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Est. April 5, 2002
January 18, 2018 - Issue 725

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Racism, Misogyny, Corruption, Sh*tholes,
and the
2018 Midterms

"Democrats need to develop a
unified message that will
resonate in the public square"

President Donald J. Trump is a Racist! Nonetheless, he is not the first U.S. President to harbor such views - Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others. Yet they also advanced racially inclusive policies during their terms. But Trump joins Woodrow Wilson as a president whose actions have been consistently bigoted from the beginning of his term. Wilson ordered rigid segregation of the federal workplace and screened a showing of the movie, Birth of a Nation, a prejudiced screed painting the Reconstruction period as one where newly freed, ignorant African Americans oppressed southern whites and defiled white womanhood.

Trump’s actions closely parallel those of Wilson and have manifested themselves throughout his adult life, many of them modeled on the attitudes and behavior of his father, Fred Trump. Donald and Fred were found guilty of discriminating against black citizens in their real estate properties in a federal suit brought by the Nixon Administration in the 1970s. Subsequently Donald called for the death penalty for five minority youth who were alleged to have gang-raped a white female jogger in New York City’s Central Park (in a state that did not have a death penalty), purchasing a full-page ad in the New York Times to make his case. After they were exonerated, he persisted in saying they merited the death penalty. He followed that up by ordering the operators of his Atlantic City, New Jersey casinos not to have black dealers handling his money and that only Jews and other whites be allowed to do so. In 2011, Trump joined the birther movement which claimed that Obama was born in Kenya and thus ineligible to serve as President of the United States, only finally agreeing that Obama was born in the U.S. in late 2016 when his campaign advisors insisted that he recant the allegation. But recently, he has said he would have won the presidency by a larger margin had he continued to push that prejudiced trope.

On September 22, 2017, Trump criticized African American NFL players, calling them sons of bitches, for their kneeling protests against police brutality during the singing of the national anthem. It would have been more than appropriate for the demeaned players to accurately refer to him as the son of a KKKer since his father, Fred Trump, had aligned himself with this anti-black, anti-Semitic, violent organization that made its name by lynching Jews and African Americans. Therefore, Trump’s recent reference to African, Haitian, and El Salvadoran immigrants as being from sh*thole countries is the latest of his xenophobic rants. Even more disconcerting is that Trump’s cabinet secretaries, other staffers, and House and Senate Republicans continue to lie on his behalf when he makes these racist statements. On top of all this, he is a congenital liar, having done so more than two thousand times since taking the oath of office as confirmed in an exhaustive analysis by the Washington Post in late 2017.

Moreover, Trump’s ongoing misogyny against women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds continues unabated. After the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape in the late stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, on which he said that when you are famous you can do anything to women, “… even grab them by the p*ssy,” he explained it away as locker room talk and remained on the path to victory. Since that time, more than a dozen women have come forward accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate sexual contact; in the past week, it has been revealed that Trump’s personal attorney paid a porn star $130,000 to remain silent about a consensual sexual relationship. He also aggressively supported Judge Roy Moore, accused as a pedophile by multiple women, when they were young girls, in his bid for an Alabama U.S. Senate seat. Moore went on to be defeated in the general election, losing the seat to a Democrat for the first time in twenty-five years.

Meanwhile, Trump and his family continue to pursue business deals that are tinged with corruption: alleged money laundering by selling apartments and condos in Trump properties to foreign criminals; conducting financial relationships with banking institutions that have been banned by the U.S. government; and opening a Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. down the street from the White House, where foreign diplomats and dignitaries and American captains of industry pay top dollar for rooms and meals (whose prices have steadily risen) while meeting with Trump and his cabinet secretaries to do business. Suits have already been filed under the emoluments clause (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8) of the U.S. Constitution which forbids the President from accepting gifts from foreign governments and others while in office since Trump retains an active ownership of the Trump Corporation.

Current political projections from Dr. Larry Sabato, professor and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, suggest that Republicans may be vulnerable to a Democratic takeover of the House and Senate during the 2018 midterms. However, the Democrats again seem to be fixated on Trump’s personal frailties - racism, misogyny, and corruption - in the belief that they will be the basis for Republican defeats and/or his impeachment. They seem to be hell bent on going down the same 2016 rabbit hole that led to Democratic losses of the presidency, the U.S. Senate, several Democratic state legislatures, and governorships, pushing the latter to less than twenty. Despite Trump’s documented, aforementioned personal failings and his low approval ratings, they are not sufficient for Democrats to take back control of the Congress or to remove him from office. There are no equivocations in what he and Republicans stand for: anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-health care, anti-Muslim, and anti-women policies - overall racist in tone and political positioning. Yet Trump and his party have clarity in their political stances which has proven to have appeal along with turnout.

Democrats, on the other hand, are trumpeting a variety of views, many of which contradict each other, and strategies that have proven to be wrong-headed as we head into the 2018 mid-terms. For example, the billionaire hedge fund manager, Tim Steyer, a committed progressive, has spent millions of dollars of his own money to fund a drive to impeach Trump, and Congressman Al Green has developed legislation in the House to impeach the president. Neither initiative has gained traction nor are they going anywhere. Steyer’s millions and Green’s advocacy would be better directed towards voter registration and turnout at the state level, in State Assembly and Senate Districts, concomitantly with federal elections (as has been demonstrated to be effective in the recent elections in Alabama, New Jersey, and Virginia). While Democrats are pursuing political dead ends, Republicans are continuing their voter suppression efforts against citizens of color: African American and Hispanic men in particular, via denying the vote to prisoners who have served their time (while simultaneously using their prison population numbers to sustain majority white eligible voter districts at the state and national levels); and making voting more difficult for minority elderly and millennial college students with onerous voter ID requirements. They are also pumping more money into organizing suburban voters as they acknowledge the Democratic threat and ginning up their base of Trump voters, whom Trump and his allies feed regularly with racist, nationalistic, and anti-public education tirades.

What does this all mean for our nation? First, if Trump retains his power at the federal and state levels, even for one term, K-12 public education will become decimated from under-funding, demonization, and private-sector marketing to low-income parents. Second, the teaching profession will be devastated as pay, benefits, and pensions will be further downsized by legislative schemes funded by the education reform Cartel. Third, any hopes of addressing climate change, which Trump and his followers declare to be a hoax, in spite of recent catastrophes in Florida, Texas, California, and Puerto Rico, will be null and void. Finally, one full term of Trump with a Republican House and Senate could result in a major erosion of democracy and its institutions. Given these likely outcomes, it is imperative that Trump and Republicans be downsized during the 2018 mid-terms in preparation for removing him from office via the 2020 presidential election, unless Special Prosecutor Mueller is able to uncover enough evidence to have him impeached and tried in the Senate. If he were to be impeached, the Democrats would likely be unable to corral the necessary two-thirds vote to remove him from office. Thus, Democrats need to develop a unified message that will resonate in the public square. Otherwise, their political future is bleak.

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 

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