Decided to take down the piece on Trump

Decided to take down the piece on Trump November 20, 2015

Snopes, giving a very generous interpretation of his hazy language,  persuades me that there is insufficient ground to think he is calling for a database on Muslims or special ID badges–though he doesn’t exactly pull a hamstring telling the reporter who asked if that what he meant that he means no such thing.  Still, charity believeth all things, so down it comes.

UPDATE:  Trump does indeed say he would “absolutely” implement a database.

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  • kenofken

    Professional demagogues don’t deserve a shred of charity or benefit of the doubt. This guy is making political and financial bank on xenophobia. He’s selling fear and a narrative or racial and ethnic resentment and doing so in terms that squarely resonate with the most extreme hate elements in this country. This was not some stray off-message remark he made in that regard. Hatred and fear and an aggrieved sort of ultra-nationalism are THE central plank of his presidential platform. The tone and substance of what he says, on a daily basis, are the word for word playbook that was used in Europe and here 70 years ago, or in the Balkans in the 90s. Just swap out “Mexican” or “Muslim” where the old texts say “Jew” or “Japanese”, and ask yourself if you can really find any substantive difference at all. Trump is also not some well-meaning yokel who stumbled his first time out on national TV. He is in his element and Donald Trump does not say a single word he does not mean or has not calculated for a particular effect. Whether he truly believes this rot is another matter. I suspect he’ll say or do anything to further Donald Trump. That doesn’t really matter in the end. Those who sell Xenophobia are selling death, sooner or later. Trump may well intend only to fan the embers of hate enough to power his way into the White House or drive his reality show brand to new heights. But little fires of ethnic hate have a way of turning into wildfires when the conditions are just so. We have a saying in the Pagan community, which we frankly stole from H.P. Lovecraft: “Do not call up that which you cannot put down.”

    Trump is also using another classic tactic from the xenophobe handbook: He leaves himself a clever little exemption from responsibility for his words and actions. He waits for just the right opening to dangle the most extreme hate rhetoric in the wind, and then sidestep responsibility on a technicality. “What, I never meant to say x. It was that liberal reporter putting words in my mouth.”

    That tactic depends on the demagogue’s charisma, but it also relies heavily on the part of human nature which wants to see the best in people. It’s a fine instinct, but a fatal weakness in the hands of skilled hate mongers. You have a lot of pit bull in you, Mark, and there were times when that beast got the better of your head and heart. But that dog is also a crucial part of your moral compass and BS detector. When he growls at men like Donald Trump, chances are its for a good reason.

  • Eve Fisher

    BTW, if (God forbid, literally), if mandatory ID badges are ever implemented, we should ALL go down, get one and wear it. That’s my plan.