Trump: The Devil Comes Back To Georgia

Donald Trump returns to Georgia today, to Macon, where he will likely say something stupid and outrageous about African-Americans. There’s something to be said for picking your audience, after all, and Macon — where slightly less than half of the county is black — is as good a place as any for it.

He’s primed the pump, after all, announcing that he would be meeting with black ministers for an endorsement last week. That meeting appears to have been called off after basically every black activist in America tracked down every single pastor who had been considering it to give them a piece of their mind.

Mary-Pat Hector, a freshman at Spelman — and a major local Black Lives Matter activist — set off alarm bells in the activist community almost immediately. One by one, she and her partners contacted people in the Trump flier, circulated by Mark Burns.

Reaction was swift. Wiley Jackson, a megachurch pastor with churches in southeast Atlanta and Stone Mountain, said “I’ve always encouraged the people who listen to me and believe in me to get involved in the political process,” in a YouTube video responding to criticism. “There should be a coalition of leaders in a position to ask the hard questions … Nowhere on the flier did it say we endorse Mr. Trump, or I personally endorse Mr. Trump. However, we need to ask the hard questions.”

Jackson didn’t say what those questions might be, of course.  

You’ll forgive me for being a little skeptical about these pastors’ motivations. A cursory understanding of Trump’s history on race — the rampant discrimination in his real estate practices, taking out full-page ads in the New York papers calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park 5” … who were ultimately exonerated of the charges, the racism his business partners say was common in his business dealings, the Birtherism stupidity, the common slurs cast at the president — makes it safe to say that Trump deserves a bit more than a few hard questions.

But this is the state of political leadership by clergy in the black community.

I note purely as an aside that Jackson came under indictment by a DeKalb County grand jury on securities fraud charges about two years ago for allegedly recruiting church members to buy shares in an unregistered company called Genesis, LLC. The DA, Robert James, said Jackson wasn’t licensed by the state to sell securities. James has since dropped those charges.

The consensus among the Black Lives Matter commentariat has been that these pastors planned to go to Trump with their hands out. Perhaps that’s one reason Killer Mike felt comfortable standing up in front of a Bernie Sanders rally to take whacks at pastors from the stage, even while invoking Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Now I know this is the part where usually it’s a black minister in front of you and usually you get all warm and cozy inside and usually you hear about ‘I have a dream’ and us holding hands and going for ice cream. That’s not why I’m here today,” he said last week at the Fox. “I have said in many a rap, I don’t trust the church or the government, a Democrat, Republican, a pope, a bishop or those other men.”

Trump has been quite open about his willingness to grease palms to move deals. But Trump’s game is a little different these days.

By showing that he can “earn” the endorsement of prominent black clergy — and you may read earn as “buy” — Trump would actually signal to his own supporters that the principles animating black politics can be bought, that all black leaders want when they’re protesting is a bribe from the right (white) person.

The meeting itself may as well have been a fabrication out of whole cloth. It doesn’t matter. He’s already got the headline. The headline is all anyone remembers.

Black Pastors Expected to Endorse Donald Trump” — New York Times.

Trump is a fascist playing to white racial fears of immigration, foreign competition and the decline of white superiority. This has been evident to me since at least mid-July, although it’s gratifying to see the rest of the media catch up.

A charismatic strong man argues that corporate and political interests should be tied closely together, and that the nation must defend itself from vague external threats while maintaining the sanctity of its national majority culture from harm. His message is wrapped in an aggressive nationalism and a harkening back to better times, with a promise to restore “national greatness.”

Said strong man, a political outsider, vows to be effective regardless of the political hurdles, expressing a willingness to remake or shred the basic laws of the country to see these aims come to fruition, promising a new politics free of corruption in his wake.

This strong man outsider claims superior personal characteristics — intelligence, savoir-faire, and what not — that cannot be duplicated. Power, therefore, must flow from him and him alone, if the goals are to be met.

Critics of this man are denounced in the strongest, crudest possible terms. The media is recruited, masterfully, to press the agenda and to burnish the credentials of this man as an outsider and the leader of a popular rebellion. He encourages intimidation of the media and of political opponents, up to and including acts of violence.

The dude even has his own clothing line for uniforms.

Tell me, am I describing Donald Trump or Benito Mussolini?

I honestly don’t think he can win, short of faking an assassination attempt on his own life to create sympathy. And I honestly don’t think he thinks he can win, either. I think this is the art of the deal.

He’s moving the parameters for negotiations in a brokered convention so that the result he wants looks like a compromise. The crazier he looks, the more credibility he possesses in that smoke-filled room when he threatens to run a third-party campaign.

Politics is a game that requires cooperation. In game theory, there has to be punishment for defectors in order to maintain a stable exchange. Trump’s genius here is that he’s realized there’s no meaningful penalty he’ll need to pay if this all goes pear-shaped on him. What’s the worst that happens if he loses? His brand value is somewhat diminished but he’s not spending any real money.

No one is talking about how to take it out of Trump’s ass after this is all over — financially attacking his revenue streams, his assets, his business partners, his friends — damaging him enough so this can’t happen again, as a message to the next billionaire with fascist aspirations. I want to hear that conversation.


  1. seekingtounderstand says:

    Trump has given the American people a great gift……..getting all of you corrupt media people all in a tizzy and its been the best laugh America has had in a long, long time.

    • Baker says:

      He’s just an a-hole. I don’t really like the media more than anyone else but an a-hole is an a-hole. Just because he directs his wind in the direction of people you don’t like every now and again doesn’t change that.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        Baker: Actually the fun is watching all the opinion writers reveal their true selves. Whats the old saying….when we are critical of others we are really looking in the mirror at our selves.
        All sorts of writers from every side of politics and media have attacked him for many reasons. When you read those pieces it exposes the writer’s true fear or true self. Look at what this has revealed about Mr. Chidi, a talented writer I might add.

        • TheEiger says:

          Oh get over yourself. What a freaking joke you are.

          “Whats the old saying….when we are critical of others we are really looking in the mirror at our selves.” Does this not apply to Trump as well? He is the most critical person I have ever seen and is so thinned skinned at the same time. You can’t have it both ways.

          • seekingtounderstand says:

            This writer just revealed his soul……which is very dark and a scary place full of hateful thoughts.
            I really love the one about BLM stopping others from hearing someone else speak on politics………
            Its just like George Carlin said……..there is no choice for the little people…..politics on both sides are the same.

            • Baker says:

              “This writer just revealed his soul……which is very dark and a scary place full of hateful thoughts.”

              Are you Donald Trump? What a bizarre comment.

            • George Chidi says:

              I’m standing right here, you know.

              If we’re going to talk about “hateful thoughts,” I might note that I’m not the one talking about tracking religious undesirables with the digital equivalent of Judenstern or suggesting after a protester was beaten at a political rally that “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

              But hey. Trump gets away with ridiculing anyone who criticizes him with ad hominem attacks. Why shouldn’t you?

              • seekingtounderstand says:

                You practice the policy of division based on race, you practice the politics of personal destruction vs. ideas, you insulted men of god,
                and you threaten to harm Trump and you seem to enjoy the challenge of destroying an opposing views. How Sir are you any different than Donald Trump.

                • George Chidi says:

                  I practice the policy of inclusion based on humanity. That means that I choose not to ignore racism when I see it … so that it can be addressed and fixed.

                  I am a man of ideas. Trump is a man who attacks intellectuals. I am at war with Trump’s ideas: that fascism works in America.

                  Men of God who sully their hands with politics forfeit claim to the title.

                  And as far as “threatening” to harm Trump? Only in the political and financial sense of the word. His actions threaten democracy (and, please, don’t start with the “but we’re a republic!” distraction) by lowering the barriers to political violence and, arguably, by suggesting that the Constitution can be ignored.

                  The country has to reject this in the strongest possible ways if rule by law is to survive it. Demonstrating that a billionaire can’t keep his fortune intact while challenging the Constitution might just keep the rest of them in line.

                  If we don’t, then it won’t be Trump next time. It’ll be any of a hundred billionaires who will simply buy the presidency and end the charade.

                • seenbetrdayz says:

                  “You practice the policy of division based on race”

                  I for one will say that while I do not care much for the Trump, you may have managed to at least deliver a glancing blow to the head of a nail here.

            • TheEiger says:

              Really? I can’t tell if you are joking or if this is for real. You are either drunk or just messing around with us. You are quoting George Carlin and supporting Trump and calling me hateful with a dark soul at the same time. Wow.

  2. drjay says:

    i was a teenager the first time i ever went to new york, and one of our stops was trump tower…i thought it was one of the most amazing places i’d ever seen, and have always said if i ever won the lottery or had a long lost rich relative leave me their fortune i’d buy a condo there…

  3. saltycracker says:

    Only one party has choices remaining while the public and media prefers pig wrestling or pimp vs. prostitute entertainment.

  4. Tea Party says:

    “I’m standing right here, you know.” Best comment of the week.

    The Donald is one part P.T. Barnum, one part Tyson, and one part Rockefeller.

    He appeals to a sense of American Exceptionalism, which critics call ‘nationalism.’ Trumps plays to our collective desire not to have our butts kicked by a rag-tag group of ‘fur-ners’ abusing religious context as their motivation for terrorism. Trump is outlandish, clownish, tougher than nails, and a whole lot smarter than most can imagine.

    While Pol establishment types thought they had this all figured out, a la Trey Bush, here comes a guy who is talking about what matters to Joe Six Pack, to the common man.

    Take note of the expressions on the faces in the Macon crowd. People are fired up, while other candidates may have sound ideas, Trump is getting people to move. As in, Go Vote.

    Trump is hitting a chord, like ‘the Bern,’ but with a utterly opposite message.

    Dear Lord how I love this Country! Watch over us in our hour(s) of need.

    Play Ball, this is gonna be one heck of a game.

  5. Tea Party says:

    Oh yeah, one other thought: Who better to lead us out of the worst financial ‘workout’ since the Great Depression than a guy who has already been there?

    • TheEiger says:

      The country can’t file for bankruptcy like the Donald has multiple times. If you could write off 18 trillion dollars in debt by filing for bankruptcy then Trump is your man. That’s not possible.

      • Tea Party says:

        You are aware that Congress created a ‘workout’ plan about 7-8 years ago so that our Chinese business partners would continue to buy US Treasuries?

        While we will not go ‘bankrupt’ in the traditional sense, if and I hope never, the ‘full Faith and Credit’ of the US government is questioned, we will see what looks like bankruptcy.

        My comments are mostly tongue in cheek, Molehill – Trump is no more ‘my man’ than Charlie.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        Actually it is possible for governments to not be able to pay their debts.
        Its happening now in several places and many governments thru out history went bankrupt.

  6. Will Durant says:

    Couldn’t help but notice the racial makeup of the crowd, including the Confederate battle flag and a 1956 Georgia flag being brandished. I don’t think Mr. Chidi is the one at fault here as Trumps bigotry is being celebrated by a few. To his credit I guess Trump has partnered in the past with certain members of the Italian-American community.

    After seeing this I do have concerns for the Republicans with the early “SEC Primary” organized by our Secretary of State.

    • Tea Party says:

      Can a candidate be held responsible for how supporters act? The folks along GA80 and down around there still hold the flag issue near and dear to their hearts, regardless of what anyone else may believe.

      Unfortunate image when played to the rest of America, but I don’t necessarily believe it reflects what Trump believes. There is a difference between racial hatred, bigotry, or intolerance and having a politically incorrect supporter.

        • Tea Party says:

          By xenophobes do you mean people who have the temerity to question that bring Syrian refugees into the US given the current ‘vetting’ system may have some problems?

          As to playing up to bigots, well, that has never, ever been tried here in Georgia, now has it?

          I am not a Trump supporter, but I recognize how he is striking a chord with people who are normally disengaged with politics. I am very interested that chord plays on a GOP harp.

          Trump has created more interest in politics than any GOP candidate COMBINED since The Gipper, Will. And that is driving ‘those that know’ simply nuts.

        • seekingtounderstand says:

          Both sides always play the “whats different about you” card.
          I believe President Obama even played the race card on Bill Clinton.

          • benevolus says:

            Meaning what, it’s OK? When a Dem does it, please call it out. It’s always wrong. Don’t try to rationalize it.

  7. Three Jack says:

    Isn’t it ironic to see those on the left criticizing Trump for being a fascist while at the same time supporting the current president who has done more to create an authoritarian state than any president in recent memory. I guess it just comes down to which ism one supports determining the level of hypocrisy one is willing to display.

    • benevolus says:

      I don’t see that at all. Sure he has tried to push some boundaries but he has been reined in by the courts a couple of times for his trouble.

      Besides, Dick Cheney… I mean GW Bush, pushed us a lot farther down the authoritarian road than Obama has. Remember the “unitary executive” theory?

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