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Sunday, October 9, 2016

One Question For Trump Supporters



I've been 'Libtard!'ed more times in the last year or so than I could ever count. The condemnation always comes from someone wholly invested in their own intellectual superiority, who is convinced that I know nothing about what is going on. Today I bow to all of those accusations and humbly ask them all for an answer to one, simple question. Because those who demand their knowledge (and, more often than not, their morality) is so much greater than mine, I will take for granted that we are all starting with the same set of easily verifiable of facts (I added links to each in bold print, just as a reminder for you):

You have read all of Hillary Clinton's proposals on issues from national security to Social Security to taxes. And you have read Donald Trump's. After having compared and contrasted the two, you are confident that the Trump proposals, which don't actually offer plans for improvement or explain how they will be paid for, are the best options for American progress.

You believe that Hillary Clinton calling half of Trump supporters a 'Basket of Deplorables' makes her unqualified to lead the country. You believe this, even though you have been on Twitter and researched the supporters who've proudly changed their names to 'Deplorable' and you feel comfortable with their sending pictures of nooses to black people or ovens to Jews and harassing people for their religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. Where most decent human beings think Clinton's phraseology was off because it was too generous, as that basket is certainly overflowing, you find it insulting.

You know the reason that presidential candidates disclose their tax returns and embrace that Trump refuses to do so, even while refusing to even give evidence of his supposed audit by the IRS (an easy feat ... they just send a letter). You understand that Trump's entire premise of creating jobs is based on his contention that he is a good businessman, even though he disproves that theory by losing $916M in a single year during an economic boom in America. You know that this business 'genius' filed corporate bankruptcy four times. You know that when his father was alive, the senior Trump bailed junior out every time he ran a business into the ground. You know that in 1978 his father got him a $35M line of credit that he managed to squander in the same year and had to get it raised another $3M. You know that Trump has been sued many hundreds of times because he refuses to pay small business owners/contractors once their work for him is complete.

You've seen the video of him mocking a disabled reporter.  You know all about Trump University. And that Trump doesn't read books. (Except he did keep a book of Hitler's speeches at his bedside ... I'm not sure that's comforting, however). You're well aware that Trump made a 'joke' about killing Hillary Clinton and her judicial appointees. You know that he lied about donating money to veterans charities to get out of a GOP primary debate.

You're comfortable with the idea that Trump named himself his top adviser on foreign policy, even though he didn't know what Brexit was, he thinks we should disavow the Geneva Conventions, and he didn't know what the nuclear triad was. You are well aware of his idea to make our commitments to NATO contingent on payment. But maybe you were comforted by his promise to Kasich that, if he would take the VP spot, he would let him take charge of foreign policy. And domestic policy. (Leaving the making of America great solely up to Trump).

You know that he said the world would be better off if Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi (who he tried to set up a partnership with) were still in power. He now denies saying it. But he totally did. You know that he encouraged Russia to commit cyber espionage for his benefit. And that he proposed having US citizens tried in Guantanamo Bay. You know that Trump has praised Kim Jong-un. And Vladimir Putin. And Saddam Hussein. But that seems presidential. And patriotic, I'm sure.

You know that Donald Trump has been accused of rape three times (that we know of). You know that he is getting ready to go to court for the rape of a 13 year old who has 2 written witness affidavits, one of them from the person who was hired to find underage girls for the 'parties' where Trump repeatedly raped the person filing charges.

You are aware that Trump's new policy for offering child care credits only works for the wealthy. You know that Trump's leave plan only works for women and does not guarantee leave for a sick family member. This, of course, does not upset you because you know that he is the kind of person who thinks men who change diapers 'act like the wife,' and that breast-feeding is 'disgusting.' But none of this is surprising, because you know that he said maybe his employees should feel they have to return quickly from maternity leave or risk being replaced.

You watched his announcement when he entered the presidential campaign. You know that he said Mexicans are 'bringing drugs, bringing crime, they're rapists and some, I assume, are good people.' That sweeping generalization and conspiratorial language was not offensive to you. You know that he promised to violate the 14th Amendment and deport U.S. Citizens, in a mass deportation of all families where only the parents immigrated illegally. You watched when Trump managed to get into a Twitter war with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto while trying to show how diplomatic and presidential he can be.

You've heard all of Trump's conspiracy theories from Ted Cruz' father being involved in the JFK assassination (Cruz, who Trump called a pussy), to the time (only) he saw footage of money being airlifted to Iran, that vaccines cause autism, and Scalia was murdered. And, of course, he is the father of the birther movement and the idea that President Obama didn't go to Columbia University. But it's all good.

There are young women in your life: children, grandchildren, nieces, friends. But the idea of having a president who clearly objectifies women doesn't give you pause. And neither does this commercial.



You're down with having a president of America who hates the female half. Its not even a question. You know he said in 1992, "Women, you have to treat them like shit." He hates women who have more power than he does. He hates women who report the truth about his misogyny. He hates women who stand up to him when he bullies them. He hates women who can literally kick his ass. He hates women who ask him questions he'd really rather not answer. He hates women who report on his business failures. He hates women who are unafraid of him. He hates women who are compassionate, well respected world leaders. He just hates women. But that's okay. No worries.

It doesn't give you pause to reflect on his immediate answer that women who have abortions should be punished. Or that if women face sexual harassment at work they should, 'find another career.' You are completely comfortable with his having said, "I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." You've seen the video where he said, "That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees," and that's okay.

You know that Trump is a racist. He might not understand how racist he is, but he's totally a racist. He's a racist from way back in the day. He is a racist when it suits his business dealings. He is a racist when he thinks it can make him money. He is a racist when he thinks young men of color raped a woman. And he remains a racist when it turns out they didn't. He is definitely a racist. He is unquestionably a racist.  There really is no doubt that Trump is a racist. Just a fucking racist. But that's okay with you. Fine.

You are fully aware of the fact that on the morning of 9/11, after the towers of the World Trade Center fell, he called a radio station and bragged that his building was now the tallest in downtown Manhattan. And you know that the building he was so proud of, Trump Tower, was literally built on the backs of undocumented immigrantsYou know all about how Donald Trump violated immigration laws to run his modeling agency so that he could avoid paying the models if they didn't end up making him money.

You know that he said that global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese. And then he said he didn't. But he totally did. You know that he tried to spread a conspiracy theory saying that President Obama was supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq. And that he started another conspiracy theory that President Obama and Secretary Clinton were the founders of ISIS. He later took it back. And then went back to it. And then took it back again.

You know that during (inter)national tragedies he has repeatedly congratulated himself for knowing such things would happen: The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, when Dwyane Wade's cousin was killed in Chicago, the Brussels bombings, the Paris Bataclan nightclub attacks, and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

You know that Trump vowed to force our service men and women to commit war crimes. And that he said the families of terrorists should be assassinated. And that we need a national database to track Muslims. And that he advocated for shutting down all Mosques in America.

You're a patriotic American, but also cool with Trump saying that John McCain isn't a war hero because he was caught, even though you know that McCain was held for 5 1/2 years and tortured unimaginably and never betrayed America. You also know, of course, that Donald Trump dodged the draft and later jokingly accepted a Purple Heart from a veteran by saying, "I've always wanted to get the real Purple Heart. This was much easier." You also know that Trump thinks that women who enter the military and are raped were asking for it, because the military shouldn't be integrated.

I submit that you are working from the same set of facts as I am. I assume that you have found justifications for all of the issues most Americans (who are aware) consider disqualifying. I accept that we just disagree and you are totally way smarter than I am about this and all other subjects. So I leave you with my question:


If Donald Trump shot you in the middle of 5th Avenue and he got away with it, but you survived, would he lose your vote?






Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trumped-Up Masculinity




These words are from a contributor, copied with permission:

I follow Donald Trump's Facebook page; I have since the beginning of this race.Today Donald Trump released his formal apology and I had the opportunity to read it. As to be expected, his die hard supporters are unwavering in their faith in their candidate's ability to lead. I expected all the "he may have said bad things, but he is still better than Hillary" comments. However, what I never expected was to read how very many of his supporters (men and women) have an incredibly barbaric perception of men.
"Boys will be Boys" "Men will be Men" These generalizing statements about what it means to be a man are unfair and insulting to all men who value women. If my husband, or my son, or my father, or my grandfather spoke this way toward other women I would be horrified. If I thought the men I loved talked this way about women in private, I would be horrified. And if any of the men I loved spoke this way around me, I would be hurt and scared for my safety.
This idea that men are barbaric pigs with uncontrollable urges isn't new. We have been told that men cannot control themselves against raping a woman if they are too attracted to her. We even use insanely pejorative terms for them like "man cave"; a place where men can get rowdy and act like cave men. But in our hearts, we know better. We have brothers, and fathers, and sons, and husbands and we hold them to a higher standard than what Donald Trump has set as the bar for "men" tonight.
It is not acceptable, nor chromosomal, to discuss using your position of power to kiss someone or grab their vagina; "I don't even wait". What is that implication? He isn't going to wait? For what? For the woman's consent? For his wife's permission? For the opportunity to get to know the woman beyond the assessment you and Billy Bush just made of her dress and legs?! What aren't you waiting for, Donald Trump?
To the men in my life: Does Donald Trump's behavior define your masculinity? Is the thing that makes you a man your ability to control any beautiful woman who walks across your path? No. I know all of the men I'm friends with on Facebook, and I know that each of you are better than this. I know this because you are all special to me in one way or another. I know this because you are my friends and and my family, and I have trusted you to never treat me, or my friends, or my future daughters the way Donald Trump treats women. I love and trust you all.
No matter if you're a Democrat or Republican; Pro-Choice or Pro-Life; a Hillary supporter; a Stein supporter; a Johnson supporter; or a Trump supporter, I am speaking to you. Please do not settle and submit to the idea that Donald Trump's behavior in any way defines what masculinity is or how it should be. As a human, beyond all the titles, I am horrified by Donald Trump's behavior in that video; and I believe if we put away all the titles, we are all horrified. I am more horrified because this behavior substantiates so many harrassment, assault, and rape charges against Mr. Trump over the many decades he has held power.
Men deserve better than to be generalized to a group of uninhibited rapists. And women deserve better than to be objectified and sexually assaulted. And we all deserve better than Donald J. Trump.

Audrey Lynn Brill, Social Worker, Wife, Daughter, Niece, Granddaughter, Sister, Friend