Xenophobic, Islamophobic and Misogynistic
Donald Trump Accepts
2. Hillary Clinton's Top VP Pick Lets Big Banks Know He's
in Their Corner
3. Michael Moore Predicts Trump Victory
4. Donald Trump’s Convention Speech Rings Terrifying
Historical Alarm Bells
5. Real Time with Bill Maher: New Rule – Capitalism Eats
This is a Nederlog of Friday, July 22, 2016.
is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 6 dotted links: Item
1 is about Trump's acceptance, and I chose an item that displays
Trump's speech; item 2 is about Hillary Clinton's
supposed pick of VP: He is very much for the big banks and for
more deregulations; item 3
is about Michael Moore's conviction that Trump will win the elections
(I am not convinced, but Moore has one important point in which he is
right); item 4 is about a sensible reaction to
Trump's speech (apart from logic); and item 5 is a
repeat from June 6, simply because it is funny, true and very
few say so on American TV.
Also, it is an important reason why I am quite pessimistic, indeed
regardless from who will win the presidential elections (though if
Trump does, it will be a major mess).
Xenophobic, Islamophobic and Misogynistic Donald Trump Accepts
first item today is by Common Dreams staff:
This starts as follows:
Donald Trump officially accepted
the Republican nomination on Thursday night at his party's national
convention in Cleveland, Ohio and delivered a speech vowing to defeat
Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
To answer Sanders' question: I think Trump is
running to become a dictatorial president, and he may well succeed -
see item 3 below and see the copy of Trump's speech
that is in the present article (on line).
At more than an hour and fifteen
minutes, the speech was notable for being long by historical standards
but otherwise contained largely standard xenophobic tropes about
Muslims and immigrants in addition to his right-wing version of faux
populism which bashed "free trade" agreements while making vague, yet
angry, assurances he will somehow "make America great again."
After cataloging a series of national
shortcomings and Clinton's alleged faults, Trump declared at one point
that "I alone can fix this."
Flummoxed by the rhetoric of Trump's
speech, and that comment in particular, Sen. Bernie Sanders exclaimed
in a tweet: "Is this guy running for president or dictator?"
But predicting Trump is very difficult, simply because he is a lunatic narcissist. (I am sorry:
I am a psychologist. )
There also was Medea Benjamin:
Though apparently well-received by the
party faithful within the hall, the speech was briefly interrupted at
one point by social justice activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the
anti-war group CodePink, who displayed a banner reading "Build Bridges,
Not Walls" before she was detained and removed by security.
"Scapegoating immigrants and refugees –
some of the most marginalized and powerless members of our society –
for the problems we face as a nation is deeply racist," said Benjamin
in a statement. "I rose to disrupt Trump’s 'victory speech' tonight to
make sure that no one, whether in the arena or watching in their living
room, could overlook the horrifying racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia
and misogyny that is at the root of Donald Trump’s ideology. We want to
build bridges not walls, and we want peace and love, not hate and war."
She was right to protest. This - fine -
article ends with a copy of the speech of Trump:
In fact, that was the only copy of
the speech that I found (!), when checking the over 30 news sites I
check daily. I have read it and it is simply a load of utter bullshit (and
the link is interesting). Here three selected bits from the
A complete draft of the speech, obtained
and published by Politico ahead of its delivery, follows:
The first is this:
Our Convention occurs at a
moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the
terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician
who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.
statement is a gross lie (there is an economical crisis
for 50 to 90% but not a political one). The other two
statements are total inversions of the truth: The American
police is shooting black men even if they lay on the ground
with their hands in the air.
Then there is this:
I have joined the
political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people
that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me,
which is why I alone can fix it.
I say the
first statement is a total inversion
of the truth: Trump went into politics (i) because he is mad, and (ii)
because he is a powerful man who wants to exploit the many poor better.
In case you doubt (i): The second statement in the quote - "Nobody knows the system better than me,
which is why I alone can fix it" - is an evident case of the grandiose narcissism that ails Trump.
The last statement I selected is this:
I have a message to
every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety
of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore
law and order our country.
So it is the police whose
safety is threatened, according to Trump. How he will "restore law and order" is a total
secret to me, except if he wants to do it by granting the
American police the right to shoot anyone they don't like, without any
Anyway... there is a lot more Trump stuff in the article, and
it is all equally horrible, false, exaggerated, and partial and is all
utter bullshit. But he may win, and will be far from the first
politician who wins with plain bullshit.
Incidentally, this is a recommended article, and I think you should
also (if you did not do it) consider yesterday's
item 3 on the many horrors the GOP 2016 platform favors.
2. Hillary Clinton's Top VP Pick Lets Big Banks Know He's
in Their Corner
The second item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows - and one
reason it is here is to show that while you can't trust the
lunatic Trump, you also cannot trust Hillary Clinton,
although she has the advantage of not being mad:
Sounding another alarm for progressives
wary of the Democratic establishment's support for Wall Street, the man
said to be leading the pack of potential Hillary Clinton running
mates—Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine—has just this week sent a clear
message to big banks: He's in their corner.
Kaine, who is reportedly
Bill Clinton's favorite for the vice presidential slot, signed onto two
letters on Monday pushing for financial deregulation—letters that show
the Clinton camp "how Kaine could be an asset with banking interests on
the fundraising trail," according
to David Dayen at The Intercept on Wednesday.
There is considerably more in the article
about Kaine's letters in which he pleads for - yet more - deregulations
of America's banks - and deregulation
is the main cause of the 2008 crisis, of the very much
increased inequalities, of the protected status of banks that can
do as they please "because they are too big to fail", and of the enormous
gains in riches for the very rich.
But the supposed VP all loves it.
Kaine is also much for the TPP etc.:
I agree with Solomon. There is considerably
more in the article, that is recommended.
Given existing concerns around Kaine's
support for the Trans Pacific Partnership and other so-called "free
trade" deals, plus his mixed
record on reproductive rights and now new proof of his bending to
bankers, it's no wonder RootsAction co-founder and Bernie Sanders
delegate Norman Solomon told Common Dreams on Wednesday that
choosing the Virginia senator or someone like him "would be a very
pronounced middle finger to the 13 million people who voted for Bernie."
3. Michael Moore Predicts Trump Victory
The third item is by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Documentary filmmaker and political
Moore is "sorry to have to be the buzzkill here so early on," he
said from the grounds of the Republican National Convention (RNC) on
Thursday, but he thinks the GOP's presidential nominee Donald Trump "is
going to win. I'm sorry."
I don't know whether Michael Moore
is right, but - as Bill Maher also said Moore is certainly
right in saying what he thinks (he was booed), if only "because
the enemy is complacency" (and it seems Trump and Clinton each poll
around the same now).
Then again, I did not think
Michael Moore's case was very strong. Here is part of what he said:
Speaking during an
interview with HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher,
62-year-old Moore likened a Trump victory to the recent U.K. referendum
to leave the European Union, stating, "I live in Michigan. Let me tell
you, it's going to be the Brexit strategy."
In the wake of the surprise Brexit
outcome, many voters admitted
they had cast a "protest vote" in the belief that the U.K. would
certainly stay in the E.U.
"I think one of the things I've been
concerned about this week is...that we're sitting in our bubble having
a good laugh at this shitshow, as you say, of a [Republican National
Convention], but the truth is that this plays to a lot of people that
he has to win to become the next president," Moore said.
Yes - but one thing I don't quite
get is "the Brexit strategy": That was not strategy, it was basically stupidity. Now
Michael Moore might well have meant that stupidity and igorance are more
important in American elections than many people assume, with which I
also agree, but he did not say so (in the video I saw,
Here is some more on the same theme,
this time by Alexandra Rosenmann on AlterNet:
Moore's reasons are
listed here as titles without text: If you want to read the text as
well click the above dotted link. The first four are these:
1. The Rust Belt/Brexit Strategy
2. The Trump Family
3. Make America Great Again? How About
4. Angry White Men Vote
I will say something
about three of these four points, but keep it brief:
On Brexit, Moore's argument is that Romney would have won from
Obama if he had had 64 electoral votes from 4 states. I agree, but
Moore takes it for granted - it seems: he is not clear - that
all other states will be as they were when
Obama and Romney competed for the presidency, which does not seem
likely to me.
On Reality Television: I think there Moore is right, for what
Trump has to offer is reality TV, and this will continue
if he is elected president. (But this doesn't convey much about his
chances to win.)
On Angry White Men: It seems as if
Trump has to win 7 out of 10 votes of all American white males, if he
is to win the presidential election. Moore argues there are many
uneducated white men, and I agree - but 7 out of 10 is a lot.
So I am far from convinced by the
first four arguments. The fifth one seems a lot better:
5. The Two Sides Don't Even Talk
It's worth investigating the yearlong
conundrum of why poor, middle-American voters identify so well with an
ego-centric real estate mogul from New York. "When you say, he hasn't
read a book in his adult life, you've just described the majority of
Americans. Get out of your bubble, everybody!" Moore urged.
Yes - and as I have urged quite a few
times in Nederlog, for me the main problem in the USA is not
"unhappiness" but widespread stupidity and ignorance. I
wrote this on July 19:
Most Americans are not really intelligent.
Many are rather stupid (as suggested by Bill Maher's often repeated and
never contradicted point that 60% - 6 out of
every 10: a majority - of Americans believe in the literal
truth of Noah's Ark story. ) Few of
the not really intelligent read much: most watch TV in their
free time. Few of the not really intelligent know much,
for they don't read much. And at least half of all Americans is not
intelligent: Half has an IQ below 100.
I am explaining this because I think it
is obviously true, at least for people who are really
intelligent (which is always a minority), and because I think
it is a shame that I do not see these points - viz. the great
influence that the stupidity and
of the majority have to mislead the
choices of the majority - ever discussed. Political
So I agree with Michael Moore that
there now is an American presidential candidate who (probably) hasn't
read a book in his adult life - which is what the majority of all
Americans also didn't do (except for a few, possibly).
I take this quite seriously and agree with
it, but I don't know whether it is sufficient to elect Trump.
(For one thing, stupid people may well be less inclined to vote.)
So my main inference is that Michael Moore
may well be right, but didn't prove his point,
which is my main reason to say that in my opinion the chances are (now,
And incidentally: That is in itself a win
for Trump, simply because his personality and program are quite
mad. In case you doubt this, there is the following article:
4. Donald Trump’s Convention Speech Rings Terrifying Historical
today is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept:
starts as follows:
Trump’s speech tonight accepting the Republican nomination
for president will probably go down as one of the most
frightening pieces of political rhetoric in U.S. history.
Even for people who believe the
danger of genuine authoritarianism on the U.S. right is often
exaggerated, it’s impossible not to hear in Trump’s speech echoes
of the words and strategies of the world’s worst leaders.
Trump had just one message for
Americans: Be afraid. You are under terrible threats from
forces inside and outside your country, and he’s
the only person who can save us.
The scariest part is
how Trump subtly but clearly has begun melding together violence
against U.S. police and terrorism: “The attacks on our police, and the
terrorism in our cities,” he said, “threaten our very way of life.”
This is the favorite and
most dangerous message of demagogues across all space and time. After
all, if we know our external enemies are deeply evil, and our
internal enemies are somehow their allies, we can feel justified in
doing anything at all to our internal enemies. That’s just logic.
You will find the speech in the
article I reviewed in item 1. I agree with Jon
Schwarz, except for the last sentence: That is not logic, it is
(You can feel as bad as you want about "internal enemies", but none
of that logically implies that you are or should be allowed to
do "anything" to them.)
Then there is this, which is quite correct (and I have read
And if anything, Trump’s
speech is actually more terrific, fabulous and huge than those of
previous fanatics, since he promises he’s going to fix everything
overnight. “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will
soon — and I mean very soon — come to an end,” Trump says. “Beginning
on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.”
This use of fear to destroy
democracy is so old that it’s described exactly in
Plato’s Republic, written in Ancient Greece
around 380 B.C.
Tyranny, says Socrates in The Republic, is actually “an outgrowth of
democracy.” And would-be tyrants always in every
instance claim to be shielding regular people from terrible
danger: “This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs;
when he first appears above ground he is a protector.”
Yes, indeed (though Plato's
favorite political system also seems more like a totalitarian
Here is the last bit I'll quote:
As The Republic explains, leaders
like this inevitably end up “standing up in the chariot of
State with the reins in his hand, no longer protector, but tyrant
absolute.” This is how liberty “passes into the harshest
and bitterest form of slavery.”
The good news is that if
you turn off cable news — apparently the only
source of Donald Trump’s knowledge about the world — and go
outside, you’ll find that the U.S. is probably safer today
than it’s ever been.
Despite the misleading
statistics Trump used again tonight, the rate of murder and crime
overall remains far,
far lower than in the past.
You also don’t need to worry about ISIS: even after the massacre
of 49 people in Orlando, it’s likely more Americans will be killed
by bee stings in 2016 than by terrorism.
Yes, indeed: "the U.S. is probably safer today than it’s ever been", though not for all (black men, for example). It is
true if you look at the rates of murders and crimes - but then Trump
does not argue on the basis of real facts: he argues
on the basis of fear,
tinking and bullshit.
This is a recommended article (apart from the brief bit on logic).
5. Real Time with Bill Maher: New Rule – Capitalism Eats
The fifth and last item today is by Bill Maher
and his team, and is a video. In fact, this is a repeat from June 6, until "---" after which there is
a small addition I made today (July 22):
Here is a quote from it (or two):
It's capitalism that we've lead
spread out of control. It has eaten our democracy. It is eating our
middle class. It has eaten our health care system, our prison system,
our news media. It has even eaten our food system so thoroughly that a
lot of our food is something that shouldn't be eaten. Because capitalism is a shark or a tidal wave or a Ponzi scum or
whatever metaphor you use to describe an unthinking force that devours
everything in its path.
I think that's pretty radical for American
TV, and I agree with the first paragraph, though I would explain it in
terms of my contrast between capitalism-with-a-human-face and capitalism-without-a-human-face, and
I am not argueing against the free market:
Just not for everything. It's funny: Older people think socialism is
capitalism's enemy and younger people think it's capitalism's
replacement. But they are both wrong. What socialism is, is
capitalism's lapband. Something to prevent
it from eating everything.
also would insist that the difference between the former and the latter
are the very many deregulations
that (especially) Bill Clinton introduced:
"Deregulation" in fact meant:
Giving all the powers to the few very rich
and their multi-national corporations. And that is what has
and indeed by now is almost finished: Except for the TTIP and
the TISA the
filthy rich have succeeded - over the course of 36 years - in
tely deregulating capitalism, and to return it to the exploitative
Once the TTIP and the TISA are in place, and especially in view of the
NSA and the FBI's now knowing everything about anyone
as all privacy was destroyed by the Patriot Act, the few very
hope to have created a neofascism that will rule forever.
I think they are mistaken and the system will collapse both
economically and because of the rapidly collapsing environment, but the
ruins and the horrors will be enormous.
And this is indeed
what I think has happened: Except for
the TTIP and the TISA the filthy rich have succeeded - over the
course of 36 years - in almost completely deregulating capitalism, and to
return it to the exploitative schemes of the 1890ies-1920ies.
For this reason I am quite pessimistic, whoever wins the
elections - though from the two evils from which
Americans must make a choice, I strongly prefer the one that is
This is not to say "and therefore I know better than you do", but it is
to say that I have studied what it means to be mad, and most
people have not.
 Perhaps I should add that I am an atheist; my
parents were atheists; three out of four of my grandparents were
atheists; and that I also do not live in the sickeningly religious USA,
but in Holland. And if it were Dutchmen who believed in the literal
truth of Noah's Ark Story, I would probably say that either
they are religious extremists or else insane, for it is
impossible for an intelligent and informed man to believe that kind of
utter medieval nonsense.