Notes and Comment Blog

Trump says he’s prepared

Jan 4th, 2019 12:27 pm | By

Trump threw a press conference after meeting with legislators.

Trump “said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time — months or even years,” according to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who spoke to reporters in the White House driveway.
“Absolutely I said that,” Trump affirmed from the Rose Garden shortly afterward. “I don’t think it will, but I’m prepared.”

Sure, he’s prepared, because he won’t lose his house or car or credit record or anything else; the fact that hundreds of thousands of government workers will doesn’t matter to him, because he is Trump and they are not.

Trump said he designated a group of aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, to participate in the discussions, which he described as meant to “determine what we’re going to do about the border.”

It’s so insulting to make grown up legislators share their discussions with Jared Kushner. “Talk to my son-in-law, he’ll fix it.”

CNN reports Trump has said he might declare a national emergency to get the wall. That would be baaaad, because a national emergency gives him all kinds of powers we do not want him to have – it makes him basically a dictator.

Drag for kids

Jan 4th, 2019 12:04 pm | By

Speaking of girls and princesses – do children need drag queens?

An event at which a drag artist will read stories to children has sparked outrage on social media.

Alyssa Van Delle has been invited to Taunton Library in February as part of LGBTQ+ History Month.

The performer will read from children’s books that cover LGBT themes or challenge traditional fairy tales.

But what are “LGBT themes”? They’re a grab-bag, aren’t they, and drag queens don’t exactly represent all such themes. They don’t speak much to the L part, for instance, and by some lights they just plain insult it. Lesbians and gay men share some interests but not all; lesbians are women and gay men are men and there is that familiar hierarchy, that doesn’t just vanish because it’s LGBTQ+.

The tour is also working with Islington Council to introduce a range of books for primary schools covering issues such as gender and sexual identity.

The aim is help youngsters increase their understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

Same problem. The putative LGBTQ+ community covers a lot of issues (“such as gender and sexual identity”), and many of them are highly contested within said community. It’s not clear that drag queens are the ideal ambassadors or educators on this jumble of issues.

Girls will be princesses

Jan 4th, 2019 11:49 am | By

News from Brazil:

The new Minister of Women, the Family and Human Rights, pastor Damares Alves, created more controversy by saying that “a new era has started in Brazil” and that “boys wear blue and girls wear pink.” The remarks were caught on a video that also shows her chanting the sentence and being applauded.

On Wednesday (2nd), she was sworn in, among cries from the audience  of “Hallelujah” and “Praise the Lord,” she made an emotional speech saying there there will be no more “ideological indoctrination” of children and teenagers, and that “girls will be princesses and boys will be princes,” and criticized unnamed media outlets.

Meaning, boys will be dominant and girls will be submissive. Yay?

Alves, known for her religious fervor, extolled her faith more than once during her swearing-in. “The State is secular, but this minister is extremely Christian, and because of that, she believes in God’s design,” she said.

Yes, and that’s the problem: believing in “God’s design” means making your own prejudices and worship of conservative tradition something designed by your friend Mister God, and that makes everything you do sacred and unchallengeable.

H/t soogeeoh at Miscellany Room

Too nice for a girl who struggles

Jan 4th, 2019 11:28 am | By

Yesterday some spiteful anonymous fool on Twitter tried to discredit Ocasio-Cortez. The Times reports:

“Here is America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is,” read the tweet from AnonymousQ1776, which incorrectly described it as a video from her high school days. The account has since been deleted.

Only, nobody saw the clueless nitwit part, probably because it’s not there.

If the video showing her dancing and twirling barefoot on a rooftop was meant to be an embarrassing leak, it backfired badly.

The dance video — a mash-up of 1980s dance moves from the movie “The Breakfast Club” and the music of “Lisztomania,” by the French band Phoenix — proved to be too endearing to many social media users. Some also saw a right-wing effort to undermine Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a liberal Democrat known as “AOC” among her fans.

There’s nothing embarrassing about it.

Since Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Puerto Rican “girl from the Bronx,” was elected in New York in November, she has been a target of conservatives and far-right groups. She won political notice after jolting the Democratic establishment by defeating an incumbent congressman to win the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District in a virtual landslide in June.

But her origin story, which saw her go from being a bartender to a lawmaker, has been dismissed by some on the right. Her clothes have come in for particular scrutiny, with a conservative journalist criticizing a fitted coat and jacket she wore as “too nice for a girl who struggles.”

Has it all, doesn’t it – the focus on clothes, the dismissal as “a girl,” the expectation that people who struggle should be in rags or go home, the pointless mean aggression.

When Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, dressed in white in homage to suffragists and pioneering women in politics, was sworn in on Thursday, Republicans booed her.

For what? Is that normal behavior – booing a colleague when she’s sworn in?

We’re all wallowing in the mud that flows from Trump’s pigsty.

He doesn’t care

Jan 4th, 2019 11:10 am | By

Trump wants the government shutdown to go on for years. That should be grounds for impeachment all by itself.

Emerging from what they called a “sometimes contentious” meeting at the White House, Democratic leaders said Mr. Trump remained adamant that he would not sign spending bills to reopen the shuttered offices unless Congress approved money for his wall on the southern border.

“We told the president we needed the government open,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, told reporters outside the White House. “He resisted. In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

In other words he’s doing a dictator.

On Friday, the president sent a letter to Congress that was an unsubtle rebuff to Democratic leaders with whom he had met on Wednesday. According to a person in the meeting, Ms. Pelosi cut off the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she was reeling off statistics about the border. In his letter, Mr. Trump said that “some of those present did not want to hear the presentation at the time, and so I have instead decided to make the presentation available to all Members of Congress.”

Says the guy who shouted down Pelosi every single time she started to speak in that on-camera meeting a few weeks ago.

The shutdown, which enters its third week on Saturday, has left about 800,000 workers without pay, limited the functions of federal agencies and slowed the court system. There are also concerns that if the shutdown continues for several more weeks, it will harm the overall economy.

All that will please Trump. He likes chaos and destruction, as long as they don’t cause him any discomfort.

90 minutes of random

Jan 3rd, 2019 5:50 pm | By

The White House has the whole transcript of Trump blathering for an hour and a half yesterday. I’m afraid I will have to say more about it, because I just have to.

But the southern border is a very, very high — highly used placed by people that do human trafficking.  How can it get worse than that?

There’s a reason why politicians and wealthy people build walls around their houses and their compounds.  President Obama recently built a wall around his compound.  There’s a reason for it.  And I don’t blame him.

The reasons politicians do it can be different from the reasons rich people do it. One reason Obama needs a lot of security is Donald Trump himself. The birther shit. That crooked puffed-up moron put a bigger target on Obama with the birther shit. So there’s that.

Of course, Obama didn’t build a wall around his house (and he doesn’t have a “compound”).

We’re in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund the border security.  They try and make it like it’s just about the wall, and it is about the wall.  I said, over the weekend, to a number of people that, you know, the wheel, the wall — there are some things that never get old.

No comment necessary.

You know, frankly, if this administration didn’t take place, if another administration came in instead of this administration — namely Mike and myself, and the group around this table — you’d be at war right now.  You’d be having a nice, big, fat war in Asia.  And it wouldn’t be pleasant.  And instead of that, we’re getting along fine.  I’m not in any rush.  I don’t have to rush.  All I know is there’s no rockets; there’s no testing.

If Clinton had won we would now be at war with North Korea? I’m not seeing it.

So, you know, I think my relationship, I will tell you, with the leaders of Europe is very good.  A lot of them don’t even understand how they got away with it for so many years.  I’ll say to Angela, and I’ll say to many of the other leaders — I’m friends with all of them — I’ll say, “How did this ever happen?”  And they sort of go like, “I can’t believe it either.”  They can’t believe it.  You know why?  Because they had presidents and other people within administrations in the past that allowed them to get away.  Like some of them would say, “Well, no one ever asked us to pay.”

Yes, that happened, I’m so sure.

But at least he knows what to do about health care.

So, I’m a great flexible guy.  We were part of that lawsuit, as you know.  And a great judge, highly respected from Texas, said the individual mandate is out.  That means that we should win at the Supreme Court, where this case will go.

Now, when we do, we will sit down with the Democrats and we will come up with great healthcare.  Far better.  Far better.  We’ll have everything included.  We’ll have everything included.  Far better.  Because Obamacare is too expensive, the premiums are way too high, and the deductibles don’t exist.  I mean, the deductibles, you can’t even use it.  The deductible is so high.  Unless you get hit by a tractor, you can’t even use it.  Nobody has ever seen anything like it.  The deductibles are so high.

Obamacare is a tremendous failure.  But now that we won the individual mandate, and that’s — which, by the way, was by far the most unpopular.  It was by far the most unpopular thing in Obamacare.

So there will be much better health insurance, with everything included. He said that twice. Everything included. The premiums will be much lower, and the deductibles will be much lower too. It will be fantastic.

The only question is how it’s going to be funded. He forgot to explain that part. No individual mandate, and of course no Medicare for all or single payer or any socialist thing like that there, so the question is…what? What, then? But he forgot to say. I think he always does forget to say. He thinks he can bring the premiums down and bring the deductibles down and cover everything and ditch the individual mandate and not do anything about the funding. That’s why he always has to forget to explain how that will work.

And then he tells a spectacular lie.

I have great popularity in Utah.  I love the people of Utah.  I did something for them that nobody else would’ve done that has to do with their parks, as you know.  That was a big day — a big thing.  And we did that for a very special person, who is now going to be retiring after 42 years.  You know who I’m talking about.  Our great friend, our great senator, who is really a spectacular man.  And also for Mike Lee, who really pressed it very hard.  So Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee.

And the people of Utah really appreciate what I did for hundreds and hundreds of miles of park that they’ll be able to now use, as opposed to not.

No. Developers will be able to “use” the hundreds and hundreds of miles of park, while everyone else will not.

I’ll save his explanation of recent Russian history for later.

Why are we there?

Jan 3rd, 2019 5:04 pm | By

This particular two minute segment is quite startlingly idiotic and hence frightening.

There seems to be a frozen silence in the room while he blurts out all this uncomprehending shit.

A gross abuse of power

Jan 3rd, 2019 4:37 pm | By

Wait, Trump did what now?

opens Google news


It was after 4 in the afternoon and the briefing room was half empty.

Minutes after 4:00 p.m., a voice came on the overhead speaker announcing that press secretary Sarah Sanders would hold a briefing in “five minutes.”
The scramble was on.
For a White House that has held increasingly rare briefings, the short notice was unusual yet not surprising. And as the press appearances have shrunk, the importance of each opportunity to ask questions has increased.

Surprises. No briefings, punctuated with “Surprise! Briefing in 5 minutes!” As if it were reality tv as opposed to the government of a heavily armed country.

And when Sanders took the podium, instead of taking questions she introduced a “very special guest” — the President of the United States.
“Hello, everybody, beautiful place, I haven’t seen it,” President Donald Trump said as he walked in, wishing the press assembled a happy new year.
Thursday marked Trump’s first official appearance at the briefing room podium nearly two years into his administration. But despite being billed as a press briefing, and taking place in the briefing room, Trump did not deliver a briefing (he took no questions) and instead gave a statement pressing for his border wall.

Because Twitter isn’t enough.

On the first day of divided government during his administration, Trump cited infrastructure as one area where the White House could work with the Democratic-controlled House. Then, Trump made a push for his border wall, introducing some members of the National Border Patrol Council and National ICE Council.

The President said he had been sitting in the Oval Office with the border patrol agents in a previously scheduled meeting and decided he wanted to “see the press” so the agents could “tell them about the importance of the wall.”
“First time I’ve ever done this. The first time I’ve done it, and I’ve done it for you (the National Border Patrol Council members). And I’m very proud of it,” he said.
Trump refused to take questions about the government shutdown, walking out of the briefing room along with the border patrol agents, Sanders, communications director Bill Shine and social media director Dan Scavino, a mere eight minutes after entering.

So that was the bringing active law enforcement agents to the podium for a marketing opportunity.

Hot pink dress

Jan 3rd, 2019 1:27 pm | By


A punishing left hook

Jan 3rd, 2019 12:53 pm | By

The Times is covering the new Congress live. They’re talking about it in the usual horse-race terms, as if the only reasons to object to Trump were purely political reasons.

Maggie Haberman:

Even before she was elected speaker, Ms. Pelosi on Thursday morning started a historic day with a left hook, suggesting that a sitting president could be indicted. She made the comments in an interview with the “Today” show on NBC, when the host, Savannah Guthrie, asked if she agreed that the Justice Department guidelines against indicting a sitting president should be honored by the special counsel, who is investigating whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians seeking to put him in the White House.

“Left hook” – never mind left hook, the man is a criminal.

Nicholas Fandos:

The impeachment article, first introduced in July 2017 by Representative Brad Sherman, is not going anywhere soon. As Ms. Pelosi said Thursday, Democratic leaders will seriously consider impeachment only after Robert S. Mueller III completes his work. But it speaks to the desire — already considerable among liberals — to punish Mr. Trump that could shape House Democrats’ new majority.

It’s not primarily a desire to punish – the most urgent need is to stop him.

Freedom and equality

Jan 3rd, 2019 12:27 pm | By

The usual view is that freedom and equality are in tension; the philosopher Elizabeth Anderson argues that they’re interlaced.

Anderson is the chair of the University of Michigan’s department of philosophy and a champion of the view that equality and freedom are mutually dependent, enmeshed in changing conditions through time. Working at the intersection of moral and political philosophy, social science, and economics, she has become a leading theorist of democracy and social justice. She has built a case, elaborated across decades, that equality is the basis for a free society. Her work, drawing on real-world problems and information, has helped to redefine the way contemporary philosophy is done, leading what might be called the Michigan school of thought. Because she brings together ideas from both the left and the right to battle increasing inequality, Anderson may be the philosopher best suited to this awkward moment in American life. She builds a democratic frame for a society in which people come from different places and are predisposed to disagree.

She is something of a pragmatist.

In 2004, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy asked Anderson to compose its entry on the moral philosophy of John Dewey, who helped carry pragmatist methods into the social realm. Dewey had an idea of democracy as a system of good habits that began in civil life. He was an anti-ideologue with an eye for pluralism. Anderson was quickly smitten. In 2013, when she was elevated to Michigan’s highest professorship and got to name her chair—a kind of academic spirit animal—she styled herself the John Dewey Distinguished University Professor. “Dewey argued that the primary problems for ethics in the modern world concerned the ways society ought to be organized, rather than personal decisions of the individual,” Anderson wrote in her Stanford Encyclopedia entry. As she turned to problems in her work and her life, his thought became a crucial guide.

She is on the board of Hypatia.

Anderson’s closest contact with a firestorm came last year, when Hypatia, a feminist philosophy journal on whose board she sat, was pressured to retract an article exploring similarities between Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition and Rachel Dolezal’s identification as a black woman. The board ultimately stood by its publication, with a statement rich in Andersonian language. “The Board affirms Hypatia’s commitment to pluralist inquiry,” it read. The suggestion was that how you are, not who you are, supplies a legitimate basis for social action.

One of Anderson’s premises is that the project of fairness is more shared, across the spectrum, than many people suppose. Some years ago, she began to envisage a comprehensive history of egalitarianism. How did egalitarian ideas emerge, and how had they changed? How did they relate to ideas about the uses and abuses of state power?

“Originally, I thought, I’ll start mid-seventeenth century,” she said. “But then you realize, well, you can’t really deal with that until you deal with the Protestant radicals of the Reformation, like the Anabaptists. But the Anabaptists are harking back to early Christian egalitarian communities—so maybe I have to start looking at, like, the New Testament. Hah-hah-hah!” Eventually, Anderson ended up at the hunter-gatherers. It occurred to her that hundreds of thousands of years might be a lot to cover in one book, so she decided that it would be two books, or three. Possibly five. Regardless, it will take her a while to finish, maybe the rest of her life. But it will be her big project, the unified picture that she leaves behind.

The piece is a bit of a slog to read, to tell the truth, because it’s as much chatty personal profile as it is substantive philosophical mini-biography, but there are some interesting ideas to dig out.

And now for something completely different

Jan 3rd, 2019 11:33 am | By

Better days.

What independent Justice Department?

Jan 3rd, 2019 10:51 am | By

Want to watch Matthew Whitaker kissing Trump’s bum at that Cabinet meeting?

Here you go.

Tell the sluts to stay out

Jan 3rd, 2019 10:31 am | By

Two women entered a building.

Violent protests have paralysed the southern Indian state of Kerala after two women made history by entering a prominent Hindu temple.

Schools across the state are closed and public transport too has been suspended. One person was killed in clashes on Wednesday.

Here’s a bit of advice. If your god or gods think their Rules of Exclusion are so important that you should risk death to defend them, you need a new god or gods. Rules of Exclusion are a bad thing. Seeing people as contaminants, even if it’s only One Week Per Month contamination, is an idea that leads straight to horrors. Don’t have gods of that kind, because they’re bad gods.

Right-wing groups, supported by India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded a state-wide shutdown. They wanted schools, colleges and businesses to remain closed as a sign of protest.

The state government, which supports the Supreme Court ruling, stepped up security and deployed police across the state for protection.

But fearing violence, schools and shops were closed. And buses did not run as protesters blocked highways and other roads.

In total, more than 700 people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday. Sixty police officers were injured, more than 80 public buses were damaged and at least a dozen police vehicles were attacked.

All because of a crazed male terror of menstrual blood and of fuckable women.

Police told news agency AFP that at least 15 people were injured after protesters hurled stones at them.

According to local media reports, around 100 people were arrested by police in one district, where a mob assaulted a woman police officer.

Several journalists were also attacked in the protests that engulfed the state capital, Thiruvathapuram. Police said they are investigating the matter.

Women and journalists; it sounds so familiar.

The Kerala state government supports the court verdict and Mr Vijayan has repeatedly said his government will provide the security to enforce it.

But India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has argued that the court ruling is an attack on Hindu values.

The issue has become increasingly contentious in the run-up to India’s general election, scheduled for April and May. Critics have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of pursuing a religiously divisive agenda to court the BJP’s mostly-Hindu support base.

Riling up the base. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Even the protests have turned into an ideological battle between the right and the left – most of the protesters belong to right-wing groups affiliated to the BJP; and those who support the court ruling are affiliated to Kerala’s left-wing coalition government.

“Even”? Of course they have, that’s what protests are – ideological battles, usually between some form of the right and the left.

Maybe the BJP could figure out a way to get rid of menstruation entirely.

This way to the gas

Jan 2nd, 2019 5:54 pm | By

Oh, we’re doing this again.

US agents have fired tear gas over the border into Mexico at migrants trying to enter the country illegally.

Around 150 Central Americans tried to make the crossing near the town of Tijuana to the south of California on New Year’s Day.

One US official described the migrants as a “violent mob”.

Was his name Ronald Stump?

The power of united women

Jan 2nd, 2019 5:46 pm | By

Here they are – a few of the MILLION who formed the chain.

Hingedness level not high today

Jan 2nd, 2019 5:07 pm | By

More from that meeting, because it’s just too…

Ten percent of the population, that would be. Suuuure there are.

He could be hugely popular everywhere if he wanted to. Everywhere. Hugely. But he doesn’t want to.

He thinks he would have been a good general

Jan 2nd, 2019 4:06 pm | By

More on Trump’s doolally meeting:

After twelve days of doing, according to his official schedule, absolutely nothing, Donald Trump assembled a photo-op-slash-cabinet-meeting today. Sort of. It was, as usual, heavily steeped in weird. There was a two-month-old meme poster of Trump’s face displayed prominently in the center of the table, for some reason.

Well let’s talk about that. Why was it there? To double the thrill? To double the sense of awe and mystery? To intimidate? Does he think he’s successful at any of those things? Maybe he thinks a big image of him is magic in some way? Maybe he thinks he looks good in it?

He blasted deceased Sen. John McCain by name for voting against an Obamacare repeal, and was full of spite for a host of other Republicans. “Jeff Flake is selling real estate, whatever he’s doing.”

On departed Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis: “What has he done for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not too good.”

Wait. He thinks his cabinet is supposed to do things for him? He doesn’t realize it’s supposed to be for a somewhat larger number of people?

On his own military prowess: “I think I would have been a good general, but who knows?”

On Syria: “Look, we don’t want Syria … we’re talking about sand and death. That’s what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and death.”

On drones, yes, drones: “I know more about drones than anybody.”

On, um, wheels: “The wheel, the wall, some things never get old.”

He’s still on that?

H/t Skeletor

That will be £740 each if you want your passports back

Jan 2nd, 2019 12:01 pm | By

How not to help girls and women escaping from forced marriage:

The Foreign Office is seeking to recoup the cost of repatriating young women who have been forced into marriages overseas, it has been revealed, prompting charities to criticise the government for making women “pay for their protection”.

An investigation found that many of the 82 victims of forced marriage repatriated in 2016-17 had to pay for living costs incurred between making distress calls and returning home, as well as their airfare, while others received loans from the Foreign Office.

They had to give up their passports as a condition of the loan until they repaid the debt, with a surcharge added to unpaid bills after six months.

That. That’s how not to do it. Don’t do it that way.

Four young British women imprisoned and tortured at a “correctional” religious school in Somalia ahead of expected forced marriages told the Times they each had to pay £740 to return home, where the burden of the loans allegedly contributed towards them becoming destitute.

Pragna Patel, the founder of Southall Black Sisters, a charity that helps women escape from forced marriages, told the Times: “These are vulnerable young women who have been taken abroad through no fault of their own and forced into slavery, and yet they are being asked to pay for their protection. It can’t be right. Protecting victims from forced marriage must be seen as a fundamental right and not a profit-making business.”

What was done to the women would be crimes if done in the UK, and the CPS doesn’t make victims pay for prosecutions, I’m pretty sure. How about not doing that when it happens abroad either?

Guest post: Paranoia juice in the water supply

Jan 2nd, 2019 11:52 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on $1000 a ticket.

As an American (sigh), my experience here in the Midwest is that the people who vote for Trump (and those who didn’t) pretty much regard the president almost as a king in terms of power (he isn’t; the Constitution left him weak, but 20th century presidents grabbed tons of power and Congress let them do it). The Trump voters actually think that stuff is good, and will make America Great Again, by which they mean 1950s for women and children, and 1880s for business [women baking cookies all day and vacuuming in pearls; children being whacked in school when they act up (not their children, because their children are brought up ‘right’); children being required to pray, salute the flag, and have devotionals in school; and business not being fettered by unions, environmental regulations, or minimum wage].

They actually believe that making the world better for everyone actually made it worse for them, mostly because they believe in their own superiority and are sure that in a world freed from ‘liberal tinkering’ they would be on the top of the heap, rich and powerful, and respected both at work and at home. They are not aware that they are where they are because of unions, college grants/loans that allowed them to get their education, and women who did all the damn work so they could succeed. They do not realize that their most likely location in the hierarchy would be working long ass days without a guaranteed lunch or weekend, being paid in scrip they can only use at the country store, and dying young in an industrial accident. That’s because, in this part of the country at least, the educational system has been afraid to tell people anything other than the rah rah creation story of the country where simple farmers went out and won the war without any help (I had no idea the French helped us until college, where history was taught somewhat more accurately). They have been taught that they are the chosen, filled with manifest destiny, and that Western men (and only men) have built things, created things, discovered things, killed things, and established things.

In their world, history was simple and clean until FDR messed it up with the New Deal, and liberals took over and started running everything. Even when Reagan was in power, even when Bush was in power, even with Trump in power, even when conservatives have all three branches of government, they still believe liberals, Jews, women, and gays hold all the power and control all the governmental functions, money, and everything else. No matter that none of those groups have ever held power in this country, and that every small step we’ve taken we’ve had to fight, sweat, and die for, they believe that we have swept through the nation, carpet bombing conservative communities, taking sledgehammers to churches, and castrating males, while demanding worship and veneration (not all literally, of course, because they can see that the churches are still standing and that their balls are intact, but in a real way nevertheless).

So when Trump comes along, they embrace him because he believes those things, too, and is willing to say out loud what these guys have been saying (most of them out loud, in spite of what you hear in the media) for years. I know they’ve been saying it out loud, because I live right here in the heartland, where I can hear it even with my hands over my ears. It’s the same dynamic I saw here one summer when the farmers moaned that there had been so much rain they couldn’t get the irrigators in the fields. They can see the truth, it’s obvious, but they can’t see it because it doesn’t fit the picture of reality they have built.

One woman on the City Council translated to women running everything, though we’ve never had a woman mayor (and the woman who ran for mayor in 2016 was roundly defeated). One gay pride parade on the main street of town (which is not, of course, Main Street) and the gays have taken over everything. One Muslim working at our school teaching economics, and the Muslims are plotting to destroy the white man. Anywhere they see someone in power who does not look like them, and it’s Armageddon for middle-class white males. It’s like someone put paranoia juice in the water supply, or something.