Social Media’s Voice in Politics

As Harvey and Katrina recede and a new hurricane builds strength, our eyes turn to the damage these catastrophic storms have caused. News sources have Key West taking the brunt of Irma’s force in America, while damage abounds in the Caribbean.

As we focus on recovery, ugly politics seem unavoidable. In Tampa last week, Trump was given the opportunity to walk back his Charlottesville comments. Instead he doubled down, continuing to ignorantly and equally cast blame on white supremacists and the protesting opposition.

This followed the White House’s admonishment of ESPN journalist Jemele Hill, which underscored the the traditional divide between government reach and personal opinions. Censoring the media and skirting the First Amendment seems to be the new norm. We see this in the administration’s preference for conservative white journalists – another break with accepted, multi-voiced tradition. This pandering to white media fosters an environment where police departments can continue to escalate racial divisions among private citizens. Posting “all lives splatter” content on September 11th assaulted public sensitivity and attempted to invalidate a legitimate statement of equality and equity. 

This media divisions the Trump administration is sowing also highlights the role that Facebook had in swaying the 2016 election. We now know that $100,000 paid for ads on the social channel, with the buys coming from fake Russian accounts. Facebook also allowed similarly targeted ads with anti-Semitic content to be posted as recently as this month, as well as a fake housing ad that excluded specific minorities.

With evidence mounting regarding a highly suspect 2016 Presidential election, little progress or forward motion in identifying and punishing state actors has been seen.

And despite last week’s “Will they or won’t they?” drama between the President and “Chuck and Nancy,” Trump has not confirmed his commitment to DACA. GOP leaders seem poised to shoot down any efforts to protect Dreamers in legislative form.

The conversations that Trump is having with top Democrats are dividing the GOP and hard-line Trump supporters (like living monster Ann Coulter), prompting Trump to broadcast supposed alignment on tax reform. We’ll wait and see..

With bifurcation across the board, it seems likely that the ongoing N.A.F.T.A. talks are headed for a similarly uncertain fate.  Mexican opinion of America is at an all-time low after an embarrassingly long wait for “The Donald” to reach out to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. POTUS waited a week after the country’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake to express condolences and an offer of help.

Which way do the Trump winds blow? I think that’s exactly what the President wants us to keep asking. By keeping politicians and the people guessing, he keeps himself trending on social media – and that’s power in his warped mind.

GOP In Headlights: This Week In The Trump Campaign

trump0020

“I was a big soap opera fan as a kid growing up in the 1980s. Give me a hot super couple romance or a realistically impossible natural disaster and I was all in. Santa Barbara, General Hospital and All My Children – while other youths were catching up on cartoons, I was transfixed by Luke and Laura’s magnificent, on-location wedding.

Watching Donald Trump’s campaign unfold is an experience quite like the televised daytime dramas that kept me hooked well into the early 2000s. Except that there’s no decompression after closing one’s laptop or turning off the TV. There are real consequences besides the sort of anxiety-ridden fugue state that is a burden of all those endeavoring to follow the fire. Party affiliation is inconsequential. If one is a passionate liberal, the prospect of Trumpism in the White House and its associated wrecking ball effect on America as we know it is one kind of panic attack. And for conservatives (whatever that means these days), the specter of electoral annihilation and party irrelevance has many pundits and politicians reaching for the Xanax.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

The GOP Is F*cked…And It’s Bad For America

trump-baby

“The absolutely pathetic Republican showings in the 2008 and 2012 national elections are on track to be a source of GOP wistfulness this year, as numerous polls show Hillary Clinton set to trounce Donald Trump. As of this morning, The New York Times has the former Secretary of State at an 87 percent November victory likelihood. Memories of the electoral disappointments of 2000 and 2004 prevent relaxed exhalation but given the Republican nominee’s post-convention nose dive and Clinton’s stellar debate skills (if there are, in fact, debates), there’s reason to believe we’ll get through this without a President Trump.

But what will be left of the Republican Party? I don’t pose this rhetorical question as an exercise in schadenfreude.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Reform Conservatives Wail As GOP Leadership Continues 2016 Suicide Mission

Reform Conservatives

“Other than scream ‘no’ to every Obama administration proposal while using local politics to assault women’s rights, voting laws and LGBT equality, the GOP hasn’t addressed the day to day concerns of struggling Americans. This reality (and not Obama) underpins the party’s modern revolt. The most disappointed Obama liberals draw comfort from pointing to a President who’s accomplished much of his agenda in spite of a perverse, do-nothing Congress. Toward what can 2016 Republicans gesture as a source of party pride?”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

The Unasked GOP Debate Question: Will Someone, Anyone, Please Drop Out of This Race?

Contempt

“So many questions in the aftermath of an ongoing exercise in excruciating national embarrassment. But the most important one remains unanswered today. With 14 candidates left in the field and the actual primaries just a couple months away, is anyone going to make like Scott Walker and go back to screwing up his or her regular day job?”

Read the full post on the Contemptor website.