One of my children has asked me to abandon my blanket generalizations for specifics in my reaction to the Republican debate last night. I will try to do that but still, the generalizations haunt me – the loss of dignity, the refusal to discuss the “why” of their beliefs, the unwillingness to discuss the issues this country is facing now.
But to the specifics of the debate on 3 March ‘16:
Trump said he is against gay marriage. Who exactly decreed that marriage is between a man and a woman? The Church. How wonderful it is that men can now love men and women can love women, that politicians – hard as they try – can”t tell anyone who he/she can love.
He repeats with awful regularity that he will build a border wall. First it was going to be 3000 miles, now it’s going to be 1000 miles. Will we have soldiers posted every few feet for the unprotected 2000 miles?
He said he will defund Planned Parenthood. Isn’t it odd that it is usually men who push the defunding? Just one sexual encounter with a man can put a teenage woman in a position she simply cannot handle and all the unwanted children add up to tragedy. Just say no? Come on. In the American culture of alcohol and sex and fraternities, that isn’t going to happen. Prohibition? We tried that one once.
Trump repeated last night not only his defense of the 2nd amendment but his defense of buying and selling assault weapons. This, of course, is the one that inflames me. Read it again:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
In the absence of army bases, or forts, or camps, the Militia kept their weapons in their houses. Let‘s put weapons where they belong: in the hands of the Militia (or today’s national guard) and since we all know that for Americans raised on John Wayne movies, that is impossible, let’s at least address the problem of the need for me to keep an AK 47 in my house. Let’s put parents in jail who keep unlocked cabinets full of assault rifles that their children then take and run off to school to shoot their classmates. Have you been to Newtown? I have. Why isn’t anyone trying to defeat the NRA’s belief that people have unfettered permission by that amendment to keep weapons of war in any house in America? He said, “I would do nothing to alter the second amendment.” We aren’t talking about altering it. We’re talking about interpreting it. If you stretch it to include implied permission to keep assault rifles in your house, why stop there? Will we next be asked to accept hand grenades in houses as a right?”
Trump announced that there will be no minimum wage increase. That one is a matter for legitimate discussion, but there was none of that. Just the announcement.
He repeated three times that a new poll shows he would defeat Hillary. Three times.
Trump University – A large piece of the debate was given to Trump University which is still the core of a court case against Trump for defrauding the students he enrolled. His reply last night was “Let’s see what happens in the court in three years.”
Trump said last night that “Snowden was a spy. He is guilty of treason.” I think Snowden will one day be acclaimed for having pierced the unquestioned secrecy we have allowed the CIA, FBI, and NSA to cloak themselves in ever since WWII. Republicans howl their disgust for big government and yet preen themselves in pride for those three agencies that operate in secrecy without accountability. I did work there for two years, I do know something: there is not one ounce of accountability, not once ounce of oversight. Remember when George H.W. Bush was so applauded for being a fine head of CIA? As they said then, “He never asked any questions.” The head of CIA is an appointment that is mere cover for what they do. Would you like to discuss how we killed Mossedegh and installed the Shah who had been trained in Washington by CIA? That led to every single thing that has happened in Iran since then. Do you want to talk about our assassination of Pinochet? Of all the others? Each assassination of a series of dictators by us has opened the door to chaos. In our ignorance, we think that killing dictators will be followed by democracy. Democracy is a fragile experiment that still needs nurturing in our own country. Do you even want to edge up to what we did in Cuba? There is no oversight of these three agencies – absolutely none. No one knows what they do.
Trump last night endorsed torture without any limit. This country and its allies set a standard for not torturing during WWII (yes it happened, but it was then punished), for treating prisoners as prisoners while Germany carried out the Holocaust). And now we have a presidential candidate endorsing torture when even the Military has said that torture does not succeed in getting information. What succeeds is extracting information with skilled conversation over and over again. The men who interrogate have testified that torture doesn’t produce results (even if you aren’t morally opposed to it). There is nothing as awful as a prisoner shackled and at the mercy of captors. They are terrified. Apparently, good treatment and conversation plays into that fear and succeeds in getting information. They have said it over and over.
NOW TO THE NON-SPECIFICS – ANGER AT THE TONE. Is it unreasonable to want just a mite of dignity in the tone of a presidential election debate? We were reduced to listening to Trump and Rubio arguing about the relative size of their penises. Trump “Look at the little boy, little Marco, this little guy.” (who happens to be short). Rubio: “Look at those hands.” Trump then holds up his hands and assures the audience that what goes with them is plenty large. And they continued to yell at each other about their body parts. Let’s put both of them where they belong: on Saturday Night Live in comedy skits.
Trump lies repeatedly. “I was against going into Afghanistan, oh no I guess I mean Iraq. I was against going into Iraq.” Lie. He is on film as being for going into Iraq. Almost everything he says illustrates his greed, his lying and his insufferable ego.
How can we take seriously a man whose hair is a different color each day, whose face is a different shade of orange each day, whose eyes are encircled in white from the goggles he wears to protect them from self-tanning damage?
And here’s the big one:
When asked how he could make someone do something, Trump replied, “I’m a leader. If I say do it, they’ll do it.” Those are the words of a genuine fascist. As president he would have the threat of American bombs and guns and a whole generation of young Americans to send to their deaths until no one anywhere would dare to disobey him. Sound familiar? This is exactly how Hitler came to power. . Trump is a fascist, right to the roots of his orange hair.