"SE PROMENER D'UN PAS AGILE AU TEMPLE DE LA VÉRITÉ LA ROUTE EN ÉTAIT DIFFICILE" VOLTAIRE
mars 23, 2023
Cher(e) Lecteur (trice)
J’ai longtemps voulu croire que le 45è Président des Etats-Unis n’était qu’un vulgaire clown. Et je suis confus d’employer ce terme car c’est faire injure à tous les vrais clowns et en particulier au plus célèbre et plus fin d’entre eux : Grock.
Je me suis trompé et lourdement trompé.
J’espère qu’ils me pardonneront.
Voici quatre articles du New York Times et de la prestigieuse revue américaine Foreign Policy et deux cartoons du New York Times qui alertent sur la face noire de Donald Trump.
Terrifiant et si triste de penser que la démocratie américaine a pu élire un personnage aussi dangereux.
A lire à l’occasion de l’ouverture du sommet du G 20 à Hambourg.
En sus de son combat simulé de boxe avec les journalistes l’article sur Mika Brezinski qui a été si vulgairement attaquée par Trump.
Le tout est sinistre et affolant.
Neuilly le 07 Juillet 2017
The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist New York Times
Trump 2020 Is No Joke
Roger Cohen JUNE 23, 2017
President Trump is holding the first fundraiser of his 2020 re-election campaign later this month at the Trump International Hotel near the White House.
That is now a normal sort of sentence. It may be true or it may not (in fact it is). There’s no enormity about it. Already, on the 154th day of this presidency, Americans are suffering from incredulity fatigue. Oh, we just sold $12 billion of fighter jets to Qatar a few days after Trump accused Doha of being a major funder of terrorism — that kind of thing.
So much for the theory Trump would get bored of the job (or distance himself from his business empire). He’s thinking eight years; the June 28 dinner with him is billed as a “BIG LEAGUE” event for his supporters.
What, one wonders, makes it “Big League?” Up until now, Trump has consistently fulfilled only one campaign promise: “We must as a nation be more unpredictable.” Trumpism is an exercise in arbitrariness. At its core lies distraction.
The aim is to get Americans’ heads spinning. Have them waste time dissecting statement “X” as Trump moves on to outburst “Y.” For example, “I’ll absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people.” That was a good one.
Or, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.” Six weeks later, Trump reveals that there are no tapes of the conversation. Not bad. Had a Nixonian ring to it.
Noise is the thing — and adrenaline and suspense. There is no content, meaning, history or gravity. Can the president, less than six months into his first term, really hold a 2020 fundraiser in his own Washington hotel? The Oval Office has become the Oval Adjunct. It provides, at taxpayer expense, an ancillary service to Trump properties.
Trump visits Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and writes in the guest book: “It is a great honor to be here with all my friends — so amazing & will never forget!”
Almost as amazing as the White House’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that did not mention the Jews. Oh, yes, them. There we have it: the unbearable lightness of being Donald Trump. His latest is a “solar wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. Remember that one.
In “Humboldt’s Gift,” Saul Bellow wrote that the United States is “a big operation, very big.” One thing is certain: It is bigger than this little man.
Trumpism is a form of collective gaslighting at Twitter speed. It is founded on the principle that velocity trumps veracity — perfect for the president’s manic personality. It reflects the president’s intuitive sense — through his own acute experience — of limited attention spans. It seeks to achieve dominance through a whirlwind of individually meaningless but cumulatively manipulative statements.
Max Weber, the German sociologist, contrasted modern “legal rule” with “traditional rule.” In the first, “the person who commands has himself to obey the rule;” in the second, the lord’s administrative staff is made up of “personal dependents (members of the household or household officials) or from relatives or personal friends (favorites).” In this setup, “the bureaucratic idea of competence as objectively demarcated spheres of responsibility is absent.”
Trump functions, still, within our democratic institutions, but with a personal court (composed in part of family). Legal rule, as defined by Weber, is not really his thing. The vassal-like professions of fealty from his cabinet the other day — feudalism meets Pyongyang — demonstrated why he likes Saudi Arabia so much and has such evident reservations about the Republic.
There are many things that concern me about the Trump presidency — in fact, few don’t — but the frivolous blurring of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, is the most grave. Liberty depends on facts. When the distinction between truth and lies disappears there is no basis for the rational discourse on which the organization of a free society, governed by laws, depends. Disorientation propagates itself — and disoriented people are more inclined to accept a despot as sole font of truth.
There’s no policy toward Syria. There’s no policy toward Russia. There’s contempt from the White House for important European allies. There’s shock — really — that China is not whipping North Korea into shape. There’s a grotesque attempt to deprive tens of millions of Americans of health insurance. There’s contempt from a man of 71 for the planet his grandchildren will inherit.
All of this is serious. But it’s not as serious as the seeping, constant attempt — one sacred value at a time — to disorient Americans to the point they accept the unacceptable, cede to the grotesque, acquiesce to total arbitrariness as a governing principle. On one side the Constitution; on the other the rabbit hole that leads to the Trump International Hotel.
And to Trump saying of President Andrew Jackson that “he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’”
In fact, Jackson had been dead for 16 years when the Civil War began. He said nothing.
There is no reason to or in Trumpism. That’s the point and the danger of it.
Roger Cohen New York Times
It’s OK That Trump Doesn’t Care About Human Rights
America still does.
• By Suzanne Nossel Suzanne Nossel is executive director of the Pen American Center and was formerly deputy assistant secretary of state for international organizations at the U.S. State Department.
• June 19, 2017
Amid the endless post-mortem of Donald Trump’s first overseas trip, human rights advocates have focused more fire on what the president didn’t say than what he did: His failure to call out rights abuses in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else left activists aghast. Yet, nearly five months into Trump’s administration, his attitude toward human rights can come as no surprise.
The president doesn’t go much for strictures of any kind, much less international legal standards and softer norms developed by humanitarians, activists, and lawyers. He has little regard for precepts and edicts enshrined in treaties and overseen by U.N. institutions.
He isn’t moved by the invocation of universal values, principles, or truths. He isn’t even moved by the courage of the powerless citizen who challenges the strongman; between authoritarian rulers and the dissidents who challenge them, he chooses the former almost every time.
In light of this, it is time for human rights advocates to pivot from voicing outrage at the president’s failure to press for rights in his global pronouncements and appearances and instead double down on making sure the rest of the world understands he does not speak for all Americans. The idea that the current White House will press Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to release his country’s jailed journalists and academics, urge China’s Xi Jinping to loosen restrictions on anti-government speech, or persuade Arab leaders to usher in democratic reforms is fantasy.
Moreover, coming from this president, speeches and statements on human rights would ring hollow, compounding the global propensity to read hypocrisy and cynicism into American articulations of values. Rights advocates would be better off working to temper the worst in Trump’s domestic policies and finding other vehicles and voices to uphold, and ultimately restore, the credibility of the United States as a global human rights standard-bearer. Advocates may find there is a silver lining of sorts in Trump’s silence on rights: It creates an opportunity for more credible actors — from members of Congress to intellectuals and activists — to remind the world that despite Trump’s election, liberal values and support for dissidents remain strong across the United States.
Consider Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, which aimed to rally Sunni Muslim nations to redouble the fight against terrorism. Trump promised Arab allies, “We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.” Trump’s sojourn in Saudi Arabia made no mention of the country’s imprisoned and brutalized political dissidents, no comment on its repressive policies toward women, gays and lesbians, or minority groups. Foregoing critique of any kind, he pronounced the kingdom “magnificent.” And just weeks before, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a tour d’horizon speech to diplomats that stressed national security and economic interests and slighted human rights and democratic values.
Make no mistake: Trump and Tillerson’s silence on human rights issues is a betrayal to rights advocates and those they defend. There is every reason to voice alarm that the U.S. president is surrendering American credibility as a force for human rights, betraying rights defenders and dissidents who have long looked to Washington as an ally, and even undercutting years of rights-oriented policy by demonstrating that America’s commitment to its professed values is politically contingent and expendable.
The damage caused by Trump’s reversals will be real and lasting. However fraught and uneven, the U.S. commitment to human rights has long imbued its foreign policy with a sense of moral conviction and uplift, tempered some of Washington’s most bellicose and self-serving instincts, and made international affairs into something more purposeful than a grinding, cyclical power game.
But the real blow to U.S. global human rights leadership is, of course, a function of beliefs, policies, and actions — not simply the rhetoric that reflects them. Trump was quick to remake the Obama administration’s standoffish relationship with Egyptian military ruler Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ending the cold shoulder with the warm embrace of a high-profile visit to Washington and praise for the autocrat’s “fantastic job” as president. Neither Trump nor anyone in the administration has spoken about Egypt’s killing of protesters and arrests of tens of thousands of political dissidents.
Trump’s affection has given Sisi license to issue a draconian new law regulating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), never mind that such laws have previously been used to target and even jail American NGO workers. In late March, Tillerson greenlighted large-scale arms shipments including F-16 airplanes to Bahrain, lifting human rights conditions that the Obama administration imposed after a harsh crackdown on protesters. The most heavily touted “deliverable” of Trump’s Middle East junket was a $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. No amount of homage to jailed activists or pleas for women’s rights could ever have made up for that.
Earlier, Tillerson had skipped the public release of the State Department’s annual global human rights report, an event traditionally attended by his predecessors regardless of party. In his initial weeks in office, Trump made clear that he favored reintroducing torture as an interrogation technique and only demurred because Defense Secretary James Mattis talked him out of it. Top human rights posts in the administration either sit empty or have been filled with officials who lack any human rights background or expertise — meaning that when key decisions are made, no one will be at the table to advocate that rights be considered. Trump’s one grand “humanitarian” gesture since taking office, ordering cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base that was used to launch a chemical weapons attack, was, by his own account, an act of intuition and impulse, driven by outrage and possibly by compassion but not by fealty to an international norm under assault.
The Trump administration has also pursued domestic policies that call into question America’s claim to international leadership in areas including press freedom, tolerance for political dissent, women’s rights, and the protection of religious minorities, refugees, and immigrants. Trump’s attacks on the press and false cries of fake news make it impossible for him to act as a champion for the rights of journalists or independent media globally.
His indignation at criticism and propensity to lash out against opponents make him an uneasy ally for dissidents worldwide. His slashing of funding for women’s health care and reproductive rights would hollow out any pronouncements he might offer on women’s rights. His restrictive approach to refugees, plans for a wall to block migrants from Mexico, and indifference toward immigrant workers render him unfit to extoll the virtues of a humane approach to global migration.
Beyond that, Trump’s refusal to respect the integrity and independence of federal law enforcement institutions, his cronyism, nepotism, lack of transparency, and proclivity toward self-dealing make him an impossible exponent for the values of good governance, accountability, transparency, and rule of law that underpin the defense of human rights.
Given all this, human rights advocates need to do more than decry each and every missed opportunity for the president to articulate a set of values that he manifestly does not share. Even those U.S. presidents most passionate about the spread of rights and freedoms — Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama — walked a tightrope in trying to maintain America’s credibility on human rights while seeking to advance a breadth of foreign-policy interests, many of which directly contradicted rights-respecting policies. For as long as the United States has had an articulated human rights policy Washington has been dogged by charges of selectivity, hypocrisy, and empty rhetoric.
Against this backdrop, Trumpian pronouncements on human rights seem liable to hurt more than they help, making it easier to impugn other American leaders and future presidents as equally insincere.
This is not to suggest that advocates should give up on the role of the United States as a defender of human rights. Now, with authoritarianism on the rise in China, Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, and Hungary and intact in much of the Middle East and Africa — and backsliding likely to accelerate amid an absence of leadership from the White House — brave rights defenders and dissidents in those countries need more international support, not less. Left to their own interests, governments like Russia and China that wish to weaken international human rights institutions and instruments will seize opportunities to expand their influence. Progress made in advancing norms of international accountability, LGBT rights, and the protection of journalists and human rights defenders will almost certainly atrophy.
But crocodile tears from President Trump, should they even be offered, will address none of that. Much more important are efforts to show the world that the current administration is neither the only face of America’s role in the world nor the sole vessel for U.S. values.
Most foreign governments and informed citizens know that most of Washington regards his leadership with skepticism and that his public approval ratings are at historic lows.
Most foreign governments and informed citizens know that most of Washington regards his leadership with skepticism and that his public approval ratings are at historic lows. Members of Congress, civil society organizations, and other institutions work to defend human rights globally and can speak out and step up where the current administration won’t. The role of these actors in showing solidarity with dissidents, calling out repressive policies, supporting rights defenders, and advocating for the role of institutions and norms should redouble as the White House retreats.
That Trump won’t — and can’t credibly — speak out doesn’t mean that American society or even the American government must go quiet. Members of Congress can hold hearings, send letters, take meetings with visiting advocates, take part in delegations, and otherwise demonstrate that the U.S. government as a whole takes seriously its role as a human rights standard-bearer, even if the current administration amounts to an egregious lapse.
Funders should step up to help alleviate the strain that civil society organizations face in trying to address the challenges posed by the president’s domestic policies while simultaneously trying to fill the vacuum created by the administration’s retreat from America’s traditional role as a rights defender globally. These groups should not be forced to choose now that the agenda at home has grown so imperative as well.
In recent years, private funders of human rights campaigns have been shifting their support away from U.S.- and European-based groups in favor of direct help to advocates working in hotspots around the world. The logic is simple: The solution to human rights abuses in Turkey, Russia, or China won’t be found in Washington. The Obama administration reinforced these efforts through its own campaign to buttress local civil society organizations around the world, offer them financial support, and elevate their participation in international diplomacy. Importantly, this assistance in funding and organizational development came backed with the moral leadership of the U.S. government voiced at the highest levels and through its diplomatic missions.
But with President Trump’s budget dramatically scaling back such support, foundations should reinvest additional resources in organizations and partners who can keep faith with international counterparts, raise the global media profile of rights violations and crises, and apply pressure through international mechanisms and forums. Such efforts will help blunt the impact of the Trump administration’s indifference, catalyze the engagement of Capitol Hill on human rights issues, and sustain and strengthen connections internationally.
Trump’s retreat from leadership on human rights can be mitigated if nongovernmental groups lean in.
Trump’s retreat from leadership on human rights can be mitigated if nongovernmental groups lean in. Just as civil society organizations and the media are tempering some of the president’s most constitutionally and morally dubious domestic policies, so they should also help to bridge shortfalls in funding, speak out for those who counted on the United States for support, and fortify civil society groups that the Trump administration is abandoning.
The best way to preserve America’s global human rights leadership is not to put words in Trump’s mouth but to demonstrate that the U.S. system of government, strong independent civil society, and claim to global leadership are strong enough to withstand his term of office.
The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist
Trump’s Obama Obsession
Charles M. Blow JUNE 29, 2017 in New York Times
Donald Trump has a thing about Barack Obama. Trump is obsessed with Obama. Obama haunts Trump’s dreams. One of Trump’s primary motivators is the absolute erasure of Obama — were it possible — not only from the political landscape but also from the history books.
Trump is president because of Obama, or more precisely, because of his hostility to Obama. Trump came onto the political scene by attacking Obama.
Trump has questioned not only Obama’s birthplace but also his academic and literary pedigree. He was head cheerleader of the racial “birther” lie and also cast doubt on whether Obama attended the schools he attended or even whether he wrote his acclaimed books.
Trump has lied often about Obama: saying his inauguration crowd size exceeded Obama’s, saying that Obama tapped his phones and, just this week, saying that Obama colluded with the Russians.
Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy. Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.
President Trump heading to the White House Rose Garden on June 1, when he announced that he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?
The whole world seemed to love Obama — and by extension, held America in high regard — but the world loathes Trump. A Pew Research Center report issued this week found:
“Trump and many of his key policies are broadly unpopular around the globe, and ratings for the U.S. have declined steeply in many nations. According to a new Pew Research Center survey spanning 37 nations, a median of just 22 percent has confidence in Trump to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. This stands in contrast to the final years of Barack Obama’s presidency, when a median of 64 percent expressed confidence in Trump’s predecessor to direct America’s role in the world.”
Obama was a phenomenon. He was elegant and cerebral. He was devoid of personal scandal and drenched in personal erudition. He was a walking, talking rebuttal to white supremacy and the myths of black pathology and inferiority. He was the personification of the possible — a possible future in which legacy power and advantages are redistributed more broadly to all with the gift of talent and the discipline to excel.
It is not a stretch here to link people’s feelings about Obama to their feelings about his blackness. Trump himself has more than once linked the two.
Just two months before Trump announced his candidacy, he weighed in on the unrest in Baltimore in the wake of the police killing of Freddie Gray, tweeting:
“Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”
Months earlier, following the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., after the police killing of Michael Brown, Trump complained:
“President Obama has absolutely no control (or respect) over the African American community—they have fared so poorly under his presidency.”
Clearly, not only was Obama’s blackness in the front of Trump’s mind, but Trump also appears to subscribe to the racist theory that success or failure of a member of a racial group redounds to all in that group. This is a burden under which most minorities in this country labor.
Trump’s racial ideas were apparently a selling point among his supporters. Recent research has dispensed with the myth of “economic anxiety” and shone a light instead on the central importance race played in Trump’s march to the White House. As the researchers Sean McElwee and Jason McDaniel reported in The Nation in March:
“In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics.”
Trump was sent to Washington to strip it of all traces of Obama, to treat the Obama legacy as a historical oddity. Trump’s entire campaign was about undoing what Obama had done.
Indeed, much of what Trump has accomplished — and it hasn’t been much — has been to undo Obama’s accomplishments, like pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement and reversing an Obama-era rule that helped prevent guns from being purchased by certain mentally ill people.
For Trump, even plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aren’t so much about creating better policy as they are about dismantling Obama’s legacy. The problem with Obamacare isn’t that it hasn’t borne fruit, but rather that it bears Obama’s name.
For Trump, the mark of being a successful president is the degree to which he can expunge Obama’s presidency.
Charles M. Blow New York Times
Donald Trump Does His Best Joe McCarthy Impression
By JAMES RISEN and TOM RISEN JUNE 22, 2017 New York Times
Senator Joseph McCarthy, left, at the Army-McCarthy Senate hearings in 1954 and Donald Trump in Ohio in June 2016. Credit Leonard Mccombe/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images, (left); Patrick Semansky, via Associated Press, (right).
Wheeling, W.Va. — On Feb. 9, 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy disembarked from his Capital Airlines plane at Stifel Field here, where he planned to speak at a Lincoln Day event hosted by the Ohio County Women’s Republican Club.
At the McLure Hotel downtown that night, Joe McCarthy, a 41-year-old junior Republican senator from Wisconsin, gave one of the most infamous speeches in American history, mixing right-wing demagogy and outright lies as he claimed that there were hundreds of Communists burrowed deep in the State Department and accused President Harry Truman’s Democratic administration of refusing to weed them out.
His speech electrified a crowd of 275 in the McLure’s Colonnade ballroom and transformed him into a frightening national force. Mr. McCarthy blamed “elite” Democrats in the Truman administration, particularly Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who he said had failed to purge “the enemy within” that threatened America’s security and way of life: “While I cannot take the time to name all of the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205 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 in the State Department.”
By today’s standards, the news of Mr. McCarthy’s speech spread across the nation at a glacial pace. Only the local newspaper and radio station covered it (the radio station later mistakenly erased the only tape recording of the speech). It gained national notice because of a 110-word Associated Press story picked up by about two dozen newspapers around the country.
But within days, Mr. McCarthy’s accusation that there was a hidden Communist cabal at the heart of the American government blew up into a bitter national controversy. And before long, Joe McCarthy’s Wheeling speech had triggered a wave of paranoia and fear mongering that would forever bear his name: McCarthyism.
On June 28, 2016, another Republican politician landed at Stifel, now named Wheeling Ohio County Airport, to campaign here: Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump appeared first that night at a private fund-raiser held just blocks from the McLure Hotel. He went straight from the fund-raiser to a rally 15 minutes away in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
There, the Republican nominee for president spoke to a crowd of roughly 4,000. “There’s something going on that’s really, really bad,” he said. “And we better get smart, and we better get tough, or we’re not going to have much of a country left, O.K.?”
It was a dark speech that harkened back to the most fearful tones of Joe McCarthy. Drumming up fears about the Islamic State, which he said was “spreading like wildfire,” Mr. Trump said that if he was elected, he would bring back the use of torture techniques like waterboarding in the interrogations of terrorism suspects. “I don’t think it’s tough enough,” he said, of waterboarding, adding, “We can’t do waterboarding, but they can do chopping off heads, they can do drowning people in steel cages, they can do whatever they want.” Mr. Trump also highlighted his other hits from the campaign trail, reminding the crowd about the threats from Nafta, Mexican immigrants and China. There was so much in the world to fear, and Donald Trump was the only one who could protect us.
One year after he walked in Joe McCarthy’s footsteps in Wheeling, Mr. Trump now practices Mr. McCarthy’s version of the politics of fear from the White House. The two figures, who bear striking similarities — and who shared an adviser, Roy Cohn — both mastered the art of fear politics.
Since he took office, Mr. Trump has expressed an apocalyptic vision of the United States and the wider world at nearly every turn, starting with an Inaugural Address in which his most memorable phrase was “American carnage.”
Over the past few months, he hasn’t missed a chance to try to exploit fears over terrorism, using a series of attacks in Europe to argue in favor of his executive order calling for a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries, which has been blocked by the courts. He has criticized other politicians, both in the United States and overseas, for “political correctness” on terrorism. He sticks to his scare tactics even when he is proven to be factually wrong and despite public rebukes from other world leaders.
He keeps doing it because it works for him, just like it worked for Joe McCarthy. Mr. Trump knows what people want to hear — how terrifying the world can be and how he can protect them. Fearmongering resonates with his political base, particularly white voters without college degrees.
Fear of the “other” increases when the potential threats — Mr. McCarthy’s Communists, or Mr. Trump’s Muslims or Hispanics — are poorly understood.
Underlying it all is a broad and unspoken fear of the looming loss of white dominance in American society. Increased diversity, notably the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the United States, is leading to a broader fear of all minority groups and foreigners, analysts believe.
“White working-class voters who say they often feel like a stranger in their own land and who believe the U.S. needs protecting against foreign influence were 3.5 times more likely to favor Trump than those who did not share those concerns,” concluded a study released in May by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic magazine.
Recent studies by psychologists have found that when they talk to white Americans about a future in which they are in the minority, that drives them to express more conservative views. “You see a pretty reliable shift to the right” when you emphasize the projected change in the demographics of the United States, says Jennifer Richeson, a professor of psychology at Yale University and one of the researchers involved with the studies. “Once you activate the fear of a threat to group status, then anybody who is seen as not part of that group is seen as more of a threat.”
Scott Crichlow, a professor of political science at the West Virginia University, sees that phenomenon in West Virginia, where whites without a college degree represent a larger percentage of the population than in any other state and where Mr. Trump saw one of his biggest margins of victory of any state in the 2016 election.
“Clearly there is an audience for speeches that rally nationalist causes and against amorphous perceived threats,” Mr. Crichlow said. “What I think may be driving some of the appeal of the politics of fear is the state’s low education and demographics.”
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott believes there were several reasons for Mr. Trump’s success here but thinks that fear of the other certainly played a big role.
“When you have 40 years of economic stagnation, that leads to frustration with the status quo and to zero-sum thinking,” the mayor said. “And I also think part of his appeal was that he said, I’m going to protect you from the Muslims, or Hispanics. There is a fear of that.”
Trump supporters want to make America great again, to go back to what they believe were the halcyon days of the 1950s, which, ironically, was the decade of the fearmongering of Joe McCarthy.
“I don’t think West Virginia is a state full of racists,” Mayor Elliott added. He does describe his state, though, as a place where cultural isolation and economic anxiety made it a perfect target for Mr. Trump’s speech. “There is also a fear of change that a skilled demagogue can tap into by focusing on the fear of the other,” he said. “Fear resonates.”
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated Senator Joseph McCarthy’s role in the Army-McCarthy hearings. He was the head of the subcommittee that called the hearings, but he did not preside over them as chairman.
James Risen and TOM RISEN New York Times
Is this it for Trump?
By Kathleen Parker In Washington Post
For months, Trump watchers have wondered: What will it take?
Meaning: What would finally force Republicans to face the fact, so obvious to so many, that President Trump isn’t quite right? Not in the correct sense but in the head sense.
The answer, apparently, is Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“This is not normal,” people are finally saying in response to Trump’s latest Twitter attacks in which the president of the United States limboed under his own low bar and chastised Brzezinski and co-anchor/fiance Joe Scarborough with his usual knuckle-dragging flair. Applying his 140-character attention span, he squibbed:
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
This probably isn’t the way Brzezinski would have preferred things to go, but in Trump’s vernacular, she’s been cruisin’ for a bruisin’ for a long time. That is, she’s been calling out The Donald with everything but an engraved invitation to duel at dawn.
And, high time, I might add. For months during the early part of Trump’s campaign, “MoJo,” as the show is nicknamed, was a welcome station for the celebrity firing squad. Around Washington, people had begun referring to the morning manfest, where Brzezinski gamely serves as reluctant den mother, as “Morning Trump.” This was also the period when then-candidate Trump constantly bragged that he hadn’t spent any money on advertising — and no one wondered why. He regularly called in to the show, essentially running his campaign from Trump Tower.
Trump had ample coverage elsewhere as well. When your strength is branding and your name is the brand, there’s little challenge to getting airtime. Cable television anchors and producers not only became Trump’s unpaid marketers but also bear some of the responsibility/blame for Trump’s election. Then, things got strange. Trump won. Then Trump became even odder than usual, even according to his friends and others inclined to like him. Always fiercely competitive, obviously, as well as flawed, Trump nevertheless was able to control his worst impulses before becoming president, Scarborough and Brzezinski co-wrote in a Post op-ed Friday.
Or, perhaps, something is actually wrong with the guy. Plenty of physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists think so and have written me volumes in off-the-record diagnoses. A group of them have joined forces to co-write a book due out this fall.
It isn’t so much that The Donald always hits back, and harder, as his flacks boast. It’s that he’s so thin-skinned, such a political amateur — and so utterly lacking in the fine art of disregard — that he can’t let anything pass. This is the single greatest concern for the witted, not his idiotic tweets in the night. Impulsivity combined with narcissistic injury is a red flag to many for the man with access to the nuclear codes.
And so, as more and more Americans embrace “This is not normal” as the bumper sticker du jour, many are wondering again: Will this be it? Will the final straw be Brzezinski’s alleged badly bleeding face-lift, which she needlessly denied in the op-ed? She only tweaked some skin beneath the chin, she said. CNN’s Brian Stelter, meanwhile, has posted a photo of Brzezinski on the day in question and she shows no evidence of surgery and certainly not blood. What woman has a face-lift and goes bleeding to a famous club where tout le beau monde are partying?
To the point, is this it? My friends, don’t count on it.
Nothing will happen until GOP constituents start shouting and, remember, these are the same people Trump has taught to hate the media. Also, this is hardly the worst example of Trump’s errant charm. Yet, suddenly, his insulting Brzezinski, widely characterized as evidence of misogyny (what about “Psycho Joe”?), is supposed to send congressional Republicans into paroxysms of penitential rebuke-and-replace?
Brzezinski is wonder woman — smart, strong, wealthy — and engaged to marry her best friend. I seriously doubt she has been wounded by Trump’s pathetic second-grader taunts. But I get it. The most one can hope for these days is that enough Republican men can be shamed into defending Brzezinski, a woman many of them know personally — and who has thumbs-down power over potential guests on the show everybody in Washington watches.
Kathleen Parker In Washington Post
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Les plus grands journalistes parce qu’ils écrivent au NY Times?
Are they reporting the News or trying to make the News?
I am not defending Trump but I despise the journalists who do not respect democracy.
I find that democracy imposes the will of 5% of undecided people on the nation. But this is the law of the country. Work with it. Not against it.