Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Even though my heart starts palpitating and my stomach churns when I think about what the future would be if Donald Trump should be elected in November, I still find these fleeting thoughts streaking across my brain.

One such thought is that tourism to the U.S. will probably drop significantly.  Many states that enjoy the income derived from tourism will be hurt. Trump has promised to be the “law and order” President, that he can stop the killings in Chicago in a week, and that all undocumented aliens who are criminals will be deported immediately.  Oh, and he wants to stop all Muslims coming into the country.  So, if I were planning to come to the U.S. to see the Grand Canyon, I would cancel my plans.  These tourists would imagine storm-troopers patrolling the streets. Every person would be carrying a concealed weapon ready to shoot them and their children for the least imagined infraction.  And, heaven forbid, if these tourists happen to be blessed with black hair and brown eyes, they might be swept up in one of Trump’s “deportation force” roundups.

There would be no leaders of civilized countries abroad who would meet with Donald Trump.  They could never believe anything he said because he changes his mind within 24 hours.  He believes everything is negotiable, and they definitely do not.  Democracy, human rights, protecting the environment, responsible economic policies - those are never negotiable.  I am sure, however, that Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, Joseph Kabila, Nursultan Nazarbaev, and every other dictator would be happy to welcome Trump to their country.  Heaven help us.

Make America Great Again is code for “let’s go back to those good old days when minorities knew their place (as servants), the television shows didn’t have any of those disgusting gay people in them, everyone drove one of those gas-guzzling monsters turned out in Detroit and nobody worried about letting the water run while you brushed your teeth.”  He implies that America is not now “great,” although he also says that we have to stop all those millions of people trying to get here.  So, I imagine discrimination will flourish again.  Laws protecting people will be reversed.  Hatred and bigotry will reign.  New York, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and pretty much all of the states in the northeast would attempt to secede from the union.


Those are just a few wild ideas.  Do you have any?  Share them with us.     

Sunday, September 11, 2016

His Own Words

Secretary Clinton has said she regrets saying that half of Trump's supporters should be put into the “basket of deplorables.”  What would have been clearer is that she could have said, "If Trump followers support his deplorable statements, they paint themselves with the same brush."  Here is just a sample of the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, statements made by Donald Trump. If you agree with these statements, get in the basket!

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” (Racist)

"You could see blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever." (Sexist, misogynistic)

"I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures.  Why give her negotiable assets?" (Selfish,  misogynistic)

"26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?" (Criticizing our military leaders, sexist, misogynistic). 

“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991 (sexist, misogynistic)

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.” (Racist)

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.  And I watched in Jersey City, NJ, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.  Thousands of people were cheering.” (Islamophobic)

“Now, the poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy. ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. Uhh, I don’t remember,’ he’s going like, ‘I don’t remember.  Maybe that’s what I said.’”  Visually mocking reporter’s physical appearance. (Hatred, fear of those not like us, no empathy.)

“We will work with them.  They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.” (racist and uninformed.)

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can  figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said. (Islamophobic)

“Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” Trump said Wednesday during a candidate forum on NBC. “If Putin says great things about me, I’m gonna say great things about him. I’ve already said he is really very much of a leader.” (Praise for a dictator opposed to American interests.)

It still puzzles me that a man of morals and ethics who is a celebrated war hero and a dedicated public servant - John McCain - still refuses to denounce Donald J. Trump.  Trump is unapologetically comfortable with white supremacists, nativists, anti-immigration, and decidedly uncomfortable with professional, competent women, minorities, the disabled, and anyone who dares suggest that he might be wrong about anything.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is correct: He says, "Clinton was right."

His Own Words

Secretary Clinton has said she regrets saying that half of Trump's supporters should be put into the “basket of deplorables.”  What would have been clearer is that she could have said, "If Trump followers support his deplorable statements, they paint themselves with the same brush."  Here is just a sample of the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, statements made by Donald Trump. If you agree with these statements, get in the basket!

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” (Racist)

"You could see blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever." (Sexist)

"I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures.  Why give her negotiable assets?" (Selfish,  misogynistic)

"26,000 unreported sexual assults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?" (Criticizing our military leaders, sexist). 

“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991 (sexist, misogynistic)

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.” (Racist)

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.  And I watched in Jersey City, NJ, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.  Thousands of people were cheering.” (Islamophobic)

“Now, the poor guy, you’ve got to see this guy. ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. Uhh, I don’t remember,’ he’s going like, ‘I don’t remember.  Maybe that’s what I said.’”  Visually mocking reporter’s physical appearance. (Hatred, fear of those not like us, no empathy.)

“We will work with them.  They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.” (racist and uninformed.)

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can  figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said. (Islamophobic)

“Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” Trump said Wednesday during a candidate forum on NBC. “If Putin says great things about me, I’m gonna say great things about him. I’ve already said he is really very much of a leader.” (Praise for a dictator opposed to American interests.)

It still puzzles me that a man of morals and ethics who is a celebrated war hero and a dedicated public servant - John McCain - still refuses to denounce Donald J. Trump.  Trump is unapologetically comfortable with white supremacists, nativists, anti-immigration, and decidedly uncomfortable with professional, competent women, minorities, the disabled, and anyone who dares suggest that he might be wrong about anything.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is correct: He says, "Clinton was right."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Republicans Can't Do Math

The Republican Party has a lot of problems, but it’s biggest problem is that they can’t do math.  I will just assume that if you’re reading this, you know what demographics means, and that you can understand numbers.  I did just a tiny bit of research and this is what I found.

People are constantly coming and going in the U.S.  There are immigrants coming in, Americans leaving for other countries, babies being born, old folks dying, growing industries offering jobs, obsolete industries losing them, and lots of people getting tired of shoveling snow.  The question is, are Red states losing more population (read votes) or are Blue states?  Here are some quotes from www.governing.com - so you can check it out yourself.

“And while other states offset domestic population losses with increases in international migration, Maine and Vermont haven’t seen the same influx of the foreign born.”

Since the 2012 election, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada all gained in population.  “Arizona grew to top Massachusetts as the 14th largest state.  Demographers predict the growing numbers of minorities in Arizona could eventually turn the state from red to blue.”


“In general, Democrats see a 2016 advantage in the fact that many of these states (those growing in population) are gaining minorities who traditionally lean disproportionally toward Democratic candidates.”


So, it makes no sense at all for Republicans to alienate immigrants who are moving to Red states.  That will only help turn that state to Blue.  Which then means that Republicans lose even more states to Democrats.


“Almost a third of Florida’s new residents were immigrants, with Census Bureau estimates released this fall showing Cuba as the top source recently.” (Not Mexico.)


“Republicans won North Carolina in 2012 by about a 2% margin, but an influx of African-Americans there in recent years make Democrats hopeful they can capture it in 2016.”  Republicans should be very, very careful not to insult and denigrate these voters.


And, just to demonstrate how out of touch the Republicans are, “. . . California’s biggest source of immigrants for 2011-2014 combined are China and Taiwan, at 73,000 people; India, at 61,000; and the Philippines, a 42,000 people.  About 24,000 people came from Mexico, just slightly more than the number from Vietnam.” 


Because of the mathematics, it looks as though the Democrats will easily have enough electoral votes to win the White House.  And Republicans, who knew four years ago that they needed to court these immigrants, have gone the other way.  Now that’s just stupid.



Friday, August 26, 2016

They Are Not Failures

When I grew up in Selma, Alabama, 74 years ago, there were separate drinking fountains for white and colored.  The white folks sat in the front of the bus. Selma was divided in half - one for the white families, with nice homes, lovely churches, good schools, and a ballet school that gave me an identity throughout high school.  I don’t know what the other side of town looked like, because I never went there.  My Dad used to occasionally come home on Friday night from the “other” side of town with containers of barbeque and brunswick stew.  That was pretty much all I knew about the African-Americans who lived in Selma.  Remember the movie, “The Help”?  Some of my friends’ mothers had “help” but they were all but invisible to me. I left before the March, so I missed that historic event.

Fast-forward 74 years.  Well, it probably didn’t fly by for those black neighbors of mine, but I was pretty much unaware of anything outside my small little bubble til I was much, much older.  And now, I sit with my dear husband and watch the coverage of this Presidential election and see one of the candidates tell our friends and neighbors who are black that their lives are failures.  I can tell you from my own life experience that this is absolutely not true.  

My grandchildren have grown up with children of all ethnicities in their classroom, and they play together, go to each other’s birthday parties and compete with each other on Minecraft.  That’s not failure.

I shop at grocery stores, department stores, electronic stores, and I see employees that are white, black, latino, and asian.  I didn’t see that in Selma when I was growing up.  That’s not failure.

On TV these days, I see funny, funny sitcoms about a successful black family, an Asian family, a gay couple who adopted a little girl, and dramas with leading characters who are minorities.  One of my favorite late night shows is hosted by Larry Wilmore who presents the news from a black perspective.  And marketing people have finally figured out that minorities have jobs, so they have money to spend, and they put brown and black faces in their commercials.  That’s not failure.

When I was growing up in Selma, I thought that “going to Europe,” was only for the very rich, those people who lived in places like New York, Boston or Hollywood.  I also didn’t think that black people could be doctors, professors, nurses, mathematicians, physicists, or politicians.  Now, not only have I been to Europe, but black people are professionals in every discipline.  That’s not failure.


Shame on Donald Trump.  You should apologize to my friends and neighbors whose lives are not failures, but are successful by any measure.