Donald Trump and the theocratic extreme right

This 16 October 2017 video from the USA is called Trump: You Can Say Merry Christmas Again! It is about Trump’s speech at the Values Voter Summit.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Trump appeals to fundamentalists and fascists

17 October 2017

President Donald Trump’s appearance at the ultra-right Values Voter Summit on Friday was a further step in his effort to create a fascistic movement outside existing political structures, directed against both the Republican and Democratic establishments.

It was Trump’s third appearance at the annual Washington assembly of Christian fundamentalist extremists, hosted by Tony Perkins and his Family Research Council. In 2015 and 2016, Trump appeared as a candidate for the Republican nomination and then as the nominee. In 2017, he became the first sitting president to address the group, whose views are so extreme that even George W. Bush stayed away and sent surrogates.

Trump does not read the Bible (or any other book) and his three marriages and penchant for vulgar boasting of his sexual exploits would under other circumstances make him persona non grata to the censorious moralizers of the Family Research Council and its co-thinkers. He would be an incongruous, even ludicrous, figure at a convention of Christian fundamentalists if his purpose were not so reactionary and dangerous.

White House speechwriters gave him prepared remarks that flattered the ultra-right Christian audience and sought to mobilize them behind a thoroughly secular agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy, elimination of regulations on business, destruction of social benefits, and imperialist war.

Trump spat on the genuine traditions of freedom of religion—and from religion—that are bound up with the liberating example of the American Revolution, in favor of a completely bogus presentation of the Founding Fathers as religious zealots, moral prudes and national chauvinists.

“America is a nation of believers,” he declared, although a recent Pew survey found that atheists and the non-religious are the fastest growing section of the population, particularly among the younger generation.

The president added later, “This is America’s heritage, a country that never forgets that we are all—all, every one of us—made by the same God in Heaven.” Actually, the First Amendment to the US Constitution bars the establishment of any religion, making the government officially neutral on the question of the existence of a creator, let alone the specific creation myths postulated by the various strains of Christianity.

Trump paid tribute to “religious liberty,” which is interpreted by the fundamentalists not as freedom to worship as one chooses, but as freedom to impose one’s religious precepts on everyone else in the form of discrimination against gays, lesbians and others whose sexual orientation or family structure is deemed in violation of Biblical injunctions. Those in attendance at the gathering treat restrictions on such forms of discrimination as attacks on their religious faith.

The heart of Trump’s speech was to boast that his administration was turning back the clock on the social progress made since the 1950s—greater sexual freedom, equal rights for women, the erosion of bigotry based on race, ethnicity, language or sexual orientation. “The American Founders invoked our Creator four times in the Declaration of Independence—four times,” he said. “How times have changed. But you know what, now they’re changing back again. Just remember that.” The audience gave him a standing ovation.

Trump boasted of keeping his election campaign promises to the fundamentalist groups, mainly through the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace the arch-reactionary Justice Antonin Scalia, as well as executive orders undermining abortion rights and access to contraception for women.

He also praised himself for promoting an atmosphere of public religiosity through such trivialities as saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” He described such actions as “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” although the “Judeo” part is a sham. Trump has close associations with anti-Semites like his former chief political counselor, Stephen Bannon, now returned to his position as executive chairman of Breitbart News.

Trump was silent about his own encouragement of the white supremacists who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia two months ago, where they mobilized in defense of Confederate war monuments. After the neo-Nazis marched with torches chanting “Jews will not replace us,” and killed an anti-fascist protester, Trump declared that there were “many fine people” in the ranks of the racists.

On Saturday, Bannon followed Trump to the speaker’s podium at the Values Voter Summit, where his contribution to Christian “values” was a thinly veiled call for the removal—by any means necessary—of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He described McConnell as the Julius Caesar of Capitol Hill, and said the Senate Republicans were in turmoil because “They’re just looking to find out who is going to be [murderer] Brutus to your Julius Caesar.”

A public speaker who made such a comparison in relation to President Trump would be visited by the Secret Service and probably locked up. Evidently suggesting that the Senate majority leader should be done in is not taken quite so seriously. Nor did the good Christians at the Values Voter Summit object to the suggestion, which was hardly of the “turn the other cheek” persuasion.

Bannon also denounced another Republican senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee, for suggesting that Trump is unfit for office and could lead the country into World War III. “Bob Corker has trashed the commander in chief of our armed forces while we have young men and women in harm’s way, right?” Bannon declared, claiming that this was “the first time in the history of our republic” that a senator has “mocked and ridiculed a commander in chief when we have kids in the field.”

The former White House political adviser is apparently ignorant of the public attacks on Truman, Johnson, Nixon, George W. Bush and Obama, limiting this to modern history. These presidents were all criticized and denounced, deservedly so, while directing foreign military interventions.

Bannon suggested that any Republican senator who did not publicly condemn Corker’s comments could face a primary challenge. “Right now it’s a season of war against the GOP establishment,” he told the fundamentalist conference.

There is an apparent division of labor between Trump and his former chief political aide, who left the White House less than two months ago. Bannon is openly corralling racist, neo-fascist and Christian fundamentalist groups behind a program of extreme nationalism and militarism, threatening to run candidates against “mainstream” Republican right-wingers, even if that damages the party’s prospects for maintaining control of Congress in the 2018 elections.

While Bannon openly targets McConnell, Trump combines occasional vilification, usually by Twitter, with public flattery, as on Monday after a closed-door luncheon meeting, when the two appeared side-by-side on the steps of the White House.

Virginia’s evangelical Liberty University is reportedly helping to make a film about how Trump was chosen by God.


Trump falsely claims Obama did not call families of dead soldiers while he was President: here.

16 thoughts on “Donald Trump and the theocratic extreme right

  1. Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:52 am (PDT) . Posted by:

    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus


    Summer Zervos, who claims Trump groped her with out consent, is suing the president for defamation.

    A woman who accused President Donald Trump of unwanted groping has subpoenaed all documents held by his presidential campaign about any harassment and assault allegations against him, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday .

    Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” and one of many women who came forward during the campaign to accuse Trump of harassment or assault, initiated the subpoena as part of her lawsuit against the president for defamation.

    Zervos decided to sue Trump in January months after the then-presidential candidate denied the allegation and dismissed all of his accusers as liars.

    In her bid to establish that Trump “defamed” her, Zervos’s subpoena aims to prove how Trump deliberately tried to discredit her and the other accusers.

    The subpoena, which is liable to renew public attention on the numerous allegations against Trump, sets the stage for another legal and political headache for the president.

    Summer Zervos, who claims Trump groped her without consent, is suing the president for defamation.

    The subpoena, which is liable to renew public attention on the numerous allegations against Trump, sets the stage for another legal and political headache for the president.

    Zervos’ subpoena requires him to turn over all documents “concerning any accusations that were made during Donald J. Trump’s election campaign for president, that he subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior.” The order would cover documents about Zervos, as well as other women who accused Trump of groping, including, but not limited to, Jessica Leeds, Mindy McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Temple Taggart, Kristin Anderson, Cathy Heller, Jill Harth, and Jessica Drake.

    Zervos’ legal team, which includes nationally renowned women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, issued the subpoena in March, but it only entered the court record in September.

    Trump’s attorneys tried to get the suit dismissed in March on the grounds that the president is immune from being sued while in office. They also tried to dismiss the subpoena in July, arguing that it “seeks wholly irrelevant information intended solely to harass the president.”

    During Trump’s campaign, he vowed to sue the women who accused him of assault and harassment, but he has not followed through on the promise.


    > Vast Majority of Americans Would Likely Lose From Senate GOP’s $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts, Once They’re Paid For
    > This week, the Senate Budget Committee will vote on a budget resolution that would allow Congress to move forward with tax-cut legislation that adds $1.5 trillion to deficits over ten years.[2] The vast majority of Americans would be net losers from such a tax bill, if:
    > The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts were anywhere near as skewed to the top as those in the tax plan that President Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled last week. That plan would deliver 80 percent of its tax cuts to the top 1 percent of households by 2027, the Tax Policy Center (TPC) estimates.[3]
    > The tax cuts were eventually paid for through the types of spending cuts in recent GOP budget proposals, which fall overwhelmingly on low- and moderate-income people.
    > Sooner or later, the cost will need to be offset through some combination of spending cuts and tax increases. This analysis, following an approach that TPC used in its analysis of the potential ultimate effects of a prior Trump tax plan,[4] captures the frequently overlooked reality of a plan that includes net tax cuts over the next decade: sooner or later, the cost will need to be offset through some combination of spending cuts and tax increases. We conclude that the spending cuts and tax increases needed to offset the cost of the Trump/GOP tax cuts would cause most Americans’ incomes to fall more than they would gain from the tax cuts themselves. (See Figure 1.)
    > These findings underscore the importance of the debate over the budget resolution and the instructions provided for the tax plan. Congress is far more likely to avoid effectively transferring income from low- and middle-income people to the rich if the resolution requires, at minimum, that tax legislation be revenue neutral; that is, all tax cuts should be fully offset by other tax increases, such as closing tax loopholes.[5] If the resolution instead facilitates tax cuts that can be paid for by adding to budget deficits that would result in damaging spending cuts down the road, or by cutting critical programs like Medicaid right away, then the tax cuts would likely leave low- and middle-income people worse off.[6] Reductions in investments and in basic assistance in nutrition, health, education, and other areas vital to the broad population would be made to pay for large tax cuts for the wealthy.
    > The Majority of Americans Would Pay for a $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut Benefiting the Top
    > Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi’s proposed budget resolution would allow lawmakers to use a legislative fast-track process known as reconciliation (which needs just a simple majority vote in the Senate) to pass a tax cut bill that would add $1.5 trillion to deficits.
    > For this analysis, we first assume that these $1.5 trillion in tax cuts would follow the basic structure of the tax plan that President Trump and Republican congressional leaders unveiled last week. As such, we assume the eventual $1.5 trillion tax cut bill would deliver the same share of tax cuts to each income group as that plan.[7] TPC estimates that by 2027, when key components of that tax plan are in full effect:[8]
    > Eighty percent of the tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of households (whose incomes exceed $900,000).
    > Forty percent of the tax cuts would go to the top 0.1 percent (whose incomes exceed $5 million).
    > The bottom 80 percent of Americans would get just 13 percent of the tax cuts.
    > Second, we acknowledge that the cost of the tax cut will need to be offset through some combination of spending cuts and tax increases, even if the costs are initially funded through increased deficits.[9]
    > To illustrate this, we assume that the costs of the additional offsets necessary to fully finance a $1.5 trillion tax cut plan are borne equally by each household in the country, as this TPC financing scenario is the one that most closely reflects the budget priorities of the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress. President Trump and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly proposed substantial budget cuts in programs that help families meet basic needs like Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps), as well as in investments that can help build a stronger economy like education and research. They have justified these cuts as necessary to address the projected growth in debt as a share of the economy that we already face — before accounting for a $1.5 trillion tax cut.
    > Under this “equal costs per household” scenario, in 2027 (see Figure 1):[10]
    > The bottom fifth of the income spectrum would lose on average about $1,000 each, amounting to a 5 percent reduction in their after-tax incomes.
    > The middle fifth of the income spectrum would lose on average about $800 each, amounting to a 1 percent reduction in their after-tax incomes.
    > Every income group in the bottom 95 percent of the income spectrum would be net losers, on average, while only the top 5 percent would be net winners.
    > The top 1 percent would be big winners, gaining on average about $128,000 each, a 5 percent increase in their after-tax incomes.
    > The top 0.1 percent would be the biggest winners of all, gaining on average about $600,000 each, a 6 percent increase in their after-tax incomes.
    > These estimates may understate the extent of the likely losses for low- and middle-income Americans under stated GOP tax and budget policies, for two reasons:
    > Noting the depth of the cuts to low- and moderate-income programs in the Administration’s and congressional Republican budget and health reform proposals, the authors of the similar TPC analysis that this paper draws on state: “A scenario more regressive [hitting low- and moderate-income Americans even harder] than equal-per-household financing would most accurately characterize the policy preferences embedded in recent proposals by the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans….”
    > The Senate Budget resolution would allow Congress to use reconciliation to pass a bill that had more than $1.5 trillion in tax cuts through the Senate with only a simple majority vote — so long as the additional tax cuts were paid for with cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs under the Senate Finance Committee’s jurisdiction that help families afford basic needs. This is because the budget resolution instructs the Finance Committee to make changes to deficits, not revenues. This means that the Senate can use reconciliation to pass a bill that makes cuts in mandatory programs that help families afford basic needs, and every dollar cut from those programs could be used to cut an additional dollar in taxes (on top of the $1.5 trillion).
    > In its analysis, TPC also examined two other financing scenarios, both of which reflect far more progressive financing alternatives (relying more on financing that hits higher-income households) than are reflected in the spending cuts prioritized by the Trump and House Republican budgets. These other scenarios show that only by financing the tax cuts with progressive tax increases is it possible for the majority of Americans not to be net losers. Ultimately, a tax plan that meets the standards of revenue and distributional neutrality requires offsetting any tax cuts with tax increases, and that the cuts and increases are designed in a manner that leaves the current distribution of after-tax income unchanged.
    > Conclusion
    > This analysis (and the TPC analysis from which it is derived) is a reminder that “there is no free lunch.” A tax proposal that is not fully paid for — like the $1.5 trillion tax cut that the proposed Senate budget plan would allow — should not be judged solely on what a standard distributional table might show about its effects, because such a table doesn’t consider the income reductions that will occur due to the combination of tax increases and spending cuts ultimately required to offset its costs. A full accounting of such a plan that considers necessary offsets would likely show most households would lose more from the plan than they would gain.


  3. Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:17 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus


    President Trump has named former Texas environmental regulator and climate change denier Kathleen Hartnett White as his senior adviser on environmental policy.

    White served as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under then-Governor Rick Perry, who’s now Trump’s secretary of energy.

    White has argued that carbon dioxide is harmless and should not be regulated, has described solar and wind power as “unreliable and parasitic,” and has called climate change “a dogma that has little to do with science.”

    In a 2014 blog post titled “Energy and Freedom,” White wrote that coal “dissolved the economic justification for slavery.”


  4. Pingback: Puerto Rico electricity blackout, biggest in United States history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Neonazis march in Warsaw, Poland | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Pro-Trump Moore loses Alabama Senate election | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Trump’s tax cuts for Trump, and Christmas | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Donald Trump, a year of anti-LGBTQ policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: United States Clinton Democrats sell out Dreamers to Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Trump attacks spaceflight, international space cooperation | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Donald Trump’s unwelcome visit to Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Donald Trump’s theocratic USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Trump’s Bolton cozies up to Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Donald Trump, war, religion and women’s soccer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.