This is a personal post from the lady who represents the American branch of Resisting Hate.
(The article, not the meme.)
I have never been so involved in politics. Not when I was a lobbyist, not when I was a policy advisor to the Governor, not when I was on the Transition Team or any of the Task Forces working with the Department of Mental Health, TCCY, DCS to respond to crises that came about when they cut 400,000 off Medicaid, or misprinted the IDs for Medicare Part D creating mass chaos and confusion.
Once the “transition” was done (it was a 6 month contract) I trusted that policies would be implemented effectively and felt confident the Obama admin had everything under control.
Trump doesn’t talk about healthcare because he doesn’t bother to read the bills and if he does, he is either lying or lacks the intelligence to understand what they say.
So yeah, I’m back. And I’m mad as hell. I never felt we were in imminent danger before. So if you are tired of seeing my posts simply unfollow. I get paid per word to write and not once have I been accused of posting Fake News.
I’m exhausted, I’m tired and I’m fed up, but I’m not too tired to stop fighting.
Ann Coulter is an American public figure with a legal background who regularly represents far right political views in the American media. She is the author of several books including ‘In Trump we Trust’ (written when Coulter still supported Trump as the Republican Presidential candidate.)
Coulter is something of an extremist, outspoken on her favourite topics of immigration and Islam. In the aftermath of September 11 she made a public proposal that America should invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders and convert the population to Christianity.
Some of Coulter’s most infamous quotations including the extremely racist “Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave… We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males ” can be found in this article. These quotations are not isolated examples of Coulter’s extremist hate views. A quick You Tube search finds hundreds of videos of her spouting her hate rhetoric and making provocative and inflammitory comments, deliberately intended to offend.
She has been given a vast amount of media attention and numerous platforms upon which to air her views. As the poster girl for ultra Conservative Republican ideals few individuals have received more attention.
However the tide has been changing for Coulter recently. For all her celebration of Trump’s presidency Coulter has become increasingly disenfranchised with the man she so enthusiastically endorsed and this has lost her support among the President’s far right fan base. She called Trump out for his failure to build his promised wall on the Mexican border, and publicly criticised him for changing his stance on immigration. More recently Coulter clashed with Trump over the ‘Dreamers’ program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and published a tweet calling for the President to be impeached.
Before her views are examined Coulter cuts an impressive public figure. She is confident, smartly dressed, articulate and obviously someone who has read widely in her chosen field of interest. Unfortunately though, as soon as she opens her mouth (or her Twitter app), she is exposed as an individual notable not just for her bigotry but for her stupidity. This is a genuine tweet from Coulter’s personal Twitter account in reaction to Hurricane Harvey:
This closed minded world view was again illustrated on her Twitter account when she tweeted:
(Based on Coulter’s logic here Donald Trump, who had a German grandfather, would not even have been eligible to vote, let alone to stand for the Presidency…)
To best explain Ann Coulter to a UK audience I’d simply summarise her as a US version Katie Hopkins albeit with a bigger budget for hair. Her Twitter feed yields the same threats, rants, prejudices and hate that we have come to expect from Madame Hopkins. Let us hope that the American media tire of her vitriol and push this blowsy loudmouthed hater out of the public eye.
A selection of tweets that show Ann Coulter for what she is >
This article was written on the 5th June 2017, two days after a terrorist attack in London in which 7 people were murdered and dozens more injured, many seriously. The inspiration was a series of messages, written by Americans, claiming that if police and civilians in London had had access to guns they would have been able to stop the attack from happening.
Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!
Since starting to write this piece, there has been a mass shooting in Florida, 5 people were killed by somebody who had been sacked from his job, the gunman then killed himself. It’s impossible to avoid the irony of the situation.
Gun Control in the UK
Firearms have been progressively more controlled for almost 100 years, the first licensing requirements being introduced in 1919. As things stand, almost all handguns are illegal (legislation introduced following the Dunblane school shooting in 1996) as are automatic or burst fire weapons. Shotguns and hunting rifles are legal, though a permit is required to purchase them and/or the ammunition.
Northern Ireland has less restrictive rules, and handguns can be owned and carried, though there too all weapons must be licensed and owners are not permitted to bring them into mainland Britain.
Gun Control in the US
The US has a myriad of conflicting federal and state laws on gun ownership, some states allowing concealed carry, others not. Permits and background checks are required in some circumstances and not others. The general principle is outlined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, added in 1791 (and actually based on the 1689 English Bill of Rights) which states
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
Interpretation of this has been subject to many legal challenges over the years, notably whenever states try and introduce controls. There is nothing in the constitution that stipulates the arms need to be a projectile weapon. There is no reason it couldn’t be treated as many Sikhs do their religious requirement to wear a sword (yes, they’re all armed!), and carried as a symbolic token gesture.
Gun lobbyists in the USA are very organised and well funded, the most famous and powerful group being the National Rifle Association (NRA). They have so much influence that in 1996 they successfully lobbied for a change in the law so that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” The motive behind this was that in 1993 the CDC, who monitor and research most causes of illness and death, released a study that found that gun ownership led to an increased risk of gun deaths in the home. This new law effectively prevented research and reporting on gun death statistics.
Having shown that owning a gun actually puts you more at risk, there is also the issue of training and readiness. The simple fact is that soldiers and armed police are trained to respond appropriately. Civilians aren’t, and when confronted with an armed assailant many will either freeze in panic or shoot wildly, putting passers by in even greater danger.
But Criminals Will Still Get Guns
One of the arguments for public access to guns I often hear is that criminals will still get illegal guns, so to defend themselves citizens must also have them. There is one fundamental and very serious flaw in this argument – there are no such things as illegal guns! All firearms start out being manufactured by legitimate companies. They only become illegal if they are stolen, sold to somebody they shouldn’t be or smuggled into the country. If the supply of legally owned guns wasn’t there, there’d be no guns to steal or sell, leaving only the risky business of smuggling them in. According to official statistics over 230,000 firearms are stolen every year in the USA. Of these 80% are not recovered.
Private sales are another problem. Because no background checks are required in many states, people who (for reasons including prior conviction) might not pass an FBI check are able to purchase weapons. The same is true of gun fairs, which have varying requirements for checks. There are in the region of 5000 such fairs per year in the US, and they are a significant source of weapons used in crimes..
The three men who attacked on London Bridge drove a van into people, then jumped out and started attacking them with knives. I’m sure they would have preferred to use guns, which would have enabled them to kill and injure more people, but the simple fact is that obtaining guns, especially several at once, is extremely difficult and conspicuous. If they had been legally able to buy firearms they would probably have done so, and the attack would have been significantly more dangerous as a result.
The main argument I’ve heard is that bystanders would have been able to neutralise the threat more quickly if they had been armed. As I’ve already explained this is not the case. In actual fact armed police were on the scene and had shot and killed all three terrorists within 8 minutes of the first emergency call. Imagine the prolonged stand-off that may have resulted had the attackers actually been able to shoot back.
Our police on patrol are not routinely armed. I like the fact that they don’t need to be. I like the fact that I can be confident walking the streets without fear that somebody will pull a gun on me to steal my wallet or phone.
Fear is the relevant word here. That is what these gun nuts share, and it’s marketed to them. “To protect your home and your family you need a gun”.
The NRA on their website hammer home the idea of freedom, and anybody that disagrees is an enemy, including Kim Kardashian for suggesting that people suffering mental illness should not be able to carry guns. People who disagree with sport hunting (count me in) are regarded as extremists.
We live in a society made up of individuals who are taught how to think, how to feel, how to conform, and how to hide. It forces us to place the world into simple categories so that we may understand the complexities around us.
We are taught that a spirit is our savior and the law is our sanctuary. We learn to recognize both good and evil; black and white; blessed and damned. We are forced to identify good or evil; black or white; blessed or damned. A society that allows us to believe in fate and destiny, and allows us to blame failure and injustice on circumstance and gods. It teaches hatred and intolerance, and breeds complexity and anger. It is a society I neither respect, nor believe; and a society that needs careful evaluation and gentle handling. There is no order; there is no justice, there is no comfort. It is the society of a people in need of a soul.
There is a theory about Psychologists that claims many people choose to study the field of psychology in an effort to understand their own mind. I have spent so many hours contemplating the source of my insecurities and fears. Eventually I came to the field of sociology and education, since I feel it was the combination of the two which facilitated my belief that a degree from Harvard, Princeton or Yale would make my problems disappear. The day I was accepted at Columbia was one of the most difficult days of my life because it was something I was told I would never accomplish. I chose to go to Vanderbilt after receiving an advanced Masters from the Ivy League for my PhD since it represented freedom. Freedom from the confused ideals of my parents and marked a clear boundary between their world and my own.
This year, my mother told me I did not deserve to get into Comell. My father told me that he was “not willing to gamble $50,000 on my future.” I thought if I could just make it through graduation, everything would be O.K. I would be able to pick up student insurance, and my pain, stress, and anxiety would all disappear. I would no longer be subject to my fathers conventions of checks and balances, and the stress and dependency would all disappear. I would be free from the ghosts and voices that were echoing through my head (in case there is any doubt, that was a figurative not a literal statement.) I will end this here because I wrote this before I made peace with my family and now have a better understanding of why they felt my most significant accomplishments should be mine and mine alone. I am proud to say that I did accomplish these achievements on my own and received a full academic scholarship to the top ranked university in the nation and graduated with a 3.93/4.0. No one can take that away from me. No one. Ever.
When I see people who put others down for their race, religion or special needs, all I can think is that the haters have nothing else to be proud of because they haven’t achieved anything of significance in their life. The only thing they have to feel superior about is the color of their skin and that tells me everything I need to know about a person. They are generally underachieving, ignorant, working class bullies who are grasping at straws to feel better about their own miserable lives and their failure to achieve anything of significance on their own.
If the only thing you have to be proud of is your skin color, you have already failed at life. Work harder, and stop blaming others for your shortcomings. No one is coming for your jobs or your guns. The immigration (travel ban) is among the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard considering we are a nation of immigrants who came to America seeking freedom of persecution for religion. The only thing more ridiculous is building a wall.
Trust me. No one is coming for your jobs. The fact is that immigrants (many of whom have advanced degrees in engineering or medicine) come here desperate for a better life and often take jobs they are overqualified for. I can’t help but laugh when I hear these lower class white Supremacists claim that Blacks or Mexicans are stealing their jobs and opportunities. You think a wall is gonna keep people out? Then why bother with a travel ban for the airlines. I didn’t think Trump would be able to change much but with Pence breaking these ties over things like finding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health I fear for the future of our country. We are only 70 some days in and America is already so much worse than it was a few months ago.
If you want to change the world, start with yourself. If you are blaming Jews, Blacks, Mexicans or Muslims for your problems you need a reality check. The only thing holding you back from achieving the American Dream is yourself. People who are secure in their identity and lot in life don’t feel the need to put others down. When one is truly at piece with their soul, they lift people up. Try it sometime. That’s all for now.
@ElyssaD aka Chilly P Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M., ABD Research and Policy Analyst
In light of talk of “Nazis” in America and those who sympathise with them I thought I’d cover the “American Nazi Party” and the original leader George Lincoln Rockwell.
In this country (UK) there is the New British Union which I covered a few weeks ago which is mirroring the British Union of Fascists set up by Oswald Moseley. The history and set up of the American equivalent is very different.
A man called George Lincoln Rockwell created and headed up the organisation in 1959. Rockwell was born in 1918 in Illinois and after graduating from high school subsequently applied to go to university in Harvard. He was not successful in that application but later applied to study at the Hebron Academy in Maine where he started reading Western Philosophy.
During his studies Rockwell read the bible and changed faith to Christian. He was a promoter of Identity Christianity whose followers identify themselves as being superior due to being the descendants of Europeans who were seen as “chosen people”. Their doctrine also states that non-white people in the world would need to be either exterminated or taken into a life of slavery. (This is a summary, the ethos of the group would warrant an entire article of its own).
After completing his education Rockwell joined the US Navy and fought both in WWII and the Korean War as a naval aviator. By all accounts it seems that he did well in his military career, becoming a Commander and having no issues during his 19 years of service. He did however get divorced while stationed in Iceland and then met his second wife where they married and had a honeymoon in Berchtesgaden (where Hitler had his retreat in the Bavarian Alps).
After the war he had a number of jobs, from sign painting to creating a magazine for US servicemen’s wives. The publication had a series of financial problems and he ended up selling the magazine.
While spending time in San Diego, Rockwell became interested in Adolf Hitler and his political ideals and pursued this to the extent that he read and agreed with what was written in Mein Kampf (I have read Hitler’s book and it is an intensely boring read, just page and page of paranoid ramblings.) and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (another intensely boring read). At this time Douglas MacArthur was pursuing a position of President of the United States, which Rockwell supported due to his beliefs and his stance against communists (he even bought and smoked a pipe like MacArthur did) . He was also influenced by a magazine called Common Sense published by Conde McGinley, which was an Anti Semitic newsletter.
Rockwell moved to Washington where he was involved in many demonstrations against the war and became so “far right” that when someone sent him a swastika flag, he created a shrine to Hitler and so completed his move to Naziism.
In 1959 Rockwell created a group called the World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists (handily shortened to WUFENS but only 9 months after it was created he changed it to the American Nazi Party (ANP).
It was while in Washington that Rockwell spoke at demonstrations which, in a very Hitler style, lasted a very long time, sometimes a couple of hours. He was refused permission to speak in New York but did speak to reporters about his ideals and what would happen to Jews if he won an election to be president (which was his goal). He explained that if they were patriotic Jews then he would allow them to stay in the country. If they weren’t however, then he would execute them. He estimated that 90% of Jews fall in the “traitor” category.
The American Nazi Party owned a vehicle known as the “Hate Bus”. This VW minibus was driven to places where they had desegregation of areas (a good example being bus shelters). They wrote slogans on the bus which proclaimed their thoughts on “race mixing”. In the end however, the bus was repossessed which rather put an end to that venture.
The American Nazi Party was based on not only the ideals promoted by Hitler in the German Nazi Party in WWII, but also the uniform and flag of the Third Reich. Rather than the traditional Nazi “Sieg Heil” they chose to shout “white power” in its place.
In an attempt to become someone who people would vote for in an election, Rockwell changed the name of the American Nazi Party in 1967 to National Socialist White People’s Party (this was partially to counteract the civil rights group National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People). This angered many of his followers, who believed that he was betraying the intrinsic values and beliefs of the party.
In the end, the National Socialist White People’s Party was taken over by a neo-Nazi called Matt Koehl who changed the name of the group to the New Order in 1983 and that is where the American Nazi Party as a group ends. The New Order exist today however they are very much a small group who keep well out of the spotlight. They celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and believe that they, as an ideological group, are the heirs of Hitler himself.
Rockwell was assassinated in the end on the 25th August 1967 by a disillusioned ex member of the ANP. The reaction of his father says a lot – he was quoted as saying: “I am not surprised at all. I’ve expected it for quite some time.”
As Rockwell was a veteran and had been discharged after having a very honourable service, the government agreed that he could have a military burial in Culpeper National, Cemetery. They did give a proviso, that there were to be no Nazi flags/insignias etc however the Nazi members of the funeral party ignored this and there was a tense five hour standoff where the hearse couldn’t enter the cemetery as it had been blockaded. The hearse was actually next to a railway track and was almost hit by a train at that time. Rockwell’s body was cremated the following day.
And so ended the ANP. While the members were very active and have influenced other groups like New Order and Ayrian Nations, David Duke and William Luther Pierce (the founder of National Alliance) as a group they were politically impotent and didn’t get very far. During our time on Twitter, our group has come across many people who seem to have a thing for Rockwell and the ANP and who consider him to be a pure ayrian individual who epitomises everything the far right stand for.
So………let’s see what’s happening in the world of Trump….
1. He has been crying as his “Muslim Ban” has been lifted by the courts….that hasn’t given him much to smile about. In fact, as usual, you can see the fallout from that by looking at his Twitter account 10 minutes after the decision was made.
2. There was a tragic attack in Paris. (I say tragic as it’s tragic that the actions of one person have again led to the demonisation of an entire religion by the right wing.)
3. After the attack, Trump took to Twitter to confirm that an attack had taken place (thanks Donny, hadn’t noticed that fact by looking at the news you know). He used it to justify his decision to close his borders to all those wicked nasty Muslims that he thinks want to attack America.
4. The Associated Press report that the French prosecutor involved in the case has confirmed that that man with the knife was from the UAE and came to the country as a tourist on the 26th January.
Now…..let’s see, there are 7 countries that Trump wants to do “extreme vetting”/a Muslim ban on. Ok….so, this person would have been caught up in this vetting because he is apparently a Muslim and is from……..bugger……the UAE is one of Trump’s “safe” countries……hmmmm…..that kinda scuppers the “excuse” that he has for the border issue. He could of course ban all Muslims from all countries entering the country but, hold on, he has business interests outside the core of 7 countries that he has on his ban list….so that won’t happen will it?????
Perhaps it is time for him to realise that:
1. He is unpopular. Not only is he unpopular all over the world but he is also unpopular within his own country and his approval rating is plummeting to a record low – lower than any other president in history and (according to CNN) Trump is the only President to hold a net-negative rating this early in his tenure.
2. His constant use of Twitter makes him look like a petulant child. In fact, if any of you are on Twitter, I’d invite you to not only see us on there (our details can be found on my pinned post on my profile – @HalalKitty2) but also to take a look at @VicenteFoxQue who was the Mexican President from 2000 to 2006, you won’t be sorry to do so.
3. That whinging about the press being mean to him is a joke. And insisting that Fox News is good and the New York Times is bad is the same as Farage and Britain First insisting that the Daily Mail is the paper for the discerning reader – total nonsense. (If you love fact checking like I do, go and see Exposing Britain First & IRBF as there is plenty there to enjoy)
Trump is talking about a judge….an AMERICAN judge, who is obviously in their position as they are competent to do the job. It’s not like you just happen to walk into being a judge because you fancy giving it a go during a gap year or something.
During his interview, he gets asked time and time again whether the judge is essentially able to do his job properly….and the answers? “I’m building a wall…..I’m building a wall between here and Mexico, he is proud of his heritage….he is a Mexican”
Now, the judge wasn’t born in Mexico….he is of Mexican descent……doesn’t make him a “Mexican”. (Not to say that they don’t consider themselves as a Mexican at all, as people look at their own identity in a number of different ways…….I’m talking about what’s on his birth certificate)
If Trump is saying (which he does a number of times during the interview) that the judge keeps on giving unfair verdicts…..”because he is Mexican”, doesn’t that make it a racist comment?? He then goes on to confirm that if he was to have a Muslim judge, he feels that they would also be basically biased against him.
No matter how you spin it, his comments are racist. He also brings the judges honesty into question by indicating that if one of the plaintiffs was Mexican/of Mexican heritage then he might know him and that would completely influence his decision and the trial outcome.
A record 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin resided in the United States in 2012, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Pew Research Center. This estimate includes 11.4 million immigrants born in Mexico and 22.3 million born in the U.S. who self-identified as Hispanics of Mexican origin. And I have to say, I feel very very sorry for them, being presided over by a man who doesn’t seem to trust a single one of them.
I would ask, please, if you would share this post with your friends, colleagues and families. I have recently been horrified at the abuse people are getting. I’ve reached out to a number of individuals and groups in the USA and said that we are aware of what’s happening, we are seeing what Executive Orders are being signed off, we are seeing Trump for the ignorant bigot that he plainly is and that as a global family he is a global problem and they are not alone.
The orange man strikes again, and fails to acknowledge facts.
I’m a geologist by qualification, spent a great many years looking at rocks, fossils and more. Part of my study was looking at old environments and changes within it.
Now, not wanting to go into postgraduate rants on Milankovitch cycles, greenhouse effects and suchlike, which would probably send people to sleep, all I will say is that through earths history climates change. It’s a given. However, man is having an impact on this and exacerbating the effects.
There is a massive amount of data that people like me used including information from the EPA. For this to be censored is a tad worrying. I understand that some people think that there is no such thing as global warming etc but by removing the data and hiding what has been discovered it is stopping even casual research into it.
Again it comes down to transparency…..if there’s nothing to hide, then give the information to the public and allow people to use science to debunk it. What you don’t do is hide the information because you just don’t fancy giving anyone a balanced view.
Censoring the media in the way that Trump is starting to do, along with stopping agencies reporting reporting the facts as they see it is not a good thing. It comes down to, again, the politicians being held to account…..who will now know if the world heats up when Trump decides to increase fossil fuel usage to “Make America Great Again”? There will be no public frame of reference.
I write this on the eve of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. I still can’t say that with a straight face, the sheer fact that so many people were taken in by such an obvious fraud is staggering.
However, we have to accept that what’s done is done. Barring a legal challenge (for which there must surely be grounds) or an assassination attempt (er…) this time tomorrow we will have to call him Mr President. Not since Nixon has a president entered office with a lower approval rating. The Donald isn’t worried about that though, because when faced with information he doesn’t like, he simply chooses not to believe it.
The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before.
Yes, the same man who ignores security briefings from intelligence agencies and denies the effects of climate change has now turned his scorn on pollsters.
The American voting public (albeit a minority of them) have allowed this vain, angry, misogynistic racist to represent their nation on the world stage. There are widespread suspicions that the Russian government was at work influencing the election, spreading propaganda to deliberately allow the election of such a weak and ineffectual leader for their own political gain. Personally I’m not convinced they weren’t just doing it for a dare, or a joke that got out of hand!
The next four years will be the acid test of course. Today President Obama left a message for Trump, urging him to listen to his advisors, and that the job is a huge responsibility, more than any one man can manage alone. I think he was wasting his breath, Trump has previously perpetuated the myth of Obama’s ineligibility to even be president, long after it was debunked, so he probably won’t pay much attention to this either.
I wasn’t quite sure, when I started writing this piece, whether I’d think of enough to justify it, or whether it would just turn into a Trump character smear. The simple fact is that this man is so wholly unsuitable for the role of president that no matter what I could say about him, the truth would still be worse!
The current right leaning trend in politics is worrying to someone like me, a moderate centre-lefty, but I could live with that if it weren’t for the fact that people were being misled into accepting it as inevitable. The media are partly to blame of course, for spreading such biased coverage, but ultimately the responsibility lies with the public for allowing themselves to be spoon-fed such rubbish.
Here in Britain the Brexit vote was an international embarrassment, resulting in our currency value plummeting, and our economy and buying power effectively shrinking as a result. The resulting political fallout left us with a prime minister who is completely incapable of running the country, and a foreign minister who stumbles from one diplomatic balls-up to the next. Just in the past day he likened the French president to Nazis wanting to inflict “punishment beatings” on Britain for trying to escape the EU. The referendum result was so close, and skewed by blatantly false claims from both sides of the argument. The problem is that people believe what they see in the headlines of the tabloids, often without even reading the articles.
This is exactly the same kind of intellectual apathy that led to the Trump victory. Liberals saw the claims, the awful racist rhetoric and the incitements to violence and thought “nobody is going to believe this rubbish”. But they did, in their millions. The phenomena of Fake News, and the appeal of somebody who promised to Make America Great Again (by as yet unspecified means) was enough to awaken the masses of people who are, unfortunately, not aware of their own suggestibility. The majority of Trump’s supporters are, predictably, working class white males. They have been duped into believing that they are a persecuted minority group, which, statistically speaking, is ridiculous, but was sufficient motivation for them to lap up the claims made during the campaigning.
It beggars belief that they would accept the word of a ruthless billionaire, who has grown his businesses by screwing over his workers and suppliers, to be the voice of the working man, but that is what has happened. He is now busily filling his cabinet with friends and associates cut from the same cloth, rich white-supremacists, religious bigots and climate change deniers, all in positions that, from an outsider’s point of view, seem like a parody of a government.
As I said above, the next four years will reveal the true character of this man and the people of his country. Will he surprise me and do a good job, growing the economy and reuniting the States? Will there be rioting, violent put downs and anarchy within a week?
Good luck America, I think you’re in for a rough ride…
Donald Trump is a man best suited to selling cars, or possibly double glazing. He is not a man most people would consider fit to run their bath, let alone their country, yet that is what is about to happen to the USA. Despite not getting as many votes as his rival Hillary Clinton, he will be inaugurated as the 45th President Of The United States of America (POTUS) on January 20th 2017.
It is hard to find anything positive to write about the appointment of Donald Trump to the most powerful political position in the world. Even without considering his far right views, his links with white supremacists, his obsession with Putin and his sexist behaviour, the man lacks the experience and knowledge to play a key role in world diplomacy.
I will leave it to the politicians to determine if there are any silver linings to come from the Trump cloud. The lack of Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani in his cabinet might be a cautious note of optimism as might his backtracking on Obamacare. His wall that turned into a fence and which I now suspect is heading toward an ornamental privet hedge may also be an indication that he will step away from some of his more controversial campaign promises. I hope so. But as an anti hate group Resisting Hate are more concerned with people than policies and though undoubtedly we will all be keeping a very close eye on the news in the weeks and months ahead it is the impact on hate crime and how this affects societies and individuals that is uppermost in our minds.
The initial picture looks pretty bleak. We have all seen the stats on the rise in hate crime. In a similar manner to Brexit in the UK hate crime has shot up in the USA since the election results and both the newspapers and social media are filled with reports of abuse against People of colour, Muslims, Jews and the old far right catch all “immigrants.”
These crimes are being depicted as reactionary and some of them undoubtedly are. But it is also human nature to see patterns where there are none. It is inconceivable that every piece of Anti Semitic or Islamophobic graffiti is a direct result of the impending presidency of Donald Trump. We cannot attribute that level of influence to the man. Nor can we credit the kind of people who do write their hate slogans on bus shelter walls as necessarily being politically aware enough to have followed the election campaign. Hate has been with humanity since the dawn of time. Hate was around before Trump and it will be around after Trump. What I am saying is try not to feel despair if you are seeing it for the first time. Trump may have brought this hate out into the open but he has not created it.
Bringing the hate into the open is obviously not a good thing for the people being subjected to hate and prejudice but it is also not a good thing for those who perpetuate the hate. People like Stephen Bannon for example were not, relatively speaking, well known public figures prior to the election. (Many in the UK had never even heard of Breitbart let alone knew who runs it). Now he and his ilk are making headlines and being openly recognised for who and what they are. The consequence being they will be unable to promote their insidious agendas behind closed doors. We may not like the Republican party but even they would balk at the more extremist hate views promoted by Neo Nazi white supremacists. It is perhaps better we can see and publicly shame these people for what they are. Ironically we are best placed to do so when they hold public office.
Seeing the hate crimes publicly reported so widely also exposes the underbelly of hate that has been festering both sides of the Atlantic for a long time now. I want this stuff highlighted in the press. I want people to be aware that there are sick people in our societies who talk with glee about “ovening Jews” and blowing up mosques. This hated has been smugly written off for too long as “just words” or “just social media”. It is imperative we understand the repercussions this hate has in our communities. It is only through direct exposure that people will understand why it has become such a problem and will finally come to the conclusion that something must be done about it. If you were too apathetic to vote in the last election then read the papers, you sure as hell won’t be in the next one.
Trump ran his campaign capitalising on the fact that he was the candidate of change, the candidate against the establishment. If he sticks to many of his campaign promises and legislates on hate principles then hate will become entrenched in his politics. Hate will effectively have become the establishment. And just as the people voted for change in 2016 a sadder and wiser electorate will vote for change again in 2020. They will vote to kick the hate right back out of politics. It took 71 years for the world to forget Nazi Germany to the extent where they would welcome fascism back into mainstream political systems. After Trump I believe it will be at least another 71 years before it is welcomed in again.
Much as I do believe exposing the hate is important and confident as I am that Trump’s political future will be a short one the actual positives that come out of this farce of a week are positives that lie in our own hands. Minority groups may be being targeted but these groups are only a minority if they stand alone. Now is the time for unity. If a world that has suddenly become very aware of an undercurrent of hate is willing to unite and stand together as a force for human decency then possibly Donald Trump could end up being the catalyst for something very good.
Our future lies in all of our hands. If we are able and willing to overcome our differences, find common ground, build bridges between communities and stand united against hate then we will get the world we want. If we are unwilling to put the effort in then, sadly, we will get the world such apathy deserves.
As the USA Presidential race heads into the final two days and shows no sign of being the Democrat landslide that many of us liberals hoped for we enter a nailbitingly tense period which will involve a lot of good people having very little sleep.
When Donald Trump first rumbled onto the political scene I remember having a conversation with my husband. “Suppose he actually….” No. My husband very emphatically reassured me that nobody would ever vote for such an idiot. He wouldn’t be taken seriously as a credible politician even for a party prone to being as dangerously far right as the American Republicans.
A few months later after Trump was voted the Republican candidate we discussed it again. “You know there really is a chance….” No. My husband was confident that not only would Trump have no chance at the Presidency his Republican candidacy was a positive thing as it would weaken the Republicans ensure a Democrat victory.
Even only a few days ago I was buoyantly assured by my (now rather irritatingly optimistic) husband that something would happen to change the course of history. This fascist, racist, xenophobic hater of a man would be prevented from taking up the most powerful position in the world. Something would stop him, someone would stop him, something had to happen…
24 hours from victory or defeat quite a lot has happened. But none of it of the magnitude that many of us hoped for. What looked like a Hilary win judging by the polls of two weeks ago now looks like a very close race indeed.
I am perhaps being a bit over dramatic in referring to a possible Trump victory as the end of the world. But in some ways it will be the end of the world as we know it. Trump has tapped into a public tide of hate and prejudice that many of us did not even know existed, let alone wanted to see given a voice on the world stage. If this man is given the office he seeks it will legitimise these schisms between communities, both in America and throughout the world. If the President himself can openly slander Mexicans, Women, Muslims, Jews, people of colour, people with disabilities etc. then there is nothing to prevent anybody else doing it. The door will have been opened to the floodgates of racism, mysogyny and Islamophobia and our world will have changed significantly for the worse.
It is not Trump the person I object to or even Trump the politician. What terrifies me is Trump the catalyst. The Trump who stands as the gatekeeper ready to usher in a society that favours division over unity. The Trump who has changed politics to make them about prejudice instead of policies. Never before have we seen a presidential candidate so open about his intention to divide communities and so approving of the followers who act on his views with hate speech, hate crime and violence.
In the UK we are in the unique position of knowing first hand what happens when right wing ideals are given free rein and our society has suffered greatly for it with hate crime spiking only hours after the Brexit referendum vote came in. The Brexit aftermath would be nothing compared to the fall out of a Trump victory. This is a man who is willing to publicly degrade women, ban people from a country just for following a faith and who hates his neighbouring country so much that he wants to spends billions on a wall to block them out. And that is just what he is willing to admit to while running for President.
The reason my husband has been so confident throughout that Trump would not get the presidency is because he and many others believe that a man who stands for division and hate on the scale that Donald Trump does would never be granted the power held by the Presidential office. This is a belief in humanity, a belief that decency will ultimately prevail, that the bad guy never wins.
24 hours from the election result I’m not so sure, Logic tells me that the polls are in Mrs Clinton’s favour. Common sense says that all the demographics abused by Trump in the press are unlikely to garner him votes in that direction. Everything I have read suggests that even hardened Republicans are turning away from the candidate they despise. But at the back of my mind whispers that little voice, the one that will stop me sleeping for the next two days. The one that says sometimes humanity doesn’t always win out against hate, that sometimes decency lucks out and the bad guy does manage to win.
It’s going to be a long twenty four hours…
And if he wins it’s going to be a bloody long four years…