“It is red America, Donald Trump-voting America, that has seen the worst effects of the pandemic. With divergent vaccination rates, with the unvaccinated population that’s most at risk being made up of Republicans at three times the rate of Democrats, that gap is poised to grow.”
“If we break down monthly case and death figures by county vote in 2020, we see that Trump counties have been hardest hit by the pandemic on a per capita basis since last year. If we throw in vaccination rates, we see that it is those same counties that have been the slowest to get vaccinated.”
These 6 red and blue states tell you everything you need to know about where Delta is hitting hardest — and why
Politics is hardly the only factor driving vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. But in a sign of how big a factor politics has become — and how the politicization of vaccination is shaping where the hypercontagious Delta variant is hitting hardest — an average of nearly twice as many people per capita are now hospitalized for COVID-19 in states that voted for Donald Trump in 2020 as in states that voted for Joe Biden, according to a Yahoo News analysis.
And while blue states have vaccinated (on average) more than half their residents, red states lag a dozen percentage points behind.
Comparing six specific states — Vermont, New Jersey, Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada — only throws this troubling trend into sharper relief.
Hospitalization and vaccination numbers are, of course, not unrelated. Studies have repeatedly shown that all approved COVID vaccines reduce the risk of hospitalization (and death) by more than 95 percent. Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 97 percent of all COVID patients in hospitals right now are unvaccinated.
As a result, the states with more unvaccinated residents also tend to be the states with more hospitalized residents — and these states tend to be disproportionately conservative.
Just how disproportionately conservative? Glance at any state-by-state list of COVID data and the pattern becomes clear. Just three of the 25 states with the lowest vaccination rates voted for Biden; just three of the 25 states with the highest vaccination rates voted for Trump. By the same token, just 1 of the 10 states with the highest hospitalization rates (Nevada) voted for Biden — and just 1 of the 10 states with the lowest hospitalization rates (South Dakota) voted for Trump.
When you put it all together, the big picture is as striking as it is unsettling. According to Yahoo’s analysis, the average full-vaccination rate across states that voted for Biden was 54.4 percent as of Monday morning. The average full-vaccination rate across states that voted for Trump was far lower: just 41.7 percent.
In turn, these undervaccinated red states are now bearing the brunt of Delta’s impact. Across the Biden states, today’s average hospitalization rate is just 6 people for every 100,000 residents. Across the Trump states, that same rate is now nearly twice as high: 11.2 per 100,000.
Tragically, this gap will probably only widen in the weeks ahead. Over the last 14 days, blue-state hospitalizations have grown at an average rate of 24.4 percent. Meanwhile, red-state hospitalizations have grown at an average rate of 60 percent — more than twice as fast.
Vermont leads the nation with 67 percent of its population fully vaccinated; there, hospitalizations have actually fallen over the past two weeks to a rate of less than 1 patient per 100,000 residents. Nearby Massachusetts (64 percent), Maine (63 percent), Connecticut (63 percent) and New Hampshire (58 percent) have similarly stratospheric vaccination rates — and not a single one currently has more than 4 patients per 100,000 residents in the hospital because of COVID-19.
Most Trump states are not faring as well. At 31 patients for every 100,000 residents, Florida now has the second-highest hospitalization rate in the nation, and more people (upwards of 6,600) are in the hospital for COVID there than in any other state — a tally that has doubled over the last two weeks and is fast approaching record levels. Less than half of Floridians (48 percent) are vaccinated, and an even lower number tend to be vaccinated across north Florida, the epicenter of the state’s outbreak. Low vaccination rates in Missouri (41 percent) and Arkansas (36 percent) have propelled hospitalization rates there to equally high levels.
Nearby Louisiana appears to be next on Delta’s list. There, hospitalizations have hit 22 patients per 100,000 residents after rising 174 percent over the last two weeks — faster than anywhere else in America. Just 37 percent of Louisianans are fully vaccinated.
More than two-thirds of unvaccinated Trump voters (68 percent) said they would “never” get vaccinated
The Anti-Vax, Anti-Mask Trumpturds in my area and state? Are dropping like flies on Trump’s shit.
In my area alone? In the last two months? Twenty-seven Trumpturds, protesting against vaccine and mask mandates? Infected each other during their protests and? They died.
One of these Trumpturds was a pastor of a local church, and he? Infected hundreds of people in his church. Why? Because that asshole decided masks or vaccines did not work, so he held a huge rally, with hundreds who showed up getting infected.
Now? Thanks to these fucking scumbag shitstains on the underwear of humanity anti vax, anti-mask Trumpturds? Our county, which actually had the lowest rate of Covid? Now? Not only has the highest rate of Covid in the state, but the whole fucking New England area.
And still? Even with all the death and infections? These Can’t Understand Normal Thinking fuckstains? Are still protesting the vaccine and mask mandates.
These fucking shitstains sure do not like my attitude I have been open about on this. I say FUCK THEM. I AM GLAD THESE ASSHOLES ARE FUCKING DEAD AND ROTTING IN THEIR GRAVES AND FOR EACH OF THESE SONS OF A BITCHES WHO DIED? WELL THESE TRUMPTURDS HAVE FINALLY DONE THEIR PART TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!
Now personally? I do not want any Trumpturd to get vaccinated. I do not want them to wear masks. I also want these shitstains on the underwear of humanity to continue to hold their gathering of circle jerks and family generational inbreeding, so they can keep infecting each other and die from Covid. And I also hope this O Variant takes out hundreds of thousands of these losers of the US.
BECAUSE AGAIN, IN MY OPINION? EACH AND EVERY FUCKING ONE OF THESE TRUMPTURDS, THESE SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY WHO DIES OF COVID? BECAUSE THEY LISTENED TO CUCKER CARLSON AND OTHERS? NOT ONLY DESERVE THEIR FUCKING FATES, BUT ARE FINALY DOING THEIR PART TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!
THESE DEAD, FASCIST TRAITOR SCUMBAGS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY OTHER ATTEMPTS AT HIGH TREASON, INSURRECTIONS OR OTHER SHIT FOR THEIR FUCKING FAILED HERO DOTARD DIAPER DONNIE TRUMP. THESE CUNTS WANT TO DIE FOR DONNIE? SO THEY CAN OWN THE LIBS? WELL I SAY WHY THE FUCK STOP THEM, I SAY LET THESE SONS OF A BITCHES DIE. LET THEM ALL FUCKING DIE.
YES, THE ONLY GOOD TRUMPTURD? IS A FUCKING DEAD TRUMPTURD.
Yes, these Trumpturds dying, drowning in their own snot, in the red states? Brings great joy to my heart and soul. I fucking love it. I love them dying, I love it when they are in the ICU’s, on ventilators, dying. I even love that they are infecting and murdering their own rug rat inbred offspring, which stops another generation of these shitstains on the underwear of humanity from causing further problems.
None of these Cunts of Trump will be around to vote, or cause shit. And that is a bonus which actually does Make America Great Again.
And ? I also love how sometimes? I will go to one of these local Trumpturds who died of Covid graves and leave a little present behind for them.
I say fuck the Trumpturds, Fuck the Repugnant Traitors, and Fuck Donald J Trump. May they all die, choking to death on their own snot.
Watching ignorant gun owners — all male — armed with semi-automatic rifles and pistols, storm a state capitol, sticking their ugly faces inches away from very tolerant state police, it makes one want to scream loudly. Donald Trump, you ignorant asshole, there “are no good people here.” Period. Seeing these low IQ creatures wave their […]
First off I want to clue these mental midget moron, white supremacist Trumpturd terrorist a few things. Then I will get onto the response to this story by Shinebone Star
Attention all Tyrant Terrorist Trumpturds. Such big and bad people you are huh? Well let me clue you in on something. Your Kevlar vests? ONLY protect your chest area. Now? As a true warrior and studier of battlefield techniques? I would not waste my time shooting you where you are taught typically, center mass. Oh heck no. First? I would use the AR-15? To take all of you out at your knee caps. Hard for you morons to advance if you cannot walk right? Then? Kill shot to each and every one of your unprotected heads.
You fools could not handle a True Warrior on a real battlefield. So grow the fuck up and put your penis substitutes away and go pick some crops in the fields.
Oh and you all believe we libertards are all latte drinking pussies who do not believe in the 2nd Amendment or owning and possessing guns. You idiots keep thinking that way. But we do not need an arsenal to take out a bunch of you freakshow shitstains on the underwear of humanity Fascist Trumpturds. Oh hell no. And we also know many other tactics to take out large numbers of you mental midget moron, deluxe outhouse dwelling, generational inbred, farm animal fucking, red hat wearing Trumpanzees.
And since President Barack Obama sat in office? You little Can’t Understand Normal Thinking punks been spouting off how you twatwaffles are going to drop your micro-nuts and start a Civil War and take over. That is now going on almost 12 years of you cunts running your motor mouths about how fucking tough you are. And? YOU STILL haven’t dropped your micro-nuts. Yeah, you are all just like your Commander Bone Spurs, fucking all talk and no action. Sure, some of your mental midget morons have popped off and they then punked out and committed suicide either by their own hands or by having law enforcement do it for them.
So come on you punks. Really set off. So we the True Patriots of the United States can show you how much of a bunch of losers you are again, just like we showed you generational inbreds during the first Civil War, and WWI and WWII. Oh that is right. Most of you never learned fucking history, because you dropped out of second grade home schooling cause either you knocked up your teacher or got knocked up by your teacher and had to fucking marry them. But hey, if you want to truly repeat history and lose again? Let’s fucking rock and roll.
Response to Shinebone Star posting
It’s a game with the NRA and gun manufacturers and sellers. Ever notice when the NRA goes nuts and say that they are coming to take your guns, gun sales go through the roof? And? If you see the stocks of gun companies? The “their coming to take your guns” spiels typically come when their sales go down? Then the fools of Faux and Right Wing “News” are told hey, they are coming to take your guns, so they then get all scared and go to a gun store and buy, buy, buy, even though they already are armed to the teeth. What are they going to do with all those guns? They think they are Rambo’s and can carry two or three assault weapons, a couple of shotguns and a few side arms and fight in a real firefight? Most of these fools never were on a real battlefield. Sure, some were, but the majority would drop a deuce in their diapers if they were on a real battlefield with people shooting back at them with real bullets.
These losers speak about their rights? What about the rights of the others? What about the right for us to decide whether we want to stick to rules such as social distancing, wearing masks, etc? WTH right do these mental midget morons have in telling us what to do especially when they are the minority? You are correct, these are basically punk wanna-be terrorists. Well if they want to be such tough guys and gals? Here is a clue. Sign up for the Army or the Marines. Then after you EARN your SEAL, or Airborne, or Ranger patches on your arms, AND served at least two tours of duty on the front lines? Then you got a right to carry what these fools are carrying.
Most of these idiots think they are “warriors” because they play video games, but like I said, let them try being on a real battlefield, with bullets flying around you, bombs going off around you, etc…then let’s see how tough these idiots truly are.
Margaret, if you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, this week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner. And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy. To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.
A dead brothel owner. I’m sorry. I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.
Now, I know that some of you Democrats out there, especially in Florida, Georgia and Texas, are filling a bit blue today and not in a good Blue Wave way. We’re feeling blue because we fell in love with Andrew, Beto and Stacey and hoped that racists in red states would be standing in line at a Cracker Barrel instead of a polling station. Damn you Cracker Barrel! What happened to your all-you-can-eat chicken fried opossum steak on Tuesdays?
Honestly, it was going to be an uphill battle and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, this is Florida, Georgia and Texas we are talking about. They are GOP red mixed with a little scarlet, crimson, cardinal, ruby, magenta, brick, carmine, rose, vermilion, cerise, coral, and burgundy. The fact that Beto was even in the hunt and the other two are still too close to call is pretty amazing. Sure, it stung. But we really do have a great deal to celebrate. We took back the House. Our wave was big enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression, sending several hundred state and federal members of the GOP packing.
If you are feeling a bit down, maybe this will pick you up. Here are a few of my favorite casualties:
Karen Handel. Remember her? This homophobic, she-devil in wolf’s clothing managed to destroy the otherwise stellar reputation of the Susan G Komen Foundation when she picked a fight with Planned Parenthood. Komen recovered somewhat but it never returned to its former glory. Well, now a Democrat in Georgia named Lucy McBath is my new favorite person and Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s newest Representative. Kiss my ass Karen. The only organization I liked more than Komen was Planned Parenthood and you damaged one in order to attack the other. Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Ever. By the way, McBath ran on more gun control… in Georgia.
Kim Davis. This walking hairball in need of a hairstyle became famous in Kentucky for refusing to give marriage licenses to same sex couples, claiming Jesus told her to hate people. She then crashed a party pretending to be the Pope’s BFF and became the white trash darling for white trash religious nutjobs everywhere when she traveled to Romania to fight gay marriage there. Wait. What? Listen, folks. The cheese slid off this gal’s cracker years ago. Thank goodness that Kentucky Democrats dropped a house on Kim. To be honest, she lost by less than 700 votes, but that was to be expected considering she was related to, married to, divorced by and otherwise had children out of wedlock with a sizable percentage of the male voting population in the county. Hypocrisy is what the GOP now calls a family value.
Jason Lewis. I bet you don’t remember this asshat from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District unless you’re a slut… I mean a woman… I mean a slut. Lewis complained that political correctness had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even call a woman a slut anymore without getting in trouble. He lost to Democrat Angie Craig. I don’t know you Angie, but I love you regardless of what Jason is most assuredly calling you at this moment.
Jack Phillips. He’s probably the most famous baker in Colorado, but not because his cakes taste good, bad or otherwise. Jack is the Colorado Baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and took his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. He then tried to sue the Governor of Colorado because he didn’t want to bake a pink and blue cake for a transgender woman. Guess what? Jack now has a new Governor in Colorado. His name is Jared Polis and he’s gay. Please, please, please Governor Polis, order your inauguration cake from Jack if for no other reason than shits and giggles.
Kevin Yoder. I know nothing about this congressman from Kansas except he was a Republican in Kansas, which is rarely a good thing. He lost to a Native American woman named Sharice Davids. Now Sharice has a remarkable story and you should read about it. But I don’t want to talk about that now because I am being a little selfish. I just want to sit a minute and imagine Donald Trump watching Fox News on Tuesday when they gave a Democratic pick up seat to a woman who happens to be Native American and who also happens to be a lesbian and a mixed, martial arts fighter. Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee… Sharice honey, if you meet the President, please kick him where it counts.
Barbara Comstock. When Florida Parkland Students came to talk to her about gun violence, she refused to meet with them. Barbara lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Bye, bye Barbara. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Listen. I was sad. I wanted Beto as much as anyone. I really did. But here in Texas we picked up so many down ballot Democrats because of Beto that I don’t think being sad is an appropriate way to remember Beto, or Stacey or Andrew. And maybe its not even over for Stacey who is still fighting the good fight. Good luck Stacey. Every vote counts. But no. We can’t be down. We have just too much to be excited about.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who gave us the Affordable Care Act the last time she had that title
That is huge. We took back the House and turned a huge section of the country blue, while Trump kept Georgia, Florida and Texas red… barely. We changed everything. He changed nothing.
Maybe the Blue Wave wasn’t as big in some parts of the country as others. As it swept from east to west across the country like an invading army of immigrants… no wait. As it swept from east to west, it hit patches of gerrymandering and mountains of voter suppression. But it indeed swept across the country no matter how large or small it seemed at times. One thing we know for sure, if left unchecked, Trump could bring out the worst in all of us. And sadly, he’s proud of that. But then again, he’s an idiot. The blue wave came, and it was big enough. I mean it. Really.
(BELTON, Mo.) — A man fatally injured by the FBI was planning a bomb attack on a medical facility in the Kansas City area, the agency said in a news release Wednesday.
Timothy Wilson, 36, was injured Tuesday when FBI agents served a probable cause arrest warrant in Belton after a long-running domestic terrorism investigation, according to a statement Wednesday from Timothy Langan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City office.
The statement did not detail what happened when agents served the warrant, but said Wilson was armed when he was injured and died later at a hospital.
A monthslong investigation determined that Wilson was a potentially violent extremist, motivated by religious, racial and anti-government beliefs, according to the statement. He had planned for several months to carry out a bombing and decided to target a Kansas City-area hospital using a “vehicle-borne” improvised explosive.
Wilson chose a hospital that was providing critical care during the current coronavirus pandemic and had taken steps to acquire materials to build the bomb in an attempt to cause “severe harm and mass casualties,” according to the statement.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force kept close watch on Wilson and was prepared to arrest him when he tried to pick up what he thought was a bomb, although there was no bomb, the statement said. The FBI worked with federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys office in Kansas City during the investigation.
Goddamn foul, evil fucking people. Yeah, the ones doing this? Are Traitor Trumps Trumpanzees. They have said again and again they were going to do this because? They just simply hate. In their hate of Democrats, Liberals or others who do not defend and support their fucking shitstain on the underwear of humanity, Donald J Trump? They feel they got a right to go out and purposefully infect people, even though they know by doing so? Could cause people to die.
Trump and his Trumpsters are in fact? The most evil fucks in our country. They all deserve to reap back what they have sown and any of these fucking disgusting degenerates caught doing this? Should be given the death penalty because they are purposefully going out and committing First Degree Murder by their actions.
FBI warning: groups threatening to target police, Jews, non-whites by “infecting them with coronavirus”
One thing you can always count on. Times like this bring the nuts out of the closet, and this one is no exception. Intelligence gathered by the FBI is warning that neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are encouraging members who contract coronavirus to spread the virus to police and Jews. The alert, which went out on Thursday, notified local police agencies that extremists are asking their followers to use spray bottles to spread bodily fluids to cops on the street. Extremist groups are also directing followers to spread the disease to Jews by going to “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”
A Man Who Allegedly Coughed At A Woman And Said He Has The Coronavirus Was Charged With Making Terrorist Threats
George Falcone is not the first New Jersey resident to allegedly threaten to spread the virus, though the state Attorney General’s Office said he is the only one charged with terrorist threats by the state so far.
A grocery store threw out $35,000 in food that a woman intentionally coughed on, sparking coronavirus fears, police said
A woman purposely coughed on $35,000 worth of food at a Pennsylvania grocery store, police said. She likely faces criminal charges for coughing, one of the primary ways the novel coronavirus spreads.
The unnamed woman entered small grocery chain Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township and started coughing on produce, bakery items, meat and other merchandise, chain co-owner Joe Fasula wrote on Facebook.
New Jersey man charged with terrorism after coughing on woman, claiming coronavirus
George Falcone has been charged with harassment, obstruction and making terroristic threats in the third degree. Amid the chaos and fear over the deadly COVID-19, several individuals are making headlines, and sparking fury among social media users, for threatening to spread the virus. New Jersey resident George Falcone, 50, is the latest to exploit the growing health crisis.
Extremists Use Coronavirus to Advance Racist, Conspiratorial Agendas
Others eagerly imagine the coronavirus as a bioweapon against their enemies. One Telegram user advised readers that if they get the virus they should go to the bank, take out hundreds of dollars in small bills, and, “take the shekels home and cough and lick them…Then go on a shopping spree!” In one meme shared on Telegram, a soldier and the virus are depicted preparing to fight together against people targeted by white supremacists, including minorities, the LGBTQ community, and “communists.” A 4chan commenter wrote, “Send the sick to Israel – if you already die at least take out as many Jews as you can.”
ABC News suspended one of its veteran correspondents late Tuesday for unguarded remarks he made in a video by operatives of Project Veritas, the conservative group that records “undercover” footage of mainstream journalists to bolster its accusations of media bias.
The network disciplined David Wright, who reports for ABC’s signature news programs, including “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” several people confirmed late Tuesday.
“I don’t think we’re terribly interested in voters,” he said, echoing gripes about the superficiality of some aspects of White House and campaign coverage that have been raised by journalists for decades. Also: “Commercial imperative is incompatible with news.”
At one point he says, “We don’t hold him him to account. We also don’t give him credit for what things he does do.” In subtitles, Project Veritas indicated that “him” stood for President Trump. He refers to Trump at another point as “the f—— president.”
But ABC likely was also alarmed at Wright’s criticism of ABC News, which is owned by the Disney Co. At another point, he raises another longstanding critique of ABC News — that it blends news with promotion of Disney-owned movies and TV programs.
“Like now you can’t watch Good Morning America without there being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing,” he says. “It’s all self-promotional.”
In a statement Wednesday, ABC News said, “Any action that damages our reputation for fairness and impartiality or gives the appearance of compromising it harms ABC News and the individuals involved. David Wright has been suspended, and to avoid any possible appearance of bias, he will be reassigned away from political coverage when he returns.”
In the video, which the group said was taken while Wright covered the New Hampshire primary, a voice asks the reporter if he considers himself “a Democratic socialist,” and Wright seems to reply, “more than that, I consider myself a socialist.”
Wright, 56, is one of ABC’s most seasoned and versatile correspondents, having joined the network nearly 20 years ago. He has covered the White House and was “Nightline’s” lead political reporter during the 2016 presidential campaign. He has also periodically reported from the Middle East and Europe, including covering the Notre Dame cathedral fire in Paris last year. He shared a 2004 Emmy Award for his reporting from Iraq and shared a Peabody Award for reporting in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Project Veritas conducts undercover “stings” of journalists and others it considers allied with liberal causes or organizations. Its operatives often befriend the organization’s targets using aliases and lull them into casual conversations in bars or restaurants that are then surreptitiously recorded. The videos are edited and released publicly in an effort to show what O’Keefe calls liberal bias or allegedly corrupt practices.
Although O’Keefe has defended the organization’s methods as journalistically sound, mainstream news organizations have largely abandoned the practice of infiltrating businesses or organizations to record video without a subject’s knowledge or consent. News organizations generally consider the practice deceptive, and doing so can subject them to criminal trespass penalties.
O’Keefe’s group has targeted media organizations such as CNN, NPR and the New York Times, as well as Democratic political operatives.
The hypocrisy of Reich-Wing Media such as Fox News, Breibart, Reich Wing pundits like Limbaugh and Jones and of course? Project Veritas
Here is just a sample of the Fox News Pundits attacks against President Barack Obama
Grinning While Joking About Killing A Candidate Senator Barack Obama
The incident happen in an exchange with the FOX News anchor. When asked her opinion of the recent scandal surrounding some comments made by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which Trotta described by saying that, “some are reading [it] as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama.” Hemmer quickly corrected Trotta, having noticed that she had said “Osama” when she meant “Obama.” At this point, Trotta said, “Obama. Well…both if we could!” Trotta then laughed gleefully.
What prompted Trotta to joke about the assassination of Sen. Obama was her apparent inability to differentiate between Sen. Obama and the terrorist leader responsible for the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001.
Since Sen. Obama first declared his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for president, right-wing pundits on FOX News and a variety of other broadcast outlets have regularly called the Sen. Obama by the name “Osama” in a systematic propaganda campaign to convince the American public that a sitting member of their government has secret ties to terrorists.
As if she were providing a punchline to that long-running propaganda campaign, Trotta made known that the conclusions the public should draw were (1) that Sen. Obama and Osama bin Laden are equivalent, and (2) they both deserve to be assassinated.
Sean Hannity and other right-wing conservatives are calling out President Barack Obama‘s presidential portrait, accusing the painting of having hidden perversion.
In a blog post published on Tuesday and subsequently deleted on Tuesday, the Fox News anchor’s staff reports that “industry insiders” believe Kehinde Wiley secretly placed concealed images of sperm throughout his painting.
“Controversy surrounding Kehinde Wiley’s wildly non-traditional portrait of the Commander-in-Chief broke out within minutes of its unveiling; with industry insiders claiming the artist secretly inserted his trademark technique -concealing images of sperm within his paintings,” the post reads.
Hannity’s blog post also brings up comments Wiley made in 2012 about a provocative art piece he painted of a Black woman beheading a white woman. “It’s sort of a play on the ‘kill whitey’ thing,” he told New York Magazine.
Obama portraits target of racism
The attacks on Obama’s portrait have been ongoing since going public. While most of America was captivated by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama‘s recently unveiled presidential portraits at the National Gallery, some right-wing and racist online users have used it as an opportunity to spread hate.
You don’t have to search far before coming across racist and misogynistic attacks aimed at the Obamas on Twitter, with some comparing the political couple to monkey (no surprise there), among other racist undertones.
In one photoshopped version of Barack Obama’s portrait, a user claims to have “fixed” it by portraying the former president behind bars. Another manipulated Michelle Obama’s face in not so flattering ways. Others are so grotesque it’s almost disbelieving.
Say Sean Hannity said in 2008 that Obama’s willingness to meet with North Korea was “disturbing” while Trump’s “willingness to meet with North Korea is a huge foreign policy win.”
Imagine a reporter from MSNBC, CNN or other news organizations saying what this scumbag Sean Handjob Hannity of Fox News has said about President Barack Obama, about Donald J Trump? Why Sean would be crying, melting down, demanding they be fired. But it is perfectly ok for old Sean here to spew the bigotry, hate and lies about President Barack Obama all he wants and if someone demands he gets fired for it? Why he screams how the liberal Fake Media is trying to silence him.
LAURA INGRAHAM OF FOX NEWS
If any news organization such as MSNBC, CNN or others were to have a reporter say these things about Donald J Trump? Fox News and Project Veritas would DEMAND they be fired. But hey, Laura Ingraham can spew any racist, bigoted bullshit she wants from her outhouse piehole against President Barack Obama cause that? Is her First Amendment right to free speech of bigotry.
MORE FOX NEWS PUNDITS ATTACKING PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN DISGUSTING WAYS
Ahhh yes, the good old Double Standard Fox News pundits apply between President Barack Obama and Donald J Trump.
President Obama goes golfing? That is bad. Trump goes golfing? Why that is ok.
President Obama talks to North Korea, why how dare he!! Trump does the same? Oh that is great statesmanship.
Fox contributors suspended for on-air profanity against Obama
Fox News suspended two contributors after they used profane language in reacting to President Obama’s Oval Office speech. Video provided by Newsy
HOW DARE THEY SUSPEND THESE FINE FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTERS FOR SPEAKING THEIR MIND AND THE TRUTH ABOUT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SO WHAT IF THEY SWORE.
BUT!!! DON’T YOU DARE SWEAR ABOUT DONALD J TRUMP DAMMIT!!! AND DON’T YOU DARE CALL OUT DONALD J TRUMP WHEN HE SPEWS HIS RACISM, BIGOTRY, MISOGYNY AND HIS SWEARS!!!
Now? Have these same Fox News pundits blamed Donald J Trump for ALL the recent shootings of police officers? Or are they continuing to blame President Barack Obama for them?
Interesting isn’t it? Fox News pundits can spew how President Barack Obama is always angry and has thin skin. But don’t you dare say anything about that Orange Menace in the White House, Donald J Trump and his psychotic Twitter meltdowns, or his rages at his White KKKLan Rallies, or any of the hate and anger he has spewed out of his well used outhouse piehole, or all his thin skin reactions to anyone who says he is wrong or did something illegal
President Barack Obama made a passing remark about the Crusades and Fox News pundit Eric Bolling has a meltdown over it. Of course.
But? If a Democrat called for the arrest of Donald J Trump? Why Charles Krauthammer would have a complete and total meltdown now wouldn’t he? But it is ok for him to call for the arrest of President Barack Obama though.
A Sample of Fox News Pundit Attacks against Democrats
But? It was perfectly ok for Fox News pundits, Reich-Wing News and the Repugnants to work for 8 years to de-legitimize the Presidency of Barack Obama.
But, but, but Judge Jeanine, what about the nonstop hate, bigotry, hypocrisy and hysteria spewed by you and your fellow Fox News pundits as well as Trump, his Trumpanzees and the Repugnants? Oh, that’s different huh? That is perfectly ok with you because YOU help with the spreading of Donald J Trump’s hate-fest.
But Gaetz and the rest of the Trump Crew had a meltdown over Donald J Trump being called insane.
Here is an example of how the Conservatives and Republicans and Fox News will defend any Trump attack against any news organization exposing Trump for his shit. From just one of the MANY Trump supporting news site called Mad World News
CNN Slams Trump, Feels His Wrath When He Unleashes Nasty Counterattack
It’s clear the story was crafted to undermine the President. CNN, since the election, has poised itself as an anti-Trump network. Their hope is to prevent the President from having success, perhaps even ruin his chances at reelection.
The story made Trump appear to be lying about a meeting his son had with a Russian lawyer. The meeting itself was pointless but is used by the left as “proof” the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. CNN’s story was trying to throw weight behind that tired lie. It’s obvious what they were trying to do. They failed, yet they still push the lie.
Now, they are calling out the president, directly calling him a liar. Does anyone need more proof that CNN is a corrupt, biased, and pathetic network?
Trump quickly dropped a bomb on them.
The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function. But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time. Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, & AT&T should fire him to save credibility!
What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks – with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!
CNN is woefully unprepared for a war of words with Donald Trump. He is a master at confrontation, negotiation, and positioning. He rose to the top of one of the most cut-throat industries on the planet. He also went on to defeat a political rival who had over $2 billion and most of the media behind her. That’s not to mention the many millions who back the president with all their hearts.
Does CNN think they can win against a man like this? They can’t even get a handful of people to watch their programming!
This story is far from over. Make no mistake: CNN will continue to push their false story. They will double down on the lies, even as it ruins their reputation. They will then find new lies to push, thinking it will be enough to take the president down. But something tells me it’s going to blow up in their faces.
Isn’t it amazing? That Fox News and many others could say outright that President Barack Obama was a liar, and he was not lying, or they can insult, denigrate and defame him, they can spew racist, bigoted, shit at him, but oh hell no you never should call Donald J Trump a liar because that would be insulting the man. Even when he is bagged, cold out dead to stop telling these lies? Oh you are not to call him out on them because they are not lies. Nor should you EVER call out Donald J Trump’s bigotry, racism, misogyny, his failed marriages and adulteries, or his pedophile perversions, or his sexual assaults of women, or his nasty, disgusting shit he has said about his daughters, or his frauds and crimes he has been busted for. Oh no, you should never, EVER speak about anything like this.
You also should not mind how Fox News and the Racist Pigs of Trump? Trashed First Lady Michelle Obama and not speak about that, because that makes you the racist and bigot, but you also should NEVER speak of the First Skank currently in the White House who posed nude in lesbian layouts and got to this country under a fake Genius Visa. Or how she dressed up like a five dollar street whore in a see through top, leather mini skirt and come fuck me heels, oh no, we should only talk about the time that Michelle Obama went to church in a sleeveless dress and how that brought real shame to the title of First Lady huh Fox News and Reich Wingers?
Project Veritas I am calling you out
So the Conservative Fascists of Project Veritas believes that NO Democrat, or NO reporter should EVER speak ill of Traitor Trump, the Repugnants or anything against the Conservative Agenda of ChristoFascism and the Rich over the Poor huh? And if you do? Then you should be fired from your job.
BUT Project Veritas does not give a flying fuck about Fox News, Briebart or other Reich-Wing Conservative Hypocrite scumbags who do the very things that Project Veritas decries the Democrat or Liberal or “Fake News” are doing.
So? I guess it will now be my duty to expose Project Veritas for their bias and discrimination and their support and defense of these Faux Nitwit Newsless, Breibart Reich-Wing Conservative ChristoFascist scumbag shitstains on the underwear of humanity.
Get it fucking right Project Veritas…I hate Donald J Trump and EVERYTHING he stands for. I hate the Russian Repugnants like Moscow Mitch McConnell, Lenningrad Lindsey Graham, Devin the Cow Nunes and the rest of the Repugnants who sold their souls to Putin’s Puppet, Dotard Donnie Drumplestillskin. They are ALL Traitors in my book and they all deserve to be dragged to Gitmo, thrown up against the wall and executed for High Treason Against the United States.
So expose me assholes, cause I admit? The best thing Donald J Trump could do for this country?
IS FUCKING SHOOT HIMSELF.
To learn more about the Right Wing Media and the harm it has done to us? Get this book.
Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy by Jeffrey Feldman
Outright Barbarous turns the spotlight on the rhetorical thuggery of the Right, exposing how the verbal excesses are being perpetrated not just by media blowhards like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh but by conservative thought leaders. But Feldman does more than point fingers; he offers practical steps for cleaning up our too-often-toxic political discourse.”—Arianna Huffington
“Since 9/11, America has been contaminated by the violence of right-wing language, in the speeches of Republican politicians and the rantings of the talking heads on Fox News and on conservative talk radio. Jeffrey Feldman’s insightful and important book cuts through the violence, and shows how we can restore the democratic ideals that America was founded upon.”—Thom Hartmann
“Jeffrey Feldman warns us to ignore the right wing noise machine at our own peril. Backed by right-wing think tanks, foundations and millionaire families, conservative standard bearers will continue to enrich themselves at the cost of a more civil, equitable society. Read Outright Barbarous to find out what they’re really saying, and how we can stop it!”—Sam Seder
Since September 11, 2001, most attempts at reasoned political debate in America have been severely limited by the violent language of the Right. In books and on television, it has become a regular ritual for conservative pundits and intellectuals to infuse violence—particularly against Democrats or liberals—into discussions of the major issues of the day, such as terrorism, immigration and gun violence. The result is the creation of a shrill discourse that silences opposition and destroys any chance for serious, civil debate.
In Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy, political language expert Jeffrey Feldman analyzes the words of leading conservative figures Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, James Dobson, Wayne LaPierre, Pat Buchanan and Bill O’Reilly to show how the Right’s language of violence is polluting our public discourse and limiting the free exchange of ideas. In addition to exposing the conservative obsession with violence, Feldman also shows how the civic discussion in America can be reshaped without the use of violent language, creating a healthier political climate.
An expert on language and political messaging, Jeffrey Feldman is the author of Framing the Debate: Famous Presidential Speeches and How Progressives Can Use Them to Change the Conversation (and Win Elections.) He is also editor of the influential blog, Frameshop http://frameshopisopen.com and teaches at New York University.
Editor’s note: The 45th president’s approval ratings remain steady despite numerous scandals and missteps. Below is an Oct. 29, 2018, column in which Hedges analyzes Donald Trump’s seemingly indefatigable appeal. On Tuesday, Truthdig will publish a new column by Hedges, one that will present the text of a speech he will give that same day in London in support of Julian Assange.
Cult leaders arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.
Donald Trump has transformed the decayed carcass of the Republican Party into a cult. All cults are personality cults. They are extensions of the cult leaders. The cult reflects the leader’s prejudices, worldview, personal style and ideas. Trump did not create the yearning for a cult leader. Huge segments of the population, betrayed by the established elites, were conditioned for a cult leader. They were desperately looking for someone to rescue them and solve their problems. They found their cult leader in the New York real estate developer and reality television show star. Only when we recognize Trump as a cult leader, and many of those who support him as cult followers, will we understand where we are headed and how we must resist.
It was 40 years ago next month that a messianic preacher named Jim Jones convinced or forced more than 900 of his followers, including roughly 280 children, to die by ingesting a cyanide-laced drink. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge and address the impending crisis of ecocide and the massive mismanagement of the economy by kleptocrats, his bellicosity, his threats against Iran and China and the withdrawal from nuclear arms treaties, along with his demonization of all who oppose him, ensure our cultural and, if left unchecked, physical extinction. Cult leaders are driven, at their core, by the death instinct, the instinct to annihilate and destroy rather than nurture and create. Trump shares many of the characteristics of Jones as well as other cult leaders including Marshall Herff Applewhite and Bonnie Lu Nettles, the founders of the Heaven’s Gate cult; the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who led the Unification Church; Credonia Mwerinde, who led the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda; Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong; and David Koresh, who led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. Cult leaders are narcissists. They demand obsequious fawning and total obedience. They prize loyalty above competence. They wield absolute control. They do not tolerate criticism. They are deeply insecure, a trait they attempt to cover up with bombastic grandiosity. They are amoral and emotionally and physically abusive. They see those around them as objects to be manipulated for their own empowerment, enjoyment and often sadistic entertainment. All those outside the cult are branded as forces of evil, prompting an epic battle whose natural expression is violence.
“A cult is a mirror of what is inside the cult leader,” Margaret Thaler Singer wrote in “Cults in Our Midst.” “He has no restraints on him. He can make his fantasies and desires come alive in the world he creates around him. He can lead people to do his bidding. He can make the surrounding world really his world. What most cult leaders achieve is akin to the fantasies of a child at play, creating a world with toys and utensils. In that play world, the child feels omnipotent and creates a realm of his own for a few minutes or a few hours. He moves the toy dolls about. They do his bidding. They speak his words back to him. He punishes them any way he wants. He is all-powerful and makes his fantasy come alive. When I see the sand tables and the collections of toys some child therapists have in their offices, I think that a cult leader must look about and place people in his created world much as a child creates on the sand table a world that reflects his or her desires and fantasies. The difference is that the cult leader has actual humans doing his bidding as he makes a world around him that springs from inside his own head.”
George Orwell understood that cult leaders manipulate followers primarily through language, not force. This linguistic manipulation is a gradual process. It is rooted in continual mental chaos and verbal confusion. Lies, conspiracy theories, outlandish ideas and contradictory statements that defy reality and fact soon paralyze the opposition. The opposition, with every attempt to counter this absurdism with the rational—such as the decision by Barack Obama to make his birth certificate public or by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to release the results of her DNA test to prove she has Native American ancestry—plays to the cult leader. The cult leader does not take his or her statements seriously and often denies ever making them, even when they are documented. Lies and truth do not matter. The language of the cult leader is designed exclusively to appeal to the emotional needs of those in the cult.
“Hitler kept his enemies in a state of constant confusion and diplomatic upheaval,” Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.” “They never knew what this unpredictable madman was going to do next. Hitler was never logical, because he knew that that was what he was expected to be. Logic can be met with logic, while illogic cannot—it confuses those who think straight. The Big Lie and monotonously repeated nonsense have more emotional appeal in a cold war than logic and reason. While the enemy is still searching for a reasonable counter-argument to the first lie, the totalitarians can assault him with another.”
The cult leader grooms followers to speak in the language of hate and violence. The cult leader constantly paints a picture of an existential threat, often invented, that puts the cult followers in danger. Trump is doing this by demonizing the caravan of some 4,000 immigrants, most from Honduras, moving through southern Mexico. Caravans of immigrants, are, in fact, nothing new. The beleaguered and impoverished asylum seekers, including many families with children, are 1,000 miles from the Texas border. But Trump, aided by nearly nonstop coverage by Fox News and Christian broadcasting, is using the caravan to terrify his followers, just as he, along with these media outlets, portrayed the protesters who flooded the U.S. capital to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as unruly mobs. Trump claims the Democrats want to open the border to these “criminals” and to “unknown Middle Easterners” who are, he suggests, radical jihadists. Christian broadcasting operations, such as Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club, splice pictures of marching jihadists in black uniforms cradling automatic weapons into the video shots of the caravan.
The fear mongering and rhetoric of hate and violence, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia, eventually lead to widespread acts of violence against those the cult leader defines as the enemy. The 13 explosive devices sent last week to Trump critics and leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, along with George Soros, James Clapper and CNN, allegedly by Cesar Sayoc, an ex-stripper and fanatic Trump supporter who was living out of his van, herald more violence. Trump, tossing gasoline on the flames, used this assault against much of the leadership of the Democratic Party to again attack the press, or, as he calls it, “the enemy of the people.” “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” he tweeted. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its acts, FAST!”
It should come as no surprise that on Saturday another enraged American white male, his fury and despair seemingly stoked by the diatribes and conspiracy theories of the far right, entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and massacred eight men and three women as he shouted anti-Semitic abuse. Shot by police and arrested at the scene was Robert Bowers, who believes that Jewish groups are aiding the caravan of immigrants in southern Mexico. He was armed with a military-style AR-15 assault rifle, plus three handguns. The proliferation of easily accessible high-caliber weapons, coupled with the division of the country into the blessed and the damned by Trump and his fellow cultists, threatens to turn the landscape of the United States into one that resembles Mexico, where at least 145 people in politics, including 48 candidates and pre-candidates, along with party leaders and campaign workers, have been assassinated over the last 12 months, according to Etellekt, a risk analysis firm in Mexico. There have been 627 incidents of violence against politicians, 206 threats and acts of intimidation, 57 firearm assaults and 52 attacks on family members that resulted in 50 fatalities. Trump’s response to the mass shooting at the synagogue was to say places of worship should have armed guards, a call for further proliferation of firearms. Look south if you want a vision of our future.
Domestic terrorism and nihilistic violence are the natural outcomes of the economic, social and political stagnation, the total seizure of power by a corporate cabal and oligarchic elite, and the contamination of civil discourse by cult leaders. The weaponization of language is proliferating, as seen in the vile rhetoric that characterizes many political campaigns for the midterm elections, including the racist robocall sent out against Andrew Gillum, an African-American candidate for the governorship of Florida. “Well, hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I’ll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida,” a man speaking in a caricature of a black dialect accompanied by jungle noises said in the robocall. Cults externalize evil. Evil is embodied in the demonized other, whether desperate immigrants, black political candidates and voters, or the Democratic Party. The only way to purge this “evil” and restore America to “greatness” is to eradicate these human contaminants.
The cult leader, unlike a traditional politician, makes no effort to reach out to his opponents. The cult leader seeks to widen the divisions. The leader brands those outside the cult as irredeemable. The leader seeks the omnipotence to crush those who do not kneel in adoration. The followers, yearning to be protected and empowered by the cult leader, seek to give the cult leader omnipotence. Democratic norms, an impediment to the leader’s omnipotence, are attacked and abolished. Those in the cult seek to be surrounded by the cult leader’s magical aura. Reality is sacrificed for fantasy. Those who challenge the fantasy are not considered human. They are Satanic.
The dictator is not only a sick man, he is also a cruel opportunist. He sees no value in any other person and feels no gratitude for any help he may have received. He is suspicious and dishonest and believes that his personal ends justify any means he may use to achieve them. Peculiarly enough, every tyrant still searches for some self-justification. Without such a soothing device for his own conscience, he cannot live. His attitude toward other people is manipulative; to him, they are merely tools for the advancement of his own interests. He rejects the conception of doubt, of internal contradictions, or man’s inborn ambivalence. He denies the psychological fact that man grows to maturity through groping, through trial and error, through the interplay of contrasting feelings. Because he will not permit himself to grope, to learn through trial and error, the dictator can never become a mature person. … It is because the dictator is afraid, albeit unconsciously, of his own internal contradictions, that he is afraid of the same internal contradictions of his fellow man. He must purge and purge, terrorize and terrorize in order to still his own raging inner drives. He must kill every doubter, destroy every person who makes a mistake, imprison everyone who cannot be proved to be utterly single-minded.
Behavior that ensures the destruction of a public figure’s career does not affect a cult leader. It does not matter how many lies uttered by Trump are meticulously documented by The New York Times or The Washington Post. It does not matter that Trump’s personal financial interests, as we see in his relationship with the Saudis, take precedence over the rule of law, diplomatic protocols and national security. It does not matter that he is credibly charged by numerous women with being a sexual predator, a common characteristic of cult leaders. It does not matter that he is inept, lazy and ignorant. The establishment, whose credibility has been destroyed because of its complicity in empowering the ruling oligarchy and the corporate state, might as well be blowing soap bubbles at Trump. Its vitriol, to his followers, only justifies the hatred radiating from the cult.
The cult leader responds to only one emotion—fear. The cult leader, usually a coward, will react when he thinks he is in danger. The cult leader will bargain and compromise when afraid. The cult leader will give the appearance of being flexible and reasonable. But as soon as the cult leader is no longer afraid, the old patterns of behavior return, with a special venom directed at those who were able to momentarily impinge upon his power.
The removal of Trump from power would not remove the yearning of tens of millions of people, many conditioned by the Christian right, for a cult leader. Most of the leaders of the Christian right have built cult followings of their own. These Christian fascists embraced magical thinking, attacked their enemies as agents of Satan and denounced reality-based science and journalism long before Trump did. Cults are a product of social decay and despair, and our decay and despair are expanding, soon to explode in another financial crisis.
The efforts by the Democratic Party and much of the press, including CNN and The New York Times, to discredit Trump, as if our problems are embodied in him, are futile. The smug, self-righteousness of this crusade against Trump only contributes to the national reality television show that has replaced journalism and politics. This crusade attempts to reduce a social, economic and political crisis to the personality of Trump. It is accompanied by a refusal to confront and name the corporate forces responsible for our failed democracy. This collusion with the forces of corporate oppression neuters the press and Trump’s mainstream critics.
Our only hope is to organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump. Our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, are hostage to corporate power. They are no longer democratic. We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse. We expose the absurdity of blaming our demise on demonized groups such as undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, liberals, feminists, gays and others. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny.
Onward, Christian Fascists By Chris Hedges: Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/onward-christian-fascists/
The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power. The white race, especially in the United States, became God’s chosen agent. Imperialism and war became divine instruments for purging the world of infidels and barbarians, evil itself. Capitalism, because God blessed the righteous with wealth and power and condemned the immoral to poverty and suffering, became shorn of its inherent cruelty and exploitation. The iconography and symbols of American nationalism became intertwined with the iconography and symbols of the Christian faith. The mega-pastors, narcissists who rule despotic, cult-like fiefdoms, make millions of dollars by using this heretical belief system to prey on the mounting despair and desperation of their congregations, victims of neoliberalism and deindustrialization. These believers find in Donald Trump a reflection of themselves, a champion of the unfettered greed, cult of masculinity, lust for violence, white supremacy, bigotry, American chauvinism, religious intolerance, anger, racism and conspiracy theories that define the central beliefs of the Christian right. When I wrote “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” I was deadly serious about the term “fascists.”
The evangelical magazine Christianity Today, by stating the obvious about Trump, that he is immoral and should be removed from office, became the latest recipient of the Christian right’s vicious and hypocritical backlash. Nearly 200 evangelical leaders, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Rep. Michele Bachmann, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ralph Reed, signed a joint letter denouncing the Christianity Today editorial, written by the magazine’s president, Timothy Dalrymple, and outgoing Editor Mark Galli. Evangelical Christians who criticize Trump are as swiftly disappeared from the ranks as Republican politicians who criticize Trump. Trump received 80% of the white evangelical vote in the 2016 presidential election, and in a poll this month 90% of Republicans said they opposed impeachment and ouster of the president. Among Republicans who identify as white evangelical Protestants, that number rises to 99%.
Tens of millions of Americans live hermetically sealed inside the vast media and educational edifice controlled by Christian fascists. In this world, miracles are real, Satan, allied with secular humanists and Muslims, is seeking to destroy America, and Trump is God’s anointed vessel to build the Christian nation and cement into place a government that instills “biblical values.” These “biblical values” include banning abortion, protecting the traditional family, turning the Ten Commandments into secular law, crushing “infidels,” especially Muslims, indoctrinating children in schools with “biblical” teachings and thwarting sexual license, which includes any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Trump is routinely compared by evangelical leaders to the biblical king Cyrus, who rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem and restored the Jews to the city.
Trump has filled his own ideological void with Christian fascism. He has elevated members of the Christian right to prominent positions, including Mike Pence to the vice presidency, Mike Pompeo to secretary of state, Betsy DeVos to secretary of education, Ben Carson to secretary of housing and urban development, William Barr to attorney general, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the televangelist Paula White to his Faith and Opportunities Initiative. More importantly, Trump has handed the Christian right veto and appointment power over key positions in government, especially in the federal courts. He has installed 133 district court judges out of 677 total, 50 appeals court judges out of 179 total, and two U.S. Supreme Court justices out of nine. Almost all of these judges were, in effect, selected by the Federalist Society and the Christian right. Many of the extremists who make up the judicial appointees have been rated as unqualified by the American Bar Association, the country’s largest nonpartisan coalition of lawyers. Trump has moved to ban Muslim immigrants and rolled back civil rights legislation. He has made war on reproductive rights by restricting abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood. He has stripped away LGBTQ rights. He has ripped down the firewall between church and state by revoking the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches, which are tax-exempt, from endorsing political candidates. His appointees throughout the government routinely use biblical strictures to justify an array of policy decisions including environmental deregulation, war, tax cuts and the replacement of public schools with charter schools, an action that permits the transfer of federal education funds to private “Christian” schools.
I studied ethics at Harvard Divinity School with James Luther Adams, who had been in Germany in 1935 and 1936. Adams witnessed the rise there of the so-called Christian Church, which was pro-Nazi. He warned us about the disturbing parallels between the German Christian Church and the Christian right. Adolf Hitler was in the eyes of the German Christian Church a volk messiah and an instrument of God—a view similar to the one held today about Trump by many of his white evangelical supporters. Those demonized for Germany’s economic collapse, especially Jews and communists, were agents of Satan. Fascism, Adams told us, always cloaked itself in a nation’s most cherished symbols and rhetoric. Fascism would come to America not in the guise of stiff-armed, marching brownshirts and Nazi swastikas but in mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance, the biblical sanctification of the state and the sacralization of American militarism. Adams was the first person I heard label the extremists of the Christian right as fascists. Liberals, he warned, as in Nazi Germany, were blind to the tragic dimension of history and radical evil. They would not react until it was too late.
Trump’s legacy will be the empowerment of the Christian fascists. They are what comes next. For decades they have been organizing to take power. They have built infrastructures and organizations, including lobbying groups, schools and universities as well as media platforms, to prepare. They have seeded their cadre into the political system. We on the left, meanwhile, have seen our institutions and organizations destroyed or corrupted by corporate power.
The Christian fascists, as in all totalitarian movements, need a crisis, manufactured or real, in order to seize power. This crisis may be financial. It could be triggered by a catastrophic terrorist attack. Or it could be the result of a societal breakdown from our climate emergency. The Christian fascists are poised to take advantage of the chaos, or perceived chaos. They have their own version of the brownshirts, the for-hire mercenary armies and private contractors amassed by Christian fascists such as Erik Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos. The Christian fascists have seized control of significant portions of the judiciary and legislative branches of government. FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, gives 245 members of Congress a perfect 100% for votes that support the agenda of the Christian right. The Family Research Council, which has called on its followers to pray that God will vanquish the “demonic forces” behind Trump’s impeachment, is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group because of its campaigns to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
The ideology of the Christian fascists panders in our decline to the primitive yearnings for the vengeance, new glory and moral renewal that are found among those pushed aside by deindustrialization and austerity. Reason, facts and verifiable truth are impotent weapons against this belief system. The Christian right is a “crisis cult.” Crisis cults arise in most collapsing societies. They promise, through magic, to recover the lost grandeur and power of a mythologized past. This magical thinking banishes doubt, anxiety and feelings of disempowerment. Traditional social hierarchies and rules, including an unapologetic white, male supremacy, will be restored. Rituals and behaviors including an unquestioning submission to authority and acts of violence to cleanse the society of evil will vanquish malevolent forces.
The Christian fascists propagate their magical thinking through a selective literalism in addressing the Bible. They hold up as sacrosanct biblical passages that buttress their ideology and ignore, or grossly misinterpret, the ones that do not. They live in a binary universe. They see themselves as eternal victims, oppressed by dark and sinister groups seeking their annihilation. They alone know the will of God. They alone can fulfill God’s will. They seek total cultural and political domination. The secular, reality-based world, one where Satan, miracles, destiny, angels and magic do not exist, destroyed their lives and communities. That world took away their jobs and their futures. It ripped apart the social bonds that once gave them purpose, dignity and hope. In their despair they often struggled with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. They endured familial breakdown, divorce, evictions, unemployment and domestic and sexual violence. The only thing that saved them was their conversion, the realization that God had a plan for them and would protect them. These believers were pushed by a callous, heartless corporate society and rapacious oligarchy into the arms of charlatans. All who speak to them in the calm, rational language of fact and evidence are hated and ultimately feared, for they seek to force believers back into “the culture of death” that nearly destroyed them.
We can blunt the rise of this Christian fascism only by reintegrating exploited and abused Americans into society, giving them jobs with stable, sustainable incomes, relieving their crushing personal debts, rebuilding their communities and transforming our failed democracy into one in which everyone has agency and a voice. We must impart to them hope, not only for themselves but for their children.
Christian fascism is an emotional life raft for tens of millions. It is impervious to the education, dialogue and discourse the liberal class naively believes can blunt or domesticate the movement. The Christian fascists, by choice, have severed themselves from rational thought. We will not placate or disarm this movement, bent on our destruction, by attempting to claim that we too have Christian “values.” This appeal only strengthens the legitimacy of the Christian fascists and weakens our own. We will transform American society to a socialist system that provides meaning, dignity and hope to all citizens, that cares and nurtures the most vulnerable among us, or we will become the victims of the Christian fascists we created.
The Republican Party, we have noted, has gone from a conservative party to an authoritarian one. With a total of 11 pardons and commutations of rich, corrupt and utterly undeserving men, President Trump has completed the transition from the law-and-order party to the crime-mob party.
President Trump on Tuesday used his sweeping presidential pardon powers to wipe away the crimes of a list of boldface names, including disgraced politician Rod R. Blagojevich, convicted junk bond king Michael Milken and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of seven convicted white collar criminals at the center of federal anti-corruption and tax fraud cases spanning decades, alongside four women whose cases were not as well known. …
Also on Trump’s pardon list … [was] Edward DeBartolo Jr., the billionaire former owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team, who pleaded guilty two decades ago to charges related to his role in a corruption case against former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards (D).
While appearing on television (Trump’s connection to the outside world — or, rather, the outside world that the right-wing media would like to exist) was a popular means of getting Trump’s attention, it was no surprise that some of the beneficiaries seemed to have ponied up money to elect Trump. The Daily Beast reported:
For those who didn’t receive the Fox News treatment, it appears that in at least one case, cold hard cash did the talking. Paul Pogue, a construction company owner who pleaded guilty to underpaying his taxes by $473,000 and received three years probation, was issued a full pardon and clemency by the president.
According to FEC filings, Pogue’s family has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct contributions and in-kind air travel to the Trump Victory Committee. Beginning in August 2019, Ben Pogue—CEO of Pogue Construction and son of Paul Pogue—and his wife Ashleigh made over $200,000 in contributions to the campaign.
Trump, the corrupt and entitled white male who perceives himself as the perpetual victim, must feel a connection to other privileged, corrupt figures. If they are victims of a rigged or unfair system, he must be, too. (One can now fully appreciate how ludicrous was the defense in the impeachment trial that Trump was motivated by a heartfelt desire to root out corruption. Republicans who parroted this nonsense should be voted out of office.)
Worse still, there is widespread suspicion that this is simply a prelude to pardons for cronies Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others. Trump wants vindication and secrecy, so what better way than to direct senators not to hear evidence of his own misdeeds, delegitimize the convictions of his associates and then, by pardon, obtain their silence and gratitude?
Mimi Rocah, a former prosecutor, tells me: “The pardon power is supposed to be about correcting injustices. There is no reasonable argument that the people pardoned today — all of whom corrupted our financial and political systems in massive ways — were subject to a miscarriage of justice.” She adds, “To the contrary, they are powerful, connected white men who had the benefit of good defense lawyers. It also sends a message to Stone, Giuliani, Manafort and Flynn — that Trump has their back because white collar crime doesn’t count.”
Do his supporters even care that the swamp he promised to drain is more fetid than ever? Are Republicans who emboldened him with an acquittal in his impeachment trial just a tad embarrassed by the normalization, the celebration even, of corruption? Probably not. They have long since discarded any semblance of concern for the rule of law, let alone for decency and propriety.
“President Trump knows voters think he’s corrupt,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “But many of his voters stick with him because they think, ‘They’re all corrupt, so I’ll take my corrupt guy over the other one.’ But whatever flaws American democracy has had over the years, we all agreed we wanted a Republic, and not a King.” He adds, “Trump’s bet is that voters will forget that. It’s our job to make him lose that bet.”
In case one needed further evidence of the urgency of removing Trump at the ballot box and sending his Republican enablers packing as well, this last descent into self-serving veneration of corruption should remind us we are well on the way to banana-republic territory.
Former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller notes, “Trump has consistently made clear who he believes deserves mercy and who he believes deserves the full weight of federal law enforcement. If you’re a connected Republican, someone whose family can manage to appear on Fox, or someone who commits crimes against the people Trump despises, then he will go to bat for you.” However, Miller says, “if you’re one of the 13,000 whose clemency petition is pending at the Justice Department, and you don’t have anything to offer the president, then good luck.”
The latest outrage should also serve as a wake-up call for Democrats: Choose the candidate who can deliver a victory, a commanding victory, over Trump and his ethically degenerate party. Do not get distracted by fundraising methods or ideological purity. Win. Just win. Our democracy (not to mention our collective sanity) depends on it.