Monday, October 10, 2016

The rhetoric of danger and fear.

MORE DISCLAIMERSI get threats from crazy alt-right folks and right-wingnuts all the time. But when their leader starts stoking the fire, I think that it's time we start paying attention to what's going on.

The following article was written for Slate by .

{The Field Negro education series continues.}

"Donald Trump spins so many tales—and goes after so many different groups and individuals—that it’s sometimes easy to miss his most invidious rhetoric. For months, the Republican presidential nominee has undermined confidence in our electoral system, warning his supporters that this election will be “rigged” and stolen through “voter fraud.”

Trump first told his supporters of this conspiracy theory at an Ohio rally in August and followed up the claim in aninterview with Sean Hannity: “I’m telling you, Nov. 8, we’d better be careful because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.” This was in line with comments from his surrogates, like longtime adviser Roger Stone, who told Breitbart that Trump would begin to talk “constantly” about voter fraud. “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud.’ ” Stone continued: “‘If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’” The implication is clear: If Trump loses, he should foment this “civil disobedience.” And he should start preparing his supporters for it now. He seems to be doing just that.
“The only way we can lose, in my opinion … is if cheating goes on,” said Trump during another August rally in Pennsylvania. In Wilmington, North Carolina—where more than a century earlier, white terrorists toppled a black-led city government in a violent insurrection—Trump warned his supporters that without strict voter identification laws, people would be “voting 15 times for Hillary.”
These are rhetorical time bombs, statements that cast doubt on our democracy, planted with growing frequency as Trump tries to rationalize the fact that he’s losing. There’s a chance this is harmless, that Trump will resign himself to defeat if he loses to Hillary Clinton and bring his supporters with him—during the first presidential debate moderator Lester Holt asked him whether he would “accept the outcome [of the election] as the will of the voters,” and he said unequivocally “the answer is that if she wins I will absolutely support her.” But that was before he lashed out against the media for his poor performance, before the polls began to tilt back in Clinton’s favor. Now that he’s behind, Trump has returned to questioning the legitimacy of the election. More critically, the idea that he would respect the results of the election, full stop, ignores the hatred that’s come to characterize Trump’s campaign, the violence he’s condoned against protesters and other vocal opponents, the virulent prejudice he’s brought to mainstream politics, and the apocalypticism of his message, where he stands as the final hope for an embattled minority of resentful whites. These rhetorical time bombs, in other words, could be the catalyst for actual intimidation and violence, before and after Election Day. And if that violence and intimidation strikes, it will be against the chief targets of Trump’s campaign: people of color.
To that point, Trump has gone beyond his attacks on the integrity of the ballot. Now, he wants his supporters to monitor the polls in places where, he says, “fraud” is likely. “You’ve gotta go out, and you’ve gotta get your friends, and you’ve gotta get everyone you know and you’ve gotta watch your polling booths, because I hear too many stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas,” said Trump at a recent rally. “I hear too many bad stories and we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about. So go and vote and go check out areas, because a lot of bad things happen and we don’t wanna lose for that reason.”
What does Trump mean by “areas?” It’s simple: He means places where black people live and vote, a dog whistle calibrated to an audience of voters who have lived off of a decade of conspiracymongering, from breathless theorizing over the obscure New Black Panthers to hysteria over groups that register voters and bring them to the polls, such as ACORN. And in particular, Trump is speaking to the idea—propagated through conservative media—that Barack Obama stole the 2008 and 2012 elections by using fraud and other nefarious tactics in cities like Philadelphia.
The “evidence” for this is Obama’s high support in a handful of inner-city areas. In 2012, for instance, there were precincts in Philadelphia and Cleveland where Obama won as much as 100 percent of the vote. These predominantly black neighborhoods backed the president with overwhelming support, as they had in the previous race against John McCain. This wasn’t unusual. Given the size of the country, the number of voters, and the extent of residential and political segregation, these unanimous areas—in Philadelphia, 59 divisions of several hundred voters each—were inevitable. Indeed, it happens for Republicans too. In 2008, McCain won 80 percent or more of ballots cast in counties across the interior South, despite losing the general election by 7 percentage points. But this dynamic was more pronounced in hyper-segregated communities of black Americans, an electorate that—according to exit polls—backed Obama with average support of 94 percent in his two elections. Statistically, there was a decent chance that one nearly all-black precinct or another was going to vote unanimously for the president.
But to many conservatives, this was suspect. On his syndicated radio show, Hannity said that it was “mathematically impossible” that no one had voted for Mitt Romney in these areas and that therefore, it “means we’ve got cheating going on in our elections.” Hannity’s disbelief echoed across right-wing media, where outlets likeBreitbart and Townhall ran with the claim that voter fraud skewed the results in cities like Philadelphia and Cleveland. When considered in the elaborate canon of right-wing media, where marginal groups like the New Black Panthers stood as a threat to the voting rights of white Americans, the message was clear: Black voters had broken the rules and stolen the election from Romney for a black president.
This wasn’t just a conspiracy conservatives could believe in; it was one they were primed for. The allegation that Obama “rigged” his election to the White House goes back to the 2008 race, when Republicans went on a crusade against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, an organizing group that worked to register voters and advocate for low-income families. A blitzkrieg of anti-ACORN rhetoric swept conservative media, driven by doctored and misleading videos from far-right provocateurs.
In the wake of the frenzy, 52 percent of Republicans believed the ludicrous claim that the group had “stolen the election” for Barack Obama, comparable to the 51 percent of GOP voters who said that Obama was born outside of the United States. Today, Trump’s rhetoric is having a similar effect. According to a recent poll from the Associated Press, 58 percent of his supporters believe there is voter fraud, and half say that they have “little to no confidence in the integrity of the vote count.” Whether he realizes it or not, Trump’s attack on the election process grows out of years of mainstream Republican behavior and rhetoric that revved an engine of paranoia and fear among conservative voters. In addition to its strict requirements for identification, for example, North Carolina’s GOP-backed (and unconstitutional) voting law expanded the reach and authority of poll observers, allowing them to challenge any voter without cause, as long as they themselves were registered residents of the county (instead of the precinct). The provision was a boon to outfits like True the Vote, an anti-voter fraud group that essentially works to intimidate would-be voters.
But this effort is also more than a tactic to try to ensure one side gets more votes than the other. The mania over voter fraud has everything to do with the election of Obama, America’s first black president, who won that contest—and re-election—on the power of his performance with people of color, and black voters in particular. In response, Republicans have begun a crusade against “fraud,” meaning anything that enhances access to the polls, and brings these voters to the voting booth. (Actual in-person voter fraud is infinitesimally rare.) It’s how we get the situation in North Carolina, where the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that those GOP lawmakers intentionally and illegally targeted black voters, searching for any measure under the sun that would limit their access to the polls. And it’s how we get the one in Wisconsin, which—according to a 2014 federal ruling (since superseded)—produced a “unique burden” that “disproportionately impacts black and Latino voters.”
Along with Trump himself, these measures represent and channel the rage of an angry plurality of white voters that sees Obama—and the cosmopolitan America he represents—as an existential threat to their perceived place in national life. This dynamic has a history in America. White backlash to black progress—from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement—is a potent part of our past, and whenever it strikes, black voters and black voting are always the first target.
On the eve of the 1868 presidential election, white vigilantes and Klansmen in the South terrorized newly enfranchised freedmen and killed black lawmakers, including state representatives in South Carolina and Arkansas. “In Camilla, Georgia,” writes historian Douglas Egerton in The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era, “Democrats opened fire on a Republican parade, killing or wounding twenty black marchers, and a black Georgia assemblyman was dragged from his home and nearly beaten to death.” In Louisiana, following the 1872 presidential election, “Republicans charged that more than two thousand supporters had been ‘killed, wounded, or otherwise injured’ in the final weeks leading up to [Ulysses S.] Grant’s reelection.” Authorities in one parish of the state stumbled upon the bodies of more than two dozen black Republicans. According to one account, survivors of the massacre were forced by Klansmen to march to the polls and cast a Democratic ballot.
Just as common as outright violence was intimidation at the voting booth. During New Jersey’s 1871 state and local elections, for example, mobs of white Democrats arrived at the polls in Camden to intimidate blacks out of casting ballots for Republican candidates. Some of this anger was pure partisanship, an effort to win by any means necessary. But the larger source was rage at the very idea of black voting, part of a broader belief that black Americans were illegitimate citizens: that they were ignorant, dependent, unworthy, and undeserving.
And so it continued through American history. In 1900, after taking North Carolina’s government back from a coalition of Populists and black Republicans using violence and intimidation, Democrats established Jim Crow, eliminating black voters from the state’s voter rolls. Sixty years later, racial reactionaries would fight a rear-guard action against the movement for voting rights, using violence, intimidation, and as much legal chicanery as they could muster. This didn’t just happen in the South.
“From 1960 to 1964 [future Chief Justice William] Rehnquist directed ‘ballot security operations’ for the Maricopa County Republican Party in Phoenix, known as ‘Operation Eagle Eye,’ which was designed to challenge the eligibility of Democratic voters at the polls,” writes journalist Ari Berman in Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. “Civil rights activists with the NAACP in Arizona testified that Rehnquist had personally administered literacy tests to black and Hispanic voters at Democratic precincts in Phoenix, questioning their qualifications by asking them to read portions of the Constitution.”
If we are living in the midst of another white backlash—and Trump’s ethno-nationalist campaign for the White House suggests that we are—then it’s only fitting that we’ve seen a new push against full access at the ballot box, spearheaded by a political party enthralled to a recalcitrant movement of white revanchists. Likewise, it’s fitting that its symbol and head, Trump, is now channeling a sesqui-century of racial reaction.
The difference between now and the past is that these new racial reactionaries are losing. For all their rage and anger, they are far short of a majority. Their primal scream isn’t enough to close the electoral gap. Donald Trump is on track to lose this presidential race, shut down by a strong—if somewhat silent—majority of blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, and young people, along with liberal and moderate whites.
Still, Trump’s anti-democratic conspiracymongering is unprecedented in modern elections. And we can begin to guess at the consequences of this rhetoric.  Angry people, stirred by demagoguery and convinced they’ve been robbed of their rightful power, are a real threat to the already-frayed fabric of our democracy. Donald Trump thinks the election is rigged. He says we need to watch “areas.” Despite what he said at the debate, he’s also said that, should he lose, he doesn’t know that he will concede: “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.” And if he doesn’t? If he loses and pushes his base to reject the outcome? Then we could see protests, we could see mobs—we could even see violence, all directed against the people supposedly stealing the election. It wouldn’t be the first time." [Source] 
trump is down by eleven percentage points in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal  poll. (This of course could change before election day.) But if you listen to right-winguts and his supporters they will tell you that he is leading in most of the polls. Sadly, it's this type of delusional thinking  that set folks up for a let down, and leads to crazy talk of a conspiracy.
At some point trump and his friends in the republican party are just going to have to realize that there aren't enough old white men to win elections for them by themselves anymore. And that dwindling numbers of angry white men does not a conspiracy make.


Anonymous said...

Trump is right, we live under a criminal regime that engages in massive voter fraud and uses a complicit media to manage opinion.

The polls are lies. The news is lies. Everything your world is built of is lies.

This is a bill that will be paid.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is worth $250 million.

She has been in "public service" for 30 years, and claimed to be broke in 2001.

What did she sell to get that much money?

Hillary! said...

This heartbreaking photo of a Syrian boy will make you want a start a nuclear war with Russia.

lilac is a dumbass said...

Remember when Michael Moore wrote "Stupid White Men?" Well, that perfectly describes Trump and the majority of his moronic supporters.

dinthebeast said...

Trump is not taking being stomped into the dirt well. Who could have guessed?

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

I wish that the proprietor would write his own columns.

P*ssy Grabbers In a Brown country said...

This will all be settled in the next 25-50 years when America is a brown as a slice of toast, after all the racists die off and leave kids with retarded, backward swimming sperm in their place.

GTFOH with nonsense said...

@11:33, go f**k off!

Hillary hates Blacks said...

Black man thrown to ground and ejected from Hillary rally for wearing a Bill Clinton is a Rapist t-shirt, Hillary tells crowd to follow him:

Yisheng = nigger said...

Fortunately, most of the white male Trump supporters are older and will be dead within the next couple of decades. Of course, that's not nearly soon enough.

Oregon Pride said...

Black people are beyond annoying.

The Ministry of Truth said...

Trump will lose because this image right here is how most of the voting public now views him.

But, of course, the Trumpkins will predictably throw a red-faced tantrum and pretend that the Democrats rigged the election against their idiot messiah, and deny that the announcement of his crushing loss had anything to do with all decent people being thoroughly disgusted by Trump.

As the Orange One once said, we're going to whine so much you'll get sick and tired of whining.

The Ministry of Truth said...

P.S. The crew of "The Apprentice" have let on that audio or video footage also exists of Trump dropping n-bombs and spewing all sorts of other racist nonsense. So it's entirely possible we have at least another news cycle's worth of Trump destroying himself to look forward to. It may be even worse than #pussygrabbergate.

field negro said...

When you swear that sound u hear in your head is a black helicopter.*tips slowly away*

field negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
field negro said...

Anon@11:33, there have been thousands. Pick a subject and start Googling.;)

field negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Ministry of Truth said...
"all decent people being thoroughly disgusted by Trump."

"All decent people" care more about rude language than they do about epic scale graft, high treason, rape enabling or war mongering. They'll choose some hag bent on atomizing the country for the benefit of a globalist elite over the man who wants to bring the country together for the benefit of the people, because he was taped using language in private that almost every one has.

It's pussies like that who will hand over the country to a confirmed criminal who wants war with Russia.

Fuck them all. And motherfuck you.

Burn the witch said...

Leaked Podesta email shows Hillary aware that Saudi Arabia was simulataneously donating millions both to ISIS and the Clinton Foundation:

The Ministry of Truth said...

"'All decent people' care more about rude language than they do about epic scale graft, high treason, rape enabling or war mongering. They'll choose some hag bent on atomizing the country for the benefit of a globalist elite over the man who wants to bring the country together for the benefit of the people"

blah blah ... made-up crimes... blah blah ... paranoid conspiracy theories

This may all be very convincing to you, but most people aren't buying it. It turns out the awful TRUTH about Donald Trump matters more than the phony smears about Hillary Clinton. Sometimes the wingnut slime machine just can't get the job done. Shocking, I know.

Anonymous said...

Stand by your woman, cunt. I know you're not man enough to have fathered any children, which is why you don't care if other people's kids get sent off to war or have to live in an America reduced to a third-world shit hole. Your pathological allegiance to the standard bearer of those would grind every last cent out of your bones marks you as the twisted little fuck you are. My only consolation is that however everything turns out, you will lose.

WikiLeaks said...

If you are voting for Hillary, you're part of her plan to conspire to make the population dumb. Congrats, it worked!

"conspire to produce and unaware and compliant citizenry"

Bombshell after bombshell. Yet the unaware and compliant march blindly behind Her.

Banana Republic said...

Manhattan Democratic election official:

“It’s absurd. There is a lot of fraud. Not just voter fraud, all kinds of fraud.”

dinthebeast said...

"All decent people" isn't exactly accurate. "Everyone except the 27% of the electorate (not the population) who are batshit crazy, infinitely reprogrammable, and would tear off their own genitals if Rush Limbaugh told them to" is closer to it. Trump was never going to win. That's just basic math.

-Doug in Oakland

Fuck you, Doug said...

Doug in Oakland: "88 million Americans are insane human garbage".

Time to take out the trash, Dougie?

You're more ambitious than Stalin or Mao ever were.

People like you are why this country is going to burn down.

Hate Fact™ said...

Leftist protesters are not protesting against the system. They're "protesting" in favor of giving the system more power.

Jake Krapper said...

Another crazy right wing conspiracy being promulagated by ABC News:

Email evidence shows how Hillary used the State Department to steer billions in Haiti earthquake relief money to "Friends of Bill" (FOBs) via, you guessed it, the Clinton Foundation:

"However noble the motives of the officials working to get supplies into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, numerous messages show a senior aide to then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coordinating with a Clinton Foundation official to identify FOBs."

Most of the messages do not discern whether the offers of help, which range from earthmoving equipment and generators to solar-powered water purifiers, were purely charitable or if they were made with the expectation of becoming part of the lucrative recovery effort. In one instance, though, Klevorick observes about a company’s offer of help with water units, “Sounds like they want a contract.”

What fucking scum.

Aware and Noncompliant said...

Private Hillary in 2013: "They can't possibly vet all those refugees; don't know if jihadists are coming in."

Public Hillary in 2016: "Donald Trump is racist for wanting to slow down the refugee flow and increase vetting. We need to increase Muslim refugees brought to America by 550%"

dinthebeast said...

I didn't say anything about getting rid of anyone. That 27% deserve to be represented in government just like anyone else. I was just saying that there weren't enough of them to win a national election. Basic math, not eliminationist hatred which seems to be the default setting on the thing where the brain should be in the trolls here.
And, really, I'm cheering on the latest tantrum these mental giants are throwing: they are threatening to withhold support from down-ballot Republicans if Paul Ryan won't genuflect to the cheeto Jesus as well as the sky-god Jesus. I wasn't optimistic about retaking the majority in the house, but if that's what these voters really want, I'll definitely take it.

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

These voters want an end to a government at war with its citizenry.

The most important thing right now is to destroy the traitorous Republican establishment working to get Hillary elected. They are a fake opposition, the designated losers in the American uni-party state. As long as they are in place, the globalist agenda will proceed on schedule. By destroying the current GOP, you remove the smokescreen employed by the Democrats to make the idiots think they live in a democracy and to hide their true agenda from the American people. Taking the brakes off the leftist program will hasten the destruction of the country, which is all but inevitable now.

I'm all for putting Democrats 100% in charge. The sooner we crash this obscene kakistocracy, the sooner we can rebuild a free country.

Bubba's Revenge NOT! said...

@1:02, and you, ya' fat faced piece of donkey shit, are the reason so many like you, are dying in your own vat of homophobia and racism while becoming the minority population.

If you could get the p*ssy grabber's balls out of your throat long enough you'd realize that he played ALL you lowlifes like the pathetic loosers you really are. Out side of your vote, he couldn't give d@mn if all of you middle aged, morbidly obese, half drunk m*thafuckers ALL died off.

Anonymous said...

The ugly face of the fascist, racist left.

You dehumanize the people you hate and then call them fat, stupid, white trash. Wishing for the death of people you disagree with is the mark of a true Progressive.

All in the service of your masters. You sad, confused losers, twisted by your own hate into sabotaging the only slim hope you ever had.

Hillary PR Team said...

Another advanced fact checking technique: put "FACT CHECK" in all caps and then equivocate unconvincingly about mostly irrelevant minutiae.

Hillary PR Team said...

Journalism school teaches you advanced fact checking techniques like emailing people implicated by a story and then accepting their denial.

Hillary PR Team said...

E-mails seem to show collusion between CNN and the DNC, but this brave fact checker asked them and CNN and DNC agree that they really didn't!

Michael Tracey said...

You know what is interesting? Regarding the WikiLeaks release of more damning emails involving DNC/Clinton Foundation/State Department/mainstream media corruption, the Neocons are more obsessed with spreading "Kremlin" conspiracies to tarnish Trump than they are in using the published material to attack their former 'nemesis' Hillary Clinton.

That's a little odd, isn't it?

It bears saying that is has not been proven that the Russians have had anything to do with the releases of DNC emails. And the genesis of the leak has nothing to do with whether the content is true.

It's not illegitimate to focus on the contents of what publishers publish, rather than how the material was obtained. I think Woodward and Bernstein would agree.

Anonymous said...

This election cycle was the final nail in the coffin for any notion of an impartial fourth estate:

Clinton Campaign Boasts About Media: ‘Every Single Interviewer Was for Her’
CNN Politics Producer Dan Merica and Hillary ‘basically courting each other at this point’

Puerto Rican food sucks ass said...

White America is solely to blame for the rise of Trump and the alt-right. People like to blame SJW's, but it's White America through and through. Thanks, limp-dicked, flat-assed morons.

White Man's Burden said...

"White America is solely to blame for the rise of Trump and the alt-right."

Sure, we'll take the credit for saving your brown asses, again.

dinthebeast said...

Clinton is up 11% in a poll that was 71% white. Here comes that wave...

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

There is no way that is true.

BTW, it's time to change your diaper, Doug.

Hail the Trumpenreich said...

The war against our Ruling Class has only just begun.

Anonymous said...

White boys are pussies and retards.

field negro said...

"This election cycle was the final nail in the coffin for any notion of an impartial fourth estate:"

Hey relax, there will always be FOX.

Anonymous said...

FOX is anti-Trump too.

After this election, they'll let into the club.

dinthebeast said...

Yes, it's true, even though it didn't come from deadbreitbart or Rush.

-Doug in Oakland

Omigosh said...

All "Leaders" want is people's children to fight and die in the wars they concoct that will put dough in thei pockets. All these assholes want is money. All the beautiful babies and women being slaughtered in Aleppo, Syria and tons and tons of rubble laying around FOR WHAT, FOR WHOM? How you goin to clean all that mess up and who's going to perform the deed? Why couldn't Assad and Putin given the women and babies a chance to find a safe place to go before setting the place ablaze? The men of the world have surpassed the most vicious of animals. They're no longer humans. What are you going to do when the planet's entirely destroyed? Why does it all have to end this way? What will you do if you decide to kill a heap of people and no one participates and tell you to fight your own damn war. People are going to get tired of dying for others, That's INSANITY. You're being someone's damn FOOL!!!!!!

James Deplorable said...

"What does Trump mean by “areas?” It’s simple: He means places where black people live and vote, a dog whistle calibrated to an audience of voters who have lived off of a decade of conspiracymongering....
(Actual in-person voter fraud is infinitesimally rare.)"

Or maybe he means precincts which had more votes cast than registered voters.  You know, stuff that indicates fraud?  I guess that's only a problem when you claim Republicans are doing it.

A whole bunch of districts in Indiana are now under investigation for registration tampering.  In all likelihood, this is to disenfranchise legitimate voters and/or allow ringers to vote in their name in a different district before they discover what's going on.

"On the eve of the 1868 presidential election, white vigilantes and Klansmen in the South terrorized newly enfranchised freedmen and killed black lawmakers, including state representatives in South Carolina and Arkansas."

And the fate of Detroit, Gary, Camden, Trenton and Selma show that their concerns about Black political power were absolutely correct.

"Democrats established Jim Crow, eliminating black voters from the state’s voter rolls."

If that's what it takes to keep stupid googles from electing illiterates like Otis Mathis to the local board of education and morons like Hank "Guam tip over" Johnson to Congress, then it's the right thing to do.  Children, prisoners and the insane are not allowed to vote because they're not competent.  You googles are a disaster for good government.

"For all their rage and anger, they are far short of a majority."

20 people could take down the natural gas and electric feeds to any major city.  The vast bulk of you are concentrated in cities.  Now think of no lights, heat or water with a major snowstorm on the way followed by a cold snap.  Cell phones down, fire and ambulance services mired and unable to move and no water for fire services anyway.  The first idiot with a grill accident would burn down entire blocks.

Oh, right, you can't think ahead... but we can.  That is why 1% of America is enough to take down the Minority Occupation Government and outright eliminate most of its dutiful-but-stupid footsoldiers.

"Trump will lose because this image right here is how most of the voting public now views him."

That is Hitlery's wet dream.  The guy has Melania and can get anything he wants.  The Donald wouldn't touch her crotch with a ten-foot pole.  That's the job for someone as gross as Huma.