Monday, October 14, 2019

The mocking laughter of Trump’s base





     Winston Smith isn’t sure why he is writing his diary in George Orwell’s novel “1984.” For the future, he speculates, “for the unborn.”
     For whatever reason, he sits down to describe an ordinary evening at the movies:

April 4, 1984. Last night to the flicks All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him. first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water. audience shouting with laughter when he sank...
     That scene flashed into mind, watching Trump perform his repugnant fear mongering act in Minneapolis last Thursday, as he bragged:
     Since coming into office, I have reduced refugee resettlement by 85 percent. And as you know, maybe especially in Minnesota, I kept another promise. I issued an executive action, making clear that no refugees will be resettled in any city or any state without the express written consent of that city or that state. So speak to your mayor.
     He said this because the mayor of Minneapolis, like the mayor of Chicago and the mayor of any big city worthy of the name, welcomes immigrants, particularly refugees, as the essential future American citizens that they are and always have been.
     ”Consent given” tweeted Mayor Jacob Frey. “Immigrants and refugees are welcome in Minneapolis.”
     Patriotic Americans embrace immigrants not only because it’s the right thing to do, but out of self interest, because immigrants built this country. To act otherwise is as anti-American as undercutting the military or the press or the justice system—three elements of society Trump has continually attacked, trying to dim the light they shine on his betrayal of our country and all that it represents.

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10 comments:

  1. Timely column. Trying to figure out who supports Trump I found that staunch supporters fall into one or more of these categories: Ignorant people, selfish people, xenophobes, wealthy without consciences.
    The largest percentage fall into the top two. Who else would support a guy who is making their lives more difficult as they lose healthcare and get deeper into debt? Why of course, the same people who laugh at sinking boats filled with immigrants.

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  2. Lou Reed stated it well in Dirty Boulevard back in 1989:

    Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
    that's what the Statue of Bigotry says
    Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
    and get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

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  3. Reminds me of a photo I once saw of innocent-looking Austrian school girls enthusiastically welcoming the Germans taking over their country in 1938.

    john

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  4. I am pretty sure you have already read about the video shown at one of Trump's facilities to a Trump supporting group showing Trump killing journalists and political opponents. Apparently the people watching were cheering the whole time. Yes, it was fake, a take on a scene from the Kingman movie.

    What you fear the most is closer than you think.

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    Replies
    1. Trump always manages to have it both ways: welcomes the cheers and blames the Democrats for the fakery.

      john

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  5. Minnesota is pretty liberal. Where did he find those so called supporters for the rally? Wonder if they were paid help.

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    1. Minnesota's history is not always as liberal as it appears. My mother lived to be 92 and in her final years, she had neighbors who told many stories of 1930s anti-Semitism that were worse than anything I ever heard about in Chicago. Brownshirts marched openly under the swastika and beat and intimidated Jews on the streets. Jewish kids were mocked with hateful cheers at high-school football games, and attacked afterwards.Many Minnesotans, mostly of German ethnicity, favored Hitler over England in the Big Game. Nor did they take kindly to European refugees.

      On the other hoof,much of present-day Minneapolis is progressive, and it has growing refugee and immigrant populations. The place is booming. More sprawl, more traffic, more construction every year. Since my sister moved there in 1973, I've seen it mushroom from a sleepy Nowheresville into a major metropolis and transportation hub of more than three million. It's a little Chicago now.

      Refugees and immigrants are encouraged to locate in such thriving places, and prosper. Meanwhile, places like Cleveland and Pittsburgh do little or nothing to encourage newcomers, and are shrinking, declining,and emptying out. If you do the math, a house in Minneapolis costs about the same as a whole block in some parts of Cleveland.

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  6. But always remember...Obama was the most divisive president in history. After all, he insisted on being black.

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