Keeping Up In Trumpistan

I found these Medium listicles today, and they are well worth reading, if you have the time. The point of the weekly lists is to … well, to cut through the overflow of information and to keep you from normalizing all this stuff in your head.

The hazard in the early stages of every authoritarian process is that we humans are 1) generally too busy to pay attention to all that’s happening, and 2) damned adaptable. Adaptability is normally one of our better traits, but it’s something to resist in yourself when what you’re adapting to is a steady wave of outrages you fear may grow into a defining act of horror.

Refreshingly, they don’t pretend to the staid formality of regular news. When Trump or his toadies lie, the articles use the word “lie.”

They all carry the same title:

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

… and cover events either happening or uncovered during that week.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12

I haven’t found any past Week 12, dated Feb. 4, but I’m hoping there’s at least one more out there, and that they’ll keep coming.

I’ve started talking to people, strangers out in public. I live in a fairly wealthy, fairly pro-Trump area, and I just decided I’d start saying some of the things I’m thinking in casual conversations. I generally think people will see this as tedious and inappropriate, but I’ve been surprised at how receptive people seem. They listen, at least. One has already told me he regrets his vote for Trump; several have expressed the “at least he’s not Hillary” sentiment. I argue with that last, and though I’m more interested in convincing people rather than shutting them up, the arguments have at least shut some of them up.

Here’s another article worth reading, to give you a little context about lies in media, the manufacturing of political “stories” — BY THE MEDIA — during the Iraq War.

If You Were a Leftist Teenager During the Iraq War, You Were Gaslit 24/7 by Everyone

This sort of crap is what instantly pops into my mind when I hear someone say we have a “liberal media.” I paid attention during the Iraq War, and the media had its collective lips so stuck to George W. Bush’s ass it was surreal. This was the moment when all that “Support the Troops” crap got thrown out into the public spotlight, and anyone who didn’t support the troops was a traitor.

 

  • Dennis

    Hank Fox: I love “Trumpistan” as you call it. I voted for Trump and am pleased that he is a political outsider, is not politically correct, and realizes that the way to get his message out quickly without the filtering by media is to use Twitter. But that is what I like about Trump and why I voted for him. Yes, I think he could choose his words more carefully in some of his tweets. But he is not a professional politician and the media is not used to that. I like the fact that he is not a professional politician. He says what I believe, like some judges are not worthy of being judges. The important thing to me is that he has only been in office for less than a month, and he is already delivering on his promises to his constituents who elected him for things like tough immigration policies and a conservative Supreme Court nominee. So I’m loving his political incorrectness and how the media is going crazy over it.

    • Objective Judgment

      And what about the lies? Are you loving the lies too? Or just ignoring them, like in your comment?

      • Dennis

        Media interprets lack of political correctness as lies, just like you.

        • igotbanned999

          Yeah, there are no such things as truth or lies anymore, just ‘alternative facts’. This is today’s America…

        • Objective Judgment

          So saying his inaugural crowds were bigger than Obamas was a lack of political correctness?
          Honestly, I’m just interested in how you guys process that side of him, out of anthropological/psychological interest mainly.

          • Dennis

            Yes, Trump saying his inaugural crowds were bigger than Obama’s was a lack of political correctness. Trump has an ego, but every president has his flaws. JFK and Bill Clinton had infidelity issues. So does Trump’s comments on crowds make him unfit for president? I don’t think so. Frankly, I find Trump’s disregard for political correctness refreshing, like Teddy Roosevelt in his day. People like me voted for Trump because his not politically correct and is not a career politician.

          • ORigel

            He’s a pathological liar, that’s what that means. “Obama (which I’m sure you hated) has his flaws too.” Would you say that? I don’t think. Well stop it with Trump. He has already told more and bigger lies than Nixon.

            Voter fraud. Climate change a hoax. Bowling green massacre. Hand over his business. Drain the swamp.

            The lies are bigger than Watergate already.

          • Dennis

            Trump is not a pathological liar. He exaggerates but what he says has truth in it. Yes, there is voter fraud. Climate change is real but not the overriding concern now by the US given ISIS, which was what Trump was getting at. Yes, political swamp needs to be drained of career politicians who do nothing. You can’t compare Trump’s statements to Watergate…a different thing altogether.

          • ORigel

            Islamic terrorism is a minor thing compared to climate change, which is what 97 percent of climate experts are getting at.

            Voter fraud is virtually non-existent.

            Watergate is different from what Trump is doing….because Trump’s lies are far worse.

            And google think progress this week in Trump’s America. Or use the lists Hank Fox provides.

          • Dennis

            I guess one can call Islamic terrorism minor until you get blown up or killed by a terrorist. Then it is a different story. Unfortunately, there are people like you who are willing to forget about 9/11 and not do anything about improving our vetting. Then when ISIS infiltrates our country and starts attacking us, it is too late to do anything about preventing them from getting into our country.

          • ORigel

            Oh no 3000 people. A tiny tiny fraction of the people who will get messed up by climate change. Weather patterns change, sea levels rise, glaciers dry up. Climate change and nuclear war are the elephants in the room, the things that can destroy civilization.

            As for the ban, if you think the ban is so necessary then why wasn’t I blown up in a terrorist attack during Obama’s term. Why did he allow immigrants in from the countries he does business with. Why did he remove scrunity from white supremist groups.

            You think that Americans are more important than other people. You do realize you’re increasing victims for the terrorists by locking them out, don’t you?

          • Dennis

            I understand now. You are not a US Citizen so you don’t give a crap about our national security, do you?

          • ORigel

            See what I mean? This guy is a nativist who cares nothing about the American trangenders getting harrased. Or the people of Florida who will suffer from sea level rise.

            Or anyone else. I have shown that St. Trump’s plans will make other people suffer. He doesn’t care about anyone who isn’t straight, Christian, born in America.

            I read that Fox news thing. He thinks secularism is a problem when it is the hope to end the efforts of the American Taliban to screw up America. Declining education standards. Yeah, voucher systems. Police not allowed to do job. You mean that people are challenging police brutality. Crime has been declining for decades.

          • Conuly

            Trump declared that on his inauguration it was pouring rain until he started speaking, then the sun came out – but it started raining again as soon as he was done.

            Actual photographic evidence shows that it was overcast the entire time – no pouring rain, no sun. What’s that if not pathological?

            Yes, there is voter fraud.

            Prove it.

          • Dennis

            You can’t be serious. Trump was joking. Don’t read a pathological condition into all of Trump’s remarks.

          • Conuly

            He was not.

          • yulaffin

            Oh honey, you are so delusional.

          • chuckmc29

            People like you voted for trump because they are shallow-thinking people with the heart of a bully. The ISIS problem is a grain of sand on a beach compared to climate change, overpopulation, religious fundamentalism, etc. trump is only pouring gas on the fire of hatred towards the U.S. with his belligerent travel ban. If you naively think he is draining the swamp, think again about Sessions, Perry, DeVos, Price, ad nauseum. If you support “alternative facts” coming out of the mouths of trump and his ilk, you are not a countryman of mine, but a deceitful S.O.B.

          • Dennis

            So your argument is that we don’t make ISIS mad at us by doing any vetting at all and allow them to come into our country. Then maybe they will play nice and not harm us. If you have such a cavalier and simplistic attitude about our national security, then you are no countryman of mine, assuming you are a US Citizen.

          • chuckmc29

            I NEVER made an argument for no vetting as you falsely stated. The Obama administration had been vetting. I was referring to the trump travel ban recently struck down by the 9th Circuit Court. ISIS is evil and should be destroyed, but citizens/refugees from the banned countries should be allowed to enter through the previously established legal channels. However, since you enjoy putting words in the mouths of commenters here, further responses to you are a waste of time and you can: “Go piss up a rope !” Again you have proven that a trump supporter is no more than a shallow- thinking person with the heart of a bully.

          • ORigel

            Agreed. Without a little security, we would have had another 9/11. Our opposition is to effective bans.

          • Objective Judgment

            Very interesting, thank you!

        • Conuly

          Media views provably false statements as “lies”.

          • Dennis

            I don’t know what you mean by that.

    • rubaxter

      Political outsider? You obvious haven’t even mastered the basics of In and Out…

    • Beatrice

      Yes. . .why do people criticize trump? He is president! He is in the best position to define reality and determine what is real and fake. He should be given the freedom to govern by executive order – it is more efficient than to go through congress. Trust trump! He is defining the new reality! Please listen to and respect trump so he isn’t forced to declare Marsial Law. He won by a landslide when the illegal vote is subtracted. Trust him or it won’t be pretty. . .

      • Michael Neville

        Just as a minor nitpick, it’s martial law. Other than that, I agree with your snark.

    • Michael Neville

      Political incorrectness means “I’m an asshole who shits on others and is proud of it.” Definitely sounds like our Maximum Leader.

      • Dennis

        Trump’s style may be different and his language more coarse, but the comments themselves are not the “threat to judicial independence that some commentators have made them out to be,” said University of Pennsylvania law school dean Theodore Ruger. So I find Trump’s disregard for political correctness refreshing, like Teddy Roosevelt in his day.

        • ORigel

          Actual experts on authoritarianism are concerned about Trump. He’s not fascist but could get there. You’d know that if you watched something other than Fox news.

          • Dennis

            I do watch other news than Fox, and I have not heard anyone on ABC, NBC, or CBS concerned that Trump will become fascist. Why don’t you back up your comments with facts? Also, why don’t you condemn the fascists liberal violence: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/do-liberals-care-about-fascist-style-violence-in-berkeley/article/2614550

          • ORigel

            Experts see the parallels to fascist dictators. However, Trump is actually a populist authoritarian who could in theory get true fascist.

          • Dennis

            What “experts”? You have given me no proof to back up your claims.

          • ORigel

            Look at Think Progress. It does a weekly update on what the experts think. 1. Concerns. 2. Concerns grow. 3. A pattern emerges.

          • Jim Jones

            Given his pompous bragging, he’s more like Mussolini than Hitler.

            If he’s lucky he won’t end up like Mussolini.

        • Michael Neville

          Describe what exactly you mean by “political correctness.” Please be specific. Is calling a black person a n*gg*r disregarding politically correctness? Is a town council refusing to issue a building permit for a mosque disregard for political correctness? Is a judge giving a rapist a slap on the wrist punishment disregard for political correctness? Please tell us all about political correctness.

          • Dennis
          • Michael Neville

            I read the text (I couldn’t get the video to load). Basically the guy is whining about “political correctness” but never actually describes what he considers it to be. But whatever it is, he’s against it.

            So how about telling us what you, that’s YOU, not some Australian Texan who can’t express himself coherently, mean by political correctness. I gave some example above. Are those what you’re talking about? Because I don’t know what the fuck you mean by political correctness other than you like the Asshole In Chief for not being politically correct.

          • Dennis

            I’ll end my post right here because you are starting to use obscene name calling and ad hominem arguments which means that you are not really interested in my viewpoint.

          • Michael Neville

            But I thought you disliked political correctness. It’s not politically correct to call you an asshole (which is not actually an obscenity but a mere insult) but you’re whining about me not being politically correct. So why is it good for your hero The Donald™ to be politically incorrect but not for me?

        • Conuly

          You like TR? Well, here is a quote from him you might enjoy:

          The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency
          or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to
          the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there
          should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means
          that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to
          praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen
          is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism
          of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or
          wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable
          to the American public.
          Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him
          or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth,
          pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

          • Dennis

            Yes, I do like that quote.

    • ORigel

      He made 36 promises about the things he’ll do first day. Kept two of them.

      The judges not worthy of being judges is a transparent attempt to undermine checks and balances so he can rule as a banna republic dictator.

      • Dennis

        I don’t believe you that Trump made 36 promises he said he would do the first day. A president’s first day is pretty much filled with ceremony and watching parades.

        Regarding judges, he is not trying to undermine them so he can be a “banna” republic dictator. Trump’s style may be different and his language more coarse, but the comments themselves are not the “threat to judicial independence that some commentators have made them out to be,” said University of Pennsylvania law school dean Theodore Ruger. So I find Trump’s disregard for political correctness refreshing, like Teddy Roosevelt in his day.

        • ORigel

          Trump made 36 promises of things to do first day. Does it really matter to Trump that it is impossible to keep all but a few of these promises?

          And he’s saying that judges shouldn’t be judges because they refuse to enforce Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban (violates the Establishment Clause). Therefore, it is a transparent attempt to undermine checks and balances.

          • Dennis

            You didn’t show me proof that he made 36 promises of things he would do the first day. Regarding judges, the University of Pennsylvania law school dean Theodore Ruger and I disagree with you as I stated in my previous post.

          • ORigel

            Check Think Progress’s This Week In Trump’s America.

            Also their interactive list of 663 campaign promises made by Trump.

          • Dennis

            You didn’t include the link.

          • ORigel

            Google it.

          • Jim Jones

            Here are 76 of Donald Trump’s many campaign promises

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/01/22/here-are-76-of-donald-trumps-many-campaign-promises/

            Jan 22, 2016 – If he were to win the White House, Trump has promised to:

            1. Build a wall along the southern border that’s taller than the arenas where Trump …

          • Dennis

            I don’t see the 36 identified that you said that Trump said he would do the first day.

      • Jim Jones

        > The judges not worthy of being judges

        He’s given himself a nickname: The SCROTUS. The So Called Ruler of the United States.

  • ORigel

    I follow the Think Progress lists, This Week In Trump’s America. Follows the news starting at Inauguration. Week 3 came out Friday.

  • Jim Jones

    > several have expressed the “at least he’s not Hillary” sentiment.

    Hillary Clinton can read and write. Trump can do neither.

    Hillary Clinton can consider all the factors in a decision and make a good choice. Trump cannot do this. He operates entirely on hunches.