Stop blaming Trump and Obama for driving us apart. Divisiveness in America is our own fault. It’s something we choose even though few benefit from setting us against each other. This is not the special province of Democrats. It’s not something created by Republicans or their fringe. Divisiveness in America is a phenomenon created by conflict politics because hatred and anger are much more efficient vehicles for change than unity.
Divisiveness in America: yes, it’s our fault
Our love of a sport with actors who, like those in Hollywood, relish the limelight and our adoration has placed divisiveness in America front and center again. That we shower so much respect on professional athletes is almost as shameful as the displays of the NFL players whose disrespect is based on liberal beliefs about justice that are spread by politics.
This isn’t just about football. Conflict politics means that anything and everything that stirs up divisiveness is fair game. Consider just a few of the things we fight over: immigrant vs. American, rich vs. poor, Christian vs. Muslim, gay vs. straight, minority vs. white, and the root of it all, Democrat vs. Republican.
How many of these examples are exploited by politics? Every single one.
Divisiveness preys on ignorance
Messages like this from Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) create division:
They are taking a knee to protest police officers who kill unarmed African Americans – men and women, adults and children, parents and grandparents – with impunity. They are taking a knee to protest a justice system that says that being Black is enough reason for a police officer to fear for his or her life.1
Do these comments convey the truth? The point is to make us angry. This is where divisiveness in American comes from. It has nothing to do with fixing things, righting wrongs, or mending fences.
How often do police officers kill African American children with impunity? It probably doesn’t happen as often as Washington’s politically ambitious left would have us believe. I doubt that most police officers start their day looking for kids to kill. On some level we have to trust society enough to know, deep down, that this is not something we tolerate on a mass scale.
So why does spreading these kinds of “facts” drive us apart? Because we choose to believe them.
New FBI crime figures: things are better and worse
Division is more politically valuable than the truth. When the truth is inconvenient we ignore it like we did last year with hate crime statistics. That doesn’t mean facts don’t exist to compare to what we believe.
Newly released FBI crime figures for 2016 argue against what we’ve been hearing. Officer-involved justifiable homicides were fewer in 2016 than 2013, 2014, or 2015.2 Where an offender’s race was known, more murders were committed by black or African Americans (6,095) than whites (5,004),3 even though black Americans are only an estimated 13.3% of our population.4
Ironically, given the anger over policing African American communities, the vast majority of arrests were of whites (69.6%). Blacks or African Americans only made up 26.9% of the total.5
What do these numbers mean?
They don’t mean anything without more information, interpretation, interpolation, and more facts that we don’t have. The far right could charge an epidemic of African American killing. The far left could assert an upsurge in coerced murder confessions. There isn’t a politician born who has the time or the resources to understand what is going on with crimes committed by and against race. That’s what makes it so easy to spur divisiveness in American. A few events are a trend. News reports become a nationwide epidemic.
That’s how politics works and what politicians do. The question is what we choose to believe. When we choose division over trusting the basic sanctity of our people, laws, and institutions even with their flaws, then divisiveness becomes our fault.
UPDATE October 1, 2017: Seeds of divisiveness from San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico’s outspoken mayor used the word “genocide” while she vented her dissatisfaction with a very difficult relief effort. The implications of dropping that particular word as part of her tirade against President Trump are pretty obvious. Give it a day or so and watch what Trump’s opposition does with it.
The president is taking lots of heat for responding to Mayor Cruz’s outbursts. He should point out that this is not the first hurricane to devastate a Caribbean island, albeit a broke territory that will be bailed out by bankruptcy. His aggravated response as reported by the Hill6 has a lot more validity than we will ever admit.
UPDATE May 6, 2018: Democratic divisiveness? Impeachment will dominate 2018
While Hillary Clinton finds new ways to deconstruct her election loss, House members are still fighting over the Clinton Foundation. Democrats call their accusations that Trump colluded with Russia an attack on democracy. The party has successfully turned unproven allegations into fact even though no one has been able to spell out just how the election was impacted.
Last week the shoe was on the other foot. Republican lawmaker Bob Goodlatte called for an investigation of possible Justice Department intervention in an FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation after a redacted DOJ Inspector General’s misconduct report called Director Andrew McCabe’s actions into question.
Goodlatte wrote to AG Jeff Sessions:
Once again, according to the IG report, we see a top official – Mr. McCabe – behaving in a manner unworthy of a public servant and, in particular, an FBI agent. However, we have also learned that there may have been undue pressure and influence asserted by the Department – and possibly even higher levels of the U.S. government during the Obama Administration – to ensure that a validly predicated investigation of the Clinton Foundation was terminated.7
The Democratic retort was swift and predictable. House Judiciary Committee member Jerrold Nadler responded:
There is no evidence of any wrongdoing here—just snippets from a public report and fact-free speculation about a Benghazi-style ‘stand down’ order at DOJ.8
Nadler argues we should protect tax dollars from Republicans who want to divert attention from the real target:
They would rather spend taxpayer dollars trying to convince the public not to believe Mr. Comey and that President Trump is blameless.9
When it comes to spending taxpayer dollars on a damaging, divisive impeachment process Democrats don’t have a problem. 16 party members signed on to Rep. Steve Cohen’s impeachment resolution which used the words “Russia” or “Russian” 27 times over 25 very short pages.
H. Res. 621 notes that:
On March 30, 2017, Donald J. Trump called FBI Director James Comey and said the Russia investigation was, ‘‘a cloud,’’ that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country.10
Over one year later that divisive cloud still hangs over the country. The central figure in a hush money scandal that adds fuel to the fire made a Saturday Night Live appearance last night, which trivializes Democratic Party allegations and lends credence to conservative arguments that the media is lined up against this president.
With midterms approaching Democrats will escalate threats of impeachment while they throw stones from a glass house. Somehow they still feel justified in accusing this president of being the divisive one while they use every trick in the book to convince us they are on the side of right.
UPDATE September 10, 2018: Obama begins national divisiveness tour
Is it ethical to manipulate divisiveness to cure national division?
Barack Obama is back in the headlines after embarking on a divisiveness speaking tour that started at the University of Illinois last week. He received considerable credit for slamming the Trump administration, which raises a question about the tactics he is using to combat divisiveness that seems more like a smokescreen for a Democrats-only playing field.
Before the November 2016 election crushed his party’s plans, Obama’s White House condemned the Republican Party and called for Democratic support at the polls:
If that includes a clear, unambiguous, unmistakable repudiation of the divisive rhetoric and cynical tactics that are used by Republicans, that would be a welcome outcome as well.11
First Lady Michelle Obama joined in:
And while this may feel like a volatile time — while we may be rightfully horrified by the divisive rhetoric we’re hearing in our public conversation, while we may be broken-hearted that we’re still dealing with the issues of poverty, and mass incarceration, and gun violence — it is remarkable progress that these issues are seeing the light of day at all.12
When it comes to Donald Trump and winning back the House of Representatives nothing is off limits including divisive rhetoric that manipulates the divisions the former president’s tattered legacy dumped on the nation. His goal is not to bring the nation together. It’s to win an election. Obama comes from Democratic machine state Illinois, so he knows how to play the game.
UPDATE January 5, 2019: what does “bipartisan” mean to Pelosi?
During her remarks after a successful bid to be House speaker again Nancy Pelosi spoke of a “new dawn.”13 We heard the trite, largely positive remarks that we expect before the fight starts and all hell breaks loose. The new speaker used the word “bipartisan” seven times when she addressed Republican Kevin McCarthy:
Thank you very much, Leader McCarthy. I look forward to working with you in a bipartisan way for the good of our country, respecting our constituents, every one of you, I respect you and the constituents who sent each and every one of us here and deserve for us to find our common ground, and we must try to do that: stand our ground when we can’t, but always extend a hand of friendship.14
Pelosi didn’t say whether “each of us” included Republicans or whether those constituents Democrats will respect include America’s deplorables, but this remark from Alabama Republican Bradley Byrne gives us a hint where “bipartisan” is headed:
We have already seen this past week the extent House Democrats will go to in undermining our President, with one going as far as to use profanity at an event in describing her efforts to impeach President Trump.15
Speaker criticizes 312,000 new jobs
As part of her positive, bipartisan outlook Pelosi criticized a booming December jobs report:
The December jobs statement contains some positive news, yet these gains threaten to slip away because of the Trump Shutdown.16
The speaker knows full well that the shutdown will end and federal employees will be taken care of, but threatening the nation with a loss of 800,000 jobs because of Trump is good Democratic politics.
After her comment on the jobs report she told us where she really stands on bipartisanship:
In stark contrast to the Republicans, the Democratic Congress will be For The People: lowering health costs and prescription drug costs, increasing paychecks by rebuilding in America with green, modern infrastructure and cleaning up corruption to make Washington work For The People.17
Americans chose Pelosi and her party. That wasn’t a vote for unity. We have already been warned what their plans are.
Let’s see how long it takes the “I” word to spill from her lips.
UPDATE April 14, 2019: an attack of Democratic amnesia
“Hate and division” is a very popular phrase among Democrats, as if they believe that by repeating it over and over and over enough Americans will believe that Trump is hateful and divisive to back their arrogant liberal extremism.
We’ve all heard the phrase “blinded by hate.” Is that the problem?
Just yesterday we got this bit of divisiveness from the Congressional Black Caucus. They threw in “reckless”18 and “despicable” for dramatic effect:
His [President Trump’s] attacks on Representative Omar, as well as those from right wing media and commentators, not only spew hate and division, they are putting the life of a member of Congress in danger. These attacks are despicable and must stop so that our nation can focus on the real issues that need to be addressed to ensure our national security.19
Is urging Americans to go after Trump administration officials in public hateful and divisive? Apparently not, or at least not last summer when the incitement came from prominent caucus member Maxine Waters.
The take home message is that whether something is hateful and divisive depends on who says it. If it comes from Trump or anyone associated with the Republican Party it meets the definition of hateful, divisive discourse.
If it comes from Democrats? You get the idea.
UPDATE November 11, 2019: on Veterans Day, who are the American people?
When my father talked about his time in the Pacific during World War II I don’t remember him mentioning which political party he was fighting for. Dad was a lifelong Republican, but I doubt that he and his buddies thought about the different beliefs they were defending. This could be because America didn’t have the diversity of opinion or the angry divisions in the 1940s that we have now, but I suspect the real reason is that they were fighting for one American people.
Does one American people still exist??
Politicians on both sides of the aisle like to fall back on this image when it’s useful, especially when their goal is to create more division. They tend to ignore the fact that the enormous divide that exists on Capitol Hill is meant to spread to the people as a whole even though we don’t all agree with the party in power whether the issue is health care:
President Trump is continuing to screw over the American people with the latest ACA repeal attempt and is aiming to rip healthcare away from millions of Americans,” said Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29).20
Or the consequences of trying to remove the president from office:
The American people are absolutely disgusted with our politics to the point it’s assumed that corrupt behavior is so widespread that it’s part of the process—not something that can ever be erased. It’s assumed that Republicans and Democrats will always put winning ahead of the country. And it’s now assumed that it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House, the opposing party will try to impeach them.21
Part of New York Democratic Rep. Max Rose’s statement is true. We are disgusted and yes, if Republicans get the chance they will impeach the next Democrat that finds their way to the Oval Office. That’s how divisiveness works. The more our government incites political divisions across America the larger the payoff will be on a Democratic Capitol Hill that tells itself this whole impeachment circus benefits every one of us, including those soldiers who are fighting for the idea of America, not the idea of the Democratic Party.
We’ll let Congressman Rose finish that thought:
Today, there are soldiers throughout the world putting their life on the line—Afghanistan, Iraq, so many other nations. I was just one of them eight years ago and some of my buddies are still amongst them. There’s no way with them in mind that we can let any type of corruption stand.22
UPDATE December 25, 2019: divisive Speaker Pelosi wishes us peace on Earth
There is a huge smirk hiding behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Christmas wish for peace:
Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with us in our hearts, in our families, in our communities and in America.23
Her Holiday Warm Wishes and Prayer for World Peace honors the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. While we can always use more peace on earth, we can also use a little peace right here in the homeland. Pelosi talks of peace in our communities and America, but what she’s brought us is historic divisiveness.
This year the speaker denied us her own Christmas wish. Everyone in America capable of reading or at least listening knows what’s coming after this holiday respite. When Congress gets back to work on January 7, 2020 in the wake of massive pre-Christmas uncertainly all hell will break lose on Capitol Hill. Decisions must be made. Will Pelosi sit on her Articles of Impeachment to stave off certain failure for as long as possible? Will she send them to the Senate so her minority counterpart, Chuck Schumer can try to leverage some anti-Trump support in service to giving the nation a fair trial that guarantees Trump’s removal?
In the absence of the slightest modicum of fairness Capitol Hill’s impeachment antics stoked holiday divisiveness the likes of which we haven’t seen in many years. Our senators and representatives left us two choices, guilt or innocence, and neither has anything to do with what the president did or didn’t do.
Numbers will dictate the truth and the outcome of Pelosi’s charade. This started with politics and that’s where it will end. That’s a good thing for Trump and his party. It’s a bad thing for Democrats who should know better and can look forward to a shoe on the other foot scenario the moment roles are reversed.
As far as peace in our communities and America is concerned, how many families have already had whispered Christmas morning discussions about what can and can’t be discussed at the holiday table today? Cutlery is sharp. So are alcohol-fueled tongues.
Best to stick to the weather.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
UPDATE February 8, 2020: are House Democrats divisive or stupid?
The day after the world watched their leader rip up the president’s testament to American strength, Democrats went back to whining about the 400 bills piling up on Mitch McConnell’s doorstep. They claimed that 275 of these neglected accomplishments are bipartisan.24
Let’s have a look at what “bipartisan” means in Democratspeak.
The “Bipartisan Farmworkers Immigration Bill”25 gives legal status to immigrant farmworkers. The bill is marketed to Americans as nonpartisan. This is an amazing feat considering the tension between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill when it comes to immigration. How can these warring parties agree on immigrant farmworkers?
It turns out they can’t.
When H.R. 5038 passed the House on December 11, 2019 it netted 226 Democratic and 34 GOP Ayes. 161 House Republicans and only 3 Democrats said no.
That’s what “bipartisan” means to Democrats eager to pick a fight. It also means that “Trump’s conviction was bipartisan, his acquittal was partisan.”26
We can assume “bipartisan conviction” is a reference to Turncoat Romney’s single dissenting vote.
Most of us have enough life experience to know that making an enemy of someone you want to work with is counterproductive. House Democrats know that divisiveness is a lot more effective at stirring up their liberal base than agreement with the politicians they demonize.
These Republican demons include the president. The day after they were embarrassed by Speaker Pelosi’s acting out at the SOTU, House Democrats redoubled efforts to divide the nation and make an enemy of the president and Republican Party.
From Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA):
Last night I heard hypocrisy, not solutions, not even reality. We know Donald Trump’s record. He has run from the gun violence epidemic and hid behind the NRA. He has dismissed climate change and threatened global allegiances. He has demonized and demoralized hard-working immigrant families. He doesn’t welcome law abiding refugees, as he said last night. He puts children in cages and he’s solicited foreign interference into our elections for his own personal gain.27
From Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries:
As far as I’m concerned, a shredder wasn’t available, and so she did what she needed to do.Sources28
You can guess what that was about. Pelosi embarrassed our nation just like members of her party do every time they announce how poorly the country is doing despite all evidence to the contrary.
Accusing the president of being a criminal after he was exonerated doesn’t help, either:
The founders of this country never imagined that our democracy would be confronted with a corrupt president who would be aided and abetted in the coverup of his crimes by a coequal branch of government.29
The next time you hear Democrats complain about how Republicans in the Senate won’t play ball, remember those words and thank Maxine Waters (D-CA) for helping make sure none of the House’s phony bipartisan bills go anywhere but the fireplace.
UPDATE March 6, 2020: did Schumer threaten or is he just being divisive Chuck?
After grandstanding over the pending POTUS abortion decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, New York Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer was roundly criticized for his allegedly threatening remarks directed at Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Chief Justice John Roberts’ reaction was quick and to the point. The White House also weighed in against one of Trump’s chief tormenters, but construing the senator’s comments as threats should take into account the context and the politician.
I’m no Schumer supporter, but we’re used to unreasonably divisive, bombastic rhetoric from this senator. This is just more of the same shtick.
With Schumer we know what we’re getting. It’s almost always not good, but we know what to expect. We can’t condone these kinds of remarks, but how far down the rabbit hole of punishing political speech do we want to go?
Schumer backs the mainstream, says no to ideologues on the bench
It turns out that Schumer and Roberts’ have a bit of a history. During Roberts’ confirmation process the senator commented:
Ive [sic] said this before and Ill [sic] say it again I want to vote for Judge Roberts. But he has to meet the only standard that I have is he an agendadriven [sic] ideologue or is he a mainstream jurist? 30
That’s pretty hypocritical criticism from one of the most outspokenly divisive ideologues on Capitol Hill. Anyone who claims that the give and take of Supreme Court politics and the entire confirmation charade is not all about agenda and partisanship is ignoring reality in favor of an ideal that does not exist.
Nevertheless, Schumer persisted:
We simply want to be convinced that he is not an ideologue.31
Later, the senator claimed that his party was “hoodwinked”32 into confirming Roberts. That buyer’s remorse was evident in abundance yesterday.
Does Schumer deserve a pass on this one? Remember, this is the same politician who demanded a “special protection”33 for seniors so they can get a coronavirus vaccine that doesn’t exist and:
do not have to choose between shelling out and going without.34
Divisiveness is Chuck Schumer’s stock in trade. Let Congress waste time getting angry over his self-interested, pro-abortion outburst. The rest of us would be better off to treat him like a child having a tantrum. When we pay attention we opt for divisiveness. Just stop listening. It’s not as if you will miss anything of value.
UPDATE March 29, 2020: nothing divides us like death
You know what they say about kicking someone when they’re down? That’s not good enough for shrikish House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who decided to kick an entire nation. She’s so obsessed with publicly picking fights while the Trump administration tries to deal with America’s virus problem that she’s completely oblivious to the damage divisiveness causes when we all need each other to stick together.
Pelosi and her party come first. That may be good for the golden years of her too-long political career, but it’s not good for the country and especially not now.
The speaker chose this morning, a Sunday, to blame Trump for COVID 19 deaths. She’s right about one thing. If you’re going to push the inflammatory envelope this is the day to do it. News from the Sunday talk circuit travels fast.
This is exactly the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from Pelosi. There is no situation so grave that it’s not good for trying to score a few political points.
There is absolutely nothing helpful about Pelosi’s White House blame game. It’s a divisive attention grab at best and a destructive attempt to turn the American people against a president who is doing his level best to offer a hopeful lifeline. She doesn’t want that. Neither do other members of her party who are angry that impeachment could not rid Democrats of this thorn in their side. Pelosi obviously thinks that smearing a little blood on our president’s hands might be good for a few votes from those of us who are still around in November.
Pelosi’s behavior is reprehensible. Is she placing herself front and center in hopes that the virus might do her a favor and land her in the White House?
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.
UPDATE April 24, 2020: no, we’re not all in this together
While Americans are dying lawmakers seeking the headlines are fighting. The fact that divisiveness will undermine everything we are doing to get back on track is completely lost on these destructive politicians who, like expensive ice cream fan Nancy Pelosi, are absolutely not all in this with us.
Nowhere is this as glaring as the growing effort to use COVID-19 to stir the race pot. There is no issue in America guaranteed to create more anger, resentment, and division than racial inequality. This is an issue where facts get lost and heated knee-jerk reaction takes over.
Lee, Dems blame structural racism for deaths
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke of structural racism35 and made a show of “slamming”36 Senate Republicans because of reported racial disparities in coronavirus deaths:
This is unconscionable. If we are to ensure everyone’s safety and security, we need the facts on who is being affected. Congressional Democrats pushed hard to include not only a reporting requirement from the CDC, but a plan to reduce those disparities. It is shameful, but unsurprising, that Senate Republicans decided to reject this critical package.37
In typical partisan fashion blameworthy Democrats refuse to accept any responsibility for the mortality and poor COVID-19 outcomes in minority communities. Instead, they exhibit chronic amnesia over the health care bill that put them in charge of how medical care is distributed and paid for.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) proposed the Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act. In addition to endemic health conditions in minority communities she also blamed “structural racism”38 for COVID-19s disproportionate impact.
Across the aisle Senate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) added “Indian Country” to the list of impacted communities and got right to the point:
Because of government-sponsored discrimination and systemic racism, communities of color are on the frontlines of this pandemic. To effectively slow the spread of the virus and ensure our response is robust and equitable, we need comprehensive national data on who is getting infected, who is getting treatment, and who is dying. That is how we can truly contain COVID-19 and save lives.39
It doesn’t get much more divisive than tossing out a phrase like “government-sponsored racism.”
Democrats praise health care accomplishments but accept no responsibility
Warren’s statement about containing the coronavirus is absolutely not true. It’s too late for that. Democrats promised the nation that their Affordable Care Act would fix what’s wrong with American health care. They had their chance with majorities in both houses of Congress. In fact, they still celebrate their health care victory for the black community:
After the opening of the Marketplace in 2013, the number of uninsured African Americans has significantly decreased. Many Black families who previously had coverage are also benefiting from the ACA’s most popular provisions. Now, young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and insurers cannot deny, drop or charge more for coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
“The CBC played an instrumental role in ensuring the ACA addressed health disparities and made access to preventative care a reality. These provisions particularly helped Black women, who often delayed or went without care because they could not afford to see a doctor.40
One year later they tell us this is not entirely true but it’s someone else’s fault.
There is no arguing that COVID-19 exploits chronic health conditions that run rampant in communities of color. It’s shameful that the Democratic Party refuses to accept any responsibility for this problem after members told us they fixed American health care for everyone.
That’s not the real issue. This is an incredibly transparent, divisive effort that will end with Democrats charging the president with death by racism. Nancy Pelosi has already blamed him for loss of life during this pandemic, so it won’t be much of a stretch for her party.
Let’s all be clear. This is not about saving black, brown, or any other lives. This is about political power and using every divisive trick in the book to disfavor and discredit President Trump. Senator Warren’s “government-sponsored discrimination” will quickly turn into “Trump-sponsored discrimination” just as soon as Democrats decide the time is right.
It won’t be long.
UPDATE May 31, 2020: encouraging division is not a solution for violent divisiveness
There was a time when an incident like George Floyd’s death was met with words meant to quell the kind of anarchic protests that exploded across the country this weekend.
That time is over and gone. There is too much political value in unrest and divisiveness even if it leads to violence.
Only Trump’s words have an impact
It didn’t take long for Democrats to step up and blame the president for the same divisive politics they have elevated to an art form:
As millions of Americans turned to the President for words of comfort and healing, we sadly got more division. Trump, paying no mind to the deep sense of anguish and fear, only added salt to the gaping wounds and drove us farther apart.41
Police-involved killings are tragic no matter the race or reason. Words won’t right a wrong that can’t be changed, but they can be used for other things. Those things include a Democratic Party dialogue that’s been in place since the death at a 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia rally that resurfaced on Friday:
From the shootings in El Paso to the events in Charlottesville, his words have emboldened racism and given way to an America, I do not recognize. It’s time for change.42
If we accept the Democratic Party’s contention that Trump’s words are so powerful they can lead to racism and violence, what do the words of Democrats embolden?
Democrat claims being black is a death sentence
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) joined members of the Squad in a May 29, 2020 press release just before violent protests exploded across America:
“Over the last few months, we have witnessed heightened violent acts of white supremacy, police brutality and targeted harassment because we were simply living while Black,” said [CBC] Chair Bass.”43
Buzzwords like white supremacy are only buzzwords in the absence of facts. Rep. Bass didn’t provide any numbers or proof. The party’s base is supposed to accept this sort of statement at face value. There is no dispute that policy brutality happens, but the horrific nature of an event does not mean it is pervasive.
California colleague Rep. Maxine Waters also blamed the president and raised the specter of white supremacy.44 It resonates with the liberal left and draws the battle lines that we see in this weekend’s uncontrolled destruction and violence.
Bass also remarked:
Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.45
The death of a black American should not turn into a political opportunity or a chance to loot, harm, and destroy either, but that’s what happened. Democrats will hold themselves harmless for their role in using rhetoric that plays to the inclinations of violent liberal protesters:
For too long, Black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveilled, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized and murdered at the hands of police officers,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “We cannot allow these fatal injustices to go unchecked any longer. There can be no justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or any of the human beings who have been killed by law enforcement, for in a just world, they would still be alive. There must, however, be accountability.46
We just saw two nights of what the left’s idea of accountability is. The words of Democrats will play no part in this. By Monday morning they will have another target to blame.
UPDATE June 13, 2020: divisiveness makes Senator Harris the perfect choice for Biden’s running mate
Joe Biden is three years shy of 80. We hear gaffes and confusion on the not too frequent occasions that he makes an appearance. Perhaps he is still warming up to being in the public eye. Maybe the problem is something else.
Democrats made Trump’s competence to govern a pivotal issue in 2016. Given similar questions about Biden, his choice for a running mate may be more important than Biden himself. That thrusts one woman in particular into the speculative spotlight.
What do we get if Biden picks Kamala Harris?
There is nothing like an opportunity-laden, highly politicized hot button crisis to reveal what a politician really stands for.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has a lot to gain as decision day on Biden’s running mate approaches. In the wake of anarchic protests and violence that will likely continue right up to November, can we count on her to help unite the country?
Harris greeted Trump’s first state of the union with talk about the president’s divisiveness:
Behind the political rhetoric tonight was an affirmation of this President’s divisive agenda and a complete lack of substance and specifics. 47
Why? He failed to “provide comfort”48 to illegal immigrants.
Flash forward to our most explosive crisis in many years:
The wounds that we are feeling are deepened by a President who fanned the flames of hurt and pain.49
Just what constitutes fanning the flames depends on the party of the beholder. Harris has indulged in a little fan-flaming of her own lately:
America’s sidewalks are stained with Black blood.50
We’re here because Black Americans want to stop being killed. Just last week, we couldn’t even pass an anti-lynching bill in the United States Senate.51
She doesn’t explain that H.R.35 was held up by Rand Paul’s request to clarify what constitutes lynching, but facts are not what this is about. This is about leveraging the nation’s anger for political gain:
To suggest that lynching would only be a lynching if someone’s heart was pulled out and produced and displayed to someone else is ridiculous.52
The nation’s heart is being pulled out as you read this. Democrats hope to benefit and the best way to do that is to divide the nation as much as possible. Biden has already labeled 10-15% of Americans as bad people. If he wants to pick a running mate who will go out of her way to stoke the flames of national division he can’t do better than Harris. As far as healing the nation is concerned, we probably can’t do worse.
UPDATE July 26, 2020: if divisiveness wins the election for Biden, will white liberals get their cut?
The president predicted that all the turmoil we’re experiencing will end with the November election. His remark is spot on. If Joe Biden wins the election the system, whatever that means, will suddenly be free and clear of American’s legacy of slavery. All we will need to do to make things right is pay the tab.
There is a glaring problem with this simplistic line of thought. It has to do with the protesters. Let’s be honest: how many of us who have jobs and responsibilities can spend our days roaming the streets voicing our displeasure at America?
Let’s assume for just a moment that disaster strikes three months from now. Biden wins. The Senate goes to Democrats. When it comes time to pay the tab for all the brainless, disorganized liberal support who will get their cut? There are a phenomenal number of hands out, patiently waiting for their bill to be paid. Unhappy white liberals looking for a movement to attach themselves to are never going to be at the top of that list. They are an embarrassment to the left and the right because they are the people who the system is supposed to empower over everyone else, but they can’t even take advantage of the white entitlement that they protest.
When these kids and the sorry, aging souls who pepper the protest crowds figure out that they got shafted by the Democratic Party there will be even more protests, except they won’t go anywhere because there will be nowhere to go. Whiteness is a difficult thing to protest. In the current political climate it won’t garner much sympathy or support.
If the jobless rate improves, which is unlikely if Trump loses the election, these people might be able to find employment, assuming they have some sort of job history and a marketable skill set. In the meantime they might want to avoid being on camera just in case prospective employers in their city are paying attention to who the troublemakers are.
UPDATE August 11, 2020: fear is a divisive political weapon
Most Americans agree that stealing from others is a crime. That’s not what we’re hearing from activist neo-terrorists who seek to justify the looting that took place in Chicago on Sunday night. Every excuse in the book is being trotted out to the public including the outrageously divisive argument discussed in a Chicago Sun-Times article that looting is a form of reparations that takes back what has been denied to distressed communities.53
If theft is justice then there is no right or wrong in America. If law enforcement can be fired upon and police officers are forbidden to respond under threats of urban destruction then lawlessness rules our cities. No one is safe. Big city budgets will reap the bounty of shoppers refusing to visit their stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues out of fear for their safety.
Fear is certainly divisive and using fear as a political weapon is what this is all about. It’s a pointless stance to take. The numbers alone dictate failure for neo-terrorists.
Some extremist Democrats may believe they can use this fear to manipulate progressive policy. Early Biden VP contender and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) even capitalized on the word “looting” with her Stop Wall Street Looting Act, which is uncomfortably close to the argument that corporations rob and loot Americans so breaking into a storefront is just more of the same, 54 albeit an insured loss.
There is no argument that peaceful dissent is Constitutionally protected but we also need to listen very carefully to what allegedly peaceful activists are saying. Promoting insurrection is not peace. Looters get their cues from activists. At what point does peaceful protest cross the line?
UPDATE October 1, 2020: looking for racism won’t stamp out racism
The pandemic finally has a silver lining. COVID-19 will put a serious dent in Halloween. That means we won’t see what would otherwise be a seasonal flood of news reports, pictures, and social media posts of allegedly racist costumes and decorations. Given the racial divisiveness stoked in this angry election year we can only imagine how bad it would get without the coronavirus keeping revelers in their homes for fear of their lives.
A news story making the rounds this morning concerns a staple Halloween image: a skeleton hanging from a tree. WMTV reports that a Wisconsin homeowner was asked by local police to take down this archetypal Halloween decoration that was part of a larger display after local government got involved.55
Racism, symbolic or otherwise is one of those slippery slope issues made worse by election year politics. America’s president was again called a racist on Tuesday night as part of a televised fiasco watched all over the world. Democrats pinned this label on Donald Trump long ago, so it’s no surprise that aging liberal dupe Joe Biden carried on the tradition for all the world to hear. Party members have repeated the charge so many times it is widely accepted as fact in liberal circles that ignore the socioeconomic segregation inherent in repeatedly telling the nation that people of color are unable to make it in America without Democratic Party handouts.
Democrats quickly dumped the Latino community and immigration policy for the Black community and systemic racism after the George Floyd incident. That should tell Americans all we need to know about where the party stands on issues of race. Whatever furthers political careers becomes the values Americans are told to embrace, or else.
Most of us are not politicians. We suffer the fallout and receive none of the benefits of politicizing race. Yes, there are overt racist acts but there are also unintentional misstatements and actions that may have nothing to do with race that can easily be misconstrued and turned into something they are not. Whether or not we choose to grow our divisions from this slippery middle ground is our decision. We already know where politicians stand.
UPDATE October 30, 2020: is division the only answer to COVID-19?
The coronavirus pandemic isn’t giving off any signals that it’s going do anything but get worse. Not very long ago my state was praising its success in driving the positivity rate down far enough to reopen businesses. Even Chicago’s positivity rate had dropped to 4.4% by October 2. One
month later it stands at 6.7%,56 a level deemed unacceptable by Governor JB Pritzker and his public health honchos.
High positivity means high risk for Springfield from restaurants and bars that just had the opportunity to reopen. Pritzker’s velvet glove is getting progressively thinner as the numbers cascade in the wrong direction. He risks shouldering the same blame he so eagerly hangs on President Trump. The question remains: if Trump can control the pandemic, why can’t Democratic state governors who have already displayed they have the power to do almost anything they want to stop this virus?
Businesses say no to Prizker’s newest shutdown
Many business remain open in Illinois but restaurants and bars in many regions including highly populated Chicago, Cook, and Lake counties are now back to takeout and outdoor service only.
It is 29 degrees this morning. That’s a little too chilly to enjoy my omelet on the sidewalk.
Not everyone agrees with the governor. Libertyville’s mayor and restaurant owners in some of the newly shut down regions are saying no to closing their doors to indoor service. They don’t have a lot of choice. If they go out of business they are ruined, perhaps bankrupt. That means saying no to our increasingly dictatorial governor will be worth the risk to more and more of these small business owners. The fact that Pritzker trotted out the head of the Illinois State Police on Wednesday to threaten the consequences of non-compliance doesn’t change the fact that bankruptcy from this new shutdown, for some, will be tantamount to death.
All three levels of government in the U.S. had an opportunity to prepare for this pandemic. They should have assumed a virus ten times more lethal than COVID-19, something so deadly that just looking at someone infected passes it along. They didn’t do that. Now we listen to Pritzker press conferences insinuating that citizens whose livelihoods and futures are being extinguished by state public health dictates are in some way responsible for spreading the virus if they don’t submit.
Is Pritzker clamping down in hopes that a Biden and possibly Senate win as well will put money in Illinois’ hands to right all the wrongs created by COVID-19? It certainly seems that way. Unfortunately, not all business owners have the option of waiting until next year. Their lives are at risk right now whether or not they contract this disease.
Small business and local officials saying no to state government regulations is unprecedented. That means it’s time to separate political opportunism from economic reality.
A bailout from Washington isn’t coming any time soon. Neither is the already spent $3 billion and change from the proposed fair tax amendment. The situation is only going to worse before it gets better. That means more and more small business owners are going to be forced to band together and say no. They will choose division no matter their political affiliation because it’s the only choice they have to survive in a landscape that offers no promises and absolutely no hope.
UPDATE November 5, 2020: if you think our divisiveness ends with this election, think harder
While the ballots are still being disputed liberal hate continues to rage. It’s painfully obvious that getting rid of Trump will never be enough to placate Democrats’ increasingly hostile liberal base.
We have every reason to rejoice that the much threatened blue wave never happened. It limits the damage Kamala Harris and Pelosi’s House can do if Trump loses. We also have every reason to fear the consequences of this failure of Democratic hate.
No matter who finally wins the White House rest assured the political divisiveness in America will only get worse if we buy into it. If Trump prevails it will be more of the same and worse. If Biden wins his party’s failure to take over Congress and to stop Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation means the hatefulness leading up to this election will be taken to the next level until Democrats dominate every aspect of our lives.
In the spirit of divisiveness leading up to the big day Democrats picked and chose what constitutes domestic terror and what defines acceptable protest. New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer reported on October 12, 2020:
Today, Members of New Jersey’s Congressional Delegation, led by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and U.S. Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), wrote to the FBI asking the agency to increase the federal response related to the hate group known as the Proud Boys, which has recently increased its activity across New Jersey.58
While businesses boarded their windows pre-election for a threat that was not from the extreme right, thirty-six House Democrats continued to ignore the obvious threat and used their Trump Proud Boys bogeyman59 to attack Attorney General Barr. Instead of Russia influencing the election, now it’s the Department of Justice:
We write to express our deep alarm at your efforts to politicize the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in an apparent attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming election.60
This is the difference between confronting extremism as a nation and confronting it as a partisan opportunity.
An article published by CNN one day after the election attacked white American voters and reported that white nationalism is an essential part of the Trump administration.61 The Democratic Party and its media enablers have no choice but to promote this kind of divisiveness. There will be no peace, no joining of hands, and no healing of our divisions under a Harris-Biden presidency. Democrats staked their claim to helping neighbor hate neighbor until we all agree to submit to liberal party ideology that is suspiciously totalitarian in nature. We have the right to reject divisiveness that only suits partisan political greed, but how many Americans have the insight to see this dangerous game for what it really is?
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27. House Democrats, op. cit.
29. Maxine Waters, op. cit.
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37. “Congresswoman Barbara Lee Slams Senate Republicans for Refusing to Address Racial Disparities in COVID-19.” Op. cit.
38. “Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act of 2020” One Pager. Retrieved from https://pressley.house.gov/sites/pressley.house.gov/files/200414 Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure Act One Pager Updated.pdf on April 24, 2020.
39 “Reps. Pressley, Kelly, Bass, Lee, & Sen. Warren Introduce Legislation to Require Federal Government to Collect & Release COVID-19 Demographic Data Including Race and Ethnicity.” Op. cit.
40 “Congressional Black Caucus Commemorates the 9th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.” Congressional Black Caucus. March 23, 2019. https://cbc.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=1020, retrieved April 24, 2020.
41“Napolitano’s Statement on the Killing of George Floyd.” Grace F. Napolitano. May 29, 2020. https://napolitano.house.gov/media/press-releases/napolitano-s-statement-killing-george-floyd, retrieved May 31, 2020.
42“Congressman Gonzalez Statement on President Trump’s Overnight Tweet About Looting.” Vincente Gonzalez. May 29, 2020. https://gonzalez.house.gov/media/press-releases/congressman-gonzalez-statement-president-trump-s-overnight-tweet-about-looting, retrieved May 31, 2020.
43“Following George Floyd Murder, Reps. Omar, Pressley, Bass, Lee, Introduce House Resolution Condemning Police Brutality.” Ilhan Omar. May 29, 2020. https://omar.house.gov/media/press-releases/following-george-floyd-murder-reps-omar-pressley-bass-lee-introduce-house, retrieved May 31, 2020.
44“ICYMI: Rep. Maxine Waters Discusses George Floyd’s Murder on TMZ Live.” Maxine Waters. May 29, 2020. https://waters.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/icymi-rep-maxine-waters-discusses-george-floyd-s-murder-tmz-live, retrieved May 31, 2020.
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50“Harris, Bass, Booker, Nadler Introduce the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.” Kamala D. Harris. June 8, 2020. https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-bass-booker-nadler-introduce-the-justice-in-policing-act-of-2020, retrieved June 13, 2020.
51“Harris Rejects Attempt To Water Down Her Historic Anti-Lynching Legislation.” Kamala D. Harris. June 4, 2020. https://www.harris.senate.gov/news/press-releases/harris-rejects-attempt-to-water-down-her-historic-anti-lynching-legislation, retrieved June 13, 2020.
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59 Letter to William P. Barr dated October 27, 2020. p. 2. https://katherineclark.house.gov/_cache/files/c/7/c7cc30ab-0cbb-44f4-961f-7b0d928799c1/481EEFC5238337AB84F3012241152D7A.letter-to-ag-barr-signed.pdf, retrieved November 5, 2020.
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