19 June 2018

The nature of the enemy

The right-wing response to Trump's endless successive outrages since taking office has followed a pattern.  A few individuals raise objections, while the majority go along, ignoring or minimizing the vileness of whatever Trump did or said, or making excuses for it, or simply pretending nothing abnormal was happening.  That go-along response has been especially marked among the Christian Right base.  So long as Trump continues to demonstrate fidelity to the sacred causes of protecting discrimination against gay people and forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, he can attack labor and environmental protections, insult veterans, call Nazis "fine people", pick fights with allies, coddle dictators, and start trade wars with almost every other major country on Earth, and they stand by him.

But surely the latest atrocity -- incarceration of migrant children, even toddlers and babies, separate from their parents at the border -- ratchets up the horror to a whole new level.  We've heard the terrified children's cries.  We've heard officials acting in our name mocking them in their misery.  We know of an "information hotline" calculated to scare off relatives seeking information about missing children.  Disturbing, painful, and horrifying images have begun to appear.  Trump's underlings have cited the Bible to defend the policy.  Surely this should be a bridge too far, even for the "base"?

To start with, it's foolish to expect Christian "pro-family" groups to speak out.  As used by these people, the phrase "pro-family" is code for "God hates fags".  That's all it is.  It should no more be taken literally than words like "people's" and "democratic" in the official names of communist countries.

And to be fair, a few religious leaders normally supportive of Trump have spoken out against the policy.  But what about the rank and file?

One of my go-to sites for conservative religious views, Church Militant, did put up a post about the family-separation issue and one Catholic bishop's opposition to it.  As I write this, the post has 478 comments.  As best I can tell, only three people among the commenters object to the policy, with the rest fervently supporting it (and calling the dissidents names).  Some sample comments:

These kids are very contended right now in these detention centers -- big plasma tv screens, clean sheets on clean beds, three square meals a day.

Lots of these aren't even families. They're human trafficking in child sex slaves. That's the point of separation.

The children of the immigrants are being helped in an HHS facility, temporarily, where they are fed, clothed, given somewhere to sleep and have all kinds of games to play. They are probably being treated better there than in their own countries..... I think that all priests, Bishops and Cardinals who vote Demoncrap should be excommunicated! All those ignorant Catholic laity who vote for the party of death need to be taught what that party stands for. They do the work of Satan!

[In response to me:] Mr. Infidel: Child sex trafficking is a major problem internationally to include on our boarders. This is nothing but child slavery for the worst reasons. The child slavers cross our boarder illegally and if caught then claim that their slaves are actually their children. As the foreign nationals entered the USA illegally our government rightly exasperates children from adults until parentage can be confirmed. I am at a loos as to why you and the Bishops condemn U.S. citizens who oppose child sex trafficking by slavers?

I also found this one revealing:

That is why it was so offensive, impertinent and inappropriate for the Pope to question Trump's Christianity during the campaign when Trump promised to build "walls" instead of "bridges" as the pope suggested. Associating "bridges" with "true" Christianity.

This is a (presumably) devout Catholic insulting the Pope for daring to criticize Trump.  That's how deep this cultism goes.  Comment threads on other right-wing sites have been similar -- here's one at RedState with 56 comments, almost all defending Trump.  These Christian conservatives will believe whatever they need to in order to continue supporting their idol.  Some secular right-wingers have joined in.

There's some evidence that this issue is splitting the right more than earlier Trump actions have -- a poll shows 35% of Republicans opposing the policy.  But that still leaves 55% them supportive and the other 10% presumably unwilling to criticize.

We really shouldn't be surprised.  This is who they are.  These are the people in the "fuck your feelings" T-shirts, gloating about "making the libturds cry".  But now we know, better than we did before, that they're deadly serious about being evil.


Blogger Harry Hamid said...

TrumpCo seems to be throwing up a lot of sand to confuse things - they support the policy, they don't support the policy, it;s not a policy, it was Obama's policy, it was a court decision in 1997...

I think Trump is the only one who benefits from all of the confusion.

I'm sad about how shrill things have become, and I'm devastated that things have reached this point. It feels like the end stages of a culture losing its humanity.

19 June, 2018 21:00  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

It is chilling, very Nazi-Germany-chilling, to see how glibly their justifications of evil roll off their smiling lips.

20 June, 2018 06:11  
Blogger Martha said...

Absolutely horrifying. Just when I think it's gotten as bad as it'll get, it gets worse. Like Debra says...very chilling!

20 June, 2018 07:10  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Of course it's a cult. Even Bob Corker is finally realizing the obvious.

I had to invent the name of the cult years ago. The Cult of Right-wing Authoritarian Personalities. "CRAP" for short.

Trumpism is now part of their pseudo-Christianity. "Love thy neighbor" is out of the picture, and has been replaced by "hate the libs and fags".

Unfortunately the only check on American fascism is the damn Democratic Party, intent on emulating Neville Chamberlain's appeasement rather than Churchill's opposition.

20 June, 2018 11:07  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

Perhaps this is what Ben Franklin foresaw when he replied to a women who asked him what kind of government have you given us? To which he replied, a republic ma'am if you can keep it.

20 June, 2018 14:18  
Blogger Professor Chaos said...

Hurting people who are different from them has become the raison d'etre of the REpublican Party.The whole reason they chose Trump over the dozen or so more qualified Republicans they could have nominated is that he was the most blatant in his racism ans xenophobia.

20 June, 2018 15:53  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

We have the benefit of hindsight to guide us in what we must do. We must have a (pardon the expression) "zero tolerance" policy regarding Trump and his ignorant, loathsome cult. As you say, we know who and what they are, and that they have only their zombie-like devotion to Trump at their core. They're fearful of losing their racial/ cultural status and believe Trump is their paladin and last hope against the "libturds" and the "invaders." They can't be convinced otherwise; they just need to be defeated, over and over and over until (greatly diminished hopefully) they slink back into the dark shadows.

20 June, 2018 15:55  
Blogger Adam said...

One reason why we don't need people citing the bible as their source of morality.

21 June, 2018 06:53  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

At this point I think all we can do is hope he doesn't get elected for a second term.

21 June, 2018 08:50  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

This is a (presumably) devout Catholic insulting the Pope for daring to criticize Trump. That's how deep this cultism goes.

My God. I mean...from my point of view, it's gone too deep for any hope of changing their minds.

If there is a bright spot in opposition to this latest atrocity--locking up children, for heaven's sake and using them as hostages just to get a fucking wall that will do nothing (and also because Trump's administration and the GOP are packed with racists) it's that people are speaking out and are angry about this and determined to put a stop to it.

I honestly hope that what is going on now will FINALLY end the use of the ridiculous "Both parties are the same!!" meme...but part of me thinks that that will not happen.

21 June, 2018 14:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Harry: It really looks to me like they're so incompetent they can't keep their story straight. Remember, almost none of these people have relevant experience for what they're doing. Trump kept insisting he had no authority to issue an executive order on this -- until he issued one.

Debra, Martha: It's scary because it shows what they think they can get away with. It's up to us to prove them wrong.

Dave: Don't forget that every Democratic Senator is now supporting a bill to end family separations -- and none of the Republicans are. Democrats saved the ACA by staying united. Merkley helped publicize this issue by going to the border and demanding entry into the detention sites. They've done a lot; I believe in credit where it's due.

Rational: I think this is the direst test of our ability to "keep it" since 1865.

Professor: Going by the reactions to this, it's hard to avoid seeing it as sadism in action.

Hackwhacker: I'm convinced of that too. The ones on the fringe who can be won over probably already have been. The hard core are beyond reach.

Adam: If we were really being Biblical we'd be selling the migrants into slavery.

Mary: I can't imagine he'll stay on through a whole four-year term. The damage would be irreparable.

Marc: I'm also encouraged by the scope of the outrage. It would be profoundly depressing if there weren't a huge amount of outrage in response to this.

21 June, 2018 15:41  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm in sad agreement with the commenters here. There is nothing the monster Trump can do that repulses his cultists. The Democrats need to take the House or Senate or, better yet, both to rein in the Maniac-in-Chief. He and his cultists are a minority. They cannot prevail.

21 June, 2018 19:25  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: Hopefully in November they'll find out what a minority they are.

22 June, 2018 07:00  

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