"BWAAAAHAHA! Dat Bob Mullah goin' after me Daddy Donald!" (A portrait of a typical Foxite Trumpie)
Donald Dotard tends to his "tribe", but what is this tribe? How best to define it? Is it like a menagerie of the downtrodden under a Stockholm syndrome, who fancy having their master abuse them with phony tax cuts and repealed health care? Or is it more like a clan of clueless infants endlessly bawling for "justice" and importance? Or maybe it's a bit of both. We do know many of them actually back Dotard's policies - including getting rid of the ACA and giving $800 billion in corporate welfare to the rich in the GOP tax "reform" bill. This despite the fact those actions will wreak the most havoc on the Trumpies. They also seem to be A-ok with repealing net neutrality despite the fact if that happens most of their blogs will get cold and inactivated since they won't be able to afford keeping them - at least functioning expeditiously - i.e. without taking nine hours to get a post up.
In any case, there is no way the nation's tribal politics and polarization are ending anytime soon. And it would be unwise for the Left to surrender its own identity politics.
In a recent WSJ column ('Selfie Politics', Nov. 9, p. A15) Daniel Henninger wrote:
"Democrats found validation for the politics of identity in the Virginia results. Some 77 percent of unmarried women voted for Ralph Northam. Ed Gillespie was standing in front of an anti-Trump train."
Let's point out here that child molester Roy Moore in Alabama was also standing in front of the same train. As noted in a recent TIME article (December 25, p. 30):
"Moore and his allies distributed appeals about preserving Confederate monuments, NFL players kneeling at football games and dangerous criminals registering to vote. The Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in Virginia, took a similar tack. If either had won Trump's divisive tactics might have become the 2018 campaign blueprint for countless candidate."
But instead (ibid.):
"The tide has started to turn away from the insanity we have been living through. It is time to return to decency and compassion."
WHY has the "tide" started to turn? (At least for those of us who accept facts.) Because the Dotard Tribe's playbook is now a losing one. Sensible people, voters across the nation, are simply tired and fed up with the Steve Bannon- Dotard style of destroying the civil fabric of the nation and doing so under the banner of "destroying political correctness" - unaware they are also mangling civility and democracy..
Of course, the damage extends to international relations as well, as we've seen with micro-Nazi Nikki Haley warning the 128 nations in a UN vote that condemned the Trumpie Imperium. This was after Dotard declared Jerusalem as formal capital of Israel - thereby demolishing the entire peace process. To add fuel to the fire this incompetent shitwit also declared the U.S. would move its embassy there. See e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2017/12/brace-for-wave-of-terror-after-dotard.html
So, of course, the sane nations of the planet would come out against this fell move. But there was Haley, five brain sizes too small for her role as UN Ambassador, declaring....eerrr whining: "The United States will remember this day for which it was singled out for attack.. This vote will be remembered and have consequences." Oooooohhh! What, exactly? Disallowing any Dotard visits? Halting the puny 2 percent funding you've failed to provide anyway?
Uh no, dope. The U.S. was not "singled out for attack", rather its reckless attack on the Mideast peace process was simply condemned in a democratic VOTE at the UN. Deal with it, idiot. But this is the grievance mentality the Trumpites have stoked to a tee which yes, has spawned separate national identities in this now rapidly declining nation.
Why this anger and stoking of phony outrage? Because in Trump's as well as Steve Bannon's playbook: "tribal grievance is more powerful than tired policies." That's why, before the Alabama Senate special election, Bannon tried to rile up the base of cracker Trumpites with bombastic blather such as: "They hate the Trump miracle and the nullification project. They're trying to get you to shut up. They couldn't beat Trump becausxe they couldn't beat you." And so on, with endless whining full of mock grievance.
And yeah, it's easier to get your tribe worked up over kneeling NFL players during the anthem, or abortions or removing Confederate monuments than it is to craft and implement policies that redound to the benefit of all citizens. It's easy to pull chords of emotions of your tribe and get them worked into a frenzy than not.
Henninger's WSJ piece goes on (ibid.):
"The Democrats not unreasonable takeaway from Virginia will be that identity politics works, so do more of it."
Well, kind of, but not quite. He misses the point that the identity on the left has accrued and developed as a reaction to the free for all hate fest on the Right. In other words, it has been developed in order to preserve civil society by amassing a truly democratic counter weight, as opposed to a mass of screaming zombies only out to tear down the nation by draining an imaginary "swamp".
The most derelict balderdash of all in Henninger's piece is:
"For all the antipathy directed at Mr. Trump, he in fact speaks for the Everyman of America's selfie politics. Embrace Me! Self interest, the old normal in politics, has been replaced by insistent self regard."
Which is to say, whining as an art form based on relentless navel gazing and scapegoating. As pointed out in a recent New Republic article ('It's the Culture, Stupid!', November, p. 14):
"In last year's election, according to an analysis by political scientist Tim Wood, 61 percent of the poorest whites - those in the bottom third of income distribution - voted for Trump."
Who are these whites? A Dec. 5th, 2016 article in The Economist gives us a jarring insight (p. 30):
"The anxiety Trump supporters betray by looking for scapegoats says most, of course, about themselves. Typically members of the white lower middle class, they are at once jealous of the small privileges that distinguish them from the toilers below, and bitterly resentful of the faraway government that provides their Social Security, VA care and Medicare."
Bitterly resentful. An attitude that reached its nadir once Barack Obama took office, and these poor whites couldn't bear to see an intelligent black man reach the acme of governance in our nation. To them he was an alien, and a "Hussein" - always making sure to use his middle name when characterizing him. Bitter and resentful. Deplorable. But deplorable is not a deserved epithet unless and until it crosses over into blatant racism - which it did- leading them to circulate vile, hate-filled images such as:
These are the "everymen" to which Henninger refers, who are a disgrace to any true "Everyman" worthy of the name. Thus, what drove the aberrant vote in 2016 for Trump wasn't income but identity. An identity connection which Trump has fostered by pandering to their insecurities, stroking their pathetic egos ("You will never be ignored again!") then more recently attacking the Mueller probe and our justice system - Constitution ("We have a rigged system").
Henninger also claimed (ibid.):
"The only thing the Democrats self categorizers can see staring back at them from their screens is whatever awful thing Trump has tweeted about....Me!"
Missing the essential point that each focus of a Trump tweet attack has been an element of our democracy - whether James Comey, Bob Mueller, the courts that thwarted his Muslim ban, the NFL players exercising free speech, the press and media or - more recently, the FBI in toto ("They are in tatters!") If I was any self respecting FBI agent, I'd yearn to put this guy's head on a pike. But there it is.
Henninger's delusion is to believe the normal citizen response (as in the Resistance) to Trump's attacks is simple solipsism. In fact, it translates to a defining counter attack against Trump's OWN attacks on civil, democratic society. Hence, Elijah Cummings recent injunctions to those of us who seek to protect it, to do so. This is especially in the wake of the ongoing attacks by Trump TV flunkies on the CIA, the FBI, Bob Mueller, and the current Trump-Russia investigations by fifth columnist traitors like Devin Nunez, Trey Gowdy and their cohort .
THIS is the danger missed by the illustrious Henninger in his myopic effort to scapegoat the Democrats and those of us who inveigh against Dotard's attacks. Because we understand, like Henninger does not, the dangers posed by degenerate support for a minority faction of the populace - who are severely propagandized (via FAUX News) to follow their leader (like the "Good Germans") - and also to despise their fellow citizens. The dynamic enables easy identification with fellow Trumpies via their mutual hatred of "political correctness" and "establishment elites". Hence, Bannon's blueprint to encourage this faction to disbelieve anything the mainstream media reports no matter how credible or damning.
Their narcissistic hunger (in some cases driven by a sense of inferiority) mirrors Dotard's and has compelled them to identify with Trump in his destruction of norms and regulations (i.e. citizen protections), which has exacerbated political divisions in the country. Thus, Neal Gabler's trenchant and pithy words in a recent smirkingchimp.com blog post:
"Historians may determine that November 8, 2016 was the date America’s second civil war began. By that perspective, just as the first Civil War was the last gasp of slavery, this second is very likely the last gasp of aging white Americans — their full-throated death rattle against an America that they detest for having changed so dramatically.."
Naomi Klein in her recent book, 'NO Is Not Enough - Resisting Trump's Shock Politics'), argued that, pp. 90-91:
"It is short-sighted, not to mention dangerous, for liberals and progressives to abandon their own focus on identity politics",
"To a terrifying degree, skin color and gender conformity are determining who is physically safe in the hands of the state, who is at risk from vigilante violence, who can express themselves without constant harassment and who can cross a border without terror."
Bottom line? So long as the Right embraces identity politics and tribalism - seeking to stoke their voters using hate and distrust, we on the sane side must adopt a counter identity politics - appealing to the angels of citizens' better nature - not their worst. Those appeals to citizens' better natures then are all about protectively circling the "wagons" - whether on behalf of the 800,000 DACAns Trump wants to ship out, or the decent Muslims he wants to block from coming in, or the Puerto Ricans he has abandoned as "too costly" for federal assistance after Hurricane Maria. In other words, our tribal identity must be to protect those minorities threatened by the howling banshees of the Right.
Oh, and lest I forget, that protective brief extends to Robert Mueller's remaining as special prosecutor, and repelling any and all attacks against the integrity of his investigation. As we know, and anyone who's followed "Trump TV" is aware, the Foxites have been going batshit insane the past few weeks trying to foment a conspiracy from whole cloth rubbish. They've conjured up and woven together disparate nonsense such as the already disproven "uranium one" (which eight federal agencies approved), Clinton donations, and the Steele dossier to arrive at a "coup" attempt to oust their little asshole, Donnie Dotard. These Reeptards - hysterical that the FBI and Obama-Clinton surrogates want to "undo" Trump's ascension- are pulling on any straw a drowning rat might. That includes the use of willing toadies like Devin Nunez and Trey Gowdy - as well as Chuck Grassley - to scuttle the congressional investigations. They're primary objective is to also discredit Robert Mueller's investigation because one FBI agent made negative email comments about Donnie the Dotard.. Failing to process or notice that Peter Strzok also made damning remarks about Bernie Sanders and Hillary.
He was, in other words, an equal opportunity texting bomb thrower. But the poor little crying tribe of Trumpies just zoned in on what he said about the Donald i.e. that he was an "idiot". Well, at least he didn't call Dotard a “fucking moron" like Rex Tillerson did. But this is what gets the panties of the Dotard tribe all in a twist, to the extent that many of these knot heads claim Strzock's email texts show such extreme bias against Trump that the Mueller investigation is compromised.
These Reeptardos can't get it into their noggins that nothing was compromised. As Rod Rosenstein pointed out to the House Judiciary 'pukes, even FBI agents are entitled to their own opinions. Yeah, this guy Strzock did get caught, but he was also fired back in July last year. So the Reeptards foaming at the mouth are all beating a dead horse that left the "barn" 17 months ago.. But this is what what they want to do for their tribe, to keep them stoked with misplaced fury. sowing even more division, more polarization.
The other reason tribalism and identity politics can never cease is that we have nearly a third of the nation following the lies of FAUX News. Ingesting daily the lies that Mueller's investigation is "biased" (never mind most of these imps were singing Mueller's praises back in May as a Republican and "straight arrow"), and a "coup" is afoot to "undo the election" of their little bastard, Dotard.
Since by its nature truth and national advancement can never be in league with lies, destruction and chaos, then there can be no common cause or polity with the Trumpie Foxites. Their tribe must hang by itself, on all their lies they are ingesting. We on the other side - who value genuine science, proper regulations and stable governance - cannot be one with them.
Hence, the national scene is set for perpetual division: tribalism and identity. When will it end, or can it end? Only when the minority side now creating "mischief of faction" (as warned about by James Madison) comes to its collective senses - ditches Dotard, and returns to embrace truth, democracy and national unity - including abiding by the rule of law and whatever finding Robert Mueller's investigation arrives at.
If not, we shall remain a nation divided, possibly to the point of another Civil War.