Tag Archives: donald trump

This is how genocide starts

This was reprinted from Firebrand Left. As that website is no longer up and running, I found it on the Way Back Machine. I think we are past three and have reached five.

Over the past few days, I have been spending some time over at a pro-Donald Trump Facebook group. While I have found a lot of things I have heard Donald Trump say to be upsetting, frightening or just plain confusing, nothing I have heard him say comes even close to what his supporters say. They say the United States Constitution is “outdated.” They do, support the Second Amendment but the rest was written by people who did not have to deal with modern-day terrorism. This is how they justify hating Muslims. Islam, they say, is not a religion but a political ideology.

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This is not helpful for any real conversation but that is not the real problem. While I do not think it is appropriate to define 1.6 billion people this way but that is not the real problem either. The problem is not even that anti-Muslim rhetoric makes gives the extremists more ammunition to use against us or that it makes it harder to fight terrorism. The problem is that when you start defining this way, we are taking the first step towards genocide. That’s not the America I think we want to live in.

You may be thinking, “That’s pretty extreme.” It is but there is something that people do not realize about genocide. If you look at the phenomenon across centuries and continents, you will see genocide follows a predictable pattern. From Armenia and Germany to Rwanda and Sudan and then to Cambodia, there are ten steps all of these genocides follow. They are (per Genocide Watch):

  1. Classification
  2. Symbolization
  3. Discrimination
  4. Dehumanization
  5. Organization
  6. Polarization
  7. Preparation
  8. Persecution
  9. Extermination
  10. Denial

We are hovering somewhere between step one and three. We have not quite gotten to the point of actual discrimination but there are measures that have passed or considered to ban Sharia law in all but 16 American states. Who is behind all of this? A number of high profile Republicans such as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have spearheaded the “anti-Sharia” movement.

This belief, that Americans need to be protected from Muslims, has been advanced by the Trump campaign. HIs famous promises to build walls along the Mexican but not Canadian border and to ban entry by Muslims advance the cause of racism and Islamophobia. We need to be protected from what we see as “them.” Americans are Christian (and sometimes Jewish). That’s the ‘us.” Muslims are not true Americans who pay their taxes, love their families and serve in our military, they are outsiders to be feared and demonized.

Trump and his supporters point out the recent attacks throughout Europe, in Orlando and in New York and New Jersey. They do not mention the fact that the gunman in Orlando was born in New York nor do they talk about the Oklahoma City bombing by a United States born terrorist or the multitudes of shootings by Americans. No one was talking about religion when they looked at the massacres in Sandy Hook, Columbine or at 101 California Street. We are not being killed in mass numbers by Muslims coming into the country. We are too busy killing ourselves.

The problem with the people who think, and my feeling is that they really believe the things they are saying, that we are facing an existential threat. Adolph Hitler really believed that the world was engaged in an epic battle for survival against the Jews.  When people say things like, “there are no good Muslims and bad Muslims…” they are reading right out of the Nazi Germany playbook:

This is not what this country is all about. We cannot become complicit to the mentality that is promoted by the Trump supporters. We are better than that. I hope.

Photo by Gage Skidmore 

What just happened?

Last week, life was just so simple. Donald Trump was a narcissistic sociopath and I disagreed with everything he did. This week, he is still a narcissistic sociopath but I agree with something he did, what the hell happened?

English: Brasilia - The president of the Syria...

English: Brasilia – The president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Al-Assad during a visit to Congress Português do Brasil: Brasília – O presidente da República Árabe Síria, Bashar Al-Assad, em visita ao Congresso Nacional (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Syrian President Bashar al Assad decided to up the game in the civil war in his country by dropping Sarin gas on Tuesday. People say, “That doesn’t make sense, he is winning. Why would he do this?” Well, there are some ideas as to why Assad would gas his own people. None of them are good reasons but there are some ideas.

This is from a piece in the New York Times

“Militarily, there is no need,” said Bente Scheller, the Middle East director of the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation. “But it spreads the message: You are at our mercy. Don’t ask for international law. You see, it doesn’t protect even a child.”

This is not the first time Assad has gassed his people. More from the NY Times piece:

The fall of Idlib led to another turning point: Russia’s full-on entry into the conflict, adding its firepower to the Syrian government’s. Russia said it entered to fight the Islamic State, but directed most of its strikes at places farther west, like Idlib, where rival insurgents more urgently threatened government forces.

Chlorine attacks continued — investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations concluded the government had carried out at least three in 2014 and 2015 — with little international reaction.

Now, I am in the strange position of supporting Trump and military action. Liberal friends of mine say, “Yeah, this is like Iraq.” There are a number of reasons that this is not like Iraq. In the first place, we bombed an airfield. If it worked, it knocked out a way for Assad to bomb more people. In the second place, the Iraq invasion was misguided for a number of reasons and that country wasn’t six years into a violent civil war that had caused one of the largest refugee crises of our time. There are five million refugees because of this.

To equate this conflict with other things going on is silly. To say what we did was a “war crime” is crazy. I do not support Trump but I support what he did in Syria last night. I suspect hell is freezing over.

Donald Trump has done some amazing things. Seriously.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I do not care for Donald Trump. Not even a little bit. This is not because I am a Democrat and he is a Republican. I am more of a Republican than Trump and I have a Democratic donkey tattoo. If I had the chance to talk to Trump, I might say something like this, “I have known Republicans and you are no Republican.”

Having said that, Trump has done some amazing things. Here are a few:

  • I feel badly for Paul Ryan. While it is true that I have admitted to having a small crush on the speaker but that is not it. I disagree with him on everything but … he talks to Trump every day? That sounds cruel. I think the 8th Amendment to the Constitution should make that not happen.
  • Trump made me feel badly for Ted Cruz. At one point, Senator Lindsey Graham said Cruz could be murdered on the Senate floor without being convicted (by people in the Senate). That shows how unlikeable he is. When Trump went after his wife for her appearance and then said his dad was involved in the assassination of JFK, I was like, “Wow, that is just mean. Mean and crazy.”
  • Trump has made me miss George W. Bush. When “Dubya” was president, I thought we were scraping the bottom of the barrel but I was wrong. Dubya was not my first choice (or 500th choice) but we lived in a reality that involved facts and a common sense of things. He never said President Clinton wiretapped his offices or had his people defend his tweets by saying our microwave ovens can be used as spy devices. Dangit, I miss Dubya.

Trump is a narcissistic, sociopathic, thin skinned prick who thinks that he can mold reality to what he wants it to be. This is how he operated on reality TV and in Trump Tower where his word was it. That is not the way the rest of the world works.

Oh, Trump has also made me feel badly for his supporters, who voted for someone who will make their lives worse.

What do you think? Are we insane?

The United States has elected some interesting people. Over the years, we have had pro wrestlers become governors. Actors have been president. For a long time, we even had a leprechaun in the House of Representatives. (Yes, Dennis Kucinich, I am looking at you. Right at you.) Being insane is not going to disqualify anyone from elected office here.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, we have elected a reality star. Some people say Donald Trump is also a successful businessman but his business model seems to be shit to me. He goes into a place, gets a bunch of government money, takes out some loans, hires local companies, they do the work, he never pays the, he files for bankruptcy, he moves to a new place to repeat all of that. While I never went to Trump University, I don’t think that is a good model to follow. It’s an insane model to follow.

Now the Tweeter in chief does not seem to understand that he has moved to a new world. He can no longer control every aspect of the story that is told about his life. Now people listen to what he says and expect him to say things that are, if nothing else rooted in reality. The problem is that for Trump, reality has always been whatever he wanted it to be. When the media asks his representatives about his claims, he calls them “rude.”

No, Mr. President, it is not “rude,” that is what they are paid to do. And coming from the most caustic person in politics, you have no business calling anyone rude. Ever.

What I am left wondering, amid the claims by Sean Spicer that when Trump said he was bugged, Trump was using air quotes or from Kellyanne Conway that Americans’ microwave ovens are turning in us, how does the world view us? I would love to know.

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