I’M NOT SAYING HE IS, Y’KNOW. But it’s true that even bigots need representation—a voice for their ‘concerns.’ Hatred has been part and parcel of the American religious and political scenes for hundreds of years, cutting a swath through our culture as it scythes its way backwards toward some time in our evolutionary past when xenophobia was a requisite for tribal survival!
And the violence that follows directly or indirectly in its wake is inevitable. So as the latest avatar of vileness we have Donald Trump and his apparently limitless and increasingly (bold? daring? provocative?) access to exposure on the DLM (damn librull media) offering more of the same. 1
To take a stand against Trump’s racist and campaign would be like taking a stand against the GOP’s most dedicated constituency—the Tea Party—and that ain’t gonna happen!
And his acceptance by the DLM means that I have to wade through endless petitions in my email inbox every bloody day asking me to censure Trump or his supporters or those media organizations who give him that exposure! (As if I didn’t have enough keeping up with the petitions trying to stop the righties from killing all our bats, butterflies, bees, and wolves!)
For example, let’s look at the petition that I recently received from CREDO Action. Normally, I read the CREDO petitions and I agree with them and sign them. I then tweet them out so that both of my Twitter followers (yeah, the joke’s old and I have more than two followers but unless its thousands it feels like two) have a chance to see them and read them and hopefully sign them and retweet them.
Then I post them on my “JUST DO THE RIGHT THING! – Bleeding Hearts Liberal Petition” page on Facebook. (Another situation where I brag of two followers but there’s a few more than that.)
Cartoon by John Cole, who has been The Scranton Times-Tribune’s editorial cartoonist since April 2005. He draws five to seven full-color cartoons weekly. Scranton, Pennsylvania, is the sister city to Wilkes-Barre, my hometown. For one year, I was the bartender at the lounge in the Sheraton in Scranton. My memories include playing Pong with the inventor of Pong, having my car broken into by Secret Service agents as a practical joke, stopping a planned murder by a brother whose sister was ‘taken advantage of’ by a guest, and offered a weekly stipend to provide a pimp with the names of solo male guests.
No place for racism in the Republican Party
But for some reason, this new petition seems different, so I am making the contents of the CREDO email the basis for this posting. The text below that is indented and italicized is from the petition; my comments follow in non-indented, plain print.
“As Donald Trump’s racism becomes more extreme, it is not enough for leaders of the Republican Party to denounce his rhetoric. Tell Republican Party leaders: Show that there’s no place for racism in the Republican Party. Take back your pledges to support Donald Trump’s candidacy if he wins the Republican Party’s nomination.”
Why in Grommett’s Wholly Name would Rep*blican Party leaders listen to a registered Democrat like me? Hell, they don’t even listen to their own Rep*blican constituency on a whole host of issues—especially if it riles up the Tea Partiers or the NRA decision-makers! So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
“When Trump proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States last week, his rivals and other Republican leaders were quick to denounce this plan. But what they all failed to do was renounce his candidacy. . . . Every Republican presidential contender remained true to the pledge they made this summer . . . to support whoever ends up being the nominee.”
But that’s exactly what Dems do. Well, yeah, the Dems didn’t make a siegheil pledge before they knew what the hell they were promising. But hey! they’re right-of-right-of-center Rep*blicans and that type of lock-step behavior comes with the agenda.
Mein Gott, but zere are zo many gut Trump cartoons out zere! I was gonna go with this great statement by perennial fave David Horsey (former Seattleite, now with The Los Angeles Times) as this post’s header image until I found the extraordinary caricature that sits atop this page.
Who the heck needs clarity?
And yes there are still a lot of sane, reasonable Rep*blicans left, but they don’t seem to be getting much face time with their party, at their conventions, on the television, etc. So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
“It’s cowardly political gamesmanship for Republicans to disavow Trump’s rhetoric but be willing to endorse him as the Republican nominee. It’s time to make clear where the party really stands.”
Duh! In my political dictionary, cowardly is a synonym of political. And who the heck needs clarity concerning where the GOP “really stands”?
That has been really clear for decades: on the side of the wealthy and the multi-national corporations and their need to increase their share of the American economic pie.
The best they have to offer is an economic plan which rewards the rich and trickles down to the rest of us—and that didn’t work!
Cartoon by Drew Sheneman whose work has appeared in The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, since 1998, and is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media Services. I found this one on The Elkhart Truth page. It poses Trump as a demagogue and his followers as intellectually/politically underdeveloped followers—par for the course for demagogues worldwide.
How’s this petition gonna change anything?
Who doesn’t know that the Rep*blicans stand for the top 10–20%? (And I may be a bit generous with that high figure.) Well, okay: except for the 60,000,000 normal Joes and Janes who vote for them? So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
“Tell Republican party leaders: Take a meaningful stand against Donald Trump’s racist and xenophobic campaign by withdrawing your pledge to support his candidacy if he wins the Republican party’s nomination.”
To take a stand against Trump’s “racist and xenophobic campaign” would be like taking a stand against the GOP’s most dedicated constituency—the Tea Partier movement—and, buddy, that ain’t gonna happen. So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
“Trump is not an isolated phenomenon and his rhetoric, while extreme, is neither new or unprecedented.”
Duh. I think that’s my point! So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
“The leaders of the Republican party have a choice. They can pander to their party’s racist base and legitimize the politics of hate by failing to denounce Trump’s candidacy, or they can show their party is actually better than that and make clear that they will not endorse Trump if he’s the nominee.”
Duh again! If they don’t pander to that racist base, they won’t ever win another state or federal election again!!! So how’s this petition gonna change anything?
The simple fact is that xenophobia in all its ugliest forms is usually (but not always) part and parcel of the rightwing extremist’s make-up. That generally includes the Big 3 of Bigotry: racism, misogynism, and homophobism. 2
But it also includes such lesser isms as anti-illegal-alienism (or anti-Mexicanism, a sub-genre of racism), anti-Jewism (Jewishism?) and anti-Papism/Catholicism, and the current faverave, anti-Muslimism/Islamism The latter is making a run for the top and displacing one of the Big 3! 3
I intended to keep the images on this post limited to cartoons and caricatures, but who could resist real life when it’s funnier than a cartoon or a caricature? This photo was set up as a jaypeg poster with a quote from the old curmudgeon himself, George Carlin: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
What would Jesus or Buddha do?
I know that there are old-fashioned conservatives out there who are no more dominated by these lizard-brain passions than I am! And every human being shy of Jesus and Buddha has to deal with the systemic xenophobia of their culture.
What I would like to see is a petition that asks, “Real Conservatives: Why not take back the Republican Party from the rightwing extremists who have either manipulated and controlled it for the past thirty years!”
That would be interesting, but I ain’t holding my breath.
Until then, remember that even racist homophobic misogynists need representation! 4
FEATURED IMAGE: I found this amazing if disturbing interpretation of Donald Trump accompanying an article titled “Donald Trump: A different shade of green” by Eric Draitser on The Greanville Post website. But for some strange reason, TGP does not credit the artist!
1 Recommended reading includes “The Three Most Common Uses of Irony” by Matthew Inman. (Don’t worry: it’s in a sorta comic book format. Even you can read it!)
2 I’m using the suffix ism for everything for the sake of stylistic consistency.
3 Speaking of the hatred of Catholics and Jews, look no farther than the foundations of modern American bigotry: the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society. Keep in mind that they were almost exclusively white, Protestant males and you can better understand the anti-any-religion-that-ain’t-Protestant sentiments that motivate the current rightwing extreme. Oh, and they tend to hate agnostics, atheists, and we nealists as well.
4 Speaking homophobically, what is this obsession that (straight) Rep*blican males have with Caitlyn Jenner? Do they realize they talk about it waaaaaay too much? Do Rep*blican females share it and I just haven’t paid attention? Or is it just a guy thing with these guys? And is it more or less weird that they are clueless that they are doing it—even when you point it out to them? To quote my friend, John Peipon: “Just sayin’ . . .”
Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)