Perfidy, Janus-faced, and the Reality of Modern Politics

What a difference an election makes. Apparently, the past eight years, when the republicans and conservatives continually chastised, upbraided, questioned, fought with and conspiracized about Barack Obama, are gone in a flash, down the lost rabbit memory hole. Somehow you are not allowed, upon pain of being called a traitor, a lair, pathetic, an Islamists (I kid you not), to question our President-elect. It seems that the honor and right of questioning our political class has now become an act of treason, equal only to the treason of the Rosenbergs. And oh, that particular antisemitic itch gets scratched continually too.

We decried the two-faced, double standard, antisemitic dog-whistle of “Israel-firster” meme fame, that the Obama administration employed against those that disagreed with them about their Middle East policy, most notably used against Obama’s middle east advisor Dennis Ross. Interestingly too, it seems that if you disagree with our incoming President, you are not only an Israel-firster, but part of that Elder Cabal just waiting to suck the blood out of some unsuspecting Christian neighbor.

The paranoia and conspiracy contretemps of those who feel that any digression from worship, or acknowledgement, of the magnificence projected by their leader, has Trump adherents melting down as if they are adult versions of that spoiled toddler who is not being allowed candy, or their burning cross, before bedtime.  Of course, considering their icon, and his behavior, it is not surprising that they follow his behavioral lead, including not following social convention, or the decency rules associated with human interaction. And no I don’t think Trump is an antisemite. I simply think he is a batcrap crazy narcissist, who doesn’t particularly care about anyone but himself. Much like a two-year-old, he wants,  what he wants, when he wants it.

But the biggest surprise I faced, was the utter sheer disregard for the truth of the matter that Trump bullied and made fun of  disabled reporter, Serge Kovaleski. Not only have Trumpkins gone off the deep end, defaming Meryl Street because of her comments at the Golden Globes, but they have decided that she has no right to say anything to support the idea that the President of the United States needs to be a gracious, magnanimous individual instead of a classless, overbearing, boor of a bourgeois dilettante, because of her past support of Roman Polanski.

Truth there is no defense of Polanski, and sadly Hollywood does earn the moniker Hollyweird for a reason. The idea that you support a pedophile simply because you consider them a great artist is revolting. In fact, when the Hollywood community did defend Polanski, notoriously Whoopi Goldberg on The View actually saying it was not a big deal because it wasn’t “rape, rape,” they were rightly upbraided, chastised, and held to open contempt.

But simply because Streep has the bad taste, or is so totally clueless as to the truth of the matter concerning Polanski, does not mean she was wrong about Trump and his bullying of Kovaleski. The insanity of this interaction is that Trump supporters tried to tell me that he didn’t bully him because he was disabled, that Trump mocks everyone who disagrees with him that way. So their basic defense is that he was not simply an asshole to Kovaleski, he is just generally an asshole to everyone. Perhaps, in their minds eye this is some kind of positive point on Trump’s behalf, but I fail to see as to how his bullying behavior can ever be seen as appropriate.

Showing Trump supporters the record, the articles, and especially the parsing by Snopes and Politifact caused another mass hysteria. Here I was inundated with the conspiracy theory that Snopes is a left leaning group, so of course they would think that Trump is a jerk. It really takes only one minute to Google the problem with this urban legend and its take down. But they didn’t want to hear it. Of course, after citing the Newsmax article about Politifact, I actually got called pathetic and ignorant.

Now don’t feel sorry for me that I was attacked on-line. This entire story was by way of illustration that somehow partisan issues are so entrenched that a supporter cannot in any way actually see their candidate for whom he really is. That Trump supporters need to attempt to destroy a legendary actress because she had the temerity to use her platform to eloquently, and rightly, tell of her distress about the behavior of the incoming President. To borrow from our in-coming President…. SAD.

Much was also made of the cast of Hamilton openly speaking to Vice President elect Pence, of their concerns about being marginalized by the Trump administration, considering Trump’s rhetoric. Apparently when you are the future VP of the US, and you go to the theater, no one is supposed to talk to you about your party platform or your candidates behavior. Apparently, according to Trump supporters, if you choose to be a public figure no one is allowed to treat you as that public figure, the US Constitution be damned. It seems to Trumpkins the first amendment is merely a suggestion not a fact. So instead of giving the Trump team pause, and to turn to self-reflection as to why citizens feel so afraid and fear the new administration, these citizens’ concerns were not only dismissed, but denigrated as ill-mannered and infantile, by our future POTUS who uses twitter like a 12-year-old middle school mean girl,  to denigrate and attack his detractors.

In truth, you don’t have to like Streep’s politics. You don’t have to like her movies. Apparently Streep also had words about football and MMA, which caused an uproar among the more gladiatorial of the American populace. Additionally, that  Golden Globes speech also produced the question of why Streep refused to say that Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel, only saying Jerusalem, while using the countries of every other famous immigrant to acknowledge the worldwide talent that was in the audience that night. A huge twitter uproar occurred that some now consider Streep an antisemite, or at the least anti-Israel because of this.

But how is it that these same people, who see disgust everywhere in liberal society, cannot seem to acknowledge that Trump for all intents and purposes is a nasty, revolting bully. A man who uses his power, privilege, and prestige, as Streep rightly pointed out, to harm, defame, and destroy those who have the nerve to question him on any level?

Why is it the people, who were so quick to attack Obama for his support of Black Lives Matter, sanctuary cities, La Raza, and any other Left-wing progressive ideal that exists, have no ability to see the same kind of pandering and identity politics when it comes to Trump. And moreover, why do they think it is fine to “Make America Great Again,” off the racist, misogynist, xenophobic ideals on which Trump has based his entire platform? Why do they not see that Trump’s platform as the zenith of identity politics that it is?

Meanwhile, here is the facebook thread that was the impetus for this post. What I wrote was in response to an article by the British pundit Melanie Phillips, of whom, I am generally an admirer:

Actually the video shows he clearly mocked the disabled reporter, and evidence show he knew exactly who he was since he had been covering Trump for the better part of a year. Moreover, looking at the reporter it is not hard to see that he has a physical disability. Only a totally oblivious narcissist couldn’t’ see what was right before his own eyes.

Quite frankly as the parent of two disabled youngmen, I welcomed Meryl’s remarks. I am sick and tired of everyone making excuses for Trump and trying to overlook simply how revolting he is. Just because you seem to think he will be good for Israel, or will fight the Islamists the way you want, doesn’t mean he is a decent person and should be given latitude in what he says and does. And simply because you think that Hollywood is hypocritical doesn’t mean Meryl wasn’t right about what she said about Trump.

Also considering that you have seen Trump in action for the better part of two years, why is anyone surprised by how he handled Meryl’s speech? He has no impulse control, no actual class, or anything even approaching the ability to see beyond himself and his needs.

I suggest that those on the Trump bandwagon take their own advice and if you want to be taken seriously actually hold him up to the same level of decency that you would hold yourself or any of his critics. Shame on all of you who dismiss what he has said and done to bully, dehumanize, and otherize people who are simply different.

Then the Trump defenders tried to channel that obnoxious retort from Kellyanne Conway that if Streep truly cared about disabled people she would have said something about the thugs that tortured the mentally ill young man in Chicago, as if the two are the same thing. They actually asked me what I thought of that situation in Chicago. Here was my response:

What kind of insulting question is that? Are you actually channeling the nonsense from KellyAnne Conway this morning saying that if Streep really cared about the disabled she would have sent a shout out to the young man who was tortured by those thugs, as if the power of the future president and his ability to influence how people view the disabled is akin to some resoundingly vilified thugs in Chicago? What is wrong with you?

Let’s face facts. Streep was right about the power and privilege that Trump holds over Kovaleski. Heck, Trump holds that kind of power over most everyone on Earth. In fact, even before he became PEOTUS he had power and privilege over anyone who was not part of the 1% of the 1%. There is no question about this. But so many of his supporters resent this reality. They refuse to see that Trump is not the average man and is not a man of the middle class. It is not hard to see the disparity in the power difference between the two men. All you have to do is pay attention to the evidence

I was also inundated with the notion that since the reporter works for the New York Times he then couldn’t have had his feelings hurt. That somehow being an award-winning journalist takes away your emotions, and the fact that you are human, or the fact that as a human being you are entitled to a modicum of decency. Of course Trump supporters are now simply grasping at straws, but it is the unseemly lengths that they would go to in order to defend the indefensible.

In truth, the sad reality is that Trump is probably channeling the same dehumanization of those with disabilities  as those thugs in Chicago. But his actions, even though not physical but verbal, is in many ways the worse, simply because as a leader he is supposed to  “lead by example.” His job is to support, acknowledge, and defend those who are marginalized by society. His responsibility is defend, uplift, and honor those with disabilities, people who have been seen historically as subhuman, untermenschen, and not worthy of life.

But then again, we are talking about a man, whose only actions vis-a-vis disability to date is to repropose the debunked, nonsensical, conspiracy theory that vaccines are the cause of the autism epidemic. So instead of finding ways to bring the disabled, and autistics in particular, into society, Trump is going to spend untoward amounts of tax dollars trying to prove a theory that has already been disproven.

By the way, I was also told that  apparently we are only allowed to worry about Syrian refugees, or people in the middle of a war. It seems that we Americans are not to be concerned about the citizens of this country, and how they are treated by their new President:

Being the parent of two disabled sons and seeing how they are marginalized by society, your deminimizing of their plight shows how far we as a society have to go. Yes the horror of Syria is important, but there is nothing wrong with pointing out the lack of humanity by the incoming POTUS for his fellow Americans.

In truth, this entire episode simply showcases the perfidy and the Janus-faced reality of our modern-day politics. It is truly amazing how on a dime people can make an 180 degree turn and become that which they have despised for almost a decade . If you were attacked as Un-American, selfish, racist, and a generally evil person for having the temerity to disagree with President Obama and his party, then how can you attack in the selfsame manner, if someone disagrees with your side? If you decry the identity politics and divisions of the Left, how can you so casually use these same tactics to present and defend your own platform? If you were called traitor for defending  anti-terror tactics, how can you suddenly call for jailing another citizen for standing up for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

Now I am by no means letting the democrats off the hook. No way, no how. You can’t have insulted anyone who disagreed with Obama for almost a decade, and expect these same people to think that now since you are in the opposition that you are righteous. No, you are not. Now suddenly you deem it an obligation of every citizen to resist the party in power. Immediately you have decided that it is an honor, and mandatory, not to follow in lock step the laws that the new Congress will pass.

Simply because you  finally understand that it is required for a citizen to challenge and fight against laws passed by the Congress, does not make your past actions any less pathetic and insulting. We remember that when the country rose up, and demanded that the democrats not pass Obamacare, you told the populace, that you, the elites, are smarter, and know better than We The People. You told us that we are merely ignorants, who cling to our religion and our guns, without any understanding of how we should live our lives. You inferred, implied and even actually pointed out that according to the Democratic party “We the People” are an anachronism, the losers of history, and the persecutors of the world. You let the citizenry of the United States know that you considered us out of step with the future. But now, because you are out of power on every level that is important throughout the country,  you want our obsequiousness, our reverence, our loyalty when you never showed us any loyalty in the past. This is called chutzpah. This perfidy makes you, the Democratic party, a bunch of  hypocrites.

The idea that any one party has the complete answer is nonsense. That is actually the beauty of our system of government. The idea of compromise, understanding, and allowing all people to have a participatory voice in the future is the foundation of our nation. It is the entire basis of our Constitutional government.

In truth, the only difference to today’s politics from yesterday, is that  the “nasty,” and the “righteous” politicos have switched places. Decidedly, the actions by all those involved in our government over the last several decades have made the process nasty, and disrespectful. Unlike with our founding fathers, the modern political process does keep out some of the best and brightest in our nation.  The political class has turned our modern political process into an insult, to those who have given their last full measure of devotion to this nation. With the acceptance of present political warfare as politics as usual, the political class, the elites, and the punditry, have put in danger this great experiment called the United States of America.

We owe our children a better, kinder, more accepting world. We can do better.


About Elise "Ronan"

#JewishandProud ...
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