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Understanding conservatives.

MORE DISCLAIMERSBefore I drop tonight's cut and paste job, I have to mention a couple of stories that had me scratching my very bald head today.

They really make me question the sanity of some people.

The first one has to do with Donald Trump Jr. accusing Barack Obama of plagiarizing some of his speech. Think about that for a minute. The young Trump actually lifted the same lines from the president who used them long before his daddy decided to run for president, and yet he has the audacity to accuse the president of lifting his lines. Unbelievable!

"Melania Trump, the elder Trump’s wife, came under fire last week when it was revealed that she had plagiarized from a speech first lady Michelle Obama delivered at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 

Inexplicably, Trump Jr. appears to be trying to spark similar outrage by claiming the president stole material from him. 

He has failed, largely because the line he’s claiming to have coined wasn’t even his ― elected officials, including Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, have been using it for years." 

Then there is Bill O'Reilly, a popular conservative talk show host who actually had the nerve to declare on his popular talk show that slaves were well fed, and had proper  lodging while they built the White House.

It's nothing new, of course, conservatives have a long history of trying to delegitimize  the stain and pain of slavery. But to see one of them do it so openly and without hesitation was shocking.

Now, of course, after all the backlash, he is trying to clean up his statement.

 "As any honest historian knows, in order to keep slaves and free laborers strong, the Washington administration provided meat, bread and other staples, also decent lodging on the grounds of the new presidential building. That is a fact. Not a justification, not a defense of slavery. Just a fact. Anyone who implies a soft-on-slavery message is beneath contempt."'

Bill, that is a "soft on slavery message", and you are beneath contempt. But we all already knew that; your history, both professionally and personally, proves it.  

So on to the must read article of the day:

"It is not Barack Obama’s fault that Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee, any more than the proverbial hurricane is the fault of the proverbial butterfly. But just like the butterfly and the hurricane, the fact that Trump’s ascension comes at the end of the Obama era is hardly a coincidence — and it’s hard to imagine one without the other.

More specifically, Obama’s election helped pave the way for Trumpism: not the idiosyncratic and often incomprehensible campaign that Donald Trump himself is running, but the anti-immigration, anti-trade, "law and order" populist sentiment that he’s brought back into the American mainstream and that will probably outlast his (probable) loss in November.

One of the reasons Trumpism has surprised political and media elites with its passion and strength is that it draws from a deep well of anxiety about America losing its culture and values in the face of (among other things) multiculturalism.

The idea that America is being both overrun and taken over by people with different values is partly inspired by reminders of difference in everyday life: seeing people in the streets who "look like" unauthorized immigrants; having to press 1 for English. But it’s also reinforced by the media, and by who represents America on the world stage.

And for the past eight years, that’s been a man of Kenyan ancestry — with, as Obama himself said during his 2004 convention speech, "a funny name."

Obama’s election was the result of the underlying demographic changes that have provoked so much anxiety that something’s being lost in America. But it was also a symbol of it.
More importantly, it offered a way for people to express those anxieties under the banner of disagreement about politics — which is acceptable in polite company — instead of under the banner of "complaining about nonwhite people," which is generally considered racist and frowned upon discussing openly.

Accusing African Americans or immigrants of being un-American or disloyal is a longstanding theme, but it’s not a polite thing to say. But asking whether President Obama was really born in America anyway, or saying he has a "Kenyan anti-colonialist" outlook because of his father, or darkly hinting that he is more sympathetic to America’s Islamist enemies than its allies because he has something in common with them? All of those are pretty strong and ugly criticisms, but they’re criticisms of a politician — of the most powerful man in the world, in fact. That makes them more acceptable than if they were about someone else.

Birtherism, of course, is the issue that made Donald Trump a conservative hero in 2011. The swell of support he felt then was almost enough to tempt him into a run in 2012, and it was definitely enough to tempt him into a run in 2016.

Trump had been toying with a run for president for decades. And while some of his policy stances have definitely shifted (to say the least) since then, his history as a racial provocateur goes back decades.

But Trump is a good marketer. He understood, when he ran this time, that his ability to make controversial statements was a close relative of the conservative resentment of "political correctness," and the yearning to more openly express certain people’s fears without courting offense or censorship. He saw his time had come." [Source]

This post first appeared on Field Negro, please read the originial post: here

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Understanding conservatives.


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