Heart of darkness in Trump America
Like many Americans, I worry about the downward spiral of our public discourse, decency and democracy.
But I don’t blame Trump, the GOP Congress that’s scared of Trump, Fox News that baldly shills for Trump, or the alt-right internet bottom feeders that eke their lucre by whipping up fear and loathing on behalf of Trump.
I don’t even blame the NRA and its GOP sock puppets who are captive to gun militants. It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.
In journalism, you “follow the money.” In politics, you follow the people. The people who love Trump are now running America because everything he does he does for them.
And if you want to know what many Trump folks really think — I mean, deep down, raw, without fear of reprisal — then follow the anonymous reader comment threads on Breitbart.com.
Warning, snowflakes: You might melt before you hit the ground, like in a freak snowstorm on the California coast.
Breitbart posters proudly express their racist, bigoted, misogynist, nativist and other hate that most good Americans find ignorant and disgusting.
It’s mean, nasty, ugly stuff the normal, healthy, evolved human ego and superego usually check the id from setting free. Stuff I suspect these folks would never have the guts to sign their real names to. Let alone say to someone’s face or declare in public, at work, at the dinner table in front of the kids, or in church as God-fearing Christians who love Jesus.
We know the Breitbart/MAGA troll defense: The old whatabout.
As in, whatabout liberal hate? Anti-white racism? Anti-white male misandry (antonym of misogyny)?
Also, whatabout Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-semitism? Liberal hate for unborn babies? Hateful fascist PC police that destroy people for enjoying their First Amendment right to speak their minds? The gun-haters who threaten our Second Amendment right to defend against liberal tyranny?
And what about Hillary’s “deplorables” insult, Obama’s “cling to guns and religion” insult, and how the liberal mainstream media insults real, honest, hard-working Americans and their president every single day?
Sure, liberals can say mean things. But with all due respect, we’re weak-kneed and lily-livered in our burns compared to the Breitbart crowd. Besides, we’re not running the country like MAGAs are. You don’t have to be Spiderman to know that with great power comes great responsibility — including the duty to make America greater, not take us to the sewer.
Trust me, or check it out: The public comments sections on the New York Times, Washington Post, and other professional media pages are pretty tame in comparison to the alt-right media.
Mainstream media moderators enforce rules to keep things clean, respectful and constructive, and raise or at least maintain a civil level of discourse. Some media sites require posters to sign their real names to stand behind their views rather than fueling the fighting words with a safe but cowardly cloak of anonymity. Other professional media sites simply took down public comments sections seeing how things got stupid and ugly right quick.
The Federalist and other right-wing media huff this is typical arrogant liberal elitist censorship stifling the true vox populi that liberal elites don’t want to hear, know or permit.
“We’re decades into liberalism’s domination of the public culture,” a Federalist writer explained. “Comments by conservatives and libertarians tend to start at exasperated and spiral down through cheeky, sarcastic, impudent, coarse, and surly, bottoming out somewhere between Don Rickles and Captain Ahab tangled in the harpoon line. It’s understandable, but does leave them vulnerable to removal on civility grounds. Unfortunately, this is what free speech sounds like.”
Yes, it’s unfortunate for conservatives who used to slam Democrats for undermining American society and culture with their coarse and free speech. And it’s unfortunate for America that conservatives are now defending gross incivility to defend Trump.
To illustrate, here’s just a snippet of what free speech sounds like on Breitbart, responding to Hillary Clinton’s March 4 confirmation she’s not running in 2020.
I picked this thread because it’s relatively Caspar Milquetoast compared to countless other Breitbart posts that are too depraved to share:
WHITEBLUECOLLARREDNECK: “Running”? She can barely walk.
MARTIN BODLE: Beat me to it! Lol.
WHITE ROSES: Nor can she get up Air Force One. She would fall down those stairs in a heartbeat, so what would they do, use a hydraulic lift to get her up it? Catapult her. Hehehe. Waterboard her, that’s what she needs and not with Chardonnay.
I SPREAD LIES: I call BS on this one: she’ll be running until she stops breathing.
MYCLE: I agree. She’s a Democrat so she lies. Either way I hope she runs. Better for us.
FREE STINKER: TODAY IS DAY 773 OF HILARY NEVER BEING PRESIDENT.
JPATRIOT18: Made my night, just reflecting on that! THANKS!
PDT: The gift that keeps on giving.
JOHN LAW: Did her legs roll up when that Trump House landed on her?????????
GMONEY06: Awesome! Good riddance!
DR. STRANGELY DEPLORABLE: When asked what was the main reason she decided not to run, she briefly glanced at the daunting stairs that led down to her waiting limo and with sweat suddenly breaking out on her wrinkled brow mumbled, “I can’t get a fair shake in this chauvinist, sexist, and misogynist environment.”
CARL LOONEY: History will be very mean to Hillary — the liar who had lesbian sex in the White House who can express in words what everyone else knows she is going to say, and she blames everyone but herself. She should look in the mirror and say: you lying cheating imbecilic witch (“b”) and CIA accomplice who was in on a plot to take over our government from inside the Deep State. WE KNOW YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF, HILLARY — AND WE DO NOT LIKE YOU.
THUNDERBIRD: One concern now, pro-reason, is that Chelsea may run for Congress. There have been rumors all over that rich mommy and daddy are pumping up money and connections for their little brat. Ugh. Pray it’s not true.
TOM ENGLE: And the NYC idiots that vote for types like AOC, DeBlasio, Schumer and yes Senator Hilary C. will drink the kool ade
COOLER COLEMAN: The running are people running away from the old cow.
THUMPER II: My favorite Hillary Clinton moment is when she was tossed in the scooby van like a side of beef. Good times!
JON SNOW: They must have quit making Mao outfits for cows.
BOBBY MULLET: I commend Hillary on making the decision to not run again. It’s time to let another loser have a chance.
FREE STINKER: She knows that next time she would stroke out during one of the Debates.
LU: “Always stand on principle even if you stand alone.” –John Adams. Hillary Clinton has no principles, and we can’t stand her!
BOBBY MULLET: At least we still have the memories. Face down in the back of the black van. Because you’d be in jail. The stairs challenge. Crowd size matters. Algorithms that told her to start out of the Rust Belt. Deplorable and irredeemable. Hot sauce in her purse. Cabbage, farts, and urine. 50 points ahead …
BURKINISAREHOT: And 45 min doo doos before a speech.
TOM ENGLE: LOL ah, good times “95% chance HRC will win” — columnist NY Times, Nov.1, 2016.
SNAILMAILTRUCKIN: Today is the 774th day in a row that I have awaken and Thanked GOD that Hillary Clinton Will NEVER EVER be President of the USA! THANK YOU POTUS DONALD J. TRUMP! THANK YOU JESUS!
I ask our red-precinct, Trump-loving, God-fearing, Christian MAGA patriots (with all due respect):
What would Jesus say about: “Waterboard her, that’s what she needs and not with Chardonnay”?
What do you say to fellow MAGAs who pile such feculence on the former First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator twice elected by the people of the State of New York, U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee who won 65.8 million votes and the popular vote by nearly 3 million?
When Clinton is called a “cow,” “the liar who had lesbian sex in the White House,” and “lying cheating imbecilic witch (‘b’),” does it offend you? Or do you look away, accept as people just being stupid, agree or laugh? And if so, as Senator Joe McCarthy was asked, at long last, have you no decency?
Now, cue up your whatabout ….
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer