This blog represents the views of the author alone and not the newspaper.
In the 2016 election, the chant was “lock her up” which is what banana republic dictators do to their political opponents. The 2020 campaign chant is “send her back” which is what third-world countries do to political dissidents. People tell me that it is only political rhetoric. The spin, lies, and bragging is the norm but “lock her up” and “send her back” calls for action.
It’s no secret that the “talking points of the day “are delivered to the legislators (especially the GOP) early each morning so they stay on message. If you have ever watched a series of interviews, you’ll see that the same catchwords are used.
The president put out his weekend racist tweet and once again the GOP had to huddle up to defend the tweet because Trump has a 90% approval within the GOP. They knew the tweet would carry the news cycle for several days and after their instance on a resolution to condemn anti-Semitic remarks by members of Congress they needed a message. They knew Nancy Pelosi would counter with a resolution condemning Trump’s racist comments.
The GOP found the right flamethrower to give the republican legislators a reason to vote no to the resolution to condemn Trump’s tweet. Liz Cheney said “I want to make absolutely clear that our opposition to our socialist colleagues has absolutely nothing to do with their gender, with their religion, or with their race. It has to do with the content of their policies.” When the media found the hiding republicans, they uttered pretty near the same words. I knew then that the GOP would no as a block. I was not surprised 187 sheep voted no, and 4 Republicans voted with the Dems. Three of those republicans were in swing districts and one was retiring. Six republicans did not vote.
The final vote was 240-187 and the GOP waved it off a political stunt. The vote was entered into the record as a president of the United States being condemned by Congress for making racial comments. I would bet that federal judges will use this resolution the next time the president wants to impose a racist policy. i.e. Ban on Muslims.
We've had racist presidents and it didn't matter what party they were affiliated with. Millard Fillmore ran on a platform of hating Catholics and immigrants and Woodward Wilson showed the movie "Birth of a Nation" about the Klan at the White House. Richard Nixon was anti-semitic but kept it out of the newspapers. President Trump is out in the open and it's not just me saying that. Yesterday the headline of the Charlotte Observer read" Are you K with a racist president, Republicans?
President Trump could not let this issue die down because he is going to use it as a campaign tactic. He’s got to go out and find new voters who eat up what he is selling. He is selling hate and fear. Last night at his Greenville, NC rally introduced new red meat for his base. Trump followed the standard message of calling the Dems socialists but he tested a new wrinkle. Like P.T. Barnum, the president gave the audience what they came for. He read what was placed in his teleprompter to see how the crowd would react. From the clips I saw, he just mentioned Ilhan Omar and the crowd started their chant in unison of “send he back.” The president stood there for 13 seconds and soaked it all in. Later in a press conference, he said that he disavows those remarks and that he felt uncomfortable hearing them. The Trump rally-goers know he doesn’t mean that; it’s all for political expediency. Come on now, he read it from a teleprompter and he’ll use at the next rally and he’ll get the same response. It’s not rocket science.
I’m no exception, I have heard those words “go back to your country “and I knew it was racism. I had to laugh when I heard a Trump surrogate say that the tweet said nothing about race. Leader Kevin McCarthy said the tweet was not racist and Mitch McConnell said Trump was not a racist.
The other night CNN’s Chris Cuomo asked Kris Kobach, a Republican running for Senator “if Trump admitted he was a racist, would he vote for him.” Kobach thought about it a while until Chris said “you have to think about it” and then Mr. Kobach it depended on who was running against him. Chris said “What? You would consider voting for an admitted racist?” That’s exactly what I’m hearing from the rank and file. They look at the Dow and the justices and the rest is just Trump being Trump.
That’s what happens when you label the media “fake news” and those in authority as being partisan Democrats or Republicans. It creates the perfect storm for President Trump’s inaugural dark message of “Only I can fix it.” What has he fixed? He got out of the Iran nuclear deal and today our military shot down an Iranian drone. He pulled us out of the Paris Agreement, climate change is still a problem, started a trade war with China and our auto industry and farmers are suffering because of that, tore up NAFTA and it is still in limbo, North Korea wants to test nukes, all while he relishes in stirring up the pot.
Every Thursday morning, I look forward to our weekly breakfast meetings because of the camaraderie and all the opinions on a given topic. It’s what keeps me sane. We may disagree but as we are leaving, we shake everyone’s hands, before we depart. I bet it’s that way at all the local breakfast meetings or they wouldn’t survive.
This morning many were discussing how some of us read or heard about an issue in the community, came to a conclusion and then had a change of heart when we heard from the officials involved. More context the better.
Until next time the same disclaimer I put up last week is still valid. I alone am responsible for the content of this blog.