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Posts Tagged ‘donald trump’

“Continuing attempts to render the last seven years of economic stagnation and periodic insurrection within these neat narratives of self-help and moral decay has only hollowed them out. Ideology has instead fragmented into an archipelago of glowing screens, where liberal white baby boomers can still consume their steady diet of mortgage-funded Bob Dylan albums and Warren Buffet biographies, while a new, smaller fraction of rich millenials can pour their faith into organic farming, social media or the literal deus ex machina of solar panels and 3D printing. Ideology is now a niche market, cultivated to its consumers. In one sense this makes it far more effective, but it’s also expensive. Most of us simply can’t afford it anymore. In its place, we get the self-aware apocalypse: The Donald Trump Effect. The Walking Dead as our last mass ritual.”

–  Ultra, Dead Reckoning. August 18, 2015.  (via becuzitisbitter)

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“It happened on Parshat Vayera. The worst anti-Semitic attack in American history occurred while Jews around the world were reading the Torah portion that tells the story of Lot, an immigrant.

Lot moves to Sodom, and prospers there. The Midrash says he becomes a judge. His daughters intermarry with the locals. Then one day, while sitting at the gates of the city, the assimilating immigrant sees two strangers approach. He asks them to “spend the night and bathe your feet”— the Midrash says he learned to welcome strangers from his uncle Abraham, the first Jew. Lot “prepares them a feast.”

But in Sodom, the natives hate strangers. “Where are the men who came to you tonight?” they demand. “Bring them out to us.” Lot tries to protect his guests. “I beg you friends,” he implores, “do not commit such a wrong.” For the men of Sodom, however, this just underscores Lot’s foreignness. He hasn’t really assimilated; he isn’t one of them. He’s a threat. “The fellow came here an immigrant and already acts the ruler,” they declare. “Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” […] Obviously, America is not Sodom. But Bowers tried to harm Jews, at least in part, for the same reason the men of that ancient city tried to harm Lot: Because Jews were welcoming strangers. Instead of assimilating into a culture suffused with anti-immigrant hatred, HIAS — which was founded to help Jewish immigrants to the United States —now assists immigrants and refugees from across the world. […]

For Jews, the lesson of yesterday’s massacre is very simple and very old: Protecting the strangers among us is not charity. It is self-defense. Every time Jews defend the right of American Muslims to follow sharia, we protect our right to follow halacha. Every time Jews reject politicians who demonize Latinos we make it less likely that those politicians will demonize us. “Hate them, not us” is a losing strategy because once empowered, bigots widen their targets. For people who define America as a white Christian nation, Jews will never be white enough.

Robert Bowers accused Jews of “bringing” Muslims and refugees to the United States. To him and all the other white nationalists Trump has emboldened, our answer should be: Damn right. We will demand a humane policy for people seeking refuge in the United States and defend those immigrants — no matter their race or faith — who are already here.”

– Peter Beinart, “Hate That Drove Pittsburgh Shooter — And Trump.” Forward, October 28, 2018.

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“…having the stability of the world depend on one nation—and thus, on one democratically elected leader—is itself an inherently risky system, as we’re seeing with Trump. Learning to live without America might be the best way for the other leading nations of the world to create a more durable international order—one held up not by a lone Atlas, but the shoulders of many nations.”

– Jeet Heer, “Donald Trump Killed the “Indispensable Nation.” Good!” The New Republic, May 15, 2017.

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“SJ: One of the things that is happening with Trump
is that people are so thrown by him that they are paying attention to
processes that they really normally don’t, and so are not sure what is
normal.

MP: It is not the end of the conversation. Is that what you are getting at?

SJ: Yes. Also, I would like to talk about some of
the history of targeting some of these programs. As you said, Reagan
wanted to make some of these same cuts—and did make cuts—in many of the
programs that Trump wants to attack. Trump ran on not being a typical
Republican. Can you to talk about the ways in which this budget shows
that he very much is a typical Republican?

MP: Certainly. At least the pieces of the budget
that he has put forward that we are seeing, definitely fall into that
broad group of Republican ideas about “The government is too large, so
we need to reduce spending.” All of the spending reductions in
discretionary spending, whether we are talking about heating assistance
for seniors, job training programs, student aid for work study, a range
of programs that benefit that people all across country are being cut
and almost all the money is going into defense. It is a very typical
approach in the sense of deep cuts to social programs, but not
necessarily to go to deficit reduction, but instead shifting to defense
spending. I think folks in the conservative frame usually want to see
reductions in spending overall, but there is this big gorilla in the
room called “Defense Spending” that seems, at least in Trump’s vision,
to be eating up most of that opportunity to reduce deficits. Although,
again, there are other parts of the budget which we will see going
forward. In particular, healthcare is, speaking of gorillas in the room,
right? As all of this is unfolding, basically, it looks as though the
effort on healthcare is really an effort to go after Medicaid. Sort of
taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act, which was a step forward in
terms of providing more coverage to people, but taking it as an
opportunity to not only roll back the Affordable Care Act, but really
undermine Medicaid. Reducing the safety net in the other direction, sort
of the opposite priorities of the Affordable Care Act.

Absolutely it is typical in the sense that there are a lot of cuts
proposed here that were proposed in previous years to a wide range of
programs, but they are all in one package. Again, it is sort of very
atypical of the goal, you oppose heating assistance for the elderly,
because if they were cold they would go out and get a job and have more
money in order to pay for heat. These are often strange priorities, but
certainly that sort of embodies it.

SJ: Yes, and you get comments from certain people
like Meals on Wheels not showing any effectiveness. You mentioned living
in a rural area. It has been noted in several places that the cuts in
this budget would disproportionately affect rural voters who tend to at
least to be governed by Republicans, if they are not themselves
Republicans. Talk about the way that, in particular—on one hand, you are
kicking your voter base, but on the other hand, it also creates some
leverage for those very people if their representatives want to continue
to get re-elected.

MP: For me, this is one thing I have struggled a bit
with. As time has passed after the election, there has been a lot of
hand-wringing about what happened and what was driving voters. In
particular, thinking about Appalachia. There has been some discussion
that there was a feeling in those communities, a sense of pride in work,
in the coal mines, for instance, and a certain resentment towards
government assistance, because it is seen as the opposite of
independence. You are dependent on the government. Mixed in with all of
this is this opioid addiction which is sweeping across the country. I
think, on the one hand, you are absolutely right. This is a very real
opportunity to get folks in these rural places energized, because they
are going to be benefiting from a lot of these programs; whether it is
the healthcare cuts that we are, at least, beginning to discuss or some
of these discretionary program that Trump has put forward to be cut.
Certainly, that is going to be an organizing point.

But I think the challenge, as always with rural communities, it is
much harder. It is a classic challenge in organizing unions, it is
easier to organize a big workplace. You have lots of workers in one
spot. When you have people spread out in a lot of little small
communities, organizing becomes much harder. That is an enormous
challenge, which I can’t help solve, but I think the fact that a lot of
these program cuts, whether it is heating assistance or Meals on Wheels,
certainly it is going to create an opportunity to get a lot of these
voters in these rural places to wake up to what the policy priorities
that are coming out of the president and parts of the House and the
Senate.”

– Sarah Jaffe interviews Mark Price, “Donald Trump and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Budget.” The Baffler, March 22, 2017.

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