I’m half Irish. Maybe that will get me a one-way ticket to Ireland, a country that Timothy Egan calls “a 21st-century heaven.” I’ll get back to that.
Look, I know that many of us are sick to death of the constant drum beat of Trump’s corruption and racism. We are burning out as we view his transformation of a segment of our fellow citizens into an antidemocratic mindless mob. But we need to hang in there, exposing Trump’s authoritarianism. If we do not, we fall victim to the passivity identified by the German pastor Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In the July 18th Daily Beast Rick Wilson warns us that Trump Readies His Mob for the Race War. He’s pulling back the curtain further, daring his audience and his supporters to follow him into a very dark place. Of course, they are.
Following are snippets.
Democrats who live under the delusion that issues will deliver them in 2020 are laboring under a campaign-killing false premise. Democrats who think there is a point at which even Trump can be shamed and his behavior corrected need to cut back on the day-drinking. This is a referendum on Trump, and policy arguments will be lost in the static and fury of an apocalyptic campaign ahead.
Imagine being a Republican in Congress during last night’s [July 17] chant. Those are their voters now. Those are the people watching them for the slightest deviation from Trump. They’ll do anything to keep the mob off their backs and their timelines. …
Trump’s speech last night [July 17] wasn’t mere campaign-style rah-rah and hyperbole; it was a moral challenge to America. It was a preview of how the manic energy and boundless amorality of Trump’s growing evil will be the defining characteristic of the 2020 race. Trump’s campaign is based in po-white trash identity politics in a form so pure that Richard Spencer and David Duke are nodding in approval.
He will always double down, even in failure and most certainly in the face of rebuke. His campaign will tear this country to shreds to save his ass and his ego. He will always drag America deeper into the slimy contents of his grotesque id, smearing the rest of us with its ichor.
Again, “Send her back” is the new “lock her up” but as all mobs do, this one will want more, and the leader will need to up the ante. So, Donald, why not skip right to “Fetch the rope”?
It’s what you’re thinking, anyway.
But when confronted with the horrible, politically toxic chants from his mob, Trump
walked it backlied his a$$ off again.
The NY Times reported that Trump Disavows ‘Send Her Back’ Chant as G.O.P. Frets Over Ugly Phrase.
Nervous Republicans, from senior members of Congress to his own daughter Ivanka, urged President Trump on Thursday to repudiate the “send her back” chant directed at a Somali-born congresswoman during his speech the night before at a rally in North Carolina, amid widespread fears that the rally had veered into territory that could hurt their party in 2020.
In response, Mr. Trump disavowed the behavior of his own supporters in comments to reporters at the White House and claimed that he had tried to contain it, an assertion clearly contradicted by video of the event.
Mr. Trump said he was “not happy” with the chant directed at Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a freshman Democrat who is Muslim. At the rally Wednesday evening, he had been in the middle of denouncing her as an anti-American leftist who has spoken in “vicious, anti-Semitic screeds” when the chant was taken up by the crowd.
Pressed on why he did not stop it, Mr. Trump said, “I think I did — I started speaking very quickly.” In fact, as the crowd roared “send her back,” Mr. Trump paused and looked around silently for more than 10 seconds as the scene unfolded in front of him, doing nothing to halt the chorus. “I didn’t say that,” he added. “They did.”
Even before Wednesday’s rally, his aides and advisers had spent days trying to manage the fallout from the president’s tweets on Sunday calling on the four Democratic congresswomen who he said “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” to “go back” and “help fix” them.
All of them are American citizens, and all but Ms. Omar, a Somali refugee, were born in the United States.
Many of Mr. Trump’s advisers immediately recognized that the tweets had crossed a new line, and they expected him to walk them back at the beginning of the week. But he did the opposite, renewing his call for the women to leave the United States. The charge that his tweets were racist “doesn’t concern me,” the president said, “because many people agree with me.”
Basically what Trump just said is that his audience was just as racist as he is.
Watching that video was an illuminating experience. Those “many people” were the audience. Trump reacted to their chant, “send her back”, as if he had been anointed with holy oil. During those 13 seconds Trump appeared to be positively orgasmic. Never mind that the chant makes absolutely no sense. When mobs rule, logic fails.
Why can’t America be more like Ireland?
Send Me Back to the Country I Came From writes Timothy Egan in the NY Times. In his view, Ireland, the country of my ancestors, has become what America used to be. (h/t Sherry Moreau)
He’s right, this angry old man in melting bronzer shouting in the July heat: Those of us who don’t like what’s going on in this country should get the hell out. “Go back,” as he said, to the “crime-infested places from which they came.” A fine idea.
For me, as with more than 30 million other Americans with my hyphenate, that’s tiny Ireland, the country once so infested with crime, famine, disease and assorted horrors of foreignness that its British overlords said a merciful God was doing a favor by killing off the starving masses.
So back I went to have a look. …
What Egan found: health care for all, a nearly free educational system, a republic that welcomes immigrants. “That 19th-century hellhole has become a 21st-century heaven. The Irish have become us — what we wanted and aspired to.”
Back home in America, the unimaginable is the new norm: a fully blossoming fascism. We’re stuck in a hideous loop of hate. But it’s also an idiocy loop.
Why are we arguing about something any second grader has already settled after looking around the classroom and realizing that nearly every other child is a descendant of someone from a foreign land?
Read the resolution the House of Representatives passed on Tuesday, citing Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy and Benjamin Franklin, and quoting Franklin Roosevelt’s call to “remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” It’s the kind of immigrants-make-a-nation-stronger boilerplate that would normally pass the House with unanimous consent, but it drew only four Republican votes.
This is how low Trump has taken us. We are a debased nation fighting over the scraps of our former principles. Should someone offer a resolution saluting the “purple mountain majesties” of the United States, every Republican would vote against it if Trump tweeted against a color that is not orange. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose immigrant wife is indirectly a target of this sludge, would say, as he did about the “send-her-back chants,” that the president is “on to something.”
… Back in the country from which I came, the Irish appear genuinely perplexed at this American vomiting of principle. Writing in “Irish Times,” Oliver Sears, a British-born resident of Ireland and son of a Polish holocaust survivor, wondered how any immigrant could ever vote for Trump.
I heard a similar thing when I went back: How could Irish-Americans vote for this awful man without becoming traitors to their heritage? For this Ireland has become what America used to be. If only America could be more like this Ireland.