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Posted by on Feb 16, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 1 comment

Why Do So Many Brits Dislike Donald Trump?

 

 

Note to My Readers:  I rarely post content from other writers, since that’s their content and what’s promulgated here at my site is always my own.  However, I was so impressed with this short missive by a British writer named Nate White, that I had to share it.  I hope you will agree, it’s a marvelous retort as to why so many British citizens and people from other countries are appalled by what’s happening in America.

 

Question:  Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?

A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority — perhaps a third — of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.

 

Special thanks to Tom Robinson for bringing this to my attention.

 

__________

 

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, Rants and Raves, What's Left | 1 comment

Why Do They Lie So Much About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

 

 

Frantic to deflect our attention away from the malady of Trump and his voluminous crimes, the far-Right has resorted to flinging a ceaseless bombardment of demonstrable falsehoods, hoping they’ll stick.  With Hillary Clinton fading into the past, they desperately need a new bogey-woman — and now appear to have found her. 

Here’s to exposing their lies with facts and telling the truth….     

 

Why do they lie so much?

That’s the big question I’ve been asking myself since the unexpected and unprecedented rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old newly-elected congresswoman from New York who’s made quite the political splash in Washington.

Ocasio-Cortez’s has become so well-known, so fast, she’s now known by a simple three-letter moniker, “AOC.”  Her appeal among progressives is well-justified.  She’s young.  She’s energetic.  She’s genuine.  She’s fearless.

AOC’s meteoric rise onto the national stage has also made her into an inviting political target.  She’s become the victim of outright fabrication.  Already, there’s a vast disinformation campaign underway which intends to discredit her.  The far-Right’s assembly line of lies has been cranked into action.  The hate machine is going full blast.  Like a doomsday machine that can’t be shut off once it’s been programmed, this is only the beginning.  The deceptive anti-AOC narrative has been artfully crafted.  Eventually, it becomes impossible to alter first impressions and change stubborn simple minds.  Political disinformation campaigns work. 

Take a look at all the activity related to AOC spewed across social media platforms this past week.  She’s become the poster girl for extremist Right-wing backlash.  Frantic to deflect our attention away from the malady of Donald Trump and his voluminous crimes, the conservative movement has resorted to flinging a ceaseless bombardment of demonstrable falsehoods, desperately hoping they’ll stick.  With Hillary Clinton fading into the past, they desperately need a new bogey-woman — and now appear to have found her.

For example, here’s just one of many social media outlets blasting AOC with completely made-up accusations.  Some troll calling itself “The Patriot Conservative” somehow has several thousand followers.  The Facebook page is percolating with attacks on AOC.  Let’s be quite clear — political criticism is certainly fair game.  However, complete disregard of the facts and outright fabrication is not.

Check out this deceptive post at “The Patriot Conservative.”  It mocks AOC (and several other Democratic congresswomen) for allegedly not standing up during Trump’s State of the Union Address at the instant a 10-year-old girl was introduced to the crowd and lauded for overcoming brain cancer.  Here’s a snapshot of the false post:

 

Falsehoods from the far-Right aren’t the exception.  They are now the rule.  Their toxicity has gone viral, infecting an army of faithful foot-soldiers.  Impressionable followers, numbering in the thousands, are willing to gobble up any lie.  Too lazy to fact-check anything, they share this garbage and litter the social media landscape with lies.

Again, here’s clear evidence.  Hundreds and perhaps thousands of memes exploded all over Twitter and Facebook in recent days, hammering AOC for “not standing.”  Here’s just one of the countless examples of fakery:

 

 

The meme looks really bad, doesn’t it?  Allegedly, AOC didn’t even stand up nor applaud when the young cancer survivor was recognized by Trump during his speech.  The photograph even shows AOC scowling.  [Oh, and by the way, the memes can’t even get the girl’s age correct.  She’s not 8.  She’s 10.]

There’s only one problem.

The meme, the photo, the entire incident — all are demonstrably false.  It’s completely made up.  It’s garbage.

Don’t take my word for it.  Here’s proof.

I went back and carefully watched Trump’s introduction of the young cancer survivor.  It took one click on YouTube and about 3o seconds to realize what was being reported was a total lie.

Here’s the screenshot I took of AOC and other Democratic congresswomen (mostly dressed in white, which makes them easy to identify).  This image shows AOC at the very instant the young girl is introduced to the crowd:

 

 

Note who standing up at the second Trump makes his introduction.  In case it’s not clear, that’s AOC in the row behind the table.  That’s her — STANDING UP.  That’s her — APPLAUDING.

Should you suspect I doctored this photo, or believe it’s from a different part of the State of the Union speech, watch for yourself in real time.  Click the short clip below.  You can fast-forward to the 2:20 mark, which is when Trump makes his introduction and AOC and the others stand and applaud:

 

 

Seriously, do these people have no shame?

What to make of the social media sewer that manufactures this fakery and the willful idiots who spread their lies?

Unfortunately, it’s too late now.  Many more people will click and share the false AOC meme than will ever read this column.  No one bothers to verify its accuracy.  Moreover, this is just one of the countless other examples of grotesque disinformation floating around the internet intended to malign AOC.

This does raise a more poignant question.  If AOC’s ideas about economic inequality, universal health care, and global warming are so wrong, why then do they ridicule her appearance, question her patriotism, deride her background from modest economic means, and fabricate bullshit?  Why don’t they just stick to the issues?

Is this yet another despicable example of misogyny?  Is it racism?  Perhaps, somewhat.  But I think it’s much deeper than that.  The far-Right knows they can’t win on the issues.  Their only hope is to demonize the most convenient messenger-target and if necessary, make stuff up.  The mudslinging is working.  Apparently, about 40 percent of the country swims away with the juicy bait — hook, line, and sinker.  They’ve become the pupfishes of political deceit.

Next time you see another anti-AOC meme, ask yourself one simple question — why are they attacking a 29-year-old female congresswoman with relatively little voting power compared to the vast arsenal of political and economic heavyweights who have sewn so much discord?  Why do they feel so threatened by this young lady?

Why do they make up lies?

__________

 

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Posted by on Feb 5, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

Drawing Racial Dividing Lines on Political Correctness

 

 

Two race-based controversies exploded over this past weekend.

Ralph Northam, well on his way to being the ex-Governor of Virginia, is getting skewered for some racially-charged acts which (allegedly) took place 35 years ago.  He’s also badly bungled the fallout in two baffling press conferences which were intended to restore confidence but did quite the opposite.  In an astonishing contradiction, speaking in his own defense Gov. Northam did far more harm than good when he backtracked from his previous statement.  Now, the Democrat is under severe pressure from several lawmakers, including members of his own party, to resign and basically disappear from the political scene altogether.

Meanwhile, across the country, comedian Bill Maher, star of HBO’s popular weekly comedy-talk show Real Time, is in serious trouble (again) for making an off-hand joke about a chicken franchise during a live sit-down interview with a Black congressman from Texas.  Maher was on camera talking to Rep. Will Hurd when he tried to lighten up what had been a serious interview by making reference to Popeye’s Fried Chicken.

Though unrelated, the two recent controversies have plunged the nation into another heated racial divide.  These scandals resurrect important questions about political correctness — and specifically who it applies to and when it’s applicable.  Given the racial insensitivity commonly associated with the political right, these incidents were unusual since Gov. Northam and Maher are on the left of the spectrum.  That assessment is indeed accurate.  Gov. Northam is the top Democratic officeholder in a purple state.  Maher, while overtly libertarian on many issues, has drifted decidedly towards the left in recent years, especially since Donald Trump’s election.

Should the same standards of behavior and a similar level of criticism apply equally to both men?  Aside from being racially charged, are these two cases similar?  Should punishments apply to both?

Here are my thoughts:

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Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 7 comments

Booker, Beto, Bernie, and Biden: The Unannounced Democratic Presidential Candidates

 

 

Note:  Here’s the follow-up to yesterday’s column on Democratic presidential candidates which focused on those who have announced, so far.  Today’s continuation features a look at the top candidates who remain, at least for now — “undecided.”    READ HERE:  AN EARLY LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL FIELD

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 1 comment

An Early Look at the Democratic Presidential Field

 

 

The 2020 presidential campaign started on November 9, 2016.

That’s the morning after the utterly unthinkable happened when an antediluvian mechanism known as the electoral college anointed an infantile reality television star to be the 45th President of the United States, this anomaly despite losing the popular vote to a pantsuited ragdoll by a whopping 2,915,391 ballots — all of which alleged to be cast by MS-13 gang members who usually hang out in the parking lot at Home Depot.

And now, here were are.

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