The Face Of Ugly …

Jared Taylor.  Name ring any bells?  No, it didn’t with me either, though perhaps it should have.  I am conflicted on this story, and will be asking your opinion at the end.

Jared-Taylor-2008

Jared Taylor – 2008

Jared Taylor is a racist.  He calls himself a “white nationalist”, which is just a glossed way of saying ‘white supremacist’, which is merely a varnished way of saying racist, bigot.  Taylor is the founder and editor of American Renaissance, a white supremacist online magazine. Taylor is also an author and the president of American Renaissance’s parent organization, New Century Foundation, through which many of his books have been published. He is also the former director of the National Policy Institute, the same organization that Richard Spencer is now President and Director over.  In other words, this is one nasty specimen of the human species.

Taylor claims he is not a racist, but instead is a ‘racialist’ and claims his views are “consistent with the views of most of the great statesmen and presidents of America’s past”. He calls himself a “proponent of scientific racism” and “believes that there are racial differences in intelligence among the various ethno-racial groups across the world.”

Just researching for this piece has made me ill.  This is not a man, this is a monster. Taylor argues that Blacks are generally less intelligent than Hispanics, while Hispanics are generally less intelligent than whites. To be fair, he also believes that Asians are intellectually superior to whites, saying …

“I think Asians are objectively superior to Whites by just about any measure that you can come up with in terms of what are the ingredients for a successful society. This doesn’t mean that I want America to become Asian.”

About African-Americans, he says …

“Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.”

Okay, so now you have a pretty good idea of how this monster thinks, right.  Well, what brought him onto my radar today is the fact that he has filed a lawsuit against Twitter, for Twitter shuttered his accounts for ‘abusive content’.  The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Feb. 20, argues that Twitter suspended the accounts because it didn’t like the nature of Taylor’s and American Renaissance’s tweets, not because they violated its rules.

Twitters latest updated policy includes a ban on promoting violence and hate in usernames or bios, possible permanent suspension of accounts that threaten violence or death and a ban on accounts that feature hate symbols and images. Twitter said the suspensions are in line with its “terms of service” and that the accounts are “affiliated with a violent extremist group.”

Now this is where I am conflicted.  I have no love, no use for people like Mr. Taylor and his organization of racists and bigots.  I would spit in his face if I ever came that close to him.  But … there is the 1st Amendment which protects freedom of speech, and I have always been in support of those protections.  As I have said before on this blog, once we try to narrow the definition of precisely what speech is protected, once we try to exclude one type of speech, we run onto a slippery slope where … well, where does it stop?  If, for example, we wish to ban hate speech such as Mr. Taylor’s or Mr. Spencer’s, then do we ban my posts ranting about Donald Trump?

Frankly, I am to the point that I could easily support a re-writing of both the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  But, there is no one person, no one body of lawmakers that I would trust to do those re-writes, so I suppose they are better left alone.

But back to the point.  I do not support people like Mr. Taylor or any other promoter of racism or any form of bigotry.  I do not wish to see them on Twitter or Facebook, or in my corner supermarket.  But … does that mean that anybody has a right to ban them or put fences around their freedom of speech?  I. Don’t. Know.  I do know that in most of the EU there is free speech, but there are limitations, particularly in areas of Nazi symbols and speech, for the Europeans still have fresh memories of Hitler and his Third Reich.  Here in the U.S., the average citizen was largely unaffected and even today, neo-Nazi’s are widely tolerated in certain parts of the country, brushed off as if they are nothing but children playing at war.

I think that hate speech is wrong.  I think that bigotry in any form is wrong.  No one person is better than another based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identification, or any other superficial criteria.  I think that any form of hatred against a group of people has no place on social media, for its only goal is to stir people up and potentially lead to violence.  Thus, I support the ban, but not without some reservations.

Help me out here.  Weigh in on this topic and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for your input!

 

HOW Could I Have Been So Wrong???

duhYesterday I was going back through some of my posts from the end of 2015, the beginning of the disastrous 2016 election campaign, as I was looking for something specific.  During my search, I came across a post from 27 October 2015 and I decided to repost it this morning, as it should be good for a few laughs and a whole lot of head shaking.   Most of you began reading my blog after this post was published, so for most it will be new material, and you will ask, “How could you have been so wrong, Filosofa???”  Trust me, I am asking myself the same question. The original title of the post was …

Trump Supporters? Where???

The Donald Trump that some 20% of republicans seem to love is loud, obnoxious and bombastic, which leaves me scratching my head and wondering just what that says about those who claim to support him.  But the bigger question I have is this:  where the heck ARE those 20%???  I have among my friends, relatives and acquaintances many republicans, and not a single one of them can even tolerate Trump, let alone support him.  To a person they agree with my assessment of him as a clown, a joke, a narcissist, take your pick.  In addition, I am an avid reader of op-ed pages in many of the major, mainstream news media, and have yet to read a single opinion by political analysts, editors, writers or voters that support Trump or his inane ideas.  So, I repeat the question, who are these people who have elevated his poll numbers and where are they hiding?

Until now, I have left Trump alone and not written about him except in response to an op-ed in the New York Times, for a number of reasons.  The main reason is that I do not think he or his candidacy is actually worth wasting my time or effort.  The second reason is that the man is so wrong on so many issues that it would be impossible to discuss them all in a single post.  Third, everything there is to be said about Trump has already been said by people far more qualified than I.  Lastly, I get a nauseous feeling every time I hear his name or see his picture.  But alas, I decided to join in the fray for two reasons, the first being that I think there is danger in allowing his rhetoric to go unchecked.  The second is that I heard him say that he “just doesn’t get it” that Ben Carson has edged above him in the polls.  What is there to “not get”?  Though I do not consider Dr. Carson to be a viable option to govern this nation, I will at least give him credit for intelligence (although not when it comes to politics, government and foreign policy), being soft-spoken (very refreshing after Trump’s in-your-face ranting persona) and for not lowering himself to the petty criticisms and attacks on his opponents for which Trump is so well-known.

Trump, in crowing proudly about his poll numbers has forgotten a couple of salient points.  First, the election is more than a year away, and early polls are rarely an accurate predictor of the eventual outcome.  Second, neither he nor Dr. Carson nor any other republican candidate have anything remotely close to a majority.  Third, the Republican Party is only one of the two major parties in the nation and there are some 42% of eligible voters who are not committed to either party.  There are two strong contenders in the democratic field, both of whom have distinct advantages over both Trump and Carson.  First, they both have experience in policy-making and governance, and secondly, while the republicans have been conducting a circus, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been seriously speaking about issues that matter to the American people, issues such as jobs, the economy, minimum wage, climate change and the environment, the gun lobby, the Iran nuclear agreement and more.  Whether one agrees with their opinions or not is not my point.  My point is that at least they are discussing issues, things that matter to “We the People”, and doing so with knowledge and experience, without mud-slinging and name-calling, and giving the voters an opportunity to actually consider their viewpoints.  Now, what Trump, Carson and every other republican candidate need to realize is that whoever ultimately gains the GOP nomination will need to convince a fairly large number of voters outside the republican party that they are the best person for the job, and in light of the current circus-atmosphere, that is likely to be a very tough sell.

All of which brings me back to my original question:  where are the people who supposedly support Trump, the people who have kept his poll rankings in the 20% range for a few months?  It is to be hoped that over the course of the next twelve months, the American people step back and look at the bigger picture, that they do their own research into the issues and weed out the candidates who can only bring disaster to our nation.  Trump has made the claim that “our country is going to hell”.  Despite numerous social and economic problems, our country is a far cry from “going to hell”.  We still have more going for us than working against us, and I believe that the citizens of this nation still hold basic values of caring, compassion and humanity.  Why would anyone want to vote for a candidate that doesn’t even believe in his country?

Obama UP … Trump and Congress DOWN

The news of the day is that President Obama is more popular among the people now!  I know, I know … the haters are shaking their heads right about now saying “That cannot be right.  He is the worst president ever. He should be impeached”, and all the other babble-phrases of which they are so enamoured.  But it is a fact, one that is confirmed by several of the more accurate polls, that President Obama’s approval rating averages 49%.  Obama’s approval ratings are actually very close to those of Ronald Reagan in March 1988, his final year in office. There are likely a number of reasons and the republicans may be interested (appalled?) to note that they are a large part of the reason!  It is also interesting to note that Donald Trump’s approval rating is in decline, as is Congress’.  I believe these three are connected.

Donald Trump’s decline to an average of 30.4% in the polls is not surprising at all. The only thing surprising is that it took this long for his decline to begin.  It would seem that a couple of things may be coming into play.  First, I think that his rhetoric is getting old and stale, his supporters are getting tired of hearing the same old buzzwords and phrases, and are looking for him to step up to the plate with some details about exactly how he plans to “make America great again”.  In the beginning, there was excitement at the novelty of his approach, his bull-in-a-china-shop bluster, but the shine is wearing thin and the tarnish beneath starting to show through. At the end of the day, people want a president who acts … well, presidential. Second, as his delegate count began to rise, and it looked for a brief time as if he could possibly receive the necessary 1,237 delegates to clinch the nomination, people began to take his candidacy, if not the man himself, seriously and I think it became a real stretch for most to actually picture him sitting in the Oval Office.  Third, there is only one group in the nation who he has failed to insult, white males.  While it is true that he does still have a following among some women, those numbers have begun to shrink also.  Presumably women are awakening to the fact that he views them as objects and as second-class citizens, much as he views minorities and immigrants. Recent television interviews have only given Trump a venue to reiterate his arrogance and immaturity — see his interview with Anderson Cooper  on 29 March, when Cooper said to Trump: “But, sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of 5-year-old.” (Is not this just what I have been saying all along?)

Congress’ decline in approval rating, which currently stands at an average of only 14.3%, also needs little explanation.  It can be summarized with the refusal of most republicans in the senate to even consider holding confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.  Mitch McConnell has single-handedly (well, alright, he has had some help from other republican senators, but he is the driving force on this one) doomed Congress’ approval ratings, since 52% of voters support confirmation hearings at this time, and only 29% are opposed.  The other 19% were bored and fell asleep, I presume.

Polls are fickle, unreliable things, but some are more accurate than others.  According to FiveThirtyEight   (538), a group that monitors and analyzes economic and political polls, among the most reliable are Selzer, ABC/Washington Post, CNN/Research Corp., and NBC/Wall Street Journal.  Surprisingly, Gallup, the most well-known, only gets a C+ rating from 538.  In addition to looking at a number of the more reliable polls, it is important to notice trends.  In the early days of Trump’s campaign, he began every speech, every interview, citing his poll numbers as of that morning.  The numbers for a given day may or may not have meaning, as it is the trend that counts.

Every poll I looked at from Gallup to ABC News to Selzer follows the same pattern … Obama is gaining ground, Trump and Congress are losing ground.  What does it mean?  Nothing, really, at least in terms of President Obama’s ratings, beyond the fact that it would be nice if he left office next January with a higher approval rating.  As for Trump?  My opinion is that it only confirms what many of us already knew … he will not be the next president of the U.S.  The most important of the three, is likely the approval rating of Congress.  As I have mentioned before, there are 24 republican senators up for re-election in November, and if the overall approval rating of congress continues to decline, those 24 will have a much more difficult time seeing another term. Again, all polls, even those considered the most reliable, are flawed, but when all polls report the same trend, the old saying “where there is smoke, there is fire” comes to mind.

Trump Supporters? Where???

The Donald Trump that some 20% of republicans seem to love is loud, obnoxious and bombastic, which leaves me scratching my head and wondering just what that says about those who claim to support him.  But the bigger question I have is this:  where the heck ARE those 20%???  I have among my friends, relatives and acquaintances many republicans, and not a single one of them can even tolerate Trump, let alone support him.  To a person they agree with my assessment of him as a clown, a joke, a narcissist, take your pick.  In addition, I am an avid reader of op-ed pages in many of the major, mainstream news media, and have yet to read a single opinion by political analysts, editors, writers or voters that support Trump or his inane ideas.  So, I repeat the question, who are these people who have elevated his poll numbers and where are they hiding?

Until now, I have left Trump alone and not written about him except in response to an op-ed in the New York Times, for a number of reasons.  The main reason is that I do not think he or his candidacy is actually worth wasting my time or effort.  The second reason is that the man is so wrong on so many issues that it would be impossible to discuss them all in a single post.  Third, everything there is to be said about Trump has already been said by people far more qualified than I.  Lastly, I get a nauseous feeling every time I hear his name or see his picture.  But alas, I decided to join in the fray for two reasons, the first being that I think there is danger in allowing his rhetoric to go unchecked.  The second is that I heard him say that he “just doesn’t get it” that Ben Carson has edged above him in the polls.  What is there to “not get”?  Though I do not consider Dr. Carson to be a viable option to govern this nation, I will at least give him credit for intelligence (although not when it comes to politics, government and foreign policy), being soft-spoken (very refreshing after Trump’s in-your-face ranting persona) and for not lowering himself to the petty criticisms and attacks on his opponents for which Trump is so well-known.

Trump, in crowing proudly about his poll numbers has forgotten a couple of salient points.  First, the election is more than a year away, and early polls are rarely an accurate predictor of the eventual outcome.  Second, neither he nor Dr. Carson nor any other republican candidate have anything remotely close to a majority.  Third, the Republican Party is only one of the two major parties in the nation and there are some 42% of eligible voters who are not committed to either party.  There are two strong contenders in the democratic field, both of whom have distinct advantages over both Trump and Carson.  First, they both have experience in policy-making and governance, and secondly, while the republicans have been conducting a circus, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been seriously speaking about issues that matter to the American people, issues such as jobs, the economy, minimum wage, climate change and the environment, the gun lobby, the Iran nuclear agreement and more.  Whether one agrees with their opinions or not is not my point.  My point is that at least they are discussing issues, things that matter to “We the People”, and doing so with knowledge and experience, without mud-slinging and name-calling, and giving the voters an opportunity to actually consider their viewpoints.  Now, what Trump, Carson and every other republican candidate need to realize is that whoever ultimately gains the GOP nomination will need to convince a fairly large number of voters outside the republican party that they are the best person for the job, and in light of the current circus-atmosphere, that is likely to be a very tough sell.

All of which brings me back to my original question:  where are the people who supposedly support Trump, the people who have kept his poll rankings in the 20% range for a few months?  It is to be hoped that over the course of the next twelve months, the American people step back and look at the bigger picture, that they do their own research into the issues and weed out the candidates who can only bring disaster to our nation.  Trump has made the claim that “our country is going to hell”.  Despite numerous social and economic problems, our country is a far cry from “going to hell”.  We still have more going for us than working against us, and I believe that the citizens of this nation still hold basic values of caring, compassion and humanity.  Why would anyone want to vote for a candidate that doesn’t even believe in his country?