Monday, June 19, 2017


In 1992, Pat Buchanan declared war on me and mine. I watched the convention, saw his speech, and I laughed. There was no culture war. Living in the Bay Area at the time, working to get single payer on the ballot, marching in pro LGBTQ rallies, I did not see what we were doing as a war. We wanted equality, not dominion. We wanted a seat at the table, money for AIDS research, healthcare, clean water and air. We honestly did not care how Christians lived their lives so long as they did not tell us how to live ours, nor try to silence us. But Pat Buchanan declared this a culture war for the very soul of America. It didn't start with him: really, it started with Reagan's first run as governor, but it was Buchanan who turned it into the culture wars. 

This may not be true, it is certainly not the whole story. I had to listen to Limbaugh back in the 80s, when he was the local drive time host in my home town--and he had replaced Morton Downey Jr.. in 1981 a group of Christians came and tried to shut down the gaming club at my high school because we played D&D. So you get an idea of what Sacramento was like back then. But Buchanan's speech is the moment for me when everything turned, because from that moment forward I have felt under constant attack from the right. I have been vilified and pilloried--not usually me specifically, except on Facebook--as a liberal, an urbanite, an actor, a college professor, a Californian, a New Yorker, etc. Because I come from and love a very conservative family, I try very hard to keep my rhetoric under control when I get angry at what I feel are wave after wave of attacks on me, my values, my world. 

And I know a lot of conservatives that feel exactly as I do. 

A friend on Facebook, a mostly conservative friend, posted an article from the Wall Street Journal in which Peggy Noonan states that the rhetoric around President Trump must be toned down, and she ascribes it to liberals who have been "broken" by the president.

I can get behind a lot of Noonan's sentiment but not her words. She says Donald Trump "broke" us. Yes, it's true. He did. From our perspective, he showed us that America is evil. It is bent on, not only our destruction, but the destruction of everything that is good in the world. We could believe Reagan and even Bush 45, but not Trump. How anyone could support that monster? Trump is more than a ranting missogynistic bully. I avoided referring to Trump as a fascist for many months--until he was in office and started governing as a fascist. I criticized people for calling him a fascist because it was too like the ignorant idiots who called Obama a socialist when he was nothing of the sort. But Trump was always something of the sort. He ran a classic fascist campaign--scapegoating foreigners, bullying opposition, promoting belligerent nationalism, wedding the governmental to the corporate, vulgar, populist, encouraging violence at his rallies, mocking the disabled, attacking the press, attacking the courts, promoting authoritarianism, saying only he could fix our problems, demanding worship and loyalty, demeaning the weak, and trying to lead by fiat--and millions of our fellow Americans voted for him. They are so angry, and angry at us, that they relish our misery and pray for our deaths. Search the Internet and you will find people gleefully anticipating the time when all the gun owning real Americans start gunning down us liberal pussies. Trump egged those people on. He is their champion. And he's proven to be everything progressives feared. It's not really Trump that has driven us crazy: it's that he won dispite losing by 2 million votes, and that apparently 40% of people still approve of this vulgar fascist monster. 

And Noonan wants people to stop saying that. Most of this article lays the blame, in a back handed passive aggressive way, on well meaning journalists and entertainers who have lost their minds and their dignity because they've been broken by Trump. She dismissively says that it's not enough to say Trump did it first. But it wasn't Trump. It's been going on for, well, forever. Noonan wants us all to calm down and turn down the rhetoric, and we probably should: but I can't help seeing her plea as yet another hollow protestation. She wants us to treat Mr. Trump as normal. But he's not, and any attempt to normalize this president is not only dangerous but a victory for the fascists. We haven't had a president like him ever. The closest is Jackson--Trump's apparent favorite--who trashed the White House, ignored the Supreme Court, and committed genocide. We can't treat Trump as normal. Any attempt to silence the protest against Mr. Trump is just an attempt to apologize for fascism. 

Clearly a lot of people were broken by the election of a liberal (although barely) black urbanite as President.  Where was Peggy when Obama was lynched in effigy? Or when Ted Nugent said he want Obama and Hilary to suck on the barrel of his AR-15? Hell, where was she when Limbaugh called Hilary a femenazi back in the 90s? 

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.