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Making America Meaner


#1

Making America Meaner

Robert Reich

Last Wednesday, on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte beat up Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the “Guardian" newspaper.

What prompted the violence? Jacobs had asked Gianforte for his reaction to the Congressional Budget Office’s report showing that the House Republican substitute for the Affordable Care Act would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance.

"Donald Trump is actively defining deviancy down in American politics. He’s also making America meaner."


#2

Nazis weren't a different species. Approximately 50% of Americans are monsters; and I'm not that impressed with Hillary Bush-Clinton's fan club either.


#3

While I agree with the sentiment of the article; blatantly lying has been the norm of politicians at least since the Bush administration was emboldened by 9-11. They certainly lied before, just not openly and to our face.
I don't think Paul Ryan can possibly believe anything he says in public.


#4

Mr. Reich is too kind. These people are the ideological and political descendants of Nazi Brownshirts. Thugs. Mafia goons.


#5

Oh, I'm confident you can go all the way back to the dawn of time to find politicians who lie to our faces.

Do you really think that when Joe McCarthy said "I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department”, that he didn't know it was all lies?

Or pretty much all of Ronald Reagan administration? Don't forget to ask the Vietnamese what they think of the Gulf of Tonkin [non-]incident and McNamara's hand in it.


#6

Trump tacitly promotes and approves whatever means his followers and cronies apply to push back on the media whenever the media attempts to explore real news.

The more media operatives get roughed up, the more dedicated his supporters will be to Trump.


#7

Stop being so dishonest, Bobby. Politicians have used or threatened violence since long before the Great Orange Dope got into office. Politicians including Hillary Clinton have called for the murder of Julian Assange for revealing embarrassing secrets about U.S. governmental crimes, Obama subjected Private Manning to years of imprisonment and brutal treatment, and prosecuted whistleblowers at a rate far exceeding that of his predecessors. Further, reporters including Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and people affiliated with them have been subject to harassment and threats for their work exposing crimes committed by government officials.

So things like this are nothing new and you know it. The only thing new about it is that now the band-aid has been ripped from the gaping wound. You had no problem with any of this as long as it took place under a Democrat regime, which put a saner, more politically and socially acceptable mask on the ugly truth. But now that it's happening under a Republican dictator, now all of a sudden we're supposed to take notice and do something, when you had eight years under Obama and ignored the problem?

Had this been done by a Democrat, you'd have remained silent. In fact, I'd like to know what you had to say when Hillary Clinton had a Black activist removed from a $500-a-plate dinner for simply asking her to apologize for her racist remarks made years prior, as her all-white dinner guests booed the activist as she was led away. I would also like to know what your response was when Robert Scheer was physically assaulted simply for standing up and turning his back on Mrs. Clinton, I believe it was. Hypocrisy is not and has never been a legitimate form of opposition, nor will it ever be. You're not fooling anyone with your false outrage. Grow up, boy, and act like a man. You can't only be a part of the resistance when Republicans are in power but silent when Democrats do similar or same things.


#8

I recall a time in America where this kind of proposal would be considered an affront to decency. Now it’s the baseline for negotiations.

I do, too, but the same or similar proposals have still been presented and discussed many times in the past by both Democrats and Republicans, albeit in the back room for fear of alarming the masses. Trump isn't a new cancer; he's the tip of the tumor that has long been there, but has now broken through the skin for all to see. Hateful, fascist, and racist sentiment in this country runs much deeper than Donald Trump and his cadre of alt-right followers. Trump is a new low in political figures, but that bar has been scraping bottom for a long, long time, now, thanks to this country's corrupt, predatory and militaristic political system.


#9

Meanwhile, in a nearby, less-mean part of the world...Fifteen no-strings dollars an hour, stepped up labor law enforcement, and enhanced union rights...


#10

As I posted to another article, this has ALWAYS been the way of this group of people. Straight out of the manners of the antebellum South. And if that's too old for you, do you remember a Republican presidential debate where Ron Paul was asked about people who could not afford health care?

Many people in the crowd started yelling that the country should let them die.


#11

Remember the Maine?


#12

Or more likely, the KKK.


#13

Dr. Reich: We didn't see this coming, so thanks for your reminder.


#14

Right. If it doesn't happen in the U.S., it doesn't exist.


#15

Nope. Nazi Brownshirts were not some different kind of being possessed of some special evil that can produce "descendants" that carry forward their special evil like B-movie monsters who grab up people's inner selves and turn them into harmful armed and dangerous hurt machines

The Nazis only arouse a special horror because their factory efficient methodologies seem all to familiar to anyone who who has been browbeaten into getting with a bureaucracy's program. Were the Nazis somehow more inhuman than the participants in lynch mobs in the old South? Or the henchmen of Stalin who took peasants food because their higher up apparatchiks told them it was their duty to starve millions to death for not wanting to lose what little food they had to a warped concept of collectivization?

Were the soldiers evil who enthusiastically bought in to the concept that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" and gave it their all to make that happen, just especially inhuman or just very very human,v

Anyone who says "rather than do such things I would accept the death penalty that they have threatened me with and die with courageous pride" can never know if they really would have the courage to be a heroic pacifist refusenik till they 're faced with a do or die right now tcommand,

What if presented with this not uncommon option; kill who we tell you to or stand there and watch your loved ones be tortured to a slow painful death.

The Nazis and the rest were, I'm sorry to say, just being utter,my human, it's what we do.


#16

Should also point out that Obama DID propose cuts to both Social Security and Medicare in late 2013, even deeper cuts than proposed by Ryan and the Republicans at the time. Where was Reich's "affront to decency", then? Attacks on the poor have been very much a bipartisan effort for decades, not something new under Trump.


#17

Fly Over USA, as the middle of the country is usually called, is entrenched in this hate methodology, with a few exceptions. Having lived in Indiana and Kansas for ten years, I felt it everyday. The political south has gained much ground since the civil war. VP Mike Dunce is Exhibit A. Sanford is incorrect - the people who subscribe to this ideology do not need the President's license as it was already happening. Anyone who says that Trump is the reason is lying and obfuscating decades of the practice.

We are a flood headed into the Crevasse.


#18

One thing about the GW Bush administration that folks tend to misremember is that there really was not a lot of actual lying. Most of the time they made statements that lead people to believe falsehoods. It was crafty and disgusting, but nothing like Trump.


#19

Exactly. The world ends at the banks of the Niagara and the lake shore. Which is a good thing I guess, or refugees looking for a better live would be swimming across the Niagara from Buffalo and boat people would be making the dangerous crossing of Lake Ontario in rickety boats from Rochester...

Ice-crossings to freedom and a better life are possible from Cleveland, Toledo and Erie but with global warming, Lake Erie does not freeze over like it used to...


#20

Every human has done something that others do not like. Gandhi, for instance, was a racist.