Why Anti-Trump John Pavlovitz is being “Tone Policed”

John Pavlovitz

To read John Pavlovitz’s blog post, you’d think the country was just fine and dandy, and the government generally respected the Constitution and tried to serve the people – until Trump came along!

He complains that his Trump supporting friends are “tone policing” him by asking him to be more constructive rather than just raging against Trump.  He then seeks to justify his rage with a list of points, complaining that these Trump voters are giving Trump a free pass.  I’m going to go through them piece by piece.  He actually does have a few good points…a few.

Mr. Pavlovitz complained, “I haven’t heard a peep from them privately or publicly over the past eighteen months:” and then proceeded to his list.  I’ll start with the ones we more or less agree upon, and then work my way down.  (My comments are in direct response to Mr. Pavlovitz)

Not when he said protestors at his rallies should have been roughed up.

Fair enough, though I’d point out that many Trump supporters faced threats of violence entering those rallies, and when Trump cancelled one rally due to threats of violence, he was mocked.  Trump’s opponents aren’t so innocent.

 Not when Elizabeth Warren was silenced and persisted.

 I’m with you on this one.

 Not when kneeling black NFL players were called sons of bitches.

I’m with you here too!  They are kneeling, not making some obscene gesture.  I support Kaepernick and what he’s trying to do.  And guess what?  Trump is actually planning to meet with him and Kanye West to discuss race relations.  Yes, Trump should’t call them “sons of bitches”, but at least he’s open to reconsidering his position after some reflection.  Maybe Kanye’s gettin’ through to him?

 Not when Evangelists offered public prayers for predatory Alabama senators.

That was a low point for the Evangelicals.  I’m so glad Doug Jones won!

Not when the vile Access Hollywood video surfaced. 

 Right, the private conversation between Trump and two other people where Trump bragged about how because he was rich and famous, women LET HIM grab them.  It’s disgusting, but it’s also his personal life.

Not when refugees were stranded at airports.

I’m sorry things are so tough for people on the other side of the world.  But where were you when Obama was bombing the crap out of Libya?!  Where were you when Sec. of State Hillary Clinton was sending weapons to dangerous rebel groups in Syria?!  You know, the very place these refugees are coming from?  Why do you think Syria has a refugee crisis in the first place?  Because of Trump?  (But there I go deflecting, right?)

Not when they were bulldozing Standing Rock burial grounds.

What did Trump do that was any different from what Obama was already doing?  I realize the Republicans used to blame Obama for problems that began during the Bush era, but two wrongs don’t make a right.  Or do they?


Not when Sally Yates was unceremoniously terminated.

Right, right, right.  It’s fine to dig into every detail of Trump’s relations with Stormy Daniels 11 years ago, but looking into whether he was wiretapped by the FBI?!!!!  A travesty of justice to even suggest such a thing!  Gimme a break!

Not when Nazis and racists in Charlottesville were called “fine people.”

First off, Trump did not call “Nazis and racists” “very fine people”.  All you have to do is listen to his entire statement.  He said there were others there that were not involved with the white nationalists, who just wanted to support the statue of Robert E. Lee, and it was them that Trump called “very fine people.”

Not when tens of millions lost healthcare under the cover of night.

I’ll believe that you weren’t deliberately dishonest in the last one, but not this time.  No, repealing the individual mandate is NOT “tens of millions” losing “healthcare under the cover of night.”  He didn’t take away anyone’s healthcare.  He took away a tax burden, a penalty for not buying healthcare.  I, and tens of millions more, now have the freedom to choose whether or not to buy healthcare.  My body my choice, right?

Not when he tweeted taunts at North Korea.

 This is what you’re outraged about?

Not when the #MeToos were victimized a second time.

 Not sure what you’re talking about here.  I can only speak for myself, but I’m cautiously optimistic about #metoo.  I don’t want it to turn into a witch hunt, but as the father of a daughter, I’d like her to grow up in a better world where women who are harassed or worse can stand up for themselves and get justice…so that this happens far less often.

We’re not as blind as Pavlovitz thinks

Nothing moved them to say anything, nothing burdened them enough to rouse them from their silence, nothing offended their sensibilities significantly enough to merit even a whisper.”

Many of us do criticize Trump on issues when we think it’s called for.  I was very critical of Trump for his tweet that he was banning transgender persons from serving in the military.  We’re just taking Trump with a grain of salt, rather than being absolutely for him, or absolutely against him.  I’m sure Pavlovitz knows some pro-Trump fanatics who really would support Trump if he killed a man in the street, but few of us fit into that category.

But we’re also weighing the alternative, and keeping things in perspective.  The only thing unprecedented about Trump is his tweets and rhetoric.  None of his actions are any more shocking than what you can find in previous administrations, except his trade policies, which are long overdue!  (Thank you Trump for finally doing something about our crippling trade deficits!)

Many of us #eventrumpers, the kind of people who voted Obama and then Trump, we haven’t forgotten that it’s possible to disagree with good people.  Having a different political view doesn’t make you the devil.  Sadly, Trump Derangement Syndrome has the effect of making anyone who voted for Trump appear to be a demon from the 9th circle of hell.

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Trump Cures Cancer – Democrats Lament Job Loss For Chemotherapy Workers

TrumpAndCarson

As of today, at app. 3:15 PM EDT, President Trump has announced that he has found the cure for cancer!  Sec. of HUDD Ben Carson played a crucial role, however, at the very least.  Given Dr. Carson’s excellent track record in the medical field, having been the first to successfully separate conjoined twins, many believe that it was largely Dr. Carson who is responsible.  This was first suggested by former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.  When asked if he was taking too much credit from Dr. Carson, the President responded, “He’s a nice guy, and he’s working really hard.  But crooked Hillary is a loser.  She wouldn’t know anything about curing cancer.  She lost the race even with everyone in the fake news supporting her.”  The President declined further comments.

Trump may cause a recession

Many Congressional Democrats and die hard Keynesian economists warn, however, that this could cause a recession.  Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman remarked, “In addition to the retail jobs that will be lost to the trade war Mr. Trump is starting, many higher paying jobs in chemotherapy will be lost.  Researchers, doctors, nurses, lab techs, and many more.  Mr. Trump really should have consulted with qualified economists before proceeding with his Cancer cure.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also weighed in:

“The President has not considered how this will affect many of the people who voted for him.  Many of those hard working nurses pulling double shifts to make ends meet will find themselves with fewer hours, or even laid off.  I’m sure Congressional Republicans will feel the effects of this in November.”  Schumer added that before implementing this cure for cancer, the FBI should conduct a thorough investigation into the possibility of Kremlin scientists colluding with the Trump administration to find this cure.

Healthcare lobbyist and former DNC Chair Howard Dean, however, has proposed a solution, as follows:

“Trump, or actually Carson’s cure for cancer is still very new, and can’t be guaranteed to work.  We also can’t be sure of side effects.  There should be a 5 year moratorium on this cure until we can be sure be completely sure that we know all of the side effects.  This will also stave off a healthcare worker recession for at least 5 years.  After that, as we can’t be 100% sure that it will cure cancer in every patient, we should mandate that anyone receiving the cure be required to also undergo chemotherapy as a plan B.”

10 out of 10 health insurance CEOs agree with Dean, according to a Gallup poll.

Another Gallup poll focused on the American population at large showed that 46% of Americans support Trump’s cure for cancer, 52% opposed, and 2% unsure.  97% of self-identified Republicans approve, compared to 11% of Democrats, and 51% of Independents.  Trump’s approval rating as President has also increased by 3% following this announcement.

 

Notes:

April Fool’s!

And have a Happy Easter!

Trump’s Tariffs Bring Jobs

AmericanIndustrialLandscape

This will be a chronicle of news stories of how tariffs are bringing back American jobs.  I will add any news story from a reputable source that shows how any tariff in America (particular from the Trump administration, but not limited to it) have brought back the jobs.  If you have any such stories, please share the link in the comment section, and as long as it is a reputable news source, I’ll add it to my chronicle (and happily share a link to your cite upon request).  The purpose here is to arm the people with information.  Stories like these will be reported in media, usually local, but then forgotten and ignored by national media, so I want to arm us with facts that we can use to persuade our misguided fellow Americans who are still drinking the free trade koolaid.

Republic Steel Restarting Lorrain Factory, Adding 1000+ jobs following Trump’s Steel Tariffs, from WKYC (CBS) Channel 3 in Cleveland, OH

Aluminum Worker Thanks Trump For Tariffs, From White House’s Youtube Page.  (I first saw this on DC Whispers)

US Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level Since Jan. 1973 , a Bloomberg article published March, 29, 2018; weeks after Trump implemented the steel and aluminum tariffs and announced plans to hit China with about $50 billion in tariffs.

Trump’s Tariffs Could Work“, from Thom Hartmann, a real progressive with integrity.  No wonder MSNBC doesn’t want him.

Why Trump’s China Tariffs Aren’t Crazy” In Yahoo Finance, by Rick Newman.  While this article criticizes the steel tariffs, it’s generally supportive of the more recent tariffs on China.

Sources on the harm of “free trade” are getting harder to find, as they get buried under a barrage of neoliberal propaganda and cherry-picked studies from well funded think tanks.

The High Cost Of The China-WTO Deal” by economist Robert E. Scott with the Economic Policy Institute.  This economist explains the harm that had already been caused by “free trade” up until 2000, and argues against the “free trade” being pushed by Clinton in 2000.

 

I’ll scour the internets for more.  Send me anything you have.  I do realize there’s a trade-off, that tariffs can also cause some retailers or dock workers to lose jobs, but I contend that it is a net gain when we have a massive trade deficit.  Mainstream media makes a fortune on retail advertising, and retail thrives on overseas sweatshops.  Inevitably, mainstream media will be very favorable to “free trade” and will try to frighten us with talk of “trade wars” and by only focusing on the jobs lost, not those gained by tariffs.

A little about me: this issue is very near and dear to me.  At 11 years of age, Ross Perot ran for President for the first time in 1992.  For the first time in my life, I got really excited about politics and a presidential candidate.  I walked the neighborhood talking to people and encouraging them to vote for Perot.  At the core of Perot’s message was to protect America’s manufacturing sector, so that we would maintain a strong tax base, and not bury ourselves in debt.  Had we listened to Perot, I don’t think we’d be over $20 trillion in debt now, and the Great Recession of 2009 would have just been another minor business cycle recession.

Trump Fires Rex Tillerson!

TrumpfiringTillersonTweet

From what I saw, RT was the first to report it, followed by others, including USA Today.  I just want to go on record as saying this is the biggest mistake Trump has made in his cabinet to date!  Tillerson was his most capable cabinet member, and our best hope for world peace.  I weep for the world today.

Kyrie Eleison!

Let’s hope that Pompeo is anywhere near as capable as Tillerson, and picks up where Tillerson left off in pursuit of peace and diplomacy with Russia, Syria, N. Korea, etc.  We can ill afford a nuclear war, or another 10+ year quagmire.

Is Trump a better Democrat than the Democrats?

TrumpAsDemocrat

I used to be one of those obnoxious “white liberal” types, asking my fellow blue collar whites – Why do you vote against your own best interests?  I was even tempted to call it “racism”.

When it came to Trump v. Clinton, though, that just didn’t make sense anymore.  Here was Trump proposing what some of the better Democrats have been pushing for decades, protection of American jobs; and here was the Democratic Party nominating a would be outsourcer-in-chief.  When my fellow “white liberals” picked up the old – Why do you vote against your own best interests? – rhetoric, I was like – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

As my regular readers know, I am not part of Trump’s cult of personality.  I reluctantly supported him, because it was him or Clinton, and I have been willing to criticize him when I think it’s due.  But this week, Trump is earning my praise!

  1. Trade – Remember when this was the Democrats’ thing?  Little by little, Trump is coming through on his trade promises.  About a month ago, he implemented 30% tariffs on imported solar panels.  I remember in 2009-10ish when the AFL-CIO was denouncing China for their predatory trade practices in relation to solar panels and considering a lawsuit before the WTO.  I worried that this would be as far as Trump would go, but now, here he is about to slap a 25% tariff on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum!  Thank you Trump!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Trump is getting flak from his own party on this because, as I’ve always hoped, Trump is a bad Republican.  On trade, Trump is a much better Democrat than the Clintons, and much of the members of the Democratic Caucuses in Congress.
  2. Repealing the Individual Mandate – Lest we forget, it was the neoconservative Heritage Foundation that originally came up with the idea to force people to buy health insurance.  Obama himself, in 2008, warned that this could put people in a situation where insurance would be so expensive they’d sooner pay the tax penalty.  Then Obama implemented the mandate, and many are, as he warned, paying the penalty because insurance is too expensive.  Thanks Obama!  But if Obama won’t honor his own positions, Trump will do it for him.  Trump first tried to repeal the individual mandate as part of a larger health care reform.  Upon failing to do that, rather than giving up, he worked a repeal of the mandate into his tax reform.  Starting this year, there will no longer be a tax penalty for not buying health insurance.  So while Obama did the bidding of the corporatist Heritage Foundation, Trump turned out to be a better Democrat than Obama on healthcare.
  3. Cautious foreign policy* – Remember when the Republicans were the warmongers? Things were simpler then.  We hated Bush, the war in Iraq was a yuge mistake, and Obama would bring us change we could believe in.  Then Obama made the mistake of appointing Clinton as Sec. of State, and she talked him into Libya, the biggest foreign policy disaster of his entire presidency.  Thank goodness Obama didn’t go all in on Syria!  While Trump isn’t perfect on this, so far he’s proven to be more cautious in practice than Obama, Bush, or either of the Clintons.  While we are continuing to attack ISIS targets in Syria, we’ve mostly avoided conflict with the Syrian government, we’ve backed the Iraqi government just enough to push ISIS out, and there doesn’t seem to be any quagmires on the horizon.  Meanwhile the “Democrats” are red baiting on Russia and beating the war drums themselves towards the Assad regime.  It seems on foreign policy, Trump is a better Democrat than any Democratic President since Jimmy Carter, and better than most of the Democrats in Congress.
  4. Guns – This one is still uncertain, but following Trump’s listening session with the families and friends of victims of the recent shootings, Trump is open to some sensible gun safety regulations. He’s proposed expanding background checks, raising the age to 21 to purchase semi-automatics, and removing firearms from the hands of people with mental illnesses that could be at risk.  We don’t know how much of this Trump will follow through with yet, but it is certainly noteworthy that once again, populist Trump is clashing with the real Republicans (and I don’t mean that as a complement to them) in order to do what’s best for the American people.

I’m not joining the cult of Trump or anything.  I reluctantly supported him in 2016, and I just may again in 2020, depending on whom the Democrats nominate.  I still have plenty of grievances with Trump.  He is deregulating the financial sector like a Clinton and he’s completely blind to the realities of institutional racism in our criminal justice system.  But as a blue collar Democrat, disgusted at the party that ignores our concerns to maintain its unholy alliance of Political Correctness and Neoliberal Corporatism; I’m looking at Trump and thinking –

I voted for some of my own best interests, and I just might do it again. 

 

Read Also:

Defiant Trump Battles Globalists Like No President Before Him (by DC Whispers)

Is Joe the Plumber a Hypocrite for taking a union job?

Why I’m Not A Republican

 

We Should Be Relieved That Trump Used Note Cards

TrumpsNotecards

Ask yourself this.  In a room full of students and parents of shooting victims, including a man who just lost his 18-year-old daughter – Do you want THE Donald Trump speaking to them off the top of his head?

The Trump presidency warrants many criticisms.  Probably more than anything, Trump is criticized for what he says.  He speaks carelessly off the cuff, he offends people, and rather than apologizing, he doubles down.

When I saw the snippets on the morning news of Trump’s conversation with these parents and victims, I sighed in relief!  Trump actually spent more time listening than talking.  He was sensitive (yes, Trump!)  He chose his words carefully.  Even when it came time for the most controversial part, when he proposed arming school teachers*, he proposed this about as tactfully as anyone could.

So how does a man like Trump manage to conduct himself professionally in such a sensitive situation?  He does exactly what Obama did for every one of his great, optimistic speeches – he plans his words.  Obama used the teleprompter, while Trump used good old fashioned note cards.  A teleprompter wouldn’t have been practical in that setting anyway.

Yet for some reason, Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has a problem with this.  In Wapo’s Analysis section (though this would have been more suited to Opeds), Blake claims that Trump’s note cards show a lack of empathy.**  Now, if I had a history of saying horribly insensitive things on the spot, and I wanted to show empathy; I’d be sure not to say anything on the spot, and furthermore, to show that I put some serious thought into what I would say.  If I had a history of over-talking people rather than listening, I’d show empathy by forcing myself to not fall into that bad habit, and instead, I’d listen for a change!

I know it’s a disappointment to those who enjoy sensationalizing every careless word that comes from Trump’s mouth, every awkward hand gesture, every golf game, and every socially awkward appearance he makes with Melania; but Donald Trump actually handled himself well this time.  Like it or not, Trump will almost certainly be our President until 2021, and possibly until 2025.  Wouldn’t we rather him do whatever he needs to do to conduct himself professionally and presidentially, than continue to speak off the cuff just because it makes for entertaining news?

But don’t worry Mr. Blake.  This is Trump we’re talking about.  Maybe next week he’ll insult a girl scout, or bump into an old lady with a walker or something.  You can go to town on that.

 

Note(s):

*For the record, I think arming school teachers is a recipe for disaster, and definitely oppose making this a national policy.  I’m mainly worried that in a chaotic classroom, a teacher might forget to lock it, and the wrong student will get a hold of it.

**Though Wapo published this article, they placed a video at the front of it showing clips from Trump’s meeting with these students, and you’ll see a very different Donald Trump in those clips than the one portrayed by the article that follows.  It seems Blake is alone (or in the minority) on this issue at Wapo

***Note that I don’t fault Wapo simply for publishing this article, though as I not so subtly hinted above, I think it belongs in Opeds.

The Media’s Fantastic Coverage of Trump’s “S***hole” Remark

TrumpsShiphole

Over the last several days, I’ve been highly impressed with how the media has covered the claim that Trump referred to certain countries as “s***hole countries”.  They didn’t assume he’d said it.  Instead, they reported that it was claimed that he said it.  First it was Democratic Senator Dick Durban who made this claim.  Lindsey Graham has said something very close to it also.  The media has been on top of every detail as soon as they become available!  I heard George Stephanopoulos this morning saying essentially that Trump “probably said it” on the basis that Trump didn’t deny it at first, and seemed to be feeling around to see how the public was reacting to it.  Trump then started denying it when it became clear that the public wasn’t receiving it well.  Spot on, George!

With the media’s fair and thorough coverage of this issue, it shouldn’t be long before we know for sure whether or not President Trump really did call Haiti, and Africa, and much of Latin America, “s***hole countries”.  They will interview every single Senator who was in that room, and they will get to the bottom of this.  I’m sure that as soon as they are sure, they’ll make sure to report it all over every major network so that we all can be sure of what Trump surely said.

Most importantly of all, I really appreciate the media for not getting distracted.  It seems every time Trump says something horrible, his base supporters use deflection.  Talk about anything but that!  And there’s so many things with which the media could have been deflected from this oh so important story of Trump saying “s***hole countries”.  Here’s a list of all the things the media has not allowed to distract them:

  1. ISIS is defeated in Iraq, and nearly defeated in Syria, but they may be regrouping in still chaotic Syria.
  2. Following the 2010 “no fly zone”, largely pushed into US policy by then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Libya has devolved into a semi-anarchic slave trading state . Al Jazeera has been all over this for years, but our mainstream media has only picked it up recently. But I’m glad they’re shelving this minor story to focus on whether or not Trump called Libya a “s***hole”!  #priorities
  3. Trump recently pardoned 5 banksters for fraud charges . Only independent sources like Free Thought Project have wasted their time with this little distraction.
  4. GDP is soaring, unemployment is low, but some experts worry that a recession is just around the corner
  5. Iran has been secretly sending weapons to the Shi’a side of the deadly Yemeni civil war that has been raging since 2015, and the UN has recently confirmed this fact.
  6. Former Haitian dictator Duvalier may have laundered money through Trump Tower. Sure, this kind of thing is part of the reason Haiti would be considered a “s***hole” country, but let’s not deflect!
  7. DACA will soon expire for many, and over the next year, more undocumented immigrants brought here as children, most of whom are peaceful, will find themselves vulnerable to deportation to a native land they barely remember, without serious immigration reform. But let’s not get distracted with the details, like those silly libertarians at the CATO Institute (Oh libertarians with the obsession with policies and how they actually effect regular people!)

Thank goodness our televised media knows how to stay focused!  They won’t rest until they get to the bottom of whether or not Trump said “s***hole countries”, and if so, exactly which countries he was referring to.  Let Huffington Post, and CATO, and independent rabble rousers like the Free Thought Project worry about all these diversions.

Thank goodness though that we have wonderful corporations like Google to protect us from this unimportant news by setting their search engine to show preference to the important stuff.  Mr. Trump!  You are on notice!  We will find out what you said, and the America people will know the truth!

 

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance – Thomas Jefferson

 

*On a serious note, I really appreciate Huffington Post’s Dwayne Wong (cited in number 2 above) for putting this in perspective.  I’m glad to see that semi-mainstream media sources in print and online can get past the sensationalism pushed by televised media and actual engage in the often thankless job of journalism.

 

Related to this Africa issue, you may also enjoy my recent column for The Pavlovic Today “MLK On The Evils Of War