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David DarkAugust 23, 2019
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Washington. Trump is headed to Kentucky. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In a busy 48-hour period, President Trump asserted on camera that any American Jew who votes for Democrats is “uninformed or disloyal”; broadcast Wayne Allyn Root’s praise of his own person in a tweet (“the Jewish people in Israel love him...like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God”); and, while riffing on his own alleged fortitude in deciding to “take on China,” looked up at the sky and shouted, over the din of a helicopter, “I am the chosen one!” These statements from a commander in chief of the United States military are more than a little unprecedented.

If it is true that Americans are peculiarly vigilant when it comes to a president’s pretensions to divinity or rhetorical targeting of some Jews as more acceptable than others, one might think this would cause more than a temporary stir. And yet it is as if the citizenry has been trained to dutifully let it all go by Sunday. The actionable intelligence of such eye-rubbingly irresponsible statements voiced aloud by a man entrusted with the power to deploy lethal force against any person or population he deems a threat will hardly register as a blip in the U.S. bandwidth. How did this come to be?

The beloved science fiction writer Philip K. Dick once offered an account of the function of disinformation that could prove helpful in an era when verifiable facts (like a recording of the president’s statement) gain little or no traction among people paralyzed by a cascade of reactions—and reactions to reactions—that always seem to fall short of substantial response to the facts. Disinformation, Mr. Dick tells us, is “noise driving out signal,” but it “is noise posing as signal so you do not even recognize it as noise.”

Disinformation deadens the possibility of an actively informed electorate and, therefore, coherent governance.

It works like a charm. Disinformation deadens the possibility of an actively informed electorate and, therefore, coherent governance. In words worthy of Hannah Arendt or George Orwell, Mr. Dick names the state of play powerfully: “If you float enough disinformation into circulation you will totally abolish everyone’s contact with reality, probably your own included.”

This is indeed our current state. The president speaks, people react, repeat cycle. At least for now, it remains a stimulus-reaction procedure, not stimulus-response. Response would involve a moral actor risking something. As we try to maintain contact with reality, we recall the existence, on paper, of the 25th Amendment. Who in the president’s inner circle could serve as the adult in the room? Perhaps Vice President Pence. Or maybe we need someone who’s recently left the room. Some Republican commentators have suggested that Nikki Haley might play that role. Perhaps they will risk something.

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Or not. The former ambassador to the United Nations offered no response to the president’s pronouncements concerning his chosenness. While many of us were distracted by the question of whether or not Mr. Trump thought of himself as the Messiah, Ms. Haley saw fit to react, instead, to supposed rumors that she would replace Mr. Pence as vice president on the 2020 ticket. “Enough of the false rumors,” she tweeted. “Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the President. He has my complete support.”

To be clear, this is not the response of a self-respecting adult in the room. This is a reaction to alleged reactions, which Ms. Haley alluringly refers to as “false rumors.” What false rumors? To even ask is to risk being drawn into another disinformation cycle, a culture of non-response, all heat and no light. To risk genuine response is to lose ground in a realm driven by reaction. In truth, we have been at it for a while.

Consider the night then-candidate Trump hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2015. A ratings boon or an act of profound irresponsibility on the part of NBC? Let the viewer decide. This question was alive and signaling in the opening monologue that was abruptly interrupted by Larry David, who stood up on live television and yelled, “Trump’s a racist!” After a few pregnant seconds, Mr. David revealed he was a paid protester. The audience laughed. “That’s O.K.,” Mr. Trump allowed in the tone of a mafia boss, and the “great show tonight” proceeded unencumbered.

Four years on, the question of whether or not Mr. Trump is a racist is still ratings gold because it invites endless reaction, huge audiences and, let the reader understand, money-making without end. Was Mr. David’s role in this exchange a shirking of responsibility? That is a question for actual signal, not noise.

We do well to take our own measure concerning whether or not deep responsibility remains among our core concerns.

Then as now, Mr. Trump’s implied call for the execution of black men who were later exonerated (the Central Park Five) and refusal to apologize for his incendiary language awaits a substantial response from someone who can meaningfully counter his claims to authority. No Republican nominee for president nor anyone in Mr. Trump’s cabinet has found it expedient to risk a substantial response to these incitements to violence. Reaction? Oh my, yes, all day long. Response? Not yet. In October 2016, Mr. Pence heard an audio recording of Donald J. Trump boasting about his own pattern of sexual assault. Mr. Pence responded by concluding that he still had a sufficiently credible partner in pursuing his goals. Millions of Americans followed his lead.

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And today, the pattern of predatory disinformation repeats. For news networks, provocation drives profits in an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, a lucrative effort for some but an assault on the general welfare of many. We wake up wanting to tune in and weigh in, and we are blessed (or cursed) with the technology to do so. As we pause and wonder how it is that we, the people, could allow a man whose ignorance of and contempt for the Constitution is well established to take the oath of office for the president of the United States, we do well to consider the distance between reaction and response, noise and signal, disinformation and actionable intelligence. We do well to take our own measure concerning whether or not deep responsibility remains among our core concerns.

Rebecca Solnit offers a timely adage for anyone interested in being a genuinely responsive people in this beleaguered world that God so loves: “The revolt against brutality begins with a revolt against the language that hides that brutality.”

Disinformation of the sort President Trump floats by speaking of disloyal Jews, his role in the second coming of God and his own chosenness is of a piece with his own refusal to commit, in advance, to accept the results of our last presidential election: “I’ll keep you in suspense.” Shocking words and disavowals of the duties and obligations of law-abiding citizens are nothing new among men without boundaries. Disorientating speech is in the playbook of anyone who feels their survival depends on avoiding accountability. Keeping others in suspended animation is a form of flex essential for brutal behavior and brutalizing policies.

But we need not be stupefied by this cycle of weaponized incoherence nor continue to enable the enablers of disinformation. We can wake up to ourselves at any time and, if stupefaction is a process rather than a state, we can reverse the process in myriad ways even now. One risky and responsive word at a time.

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JR Cosgrove
3 years 3 months ago

Where is the disinformation coming from? We had over 2 years of Russia collusion which was a hoax. We have seen cries of racism everywhere which is a farce since racism is not currently a problem in the US (this does not mean that certain groups in our society do not have a very tough time but it is not due to discrimination.) The comment about "Chosen One" left out the context and is a source of disinformation by the author. It referred to the chosen one to take on China and he was referring to that he was chosen by the people to do this. Does the author really want to discuss the Central Park 5? With articles like this we wonder why there is polarization.

JR Cosgrove
3 years 3 months ago

Notice what contributes to fake news. See the photo above with Trump pointing his finger upwards. That did not happen when referring to himself being chosen by the voters to take on China.

Criticizing Trump with fake news means they have nothing of substance and actually validates that Trump is successful.

Tim O'Leary
3 years 3 months ago

I think it would be great if Democrats and Republicans all got behind Nikky Haley and drafted her for President. But, I think the Democrats are willing to risk it all on a combination of: 1) you-will-definitely-lose-your-doctor welfare-for-all, 2) a flight-ending Green New Deal, 3) financial benefits driven by a racial test (reparations), 4) born-alive abortions. Count me old-fashioned, but I don't think that is a winning response to Trump. Calling every Trump voter a white supremacist is not likely to get them to switch either.

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

Liberalism today is beyond incoherence, it’s a full blown mental disorder

Mike Fitzpatrick
3 years 3 months ago

It is not liberalism as such but the Leftists have taken control of the liberals and they don't realize it. The Liberals need to understand that Leftists are their enemy not conservatives

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

This article is the essence of hypocrisy: all of the principal facts and controversies cited by the author as Trump travesties are mirrored in the prior administration:
Trump referencing being “ the chosen one “—Candidate Obama stating “We are the ones you have been waiting for” and on his nomination stating it “ would mark the day the seas stopped rising and the earth began to heal” ...

Trump’s refusal to commit to accept the election results—the Democrats refusal to accept the defeat of Hillary Clinton by a first time politician who is a big mouthed bozo; who spent half of Hillary’s money; whose campaign was a political fiasco; who was opposed by all past four living Presidents and the Republican standard bearer......it had to be the Rusians! ......except it wasn’t!

Trump is a serial liar——Obama repeats some 19 times :” If you like your Plan ,you can keep your Plan....if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”

Trump stirs racial division(Central Park 5) —Obama inflames Michael Brown /Ferguson/riots “The Brown Slaying stains the heart of black children” only to have his own Justice Department ultimately vindicate the cop after the riots and looting.

It may well be that Trump will deservedly not be re-elected but this authors set of reasons is deeply flawed by his own blind hypocrisy. In an article decrying “disinformation “ as the source of our present political maelstrom the greatest example of political “disinformation” that could have been noted is the now disproven Russian Collusion allegation which has consumed the media for two solid years. Yet the author never even mentions it.

This article is an exemplar of the very disinformation that it decries.

Darryl Cooper
3 years 3 months ago

President Obama never referred to himself as the Messiah, was never heard boasting on video about groping women, earned his degrees through his own abilities (Not family money), and was legitimately elected.

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

If we needed examples of the alternate information universe in which Trump's Republican supporters exist, the comments to this article will do. The only saving grace is that they are in the minority in the country.

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

...Trump will be re-elected by a landslide, prepare yourself for your alternate universe

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

How do you people manage to just get through the day?

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

On August 12, 2017, some racists, anti-Semites, and members of pro-Nazi groups organized a pro-Nazi, racist and anti semite rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally organizers shouted "Jews shall not replace us, You shall not replace us." Ms. Heather Heyer was killed by a member of the anti-semite and proNazi group during the rally. Mr. Donald J. Trump's (Snr.) claim on the Charlottesville racist and pro-Nazi rally was that there were good people on both sides. This means that Mr. Donald Trump (Snr) believes that racists, anti-semite and members of pro-Nazi groups are "good" people.

Also, recently, the said Mr. Trump (Snr) claimed that American Jews who vote for Democratic Party are either uninformed or disloyal. The same Mr. Trump (Snr) has not denied that he said this.

Conclusion
Based on history, racists and pro-Nazi people are anti-semites, and anti-semites are also racists. The good Jewish people had been historically, falsely and dubiously accused of having double loyalty-an antisemite trope. Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany used this dubious and false claim against the Jewish people in Germany and it led to the evil of the Nazi Holocaust. To falsely accuse American Jews who vote their conscience of disloyalty is anti-semite. To describe people who killed and who want to kill those who do not look like them racially and ethnically as "good" people is evil, racist, xenophobic, bigoted, and anti-semitic.

My conclusion is based on facts and history. Any objection must first refute these facts and history. So, history and historical witnessing are the reasons I agree with, Mr. David Dark the writer of this essay that it is time to stop reacting and start responding.

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

Israel named a town in the Golan Heights after President Donald Trump. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the announcement on Tuesday from a tour of the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon.... this is how Israel typically honors nazis

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Christopher Scott
So based on your "knowledge" of political science, the state is the people? Right? Oh sorry, you should also add the following-(i) He-Mr. Trump (Snr) is the alleged "King" of Israel. He is the alleged "Chosen" One. Remember that the "King" himself made this dubious and blasphemous claim and retweeted this blasphemy! But, wait a minute, these blasphemies will be consistent with your intellectually flawed and politically (from the standpoint of the discipline of political science) untenable suggestion. The "King" is a racist who also traffics in antisemite tropes and who as a transactional politician has turned ordinarily noble state craft and policies into crass transaction for personal gains.

And also, based on the assumption in your post, you might as well call the "King" (with multiple women, and who likes "to grab them by the..." because He-the King is a super star) a "Christian" because the "King" gave a section of the evangelical "Christians" the type of judges and justices they want in transaction for their electoral support! And based on the assumption in your post, that ethically challenged and dubious transaction will also be "Christianity" which based on the assumption in your post will be consistent with the public ministry of Jesus Christ-right?

Expecting your next rationale. I'm loving this as I always do!

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Adeolu
Indeed it is obvious that you ....”love this as always..”..but to the point of incoherence.

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Stuart Meisenzahl,
An appeal and a tweet to irrelevance is a tactic someone who has lost the argument uses. Your "king" uses it regularly. You must be a good student of your "king". Your dear "king" of Israel and the self described and self-proclaimed "chosen" one used his own mouth to describe as "good" people racists, members of pro-Nazi groups and anti-semites who shouted "Jews shall not replace us, You shall not replace us" in Charlottesville , Virginia. Can you please defend your friend Christopher Scott substantively if you can? I'm loving this!

Tim O'Leary
3 years 3 months ago

Adeolu - I hope you really are against Nazi's. You might also recall that Omar was sanctioned by her own party for comparing Israel to the Nazis (link below). However, did you know that one of the reasons Israel barred Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib was because one of the sponsors of the trip was a group that literally published neo-Nazi blood libels and said that it supported female suicide bombers, hailing them as heroes (see link below). Perhaps, you missed this or maybe you to think there are good people on both sides of anti-Semitism.

Omar compares Israel to Nazi Germany https://israelunwired.com/ilhan-omars-bill-compares-israel-to-nazi-germany/

Sponsor of Omar's trip to Israel https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/08/21/thats-a-scandal-new-york-times-columnist-calls-out-media-for-burying-neonazi-sponsors-of-omar-tlaib-trip-n2551985

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Tim O'Leary,
Since the "king" of Israel, the "chosen" one -Mr. Trump (Snr) trashes American cities and people so badly, don't you think he should be sent back to Germany or Scotland where his parents came from? I am just trying to call your attention as a defender of the "king" of Israel to what the "king" said about American citizens who are American Congress women a while ago! See?

And since the "king" of Israel-Mr. Trump (Snr) , called anti-semites "good" people, don't you think the state of Israel should also ban him from entering Israel? I'm loving this!

JR Cosgrove
3 years 3 months ago

called anti-semites "good" people,

But he didn't do that. Why do you continue to propagate this fake news? The "good people" he was referring to are those who were there only to protest the removal of statues and were probably evangelicals and friends of Israel. You can quibble over the defense of the statues but it had nothing to do with being anti-semitic. Especially when his daughter is Jewish and has Jewish grand children. It is just like the author's comment on "chosen one" taken out of context.

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

J Cosgrove,
He said it, and stop deflecting and defending the impossible. Get your facts right and straight. If you cannot defend your "king" the "king" of Israel, the self proclaimed "chosen" one on what he said, then tell him to apologize to the country and withdraw his racist and xenophobic defense of racism, and anti-semitism in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 when Ms. Heather Heyer was murdered by a member of anti-semites and pro-nazi group, who the "king" described as "good" people. We will move on if your "king" apologizes to the country on his racism. But we will not if as he does, he holds on to his racism and bigotry tenaciously with pride.

It is becoming clear that the defenders of the "king" of Israel, the "base" can no longer sustain their defense of him. Hence, they deflect, as you do. The way members of the "base" can help their "king" is to ask him to stop his anti-semite tropes and to stop his racism. It is that simple. But do not deflect. You can deflect in your parochial, bigoted right wing megaphones -such as Fox News, Breitbart, OANN, but not here in AmericaMagazine. Your "king" is a racist, a bigot, and he wears his racism and bigotry with pride-period. Thanks.

JR Cosgrove
3 years 3 months ago

You keep making up stuff that didn't happen. Every time you do that, it is an endorsement of Trump because using false information means there is no true information to support your attitudes.. So keep on doing it to elect Trump again. I have to assume you are a Trump supporter in disguise.

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

J Cosgrove
The "king" of Israel often tells his base: "Don't believe what you see... believe what I tell you."! It means that for the base there is no objective truth outside the tweets of the "king" of Israel, what the "king" tweets to his base!
While the "king" and his narrow base live by the subjective tweets of the "king" the rest of the country live by the objective, verifiable history of the country.This explains your post as a member of the base! It is understandable.

Bill Yates
3 years 3 months ago

“Using false information means there is no true information...”. Are you living in some parallel universe? Trump makes much use of the phrase ‘fake news’ - but the difficult thing is trying to discern when he isn’t spreading fake news. Or says one thing then says the opposite the following day; almost as if his initial statement was made in some other universe. Does anyone on the planet (other than him) think N Korea’s leader is a ‘Great Guy’? The great deal maker has failed to sign off on any during his entire tenure. Which is, perhaps, no bad thing bearing in mind his record as a multiple bankrupt.

Bill Yates
3 years 3 months ago

“Using false information means there is no true information...”. Are you living in some parallel parking universe? Trump makes much use of the phrase ‘fake news’ - but the difficult thing is trying to discern when he isn’t spreading fake news. Or says one thing then says the opposite the following day; almost as if his initial statement was made in some other universe. Does anyone on the planet (other than him) think N Korea’s leader is a ‘Great Guy’? The great deal maker has failed to sign off on any during his entire tenure. Which is, perhaps, no bad thing bearing in mind his record as a multiple bankrupt.

Tim O'Leary
3 years 3 months ago

Adeolu - you are probably the person who has called Trump the king of Israel more than anyone else. I don't consider him a king in the slightest. He was "chosen" by the American electoral system, in part for dealing with China's unfair trade policies, which is the part he was referring to in the video. I did not vote for Trump, and am not at all pleased by his vulgar tactics, past personal life, undisciplined posturing, twitter storms, and general loose relationship with the facts of almost any situation. So, I am not a fan of any of this and believe the country is worse off because of it. However, he is obviously not an anti-Semite, a white supremacist (whatever that really is), or a racist, as those terms are traditionally applied. Multiple actions of his (like his recent support for the American rapper in Sweden, his welcoming of supporters of many races and religions) are incompatible with those labels. His record is somewhat mixed so far, but he has undoubtedly had a good effect on the economy, has reduced illegal immigration, has reduced actual US involvement in foreign wars, has appointed excellent Supreme court justices, and protected unborn life in multiple ways. His opponents, from the crazy Russian hoax, to the multiple fake outrages, the racist charges, the warmongering, the recession talk, seem hellbent on getting Trump and don't mind hurting the country in the process. I considered myself a "nevertrumper" in the last election cycle, but I am wavering given his relatively successful policies, the extreme nation-damaging policies of his Democratic opponents and the relentless fake media outrages. I suspect many formerly nevertrumpers might hold their nose and vote for Trump the second time around, unless the Democrats start making sense.

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Tim O' Leary,
Mr. Donald Trump (Snr.) exercised his fundamental and constitutional right to freedom and self identification under the nation's law and constitution to blasphemously (i) self describe as the "chosen" one and (ii) called himself "king" of Israel in retweeting a tweet of one his "subjects" as a "king"! The self proclaimed "king" of Israel did not report that there was something wrong with him. So we must assume that he was sane and of sound mind when he said those things. Are you a Christian? Do you know what those things mean to our faith, our Christian faith? Given the history of the Church, do you know what it means for someone to describe himself as the second coming of "god" and "king" of Israel? Please think.

Now, on another note, do you want to unfairly take the "king's" fundamental and constitutional right away from him? I'm loving this!

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Adeolu
This article by Mr Dark is about “disinformation”
.Your obsessive repetition of of the claim that Trump called white nationalist and neo nazi’s “fine people “ is a perfect example of just such disinformation.
Trump did indeed refer to the fact that in Charlottesville there were “fine people on both sides”BUT you simply ignore the rest of that quote:
“I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE NEO NAZI OR THE WHITE NATIONALISTS BECAUSE THEY SHOULD BE CONDEMNED TOTALLY” ....
See USA Today, April 26 2019 “Trump’s Charlottesville Comment Twisted by Biden and the Media.

I look forward to your correction of your comment, since it is the moral thing to do

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Stuart Meisenzahl,
Your "king" has said the following (i) He called himself white nationalist, (ii) he said there were good people among groups such as pro-Nazi groups, anti-semite groups, and racist groups that organized the Charlottesville anti-semite , racist rally, (iii) Your "king" never changed his racist and bigoted position on the the Central park five, (iv) Your "king' called himself the "chosen" one, the second coming of "god", the king of Israel. (v) At one of your king's rallies, your king and his base called people who do not look like them "invaders" and that they should be shot. (vi) Your king asked that American Citizens who are American Congresswomen to be deported to where they came from! It is significant to note that the ancestors of one of the Congress women were original founders of this country -which means they preceded the arrival of the parents of your king-who came from Germany and Scotland. My suggestion to you as a member of the king's base is that you should advise the king to stop it, seal his mouth and cut it off. Okay?

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Adeolu
Just Read the USA Today article and stop the repetitive incoherence.

Adeolu Ademoyo
3 years 3 months ago

Stuart Meisenzahl,
As long as you keep defending the indefensible, I will "throw" the facts about your "king" at you and members of the "base", the "king's" base! Advise your "king" to seal his mouth, educate himself a little, just a little, and cut it out.

E.Patrick Mosman
3 years 3 months ago

Actually the media and democrat Presidential candidates have failed the morality test with false accusations about the President's Charlottesville statement and failed to even mention progressive/liberal officials using obviously one-sided media reports to arouse the anti-Trump masses. What exactly happened when a permitted rally opposing the removal of a statue was met by masked, armed antifa thugs who had no permit to be in that part of the city.Who threw the first stone? Who attacked whom with bats, bottles of urine,pepper spray etc? Who has been and continues disrupting conservative speakers on campus with violence? Who hid their identity? Who had a permit to hold a public meeting at the park? Who has the right,no pun intended, to judge one side over another, pseudo Nazis vs hard core Progressives(Communists) and racist organizations like BLM? Lets get real over who is the most violent. As the President said both sides had violent members.
Perhaps a reporter for the NY Times is telling it like it was, "antifa'" thugs beating those who came to protest the rewriting of history.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg ? @SherylNYT Replying to @SherylNYT 2. "The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding "antifa" beating white nationalists being led out of the park. 2/2"
It is time for a reset of the media and democrats moral compasses.

E.Patrick Mosman
3 years 3 months ago

Duplicate removed

E.Patrick Mosman
3 years 3 months ago

REmoved

Vincent Gaglione
3 years 3 months ago

“These statements from a commander in chief of the United States military are more than a little unprecedented.” Ya think!

The responses, not reactions, are supposed to come from reliable and trustworthy sources, people in positions that give them gravitas. BUT, we live in a USA society where that kind of thinking just doesn’t exist anymore. For example, read some of the commenters in various articles here about the Pope! And foreign leaders with some gravitas – Angela Merkel, for example - hold no weight with USA citizens whose lifeblood is American exceptionalism.

Even our own sources of morality and honesty, a local Bishop and the parish priest, have abdicated their roles in speaking responses to immorality on the political level. I cite the deliberate name-calling and handling of people in the immigration policies that Trump has endeavored to implement.

I am not at all sure that the responses that would challenge the president will ever be spoken or heard because a significant portion of the citizenry has lost its moral compass and has substituted political rhetoric for moral certitude. That the president speaks and acts immorally on the political level quite often, I have no doubt in my mind, even if everyone else thinks I am crazy.

JR Cosgrove
3 years 3 months ago

But we can always depend on you being the superior moral person. You tell us repeatedly that others here lack your understanding and character. I suggest you watch the entire press conference and give an accurate assessment. It’s what a moral person would do. The author completely distorted the Trump comment and you fell for it. See full conference The China discussion starts about 15:30 minutes into it.
https://cs.pn/33Wjagi

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Vince
You seem to believe and assert that American politics has entered into a level of political coarseness,veniality, and immorality never before seen in our land.
As I recollect you were in the education business and as such you know well that as far back the Jefferson-Hamilton campaigns that the norm was gross accusations, purchase of defamatory newspaper articles, spreading of maliciously false rumors, hiring of street thugs to break up rallies, torch light intimidation,etc. As Secretary of State to Adams, Jefferson systematically spread lies about Adams and his programs. The Jackson election campaign is famous for its populist outrage in every form..

The Past misconduct is no excuse for current political misconduct , but it does belie your moralistic, finger-wagging assertion that we are in the midst of a new era of uncorrected coarseness and immorality.

Vincent Gaglione
3 years 3 months ago

Morning Stuart,

“…..that we are in the midst of a new era of uncorrected coarseness and immorality.” At least you do appreciate my moralistic tone, it would seem. (I am a little taken aback by those accusing me of an arrogant moralist point of view. What the hell else are we expected to express on a Catholic website, eh!) The fact is that after some 200+ years I would hope that we would be beyond the kind of coarseness and immorality to which you refer. But as you correctly pointed out, it is a “new era” of it. And, yes indeed, I don’t think that we should have to endure such again.
Vinny

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Vince
The current iteration of this political coarseness and extreme language has the same roots as the past eras of such events—populism -unleashed wholesale dissatisfaction with the established political leaders. It is well to keep in mind that the Trump election was as much a rejection of the entrenched Republican leaders as it was of the Democratic Candidate /Democratic apparatus.

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

....So those that belong to the political party of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, and support drag queen story time and teaching gender fluidity to children get to accuse others of losing their moral compass? Trump says a lot of bombastic things, but he was right when he said “You may not like me but you have to vote for me... otherwise you get that” (He’s right about a lot of things that count) Like I sad earlier, liberalism today is a full blown mental disorder.

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

Jeffrey Epstein, who Trump called "a terrific guy", who Trump hung around with for decades, who had Trump's private phone numbers in his little black book. That Jeffrey Epstein?

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

Epstein was banned from ALL Trump resorts. Trump called him out and it’s the Trump administration that is prosecuting him (still) Not so with Bill Clinton. Obama never went after him and if Hillary got elected it’s doubtful anything would have changed. You really need to turn off the fake news get out more often.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Crystal
Yes ,....that is the the self same Jeffrey Epstein whom Trump banned about 15 years ago from Trump’s Mar a Lago Club......you know the Epstein guy that Bill Clinton has flown around the world with on a plane known as “The Lolita Express”...of course there is no history there

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

Doesn't matter if he knew Clinton. The fact is he was close friends with Trump. Let's watch again that lovely video in which Trump and the pervert oggle a bunch of women and their "attributes" ... https://youtu.be/KLcfpU2cubo

Christopher Scott
3 years 3 months ago

Does that link you post deny and/or prove that anything in the statement I made above to be false? That’s a meaningless video that proves or shows nothing except how you’re easily influenced and manipulated by watching too much fake news! This is how democracies fail.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Crystal

I did not say Clinton “just knew Epstein”......I pointed out that Clinton was a “frequent flyer”on Epstein’ s plane “The Lolita Express”

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

Yes, Clinton was his friend, I grant that. But I'm talking about Trump. He and Epstein both attended a party at Trump's estate in which there were 28 women, and only the two men. One young women accused Trump of raping her when she was 13 at one of Epstein's parties. Now Epstein is suspiciously dead and can't talk about his friendship with Trump. Died while in a federal prison under the rule of AG William Barr, who has already shown he is willing to lie for Trump. Hmmmm.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Crystal
The young woman filed a complaint during the 2016campaign; made a face obscured video but failed to show up for any of her promised press interviews and then withdrew her complaint. No explanation !

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

I don't doubt she was intimidated into giving up.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Crystal
Trump has been famous for 35 years.....yet she waited until he was running for President 24 years after the alleged event to bring suit.....give me a brake

Crystal Watson
3 years 3 months ago

There are a score of women who have come forward saying Trump sexually assaulted them, including the recent rape assertion from E. Jean Carroll. I have no doubt Trump is a rapist and I have no doubt he has bullied most of his victims into giving up on trying to hold him to justice.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 years 3 months ago

Crystal
Please note that Trump has a history of “buying off” any allegation of impropriety which has any legs....eg., see Stormy Daniels , etc. Based on this you can be reasonably assured that he would have “bought off” these women if there were any possibility of proof of his misconduct.

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