|Chief of staff John Kelly (left) grimaces and looks away|
as Trump makes baseless accusations against Germany
As you know, Donald Trump repeated those words like some kind of mantra or magical right-wing incantation during his campaign.
But the term was actually one of a number of simple catchphrases (including "Build the wall") coined by the technology firm Cambridge Analytica prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
They weren't intended to be accurate or complicated, nor did they have to be - kind of like Trump's buffoonish, uninformed tirade Wednesday morning at a breakfast in front of America's NATO allies.
As Rebecca Tan observed in a Washington Post article, Trump opened the breakfast meeting by loudly making the baseless accusation that Germany is "captive to Russia because it's getting so much of it's energy from Russia." - causing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to grimace in frustration and look away from the table (pictured above) as NATO reps stared at His Orangeness with a mixture of disbelief and disgust.
Trump relies on sewing chaos and "blowing things up" in situations where he's the most uninformed politician in the room (which he always is) in an effort to shift attention from his weaknesses.
So constantly falling back on his signature Cambridge Analytica-created catchphrases like "We have to build the wall" are easy things for him to remember, and quick ways to cultivate the anger of his voter base - who connect emotionally to Trump's keywords for bigotry, xenophobia and authoritarian tough-guy talk.
If Trump seems oblivious to the effect that his words have on those around him, it's because he is - his catchphrases are like handy flashcards he can use to connect with his base anywhere, and coveting their approval is about all he does now.
Again, those words sound deceptively simplistic, but they're actually the result of complex computer algorithms that sift through mountains of data to determine keywords that conservative voters are most likely to react and connect to.
|Right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer and his equally|
fringe-conservative activist daughter Rebekah
Cambridge Analytica faced widespread criticism for illegally hoovering up the personal profile data of an estimated 86 million Facebook users in an effort to rally support for Trump.
That kind of flagrant rat-fucking, a term for underhanded political trickery used to win elections made famous by former Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their account of their exposure of the Watergate scandal, "All the President's Men", doesn't come cheap.
Fortunately for the notoriously-cheap Trump, it was funded by right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer.
Mercer and his daughter Rebekah (pictured above), are cut from the same cloth as Charles and David Koch or Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos - billionaires obsessed with spending millions of dollars of their own money to erode responsible government in order to try and replace it with a fringe, right-wing cultural-political ideology that functions as a mask for their true mission.
Which is paying no taxes on their billions and having a small cadre of like-minded wealthy conservative elite run the country's courts and political system so they can enrich themselves.
Check out Chris Daly's March 26th blog post, "Congress Is Questioning the Wrong Guy"
if you want to get a more detailed understanding of the Mercer's murky role in funding not only Cambridge Analytica, but also Trump campaign strategist / white supremacist Steve Bannon and fake-news / misinformation factory Brietbart News.
It's an excellent tutorial on the kind of right-wing nut-baggery that helped get Trump elected president by (in part) appearing at rallies repeating words like "Drain the swamp" over and over and over.
|San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Selyem|
and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters
In recent weeks there's been a disturbing
spike in incidents of white people calling the police on African-Americans for doing stuff like using a pool, barbecuing or mowing a lawn etc.
But over the past few days there've been some troubling examples of members of law enforcement getting their Trump on.
Last week a San Bernardino County (California) prosecutor named Michael Selyem was disciplined and placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation of racist, sexist comments that he posted publicly on social media about the outspoken Democratic California Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Lately a number of conservatives in the U.S. have gotten their panties in a twist after Waters publicly called on people to peacefully and non-violently confront members of the Trump administration on their roles in the heinous policy of incarcerating asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants - and worse, separating them from their children.
In response to one conservative post criticizing Waters for encouraging Americans to exercise their right to free speech and public assembly protected by the First Amendment, Michal Selyem wrote:
"Being a loud-mouthed cunt in the ghetto, you would think someone would have shot this bitch by now..."
(Being a county prosecutor who graduated from law school, you would think Selyem had the presence of mind to realize that venting his bigotry on social media publicly might not be the best career move.)
Now obviously Selyem has a right to free speech.
|On-duty Officer Patrick Connor looks|
away as Mia Irizarry pleads for help
Or put into serious jeopardy other cases that he's prosecuted in the past on the grounds that his views demonstrate the kind of racial bias that could get a case overturned in court.
People who work in the court system or law enforcement are clearly entitled to their own political views - but not when it clouds their ability to serve as public servants on behalf of all people; regardless of race or ethnicity.
Earlier today, the Forest Preserves of Cook County (Chicago) announced that Officer Patrick Connor resigned in the wake of national outrage over a video showing him ignoring a Hispanic woman's pleas for help as an enraged white man verbally harassed and followed her because she was wearing a t-shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it.
As CBS News reported, Mia Irizarry was waiting for family members at a picnic area in a park that she had rented for her birthday when she was accosted by an intoxicated 62-year-old white man named Timothy Trybus who was apparently upset that she had a Puerto Rican flag on her shirt.
Not only did he question her status as a U.S. citizen (as if a drunk guy in a park has the right to do so), he told her she didn't have a right to be wearing the shirt in the United States.
Irizarry remained calm and filmed the incident on her cell phone.
"Why is she wearing that shit?" he asks aloud at one point, evidently unaware that Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory since 1952...
When Trybus begins to approach her and get more combative, Irizarry calls out to Officer Connor who is standing nearby with his uniform on - clearly on duty.
He simply looks away and begins to casually wander off - clearly sending the signal that he condones Trybus' behavior and words - but what if Trybus had punched or assaulted Irizarry, or worse?
When you have a county prosecutor publicly writing racist, misogynist things about a female member of Congress, or an on-duty police officer ignoring a woman's plea for help, the swamp isn't drained.
It's getting deeper, and the toxic catchphrases constantly repeated by Donald Trump have clearly affected the ability of some individuals in this country to draw a line between their personal views and their humanity.
Like the shocked representatives of NATO member nations Wednesday morning, many Americans recognize that the swamp is in full effect in some parts of this country - let's just hope those folks are registered to vote in November.
So we can really start the process of draining that swamp.