Goodbye Obama, Enter The Don: The Days Of Writing Gingerly


So a friend of mine went missing on Facebook shortly after the presidential election. He wasn’t just a Facebook friend; I’ve known him for decades, long before the Internet was invented. He was last seen wearing a custom “I’m With Her” T-shirt.

I mentioned his absence to my girlfriend the other day, who was sitting at her computer and with a few quick keystrokes said, “It looks like he’s blocked you. It looks like he’s blocked me, too.”

Such are the hazards of publicly supporting Donald Trump—or just hanging out with someone who publicly supports the president-elect, like my poor girlfriend. Banishment! My friend may never talk to me again. That thought saddens me.

At the same time, it kind of ticks me off. I’ve been very careful with my words since Trump won the election. I know a lot of people didn’t see what I saw coming, and many still remain in shock at the results. I’ve mostly refrained from gloating, which hasn’t been too hard, because I understand that with the Trump presidency, we’re amid shifting sands in uncharted territory.

If there was a post that set my friend off, it came about a month after the election, after the electoral votes were tallied, and I told Hillary Clinton supporters clogging my Facebook news feed to stop their incessant whining already.

The post had little effect of course—except to perhaps encourage my longtime friend to block me. Trump evokes the sort of anger and ire that makes people, from establishment elites to activists in the streets to normal people like you and me, go blood simple. When I say Trump will be sworn into office this Friday providing he’s still alive or there’s not a coup, I’m mostly kidding, but there’s a not-small voice in my head saying anything can happen.

So I’ve been trying to be nice, with the articles I write, my social media posts and my conversations in public. I’m not perfect, though, and every once in a while I slip, like I did the other night during outgoing president Barack Obama’s farewell speech. Obviously, he’s going to put a positive spin on things, but taking credit for an economic recovery that never really happened for most of the United States struck me as dishonest, and I posted something to that effect.

In retrospect, it was one of those posts you’d like to take back, because calling the president of the United States dishonest is a little bit rude (even if he’s being dishonest). Obama shifted halfway through the speech and began personally thanking people, his family, Vice President Joe Biden, everyone who has been with him over the years. He was humble and endearing, reminding me why I voted for him twice, and I went to bed, forgetting all about my post.

In the morning a half-dozen Clintonistas had brutally trolled my Facebook post, including one woman who I occasionally run into in public, who told me that she thought I was intelligent until I started supporting Trump. Ouch. I deleted the post and personal-messaged her, saying that my post was rude and so was her remark and that I was going to try to be more polite in 2017.

“Good luck with that, Trump brings out the ugly in all,” she said.

If by “all” she means establishment elites from both parties, the mainstream media, millennial college graduates-cum-social justice warriors and diehard dead-end Democratic rank-and-filers, I’m afraid my acquaintance may be correct. It looks like there’s going to be more demonstrators than celebrants at the inauguration, the vanguard of a well-funded, organized resistance we’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot from in the coming years.

Oh, yes, it could get very ugly, already is very ugly. Witness the latest bout of Trump-slinging, the opposition research dossier alleging, with no corroborating evidence of any kind, that the Russians have video of the president-elect cavorting with prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. With very few exceptions, the mainstream media have pedaled this totally unverified “information” as further proof that Russian president Vladimir Putin “hacked” the US election and is controlling president-elect Trump.

Mark my words, one day, the Russophobia currently being ginned up by the media and apparently disgruntled members of the intelligence community will go down as one of journalism’s all-time great failures. We have Democratic congressmen—when did Democrats stop being the party of peace?—clamoring for war with Russia because its state-sponsored media, like the globally popular Russia Today website, presents news from a—gasp!–Russian point of view.

In fact, RT, which I read frequently, along with hundreds of Internet news sources, had fairly balanced coverage of the presidential campaign, but considering Clinton’s anti-Putin rhetoric, who could blame them for favoring Trump?

Strangely enough, the only mainstream media source that’s been fair and balanced on the Russia question has been (I can’t believe I’m writing this) Tucker Carlson from FOX News. If you’re truly concerned about U.S.-Russia relations, I urge you to watch Carlson’s interviews with one of our leading Russia experts, NYU Professor Stephen Cohen, and journalist Glen Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for publishing the first stories about Edward Snowden.

Two years ago, you would have been far more likely to find Cohen and Greenwald, both of whom are anti-Trump, being interviewed on MSNBC, further evidence of shifting stands. I can’t recall a changing of the guard in my lifetime, not even President George W. Bush’s, that was fraught with as much uncertainty as Trump’s. I truly hope everyone finds their footing soon.

Until then, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. A Facebook friend, a reluctant Hillary Clinton supporter I know from real life who is protesting at the inauguration, asked me how I could possibly be optimistic.

“Someone has to be,” I replied. “Everybody feels so bad.”

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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88 Responses

  1. cheyenne says:

    RV, unlike you I did not vote for Trump or Clinton, I wrote in another candidate.  But I am solidly in favor of Trump’s presidency and for this I am subjected to many of the vile comments from the liberals that you mention.  No matter that I try to paint a hopefully better future ahead the comments from the left state I am a rural white racist gun loving nut job because I won’t denounce Trump.  The left will not consider anyone who actually is hopeful for a Trump presidency as a human.  I have never seen so much hatred for an incoming president from so many people.  President Obama faced a lot of hatred from a few extreme whites on the right but nothing like what Trump is facing from the left.  I prefer to wait until he actually does something instead of all these he could or might do conspiracies coming from the left.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I was discussing with my Dad yesterday the differences between the anti-Trump leftists and the Tea Party. The Tea Party was pretty noisy during Obama’s first year, but they didn’t have the mainstream media behind them at all, except for  FOX News and talk radio. The anti-Trumpsters are organized, well-funded, and playing a longer game. It’s getting old, already!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Oh c’mon, Cheyenne.  The reality is that this comment section below R.V.’s article is fairly representative of how Trump detractors are reacting to statements of support for Trump.  There is a lot of hand-wringing going on—some of it is probably over the top—but nobody is calling you and R.V. a pair of sub-human “rural white racist gun loving nut job” for supporting Trump.  I agree that there’s a lot of anti-Trump doomsday rhetoric at play—I’m responsible for some of it—but the slinging of personal insults has been minimal.

      People on both the right and left increasingly treat any semblance of opposing opinion as hateful insult.  Randall Smith down below is right—we need to stop thinking that every political twist and turn that doesn’t go our way is the end of civilization, and we need to stop feeling deeply insulted as our knee-jerk response to mere contrary opinions.

      • cheyenne says:

        On posts that I have made on WaPo I have been called names that I won’t repeat on here by leftists.  And it is not just me I read comments in all the media sources including MSN home page where the leftists call all rural white males names.  Read the comment section on MSN after Trump articles and then tell me nobody is calling people names.  It does go both ways as the right and left go at it incognito. Being called non-human is one of the lesser name calling flashed around.  Of course I could just comment on the Prescott Courier if I wanted nothing but likes but I prefer to post my opinion on a liberal site like WaPo.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I would never claim anything as absolute as: “Nobody on the left is calling anyone names.”  Of course they do.  I’m just not buying this claim in R.V.’s article and repeated by you, Coach Bob, and Michelle that it’s disproportionately a liberal sin.

          I’d like to see quantifiable proof, please.  I know that the “fake news” phenomenon has been shown to be largely a right-wing phenomenon (I’m talking about real fake news, like the claim that Hillary and Bill work a pedophilia ring out of a pizza parlor in Washington DC that went viral on Facebook.)   I’m not absolutely sure that the right issues more vitriol online—as I said elsewhere, maybe that’s just my experience because I’m eliciting it.  But as I also said elsewhere, I know how I’d bet.

  2. Michael Karas says:

    Jeff Sessions…Rex Tillerson…?

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      … will be confirmed respectfully as Attorney General and Secretary of State. I haven’t read of any problems that will prevent either of their nominations.

  3. Doug Cushman says:

    What worries me as much–if not more— as Mr. Trump in the White House is a Republican Congress bent on revenge. With folks like McConnell at the helm I fear nothing will be done; indeed may even reverse. Trump’s comments on One China, moving the embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, repealing ACA (yes, it’s not perfect–far from it–but the GOP has no replacement yet so why leave thousands of Americans hanging while Washington debates?); all these have already put years of diplomacy in jeopardy. I think a Trump presidency has legitimized out-and-out revenge seekers and name calling (yes, with BOTH the Dems and Reps). I fear civility will be–and already is, in some cases— the first casualty. Trumps spiteful and angry tweets (think his recent response to John Lewis’ comment) spark more than late night talk show comedy monologues. World leaders can see them as official US policy. I appreciate your civil words and “non-gloating” in your piece; I’d like to see the same in Washington and especially the White House. Sadly, I expect more gloating and revenge from our Capital but I can only hope. Banishment from Facebook is a nothing when we’re dealing with a spiteful bully with launch codes at his fingertips.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think Trump’s use of Twitter is brilliant, but that doesn’t mean I want to emulate his style. Civility is the way to go. I think we may get there. But you raise some interesting issues. Here are my comments.

      1. Republican establishment revenge: Ryan, McConnell & Co. haven’t figured out they lost the election, and only hung on by clutching Trump’s coattails. I expect an immediate showdown, especially on healthcare. Remember I’m an optimist.

      2. Foreign policy: Forming an alliance with Russia is the key to peace in the Middle East. We’re almost there!

  4. Michelle says:

    I too am struck by the the harsh words, the vitriolic hatred, doomsday predictions and vehement intolerance from so many who purport to be tolerant and understanding of all people. And now all these sad boo hoo hoo posts lamenting the end of the land of milk and honey. Geez. Like anything in government happens fast? Not. People get a grip– the wheels of justice grind slowly.

  5. CoachBob says:

    You will rarely if ever see a conservative block someone on FB because of their liberal leaning. You will never see a conservative shout down a speaker because of being liberal. Seems it’s the liberal way of doing things, to disrupt, block and otherwise censure if they don’t get their way.

    • Coach Bob, you’ve been on this site long enough to know how we feel about personal attacks and name-calling. Rather than unauthorizing your entire comment I’m deleting your last five words.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Coach Bob, we all saw what happened at Trump rallies when some lefty tried to disrupt the festivities.  At best, the person was bum-rushed out of the building by gangs of enforcers.  At worst, haymakers were thrown.  Trump usually baited the crowd, encouraging the hostilities.

      I got unfriended on Facebook by two conservative acquaintances during the election cycle.  One of them, leading up to the end, repeatedly resorted to personal attacks—his favorite was to refer to me as “beta-man.”  (A former Marine, he sees himself as pure alpha—”beta-man” was intended as a high insult.)  After a slew of such barbs, I reciprocated by saying that I own a company and have 20 employees—if I were a beta-man I’d probably be a civil servant, content to be told what to do by my higher-ups all week long. He’s a civil servant. I didn’t point that out directly, but he took my meaning—I struck a nerve, and he unfriended me.  Around the same time one of my brother’s FB friends repeatedly called me a pussy and challenged me to meet him at his MMA gym for a fight.  This guy looks like he sleeps in a vat of HGH every night and is about 20 years my junior—he’s the kind of dude who peaked in high school and yearns to be the bully he was back then, always looking for an easy beat-down. (Not that I would necessarily be an easy beat-down—I was a college wrestler and wrestled internationally on an AAU team. If he had known that, I doubt that he’d have offered the challenge—cowards like easy wins.)

      In my career, I’ve been shouted down by irate conservatives in rural public meetings more than once—I’m the lightening rod who’s there to talk about the project’s environmental process.  I’ve attended public meetings in rural communities where a couple of deputy sheriffs are assigned to keep the crowd in line.  I’ve had guns stuck in my face twice while doing fieldwork, and not by hippie or cartel growers, but by rural rednecks.

      Thanks to R.V., I got acquainted with I waded in thinking that I’d enjoy being a devil’s advocate—as my profile on says, I enjoy stirring pots.  The response to my comments was surprising to me, even though I started posting fully aware of the prevailing tone—a stew of righteous indignation, contempt, and tribal cohesion.  (“Ooh, me too!  That’s what I think, too!”)  The responses to my posts were so purely hateful and free of counter-argument that it quickly grew boring.

      Lastly, a few years ago—convinced that anonymity breeds contempt on comment boards—I abandoned my practice of using pseudonyms on the Record Searchlight (I was Pogue Mahone, Buzz Fledderjohn, Phineas Gage, Steve Rushmore, and probably one or two that I’m forgetting).  A local conservative chased down my work email address and, using an anonymous email account (of course), began sending me threats—I can hurt your business, I know where you live, that sort of thing. I ignored him until he sent me an email that said, at the tail end of a few threats aimed at me:  “…and I know where your daughter works.”  That was the end of my experiment of posting on the Record Searchlight under my real name.  I actually got a phone call from the editor asking why I’d deleted my account.

      I guess what I’m saying, Coach, is that I can imagine how, in your experience, conservatives are more civil than liberals.  That’s probably true so long as you present yourself as part of the clan.  That hasn’t really been my experience.

      I’m sure the opposite holds true to some extent.  It would be an interesting study (it’s probably been done) to review comments on both “liberal” and “conservative” news websites and measure which sites foster the highest levels of overt incivility in the comments, based on measurable metrics of nastiness.  Likewise, whether it’s liberal or conservative commenters who are the nastiest.

      Speaking as a moderate independent, I know how I’d bet my entire cache of nuts.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I can guess what the five words were!

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  7. Kathleen says:

    RV I’m not surprised that your friend blocked you. Prior to Trump running I’d never blocked anyone. But as Maya Angelo said, ‘If someone shows who they are, believe them’.  Life’s too short to have people in your life who are in direct opposition with your own moral code. That being said I pray nightly, along with most thinking people, Trump is successful. We have too much at stake.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Ugh.  I think this is exactly how the internets are ruining democracy.

      People gravitate to “news sources” (I use the term loosely) that offer nothing but reinforcement of their beliefs.  They don’t want to be challenged—they want to read that what they think is exactly right.

      Facebook?  You can block longtime acquaintances who disagree with you—how does that not lead to real-life social estrangement as well?  Worse, Facebook’s algorithms ensure that your news feed is ladling up a continuous diet of unadulterated affirmations.  And of course, Facebook is the primary purveyor of genuinely “fake news.”  (A term that is supposed to mean, “news that is entirely made up” but has been recently co-opted to mean, “news that is factually true, but presented in a way that is unflattering to my side of the political spectrum.”)

      The whole internet shiteree is turning us into self-selecting inhabitants of echo chambers.   This is not a good thing.

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        I think the virtual and real-life estrangement is a more serious issue than the fake news.  And I don’t like the algos running my life. Like the Facebook algo that first thing in morning spits up some nasty post you made three years ago when you were really drunk. I do get the feeling that something big is going to happen with the internet, some sort of security crack down, and there will be a decrease in the number of echo chambers … which could be a bad thing, depending on who gets to judge “fake news.”

  8. Randall Smith says:

    Best piece in all the writing, crying and predicting since 8 Nov.  If people think this week is like Good Friday, April 1865, Black Monday, Oct 1929, Sunday, 7 Dec. 1941 or even Tuesday, 9/11; they need to get a new life somewhere else.  First, we are Americans.  Second, this is a celebration of a peaceful change of government, something most of the rest of the world does not enjoy.  Third, it is long past time to stop protest and start making positive action.

  9. Gary Tull says:

    Proof of salacious behavior in Moscow would be embarrassing enough but not necessarily a deal breaker for ardent Trump supporters. Maybe if minors were involved it would be. At any rate, it’s still only an unsubstantiated rumor.
    There is a far more important issue. Trump tax documents probably hold promising arsenal that could initiate impeachment proceedings.
    In my opinion, Trump’s tax returns should be subpoenaed!
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has the unique opportunity and the LEGAL grounds to subpoena his tax returns since it announced that it would use “subpoenas if necessary” when investigating Trump-Russia ties.
    There is a chance the SIC could initiate that opportunity very soon.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Maybe my 8th-grade civics class is failing me, but I’m under the impression that the GOP currently controls all the committees in both the Senate and the House. I can see the Chairman of the SIC agreeing to rigorously investigate Russian attempts to hack the election, but I can’t see him agreeing to take a hard look at Trump’s tax returns, or anything else that would risk undermining his party’s leader.

      As for proof of salacious behavior not being a deal-breaker, I agree. Trump’s bragging about sexually assaulting women was actually a positive in the minds of some of his supporters.  I was shocked when female Trump supporters at rallies, when asked about the recording, quite often defended him by saying things like, “It doesn’t bother me at all.  That’s how real men talk.”  Pretty much in an admiring tone.

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        “Bragging about sexually assaulting women?” Now that’s not a slanted take on what was actually said in an off-the-record conversation, with a Bush family member no less, who released said conversation when it was politically opportune, ethics be damned. The context was Hollywood and woman throwing themselves at stars (like Trump was at the time), which is absolutely the truth, they do. To my mind, you’re willfully misunderstanding this.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything.” — Donald Trump

          The above should speak for itself, but since it apparently doesn’t, I’ll play along.  The claim, “They let you do it” does not imply women “throwing themselves” at Trump.  It implies women passively tolerating aggressive groping (sexual assault) on the basis of an assumption that that’s what they want.  Whether that alleged tolerance is born of intimidation, coercion, wishful thinking, career aspirations, or whatever else, it’s an assumption that most assuredly isn’t true of every female subjected to such assaults.

          I’m not willfully misunderstanding anything.  If Trump thinks that every woman whose p***y he grabs wants that to happen because he’s a star, he’s a sick unit.

          • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

            You would have never made it in the Navy.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I’ve spent a shipload of time on Navy and Marine bases—the Navy (NAVFAC) is a longstanding client.  I also work with an ocean engineering firm from Seattle whose owners and employees are almost all ex-NAVFAC guys.  I don’t see eye-to-eye with all of them regarding a lot of political stuff, but I get along great with them.

            In fact, I get along so great with them that I often regret not following up on the invitation I was offered as an undergrad to apply to the NIH M.D./Ph.D. Partnership Training Program at Bethesda (technically, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences).  That might have made a career Navy guy out of me (the minimum obligation was for 6 years following graduation).

            That said, the guys I work with are all officers and ex-officers.  I also have a distinct memory from when I wrestled for the Pacific AAU freestyle team in college of walking around Yokosuka Naval Base near Yokohama and encountering a sailor who was scraping the paint off the heavy chain of a post-and-chain fence with a wire brush, prepping it for a new coat of white paint.  “Don’t ever join the f***ing Navy,” he advised.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      The audit has to end some day. Maybe Trump will post them on Twitter.

  10. A. Jacoby says:

    However one feels about the outcome of our recent election, I really have a basic faith in our system. I think the next four years is going to test this faith to the utmost. . . but maybe it’s time for the system to be tested. I am certainly NOT a millennialist . . .  . well, depending on WHICH  MILLENNIUM of which you speak. I think if our Founding Fathers had had access to Twitter, we might have seen some pretty vitriolic content. The difference now is that, with the social media outlet, we all seem to think that we are able to make ourselves heard  .  which results in  whole lot of noise. I, too, have pretty much unplugged from the discussion. Not because I want to deny anyone their voice . . . . I just have  an ear-ache from the noise level.

    And Bob, I stop listening when you start using words like ALWAYS and NEVER. If I’d wanted to hear those words in a discussion I would have stayed married!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      It occurs to me that the sense that the anti-Trump sentiment feels “bigger” than the Tea Party movement at the beginning of Obama’s reign may be more of a reflection on how much social media has come to dominate our lives in the past 8 years.

  11. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I’ve boiled my feelings about the election results down to this:  Right impulse, wrong guy.  

    This country is run by a ruling plutocracy.  Middle and working class people have been getting chumped hard by the people who run this country—solely for their own collective benefit—for decades, and we know it in our collective gut.  That plutocracy comprises the Wall Street and other corporate elites and the puppets in Washington DC who represent their interests.  The list of how we’ve been getting chumped is long, and most of us are not even fully cognizant of the multitudes of ways in which it’s occurred.  No need to laundry-list it all—I’ll just mention one of the most recent and grotesque examples:  The crushing debt that our kids were encouraged to accrue for the sin of going to college—decades of enslavement to Wall Street banks.

    Clinton was clearly a vote for the status quo—a nominee who got past her party’s standard-bearer for True Change (Grumpy Uncle Bernie) because she had full access to the ruling plutocracy’s tool bag, the most powerful tool in that bag being her own party’s national committee.  That left Trump, who brilliantly positioned himself as the “I-don’t-give-a-sh*t-about-political-correctness-or-traditional-protocol” candidate for more than a year.  Did Trump’s act seem buffoonish and off-putting to many people like me?  Yeah, but as they say: Scoreboard.

    The impulse was correct:  The ruling plutocracy—including the Democratic Party, with it’s only coherent messages centering on identity politics—hasn’t served us well.  (Especially—as R.V. has put it in essay after essay as he vacillated between implied and overt support of Trump—if you’re an underemployed white male who is constantly being told to STFU because you have all of that white male privilege going for you.  Not surprisingly, those underemployed white males in the rust belt who voted for Obama twice—just  like R.V.—finally grasped the message of identity politics…and Clinton lost because of it.)  Nor has the GOP served us well.  But the GOP revolution—whether Trump turns out to be a populist savior, a status-quo phony, or a proto-fascist—succeeded where the Demos failed.

    Trump is the wrong guy:  I don’t know this for sure, but Big Orange’s nominees to cabinet and agency positions, as well as his First-100-Days agenda, suggest that he has no intention of betraying Wall Street or his billionaire cohort. I predict that America’s former economic engine—the middle class—will continue to shrink in size and share of the nation’s wealth, and the über-rich will continue to corner and hoard America’s wealth—the 30-year trend will continue.  I hope I’m wrong, but I’m betting that the chumping will continue, and will probably accelerate.


    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Nice analysis. The right guy this time around for me would have obviously been Bernie Sanders. I’m not sure how much longer the chumping can continue with a zero interest rate policy, but they’re working on it. My dream is that Trump declares national bankruptcy and we start over again.

  12. Frank Treadway says:

    The photo above, one displaying dyed yellow hair and smugness; the other showing aged grace and humility, which one do you trust ?

  13. DougM says:

    Coach Bob:  Representative Joe Wilson (R-S Carolina), in a joint session of congress, DURING the State of the Union Address, shouted “You Lie” at the President of the United States.   I guess your claim that ” You will never see a conservative shout down a speaker…” pretty much fails.

  14. cheyenne says:

    Steve is right about people gravitating to internet sources that fit their mindset.  I have clicked on links from posters who want to argue with me and the link is one of half a dozen about the dispute, some for and some against.  They ignore the links against them and only post the ones for them.  I find MSN Home page is a real good source for information, if one can get past the fake or sponsored articles, as MSN posts articles from all sources.

    WaPo for liberals, Prescott Courier  for conservatives.  The Courier has announced a protest, possibly in John Day, Oregon, by the Finicum family on the anniversary of his killing.  Wonder if it will be as violent as the MLK parade in Miami where eight marchers were shot by other marchers.

  15. Rod says:

    Congressman John Lewis, the African-American democrat from Georgia, who publicly labeled our president elect to not be a “legitimate president”,  heaped unnecessary racial bias on all Americans.  He reinforced his feelings by also stating “Trump will be very difficult to work with”.

    I guess we should be pleased.  I’m not sure what were Lewis’s intended revelations, but clearly he doesn’t like Trump.  He issued a warning that He and his followers will not govern nor cooperate.

    It’s quite difficult to understand the feelings of people like Lewis.  You know, people who go out of their way to cause harm.  Is that a part of the oath of office? No, it’s a part of bigotry that grows into hatred.

    • trek says:

      Right on the $$$$$.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Representative Lewis, in his remarks about Trump not being a legitimate president, said that this was the case because the Russians meddled in the election, and because the Director of the FBI was complicit in the meddling.  I think Rep. Lewis’s comments were somewhat rash, but nothing he said about the issue touched on race.  Not one iota.

      It’s you who are striving to make his comments a racial issue.  Lewis is black, and Trump is white—you therefore assume that any criticism of Trump offered by Lewis is grounded in “unnecessary racial bias.”

      What’s your motivation for that?

      • Rod says:

        I don’t have a motivation for that.  I’m quoting Lewis.

        Lewis went on for an extended time commenting on anything MLK related for the cameras.  I’m sure you watched too.  The man created bad feelings and horrible disregard for Trump supporters.  He declared anti-Trump rhetoric and emotion at the expense of possible future coming together.  His dishonest delivery of MLK love and support included placing blame for racism in America on Trump.

        I’m actually happy that John Lewis staked his claim now rather than later.

        Try to recall, Trump is the new guy who can make vast improvements,  Lewis is old worn,guilt fueled racism, his time has gone.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Rod, you didn’t quote Lewis.  Anti-Trump pronouncements by black Americans are not necessarily grounded in racial divisiveness.  It’s possible for black Americans to dislike Trump for being Trump, not for Trump being white.

          • Rod says:

            Legitimate means, Steve, according to law by the rules.

            What you or I think about Lewis’s claim of foul can’t change his meaning.  There’s no need.  Lewis is making, in his foolish manner, the notion we don’t follow law solely because his personal cause is lost.

            I can easily see where Lewis could be upset with the new kid in town.  Things are changing rapidly.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Rod, now you are admitting to Lewis’s true charge—that Trump is an illegitimate president because he was helped unlawfully by a foreign power—help that is outside the rules.  Your only refuge now is to claim that Russian interference in the election—which Trump requested in a news conference when he urged Russia to release illegally hacked emails—is within the rules.  That’s absurd.

            Earlier, you insisted that Lewis’s charge of Trump being illegitimate was an attempt to stir racial discord.  You appear to be doing back-flips away from that unfounded charge, but I can’t leave it alone: You’re the one promoting racial discord.  You began by pointing out that Lewis is African-American in your first post, a fact that has zero to do with Lewis’s argument about Russian support for Trump.

          • Rod says:

            That’s entertaining, Steve.

            Lewis is the African-American democratic congressman from Georgia.  What’s your problem?

            Lewis labeled Trump not legitimate.  Why?  Please drop the Russian comedy.

            Would you feel comfy if I had omitted the largest detail of Lewis’s life?  Don’t you think Lewis is proud of his racial heritage?  Where does using the term African-American equate to  “promoting racial discord”?  It doesn’t.


          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Rod, as I said above, I regard Lewis’s comment as somewhat rash.  However, I’m not going to drop the “Russian comedy” stuff until the intelligence community and the Congress drop it.  If you want to be a Pollyanna about Russia interfering in our elections just because you like the result, that’s your right.  I have the right to take it seriously.

            And clearly, my problem isn’t that Lewis is African-American. (Nice try.)  My problem is that you accused him of attempting to stir racial discord with his statement.  You’re basing that solely on the fact that it’s an African-American making the claim—there’s nothing in what he said on which you can hang your accusation.  Nothing but his race.

            If you can’t see that the lights have come on and you’ve been caught with your pants down around your ankles, that’s on you.  You’re trying to stir up racial discord by accusing others of it, even where it doesn’t exist.

          • Rod says:

            Your problem is entirely with Lewis being an African-American, that’s your only talking point.  It’s a shame you can’t think clearly on this item.  Lewis struck the offensive blow and you think it’s OK,  it’s different now.  Lewis’s attitude is going away.

            And now once again, namecalling by you is extremely rude and unacceptable.

            End of conversation.


          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            You don’t get to end my side of the conversation by decree.  Sorry, Rod.

            You started this by saying that Lewis is an African-American whose agenda regarding his “illegitimate president” statement is to stir up racial discord.

            What I’ve been saying all along is that Lewis’s race is irrelevant to his statement that Trump is an illegitimate president, which he ascribed to Russian meddling.  Race itself is irrelevant to that claim.  Lewis’s race.  Trump’s race.  Putin’s race.  My race.  Your race.  All irrelevant.

            I don’t have any problem with Lewis being African-American.  You do.  When people engage in race-baiting, it’s obvious.  You’re not convincing anyone that you’re up to anything else.

        • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

          OK, guys. I don’t care who started it. Cool down and keep personal attacks off this page.

      • Gary Tull says:

        Good question. Tell it, Steve!

    • K. Beck says:

      Uh…how about how Obama was treated by the Rep Congress AND The Donald?

      Too many stones being thrown by both sides. It will get no one anywhere!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Here’s the problem with Lewis and the anti-Trump blacks: Trump keeps pointing out what violent hellholes the black communities in cities like Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore have become, which is an absolute fact. Yet Lewis and his ilk (by which I mean all the Democrats and the entire mainstream media) keep saying it’s racist to point out the inner cities are in turmoil. I swear to God, I just heard Tom Hartman say this the other day. How are the inner cities gonna get fixed if no one admits they’re broken?

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        R.V., I gotta ask you to reference your claim that Lewis and all of the Democrats and the mainstream media keep saying that it’s racist to point out that the inner cities are in turmoil.  You’re a journalist, so that all-inclusive statement is not something that you just get to say without backing it up.

        I believe that Lewis, most Democrats, and representatives of the mainstream media would argue that it’s socioeconomic conditions—not African-American-ness—that is causing turmoil in the inner cities.  It’s arguable that African-American culture has something to do with it as well, but I don’t hear many liberals denying that inner cities are in turmoil, or that it’s racist to acknowledge that they are.

        Tom Hartman—whoever he is—is not all Democrats and the mainstream media.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Steve, you’ve obviously thrown any pretense of objectivity out the window when it comes to Trump. When Trump did his first big speech appealing to the black community, he laid the blame for the inner cities on the Democrats–who with their surrogates in the media called Trump a racist for his characterization of the inner cities. It’s become a Democrat meme against Trump, because Trump isn’t a racist so they have to make shit up. You don’t know who Tom Hartman is? Who’s lacking intellectual curiosity?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            R.V., you sure it’s me who’s lost his objectivity regarding Trump (and African-Americans)?

            Here are a few of statements from Trump during campaign speeches and tweets that elicited the charge that he just might have a racism problem:

            1.  “Whites killed by blacks — 81%”  (re-tweeted)

            The FBI statistic for this is 15%.  I mean, holy scheisse, how is that not race-baiting?

            2.  “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever.”

            Uh…..he’s never heard of slavery?  Between the 1880s and 1930s, an average of one black man per week was lynched in America.  In the mid-1960, the poverty rate for black Americans was more than 60%. Now it’s less than 30%.   Rates of violence in black communities have dropped steadily over the last 25 years.  Etc.

            3.  “If you look at what’s going on in this country, African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent.”

            The actual unemployment rate for black youth at the time was 27%.  Trump grossly exaggerated the rate by including kids in school who weren’t looking for jobs.  Why would he do that?  I think it’s because it plays well with his followers—he’s pandering to a belief that blacks are shiftless moochers.

            I could provide other examples, but I won’t.  It’s not that Trump has no point to make about the remaining ills of African-American communities in inner cities.  It’s that most of his “facts” are bald-faced lies. Perhaps the biggest lie of all is that life is getting progressively worse for African-Americans because of Democrats.  That just doesn’t stand up to any objective analysis, at all.  Life has been getting progressively better for African-Americans over the past five decades, by nearly all metrics—including life in the worst of the inner cities.

            You say:  “Trump keeps pointing out what violent hellholes the black communities in cities like Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore have become, which is an absolute fact.”

            A fact?  Are you not aware that there are large black communities in those cities, and many other cities, that are decidedly working and middle class?  I spent the last two days in one of them: Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. I took a two-hour walk yesterday, pushing my sleeping toddler granddaughter in her stroller. People were incredibly nice to me—it was far less of a hellhole than downtown Redding.  You need to be careful that, in your enthusiasm for the man, you don’t start parroting Trump’s broad, false generalities.

            By the way, white Americans—at 64% of the population and 42% of the poverty class?—?receive 69% of government benefits. The view that African-Americans are the ones forever feeding from the government trough doesn’t match reality. The largest beneficiaries of safety net programs?—?food stamps included?—?are white people. Yet these same white recipients are the most likely to vote for Republican candidates who oppose the existence of such programs.  (On that note, I can’t wait to see what the GOP comes up with to replace Obamacare.)

      • Gary Tull says:

        What? “Lewis and his ilk,” which includes all Democrats & MSM? Really??                                     The one and only “absolute fact” I detect is the drift of an offensive smell — and it seems to be getting worse. (My opinion.)

        BTW, I don’t know of a Tom Hartman but I do know, and respect Thom Hartmann.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Yeah, I don’t quite understand how my lack of recall regarding Thom Hartmann reveals a lack of intellectual curiosity in R.V.’s eyes.  In retrospect, I’m aware of Hartmann’s existence from car radio surfing—I just don’t make a practice of listening to political talk radio.  To me, the worst aspect of political talk radio are the callers.  It’s depressing to listen to callers reveal their incredibly black-and-white views—a close-mindedness nurtured by the very hosts that they’re calling.

          I’m telling you, echo chambers will be the death of this republic.  We’re becoming a nation of red-vs-blue sock puppets.

          On NPR’s “All Things Considered” yesterday afternoon, Robert Siegel interviewed a black woman from Youngstown, Ohio who was traveling to the inauguration.  She’d been a Trump supporter since the beginning, and he’d interviewed her before.  There wasn’t a hint of animus in the conversation—Siegel seemed genuinely interested in giving her the opportunity to explain why she was the rare black voter who supports Trump.  Rather than taking issue with her ideas, his follow-up questions encouraged her to expand on her positions.  And he seemed genuinely sorry that her support of Trump had caused some estrangements with family and friends.  Half way through I was thinking, “What the hell is this?”  It was awe-inspiring.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          It’s funny how the word “ilk” has taken on a pejorative connotation, primarily because when people use it, it’s often in a negative political context.

          “Al Gore and his ilk have only one interest in promoting the global warming hoax, and that’s to hustle money.”

          “Donald Rumsfeld and his ilk were responsible for the biggest neocon con of all—the invasion of Iraq, allegedly because Saddam had WMDs.”

    • Alexa says:

      Just like the Republicans did Jan 20, ’09… went out to dinner and made a pact to stymie everything Obama would propose in the future.  This is fact.

  16. Steve Murray says:

    I  cannot get past the fact that DT is just a repellent human being. I judge him by the way he treats others, and his behaviour goes against everything my mother taught me. To me his ideas are debatable, but his personality, his talk, his actions are not. He is the type of person I avoid at almost all costs. I cannot support him, not necessarily because of his ideas, but because  these objectionable personality traits make him, in my view, not fit to lead. I feel he would treat me exactly as he would anyone else who disagrees .  You may disagree with BO but you cannot say he is not a gentleman whose presidency has been without a hint of scandal. DT  will be impeachable on day one.


    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Trump is easily the most unlikable president since Nixon.  Ford was amicably goofy and well-intentioned.  Carter was genuinely benevolent and had a noble intelligence.  Reagan had a grandfatherly presence and a can-do attitude.  Bush I was earnest and clear-eyed.  Clinton oozed Southern charm and empathy.  Bush II had boyish exuberance and a bit of a frat boy sense of fun.  Obama is thoughtful, dignified, and has a dry sense of humor.

      Trump is mean-spirited megalomaniac and shamelessly pandering liar.  He has almost no record of having any concern other than advancing his own interests.  He lacks discernible impulse control.  He’s intellectually uncurious and easily bored. It’s nearly impossible to imagine him turning from a buffoon into an able statesman.

      • Doreen O. says:

        He did fly those soldiers home who were stuck overseas a number of years ago (was it 200 of them?) and has given some very charitable gifts that he could have bragged about and I haven’t seen him do it, so there is at least one decent quality…..

        • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

          A quick Google search disproves that story about flying the troops home. Fiction.


        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Trump is very rare among billionaires who have formed charitable foundations in their own names in that he hasn’t given his own foundation one thin dime in many years, relying solely on the money of others.  His foundation is being investigated by the New York Attorney General’s office over allegations that he uses his non-profit as a vessel for weaseling his way out of claims against his for-profit businesses.  And famously, his non-profit has spent money on such things as giant portraits of Trump and ornate furniture.

          Meanwhile, Warren Buffett has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth ($71 billion).  And Buffett didn’t even create a foundation in his own name—he’s giving it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The Gates have so far donated $28 billion of their $84 billion to their foundation, and plan ultimately to donate nearly all of it.

          To date, 137 billionaires have signed “The Giving Pledge,” agreeing to ultimately give half of their wealth to the Gates Foundation.  You can bet that Trump will never be among them.

  17. Michelle says:

    Steve Murray I agree with you on most of what you wrote and I still voted for Trump. (altho he was not my initial choice) First and foremost, I voted for him because he will support 2nd amendment rights. He is also a tireless hard worker and and respects the ethic of working people. So many Americans have been brainwashed to believe they deserve and are entitled to things–a gracious thank you to our culture for the entitlement generation(s). And seriously, I don’t believe for a minute Hillary doesn’t say the same things he says –but from behind closed doors! That snarky slip of the tongue about “undesireables,” was just such an example.  Yes, she is poised, graceful, and polite and I sure wish he was, but in a quirky way I sort of admire his blunt honesty and refusal to cowtow to the media. But nonetheless, he has a passion for our country and is certainly no less likely than her to be involved in squabbles over verbage and legalese. Goodness knows she is toting plenty of her own baggage regarding her honesty and character.

  18. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Excellent article R.V. Sheide.   I’ve been reading your work for long enough that I will always give you the benefit of the doubt on anything you have to say.  I know you do research and don’t get your information from questionable sources.  I don’t like misinformation.  I don’t care for harsh words and name calling by anyone.  In fact, one of the ways I judge any news source is by its use of the English language.

    After 8 years of Obama’s presidency I’m used to a lot of complaining and, well,  whining.  I only learn something if the cause of the complaining is true.

    However, I am going to unfriend  the next person that posts another “suck it up buttercup” post because the phrase is old and used up and I don’t know what it means.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think they use “suck it up buttercup” because it sounds vaguely nasty.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      “Suck it up, buttercup” roughly means “get over it” (“it” in this case being your disappointment with the election’s outcome).  It’s richly ironic coming from people who couldn’t get over Obama being president for eight long years.  (Do as I say, not as I do.)

      I went through a phase where the alt-right’s use of the term “special snowflake” was making me see a little red.  In part because they so often misuse the phrase to mean either members of classes of people who are afforded things like affirmative action, or proponents of political correctness (neither is which is what “special snowflake” means at all).  In part because many of those using the term of derision are among the most put-upon, victim-mentality, “woe is me” whiners on the planet.  You know….guys who make you want to say, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

  19. I rarely discuss politics on Facebook — but my Facebook feed is filled with posts from people I love dearly — people who have political views that run from far right to far left and everything in between. What I love about them has  nothing to do with politics and everything to do with who they are — how they love, how they treat people and the joy they’ve added to my life.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      That’s one of the reasons I wrote the article, it’s unusual for a friend, a real life friend, to do block me on Facebook. People take this stuff seriously.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I’ll be the first to admit that it is very difficult for me to view Trump’s impending presidency objectively. When he disparaged John McCain’s service and time as a P.O.W., it pissed me off to the point that I could hardly see straight. I was convinced then and there that the man is utterly lacking in the character demanded of the Commander-in-Chief.

        Nothing revealed since then has changed my mind.

  20. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Mr. Trump worries the hell out of me. I hope his legacy won’t be that of a planet left to rats and cockroaches.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      No, that was Hillary’s WW III with Russia plan. We’re going to be friends with the Russains now, and it’s going to change everything.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Hey, the world needs optimists, too!

        (I think I got in trouble somewhere up above for using the word “Pollyanna.”)

  21. cheyenne says:

    Why are people who talk about how bad black inner cities are, are called racists, but those who talk about drug addicted whites in rural areas are not called racists.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Haven’t you heard, Cheyenne?  Only whites can be racist.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Something like this does exist as academic argument—those who don’t enjoy “privilege” cannot be racist in any meaningful sense, because they don’t have the power to make their biases negatively affect the lives of others.

        Like most absolutist arguments, that’s a steaming pile of fresh, sloppy bull dung.

        I’m not a fan of Hillary, but I recall her saying in a debate that we’re all racist to a degree—herself included—and we can’t negate that racism in ourselves without first acknowledging it.  That was a refreshingly honest answer.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      See my long response to R.V. up above.

      Shorter version:  It’s fine to talk about the problems of our inner cities.  It’s a little bit problematic to think of them as “black inner cities.”  It’s a serious problem to tell bald-faced lies about African-Americans that both reveal and pander to lowly prejudices.  That’s what a lot of people think Trump is doing…myself included.  His bias is to think of urban African-Americans as losers, and to speak of them that way.

      It’s the grossly false portrayals of the circumstances of African-Americans that’s racist, especially if you imply that it’s because they’re African-American.  You can talk about drug-addicted whites in rural areas until the cows come home and it’s not racist, unless you start to imply that they’re drug addicts because they’re white.

  22. cheyenne says:

    Well I am going to go with someone who is older, wiser and a lot richer than I.  Warren Buffet said the US will do just fine under Trump because America has a “special sauce”.

  23. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I watched a few minutes of NPR’s live feed of the anti-Trump protests in DC, which looked like a bunch of people milling around waiting for the gates to a concert venue to open up.  Here are a couple of back-to-back comments about the protestors that I found amusing:

    Joshua Xxxxxx —1:37 — He’s your president now liberal cry babies. Unless you want to start a civil war which you would all die I suggest you get back in line and make America great again.

    One second later…

    Jeffrey Xxxxxxxx — 1:38 — What a bunch of disgusting, hate filled “human” beings. Their anger and contempt for anyone that disagrees with them is frightening.

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