Thursday, August 25, 2016

Price Still Not Paid

Speaking in Sioux City, Iowa in January, Donald Trump made one of his most telling remarks when he boasted “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters."

In a similar vein (even if not widely understood as such), Trump last year had commented “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed.”  In one fell swoop, Trump had mistaken regeneration for communion and trivialized the latter, patronizingly dismissing one of its elements as "my little cracker."

Trump had thus nearly confirmed his earlier statement, having symbolically stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shot somebody, and losing few voters.

He may be doing it again.  Still a work in progress, Trump's immigration policy is nothing if not muddled now that he speaks of a "softening" but still supports his big, beautiful wall.

There is a strategic calculation taking place not only in seeming- maybe- to move to the center, but also in keeping anyone who is paying attention from understanding exactly what he believes about illegal immigration. However, there is one statement Trump has made in the last few days, while he appears to be working out his values in public, which harkens back to confidence that he could shoot someone or make a remark utterly ignorant of Christianity and still not lose any votes.

On Monday night on GOP TV, Trump explained

As far as everybody else, we're going to go through the process,  What people don't know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush, the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I'm going to do the same thing.

Trump's campaign was based- we were told by it- on the understanding that the system is rigged, the country is broken, Bush and Obama were wrong about practically everything, and we must "make America great again."   Now he's going to do the same thing as Obama whose, Trump accurately points out, has been quite active in evicting illegal immigrants from the USA. He will act on immigration, he promises, similarly to the Kenyan-born president who founded ISIL, who "doesn't want to know about" terrorism, and "is more angry at me" (than) at the shooter" who murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. (Below, view Trump adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders inadvertently endorsing the Obama immigration policy.)

Donald Trump may be the liberal Ted Cruz argued he is. Or he may be what he appeared to be, a hateful demagogue (a loving demagogue?).   Alternatively, he all of the above or none of the above, reminiscent of answers to multiple choice questions in secondary school.   Within striking distance of the presidency, however, Trump most clearly is someone who has not paid the electoral price for things he has done as a businessman and said as a presidential candidate.   If you ever see him on Fifth Avenue with a firearm, promptly seek shelter.

Share |

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Nearly Good Idea From Ben Carson

"This was the moment," Senator Barack Obama declared in June, 2008 upon clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, for which we will be able to look back and recognize "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Skeptics might note that with the rate of rise of sea levels growing and the spread of terrorism worldwide, Obama was only slightly more prescient than he was humble. Yet, perhaps the planet has begun to heal, we are leaving our "children a world that's better, kindler, and more just," and we are overcoming egomaniacal politicians and creating nirvana.  It could be- Ben Carson is making sense.

Asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about Hillary Clinton's health, Dr. Carson replied

Well, you know, as a physician, physicians and scientists generally will not make a diagnosis based on something that they see from a long distance.  My diagnosis would be that anybody who is elderly should expose their records. And we the people should know what they are. Because it's a very stressful job.  It's not an eight hour-a day job, it's 24/7 and we need to make sure that is taken care of.

I know, I know. Any nominee for President of either major party should release his or her full medical records. It should not be done based on age, not only to avoid age discrimination but because some people are healthy at 80 years of age and others unhealthy at 40.  Still, Carson wisely suggested both Clinton and Trump should release their medical records.

That should be considered a mild rebuke to  Rudy Giuliani, M.D.  The former New York City mayor, who received his medical degree from The University of Nowhere, had argued on GOP TV that he had witnessed "several signs of illness" in the Democratic nominee and added "go online and put down 'Hillary Clinton illness,' take a look at the videos for yourself."

While you are on online, do a Google search for "Rudy Giuliani gay" and gaze upon "field negro: RUDY GIULIANI'S GAY LOVER COMES OUT AND SAYS....."  It may give your computer a virus, but it's "online" and thus must be true. Rudy says so.

Share |

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

No Apology Necessary

Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press reports

Good Morning America co-anchor Amy Robach has apologized for saying "colored people" on Monday's broadcast of the ABC program.

During a segment on diversity in Hollywood, Robach, who was substituting for Robin Roberts, noted recent criticism for casting white actors "in what one might assume should be a role reserved for colored people."

After the broadcast, Robach released a statement explaining she had meant to say "people of color."

She called the incident "a mistake" and "not at all a reflection of how I feel or speak in my everyday life."


Holland continued "her use of the term sparked criticism on soical media." Many Americans are English-impaired.

If you call someone a  "person of intelligence," you're calling her an  intelligent person. If you refer to her boyfriend as "a person of evil," he is an evil person.   And if that makes you a "person of rudeness," you're a rude person.

News flash to fans of "people of color"- you are labeling individuals "colored people."

This shouldn't be so difficult, and wouldn't be if our interests were accuracy rather than using language for strategic purposes.   Deborah E. McDowell, director of the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, responded to the brouhaha by noting "if you are referring specifically to African Americans, people will frequently be specific and refer to us as African Americans."

Presumably that's because such individuals are in fact African-American.  However, McDowell is blowing smoke up our posterior when she claims "the preferred usage is 'people of color' if you are speaking about people of color broadly."

Uh, no. The preferred usage in the USA is "minorities," "ethnic minorities,"  or a more specific term such as "Asian Americans" or Hispanics/Latinos.  "Colored people" was once (unfortunately) acceptable, then recognized as offensive. Hence, though "people of color" often is used when speaking of "people of color" (whomever they are) broadly,  it is sometimes employed to refer to blacks specifically.

But maybe that's just the point. The speaker gets to use it to mean whatever he wants or even to obsure his actual meaning.

In physics, neither white nor black is defined as a color, black because "it is the absence of light, and therefore color."  Hence, it always was scientifically eccentric to refer to black people as "colored" and it is now absurd to refer to them ever as "people of color."

So, please, drop the "people of color" or "person of color" made-up nomenclature.  Given that the majority of people in the USA are considered "white," others may be considered "black." "African-American" is more accurate, assuming the subject is person or persons descended from the African continent. Meanwhile, "people of color" is no more accurate or appropriate than "colored people," at least according to this person absent of color.

Share |


All Web site content including blog postings are Copyright of Samuel Richter 2010