Friday, November 24, 2017

Recommitting to Resisting Trump and All He Represents

With the holiday season upon us and "peace on earth and good will toward mankind" purportedly in the minds of most citizens, it is time to recommit to those values.  It is also time to recommit to resisting those who are anathema to such values.  In particular, it means recommitting to resisting the toxicity and indecency of the Trump/Pence regime and its Republican enablers and hate filled, Pharisee like evangelical Christian supporters.  A column in the New York Times looks at this need for re-commitment and reminds us of all that is abhorrent about the Trump/Pence regime.  Here are column highlights: 
Last Thanksgiving I wrote a column titled, “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along,” in which I committed myself to resisting this travesty of a man, proclaiming, “I have not only an ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.”
I made this promise: “As long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze.”  I have kept that promise, not because it was a personal challenge, but because this is a national crisis.
Donald Trump, I thought that your presidency would be a disaster. It’s worse than a disaster. I wasn’t sure that resistance to your weakening of the republic, your coarsening of the culture, your assault on truth and honesty, your erosion of our protocols, would feel as urgent today as it felt last year. But if anything, that resistance now feels more urgent.
Nothing about you has changed for the better. You are still a sexist, bigoted, bullying, self-important simpleton. But now all of the worst of you has the force of the American presidency.
The legitimacy of your presidency is in question. The corruption of your administration is not. You are a national stain and an international embarrassment. You are anti-intellectual and pro-impulse. The same fingers with which you compulsively tweet are dangerously close to the nuclear codes. You are historically unpopular and history will not be kind to you. It is all so dizzyingly distressing.
But what irks me most is your targeted attacks on historically marginalized populations as a political ploy to secure the support of the racists, misogynists and homophobes. . . . Your hostility toward minorities and your courting and coddling of the people who hate them has become a standard practice of your presidency.
We see it in the way that you attack N.F.L. players protesting police violence, while you encourage police officers to be more violent. We see this in the way that your Justice Department is moving to return to rigid, racially skewed drug policies that helped to fuel our unconscionable level of mass incarceration, a phenomenon Michelle Alexander calls “the new Jim Crow,” while also returning to a reliance on private prisons.
We see this in the devastating contrast between the ways you have talked about and treated hurricane victims in Texas versus in Puerto Rico.
Trump is clearly, blatantly, virulently hostile to people who are not white and non-Christian. That is not a statement of opinion, but a statement of demonstrated fact.
[I]t is Trump who is proving to be a threat to the L.G.B.T. community, particularly to transgender Americans, with his ban on trans people in the military, his rescinding of federal protections for trans students, and his Justice Department’s reversal of a policy protecting trans workers.
[T]he “Access Hollywood” tape was released on which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. And women came out in droves to personally accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, the kinds of accusations that people are now losing jobs over.
To add insult to injury, Trump the Groper has just thrown the weight and word of the presidency behind Roy Moore the Alleged Pedophile, choosing the claim of a single horrible man, even aside from the allegations, over nine women who seem to have nothing to gain by coming forward. Trump not only doesn’t respect women, he doesn’t even hear women.
This man is a pathological liar. He commends and conforms to anyone who pretends to love him, whether they are Russians or racists. He is inherently a patriarchal white supremacist and it seeps out in all sorts of ways, but it is most pronounced in the way that he attacks people who are not white and male. 
When you accept those truths, everything else makes sense. But accepting the truth is not the same as accepting the liar. Trump is unacceptable in every possible way, and must continue to be met at every turn with the strong arm of defiance. That is why today I recommit myself to resistance, and so should you.
And lest we forget the full Trump/Pence?GOP agenda, a second column reminds of the hideous aspects of that agenda.  Here's a short excerpt:
Meanwhile, everything this president and this Congress are doing on economic policy seems designed, not just to widen the gap between the wealthy and everyone else, but to lock in plutocrats’ advantages, making it easier to ensure that their heirs remain on top and the rest stay down.
It’s unclear whether the terrible tax bills being advanced by Trump and his allies will go through Congress; but environmental policy is largely set by administrative action, and this administration has been moving with stunning speed to get poisons back into our air and water. Not to mention the growing odds of climate catastrophe.
White supremacists are, of course, making a big comeback thanks to encouragement from the top. (They are, after all, “very fine people.”) So are anti-Semites, which is really no surprise to those who remember their history.
Even as old prejudices return, we’ve clearly entered a new age of politically potent anti-intellectualism. America built its world pre-eminence largely on the strength of its educational system. But according to Pew, 58 percent of Republicans now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, versus only 36 percent who see a positive effect.
And I don’t believe for a minute that this turn against education is a reaction to political correctness. It’s about the nasty habit scholarship has of telling you things you don’t want to hear, like the fact that climate change is real.
Finally, we’re now ruled by people who have no interest in letting hard thinking get in the way of whatever policies they want to follow. 

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