The Universal Notebook: Make America white again

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Since the Republican base seems to place a great deal of value on “telling it like it is” and not being “politically correct,” let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Donald Trump is a chauvinist pig. A rich one, a popular one, but a chauvinist pig nonetheless.

In his presidential primary campaign, Trump doesn’t debate policy because he doesn’t have any. He just insults people, especially women. He infamously suggested Fox News debate host Megan Kelly was menstruating after she questioned him on his history of sexism, and he actually criticized Hillary Clinton for taking a bathroom break during a Democratic debate. The man is disgusting in so many ways.

I do, however, understand the appeal The Donald has for angry, white middle-class Americans, especially men. He makes virtues of their vices. He blames illegal aliens and Muslims for everything that’s wrong in the country. He promises to defeat terrorists and “Make America Great Again.” He’s a sexist, racist, xenophobic populist plutocrat with a pantload of money. And he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. No wonder losers love him.

Like Gov. Paul LePage, Trump panders to people’s fears and prejudices. It worked for LePage, but at least our unfortunate governor had a conservative agenda beyond his personal ambitions. Trump does not.

The amazing thing about the Trump phenomenon is that the Republican Party is poised to nominate a man for president who is not really a Republican, never was a conservative, isn’t a Christian in any meaningful way, and who has never done any public service, let alone held public office. Shamelessness has apparently become a core Republican principle. Evangelicals for Trump! Sick!

Trump’s qualifications to be president are that he knows how to build casinos, run beauty contests, host reality TV shows, file for bankruptcy, avoid paying taxes, make piles of money and insult people. And that’s it, Mr. & Mrs. GOP.

When was the last time you heard Trump talk about cutting taxes or downsizing government, things that used to matter to Republicans? If he actually made good on his security and defense promises alone, our taxes would go through the roof to pay for the police state and vast global army Trump wants to create. Or do you think Trump will magically get Mexico to pay for everything?

Bottom line: Trump is not qualified in any meaningful way to be the leader of the free world. He is the American Kim Jong-un, a megalomaniac bully with a bad haircut. He admires Vladimir Putin’s leadership style, for heaven’s sake.

So is Trump really the man Americans want deciding issues of war and peace, foreign policy, and the use of nuclear weapons? Maybe he can decide whether to push the nuclear button on a reality TV show called “The Apocalypse.” Or nominate Supreme Court justices on a game show called “Celebrity Justice.”

I have a good buddy who has pretty much thrown up his hands and decided to vote for Trump just so this dysfunctional country will get the leader it deserves – a rich celebrity.

“In a country drowning in ignorance and greed,” he wrote me, “a country where the ruling class gained immense wealth from two wars that slaughtered the sons and daughters of the poor and working class, Donald Trump would be a perfect president. No one represents greed and ignorance and personal gain better than he does.”

I’m not ready to give up quite yet.

The subtexts to Trump’s “populism” are the sexism and racism; his, and that which lies in the dark heart of America. Asked recently to describe Hillary Clinton in one word, Trump chose “evil.” Why? Benghazi? Email secrecy? Nope, I believe it is because she is a woman. Trump is afraid of powerful, capable women, a weakness he shares with a lot of American men.

Trump’s popularity is based largely on voicing the fears of angry white men who see their centuries of privilege slipping away as women come to power and new waves of immigration change the complexion of America. When he says he wants to “Make America Great Again,” what he’s really saying is “Make American White Again.”

But Trump can’t do either.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the only person in the 2016 race actually qualified to be president on Day One is Clinton. And I say this as an early Bernie Sanders supporter. But there’s too much at stake now to stand on principle. Sanders can’t win the general election and he’s a single-issue – economic justice – candidate. It’s time for Democrats, Independents and Republican moderates to unite behind Clinton to avoid the potential huge disaster that is a President Donald Trump.

Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

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  • AverageJoe99

    Make America great again — bring back slavery, take back women’s suffrage, segregate the schools, … So much more can be done! Internment camps for Muslims prior to deportation. Ban seatbelts, bring back DDT and thalidomide, allow smoking anywhere. America CAN be great again!

  • Chew H Bird

    So a bigot, a criminal, and a socialist walk into a bar… oops, I mean are running for President… Really? While I agree that Mr. Trump is not qualified to be President, neither is someone who has made such deliberate errors in judgement. Mr. Sanders, while I cannot vote for him due to his political beliefs, is (in my uneducated opinion) probably the most honest person of the three, is not afraid of who he is, and absolutely believes he has the correct solution.

    I hope we find a person who has Mr. Sanders apparent earnestness and values, Mr. Trumps ability to let nothing get in his way, Ms. Clinton’s political experience, Carly Fiorina’s eloquence, and Ron Paul’s sense of reality to some from nowhere to lead us to a financially viable future while offering assistance to those in needs and maintaining a strong defensive military without infringing on the rights of individuals.

  • Charles Martel

    NerO had an appeal to the Leftists without so much as anything more than a “community organizer” listed on his resume. Look how well that’s worked out for the country. Trump has his faults but he’s far better than the crook Hillary or the communist disguised as a moderate in Sanders.

    • EABeem

      Donald Trump is World War III waiting in the wings. So why did you change your screen name, Kafir?

      • yathink2011

        Why did you choose to out someone using an anonymous screen name? Does Disqus and The Forecaster know you did that?

        • EABeem

          Kafir is not his real name. It’s his old screen name.

          • yathink2011

            I guess that makes it okay

          • EABeem

            I do know who Charles Martel is, but I would not out anyone online. I do wish more people had the courage to use their own name however. I believe anonymity contributes to the coarseness of internet posts.

          • yathink2011

            Maybe he didn’t want anyone to know he had changed his name, for reasons that only matter to him. New leaf maybe, switching from Sanders to Trump? 🙂 People don’t use their own name, because there isn’t really anything such as free speech. It does lead to some coarseness, as you mentioned, but it also leads to some people speaking their non-coarse mind, with no fear of retribution from their friends, or family, or maybe their employer. I think it’s more good than bad. I think a good column for you to write would be one that examines the Bradley Effect (or Wilder Effect) as it pertains to Donald Trump. It’s possible that it’s in play, and many more people will vote for Donald Trump than admit it. It also relates to caucuses and the intimidation factor to “come over to our side”. Seems odd for a country that places so much emphasis on elections and how sacred they are. Just a thought.

          • EABeem

            I’m afraid Donald Trump is just a fascist with lots of money. He appeals primarily to the uneducated because he verbalizes their fears and prejudices. As to Kafir, I spotted his anti-Muslim rhetoric the moment he appeared as Charles Martel.

          • yathink2011

            You just insulted an enormous amount of Americans, as you do every week in The Forecaster. Typical left wing wacko that calls people names. From the party that likes to get along with everyone, until they disagree with you.

          • EABeem

            I only insulted Donald Trump. That he primarily appeals to uneducated white people is just a statement of fact.

          • Aliyah33

            Have you tried figuring out Trump’s popularity from a different angle instead of why you feel he appeals to uneducated white people? (Btw, I don’t choose Trump, but you did insult a lot of people as yathink2011 points out, because judging by the numbers Trump’s well ahead.)

            In my opinion, Trump’s successful because he’s been an entrepreneur most of his life, and he seems to fully grasp the concepts regarding the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur which include tenacity, risk-taking and willingness to break the rules. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350

            Also my opinion, in trying to understand why people are gravitating towards Trump I believe it’s predominantly anger about many things happening in this country, wide-spread corruption, decline of the middle class, failure of Obama care, etc. Being an entrepreneur, Trump has already figured out how to sell himself and a lot of people are believing he will make the changes Obama and the Democrats have not provided.

          • EABeem

            Obama is not responsible for the problems of this country, which are vastly overstated by conservatives, who are at their heart quite un-American. Obamacare works. The economy has turned around. Terrorists are on the run. The borders are more secure than they have ever been. The appeal of Trump is pure authoritarianism. Americans like to say they love freedom, but what they really love is being told what to do. They want a king. They want a dictator.That’s the appeal of a petty tyrant like LePage as well as a megalomaniac like Trump. And it’s easier to tell ignorant people what to do than it is to tell informed people what to do. Donald Trump is 250 pounds of horse manure wrapped in an American flag. Anyone who votes for him deserves to be insulted. Trump is an insult to American history.

          • Aliyah33

            Obama has played a large part of the problems of this country, and I’m willing to bet most people don’t even have a clue as to what he’s signed for executive orders and what those mean. If Obamacare works, why are “Millions of Americans with health insurance…paying more out-of-pocket costs under Obamacare.” (Source: Sharyl Attkisson, her new show is called “Full Measure” which can be found on the internet.) How can we call Obamacare a success if only 10 to 15 percent say they’re benefiting, and many of the rest go without medical care because it’s too costly? Obamacare was put into place primarily to line the pockets of insurance companies. I voted for Obama the first time; what a huge mistake.

            Your simple statement: “The economy has turned around.” leads me to believe that you’re not reading much outside of Mainstream Media (only 6 corporations own all the mainstream media; that includes not only t.v. but what’s printed, too). If you’ve been reading outside MSM, you’d know our economy isn’t doing well at all, what the amount of derivatives are (U.S. and world-wide) and why it’ll be another grab for citizens’ money as oil prices plummet (our money is based on a “petro dollar”, btw), what bank bail-ins are, and negative interest rates just to name a few.

            If you believe our borders are more secure than ever, it would appear you’ve never lived near our country’s southern border with Mexico, and you’ve never seen billboards with messages about human trafficking, nor stopped at “border” stations that are even 100 miles or more from the actual border (approximately 700,000 people go missing every year in the U.S.). Immigrants, illegal or not, also go missing. Seems true, too, you’ve not looked at the concerns of border patrol agents, and retired border control agents, nor have you seen any signs within our own country warning us of a risk of violence in areas where the federal government prohibits border patrol access, nor have you heard about “rape trees” here in our country.

            Because you continue to insult people supporting Trump, instead of trying to understand the “why” they gravitate towards Trump, you’ll continue banging your head against the proverbial wall. If you’d read the link I’d listed with the op-article by Peggy Noonan there’s a chance you’d understand what she means by the Protected (the ones making the laws, aka elite) and the Unprotected and the likely reason for Trump’s current popularity. I won’t vote for Trump – ever, but at least some of us try to understand why so many will, instead of insulting.

            Lastly, if you want to know why Americans’ IQs have been dropping, and why you’re seeing a continual decline in critical thinking skills, you can also find those answers if you’d research. This is purposeful, not by accident. It’s an omnipotent attitude to berate people for being “sheeple” and indicative of a Protected individual. EABeem, do you believe you’re one of the Protected?

          • Aliyah33

            EABeem, here’s another link which may help you understand Trump’s popularity:

            “Why We’re Ungovernable…The Unprotected Push Back”
            http://thedailycoin.org/?p=65011

  • Jimmy_John67

    I do, however, understand the appeal Bernie has for angry, white middle class Americans. He makes virtues of their vices. He blames corporations and the upper class for everything that’s wrong in the country. He promises to eradicate inequality and create “A Future You Can Believe In” when what he is really saying is “A Furture You Can Be Lazy In”. He panders to people’s anger and envy. He is a class baiting, socialist career politician. And he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. No wonder losers love him.

    Trump and Sanders. Sanders and Trump. Two sides of the same political coin pandering to angry/envious, low information voters.

  • Tj King

    Why do white middle class men have to be “angry uneducated losers?” I cant feel pride in my race? Would you rather me be embarrassed of it? OF COURSE YOU WOULD…

    But Im not. And Im not sorry.

    Great photo author but are you speaking as a white middle class man? Or just a journalist with a clickbait quota?

    • EABeem

      I am writing as an American citizen who finds the fascist overtones of the Trump phenomenon disturbing. As Robert Paxton, an expert on fascism, says in an interview on Slate.com:
      “The use of ethnic stereotypes and exploitation of fear of foreigners is directly out of a fascist’s recipe book. “Making the country great again” sounds exactly like the fascist movements. Concern about national decline, that was one of the most prominent emotional states evoked in fascist discourse, and Trump is using that full-blast, quite illegitimately, because the country isn’t in serious decline, but he’s able to persuade them that it is. That is a fascist stroke. An aggressive foreign policy to arrest the supposed decline. That’s another one. Then, there’s a second level, which is a level of style and technique. He even looks like Mussolini in the way he sticks his lower jaw out, and also the bluster, the skill at sensing the mood of the crowd, the skillful use of media.”
      If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a fascist.

      • Aliyah33

        Most often I will go to the links people provide. A direct link to the article you’ve mentioned is:
        http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2016/02/is_donald_trump_a_fascist_an_expert_on_fascism_weighs_in.html

        The title is: “Is Donald Trump a Fascist? Yes and no.”

        And an excerpt:

        “Isaac Chotiner: As a historian of fascism, what do you make of Trump’s rise?

        Robert Paxton: Well, it’s astonishing and depressing because he’s totally foreign to any of the skills that are wanted in a president of the United States. What we call him is another matter. There are certainly some echoes of fascism, but there are also very profound differences.”

        While I don’t disagree with your observations of “fascist overtones”, it’s patently false to continue the drumbeat that this country is doing just fine…hence, the rise of Donald Trump.

      • Tj King

        I am sorry sir but your argument is just absurd. Do you hear yourself? “Making. The. Country. Great. Again.” How is that in any way Facist? Or, furthermore, how is that slogan ever spun as a negative? Would a stronger idea be a slogan like: “Aiming towards continued destabilization” ?
        Or,
        “Continued oursourcing of American jobs” ?

        Concern about national decline is a play from the Facist rulebook? I think it would be a centerpiece to any form of leadership from democracy to dictatorship. In fact, a leader without concern over national decline wouldn’t be much of a leader at all. You calling it Facism is obtuse and lazy. The country isn’t in serious decline you say? Says who? One article in Slate? Or because mussolini and Trump both have square jaws? Thats literally all you give to back up your claim. Nonsense! Should we beware all square jawed people? Pointing out a physical trait is akin to pointing out the differences in skin color, which is a slippery slope my friend. The use of ethnic stereotypes is right out of the Facist playbook. They teach it in Facisim for dummies 101. I believe they have an exclusive trademark on it! What a joke! Facism is when the people are nothing and the Gov’t is everything. Making yourself less for the “greater good.” Trump is saying to middle class white men (maybe you missed the memo) “Don’t be sorry for who you are, be GREAT” which I take as a motto for individuality and quite the opposite of Facism.

        I am a proud and patriotic American. Obviously Mussolini was on the wrong side of WW2. But wasn’t he a JOURNALIST before that? I’d bet my “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat that he was a better one than you. Maybe it was the shameless misrepresentation in his articles that brought out the Facism in him. But much more likely because he had a prominent jaw.

        It really seems like you are just typing words to type words. This article is HOGWASH. You look like a wannabe Wolf Blitzer.

        Have a nice day.

        • EABeem

          Then how about this from Politico last month. There is a growing recognition that Trump is a fascist.

          “In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism.

          That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it’s very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow.

          Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533#ixzz41rhzVDX9

          • Aliyah33

            Ummm…looked at that one, too. Apparently, the writer is currently working on his dissertation on authoritarians, so that’s a convenient fit…Looks like you read a lot from Politico, because there was another Politico op-piece about how the U.S. is not really in decline (something you’d paraphrased). There’s a label for this: cognitive dissonance.

            What I’m observing is an inability of some to empathize with the realities and experiences of a large number of people; instead pointing to perceived flaws in those same people instead of acknowledging the real conditions affecting them. This is why Trump could win – simply for the fact he gets it.

          • EABeem

            Trump says the economy is in the tubes. It isn’t. Trump says illegal aliens are streaming across the southern border. They aren’t. Trump says he will deport 12 million people, but he won’t say how or how much it will cost. He says he will build a HUGE wall and Mexico will pay for it. But he won’t say how. Trump says he will prohibit all Muslims from entering the country. But he won’t say how or how much it will cost. I read a lot of things across the ideological spectrum online and in print. There is a growing awareness among conservatives and liberals that Trump is a fraud and a fascist. He is 250 pounds of horse manure wrapped in an Americans want, then they will get the leader they deserve. I don’t think Trump will win the general election, even if the GOP lets him hijack their party nomination. If Trump is a Republican, so is Kim Jong Il.

          • Aliyah33

            EABeem hates Trump. I get it. It’s a recurring theme in your op posts.

            I don’t like Trump’s characteristics, but understand where they’re coming from and why he’s successfully captured support (and have already posted those reasons with links to you…please read them). If you can understand business models, then you’ll see how they’re applied across the board, and includes politics. If you don’t want Trump to win, then you’ve got to understand him and his supporters (instead of just resorting to ineffective insults). Read Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Yes, a military model applied to business.

            Speaking of the military, no, our military is also on the decline. Special Ops Forces are now required to buy their own gear, such as GPS devices, helmets, medical kits, etc. What I see in the broader scope is that the U.S. is likely increasing contracts with mercenary companies (do you remember Blackwater? They still exist, just changed their name.) There’s more money going into robotics and drones (some military members getting huge bonuses); less need for boots on the ground. Russia is edging its military into positions where the U.S. was always top dog. Why? Because there’s profit in both war and claiming resources. Want peace on earth? Get rid of the profits corporations reap out of chaos. Another site is deagel (“all things military”); look at the numbers forecasting U.S. in decline. The site’s explanation of gathering information from CIA, IMP, etc., however, cannot fully explain the numbers you’ll find.

            http://www.deagel.com/country/forecast.aspx
            http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/02/26/lacking-basic-gear-special-operators-stuck-buying-own-equipment.html

            Regarding immigrants, I’ve already covered that, too. Have you ever lived anywhere near the U.S. border with Mexico? Did you look up the issues I’d mentioned?

            The economy? Covered that one, too. Instead of showing me some articles with data to support your position (normalcy bias), you simply say, the economy’s fine. Well, it’s not. Here’s some links to help you; the data’s there to show you otherwise. Are these the only sources of information? No. Will your eyes gloss over? Perhaps. But start researching, or get blind-sided. Your choice.

            “This wasn’t supposed to happen: Weekly Earnings Drop Most on Record”
            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-04/wasnt-supposed-happen-us-weekly-earnings-drop-most-record

            Bloomberg Business: “Baltic Dry Shipping Index Drops to All-Time Low”
            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-19/baltic-dry-ship-index-drops-to-record-as-iron-ore-growth-slump

            Lloyd’s of London: Forecasting severe global food shortages
            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-21/uk-government-study-finds-if-nothing-done-expect-civilizations-collapse-2040

            EABeem, you’re insulting a lot of decent, hard-working people when you call them ignorant sheeples for supporting Trump without understanding and empathizing how the majority of people in the U.S. struggle to get by, keep a job, put food on the table, without hopes of ever saving for retirement. And when others point out the blatant corruption, and theft of the taxpayers, it should be acknowledged – simply because it’s the truth. There’s trillions missing from the Pentagon with no accountability, we have no gold in Fort Knox, our country’s debt is over $19 trillion. And you say the emperor’s wearing clothes?

      • Charles Martel

        The country and the West, in general, are declining. They have been for at least several decades. See Samuel Huntington’s, “Clash of Civilizations”.

  • Scott Harriman

    I agreed up until the last paragraph.

    Numerous polls show that Sanders would beat Trump, Cruz and Rubio in a general election while Clinton would beat Trump by a smaller margin and would lose to Cruz and Rubio.

    Think about it. All these angry, uninformed voters don’t care about the Democratic candidates’ policies any more than they care about Trump’s (absent) policies. They see the choice on the Democratic side as being between a corrupt, establishment woman and an honest man who would shake government up and make it work for regular people again.

    • EABeem

      And they think a fascist will make America work for regular people? I have contributed to Sanders, but seeing how easily led around by the nose and noise the American electorate is, I can’t see them electing a Jewish Socialist, which I how he would be portrayed. Polls be damned. They are rarely right.

  • truther

    Okay, genius. Now that Maine has more or less rejected Trump in favor of Cruz, please devote as many columns as possible over the coming months to explaining precisely why Ted Cruz would be a disaster as president. He’s much more dangerous than Trump.

    • EABeem

      Agreed, but I don’t see him winning the nomination. Maine GOP, after all, backed Ron Paul in 2012. Did someone hijack your screen name? I thought we were usually on the same team.

      • truther

        No, still me. My opening sentence may have seemed a bit harsh.

        I’m serious, though. Without in any way condoning Trump’s rhetoric, at this stage I actually think he’s performing a valuable service — he’s 1) provoking a civil war within the Republican Party while simultaneously 2) keeping Cruz and (the no longer dangerous) Rubio at bay.

        It reminds me of Lincoln’s “one war at a time” admonition early in the Civil War, when his cabinet wanted to defend the national honor against Great Britain. Or FDR’s perfect willingness to embrace Stalin during WWII. We need to pick our battles. I honestly consider Trump, at this stage, to be the lesser of two evils. Cruz genuinely scares me because he has shown, in his public service to date, that he will pursue destructive policies that further his own personal gain at the nation’s expense. Trump is a hypothetical. Cruz is an actual case study.