Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hoods Off

Think of it this way: the Ku Klux Klan has the atom bomb. This week our new President came out in the open about supporting the Klan, the Nazis, and even the Confederacy. During the campaign there were signs of it, but now that Unite the Right has revealed itself -- without hoods -- in Charlottesville, the President has dropped his pretense, as well. He accused the liberals there of protesting without permits, claims they attacked the "nice people" of the racist right with clubs, and in general takes the racists' side of the matter. At his most conciliatory he admits there are "many sides" to the issue. Many sides. You have to say it twice.

We are happy that the rally in Boston today was a big flop, 20,000 [Edit] 40,000 protestors and less than fifty actual racists, but other events are scheduled for the upcoming days and weeks, and another Charlottesville is just a matter of time. It is not just a little group of weirdos any more, these people now have the Presidency and, it appears, Congress. Good people have to get their walking shoes on, need to hit the streets and show their faces and express their views, this is snowballing toward a state of chaos that we may not be able to recover from.

Obviously it is hard to have a government that gives rights and benefits to all kinds of people, including people who are different from us. I get it that everybody wants to be at the head of the line, and that the nasty old Constitution pretty much requires that everybody gets a fair place in the queue.

It can be frustrating, I guess, though it is hard to imagine that being white is too hard for some people.

I'm going out on a limb here: kindness and respect are the high road, in any place and at any time in history. There is nothing further to debate about this. We don't want the Ku Klux Klan in our society, or the Nazis who our fathers and grandfathers died to stop, and "alt right" is a fake label for marketing hate. It is a fundamental moral position to assert that people deserve respect unless they do something to lose it. You might even call it The Golden Rule. Guy a long time ago thought it up.

A year ago, in August 2016, Hillary Clinton gave a speech where she warned us about this. It is strange to look back now and see how it was received. She was "shrill," calling someone a racist was a low blow, it was a cheap shot, some kind of wimpy liberal name-calling. Imagine this: she had used an email system that was not run by the government. She couldn't be trusted.

Or rather, to put it another way, the vast rightwing conspiracy and fake news painted a picture of her that influenced almost all Americans. Most Americans felt she must have done something illegal, or sketchy, or dishonest; even though all Americans understood that her opponent in the election was a liar, a sexual predator, and a mobster, there were a lot of people who believed that she was worse. She had been slandered and criticized since Whitewater, at least, investigated and questioned and pursued. Google "Hillary" and "scandal" and you will get thirteen million, six hundred links. And yet every investigation has found nothing. Every minute of her life and the lives of everyone she knows has been dragged out into a courtroom or committee hearing room, stern Republicans have asked accusing questions, and in every case the result is ... nothing. But that much slime can't be scraped off, the effect on her reputation is there.


[Another Edit: Here is an example from today: A Preemptive Review Of Hillary Clinton’s Shameless New Memoir “What Happened” This is a review where the reviewer has not even seen the book yet. This stuff is going on still, half a year after the election. ]

Here are a couple of minutes from her speech last year in Reno, Nevada.

"He is taking hate groups mainstream." You were told this a year ago. And what did we do as a country? We cringed, because it is shrill and liberal to say that about somebody. "Helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party." Woo, she's gone too far now, saying those things. "This is not conservativsm as we've known it, this is not Republicanism as we've known it, these are racist ideas." You can't be surprised after Charlottesville when Trump proves that these words were absolutely correct. You knew this a year ago.

Hillary is not a gifted speaker but she had a clear vision and vast and detailed knowledge of the global political landscape. You can ask someone why they didn't vote for her and they almost surely won't have an answer. They just didn't "feel right" about her, after millions of dollars had been spent to destroy her reputation over several decades of time.

America chose, instead, an unhooded Klansman. You knew during the campaign what you were voting for. You knew there would be no "pivot," this guy would never be "Presidential." I am heartened today by the turnout in Boston. This is what we will need, good people have to stand up for what is right, and Nazis, the KKK, racists, haters need to be sent home. Their AK-47s and crashing cars into helpless crowds of people will not win them acceptance in this country. They have the right to their beliefs but when they have the codes to the atomic bomb, when they are running the United States of America, we have an actual emergency on our hands.