Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Hillary Clinton, Prescient

The individual below does not represent Trump's America. He is one person doing something bigoted and obnoxious, and stupid because it's being done in broad daylight (or under supermarket lights while being photographed). There aren't many like him and he's virtually inconsequential.

No, sir. This is Trump's America:

Reporters covering President Donald Trump’s visit to a Honeywell plant in Arizona on Tuesday faced nasty words from a small group of his supporters.

In a troubling Twitter thread, Arizona Republic reporter BrieAnna J. Frank reported and posted videos of people mocking reporters for wearing masks and saying such things as, “You’re on the wrong side of history. … You’re on the wrong side of patriotism — you’re like communists.”

In an email interview, Frank told me, “It was disturbing to see so many people be so visibly angered by my (and others’) personal decision to wear a mask. Clearly, wearing a mask is interpreted in some circles as being attached to a political ideology. To be clear, I am completely understanding of folks who question the media or want to engage in good-faith conversations, but I am not tolerant of bullying and harassment, and that is what myself and my colleagues endured today.”

Frank said she and several journalists from the local NBC affiliate were assigned to cover any supporters or protesters during Trump’s visit to the Honeywell facility in Phoenix. Frank said she was able to interview a few, but many turned her down because she was “fake news.”

“They then began raising their voices and saying how we’re only wearing masks to instill fear, that we’re doing more harm than good, and other attacks that were seen on the footage I tweeted,” Frank said.

Frank said one man began testing her knowledge of politics and said to her, “What are you, 2-3 years out of college? What business do you have writing the news?”

Frank said that throughout the harassment, she kept reminding herself to stay calm and to not engage. Eventually, she began recording what was being said.

That guy in the Klan hood?  However reprehensible, one guy is only one guy. Because he was alone, the person can have little impact and he's vulnerable flying solo. However, other characters already have gotten together in the capital of numerous states, including at least Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, New Hampshire, Idaho, Texas, California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. 

Use of masks varies but social distancing is not observed.  There is no need to fear response from law enforcement; the malcontents overwhelmingly are white, occasionally have firearms- and most importantly, are numerous, often numbering in the hundreds. There is safety in numbers, especially (but not exclusively) when police aren't the only ones who are armed.

The heading of a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe (behind a paywall) stated "Hillary Clinton was right about 'deplorables'- now they're streaming out of the basket."  That was in August of 2017. This is now May of 2020.  Imagine how these fine citizens, allegedly driven to vote for Donald Trump in 2016 from "economic discontent," will respond if the incumbent loses the election in 2020.

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