Two VERY Different Worlds….

Whenever I post about the growing body of research connecting America’s political polarization to bigotry, I can count on at least a few reproving comments from readers who are nicer than I am, insisting that attributing racist attitudes to a majority of Trump voters  is unfair, or at the very least, painting with far too broad a brush. 

But I keep coming across additional evidence.

The hyperlink will take you to an article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, written by a social worker involved in one of the many yearly efforts to provide a decent Christmas to children whose families lack the resources to provide a happy holiday. She has been doing this for several years during which, she reports, she has found the charitable impulse of donors and the gratitude of recipients heartwarming.

Now, however, she writes that she can no longer “deny the chilling reality that I’ve become accustomed to, the new nature of how we treat our neighbors in society.”

As COVID-19 has pushed our organization to a peak in numbers of first-time applicants as well as those who were in need of human services (more than 20,000 this year alone in Allen County), it also gave me the highest number of demands from donors insisting that before they assist a family or help a child, they be given the political affiliation of their parents.

You read that correctly.

Donors insist that before they help, they know who the people they’re helping are voting for.

The first few requests I shrugged off as singular instances, until gradually they became a new norm for me to ready an answer for. All seem to be like-minded, that if they’re assisting children whose parents are voting a certain way, they are not worthy of basic necessities.

I’ve listened to endless defenses of this line of thinking, mostly ranting about how these anonymous people are lazy and unjustly entitled, all the while ironically insisting that “if I’m kind enough to give out of my own pocket, I have the right to make sure it’s not one of those people!”

The author never comes out and says which side of the political aisle has nurtured these attitudes, but her recitation of their nature leaves little room for doubt.

This year marks also the highest demand for “non-ethnic” names of children on our Angel Tree. Granted, no one says “only give me Caucasian-sounding names.” It’s a request for “traditional names” or “names we can actually pronounce.”

When you receive stacks of certain tags back, or watch the names on the online tree disappear, you quickly realize which names are consistently overlooked.

I’ve watched an influx this year of hateful comments as we kick off our campaign for the red kettle, urging people to give during a time when cash is scarce but the need is great. The animosity, the anger, the venom as people eagerly post how they refuse to help an organization that assists “system suckers” with their “welfare babies” (direct quotes).

The author reaches into her experiences as a social worker to enumerate the various kinds of hurt she’s seen–domestic abuse cases, childhood illnesses and deaths, soldiers with PTSD…the gamut.

This hurt, however, is new. And heartbreaking.

But for the first time, my heart has opened up to an entirely different kind of hurt. One that sees these people and in response clenches its fists. One who mocks and shames, who judges and scorns, then empowered, turns to rally others behind them to spread the sickness of hate.

Another data point: The Atlantic ran a post-election story with the headline “A Large Portion of the Electorate Chose the Sociopath.”The Atlantic article, by Tom Nichols, focused on the same question that has occupied the readers of this blog: who, after four years of Donald Trump, would vote for another four?

Nichols’ answer is the one I have reluctantly come to–as he says, the 2016 Trump voters who chose Trump because they thought he was “just like them” turned out to be right. They weren’t repulsed by brown children in cages, or attacks on “shithole” countries, or winks to Neo-Nazis and other “fine people” because –given the chance– they would do the same. 

There were seventy million of them. This isn’t the America I thought I inhabited.

46 thoughts on “Two VERY Different Worlds….

  1. For me the view of the racist majority is quite simple. Which party is trying to deplete or end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, refusing to increase minimum wage, hiring practices, are satisfied with the police abuses and killings of our black and brown Americans, the entire judicial system of convictions and sentencing when racial numbers are counted?

    A few Republicans may have slipped through the cracks and become aware of the poverty levels and higher death rates and recognize the disparities between the races. And a few Democrats may have slipped through our cracks and joined the opposition in their segregationist denial of problems and refusal of public assistance to those most in need. We must also recognize how quickly we are nearing a national caste system due to Citizen United.

    The numbers of the presidential popular votes are indicative of blatant racism with those following Trump. The source of the problems are at local and state levels where red states stand strong as their black and brown residents are infected and dying at higher rates than their white population. This 2020 election results at all levels make public the numbers of whites who support racism or simply don’t care; and many families in this country today are racially mixed. Families and friends have split into those “Two VERY Different Worlds…” Those who deny the need for unity within the Democratic party are supporting Trump’s status quo.

    “There were seventy million of them. This isn’t the America I thought I inhabited.” This chasm is now much broader and much deeper than we can overcome when the administration changes in January. The changes must come from within ourselves or the current cold Civil War will continue unabated.

  2. Like I said when Trump was elected, he will bring the darkness into the light. It’s been there for a very, very, very long time. Starting in the 60s with the Civil Rights Movement, every single time the federal government enhanced anti-discrimination practices on society, the resentment just got deeper and deeper.

    The right-wing media just poked at the resentment to invoke anger. Can you imagine how these people felt with Obama as POTUS?

    SPLC said hate crimes went up 1,800% during his tenure. As journalists started to peel back the Tea Party Movement, guess what we saw?

    Once that went to print, the Koch brothers rebranded to Americans for Prosperity. “No way journalists could write negative things about this organization.”

    And what I’m going to say is going to upset the Dem Party cheerleaders, but guess who used identity politics to their favor instead of having to seek economic reforms?

    I can’t wait to see how the Dem Party is going to get around this one.

    I also can’t wait to see how Charles Koch’s latest admission about how he increased partisanship within the GOP will be played out by the “media conglomerates.”

    There are a lot of issues festering to the surface which must be addressed in this country. Propaganda and manipulation media won’t be able to wiggle out of it. We need a major #TruthCampaign to address racism and classism or this country will burn to the ground.

  3. Does it not occur to anyone that this “us versus them” attitude is predicated upon and driven by a bi-party system? A third or even fourth party that support legislation in favor of the environment or science or humanity could in part rectify the prevailing attitudes. I live in Indiana, a state gerrymandered so red that any vote other than red is swallowed up and discounted. It was the first state to be posted for Trump when only 13% of the votes were in. I feel the pain of the government being gridlocked by the red-blue schism and worry about our people of color and those who fall below the poverty level. Being involved in community efforts to help provide during this pandemic era, I see how far we must come as a society. Its going to be a long recovery.

  4. Sheila suggests that people nicer than she find fault with her analyses of the motives of the half of Americans who voted for Trump. Since I carp at her analyses, I suppose that could make me by her reckoning nicer than she is. I, however, doubt that strongly.

    I would argue, as I have occasionally in the past, that simplistic analyses which suggest that all contemporary voting patterns can be reduced to good person/ bad person, racist/non racist dimensions just do not seem to fit the real world very well when one goes out and meets those Trump voters.

    However, far more important is the fact that if we are to make progress on any of the major challenges facing our nation and human civilization for that matter, requires that we learn how to
    work with that other half. Ongoing searches for proof that they own a monopoly on evil while we
    are pillars of virtue will not contribute one whit to making such progress

  5. A troublesome analysis, and a depressing one. The question I ask myself these days is “what am I going to do about it?” The hopeful news is that many of us have become more politically active than before. Trump has indeed “brought the darkness into the light”, and it seems to be a generational shift.
    I recommend Heather Cox Richardson’s excellent book, “To Make Men Free” for historical perspective and to give context to the present day. We have been here before. Call and write to your elected officials and give voice to your support of President Elect Biden and progressive policy. Make your voice heard, even if it seems to be an act of futility.

  6. Reena; the past presidential elections for years have had FOUR parties. The Green Party and the Libertarians; in 2016 they received their biggest combined turnout vote ever, TEN MILLION, due to people who didn’t want to vote for Hillary or Trump. This country obviously doesn’t want more than two major parties or the third and fourth parties would have bigger turnouts.

  7. If you voted for Trump in ‘16, your fault. If you voted for Trump again in ‘20, still your fault. You’re on the wrong side of justice and history whether you deserve the racist label or not.

  8. I really thought I would feel better if Joe Biden got elected. But these last few weeks have just been too fucking depressing… yet I still wait for the good news to start.

  9. It breaks my heart that people can be so bigoted and unfeeling, even when it comes to children who are desperately in need.

  10. Ok… one more thing the make a “conservative” person crazy; A law that says you are not allowed to discriminate based on political affiliation?

    Also, the comment about the two party system. You are right, it does not have to be that way. There are parts of the US that don’t have this system. Take a look a Puerto Rico.

  11. I’m not sure we can lay all of our problems at the feet of racists, but we do seem to have more than enough resentment to bring down a nation. The 45 voter seems to resent science, education, and governance as much as black and brown people.

  12. Alan Keller thinks people need to find ways to work with those they disagree with. I wonder how any sentient being can find ways to work with Mitch McConnell, or understand people like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

  13. I’m not even going to comment on JoAnn’s assessment of our two-party system. If what she’s saying is true (which it might be), then Americans aren’t engaged enough or smart enough to decide between more than two candidates.

    Is our binary voting system then enabling voters to be apathetic?

    As for what Peggy writes, “The 45 voter seems to resent science, education, and governance as much as black and brown people.”

    Why do you suppose these 45 voters resent science, education, and governance?

    I know why they hate black and brown people.

  14. NoDak has been awarded the most intense spreader of covid,(huffpost today)in the world,thank you gov burgum and his allied lot.. your great position has now confirmed,you like trump,you have spread this virus,in a plan called,herd immunity..keeping faith that the economics of wall street stay safe,over the people..todays above subject,spot on,i myself, has been questioned for the same reasons..i donate,but i donate,to people directly,i can recognize,as one in need.being my burg where i was raised, had plenty. skin color,and legal names..ya gotta wonder if after 250 years of supporting this goverment,why we still have this issue..sure trumpers are now legitimized, but now we have real numbers..imagine that,probably half the people in America,are now accounted for, trumps,nationalists,neo nazi views.and orgs that devised ways to suppress our democracy are now accounted for,and present..we have the names,social venues,clubs,orgs,etc.im sure social media like google and the like,can now sell a list of names for this genre for a price.. and direct ads just for them!!!!! (profits first asshole!).. we all call it a Democracy,and we now have our backs against the wall. Biden has decided to have the likes of Rice and Whitman,(lets illegally tap the board room members whitman) and we rant about the above issues..there will be no peace,or resemblance of America after this. it now all comes down to,who has what,and how ill get mine…merry christmas

  15. Yesterday brought two pieces of news that seemed to reveal to me, perhaps, my whole life assumption that being human meant caring for someone besides yourself.

    The first was the careful listing on the national news of the expected sequence of early giving of the Covid vaccine. It was in rough order of the risk to the population group. Except that jail populations were not listed. Guess since they are in jail they should just die….

    The second was the reporting that in some currently highly infected states (most of which are RED), due to lack of medical staff and/or facilities, medical teams must decide who can get treatment or who might die. Such states’ inhabitants railed against the ACA saying there would be “death boards” making such decisions – irony never dies.

    Is it any wonder that religious affiliation and attendance continues downward around the world and with young people. It is easier and, perhaps, more comfortable, to worship “me and mine”. Glad I am unlikely to be around in 25 years…

  16. Peggy,
    the issue is the media,and how it flaunts the news and issues.many a media hires shrinks,think tank advisers,and influnence peddlers,all marketing for its ads. the divide has gained because we have allowed it..if we have a small voice,we get over run,if we can outright discredit and show the people how this game is made,and who pays for it, we may be able to override the murdoch train..its time to rob him and his corp buddies of their free gun drawn war on information. i come here because i see educated people discuss the days events,but i hear little movement outside these walls of SK that makes any traction beyond.. in NoDak im outspoken,the main conversation i employ is how trumps buddies,i.e. wall streets mob,has taken them for a ride for profit,and how they look stupid following suit..(yes,i use that language,my backbone is solid,and i dont take shit from trumpers)they reply,they are all corrupt.. my reply,change it…they dont know how and they dont care,but yet,its why we are stuck with the status quo of head in the sand while we discredit others for trying…the DNC and RNC have become a political clearing house. its time we,voted and made a possition of the people.. its time for the political parties to quit telling us,who we vote for..think tanks sould be used for science,not a political tool to buy and sell a canidate.. wall street and citizen united need to be changed.because they have momey,doesnt mean they have the power over us all. we won here,but Biden is back as a centrist,kissing his buddies ass again..and he hasnt even started the transistion..

  17. Sheila, if anything, your brush isn’t broad enough. Take, for example, the nurse in South Dakota who says that some of her patients curse her while she helps them as they deny that they are dying from COVID. “Why are you wearing all that stuff? Something else has made me sick. What is it? COVID isn’t real.” The patients shuts up when they’re intubated. How does anyone explain this phenomenon? Trumpism, cultism and embedded bigotry against the truth.

    Willful ignorance, or deep-seated fear of everything and anything they don’t understand? It’s all of these things. As Jack has so often mentioned from his travels, this sort of brain-dead behavior is everywhere. And Republicans lead the charge because their fear-mongering works on the weakest among us and that population is growing daily as our schools get dumber and the curriculum gets weaker.

  18. I find this hilarious!

    Personally, I carry the beliefs I carry because of how white folks related to me and my family.

    People look at my avatar they probably see an old weathered white guy, been out in the sun too long.

    That old weathered white guy, is 6 foot 2 and 254 pounds. When I was a little child, well, I was a little child! You can imagine a kid going to kindergarten or 1st 2nd or 3rd grade. I was outside all day long in the city and visiting family out on the farm. My mother would shave my head so I would stay cool.

    I grew up with people, Germans that lived in the neighborhood who were there at behest of the government to work and collect a Social Security check so they could move back to Germany and live well. Almost all of these men were asked Nazi regular troops.

    The things that were said to me as a small child by these grown men were unacceptable. My father who was German, fought in Korea, and was a military policeman, hated these guys! On more than one occasion he had to physically get involved with them because of the derogatory and unacceptable oratory they threw in my direction. That’s how I grew up!

    No one had to tell me when I got older that may be things are not like they seemed, because things are exactly as they seem. And, being labeled an old white guy, I really despise white people! My mother’s people were of English, Native American, and African dissent. Any of my family on that side, were wonderful people. Even though my grandmother’s brothers, which she had 9, were decimated by murderous white onslaughts, to the point of losing half of her brothers, they still fought for this country, paid their taxes, helped their neighbors, and tried to get along.

    This country was based on a lie, everyone that had rights, or, the only ones that had rights, were, White Male Protestant slaveowning landowners. I’m sure there was exceptions, maybe some didn’t own slaves! But that was a very small minority.

    So everyone else in this country had no rights, everyone else had to grovel for the crumbs that would drop off the white man’s table. Even other white landowning Christian males were discriminated against because of their religion i.e. Catholic. The morass of the entire thing, Constitution wise and every other wise is very tangible.

    The lies that were told in Europe by European Evangelical Protestants, those that allowed people to enslave a race of people with a clear conscience, were not even scriptural! Because they claimed that the black race was black because they were cursed and descendents of Canaan! When in actuality, the black race was descended from Kush and Put Canaan’s brothers! Most of the descendents of Canaan were actually white!

    Now religiously, those religious leaders were saying something that was completely opposite than the biblical truth claiming Blacks were descendent of Canaan.

    This is just one example of many in which the white race always seems to want to be superior to everyone else and uses lies and innuendos to make their case. I look at my wife’s family whose history was decimated because the night riders sought wealthy black landowners and burnt down their properties and killed their animals and lynched those landowners of they could catch them. Her family’s trajectory went from skyrocketing up to losing everything to those KKK night riders. That sort of family wealth can never ever be recovered, and it never was.

    How many people of color, how many families of color lost their place in society because the whites destroyed their entire infrastructure and in many cases the patriarchs and matriarchs of the wealth in those family constructs.

    This is just something that has been going on for millennia, American Manifest Destiny, American Romanticism, and American Exceptionalism were part and parcel to. Natives of this land were relegated to concentration camps called reservations, Asians that were brought here for the railroads, for slavery out West were legally considered persona non grata! Africans definitely were persona non grata! They were considered 3/5 human! So, what does that tell you!

    It’s not rocket science, a large portion of the white race is rotten to the core! They are self aggrieved and self entitled! Some are intellectually gifted but many more are dumber than a bag of hammers! But they still want to rule the world!

  19. Reena,
    ive traveled alot of road in the U.S. and some Canada, when we talk about poverty,its a near half and half between whites,and color..drive around a mobil home court in a back part of town,or down south on off highway,county road burgs. its devestating to see people living in squaler,speaking of trump as a god send. im sure indiana has its share of small enclaves of poverty in rural settings. take a look again, many of them are white,and many of them of color.
    if they were to have a living wage over profit,they would dwindle as the socio economic picture changes.. educate to change it,by recognizing it,and making it the center piece of conversation,and why…dont allow the political parties decide who you vote for..

  20. JOHN!
    Thanks,, that kind of conversation is what i like. broad,to the point. if we can not be angry,then shove the issue up someones ass.. as working class,we use alot of that… in war when the bullets fly,who cares about color..maybe when we shoot our mouths off,we need more color… spanking aint good enough,punch the SOB in words..great backbone bud..

  21. Sheila, you are absolutely correct in your assessment! As an African American; I have acquaintances who give anemic explanations about his economic policies and other nonsense reasons for why they support a blatant and shameless racist. I have seen no evidence of any legitimate reason you could support Donald Trump unless you are a racist. So egregious are his offenses; that what compels you to vote for this crude incompetent can only be your fear of a changing and more colorful demographic. Sadly, I believe many closet racists tell themselves that it is for some acceptable reason, but at the end of the day and no one can see, you are afraid that your whiteness and your privilege ate threatened!

  22. Unfortunately, a lot of it is the successful and hateful messaging of, as Jack calls it – the “murdoch train.” I couldn’t convince my long time grade school friend that not all the protesters were rioters and looters. It was almost as if she wanted to believe the worst about the BLM movement no matter my counter-argument. Also, we witnessed trump not offering an ounce of sympathy for George Floyd or any of the other victims of police brutality.
    The misinformation spewed daily from the right has half the country convinced that Biden’s win wasn’t fair and square. I don’t know how you fight the onslaught of lies and the quest to demonize a large segment of the population.

  23. A reader asks how any sentient being can find ways to work with Mitch McConnell, Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito.

    The simplest reply is that those are the cards you have been dealt in the game you have to play in. If we can’t discover some common interests with McConnell for example, then bye-bye any hope for progress.

    Does this Keller know any boundaries to trying to work with the opposing side? Well, I would not
    recommend trying to work with the right wing militias!

  24. When I went in for my steroid injection for pain due to arthritis in my lumbar vertabrae yesterday, not one person asked me who I voted for.

    We nurses are held to higher ethical standards than many people. So,like Clara Barton who cared for both Union and Confederate soldiers, I don’t care who you voted for. If you need food and I can help you, I will.

    I will be the change I want to see in the world. This holiday season I will be helping those in need. I might not be able to control the bigoted actions, the divisive actions of others, but I am able to control how I move in the world.

  25. Well Jack,

    I don’t include you in the people that I don’t like for sure jack! Never have never will! You remind me of the folks on my mother’s side of the family. I imagine, I’m probably a lot more like you than a lot of folks.

    I think we always have to say what we mean and mean what we say! We are the sum of our experience. Mankind is supposed to be the Apex life form on this planet, I think that’s a joke.

    Behavior is learned, but one thing I’ve always known human behavior seems to be genetically imprinted in many ways. if cats can learn to play with rabbits and dogs can learn to play with cats, if my pitbull can nurse the cats kittens, and also nurse the baby rabbits, then why can’t people figure out how to be accepting of those who look different than ourselves?

    How many white men had black nurse maids? They hated the black race but gladly let their children latch on to the teet of a black nurse maid. You talk about hypocrisy, that word doesn’t even begin to explain it.

  26. Reena, I agree with you and if we could do it all over again perhaps with a parliamentary system. We really don’t have more than 2 parties for all intents and purposes, in my view. It would be nice to have a prime minister with ministries! Pipe dream.

  27. Conversation with a racist. Kind of like if you weren’t going 160 in a 30mph zone, you were’nt speeding.

    So…I accused an acquaintance, Conrad, of being racist.

    Conrad, insulted, challenged me: You must have some screwed up definition of racist, dude. I know what a racist is, and I ain’t one of them. I flat out don’t qualify.

    Me: I know. You think to be a racist you have to believe an entire race of people is defective and therefore should be mistreated, and since you believe that no entire race of people is completely defective, that disqualifies you from being a racist, right?

    Conrad: It’s more than that. You show me some really smart minority dude showing off his culture that don’t have a chance in hell of helping him be successful in the prevailing culture, our culture by-the-way, and I’ll show you someone whose dumbass choice of culture—not me–is the great impediment to his success. It ain’t his color that ruins it for him. Hell yeah, I reject him, but I don’t reject him because of his color.

    Me: But you are smart enough to see that his non-productive cultural choice is somewhat common among his people of color, and you draw some racist conclusions from that observation, right?

    Conrad: Fuck you, man! That ain’t racist; it’s smart deductive thinking. It’s just as smart as your hero, Leonardo Da Vinci, observing heart valves opening and shutting in a living pig and concluding that the swirls and back-vortexes of the blood coming out through the valve is what causes the valve to shut. Damn, man, you not only want us to be blind to color, you want us to be blind to every clue some dude throws out there warning the world of his danger. You won’t be satisfied until nobody has an IQ higher than 45.

    Me, realizing that Conrad will never understand that lesser degrees of racist belief are still racist …and deciding to end the conversation: Well, Conrad, I guess I got a nice head start, since a little over 70 million adults in America just tested out to already have an IQ of exactly 45.

  28. And yay Robin! I feel as you do and am a retired nurse. But it is difficult because as Irma and Sheila feel, I also feel that racism is at the ugly core. But! I do think things are better than they were 50 years ago. On the other hand, so many of them voted for the Bad Seed.

  29. When I was young gender roles defined our culture – only men worked but that was enough, most families pretended to go to church, most of the families in my village made a living by doing, very few by thinking, but those few lived a slightly higher standard of living than the doers. Welfare was spelled “failure to thrive”.

    Today things are almost diametrically different. That change has created several divided America’s. One division is those who have kept up with the times versus those who have been left behind. There’s a giant swath down the middle of America, and in the urban ghettos, of a minority population competing for crumbs from those who have kept up. The rural population is largely white, the urban one, other races.

    Republicans have been successful in establishing alliances between those at the top of keeping up, and the rural poor, using the money and influence of the successful to buy votes from rural whites by keeping them angry about the urban poor.

    Democrats have been successful at holding the middle of the demographics which tends to be the coasts and cities everywhere.

    By most measures we are becoming third world while the Chinese just as certainly are becoming first world.

    One unanswered question though is, is the first world that we were among the first to enjoy, sustainable by earth? It appears that the human population will keep growing until it’s not. What’s not clear is can we manage a soft landing or do we have to accept nature’s alternative?

  30. Ed Gilbert I would say that what rural America would like is a return to the times when their culture defined the country. Nobody especially politicians can make that happen but Republicans need their votes so they promise to.

    Democrats know that the wealthy and successful will help themselves to everything that they can get so government needs to take the responsibility to help those who fall behind to keep more of the wealth that they create as workers.

    Republicans now are living off of the compromises that founders designed into the government to placate lightly populated slave states which they needed to include in order to have a viable country. And they rely on successful if not good business practices like advertising to hang on.

    I don’t see those dynamics changing much for a few decades.

    What will ultimately change them is that our population and average life style simply aren’t sustainable on earth so somethings have to change.

  31. First let me get the Puerto Rico issue in my wake. I am and have been for Puerto Rico’s statehood for a long time and it wouldn’t matter if all its inhabitants were white and Republican since race and political status are not the tests for statehood, or not mine, and population and political statuses evolve over time. (See the South, Vermont and others.)

    To today’s topic: I do not agree that the 70 million people who voted for Trump can be painted with the same brush. I am of the opinion that they voted for him for variety of reasons of their own, millions primarily because he is a Republican (with a smattering of racism thrown in), others because he played the tough guy who “said what he thought,” others because they like or think they would like a Hitler around to rough up the establishment, others chafing against paying child support orders and many other grievances fate has decreed them, and many who were taken in by the “socialist” propaganda (a rather odd claim since it is instead the projecting Republicans who are redistributing the wealth via trillion dollar tax cuts – upwards).

    I could lay out many more grievances I suspect these 70 million Trump voters thought they were suffering which justified their vote, and can even come up with a list of shortcomings that we Biden voters thought we were correcting with our vote, and I think in passing that a cursory look at this blog’s offerings suggests (though our objectives in voting may be nobler), that we likewise cannot be painted with the same brush.

    I finally think that there are millions of people who voted for Trump who are prospects for joining the Democratic Party as time and history erode their grievance-fraught existence, and that, along with a new generation of ever more liberal youth, we and our party are going to be governing this great country for years to come. Our present task is to keep the country together through this Trump Storm so there will be something to govern beginning January 20, 2021, a task that I am optimistic we will accomplish.

  32. I must change the subject with a question I have but I think this conversation is one that is very important and that needs to be continued in our country.
    My question is:
    If the Senate is divided 50 – 50, who becomes the leader and who decides what bills to take up or not? How is that decided? Does SCOTUS enter in as the decider?

  33. Based on the following episodic evidence, should we assume the white race is inferior.

    Yesterday, my son, who is a respiratory therapist, saw a white family of five admitted to the hospital, all very sick. When they were tested and found to have Covid, all hell broke loose. They argued that they couldn’t have a disease that doesn’t exist. Security did not have to be called until the family reacted to the assurance that Covid-19 does exist and that all five of them have it.

  34. Sorry Larry, taking one example and slamming a whole group with it is “groupist” and exactly the problem.

  35. I agree with Robin & Joan. As retired nurse I can attest to caring for people of all races & varied walks of life. Essential basic needs are something that binds us together, food, shelter and healthcare to start. We all bleed, and our blood is all red.

    I see the politicization of Covid , and positioning to make money off the situation as self defeating. Denying the science gets us nowhere but sicker, and we have to be healthy to profit.
    I worked giving inoculations during the HlNl pandemic which was successful. We went into schools inoculated the students & returned two weeks later for their 2nd shot. It was a huge undertaking. Herd immunity in this sense doesn’t happen until about over 80% of population is inoculated. The remaining population benefits due to the repression of the disease in the general population. Inoculated people don’t care what others do about the disease, when they know they’re protected.
    When people want to decide who they’ll help during great need, I guess they have that right, but they can’t expect a community agency to discriminate for them. That’s a big problem!
    We have herding problems these days. When power is used, media/money to pressure people with lies to join in with a movement to deny over 50% of the American people, the push back is real! We’re in the middle of it! Can we gather enough power in civil recourse to maintain justice?

  36. In addition to a Cherokee Indian man who long ago married into my mother’s bloodline of the family, my white Dutch GGGGGreat Grandfather August Voss, on my father’s bloodline, married a black woman in Charleston, North Carolina. He owned and operated a worldwide shipping fleet from there during the birthing years of our nation. In one court case involving an insurance claim for a lost ship, Alexander Hamilton was his attorney of record. So, you can see that when August died — not exactly a nobody — he had a large estate to pass on to his wife and four sons.

    The State of North Carolina saw differently. It confiscated his entire estate, using a law that prohibited anyone with non-white blood from benefitting from their parent’s or husband’s estate.

    Not to worry though. The four sons prospered. But when they died, their estates met the same barrier as had August’s.

    In the 1800s, one of August Voss’s descendants, still with Negroid blood and having a black wife, became a lawyer and worked for the railroads at the same time that Abraham Lincoln was a railroad lawyer. When he died, his estate included grants of land from Pennsylvania to Colorado by which the railroad paid him for his services, and he was able to pass his estate to his heirs without mishap. In Indiana, he donated land northeast of Indianapolis to be used for a yearly state fair.

    So, what am I to learn from this history of my own family?
    Well, complicating possible conclusions is the fact that I never, not once, experienced any hateful or negative behavior from anyone because of my black and Indian blood.

    Then I, a direct descendant of one of August Voss’s sons, became an artist. Now, that is when for me the prejudice shit hit the fan.

    As an artist, not as a mixed blood minority, I suffered many damaging prejudices. From sheer physical bullying to a trumped up capital indictment in Hawaii for which I faced the death penalty. From multiple rejections by beautiful women to denial of loans by banks and dismissal of housing applications by apartment complexes. From community neighborhoods to organizations like Elks Club, Boy Scouts, and even Young Democrats of Hamilton County. From individual doctors to health insurance.

    I’ve been told all that was my own fault — I chose to be an artist, right?

    Can I prove there was an institutional bias against artists? Probably not…but institutions sure as hell got on the bandwagon.

    I bring all this up to humanize one other side of the bias industry. My guess is that many people can recite a history of dealing with debilitating bias. Tattoos. Scars. Unreliable professions. Farmer. Short of stature. Overweight.

    It should be rather easy for many of us to empathize with minorities, so why don’t we?

  37. Helen, If senate votes and it’s 50-50 tie, the VP breaks the tie. As far as who decides what bills to take up, that’s a good question?

  38. Helen and Kathy–the party that controls the Senate elects the Majority Leader. The GOP elected McConnell; it is very likely that the Democrats would replace him with Chuck Schumer.

  39. Larry – I so enjoy your entries on Sheila’s blog, and now learn that your background is even more interesting than the very interesting part I already knew.

    Donald Trump has been a master of the politics of grievance. Whatever ails you, he can find a simplistic someone to blame for it. Hitler used the same technique. WWI and the depression devastated the German economy and national self-confidence. Hitler blamed the Jews mostly as well as some others. Then everyone else could feel better for not being an ‘other’. He also started a massive, government funded infrastructure construction program to put people to work. That alone would have restored the economy and confidence, but Hitler wanted zealous adoration too. Grievance politics enforced by a police state did the trick.

    In going door-to-door to campaign for many candidates throughout my adult life, I have been constantly amazed at the people in poor circumstances who vote for candidates who despise them and vote to deny their families a good education, a healthy environment, a job with a living wage, and a secure retirement. The political trick is turned by giving voters someone or something to fear and blame for their circumstanes so that they forget everything else about their own self-interest. The voters will then think you’re ‘on their side’, understand their concerns, and will solve their problems.

    Consultants explain this to candidates – sometimes. I wish candidates and the media would start explaining it to voters and would do a better job of showing them how to recognize the demagogues and the real source of their grievances.

  40. I think that Trumpers aren’t very likely to be self-reflective. The term “racist” has become a word with a highly charged, derogatory meaning and most people recognize it as a word that describes the “real” haters — Neo-Nazis, white supremacist’s. etc. But as a definition for themselves, it can’t be. Because, if you’re a racist that means you are a bad person and most folks don’t want to see themselves as bad. Therefore, I’m not a bad person so I CAN’T be a racist! I think the 72 million that voted for Trump are unlikely to recognize more subtle racist qualities in themselves — e.g. using the term “those people” or “welfare babies.” As long as they never use the “N” word, (at least not out in public) all is right with their world. Think how hard it has been for Trumpers to understand “Black lives matter”. The common comeback is “ALL lives matter” as if someone said they didn’t. Several of my friends and I started responding with “When you say the rainforests need to be protected, you aren’t saying that ONLY rainforests need to be protected. But obviously they are the forests in most trouble.” Sometimes I can see a flicker of cognition pass over their face. I just believe that most Trumpers aren’t very good at critical thinking, especially about themselves.

  41. When I first learned this religious perspective, I didn’t like it – now I understand.

    Actions matter (as do words) – I can’t know what’s in the hearts of Trump supporters, but I do know their actions. That is the measure of each individual.

    The bigoted, bully-like behavior, the selfishness, and the hate speech are obvious among many Trump supporters. The disregard for others (no masks) is equally obvious.

    For the rest, well, in the end, they supported a man who displays narcissism, autocratic tendencies, bigotry, cruelty, and the general demeanor of a petty bully. They overlook this for what? Tax cuts? Gosh, anything for money – but that is a small slice of people. Outlawing abortion – a religious position, stating your brand of your religion should rule. I can’t really thing of anything else besides bigotry, hatred, and kicking others to make yourself feel worthy.

    No, someone else can explain them to me in a different way. Nobody asks them to “understand me”.

    To pull back, as I have said, everyone has some balance of what we might call good and evil in them. I remember my mother always saying that a “good spouse” (usually wife) brings out the best in the other. This President brought out the worst. Over half of us resisted, but just under half didn’t. The Trump voter may be rehabilitated, but as with other social problems, it will take time, and they will be susceptible to a relapse if another Trump takes power.

  42. Sheila, if the Senate ends up being 50 Democrats & 50 Republicans, as it would be if the Georgia run-off next month goes Democratic, do they still elect a majority leader? It seems in that situation it would be a tie vote, so can we assume the VP would break the tie? If that happens then Kamala Harris breaks the tie & Chuck Schumer would be majority leader?

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