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The real basket of deplorables

November 19, 2016

Donald Trump was on 60 Minutes last Sunday. Even if I’d known about his appearance, I wouldn’t have watched, because I can’t stand the sight or sound of him. What I did see the next day were some excerpts shown on various news outlets, including one in which he gave an idea of what might be in a Trump health insurance plan.

He said the twenty million Americans who had gained health insurance under that Affordable Health Care Act should not lose it. He said that no one should be denied health care based on a pre-existing condition. He said that young people should continue to be covered under their parents’ medical insurance until age twenty-four. So, basically Obamacare by any other name.

Okay, I thought after hearing this, perhaps a Trump presidency won’t be the complete, unmitigated disaster everyone sane has been assuming. Perhaps he really was putting on a reality show to get himself elected. Perhaps he is less of a threat to world stability than I thought.

That was Monday. The ember of optimism I was trying to flame did not last long. And, let’s face it, I was clutching at straws.

Trump had already unceremoniously dumped Chris Christie as the head of his transition team. (Say what you will about Christie, I do believe the man is actually, you know, sane.) He’d replaced the New Jersey governor with his Vice-President, Mike Pence, whose views on abortion and LGBT rights should strike terror in the heart.

Then there’s Steve Bannon, the avowed racist, anti-Semite and all round prince of darkness who spearheaded Trump’s ugly campaign and is quite likely to be named his new chief of staff.

I think it was Tuesday when I heard that Trump was demanding his children (that’s right, Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber and the blonde he wouldn’t mind shagging) should be given national security clearance. Seriously? Oh, yes. And he wants his son-in-law to be appointed as a special advisor. Ye gods.

And then there were yesterday’s announcements.

Michael Flynn, the retired general, dismissed from the Defense Intelligence Agency for being – let’s call it what it was – a wingnut. Flynn, who led chants of “Lock her up!” at the Republican convention, is one scary dude. He sees every Muslim on the planet as an enemy of the United States, has no problem with waterboarding prisoners and doesn’t seem to mind the idea of targeting the wives and children of known terrorists. Oh, and he’s buddies with Vladimir Putin. Trump has nominated Flynn as his national security advisor. This is not a position that requires Senate confirmation.

Next up: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions The Third (who not surprisingly prefers to go by Jeff). This is a man whose nomination as a federal judge was rejected thirty years ago by the Reagan Republican Senate because he was too racist. This is the man whom Donald Trump has nominated as Attorney General. His confirmation is by no means guaranteed, but his very nomination sends a clear message about the tenor we can expect from a Trump Administration. That message is: Black lives do not matter.

I have a new best friend. Not that we’ve ever met. Nor are we likely to meet. But in the few days since I first introduced myself to her, I have come to love Rachel Maddow. I had no idea she dug so deep to explain the historical context of current events.

This was Maddow yesterday on the Trump appointments and the history of racist politics in the latter half of the 20th century. Not short, but worth a watch.

And this was my introduction to Maddow earlier in the week. Definitely worth watching her peel away this particular onion. After seeing it, I didn’t exactly change my mind about Chris Christie’s probable sanity, but I did see that he was delusional if he ever thought he would have any role – let alone a substantive one – in the Trump administration.

The real basket of deplorables is filling up. So far we have two racists, an Islamophobic friend of Putin, and an open misogynist and homophobe. Whatever next? I dread to think.




From → Columns

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