman, it seems, is safe from the short-fingered paws, leering gaze or butthole mouth of Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee—at least if the latest set of women making allegations against him are to be believed. And believe them I do.</p><p>But you know how many women will have to come forward with similar allegations before Republican leaders revoke their endorsement of Trump? Infinity, that’s how many.</p><p>Because if Trump’s own admission that he could "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-caught-on-video-making-lewd-crude-remarks-about-women/2016/10/07/f4320dea-8cf3-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506_story.html">grab</a>" random women “by the p*ssy” whenever he pleased isn’t enough for <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/paul-ryan-donald-trump-endorsement/503657/">choirboy Paul Ryan</a> or father-of-three-daughters <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mitch-mcconnell-donald-trump_us_57fd24a3e4b0e655eab7eb1d">Mitch McConnell</a> to revoke their endorsements of Trump, why would a few more women complaining of being groped, barged in on while dressing, kissed without permission, or clutched from behind? Well, it’s actually piling up to be more than a few. But who’s counting? Surely <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/ralph-reed-christians-you-must-vote-trump">not Ralph Reed</a>, that guardian of Christian propriety who pedals pious proverbs while stumping for a pervert. And certainly <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/10/politics/priebus-stands-behind-trump/">not Reince Priebus</a>, the Republican National Committee chairman whom Trump calls “Mr. Switzerland” for his neutrality.</p><p>A series of new allegations of sexual assaults and transgressions against several women was capped Wednesday with a report by <em>People</em> magazine’s Natasha Stoynoff, who related her <a href="http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-attacked-people-writer/">experience</a> when she was sent to Mar-a-Lago, the Trump resort and estate, to cover the first anniversary of his marriage to Melania (who, Stoynoff writes, was “very pregnant” at the time). When the third Mrs. Trump went to her room to change for a photo shoot, Trump told Stoynoff he wanted to show her a “tremendous,” very special room in the couple’s quarters. She <a href="http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-attacked-people-writer/">continues</a>:</p><blockquote><p>We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat.</p><p>Now, I’m a tall, strapping girl who grew up wrestling two giant brothers. I even once sparred with Mike Tyson. It takes a lot to push me. But Trump is much bigger—a looming figure—and he was fast, taking me by surprise, and throwing me off balance. I was stunned. And I was grateful when Trump’s longtime butler burst into the room a minute later, as I tried to unpin myself.</p><p>The butler informed us that Melania would be down momentarily, and it was time to resume the interview.</p></blockquote><p>Earlier, as the midweek evening commute commenced in Manhattan, the <em>New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/us/politics/donald-trump-women.html?_r=1">published interviews</a> with two women who said they were accosted by Trump. And a former Miss USA contestant told the<em> Guardian</em> about an incident in which she alleged Trump barged into a dressing room where she and other contestants were changing—after he had been told that the women were naked.</p><p>Jessica Leeds told Megan Twohey and Michael Barbaro of the <em>Times</em> that in 1980, she was unexpectedly bumped up to first class while traveling for business on a passenger jet, and seated next to Trump. They exchanged pleasantries, ate their meals, and when the trays were cleared, he pushed up the middle armrest and began groping her—first her breasts, and then he put his hand under her skirt. Leeds says she got up and returned to her seat in coach, not saying a word to anyone. (Truth be told, in 1980, I wouldn’t have either.)</p><p>“He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere,” Leeds <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/us/politics/donald-trump-women.html?_r=1">told the <em>Times</em></a>. “It was an assault.”</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="375" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004705688" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="560"></iframe></p><p>The <em>Times</em> also spoke with Rachel Crooks, who met Trump in 2005 when she was a secretary for the Bayrock Group, a real estate firm that did business with him. The two were standing at an elevator in the building where she worked, and she introduced herself to him, shaking his hand. He began kissing her on the mouth, she told the <em>Times</em>. The man who was her boyfriend at the time corroborated her account to the <em>Times</em>.</p><p>Meanwhile, the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/12/donald-trump-miss-usa-dressing-room-2001-rehearsal"><em>Guardian</em> reports</a> that a contestant in the 2001 Miss USA pageant, which Trump owned as part of the Miss Universe franchise, says she was in a dressing room with another contestant during a rehearsal in Indiana when Trump barged in—after having been told by a security guard that the women were naked. “He didn’t walk in and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I was looking for someone,’" the former contestant told the<em> Guardian</em>’s Molly Redden. “He walked in, he stood and he stared. He was doing it because he knew that he could.”</p><p><em>Rolling Stone</em>’s Tessa Stuart reports in a rather <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/timeline-of-trumps-creepiness-while-he-owned-miss-universe-w444634">epic story</a> on Trump’s pageant tyranny, on a Facebook post by Cassandra Searles, who represented Washington State in the 2013 Miss USA pageant, in which Searles added a comment to the post that reads, “He probably doesn't want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room."</p><p>As Trump “<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-florida-rallies-229695">rampaged through Florida</a>” on Wednesday, to quote a Politico headline, Joe Capozzi of the <em><a href="http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/palm-beach-post-exclusive-local-woman-says-trump-groped-her/w5ii48gwdJY9htsLl88GcP/">Palm Beach Post</a></em><a href="http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/palm-beach-post-exclusive-local-woman-says-trump-groped-her/w5ii48gwdJY9htsLl88GcP/"> reported</a> that Mindy McGillivray, who helped her friend, photographer Ken Davidoff, on a 2003 shoot of a Ray Charles concert at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, says Trump grabbed her behind while standing near his fiancée, Melania.</p><p>“This was a pretty good nudge. More of a grab,’’ McGillivray told the <em>Post</em>. “It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped.’’</p><p>Add these four allegations to those of Mariah Billado, the 1997 Miss Vermont Teen USA, who also said <a href="http://www.salon.com/2016/10/12/former-miss-teen-usa-contestants-allege-donald-trump-walked-in-on-them-changing-outfits/">Trump barged</a> in on a pageant dressing room, and Temple Taggart—Miss Utah that year in the Miss USA contest—who said Trump <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/us/politics/donald-trump-women.html?_r=1">kissed her</a> on the mouth without her consent.</p><p>And there’s more. When asked by the <em>Times</em>for comment on the allegations made by Leeds and Crooks, <a href="http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-attacked-people-writer/">Trump went ballistic</a> on the reporter, according to the paper. He began shouting, telling the reporter, “You’re a disgusting person.”</p><p>Which is kind of an ironic allegation on his part, no?</p><p>Both Leeds, the woman who says Trump groped her on the plane, and McGillivray, who says Trump grabbed her at Mar-a-Lago, told the respective news outlets that reported their claims, that they wanted to throw something at the television while watching the October 9 presidential debate, when Trump said he had never done anything like the deeds he described as his right in the now-infamous video footage of his 2005 hot-mic moment with “Access Hollywood.”</p><p>You know who else probably wanted to throw something at the screen? Herman Cain. Remember old Mr. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO3ot894Oyw">Shucky-Ducky</a>, the Koch-assisted, pizza-magnate 2012 Republican primary candidate? Poor Herman Cain was drummed out of the Republican contest upon word that the National Restaurant Association had <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2011/10/exclusive-2-women-accused-cain-of-inappropriate-behavior-067194">paid two women</a> in Cain’s employ to go away after they made allegations of sexual harassment against him. Just two women!</p><p>Them’s small potatoes for Donald Trump—but at least he can count on keeping <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/hermain-cain-trump-not-racist-224370">Cain’s endorsement</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 = '1065341'; </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=1065341" 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, 12 Oct 2016 19:08:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065341 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 trump grope p*ssygate sexual harassment sexual assault miss universe Why Paul Ryan's Refusal to Defend Donald Trump Is Not Enough—Especially Following Brutal Debate http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/republican-party-must-apologize-america-trump <!-- 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 = '1065123'; </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=1065123" 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 Republican Party has been the grab-&#039;em-by-the-pussy party for 36 years—Donald Trump simply made it plain. </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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/paul_ryan_shutterstock_180341060.jpg?itok=rqy_Rei8" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p><em>Editor's Note: This article has been updated since Monday's news that House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would no longer defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/ryan-to-house-lawmakers-i-wont-defend-trump-229541#ixzz4Mhd8aAUl">told House Republicans</a>, “you all need to do what’s best for you in your district." However, Ryan did not revoke his endorsement of Trump.</em></p><p>When news broke of Donald Trump’s crude boast of his self-proclaimed right to <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-republican-party-dump-trump">sexually assault women</a> in specific and explicit ways (“grab ‘em by the pussy”), the pooh-bahs of the Republican National Committee demanded he issue <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/07/politics/donald-trump-women-vulgar/index.html?adkey=bn">an apology</a>—perhaps the first he’s ever made in his life.</p><p>Screw that. I want an apology from the Republican Party for giving us Donald Trump as their presidential nominee.</p><p>Soon after the <em>Washington Post</em> reported the contents of that infamous <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html?tid=pm_pop_b">2005 video</a> of Trump on a hot mic schmoozing with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, party leaders such as House Speaker <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paul-ryan-donald-trump-misogyny-silence_us_57f81f60e4b068ecb5de8a5c">Paul Ryan</a>, Senate Majority Leader <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/08/us/politics/how-paul-ryan-and-mitch-mcconnell-have-disavowed-trumps-words-but-not-their-support.html?_r=0">Mitch McConnell</a> and Republican National Committee Chairman <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-women-audio-billy-bush-kelly-ayotte-jeff-flake-paul-ryan-2016-10">Reince Priebus</a> denounced Trump’s remarks and behavior. Then there are the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/29/us/politics/at-least-110-republican-leaders-wont-vote-for-donald-trump-heres-when-they-reached-their-breaking-point.html">150 Republican</a> candidates and has-beens demanding Trump pull out of the race, all in a bid to cleanse their own souls (and for some, save their seats). Now comes word of Ryan's announcement to House Republicans (via conference call) that he <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/us/politics/donald-trump-gop-hillary-clinton.html">would no longer defend</a> the party's presidential nominee.</p><p>I couldn't give a crap. Apologize for subjecting us to endless hours of Trump harangues smearing immigrants and Muslims and African Americans with his slime. Think of the Mexican-American kids and the black kids and the Muslim kids and the girls of all kinds, left to absorb those psychic body blows, day after day. You did that, Republican leaders. He’s your guy.</p><p>But oh, you say, Trump’s nomination was the will of the people, the Republican primary electorate? Well, sure. But it’s an electorate whose composition was created by the GOP out of the rage of whites angered by desegregation and the growing racial and religious diversity of the American population, and most pointedly built on the fears of white men unnerved by the changing role of women in American society.</p><p>With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed into law by Democrat Lyndon Johnson, the Republican Party coalesced around those fears and hatreds, yielding civil rights opponent Barry Goldwater as its doomed nominee. (It’s worth noting that in addition to prohibiting certain forms of discrimination on the basis of race, creed or color, the act also prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex.) But Goldwater’s defeat at the hands of the broader electorate was no great loss for those who promoted his candidacy; the Goldwater campaign was the organizing platform for the hatemongering right, giving it the footing to ultimately take over the GOP in 1980.</p><p>After the faction known as the New Right came together with the Goldwater campaign, its members soon realized there weren’t enough fellow-traveling foot-soldiers in the GOP to elect a truly right-wing candidate, so they turned their attention to the segregationists of the South who found their faith homes in white evangelical churches. To head the movement they called the Moral Majority, they enticed the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who had headed one of the so-called “Christian academies” <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/05/29/the_religious_right_formed_around_support_for_segregation_not_against_abortion.html">white segregationists organized</a> after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools in the landmark case, <em>Brown v. Board of Education</em>. With Falwell as the Moral Majority’s public face, the white churches of the South and “socially conservative” white churches elsewhere in the nation became get-out-the-vote operations for the Republican Party, and were instrumental in delivering the White House to Ronald Reagan.</p><p>It's noteworthy that Reagan <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/12/09/donald-trumps-america/trump-supporters-are-foot-soldiers-in-an-army-formed-by-reagan">kicked off</a> his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where in 1965, civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, James Earl Chaney and Andrew Goodman were beaten and slain by members of Ku Klux Klan, including the county sheriff and his deputy. Political observers viewed Reagan’s choice of locale as symbolic of continuing resistance to civil rights for black people.</p><p>The Republican electorate that gave Trump the party’s presidential nomination hails from the same party whose activists organized to successfully defeat, in 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment, which would simply have granted American women rights equal to those enjoyed by men. Here’s the wording of the Amendment: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” <a href="http://www.alternet.org/comments/story/155090/after_a_generation_of_extremism,_phyllis_schlafly_still_a_leading_general_in_the_war_on_women">Phyllis Schlafly</a>, the Republican activist who spearheaded the opposition to the ERA would, some 14 years later, be handed control of the Republican Party platform. Presidential nominee Bob Dole went along with it.</p><p>This is the Republican Party whose 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat for Missouri made a distinction between “<a href="http://www.alternet.org/republicans-shocking-positions-rape-and-pregnancy-arent-outliers-theyre-central-gop-agenda">legitimate rape</a>” and other kinds of rape, and who claimed that a woman could not be made pregnant during a rape of the kind he deemed legitimate.</p><p>This is the Republican Party that twists research to the <a href="https://rewire.news/article/2013/06/17/texas-congressman-masturbating-fetuses-prove-need-for-abortion-ban/">point of dishonesty</a> in order to claim rights for a fetus that outstrip those of the woman whose body carries it.</p><p>This is the Republican Party whose members <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Act_of_2009#Legislative_history">voted against</a> the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allows a woman to bring suit against an employer who has systematically paid her less than a male colleague performing the exact same job. </p><p>This is the Republican Party that seeks to revoke public funding for poor women to get basic health screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases (and whose vice presidential nominee has already <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mike-pence-indiana-hiv_us_57f53b9be4b002a7312022ef">done so</a> in his own state) and which uses deceptively edited “sting” videos to smear the organization, Planned Parenthood, which provides those services, as well as birth control, to women throughout the nation.</p><p>Essentially, this is the Republican Party that has made contempt for and control of women part of its brand ever since the Supreme Court afforded women a modicum of agency over their own bodies with its 1972 decision in <em>Roe v. Wade</em>.</p><p>The truth is, for at least the last 36 years, the Republican Party has been the grab-em-by-the-pussy party. Donald Trump simply made it plain.</p><p>Spare us the consternation, all of you breast-beating Republican candidates. You own this; you allowed it to happen. The women of America await your contrition.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065123'; </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=1065123" 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, 09 Oct 2016 10:49:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065123 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 The Right Wing Donald J. Trump reince priebus republican party pussygate Will Presidential Debate Add Fuel to the Trumpster Fire? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/debate-add-fuel-trumpster-fire <!-- 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 = '1065104'; </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=1065104" 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 stand being challenged by a woman, and Clinton got under his skin citing his comments about Miss Universe. How will he answer to &quot;p*ssygate&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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_clinton_debate.png?itok=jUvhnlf5" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Going into Sunday night’s debate in St. Louis, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was always presumed to have the advantage. Now the most debate-prepared candidate in the modern era is poised to meet perhaps the most politically damaged one ever seen.</p><p>It’s not just that Trump’s horrific remarks boasting, in <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-republican-party-dump-trump">the most demeaning way</a>, of his self-proclaimed right to sexually assault women are problematic for a presidential campaign; it’s that his opponent is the first woman ever to win the presidential nomination of major party, and a talented, disciplined debater.</p><p>What’s often lost in the talk of the 2016 presidential campaign is that the reason the Trump candidacy succeeded in the Republican primary was the candidate’s overt misogyny as a selling point. It was always assumed he’d be facing off with a Democrat poised to be the first woman president; his candidacy was the very <a href="http://prospect.org/article/fear-women-key-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-misogyny-and-america%E2%80%99s">expression of the backlash</a> to that possibility.</p><p>Oh, sure, there’s the hatred toward brown- and black-skinned immigrants, the smearing of African-Americans, the demonizing of Muslims. Combined with the misogyny, the whole Trump campaign is designed as a backlash force against the legacy of President Barack Obama—the first black president, whose father was both Muslim and African—and his likely successor, a barrier-breaker in her own right. But it was always the misogyny that was the driving force of the Trump train. From the moment Trump clinched the nomination, the 2016 presidential campaign became a <a href="http://prospect.org/article/will-trump%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98man-card%E2%80%99-play-women">referendum on the role of women</a> in American society.</p><p>Now Trump will have to answer for his woman-hating speech with his female opponent looking on, a camera recording each of their expressions. She will no doubt address his remarks—<a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-republican-party-dump-trump">made on a hot mic</a> in 2005 as he bantered with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush as he awaited his cue for a guest appearance on a soap opera—and attempt to do with them what she did in the last debate with her oppo-drop of Trump’s racist and sexist comments about Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Oh, how that rattled him!</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M28z9y4yT6Y" width="560"></iframe></p><p>And let’s not forget how he’s responded when challenged by other women. During a Republican primary debate, when asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly to respond to a litany of negative, dehumanizing remarks he made about the appearance of various women, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/gop-debate-highlights-donald-trump-megyn-kelly">Trump answered</a>: "Honestly Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me." In other words, “How dare you! I’m an important man, and this kind of talk is talk is my prerogative!” Within a day, Trump said of Kelly that she had it in for him, implying her question was posed because of her menstrual cycle: “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”</p><p>In contrast, look at how Hillary Clinton answered a challenging question posed to her by a veteran at the so-called Commander in Chief Forum hosted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association in August, a town-hall event in the style in which tomorrow’s debate is planned. There, Clinton showed that she could handle taking a question from an audience member who displayed a measure of disdain for her. A former naval flight officer, referring to Clinton’s use of a personal email server for the conduct of government business during her tenure as secretary of state, <a href="http://time.com/4483355/commander-chief-forum-clinton-trump-intrepid/">asked her</a>, “Secretary Clinton, how can you expect those such as myself who were and are entrusted with America’s most sensitive information to have any confidence in your leadership as president when you clearly corrupted our national security?</p><p>“Well, I appreciate your concern and also your experience. But let me try to make the distinctions that I think are important for me to answer your question,” <a href="http://time.com/4483355/commander-chief-forum-clinton-trump-intrepid/">Clinton replied</a>.</p><p>“First, as I said to [debate moderator] Matt [Lauer], you know and I know classified material is designated. It is marked. There is a header so that there is no dispute at all that what is being communicated to or from someone who has that access is marked classified.” She continued to describe the designation of the material that had been communicated via the server, and concluded her speech. You may agree or disagree with her explanation for her decisions, but she stayed cool and laid it out.</p><p>Likewise, Sunday’s debate is a town-hall style event, with about half of the questions to be asked by audience members. Known for her listening skills, Clinton’s best campaign events have always been in the kinds of settings that allow her to hear a voter’s concerns, and then respond. </p><p>During her campaign for the U.S. Senate, I traveled with the press corps on her “listening tour” throughout upstate New York, and saw her win the hearts of struggling people in rust-belt cities and rural burgs. Because she listens so intently, people at these events seemed won over even if they entered in a cloud of skepticism.</p><p>Trump is known for listening to no one—not his advisers, not the pollsters. He listens to nothing but the voice in his head.</p><p>Trump has yet to demonstrate that he can meet a challenging line of questioning with anything other than hostility. That may work for him when confronted by a member of the media, journalists being generally held in low esteem by members of the public. But if he goes ballistic on a voter who asks a tough question, he’ll be seen attacking a regular person, whom television viewers tend to regard as a stand-in for themselves.</p><p>If challenged by a woman about the scandal that has <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-vows-stay-race-no-matter-what">legions of notable Republicans</a>—<a href="https://twitter.com/CondoleezzaRice/status/784902086425055232">including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice</a>—calling for him to withdraw from the race, who knows how Trump will react? So far, he has indicated that he will counter with assertions about former President Bill Clinton’s behavior with women, and Hillary Clinton’s denunciations of the women who accused her husband. Trump is already tweeting about it, and even promised, in the non-apology apology video he posted on Facebook, more of the same for the debate.  But women voters really <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/02/08/hillary-clinton-millennial-women/">don’t like it</a> when Trump—or anybody—try to taint Hillary Clinton with her husband’s past.</p><p>As I write, a discussion is reportedly taking place among leaders of the Republican National Committee about whether the RNC has the power to remove Trump as its presidential nominee. It may not, and Trump has <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/784840992734064641">vowed not to withdraw</a> from the race. But the Presidential Debate Commission is controlled by the two parties. Whether the RNC produces its candidate for the forum will be telling.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065104'; </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=1065104" 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, 08 Oct 2016 16:52:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065104 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics The Right Wing hillary clinton Donald J. Trump condoleezza rice p*ssygate ACCESS HOLLYWOOD republican national committee After Disgusting 'P*ssy' Comments, Will the Republican Party Dump Trump? http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-republican-party-dump-trump <!-- 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 = '1065083'; </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=1065083" 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 lewd remarks reveal GOP as the party of sexual assault and violence against 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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2016-10-08_at_10.19.39_am.png?itok=VhtTCLSV" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>The Republican Party is in a panic. When your presidential nominee has been shown to be the pro-sexual assault candidate, boasting of his ability to “grab 'em [women] by the pussy” because he’s famous, you’ve got a pretty big problem. When the revelations are made a month before the election, you’re screwed.</p><p>Today, as Trump campaign leaders expected to be playing “gotcha” with the Wikileaks release of the text of one of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to the captains of Wall Street, the GOP is dealing with the fallout from the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-lewd-conversation-about-women-in-2005/2016/10/07/3b9ce776-8cb4-11e6-bf8a-3d26847eeed4_story.html"><em>Washington Post</em>’s report</a> of hot-mic comments made by Donald Trump in 2005 to Billy Bush (then a host of Access Hollywood), in which the future presidential candidate talked of “moving on” a married woman he referred to as a "bitch," according to a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html">transcript</a> prepared by the<em> New York Times</em>:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/3bf16d1e-8caf-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p><p style="margin-left:56.25pt;">Trump: I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.</p><p style="margin-left:56.25pt;">Bush: Whatever you want.</p><p style="margin-left:56.25pt;">Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.</p><p>With the video’s release, Republican leaders feigned outrage, taking to their fainting couches. House Speaker <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/paul-ryan-donald-trump-comments-women-wisconsin-229307">Paul Ryan disinvited Trump</a> from a campaign event at which the two were scheduled to appear today in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin (where Ryan is up for re-election to his congressional seat). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mcconnell-says-trump-s-vulgar-talk-of-women-is-repugnant-and-unacceptable">expressed consternation</a>. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew his <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-comments-women-gop-republican-reaction-229329">endorsement</a> of Trump. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, also a Utah Republican, called for Trump to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/10/08/sen-mike-lee-urges-trump-to-quit-as-utah-republicans-flee-from-their-presidential-nominee/">step aside</a>. And vice presidential nominee and extremely pious Christian Mike Pence <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/mike-pence-donald-trump-comments-women-229311">said nothing</a>, dodging reporters’ questions at a rally rope line in Toledo, Ohio, a battleground state.</p><p>In 2013, McConnell, Chaffetz and Lee all <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/03/violence-against-women-act-reauthorization-house-senate-votes">voted against</a> the reauthorization of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. At the time the vote was taken, the reauthorization of VAWA had already been held up in the Republican-majority House for more than a year, because the new version of the law extended its protections to people in Native American nations, undocumented immigrants and people in LGBT relationships. (In order to achieve passage, those extended provisions were stripped out.)</p><p>Neither Ryan nor Pence are exactly friends to women. As governor of Indiana, Pence <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/7/14/12190380/mike-pence-trump-vice-president-abortion-funerals-fetuses">signed into law</a> a bill containing some of the nation’s most draconian restrictions on abortion, forbidding a woman to terminate her pregnancy if her reason for doing so was because the fetus was severely damaged. (The law’s implementation is currently held up in the courts.) Ryan has long advocated an anti-choice policy with only the <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-candidates-ban-abortion-no-exceptions">narrowest of exceptions</a>. Both men oppose most meaningful measures to create a <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/gop-budget-plan-cut-23-billion-food-stamps">viable social safety net</a> for vulnerable women and children.</p><p>The misogynist policies advanced by these men so offended (or in Pence’s case, rendered silent) by Trump’s remarks are typically done so in the language of morality crafted by the religious right. Trump’s forthright lewdness rips the scab off the <a href="http://prospect.org/article/elections-secret-theme-letting-women-know-whos-boss">GOP’s festering wound of misogyny</a>. There’s a reason Trump won the Republican nomination: <a href="http://prospect.org/article/elections-secret-theme-letting-women-know-whos-boss">It’s the misogyny, stupid</a>—misogyny the GOP has been stoking since its right flank mustered its forces to defeat the Equal Rights Act in 1982.</p><p>Since pundits' postmortem of Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate, Republican operatives and politicians have been anonymously quoted as wishing Pence were at the top of the ticket. Now you can bet on more talk of that kind, perhaps even pressure to make it happen. But it probably won’t.</p><p>First of all, voting has already begun in many states, and no one knows how the Electoral College would work in assessing the ballots cast for a major-party nominee who is no longer on the ticket come Election Day. Second, even though Republican Party rules have something of an escape clause for appointing a new candidate in a circumstance in which, post-nomination, the presidential slot is vacated, the wording suggests Trump would have to voluntarily leave the ticket, and given the candidate’s response to the Access Hollywood revelations, that seems unlikely.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/44477ce4-8d07-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p><p>In a video statement, Trump expressed regret for his remarks, and says he’s changed in the 11 years since he spoke that way to Billy Bush. Really, it’s much ado about nothing, he says. “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re living with today,” Trump asserts.</p><p>Then he doubles down, implying that his words (“grab ‘em by the pussy,” “move in like a bitch,” “big, phony tits,” etc.) were nothing more than words, and that they're nothing compared to former President Bill Clinton’s history with women. He continues: “And Hillary has attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”</p><p>You might want to put the kids to bed first.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1065083'; </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=1065083" 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, 08 Oct 2016 07:07:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1065083 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Culture Election 2016 Human Rights LGBTQ Media News & Politics Sex & Relationships The Right Wing Video donald trump VAWA violence against women Republican Party disarray paul ryan Sen. Mike Lee Rep. Jason Chaffetz mitch mcconnell Decoding Mike Pence's Misogyny http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/decoding-mike-pences-debate-misogyny <!-- 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 = '1064925'; </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=1064925" 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">Having lost the women’s vote, the Trump campaign doubles down on gendered language.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_479350561.jpg?itok=OU8WRyVH" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>f there’s any one thing the Trump campaign wants you to remember about Hillary Clinton, it’s that she’s a woman—a play for the votes of people who believe that’s not a good thing.</p><p>In Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence, the right-wing extremist Indiana governor who is the running mate of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, attempted to paint the foreign policy of Trump’s Democratic opponent as weak, saying of the war in Syria, “Look, we have got to lean into this with strong, <a href="https://newrepublic.com/minutes/137475/mike-pences-call-broad-shouldered-leadership-sexist">broad-shouldered American leadership</a> that begins by rebuilding our military.”</p><p>Ah, that broad-shouldered leadership. You know who doesn’t have broad shoulders? The woman!</p><p>It’s not the first time Pence has trotted out the term. Just before the September 26 debate between Trump and Clinton—the first time a woman has stood on the debate stage as a major-party presidential nominee—Pence <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/trump-broad-shoulders-mike-pence-228703#ixzz4MDftYra8">said of his boss</a>, “Look, Donald Trump's got broad shoulders. He's able to make his case and make a point."</p><p>Pence is smooth, carefully choosing his turns of phrase. Nothing crass here, just very polite sexism of the kind that could serve him well when he vies for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020.</p><p>Other Trump surrogates are less adroit. On Sunday, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani went straight to the point. Addressing a <em>New York Times</em> report indicating that Trump may not have paid personal income tax for some 18 years, Giuliani described his man as a “genius” for having worked the system so brilliantly.</p><p>“Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman?” <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/giuliani-trump-us-woman/story?id=42513670">Giuliani asked</a> during an appearance on ABC’s <em>This Week</em>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="234" src="http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/politics/2016/10/03/giuliani-trump-better-woman-white-house-nr.cnn" width="416"></iframe></p><p>The Trump campaign has long played to the fears of a large constituency of white men unnerved by the changing role of women in the world. More than any one thing, the place of white men in society is what this election is all about. For them, knowing that no matter how hard the times on which they’ve fallen, they’ve still got a leg up on people who are not like them—be they women, black people, or brown-skinned immigrants—is no longer a given.</p><p>In addition to Trump’s crasser statements of misogyny, he’s suggested that Clinton “doesn’t have a presidential look.” (Her shoulders are not broad enough?) And, of course, Trump’s repeated questioning of his opponent’s “stamina” is all about gendered stereotypes—as if we still lived in the days when corseted upper-class white women regularly took to fainting couches from forcing themselves into lung-crushing garments constructed of grommets, laces, and animal bones, all to have a figure like that of a Miss Universe pageant winner.</p><p>Questioned about his “presidential look” comment by moderator Lester Holt,<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/27/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-stamina/">Trump doubled down</a>. Clinton neatly dispensed with his reply, saying, “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a ceasefire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina." (During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton’s travels covered 956,733 miles; she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/02/hillary-clinton-countries-travels_n_2602541.html">spent 401 days on the road</a>.)</p><p>The upshot of Trump’s debate performance in September was to reopen Clinton’s lead among women. Going into the first debate, Clinton’s advantage among women, according to national polls as <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/hillary-clintons-latest-polls-women-favoring-dem-again-after-trumps-comments-debate-2425657">parsed by the <em>International Business Times</em></a>, was as low as 5 percent. But in the days following the debate, her advantage soared by as much as 20 points, according to two Fox News polls. Meanwhile, according to the most recent CNN/ORC poll, Trump is winning men by 5 points.</p><p>Trump is not likely to win back many of those women voters, so his campaign has little choice but to make a fierce bid for every vote of every white man in the country who fears the usurpation of the <a href="https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Dandridge-II-Power-Layflat-Recliner/9141624/product.html?refccid=YFY7RF7JH63YH3CH4DBX4H4DPM&amp;searchidx=12">Barcalounger</a> throne in his cul-de-sac castle. Hence, whatever such a man’s misgivings about Trump, he’s got to be, as Giuliani so baldly put it, “better than a woman.”</p><p>Yet the very things that set off alarm bells in such men are the very things that appeal to women. Hillary is confident, capable, and remains unruffled by the very sorts of insults that every woman who has sat in a male-dominated workplace meeting, or simply walked down the street alone, has had to endure. She’s the embodiment of the <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/author.php?author=Aleksei+Kotsov">Urban Dictionary’s definition</a> of a “broad.” Once a pejorative term, “broad” came to denote something admirable, according to Urban Dictionary contributor Alexei Kotsov. “Broads … know how to compete and win in a man's world,” he writes. To summarize, Kotsov quotes Bette Midler, who said, “People always love a broad—someone with a sense of humor, someone with a fairly wicked tongue, someone who can belt out a song, someone who takes no guff."</p><p>No one yet knows the true dimensions of the 2016 electorate (the people who actually cast a ballot on Election Day). But we do know that women historically vote in greater numbers than men.</p><p>In the vice presidential debate, Pence offered little defense of his running mate—except for Trump’s broad shoulders. But women voters are likely to pick the broad minus the shoulders, as are a number of guys who find broads more appealing than bluster. That leaves Trump scurrying to muster a militia of angry white men large enough to put him over the top. More misogyny is surely on tap.</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 = '1064925'; </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=1064925" 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, 05 Oct 2016 11:09:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1064925 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Culture Election 2016 The Right Wing mike pence rudy giuliani Donald J. Trump donald trump misogyny women's vote hillary clinton vice presidential debate 2016 7 Questions Mike Pence Should Be Asked at the Vice-Presidential Debate http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/7-questions-mike-pence-should-be-asked-vice-president-debate <!-- 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 = '1064806'; </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=1064806" 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">Too few voters know the extremist agenda of Trump&#039;s running mate. A few pointed questions could change 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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/mike_pence.png?itok=EjSwJ7vu" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>When Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine take the stage Tuesday night for the 2016 vice presidential debate, there are a few things we hope debate moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News will ask Pence to account for.</p><p>While promoted as the sane member of a GOP ticket headed by the likes of Donald Trump, Pence, who is governor of Indiana, uses a demeanor of reasonableness to offset some mighty extreme views on the role of women, climate change, creationism and Social Security, to name a few. The vice presidential candidates meet only once before a national television audience, so this forum will likely serve to introduce these candidates to most voters.</p><p>Kaine, the U.S. senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, is pretty much your basic liberal; not much by way of surprise in his background. But Pence, a convert to hardcore right-wing Protestant evangelicalism, embraces a range of positions far afield of the views of mainstream voters—views he doesn’t flaunt on the campaign trail. He’s a favorite of donors to the Koch network, as well as Tim Phillips, president of <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/will-koch-brothers-fave-mike-pence-deliver-trump">Americans for Prosperity</a>, the ground-organizing group founded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers at the helm of Koch Industries. (According to <a href="http://www.followthemoney.org/show-me?f-core=1&amp;c-t-eid=10245969&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw8Jy8BRCE0pOC9qzRhkMSJABC1pvJ_i4tCW2ihhQI9Bay4Rbp1h54ONUZFR5gxBNRO3kg_hoCdxfw_wcB#%5B%7B1%7Cgro=d-eid">Follow the Money</a>, David Koch has spent some $300,000 on Pence’s political campaigns.) Pence has also enjoyed the largesse of Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm once known as Blackwater (since renamed Academi), who also donated <a href="http://jeremyscahill.tumblr.com/post/181216292/rep-mike-pence-who-led-witch-hunt-against-van">thousands</a> of dollars to Pence's congressional campaigns.</p><p>If voters are to know what they’re getting when they pull the lever on November 8, Quijano will need to dig deep into Pence’s record. Here a few topics that would prove most enlightening to the electorate.</p><p><strong>1. Climate change.</strong> Gov. Pence, on the issue of climate change, you’ve long been what the Muncie <em>Star Press</em>, one of your home-state newspapers, describes as “a <a href="http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/10/03/pence-changes-opinion-climate-change/91459114/">climate change denier</a>.” In 2000, you described the contribution of greenhouse gases to a changing climate as “a myth,” and as late as 2014, you <a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/5-real-things-mike-pence-has-said-about-climate-change/">told Chuck Todd</a> on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that you didn’t think the science of climate change and the effect of human activities on the environment had been “<a href="http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/5-real-things-mike-pence-has-said-about-climate-change/">resolved</a>." Your position is in line with that of your donors, Charles and David Koch, and members of their donor network.</p><p>Yet last week, you seemed to back off from your long-held position, <a href="http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/10/03/pence-changes-opinion-climate-change/91459114/">telling CNN</a>, “Well, look, there's no question that ... the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate." We know your running mate has struggled to justify his 2012 tweet in which he called climate change “a hoax invented by the Chinese.” Have you changed your position simply to offset Donald Trump's?</p><p><strong>2. Creationism.</strong> Gov. Pence, you’ve long been a proponent of the creationist notion of “intelligent design” as the source of human existence, even suggesting in a congressional floor speech in 2002, when you served in the House of Representatives, that school children be taught alternatives to the theory of evolution. Here’s what you said, according to the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2002/7/11/house-section/article/h4527-1?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22mike+pence%5C%22%22%5D%7D&amp;resultIndex=190">Congressional Record</a>: “[L]et us demand that educators around America teach evolution not as fact, but as theory, and an interesting theory to boot. But let us also bring into the minds of all of our children all of the theories about the unknowable...”</p><p>In an era when the United States strains to turn out the numbers of scientists and engineers we need to compete in the global economy, do you still believe tax dollars should be used to support religion-based, non-scientific explanations of natural phenomena?</p><p><strong>3. Women in the military.</strong> During the “Commander-in-Chief Forum” sponsored by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association in September, Gov. Pence, your running mate named the presence of women in the armed forces as the source of the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. In a 1999 op-ed, you wrote of your disdain for the presence of women in the military, in the guise of a review of the Disney movie <em>Mulan</em>, which you deemed to be liberal propaganda. “Despite her delicate features and voice,” <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/mister-ill-make-a-man-out-of-you?utm_term=.xtKZ6yV020#.maXN4kpDjD">you wrote</a>, “Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts. Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.”</p><p>What do you have to say to the tens of thousands of women military veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan about your regard for their service or valor?</p><p><strong>4. Mandatory pregnancy. </strong>In March, Gov. Pence, you signed what is perhaps the most restrictive <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/us/indiana-governor-mike-pence-signs-abortion-bill.html">anti-abortion bill</a> in the nation, one that not only included substantial obstacles to a woman trying to exercise her constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, but which also barred abortion in the case of a woman carrying a a fetus with severe abnormalites. You said your reason for signing that bill, which a federal judge struck down, was “that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable — the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn.”</p><p>Yet Indiana has the sixth highest infant mortality rate in the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/drugs/mike-pence-real-extremist-gop-ticket-trail-victims-indiana">nation</a>, and a very low level of health-care spending for those who have no other option. Are these infants and their mothers not among our most vulnerable?</p><p><strong>5. </strong><strong>The value of a life.</strong> Gov. Pence, in some of Indiana’s poorest counties, HIV and hepatitis C have flourished, thanks to the opioid epidemic. Addicts share needles, spreading the diseases throughout the community. In one of those counties, because you had prevailed upon the legislature to defund Planned Parenthood clinics, the one clinic that provided testing for these viruses was <a href="http://www.alternet.org/drugs/mike-pence-real-extremist-gop-ticket-trail-victims-indiana">shuttered</a>. When it became apparent that you had an HIV problem in your state because of needle-sharing, you dragged your feet for months before approving a clean-needle program, saying you had "to pray on it”—despite scientific evidence that clean-needle harm-reduction programs save lives. On what aspect of this life-saving program did you have to pray?</p><p><strong>6. Privatizing Social Security. </strong>On Capitol Hill and at events sponsored by the Koch-founded group Americans for Prosperity, you have long made the case for privatizing <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/happy-birthday-social-security-mike-pence-has-been-long-time-cheerleader-programs">Social Security</a>, which was founded as a way to provide all Americans, particularly the senior citizens you have described as “our most vulnerable,” with a humane life. Studies have shown the privatization bills you supported in Congress would actually have left Social Security underfunded rather than provide the cure for insolvency you and privatization advocates tout. Why not simply raise the income cap, requiring well-off people to pay into Social Security on more of their income?</p><p><strong>7. </strong><strong>Whose religious freedom?</strong> Gov. Pence, last year you made waves throughout the nation when you signed a so-called “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed private enterprises that serve the public to deny goods and services to LGBTQ people if they claimed doing so would violate their religious consciences. The resulting nationwide outcry seems to have knocked you back a bit, since you quickly responded by signing—<a href="http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/25/gov-mike-pence-sign-religious-freedom-bill-thursday/70448858/">in private</a>—amendments to the bill that contained language barring discrimination. This earned you the scorn of some of your fellow evangelicals, most notably Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who said that Donald Trump could have made a much better <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/07/14/3798131/mike-pences-arrogance-handed-christian-right-staggering-defeat/">choice</a> than you if he wanted to win the votes of Christians. </p><p>Please tell the voters just where you stand on the right of private businesses to discriminate against customers. Would you have been okay with the bill had you not been confronted with such backlash?</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h4zp5ylVpaU" width="560"></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 = '1064806'; </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=1064806" 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, 03 Oct 2016 18:04:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1064806 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Drugs Election 2016 LGBTQ Media The Right Wing mike pence tim kaine vice presidential debate 2016 Elaine Quijano Meet Gary Johnson’s Koch-Network Money Men http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/gary-johnson-donors-are-right-wing-funders <!-- 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 = '1064277'; </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=1064277" 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">Johnson&#039;s supporters are leading enemies of the environment and public education.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/garyjohnson_0.jpg?itok=VGntWrzk" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate, is currently having a moment with younger voters. Presumably this is because he has emphasized his pro-marijuana stance and stayed away from touting his views on nearly everything else, which, as <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/12-ways-gary-johnson-hardcore-right-wing-radical">AlterNet has reported</a>, are very right-wing. Yet look behind the curtain, and you’ll find that Johnson’s candidacy is fueled by money provided by funders who are driving forces behind things most young voters abhor, like the privatization of public education and the “right” to pollute the environment.</p><p>A combination of engaging social media launched by pro-Johnson PACs and the candidate’s goofy, likable personality add up to 29 percent of voters between the ages of 18-34 telling pollsters for NBC News that they plan to vote for the third-party candidate. (His “What is Aleppo?” gaffe seems not to have made a dent in his numbers.) Several <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-09-16/libertarian-johnson-adds-to-clinton-s-challenges-with-young-voters">respected pollsters</a> and <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-is-gary-johnson-taking-more-support-from-clinton-or-trump/">political scientists</a> have deduced that Johnson’s totals cut further into votes that would normally accrue to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than to Republican nominee Donald Trump. Young voters comprise a critical constituency in the Democratic coalition, and Clinton has struggled to engage them, even after gaining the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, the primary challenger who garnered great enthusiasm among young Democrats.</p><p>Johnson’s plan, as <a href="http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/gary-johnson-swing-election-2016-president-214251">reported by Politico</a>’s Ben Birnbaum, is to siphon enough votes from both major-party candidates to deprive each of the 270-electoral vote majority a candidate needs in order to win the White House. Then the race gets thrown into the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the third-party candidate quixotically expects to win. But even if this long-shot scheme had a chance, it’s hard to imagine members of the Republican majority in Congress voting to hand the White House to someone other than their party’s nominee. That all raises the question, what is Johnson really up to, and whose interests does he represent?</p><p>Birnbaum reports that the Johnson campaign has “recently reshuffled its map,” focusing on states “with large numbers of disgruntled Sanders voters,” which he identifies as Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington. In addition, the Johnson forces are also making television and radio ad buys, according to <em><a href="http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/map-top-markets-clinton-trump-johnson-TV-radio-ads/305697/">Advertising Age</a></em>, in Nevada, Colorado, New Hampshire and Maine—all states <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-the-top-must-win-states-for-trump-and-clinton/">identified by FiveThirtyEight</a>’s Harry Enten as more-or-less “must-win” states for Clinton (meaning her chances of winning the general election drop precipitously if she loses any one of them).</p><p>While the Johnson airtime buys are tiny compared with Clinton’s, they amount to gauntlets thrown, especially when you factor in the Johnson forces' clever online strategy. If your target is young voters, television buys probably aren’t a great use of your resources. But creating viral videos probably is, and the pro-Johnson AlternativePAC is doing just <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2016/09/07/pro-gary-johnson-balanced-rebellion-ad-v">that</a>.</p><p>Despite the fact that Johnson’s poll numbers—he’s at 8 percent in the Real Clear Politics average—are higher than any previous modern-era third-party candidate at this point in the election cycle, he still has a long climb to make the 15 percent threshold required for inclusion in the presidential debates. So, the campaign’s present focus is on elevating his profile so his poll numbers go up, with the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/18/media/gary-johnson-debates/">hope</a> of making it onto the debate stage October 9. (On Friday, he stuck out his <a href="http://time.com/4505967/gary-johnson-presidential-debate-donald-trump-hillary-clinton/">tongue</a> for the television cameras as a way of demonstrating what he might do if he makes it.)</p><p><strong>A Run at Clinton Voters?</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/gary-johnson-swindle/">According to</a> independent journalist Mark Ames, in Johnson’s 2012 presidential bid, the candidate enjoyed the wisdom of his notorious adviser, Roger Stone, the dirty trickster who is now <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dirty-trickster-and-trump-adviser-roger-stone-speaks-conspiracist-america-first-rally">advising</a> the Trump campaign. Stone is the guy who brought conspiracy theorist Alex Jones into the Trump camp (and convinced Trump to make a December <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dirty-trickster-and-trump-adviser-roger-stone-speaks-conspiracist-america-first-rally">appearance</a> on Jones’ InfoWars radio program), and has formulated and advanced much of Trump’s anti-Clinton rhetoric. </p><p>Ames dug up a <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/roger-stone-political-animal/article/15381">2007 interview</a> Stone gave to the <em>Weekly Standard</em> in which he shared his formula for winning an election for a less-than-popular major-party candidate: Get a credible third-party candidate to split the opponent’s vote. Stone claims to have been in on just such an operation in 1980 on behalf of third-party candidate John Anderson, whose candidacy help deliver New York State for Ronald Reagan by skimming votes that would have likely otherwise gone to incumbent president Jimmy Carter.</p><p>One indication of whose interests Johnson represents is his source of funding. It’s likely we’ll never know the sources of all the money flowing to pro-Johnson efforts (or those of other candidates, for that matter), since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in <i>Citizens United</i> allows all manner of non-profit groups to run ads and canvass for political candidates without revealing the names of their donors. </p><p>But we do know enough to look at who’s behind a couple of pro-Johnson political action committees, and the corporate entities whose employees donate the most money directly to the campaign: Jeffrey Yass of Susquehanna Group International, a financial options-trading firm, and Chris Rufer, president and founder of the Morning Star Packing Company, an agribusiness tomato-grower and processor of tomato products. And Johnson’s past association with Koch Industries, which benefited from a multimillion-dollar no-bid contract for a New Mexico highway given one of its subsidiaries during Johnson’s tenure as governor of that state, has led to <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/19/exclusive-david-koch-pledges-millions-to-gary-johnsons-presidential-bid/">speculation</a> he will receive support from political groups in the Koch network.</p><p><strong>Major Donor Funds Attacks on Public Education</strong></p><p>Booking ads for Johnson is Purple PAC, where Yass is so far <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00544569">the largest donor</a>, at $1 million, which was <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2016/08/24/gary-johnson-superpac-launching-huge-cnn">reportedly used</a> for an August Purple PAC buy for ad time on CNN and Fox. Since September 8, Purple PAC has purchased airtime on Johnson’s behalf to the tune of $800,000, according to Federal Election Commission reports available via OpenSecrets.com. Purple PAC was founded by Ed Crane, former president of the Cato Institute. <strike>Both</strike> Yass <strike>and Crane</strike> sits on Cato’s board of directors, as does David Koch.</p><p>The ad Purple PAC is placing on Johnson’s behalf paints Clinton and Trump as equally undesirable, and champions Johnson as a saner alternative, one who is “socially tolerant,” but champions “free enterprise” and low taxes.</p><p>But it’s the privatization of public education that appears to be the cause closest to Yass’ heart. Last year, Paul Blumenthal, the Huffington Post’s money-in-politics reporter, undertook an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/on-the-trail-to-find-out-who-is-behind-two-dark-money-groups_us_55ccfe24e4b064d5910af11e">exhaustive review</a> of spending by two non-profit groups funded by Yass and his partners at Susquehanna, tracing donations from the groups Rosebush Corp. and Green Orchard Inc., to various groups and PACs that either support the diversion of tax dollars to privately run charter schools, or the voucherization of public-school funds to be applied to tuition at private and parochial schools. Last year, Yass and his partners at the Susquehanna Group International <a href="http://www.alternet.org/Jeff%20Yass%20Philadelphia%20mayor">bankrolled</a> Philadelphia mayoral candidate Anthony Williams, a proponent of voucherizing public education.</p><p>“In 2011,” writes Blumenthal, “Rosebush Corp. contributed $100,000 to the American Federation for Children, an education reform group that billionaire Republican donor <a href="http://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/you-dont-know-dick/Content?oid=2185621">Betsy DeVos</a> founded in 2010.” </p><p>Betsy DeVos is a member of the super-rich family that founded Amway, a family that is also <a href="http://www.politicalresearch.org/2015/12/22/the-koch-like-family-youve-never-heard-of-influencing-state-legislatures/#sthash.Vpu10csN.jxehgILq.dpbs">active in funding</a> the network of political organizations and entities built by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire principals of Koch Industries. Known for her opposition to sex education in schools in favor of teaching abstinence, DeVos is also a force behind the pro-privatization organization, Students First, that is fronted by Michelle Rhee, the controversial former chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public school system. According to Blumenthal, the American Federation for Children gave $700,000 to Students First in 2011.</p><p>And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/on-the-trail-to-find-out-who-is-behind-two-dark-money-groups_us_55ccfe24e4b064d5910af11e">Blumenthal’s report</a>, the two non-profits linked to Yass and his partners have dispensed millions to groups lobbying for the privatization public education.</p><p>Yass is also a major donor to the Club for Growth Action, a super PAC known for supporting primary challenges to Republican candidates who don’t adhere to the sort of small-government, anti-regulatory ideology sold by the Koch brothers. In the current election cycle, Club for Growth Action has spent more than $14 million. Yass’ Susquehanna International Group has already given the super PAC <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/contrib.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00487470">$500,000</a> so far in the 2016 election cycle.</p><p><strong>The Pollution-Happy Agribusiness Donor</strong></p><p>Chris Rufer, the founder and president of Morning Star Packing Company, likes a good fight. He’s fought with the FEC over <a href="http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510517608-political-party-committees-should-have-same-rights-as-pacs-new-suits-against-fec-argue">legal limits</a> on independent expenditures by political parties (he and his co-plantiffs lost), and now he’s fighting California’s Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board over a $1.5 million fine imposed upon his company for enlarging wastewater ponds beyond the limits stated on his permits, according to a report in the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. The water board charges Morning Star with polluting groundwater with excess salts, nitrates and organic waste.</p><p>"We don't see that magnitude of problems very often," Wendy Wyels, environmental program manager of the control board, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tomato-pollution-20160315-story.html">told Geoffrey Mohan</a> of the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. Rufer has vowed to fight the fine in court. It’s not the first time he’s been cited by the water board: In 1995 it cited the libertarian entrepreneur “for dumping too many pollutants into surface and ground water,” <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tomato-pollution-20160315-story.html">according</a> to the <em>Times</em>.</p><p>Rufer has donated both directly to the Johnson campaign, and given <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contrib.php?id=N00033226&amp;cycle=2016&amp;type=f&amp;src=o">$500,000 to AlternativePAC</a>, a pro-Johnson group that is promoting, through a viral video, a matching service for Johnson supporters that the PAC wordsmiths call Balanced Rebellion. He's also an <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/257542-koch-network-spreads-the-wealth">unabashed donor</a> to organizations in the Koch network, and an attendee of the brothers' biannual summit, according to a <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/257542-koch-network-spreads-the-wealth">report</a> in <em>The Hill</em>. The idea is that a traditionally Democratic voter can, via the Balanced Revolution website, match his or her pledge to vote for Johnson with that of a traditionally Republican voter, ostensibly ensuring their votes do not draw exclusively from one or the other of the major-party candidates. “Like Tinder, but not gross,” the promotional video promises.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLAh3pui-CI">video</a>, produced by the <a href="http://theharmonbrothers.com">ad agency</a> that brought you clever internet spots for Squatty Potty and Poo-Pourri, features “dead Abe Lincoln” explaining what he sees as horrible about both Trump and Clinton, and promoting the Balanced Rebellion idea. “Dead Abe Lincoln” even makes assassination jokes about himself and claims to have been a third-party candidate. It’s so weird it’s hard to look away, ensuring the viewer stays tuned for the full five minutes.</p><p>AlternativePAC is run by Matt Kibbe, the former chief executive officer of FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C., astroturf group that helped organize raucous townhall meetings in congressional districts across the country in opposition to the Affordable Care Act. FreedomWorks is credited with having helped <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/148598/tea_party_inc.%3A_the_big_money_and_powerful_elites_behind_the_right_wing's_latest_uprising">found</a> the Tea Party movement. </p><p>Despite the modest investments made so far in the Johnson campaign by wealthy right-wingers, the impacts could be significant. If Johnson is able to tip a couple of Clinton’s must-win states, he could throw the presidential race into disarray. And chaos, as we’ve seen, tends to <a href="http://prospect.org/article/chaos-party">favor</a> 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 = '1064277'; </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=1064277" 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, 28 Sep 2016 17:01:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1064277 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Education Election 2016 Environment Investigations Media News & Politics The Right Wing Water gary johnson Jeffrey Yass Chris Rufer cato institute Betsy DeVos michelle rhee Students First charter schools education reform ed crane koch brothers david koch Susquehanna Group International roger stone freedomworks AlternativePAC Purple PAC matt kibbe tea party Clinton’s Ingenious Debate Strategy Lays Bare Trump’s Racism, Sexism and Venality http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/clinton-wins-historic-first-debate <!-- 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 = '1064404'; </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=1064404" 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">In the annals of feminism, Monday’s debate will rank with the epic tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/hillary_debate_0.png?itok=ZS3LhoiT" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>If there’s anything you want in a president of these United States, it’s the ability to execute a superior strategy against a foe who threatens to tear the nation apart. In Monday night’s historic presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, Hillary Clinton demonstrated that when it comes to strategy, she has the stuff.</p><p>In the days leading up to the debate, no one doubted that Clinton’s command of policy far outstrips Donald Trump’s, or that her intellect is superior to his. But given the uneven playing field she would occupy on account of her gender, there were doubts as to whether she could win the debate without transgressing the standards for likability and loveliness required only of women candidates, while managing to appear presidential. She achieved all that and more by shaping the debate on her terms and turning disadvantages to her favor. Would the male candidate be permitted to repeatedly interrupt her? Fine, let him. Just use his own vanity to unnerve him before the games even begin.</p><p>The debate hadn’t even commenced when Clinton landed her first blow. Greeting her opponent onstage before they went to their respective podiums, Clinton said, “How are you, Donald?” Not “Mr. Trump.” (Everybody knows he hates to be called by his first name.) That may seem like a small thing, but with those four words, Clinton attacked his sense of self-importance and claimed her right to be treated as his equal. Once proceedings were underway, she called him by his first name throughout.</p><p>It clearly irked him. In their first exchange, about jobs and trade deals, Trump referred to her as “Secretary Clinton,” and then turned to her and <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/full-transcript-first-2016-presidential-debate-228761#ixzz4LRs0tgzm">said</a>, “Is that OK? Good. I want you to be very happy. It's very important to me.” His aside came off as more petulant than respectful.</p><p>It was hardly the evening’s most memorable moment, but it was the one at which Trump lost the debate—the second at which he turned from the much-vaunted “teleprompter Trump” into reality-show Trump (otherwise known simply as Donald Trump). Early on in the debate, when moderator Lester Holt of NBC News asked Clinton to respond to Trump’s answer to a question about how he would bring jobs back to the U.S., Trump interrupted Clinton more than 20 times, as Holt stood haplessly by. It didn’t play well for Trump. Clinton kept her cool and pressed her point, punctuating the exchange with a zinger. </p><p>Steering her answer to the development of the creation of new clean-energy jobs, she said: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real.” When Trump interrupted, claiming never to have said that (actually, he made that assertion in a tweet) Clinton responded, “I think science is real.” </p><p>Trump went nuts, badgering Clinton, trying to nail her on her apparent support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal while she was in the administration, trying to claim credit for her present position in opposition to the deal (when actually pressure from labor unions and Bernie Sanders’ supporters surely had more to do with her embrace of an anti-TPP position). In short, he came off looking like a jerk, on what perhaps was the one topic on which he could have scored points, if only he could have kept his ego in check. Instead, he continued to unravel.</p><p>She attacked him for “stiff[ing]” hundreds of working people in the bankruptcy proceedings he’s undergone for his various companies, citing working-class people such as drapery-makers and dishwashers who lost income because of them, and noted that in the audience was an architect whose bill Trump had shorted. She noted his glee at the impending bursting of the housing bubble in 2006, despite the lost family wealth it meant for regular Americans. “It’s called business, by the way,” Trump interrupted.</p><p>Holt asked Trump why he wouldn’t release his tax returns, and in her rejoinder, Clinton noted that several tax returns of Trump’s that were made public (because of a casino deal he was making) revealed he had paid no federal income tax.</p><p>“That’s smart,” he interrupted, again.</p><p>By the time Holt found his footing, in the second half of the debate, to ask difficult questions, Clinton had already thrown Trump so far off any kind of strategic game that he couldn’t even play the race card for his base from a strong hand. His response to a question about healing the racial divide was to call for the restoration of the stop-and-frisk policies of the past. That, in and of itself, was not a strategic mistake for him, given the base of resentful white people he has claimed for himself. But when Holt reminded him that New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy had been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge, Trump refuted the fact.</p><p>Asked about his longstanding crusade perpetuating the false claim by right-wing activists that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, Trump attempted to lay the narrative in the hands of operatives of Clinton’s 2008 campaign. While sizable numbers of Republican voters may believe him, his assertion also left Clinton the opening to show how Trump sought to delegitimize the nation’s first black president.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZHPEtv2rKOU" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Where Clinton likely made the strongest case with voters who may not yet be in her camp was in one of her final speeches of the debate, after Holt asked Trump what he meant when he claimed his female opponent did not have "a presidential look." He refused to elaborate, but then reiterated a claim he makes frequently questioning the former secretary of state's stamina.</p><p>"Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina," Clinton replied.</p><p>After noting Trump's pivot from the question regarding his statement about Clinton's looks to a point about stamina, she recounted the insults Trump has hurled at women. “[T]his is a man who has called women pigs, slobs, and dogs,” she said. She recounted the story of Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe (a beauty pageant Trump once owned), who claims Trump called her “Miss Piggy” when she gained some weight, and disparaged her as a Latina by calling her “Miss Housekeeping.”</p><p>“Where did you find this?” Trump asked. But he didn’t deny it. Then he all but asked to be granted points for not saying something "extremely rough" he had planned to say about Clinton and her family.</p><p>Women who normally vote Republican may well be inspired to vote for Clinton by this exchange, and Machado’s story could help boost Latino turnout at the polls.</p><p>But there wasn’t much in the debate, aside from an early mention by Clinton of her plan for “debt-free college” that specifically targeted millennials, many of whom are enamored of third-party candidates.</p><p>Still, in the annals of feminism, Monday’s debate will rank with the epic tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. It remains to be seen whether it has moved the needle in what is presently a very close presidential contest. </p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064404'; </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=1064404" 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 04:27:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1064404 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics The Right Wing hillary clinton donald trump 2016 first presidential debate Debate Prep: How Sexism Makes Hillary’s Task Infinitely More Difficult Than Trump’s http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/sexism-hillary-clinton-must-overcome-presidential-debates <!-- 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 = '1064143'; </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=1064143" 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">To succeed in her first match-up with Trump, she must meet his simian displays with the finesse of a ballerina.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/clintonpodium.jpg?itok=ywTlNyBn" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>Everybody who’s ever watched Hillary Clinton in a debate knows just how very good she is in that format. No one comes more prepared on matters of fact; she has a keen sense of debate strategy and can land a zinger—even while bearing the burden of gender, that weight that deems a woman to not only prove herself smarter than her male opponent, but to do so while smiling more than he does (though not so much that she lacks gravitas) and being very careful not to completely emasculate her male opponent, lest she be seen as a knife-wielding bitch.</p><p>This is the challenge Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has faced in her past debates against Democratic opponents in two presidential primaries, and against her Republican challenger in her successful bid for a seat in the United States Senate—all events in which her opponents generally adhered to the norms of behavior in such forums (except for that time when <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/the-worst-debate-moments-ever/2011/11/10/gIQATweo8M_blog.html">Rick Lazio strayed toward her podium</a>, which didn’t work out so well for him). She’s now one of the best on the political debate stage.</p><p>But on September 26, she will face a completely different challenge: debating a male opponent whose trademark is a defiance of behavioral norms. In fact, the success of Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump stems, it seems, from repeated transgressions of the standards of public behavior in politics. Clinton’s difficulty lies in the fact that for a woman, especially one facing off against a man, behavioral norms are still evolving, and she must dance around the obvious discomfort broadly experienced in American culture with the notion of female leadership.</p><p>On the September 21 edition of <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/09/21/494837232/clinton-prepares-for-difficult-challenging-debate-with-trump">NPR’s <em>Morning Edition</em></a>, Republican debate strategist Brett O’Donnell explained Clinton’s dilemma. “Her biggest weakness is likability,” he said of Clinton, “and this is a big tightrope, particularly for a female candidate because gender communication research tells us that men, when they are aggressive, are received pretty positively, when women are overly aggressive, they tend to be received negatively.”</p><p>Read that quote carefully. In O’Donnell’s seemingly impassive analysis, his own bias is subtly evident. In describing different perceptions of aggression in male and female candidates, he inserts the word “overly” in his description of the attribute in a woman contender. And here, he’s just talking generically. He’s not even factoring in the spectacle that is Trump. </p>Meanwhile, Trump appears to adhere more to the behavioral norms of non-human primates.<p>In a stroke of genius, James Fallows of <em>The Atlantic</em> <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/10/who-will-win/497561/">interviewed</a> the renowned primate specialist and anthropologist Jane Goodall for an assessment of Trump’s antics. <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/10/who-will-win/497561/">From Fallows’s article</a>:</p><blockquote><p>“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, told me shortly before Trump won the GOP nomination. “In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”</p></blockquote><p>And for these displays, Trump has been richly rewarded—with the Republican nomination, with real-estate riches, with <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/324094160/CBS-NYT-AM-presidential-poll-toplines-Sept-15-2016#from_embed">poll numbers</a>. It is not possible that any woman could succeed at anything by throwing rocks and slapping the ground (though, at this point in my career, I’m tempted to try it). </p><p>By contrast, Hillary Clinton will be expected to turn in the performance of a ballerina, exuding a form of feminine grace that demands extraordinary muscular strength and mind-body coordination. In short, she must perform a <em>pas de deux </em>with a stamping, branch-dragging display junkie, stepping out with a big, likably womanly smile to do a perfectly executed <em>pirouette</em> <em>en</em> <em>pointe</em> while balancing a briefing book on her head, all the while appearing ready to be the commander-in-chief. </p><p>We’re told that women excel at multitasking, and we know that Clinton is determined to excel at all things. Excelling at debating Trump? She might just pull it off.</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 = '1064143'; </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=1064143" 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 15:23:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1064143 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing hillary clinton debate donald trump jane goodall james fallows 12 Ways Gary Johnson Is a Hardcore Right-Wing Radical http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/12-ways-gary-johnson-hardcore-right-wing-radical <!-- 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 = '1064086'; </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=1064086" 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 rhetoric on marijuana and against war serve as a shield for a litany of radical-right positions.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/garyjohnson.jpg?itok=jXpH0ZAp" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p>A recent NBC News/Quinnipiac poll reveals that <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/clinton-losing-key-millennial-support-nationally-key-states-n650076">more than a quarter</a> of young voters—many who had supported the presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders—plan to cast their presidential ballots for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Democrats are increasingly nervous that Johnson’s candidacy could pull more voters from Hillary Clinton than from her Republican rival, Donald Trump, especially in key states like Colorado and Wisconsin. While Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein draws mostly progressive voters, Johnson’s support hails from the breadth of the political spectrum, making it more difficult to suss out. However, because he is on the ballot in all 50 states (Stein is not), most pollsters consider his campaign to be a greater threat to Clinton’s chances in some swing states. And because the U.S. uses the electoral college system to determine the outcome of presidential elections, that could matter on November 8, no matter Clinton's overall support among the general population.</p><p>Johnson's <a href="https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/gary-johnson-swindle/">former adviser</a>, Roger Stone, is now <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dirty-trickster-and-trump-adviser-roger-stone-speaks-conspiracist-america-first-rally">advising</a> the Trump campaign, and has talked in the past of how to use a <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/roger-stone-political-animal/article/15381">third-party candidate</a> to split an opponent's vote.</p><p>Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has emphasized his support for marijuana legalization and touts an anti-war stance in an attempt to lure progressives to his cause. But progressives are likely less aware of his links to the radical right and the Koch brothers, as well as his billionaire-coddling tax policies. AlterNet found that the largest corporate donor to his campaign is a California polluter, and that the pro-Johnson political action committee, Purple PAC, is primarily financed by a member of the radical right involved with efforts to privatize public education.</p><p>Here we examine a few of Johnson’s alarming stances and ties.</p><p><strong>1. Opposes federal guarantees for student loans.</strong> In June, Johnson told Julia Glum of the <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/why-college-so-expensive-libertarian-gary-johnson-wants-eliminate-education-2383517">International Business Times</a> that the reason college tuition is so high is that federal government-guaranteed loans eliminate competition for students. At the crux of Johnson’s argument is that if you don’t have the money up front to attend college, you shouldn’t have the opportunity to attend college.</p><p><strong>2. Opposes virtually all forms of gun control.</strong> Even more trigger-happy than most of the Republicans in Congress—who wouldn’t even pass loophole-closing gun legislation in the wake of the Orlando and Sandy Hook mass shootings—Johnson has bought into the National Rifle Association’s “good-guy-with-a-gun” trope, which argues that levels of gun violence would decrease if <a href="http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/14/theres-just-no-evidence-whatsoever-to-su">everybody had a gun.</a></p><p><strong>3. Opposes the minimum wage.</strong> “I do not support the federal minimum wage,” Johnson told CNN in June. In July, he told the <em><a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gary-johnson-ill-cut-your-taxes/article/2595868">Washington Examiner</a></em>, if given the chance, “I would sign legislation to abolish it. I don't think it should be established and I, having been in business, having employed a thousand people myself, the minimum wage was never an issue.” But if you think he’s all for a state-level minimum wage, consider this: In 1999, during his first term as New Mexico governor, Johnson vetoed a bill that would have raised his state’s minimum wage from $4.25 an hour to $5.65.</p><p><strong>4. Opposes equal-pay laws.</strong> According to the website <a href="https://www.isidewith.com/candidate-guide/gary-johnson/economic/equal-pay">ISideWith.com</a>, Johnson answered the following when asked whether he supports requiring employers to pay men and women the same for performing the same job: “No, there are too many other variables such as education, experience, and tenure that determine a fair salary.”</p><p><strong>5. Opposes collective bargaining for public employees.</strong> When it comes to his stance toward labor unions, Johnson is on par with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Like the Koch-linked Walker, Johnson opposes allowing public employees to collectively bargain. In May 1999, Johnson <a href="http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/05/14/new_appear.shtml#.V-GZWmOMCT8">vetoed a bill</a> that would have renewed the contracts of the state’s public employees, as well as one that would have <a href="http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/05/14/new_appear.shtml#.V-GhrGOMCT_">renewed</a> the state’s collective bargaining law that covered state employees.</p><p><strong>6. Proposes cuts to Social Security and removing Medicare and Medicaid from federal control.</strong> Johnson says he believes in “devolving” Medicare and Medicaid programs to the states, and raising the retirement age for collecting Social Security. Given his druthers, Johnson would also <a href="http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gary-johnson-ill-cut-your-taxes/article/2595868">means-test eligibility</a> for Social Security.</p><p><strong>7. Supports private prisons.</strong> Johnson touts the discredited notion that private prisons are more cost-effective than public facilities while adhering to state and federal standards. When Johnson came into office in New Mexico, the state was housing some 700 prisoners outside its borders because the Department of Justice had found New Mexico’s facilities to be inadequate for the number of prisoners held by the state. Johnson brought in private contractors to build two new prisons. But in April 1999, one of the prisons run by Wackenhut Corrections Corporation <a href="http://amarillo.com/stories/1999/04/24/new_inmates.shtml#.V-E7FWOMCT8">erupted into violence</a> when prison administrators refused to provide Native American prisoners the firewood needed to practice their spiritual traditions, as mandated by law. That same month, Johnson vetoed a bill that would have provided enhanced oversight of New Mexico’s privately run prisons.</p><p><strong>8. Gave a sole-bidder contract to Koch Industries.</strong> In 1998, Gov. Johnson announced that Koch Materials, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, was contracted by the state for a $323 million highway project that involved the widening of N.M. Highway 44 to four lanes. A loophole in the controversial $62 million (on top of the construction costs) warranty provision of the contract, as well as the relegation of payment to federal highway funds (after Johnson vetoed the use of a gas tax for such projects) ultimately cost the taxpayers of New Mexico some $20 million a year in federal highway funds over the course of the next five gubernatorial administrations. After winning the contract, Koch Industries donated the maximum allowable $5,000 to Johnson’s re-election campaign.</p><p><strong>9. May have Koch backing for 2016 effort.</strong> The Daily Caller, a right-wing website, <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/19/exclusive-david-koch-pledges-millions-to-gary-johnsons-presidential-bid/">breathlessly reported</a> in May an anonymous Johnson campaign staffer’s assertion that David Koch had pledged “tens of millions of dollars” to bankroll Johnson’s 2016 campaign. (David Koch was the Libertarian Party’s 1980 vice-presidential nominee.) According to reporter Drew Johnson, “[a] Koch spokesman declined to comment on record.” But after his article was published at the Daily Caller, Drew Johnson wrote, the unnamed spokesman said Koch had not pledged his support to any presidential candidate. So, who knows? You don't have to pledge your support in order to pass money to a PAC.</p><p><strong>10. Uses dirty tricksters.</strong> In his 2012 presidential campaign on the Libertarian Party ticket, the Johnson campaign employed several unsavory operatives, as <a href="https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/gary-johnson-swindle/">documented</a> by independent reporter Mark Ames. They included Maureen Otis, a right-wing vote-caging specialist affiliated with the anti-immigrant Minutemen Civil Defense Force militia group; Jim Lacy, also involved with the Minutemen; and birther propagandist Floyd Brown, who also created the infamous racist Willie Horton ad that many credit with having won George H.W. Bush the presidency. Then there’s Roger Stone, now an adviser to the Trump <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dirty-trickster-and-trump-adviser-roger-stone-speaks-conspiracist-america-first-rally">campaign</a>.</p><p><strong>11. Pro-Johnson PAC accepted $1 million from anti-education right-wing donor.</strong> Since September 8, an entity called Purple PAC has <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/indexpend.php?cycle=2016&amp;cmte=C00544569">purchased $550,000</a> in airtime and online advertising on behalf of Johnson. Founded by former Cato Institute president Ed Crane, Purple PAC has few donors, and is primarily bankrolled by Jeffrey Yass, an options trader whose pet cause is the privatization of public education. Yass, who has donated $1 million to Purple PAC in the 2016 election cycle, sits on the Cato board with David Koch. Yass is also known for his work with Students First PAC, a group formed by the right-wing <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/150868/the_devos_family%3A_meet_the_super-wealthy_right-wingers_working_with_the_religious_right_to_kill_public_education">Betsy DeVos</a>, a member of the Koch network and the religious right. The PAC shares its name with the Students First initiative of Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public school system, who is a star proponent of education privatization.</p><p><strong>12. Top corporate contributor slapped with $1.5 million pollution fine.</strong> A <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contrib.php?cycle=2016&amp;id=N00033226&amp;type=f">top corporate contributor</a> to the Johnson campaign (as opposed to PACs) is Morning Star Packing Company, an agribusiness tomato grower and processor of tomato products. Morning Star is also the <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/contrib.php?cmte=C00618843&amp;cycle=2016">top donor</a> to AlternativePAC, which is behind a purported "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/libertarians-hope-rallies-and-ads-can-nudge-them-into-the-presidential-debates/2016/08/27/2517567c-6b9d-11e6-8225-fbb8a6fc65bc_story.html">matching service</a>" between liberal and conservative voters inclined toward Johnson in order to falsely assure such voters they won't be skewing the election toward either Clinton or Trump should they cast a vote for Johnson. In March, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board in California slapped the company with a <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tomato-pollution-20160315-story.html">$1.5 million fine</a> for illegally enlarging wastewater ponds, polluting groundwater with excess salts, nitrates and organic waste.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1064086'; </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=1064086" 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, 22 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1064086 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing gary johnson Free Ivanka! We're Here to Help If Trump's Daughter Really Wants to Empower Women http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/ivanka-trump-needs-feminist-intervention <!-- 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 = '1063877'; </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=1063877" 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">To really empower women, Ivanka has to pry herself from the grip of her misogynist father. </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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_408626074.jpg?itok=VdbgptJJ" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>Looking at the crowd of cretins encircling the Donald Trump campaign, the bigoted Republican presidential candidate, it’s hard to spot one who seems redeemable. But just outside the ring of riffraff, gleaming in a pinky-white haze like Glinda the Good Witch, is his daughter Ivanka, the lovely, polite, family-friendly, successful purveyor of tastefully designed, affordable attire for hard-working women.</p><p>It was Ivanka, by all accounts, who pushed her father to include a proposal for paid maternity leave and a tax deduction for child-care expenses in his campaign promises. Never mind that the plan is <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/donald-trump-ivanka-maternity-leave-not-good-for-women">kind of crappy</a>; Ivanka really seems to mean well. If only she weren’t supporting the presidential candidacy of a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023">demonstrable misogynist</a> and bigot, she’d be more believable.</p><p>Given the abusive nature of her father, you’d think Ivanka would have rebelled by now. Surely, it can’t be pleasant to be around the Donald as he hurls sexist invective at other successful women, such as Fox News anchor <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/">Megyn Kelly</a> and celebrity <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLhbROouz0s">Rosie O'Donnell</a>. Ivanka surely has the wherewithal to succeed without Daddy; he doesn’t own her brain, right?</p><p>Or does he?</p><p>Because when you get right down to it, the only plausible explanation for Ivanka standing by her dad as she does is some kind of Stockholm Syndrome—you know, the phenomenon that sometimes occurs among the abducted, when they come to identify with their captors. What comes to mind are those images of Ivanka as a <a href="http://static2.politico.com/dims4/default/b6ecda1/2147483647/resize/1160x%3E/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.politico.com%2F8e%2Fd1%2F6a9c2b8845948528c15cf05d7d24%2F151013-ivanka-trump-gallery-duo-gty-1160.jpg">little girl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/faq_teenee/status/694283546349998080">with her father</a>; he always seems to have his <a href="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/13/article-2523240-1A1573FF00000578-857_634x637.jpg">hands on her</a>, as if to <a href="http://static.deathandtaxesmag.com/uploads/2016/04/download-640x347.jpeg">control</a> her every move.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en" xml:lang="en">WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!? Why are parrots having sex? You weirdos!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IvankaTrump?src=hash">#IvankaTrump</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/birdsex?src=hash">#birdsex</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DonaldTrump?src=hash">#DonaldTrump</a> <a href="https://t.co/LXqDgsUKDZ">pic.twitter.com/LXqDgsUKDZ</a></p>— Hyo (@faq_teenee) <a href="https://twitter.com/faq_teenee/status/694283546349998080">February 1, 2016</a></blockquote><script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>“My father is a feminist,” Ivanka <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/ivanka-trump-says-donald-trump-really-feminist">told the <em>Sunday Times</em></a> of London in July. And she really seems to believe it, despite the fact that he would only pay Ivanka’s mother $1 a year (“<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/29/opinion/all-the-dresses-she-can-buy.html">plus all the dresses she can buy</a>”) to run the Plaza Hotel in New York, or that time he tried to <a href="http://www.people.com/article/donald-trump-posts-meme-of-heidi-cruz">shame Ted Cruz’s wife</a>, Heidi, for not being as hot as Trump’s (<a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/why-did-melania-trump-disappear">now-invisble</a>) third wife, Melania. Or his welcoming into his inner circle the despicable Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News director who reportedly harassed and threatened <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/how-fox-news-women-took-down-roger-ailes.html">dozens of women</a> at the news channel.</p><p>The thing is, Ivanka sees her dad as a great champion of women’s rights. In her <a href="http://time.com/4417579/republican-convention-ivanka-trump-transcript/">speech</a> at the Republican National Convention in July, that was her overarching message. When earlier this week, <em>Cosmopolitan</em> reporter Prachi Gupta <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a3356886/ivanka-trump-child-care-maternity-leave-policy/">challenged Ivanka</a> to explain her father’s 2004 comment that a pregnant worker was an inconvenience to a business, Ivanka clenched, accusing the reporter of being “negative,” and refusing to accept the veracity of the quote.</p><p>Yes, Ivanka, you are in the grip of something evil. So if you truly want to perform acts of greatness on behalf of womankind, you must free yourself. We’ll send in the feminist intervention squad to help you get there, but first, you must really want to get well. If you haven’t yet hit bottom, what with the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/13-deplorable-public-figures-supporting-trump">Pepe memes</a> and the <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/david-duke-trump-219777">David Duke endorsement</a> and the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/shake-breitbarts-stephen-bannon-lead-trump-campaign">Steve Bannon hire</a>, you will soon. And we’ll be there to pick you up.</p><p>Come on in, Ivanka. We’ll love you unconditionally. We’ll help you shred all those <a href="http://hollywoodlife.com/2016/02/02/ivanka-donald-trump-throwback-photo-daughter/">photos of you</a> sitting on Daddy’s lap. We’ll all sit in a circle and tell you our stories of how we broke the bonds of oppressive fathers, bosses or spouses. We’ll help you find a job in an organization not named “Trump.” Don’t worry, we’ll have your back. Because we know how much you really want to help. We can tell you feel a little bit guilty about your privilege; you indicated that in your convention speech when you talked about knowing how hard it is to be a working mom. “I also know that I’m far more fortunate than most,” <a href="http://time.com/4417579/republican-convention-ivanka-trump-transcript/">you said</a>, so perfectly appointed in your affordably priced pink sheath from your clothing line, a photo of which was tweeted from your <a href="https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/756492146484580352">Twitter account</a> during your speech with information on how to purchase it.</p><p>See, this wouldn’t be a one-way street. The feminist movement could surely use that kind of marketing prowess. Let us help you, Ivanka, and you can help us. Help us close that pesky 20 percent <a href="http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination">pay gap</a>. Help us push Congress to enact the gun control we need to stem the tide of murders of women by their intimate partners. (More than three women are <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/06/us/domestic-intimate-partner-violence-fast-facts/">killed</a> by their husbands or boyfriends each day in the United States, <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/guns-crime/report/2014/06/18/91998/women-under-the-gun/">half of them</a> by guns.) Help us keep the ever-decreasing numbers of women’s health clinics open, and help us open new ones to make up for the ones <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-24/abortion-clinics-are-closing-at-a-record-pace">we’ve lost</a> during the right wing’s war on women. Forget a tax deduction for childcare expenses; that adds up to bupkis for the people who need it most. With your talent, you could help design a system of government-subsidized and regulated daycare centers supported by a fairer tax burden on those who are “far more fortunate than most.”</p><p>There’s so much more you could help us with, yielding the kind of outstanding results we know you really, really want for women, if you’d only let us help you.</p><p>The bottom line—and we know you love the bottom-line analysis—is that you can’t really be a feminist, Ivanka, while advancing the candidacy of a racist, xenophobic <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/18-real-things-donald-trump-has-said-about-women_us_55d356a8e4b07addcb442023">misogynist</a>. That stuff is really bad for women!</p><p>Make a break for it, woman! Give the hotline a call. Your credibility is shot, your father’s campaign is taking a toll on your brand, and you’re living in the war-on-women zone. What the hell do you have to lose?</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" height="394" id="flashObj" width="600"><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=5045859213001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fti.me%2F29XZLhU&amp;playerID=1917933886001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAABGEUMg~,hNlIXLTZFZn-NQOazMchMDWH0SI1hX7f&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowscriptaccess="always" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=5045859213001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fti.me%2F29XZLhU&amp;playerID=1917933886001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAABGEUMg~,hNlIXLTZFZn-NQOazMchMDWH0SI1hX7f&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" height="394" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" quality="high" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600"></embed></object></p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063877'; </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=1063877" 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, 16 Sep 2016 15:19:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1063877 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing Ivanka Trump donald trump feminism misogyny Meet the 'Deplorables': 13 Despicable Characters in Trump's Very Crowded Basket http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/13-deplorable-public-figures-supporting-trump <!-- 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 = '1063740'; </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=1063740" 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">Looking at who surrounds the GOP standard-bearer, it&#039;s hard to argue with Hillary Clinton&#039;s controversial comments.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/deplorables.png?itok=w-eZMXyh" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>As word spread of Hillary Clinton's characterization of half of Donald Trump's supporters in her in a <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/sep/11/context-hillary-clinton-basket-deplorables/">September 9 speech</a>, the right-wing outrage machine went into overdrive. Half of the Repubican standard-bearer's followers, Clinton said, were "a basket of deplorables," while the rest were simply people who felt let down by the government and were desperate for change. With the help of mainstream media, focus turned to the "deplorables" part of her comments. The Trump campaign texted supporters a link to a video ad that mischaracterized Clinton's remarks. In response to the right's fury, Clinton gamely stated that maybe she shouldn’t have said “half."</p><p>Truth is, we don't really know what percentage of Trump's current crop of supporters belong in the "deplorables" basket, but what we do know is this: There are a goodly number of public figures and leaders of odious white-supremacist organizations who love them some Trump, and Trump has either embraced them or declined to disavow them. Here we list some of the biggest eggs in the deplorables basket.</p><p><strong>1. Stephen K. Bannon:</strong> When Trump hired Bannon, then the chief executive of Breitbart News, as his campaign CEO in August, you couldn’t ask for a clearer sign that the GOP standard-bearer was staking a potential victory on igniting the racist resentments of the right-leaning faction of the electorate. During an event in Cleveland the week of the Republican National Convention, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news">Bannon boasted</a> to journalist Sarah Posner that since he took the reins at Breitbart News, the site had become “the platform for the alt-right.”</p><p>The alt-right, or alternative right, is a loose affiliation of groups and publications that advance a white nationalist or white supremacist ideology, often characterizing the more established conservative movement as being weak or “cuckholded.” Bannon has written and directed a number of films designed to frighten viewers into thinking their culture is being extinguished, such as <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/duck-dynastys-phil-robertson-star-new-citizens-unitedbreitbart-film">Torchbearer</a>, his latest project with Citizens United. That film features horrific scenes of violence, and stars Phil Robertson, the patriarch of “Duck Dynasty,” a reality television show that was temporarily suspended after <i>GQ</i> published an <a href="http://www.gq.com/story/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson">interview</a> in which Robertson made anti-gay comments, and said blacks were all happy and singing “Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare.” </p><p><strong>2. Richard Spencer:</strong> President of the innocuous-sounding National Policy Institute, Spencer, <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/richard-bertrand-spencer-0">according to</a> the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), advocates for an Aryan homeland for the supposedly dispossessed white race and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture. He's one of the leading figures of the white nationalist “alt-right” that Trump has courted. At a press conference Saturday, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/09/09/white-nationalist-richard-spencer-we-have-been-riding-trump-s-coattails/212973">Spencer said</a> of Trump, “Certainly we have been, you could say, riding his coattails, there’s been more interest in us because we’re generally pro-Trump, because we’re inspired by him and things like that.” </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="video-embed" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="http://mediamatters.org/embed/212973" width="480"></iframe></p><p>He <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/09/09/alt-right-white-nationalist-richard-spencer-donald-trump-what-we-want-leader/212970">went on</a>: </p><blockquote><p>Even in all his vulgarity and I would never deny him, this is what we want in a leader. This is someone who can make the future. So I think that is the way I would define our love of Trump, is that he seems to be willing to go there, he seems to be willing to confront people. And that is very different from the cuckold.</p></blockquote><p><strong>3. Pamela Geller:</strong> A New Yorker with an Ayn Rand fetish, Geller wandered around the right for a while before she found her calling: rallying the forces of hatred in opposition to an Islamic community center that was being developed in lower Manhattan in the early aughts. Together with Spencer, Geller took over the group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), using it as a platform for opposing the Cordoba House development and spewing hatred against Muslims, even falsely suggesting they practiced bestiality, according to the <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/pamela-geller">SPLC</a>. She and Spencer falsely described the planned community center as a “victory mosque” created to celebrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. </p><p>Eating pork and depicting the Prophet Muhammad are both forbidden to practitioners of the Muslim faith. Yet Geller combined the two proscriptions in a cartoon on her website depicting the prophet with the face of a pig, according to SPLC, which lists SIOA as a <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/active-anti-muslim-groups">hate group</a>. </p><p>In Cleveland, the week of the 2016 RNC, Geller was a <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gays-trump-join-conspiracy-theorists-bringing-anti-islam-anti-pc-message-rnc">featured speaker</a> at an event sponsored by the group Gays for Trump, which was hosted by Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News. </p><p><strong>4. Milo Yiannapoulos:</strong> Described by Peter Montgomery of People for the American Way as the alt-right’s gay <em>enfant terrible,</em>Yiannapoulos, the technology editor of Breitbart News, has become semi-famous simply for being an awful person. He was banned from Twitter for his <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/07/21/what-it-takes-to-get-banned-from-twitter/">racist dogging</a> of the actor Leslie Jones, and he is known for his <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/gays-trump-join-conspiracy-theorists-bringing-anti-islam-anti-pc-message-rnc">anti-Muslim invective</a>. </p><p>Yiannapoulos likes to play his gay identity for laughs, often in the service of mocking Muslims. At an "America First" rally in Cleveland co-hosted by radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that took place the first day of the Republican National Convention, <a href="BLOCKQUOTE%3E">Montgomery reports</a>, Yiannapoulos said: “Die on your feet or live on your knees. Well, I do live on my knees, but that’s all right. That’s all right. As long as I’m not facing Mecca, I guess I’m all right with you guys."</p><p><strong>5. Jared Taylor:</strong> Editor of the “racialist” <i>American Renaissance</i> magazine, Taylor is an unabashed Trump supporter. He even has a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/racial-realists-are-cheered-by-trumps-latest-strategy/2016/08/20/cd71e858-6636-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html">strategy suggestion</a> for Donald Trump, as he told the <i>Washington Post</i>’s David Weigel: </p><blockquote><p>[Taylor] said that Trump should “concentrate on his natural constituency, which is white people,” suggesting that winning 65 percent of the white vote would overwhelm any Democratic gains with minorities.</p></blockquote><p>Watching Trump’s attacks on non-white immigrants and his courtship of the alt right—of which Taylor is a part—it would be safe to deduce that Trump and/or his advisers have been working that very strategy for a while now.</p><p>In an August 29 appearance on "The Diane Rehm Show" on NPR, <a href="https://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-08-29/the-rise-of-the-alt-right-movement-and-its-place-in-this-years-presidential-campaign">Taylor discussed</a> his opposition to Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights act, which bars private businesses that serve the public from racially discriminating against their customers. “[I]f I am a private club, a private business, I should have the right to discriminate for good reasons, bad reasons or no reasons at all,” Taylor said. “It's part of the essential freedom of making choices as a human being.”</p><p>During the same segment, Taylor explained his rationale for ranking racial groups differently:</p><blockquote><p>"Among the many positions held by the alt-right, we reject the notion that race is some sort of sociological optical illusion. Race is a biological fact, whether we wish to recognize that or not, and we completely reject the idea that all races are exactly equal and equivalent and in effect interchangeable."</p></blockquote><p><strong>6. Alex Jones:</strong> The radio host and conspiracy theorist is an anti-government ranter, seeing every terrorist attack as a “false flag” event that was actually conducted by the government. In 2014, Dave Niewert reported that Jones was pushing the narrative that President Obama and the media were in cahoots trying to foment a race war. </p><p>When Republicans converged on Cleveland for their convention, Jones headlined an “America First” rally that featured a number of groups with the words “for Trump” in their name: Bikers for Trump, Gun Owners for Trump, Gays for Trump. He complained that his constitutional rights were abridged when he couldn’t get permits for several of his efforts, including the small planes that were flying over the city trailing “Hillary for Prison” banners. It was, of course, all a conspiracy. </p><p>Jones also contended that Jared Loughner, the gunman who, in January 2011, shot and critically wounded Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six in Tucson, was actually part of a <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/talk-radios-alex-jones-the-most-paranoid-man-in-america-20110302">government plot</a>. Jones contends that the 9/11 attacks were part of “an inside job” by the government. And before Trump got around to it, Jones accused Raphael Cruz, father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) as being part of the plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.</p><p>Trump appeared on Jones’ InfoWars radio program in December, praising Jones for his “amazing reputation,” and promising not to let him down.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/frACCoVvOi8" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>7. Roger Stone:</strong> Even Roger Stone probably thinks he’s deplorable. A famous Republican operative and dirty trickster, Stone is perhaps most famous for having organized what became known as the “<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2008/11/20/a-gop-dirty-trickster-has-second-thoughts.html">Brooks Brothers riot</a>” in 2000, at the Miami-Dade election board, where votes were being recounted in the Bush v. Gore presidential election whose outcome was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. </p><p>It was Stone who, during the 2008 presidential campaign, took to Fox News to advance the false narrative that a tape existed of Michelle Obama referring to white people as “whiteys.”</p><p>In 2015, he was an official member of the Trump campaign, but later resigned to run a pro-Trump PAC. However, he remains close to the campaign. At the “America First” rally in Cleveland, he apologized for his tardiness, offering the excuse that he had been delayed because he was meeting with the Trump campaign team. </p><p><strong>8. Roger Ailes:</strong> If you’ve been reading Gabriel Sherman’s <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/09/how-fox-news-women-took-down-roger-ailes.html">outstanding reporting</a> for <i>New York</i> magazine on the scandal that forced Ailes out of Fox News, you know just how despicable he is. After former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment, other women came forward, including one who said Ailes had videotaped her when they had sex with the threat of using the tape against her should she cause him any trouble. (Fox has since settled with Carlson for a <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/fox-news-settles-with-gretchen-carlson-for-20-million">reported $20 million</a>.) Sherman revealed that Ailes also illicitly acquired the phone records of journalists who had been critical of Fox News. </p><p>Ruport Murdoch, chair of Fox’s parent company, News Corporatin, is said to have been unhappy that Ailes was using Fox to support the Trump campaign. Now that Ailes is out of Fox, guess who the campaign’s latest high-profile <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/17/us/politics/donald-trump-roger-ailes.html">deplorable adviser</a> is? Roger Ailes.</p><p><strong>9. Troy Newman:</strong> The president of Operation Rescue jumped aboard the Trump train this week. An anti-choice extremist, Newman even co-authored a book with a would-be domestic terrorist, Cheryl Sullenberger, who in 1988 was sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiring to blow up an abortion clinic. In that 2003 book, Newman and Sullenberger argue, according to People for the American Way, “that the government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers.”</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zwoGrDa5g2c" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>10. Ann Coulter:</strong> Where does one begin with the big, steaming pile of deplorable that is Ann Coulter? Her <a href="http://www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/reports/reports/InternalEnemyValuesVoter.pdf">demonization</a> of LGBT people at the 2006 Values Voter Summit? Her 2007 use of the word “<a href="https://thinkprogress.org/coulter-i-would-talk-about-edwards-but-you-have-to-go-into-rehab-if-you-use-the-word-faggot-3e64ed88a87c">faggot</a>” from the stage of a major conservative conference? Her use of the word “<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/ann-coulter-at-cpac-on-ra_b_15434.html">raghead</a>” to describe Muslims? Her creation of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ann-coulter-mexican-rapists_us_561a825be4b0dbb8000eeac8">false narrative</a> that undocumented Mexican immigrants are purveyors of violent crimes and thieves of American jobs? How about her assertion that abortion clinic workers murdered by zealots “had a procedure performed on them <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/april-2007-church-state/featured/religious-right-still-wrong">with a rifle</a>.” Gentle reader, I’ll leave it for you to decide.</p><p>Coulter has hitched her fading star to the Trump train, having released in August her latest spittoon of venom encased between the covers of <i>In Trump We Trust:</i> More fun, though, is watching her bomb of a performance at the Comedy Central roast of Rob Lowe, as comics and celebrities on the dais <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/the-best-ann-coulter-jokes-from-rob-lowes-roast-have-been-rounded-up-a7237861.html">take her down</a>. </p><p><strong>11. Mike Pence:</strong> The Indiana governor and Trump running-mate is a favorite of the Koch brothers’ ground-organizing group, Americans for Prosperity. In March, Pence signed into law one of the most <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/us/indiana-governor-mike-pence-signs-abortion-bill.html">restrictive abortion laws</a> in the nation, even prohibiting women from aborting a fetus because of a major defect or disability. He’s also something of a right-wing hero for his <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/2nd-amendment/2016/07/21/mike-pences-8-greatest-fights-kill-gun-control/">crusade</a> against gun control. If all that isn’t deplorable enough for you, consider Pence’s response to the endorsement his ticket received from former Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke. Twice asked if he would describe Duke as “deplorable,” Pence demurred, saying he isn’t “in the name-calling business.” Because Trump has disavowed Duke’s support (albeit petulantly) and Pence has oh-so-politely said he doesn’t accept Duke’s support, I have not included the odious, disgusting, despicable, DEPLORABLE David Duke on this list. Pence may have a hard time calling him such, though, because it’s hard to refute Duke when <a href="https://newrepublic.com/minutes/135432/donald-trump-made-people-like-david-duke-feel-theyre-no-longer-fringes">he says</a> Trump has "embrace[d] most of the issues that I’ve championed for years.” Duke added: “My slogan remains ‘America first.’” Funny thing: Donald Trump uses that <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/27/opinions/trump-america-first-ugly-echoes-dunn/">slogan</a> as well.</p><p><strong>12. Donald Trump, Jr.:</strong><b> </b>The candidate’s oldest son, as Right Wing Watch termed it, “has got a white supremacist <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/donald-trump-jr-has-got-white-supremacist-problem">problem</a>.” Most recently, as the campaign tried to make hay of Hillary Clinton’s remarks, Junior <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMtdN5Bam5/?hl=en">posted a meme</a> on Instagram featuring the tagline, “The Deplorables,” featuring his father, his brother Eric, and a number of his father’s surrogates and associates, emulating the movie poster for <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320253/">The Expendables</a>, about a band of merceneries. Also included in the lineup was the Trump version of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that has been appropriated by white nationalists as a sort of mascot. (The Trump version of Pepe sports a cartoon rendering of Trump Senior’s trademark hairdo.)</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><img alt="" class="media-image" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/screen_shot_2016-09-15_at_10.04.41_am.png?itok=CTwGUwI0" /></div><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image"><img alt="" class="media-image" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/screen_shot_2016-09-15_at_10.03.51_am.png?itok=oAtjGctk" /></div><p>On Thursday, Junior compared the treatment Republicans receive from the media with that European Jews received at the hands of the Nazis. Speaking with host Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, the chip off the old block <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Donald-Trump-Jr-jokes-about-gas-chamber-on-WPHT.html">complained that media</a> had "built [Hillary Clinton] up," even overlooking what he said was the Democratic National Committee's attempt to get Bernie Sanders out of the nomination contest. "If Republicans were doing that," Donald Trump Jr. said, "they’d be <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Donald-Trump-Jr-jokes-about-gas-chamber-on-WPHT.html">warming up the gas chamber</a> right now."</p><p>As Ari Rabin-Havt notes, Junior has <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/donald-trump-jr-has-got-white-supremacist-problem">consorted with racists</a> in the past:</p><blockquote><p>In March, [Donald Trump, Jr.] appeared on a radio show with James Edwards, host of the <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-extremists-idUSMTZSAPEC33G5QT8C">white supremacist</a> radio show Political Cesspool.</p><p>[...]</p><p>Less than <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/08/31/donald_trump_jr_retweeted_a_white_supremacist.html">two weeks ago</a>, he retweeted a prominent white supremacist. And that wasn’t even the first time he’s done so: Trump Jr. once retweeted a white supremacist’s <a href="https://newrepublic.com/minutes/131495/following-fathers-footsteps-donald-trump-jr-retweeted-white-supremacist">false claim</a> that a Trump supporter pictured giving the Nazi salute was actually a Bernie Sanders fan in disguise.</p></blockquote><p><strong>13. The Man Himself, Donald J. Trump:</strong> You really don’t have time to read in one article all of the things that make Trump deplorable. Suffice it to say, all of the above and more. If you don't believe me, check out this MTV compilation of racist statements, actually made by Donald Trump and interpreted by an actor.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rxLttE06-BU" width="560"></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 = '1063740'; </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=1063740" 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, 15 Sep 2016 07:14:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1063740 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing donald trump Donald Trump Jr. roger stone roger ailes troy newman ann coulter pamela geller alex jones Stephen K. Bannon RICHARD SPENCER Jared Taylor Milo Yiannapoulos mike pence david duke The Normalization of Evil in American Politics http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/normalization-evil-american-politics <!-- 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 = '1063661'; </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=1063661" 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 racist, misogynist, authoritarian strain has always been there, but Trump’s candidacy has brought it into the mainstream. And media have helped.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trumphate.jpg?itok=ZO9S8n28" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><div><p>Time was when a presidential candidate who played footsie with segregationists and white supremacists would have banished to the fringes of the American political scene. But Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has changed all that. </p><p>Oh sure, there have been plenty of codes telegraphed to the anti-black base of the GOP’s southern flank: Ronald Reagan’s <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13herbert.html?_r=0">choice of Philadelphia, Mississippi</a>, as the place to make a “states’ rights” speech in his 1980 presidential campaign; Richard Nixon’s southern strategy and “Silent Majority” framing. But after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, expressions of outright racism were frowned upon in presidential politics. And articulations of misogyny were generally doled out in the form of <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/vice-presidential-debate-shockers-moments-forget/story?id=17435278#5">withering condescension</a>. </p><p>I don’t need to recount for you Trump’s friendliness with the alt-right, the white nationalist movement that was given a platform at Breitbart News by Stephen K. Bannon, the man Trump hired as his campaign CEO. You don’t need to take my word for it; <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news">Bannon has boasted</a> of this fact. And you surely know of Trump’s <a href="http://fortune.com/donald-trump-white-supremacist-genocide/">numerous retweets</a> of posts and memes from white supremacist websites. And who can forget all of the lovely things he’s said about women, calling them fat pigs and demeaning them for <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/">having menstrual periods</a>?</p><p>Just yesterday, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/mike-pence-capitol-hill-wary-gop-228081">declined for a second time</a> to say that former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke was “deplorable,” stating that he isn’t “in the name-calling business.” Isn’t it enough, Pence asked, that he and Trump have disavowed Duke’s endorsement?</p><p>Trump yesterday won the endorsement of Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, an anti-choice extremist who co-authored a 2003 <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Their-Blood-Cries-Troy-Newman/dp/097203675X">book</a>, <a href="http://www.pfaw.org/press-releases/2016/09/pfaw-reacts-troy-newman-trump-endorsement-trump-s-new-effort-reach-women">according to People for the American Way</a>, that “argued that the government has a responsibility to execute abortion providers.” In 1988, Newman’s co-author, Cheryl Sullenberger, was <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1988-05-06/local/me-2616_1_bomb-abortion-clinic">sentenced to three years in federal prison</a> for conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic.</p><p>On Friday, Donald Trump appeared before evangelical Christians assembled at the Values Voter Summit, an annual confab convened by FRC Action, the political arm of the Family Research Council. The conference exhibit hall featured the booths of such co-sponsors as <a href="http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/anti-lgbt-march-supreme-court-dominated-group-celebrates-spanish-inquisition">Tradition, Family and Property</a>, a paleo-Catholic cult whose founder described the Spanish Inquisition as the church’s most glorious moment, and the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-clears-path-return-john-birch-society">conspiracy-theorist and segregationist John Birch Society</a>, which William F. Buckley thought he had managed to purge from the conservative movement in 1962. This was the first time the JBS appeared in the Values Voter hall of sponsors. It could be said that the Trump candidacy helped pave the way, what with his embrace of the <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/dirty-trickster-and-trump-adviser-roger-stone-speaks-conspiracist-america-first-rally">conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones</a>, and his numerous winks to white nationalist extremists.</p><p>The following day, FRC President Tony Perkins, who has endorsed Trump, <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/tony-perkins-defends-alt-right">defended the alt-right</a> when I asked him about the movement at a press conference. Its existence, he seemed to say, was the fault of President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, for having “snuffed out” the voices of people who disagree with the administration’s policies.</p><p>To lay all of this at Trump’s feet would be to give him too much credit. As I’ve argued before, the misogynist, racist, nativist, anti-LGBT right wing that took over the GOP in 1980—of which Perkins himself is evidence—has much to answer for, not least of all, the rise of Donald Trump as the party’s standard-bearer. Trump may not have been the first choice of right-wing leaders, but they created the conditions that cleared his path to the nomination, and most have lined up behind him since he won it.</p><p>But mainstream media are also complicit in this normalization of hatred, allowing it to masquerade in the guise political positions. For decades, when reporting on the Christian right, for example, media have treated it as a religious movement, barely mentioning—if at all—the roots of movement positions in the segregationist backlash of the South. Instead, media executives allowed themselves to be cowed by the right wing’s outrage machine, every time it cranked up its conveyor belt of allegations of the anti-religion bent of reporters.</p><p>Today, the same tendency is evident in the false-equivalence reporting prevalent in the degrees to which media cover different stories. Questions about Clinton’s emails demand teams of reporters toiling for months; scandals involving Trump are too often written as one-off reports—so fearful are mainstream editors of fielding an accusation of liberal bias.</p><p>In the meantime, a monster has been allowed to grow in our midst. Bannon take an obscure fringe of the right and elevates it to a platform that garners tens of millions of pageviews per month. Trump hires Bannon. Media say, hey, that’s interesting, do one story, and say, “Next?”</p><p>Covering the Values Voter Summit this September 9 and 10 was downright depressing. Trump addressed the conference on Friday, and Pence on Saturday—meaning that the conference attendees represent a legitimized constituency of the GOP, as they have for 30 years. The founders of the religious right are passing onto their just rewards. Organizers Paul Weyrich and Howard Phillips died in 2008 and 2013, respectively; Phyllis Schlafly died on September 5 (but not before she took the opportunity to endorse Trump). The movement they founded, however, continues to wreak the havoc of hate on the American political landscape, and the media dare not call it by its name.</p></div><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 = '1063661'; </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=1063661" 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, 14 Sep 2016 08:56:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, The American Prospect 1063661 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 Media News & Politics The Right Wing values voter summit Donald J. Trump mike pence john birch society alex jones david duke ku klux klan family research council Tradition Family and Property Stephen K. Bannon People For the American Way troy newman 15 Years Past 9/11: How I Lost the Country I Used to Know and the Person I Used To Be http://www.alternet.org/culture/15-years-past-911-how-i-lost-country-i-used-know-and-person-i-used-be <!-- 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 = '1063379'; </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=1063379" 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">I was lucky: I didn&#039;t lose anybody close to me—except my country and the person I had been before.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/2099179692_655c99a7f0_z.jpg?itok=maqFGuIc" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--> <p><em>Editor's Note: Five years ago, AlterNet's Washington bureau chief, Adele M. Stan, wrote an <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/152361/9_11%3A_how_i_lost_the_country_i_used_to_know_and_the_person_i_used_to_be">article</a> detailing how 9/11 changed America and her life. Fifteen years after the terrorist attack, we feel it's important to reprise the piece as we continue to reflect on what 9/11 meant to America, to politics, and to our culture.</em></p><p><em>Author's note: This piece is a memoir. Actual events may have, and likely did, differ in small ways. Likewise, quotes from others are my memory of what was said, not the precise words that were spoken. </em><em>The names of all people who are not public figures have been changed to protect their privacy.</em></p><p>He walked through the front door, a thick roll of blueprints tucked under his arm, his eyes brimming with the kind of excitement a six-year-old displays opening his first box of Legos.</p><p>"Know what this is, honey?" he asked.<br /><br />I looked up from the television, where he found me each night, attention focused on one news show or another.<br /><br />"The World Trade Center!"<br /><br />We were married. He was a project manager in a small construction company, I was a freelance journalist who wrote mostly about the collision of religion and politics. His company specialized in the interior build-outs of retail stores and office suites; they had just landed a job for the renovation of a flower shop on the ground floor of the South Tower. It was maybe 1994 or 1995.<br /><br />He unrolled the prints on the rickety dining-room table in our Weehawken, N.J., apartment. We had the top floor of a two-family house built late in the previous century, just two blocks from a magnificent park perched on the Palisades that offered a sweeping view of Manhattan, all the way out to New York Harbor, from the west side of the Hudson River. The towers were built when we were entering our teenage years, a source of true excitement at the prospect of yet another technological wonder just on our doorstep -- the tallest building in the world! -- and the subject of great debate as to their appearance. The lines were harsh, the buildings unornamented, and once finished, they appeared to overweight the tip of Manhattan Island, whose skyline had long featured its tallest buildings at the island's center, with the building heights tapering downward at the northern- and southernmost points.<br /><br />None of that mattered now. Ben had a job to do in one of the biggest buildings in the world. He stood over the unfurled prints, examining the electrical schematics with an obvious sense of wonder on his face. Then his face took on a quizzical mien, when he looked up, saying, "You know what's so weird, Addie? I just walked into the building engineer's office and asked for these prints. They didn't ask for ID or anything. I think they would've given 'em to anybody."</p><p>It was only two or three years before then that terrorists loyal to Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman had tried to blow up the buildings with a bomb and failed, but still managed to kill six people in the effort.<br /><br />* * *<br /><br />We did not have what you would call a good marriage, but it was filled with many kindnesses we accorded one another, perhaps to make up for our fundamental incompatibility, or to try to get the other one to see things one's own way. Or maybe we just loved each other. When I had to make impossible deadlines, he'd drive me to the city with my manuscripts and fellowship applications in the middle of the night; when he put in a long night at 2 World Trade Center, I'd bring him a meal, traveling to and from the site via the PATH train, a subway that runs between Jersey and the Big Town.<br /><br />The PATH station sat underneath the south tower, as 2 WTC was also known, its escalators leading to a large concourse filled with retail stores, some chain stores, some quirky little family-owned business, like the coffee joint where I'd hang, waiting for Ben to catch his break. At rush hour, some 25,000 people moved through that concourse; more than double that number worked in the Trade Center. Long before Ben got his first WTC gig, I knew that concourse and the landscape of the financial district that surrounded it. Once within the buildings, there was more to appreciate aesthetically than was apparent from a distance -- especially the narrow, arched windows that echoed the Gothic forms of the ancient Trinity Church, just yards way, where George Washington prayed on the day of his inauguration, now cast into shadow by the towers.<br /><br />Other times I just stopped by a makeshift plywood storefront with an offering of sustenance, finding Ben in the unglamorous surroundings of a gutted space, all wires, pipes and dusty concrete floor.<br /><br />Only once had I ventured to the building's upper floors, for a glamorous press event at Windows on the World, the swanky restaurant whose main attraction was the 360-degree view it offered of the city and the harbor. I was happy to have seen it, and indeed it was beautiful, but I never wanted to go back. It made me uneasy, the obvious vulnerability and the palpable wind that relentlessly blew, unbroken by anything but the tower and its twin.<br /><br />* * *<br /><br />In 1998, I moved to Washington, D.C., without my husband. He continued to rack up job after job in the World Trade Center, as well as other store build-outs elsewhere in Manhattan. We were not quite through with each other, but our marriage was pretty much over. I took a job with a non-profit organization to work on a project about women and religion. By April, I was in Peshawar, where Osama bin Laden had set up shop, having just issued a fatwa against Americans and their property.<br /><br />At the time, Peshawar, the provincial capital of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, was home to hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees, who lived in dusty camps guarded by hostile, Urdu-speaking Pakistani security forces, and ruled in part by the Taliban.<br /><br />The plight of Afghanistan's women under the rule of the Taliban was a feminist <em>cause célèbre</em>; since Kabul had fallen to the black-turbaned mullahs, Afghan women were banned from just about any public place, unless they were covered head-to-toe in a burqa and accompanied by a male relative. Girls were banned from attending school. If accused of adultery, women were subject to public execution by stoning. Now there was noise coming out of the Clinton administration about possible diplomatic recognition of the Taliban, which at that point was recognized by only three countries. One of them was Saudi Arabia. A U.S. company was looking to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan, and the administration was considering cutting a deal.<br /><br />I came to Peshawar to interview women's rights activists -- both Afghan and expatriate -- about the Taliban, and about Islam. I was about as dumb and naive an American as you might find. Up until my South Asian sojourn, my international experience amounted to a weekend Ben and I had spent in Quebec. Oh, I was pretty book-smart about it all; I knew my Pastuns from my Hazaras, and had followed news of the region since the Soviet invasion in the 1970s.<br /><br />And I knew what the Taliban were doing to women. I just didn't know why. The progressives and feminists in Washington would extol the horrors of patriarchal religion and patriarchal societies, and what happens when those are given their ultimate expression. And while all that was important, it wasn't that simple once you were on the ground.<br /><br />In the Nasir Bagh refugee camp, more than 120,000 Afghans lived in mud huts made by their own hands. Many had arrived long before the Taliban ever came to power in Afghanistan, fleeing Soviet tanks and the civil war that followed -- a war fought with the artillery provided by the United States via Pakistan, taken through the Khyber Pass before which Peshawar is the last big city. The automatic rifles and shoulder-launched missiles paid for with U.S. tax dollars were meant to vanquish the Soviets, and they did, in the hands of the Islamist fighters. That mission accomplished, the U.S. looked away while Afghanistan descended into chaos, without so much as a "Hey, thanks, fellas, for helping us win the Cold War."<br /><br />Among those who helped in that cause was Osama bin Laden, who had also helped to import an extreme form of Islam, Wahabbism, to Afghanistan from his native Saudi Arabia. The Taliban, which adopted much of Wahabbi belief, was born of the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan and Western Pakistan. (Peshawar is a Pashtun town.) They have an honor code known as Pastunwali, which promises the utmost consideration and hospitality to the enemy of one's enemy.<br /><br />Since that time, a whole generation of young men had grown up in the refugee camps of Peshawar. They were angry, had no prospects and owned no land. They were ripe for the picking by the Taliban.<br /><br />In the camps I found plenty of women wearing the burqa. But it wasn't because the Taliban made them; many of them came from families in which the burqa had always been worn. Other women dressed in a common Afghan style that featured a loosely worn, scarf-like veil, and the pants-and-tunic outfit known as a salwar kameez. Even the dress code was complicated.<br /><br />For the Taliban, women were cultural symbols, the Afghanistan scholar Nancy Hatch Dupree, sitting in her Peshawar office at the ACBAR Resource Center, explained to me. The Westernized woman who held positions in universities and government ministries during the Soviet occupation became the symbol of the occupier, Dupree explained. And the Taliban's harsh treatment of women, with its vice police beating women on the streets, was a means of asserting the Taliban's primacy in face of other men. Before the Taliban came to power, it was unthinkable that any man would beat another man's wife, she said. That was the husband's right.<br /><br />I met with a group of women activists at the offices of a non-profit in Peshawar who told me secondhand stories of what was happening in the camps, since few in the camps were willing to talk to me. Women were being sexually abused by the guards, they said. If it became known that a woman had been raped, she could be disowned or worse by her family. Several women repeated the same rumor of a family whose daughter was kidnapped, only to be deposited on their doorstep two days later, barely alive, with a kidney missing.<br /><br />During my stay in Peshawar, I received an invitation to a reception at the U.S. consulate in honor of a State Department official who was touring the region. All the local women's rights activists were there, from the U.N., the European and U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, and the Afghan groups. We all wanted to know what the U.S. would do to save Afghanistan's imperiled women.<br /><br />Well, the diplomat explained, we could get birth control to the women in the north, in a region of the country that was not controlled by the Taliban. That was pretty much it. The women who were being stoned to death in Kabul were beyond our reach.<br /><br />I sat with an Afghan woman who ran a sewing collective sponsored by a Scandinavian nation. She was a Pashtun poet, and very gentle in her affect. I asked her what one thing she wanted people in the U.S. to understand about her people. "All Taliban are Pashtun," she said, "but not all Pashtun are Taliban." I didn't have the heart to tell her that most Americans had never heard of the Pashtuns, and that many thought Afghans and Arabs to be pretty much the same people.<br /><br />I came home from South Asia with a waterborne parasite, sick over the fate of the brilliant women I had met along the way who had no future, sick over the destruction of lives and culture my nation had facilitated and ignored, sick over my own confusion about it all and over the fate of my marriage.<br /><br />While I was in Pakistan, Ben called to wish me a happy birthday. I was 42. Things were going fine on his latest job at the World Trade Center, he said.<br /><br /> * * *<br /><br />In November 2000, we finally divorced, but it would still be a while before we truly let go. We scheduled long phone calls with each other, and occasionally got together, though the time gaps between our meetings became further and further apart. As my marriage had unraveled, so had my career, and I had been fast at work putting it back together, and trying to make a life. I started going to a 12-step recovery program, and began eking out a living as a full-time journalist again, with regular gigs at two websites and a column at a monthly magazine. Then the dot-com bust hit, and the web work disappeared.<br /><br />In August 2001, the magazine went belly-up quite suddenly, and I was panicked for work. A call to a temp agency landed me a secretarial stint at a notoriously right-wing advocacy organization for big corporations. I needed to make rent, and figured I'd probably learn a few things that would prove useful when I got back to reporting.<br /><br />The organization headquarters is in a sleekly decorated office building that adjoins the National Press Building, just three blocks from the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue. If there was any camaraderie in that place, I didn't find it. Surveillance cameras were mounted in the corridors, and the admin staff toiled in open cubicles that faced those corridors. On the other side of the hallway, the higher-ups worked in nicely appointed fishbowl offices, many with televisions running all day long tuned to CNN (which was then an actual news channel).<br /><br />I arrived at my cube to word that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. I took that to mean a small plane had hit one of the towers. I was worried, but I knew that Ben's work was on the lower floors in the south tower, so I focused on putting together the packets for the briefing my boss was convening the next day on how employers could minimize their health-care costs. Then came word of the second plane hitting the south tower, and I dared to look through a glass-walled office at the television. I looked with alarm at the woman whose cube space adjoined mine. "Must be that Osama bin Laden," she said.<br /><br />I began frantically dialing Ben's numbers, but phone service was already down between New York and Washington. I went back to my packets, stopping every few minutes to dial, to no avail. Within a half hour, the Pentagon was struck. I was now in automaton mode, in a rhythm of futile dialing and packet-stuffing. My boss came around and told me they were shutting the building. I offered to stay to finish the packets. No, he said, we all have to leave.<br /><br />"But what about the briefing?" I asked. I was trying to cling to a schedule, a promise of mundane normality within 24 hours.<br /><br />"Adele, there's not going to be any briefing," he said with a kindly look on his face.<br /><br />* * *<br /><br />Outside, the weather was perfect and the sirens were screaming. All of downtown Washington was turned out into the streets. There was still a plane unaccounted for. Smoke rose in the distance. All mass transit was shut down, as were the bridges and tunnels. People walked in throngs, quietly talking among themselves, dazed, not knowing where to go.<br /><br />My apartment was only a mile from the office, and my route took me past Lafayette Park, the public space between the White House and St. John's Church. The park is small, and even at the far side from the White House, the view of the executive mansion is clear. I still couldn't reach Ben, so I decided to stand at the edge of the park and watch the White House. If the missing plane was headed that way, I would be there to watch it. I could see men with guns moving on the roof.<br /><br />I stood there a long time, maybe an hour. Nothing happened. Thank God, I thought, and trudged home. That's when I saw the video of the south tower, Ben's tower, collapsing.<br /><br />The ensuing hours became a vigil of hitting the redial button on the phone, and watching endless video loops of the same horror. Then finally, miraculously, sometime in the afternoon, Linda picked up the phone at Ben's office. Her voice was soothing. She said the magic words: "Adele, he's okay. He didn't go to the city today." When Ben and I finally spoke -- it might have been the next day -- I learned that he had been on his way to his office, in New Jersey, sitting on a stretch of highway with a clear view of the skyline when the first tower collapsed. <br /><br />Ben is an avid photographer and always keeps a camera with him; he's been known to shoot driveby photos of weird stuff on the highway, burning cars and the like. But not this. "I just couldn't," he said. He knew people inside that place who were busy dying.<br /><br />* * *<br /><br />There comes a point in the coverage of any disaster when the television has been saying and showing nothing new for many hours, and you finally give up hope of finding a satisfying answer. In the late afternoon of September 11, 2001, the phones still weren't really working; it seems I had gotten through to Jersey on a fluke. I wandered out into an empty street, drawn to the clubhouse where we had our 12-step meetings. There was no meeting scheduled, and I had no reason to expect the club to be open, but it was. My sponsor, Anna, had a key, and there she was. Soon, two other friends wandered in. <br /><br />Marshall suggested we try to find an open restaurant. Thankfully, the social entrepreneur Andy Shallal had kept his Luna Grille open. So we four crowded into a booth. "Let's all talk about where we'd like to be in five years," Marshall said. Honestly, I can't remember what any of us said. I do know this: by the beginning of the following year, Anna left D.C., where she was from, to move to Ohio, because of the attack. Denny left the city, too, to move an hour out into the suburbs.<br /><br />There was no work the next day, so I started dialing around to some of the sources I'd developed when I was researching Afghanistan. One number yielded a middling-level government official who apparently needed to talk to somebody. I reached him by accident, trying to find somebody who no longer worked there. Did I know that Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, head of the Pakistani intelligence agency had been in the U.S. when the attacks took place? Why no, I did not. Ahmed helped stage the coup that brought Gen. Pervez Musharraf to power as Pakistan's head of state; he was also known to be sympathetic to the Taliban.<br /><br />I talked to the official again over the weekend. He confirmed that, after the attacks, Ahmed met with U.S. government officials who demanded Pakistani cooperation in securing the Taliban's cooperation in capturing bin Laden. Jeez, I thought, never gonna happen. Haven't these guys ever heard of Pashtunwali?<br /><br />I thought I had a tidbit interesting enough to be worthy of a short article for the one website among my former clients that was still in business. "Um, I don't know. I mean, what are you trying to say?"<br /><br />"Nothing," I said. "Just that the head of the ISI was in the U.S. at the time of the attacks, and now he's being told to surrender bin Laden. I mean, if nothing else, it's kinda interesting."<br /><br />No dice, could be taken for a conspiracy theory.<br /><br />When my office reopened later that week, we convened in a large conference room. "Let's all bow our heads in a moment of silence for those who lost their lives," an executive said. The words were barely out his mouth when he picked up his head and said, "Well, okay." He said we should now throw out ideas for what we could do at this time in the spirit of coming together and helping out in the aftermath of the attacks.</p><p>People looked really stricken. I particularly remember one woman, an attorney, whom I had really been scared of; her broad and permanent scowl was always perfectly painted in dark red lipstick, setting off her pale skin and dark hair. Now, she looked small and frightened and a bit teary. The staff offered up earnest suggestions: "We could bring sandwiches to the firefighters at the Pentagon," or, "We could give staff time to volunteer at the disaster site."</p><p>The executive let this go on for a while. Then he made a suggestion of his own. How 'bout if the organization's member companies offered up some small percentage of the purchase price of certain goods or services to donate to a special 9/11 fund for I can't remember what. It would be a 9/11 marketing campaign. (Look for specially marked packages...) I felt bile start to move up my esophagus; I was really going to throw up.<br /><br />By the time I was done in the bathroom, the meeting had ended. I went to my boss' office and told him I had to go to New York. "So, you'll be back next week?" he asked.<br /><br />"No," I said. "You have to understand. I'm really sick from this."<br /><br />Like I was the only one.<br /><br />* * *<br /><br />The doorbell was buzzing, but my mind was far away. I sat on the balcony of my D.C. apartment, gazing up into the sky, glimpsing the outline of a fighter jet, high above, tiny yet unmistakable in its triangular form. I didn't want to talk to anybody. But she saw me out there, so I had to let her up.<br /><br />"I figured I'd find you in some kind of a zone," my friend Eileen said.<br /><br />She dragged me out for coffee, and then told me that her brother-in-law was missing. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, the brokerage firm that had been headquartered in the World Trade Center. Making matters worse, he was now her ex-brother-in-law, as Eileen and her partner of 19 years had broken up only months before. He was never legally her brother-in-law, because there was no marriage available to same-sex couples at that time. But he was someone she loved, and the world gave her no legitimate claim to the torment she felt as she contemplated the horrors that had likely befallen him.<br /><br />That's the part that gets us. It's much more than the death. It's knowing that those who died suffered so horrifically before their lives ended so unfairly.<br /><br />* * *<br />The next week, a week to the day of the attacks, I started a new temp job, this one a much better fit, as they say, at the American Federation of Government Employees. The attacks were all anyone could talk about, when they managed to talk at all. I stepped outside on my coffee break, and found myself chatting with a young man from the in-house print shop. He lost his aunt at the Pentagon, he told me, his eyes welling up. We had just met.<br /><br />And that's how it was for everybody. Even if you and yours were spared, everybody knew somebody who lost somebody, it seemed. Grief was never more than a degree of separation away.<br /><br />A few weeks later, the U.S. began airstrikes in Afghanistan. I knew the Pakistanis had been trying to <a href="http://reliefweb.int/node/82813">force the people</a> of the Nasir Bagh camp to go back to their homeland, and wondered if any of the refugees I met had made it home, only to be bombed when they got there.</p><p><br />The terrorist attacks soon provided a pretext for any extraconstitutional measure the Bush administration -- and even local governments -- cared to take. Muslim men were rounded up in Paterson, New Jersey. Illegal wiretapping by the government became widespread. Congress passed the USA Patriot Act. We were now engaged in a "war on terror," a contradiction in terms if there ever was one, terror being an emotion that has never been alleviated by war.<br /><br />When Congress went on to create the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, the Bush administration saw its opening for another sort of a war -- a war on the rights of public employees. And there I was, by complete happenstance, in the headquarters of the resistance, typing up my new boss's strategy memos.<br /><br />The creation of TSA took place in an atmosphere of total chaos. The administration hired a contractor, NCS Pearson, to put the new agency together, even though its very creation was an attempt to correct the corrupt and shoddy screening system staffed by contractors who had allowed the 9/11 hijackers to board the planes they ultimately used as weapons. The contractor that did the hiring for TSA proved to be no more effective, and no less corrupt. Ultimately, the government paid more than $12,000 per each hire of a screener. Meanwhile, screeners weren't receiving their paychecks, weren't properly trained, were subjected to mandatory overtime and abusive behavior by managers.<br /><br />Originally, the Bush administration opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which combined 22 disparate government agencies and entities under a single cabinet secretary. When public opinion went against the administration, it relented, but with a stipulation. Bush would sign the bill if the president was granted broad authority to deny collective bargaining rights to those moved into the new department.<br /><br />In the House, Majority Leader Dick Armey led the charge for the anti-union provisions. Today, Armey leads FreedomWorks, one of the two main astroturf groups responsible for the organization of the Tea Party movement. In a sense, you could say the Tea Party movement was born in November 2002, when George W. Bush signed the Homeland Security Act.<br /><br />AFGE began organizing airport screeners almost as soon as TSA came into being. But in January 2003, TSA chief James Loy signed an executive order forbidding the screeners to collectively bargain.<br /><br />Meanwhile, the administration began setting up DHS in ways designed to be destructive to the unions that represented the employees who were being folded into the new agency, creating new bargaining units that pitted the existing unions in competition with each other for the retention of their members. It was pure evil genius.<br /><br />I would spend the next four years at AFGE, engaged in this fight, first as a secretary and then as a communications specialist, working with the organizers of the TSA screeners, before I returned to journalism.<br /><br />* * *<br />After the attacks of 9/11, it took a while before I found my way back to New York. It was Eastertime before I saw the big hole in the ground where the towers used to stand. There was a throng of us gawkers, standing across the street from the site, held back by orange plastic fencing and cops on guard duty. Like New York itself, the small crowd comprised all races, and people from across the spectrum of social class.<br /><br />A young man stood just in front of me, a yarmulke pinned to the back of his head. I stood awestruck at the enormity of the hole, and the huge, yellow earth-mover being used to pick up soil and debris that would then be sifted by hand in the search for evidence and human remains. He turned around. "I was supposed to be there," he said to me, "but I was 20 minutes late for work that day."<br /><br />Two years later, I returned to New York, on leave from the union, to cover the 2004 Republican National Convention for the <em>Washington Blade</em>. New York had been chosen as the convention city because of the World Trade Center attacks. The invasion of Iraq was going into its second year and the administration was arbitrarily detaining whomever it wanted to, and contracting out the torture of so-called enemy combatants to governments run by dictators. The abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was a full-blown scandal. And GITMO was in full swing.<br /><br />The New York I found in September 2004 was not a New York I had ever seen before. It was a city under martial law. Mayor Michael Bloomberg <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/06/nyregion/06about.html?ref=republicannationalconvention">illegally detained</a> hundreds of protesters in a makeshift prison on the Chelsea Pier, and the people of New York re-elected him either in spite of or because of it. The perimeter around Madison Square Garden, where the convention took place, was so vast that those of us who covered what was taking place within the Garden never even caught a glimpse of the protesters. In order to get to the <em>Blade</em>'s New York offices in midtown, I had to prove my bona fides to a phalanx of cops, presenting a press pass and an assignment letter.<br /><br />In the convention hall, speech after speech hailed the glories of the Iraq war and highlighted the horrors of 9/11. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" the crowd chanted, especially during the convention speech delivered by Vice President Dick Cheney, who declared Democratic candidate John Kerry, a decorated war veteran, "unfit" for office.<br /><br />The opening night of the convention featured a "special tribute" to 9/11 families and first responders that featured searing <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/rnc_8-30.html">video</a> of the attacks on the towers, and a speech by Rudolph Giuliani, who had been New York's mayor at the time of the attacks. "Thank God George W. Bush is president," he said.<br /><br />I was on the convention floor, wandering around during the video tribute. I knew it was propaganda. Nonetheless, it made me cry. I found myself standing next to the row where Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki sat together, with tears streaming down their faces; meanwhile, the Bill of Rights was suspended for protesters who spent the night in unsafe conditions in a makeshift jail. No tears for them, or for the U.S Constitution, which may as well have been laying charred and in tatters at their feet.<br /><br />EPILOGUE<br /><br />Labor unions, led by AFGE, eventually did win the right to organize TSA screeners, and screeners <a href="http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0611/062311l1.htm">chose AFGE</a> as their union earlier this year, even as the public employees of Wisconsin, Michigan and other states lost theirs.<br /><br />Last year, a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/nyregion/10rnc.html?ref=republicannationalconvention">judge ruled</a> that the city of New York did not have to release documents detailing the surveillance it conducted on protesters at the 2004 convention.<br /><br />Osama bin Laden is dead, but the United States is still at war in Afghanistan.<br /><br />The U.S. Constitution has not been restored. The surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act that were set to expire were reauthorized by a Democratic Congress in 2010, and signed into law by President Barack Obama.<br /><br />Eileen fell in love and moved to Europe.<br /><br />Ben and I stopped speaking, for no particular reason. I learned through a friend that he married again and has children. He now does still-life art photography.<br /><br />I returned to journalism in 2006, and now mostly cover the Tea Party movement. I think about the people I met in Peshawar every day.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063379'; </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=1063379" 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, 11 Sep 2016 07:41:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1063379 at http://www.alternet.org Culture Culture 9/11 Frightening Talk from Leader of Major Right-Wing Evangelical Confab http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/tony-perkins-defends-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 = '1063448'; </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=1063448" 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">Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, asked about the Trump campaign&#039;s ties to the white nationalist alt-right, defends &#039;alternative voices.&#039;</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/perkinsvvs16.jpg?itok=xBEhxgwr" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>At the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of right-wing evangelical Christians in Washington, D.C., the mood is decidedly pro-Trump. On Friday, the candidate himself received an enthusiastic response, as did his surrogates, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and actor Jon Voight. Today, attendees were treated to a speech by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump's running mate.</p><p>A number of speakers, including U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, have told the conference-goers of Trump's purported virtues (while slamming Democratic rival Hillary Clinton) and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and FRC Action, which is hosting the conference, <a href="http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-right-tony-perkins-i-will-be-voting-for-donald-trump-166886/">endorsed</a> the thrice-married New York reality TV show star during the Republican National Convention. (In the Republican presidential primary, Perkins supported Ted Cruz, the U.S. senator from Texas.)</p><p>Of course, Christian evangelicals represent only one segment of the radical right being courted by Trump. He's caused quite a stir by sidling up to the denizens of what is known as the alternative right or alt right, a loosely configured constellation of "white nationalist" groups and publications, such as Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute and Jared Taylor's <em>American Renaissance</em>, a white supremacist magazine. In a major shakeup, Trump hired Breitbart News chief executive Stephen K. Bannon as his campaign CEO. At an event in Cleveland, during the Republican National Convention, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news">Bannon boasted</a> to reporter Sarah Posner that under his leadership, Breitbart News had become "the platform for the alt right."</p><p>On August 25, Hillary Clinton delivered a newsmaking speech in Reno, Nevada, decrying Trump's alliance with the alt-right and noting the many times Trump has retweeted memes generated from the Twitter accounts of white supremacists.</p><p>At a press conference outside the Washington, D.C., hotel where the Values Voter Summit is taking place, I asked Perkins what he made of Bannon's "alt right" boast. (Our full exchange appears at the bottom of this piece.) While he wouldn't speak directly to Bannon's relationship to the alt right, Perkins did offer something of an explanation for the movement's appeal. "[T]here have been a lot of alternative voices that have risen up, just because Americans feel they are under constant threat by this administration’s policies," Perkins said. "So, what has given Donald Trump, I believe, the nomination, is that he has given voice to a lot of people who feel like their voice has all but been snuffed out under this administration." </p><p>Perkins knows something about such "alternative voices"—and their usefulness when managing a right-wing campaign for political office. In 1996, Perkins was managing the campaign of Woody Jenkins for Louisiana's U.S. Senate seat. (Jenkins' Democratic opponent was Mary Landrieu.) To maximize the turnout, Perkins purchased the mailing list compiled by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in his successful run for a seat in the Louisiana state legislature, paying Duke $82,500. According to the <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/tony-perkins">Southern Poverty Law Center website</a>, "The campaign was fined $3,000 for filing false disclosure forms in a bid to hide the payment to Duke. Perkins has stated he did not know about the mailing list’s connection to Duke."</p><p>When Duke first endorsed Donald Trump in February, Trump peevishly disavowed the endorsement when <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/02/donald-trump/trumps-absurd-claim-he-knows-nothing-about-former-/">pressed to do</a> so by CNN's Jake Tapper. Currently running for U.S. Senate from Louisiana, Duke also issued robocalls in August urging voters to cast ballots both for him and for Trump. The Republican standard-bearer, apparently having learned his lesson, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/david-duke-trump-robocall-227510">quickly disavowed</a> the calls.</p><p>In the exhibit hall of the Values Voter Summit, the John Birch Society, which opposed granting equal status to African Americans during the civil rights struggle, has a booth, as does Tradition, Family and Property, the paleo-Catholic cult whose founder lauded the Spanish Inquisition as the most glorious moment in the church's history.</p><p>The Trump campaign, which has dazzled mainstream media as something new under the sun, is really anything but. It's simply the repackaging of an old alliance in a shinier wrapper. </p><p><em>AlterNet's full exchange with FRC president Tony Perkins:</em></p><blockquote><strong>AlterNet: I’m wondering what you make of Trump’s hiring of Steve Bannon, who said that he had provided the platform for the alt-right.</strong><p></p><p>Tony Perkins: The what?</p><p><strong>AlterNet: The alt-right, which Hillary Clinton—</strong></p><p>TP: —I didn’t hear his comment, so I can’t really speak to that. I can speak to the fact that, in the last eight years, this administration, which Hillary Clinton has been a part of, has increasingly tried to marginalize people who do not surrender to a progressive, liberal agenda. And there have been a lot of alternative voices that have risen up, just because Americans feel they are under constant threat by this administration’s policies. So, what has given Donald Trump, I believe, the nomination, is that he has given voice to a lot of people who feel like their voice has all but been snuffed out under this administration.</p></blockquote> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063448'; </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=1063448" 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, 10 Sep 2016 10:18:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1063448 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Human Rights Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing tony perkins barack obama Stephen K. Bannon mike pence donald trump values voter summit VVS16 John Birch Society Ascendant in Trump’s Speech to Evangelical Christians http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/trump-clears-path-return-john-birch-society <!-- 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 = '1063433'; </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=1063433" 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 segregationist group is finding new legitimacy in the Age of Trump.</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="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/trump_vvs2.png?itok=_6oR9nGY" /></div></div></div><!-- BODY --> <!--smart_paging_autop_filter--><p>They’re partying like it's 1964 at the Values Voter Summit. That was the year insurgent candidate Barry Goldwater snagged the Republican Party’s presidential nomination from the sweaty palms of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, with a mighty assist from a rising faction of right-wing ideologues and the fear-mongering organizers of the John Birch Society. Today, after years of exile for its extremist teachings and opposition to civil rights legislation, John Birch Society is back in the fold, with an exhibit booth at the annual gathering of right-wing evangelicals and a speech delivered by Republican standard-bearer Donald J. Trump that echoed many of the society’s ideas.</p><p>Nearly the entire agenda of the first day of the conference—which is convened by the Family Research Council’s political arm, FRC Action—was devoted to rallying support for Trump or bashing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. That is, except when speakers were pushing the idea that religious liberty is under attack because laws protecting individuals’ rights to legal goods and services require private establishments that serve the public to accommodate all who seek such goods and services. Since the right of same-sex couples to marry became the law of the land, religious-right outfits such as First Liberty Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom have made evangelical business-owners who refuse to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oregon-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0UC1JV20151229">provide services</a> to same-sex couples something of a <em>cause célèbre</em>. Other iterations of so-called religious liberty assertions have involved pharmacists who refuse to dispense morning-after contraception to women who are eligible to receive it.</p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="413"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="413" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/new_american_0.jpg?itok=sq2G2jIU" /></div><p>At the religious right-wing confab, the thrice-married, foul-mouthed reality TV star received an enthusiastic reception from the crowd gathered in the ballroom of Washington, D.C.’s Omni Shoreham Hotel. Trump spoke without a teleprompter, but remained disciplined in hitting points he knew would be appreciated by the audience, even if done in his characteristically staccato and truncated syntax. “[In] A Trump administration,” he said, “our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended, like you’ve never seen before…. You know it. And that includes religious liberty. Remember, remember.”</p><p>The hitch with the right’s so-called religious liberty claims is that their exercise would require either rewriting or jettisoning <a href="http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/title-ii-of-the-civil-rights-act-of-1964-injunctive-relief.html">Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act</a>—the part that bans discrimination by private enterprises defined as providing a “public accommodation” “on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Birch Society famously opposed the 1964 CRA, ostensibly on the grounds that it was the work of communists who were purportedly infiltrating all aspects of American life, according to the paranoid views of JBS founder Robert Welch. The Society’s publications carried screeds against civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., tarring them with the red brush.</p><p>The practical result of the Birch Society’s red-baiting was the Society's promotion of racial segregation, even if its leaders used their anti-communism as a cover. And JBS, which claims not to be affiliated with any religion, was always close to the Christian Reconstruction movement that formed many of the ideas around which the religious right later coalesced. Among the beliefs of Christian Reconstructionist theologian R.J. Rushdoony was a proscription on racial mixing.</p><p>As conservatives organized around a potential Goldwater nomination in 1962, William F. Buckley, <em>National Review</em> founder and the leading intellectual of what was then called the New Right, <a href="https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/goldwater-the-john-birch-society-and-me/">sought to purge</a> the John Birch Society from the conservative movement and the Goldwater campaign, given its reputation for extremism, especially after its leader alleged that General Dwight D. Eisenhower was part of a communist conspiracy. JBS became anathema. Even Phyllis Schlafly, <a href="https://thepoliticalspectator.com/tag/john-birch-society/">described by Welch</a> as “one of our most loyal members,” <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/06/obituaries/phyllis-schlafly-conservative-leader-and-foe-of-era-dies-at-92.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0">denied</a> her involvement with the Society, according to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/06/obituaries/phyllis-schlafly-conservative-leader-and-foe-of-era-dies-at-92.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0"><em>New York Times</em></a>. Yet even amid the controversy, delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention voted down a <a href="http://Goldwater campaign John Birch Society 1964 Republican National Con…">measure</a> that would have repudiated JBS. (Update: The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a <a href="https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/09/07/eagle-forums-phyllis-schlafly-leaves-legacy-tied-conspiracy-theories">1959 letter from Schlafly</a> in which she says both she and her husband are members.)</p><p>However marginalized JBS remained as an entity, the ideas it promoted continued to replicate in the DNA of the religious right and the conservative movement. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the Society shifted its aim from targeting alleged communists to raising an alarm on the purported horrors of internationalism. Deeply suspicious of any kind of globalism, JBS has led the right’s charge against the United Nations and fomented the conspiracy theory that embedded in the fine print of the North American Free Trade Agreement is a plan for a North American Union modeled on the European Union—a plan, Birchers say, for the end to the national sovereignty of the United States and for a single currency to be adopted by the U.S., Mexico and Canada. </p><p>Now, in the Age of Trump, the John Birch Society is finding new legitimacy in evangelical circles and in the broader conservative movement. </p><p></p><div alt="" class="media-image" height="288" width="480"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="288" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/20160909_170734.jpg?itok=GAuSTjSb" /></div><p>Among the JBS triumphs recounted by current President John McManus to Chad Bull, a JBS member and an activist with the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation, in an <a href="http://chalcedon.edu/faith-for-all-of-life/christian-action-making-a-difference-in-your-world/stalwarts-of-freedom-an-inside-look-at-the-john-birch-society/">undated interview</a> on Chalcedon’s website, are</p><blockquote><p>"exposing and blocking the plans of the United Nations to steer American children away from their religious-based heritage with indoctrination leading to the worship of the earth goddess Gaia, the substitution of the blasphemous 'Ark of Hope,' and the adoption of the UN’s Earth Charter [and] successfully blocking ratification of the subversive Equal Rights Amendment."</p></blockquote><p>The late Phyllis Schlafly, who <a href="http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/phyllis-schlafly-dies">died earlier this week</a>, might take issue with McManus’ claim to that second point, having organized a ground army of fearful Christian women with her successful Stop ERA movement. She may have been a Bircher herself, but I doubt she’d let the men of JBS take full credit for her greatest victory.</p><p>In his speech, Trump delivered a paean to Schlafly, not for any of her accomplishments, but for her decision to endorse his presidential campaign. “She was so brave,” Trump said of Schlafly. “She endorsed me, and that was not the thing to do at the time. People said, Trump? She said, He’s going to win, you don’t understand. He knows how to win, he’s going to win. They said, Phyllis, not going to be Trump. And we went boom, boom, boom.”</p><p>In Trump, it seems, Schlafly thought she had found <a href="http://prospect.org/article/trump-conservatism’s-old-guard-sees-new-goldwater">another Goldwater</a>—but one who had a better shot at victory.</p><p>Other notes Trump hit in his speech echoed the John Birch Society (though not all). Trump’s opposition to trade agreements comes right from the <a href="http://www.jbs.org/about-jbs/frequently-asked-questions">FAQs</a> on the JBS website, as does his tough-guy stance on undocumented immigrants. He now talks about reducing government regulation, another JBS bugaboo. He’s also promised to repeal “the Johnson amendment”—the tax code provision that forbids religious institutions claiming a tax exemption to endorse candidates or engage in electioneering. (There’s no position on the Johnson amendment listed on the JBS website.)</p><p>Trump’s rhetoric and positions have earned him the appreciation of Birch Society leaders. The current issue of its magazine,<em> New American</em>, features a cover story titled “Trump vs. the Establishment” that is highly appreciative of the candidate.<strike> If it has not offered Trump an endorsement, perhaps it is because it dare not call too much attention to its Trump-love for fear of tainting the candidate’s chances.</strike> (A reader informs us that, as a matter of policy, JBS does not endorse candidates.)</p><p>Toward the end of his speech, Trump noted that he would attend Phyllis Schlafly’s funeral on Saturday. There, he will find himself in the company of Schlafly’s fellow travelers, who bear the influence of the John Birch Society.</p> <!-- iCopyright Interactive Copyright Notice --> <script type="text/javascript"> var icx_publication_id = 18566; var icx_copyright_notice = '2016 Alternet'; var icx_content_id = '1063433'; </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=1063433" 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, 09 Sep 2016 17:37:00 -0700 Adele M. Stan, AlterNet 1063433 at http://www.alternet.org Election 2016 Election 2016 News & Politics The Right Wing john birch society donald trump values voter summit VVS16