is crunch time in the 2016 election season, and women, minorities,
immigrants, and citizens with disabilities remain under attack.
Donald Trump has intentionally and viciously unleashed the “lesser
angels” of the nation’s body politic. He has
systematically used misogyny, racism, and xenophobia to attract that
segment of the electorate that is experiencing severe economic
stress. To solidify his base of support, Trump also gave a wink and
a nod to the alt right, populated by white nationalists, the Klu Klux
Klan (KKK), David Duke and other apostles of racial hate and the most
virulent forms of discrimination. (Trump has been endorsed by a
leading KKK newspaper.) That approach awakened those prejudiced
viruses in other Republican elected officials who have gone along
with it since they have always traded on these issues to get elected.
racism, misogyny, etc. were largely employed in subtle ways from the
mid-twentieth century until now with occasional viral breakouts when
Republican presidential candidates viewed them as their route to
victory: Richard Nixon with his “silent majority” and
George Wallace with his “direct racist entreaties” in
1968; Ronald Reagan’s “states’ rights” (code
words for black oppression) speech at the Neshoba County, Mississippi
State Fair on August 3, 1980 (seven miles from Philadelphia,
Mississippi where three civil rights workers—Michael Schwerner,
James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman--were murdered in 1964); George H.
W. Bush with his bigoted “Willie Horton” campaign
commercials in 1988; vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s,
“courting of right-wing extremists” in 2008 (although the
presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, rejected such impulses); Mitt
Romney’s disparagement of the “47 percent who “allegedly
got free stuff from Obama” in 2012; and Donald Trump’s
wooing of white nationalists, the KKK, and Neo-Nazis in 2016.
overarching aspect of misogyny is the campus rape of women which has
largely been tolerated at universities across the nation: University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dartmouth, the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, and Baylor University to name a few. Baylor is a
particularly interesting case since its former Chancellor, Ken Starr,
who spent more than $50 million in federal monies, as a special
prosecutor, trying to indict former President Bill Clinton for an act
of consensual sex, turned a blind eye to multiple gang rapes by
members of Baylor’s football team. He even stood by the
football coach’s ethical standards after both were dismissed
from the university. Such an attitude is pervasive among men in
power as reflected in the number of suits over sexism and
discrimination against women in private- and public-sector
environments. This is the context out of which Donald Trump emerged
with his long and sordid history of misogyny which has been directly
and/or indirectly endorsed by the majority of Republican elected
Trump's leadership, current federal and state level elections have
been consumed by attacks on women, immigrants, and others who are
viewed as being outside the mainstream. However, Republican
governors, legislatures, and congressional leaders had already
escalated their attacks on women in the reproductive and educational
arenas prior to Trump’s entry into the presidential race.
Teachers have been, and continue to be, consistent targets for abuse
as these political entities passed and expanded laws to privatize
public education. Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, led
a full-scale assault on public education in Indiana, causing his
approval rating to drop so low that he was grateful for the vice
presidential lifeline from Trump which prevented him from certain
defeat in a reelection bid.
overarching opinion of Republicans in power is that women were
becoming too independent and gaining too much power. The dismantling
of teacher unions is a primary goal.
objective has been fueled by the fact that the executive leadership
of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, the National
Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers
(AFT) is female: NEA, Lily Eskelen Garcia (President); Becky Pringle
(Vice President), and Princess R. Moss (Secretary-Treasurer) and AFT,
Randi Weingarten (President); Mary Cathryn Ricker (Vice President);
and Loretta Johnson (Secretary-Treasurer). These women have been
stalwart supporters of public education, and the Cartel of private
education reformers has employed malicious personal and misogynistic
strategies to blunt their collective efforts—refusing to deal
with them as equals. Trump has seized on this misogyny and expanded
it into other areas in a variety of ways.
Trump has deployed three rabid misogynists to carry his message: Newt
Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and himself. Between the three of them,
they have been married nine times and have mistreated and physically
and/or mentally abused each of their wives. Newt Gingrich initiated
a divorce discussion with his first wife while she was lying in a
hospital bed recovering from uterine cancer and had earlier demanded
that she agree to an open marriage. He also had an adulterous affair
with his third wife, his congressional staffer, while he was married
to his second wife.
has attacked females, most recently Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on
air, for simply repeating that Trump is a sexual predator as he
stated in his own words. Rudy Giuliani has fabricated and spread
rumors that Hillary Clinton is suffering from a serious disease and
is near death in addition to uttering a host of misogynistic
statements: “too stupid to be president,” “lied
about her response to 9/11,” “stupid for standing by her
husband during their marital crisis,” etc. He and Gingrich
dutifully vouched for Trump whenever he debased women, often blaming
the women themselves for Trump’s misogynistic statements. And
Trump always publicly applauded and reinforced their defense of him
even when the objective facts affirmed that they made untrue
Trump’s elected Republican endorsers have felt comfortable in
parroting his animus against women. Incumbent North Carolina U.S.
Sen. Richard Burr, who is running against Democratic State Senator,
Deborah Ross, in a campaign speech last week, stated that “…nothing
made me feel better than seeing a magazine about rifles …
with a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it. I was a
little bit shocked at that -- it didn't have a bullseye on it,"
generating laughter from the crowd in Mooresville, North Carolina.
"But on the bottom right (of the magazine), it had
everybody for federal office in this particular state that they
should vote for. So let me assure you, there's an army of support out
there right now for our candidates."
verbal assaults on women have been repeated by Republican U.S. Senate
candidates against their Democratic female opponents: Pat Toomey
against Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania; Joe Heck against Catherine
Cortez Matos in Nevada; and incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk’s
anti-immigrant remarks against Tammy Duckworth (of Asian background)
in Illinois. These criticisms are enabled by the chauvinistic
statements of Donald Trump and their embrace by his supporters whom
other Republicans feel compelled to give more “red misogynistic
meat” in order to secure their votes.
the continuing vilification of public school teachers and people and
students with disabilities are staples of Trump’s campaign
which is being echoed at the state level. He promotes charter
schools that engage in blatant abelism against low-income students in
terms of admission coupled with sharp decreases in funding to provide
the necessary services to properly educate them, and Trump backs
severe cuts in overall financing for public education. The economic
and workplace battering of teachers has been enhanced by his promise
to blow up the system of public education and replace it with
corporate charter and voucher schools.
overwhelming numbers of whom are women and who also make up
fifty-three percent of the electorate, will be key in flipping the
U.S. Senate from a Republican to a Democratic majority on Tuesday,
November 8th. Early voting indicates that they are powering the
Democratic edge in Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada,
New Hampshire, Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
Democrats only need four of these ten Republican-held and/or open
seats to take control of the U.S. Senate. An average of all polls,
coupled with the early voting results, strongly suggests that Hillary
Rodham Clinton will be elected the 45th and first female President of
the United States. Teachers will be central to this outcome, but
only if they vote in unprecedented numbers on Tuesday for Hillary and
Farrell Report calls it for Hillary with 300 or more electoral votes,
and for Democratic control of the U.S. Senate. Go vote!