Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Toughest Man in America

Writer Josh Moon for the Alabama Political Reporter talks about "The Toughest Man in America."

We like tough guys in Alabama.
Listen to the stories repeated around this state. Bear Bryant playing football on a broken leg. Or that time Bo Jackson ran over The Boz.
We love NASCAR fights, gritty basketball and light-em-up football hits. John Wayne movies would win Oscars this year if the votes came from this state, and Jack Bauer would be the Secretary of Defense.
We love tough.
We just have no idea what it is anymore.
That thought struck me the other day as I read through the comments on a Facebook post, in which a couple of “friends” were going on and on about the attributes of president-elect Donald Trump. Among the attributes was, of course, Trump’s toughness.
He’s going to put China in its place. He’s going to tell those radical Muslims to pound sand. He’ll turn the Middle East into a parking lot if they keep it up.
You could almost hear the “Freebird” guitar solo playing in the background and see the American flag waving in the too-hot-for-you breeze.
And there’s the problem: we in Alabama – in a number of conservative strongholds across America – have somehow started confusing bravado with actual strength.
That’s how we ended up electing a schoolyard bully as our president.
And make no mistake, Trump is the classic American bully – a man who uses petty insults and false bravado to mask his incompetence and shortcomings. A man so thin-skinned that he sits up late at night tweeting insults at a sketch comedy show.
Because insults and mindless threats are easy.
It’s hard to detail during debates how you plan to defeat ISIS or fix the economy. It’s much easier to refer to a fellow candidate as “Little Marco” or “Lyin’ Ted” or “Crooked Hillary.”
However, the most startling thing about all of this is that a large segment of the population lapped up that childish, immature behavior, considering it a good thing that a candidate wasn’t conforming, wasn’t too politically correct. Somehow, Trump’s willingness to voice the never-ending stream of insults, wild promises and insanely unconstitutional ideas made him seem tough.
He’s going to be tough on crime (which is a code word for “the blacks”). No more Black Lives Matter marches under Trump’s watch. He’s going to shut that down, get tough on … um, crime. He’s going to make it so it’s OK for all of us to use the N-word again.  And Mexicans, well, adios. We’re gonna build that wall and then Trump – ‘cause he don’t take no crap – is gonna make Mexico pay for it! Wooooo!
Tough. Tough. Tough.
If Trump started driving a jacked-up pickup and put one of Saban’s straw hats on, hell, we’d put him on our money … when we get it again.
Of course, none of it was a sign of strength.
Not of physical strength. Not of strength of mind. Not of strength of integrity.
In reality, it was all a sign of weakness — one that should make us all fear for the future of this country and the weak nation we could become under such a weak leader.
Because by now, we should all know what strength looks like. We’ve seen it almost daily from the man who has resided in the White House for the past eight years.
You think Trump has it tough because a union leader in Indiana called him a liar?
Try having your heritage questioned daily. Try having your love of country questioned. Try having your religious faith questioned.
Try having your young daughters be the targets of racists who would belittle a child because her skin is darker.
Try walking into a school where 20 kindergarteners were slaughtered, meeting personally with each of the broken and distraught parents, providing comfort in the midst of a real-life horror scene, and then have to answer questions about the authenticity of your tears.
Try dealing with a nation split by race, balancing the very real concerns of people who have been ignored for far too long with the dangerous tendency to paint too broadly the good men who have sworn to protect us, and then having it all placed at your feet because you just refused to stop being black yourself.
Try handling it all – on top of being the leader of the free world and president of a country whose economy was on the verge of collapse – with a level of grace and humility that we are unlikely to ever see again.
That’s true strength. That’s a true tough guy worthy of admiration.
That so many can’t see that, I’m afraid, is an indication of America’s weakness.


Kevin Robbins said...

Trump's so tough that he hasn't held a news conference in 5 months. That's standing up to the liberal media.

Putin and every tinpot dictator around the world are gonna eat his lunch. Unfortunately, that'll make him even more likely to lash out. Wake me in 2020.

Anonymous said...

Best thing I've read about that pissant little cry-baby Trump. He blubbers about a comedy show and then tells America he's its king and takes credit for taking the gloom away from the world? What a fatuous little shit stain.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Kevin, Trump is actually the classic bully/coward. He hasn't given a press conference because he can't express anything over 40 characters. He's a fraud, and the people around him know that he's also a dumbass who's unable to handle questions from the press.

Anonymous said...

Soooo.....I take it, you folks aren't Trump fans. Or perhaps just sore loser's.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous @3:38, get this straight:

1) Trump won the Electoral College vote (which he himself said was a terrible way to elect a president), but that's how we elect presidents in this country, but we don't elect any other state or federal official in that way.

2) Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, that plus the votes for Stein others totaled 74 million people who voted AGAINST Trump versus 62 million who voted for him. That's a losing count for him right there.

3) Trump is now THE MOST UNPOPULAR PRESIDENT-ELECT in modern American history.

4) President Obama has a 60+% approval rating versus Trump's 43%.

5) Trump can't get A-list artists to celebrate his coronation. Of course there's always the possibility of getting the KKK, White Supremacists, and Neo-Nazis to help him celebrate his Pyhrric Victory.

If I were you (and thank Darwin I'm NOT), I'd rethink who's calling whom a "loser." LOL!

S.W. said...

Toughest Man in America is not Trump. Lyingest man in America, yes.

Donald Trump Claims 100 Percent Of His Foundation’s Money Goes To Charity.

That’s A Lie.

Over $250,000 from The Donald J. Trump Foundation has reportedly been used to settle lawsuits.

Anonymous said...


Dave Miller said...

Anon... no, most of us are not Trump fans.

But he won and that's what we've got. Speaking factual about that shouldn't be seen as being a group of sore losers.

We are concerned of course that America voted for a man of character that the right has in the past called disqualifying for the presidency. We are concerned that people who opposed HRC because of lying, supported a man who lies even more. We are concerned that America voted against HRC because of unproven issues with the Clinton Foundation, yet voted for a man who has been fined and even found to have broken the law in his foundation. We are concerned for an America where poor coal miners are going to lose health insurance and black ling benefits when ObamaCare is repealed. Because the GOP and trump have no replacement ready.

All of these are just facts, and they are difficult for many conservatives and Trump fans to accept. Some have even acknowledged his issues and have wished FOX would stop broadcasting them and instead focus on more positive Trump news.

You should get used to it from people like us, because we love America too. And we're sick of what a Trump presidency might mean if he even keeps half his outrageous promises made during the campaign.

Finally, please remember, President Obama was called a liar daily for not keeping his campaign promise to close GITMO by conservatives. We expect the extreme right to also call Trump a liar for not keeping all his promises, because to not do so will expose them as just a bunch of inconsistent Democrat hating power hungry partisans.

Anonymous said...

Very good response Dave. I would like you to explain why you would call some conservatives the "extreme right" but have never called anyone one the left extreme?

Also, have you ever noticed it is usually someone on the left who frequently compares people to Hitler and burns the American flag?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous: "Very good response Dave. I would like you to explain why you would call some conservatives the "extreme right" but have never called anyone one the left extreme?"

Anonymous you must not have read many comments from Dave because the fact is that he has called out lefties when they're extreme. But when faced with a GOP that has attracted the support of the KKK, White Supremacists, and neo-Nazis giving Trump the "Heil Trump" salute during a rally in D.C., that's extremism that hasn't been seen in the Democratic Party since the '60s, 50 years ago. The Occupy Democrats are hardly as pernicious as the KKK, White Supremacists and neo-Nazis that are now emboldened by Trump's election. There has been an 80+% increase in hate crimes since Trump's election.

Also, you need to go visit some of the crazier extreme right wing blogs where you'll find the regulars advocating the assassination of Mr. Obama, calling him a "dirty son-of-a-bitch, a Communist, a Marxist, a Muslim, and an America hater. Also those bloggers have, over the past 8 years, slandered Mrs. Obama by calling her every vile name their twisted minds can produce.

Just recently, a close ally of Trump, Carl Paladino, who ran for governor of New York, no less, said this:

Carl Paladino said he hopes 'Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford'

He also said of Michelle Obama: 'I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe'

When asked to confirm that he made those shockingly offensive statements he said: 'Of course I did'

Paladino isn't some third-string coffee runner for a campaign, he ran Trump's New York state campaign.

It's pretty clear that in the Age of Trump the sewerage dregs of humanity will be representative of the GOP, with Trump leading them all.

Shaw Kenawe said...

One other thing, Anon, Obama as Hitler memes were all over the internet.

And burning the American flag is, according to the SCOTUS, free speech. Wanting to shut down free speech, such as burning a flag, is unAmerican and anti-First Amendment rights.

Also, in fact, the proper was to dispose of an American flag in very poor condition is to burn it.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Kenawe, wasn't one of the recent leader's of the democratic party a Grand Dragon of the KKK? I think Hillary Clinton also referred to him as her mentor. My point, one can find rotten apples in each barrels.

Anonymous said...

So,you justify burning the flag many gave their lives for as free speech or people just disposing of flags in poor condition? I was just asking Dave why its always people on the left burning the flag. I guess you just answered they are just getting rid of tattered flags.

Ducky's here said...

He selected his corporate attorney as "special representative for international negotiations".
I'm sure the special representative won't be focusing on Trump business interests.

I have this image of a president who spends his time running his business while he turns the country over to Pence,Ryan,McConnell Inc.
There is no moderate value that won't be under attack, let alone liberal.

We have to hope that someone can stall and there's a mid term backlash.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous, if you're referring to Robert Byrd, you may not have known this:

It's also true that Robert Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and helped establish the hate group's chapter in Sophia, West Virginia. However, in 1952 Byrd avowed that "After about a year, I became disinterested [in the KKK], quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization," and throughout his long political career (he served for 57 years in the United States Congress) he repeatedly apologized for his involvement with the KKK:

"I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened."

In 2010, even the NAACP released a statement honoring Senator Byrd and mourning his passing:

The NAACP is saddened by the passing of United States Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd, the longest serving member of congress was first elected to the U.S. House from [West Virginia] in 1952 and was elected Senator in 1958. Byrd passed away this morning at the age of 92.

"Senator Byrd reflects the transformative power of this nation," stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "Senator Byrd went from being an active member of the KKK to a being a stalwart supporter of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and many other pieces of seminal legislation that advanced the civil rights and liberties of our country.

"Senator Byrd came to consistently support the NAACP civil rights agenda, doing well on the NAACP Annual Civil Rights Report Card. He stood with us on many issues of crucial importance to our members from the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the historic health care legislation of 2010 and his support for the Hate Crimes Prevention legislation," stated Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy. "Senator Byrd was a master of the Senate Rules, and helped strategize passage of legislation that helped millions of Americans. He will be sorely missed."

Using the Byrd issue to try to smear Hillary isn't going to work, since Sen. Byrd apologized time and time and time again for his foolish involvement with the Klan.

Trump's people must know about the KKK, White Supremacists, and neo-Nazi support for the president-elect. I've heard no strong, formal condemnation of these groups from Trump. Therefore, I and many other Americans see them as his base and that he approves of their support.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon, there is nothing in my comments saying I "justify" burning the flag. I simply state that it is protected speech by the Supreme Court of the United States and that burning the flag is the proper and dignified way of disposing of a flag in very poor condition.

I see very few flag burning incidents, in fact, none recently, but there are people right now in Whitefish, Montana, planning to hold a march against Jews. And only last month we witnessed neo-Nazis giving the Nazi Heil Trump salute after Trump was elected. To most Americans, that's more disturbing. I have a relative who served his country in WWII. He thought he fought against thugs and anti-Semites for all time. He now says he was wrong. Now we have Trump and neo-Nazism.

It sickens me to my core, and can you imagine how it makes the elderly warrior who was in Europe in WWII feel?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, nothing Trump has said or done so far is indicative of a sober-minded statesman.

Trump continues to act like a man-child playing with his twitter.

Anonymous said...

Kenawe, I'd guess group's of folks are "planning" things all around the land, until it absolutely happens its just useless chatter.

A room of 50 fools called Alt-Right doesn't constitute a movement, now does it.

Anonymous said...

Well Ms. Kenawe, I'd certainly take any statement by the present day NAACP as gospel, they being an arm of the democratic party and all, that is similar to quoting the Huff Post.

Les Carpenter said...

Yeah, and he has a legion of sh*t stains following his twitter as it tweets.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous @10:21: "Well Ms. Kenawe, I'd certainly take any statement by the present day NAACP as gospel, they being an arm of the democratic party and all, that is similar to quoting the Huff Post."

"Truth has a well-known liberal bias."

Both liberals and conservatives are subject to strong tribal bias -- presented with evidence, they see what they want to see. This is a puzzle, since liberals don't generally engage in mass rejection of evidence, as conservative often do (examples: calling climate change a hoax, rejecting Evolution as settled science, tax cuts for the wealthy are good for the economy (see what happened to Kansas and Louisiana), etc.

So your snide reference to the NAACP and HuffPost are just more of the same rejection of anything that crashes up against your tribalist dogmas.

Anonymous @ 10:08: Kenawe, I'd guess group's of folks are "planning" things all around the land, until it absolutely happens its just useless chatter.

A room of 50 fools called Alt-Right doesn't constitute a movement, now does it."

Neo-Nazi website calls for armed march in Montana town to harass Jews there

(JTA) — A neo-Nazi website announced an armed march by white supremacists in an effort to harass a Montana Jewish community.

The web graphic published Friday on the Daily Stormer about the march in Whitefish was published over a picture of the entrance to Auschwitz and included a yellow Star of David with the word “Jude” printed in it.

How casual and unconcerned you are about the rise of Trump-inspired neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism. I wonder, Mr. Anonymous @10:08 how unconcerned you'd be if an armed march was being organized against Evangelical white Christians in say, Manhattan. I suppose by your standards you and others would just ignore it until it really happened, otherwise, it's all just chatter.

If you've read any history that deals with Germany in the 1930s, you'd see that many good Germans thought as you do:

Dave Miller said...

Anon... as Shaw pointed out, I've been very critical of the "extreme" left. Folks like Code Pink and those that said President GW Bush hated black people and wanted them killed in the Katrina aftermath, as well as those who said he loved sending our soldiers to death in Iraq are good examples of extreme leftists.

I do use extreme right for some on the conservative side. Funny thing though, I've never got a conservative, or even libertarian, to define in their words, or give an example of an extremist on the conservative side. I wonder why? I did have someone once tell be there could be no such thing as "extreme right" because the right, by definition, is right [correct].

As for Hitler, I don't know about that... I'm not one to compare anyone to Hitler. Left or right...