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Open racism as a political strategy… August 16, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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…useful piece in the Atlantic on Trump’s tweets against Representative Elijah Cummings, tweets which are generally acknowledged to be racist in tone and content. In it the author David A. Graham argues that the tweets are misfiring – in part because they are burying genuinely good news for the President from the Supreme Court ruling on the border wall, because they are not distracting attention and most intriguingly:

A second is the same as the point that I and many others made after Trump’s attack on the squad: Exploiting racial tension has been a successful strategy for Trump and many other politicians, but open racism is, in addition to its moral repugnance, a risky electoral ploy.

Anyone who has followed the history of US electioneering and political strategy will know how ‘softly softly’ racism was baked into the mix – and long before the Willie Horton ad (which by the by casts a different light on one GHW Bush’s campaigns for some on the liberal side of the street who choose to be nostalgic in this age of Trump). And of course long since.

But with the current President there’s a shift towards much more clear cut rhetoric and that may not be quite as effective. Indeed it can potentially be off-putting to those who do not want to regard themselves as racist. Moreover it also is betting the house on more people being willing to accept racist rhetoric than may actually exist (whatever their own personal views on issues).

These aren’t small things. Lots of people live in the overlaps between noxious views, but fewer are happy to necessarily pin their colours to a mast expressing overtly noxious views. Trump may think otherwise – his hard-right cheerleaders certainly seem to believe it otherwise. But that doesn’t make it so.

And this isn’t to say that Trump hasn’t already pushed matters in a certain direction. Clearly the fact a US President is indulging in such displays is a step-change. But it may be self-limiting.

Comments»

1. CL - August 16, 2019

Trump has the mindset of a lynch mob leader.

It will be interesting to see what kind of welcome his vice-president, Pence, receives when he visits the ancestral homeland in a few weeks.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mike-pence-ireland-visit-reaction_n_5d566ea7e4b0eb875f21f951

Pence… has dutifully stood by the President, mustering a devotional gaze rarely seen since the days of Nancy Reagan…
Pence is a doctrinaire ideologue…
Pence has the political experience, the connections, the discipline, and the ideological mooring that Trump lacks…
Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine….
Pence … attended a Christian music festival in Kentucky and “gave my life to Jesus.”…
In 2000 Pence echoed industry talking points in an essay that argued, “Smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, two out of every three smokers doesn’t die from a smoking-related illness.” A greater “scourge” than cigarettes, he argued, was “big government disguised as do-gooder, healthcare rhetoric.” …
He sponsored an unsuccessful amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would have made it legal for government-funded hospitals to turn away a dying woman who needed an abortion…
Pence’s close relationship with dozens of conservative groups, including Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ top political organization, was crucial to his rise…
Pence, who had called global warming “a myth” created by environmentalists in their “latest Chicken Little attempt to raise taxes,” took up the Kochs’ cause…
Trump began to appoint an extraordinary number of officials with ties to the Kochs and to Pence, especially in positions that affected Koch Industries financially, such as those dealing with regulatory, environmental, and fiscal policy…
Pence has described intelligent design as the only “remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/23/the-danger-of-president-pence

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2. FergusD - August 16, 2019

So, according to Pence, ONLY 1 in 3 smokers die of a smoking related illness. And those are supposed to be good odds? If 1 in 3 motorists died on the road that would be massive carnage, but Pence would seemingly respond ‘So what!”. I don’t know what the figure for smoking related DEATHS actually is but presumably the rate for smoking related illness, including those that aren’t the actual cause of death, is much larger. But who care? Not Pence.

I shan’t start on the intelligent design nonsense. I am reminded of a Paxman (rank Tory and pro-Brit imperialism) interview with an intelligent designer from the US ( prof of physics or some such, they are never biologists) where Paxman asked ‘Is your intelligent designer the Christian god?’ The guy wouldn’t answer, despite being Paxmaned, so Paxman ends up saying, ‘Clearly he (the intelligent designer) is (the Christian god)’. Which of course HE is. The notion it is a scientific hypothesis is utter crap.

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WorldbyStorm - August 16, 2019

It’s an insulting ‘theory’ and those who propose it are gullible at best. V true re how few biologists buy in.

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3. Dermot M O Connor - August 16, 2019

Re: willie horton and liberal love of Bush: It’s not just nostalgia by libs for GHWB, but for GWB also, leg’s not forget their recent lovefest for John McCain, Mueller, and the CIA.

American liberals are terrifying. They’ll be nostalgic for Trump in 10 or 12 years. “Remember when the worst we had to worry about were Trump’s tweets? Oh god, President Gibson is on again”.

Dennis Perrin (a leftie, to the left of most Dems) wrote this book about them at the height of the Bush era – when most Dems were cosplaying as anti-war. Cos-playing, because as always their opposition to war is actually opposition to the GOP. They fucking LOVE war (just put a humanitarian gloss on the thing to cover the resource grab).

https://www.amazon.com/Savage-Mules-Democrats-Endless-War/dp/1844672654

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