Baseless accusations: Shut it down? | Tom H. Hastings

Baseless accusations: Shut it down? | Tom H. Hastings

Good morning. Your federal government is shut down. Trump said he thought that would be good.

We will see if the portions of his base who rely on federal programs would agree. Military families, for one, will find services often unavailable.

The Republicans control all three branches of the federal government and still manage to fail to keep limping along, sending millions of workers into uncharted territory, with 66 of 130 federal agencies completely without any plan and no instructions to the masses of working Americans so employed.

I wonder who were Hillary Clinton’s base and who voted for her? Most people I know voted for her but out of a desperate attempt to keep Trump out of the White House. We were never her base and in fact many of us would be demonstrating against many of her policies, especially her demonstrated foreign policies, had she won the Electoral College vote as well as the vote she did win, the popular vote.

Clinton, for your next book, how about these working titles: “How to Win the Most American Votes and Still Lose the Election,” or, simply, “WTF?”

Where are the Trump voters who similarly cast a vote for him primarily to keep Clinton out of office? In other words, where are the Trump voters who have a conscience, who want an America that is more fair and less violent?

Or are his voters almost all racist sexist xenophobic white nationalists? While Trump’s approval ratings are the lowest of the last seven presidents, he steadily has at least a third of Americans backing him no matter what. He could slaughter millions and maintain their approval, apparently.

I would hate to think that. Trump is easily the most vile person in my lifetime to occupy the White House and considering Richard Nixon, that is quite an assessment. Nixon reserved most of his profane references to others for his private (or erstwhile private, before his own maladaptive recordings were released) conversations.

Trump blurts and tweets like an incontinent adolescent in meetings, in his jammies at 5 a.m. when he’s all thumbs, and he continually insults and gaslights, traduces and lies, self-contradicts and manipulates. My question of those who voted for him is, Really? You agree with these displays of crude juvenilia? Because if you are silent, you are transmitting that agreement.

I suppose the real test of the worth of the American people will come this November, when we will vote in 435 House members and 34 of the Senate seats will be up for election. Most folks are framing this in a partisan fashion, noting that 26 of the seats up for election this year are currently held by Democrats, thus giving very asymmetrical favor to Republicans, but I’d personally just like to see more civil discourse, or at least a return to an era when the phrase “moderate Republican” wasn’t an oxymoron. Mark Hatfield. Margaret Chase Smith. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Jacob Javits. Hell, even Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Oh, wait, the Tea Party types call those Nelson Rockefeller sorts RINOs, Republicans In Name Only. I think the black RINOs are extinct and the white RINOs are highly endangered. When the lead Republican is so vulgar and gets nearly zero pushback from other Republicans I think we do approach the point when failure to act like a racist, sexist, gun-fondling, nuke-gripping xenophobe is tantamount to not being a Republican, at least by almost all evidence. When Lindsay Graham is our best example of moral rectitude for Republicans we are at a new benthic low in a sea of Republican moral turpitude.

So far, I’m massively unimpressed by Trump’s voters, the overwhelming number of them refusing to make themselves known publicly as opposed to many of Trump’s ugliest utterances. We will see what it comes to this November, certainly, but for now I’m not seeing demonstrations of civility, decency, or much appreciation for the nominal American values of equality, fairness, or freedom for all. I want to feel like a brother to Trump’s voters but not yet.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

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