Thursday, January 21, 2016


The worst thing about Donald Trump is the same as the worst thing about the late Fred Phelps: he's so obnoxious that other extremists can use him to seem moderate and reasonable by comparison.  So, for example, Senator Lindsey Graham has just denounced Trump as a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot" who "doesn't represent my party."  Now, any observer of the American political scene knows that race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigots are the backbone of the GOP, which deliberately wooed them away from the Democrats during the Nixon administration.  Just to limit myself to Graham, in 2010 the New York Times called him "this year's maverick," which is corporate media code for a frothing, shamelessly warmongering bigot that the paper wants, for some reason, to cultivate.  So, of course, my Right Wing Acquaintance No. 1 linked to Graham's denunciation of Trump, adding, "Trump is, indeed, a fascist."  RWA1 likes people like Trump and Phelps, for the same reason: he can use them to present himself as a reasonable, moderate person.

The second worst thing about Trump is that he's a safe target for liberal Democrats, who are flooding the Intertoobz with abuse of him.  As my new meme, above, suggests, this no doubt makes them feel better, but has no useful effect that I can see.  Admittedly, it's hard to know what would have a useful effect.  But I saw one enlightened soul refer to Trump as a "retard" the other day, thereby showing his vast moral and intellectual superiority to Trump and his supporters; a fair amount of the anti-Trump stuff does help drag down the level of discourse in our nation, as if it weren't already low enough.

Here's a better reaction to Trump, from an interview with the leftist Anglo-Pakistani writer Tariq Ali on Democracy Now! this morning.  Amy Goodman asked him what he thought of the move in Parliament to ban Donald Trump from England.  Ali replied:
And I, myself—Amy, I have to say that, you know, I’m not in favor of banning people, because once you start banning people from the right who are mouthing extreme-right rubbish, this then leads to similar bans against progressive people, people on the left accused of being terrorists, etc. It’s better to debate these people out rather than to ban them. That’s my opinion.
Mine too.  It's funny to imagine Trump hoist on his own petard, but liberals never seem to remember that the repressive actions they favor will eventually be used against them.