The new political mass psychosis is rooted in a strange place—comfort/ugliness as a lifestyle. Stripped of the flag, parades, the anthem and winning, America has arrived at a point where racist inhumanity is a broad lifestyle, with school shootings and gun ownership and death by addiction; with mass killing teenagers and paying for silence about non-existent sex, and breathing-while-black. Government agents removed breast-feeding children, children too young to know the meaning of a promised ten-minute video call.
Civil–? Who are the Blessed? The Mercy givers? Not Trump! He prefers oppositional-defiant swag to prayer and works, his hell-raising full of loud blame never tells the full story and ignores peace, the path of the poor. Not Trump. His thrill is the absurdity that the US, the world’s leading arms merchant with record sales, is a global victim, raked over for jobs and cash.
His Jericho-in-America gives money to the wealthy, then blames nations, friends and foes. Neither prophet, messenger, or sanctified, nothing in his mind is greater than himself, including his sins. Trump believes in his own measure. He dangerously ignores any downside or complicated evidence in his decisions. He recasts limits and complications as blame rather than errors.
Public Shaming Feels Good. That’s No Reason to Do It. By Frank Bruni Opinion Columnist June 26, 2018 1026 Image Maxine Waters caused controversy Monday night when she encouraged voters to take inspiration from the recent public shaming of Trump administration officials.CreditAndrew Caballero-Reynolds/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images For a solid week, the most discussed story in America — the one that dominated serious newscasts and owned the home pages of influential periodicals — was the Trump administration’s cruel separation of migrant families and detention of some children in de facto cages. The outrage transcended political party, forced President Trump to change course and represented an all-too-rare instance when his reprehensible actions earned a properly disgusted, widespread rebuke. “The dumbest thing in American politics” is how a Republican strategist described the mess that Trump had needlessly made. “The dumbest, dumbest thing.” So why, when the strategist said this to me, did he sound upbeat? The answer is that it was Monday night and a miracle had occurred: The Democratic Party — well, one Democratic congresswoman in particular — had given journalists a different story to turn to, and this new narrative allowed Trump and his enablers to play the parts of victims. “Thank you, Maxine Waters,” the strategist said. Waters, rightly apoplectic about Trump, had exhorted voters to take inspiration from the recent public shaming of Trump administration officials and harass and heckle them whenever opportunity struck. “You tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said. [Also read Michelle Goldberg on what she describes as a crisis of democracy, not manners.] And, predictably, a significant chunk of the talk in the news and on social media focused on whether the country had descended to some unfathomed nadir of acrimony. Weeping children on the border ceded the stage to screaming adults in Washington restaurants. “Inhumanity” made way for “incivility,” a noun that was being applied to Trump’s supporters and his detractors and was thus obscuring the maliciousness of the former. Nancy Pelosi took to Twitter to do damage control. Chuck Schumer, on the Senate floor, issued a sort of apology. Democrats showcased internal divisions rather than a united front and, in the parlance of sports, blew their lead. Let’s put aside the question of decorum and how we get back to a place where political debate is constructive and Congress is a realm of problem solving and progress, not a modern-day Colosseum in which gladiators do grisly battle. Let’s focus instead on tactics. Does public shaming serve the cause of thwarting Trump and limiting his considerable damage to America? The answer is more likely no than yes, and I don’t think that we can take that risk when a man is this miserable and the stakes are this high. Public shaming competes with the very developments that illuminate those stakes. The Supreme Court just validated Trump’s Muslim — er, travel — ban. Harley-Davidson announced that it’s moving production and jobs outside of America. There are constant fresh revelations about the ethical squalor of members of Trump’s cabinet. Let’s direct voters toward the red meat of their wrongdoing, not their indigestion when they go out for a chimichanga. It’s possible that public shaming will have no effect on voters’ feelings and decisions, which are largely baked in by now. But it’s also possible that public shaming intensifies an ambient ugliness that sours more Trump skeptics than Trump adherents, who clearly made peace with ugliness a while back. And those adherents, nursing a ludicrous sense of persecution, could turn out in greater numbers this November as a result. It’s also the case that Trump can’t win on facts, which is why he has no regard for them, or on policy, which is why he’s cavalier about it. But resentment? Fury? That’s the toxic ecosystem in which he thrives. He’d like to turn all the country into a Trump rally. If the noise is loud enough, no signal can be heard. Trump’s opponents say that it’s not fair that their confrontational conduct draws censure when his own conduct is more confrontational — and is heartless and racist to boot. They’re right. It’s not fair. But you know what’s less fair? This presidency itself. And you know what would be even less fair than that? Trump’s getting another two years with an obsequious Republican majority in Congress and, heaven help us, a second term. The stain on America could be indelible. Preventing it takes precedence over all else. So what matters now isn’t what’s viscerally satisfying and morally just. What matters is the absolute best strategy. What matters is victory. And behavior that could imperil that victory can’t be encouraged on the grounds that it’s reciprocal and feels good. “I’m outraged all the time,” a friend said to me near midnight Monday. “You want to know what I’m doing with it? I’m going to polling