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Six weeks and six days after Abraham Lincoln gave his second inaugural address on March 4, 1865 he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer. His speech was a plea to end the division of the states that had cost the lives of over 600,000 troops and 400,000 civilians: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” But even more than 150 years later we are still fighting the Civil War. Voting patterns for Southerners, regardless of the name of the political party representing them, whether Democratic or Republican, have remained the same. They vote against the North, as the old saying goes: “People voted as they had shot,” and are still doing so.
Who would have thought that when Donald Trump descended from the mount of Trump Tower on a golden escalator clutching his declaration for his run for the presidency, surrounded by clapping and cheering unemployed actors to which he had each paid $50, he would be nominated by the Republican Party, run the ugliest campaign since the Civil War, and become president-elect.
Here was a man with the morals of a snake and an average brain filled with malice toward anyone who opposed or criticized him---so that a thinking father would not open up his front door so he could pick up his daughter. His campaign appearances were marked by profanity, vulgarity, intemperance, racism, vindictiveness, cruelty, and an absolutely shocking ignorance of the policies and affairs of state. Being the father of four daughters, I thought the Access Hollywood tape of his grabbing and groping of p------s would finally reveal to women what a real scumbag he is. I was wrong. He evidently does a lot of groping and grabbing. In a Peggy Noonan 1994 out-of-print book she described a 1993 incident at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner when The Donald was a guest of Vanity Fair. He sat next to model Vendela Kirseborn. Here is Reagan speechwriter Noonan’s description of the incident: “Donald Trump was with us, at the next table….I looked into his eyes---small, bright, thoughtfree---and was surprised to think: he’s crazy. He was seated next to a beautiful young woman named Vendela….About an hour into dinner there was movement—someone leaving our table, Vendela joining us. She was composed but looked as if she’d endured something, like a swimmer. Trump, I was told, had spent the meal talking about her breasts and other women’s breasts and who had good legs and who’s probably good at sex. It was all so vulgar, so comically crass, that it was a surprise.” The president-elect is clearly a psychopath. Even his hairdo is psychopathic. From every angle in a large room the “do” says loudly: “Here I am in all my rich, glorious self!”
What Hath Trump Wrought?
Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who spent 18 months shadowing Trump and actually wrote “The Art of The Deal” for him, has felt obliged to tell the world about his qualities: “The reason I’ve come forward is I believe Trump is deeply unqualified and would be extremely dangerous as president by virtue of his easily aroused anger and thin skin. He has such a short attention span that he was, in my experience, unable to retain much information about any subject because he couldn’t pay attention for long enough to do that. It’s reflected in the severe limits of his vocabulary, the elementary nature of the sentences that he speaks.” (Remember how “Nasty” Hillary got to him with just a simple remark?) He is a perfect model for bullies and racists of any age, who now after the election have revealed themselves in many cities.
• In Minneapolis a fifth grade white boy accosted a third grade Muslim girl and told her he was going to shoot her. The next day teachers caught him with an air pistol.
• Southern Methodist University in Dallas after the election discovered fliers placed in residence halls that claimed black men were much more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases and that “your kids probably wouldn’t be as smart.” Distributed by a white supremacist Alt-Right group, the fliers warned white women they “should probably just avoid black men” because they would be assaulted by black men who cannot be trusted. The same fliers have been found at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Michigan.
• West High School in Iowa City is a school of 2,000 with about 40% minorities. The day after the election 15-year-old Muslim Lujayn Hamad wearing her hijab was told by a boy to “Go back home!” She is an American citizen. Another girl was surrounded by heckling students and called a terrorist. Black students were surrounded by white students chanting “Trump!” In a classroom a student noticed the absence of a Latina classmate and remarked: “I wonder if she got deported!”
• In Ladue, Mo., two students were disciplined for telling black students boarding a bus to make sure they sat in the back.
• At a middle school in Bethesda, Maryland that has a large number of Jewish students, swastikas were drawn on the walls of student bathrooms. Latino students asked their guidance counselors whether they and their families were going to be deported. A member of the Young Republicans club who wore a T-Shirt emblazoned with “Hillary for Prison” was angrily accused for Trump’s victory. Fear of being beaten up forced him to take off the shirt.
• The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racial incidents across the country, reported that thousands of these types of incidents are occurring in K-12 schools.
Will Trump “Make America Great Again” By “Making America White Again?”
In the November 21 issue of the New Yorker, black Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison published “Mourning for America” where she argues that Trump “won due to the terror of privileged white men in the face of a rapidly diversifying country. Morrison writes: “White Americans and particularly white men are so afraid of the collapse of white privilege that they flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. On Election Day, how eagerly so many white voters—both the poorly educated and the well educated—embraced the shame and fear sowed by Donald Trump. The candidate whose company has been sued by the Justice Department for not renting to black people…who questioned whether Barack Obama was born in the United States…who seemed to condone the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester at a campaign rally…who kept black workers off the floors of his casinos…who is beloved by David Duke and endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.”
Evidently most of the leaders of various churches and organizations of the “religious” right think that Trump is a terrific role model for young Christians. Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University said Trump “lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught.” I just don’t recall Jesus saying he could get by with anything because he was a famous big prophet while he sexually assaulted Mary Magdalene and Ruth. Maybe I wasn’t paying any attention to Father Lamotte and the catechism that day. Falwell spoke at the Republican Convention and later wrote that Trump was another Churchill in an op-ed in The Post. Now that is really hilarious. Ralph Reed, formerly of the money-making Christian Coalition, said a ten-year-old tape was not important at all. If Ralph had been around in Christ’s time he would have been tossed out of the temple on his greedy butt. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council evidently believes Trump is a great “family values” guy because he stuck with Trump through thick and thin. I wonder of skin color and abortion had anything to do with his support.
TV preacher Pat Robertson is another man of the cloth, as long as it’s cashmere, who dismissed the Access Hollywood tapes because Trump was only trying to be “macho.” So sexual assault is manly? Who leads these guys? Is it the guy with the forked tongue and tail? James Dobson, former leader of the most-Christian Focus on the Family, also voted for Trump. His focus must be 200/200. He supported Trump because he is a “baby Christian!” He didn’t define “baby.” Another favorite Christian of mine is Franklin Graham. He recognized The Donald’s “crude comments” but he had to support him because the agenda of the Democrats was “godless.” That’s with a small “g.” And then we have that very serious local “faith writer” Roxanne Salonen who wrote: “Trump presidency brings many faithful hope.” Geez, I must have missed all of those Trump sermons from the mount of Trump Tower.
Does The Declaration of Independence of 1776 About Equality Mean Anything?
The 2016 election was about four major issues: a continuation of our Civil War, income inequality, racial inequality, and a mess of cultural issues---and religion lurked as a fifth, tainting the other four. In the Declaration of Independence our white Founding Fathers, in 1776, before the approval of the Constitution in 1787, approved the central idea that “all men are created equal.” This election proved we have a long way to go to live up to that declaration. We are still debating whether blacks and other minorities are equal to whites, whether homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals, whether the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is equal to the Ku Klux Klan, White Citizens Councils, and Alt-Right, whether transgenders are equal to cisgenders, whether women are equal to men, whether workers can organize to form unions, whether healthcare is a right for all or a privilege for the few, whether a homeless veteran’s vote counts the same as Donald Trump’s, and whether we agree on dozens of other issues.
–I see race and religion have been combined by “Americans for a Better Way” to send a message to three California mosques the past weekend stating that Trump would “cleanse America and make it shine again” and would lead a campaign to carry out genocide against Muslims. The letters contained this hate-filled line: “You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge.” This is another group that hailed Trump’s victory with arms and palms raised in the salute that allowed Hitler to commit another genocide.