Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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The Good Ol’ Days

Donald Trump’s surrogates and campaign supporters claim that his words have not incited violence and that it is, instead, the other side – Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s supporters(the far left) – who have perpetuated violence.

His talking heads on the news networks are likening his words inciting violence to women wearing short skirts asking for rape.  Which, according to them, isn’t true at all.  Women don’t ask for rape by wearing revealing clothing.  Except that’s what these same talking heads have been saying is exactly the case.  Every Evangelical I know implores women to dress modestly because it causes men to have thoughts.  And women are responsible for what happens to them when men have thoughts.

I would argue that what Trump has done in his rallies is much different than that, though.  If a woman wears a short skirt and walks past a man and yells, “Come on, rape me, I dare you,” then, yes, she is, quite literally asking to be raped. No woman in her right mind would actually do that. And, I would argue, if the man raped her he would still be responsible for his actions, but she couldn’t be absolved of her participation in the act either.

That Trump would actively call for his supporters to punch dissidents in the face, that he’s offered to pay their legal fees, is exactly endorsing violence.  Apparently, though, while he believes that his own words don’t cause anyone to participate in violence, he does believe that a protester’s words do.  His supporters are only reacting to the protesters.  He is “having his people look into”  the seventy-eight year-old coldcocker’s legal situation and quite possible offering to pay his legal fees because the protester provoked the old man by taunting the crowd and flipping the bird at the crowd as he was being escorted out of Trump’s rally.

Let me get this straight:  Donald Trump’s provocative words do not cause reactions.  Protester’s provocative actions do.

I in no way condone the protesters disrupting or causing violence during these rallies.  But I also know from personal experience that bullies cannot be reasoned with.  You can’t ask a bully nicely not to take your lunch money.  Minorities know this, too.

If black students in the sixties hadn’t had the courage to sit at lunch counters instead of their designated seating areas in the back of restaurants they’d still be sitting there today.

If  Rosa Parks had quietly moved to the back of the bus and given up her seat for a white bus rider, blacks would likely still be relegated to the back of the bus.

If Amzie Moore and Fannie Lou Hamer hadn’t actively pushed her counterparts for voter registration minorities wouldn’t have a voice at the ballot box.

If not for planned marches on Washington and Selma, Alabama many blacks would still not be eligible to register to vote, among many other things.  Do we need a reminder of what those things looked like?

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Donald Trump keeps saying he longs for the good old days.  Is this what he means?  You, know, the good ol’ days when protesters were carried out on stretchers?

 


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In Defense of the Indefensible

trump.jpg

I’ve made it no secret that I do not support Donald Trump.  I don’t think he’s the savior that his supporters obviously do.  Perhaps I’ve missed something, but I just don’t see it.

What I do see is an opportunist.  Here’s the thing:  I don’t think he “created this toxic environment” in America.  No, it was already here.  The disdain with which people who are fortunate enough to have jobs view those who receive government assistance is at an all time high.  The superiority that many whites feel toward people who are browner than they are is at an all time high.

Many of these whites want the world and the rest of America to believe that this disdain is only toward those who are here illegally and those who are “too lazy to work”.  But what I see on a daily basis belies something different.  Sure, they might look down their noses at those who don’t work and who “pile their shopping carts with steaks and crab legs” while they, themselves, are forced to buy chicken and mince more than their darker counterparts who work for a living, but make no mistake, they still look down their noses at them even if to a lesser degree.

Donald Trump didn’t create this atmosphere, though he exemplifies it.  All he did was give his supporters the shot in the arm they needed to bring their baser nature out of hiding and into the light.  In this way maybe he’s done us a favor.  Instead of people making racist jokes in their inner circle they now feel free to let the whole world know just how racist they are.

You see I thought that because I live in the south and we lost the civil war we were just wallowing in the pit of sour grapes.  But now I’ve seen that this attitude pervades our entire society.

Let me make this very clear: I do not now, nor have I ever, condoned suppression of speech.  That includes those I disagree with.  I don’t agree with Donald Trump’s platform, but I also do not agree with suppression of free speech.  As I watched the madness that unfolded in Chicago last night I was appalled and dismayed.

I will now and always uphold the people’s first amendment right to freedom of peaceful assembly.  Peaceful assembly.  I will never condone mob rule.  I will never support disruption of peaceful assembly of a group I disagree with. People are responsible for their own actions and words.  While Donald Trump has contributed to the scene, he hasn’t forced anyone to do anything.  Both sides are at fault.  Violent protests are not the answer.  Make your voice heard and your protest known at the ballot box.  Get out and vote!

I guess I’m just wonder out loud here;  did Donald Trump create this atmosphere or did this atmosphere create Donald Trump?  He’s saying out loud what his supporters feel in their hearts.  He doesn’t make them feel those things and if they didn’t feel those things he would have faded into obscurity long ago.

His supporters believe that in supporting him they are “sticking it to the man”, they are shaking up the establishment, they are breaking up the Washington Cartel as Ted Cruz likes to call it.

What they seem to have forgotten is that he is partially responsible for the creation of the Washington establishment.  How many pockets has he lined to get something he wanted?  Do we not think that he is still lining pockets?  Do we not think that if he’s elected he’s not going to continue to line pockets?  Why are people so convinced that he gives one hoot in hell about the middle class? They aren’t the ones frequenting his luxury hotels and golf courses, they aren’t the ones buying his expensive clothing line made by the good people of China.

I propose that if we elect him president there won’t be much that changes.  There truly is nothing new under the sun.  The rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer.  It takes money to make money.  If I had a million dollar loan(though that isn’t the entire story) and inherited a real estate conglomerate I could take a lot more risks and have successful business ventures, too. I’m not begrudging that he was born into a wealthy family, just pointing out that it doesn’t hurt that he was.

Donald Trump is telling it like it is on some fronts.  On the ones where he’s not his supporters are either willing to put theirs heads in the sand or they’re really naïve enough to believe that he’s telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  They believe they’re getting someone who isn’t a Washington insider.  It shocks me that people can believe that when he so deeply entrenched in Washington.

His supporters who love him because of his bombastic rhetoric and strong arm tactics should truly be careful what they wish for.


47 Comments

Fast Food Politics

 

Actual, in person, conversation with a lily white, fair-haired, woman and her husband:

Her:  “Trump’s my man.  I like him!  He hates all the people I hate!”

Me:

 

I seriously did not know what to say to this.  So I said the only thing I that came to mind after my face went back to it’s normal countenance.

“What a reason to elect a President of our country!  That’s just one of the reasons I’ll never vote for him.”

Her husband piped up and agreed that he doesn’t like Trump and said he didn’t vote for him in the primary.  He recounted how he’d gone to the voting booth undecided but was trying to choose between Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

I asked if he’d considered John Kasich as I thought that if you’re going to vote for a Republican it made sense to vote for someone who could work across the aisle.  I don’t think any of the other candidates cares about that. He doesn’t know anything about Kasich.  Research much?

Him:  “I don’t like Trump but I’ll vote for whoever the Republican nominee is.  With a Republican controlled Congress and a Republican President we won’t have to work across the aisle.”

Me:

 

“You do know the government is supposed to represent and work for all the people, not just some of the people, right? This isn’t Burger King, you can’t have it your way.”

Him:  “It’s already been that way.  Democrats have been getting their way all this time.”

Me:

 

 


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An Explanation for Trump’s Popularity from Shallow Hal

Shallow.Hal

He’s a pro. He’s the best.  Just ask him.

He’s as racist, bigoted, and misogynistic as people feel.  We need an exterminator to take care of the problem.

Trouble is, nobody’s asking, and even if they are they don’t care about the answer, how he’s going to do this.

So you’ve hired an exterminator, you’ve given him carte blanche to deal with the problem.  You leave it to him.  He says, “Believe me, I’m the best.  No raccoon has ever gotten the better of me.  Raccoons are losers and I’m a winner.”

You trot off to work, leaving him to fix your problem, without even asking for a plan of action.  You carry on, blissfully, throughout your day knowing when you get home those damned raccoons will be gone.  Oh, happy day.

The exterminator calls you, just after lunch to tell you that the problem has been resolved.  He’s taken care of it and those pesky raccoons won’t bother you any more.  He’s left a bill in your mailbox.

On your drive home you’re singing along with the radio – rocking out, actually – excited to get home to your peaceful, beautiful, raccoon-free home.

You turn down your street and there are people standing out in front of what used to be your house. The only thing left standing is the mailbox.  It’s been raised.  Flattened to the ground.  He used explosives and blew it to smithereens.

Sure enough, just as he said, there’s a bill in the mailbox.  It’s more than you can afford.  And he blew your damned house up!  You’re not paying that bill.

Except you ring him up to tell him so and he says that, yes, you will pay the bill.  He did what was requested.  You said you wanted those raccoons gone, and you wanted them gone pronto.  He did that.  You never asked how that would be accomplished.  You didn’t discuss the terms of any agreement.  Only that you agreed to pay him to get rid of the raccoons which he did.

And if you don’t pay the bill he’ll see you in court!

May the gods help us all.  Ain’t America great?

 


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The Republican Looney Toons

It would be funny if it weren’t true, but I need to laugh about it instead of cry. It’s Super Tuesday here in the U.S.A., folks. I found some old clips of the leading Republican Candidates at their best.  Here’s a compilation:

 

Donald Trump seems to be set to sweep the nomination using this platform:

 

Marco Rubio seeks to take him down using insults:

 

And Ted Cruz is preparing for his big chance:

 

If this is the best the Republican Party has and any one of them wins I think we can all say:


30 Comments

Weakness Thou Art a Woman

During his speech at a New Hampshire rally Donald Trump entertained yet again.  And, yet again, demonstrated why he is not, in my humble opinion, presidential material.

I don’t want another establishment candidate, nor do I care for having my ears tickled and being told just exactly what I want to hear, nor am I particularly politically correct. However vulgarity, misogyny, and a lack of conscience are not exactly high on my list of qualifications for the next Commander in Chief.

“The other night in the debate,” he told thousands in Manchester, “they asked Ted Cruz a serious question: what do you think of waterboarding? Is it OK? I thought he’d say absolutely, and he didn’t. And he said, well, he’s concerned because some people –”

A woman near the front of the crowd interrupted. “He’s a p—-!”

Trump admonished her for saying “a terrible thing”.

“You know what she just said?” he asked. “Shout it out, because I don’t want to say it.”

“You’re not allowed to say that,” he continued. “I never expect to hear that from you again.”

Trump paused, looked out at his election-eve audience and leaned into the microphone: “She said he’s a p—-.”

The audience cheered – shouting “Trump! Trump!” – before he gave the woman a mock admonishment and returned to his rambling, more than 45-minute speech.

Let’s forget for a moment that what he’s discussing here quite possibly qualifies as a war crime.  That he would waterboard and “a hell of a lot worse.”

No.  I can’t.  I can’t forget that.  He knows waterboarding isn’t okay.  He’s quite well aware it’s tantamount to torture and he’s okay with that.

Yes, ISIS is cutting off the heads of those who dare to oppose them.  Not only those who oppose them, but those who just don’t quite believe the same way as them.  It’s barbaric.

So, in an effort to stem that tide we’ll, what, become barbarians ourselves?  But I digress.

What else might we expect from a candidate who would like to punch a protester in the face? He might be the biggest supporter of the Second Amendment, but the first one can go to hell.  I’ll admit that protesters can be rude, obnoxious, and annoying.  That’s kind of what a protest is.  But it doesn’t sound like he’s too keen on people dissenting.  If he has protesters removed and wishes to punch them in the face now, what is going to happen to our right to disagree and protest his actions if he’s President? Twice, I digress.

Trump has clearly demonstrated his sexist tendencies.

Let’s get something perfectly clear, just because you aren’t opposed to women working and even not opposed to them earning a lot of money doesn’t mean you aren’t sexist.  Women, as demonstrated by the female rally-goer, can be sexist, too!  Because isn’t that funny?  Hilarious, actually?  Ted Cruz is the equivalent of the slang word for the female genitalia he’s so weak.

I’m watching all of this unfold in disbelief.  I understand that a lot of Americans are angry.  I get it that many people don’t feel like their government is working for them anymore.  I’m just hoping against hope that people don’t let that anger cause them to vote with their emotions instead of logic.  That desire for a savior has cost us too much already.