Archive for the ‘2016 Presidential Campaign’ Category

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago titled, “The white flight of Derek Black.” Black is the son of racist and white nationalist Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, the first and largest white nationalist website. Derek was raised as a racist by his parents. They homeschooled him in order for him to avoid mixing with other races, and also so that his parents could drill into him their racist dogma. Derek became one of the leading young spokesmen and leaders for white nationalists. Eventually, however, he began to doubt his ideology when he went to college, and has now renounced it.

The Post article leads off with the recounting of a white nationalist conference just after President Obama had been elected.

Their public conference had been interrupted by a demonstration march and a bomb threat, so the white nationalists decided to meet secretly instead. They slipped past police officers and protesters into a hotel in downtown Memphis. The country had elected its first black president just a few days earlier, and now in November 2008, dozens of the world’s most prominent racists wanted to strategize for the years ahead.

“The fight to restore White America begins now,” their agenda read.

The room was filled in part by former heads of the Ku Klux Klan and prominent neo-Nazis, but one of the keynote speeches had been reserved for a Florida community college student who had just turned 19. Derek Black was already hosting his own radio show. He had launched a white nationalist website for children and won a local political election in Florida. “The leading light of our movement,” was how the conference organizer introduced him, and then Derek stepped to the lectern.

“The way ahead is through politics,” he said. “We can infiltrate. We can take the country back.”

Years before Donald Trump launched a presidential campaign based in part on the politics of race and division, a group of avowed white nationalists was working to make his rise possible by pushing its ideology from the radical fringes ever closer to the far conservative right. Many attendees in Memphis had transformed over their careers from Klansmen to white supremacists to self-described “racial realists,” and Derek Black represented another step in that evolution. [My emphasis added.]

Eight years later, that future they envisioned in Memphis was finally being realized in the presidential election of 2016. Donald Trump was retweeting white supremacists. Hillary Clinton was making speeches about the rise of white hate and quoting David Duke, who had launched his own campaign for the U.S. Senate.

These people want you to think they are merely intellectuals who have discovered racial realism as a scientific theory, but their own backgrounds reveal their true intentions.

The Post article has some interesting insights into his father, Don Black, and how his overt racism has been toned down–that is, made more acceptable in polite circles–by calling it “racial realism.” There is a photo of Don, then a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, at a recruitment rally in 1982, with the caption, “Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Don Black, center, at the cross-burning climax of a Klan recruitment rally in 1982. Black would later leave the Klan and begin describing himself as a ‘white civil rights advocate’ or a ‘racial realist.'”

If you Google “‘don black’ racial realism” you’ll come up with hundreds, if not thousands of hits back to his website Stormfront. It’s kind of a one-stop shopping center for those who wish to promote racism in so-called scientific terms. Shortly after creating Storefront, Don said, “We want to take America back. We know a multicultural Yugoslav nation can’t hold up for too long. Whites won’t have any choice but to take military action. It’s our children whose interests we have to defend.” He started martinlutherking.org–a website purportedly about King, but is actually intended to malign him. It’s not unlike thereligionofpeace.com, which masquerades as an objective look at Islam.

After an estrangement, Derek faced his parents. They basically don’t get along at this point, but at least they are on speaking terms. Their last encounter was this summer.

Late this summer, for the first time in years, he traveled to Florida to see them. At a time of increasingly contentious rhetoric, he wanted to hear what his father had to say. They sat in the house and talked about graduate school and Don’s new German shepherd. But after a while, their conversation turned back to ideology, the topic they had always preferred.

Don, who usually didn’t vote, said he was going to support Trump.

Derek said he had taken an online political quiz, and his views aligned 97 percent with Hillary Clinton’s.

Don said immigration restrictions sounded like a good start.

Derek said he actually believed in more immigration, because he had been studying the social and economic benefits of diversity.

Don thought that would result in a white genocide.

Derek thought race was a false concept anyway.

They sat across from each other, searching for ways to bridge the divide. The bay was one block away. Just across from there was Mar-a-Lago, where Trump had lived and vacationed for so many years, once installing an 80-foot pole for a gigantic American flag.

“Who would have thought he’d be the one to take it mainstream?” Don said, and in a moment of so much division, it was the one point on which they agreed.

Taking racism mainstream. That’s really the point of dressing it up in pseudo-science.

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Ah, just a day in the life of the 2016 election campaign:

  • FBI Director James Comey feels the need to put out a statement that the FBI is reviewing more Clinton emails because they now have a device used by Anthony Weiner and his wife. They may be among the exact same emails they’ve already reviewed, who knows? Certainly Director Comey doesn’t. I’m sure pretty much no one ever wanted to hear from Anthony Weiner again–kind of like we hope the same for Donald Trump after November 8–but isn’t this perfect for 2016? Weiner seems to be intent on proving that they were right all along: excessive masturbation really is bad for ya!
  • National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg tweets, “When Wikileaks releases the emails at the DNC/Clinton campaign from today, they’re going to make for some fantastic reading.” I’m sure it would be to Goldberg. But let me ask: Does Goldberg think everyone’s emails, including his and National Review‘s, should be made public? That’s what he’s implying. I mean, why the pretense that it’s only fair game if a hacker does it (to people he doesn’t like)? And why stop at emails? Heck, if wikileaks or some other hacker gets ahold of any of Goldberg’s private information, then I guess his attitude is, “Hey, have fun with that!” I personally think that all official government business should be conducted with government email accounts. But the DNC and the Clinton campaign are not a part of the government anymore than National Review is.
  • What would a day be without yet another example of Donald Trump humiliating a woman coming to light in the form of a video recording? Before he get’s to the humiliation part, he first tells an audience that his personal philosophy is, “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.” Sounds like a good person. Then he hauls one of his former Miss Universe winners up in front of a live audience for a does of Trump-administered humiliation. He tells the audience that he intended to embarrass her (this is to get even because of a minor misunderstanding) by lying that she was stupid when in reality she is not. Then Trump makes a sexual pun, and lingers on it until the audience gets it: “And you know what? She came tonight, she came — came, she came, she came.” Once the audience finally laughs, Trump adds: “See, so they have the same filthy minds in Australia.” Stay classy, Donald. Finally, Trump abruptly grabs Hawkins around the waist and goes in for a kiss. She turns away and puts her arm between them, and the kiss lands on her cheek. No one can blame her for not wanting to be kissed by Donald Trump. What an asshole.
  • Donald Trump throws out a supporter at one of his campaign events today because he’s black, so naturally Trump assumed he was a “thug” protester.
  • Trump supporters attempt to commit voter fraud, probably because they’ve heard how easily it can be done. Sadly, they got arrested. Where were the Oath Keepers to keep an eye on these people?!

The New York Times talks to some Trump supporters. And they are revealed to be fearful people who think they may have to subvert democracy because of their fear, convinced that the election is rigged because Donald Trump told them so and because they see Trump lawn signs.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Big crowds still mob Donald J. Trump when he comes to town, with fans waiting in long lines to attend his rallies, where they eagerly jeer his Democratic rival and holler happily at his message.

But beneath the cheering, a new emotion is taking hold among some Trump supporters as they grapple with reports predicting that he will lose the election: a dark fear about what will happen if their candidate is denied the White House. Some worry that they will be forgotten, along with their concerns and frustrations. Others believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict.

Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to “another Revolutionary War.”

“People are going to march on the capitols,” said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. “They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there.”

“If push comes to shove,” he added, and Mrs. Clinton “has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.”

“Any means necessary.”

More Trump supporters:

“It’s not what I’m going to do, but I’m scared that the country is going to go into a riot,” said Roger Pillath, 75, a retired teacher from Coleman, Wis. “I’ve never seen the country so divided, just black and white — there’s no compromise whatsoever. The Clinton campaign says together we are stronger, but there’s no together. The country has never been so divided. I’m looking at revolution right now.”

“You go through any neighborhood and see how many Trump signs there are and how many Hillary signs there are, and I guarantee you it’s not even going to be close,” said Bill Stelling, 44, of Jacksonville, Fla. “The only way they’ve done it is by rigging the election.”

“Unfortunately, I’m not a man of vigilante violence,” said Richard Sabonjohn, 48, of Naples, Fla. “I’m more of a peaceful person. But I do think there will be a large amount of people that are terribly upset and may take matters into their own hands.”

“If she comes after the guns, it’s going to be a rough, bumpy road,” Mr. Swick said. “I hope to God I never have to fire a round, but I won’t hesitate to. As a Christian, I want reformation. But sometimes reformation comes through bloodshed.”

By the way, Mr. Swick. People like you said Bill Clinton was going to take away your guns. He didn’t. People like you said Barack Obama was going to take away your guns. He didn’t. Now you’re afraid Hillary Clinton will take away you guns. Hint: She won’t.

“I am not going to take my weapon to go out into the streets to protest an election I did not win,” Mr. Weegens said, “but I think that if certain events came about, a person would need to protect themselves, depending on where they lived, when your neighborhood goes up in flames.”

Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post reports on the last gasps of the Trump campaign in North Carolina.

FLETCHER, N.C. — As he took the stage here in this mountain town Friday afternoon, Donald Trump was as subdued as the modest crowd that turned out to see him. He complained about the usual things — the dishonest media, his “corrupt” rival Hillary Clinton — but his voice was hoarse and his heart didn’t seem in it.

He also promised to do all that he could to win, but he explained why he might lose.

“What a waste of time if we don’t pull this off,” Trump said. “You know, these guys have said: ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. There’s never been a movement like this in the history of this country.’ I say, it matters to me if we win or lose. So I’ll have over $100 million of my own money in this campaign.”

“So, if I lose,” Trump continued as the crowd remained unusually quiet, “if I lose, I will consider this —”

Trump didn’t finish his sentence, but he didn’t really need to. After weeks of controversy and declining poll numbers, Trump and his campaign have settled into a dark funk. Even as he vows to prevail in the race, the GOP nominee’s mood has soured with less than three weeks to go until Election Day.

His final debate performance this week was a bust, with him snarling that Clinton was “such a nasty woman” and gritting his teeth as he angrily ripped pages off a notepad when it was over. He is under fire from all quarters for refusing to say he will honor the election results if he loses, while 10 women have now come forward accusing him of groping or kissing them without consent. The capper to Trump’s bad stretch came Thursday night, when a ballroom full of New York City’s glitterati booed him as he gave remarks attacking Clinton at a charity roast.

The gloomy mood has extended to his signature rallies, which Trump used to find fun. During the primaries, he would bound onto rally stages bursting with energy and a sense of excitement that intensified as the crowds chanted his name and cheered his every word. He would regularly schedule news conferences, call into news shows and chat with reporters, eager to spar with them. He would say politically incorrect things and then watch his polling numbers soar. He used to be the winner.

But no more. In recent days, Trump has tried to explain away his slide in the polls as a conspiracy carried out by the media, Democrats and Republicans. If he loses, it will be because he was cheated, Trump has repeatedly told his supporters, urging them to go to polling places in neighborhoods other than their own and “watch.”

Of course, it must all be lies, given that Johnson works for the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, North Carolinians are so anxious to vote that they are waiting hours in lines in order to vote early. Of course, North Carolina’s Republican-controlled government has done its best to curtail early voting. You wouldn’t want people to vote, you know! Well, you wouldn’t if you’re a Republican. That’s conservatism for ya! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never spent more than five or ten minutes waiting to vote.

By the way, I took a gander at B4V. Where’s Rusty? Has he tapped out already? No shame in that, I guess.

From today’s Boston Globe:

Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.

They believe what Trump has told them over and over, that this election is rigged, and if he loses, it will be because of a massive conspiracy to take him down.

At a time when trust in government is at a low point, Trump is actively stoking fears that a core tenet of American democracy is also in peril: that you can trust what happens at the ballot box.

His supporters here said they plan to go to their local precincts to look for illegal immigrants who may attempt to vote. They are worried that Democrats will load up buses of minorities and take them to vote several times in different areas of the city. They’ve heard rumors that boxes of Clinton votes are already waiting somewhere.

And if Trump doesn’t win, some are even openly talking about violent rebellion and assassination, as fantastical and unhinged as that may seem.

“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”

He then placed a Trump mask on his face and posed for pictures.

From David Frum:

Here’s the part of the 2016 story that will be hardest to explain after it’s all over: Trump did not deceive anyone. Unlike, say, Sarah Palin in 2008, Trump appeared before the electorate in his own clothes, speaking his own words. When he issued a promise, he instantly contradicted it. If you chose to accept the promise anyway, you did so with abundant notice of its worthlessness. For all the times Trump said believe me and trust me in his salesman patter, he communicated constantly and in every medium that there was only thing you could believe and trust: If you voted for Donald Trump, you’d get Donald Trump, in all his Trumpery and Trumpiness.

The television networks that promoted Trump; the primary voters who elevated him; the politicians who eventually surrendered to him; the intellectuals who argued for him, and the donors who, however grudgingly, wrote checks to him—all of them knew, by the time they made their decisions, that Trump lied all the time, about everything. They knew that Trump was ignorant, and coarse, and boastful, and cruel. They knew he habitually sympathized with dictators and kleptocrats—and that his instinct when confronted with criticism of himself was to attack, vilify, and suppress. They knew his disrespect for women, the disabled, and ethnic and religious minorities. They knew that he wished to unravel NATO and other U.S.-led alliances, and that he speculated aloud about partial default on American financial obligations. None of that dissuaded or deterred them.

They all know Trump would be an alarmingly bad president. So why do they support him? Today someone suggested, “It’s white people’s O.J. verdict.”

Speaking of O.J. The documentary “O.J. Made In America” is phenomenal. I’m not talking about the miniseries that garnered Emmy awards recently. I mean this one. It is a riveting piece of documentary filmmaking, and highly relevant to current events.

Well, gee, this isn’t creepy at all.

“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

–Omarosa (Donald Trump’s director of African-American outreach and past winner of The Apprentice)

The quote is from a PBS Frontline episode due to air on September 27. You can watch her make the statement starting at about 4:47 in the video. You really need to watch her say it to get the full effect.

I kinda thought the Founders fought a war two hundred and some-odd years ago so we wouldn’t have to bow down to a supreme leader. But times change, I guess. This seems to so embody conservative principles.

I suppose I’m being over-emotional again in assuming that a constitutional ignoramus like Omarosa will have a role in a Trump administration, should that come to pass.

It’s been a while since I’ve been inclined to post anything about politics, but I can’t let the occasion of the official destruction of The Deep Bench go unnoticed. The vaunted “deep bench” of Republican presidential contenders was today officially vanquished by an amateur. It’s about the only good thing to come out of Donald Trump’s impending nomination as the Republican candidate. But good lord, what a disastrous field the Republicans put forward this year.

I got a bit of a chuckle out of Ross Douthat’s column today, in which he writes that “Republican voters didn’t want True Conservatism any more than they wanted Bushism 2.0.” A longer quote (emphasis mine):

Trump proved that many evangelical voters, supposedly the heart of a True Conservative coalition, are actually not really values voters or religious conservatives after all, and that the less frequently evangelicals go to church, the more likely they are to vote for a philandering sybarite instead of a pastor’s son. Cruz would probably be on his way to the Republican nomination if he had simply carried the Deep South. But unless voters were in church every Sunday, Trump’s identity politics had more appeal than Cruz’s theological-political correctness.

Trump proved that many of the party’s moderates and establishmentarians hate the thought of a True Conservative nominee even more than they fear handing the nomination to a proto-fascist grotesque with zero political experience and poor impulse control. That goes for the prominent politicians who refused to endorse Cruz, the prominent donors who sat on their hands once the field narrowed and all the moderate-Republican voters in blue states who turned out to be #NeverCruz first and #NeverTrump less so or even not at all.

Finally, Trump proved that many professional True Conservatives, many of the same people who flayed RINOs and demanded purity throughout the Obama era, were actually just playing a convenient part. From Fox News’ 10 p.m. hour to talk radio to the ranks of lesser pundits, a long list of people who should have been all-in for Cruz on ideological grounds either flirted with Trump, affected neutrality or threw down their cloaks for the Donald to stomp over to the nomination. Cruz thought he would have a movement behind him, but part of that movement was actually a racket, and Trumpistas were simply better marks.

I’m not big on predictions–I’ll leave that to Mark Edward Noonan and his sorry track record–but I hope that Hillary trounces Trump. Nevertheless, one thing we should have learned by now is to not underestimate The Donald, nor the appeal that he generates. I think that appeal is too limited to win the general, and that the demographics are against him, but you never know. I may have to go work for another presidential campaign…

Meanwhile, to engage in a bit of schadenfreude, the comments at Blogs For Victory are just delightful. They’ll get with the program and support Trump because, ultimately, the only thing they all have in common is their hatred of President Obama, and now their hatred of Hillary Clinton. For example, see Amazona: “I’ll have to vote for Trump if he is the nominee, unless we come up with a third party before the election, which I think is probably impossible. I can’t just let the election go to Hillary because our party is infested with a bunch of fake conservatives who get all giddy and pee down their legs in glee if someone appeals to their issues while ignoring the fact that his promises all seem to depend on him out-Obamaing Obama when it comes to ruling rather than leading.”

Noonan hopes for a new party called the Christian Democrats. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Amazona suggests the Constitutional Party. “[A]nd I like Federalist except for the fact that it will confuse a lot of people when the party then comes out in favor of restricting federal size, scope and power.” She should read Douthat’s column.

Casper makes pretty much the same prediction as Noonan, and Amazona calls him a “good little Liberal footsoldier you.”

Eisenhower accurately lists the five cycles of grief (as seen on B4V as they come to grips with Trump) and gets jumped upon. Acceptance? No way, they cry. Except, well, yeah, we’re all gonna vote for him. Sure sounds like acceptance to me.

Cluster wants to “welcome this opportunity and work with the Trump coalition, educate it, and help navigate the party back to constitutional governance.” This after he admits that “it’s time that conservatives, and I include myself, recognize the reality of the political landscape and start to realize that our ideological brand is in the minority.” Um, Cluster, you don’t get it either. The Trump coalition doesn’t want or need your educational help. Does it occur to Cluster that his reaching out to educate them might come across as a tad condescending? Nah…

From a Trump supporter at a Ted Cruz rally in Houston:

“Nationalism is the new thing, man,” said Jordan Voor, 30, a Trump supporter who works nearby and wore a longhorn belt buckle the size of a miniature football.

“I just kind of want to watch the establishment burn,” Mr. Voor added. “What’s the point of being conservative anymore? It’s a failing ideology.”

Kinda sums it up in a nutshell.

Yup. He won second place in the Nevada caucus last night. Which is like winning first place in Rubio-land. He said on the TV this morning that he feels “good about our second-place finish.” Congratulations!

Meanwhile, in the real world, Trump won again. The inevitability of his nomination is beginning to seem, well, inevitable. But a glimmer of hope for sane Americans can be found in the 1992 presidential campaign, where Bill Clinton lost the first four primaries, and nine of the first ten. Bob Dole lost four out of the first five on the Republican side in 1996. So I guess Rubio isn’t out of this thing entirely.

How about Ted Cruz? Hard to see a path for him.

John Kasich today: “Of course I’m staying in. Why would I drop out when I’ve got the best chance to be the nominee outside of Trump?” Memo to John: You’re gonna need to win at some point. Or at least come in second so that you can claim you won.

And we can’t forget Ben Carson, another card carrying member of the deep bench. Apparently he’s finally come to the realization that his campaign is nothing but a scam. “We had people who didn’t really seem to understand finances,” a laughing Carson told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “CNN Newsroom,” adding, “or maybe they did—maybe they were doing it on purpose.”

And lastly: Whomever is the Democratic nominee had better not take Trump lightly, assuming he is the Republican nominee. Paul Waldman outlines Trump’s potential strengths in the general election.