This week, a blogger named Ken Robert wrote about Mr. Trump and those who share his values:
My disdain for Donald Trump has little to do with Republican vs Democrat. It has much more to do with what I was taught growing up about being a decent human being.
Much of that was taught to me by my father, a man who wasn’t perfect but always tried his best to be decent toward and honest with everyone he met. Trump is just about everything I was taught not to be, and it’s become almost all but impossible to hold onto whatever respect I once held for people I know who support him.
Men like Trump, he says, are:
… bullies, liars, blowhards, braggarts, and cheats. To me, championing a man who displays those behaviors on an almost daily basis demonstrates a fundamental flaw of character.
I said something similar last December after an acquaintance, a former military officer, posted this to Facebook:
This was right after the first GOP presidential candidate debate, when moderator Megyn Kelly brought up Trump’s long record of denigrating women and asked him why women voters should trust him now. After the debate Trump attacked Kelly on Twitter, then asked Roger Ailes of Fox News to punish her. Ailes did his friend’s bidding, sending Kelly on an unscheduled 11-day “vacation.”
I was dismayed but not a bit surprised by Trump’s nasty and underhanded attack on Kelly. It was totally Trump. What shocked me, though, was that a military officer, a fellow fighter pilot and a man I had until that moment respected, would celebrate Trump’s lack of character.
This is from my own blog post, written a day or two later:
What Megyn Kelly had the balls to do fits my definition of “professional journalism,” and we need more of it. Trump’s underhanded, no-balls response to Kelly basically proved her point.
There has to be something drastically wrong, intellectually and morally, with anyone who could think Trump won a victory in that first debate or that he “crushed” anyone. Whatever that wrong thing is, it’s beyond my understanding. Are right-wingers really so far gone and lacking in American ideals that they think bullying and cowardice is something to celebrate?
What I do understand is that anyone who would post stuff like this has upside-down values and is unfit to sit at the table with decent people. Woe be it unto us if we stay home on election day and let this rabble take over.
Like Ken Robert, I can’t respect anyone who supports Trump. I couldn’t have made a blanket statement like that about Goldwater, Nixon, Bush, McCain, or Romney supporters. In Trump and his supporters I see not merely a lack of decency but its Bizarro World opposite … racism, lies, cheating, two-timing, back-stabbing, cowardice, bullying, broken promises, aggrieved self-pity … greed and personal aggrandizement the only “positives” on display.
Let’s say 40% of those who will actually vote are for Trump. Half of those … Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” … not only share but celebrate Trump’s racism and upside-down “values.” The other half will tell you they’re not like that. They’re decent people, they’ll say, supporting Trump only because they think defeating Hillary Clinton is more important.
You know what, other half of Trump supporters? I don’t know about that. Is decency something you can selectively or temporarily put aside? Can you embrace a racist without getting racist stink on you? Can you celebrate a cowardly bully without being judged one yourself?
Conservatives constantly throw Robert Byrd, the senator and former Ku Klux Klansman, at progressives, claiming his membership in the Democratic Party proves Democrats are the real racists. They never mention the fact that Byrd repudiated the Klan in the early 1950s and as a senator supported the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and many other advances to civil rights and liberties.
Dear other half of Trump supporters, what do you think decent people are going to say about you ten or twenty years from now? Are they going to say, “Well, at least they were decent people once”? Or are they going to say, “They were in bed with Trump, and that’s all you need to know about them”?
As I was leaving the air museum yesterday afternoon, my friend Ed called. He needed my help. Gosh knows Ed’s helped me out many a time, so I said sure, what do you need? Turns out he and a mutual friend, Paul, were stranded in Willcox, 80 miles east of Tucson. They were homeward bound from a long motorcycle ride and Paul had gotten a flat tire. We all carry tubeless tire plug kits and cans of compressed air in our saddlebags, so no problem … except the cut in Paul’s rear tire was too big and the plug didn’t hold. They were at a gas station in Willcox, a town bereft of Honda dealerships, and the closest replacement tire was at Ed’s house in Tucson.
How to get at the rear wheel when you have a roadside emergency
Would I be willing to drive to Ed’s house, grab a spare from Ed’s garage, and bring it to them in Willcox? Talk about good luck and timing: I was one of two people Ed could have called who 1) knows where he lives, 2) knows where he keeps the spare tires, and 3) am retired and able to help in the middle of a workday. Also lucky: my volunteer shift at the museum was over and I was in my truck. Normally I’m on the motorcycle on museum days, but since I had the truck I was able to head straight from the museum to Ed’s house, grab a tire … Ed always has one or two on hand, already mounted on extra rims … and hit the road to Willcox. Traffic was light on I-10, so I set the cruise control to 80 and settled in. I’ve been wanting to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack, and this long trip finally gave me the opportunity to hear the whole thing from beginning to end. Not only that, there were interesting things to see along the way, including this truck:
Thanks for spelling it out, but believe me, I already knew what you were hauling
Less than two hours after Ed called, I pulled into the gas station in Willcox with the new tire, and Paul got to work mounting it.
Paul mounting the replacement wheel & tire
Before I got there they had managed to get the bad tire off the original rear wheel and Ed had the wheel strapped to his back seat. It looked big and bulky back there, so I offered to take it back to Tucson in the truck and drop it off at Ed’s on my way home (we live within two miles of each other).
Ed & Paul, ready to ride again
The drive home was as easy and uneventful as the drive out. I dropped the wheel off at Ed’s and was home by seven. A good day’s work.
A lot of this biker credo/brotherhood of the road stuff is self-serving bullshit, but this much is true: when a biker’s stranded by the side of the road, fellow bikers will stop and offer help. Ed and Paul told me about all the bikers who stopped to offer help yesterday. Some of them, seeing Paul’s Goldwing lying on its side, thought he’d crashed. As I mentioned, Ed’s bailed me out before, and I was happy I was in a position to help. It’ll all come around.
Before you ask: laying a Goldwing on its side to remove the rear wheel doesn’t hurt the bike. The crash bars keep the bike off the ground so it doesn’t get all scratched up. It’s better if you don’t have a full fuel tank, though.
One thing I took to heart yesterday: although I carry a tool kit in addition to tire plugs and compressed air, I don’t carry a breaker bar or a socket that’ll fit the rear wheel lug nuts. Ed does, and his foresight paid off yesterday. Looks like I need to make a run to Harbor Freight!
I love getting things done first thing in the morning. Gym, car wash, root around in the garage looking for a pair of dog carriers I stowed away two years ago, pay the annual registration on the motorcycle. Hey, when you’re retired, you either learn to savor everyday tasks or you die of boredom, and I’m not ready to die.
Donna went out to play bridge last night so I drove to the nearest Vietnamese restaurant for takeout. When I asked the dogs if they wanted to come along, they both scampered out to the garage. Schatzi’s always ready to go, but Maxie’s kind of meh about it. Sometimes she’s eager to come along, sometimes she hides under the couch. Last night she was up for a ride. Normally both dogs call shotgun, but this time I made them sit on the back seat. They stayed put like good’uns, all the way to the restaurant and back.
We had a pair of dog seats in the back of our old Trailblazer. I took them out one day to make room for human passengers and never reinstalled them. I went looking for them when I got home this morning and strapped them to the back seat of the truck. I think the pups will be happy to see their old seats again. The thing about dog seats is they’re high enough to see out the windows, and the girls do love to know what’s going on. I’m planning a lunch run later today, just so I can take them with me. Even though I just had the car washed and for once there aren’t any dog nose slug trails on the inside of the windows.
Tonight I’m making chicken tikki masala for the first time. Not doing anything fancy or creative, just following the recipe printed on the back of a jar of Patak’s tikki masala paste, and cooking a cup of rice to go along with it. Oh, and yesterday I stopped by the Babylon Market and bought a bag of frozen garlic naan. Let’s hope this adventure ends well.
By the way, I have a British friend who knows Indian cooking. I’m hoping he’ll read this post and send me some tips. Tony, you there?
I couldn’t bear to watch the news last night or to check it this morning, so no current events or political commentary today. Aren’t you glad? You should be.
Now it’s time to take the puppies for a ride.
You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.
Banned Books Week: September 25- October 1, 2016
YCRT! Campus Thoughtcrime Report
Have the University of Wisconsin campus thought police never read “1984”? ‘Bias Incident Team’: Students’ Three Blind Mice Halloween Costume ‘Makes Fun of a Disability.’
Meanwhile, at another University of Wisconsin campus, the chancellor reversed his Bias Incident Team’s recent order to take down two paintings depicting native Americans, and instead had the paintings moved to a location where they can be displayed in “controlled circumstances.”
At the University of Northern Colorado, thoughtcrime is monitored by a “Bias Response Team.” The team recently told a professor he could no longer discuss subjects like gay marriage or global warming in class because students were uncomfortable with the topics. This article says UNC’s president is bowing to public and political outrage by “reshuffling” the BRT … but it’s not going away.
Elsewhere, a backlash against campus censorship of free speech is growing, notably at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and now, apparently coming from students rather than administrators, at the University of Pennsylvania.
Other YCRT! News
This “banned book” story from Ashland, Oregon is disturbing. The owner of Shakespeare Books & Antiques has long maintained a display of banned books in her shop window. This year, for the first time, organizers of the town’s annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival objected to some of the books on display and demanded they be removed. The owner refused and the festival director instructed staff not to patronize the store for festival-related goods or services. Sales declined and now the bookstore’s going out of business. Central to the dispute: was displaying a copy of “Little Black Sambo” next to a copy of “The Wizard of Oz” an intentional provocation to black actors appearing in an Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of “The Wiz”? If some of the reader comments below the linked articles are to be believed, Ashland waters run deep.
Another story from Oregon: challenges to books in the state’s public libraries.
We see Facebook censorship every day … or rather, we don’t, unless it makes the news and creates a stir.
The New York Times gives the old “he said/she said” treatment to a story about the review and selection of history textbooks by the notoriously-conservative Texas State Board of Education. When it comes to school textbook selection, decisions made in Texas can affect school districts across the nation.
Here’s a nice story about the student editor of her high school newspaper fighting back against the school’s prior restraint policy, frequently invoked to spike stories.
Parents in Virginia objected to books on a school summer reading list, labeling them “vile,” “nasty,” and “pornographic.” The books included “Eleanor and Park,” “Tyrell,” and “Dope Sick,” young adult novels about misfit teens in love, an African-American teen living in a homeless shelter, and a young man shot during a drug deal and on the run from the police. Objections to the books appear to come from the Christian conservative organization Focus on the Family and its book & movie review website Plugged In. Even though the school district caved on some books, parents continued to object, complaining its revised list linked to other lists that included other objectionable books. Sounds to me like Christian conservatives are better organized then ever and spoiling for a fight, and I do not envy the lot of teachers today.
“’We typically get a rash of (complaints) when school starts,’ says James LaRue, director of the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, noting that trans teen novels published this year have not been challenged so far.” Uh huh. If previous challenges to young adult books with LGBT themes are an indication, these new books will soon be under the gun.
GI newspapers like the Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times, and Marine Corps Times, while technically not answerable to the military, are highly dependent on base exchange newsstand sales. In my Air Force days, I saw things like this happen again and again, and here’s the latest iteration: Marine Corps Commandant Got So Mad at Newspaper, He Tried to Ban It.
In a previous YCRT! column I linked to the story of a creationist homeschooling mom’s campaign against the Orland Park, Illinois public library. Looks like she’s still at it. The article at the link is so hilariously partisan I can’t resist quoting from it (bold/italic text and errors theirs):
The book in question is SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment by investigative reporters Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan; SHUT UP! meticulously documents their investigation into years’ of wrongdoing and law-breaking at the OPPL, including library staff looking the other way and deliberately not calling the police when an Orland Park resident admitted that he was viewing child pornography on the OPPL’s computers in a public building full of children. Fox & DuJan used FOIA requests to uncover the Library’s own internal documents that proved not only did OPPL staffers regularly decide not to alert authorities when sex crimes occurred in the Library, but that in at least one case the OPPL board of trustees took themselves out for a $500 steak dinner to apparently celebrate getting away with no one at the time finding out about the child pornography being accessed at the Orland Park Public Library.
Yesterday Hillary Clinton said this:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.
The media will jump on this, bothsidesing it into the Hillary version of Donald calling Mexicans rapists. They’re already comparing it to Romney’s 47% remark last time around.
Was Hillary Clinton right to say what she said about some of Donald Trump’s supporters?
A few other deplorable observations to top off the old basket:
- The North Carolina “creepy clown” sightings are spreading to other states. Meanwhile, at least one such sighting has now been revealed as a hoax. So are all the others, I’ll wager.
- Wells Fargo employees were using customer data to create phony accounts in order to generate money through transfer and late fees, but really to keep their jobs and get promotions. When employee job security and compensation is based on achieving numerical goals, employees will achieve them. Every time. Witness cops and speeding tickets, VA senior managers and patient wait time reports, generals and body counts.
- Trump yesterday did an interview with Larry King. In it, he defended Putin and complained about the dishonesty of American media. No one on Trump’s staff seemed to realize the interview would air on Russia Today, a Kremlin-funded propaganda outlet, King’s current employer. Trump’s staff spent most of Friday trying to deflect blame, finally settling on “Nobody said it would be on Russian TV.” Rachel Maddow compared their flailing an episode of Hee Haw, probably because MSNBC wouldn’t let her say “cluster fuck” on the air.
- Speaking of Trump’s crush on Putin, the world is full of countries with strong-man leaders & dictators. Why does Trump and the right prefer Putin to Mugabe, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, Duterte, Assad? Gee, that’s a poser, ain’t it?