How Bad Can Trump’s Victory Get?

Unsurprisingly, many of my friends are liberal Democrats who live in liberal Democratic strongholds and were heartbroken by Trump’s victory on election day. I was as well. Most of my friends seem to spend the day in shock and horror. I did as well. When I met up with my girlfriend on Wednesday night, she said I looked like a zombie.

My Facebook feed has been filled with articles like this one by Marc Joseph Stern at Slate. Stern writes about his secular Jewish family in Europe at the time of Hitler’s rise. One branch of his family decided to stay because Europe is where they belonged and were from according to the great-grandmother. Most of this family branch died in the Holocaust. The other left because they knew they had to. They might have preferred to stay in Europe but they knew that Europe was no longer home. This family lived. Stern writes about how he is fears for his life as a gay, Jewish man. He writes about anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs and death threats via twitter.

Someone I know from high school is a reporter for NPR. He is Jewish. He covers New Jersey politics. He has already received anti-Semitic tweets directed at him and faxed press releases from Neo-Nazis groups.

There are already stories of emboldened hate and bigots. QZ has a nice round up of racist attacks after Trump’s victory. Medium has another round up.1

At the very least, I suspect that we will see a steady stream of stories like this for the next four to eight years. President Trump and the GOP in Congress do not need to repeal any laws, but they have discovered the benefits of appealing to white ethno-nationalism. Trump’s administration and the Republican Congress can keep the Civil Rights Act but turn the EEOC and Civil Rights Divisions of the DOJ into useless entities that do nothing.

One of the things I hear from non-liberal Trump critics is that Trump is the product of a PC backlash and hatred of tone policing. These people do not deny racism and bigotry exist but seemingly have a high bar about what constitutes racism and bigotry. They also post and write about how their Trump supporting friends are not racist or bigoted and that liberals just need to reach out to them.

The problem with this is that racism and bigotry can get normalized. Even if many Trump supporters are not bigots, they voted for a man who ran an openly racist and bigoted campaign and has a long history of racism. Trump first came to public notice when the government sued Trump for housing discrimination against Blacks in the 1970s. He (rhetorically) tried to lynch the Central Park Five.

Even if Trump is not against any particular group, he unleashed a genie bottle of hate groups to act openly in ways that they haven’t felt in decades. Many minorities will just be subject to vandalism and low-level harassment for four to eight years but that should be unacceptable to all decent people. Anti-Semitic tweets should not be the price paid for being Jewish. Being told “Go home Chinaman” should not be a part of life in the United States just because a person is Chinese.

We also like to think that our laws and Constitution will protect us from the worse from happening but laws and Constitution are only as strong as the people themselves. A friend of mine posted another story on Facebook. The author of the post’s grandmother was a Jewish elementary school student in Hitler’s Germany. She needed surgery in 1932 and 1933. In 1932, all of the girl’s classmates and teachers came to visit her in the hospital. In 1933, no one did.

This story might seem hyperbolic (and it does raise Godwin’s Law) but it demonstrates that the norms of bigotry can change rapidly and seemingly overnight. Maybe the girl’s classmates and teachers did not become more anti-Semitic, but they knew it would be a serious social cost and possibly a physical cost to visit their Jewish classmate in the hospital. Most people are go along and get along types. You don’t need a nation of willing executioners. You just need enough people willing to commit acts of violence with the consent of government, and most of the rest of the people will just put their heads down to save themselves and their families.

Maybe the United States will not see the return to the days of Emmett Till and lynching. Maybe gay marriage will stay intact. Maybe the quota system that limited Jewish presence at private universities will not return. Maybe Muslims will not be forced to wear patches with crescents and Asians will not be put into internment camps. But that doesn’t mean minorities don’t have a right to be scared that the United States just elected a man who ran one of the most bigoted campaigns in modern American history.Notes:

  1. Sadly, incidents like these have continued to accumulate beyond the linked exemplars since the author submitted the piece; it’s saddening to realize that these are now “exemplars” rather than standalone events. — BL []
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94 thoughts on “How Bad Can Trump’s Victory Get?

  1. Some updates since writing this:

    1. White Supremacist graffiti and mailings have not cooled down or abated.

    2. The Neo-Nazis met and Richard Specer wondered whether Jews were people. CNN had a “debate” with the chyron that said “Alt-Right Leader:Are Jews People?” No one seemed to bother with wondering about the morality of the tone and the “debate” was largely the kind of horse race wondering about whether Trump could denounce the alt-right and keep his coalition alive. Nothing about the evil of the statement.

    3. Jeff “Too Racist for a Republican Senate in 1986” will probably be the next Attorney General.

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    • There are a bunch of quotes in that piece from Republicans and conservatives that oppose the alt-right. I think they mean it. I would like to figure out how to work with them to choke this off. Maybe it’s easier with it out in the open. They have a direct interest in making you think they are big and scary. But how big and scary are they?

      This is not dismissive. I’m contemplating strategy. Raging at them isn’t going to work. That’s their field of battle, they are geared exactly for that. We have to be careful with ridicule, too, since mockery that is poorly aimed will be used as propaganda toward those who are merely coarse and poorly informed. Propaganda of the nature, “See, they hate you!”

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      • They can’t choke it off. Not and win elections.

        That’s the problem. That’s always BEEN the problem. A big chunk of their base is racist. It is, judging by this election, a much larger chunk than I’d previously imagined. And not only are they racist, they’re feeling bold, because they just elected one of their own.

        So they can “fight it” but they can never be successful — because anyone that successfully fights it will lose their primary, or lose power in the party as a whole.

        There’s only the choice between embracing it and wink-and-nod denunciations if you want to be a successful GOP politician who retains office.

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          • Yeah, sad to say.

            Genie’s out of the bottle, and given the GOP’s already big primary problems, I expect things to get a lot worse. It’s tough to win a primary when a good chunk of the most ardent voters are after either loud capitulation…..or scalps.

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  2. Trump has made overt what used to be covert in the Republican Party. The Republicans have been running on opposition to Civil Rights and minority rights or as White American party in one way or another since Goldwater. There is a Goldwater campaign poster from 1964 that shows that an LBJ victory means no jobs for White Americans and jobs for African-Americans because of the Civil Rights Act. Sometimes the White nationalist rhetoric is closer to the surface than other times but it is always there in one way or another among other campaign issues. Trump’s more elaborate fear mongering and electoral college victory has emboldened many people to commit acts of petty vandalism and assault. Hopefully, we won’t go beyond this level but it is too soon to figure things out.

    There has always been a strand of American ideology that saw the United States as a White Christian nation regardless of the existence of non-whites and non-Christians or the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Its why many public schools had non-denominational Bible readings and Christian prayers up until the early 1960s. The first voucher debate in the United States occurred because Catholics correctly saw American public schools as de facto Protestant schools. During the mid-20th century, the American Right was in a hissy-fit because they thought Leftist Jews were going to pollute America with what they considered to be pernicious un-American ideas like the minimum wage or social legislation.

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    • LBJ: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.””

      That’s been the GOP playbook for generations now.

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      • morat20,
        A bit bigger than the Republicans, dude. Racewar should sound familiar when you start hearing words like “Black Lives Matter.”

        Do you realize how many people you could get to sign up, if you weren’t making the movement racially oriented?

        It’s by design, though, and that’s the important part.

        The Powers That Be wish it to be so.

        The real revolution will not be televized. You should be suspicious of anything that starts with the television. (I well remember Santelli).

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  3. I have a broad set of concerns – I’ll just enumerate them.

    I, of course, want to keep people I know and love safe. I want to shield them, and I want to help them recover. I want them to know that as far as I am concerned, they are welcome in my country and in my life.

    I am not Jewish, but I have been misidentified as one many times, sometimes by people who were Jewish themselves, and saw that in a positive light. At least one of those times, the person doing it was Palestinian in origin, and it was quite clearly anti-Semitic. It creeped me out.

    I have seen documented stories where people on the left spray painted a swastika to express their opinion of America. I don’t know who is spray-painting those things.

    I am concerned about my own filter bubble. The internet is a massive amplifier and abets confirmation bias. At any given moment, somebody out there is doing something terrible. And the internet will bring it too my browser all too willingly. This creates a positive feedback loop, where I reshare it, and stoke fears further.

    Steve Bannon, and others like him, is expert at baiting the other side for his own advantage. He feeds on our disapproval. Hey probably does have an anti-Semitic streak, the evidence seems sound. And he says things that to many who are less educated, seem perfectly normal and understandable, but send us into a quivering rage. That rage is used to portray our intolerance of his readers, not Bannon.

    I have checked with everyone I know who has a vulnerable identity. I have come with with two stories of someone being yelled at, and Trump referred to. Those were both not something that happened to the person I know, but to someone they know. That’s a wide enough net that I’m thinking this is likely the 5% of the population that are sociopaths and racist fuckheads being emboldened, and not some broad shift in attitude. There was one case of a family member sending a friend a triumphalist email. I’m pretty sure that the sender didn’t think of it as racist. I encouraged my friend to ask her uncle why he would do something so hurtful. I’m going to do something similar at Christmas. These are people I know to otherwise be very decent people.

    It isn’t fair to call concern, on the part of Saul, with anti-Semitism a “distraction”. It’s pretty important and real. But public statements, baiting statements such as described above, can serve this purpose very well. Trump just settled the Trump University fraud case, and then started a fight with the cast of Hamilton over nothing, but it was a distraction. The “Sieg Heil”s done in public are meant to incite people and to draw attention. It’s some form of performance art. I do not think the people doing it have purposes that I endorse, but I don’t take it at face value either.

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    • This is about more than anti-Semitism but about racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, bigotry, and xenophobia broadly.

      What is interesting about the now open anti-Semitism is that it seemed to be the one form of bigotry that was truly taboo except in the looney fringes. Both parties denounced it because both parties had Jewish voters and politicians in the higher ranks. The GOP desperately wanted the Jewish vote.

      Trump’s daughter converted to Judaism but he still flirted with the Neo-Nazis and let his sons really court that vote. He has refused to denounce them even though he seems rather close to his Jewish son-in-law. Trump’s philo-Semitism is the kind that is based on stereotypes.

      But other racism and bigotry is increasing as well. Even if it stays at the graffiti and harassment level, it is still a problem. Trump doesn’t seem to be abating on his Muslim registration or deportation plans. Xenophobia is going to run high.

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      • This works politically for reasons that aren’t specifically racist. First, people want to know that he holds their needs above the needs of people in foreign countries. They don’t feel that way, necessarily. I feel this is a fair feeling at one level. The President should be concerned, first of all, with making things better for Americans.

        Democrats have not done a good job of selling that. Trump sells it with xenophobic pronouncements, and then eating a taco salad. They don’t take him literally, they just like that he says things that “he can’t walk back”. The problem is, he can.

        It works because affinity bias is a thing that affects all humans. We are all more likely to be influenced by someone who seems “like me”.

        I just want you to remember that there are people here whose life is enriched by your presence. Hang in there.

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    • The other issue is that there seems to be a human tendency not to want to think about the worst case scenario and then it happens before people even notice it.

      Another friend of a friend story I saw on FB was about the friend of the friend’s grandmother. The grandmother was a Jewish child in Germany in the 1930s. In 1932, she needed surgery and all her classmates and teachers came to visit her in the hospital. In 1933 she needed surgery again and no one visited her.

      That is how quickly things can change. What I worry about is not so much the open bigots like Richard Spencer but they are bad. I worry about people just adopting a go along and get along attitude towards bigotry and oppression because they need to keep their jobs and feed their families and they don’t want to be martyrs. This is why teachers visit a student in the hospital one year and not the next. This is why a lot of German citizens said “We never knew” when forced to take tours of Dachau and Buchenwald. They knew. They just put their blinders on because saying something would put them in Dachau and Buchenwald too. The bigots in power can apply an extreme amount of force to get compulsion.

      Maybe this time will be different. Maybe not. We are going to find out.

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    • The “Sieg Heil”s done in public are meant to incite people and to draw attention. It’s some form of performance art. I do not think the people doing it have purposes that I endorse, but I don’t take it at face value either.

      All Sieg Heils are performance art. If someone wanted to convey just ‘Hail victory!’, they would have said *that*, in English. (Or something less goofy sounding, like ‘We won! Wooo!’. No one hails anything anymore.)

      Saying it in German and doing a salute at the same time is automatically performance art, in that there’s an *additional* level of meaning added.

      I think you’re trying to say there’s a different level of meaning than when it was done in Nazi Germany.

      But the problem is, I don’t think you’re correct. I agree the purpose is to incite people and draw attention, but art incites people and draws attention mostly by *conveying an inciteful message*. The message that people who are offended by the Nazi salute are getting *exactly* the message the artists are intended to give. That message is ‘I am in this crowd supporting the ideals of Nazi Germany, which I think are being furthered here’.

      The performance artists *doing* the salute might not be entirely on board with that message…but plenty of art is done by people who do not entirely believe the message. That doesn’t really change the *art*.

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      • We’re at the spot where we deny neo-Nazis are neo-Nazi’s. “Surely they don’t mean that white nationalism stuff seriously, right? Like when they do the Nazi salute, surely they are not saying “I support white nationalism in the same basic vein as the Nazi’s. That many people cannot possibly see aping the Nazi’s as a good thing”.

        Denial, denial, denial. This is America, we can’t POSSIBLY have white nationalists parading around in large numbers and being serious. We’re past that.

        No, we’re not. We’re really not. In fact, we’re at the spot were we just learned there were a lot more of them than we thought so we should probably address that.

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        • I’m seeing a lot of quoted passages from the fascist days of the 30s, where nice ordinary people had exactly this debate.
          Do we give them attention, or ignore them?
          Do we reach out to them and try for compromise?
          Do they even mean what they say or is it all bluster?

          I think we have gotten so accustomed to looking in the rear view mirror at history, where all the actors are conveniently sorted into good and evil categories, that we are perplexed when contemporary history smacks us in the face.

          So people lapse into pedantry of what exactly constitutes a Nazi or Klansman and which taxonomy we should use.

          And thereby (conveniently) avoiding talking about what these people are saying, what they believe in, and what they want to do.

          What these people- Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer- want to do is evil, and awful, and so far outside the boundaries of normal civilized society as to beggar belief.

          Which is why no one wants to believe it.

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  4. Meh, there have always been racists in both parties. But now some white folks are starting to jump on the identity politics bandwagon the liberals have been riding all theses years.

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  5. The story I’m not seeing anyone cover is that Trump is normalizing open, naked corruption.

    Say what you want about the establishment being corrupt, and trust me, it *was* corrupt, but it was corrupt mostly in that huge amounts of money were washing around, and the only people that politicians ever interacted with were rich people and lobbyists.

    The problem wasn’t that pols were ‘bribable’, I’m sure very few of them directly took money in exchange for doing something. The problem was that all this money built them a very skewed universe where their entire purpose in life was to hang out with and please rich people.

    That was where we *were*, pre-Trump.

    Trump has the possibility to take us where we’re never been been before. Trump is the sort of person who literally sees no problem with bribes, or problems with extortion. He’s *already* done things like threaten state that didn’t vote for him, and holds all sorts of grudges.

    Right now, diplomats think that they have to get a room at Trump’s hotel to curry favor. That *thought* is unacceptable enough, and why Trump should not be allowed to be president while operating a business…but the thing is, if the president was anyone else, Republican or Democrat, I would at least feel secure in the knowledge that those diplomats were *wrong*.

    I *do not* think that about Trump. I think those diplomats are *entirely correct*. Trump is a petty, venal asshole. It is *entirely* within the realm of possibility that he’d turn down some diplomatic proposal because that country rented a diplomatic suite at the Hilton instead of his hotel.

    Likewise, it is *entirely* within the realm of possibility that he’ll demand some real estate thing from a foreign government in return for some foreign policy, or at least make it clear how to ‘grease the wheels’.

    Trump is a person who doesn’t even have a concept of neutrality, of disregarding personal opinions and just doing what is required. He’s a wheeler-dealer, the sort of person that is always nice to his friends and mean to his enemies.

    That, right there, is going to be the real problem of this administration.

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    • The appearance of corruption was, I think, more likely with a Clinton win, as she was involved in a business that took international donations while serving as SoS. It seems noteworthy that her charity has seen a drop-off of donations since her loss, implying that the contributors don’t think they would be getting today what they thought they were getting two weeks ago.

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      • Well by “business” you mean a charity with open and audited books. Business is what Trumpy is doing now with hundreds of millions owed to banks in china and russia, leasing buildings from the Fed’s , etc, etc.

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        • First of all, Greg, I was addressing the question of appearance. Secondly, for the past 8 years I have had diminished respect for people on the right who’ve talked about Obummer and Shrillary, so this “Trumpy” thing is only going to hurt you.

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          • But this is the same Clinton Rules nonsense that dominated the election. Clinton runs a foundation that takes donations from unsavory folks (and lots of other folks too), there’s no evidence of any sort of quid pro quo, and this is corruption. Now in a sense that’s true, because those donations were likely going to buy access, just like any rich person’s big donation to a political campaign. That’s the constant, legal, low-lying corruption of the system, but when your last name is Clinton it means you’re a complete crook.

            But then you have Trump, who spends the campaign being sued for massive fraud, who won’t release his tax returns, and who promises to make his kids both his close political advisors and the managers of his business empire. That’s open, unabashed corruption on a scale that I can’t think of a parallel for in American history, but bullshit non-stories about the Clinton Foundation somehow stuck. I’m not sure who is most to blame for this; likely some combination of the conservative maxhine, the media, and the Clintons themselves. But its goung to surprise a lot of people when Trump is corrupt on a previously unimaginable scale, and it really shouldn’t. After all, he told us he was going to govern this way.

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            • Don,
              There’s quite a difference between Clinton’s
              “Too big to fail” corruption
              (that, to be frank, got the entire National Security Infrastructure snipping at Russia before she even got elected — purely as a distraction from “dangerous e-mails”),
              and Trump’s “garden variety corruption.”

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            • Now in a sense that’s true, because those donations were likely going to buy access, just like any rich person’s big donation to a political campaign. That’s the constant, legal, low-lying corruption of the system, but when your last name is Clinton it means you’re a complete crook.

              Exactly.

              If you are wealthy, you can get access to politicians. You can give them max-allowed-by-law campaign contributions. You can give their *party* large donations.

              You can donate to charities they own, hell, you can donate to charities they also donate to. You can sit next to them at charity dinners.

              You also can literally hire *their former coworkers* and pay those former coworkers to get you in touch with them and also tell them what you think.

              If you have money, you have access to politicians. If you do not have money, you do not. This wasn’t ‘bribery’, but it was pretty damn good at insulating politicians from even *interacting* with non-wealthy people.

              This *used* to be a huge problem, in fact, it was probably the most problematic feature of the entire political system in the US, accepted by all sides, and never called out by the media as any sort of problem.

              [Edit: Oh, except, as you said, it was a huge problem for Clinton, and *just* for Clinton. Apparently.]

              And then we Trumped it.

              But then you have Trump, who spends the campaign being sued for massive fraud, who won’t release his tax returns, and who promises to make his kids both his close political advisors and the managers of his business empire. That’s open, unabashed corruption on a scale that I can’t think of a parallel for in American history

              It’s unparalleled at a national level, at least. There have been a few *states* that have operated that way at various points in their history.

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              • David,
                I’ve never said that Clinton was unique in her corruption. Just that she managed to make it “too big to fail” by involving the rest of the Democratic Party, so tha tif she falls, so do a lot of people.

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          • Trumpy is a proud MST3K reference i’ve been using throughout the election.

            Regarding appearances what T. is doing is the kind of stuff he criticized C for. Now he says conflict of interest laws don’t apply to him. Except his stuff is far more than C and also exposes him to more COI than ever before.

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          • Appearance of something, and something.

            Its all the same innit?

            So I guess we can safely say that Donald Trump is a pedophile, since he made questionable statements about his daughter, and created the appearance of troubling questions that cast a shadow of a cloud over his image.

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          • He is president elect. I expect him to cash in as much he can because that is who he is. What he should be doing is putting the presidency completely above anything else and removing any possible COI. Like you know a real blind trust and not shilling for his business. I expect most of his supporters to not give a crap about COI or anything like that.

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            • Trump’s gonna adhere to that old Mexican adage: “If you don’t make money as a politician you’re doing it wrong.” Corruptions galore.

              On the upside, remember Friedman’s Golden Arches theory of world peace? Given our new Leader, I propose a new theory: the Golden Toilet. US international policy will serve Trump’s luxury hotel and golf course business interests creating a new era of world-wide peace and prosperity.

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      • Pinky: It seems noteworthy that her charity has seen a drop-off of donations since her loss,

        The report was that there was a drop off in donations *since she officially announced she was running for President*, not since she lost.

        Seriously, does no one do ICODs anymore?

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      • The appearance of corruption was, I think, more likely with a Clinton win, as she was involved in a business that took international donations while serving as SoS.

        She was involved with a *non-profit that she could not benefit from* that *had specific, government-created rules* about accepting international donations while serving as SoS.

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    • Right now, diplomats think that they have to get a room at Trump’s hotel to curry favor. That *thought* is unacceptable enough, and why Trump should not be allowed to be president while operating a business…

      BTW, this is why it was problematic to have Trump run *at all*. There are quotes not only saying that foreign diplomats now think they should stay at Trump hotels, but some of them *refrained* from staying at Trump hotels previously, because they didn’t want to upset Obama, or because they presumed Clinton would win and they didn’t want to upset her.

      Now, I’m almost 100% certain that neither Obama nor Clinton would give a damn where a foreign diplomat was staying. But having ‘political candidate branded hotels’ *gives the appearance* of our political system working in a way it isn’t supposed to work.

      The way it works in other countries.

      The way it’s going to work under Trump.

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    • Trump is obviously treating his presidency as a family concern but our media is to fleckless to talk about it because they might lose access. The blogosphere might talk about it but very few people read the blogosphere. Another thing is that raw naked corruption is the best case scenario for the Trump administration.

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    • I’ve seen plenty about Trump’s corruption during the primaries, during the campaign, and now leading up to his post-election. The problem is I see these stories in media that is either liberal or considered to be liberal and/or has small readership even in the age of the Internet. Places like TPM, Mother Jones, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Atlantic, NPR.

      One of the lessons I think that needs to be learned from this election is that our media gatekeepers have seemingly little power. Trump received very few newspaper endorsements and the stories about his vulgarity, pettiness, and corruption seem to have worked.

      I have some thoughts and theories about this:

      1. Good liberal bourgeois thoughts on clean business and clean government are minority opinions. A lot of my friends (90 percent of us in liberal bubbles) wondered how the nation could elect Trump because of his Trump U fraud, his refusal to use a blind trust for his assets, his open corruption. Since I am dark, I wonder how many people look at Trump and say “This is what government is for!!! You use it to get rich!!!” How many people nodded in approval when Trump said he was smart for not paying taxes because paying taxes is for goody goody chumps. In short, maybe many people see Trump’s corruption as a feature and not a bug.

      1a. Part of the reason the stories against Trump don’t stick is that the right-wing base has been primed for decades to think of the media as nothing but liars. The Neo-Nazis are even trying to revive an old-Nazi slur against the press, Luggenpresse:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/24/the-ugly-history-of-luegenpresse-a-nazi-slur-shouted-at-a-trump-rally/

      2. There are still a lot of people who knew this about Trump, said they did not trust Trump about it, and they still voted for him. These people could be outright white nationalists or Evangelicals hoping for a decades long lock on the judiciary, or simply people who could not bring themselves to vote for HRC because e-mails…

      3. The Clinton Rules might apply and also Both Sides Do Itism. The MSM rode the non-story of the e-mails to death and tried vainly and forever to find corruption in the Clinton Foundation. The media assumes that people don’t care about policy, the media themselves often don’t care about policy, all they care about is who is winning, who is losing, and who is going to help pay off the mortgage on the country home. This is Jay Rosen’s cult of savviness and is especially bad in cable news:

      Savviness! Deep down, that’s what reporters want to believe in and actually do believe in — their own savviness and the savviness of certain others (including master operators like Karl Rove.) In politics, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.

      Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.) Savviness — that quality of being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, “with it,” and unsentimental in all things political — is, in a sense, their professional religion. They make a cult of it. And it was this cult that Karl Rove understood and exploited for political gain.

      I suspect Trump knows the same thing. Cable News wants access and are willing to be softball throwing boot lickers to get it.

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        • There are many people who idealize being the toughest and baddest person out there. Actually caring about stuff like ethics and priority is a chimp move to them. Disclosure is a chimp move because it shows your weakness. The toughest and baddest people owe nothing to no one. Trump acts like this a lot.

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        • Yup. Political consultants have known for years that acknowledging your mistakes and apologizing is for chumps. The small amount of goodwill it buys you is dwarfed by the amount of ammo it gives your enemies. With this election, we can add transparency and disclosure to the list of things we should want in our leaders that are objectively a liability to our prospective leaders.

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      • 1. People do care about corruption in politics but it tends to be more tribal. They care about corruption when its the other side that does it but not when their side that does it. Its why many people could get really angry about Clinton’s email problems or the Clinton foundation but not Trump’s corruption. Another explanation is that people expect politicians like Trump to be corrupt. Of course the right is only in it for their own. Liberals should be different. Its a double standard. This is also why the free market tends to be championed more by academics rather than actual business people. Business people want to get rich. The free market makes it harder to amass vast fortunes.

        1a. Trump’s more ardent supporters were never going to listen to the press. It turns out that most regular Republican voters didn’t care either.

        2. Nothing to add.

        3. There was a study during the election that showed that the press tends to go harder on politicians that they think will win to keep them honest. Everybody thought that it would be a Clinton victory and the press probably going after her repeatedly would serve the nation better. Everybody knew that Trump was going to loose, so why focus on him. Than it was too late.

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      • I’ll also take corrupt over racist. We can survive corrupt with a loss of veneer and embarrassment. A loss of civil liberty for many minorities is worse.

        That’s only true if you assume that corruption doesn’t *contribute* to racism.

        We *already* have a systematic wealth imbalance in this country, where money is tilted away from minorities. This already means they have a lesser say in the system than non-minorities, statistically.

        We only get political change when the wealthy want it usually because the existing system inconveniences them. At least at *this* point, and prior to this point in history, that pressure is fairly even, so even in the 60s we had businesses going ‘Wait, city streets awash in violence and a looming general strike are bad for our profits. Just do the civil right thing and maybe the black people will stop blocking the streets.’.

        Rule by Chamber of Commerce (The local ones, not that abomination at the national level) means that, sure, no one ever addresses systematic racist and lack of opportunity, but it *at least* means the damn store windows aren’t going to have swastikas painted on them and we don’t have wandering lynch mobs. Those things are *bad for business*.

        And businesses have, at this point, decided that looking *not-racist* is good for them. The business world is, in many ways, more socially liberal than the general population, because they’ve calculated that any specific examples of them being openly prejudice *really hurt their bottom line* with a good segment of the population, and they’ve cleverly made the laws where it isn’t legal to *openly* divert from that and try to just target racists with a segregated store.

        I dislike the fact that corporations and the wealthy operate this country as much as anyone else, and that everyone else is reduced to elections and yelling from the sidelines and hoping that some wealthy people pick up our pet project, but our ‘rulers’ had, at least, set some *minimal* bars for government behavior, and those low bars were often more inclusive than actual society often seemed to be! (As Trump’s election has proven!)

        Just look at what happened with bathroom bills. A lot of companies looked at that, and decided they’d get better PR from a boycott of those states.

        And that’s where we *used* to be at. But with *Trump-level corruption*, we have no idea where the power is going to come from. There are a *lot* of old, very wealthy white men in this country that are not particularly fond of minorities of any sort.

        The wider the base of people controlling the government is, the better off minorities are statistically likely to be. Right now, that base is ‘the wealthy’ and ‘large corporations’, which is *extremely problematic*…but under Trump, the base is likely to narrow to ‘People and corporations a) willing to bribe Trump, b) friends of Trump, c) preferably both’.

        We have almost *no clue* which specific people those are going to be, but it’s probably not going to include a lot of *liberal* wealthy people.

        [Edit: Note that’s just how the Trump-specific corruption could make things more racist. Obviously, you can just have corruption and racism *at the same time*, even if corruption doesn’t lead to racism. So I’m not quite sure why you presented them in conflict anyway.]

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        • David,
          Please, for the love of GOD go read a little bit about the Civil rights movement.
          When you can discuss the role of the Jews in it, then come back and talk.

          Right now you just sound like an idiot.

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          • I am well aware of the role of Jews in building Hillary Clinton’s time machine so she could assassinate Huey Long, stopping Charles Coughlin’s rise to the Senate, and thus erasing his filibuster of the Civil Right Act from history.

            But thanks.

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      • Saul,
        Yeah, I’d take corrupt over stupid any day
        What I won’t take over stupid is MOTHERFUCKING CRAZY.

        Hillary beloved Clinton had the secret service helping her destroy her hotel room after she lost the election. (Literally, the SS concluded that her breaking a large mirror was “too dangerous” so they did it for her)

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    • My favorite part of that Dreher item is the implicit argument that, because Bannon is capable of articulating sophisticated ideas and criticizes crony capitalism, he can’t be a dangerous bigot. Yes, Rod. I’m sure we can agree that Calhoun, Henry Ford, the like were all dullards that loved the east coast business establishment.

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  6. I used to teach a high school level class on the Holocaust. Conservatives in 1930s Germany did not like the Nazis, but they hated the Communists and Social Democrats more. They thought they could control the Nazis. I worry that Ryan and McConnell, and Pence too, think they can control Trump/Bannon, but Bannon seems to disdain all politicians and relish making them look foolish. I worry he will be able to manipulate their hubris to get them to agree to actions, legislative and other, that they would not have considered before.

    I worry that the antipathy towards Muslims, particularly within law enforcement and the military, that the Bush administration held in check, and that smoldered during the Obama administration, is going to show up in the form of legislation or executive orders because there are no more gate keepers within the executive branch.

    I worry that the infotainment industry, aka cable news channels and their ilk, won’t be able to give up the “access” and revenue in order to become actual sources of news. And those journalists who do delve into research and digging out real information rather than manufactured controversies will be sidelined even further by labels of un-Americanism. (I am going to sincerely miss Gwen Iful in the coming years)

    I worry that the triumph of the anti-PC brigade will further erode civility in society, with particular damage happening to school children, my children.

    These are just some of the random worries that are running around in my head these days. Will they all come to pass? Who knows. Perhaps none will and in a few years I can chide myself about over thinking things.

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