Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Random Polling. By Geniusofdespair

I go around asking strangers what they think of Donald Trump. I make my feelings known so it is a push poll and not really relevant as a poll at all. Listen, if I have the chutzpah to hug 100's of strangers in my Abrazame campaign, I certainly can ask strangers questions. The odd thing I have found, Blacks all say the same thing: "We have to wait and see." The last African American I asked Friday gave me that answer and I replied: "It is already happening."

Yes I know, this isn't Scientific or anything, but I did find it odd to get the exact same answer from a dozen people on random days in random places.  That is exactly the same answer I get from Moderate Republicans. Not one white Democrat gave me that answer. They all expressed fear. I don't have much hope either. I am very afraid. And if I was Jewish, Hispanic or Muslim, I would be horrified.

I am going to put an article here and bold the stuff that is really scary to me. I do hope you read it.

Steve Bannon

By TRUDY RUBIN (She has special expertise on the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe and travels abroad frequently. In 2003-10 she made eleven trips to Iraq, two to Iran and four to Afghanistan and Pakistan.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Standing squarely behind President Trump and whispering in his ear is his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who is shaping up to be the second most powerful person in the White House.

Bannon is the former editor of the right-wing Breitbart website (a platform for far-right extremists) and is the architect of Trump’s cruel and chaotic visa ban. He has become so powerful that liberal and conservative pundits alike speak of the Bannon Regency and (only half in jest) of “President” Bannon.

In a startling sign of Bannon’s influence, Trump officially named him to his National Security Council, even though domestic political advisers are rarely regular attendees, and then only informally. At the same time, Trump demoted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (the top U.S. military officer) from a full to an occasional member.

You get the picture.

Yet Bannon’s radical worldview should unnerve anyone who still thinks American democracy is based on religious and political tolerance. And his outlook clearly syncs with Trump’s gut instincts. So the Breitbart provocateur has become the White House ideologue-in-chief.

Thus it behooves those who believe in traditional American values to scrutinize Bannon’s sayings and doings (although he likes to operate in secret). A good place to start is the speech he gave to a Catholic conference on poverty in the Vatican in 2014. The conference was hosted by a conservative Catholic group close to Cardinal Raymond Burke, a voice of Catholic orthodoxy and traditionalism who has publicly clashed with the inclusive views of Pope Francis.

In his remarks Bannon railed against the decline of capitalism, the church and the West, a trio of crises, he said, that underlay the rise of populist anger. Himself a member of the elite, as a Harvard grad and former Goldman Sachs banker, he denounced the crisis of “crony capitalism” that had cheated the middle classes in the United States and Europe. (Note that Trump has filled his cabinet with crony capitalists and Goldman Sachs bankers with no sign of protest from Bannon.)

As for the cure, this self-styled provocateur claims it lies in political upheaval. At the Vatican he praised the rise of radical populist parties that promote a xenophobic brand of nationalism. They reject multilateral institutions, including the European Union, that have kept peace on the continent for decades.

“I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors,” Bannon said, “and I think it’s what can see us forward.”

The former editor portrays himself as an early leader of the international populist rebellion, noting that Breitbart had provided a platform for Britain’s UKIP (the Brexit party), France’s National Front and other such movements.

When asked about the anti-Semitic, racist “baggage” of some of these groups, Bannon was dismissive, saying, “We think that will all be worked through with time.” That “time” has not arrived for many of the white nationalists who air their conspiracy theories on Breitbart; they clearly feel freer to promote their racism in the age of Trump. And, strangely, despite Bannon’s constant reference to Judeo-Christian values, a recent White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day failed to mention the word Jews.

But back to Bannon’s speech. Especially interesting was his take on Vladimir Putin’s Russia: “At least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism,” said Trump’s thought shaper. Putin’s Russian orthodoxy is an inspiration for Europeans who “want to see nationalism for their country” and “don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States.”

In other words, Bannon could overlook Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s assassination of opponents in the interests of aligning with a Christian Orthodox nationalist nation. Despite the hacking scandal and Moscow’s threats against NATO, Bannon’s position hasn’t changed.

What’s so amazing about Bannon’s worldview is his dismissiveness of history. He harked back favorably to the pre-World War I era, when, he said, capitalism was “in its highest flower” and “the world was at peace.”

Perhaps he’s untroubled by the awful conditions workers endured at the beginning of the 20th century. But how can Trump’s top aide have failed to notice that the prewar system of balance of power between strong nationalist states was a horrific failure and led to the two most devastating world wars in history? And that multilateral institutions such as the European Union and NATO prevented any further European wars.

Perhaps that willful blindness stems from Bannon’s conviction that a world war against radical Islam is imminent. He insisted that, “We’re at the very beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.” Clearly he has bought into the thesis that Christian civilization is at risk.

Trump’s Islamophobic national security adviser, Michael Flynn, promotes the same over-the-top message. And some of Trump’s transition advisers, such as Frank Gaffney, who appeared 34 times on a radio show hosted by Bannon, push absurd conspiracy theories that imagine Muslims imposing sharia law on the United States. Such apocalyptic visions misconstrue the real, but manageable, struggle that must, and will, be waged against Islamist terrorists.

But with Bannon by Trump’s side, whispering anti-Muslim warnings in his ear, and encouraging disdain for alliances and allies, the chaos of the president’s first weeks makes perfect sense. Every Muslim is a threat. The Australian prime minister is a wimp. The hell with the European Union. We'll fight the Islamic fascists with Putin (another mirage).

And as if that weren’t enough, Bannon has predicted on the radio that we'll be going to war with China.

Svengali? Rasputin? Or just a clever political provocateur? Bannon’s views are all there in the Vatican speech, and in his radio broadcasts. I hope responsible GOP legislators and cabinet members will digest and counter them. Otherwise, we should all be very afraid.


Anonymous said...

To me it's no scarier that the "progressive" agenda of CNN or MSMBC which my grandkids are going to pay for.

And it is virtually impossible for this blogger to conduct any significantly meaniful poll on Trump. by definition it is push pull with the question. "what do you think of Donal Trump" (vs how would you rate President Trump's team's transition to date? )

Geniusofdespair said...

It was not a meaningful poll. I said it wasn't. The ONLY interesting part: I got the same exact answer to the same question 12 times.

Don't worry about your grandkids paying for an progressive agenda, they will be too busy with war and sea level rise. And, if you are taking Social Security and medicare or plan to, you are part of the progressive agenda. If you forgo both, then please feel free to complain.

Progressive and proud of it said...

Your kids will be lucky if they are alive after a war with Arabs/China/North Korea, that the crazy man in the White House will start.

Anonymous said...

Of course It was a push poll, genius announced his position first.

Anonymous said...

The Trump inner circle is full of "traditionalist" alt right advisors promoting the current agenda of anti immigration, 'so called' judges, fake news, terror plots that never happened, Russia's strong leader, rollback of consumer protection, minimizing the CIA, SEAL raids that go wrong, as well as a general contempt for anyone who voices any opposition or another view of any subject matter they promote.
This is a pretty bad first few weeks for the republic.

Anonymous said...

First they came ...
Statement and provocative poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller

"First they came ..." is a statement and poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt and responsibility.

The best-known versions of the speech are the poems that began circulating by the 1950s.[1] The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum quotes the following text as one of the many poetic versions of the speech:[2]

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else, Trump has inspired some really great protest signs. The above reminds me of one of my favorites thus far "Then they came for the Muslims and I said Not this time Mother F@@@ker!" The folks who responded to your unscientific poll with "We have to wait and see" are engaging in magical thinking. Those who are not completely outraged by the fact that Trump is POTUS has not been paying attention.