Trump, the Magical WASP, Deepens Racial Divide again in Phoenix

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

After another Stockholm Syndrome performance, on Afghanistan, where he gave the speech National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster wrote for him, Trump on Tuesday returned to form at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was a week and a half after Trump discredited himself with two-thirds of the public by saying that the Nazi/Klan invasion of Charlottesville was a problem with “many sides.” It was a week after he said that there were very fine people among the invaders, who killed one young woman, beat a young black man to within an inch of his life, put at least 19 other people in the hospital, and menaced a synagogue and churches.

Despite having upset so much of the country by defending racists and equating them with civic-minded protesters, Trump insisted on going to Phoenix to push his anti-immigrant agenda. In a long, rambling speech full of falsehoods, Trump again equated immigrants with criminals and blamed them for joblessness among whites.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets peacefully to condemn Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. Over 50 people had to be treated for heat-related health problems in the 106 degrees F. weather. In the evening, the police abruptly unleashed tear gas on the crowd, dispersing what was left of it.

Trump again asserted incorrectly that his administration had passed a record amount of legislation. He said he had won Arizona “by a lot.” He won by a low 3.5% (Bush won over Kerry in 2004 in Arizona with a 10.5% margin). His supporters keep saying he is responsible for 1 million jobs added to the economy since January (it is actually a little over 600,000), neglecting to note that that is the smallest number for the first two quarters of any recent year.

If Barack Obama was sardonically referred to as the nation’s “Magical Negro” (Spike Lee’s term for a stock character in American cinema such as in “The Green Mile” or “Bagger Vance”), Trump is the magical WASP, the billionaire with the golden touch, who will make every other white person rich by his special superpowers, who can fail to pass any significant legislation but boast that he outdid Truman and Johnson, and who can fail to achieve a budget bill but conjure a wall out of mere racial hatred to keep Mexicans out. Why, Mike Pence even alleged that ISIL was running away from the Magical WASP, despite the spike in their terrorist attacks worldwide. The Magical WASP, unlike the Magical Negro, won’t provide cross-racial support. In fact, he won’t actually help anyone at all. He is a stingy billionaire and an abrasive politician. He doesn’t actually have special powers and isn’t actually able to help a hero with his quest. He is just a blowhard who spins fairy tales about helping people when he actually prevented their children from getting chemotherapy for their cancer. He is just a cruel mirage, giving hope to poor and working class whites who are too bigoted to take any help from someone like Obama.

Trump hinted broadly that he will pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found in criminal contempt of court for defying a judge’s order to cease unconstitutionally harassing Latinos with no probable cause.

Trump threatened a governmental shutdown if congress did not fund the building of a 2,000-mile-long border wall, dropping his demand that Mexico pay for it. (In a leaked conversation with the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump admitted that it had all along been an unreasonable demand that would not be acceded to, but pleaded with his Mexican counterpart to avoid publicly refusing to pay).

Trump denounced the “crooked” news media as a purveyor of lies and urged the crowd to menace reporters.

This performance sent CNN’s Don Lemon over the edge. Lemon then led a panel discussion of just how unhinged Trump is. Lemon interviewed former top intelligence official James Clapper, he flatly said he thought Trump was unfit for the office and that he worried about this erratic person having access to the nuclear launch codes.

That brought the CNN commentators up short.

Trump rambled on for much of the speech complaining about the media coverage of his conflicting statements on Charlottesville. He neglected to quote his own statements that there had been many sides and that there were very fine people among the white supremacist invaders. He does not understand that when you engage in false equivalencies of that sort, it does not matter if you go on to speak of peace and love and racial inclusion. People forget that Tricky Dick Nixon used to talk about peace, too.

The president said that university administrations that removed confederate statues at night to avoid protests were “weak, weak, weak.” He alleged that Teddy Roosevelt statues were in their sights next.

Trump again pushed the fraud of “clean coal.” Coal power plants put mercury, a nerve poison, into our air, soil and water, affecting our children. They also spew millions of tons of toxic carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global heating that threatens us with desertification, extreme weather, and sea level rise. Trump boasted about having withdrawn the US from the Paris climate accord, which had committed the country to reduce its massive carbon dioxide emissions (5.4 billion metric tons a year, more per capita than any other country in the world aside from tiny Australia).

Meanwhile, Phoenix has heated up so much under the impact of our carbon dioxide emissions, which Trump wants to increase, that planes sometimes can’t take off because it is too hot for the air to provide lift to the wings.

Trump avoided naming Sen. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, but implicitly slammed him for declining to vote for a health insurance bill that would have kicked 26 million people off of health care. Trump had called the bill “mean,” and had campaigned on providing everyone in the country with affordable health care.

Trump said that the US had miraculously, because of his presidency, suddenly become an energy exporter for the first time in history. The US was the world’s swing producer of petroleum for much of the first half of the twentieth century.

There were 15,000 people in the Phoenix Convention Center to hear Trump, which is a relatively small crowd. But of course the Magical WASP insisted it was an enormous crowd and complained that the crooked media wouldn’t show it on tv.

WCCO CBS “Trump Phoenix Rally Draws Supporters, Protesters”

21 Responses

  1. trump is the first proven ignoramus ever elected to the U.S. presidency in history. The free press also needs to take a closer look at the support Moscow is providing to the many far right media outlets and personalities.

  2. Woman attendee queried by ABC News says, “He’s right about everything. That’s why I’m behind him.” I wasn’t able to write it down as she spoke, so a word or two may be inaccurate. But the meaning is on the dot.

    If Reichspråsident Strumpf’s facts-be-damned followers (±30% of voters) are that committed to him, there really is no hope for the democratic process. Führerprinzip is the new rule.

    NPR reported this morning: The motorcade from hotel to convention center drove along a “secure” route. The Reichspräsident was allowed to see no evidence of opposition. Presidential safety is a good thing, but the Secret Service is now shown to be complicit in building the intellectual Potemkin village in which the boss operates.

    • There’s this dimension to Trump which really is magical: that he can go back on everything he’s promised, in the process totally screwing over his truly downtrodden constituency, and still keep their support.

      Methinks they’re too psychologically invested, desperate, or maybe just too dense to get it.

      A little different than Stockholm Syndrome, which could be seen as the often wise inclination to go with the flow and adapt when facing great danger.

      No, Trump is tapping into something far more troubling about human nature.

  3. After that performance there should be no question now about the diagnosis from afar of a malignant personality disorder (among others). And the increasingly bizarre facial expressions and body language……we have a Mussolini impersonator here.

  4. We’ve had a CIA President, a horny President, a dim dry-addicted President, a President opposed by Congressional RACISTS at every turn and our nation persisted somewhat intact.

    Now, we have a bat•••• crazy and stupid rich man as President who LOST THE POPULAR VOTE!

    Given his Phoenix behavior, the real question that must be asked and right now. Can our nation survive Donald J. Trump?

  5. Rick Geissal

    How deeply inadequate and ashamed must those people feel who attend his rallies. Does he offer to share his beautiful apartment with any of those people? Do they imagine he gives a damn about any of them? No, it is simply bitter rage than fuels him and them. What a country, #8,419.

  6. Caligula a L’Orange is an easy target. But creatures such as Rience Priebus, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell are just as if not MORE responsible for the Sword of Damocles that hangs over our country and the planet, not to mention the media surrogates such as FOX, talk radio, etc. for enabling this (and yes, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets too).

    I have no idea what the GOP calculus is here. Why not take the albatross from around the neck, impeach him, and implement more handily their nefarious agenda with Pence? What are they thinking? That they will win seats in 2018 with Caligula in a hair piece still governing? I don’t see how the GOP holds congress in 2018 at this point with or without Trump.

    I loathe Ryan and McConnell in particular, but I would love to know what is going on in their heads at the moment, and to judge from the NYT piece yesterday McConnell and Caligula are no longer on speaking terms even.

    Any suggestions as to what the thought process is here? Please, someone chime in – I’d love to know!

    WEIRD! Very very weird!

    • Maybe I’ve been watching too much House Of Cards, and attribute too much competence to the GOP. But, one needs to recognize the demonstrably low, animal-like cunning of Mitch McConnell.

      What you envision may just be a matter of timing. Remember how Underwood’s initial plan was to let Russo blow-up ‘spontaneously’, due to his fundamental charachter, later in his campaign for governor. Russo proved unmanagable, hence he was flushed earlier than originally planned.

      Ergo, as you noted, it makes too much sense not to flush Trump, especially for the GOP. And how many friends has Trump still got in Congress of any stripe?

      The answer to your question may be that it’s simply a matter of timing, with the mechanics now being attended to apace.

    • Easy. There’s no thought process at all. They have no idea what to do. They’re screwed under any plausible scenario, so they’re paralyzed, do nothing, and hope they wake up someday and somehow everything will have worked itself out. It won’t.

  7. Thanks Juan for your excellent article. I saw last nite a white Nationalist ego maniac Trump/Hitler and the crowd cheering with Seig Heil. The police were frightening in their violence against the protesters after the debacle inside. Whats worse is there are no progressive voices and sadly I feel both Parties are broken.

  8. On the matter of CO2 emissions per capita, the US is actually slightly ahead of Australia. Who is ahead of the US is several PG oil exporters, with Qatar at over 40 metric tons per person per year the tops and more than double the US (it also has the world’s highest real per capita income), along with UAE and Oman, as well as several very small states, such as Luxembourg, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, the Falkland Islands (yes!), and New Caledonia.

  9. This article is very helpful in adding detail to the account of the Phoenix speech I read in this morning’s Guardian, which implied as much. No doubt the Guardian too will be on Trump’s media hate list before long – if it is not already.

  10. I’m sorry Juan but there’s nothing peaceful about Antifa and people with masks on throwing bricks and rocks. There was violence on both sides and Trump is not wrong for an end to violent political demonstrations.

    Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t give you the right to go masked into the street and commit crimes, regardless of whether you are on the left or the right.

    Sadly, Barrack Obama was almost as big a disappointment as a president as Donald Trump is becoming. I’m sure you remember the Cairo Speech and the promises Obama made to the Middle East that day. None of it came true. The plight of the Palestinians only became more desperate. To the contrary, Africa’s richest country Libya was destroyed. Barrack Obama earned a Nobel Prize in advance for making the world a worse place.

    Obama should go down in history as the “Drone President” who formalised remote attacks without judicial oversight as a primary instrument of foreign policy with five times as many drone attacks as even G.W. Bush.

    The point is that the United States has not had an independent president since J.F. Kennedy. The United States has a figurehead. Trump telegraphed to us that he’s a hostage in his Afghan buildup speech with his language (full transcript):

    My original instinct was to pull out — and, historically, I like following my instincts

    So really, whether it’s Trump or someone else it doesn’t really matter. Now that Trump is doing the generals bidding even Foreign Policy likes him:

    Last night was one of Donald Trump’s finest moments as president. The Trump who showed up was the Trump who spoke about the heritage of freedom in Warsaw, not the Trump from the past week’s worth of press conferences. He stuck to his script….He provided scant details, but at least provided hope that he is giving free rein for his subordinates to fill them in.

    Emphasis is mine. Presidents should do what they are told and stay on script. Whether Obama or Trump or Clinton or Bush. Your rage at Trump would be better channeled towards the system itself.

    • I never even heard of “antifa” until about a week ago. I doubt if there were 100 members then, although there are undoubtedly more now, thanks to Trump raising their profile. This is a cousin to the Fox News narrative that ACORN — a group so pitifully powerless it hired staff through the classified ads in The Nation — stole the election for Obama.

    • Only one side in America specializes in running over protesters in cars.

      By an amazing coincidence, only one political party specializes in pushing state legislation to legalize running over protesters in cars, very visibly, at this very same moment as if it were signaling to those attackers that they will be protected by this party for a very long time.

      Both happen to be the right-wing sides. You know damn well that those right-wing states will only use these laws to protect, ahem, the “right” terrorists.

      Isn’t that remarkable? Or a fascist conspiracy? Of which nothing comparable exists on the other side.

      Someone who bleats that “both sides do it” and then blasts Obama for not being leftist enough is either schizophrenic, or he’s looking to paralyze the Left so that his “side” can stay pure as only the impotent can while the fascists arson and arrest those darker-colored than himself. Of course one day you’ll just move away and forget about America, leaving Trump’s race enemies to an Apartheid fate because no country will take them.

  11. Q – Why is a new President out campaigning for 2020, now?

    A – To dredge up money for the Trump family legal defense fund. Any contribution to Trump now is taken under false pretense to keep spoiled rich people out of jail.

    Worthy of note: The only immediately indictable Trump is out of the country for an extended period of time, safe in Israel.

    Trump behaves like a guilty man because he is a guilty man, in fact.

  12. good post. some parts of the article just made me laugh, the magical WASP. Would some one get a can of pest control stuff or hair spray, it works just as well and then you can wash him away.

    this is supposed to be the President of the U.S.A. He looked like one of those bible pounders you used to see on early morning Sunday t.v. going on forever and then asking for your money. he even sort of has the weird hair.

    The world saw the real Trump at the trump tower press conference and then again in Phoenix. the other world leaders must be having a really good laugh. the guy is a wack job. The unfortunate thing is its dangerous.

    He is a racist or else he is mentally ill. He can’t seem to remember what he said previously, gee perhaps he ought to google his previous speeches but we will have to get used to it. It is doubtful the Republican Party will get rid of him or counter his orders by passing legislation.

    As we have seen in other countries, civilization is just a thin veneer and it could all erupt very quickly. Its like he and his base would really like a race war. What those white people don’t seem to understand is that a very large number of the black and brown families have been in American longer than they have. they need to get used to it.

    The jobs they lost were not taken by people of colour but by the corporate system which is run by a lot of old white guys and they voted for an ugly one, and not just his soul.

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