Samir’s Selection 03/04/2016 (p.m.)

  • It took the Trump victories on Super Tuesday to force a reckoning by Republicans. Now they should look in the mirror.

    Add this one to Donald Trump’s lengthening list of firsts: He’s forced a Republican Party reckoning overdue for years, all in a few days. It took the Trump-dominated Super Tuesday contests to awaken Republican leaders to the fact that the darkest elements of the party’s base, which many of them have embraced or exploited, are now threatening their party…

    Then came an open letter from 95 Republican national security experts, who declared themselves “united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency.” Of Mr. Trump they wrote: “He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.” Yet some among them have swung wildly in those same directions. Some were Bush administration officials who supported some of the worst foreign policy disasters this country has ever experienced, including the Iraq war. It is rich that they should now criticize Mr. Trump for policies that could make America less safe…

    Of course, in terms of domestic and foreign policy positions, Mr. Cruz is probably more extreme than Mr. Trump, and Mr. Rubio is hardly different…

    It was a surprising moment, since Mr. Romney relished Mr. Trump’s endorsement in 2012. And Mr. Romney, who was rejected by the Republican electorate in 2008 and the rest of the country in 2012, is exactly the kind of politician that the aggrieved crowds backing Mr. Trump are voting against…

    At one point, Mr. Romney said: “Mr. Trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. He creates scapegoats of Muslims and Mexican immigrants” — with absolutely no sense of self-awareness. Mr. Romney himself played to the worst kind of xenophobia when he proposed getting rid of 11 million undocumented immigrants by forcing them to “self-deport.” He also listed Mr. Trump’s offenses — “the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.” Did Mr. Romney have any sense of irony when he said those words? For far too long, they could have been used to describe many in his party: legislators, congressional leadership, its policy makers.

    tags: USpolitics conservative MittRomney DonaldTrump extremism intolerance racism propaganda neoconservative hypocrisy

  • Trump’s supporters know what he stands for: hatred of immigrants, racial superiority, a sneering disregard of the basic civility that binds a society…

    it’s time to place the blame for the elevation of a tyrant as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee where it belongs — with the people. Yes, you. Donald Trump’s supporters know exactly what he stands for: hatred of immigrants, racial superiority, a sneering disregard of the basic civility that binds a society. Educated and poorly educated alike, men and women — they know what they’re getting from him…

    This idea that people are following Trump only for the celebrity joy ride, that if they just understood the kind of radical, anti-American ideas he advocates they would drop him, is garbage. If the pope couldn’t dent Trump, Romney surely will not…

    They aren’t upset that he’s attacked one of the foundations of an open society — free speech — with his recent call to “open up” the libel laws. Nor does it bother them in the least that he wants to apply a religious test for entry into a country whose founders were against any such thing. A majority of his Super Tuesday backers, in fact, support just that.

    And recent kudos from a pro-slavery radio host will certainly not dampen his legions. That support came from James Edwards. “For blacks in America,” he has said, “slavery is the best thing that ever happened to them.”

    When high school kids waved a picture of Trump while shouting “Build a wall” at students from a heavily Hispanic school during a basketball game in Indiana last week, they were exhaling Trump’s sulfurous vapors. They know exactly what he stands for.

    Granted, a huge portion of the population is woefully ignorant; nearly a third of Americans didn’t know who Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was in a Gallup poll last year. But ignorance is not the problem with Trump’s people. They’re sick and tired of tolerance. In Super Tuesday exit polls, Trump dominated among those who want someone to “tell it like it is.” And that translates to an explicit “play to our worst fears,” as Meg Whitman, the prominent Republican business leader, said.

    “He’s saying how the people really feel,” one Trump supporter from Massachusetts, Janet Aguilar, told The Times. “We’re all afraid to say it.”

    They’re saying it now. So more than a third of Trump supporters in South Carolina wish the South had won the Civil War, and 70 percent think the Confederate flag should be flying over the state capital. And 32 percent believe internment of Japanese-American citizens was a good thing — something that the sainted Ronald Reagan apologized for.

    Judge him by his followers, who’ve thrown away the dog whistle…

    tags: DonaldTrump USpolitics publicopinion conservative racism TimothyEgan

  • For a growing group of conservative leaders, Donald Trump’s initial refusal to disavow an endorsement from a white supremacist was a breaking point.

    tags: DonaldTrump USpolitics conservative

  • tags: socialmedia connectivity behaviour culture mediafreedom anthropology ethnography narcissism addiction selfie meme persona identity distraction Luddite

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