In today’s America, who is or is not an American?

As a newspaperman, I view most attempts to “redefine America” through skeptical eyes.  Every such attempt appears to be based on hidden agendas driven by a lust for power.

As a mostly-white American with some Native American mixed into the DNA, I see myself as a product of mixed environments: Born in Tampa, Fla.,I spent my first five years of life in nearby Gibsonton, where carnival workers (carnies) spent their winters, then my mother and I transplanted to rural Floyd, Va, for three years after my father died in an industrial accident.

I was 8 when my mother remarried a divorced man with three kids who lived in Farmville, Va. — a larger town in tobacco-dominated Prince Edward County.  I had a bicycle and paper route, played Little League baseball and joined the Boy Scouts.  I was a child of the 50s who rode his bike into town on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and a matinee feature at the local theater, had milkshakes at the local drug store luncheon counter and listened to baseball games on my transistor radio.

Farmville and Prince Edward County had a dark side as well, a racist school board and supervisors who refused to integrate the public school system and closed it down, replacing it with a private school for whites only.  Suddenly, I was going to classes in church basements, American Legion halls, and other spots while African-American kids had no schools.

Even at age 10, I thought that was wrong.  Maybe it was the time in Gibsonton, where I played with the kids of carnival workers of different ethnic backgrounds.   It wasn’t right.  I had a budding interest in photography and crawled on my belly through woods to sneak up on Ku Klux Klan meeting near Farmville and shot photos with my YaschicaMet Twin-Lens reflex camera.

I took my film to the Farmville Herald, a twice-a-week paper and asked then Editor Ben Bowers to have them develop the film and take a look at an essay about being a kid who didn’t agree with the racism I saw in the area.  He liked the photos and the essay, but the local owners of the paper did not so he shopped the story to the Richmond News-Leader and other papers.  Some published the photos and the story,

A Klan Rally

At age 10, I was a published reporter and photographer and, from that day, I wanted to be a newspaperman who would report on what America was and what it should be.

That desire became a career when Pete Hallman, owner of The Floyd Press when we returned to live in the county in 1961, hired me as a full[time reporter and photographer while still in high school.

Today, 61 years later, I’m still trying to report on what American is or is not and what it should or should not be.

I’m not alone.  At The New York Times, Will Wilkerson, writes:

The question of who “we” are as “a people” is the central question on which we’re polarized. High-minded calls to reunite under the flag therefore tend to take a side and amount to little more than a demand for the other side’s unconditional surrender. “Agree with me, and then we won’t disagree” is more a threat than an argument.

The way the nationalist sees it, liberals always throw the first punch by “changing things.” When members of the “Great American Middle” (to use the artfully coded phrase of Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri to refer to nonurban whites) lash out in response to the provocations of progressive social change, they see themselves as patriots defending their America from internal attack.

In a nation defined by political stereotyping, I should be one of those “nationalists.”  I’m white, a product of mostly rural America and a college dropout — a stereotyped supporter of the nationalism defined today by many conservative supporters of Donald Trump.

But I’m not.  I fled Floyd County after high school graduation, working first as a reporter and photographer at The Roanoke Times, where I again covered meetings of the Klan and wrote about racial strife. I then moved to the St. Louis metro area as a reporter, photographer and columnist for The Telegraph in Alton, IL, on the metro-east side of the city, across the Mississippi River.

A column written in the rough and tumble days of The Alton Telegraph.

Alton is a town with a complicated history surrounding the Civil War.  Even though it was the Land of Lincoln and part of the Union, a pro-slavery mob attacked the local newspaper before the war and killed the editor and publisher, Elijah Lovejoy, honored in a statue atop a hill in the city as a martyr to Freedom of the Press.

Alton was also the birthplace of James Earl Ray, who may or may not have killed Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968,  A hellhole housed Confederate prisoners of war in Alton.  Some of those stones are now found in many older homes in the city, including the townhouse where wife Amy and I lived.

I wrote often about the racism that still existed in Alton. Simmering racism still thrived in the area.  I tracked down the house where James Earl Ray was born and found it now owned by an African-American family.  When I wrote about that irony, someone burned it down.

After 12 years in Alton, Amy and I moved to the National Capital Region of Washington, DC — an even larger metro area.  We lived in Arlington County for 23 years.  It provided a pleasant mixture of cultures:  “Little Saigon,” the area of Vietnamese restaurants, grocery stores, and shops owned by those who fled Vietnam after the North took control of their homeland; and a thriving Lebanese community that Amy enjoyed because she is Lebanese-Irish.

Staff members at various consulates lived in our high-condo.  We got to know several of them and learned about their homelands and cultures.  Muslims invited us to their mosques and into their homes.  So did Buddhists and Jews and others who came to America seeking diversity and acceptance.

In many ways, living in Arlington and working out of the nation’s capital let us enjoy a rich, culturally-mixed environment.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed some of that on Sept. 1, 2001.  We saw hate slogans sprayed on mosques, broken windows at a Lebanese grocery and shouts of “America First!” at protests.

It bothered us when people we know began talking “hate speak” about those of differing nationalities, particularly those of Arab descent.   I drove to work each morning and passed an armored personnel carrier with a 50-cal machine gun manned by a Marine on the George Washington Parkway by the Pentagon.

One of my favorite photos: Shot on Sept. 15, 2011 — four days after 9/11 in Falls Church, Va.

Washington changed.  So did our attitudes about making the area our home.  When we decided to move to our new home in Floyd, Va. in 2004, we had hope when we saw Oddfellas owned and operated by a mixed-race couple, an African-American chief deputy sheriff, a growing gay community and those who practiced Quaker, Catholic, Buddhism, Muslim and other religions that weren’t visible in the county when I left in 1965.

But we also still found people using the “N-word” and sporting the Confederal battle flag.  When Barack Obama won the presidency, we saw the lunacies of a tea party rise from some toxic swamp.  John McCain carried the county in 2008.  So did Mitt Romney in 2012. Donald Trump won the presidential count in Floyd County in 2016 and probably will in 2020

Such traces of bigotry hang on.

Because I have written about the racism of Donald Trump, George Allen, and other politicos, some Floyd Countians see me as a Democrat.  During a sabbatical from journalism in the 1980s, I worked for three Republican members of Congress and as a political operative for the national party.

I’m not.  I’ve never registered as a member of any political party.  I’ve never contributed to any candidate of any party or for any office.

Being a Republican does not make one an American.  Neither does being a Democrat.  Americans are individuals from a variety of ethnic and racial origins, unique in their views, their goals, and their pursuits.  Instead of being told to “go back home,” we should recognize that all of us are home.

Writes Wilkerson:

But what, today, do Americans call “home”? The next logical step would be to observe that the contemporary sum of rooted, lovable American elements includes the black culture of Compton, the Mexican culture of Albuquerque, the Indian culture of suburban Houston, the Chinese culture of San Francisco, the Orthodox Jewish culture of Brooklyn, the Cuban culture of Miami and the “woke” progressive culture of the college town archipelago, as well as the conservative culture of the white small town.

To reject pluralism and liberalizing progress is to reject the United States of America as it is, to heap contempt upon American heroes who shed blood and tears fighting for the liberty and equality of their compatriots. The nationalist’s nostalgic whitewashed fantasy vision of American national identity cannot be restored, because it never existed. What they seek to impose is fundamentally hostile to a nation forged in the defining American struggle for equal freedom, and we become who we are as we struggle against them.

Whether couched in vulgarities or professorial prose, reactionary nationalism is seditious, anti-patriotic loathing of America hiding behind a flag — our flag. We won’t allow it, because we know how to build a nation. We know how the American story goes: We fight; we take it back.

I’m proud to be an American.  I’m not proud of the nation’s current president, Congress or leadership of either political party.

That’s my right, as a voter, a newspaperman, and an American.

Donald Trump is a racist slob who disgraces America

Of all the thousands of lies told by corrupt Donald John Trump in his disastrous presidency, the most blatant is his claim that “I am the least racist person in the world.”

Trump has been pushing such claims for years.  In 2011, he told CNN Tonight Anchor Don Lemon:

I want to tell you I am the least racist. I am a wonderful person as far as you would be concerned as to race.

Lemon knows better.  When Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” Lemon opened his show with: “I’m Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that.”

Trump’s racism is on full display today as he attacks House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md), and four liberal minority congresswomen in the House.  All five, of course, are not white.

Trump mentioned a break-in at Cummings’ home in Baltimore by tweeting: “Too bad!”  That brought Republicans Democrats out of the woodwork to censure Trump.

“This is so unnecessary,” responded Republican Nikki Haley in a tweet that included a “rolling eyes” icon.  She served as UN Ambassador for Trump for two years.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) told Trump his tweet was “so beneath the office you hold.”

“It’s childish, and yet it’s getting really old,” Kinzinger added in a tweet.

“Applauding a political opponent’s house getting robbed is impeachable, right?” said Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas. “Or it least worth of the 25th amendment?”

That amendment says a Cabinet can remove a president if they consider him incapacitated or unfit.  Unlikely, however, with Trump’s cabinet since many of them share his racist views.

Conservative writer David Frum called Trump’s comments “dangerous incitement.”

House majority leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland called out Trump’s “racist and dangerous rhetoric, which divides our communities and could lead to someone getting hurt.  Words have consequences.”

“Donald Trump is a racist,” says Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, one of the Democrats seeking to oust America’s racist-in-chief.

When CNN’s Lemon questioned Democrat presidential contenders Tuesday night in on the televised debates, he noted that Trump “is pursuing a reelection strategy based in part by racial division.”

Lemon asked candidate and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn)”  “What do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the president’s bigotry?”

Such questions resulted in a Twitter rant some Trump:

CNN’s Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television, insinuated last night while asking a debate ‘question’ that I was a racist, when in fact I am ‘the least racist person in the world. Perhaps someone should explain to Don that he is supposed to be neutral, unbiased & fair, or is he too dumb (stupid) to understand that.

Nothing to explain.  Lemon is telling the truth while Trump lies.

Donald Trump is a racist.  He is a bigot who spouts verbal diarrhea whenever he opens his mouth.  His ever-expanding girth spills out over his belt like the blob that he is.

He’s a guttural racist slob, a disgusting white supremacist whose hate disgraces the presidency and America.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Partisanship must never trump patriotism

“I am not a member of any organized political party,” humorist Will Rogers often said.  “I am a Democrat.”

Those who have watched or listened to the first set of Democratic debates in the 2020 presidential campaign or watched the catfights between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a group of left-leaning freshmen members of her party in Congress can easily see what Rogers meant.

If the party of the jackass, or donkey, wants to have a real chance of unseating the scandal-prone and racist Republican president Donald Trump, they need to stop fighting each other and enough common ground to wage what should be the primary fight.

Should they?  Yes.  Will they?  Probably not.

Perhaps Trump will self-destruct with his latest rounds of race-baiting bigotry and hate but there seems to be enough racists and haters among voters to give him the votes he needs next year to win re-election.

Or maybe enough voters who possess enough common sense and a desire to put the country ahead of politics will actually vote next year to restore some sense of normalcy to America and its government.

It would help if Democratic primary voters choose an acceptable moderate to help galvanize those who vote in the general election to dump Trump.

Does America have enough voters who aren’t controlled by hate, white supremacy and racism?  Polls say yes, but those are polls from the same folks who told us Trump didn’t have a chance of winning in 2016.  Of course, it didn’t help that many of those who did vote that year let outright hatred of Hillary Clinton and leftover resentment of her philandering husband overcome reason.

So they turned to a lies-spouting con man who brags about grabbing his sexual conquests by their, well, you know where.

Trump’s very existence in the White House defies all of what used to be the norms of even the hypocrisy of politics.

Evangelicals and other fundamentalists religious “leaders” openly support a man who brags openly about his lifestyle of adultery and rampant sexual abuse and perversion.

Republicans, who used to claim they were the party of balanced budgets, now flock like cult followers to a president who ignores financial prudence and is plunging the nation into record levels of deficits.

The nation’s Justice Department, now run by a partisan Trump appointee who puts blind loyalty above the law, sits idly by while Trump loots the federal treasury to fatten his bank accounts and increase profits on his hotel properties by ignoring the emoluments law that is supposed to stop that sort of thievery.

Congress, controlled completely by Trump’s current political party in his first two years as president and still in control of the Senate, does nothing when he or members of his administration ignores the laws of the land.

Senior advisor Kellyanne Conway got caught violating the “Hatch Act” that forbids blatant political posturing in the White House, Trump said he doesn’t agree with the law and let her actions slide.  Others in his administration have done worse but he says he’s president and can do whatever he wants and Congress just nods and goes along.

Osama bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda and mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, said his goals were to “destroy America and its way of life.”

He disrupted our way of life but did not destroy us.

Donald Trump is another terror who wants to destroy America.  He is a domestic terrorist who is also president, which gives him the power to kill this nation.  He cozies up to enemies of America — Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and North Korean madman Kim Jong-un — while insulting and alienating long-time allies.

An increasing number of Americans wonder if the nation’s current president is a traitor.  Ethically, he is.  Legally may depend on whether or not the prosecutor is a partisan or a patriot.

Republican leader/Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnel is now known as “Moscow Mitch” because he keeps killing any attempts to try and secure the 2020 election from Russian interference.  Such interference helped elect Trump and other Republicans in 2016.

“Mitch McConnel is a Russian asset,” read the headline of a column by Dana Milbank of The Washington Post.

Milbank adds:

Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.

That correct assessment by Milbank sent McConnell into a tirade but he’s also using it to raise money from Republicans who think like him.

Milbank’s observations could be said of any partisan who puts his or her “party” ahead of patriotism and true service to this country.

A sticker on the back of my motorcycle helmets expresses how I feel:

I am not a Democrat.

I am not a Republican.

I am an American.

There is a difference.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Voters must end Trump’s illegal, disgraceful presidency

Former special counsel Robert Mueller, checks pages in the report as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

As he does so often, disgraced and racist Donald Trump lied with his repeated claims that the report of Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller “totally exonerated” his frequent attempts to obstruct the 22-month investigations of his questionable ties and actions with Russia’s illegal involvement in the 2016 election.

In day-long testimony to both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Mueller said his report did not “exonerate” Trump and added that Trump faces prosecution after he leaves the White House.

Writes columnist Kren Tumulty in The Washington Post:

Mueller set the record straight on the many lies that Trump has told about the conclusions of the report.

No, he said, it did not “exonerate” the president of the crime of obstruction, for which Trump could still be prosecuted after he is out of office.

And former White House counsel Donald McGahn, whose FBI interviews provided some of the report’s most damning evidence, is not the fabulist that Trump has portrayed him to be but a credible witness, Mueller said — which no doubt will increase pressure on McGahn to also take a turn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Mueller made it clear that Trump took questionable and illegal actions to try and derail:

In June 2017 Trump told then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller and told him to create a fake internal memo to contradict any reports of his actions.

Later that same summer, Trump told former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to direct Attorney General Jess Sessions to “prevent further investigative scrutiny of the president and his campaign’s conduct.”  Sessions, however, recused himself of any involvement in the matter.

That brought Trump’s angry insistence that Sessions “unrecuse” himself and take control of the investigation.  Mueller’s report said Trump’s actions documented “a reasonable inference” that Trump wanted his attorney general to illegally act as “a shield” to the investigation.

Even worse, Mueller described how Trump tried to use his private attorneys to “influence the cooperation and testimony of potential witnesses like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former lawyer Michael Cohen through public and private threats and potential pardons if they did what he wanted.  Such actions are illegal actions of “witness tampering” and obstruction of justice.

“These facts, starkly affirmed on Wednesday by Mr. Mueller after months of mischaracterization of his report by the president and others, are catastrophic,” writes Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Bookbinder adds:

Despite Mr. Mueller’s unwillingness to speculate on hypotheticals, and his adherence to the Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president, these facts, which he also outlined in depth in his report, make clear that were Mr. Trump an ordinary person, he would have been indicted on multiple counts of obstruction of justice, as more than a thousand former federal prosecutors, free of those limitations, have observed.

Trump, as we all know, is not “an ordinary person.”  He is also not a normal, effective, legal or ethical president.

Democrats had hoped Mueller’s testimony Tuesday would lay out a clear path for impeachment but the professional prosecutor, former Marine and past head of the FBI was not about to play a partisan political game before a national audience.

His testimony did not provide TV sound bites for either side.  He answered many questions with terse “yes” or “no” answers.

He made it clear that, in the end, the voters will have the final say in the 2020 presidential elections.

If enough voters turn out to end Trump’s nightmare presidency, particularly in key states where a gerrymandered electoral map cannot overturn the will of the voters as happened in 2016, he will then be open to prosecution that could — and should — give him a new home in a small cell in a federal or state prison.

That would be a fitting end to Trump’s disgrace to the nation and a proper monument to the work of Mueller and his team.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Last chance for GOP members of Congress to show leadership?

Sources inside Republican Congressional offices say response back in home districts and states may decide how to deal with troublesome president Donald Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior that ramps up racism, nationalism and hate.

House members want to hear from constituents in open meetings and forums in their home districts while Senators are commissioning polls to sample statewide public opinion on Trump’s behavior.

“Obviously, something must be one,” says one senior staff member of a Republican senator, “but we must tread carefully and make sure we have the support of our constituents.”

“The silence of Republican leaders appeared to suggest either that they agreed with the views expressed by their standard-bearer or that he has so effectively consolidated his control over their party that they have grown disinclined to voice dissent,” writes Isaac Stanley-Becker in The Washington Post.

While some Republicans (11 so far) are speaking out about Trump’s controversial statements, most hide from the public and stay silent.

Democrats have denounced Trump and so have leaders around the world but no member of the president’s Cabinet has said a word in criticism.

Most GOP members of Congress who have called out Trump for his racism are now ex-members, including former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who called one of Trump’s racist comments “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

Former Republican Senator Bob Corker, once considered for a Cabinet post by Trump, later said: “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence fo demonstrate in order to be successful.”

That comment sent Corker’s poll numbers down in Tennessee and he retired.

Notes Amber Phillips in the Post:

Seeing a theme here? Republicans who have spoken out forcefully and memorably about Trump are no longer Republican officeholders. It is overly simplistic to say these Republicans retired because of their battles with Trump — though in Ryan’s case, a new book suggests that might be true. But all of them saw the writing on the wall: I can either speak out about Trump, or keep my job. In this Republican Party, you can’t do both.

This is why GOP Senators and Representatives want to listen to constituents back home over the August recess.

Some are still willing to speak out.

Fred Upton of Michigan said what Trump said is “really uncalled for, very disappointing.”  Paul Mitchell of Michigan said “these comments are beneath leaders.”

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas said Trump “was wrong to say any American Citizen, whether in Congress or note, has any ‘home’ besides the U.S.” but then tempered his criticism with praise for the president’s immigration antics.

“That’s the way Trump has engineered the Republican Party, to be able to get away with whatever he wants to say,” adds Amber Phillips.  “And it’s working.”

In the end, the decision of whether Trump stays or goes, rests with the voters.

Perhaps enough of them will confront their Representatives or their Senators over the August recess and convince them to be leaders.

Or we may have to wait until November of next year to see if the voters can retake control of what little is left of the country that a tyrant named Trump is destroying.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump: Rabid racist who must be stopped

For those of us who report what is or is not happening in our government, the time has come to accept one obvious and unreputable fact:  America has a racist president who hates this country.

That is the real news that must be reported.  Donald Trump is an unrepentant bigot, a white supremacist who sees America in black and white terms where white must reign supreme and black must be driven from our shores.

Reports David Brooks in The New York Times:

In Trump’s version, “American” is defined by three propositions. First, to be American is to be xenophobic. The basic narrative he tells is that the good people of the heartland are under assault from aliens, elitists and outsiders. Second, to be American is to be nostalgic. America’s values were better during some golden past. Third, a true American is white. White Protestants created this country; everybody else is here on their sufferance.

Trump’s vision is radically anti-American.

Says lawyer George Conway:

Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president. Trump could have used vile slurs, including the vilest of them all, and the intent and effect would have been no less clear. Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to “go back” to the “countries” they “originally came from”? That’s racist to the core. It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.

Writes Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post:

Let’s give that hateful crowd of Trump supporters in Greenville, N.C., some credit here.

With their chants of “send her back,” about a nonwhite member of Congress who happens to be an immigrant, they have laid bare the fact that President Trump is building his hopes for a second term on a foundation of racism.

Notes Darivd Maraniss:

The spectacle of men and women at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina on Wednesday chanting “ Send her back !” depressed me so much that I could only watch for 10 seconds before turning the channel to a baseball game for mental relief. To see the president intentionally provoke hateful cheers against Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, U.S. citizen and elected member of Congress, was a reminder to me that America has been through this too many times in too many ways.

And a lesson for us all. How do you love America? Stand up against narrow-mindedness and racism. Don’t turn away. Stay with it until you have done all that you can do.

Adds Jamelle Bouie:

The chanting was disturbing and the anger was frightening, but what I noticed most about the president’s rally in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday night was the pleasure of the crowd.

His voters and supporters were having fun. The “Send her back” chant directed at Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was hateful but also exuberant, an expression of racist contempt and a celebration of shared values.

This dynamic wasn’t unique to the event. It’s been a part of Trump’s rallies since 2015. Both he and his crowds work from a template. He rants and spins hate-filled tirades; they revel in the transgressive atmosphere. The chants are their mutual release. Sometimes he basks in them.

To watch raucous crowds of (mostly) white Americans unite in frenzied hatred of a black woman — to watch them cast her as a cancer on the body politic and a threat to a racialized social order — is to see the worst of our past play out in modern form.

I first saw what Bouie describes firsthand 61 years ago at night in a field outside Farmville, Va, when I watched and photographed a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.

I had snuck through the woods and took photos from the woods with a beat-up YaschicaMat twin-lens reflex camera. I sold one of those photos and a story about the meeting to the local newspaper.  I was 10 years old and decided on that night that all I ever wanted to be in life was a newspaperman.  I would cover other Klan meetings, racist violence and civil rights protests over the next six decades.

Trump, who decries any news that makes him look bad (which most legitimate news reports do) decries anything he disagrees with as “fake news.”

He is a fake president. His racism is not fake news.  It’s an accurate portrayal of what he is:  A vile racist who gets away with far too much because of a Republican Senate controlled by racists like Mitch McConnell and obstructionist House Republicans like Kevin McCarthy.

Every time that each Republican in Congress looks away and does nothing about Trump’s anti-American racist actions paints them with the same brush of bigotry and hate.

That’s reality, not “fake news” and, from this point forward, this news publication will refer to the president of the United States as the “racist Donald Trump” and refer to those who support his un-American ways as fellow conspirators.

This is war and it is a war for the soul of our nation.  We have identified the enemy and now we must work together to rid them from our government.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Racist Trump & GOP bigots who support him

The vile Donald Trump, the most racist president in modern American history, continues his bigoted rhetoric, cheered on the racists and bigots who voted for and continue to support his destruction of this nation.

Notes Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, a 2020 contender for president “It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won’t share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.”

Good points.  Why restate the vitriolic hatred that spills out of Trump’s mouth like verbal diarrhea.  His words should come out of his rectum.  They stink that much.

Responds Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the four targets of Trump’s hate:

I want to tell children across this country . . . no matter what the president says, this country belongs to you and it belongs to everyone.

Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.

I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!  You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Adds former vice president Joe Biden, also a candidate to unseat Trump in 2020:

These members of Congress — children of immigrants, just like so many of us — are an example of exactly what makes America great. So, Mr. President, I am here to tell you this. This is OUR country: The United States of America. You’ll never understand what makes us strong.

Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy.

Trump depends on the weak minds that pad his “base,” along with hate, paranoia and fear.

“Trump views his racist and white-nationalist provocations as key to his reelection effort,” writes columnist Greg Sargent.

He continues:

Trump views energizing his base around such tropes as central to his reelection. The Associated Press reports that Trump and his campaign believe that placing “racial polarization at the center of his call to voters” carries “far more benefits than risks.”

We know what Trump is doing here. The reporting has established a pattern, in which Trump’s racist provocations are employed deliberately to foment racism, rage and/or hate among his supporters. Trump’s belief that his base would cheer was partly what drove his attacks on African American athletes and his refusal to condemn white-supremacist violence.

A lot is at stake here. As Vox’s Sean Illing notes, the sight of Trump “leading a white mob in a chant” about sending a black Congresswoman “home” will be “featured in history books for decades to come.”

Conservative columnist Max Boot also sees Trump as a vile racist:

What Trump said on Sunday is not legitimate criticism. It is as blatant an example of racism and xenophobia as we have seen in our politics in my lifetime.

This is the kind of rude imbecility that I have heard in recent years from anonymous Trump trolls. They regularly tell me, a Russian Jewish immigrant, that I should go back to where I come from; their only uncertainty is whether that is Russia (the place where I was born and whose citizenship I lost when we left in 1975) or Israel (a place where I have never lived). Their xenophobic and anti-Semitic intent is clear. So is Trump’s racist intent. It doesn’t matter that all four members of the Squad are American citizens or that three out of the four were born here. (Omar was born in Somalia.) In the world according to Trump, anyone who is not a white, native-born Christian is not a real American.

Trump is a bigot and doesn’t even bother to hide it. In fact — and this is the truly appalling part — he parades his bigotry in the expectation that it will win him votes. And — what is even worse — he may well be right. Such appeals to prejudice might be exactly what Trump needs to mobilize some blue-collar, white voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.

All Republicans who stand mute in the face of Trump’s latest racism are telling you who they really are. It’s an ugly picture of a morally bankrupt party that has now embraced racial prejudice as a platform.

I am ashamed to have spent most of my life as a Republican. I have significant differences with Pressley, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Omar — perhaps even greater differences on the issues than I have with the president — but they are better Americans than Trump.

The bigotry and racism that Republicans, at large, endorse by ignoring Trump’s vile white nationalism, is a sad testament to what is happening in America.

They choose political desires over the needs of America. Like Trump, the bigot they embrace with cultlike obedience, they are racists and a putrid threat to the nation they are willing to destroy.

As Boot writes: “There is nothing — nothing — more important in the United States than racism. Where you stand on that one issue defines who you are as a human being. Silence is complicity.”

When the Democratically-controlled House voted overwhelmingly to condemn Trump for his racist remarks, four Republicans joined them, along with Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash.

Four.  Not that many, but maybe it’s a start.  Maybe, other Republicans may learn that putting America first is what matters and that means getting rid of racist Donald Trump and the bigots who support him.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

May Trump drown in his swill of racist hate & bigotry

New York Times columnist Charles Blow doesn’t spare his punches when it comes to the racism of Donald Trump.

Writes Blow:

His truest nature is simply being revealed, again and again, and he is using his own racism to appeal to the racism in the people who support him.

Blow notes Trump’s primal racism in his latest attack on four Democratic freshman members of the House of Representatives is that: “They aren’t white, and they are women. They are “other” in the framing of the white nationalists. They are descendants of Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.”

He continues:

The central framing of this kind of thinking is that this is a white country, founded and built by white men, and destined to be maintained as a white country. For anyone to be accepted as truly American they must assimilate and acquiesce to that narrative, to bow to that heritage and bend to those customs.

Start here: because the entire white supremacist ideology and ethos is a lie. America expanded much of its territory through the shedding of blood and breaking of treaties with Native Americans. It established much of its wealth through 250 years of exploiting black bodies for free labor.

And, for the entire history of this country, some degree of anti-blackness has existed. Now, there is an intensifying anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant xenophobia.

America was born with a congenital illness and it has been in need of active rehabilitation ever since, although it has often rejected the curative treatments and regressed.

Challenging America to own its sins and live up to its ideals isn’t a vicious attack, it’s an act of patriotism. As James Baldwin once put it, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

And, who better to lead the charge than four women who represent the future face of America.

But, Trump — and many of his supporters and defenders — spew their racism and tell themselves that it is perfectly acceptable when it is read back to them, in much the same way that a dog will eat its own vomit.

Blow’s anger is understandable.  It exists at our home, where my wife is Lebanese.  She revels in the fact that she is not white, but “beige” — a pigment shared by millions of Americans.

I love beige.  I now despise white.

She sees Trump for what he is — a horrible, hate-spouting white man pig who belches racist swill and hate out of fear and bigotry.

So does Charles Blow.  He adds:

There can be no more discussion or debate about whether or not Trump is a racist. He is. There can be no more rhetorical juggling about not knowing what’s in his heart. We see what flows out of it.

White people and whiteness are the center of the Trump presidency. His primary concern is to defend, protect and promote it. All that threatens it must be attacked and assaulted. Trump is bringing the force of the American presidency to the rescue of white supremacy. And, self-identified Republicans absolutely love him for it.

Amen, Mr. Blow.  You get no argument from our corner of this nation.  Donald Trump got no votes from our house.  The majority of Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election did not vote for him either.

In Virginia, our home, most of our Commonwealth also did not vote for Trump.  Our Electoral votes, thankfully, did not go to him.  We do not welcome racists into our home or within our midst.

We also welcome Muslims into our home.  We dine with them and enjoy companionship and conversation.

The same cannot be said for more than a few so-called “Christians” who we thought were friends but turned out to be racists who espouse violence, misquote the Bible and spread hatred in the name of God.

Our door remains closed to them as long as they espouse the hate and bigotry of Donald John Trump.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump’s overt racism erupts against U.S. citizens

A member of the March to Confront White Supremacy holds a sign during a rally behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Sept. 6, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Bulletin to Congress.  Is overt racism and bigotry enough to impeach the corrupt thug who now occupies the White House?  If not, why?  Maybe we should work even harder to get rid of you, along with Trump.

Donald Trump’s morning tweet:

So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how….

Not one of the members of Congress slammed by Trump is white, but only one was actually born outside of the United States. All are American citizens.

They are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts.

“These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough,” Trump said in his attack. “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”

Responds Ocasio-Cortez:

Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States. But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.”

You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder. You won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it. Yet here we are.

But you know what’s the rub of it all, Mr. President? On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you, either. You can’t accept that we will call your bluff & offer a positive vision for this country. And that’s what makes you seethe.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is also seething, not at her colleagues in Congress, but at the racist at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.

Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power.

Rep. Ray Lujan of New Mexico fired back at Trump on Fox News:

That is a racist tweet. Telling people to go back where they came from — these are American citizens elected by voters in the United States of America to serve in one of the distinguished bodies in the U.S. House of Representatives. I think that’s wrong.

Tweets Representative Brendan F. Boyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania:

Like some of my Democratic colleagues, I’m young, from an immigrant family, also very critical of Trump. Funny thing though, he never tells me to ‘go back where I come from.’ Hmm I wonder why?

That’s easy to answer, Rep. Boyle:  You’re white.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

JFK: A virgin and a White House affair

President John F. Kennedy (left), the 19-year-old college sophomore Mimi Alford (right) who lost her virginity to the president on the White House bed of Jackie Kennedy (bottom)

Illicit sexual activity did not arrive at the White House in Washington when Donald Trump became president.

He’s just the latest adulterer to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Bill Clinton’s infidelities and sexual escapades are well-documented, including the oral sex that left a splatter of his semen on 19-year-old Monica Lewinsky’s dress.

He wasn’t the first president to bed a teenage intern in the White House.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy found a teenaged Wheaton College student he met so infatuating he arranged her to get an unasked-for internship at the White House during his presidency and took her virginity on the bed used by first lady Jackie.

Mimi Beardsley Alford detailed how Kennedy also pushed her to perform oral sex on a White House aide so he could watch and then suggested she do the same for younger brother Ted Kennedy because “he needed cheering up.”

Alford said she did go down on presidential aide Dave Powers as he watched but refused to do the same on Ted.

Kennedy moved fast on Alford.  Just a few days after she arrived at the White House as a 19-year-old intern, he invited the beautiful girl for a swim and then took her to the first lady’s bedroom.

“I wouldn’t describe what happened that night as making love, but I wouldn’t call it nonconsensual either,” she later wrote in her book: “Once Upon a Secret: My affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath.”

Their 18-month relationship ended when Kennedy died n 1963

“I’m not going to say he loved me, but I think he did like me a lot,” she recalls.

Revealing the relationship did not bring hasty denials but confirmations from others.

Robert Dallek’s acclaimed Kennedy Biography “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, describes “a tall, slender, beautiful nineteen-year-old college sophomore” who was often with him

Barbara Gamarekian, former press side to Kenndey, says Alford “has a sort of a special relationship with the president…the sort of thing that legitimate newspaper people don’t write about and don’t even make any implications about.:

Alford kept quiet about her relationship with Kennedy for 40 years but went public after reporters tracked her down in 2003. Dallek says Alford’s admissions about her affair with is “entirely credible” and calls the incident with Powers “disgusting” but believable.

He said he wrote about Alford in his book as a reference to the changing social mores of the country.  When Kennedy was president, reporters in Washington knew about his adultery and other sexual antics but never wrote about it.

Kennedy’s libido may have been unreported at the time, but it was the topic of much discussion at parties in Washington during his presidency.

His affair with Marilyn Monroe is now well known.  Lesser known was his on-again-off-again affair with an artist, Mary Pinchot Meyer, who later died from a gunshot attack in Georgetown in a crime that remains unsolved.

Kennedy also had the hots for Meyer’s sister, Antoinette “Tony” Meyer, then married to Newsweek Washington reporter Ben Bradlee, who would later become editor of the Washington Post.

On May 29, 1963, Kennedy had about two dozen guests aboard the presidential Yacht Sequoia for his 46th birthday and spent most of the evening “pursuing” Tony Bradlee.  The guests included actors David Niven and Peter Lawford, married to Kennedy’s sister Pat.

Tony Bradlee remembered that evening all too well.

“I was running and laughing as he chased me. He caught up with me in the ladies’ room and made a pass,” Tony Bradlee later recounted. “It was a pretty strenuous attack, not as if he pushed me down, but his hands wandered. I said, ‘That’s it, so long.’ I was running like mad.”

“I guess I was pretty surprised, but I was kind of flattered, and appalled, too.”

Appalling, perhaps, but not surprising.

Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue