Friday, October 14, 2016

The First Lady Steps Up

Michelle Obama gave an amazing speech yesterday as she addressed a Hillary Clinton rally in New Hampshire, and made the best case yet as to why all voters, not just women, should be disgusted with Donald Trump's behavior.

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. 
And I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted. So while I'd love nothing more than to pretend like this isn't happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream. 
This is not something that we can ignore. It's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a "lewd conversation." This wasn't just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV. 
And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear that this isn't an isolated incident. It's one of countless examples of how he has treated women his whole life. And I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I'm sure that many of you do too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. 
It is cruel. It's frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. It's like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you're walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long, and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. 
It's that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they've said no but he didn't listen — something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office, and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough. 
We thought all of that was ancient history, didn't we? And so many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect, but here we are in 2016 and we're hearing these exact same things every day on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it. And all of us are doing what women have always done: We're trying to keep our heads above water, just trying to get through it, trying to pretend like this doesn't really bother us maybe because we think that admitting how much it hurts makes us as women look weak. 
Maybe we're afraid to be that vulnerable. Maybe we've grown accustomed to swallowing these emotions and staying quiet, because we've seen that people often won't take our word over his. Or maybe we don't want to believe that there are still people out there who think so little of us as women. Too many are treating this as just another day's headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted, as if this is normal, just politics as usual.

But, New Hampshire, be clear: This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn't matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse. 
And I know it's a campaign, but this isn't about politics. It's about basic human decency. It's about right and wrong. And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.

Michelle Obama has always been such an under-appreciated First Lady that it's been criminal.  She's one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, passionate, and gifted women that America has ever been lucky to have as the president's spouse.  There's no doubt in my mind that her influence has affected the policies of Barack Obama over the last eight years, and for the better.

Yesterday's speech will go down as one of the highlights of the Obamas in history, certainly.

And of course she's right, this has got to stop right now.  November 8th, put an end to Trump's campaign and send a message,

The Orange Martyrs Brigade, Con't

Donald Trump's Old-Timey Traveling Medicine Show And Bigotry Extravaganza came to Cincinnati last night, and the results were the complete opposite of the Obama rally I attended eight years ago at UC. Back then candidate Obama was offering hope and change, while last night Trump offered...not...that

Allegations that Donald Trump inappropriately touched women are "lies, corruption and false accusations of the Crooked Hillary (Clinton) campaign and the mainstream media," Trump told thousands in Downtown Cincinnati Thursday, his second stop of the evening in Ohio.

Trump entered the swing state and left behind his angry and dark defense from earlier Thursday. Instead, he promised to focus on "real issues," accusing Clinton and political journalists of neglecting substantive discussions. Notwithstanding his controversial campaign, this Trump would not get dragged down into controversy, he implied.

At U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, he unloaded a 47-minute speech targeted at blue-collar Ohioans affected by the state's loss of industry – but not without pointing a finger at the news media and the Clinton campaign.

"They want to distract us from Wikileaks," Trump said, referencing hacks of emails from Clinton's campaign, including some that apparently speak negatively about Catholicism or raise questions about the campaign's relationship with the Justice Department. "They want to keep us from talking about the real issues,” Trump said, rattling off conservatives' top concerns, including the treatment of veterans, gun rights, Obamacare and the appointment of Supreme Court justices.

“Every day between now and the election, we’re going to be talking about our plans to make America great again," the Republican nominee said. “In 26 days, we are going to defeat the establishment, and we are going to save the United States of America."

Over and over, the crowd of thousands roared, waving a sea of red and blue Trump signs.

"Save America" from what?  A low unemployment rate, moderate growth, and increasing social tolerance?  I guess that kind of thing isn't cool anymore with the kids up the road at Ohio State.

Earlier Thursday, in Columbus, more than 400 college Republicans who gathered to see Trump – a majority of them young men – collectively shrugged at the allegations from multiple women who told news outlets he touched or kissed them without their consent. And 2005 his comments unearthed Friday, in which he boasted of kissing women without consent and grabbing them?

"That was 10 years ago. It was unsavory, but it was his private conversation," said Jalil Dini, 23, a Michigan native who is studying economics at Ohio State University.

Dini, like some students, hadn't heard about the allegations that broke Wednesday night. The students who were familiar with the stories, such as Columbus' Eid Al-Rabadi, a 19-year-old computer science major at Ohio State, doubted there was evidence to prove them true.

"Innocent until proven guilty," said Al-Rabadi, a native of Jordan and a U.S. citizen.

In any case, Trump and Clinton, his Democratic rival, have both done objectionable things in their pasts, said college Republicans gathered to see him in the capital of swing-state Ohio.

All people have "skeletons in their closets," said Emily Mayes, a 23-year-old from Columbus studying strategic communication at Ohio State. She and her fellow students cited Clinton's email server, the state department's role in the 2012 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and allegations that Clinton bullied women who accused her husband of sexual misdeeds.

“With all of these things going on, it’s about the policies and what you’re going to do for America. No one has a clean slate," Mayes said. "This election has been more focused on attacks rather than policies." She'll vote for Trump because of his ideas, she said, echoing sentiments expressed by several students.

Pretty cynical for 23. I'm sure Emily there will be very happy as a future social media director for a GOP politician when it comes to explaining to voters why they should continue to back the Republican party after the Trump garbage fire ("the biggest, most luxurious, classiest garbage fire America has ever seen!") scorches the party in November.

The reality is this however: tens of millions of Americans, our friends, neighbors, and family members, think Donald Trump will make a fantastic president and will vote accordingly.  America will have to figure out how to deal with Trump voters after next month's near-guaranteed loss, because the anger, bigotry, hatred and divisiveness isn't going to magically vanish on November 9th.

Emily Mayes will still be out there voting Republican because she wants a return to the "good old days" of 1960 in 2020.  And when Trump loses, they are going to be angrier than ever. That's when things are going to start getting much worse, history tells us.

Having said that, Brexit proved that election events with a 10-15% probability of happening still happen.

Vote and make sure your friends do.  Run up the score, everywhere.


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