Oh Hillary, you are a soothing balm on my Trump-scraped soul.
So. Today sure happened, didn’t it.
When I got up this morning I was all set to let loose with a post about the AP and the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton pile-on and oh, y’all. I have VIEWS. Shouty shouty VIEWS. But then? Today’s speeches happened.
Today Donald Trump gave a speech to his followers in New Hampshire. I just finished watching the video and there’s nothing new to report. It was more of the same basic stuff: “I’m awesome, Hillary is evil, here are a bunch of examples I’m exaggerating and a few more that I have completely made up and even a couple that prove I didn’t do the reading. Outlandish thing!!! Genuinely scary thing. Yada yada yada.”
Yes. I just yada yada’d Trump.
But! Today wasn’t an all-Trump day. Not even a little bit. Because? Hillary Clinton also gave a speech–her first public rally speech in a while–and what a speech it was. I don’t know if it was just the contrast with all the Trump I’ve been watching, but Clinton’s speech? Was PERFECT. It was everything a good speech should be, especially one that is taking on not just Donald Trump but the entire alt-right and their trollish, dickish ideas.
GIF source: Giphy.com
Hillary Clinton was calm. She was measured (metaphorically). The speech was much less a rally cry than very much a “Mofos, THIS is how you address the nation and Make Them Pay Attention.”
I’ve been watching a lot of Trump speeches over the last few weeks.
It’s my own fault. Nobody is making me watch these speeches and interviews and rallies. Outside of your incredibly generous donations (thank you!) nobody is paying me to spend this much time focused on a crusty rug with a bad attitude. I’m watching because I want to and because I think watching and paying attention (as barfy as it makes me) is important. Donald Trump is saying quite a lot in the little that he actually says and, while it’s fun to watch him try to talk and read a teleprompter at the same time, so far I have yet to hear him say anything that doesn’t terrify me.
If you’ve caught even just thirty seconds of domestic news over the last couple of weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard some of Trump’s latest greatest hits:
Barack Obama is “literally the founder of ISIS” (he isn’t) along with Hillary Clinton (nope).
Hillary Clinton is a bigot (I doubt it).
The Obama Administration paid $400 Million in ransom to Iran (nu-uh, and I’ll talk about this more later this week).
That Hillary is physically and mentally unfit for office–and that she’s harboring some weird secret illness. (*sigh*)
He “regrets” saying the wrong things and causing personal pain (followed up by going back to saying and doing exactly what he’s been saying and doing all along).
He (Trump) will be able to get 95% of the black vote by 2020, he guarantees it.
We all talk a good game about how there are only lies and nothing of real substance in his stump speech, but if you pay attention? There’s some super scary sh*t in there and nobody seems to be covering it. Probably because it isn’t quite as outlandishly delivered or ignorantly conceived as what I listed above.
For example, while everybody else is mad because Trump keeps insisting that Hillary Clinton is a bigot who uses black people as pawns, they’re overlooking a statistic he’s repeated a few times since then:
“58% of African American youth are unemployed.”
Notice the inclusion of the word youth. This is not an accident. He has used this quote in a few different speeches now, varying it once in a while to make it look like he’s trying to talk directly to the Black community: “half of your youth are unemployed!”
What, exactly, does he mean by “youth”? Does he mean teenagers who can get work permits? Younger? And why is the unemployment rate of African American youth such a big sticking point for him?
In one speech he even went so far as to say that Hillary Clinton would “rather bring in a refugee or an illegal to take a job than have one of the African American youths do it.” (paraphrasing mine)
Think about the stereotype surrounding jobs typically performed by refugees and undocumented workers. Is he saying that we should be sending in kids–black kids in particular–to do those jobs instead? Because that’s problematic, even for a guy who supposedly has a (white, of course) twelve year old running his Colorado campaign office.
Then there’s his whole thing about ideological testing. A lot of news coverage has been given to Donald Trump’s plan to impose some sort of ideological test on people who want to immigrate to this country (because nobody would ever lie on one of those, I’m sure). What this coverage leaves out is how far and how invasive he’d like this testing to be. Here are quotes from just two of the speeches he’s given recently:
“On immigration, we will temporarily suspend immigration from any place where adequate screening cannot be performed. All applicants for immigration will be vetted for ties to radical ideology, and we will screen out anyone who doesn’t share our values and love our people. […] If you want to join our society, then you must embrace our society, our values and our tolerant way of life. “ —Charlotte, August 18 (bolding mine)
“This also means we have to promote the exceptional virtues of our own way of life – and expecting that newcomers to our society do the same.Pride in our institutions, our history and our values should be taught by parents and teachers, and impressed upon all who join our society. Assimilation is not an act of hostility, but an expression of compassion.” —Youngstown, August 15 (bolding mine)
These are not the only scary ideas that he’s not-so-subtly projecting. There is also the language about “Americanism not Globalism” and the advocation of eliminating nation-building:
“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended. Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam.All actions should be oriented around this goal, and any country which shares this goal will be our ally. We cannot always choose our friends, but we can never fail to recognize our enemies.”–Youngstown, August 15
He talks about using “military, financial and cyberwarfare” to defeat terrorists. What does that even mean?
It’s easy to laugh and point at Donald Trump and to wonder how on earth a candidate who has no concrete plans to accomplish any of this promises got so far. But if you really listen, there are incredibly scary messages included in his speeches and they are why he should never ever have any power.
Like this? You can follow me for more on twitter at @snarke and/or click here to toss a couple bucks into my “milkshakes to counteract Trump exposure” fund.
Hold on to your butts, folks. We’re already at that point in the election cycle where, even if you do your best to steer clear, you cannot totally avoid hearing about the election. IN AUGUST.
Something something marathon not a sprint joke.
If you are alive, you have probably heard about Donald Trump’s most recent awful gaffe (until tomorrow anyway). In case you’re one of the lucky few (or dead?!) who managed to escape it, here’s the short version:
Donald Trump “accidentally” called for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.
Yeah. That is a thing that happened. Here’s how it went down.
The Trumpster was giving a speech in North Carolina–off script because that’s always a good idea–and was trying to talk about how important it is that Hillary not be allowed to appoint Supreme Court justices because she wants to repeal the second amendment and blah blah trump trump yuck yuck yuck. But then! Oh then. He said this:
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know. But — but I’ll tell you what. That will be a horrible day. “
Now, look: I watched that whole Trump speech. On purpose even. And as much as I loathe the guy I don’t honestly think he was calling for the assassination of his political opponent. I think he’s a terrible speaker and is not nearly the off-the-cuff master of oration he seems to think he is. His verbal inner monologue approach to these speeches gets him in trouble because he is allergic to facts and in love with bluster. I think some of his campaign spokespeople are probably right: he was talking about NRA lobbyists and activists who are so good at getting powerful people to do their bidding getting in the way of an anti-NRA justice’s approval.
But words, y’know. They’re hard and stuff.
And the spokespeople saying Trump was kidding? They can bite all of us.
The problem isn’t that Trump’s campaign is trying to walk this back using two conflicting stories, making it even harder to ferret out what he really meant.
The problem is that there are people who believe in Donald Trump so whole heartedly and take him so literally that they will decide that he does want them to try to go after Hillary Clinton. This is a huge problem, not just for Trump and Hillary, but for the Secret Service Agents whose jobs are literally to put themselves between gunfire and the candidates.
The other problem is that “just kidding” is not rhetoric you want a President to think is a perfectly acceptable go-to when he or she says something inflammatory and carelessly causes an international crisis. Why? Not just because it is in poor taste. But because it signals that he doesn’t take himself or his responsibilities seriously.
Scary as it is, Trump’s words have real power and authority now. And that he either doesn’t get or, worse, doesn’t care about the responsibility that comes with that? That’s scary.
The other annoying thing about this whole did he/didn’t he two step is that it completely ignores what he said a little bit later:
“If you – we can add I think the National Rifle Association, we can add the Second Amendment to the Justices – they almost go – in a certain way, hand in hand.”
THE NRA AND SCOTUS GO HAND IN HAND?!? WHAT. THE. FREAKING. FRACKING. FRICK.
(I can’t drop the actual F-bomb, yall. My Mom reads this!)
If you want to read a transcript of the whole speech, you can find it here. I don’t recommend it. I do recommend sending the transcriptionist a fruit basket, though, because wow. Wow. This isn’t word salad. This is a guy who is trying to make a word smoothie but never remembers to put the lid on the blender.
Before I do anything else, I need to say THANK YOU to everybody who kicked in to help support my coverage of the Republican and Democratic primaries! Y’all are the greatest and helped make it possible to focus on the events instead of only being able to half listen while I churned out other work. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
In case anybody was wondering, I’m not going to stop covering this election. I’m going to continue tweeting it and, scary as it is, blogging it. That’s right. I’m going to be sharing my opinions on the Internet. Yes, I want to hide under my bed and away from my laptop until this urge passes. BUT I WON’T. This election is too important and the shenaniganry indulged in by those twin barge fires who prefer to be called The Trump Campaign and the (Militant) Bernie or Busters (I not-so-affectionately call them “Uber Boobers”) there is a f*ck-ton of misinformation being slung around and taken as gospel. I’m sick of it. I have VIEWS, people. EDUCATED AND INFORMED VIEWS.
I’m still working out the catch-all hashtag for the general election. I was going with #Election2016 but the US isn’t the only country having elections this year so that could get confusing. #USElection2016 feels too clunky. Eh, I’ll figure it out soonish. In the meantime, if you want to avoid the heck out of all of my political stuff, you should mute any/all of the following hashtags:
I’ll do my best to hashtag everything, but if I miss something, definitely let me know!
And if you want to follow or keep up with my coverage, follow me here and on Twitter (@snarke)!
And now for some actual coverage/reporting. No, it isn’t about Donald Trump wigging out over the Khan family. Instead, I thought I’d start with something positive! Yay! Positivity! Woo!
Earlier today, Warren Buffet endorsed and introduced Hillary Clinton at a political rally in his home district (Nebraska’s 2nd). But that’s not all he did! First, he used actual math and real numbers to talk about how the top earners got there and why “trickle down” economics is a big fat scam (okay fine, I’m calling it a big fat scam. He was far more measured and eloquent). This is not something that usually happens at these rallies. Wages, inflation, deficits, etc. tend to get talked about in vague estimations. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody actually use the acronym “GDP” correctly at a political rally before. I hope this is becomes a trend.
Then, because using actual facts at a political rally wasn’t revolutionary enough, Buffet used the rally to officially launch Drive2Vote.org.
Drive2Vote is a fantastic website. In addition to providing information about how people can register to vote, the site serves as a portal that matches up people who will have a hard time getting to their polling places on election day and volunteers who want to help them out by giving them a ride. Warren Buffet said that he has pledged to offer rides to *at least* 10 people on election day. And then he made a couple of jokes about selfies.
Currently, Drive2Vote.org is focused solely on Nebraska’s 2nd District (which could very well being the deciding district of the 2016 election). But when I asked about the potential for it’s expansion to other districts/states, a representative of the organization said in an email, “Our initiative is specific to Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. I’m sure Warren would want to encourage others throughout the country to do the same!”
That’s right. I emailed a representative for comment on a story. I feel like a real reporter now!
Last week I covered the Republican National Convention on Twitter. This week I’m covering the Democratic National Convention on Twitter. Next week, I’m going to start posting longer content about the conventions and about the general election race in general. I’ll be posting that longer content here and, if I can get my profile set up in time, on Medium.