Monthly Archives: August 2015

Chesco D’s and R’s and the Issues

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, August 27, 2015

It seems the Chester County Republican party is starting to worry about Donald Trump.

Whatever resonances the leading R presidential candidate might find in certain other parts of the country, it’s pretty clear that his peculiar combination of the cult of personality and anti-immigrant prejudice won’t play well in Chester County.

A recent email from the Chesco R party is imaginatively entitled “Chester County Republicans! Stop the Out of Touch, Local Democrat Party!” Let’s just see who is out of touch (besides Mr. Trump, of course).

First, let’s note that the email does not reproduce any document as circulated by Chester County Democrats. It actually includes, for unknown reasons, an automatic English translation of a Spanish-language ad plus the original English-language graphic. Not good scholarship; but of course, this is politics.

The “President Trump?” motif, which obviously strikes a local R nerve, has been used in several forms. Here are the text and image as they actually appeared on the CCDC Facebook page, July 30:

presidenttrump-e1440635991629
ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT THIS!
Don’t kid yourself: it can happen.
If not Trump, then Bush or Walker.
And with a Republican President, we’ll see the repeal of Obamacare, a 20-week abortion ban, the end of the EPA, and war with Iran.
If we’re going to elect Hillary or Bernie next year, we must start right NOW! The Chester County Democratic Party isn’t waiting… and neither should you. If you’ve got some time, we’ve got important work for you to do… starting TODAY!
Please call us at 610-692-5811 or email Victory2016@chescodems.org to join this historic and crucial movement. Thank you!
‪#‎FreedomFairnessOpportunity‬…

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Filed under Democratic party, issues, Nathaniel Smith, National govt & politics, Republican party

Our Quadrennial Reality TV Show: Sorting Through the Bullshit in America

By John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 8/27/15

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. … The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept.
         
– Harry Frankfurt, professor emeritus of philosophy, Princeton University, author of On Bullshit

In a recent news story, a New York Times reporter referred to “the siren call” of ISIS propaganda that motivated three teenage Muslim girls to fly from Britain to ISIS-controlled Syria. The girls were clearly frustrated, facing anti-Muslim prejudice and cultural pressures unique to Muslim girls. They clearly found no solace in “the siren call” of western, market-worshipping consumer society. The New York Times reporter did not characterize western culture this way, but it might be so characterized. The so-called Free Market is becoming a sort of religion.

The girls seemed caught in a delusional double bind, driven by hope for more satisfying lives. “[T]he girls spoke of leaving behind an immoral society to search for religious virtue and meaning,” the Times story reports. At least one of the girls is now married to an ISIS member. The question that interests me is how much of the competing pressures working on such vulnerable girls amounts to what Professor Frankfurt calls bullshit….

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Donald Trump’s America – An Analysis (15 August 2015

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Understanding Donald Trump

It is really not too hard to figure out Donald Trump. The man is having fun. What we have witnessed so far is a demonstration of how a billionaire megalomaniac and narcissist has fun: having secured a national stage, he runs around and says whatever he pleases, even if it is blatantly obnoxious. If he gets positive feedback he does it all the louder. If he gets negative feedback he turns into a bully, which he also sees as fun. If his alliance with Fox “News” doesn’t work out, maybe he will buy his own network. If the Republican Party spurns him, he will no doubt start his own political party. He can afford it and, again, it’s a lot of fun. By the way, while Trump is having fun many of the rest of us don’t find him funny at all. Indeed, its a serious question whether Mr. Trump’s good time will, in the end, encourage him to become a dangerous demagogue. 

Part II – Understanding Donald Trump’s Following

If explaining Donald Trump isn’t all that difficult, explaining why millions of people applaud him is more of a challenge….

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In the Name of Trump

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 8/11/15

It can be interesting to learn the origins of public figures’ names.

For example, knowing that Secretary of State John Kerry’s family name was chosen by his paternal grandfather Fritz Kohn can save us from making assumptions based on his Irish-sounding name.

But Vice President Joe Biden’s name really is of Irish origin, right? No, his ancestry is Irish on his mother’s side, yes, but English on his father’s, except that his middle name Robinette (his father’s mother’s maiden name) is a clue to French Canadian ancestry.

How about Donald Trump? I had guessed that his last name might have been shortened from some longer Eastern European one, but not so. According to Wikipedia:

Trump’s mother was a Scottish immigrant, born on the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland, and Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants. His grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Drumpf), immigrated to the United States in 1885, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1892. Frederick married Donald’s grandmother, Elizabeth Christ … at Kallstadt, then Kingdom of Bavaria….

So, as in Kerry’s and many other cases, a name was changed in the US: Drumpf (the u would be short, as in “put”) to Trump (after seven years in this country). Probably a good choice: the real estate mogul Donald Drumpf, Drumpf Tower, Drumpf for President—those just don’t have such a convincing ring to them.

So what is the origin of the name Trump to which Donald’s grandfather chose to Anglicize the ancestral Drumpf?…

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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