Tag Archives: Trump

Trump Demographics

1950's2

As Americans were watching their fortunes dwindle, their jobs disappear, their pension agreements getting rescinded, and their homes lose value or get taken back by the same corrupt banks that granted the mortgages – there were voices speaking in their ears, in their cars, in their man caves and media room blaming “others”. These voices said that these beleaguered Americans were giving people who refused to work money through “entitlements” like welfare, food stamps, Medicaid and that they were actually wasting their money. The whispers and vein-popped shouts from right-wing media claimed that giving poor people money actually keeps them down, turns them into dependents. Those who hammered away at middle class Americans in shock at their losses had no proof for their theory. Paul Ryan, a Congressman, cited a fiction book, The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand as proof that these takers are slackers, rather than needy people whose children will suffer if taxpayers harden their hearts.

If you want some other evidence, also from fiction, and far more believable, read Charles Dickens. You don’t have to have unselfish impulses to disavow social Darwinism. You can be quite selfish about it because if the poor live in squalor, that squalor affects us all, especially our health and our mood. People used to walk through London holding a scented handkerchief to their noses, stepping in offal, and even having chamber pots emptied over their heads.

Some people got sold on this short-sighted approach to social concerns. They started to think that small government was a good idea. After all the government kept intruding into their lives, especially in schools. No prayer in school was touted as the root of all moral evil. Teaching Creationism was shouted down by those who felt that science belongs in public schools, religion, not so much. Christians felt they should have the right to teach Creationism. Pundits started to suggest that Republicans would help the middle class get rid of social programs and turn schools into private entities vouchered to the states who could allow state residents to decide on curricula.

Those disembodied voices, avidly attended to over the air waves, eventually made their listeners aware and incensed that minorities would be the new recipients of the American Dream. White folks said “hell no”. Keep America white. Keep America Christian. Americans speak English, they said. Eventually the Republican Party, not in so many words perhaps, but in code, promised that they could make it so. Even as those radio pundits graduated to TV – lo and behold, a Black man, possibly a Muslim, possibly a henchman for someone named Saul Alinsky, got elected to be the President of the United States of America!

It turns out the GOP lied. It lied to the middle class about everything. As long as Obama remained the U. S. President they could not deliver any of their promises. The social programs were cut but not eliminated. In fact Obama, in stealth, in the dead of night, pushed through the Affordable Care Act with no Republican votes, making social health and welfare programs bigger than ever. The government did not pass a huge school voucher program or close the Education Department thus giving states more autonomy in schools. The government doubled down on national standards and the Common Core curricula. The Obama government did not take to Republican obstruction real well and the GOP was now in thrall to the “Tea Party” that coalesced because of the radio “whisperers”.

These folks believe that America will be white again and that white America will be able to eat as much white bread as it wants. America will once again have secure factory jobs for life with pensions that are solid and generous. They believe America will stop this nonsense about fossil fuels and the environment because Big Business doesn’t like it. We will build a wall so no more people can come here from Mexico without documentation and so we will not have to learn Spanish. Life will be like the 50’s – we will freeze forever at a mid-century modern lifestyle – before the pill, before women’s lib, before gay people, before hippies, before Civil Rights, way before 9/11. That’s what the GOP was supposed to produce for their “base”, and that is what the election is about, a Renaissance for white America. These are Donald Trump’s people. Disappointed by America and then disappointed again by the Republicans. Donald Trump comes as close to the hope that the middle class can set things straight as anyone has and they don’t really care how he does it. He seems like someone who truly could turn America into a mid-fifties theme park from sea to shining sea.

But the problem is that white America is tired, old or addicted to bad substances. White America is not the dynamic demographic it once was. We are not reproducing fast enough to prevent our numbers and prospects from dwindling. Even many of those very Republicans riding herd over Obama are ancient artifacts of distant eras (such as the 1950’s). Without the energy and the thirst for freedom and success of our young immigrant groups we will very likely just turn into a fusty, dying social experiment with a Dream that was cancelled for lack of interest. A vote for Trump, or any Republican, is a vote for national stagnation and decay.

By Nancy Brisson

On Megalomania, America, and the World

It seems that a portion of America is having a crisis of confidence, a self-image slippage. When we see these candidates with huge egos (adjective deliberately chosen) running at the top of the polls it’s a sign. We know what happens to teens with low self-esteem. They are vulnerable to con men and users of every stripe.

These demoralized Americans believe that diplomacy is wimpy and that the only proper role for America is astride a nuke (á la Dr. Strangelove) pointed at anyone who causes trouble. What did that guy say – yahoo, yipee-yi-oh-ki-ay? This could be about pride but it comes off as more about fear – fear that America will be overrun by Muslims, by the Chinese, by the North Koreans, by the Russians (wow, we are beset, aren’t we – it is a little paranoid-making). Surely, looking at this, someone who advocates trying to take a diplomatic approach to calm everyone down makes good sense to some of us and, seemingly, no sense to the rest of us.

Opponents of diplomacy want America to come out large, guns blasting and make sure that other nations know who is in charge, to pistol whip them into some kind of dazed submission that puts star spangled flags in their eyes when they even think of America. Well, to many Americans, this looks more like an Armageddon-WW III scenario that may rage for a century, as opposed to what we have right now, just the small conflagrations that pop up now and then, have to be put out, but are confined to specific areas, so that life in the rest of the world goes on.

There will always be people who get drunk on power and stomp around uncaring about who they stomp on. And they will always raise the ire of people who love freedom because they are enemies of freedom. But after all these centuries of human interaction and after being taunted by power- sick individuals over and over again, after endless wars to subdue men who want to rule the world you would think we would have come up with some better strategies for these megalomaniacs than to drive a few tanks over them (they get back up). People with these personality disorders should not ever be allowed to assume a role of power. They should be defused and their talents redirected early on before it takes half a world to defeat one madman.

People in America, Conservatives, seem to believe that the best way to defeat one megalomaniac is with another. So we have a lineup of egomaniacs running on the Republican side (D. Trump, B. Carson, T. Cruz, C. Christie) and we have free Americans on fire to put themselves under the control of these nuts. But there is no “we” in ego. These guys sound more like they are running for King than for President.

America, because it is a nation run by flawed humans cannot be perfect. We have sometimes done what we thought would be right and we have sometimes done wrong in order to protect our might (although that didn’t always end up well). Right now our President is trying to walk closer to the line of doing what is right – and many Americans are afraid that this will lead us to lose our might. Boots on the ground or be a squish? Are those really our only choices? Yikes! (Stop watching FOX News!)

By Nancy Brisson

Thinking Mr. Trump’s Immigration Plan Through

I often wonder when I am reading books about World War II and the Holocaust what I would have done if I lived in Europe in those years. When my neighbors, who I most likely knew were Jewish, but maybe not, put on a yellow star, how long would it have taken for me to start to avoid them. I doubt that I would have stepped up boldly to defend them. The German officers were brutal and deadly.

Would I have done something covert, such as take part in a human chain to hide someone and pass them on to safety or join a secret resistance movement? Often we have no idea how we will behave when faced with a choice that weighs our morality against our very life.

And while that might not be the exact circumstance we will face if Donald Trump becomes President, it will feel an awful lot like those terrible days. Eleven million plus people will be rounded up. Will they be forced to wear armbands or pins with the flag of their nation of origin until they can be shipped home? They won’t all be Mexicans. They will be Dominicans, Turks, Bhutanese, Sudanese, Nigerian, Argentinian, Columbian, etc. Will we round them up and pack them into buses? Will we send them to ports on trains? Will we use planes? Will we put troops with them in transit to make sure they don’t escape? Will they shoot to kill? How else would we process and move 11 million people?

We think we are unhappy the immigrants and refugees are here; we will be even more unhappy watching the deportation process unfold. The optics will be awful but the emotional impact will be worse. What will happen to citizens who try to interfere? What is the plan for that? I’m guessing all that military equipment the police bought will prove to be quite useful for this operation.

Sending Japanese Americans to Internment

We don’t want anyone to come into America and overstay their welcome. How will we track visas and the people who have them? Will we attach tracking devices that can’t be removed? I think the devices we have right now can be disabled. People being tracked will find ways to go “off the grid”. Do we stop granting visas altogether?

After we alienate every citizen of every country around the globe and become a giant island between oceans who will buy our products? Isn’t it possible that we might become even more unpopular than we are, basically putting the kibosh on us getting the trade balance to tip in our favor? After all actions have consequences.

So think carefully. Even if we could find the money and come up with a foolproof methodology to do this thing, should we? Can we live with the wrenching human upheaval of actually hunting embedded neighbors down and the heartlessness of shipping them to places that might be dangerous for them or places that offer them only poverty and an absence of hope?

If our human spirits can survive this inhumane process intact, will we get what we want? The old adage goes “don’t wish for what you don’t want because you might get it.” Sometimes this same old adage can be stated as “don’t wish for what you do want because you might get it”. If citizens are suffering because of illegal immigration then we really need to think about how we can accommodate those who are here, keep out those who are not and have enough resources to make everyone comfortable. Donald Trump’s plan may sound enticing until you examine it closely, but I think we need a better immigration plan, please. 

By Nancy Brisson