The Last Cynical Gasp of the Republican Senate

Alan Zendell, September 19, 2017

I hate to cast this in terms of Democrats versus Republicans, but the Senate Republicans have set it up that way. They seem relentless in their attempt to set health care back on the deadly track it was on ten years ago.  For all the bluster, the arguments haven’t changed. It’s all about the money, stupid!

And that’s really tragic, especially in a country like ours that has always held itself up as the beacon of hope for the needy and dispossessed. Every year, millions of Americans face agonizing choices over the cost of health care. Parents without health care who have children in dire need of medical care that they have no way to pay for are running out of alternatives.

In recent decades their primary option was to “spend down” their savings and investments until they fell far enough below the poverty level to qualify for Medicaid, but the current Graham-Cassidy bill would so decimate Medicaid over the next eight years, even that option won’t be available to many. Having to impoverish an entire family to qualify for welfare to pay to save a sick child’s life is horrible and humiliating enough, but to have even that possibility taken away is simply unconscionable. It has no place in America.

Neither Donald Trump nor any of the Senate Republicans supporting this bill has ever had to make a choice like that. For them, it’s easy to reduce everything to numbers. They don’t have to feel the human pain and suffering. But wait – isn’t that exactly what their oaths of office have sworn them to do?

The current September 30th deadline to get the Graham-Cassidy bill done is based on a combination of arcane Senate rules and the very real burdens facing the Senate on other issues that will challenge our economy. Remember that first and foremost, the health care debate is about taxes, not the health of Americans. And if the situation weren’t dire enough, recent events like devastating hurricanes put even more stress on our national budget.

Our politicians never flinch at the cost of rebuilding and saving lives after national disasters, so why is it different when they debate health care? The quality health care for all that Donald Trump promised us comes at a very high cost, and that cost must of necessity be borne largely by the wealthiest Americans. They can sugarcoat it a hundred different ways, but the Senate Republicans know that the less the wealthiest Americans pay in taxes, the more people at the other end of the spectrum will die and have their families’ livelihoods destroyed.

Lindsey Graham posed the money issue in a different, even more cynical way, yesterday. He pointed out that 80% of the Medicaid expansion money spent under Obamacare goes to four states: New York, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland, a very unsubtle appeal to the very regional divisiveness that Trump campaigned on. Those four states represent the liberal, progressive establishment, and Trump made them the enemy of all hard-working blue collar Americans. I understand the idea of wanting other states to share in the federal Medicaid money, but when you couple that with shrinking the pot by close to a trillion dollars over the next ten years, everyone loses.

Ten Governors, five Republicans and five Democrats, have come out strongly against the latest Senate bill. Graham and the other senators pushing the bill say it’s really about giving the decision-making power back to the states, but those governors are the people into whose laps the problems will land if the bill passes. And every one of them rejects the idea. Their response is: “What good is having spending flexibility when there’s nothing left to spend?”

The simple logic of the situation is so clear, the only possible explanation for why the Senate refuses to give the American people what they want – an open bi-partisan debate on health care – is cynical beyond words. It’s their last chance to satisfy their greedy donors and lobbyists, who are the only people who will profit from this bill.

Can the Senate Republicans succeed this time? It seems unlikely. With their governors backing them, there’s no reason to believe Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski will change their votes. Neither is there a reason to expect John McCain to. He doesn’t even have to vote to kill this bill, all he has to do is not show up while trying to recover from brain cancer. And there are other wild cards like Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. With his own Governor, John Kasich, spearheading the attack against this bill and outlining the great harm it will do to the citizens of Ohio, can Senator Portman possibly vote for it?

This final attempt by the Senate Republicans is one of the most cynical things I have witnessed in politics in my seventy-four years. God help us if it succeeds.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Can Trump Separate Himself from the Adoring Crowds?

Alan Zendell, September 18, 2017

There are many points of view concerning Donald Trump in our divided country. What I find most disturbing is the large number of people who are willing to treat the presidency and the various crises our nation faces as a long-running TV reality show. I know that’s almost a cliché by now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious problem. Perhaps we’re so immersed in television shows like Homeland, House of Cards, and Designated Survivor that we forget there’s a real world out there that’s pretty dangerous.

Way back when The West Wing was so popular it always disturbed me that people really believed the main preoccupation of the occupants of the White House’s business wing was exchanging witty repartee. Serious business is conducted there, and it can’t be done effectively by people whose principal agenda is individual power grabbing and one-upmanship. No one’s going to shut down Twitter or Facebook any more than we can close the Pandora’s box of nuclear weapons.  We have to learn to adapt to a world filled with nuclear proliferation in which anyone can tweet any irresponsible nonsense and have millions of followers cheering.

We’re used to the media rants of Kim Jong Un, and most of us dismiss them for what they are: bombast intended to convince his own people that he will let nothing stop him from making their country secure, and in a country in which the population has known nothing but lies and propaganda, shut off from the outside world, that can work. We’re accustomed to the extremist websites utilized by ISIS and other terrorist groups, all of which have one thing in common, attempting to create fear and disarray among the people and countries they hate while propping up their own base.

For years we were bombarded with threats from Iran, but until recently, when Trump began talking about pulling out of the nuclear accord, they’ve been pretty silent. What we can infer from this is that as nations and regimes mature, they learn that bombastic rants simply label them as rogue nations. We are wary of them in the same way that we’re aware of swarms of killer bees on our neighbor’s property, but no one takes them seriously as responsible international partners.

Nations and leaders that behave that way are eventually isolated and ostracized. Nations that are secure in the knowledge of their own strength and values have no need for bombast, just as true heroes need not parade their egos around on their sleeves. Israel, for example, while always vigilant in defending against external threats, is also fully aware that their military can completely destroy anyone that attacks them. Thus we do not read tweets from their leaders about will happen to their enemies if they misbehave.

Our two greatest potential adversaries, Russia and China, conduct themselves in a statesmanlike if not always friendly fashion. Mr. Putin’s words are carefully measured as are president Xi’s. The worst we ever hear from them is veiled warnings about what may happen if we act too aggressively against their perceived interests. That doesn’t mean they’re our friends. It means that they are mature leaders secure in their power.

And yet, we have a president, even after eight months of on-the-job training, who thinks wild threats of nuclear destruction are an effective way to conduct business. He thinks that claiming to be prepared to exercise military options which we all know don’t really exist will somehow silence an enemy that has no intention of being soothed until he gets what he wants. What I conclude from all this is that all of our worst fears about Donald Trump are well founded. He craves more than anything the cheers of the crowd even if he has to invent scenarios in which he can cast himself as the hero. But that’s not what our presidency has ever been about. It’s supposed to be about humility and reasoned leadership, and sincerely crediting others with success, which are the truest signs of strength, while at every turn our president continues to express all the characteristics of a schoolyard bully.

If you’re not sure about this, I have a serious question for you, one that’s very worth pondering. Suppose that behind closed doors, our military strategists devised a solution to the current problems with North Korea. Suppose they proposed it to the president with the caveat that he had to remain in the background, and it would only work if he didn’t claim credit for its success. One tweet from him and it would all be undone. Faced with that choice, what would the Donald Trump we know do?

Would Trump, even under those conditions be able to place country over the roar of an adoring crowd? Nothing we know about him says he could, and that’s as dangerous an indictment of our president as anyone can make.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tigers Don’t Change Their Stripes

Alan Zendell, September 15, 2017

Winston Churchill famously changed parties twice during his political career. Both times it was on differences of principle: free trade, tariffs, equal treatment of social classes. When he was accused of being disloyal and untrustworthy he said he would never “refuse[d] to do right because the devil prompted [me]. Neither shall I be deterred from doing what I am convinced is right by the fact that I have thought differently about it in some distant, or even in some recent, past.”

To many of us who revered Churchill, his ability and willingness to revisit long-held beliefs and change his mind in a clearly disciplined manner was one of his most admirable traits. He always stuck to his principles, but they were never so mired in concrete that he couldn’t budge when circumstances warranted. Moreover, few ever accused him of lying.

That is in stark contrast to Donald Trump, who sways with the wind whenever it suits him. While Churchill’s party switches may have luckily predicted changes in national sentiment, they were never ego driven. Churchill was arrogant and strong-willed, but he was not the kind of narcissistic, self-aggrandizing leader who thinks unpredictably turning on his allies enhances his power.

Compare that with Donald Trump, who throughout his long career has never demonstrated loyalty to anyone but himself, though he demanded it uncompromisingly from everyone else. Trump’s only guiding principle has ever been money, which he lavished on whichever party suited him at the time. He continually bragged about that during the campaign.

He began his political career by trashing the Republican establishment and usurping the Grand Old Party, which had become so splintered and unorganized that it was ripe for the taking. For all that Trump held no real ideology of his own, he might as well have preyed on the Democrats, but he calculated that Hillary Clinton’s party leadership would be harder to unseat. So Trump the faux-Republican, formed an ideological alliance with millions of people who felt betrayed by both parties and were susceptible to his populist, nationalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric; with extreme right wing conservatives whose principles were not and never will be his; and with various alt-right hate groups whose common goal is maintaining the United States as white male dominated nation.

When the Republican-controlled Congress began its ill-fated attempt to govern in secrecy and exclude every voice they couldn’t control, Trump endorsed their approach, though it was surely anathema to him. And as he came to realize that the strange cast of people he’d fallen into bed with didn’t represent the sense of the country he’d sworn to lead, instead of acting like a leader and attempting to change the dialogue, he simply attacked his own party mercilessly so he wouldn’t have to accept blame for their failure.

His lack of loyalty to any cause got him in serious trouble in Charlottesville. His inability to distinguish and articulate right from wrong even in so obvious a situation reflected more than anything that Trump’s lack of commitment to anything not tied to profit seriously handicaps him as leader. And in the wakes of devastating Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, while he has been paraded around visiting scenes of destruction, contrast his approach to that of his Vice President. Like him or not, Mike Pence understands the role of Consoler-in-Chief, because at his roots he understands compassion, something Donald Trump does not and never will.

We have now arrived at the intersection of two issues which were lynch pins of Trump’s presidential campaign. One is Jeff Sessions, who was the first sitting senator to endorse him, largely because the staunchly anti-immigration senator saw in Trump the opportunity exercise control over a subject he’d fought for for decades. Trump touted Sessions wherever he went as evidence that the Republican infrastructure was crumbling to his will. In truth, Trump and Sessions never had anything in common, as evidenced by their relationship since the election. Had their interests not coincided over attacking immigrants, they would have had no relationship at all.

And now it all comes to a head over DACA, and once again, close to million young people attempting to live as law-abiding Americans in the only country they’ve ever known have become the political pawns of a cynical system and a president who loves to leave both allies and enemies swinging in the wind so they always know who’s boss.

Some people would love to believe that appearing to strike a deal with the Democrats over DACA represents a welcome change in the partisan gridlock in Washington, but don’t be fooled. Trump’s relationship with the truth is whatever he wants it to be at the moment. It’s not clear that there will even be a deal, as Trump’s tweets contradict themselves hourly. As Ashley Parker wrote in today’s Washington Post, “Often, Trump’s underlings, friends, foes and allies never know quite where he stands — in part because of the president’s penchant for telling his immediate audience exactly what they want to hear in any given moment. People who meet with the president frequently leave buoyed, an optimism punctured by a nagging question mere hours later: What just happened?”

What happened is what always happens with Trump. They got played by the master of misdirection and obfuscation. And that, my friends, is our president.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two Defining Days For Donald Trump

Alan Zendell, August 23, 2017

The past two days tell us all we need to know about the Trump presidency. On Monday he gave a speech at a military base in Virginia to lay out his policy on Afghanistan. On Tuesday he held a boisterous, populist re-election campaign rally in Phoenix. We saw two distinct versions of Donald Trump that reinforced everything we already knew about him.

In Virginia we saw the disciplined teleprompter Trump read a carefully crafted speech, though it was clearly not the speech his team wanted him to deliver. It was supposed to be about getting out of the quagmire of a sixteen year war whose cost is now in the trillions, not counting the personal cost to American families, with nothing positive to show for it. But anyone who’s been paying attention to this presidency could read the subtext Trump demanded beneath the main message.

He spent the first five minutes trying to repair his image on bigotry and race relations and the last five telling his military audience how wonderful they were. That last part might have been appropriate if it hadn’t been laid on so thick that it became saccharine to the point of being embarrassing, more so because of the lengths Trump himself went to, to avoid military service. And throughout, you could almost hear another voice saying, “Look how presidential I can be.”

To be fair, he pulled it off pretty well, and if there hadn’t been a clear sense of an invisible leash around his neck forcing him to behave, it would have been believable. His stiff body language was like a little boy forced to dress up for church pulling at his collar. So it was no surprise that little boy Donald discarded his presidential persona as soon as he could and headed for Phoenix, despite most of the political establishment, including that city’s mayor asking him not to. Nothing, not even the solar eclipse of the century could have kept the narcissistic Donald from getting his ego fix.

Donald Trump is an addict. Without the cheering crowds like the one in Phoenix he wouldn’t be able to function at all. Like any good reality TV star he’s a master of illusion, which in his case includes self-delusion. Pack a few thousand true believers into a crowded convention center, throw them lots of red meat to feed their baser instincts, and Donald can believe for a couple of hours that everyone else thinks he’s as wonderful as he does. That’s what Tuesday’s rally in Phoenix was about, and it was a sickening thing to watch for anyone who cares about the institution of the American presidency.

Back was the Trump who congratulated himself on being the most productive president in history aside from having nothing to show for his campaign promises except a slam dunk Supreme Court appointment which had been greased by the Republican-controlled Senate. Back was the candidate Trump who never met a fact he couldn’t distort or outright fabricate. Back was the classless buffoon that makes most of America cringe. And back was the self-made caricature of a man not even remotely suited to hold the office, showing us in living color how he got there.

All this while his presidency continues to unravel, on a day when the normally staid Senate Majority Leader let it be known that he doubted it was salvageable. And a week after Bob Corker, one of the most solid conservative pillars of the Senate, publicly doubted both the president’s competence and stability. It was all summed up this morning by former director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who questioned Trump’s fitness as president and described his access to the nuclear codes as “pretty damn scary.” He painted a frightening picture, saying that if Trump, in a fit of pique, decided to use nukes to take out Kim Jong Un, there wouldn’t be much anyone could do to stop him.

Trump has been deserted by the business community who were supposed to be his allies in search of greater profits and lower taxes. His approval numbers drop every week, and in the three states he most likes to brag about, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, only a third of the people approve of his behavior and significantly more than half describe him as an embarrassment. How could it be otherwise when our president cannot appreciate how the spectacle of events like his Phoenix rally diminish his office and cause most of the country to shake their heads in dis belief?

How did we come to this? Those of us who complacently sat back and watched it happen, those who chose not to vote for either candidate, and those who voted for him because he promised to fix a broken political system know. We let the showman/poseur fool us once. Shame on us if he fools us twice.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Post-Bannon White House

Alan Zendell, August 20, 2017

Did you hear that collective sigh of relief when Steve Bannon was dismissed from the White House? It felt good, and it’s a step in the right direction, but we should be careful not to pin too many hopes on it. The only thing it means for sure is that his security clearance was revoked. It better have been because not doing so immediately would be both criminal and impeachable.

We need to look closely at what his departure means, for that matter what his presence meant in the first place. Steve Bannon is a vicious, unrelenting ideologue who brought tabloid-style journalism to a right wing extremist internet website. His style is a perfect match for Trump’s. Hard-hitting, unapologetic, prone to hyperbole, and willing to invent or distort facts whenever it suits him. As with the president, appearances are always more important than truth.

It was love at first sight for the candidate desperate for attention and support. Love and an ill-advised rush to the altar. In what universe does the President of the United States appoint someone like Steve Bannon as his chief strategist who weighs in with considerable influence on everything POTUS says and does? That should have told us everything we needed to know.

Like most marriages based on infatuation, this one didn’t work out because like Trump, Bannon bows to no one, and that’s the one thing our I-always-have-to-be-right president cannot tolerate. But Bannon didn’t care. He said he never intended it to be long term, and we should believe him. The divorce occurred because when you work for Trump your only agenda can be blind loyalty, and Bannon has had his own agenda all along.

He crowed about it in interviews given even before his departure was official. He wasn’t just trying to drive this president to create the distorted world of Alt-right nirvana, he was a master spy gathering intelligence for the next act in his own script. He’s been privy to every classified briefing Trump attended since the election. He knows everything that has made Trump’s White House a clown car of dysfunction. He knows all the players intimately, their strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities. Bannon himself said he’s now armed to crush his opposition, and don’t be surprised if that includes POTUS if he veers too far from the Bannon mantra.

So yes, let’s be grateful that our president who repeatedly promised to represent the needs and desires of all Americans no longer has the Grim Reaper perched on his shoulder. But they may still have long late-night unmonitored phone conversations when Trump’s not busy tweeting. Bannon may be gone, but the festering odor he left in his wake will not be easy to eradicate. And some of that stink will have a long life of its own if Trump doesn’t act to cleanse it.

We saw one aspect of it in Charlottesville last week, but that was only Act One. The White Supremacists and neo-Nazis have been itching for full-fledged race war for years. They’re like a deadly virus that never goes away but lies dormant everywhere waiting for an opening, and the Trump-Bannon partnership, whether or not they intended to, gave them exactly what they wanted. They thought they could use race to stir up chaos and expand Trump’s base. But it never occurred to them that they couldn’t control the racists once they were activated. Deadly viruses sometimes escape confinement, and when they do, all hell can break loose.

The Nazis and White Supremacists use the same tactics as Trump and Bannon. Goad, taunt, do everything short of throwing the first punch, hoping that someone on the other side eventually will, and then it’s no holds barred. (If you haven’t seen the Vice News interview with the fascist Chris Cantwell, you must.) That’s what they hoped would happen in Charlottesville when the more militant leftist groups showed up. It didn’t happen, and when one of their own whackos lost it and drove his car into a crowd with murderous intent, the air should have gone out of their balloon. But our wonderfully insensitive president kept it afloat.

There are some angry violent people among the resisters, but regardless of Trump’s distorted view, they didn’t take that Nazis’ bait in Charlottesville, and neither did the huge crowd of protesters in Boston, yesterday, so the race war was postponed for at least another week. Massive peaceful protests are the only thing that will suppress the latest Nazi uprising until the media no longer find it profitable to cover them.

The essential point is, the White Supremacists wouldn’t have had an opening if Trump, goaded by Bannon, hadn’t resorted to pandering to scum and hate, and his inability to separate the haters from everyone else and call them what they are continues to energize them. That’s the legacy of the Trump-Bannon marriage. I’m glad it’s over, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of it.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Then (1974) vs Now (2017)

Alan Zendell, August 18, 2017

My generation remembers the anxiety of the last months of the Nixon administration. Years of disillusionment over Vietnam, Nixon’s attempt to subvert the 1972 election process, the painful progression of Watergate, and the week by week unraveling of his political support combined to erode confidence in the future of the country. Living and working in the Washington area, I was probably more aware and over-sensitized to what was happening than most Americans. The result for many of us was the fear that our republic had been seriously wounded and the possibility that executive authority had been irrevocably undermined.

I believed that so strongly that my priority became finding a place far away from the toxicity of DC to raise my two young sons, preferably some place that would be relatively insulated from the shock waves that would follow a possible implosion of our central government. I know it sounds paranoid, and maybe it was, but it resulted in my kids growing up in the Pacific Northwest, not a bad outcome.

As it became clear that Nixon was melting down daily, complaining bitterly that the press was out to get him, two people stepped up to maintain stability. One was retired General Alexander Haig who signed on as Nixon’s Chief of Staff and famously announced that he was in charge and he intended to right the ship of state. Amid charges that he was overstepping, he did just what he promised, walling Nixon off and reassuring the country that there wasn’t a madman at the helm.

The other was Vice President Gerald Ford, a respected, soft-spoken intellectual Conservative with long experience in Congress. If Nixon was forced from office, Ford would replace him, so his steady personality and quiet strength resulted in a smooth transition. Our fears turned out to be unfounded, but we haven’t forgotten how they felt. And we may have been lucky too, as the mid-seventies, after our embarrassing withdrawal from Vietnam, were relatively free of international crises.

It goes without saying that those forty-year-old concerns were re-awakened when it became clear that Donald Trump might actually become president. Everything about his past screamed “No!” His entire campaign reinforced every negative impression of him that had been formed over several decades. He was intemperate, insensitive, profane, and often seemed quite unhinged in his rants. His campaign strategy seemed to be a combination of creating chaos and pandering to any group that was willing to support him. There seemed to be no limits to the depths he would stoop to energize the worst elements of human nature.

Many of us watched in horror as his campaign gained momentum, but unlike some previous elections, this wasn’t a left-right or red-blue thing. Trump had no political ideology or deeply rooted principles. It was clear to many of us that his main driving force was his narcissistic need for adulation. He masterfully stoked the emotions of the angry people that made up much of his base, and it didn’t matter what he said or whether what he said one day contradicted what he’d said last week. It also didn’t seem to matter whether anything he said was true. For people like me who were trained in scientific method, to whom facts mattered, that may have been the most disturbing thing of all.

Trump’s victory would never have occurred except for the level of disconnect between Hillary Clinton and millions of voters who I believe are the keys to whether this administration can survive. Many of those people either abstained or pulled the Trump lever in the voting booth, albeit while holding their noses and hoping they weren’t making a terrible error. I count many of them among my friends and family members.

After the election most of them adopted a wait and see attitude. “Give him a year and see what happens,” they said, and I responded, “I don’t think you’ll need a year.” The most telling sign that the Trump administration is in serious trouble is that those same people are starting to tell me they regret voting for him, and they’re as horrified by his behavior as I am.

Trump’s lack of a moral center, his instability which many see as a serious personality disorder, his tendency to lash out and scapegoat at will, and his disregard for the feelings of anyone who didn’t support him made this inevitable. And now disaffection has reached the point where his own party is finding the political courage to abandon him.

The erosion of the Trump administration is looking very much like what I remember from 1974, except that it’s happening at a very dangerous time in terms of world events. I hope General Kelly can hold things together the way Haig did. And I hope Vice President Pence can grow enough to take on the role Gerald Ford played. If not, we may all be in trouble.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Questions For the Donald

Alan Zendell, August 15, 2017

Hey Donald, since you’re such a history maven I have a few questions for you. When the Nazis terrorized England in 1940 and the RAF fought back, were they equally to blame? When Admiral Yamamoto ordered the bombing of Pearl Harbor, were all the brave young American sailors trying to defend our navy partly to blame? When a coalition of Arab nations attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and the defenders beat the crap out of them, was there blame on both sides?

I have an idea for how to resolve the Korean crisis. The next time Kim Jong Un threatens South Korea, Guam, or maybe Attu Island, why don’t you give an impromptu rant about how this whole mess was really South Korea’s fault for fighting back when the North invaded them in 1950?

Do you realize how lucky you are that you’re a president rather than a Prime Minister? If this were a European country we’d be watching a vote of no confidence on CNN and Fox News tomorrow. In Russia, the opposition would have you signing a resignation letter with a gun at your head. In a lot of less civilized countries, they wouldn’t even bother with a letter.

Being from what you think of as the left, I absolutely condemn (to coin one of your favorite phrases) the notion of violently removing a president from office. But you may have noticed from your two-sentence, history summaries that that sort of thing has happened in our country before, and in the two most notable instances it was a right-wing whacko who took out a couple of our most revered presidents. In case you didn’t get that far in your reading, I’m referring to Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.

Is that why you’re so unwilling to call a Nazi a Nazi? You seem to be treading the line very skillfully, as David Dukes continues to thank you for your support on a daily basis. Is that why your good friend, the likable Steve Bannon who is definitely not a white supremacist **wink** is still one of your senior advisors? You don’t think he might loose his dogs on you if you let him go, do you?

If you still can’t see what’s wrong with your shared blame argument, let me tell you a story. Back when one of my sons was in high school he was jumped in the school cafeteria one day. It wasn’t much of fight. My son simply reached back, lifted his unknown assailant off his back and tossed him onto a lunch table which made a very loud noise. As it turned out, the other boy was black but there was nothing racial about the incident – it was simply a misunderstanding about a girl.

Even so, the school administration was so terrified of racial problems in those days, the principal ruled that they were both responsible and both boys were suspended during exam week. My appeal to the school superintendent landed on deaf ears despite supporting statements from two teachers who’d seen the whole thing. It seems that some people can’t imagine a problem that doesn’t have two sides. (Don’t worry, I got even with the supe in classic Trump style.)

I know you’re short on patience; I only have a couple more questions. When you hear white supremacists chanting, “You won’t replace us” as they terrorize our cities, who do you think they’re talking about? I’m sure your ex-friend Kenneth Frazier or your daughter and her husband can tell you. Is that another case of shared responsibility? Does simply existing incur blame on the part of African Americans and Jews?

And now let me share a revelation with you. It only became clear to me when I heard those chants. I’ve been scratching my head wondering about your new immigration policy. We went from banning all Muslims from entering the country to making sure terrorists and criminals were kept out, and suddenly you proposed a plan to cut legal immigration of all kinds in half. I must say that was a pretty subtle move, not normally something we attribute to a bull in a China shop, but I get it now.

Senator Jeff Flake has been reminding us that white males are a steadily decreasing segment of the voting population, despite all attempts to suppress the black vote. Damn, Donald, you’re absolutely brilliant. Did you come up with this yourself? The best way to maintain your white voting majority is to make sure no more black, brown, and yellow people become citizens.

Okay, I’m done now. You can go back to watching TV.

Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment