Few pundits deny that Trump presently owns the GOP.
Should that continue to prevail, this dangerous condition could destroy our democracy.
Trump’s basic theme from the outset used hate as the point of his political spear to attack the basic beliefs most of us had of our democratic system.
Most of us understood America for a long time was far from perfect but our institutions by and large, always through fair elections, always looked for constructive ways to do better.
Then came this dissention vendor, using hate at every turn to denigrate our revered institutions. And worse of all, he has often succeeded!!
This brilliant November 22, 2016 Time Magazine article you can read here forecasts perfectly what was to come. I have put it here in full as its reading gives me shivers as to its prescience.
Donald Trump and the Epidemiology of Hate https://t.co/u0OVSmBBuf
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) February 10, 2022
It authors were: “Dr. Goel is a physician and recipient of the Cannes Lion for his work in human rights advocacy. Andrew Goldstein is primary care physician at Bellevue Hospital and a clinical instructor at New York University.”
Perhaps the most haunting realization of a Donald Trump presidency is the normalization of exceedingly reactionary sentiments that run counter to the founding principles of America. It is neither partisan nor opinion to suggest that the rhetoric surrounding the Trump campaign was definitionally hateful, misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist. Beyond its toll on our political discourse, this hatred can have real and dramatic health implications. In addition to the physical harm potentially caused by violence, hate crimes can lead to tremendous downstream health consequences caused by anxiety, fear and the psychological effects of isolation.
We have already heard of election-related increases in anxiety levels among patients and reports indicate that utilization of crisis support services is on the rise. We believe that existing public health and medical approaches offer a unique opportunity to tackle this emerging threat.
The first step of a public health approach is to understand what is happening and to whom. Hatred appears to have been further emboldened by Trump’s win. Hate crimes — such as graffiti, verbal attacks, and violence — already increased during the campaign and this trend may be worsening since the election. Apart from the act, the transgressions appeared directed towards the fill in the blank “other” — women, immigrants, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ — and there is simply no hiding the fact that much of it is done in the name of Trump or his electoral win.
Though Trump has not outright called for violence, he has insufficiently denounced it. With Steve Bannon, who openly pushes an ideology of bigotry, and Senator Jeff Sessions, known for his homophobic and nativist policies, Trump continues to enable a permissive environment. It was perhaps our explicit worst fear that Trump’s demagoguery and the media air time devoted to it would lead to a rise in not only hateful speech in the public but also a subsequent increase in hate crimes and violence. This fear appears to be proving true with early data released last week by the FBI which stated there was a nearly 6% rise in hate crimes in 2015 from the year before. Further, 2015 marked the highest number of hate crimes directed towards Muslims since 2001, totaling 257 for the year which was a 67% hike from 2014. In New York City, hate crimes are up 31% from 2015. There appears to be an epidemic of hate.
Just a few examples of what came from Trump’s ascendency.
The media became “fake news”.
The Supreme Court ignoring Stare decisis.
The GOP leaders blocking every Biden initiative except infrastructure without embarrassment.
Or the proliferation of bad laws on choice and restrictions on voting wherever the GOP is in control.
Certain to be named as the most major of his offenses, Trump’s attempted theft of the 2020 Presidential election based on non-existent voter fraud, which continues to drive his attempts to get re-elected in 2024.
His hate modus operandi is infectious as Youngkin’s team attacks on a teenager show. Read here the first paragraphs of this distressing article.
What Gov. Youngkin should say to Virginia teen: ‘I’m sorry we made you a target’ https://t.co/nAuwIn94ff
— Post Local (@postlocal) February 9, 2022
Team Youngkin posted a photo of the high school senior standing with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and placed it alongside a racist photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook.
“Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook,” the tweet read.
After people expressed shock that a governor-backed account was targeting a minor, the tweet was deleted. Then on Monday, Youngkin (R) attempted to explain his role in the incident. He tweeted: “On Saturday night, an unauthorized tweet came from a campaign account. I regret that this happened and it shouldn’t have. I have addressed it with my team. We must continue to work to bring Virginians together. There is so much more that unites us than divides us.”
That last part is true. There is so much more that unites us than divides us. One of those things is our desire to protect our children. We may not always agree on how to do that — um, masks in schools — but I think most of us would agree that should be a priority. Most of us can also probably remember what it was like to be a teenager, and how amplified one event could feel in our lives. First loves felt enduring. First breakups felt like the end of the world. Bullying felt all encompassing.
The rest you can read here.
We may well see this Trumpian clone as a Presidential candidate, as Trump becomes perceived by the GOP as more of a liability than an asset, as I have long predicted.
Trump, a sickening hatemonger, has yet to be convicted for his treasonous behavior. If he is not, that failure may expose and exacerbate our greatest weakness as a fragile democracy.
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"From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013": https://t.co/lkC2t3E1A9 pic.twitter.com/bQsL2mLBcO
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) November 1, 2021
High school student attacked in tweet by Virginia governor’s campaign
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