Présidence Trump: Attention: une ignorance peut en cacher une autre ! (Don’t know much about history: Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education)

8 février, 2017
superhackDon’t know much about history … Sam Cooke
Barack is one of the smartest people you will ever encounter who will deign to enter this messy thing called politics. Michelle Obama
Féru d’histoire, je sais aussi la dette que la civilisation doit à l’islam. Barack Hussein Obama
Le Saint Coran nous enseigne que quiconque tue un innocent tue l’humanité tout entière, et que quiconque sauve quelqu’un, sauve l’humanité tout entière. Barack Hussein Obama
Nous cherchons à ouvrir un nouveau chemin en direction du monde musulman, fondé sur l’intérêt mutuel et le respect mutuel. (…) Nous sommes une nation de chrétiens, de musulmans, de juifs, d’hindous et de non croyants. Barack Hussein Obama (discours d’investiture, le 20 janvier 2009)
Une nation de musulmans, de chrétiens et de juifs … Barack Hussein Obama (Entretien à la télévision saoudienne Al-Arabiya, 27 janvier, 2009)
Nous exprimerons notre appréciation profonde de la foi musulmane qui a tant fait au long des siècles pour améliorer le monde, y compris mon propre pays. Barack Hussein Obama (Ankara, avril 2009)
Les Etats-Unis et le monde occidental doivent apprendre à mieux connaître l’islam. D’ailleurs, si l’on compte le nombre d’Américains musulmans, on voit que les Etats-Unis sont l’un des plus grands pays musulmans de la planète. Barack Hussein Obama (entretien pour Canal +, le 2 juin 2009)
Salamm aleïkoum (…) Comme le dit le Saint Coran, « Crains Dieu et dis toujours la vérité ». (…) Je suis chrétien, mais mon père était issu d’une famille kényane qui compte des générations de musulmans. Enfant, j’ai passé plusieurs années en Indonésie où j’ai entendu l’appel à la prière (azan) à l’aube et au crépuscule. Jeune homme, j’ai travaillé dans des quartiers de Chicago où j’ai côtoyé beaucoup de gens qui trouvaient la dignité et la paix dans leur foi musulmane. Barack Hussein Obama (Prêche du Caire)
If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina; or Savannah, Georgia; or Jacksonville, Florida . . .  Barack Hussein Obama
It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 months we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in fifty …. seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it. Barack Hussein Obama
The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing. (…) We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say. Ben Rhodes (conseiller-adjoint à la sécurité extérieure d’Obama)
It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world. Donald Trump
Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered. Spokesperson Hope Hicks
 I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected, and the miserable genocide that occurred is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust. Deborah Lipstadt
After the Holocaust took away so much from the Jews, we must not take the Holocaust itself away from the Jews. Those victims were murdered not merely because they were different. They were murdered not merely because they were an ‘other.’ They were murdered because they were Jews. Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States
Je le respecte, mais «ça ne veut pas dire que je vais m’entendre avec lui.  C’est un leader dans son pays, et je pense qu’il vaut mieux s’entendre avec la Russie que l’inverse. (…) Beaucoup de tueurs, beaucoup de tueurs. Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent? Donald Trump
Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait aucune équivalence entre la manière dont les Russes se comportent et la manière dont les États-Unis se comportent. C’est un ancien du KGB, un voyou, élu d’une manière que beaucoup de gens ne trouvent pas crédible.  Mitch McConnell (chef de file des républicains au Sénat)
Quand est-ce qu’un activiste démocrate a été empoisonné par le parti Républicain, ou vice-versa? Nous ne sommes pas comme Poutine. Marc Rubio (sénateur républicain de Floride)
Dans son « parler vrai » à l’adresse du monde arabe, après avoir commencé par prétendre mensongèrement que, comme l’Amérique, l’islam cultivait « la justice et le progrès, la tolérance et la dignité de tout être humain », Obama a été sciemment et fondamentalement malhonnête. Par cette malhonnêteté, il a entrepris de placer le monde musulman sur un pied d’égalité morale avec le monde libre. (…) Malheureusement, une analyse attentive de ses déclarations montre qu’Obama adopte bel et bien le point de vue des Arabes, selon lequel Israël serait un élément étranger – et donc injustifiable – dans le monde arabe. En réalité, loin de dénoncer leur refus d’accepter Israël, Obama le légitime. L’argument fondamental que les Arabes utilisent contre Israël est que la seule raison de sa création aurait été d’apaiser la mauvaise conscience des Européens après la Shoah. Selon leurs dires, les Juifs n’auraient aucun droit sur la Terre d’Israël du point de vue légal, historique et moral. Or, cet argument est complètement faux ». (…) « La communauté internationale a reconnu les droits légaux, historiques et moraux du peuple juif sur la Terre d’Israël bien avant que quiconque ait jamais entendu parler d’Adolf Hitler. En 1922, la Société des Nations avait mandaté la « reconstitution » – et non la création – du foyer national juif sur la Terre d’Israël dans ses frontières historiques sur les deux rives du Jourdain. Cependant, dans ce qu’il présentait lui-même comme un exemple de parler-vrai, Obama a ignoré cette vérité fondamentale au profit du mensonge arabe. Il a donné du crédit à son mensonge en déclarant, hors de propos, que « l’aspiration à un territoire juif est ancrée dans un passé tragique ». Il a ensuite lié de façon explicite la création de l’État d’Israël à la Shoah, en formulant une leçon d’histoire intéressée sur le génocide des Juifs d’Europe. Pire encore que son aveuglement délibéré vis-à-vis des justifications historiques, légales et morales de la renaissance d’Israël, il y a la manière dont Obama a évoqué Israël même. De façon odieuse et mensongère, Obama a allègrement comparé la manière dont Israël traite les Palestiniens à celle dont les esclavagistes blancs, en Amérique, traitaient leurs esclaves noirs. De même, il a assimilé les terroristes palestiniens à la catégorie, moralement pure, des esclaves. De façon plus ignoble encore, en utilisant le terme de « résistance », euphémisme arabe pour désigner le terrorisme palestinien, Obama a conféré à celui-ci la grandeur morale des révoltes des esclaves et du mouvement des droits civiques. Caroline Glick (Haaretz)
Les squelettes qui encombrent tous les placards d’Obama n’ont jamais été dérangés ni examinés par la presse dite Mainstream, c’est-à-dire la presse « honorable ». Alors qu’un comportement systématique et permanent de coopération avec l’extrême-gauche raciste, violente et fraudeuse, avec les plus extrêmes représentants du Black Power, apôtres d’un fascisme noir, a été démontré par des enquêtes répétées, la grande presse, les networks de télévision sont restés d’un silence de plomb. Sa carrière politique a-t-elle été lancée par le terroriste non repenti Bill Ayers, du Weather Underground, équivalent américain d’Action directe ? Obama ment sans vergogne. A propos d’Ayers : « c’est un type qui habite dans ma rue », alors que l’autre l’a fait entrer au conseil d’une fondation où il siège, et qui finance toutes sortes d’organisations louches mais situées à l’extrême-gauche, dont ACORN, aujourd’hui inculpée de fraude électorale dans dix Etats de l’Union. La presse ne pipe mot. Alors que sa carrière politique a été couvée et promue par la sordide organisation démocrate de Chicago, machine à tricher et à voler, qui fait pâlir la Corse, Marseille et Naples réunies, qu’il y a été financé par l’escroc syrien Antoine Rezko, actuellement pensionnaire des prisons fédérales, on n’en trouve pas un mot dans les media. (…) De même, les networks de télévision procèdent par montage pour présenter un Obama clair, clairvoyant, décidé, alors qu’il bafouille et hésite quand le téléprompteur lui manque, ou qu’il n’est pas en situation de réciter les talking points (les paragraphes pondus par son équipe). Ce qui donne des discours et des réponses pleins de « mots codes » et vides de contenu ; comme il a remarquablement assimilé l’art tout washingtonien de réciter les dossiers, un peu à la façon énarque, il peut prétendre savoir de quoi il parle, alors qu’en matière de politique étrangère, il a l’ignorance crasse du novice. On me dira : vous exagérez ! Il est brillant diplômé de Harvard ! A quoi je ferai remarquer qu’un universitaire décrit comme de grande classe devrait avoir écrit quelques articles de grande revue de droit qui auront fait date. Ici, rien, le désert. Qu’on se souvienne des présidentielles de 2000 – Bush avait été un étudiant pas très assidu, quoique diplômé de la prestigieuse université de Yale ; mais il avait été bambocheur et buveur – la grande presse faisait florès du moindre verre de whisky jamais avalé. Aujourd’hui, elle passe au microscope le moindre pas de la famille Palin, et s’acharne à trouver tous les poux du monde dans la tête du gouverneur de l’Alaska. Les media se sont transformées en une machine à faire élire Obama, qui est donc à la fois le candidat du Parti Démocrate et du Parti de la presse. Laurent Murawiec
Obama demande pardon pour les faits et gestes de l’Amérique, son passé, son présent et le reste, il s’excuse de tout. Les relations dégradées avec la Russie, le manque de respect pour l’Islam, les mauvais rapports avec l’Iran, les bisbilles avec l’Europe, le manque d’adulation pour Fidel Castro, tout lui est bon pour battre la coulpe de l’Amérique. Plus encore, il célèbre la contribution (totalement inexistante) de l’Islam à l’essor de l’Amérique, et il se fend d’une révérence au sanglant et sectaire roi d’Arabie, l’Abdullah de la haine. Il annule la ceinture anti-missiles sise en Alaska et propose un désarmement nucléaire inutile. (…) Plus encore, cette déplorable Amérique a semé le désordre et le mal partout dans le monde. Au lieu de collaborer multilatéralement avec tous, d’œuvrer au bien commun avec Poutine, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Saddam Hussein, Bachir al-Assad, et Cie, l’insupportable Bush en a fait des ennemis. (…) Il n’y a pas d’ennemis, il n’y a que des malentendus. Il ne peut y avoir d’affrontements, seulement des clarifications. Laurent Murawiec
Si vous êtes Israéliens, Obama vous laisse le choix du costume : si l’uniforme SS vous déplait, vous avez celui d’esclavagiste faisant claquer son fouet dans une plantation de la banlieue d’Atlanta en 1850, ou celui de policier au service de la discrimination du côté de Soweto. Joli choix, non? Guy Millière
Obama (…) dit que Thomas Jefferson était un lecteur du Coran, mais omet de rappeler, ce que tout lecteur de la correspondance de Jefferson sait, que si celui qui fut le troisième Président des Etats-Unis a lu le Coran, c’était pour comprendre la mentalité de gens qui exerçaient des actes de prédation violente contre des navires marchands américains. Obama cite par ailleurs une phrase de John Adams disant que ‘les Etats-Unis sont en paix’ avec le monde musulman, mais il omet de signaler que la phrase de John Adams figure dans un accord de paix qui suit une action de guerre menée par les Etats-Unis aux fins que les actes de prédation susdits cessent. (…) Et je passe sur les propos concernant l’invention de l’algèbre, du compas, de la boussole, de l’imprimerie de la médecine moderne, par des musulmans. Obama, ou son téléprompteur, n’ont jamais dû ouvrir un livre d’histoire des sciences et des techniques. (..) Je garde le meilleur pour la fin: ‘tout au long de l’histoire, l’islam a démontré, par les paroles et par les actes, les possibilités de la tolérance religieuse et de l’égalité raciale’. (…) Dire une telle phrase en gardant son sérieux implique un talent certain dans l’aptitude à dire n’importe quoi en gardant son sérieux. Enfin, et c’est le plus grave, c’est même si grave que là, on n’est plus dans le douteux, mais dans le répugnant, Obama pousse le relativisme moral et les comparaisons bancales jusqu’à un degré où il frôle le révisionnisme qu’il dénonce par ailleurs. Oser comparer la destruction des Juifs d’Europe par le régime nazi et ses complices au sort subi par le ‘peuple palestinien’ depuis soixante années montre, qu’à force d’écouter des gens comme Jeremiah Wright, il reste des salissures dans les neurones ». Guy Millière
Le réel, c’est un pays en proie à la plus grave menace d’éclatement social et culturel depuis les années 30. Le réel, c’est une explosion sans précédent des inégalités. Le réel, c’est l’abîme qui sépare les privilégiés et les élites mondialisées. Le réel, ce sont des usines fermées, des entreprises délocalisées, des emplois raréfiés, des salariés déprimés, et des électeurs frustrés. Le réel, c’est une immigration massive (11 millions de clandestins sans doits et sous-payés !) encouragée par le patronat pour accentuer le dumping social et la guerre des pauvres contre les pauvres. Le réel, c’est le bide de l’ère Obama à l’exception de l’Obamacare, qui a joué de son image pour faire oublier un bilan se ramenant à un grand vide. Le réel, c’est le rejet de la famille Clinton, considérée à tort ou à raison comme le symbole de l’entre-soi, de l’arrivisme et du copinage. Le réel, enfin, c’est un candidat qui a surfé sur toute ces frustrations pour l’emporter alors qu’il est lui-même le représentant type de l’Amérique du fric. Clinton, un discours convenu et rejeté. Le réel, c’est un Donald Trump que l’on a réduit à ses propres outrances – ce qui n’est guère compliqué – en oubliant que sur nombre de sujets (la folie du libre-échange, les délocalisations, la misère ouvrière, le rejet de l’élite), il a su développer une démagogie d’autant plus efficace qu’en face, Hillary Clinton s’est contentée de reprendre un discours convenu, attendu et rejeté. Cette dernière est même allée jusqu’à traiter les électeurs de Trump de personnes « pitoyables », étalant ainsi un mépris de classe qui n’a sans doute pas été pour rien dans sa déroute. Et voilà comment on en est arrivé à un résultat que les experts en tout et en rien n’ont pas vu venir, car eux-mêmes vivent dans une bulle. Tout comme ils ont été incapables de prévoir le Brexit, ou quelques années plus tôt la victoire du non au traité constitutionnel européen en 2005, il était inconcevable à leurs yeux qu’un homme aussi détestable que Donald Trump puisse l’emporter. Toutes proportions gardées, c’est la même cécité qui les conduit à ne rien comprendre au phénomène Le Pen en France, lequel n’est pas sans analogie avec l’effet Trump. Face à la colère qui conduit nombre de citoyens déboussolés à se tourner vers le FN, ils se contentent encore trop souvent de condamnations morales, sans prendre en compte un mouvement de fond qui se joue des barrières de la diabolisation. Mieux vaudrait s’en apercevoir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Marianne
Donald Trump, éreinté par les prêcheurs d’amour, en devient estimable. La gauche morale, qui refuse de se dire vaincue, dévoile l’intolérance qu’elle dissimulait du temps de sa domination. Cette semaine, les manifestations anti-Trump se succèdent à Washington, où le président prête serment ce vendredi. La presse ne cache rien de la répulsion que lui inspire celui qui a gagné en lui tournant le dos. Les artistes de variétés se glorifient de ne vouloir chanter pour lui. Des stylistes de mode font savoir qu’ils n’habilleront pas la First Lady, Melania. Des peintres demandent à Ivanka, la fille, de décrocher leurs œuvres de son appartement. Au pays de la démocratie, le choix du peuple et des grands électeurs est refusé par une caste convaincue de sa supériorité. (…) Le sectarisme des prétendus bienveillants montre leur pharisaïsme. Les masques n’ont pas fini de tomber. C’est un monde ancien qu’enterre Trump à la Maison-Blanche : celui des bons sentiments étalés et des larmes furtives, alibis des lâchetés. La vulgarité du cow-boy mégalomane et son expression brutale ne suffisent pas à le disqualifier. D’autant que ses procureurs se ridiculisent. Le mondialiste George Soros, qui avait parié sur la frayeur des marchés, aurait perdu près d’un milliard de dollars. En quelques tweets, Trump a obtenu que Ford annule un projet d’usine au Mexique au profit d’un investissement dans le Michigan. Fiat-Chrystler va également rapatrier une production de véhicules. General Motors promet d’investir un milliard de dollars. Carrier (climatiseurs) va sauver 1 000 postes. Amazon annonce 100 000 emplois et Walmart 10 000. L’effet Trump s’est déjà mis en branle. L’éléphant va casser de la porcelaine. Mais la révolution des œillères, ôtées grâce à lui, est à ce prix. Il va être difficile, pour les orphelins de l’obamania et les pandores du bien-pensisme, de faire barrage à l’insurrection populaire qui s’exprime, faute de mieux, derrière ce personnage instinctif. Ivan Rioufol
Iran now stands at the apex of an arc of influence stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, from the borders of NATO to the borders of Israel and along the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It commands the loyalties of tens of thousands in allied militias and proxy armies that are fighting on the front lines in Syria, Iraq and Yemen with armored vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons. They have been joined by thousands of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most prestigious military wing, who have acquired meaningful battlefield experience in the process. For the first time in its history, the Institute for the Study of War noted in a report last week, Iran has developed the capacity to project conventional military force for hundreds of miles beyond its borders. “This capability, which very few states in the world have, will fundamentally alter the strategic calculus and balance of power within the Middle East,” the institute said. America’s Sunni Arab allies, who blame the Obama administration’s hesitancy for Iran’s expanded powers, are relishing the prospect of a more confrontational U.S. approach. Any misgivings they may have had about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric have been dwarfed by their enthusiasm for an American president they believe will push back against Iran. The Washington Post
Now that Obama is out of office, the Washington Post is beginning to look at the consequences of his policies. One of the biggest: Iran is now a regional superpower, but still as hostile to the U.S. and its allies as ever…. The American interest
Donald Trump was not my favorite in the primaries; but once he was likely to win the nomination (April 2016), I simply went to his website and collated his positions with Hillary Clinton’s on sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, defense, foreign policy, taxes, regulation, energy development, the EPA, the 2nd Amendment, the wall, school choice, and a host of other issues. The comparison supported my suspicions that he was more conservative and would not lose the Supreme Court for a generation to progressive massaging of the law, which was inevitable under Hillary Clinton. I think his appointments, Supreme Court pick, and executive orders have supported that belief that he is far more conservative than Hillary Clinton’s agendas. Oh, I came to another conclusion: I initially thought Trump might be the only nominee who would lose to Hillary Clinton; soon, however, I began to believe that he might be the only one who could beat her, given he was the first Republican to campaign in the Lee Atwater-style of 1988 and actually fought back against the WikiLeaks nexus of the media and Democratic Party. As for his sometimes reckless tweets and outbursts, I calibrated three variables: 1) Were they any different from past presidents’? In fact, they were—but not to a degree that I thought his behavior endangered the republic. For all his antics at rallies, he did not yet say “punish our enemies” or urge his supporters to take a gun to a knife fight or to get in “their faces.” His silliness was similar to Joe Biden’s (“put you all in chains,” or his belief that FDR went on TV to the nation in 1929). Yes, I wish Trump was more sober and judicious, but then again we have had very unsober presidents and vice presidents in the past (LBJ showed the nation his surgery scars and reportedly exposed himself during a meeting). FDR carried on an affair while president. No need to mention JFK’s nocturnal romps. So far Trump is not using the Oval Office bathroom for trysts with subordinate interns. Much of Trump’s oafishness is media created and reflects a bit of class disdain. We all need, however, to watch every president and call out crudity when it occurs. (I am still not happy with the strained explanations of his jerky movements as not an affront to a disabled person.) 2) Did the media play a role in the demonization of Trump? I think it did. In the last few weeks we were told falsely that his lawyer went to Prague to cut a deal with the Russians, that he removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office, and that he engaged in sexual debaucheries in Moscow—all absolutely not true. Who would trust the media after all that? So much of the hysteria is driven by a furious media that was not so furious when Obama signed executive orders circumventing the law or the Clintons ran a veritable shake-down operation (where is it now?) at the Clinton Foundation. Not wanting to take refugees from Australia that had sent back to sea arriving migrants and had them deposited them in camps in nearby islands is not exactly an extreme position (by liberal standards, Australia is the illiberal actor, not Trump). 3) Do Trump’s episodic outbursts threaten his agendas? I don’t know, but the media will ensure that they will, if he is not more circumspect. So far he is by design creating chaos and has befuddled his opponents, but I think in the long run he must limit his exposure to gratuitous attacks by curbing his tweets—and I have written just that in the past. Trump’s agenda is fine; his pushback against an unhinged Left and biased media is healthy, but he must economize his outbursts given that the strategy of his opponents is to nick him daily in hopes of an aggregate bleed. We have four more years and he needs to conserve his strength and stamina and not get sidelined with spats with Merle Streep or Arnold at the Apprentice. Remember, Obama was the revolution that sought to remake the country; the reaction to it is pushing the country back to the center—which appears now revolutionary. Trump’s stances on energy development, immigration, and foreign policy are not that much different from Bill Clinton’s or George H.W. Bush’s. They seem revolutionary because again he is correcting a revolution. Who had ever dreamed in 1995 of a sanctuary city, emulating the nullification policies of the Old Confederacy? Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama has a habit of asserting strategic nonsense with such certainty that it is at times embarrassing and frightening. Nowhere is that more evident than in his rhetoric about the Middle East. (…) in July 2015, Obama claimed that the now growing ISIS threat could not be addressed through force of arms, assuring the world that “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas.” Such a generic assertion seems historically preposterous. The defeat of German Nazism, Italian fascism, and Japanese militarism was not accomplished by Anglo-American rhetoric on freedom. What stopped the growth of Soviet-style global communism during the Cold War were both armed interventions such as the Korean War and real threats to use force such as during the Berlin Airlift and Cuban Missile Crisis— along with Ronald Reagan’s resoluteness backed by a military buildup that restored credible Western military deterrence. In contrast, Obama apparently believes that strategic threats are not checked with tough diplomacy backed by military alliances, balances of power, and military deterrence, much less by speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Rather, crises are resolved by ironing out mostly Western-inspired misunderstandings and going back on heat-of-the moment, ad hoc issued deadlines, red lines, and step-over lines, whether to the Iranian theocracy, Vladimir Putin, or Bashar Assad. Sometimes the administration’s faith in Western social progressivism is offered to persuade an Iran or Cuba that they have missed the arc of Westernized history—and must get back on the right side of the past by loosening the reins of their respective police states. Obama believes that engagement with Iran in non-proliferation talks—which have so far given up on prior Western insistences on third-party, out of the country enrichment, on-site inspections, and kick-back sanctions—will inevitably ensure that Iran becomes “a successful regional power.” That higher profile of the theocracy apparently is a good thing for the Middle East and our allies like Israel and the Gulf states.  (…) In his February 2, 2015 outline of anti-ISIS strategy—itself an update of an earlier September 2014 strategic précis—Obama again insisted that “one of the best antidotes to the hateful ideologies that try to recruit and radicalize people to violent extremism is our own example as diverse and tolerant societies that welcome the contributions of all people, including people of all faiths.” The idea, a naïve one, is that because we welcome mosques on our diverse and tolerant soil, ISIS will take note and welcome Christian churches. One of Obama’s former State Department advisors, Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks, recently amplified that reductionist confidence in the curative power of Western progressivism. She urged Americans to tweet ISIS, which, like Iran, habitually executes homosexuals. Brooks hoped that Americans would pass on stories about and photos of the Supreme Court’s recent embrace of gay marriage: “Do you want to fight the Islamic State and the forces of Islamic extremist terrorism? I’ll tell you the best way to send a message to those masked gunmen in Iraq and Syria and to everyone else who gains power by sowing violence and fear. Just keep posting that second set of images [photos of American gays and their supporters celebrating the Supreme Court decision]. Post them on Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and in comments all over the Internet. Send them to your friends and your family. Send them to your pen pal in France and your old roommate in Tunisia. Send them to strangers.” Such zesty confidence in the redemptive power of Western moral superiority recalls First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to persusade the murderous Boko Haram to return kidnapped Nigerian preteen girls. Ms. Obama appealed to Boko Haram on the basis of shared empathy and universal parental instincts. (“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”) Ms. Obama then fortified her message with a photo of her holding up a sign with the hash-tag #BringBackOurGirls. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has added Crimea and Eastern Ukraine to his earlier acquisitions in Georgia. He is most likely eyeing the Baltic States next. China is creating new strategic realities in the Pacific, in which Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines will eventually either be forced to acquiesce or to seek their own nuclear deterrent. The Middle East has imploded. Much of North Africa is becoming a Mogadishu-like wasteland. The assorted theocrats, terrorists, dictators, and tribalists express little fear of or respect for the U.S. They believe that the Obama administration does not know much nor cares about foreign affairs. They may be right in their cynicism. A president who does not consider chlorine gas a chemical weapon could conceivably believe that the Americans once liberated Auschwitz, that the Austrians speak an Austrian language, and that the Falklands are known in Latin America as the Maldives. Both friends and enemies assume that what Obama or his administration says today will be either rendered irrelevant or denied tomorrow. Iraq at one point was trumpeted by Vice President Joe Biden as the administration’s probable “greatest achievement.” Obama declared that Iraq was a “stable and self-reliant” country in no need of American peacekeepers after 2011. Yanking all Americans out of Iraq in 2011 was solely a short-term political decision designed as a 2012 reelection talking point. The American departure had nothing to do with a disinterested assessment of the long-term security of the still shaky Iraqi consensual government. When Senator Obama damned the invasion of Iraq in 2003; when he claimed in 2004 that he had no policy differences with the Bush administration on Iraq; when he declared in 2007 that the surge would fail; when he said in 2008 as a presidential candidate that he wanted all U.S. troops brought home; when he opined as President in 2011 that the country was stable and self-reliant; when he assured the world in 2014 that it was not threatened by ISIS; and when in 2015 he sent troops back into an imploding Iraq—all of these decisions hinged on perceived public opinion, not empirical assessments of the state of Iraq itself. The near destruction of Iraq and the rise of ISIS were the logical dividends of a decade of politicized ambiguity. After six years, even non-Americans have caught on that the more Obama flip-flops on Iraq, deprecates an enemy, or ignores Syrian redlines, the less likely American arms will ever be used and assurances honored. The world is going to become an even scarier place in the next two years. The problem is not just that our enemies do not believe our President, but rather that they no longer even listen to him. Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama (…) believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot. When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up “on the right side of history.” Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama. Obama often parrots Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. But King used that metaphor as an incentive to act, not as reassurance that matters will follow an inevitably positive course. Another of Obama’s historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or the Islamic State has no place in our century and will “ultimately fail” — as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery. In Obama’s hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively. In the viciously modern 20th century — when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined — some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century — and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks, or Venetians could have imagined. (…) What explains Obama’s confusion? A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. (…) Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition — forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left. (…) A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch. In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like the Islamic State from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment. In 1935, French foreign minister Pierre Laval warned Joseph Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics — as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. “The Pope?” Stalin asked, “How many divisions has he got?” There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram, or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears, and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists, and the Barbary pirates. Obama’s naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action. Victor Davis Hanson
Let’s hope that the era of ‘lead from behind’ and violated red lines is over. For eight years, the Obama administration misjudged Vladimir Putin’s Russia, as it misjudged most of the Middle East, China, and the rest of the world as well. Obama got wise to Russia only when Putin imperiled not just U.S. strategic interests and government records but also supposedly went so far as to tamper with sacrosanct Democratic-party secrets, thereby endangering the legacy of Barack Obama. Putin was probably bewildered by Obama’s media-driven and belated concern, given that the Russians, like the Chinese, had in the past hacked U.S. government documents that were far more sensitive than the information it may have mined and leaked in 2016 — and they received nothing but an occasional Obama “cut it out” whine. Neurotic passive-aggression doesn’t merely bother the Russians; it apparently incites and emboldens them. (…) Russia had once lost a million civilians at the siege of Leningrad when Hitler’s Army Group North raced through the Baltic States (picking up volunteers as it went) and met up with the Finns. At Sevastopol, General Erich von Manstein’s Eleventh Army may well have inflicted 100,000 Russian Crimean casualties in a successful but nihilistic effort to take and nearly destroy the fortress. The Kiev Pocket and destruction of the Southwestern Front of the Red Army in the Ukraine in September 1941 (700,000 Russians killed, captured, or missing) may have been the largest encirclement and mass destruction of an army in military history. For Putin, these are not ancient events but rather proof of why former Soviet bloodlands were as much Russian as Puerto Rico was considered American. We find such reasoning tortured, given Ukrainian and Crimean desires to be free; Putin insists that Russian ghosts still flitter over such hallowed ground. Reconstruction of Putin’s mindset is not justification for his domestic thuggery or foreign expansionism at the expense of free peoples. But it does remind us that he is particularly ill-suited to listen to pat lectures from American sermonizers whose unwillingness to rely on force to back up their sanctimony is as extreme as their military assets are overwhelming. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak. There were areas where Obama might have sought out Putin in ways advantageous to the U.S., such as wooing him away from Iran or playing him off against China or lining him up against North Korea. But ironically, Obama was probably more interested in inflating the Persian and Shiite regional profile than was Putin himself. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak. If Obama wished to invite Putin into the Middle East, then at least he might have made an effort to align him with Israel, the Gulf States, Egypt, and Jordan, in pursuit of their shared goal of wiping out radical Islamic terrorism. In the process, these powers might have grown increasingly hostile to Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. But Obama was probably more anti-Israeli than Putin, and he also disliked the moderate Sunni autocracies more than Putin himself did. As far as China, Putin was delighted that Obama treated Chinese aggression in the Spratly Islands as Obama had treated his own in Ukraine: creased-brow angst about bad behavior followed by indifference. The irony of the failed reset was that in comparative terms the U.S. — given its newfound fossil-fuel wealth and energy independence, the rapid implosion of the European Union, and its continuing technological superiority — should have been in an unusually strong position as the leader of the West. Unhinged nuclear proliferation, such as in Pakistan and North Korea and soon in Iran, is always more of a long-term threat to a proximate Russia than to a distant America. And Russia’s unassimilated and much larger Muslim population is always a far more existential threat to Moscow than even radical Islamic terrorism is at home to the U.S. In other words, there were realist avenues for cooperation that hinged on a strong and nationalist U.S. clearly delineating areas where cooperation benefitted both countries (and the world). Other spheres in which there could be no American–Russian consensus could by default have been left to sort themselves out in a may-the-best-man-win fashion, hopefully peaceably. Such détente would have worked only if Obama had forgone all the arc-of-history speechifying and the adolescent putdowns, meant to project strength in the absence of quiet toughness. Let us hope that Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Jim Mattis know this and thus keep mostly silent, remind Putin privately (without trashing a former president) that the aberrant age of Obama is over, carry huge sticks, work with Putin where and when it is in our interest, acknowledge his help, seek to thwart common enemies — and quietly find ways to utilize overwhelming American military and economic strength to discourage him from doing something unwise for both countries. Victor Davis Hanson
In reference to the Falkland Islands, President Obama called them the Maldives — islands southwest of India — apparently in a botched effort to use the Argentine-preferred “Malvinas.” The two island groups may sound somewhat alike, but they are continents apart. Again, without basic geographical knowledge, the president’s commentary on the Falklands is rendered superficial. When in the state of Hawaii, Obama announced that he was in “Asia.” He lamented that the U.S. Army’s Arabic-language translators assigned to Iraq could better be used in Afghanistan, failing to recognize that Arabic isn’t the language of Afghanistan. And he also apparently thought Austrians speak a language other than German. The president’s geographical illiteracy is a symptom of the nation’s growing ignorance of once-essential subjects such as geography and history. The former is not taught any more as a required subject in many of our schools and colleges. The latter has often been redefined as race, class, and gender oppression so as to score melodramatic points in the present rather than to learn from the tragedy of the past. The president in his 2009 Cairo speech credited the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Islam’s “light of learning” — an exaggeration if not an outright untruth on both counts. Closer to home, the president claimed in 2011 that Texas had historically been Republican — while in reality it was a mostly Jim Crow Democratic state for over a century. Republicans started consistently carrying Texas only after 1980. Recently, Obama claimed that 20th-century Communist strongman Ho Chi Minh “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.” That pop assertion is improbable, given that Ho systematically liquidated his opponents, slaughtered thousands in land-redistribution schemes, and brooked no dissent. Even more ahistorical was Vice President Joe Biden’s suggestion that George W. Bush should have gone on television in 2008 to address the nation as President Roosevelt had done in 1929 — a time when there was neither a President Roosevelt nor televisions available for purchase. In 2011, a White House press kit confused Wyoming with Colorado — apparently because they’re both rectangular-shaped states out West. Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education that include a similar erosion in grammar, English composition, and basic math skills. The controversial Lois Lerner, a senior official at the IRS — an agency whose stock in trade is numbers — claimed that she was “not good at math” when she admitted that she did not know that one-fourth of 300 is 75.  In the zero-sum game of the education curriculum, each newly added therapeutic discipline eliminated an old classical one. The result is that if Americans emote more and have more politically correct thoughts on the environment, race, class, and gender, they are less able to advance their beliefs through fact-based knowledge. Despite supposedly tough new standards and vast investments, about 56 percent of students in recent California public-school tests did not perform up to their grade levels in English. Only about half met their grade levels in math. A degree from our most prestigious American university is no guarantee a graduate holding such a credential will know the number of states or the location of Savannah. If we wonder why the Ivy League–trained Obama seems confused about where cities, countries, and continents are, we might remember that all but one Ivy League university eliminated their geography departments years ago. As a rule now, when our leaders allude to a place or an event in the past, just assume their references are dead wrong. Victor Davis Hanson
Attention: une ignorance peut en cacher une autre !
Oubli des juifs dans son discours sur la Journée de l’Holocauste, résurrection involontaire de l’abolitionniste noir Frederick Douglass mort en 1895, défense de Poutine et appel obamien à l’examen de conscience de son propre pays …
A l’heure où en une Amérique plus que jamais divisée …
La bienpensance des mauvais perdants multiplie déclarations, manifestations ou obstructions à la politique et à la personne du nouveau président que s’est choisi le peuple américain …
Et que refusant de reconnaitre ses réels faux pas face à tant de mauvaise foi, l’Administration Trump s’enferre dans les explications les plus farfelues …
Pendant qu’avec les nouvelles provocations du régime voyou iranien, une presse jusqu’ici aux ordres commence à peine à découvrir l’état du désastre laissé par l’ancien locataire de la Maison Blanche …
Comment ne pas y voir aussi avec l’historien américain Victor Davis Hanson …

Le symptôme d’un système éducatif ayant sacrifié au nom de la pensée politiquement correcte sur l’environment, la race, la classe ou le genre …

Les connaissances les plus basiques sur l’histoire ou la géographie ?

Mais ne pas repenser également à l’ignorance dans les mêmes domaines de base …

D’un certain Lecteur de téléprompteur en chef …

 A qui tant l’exotisme de sa couleur que la prétendue coolitude de son âge …

Avait si longtemps valu l’indulgence complice de nos mêmes censeurs des médias aujourd’hui ?

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
August 15, 2013
Today’s leaders are totally ignorant of what used to be the building blocks of learning. In Sam Cooke’s classic 1959 hit “Wonderful World,” the lyrics downplayed formal learning with lines like, “Don’t know much about history . . . Don’t know much about geography.”
Over a half-century after Cooke wrote that lighthearted song, such ignorance is now all too real. Even our best and brightest — or rather our elites especially — are not too familiar with history or geography.
Both disciplines are the building blocks of learning. Without awareness of natural and human geography, we are reduced to a self-contained void without accurate awareness of the space around us. An ignorance of history creates the same sort of self-imposed exile, leaving us ignorant of both what came before us and what is likely to follow.
In the case of geography, Harvard Law School graduate Barack Obama recently lectured, “If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina; or Savannah, Georgia; or Jacksonville, Florida . . . ” The problem is that all the examples he cited are cities on the East Coast, not the Gulf of Mexico. If Obama does not know where these ports are, how can he deepen them?
Obama’s geographical confusion has become habitual. He once claimed that he had been to all “57 states.” He also assumed that Kentucky was closer to Arkansas than it was to his adjacent home state of Illinois.
In reference to the Falkland Islands, President Obama called them the Maldives — islands southwest of India — apparently in a botched effort to use the Argentine-preferred “Malvinas.” The two island groups may sound somewhat alike, but they are continents apart. Again, without basic geographical knowledge, the president’s commentary on the Falklands is rendered superficial.
When in the state of Hawaii, Obama announced that he was in “Asia.” He lamented that the U.S. Army’s Arabic-language translators assigned to Iraq could better be used in Afghanistan, failing to recognize that Arabic isn’t the language of Afghanistan. And he also apparently thought Austrians speak a language other than German.
The president’s geographical illiteracy is a symptom of the nation’s growing ignorance of once-essential subjects such as geography and history. The former is not taught any more as a required subject in many of our schools and colleges. The latter has often been redefined as race, class, and gender oppression so as to score melodramatic points in the present rather than to learn from the tragedy of the past.
The president in his 2009 Cairo speech credited the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Islam’s “light of learning” — an exaggeration if not an outright untruth on both counts.
Closer to home, the president claimed in 2011 that Texas had historically been Republican — while in reality it was a mostly Jim Crow Democratic state for over a century. Republicans started consistently carrying Texas only after 1980.
Recently, Obama claimed that 20th-century Communist strongman Ho Chi Minh “was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.” That pop assertion is improbable, given that Ho systematically liquidated his opponents, slaughtered thousands in land-redistribution schemes, and brooked no dissent.
Even more ahistorical was Vice President Joe Biden’s suggestion that George W. Bush should have gone on television in 2008 to address the nation as President Roosevelt had done in 1929 — a time when there was neither a President Roosevelt nor televisions available for purchase. In 2011, a White House press kit confused Wyoming with Colorado — apparently because they’re both rectangular-shaped states out West.
Our geographically and historically challenged leaders are emblematic of disturbing trends in American education that include a similar erosion in grammar, English composition, and basic math skills.
The controversial Lois Lerner, a senior official at the IRS — an agency whose stock in trade is numbers — claimed that she was “not good at math” when she admitted that she did not know that one-fourth of 300 is 75.
In the zero-sum game of the education curriculum, each newly added therapeutic discipline eliminated an old classical one. The result is that if Americans emote more and have more politically correct thoughts on the environment, race, class, and gender, they are less able to advance their beliefs through fact-based knowledge.
Despite supposedly tough new standards and vast investments, about 56 percent of students in recent California public-school tests did not perform up to their grade levels in English. Only about half met their grade levels in math.

A degree from our most prestigious American university is no guarantee a graduate holding such a credential will know the number of states or the location of Savannah. If we wonder why the Ivy League–trained Obama seems confused about where cities, countries, and continents are, we might remember that all but one Ivy League university eliminated their geography departments years ago. As a rule now, when our leaders allude to a place or an event in the past, just assume their references are dead wrong.

 Voir aussi:
For the president, belief in historical predetermination substitutes for action.
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review On line
August 28, 2014
President Obama doesn’t know much about history.
In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment.
He also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot.
When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up “on the right side of history.” Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama.
Obama often parrots Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice. But King used that metaphor as an incentive to act, not as reassurance that matters will follow an inevitably positive course.
Another of Obama’s historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or the Islamic State has no place in our century and will “ultimately fail” — as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery.
In Obama’s hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively.
In the viciously modern 20th century — when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined — some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century — and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks, or Venetians could have imagined.
What explains Obama’s confusion?
A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. Obama or his speechwriters have often seemed confused about the liberation of Auschwitz, “Polish death camps,” the political history of Texas, or the linguistic relationship between Austria and Germany. Obama reassured us during the Bowe Bergdahl affair that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt all similarly got American prisoners back when their wars ended — except that none of them were in office when the Revolutionary War, Civil War, or World War II officially ended.
Contrary to Obama’s assertion, President Rutherford B. Hayes never dismissed the potential of the telephone. Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition — forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left.
A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch. In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like the Islamic State from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment.
In 1935, French foreign minister Pierre Laval warned Joseph Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics — as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. “The Pope?” Stalin asked, “How many divisions has he got?”
There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram, or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears, and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists, and the Barbary pirates. Obama’s naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action.
Voir encore:

Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Obama Gaffes

The Left had a grand old time with President George W. Bush’s mangling of the English language, and let Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann make a slip of the tongue and the mainstream media will turn it into a major news story.   Not so with President Obama’s verbal missteps.   Here, to bring balance to the ridicule, are the Top 10 Obama Gaffes:

1.   How many states?   Vice President Dan Quayle was virtually laughed out of Washington for misspelling potato back in 1992, yet Barack Obama made a more elementary flub when, during the 2008 campaign, he said: “I’ve now been in 57 states-I think one left to go.”

2.   Hero soldier mix-up:   While commending troops at Fort Drum, N.Y., for their completed deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama said, “A comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.”   Wrong hero.   Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti was killed in action, another soldier, Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, was the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor that fought in Afghanistan.

3.   What year is it?   During a trip to London’s Westminster Abbey, President Obama signed the guest book and dated it 24 May 2008.   Oops.   It was 2011.   (Maybe he was wistfully dreaming about his 2008 election campaign at the time.)

4.   Look at the map:   Not only does Obama not know how many states there are, he also doesn’t know where they are.   During the 2008 primary campaign, he explained why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky: “Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas.   So it’s not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.”   Obama’s home state of Illinois, and not Arkansas, shares a border with Kentucky.

5.   What language is that?   In April 2009, on one of his many foreign trips, President Obama mused, “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian” for “wheeling and dealing.”   Oops, Mr. President.   There is no Austrian language.

6.   Twister casualties:   After a devastating tornado hit Kansas, Obama discussed the tragedy without help from a teleprompter, saying, ”In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas.   Ten thousand people died-an entire town destroyed.”   He was only off by 9,988 as the twister killed 12 people.

7.   How old is Malia?   The President last month thought he was so clever, unfavorably comparing Republican procrastination on the debt limit to his daughters finishing their homework early.   In his remarks, Obama made a reference to daughter Malia, saying she was 13 years old, when at the time she was 12.   Imagine the press reaction if Michele Bachmann made a misstatement about any of her five children or 23 foster kids.

8.   Special Olympics insensitivity:   The President called and apologized to the head of the Special Olympics, after making this insensitive comment following a game of bowling:   “No, no.   I have been practicing.   … I bowled a 129.   It’s like-it was like Special Olympics, or something.”   Maybe he should have also apologized to bowlers for his feeble effort.

9.   Faith confusion:   No wonder so many Americans are unsure of the President’s faith, as he seems to be confused himself.   During the 2008 campaign, during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama said, “What I was suggesting-you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,” before Stephanopoulos jumped in to help, saying ”your Christian faith.”

10.   Health care inefficiencies:   During the health care debate, President Obama explained all the benefits of ObamaCare, saying, “The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system.”   Mr. President, we already have enough inefficiency in health care and, yes, your “reforms” will only make it worse.

Voir de plus:

The Thomas Hobbes Presidency
Conservatives were outraged by Obama’s apologies. What about Trump’s slander?
Bret Stephens
The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 6, 2017

First, the obvious: Had it been Barack Obama, rather than Donald Trump, who suggested a moral equivalency between the United States and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Republican politicians would not now be rushing through their objections to the comparison in TV interviews while hoping to pivot to tax reform.

Had it been the president of three weeks ago who had answered Bill O’Reilly’s comment that Mr. Putin “is a killer” by saying, “We’ve got a lot of killers,” and “What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” conservative pundits wouldn’t rest with calling the remark “inexplicable” or “troubling.” They would call it moral treason and spend the next four years playing the same clip on repeat, right through the next election.

In 2009, Mr. Obama gave a series of speeches containing passing expressions of regret for vaguely specified blemishes from the American past. Examples: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in history.” And “we’ve made some mistakes.” This was the so-called Apology Tour, in which the word “apologize” was never uttered. Even so, conservatives still fume about it.

This time, Mr. Trump didn’t apologize for America. He indicted it. He did so in language unprecedented for any sitting or former president. He did it in a manner guaranteed, and perhaps calculated, to vindicate every hard-left slander of “Amerika.” If you are the sort who believes the CIA assassinated JFK, masterminded the crack-cocaine epidemic, and deliberately lied us into the war in Iraq—conspiracy theories on a moral par with the way the Putin regime behaves in actual fact—then this president is for you.

Only he’s worse.

For the most part, the left’s various indictments of the U.S., whether well- or ill-grounded, have had a moral purpose: to shame Americans into better behavior. We are reminded of the evils of slavery and Jim Crow in order not to be racist. We dilate on the failure in Vietnam to guard against the arrogance of power. We recall the abuses of McCarthyism in order to underscore the importance of civil liberties.

Mr. Trump’s purpose, by contrast, isn’t to prevent a recurrence of bad behavior. It’s to permit it. In this reading, Mr. Putin’s behavior isn’t so different from ours. It’s largely the same, except more honest and effective. The U.S. could surely defeat ISIS—if only it weren’t hampered by the kind of scruples that keep us from carpet bombing Mosul in the way the Russians obliterated Aleppo. The U.S. could have come out ahead in Iraq—if only we’d behaved like unapologetic conquerors, not do-gooder liberators, and taken their oil.

This also explains why Mr. Trump doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, calling the idea “insulting [to] the world” and seeing it as an undue burden on our rights and opportunities as a nation. Magnanimity, fair dealing, example setting, win-win solutions, a city set upon a hill: All this, in the president’s mind, is a sucker’s game, obscuring the dog-eat-dog realities of life. Among other distinctions, Mr. Trump may be our first Hobbesian president.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the political potency of this outlook, with its left-right mix of relativism and jingoism. If we’re no better than anyone else, why not act like everyone else? If phrases such as “the free world” or the “liberal international order” are ideological ploys by which the Davos elite swindle the proletarians of Detroit, why sacrifice blood and treasure on their behalf? Nationalism is usually a form of moral earnestness. Mr. Trump’s genius has been to transform it into an expression of cynicism.

That cynicism won’t be easy to defeat. Right now, a courageous Russian opposition activist named Vladimir Kara-Murza is fighting for his life in a Moscow hospital, having been poisoned for a second time by you-can-easily-guess-who. Assuming Mr. Trump is even aware of the case, would he be wrong in betting that most Americans are as indifferent to his fate as he is?

The larger question for conservatives is how Mr. Trump’s dim view of the world will serve them over time. Honorable Republicans such as Nebraska’s Sen. Ben Sasse have been unequivocal in their outrage, which will surely cost them politically. Others have hit the mute button, on the theory that it’s foolish to be baited by the president’s every crass utterance. The risk is that silence quickly becomes a form of acquiescence. Besides, since when did conservatives reared to their convictions by the rhetoric of Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan hold words so cheap?

Speaking of Reagan, Feb. 6 would have been his 106th birthday. Perhaps because he had been an actor, the 40th president knew that Americans preferred stories in which good guys triumphed over bad ones, not the ones in which they were pretty much all alike. Conservatives should beware the president’s invitation to a political film noir in which the outcome is invariably bleak.

Voir de même:

WH: No mention of Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day because others were killed too
Jake Tapper, Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent

CNN
February 3, 2017

Washington (CNN)The White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day didn’t mention Jews or anti-Semitism because « despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered, » administration spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN on Saturday.

Hicks provided a link to a Huffington Post UK story noting that while 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, 5 million others were also slaughtered during Adolf Hitler’s genocide, including « priests, gypsies, people with mental or physical disabilities, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, anarchists, Poles and other Slavic peoples, and resistance fighters. »

Asked if the White House was suggesting President Donald Trump didn’t mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust because he didn’t want to offend the other people the Nazis targeted and killed, Hicks replied, « it was our honor to issue a statement in remembrance of this important day. »

The presidential reference to the « innocent people » victimized by the Nazis without a mention of Jews or anti-Semitism by the White House on International Holocaust Remembrance Day was a stark contrast to statements by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Anti-Defamation League Director Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that the « @WhiteHouse statement on #HolocaustMemorialDay, misses that it was six million Jews who perished, not just ‘innocent people' » and « Puzzling and troubling @WhiteHouse #HolocaustMemorialDay stmt has no mention of Jews. GOP and Dem. presidents have done so in the past. »
Asked about the White House explanation that the President didn’t want to exclude any of the other groups Nazis killed by specifically mentioning Jews, Greenblatt told CNN that the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day not only because of Holocaust denial but also because so many countries — Iran, Russia and Hungary, for example — specifically refuse to acknowledge Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jews, « opting instead to talk about generic suffering rather than recognizing this catastrophic incident for what is was: the intended genocide of the Jewish people. »
Downplaying or disregarding the degree to which Jews were targeted for elimination during the Holocaust is a common theme of nationalist movements like those seen in Russia and Eastern Europe, Greenblatt said.
Initially, after being asked about the ADL criticism and the omission of any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism, Hicks provided a statement from Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress that seemed to criticize Greenblatt and the ADL.
« It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory, » the Lauder statement read in part. « Any fair reading of the White House statement today on the International Holocaust Memorial Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history. »
Editor’s note February 2, 2017: This article has been updated to correct an erroneous statement by ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt about Poland’s recognition of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The ADL has retracted that comment and apologized. « I made a mistake by including Poland as one of the countries which does not always recognize the Jewish people as the intended target of the Nazi genocide, » Greenblatt said in a letter to the Polish ambassador. « I regret this mistake, and want to assure you that it was not intended as an affront to your government or the people of Poland
Voir pareillement:

The White House Holocaust Horror

Taking the Jews out of the Holocaust

So much for giving people the benefit of the doubt who offer no sign they deserve it. The Trump White House issued a statement on Friday commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the statement didn’t make specific mention of the Jewish people—who were the target of the Holocaust, or Shoah, which is a term devised after World War II to describe the effort by Nazi Germany to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth. After reading it, I thought to myself, “The Trump White House is an amateur operation, understaffed and without much executive-branch experience, and whoever wrote the statement and issued it blew it out of ignorance and sloppiness.”

I won’t be making that mistake again.

Jake Tapper of CNN reported Saturday night that Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks defended and even celebrated the White House statement. The decision not to mention the Jews was deliberate, Hicks said, a way of demonstrating the inclusive approach of the Trump administration: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered…it was our honor to issue a statement in remembrance of this important day.”

No, Hope Hicks, and no to whomever you are serving as a mouthpiece. The Nazis killed an astonishing number of people in monstrous ways and targeted certain groups—Gypsies, the mentally challenged, and open homosexuals, among others. But the Final Solution was aimed solely at the Jews. The Holocaust was about the Jews. There is no “proud” way to offer a remembrance of the Holocaust that does not reflect that simple, awful, world-historical fact. To universalize it to “all those who suffered” is to scrub the Holocaust of its meaning.

Given Hicks’s abominable statement, one cannot simply write this off. For there is a body of opinion in this country, and in certain precincts of the Trump coalition, who have long made it clear they are tired of what they consider a self-centered Jewish claim to being the great victims of the Nazis. Case in point: In 1988, as a speechwriter in the Reagan Administration, I drafted the president’s remarks at the laying of the cornerstone of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. As was the practice, the speech was sent around to 14 White House offices, including an office called Public Liaison staffed by conservatives whose job it was to do outreach to ethnic and religious groups. The official at Public Liaison who supported anti-Communist groups in Eastern Europe was tasked with the job of reviewing it. She sent the speech back marked up almost sentence by sentence. At the top, she wrote something like, “This must be redone. What about the suffering of the Poles and the Slovaks? The president should not be taking sides here.”

I was astonished, and horrified, and took the document to my superior, who told me to ignore it. “She has a bee in her bonnet about this,” he said of the Public Liaison official.

On another occasion, in an article commissioned by a conservative magazine, I wrote a sentence in which I called the Jews “the most beleaguered people in history.” An editor there objected, and insisted we add the word “uniquely” between “most” and “beleaguered” because there was an element, he said, of “special pleading.”

I bring these anecdotes up to say that the Hope Hicks statement does not arrive without precedent. It is, rather, the culmination of something—the culmination of decades of ill feeling that seems to center on the idea that the Jews have somehow made unfair “use” of the Holocaust and it should not “belong” to them. Someone in that nascent White House thought it was time to reflect that view through the omission of the specifically Jewish quality of the Holocaust.

Now the question is: Who was it?

In those remarks at the cornerstone laying, President Reagan said this: “I think all of us here are aware of those, even among our own countrymen, who have dedicated themselves to the disgusting task of minimizing or even denying the truth of the Holocaust. This act of intellectual genocide must not go unchallenged, and those who advance these views must be held up to the scorn and wrath of all good and thinking people in this nation and across the world.” This was in reference to the new and horrifying field of Holocaust denial. It is heartbreaking to think these are words that can now be applied to the White House in which a Republican successor to Reagan is now resident, only 28 years after he departed it for the last time. Heartbreaking and enraging.

Voir aussi:
The Trump Administration’s Flirtation With Holocaust Denial
The White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance day did not mention Jews or antisemitism.
Deborah Lipstadt
The Atlantic
Jan 30, 2017
Holocaust denial is alive and well in the highest offices of the United States. It is being spread by those in President Trump’s innermost circle. It may have all started as a mistake by a new administration that is loath to admit it’s wrong. Conversely, it may be a conscious attempt by people with anti-Semitic sympathies to rewrite history. Either way it is deeply disturbing.For me these developments are intensely personal—not because I have immediate family members who died in the Holocaust. I don’t. But I have spent a good number of years fighting something which the White House now seems to be fostering.Last Friday, I was in Amsterdam attending a screening of the movie Denial. It’s a film about the libel suit David Irving, once arguably the world’s most influential Holocaust denier, brought against me for having called him a denier. The trial, held in 2000, lasted 10 weeks. Because of the nature of British libel laws which placed the burden of proof on me, I had no choice but to fight. Had I not fought he would have won by default and his denial version of the Holocaust—no gas chambers, no mass killings, no Hitler involvement, and that this is all a myth concocted by Jews—would have been enshrined in British law.
After an intense day of press interviews and screenings, I had gone for a short walk. Intent on enjoying my surroundings, I ignored the pinging of my phone. Ironically, I had just reached the Anne Frank House, the place where Anne wrote her diary, when the pinging became so incessant that I checked to see what was happening.I quickly learned that the White House had released a statement for Holocaust Remembrance Day that did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism. Instead it bemoaned the “innocent victims.” The internet was buzzing and many people were fuming. Though no fan of Trump, I chalked it up as a rookie mistake by a new administration busy issuing a slew of executive orders. Someone had screwed up. I refused to get agitated, and counseled my growing number of correspondents to hold their fire. A clarification would certainly soon follow. I was wrong.In a clumsy defense Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications, insisted that, the White House, by not referring to Jews, was acting in an “inclusive” manner. It deserved praise not condemnation. Hicks pointed those who inquired to an article which bemoaned the fact that, too often the “other” victims of the Holocaust were forgotten. Underlying this claim is the contention that the Jews are “stealing” the Holocaust for themselves. It is a calumny founded in anti-Semitism.

There were indeed millions of innocent people whom the Nazis killed in many horrific ways, some in the course of the war and some because the Germans perceived them—however deluded their perception—to pose a threat to their rule. They suffered terribly. But that was not the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was something entirely different. It was an organized program with the goal of wiping out a specific people. Jews did not have to do anything to be perceived as worthy of being murdered. Old people who had to be wheeled to the deportation trains and babies who had to be carried were all to be killed. The point was not, as in occupied countries, to get rid of people because they might mount a resistance to Nazism, but to get rid of Jews because they were Jews. Roma (Gypsies) were also targeted. Many were murdered. But the Nazi anti-Roma policy was inconsistent. Some could live in peace and even serve in the German army.
German homosexuals were horribly abused by the Third Reich. Some were given the chance of “reforming” themselves and then going to serve on the eastern front, where many of them became cannon fodder. Would I have wanted to be a homosexual in the Reich, or in the rest of Nazi occupied Europe? Absolutely not. But they were not systematically wiped out.This is a matter of historical accuracy and not of comparative pain. If my family members had been killed by the Germans for resisting or for some other perceived wrong I would not be—nor should I be—comforted by the fact that they were not killed as part of the Holocaust.Had the Germans won, they probably would have eliminated millions of other peoples, including the Roma, homosexuals, dissidents of any kind, and other “useless eaters.” But it was only the Jews whose destruction could not wait until after the war. Only in the case of the Jews could war priorities be overridden. Germany was fighting two wars in tandem, a conventional war and a war against the Jews. It lost the first and, for all intents and purposes, nearly won the second.
The de-Judaization of the Holocaust, as exemplified by the White House statement, is what I term softcore Holocaust denial. Hardcore denial is the kind of thing I encountered in the courtroom. In an outright and forceful fashion, Irving denied the facts of the Holocaust. In his decision, Judge Charles Grey called Irving a liar and a manipulator of history. He did so, the judge ruled, deliberately and not as the result of mistakes.
Softcore denial uses different tactics but has the same end-goal. (I use hardcore and softcore deliberately because I see denial as a form of historiographic pornography.) It does not deny the facts, but it minimizes them, arguing that Jews use the Holocaust to draw attention away from criticism of Israel. Softcore denial also makes all sorts of false comparisons to the Holocaust. In certain Eastern European countries today, those who fought the Nazis may be lauded, but if they did so with a communist resistance group they may be prosecuted. Softcore denial also includes Holocaust minimization, as when someone suggests it was not so bad. “Why are we hearing about that again?”What we saw from the White House was classic softcore denial. The Holocaust was de-Judaized. It is possible that it all began with a mistake. Someone simply did not realize what they were doing. It is also possible that someone did this deliberately. The White House’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, boasted that while at Breitbart he created a platform for alt-right. Richard Spencer, the self-proclaimed leader of the alt-right, has invited overt Holocaust deniers to alt-right conferences, and his followers have engaged in outright denial. During the campaign, he was reportedly responsible for speeches and ads that many observers concluded trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes.After Hicks’s defense of the statement, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus doubled down, insisting that they made no mistake. On Meet the Press Chuck Todd gave Priebus repeated chances to retract or rephrase the statement. Priebus refused and dug in deeper, declaring “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including obviously, all of the Jewish people… [was] extraordinarily sad.”In the penultimate sentence of the president’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House promised to ensure that “the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good.” But the statement was issued on the same day as the order banning refugees. It is hard not to conclude that this is precisely what happened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Voir également:

Trump implied Frederick Douglass was alive. The abolitionist’s family offered a ‘history lesson.’

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Washington Post

Feb. 7, 2017

The world may never know whether President Donald Trump just got a little sloppy with his verb tenses on Wednesday morning or simply had no idea that the famous black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was, in fact, dead.

« Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice, » the president said.

Critics seized on Trump’s comments at a Black History Month event, mercilessly attacking him for statements that spoke of Douglass in the present tense.

The Atlantic asked, simply: « Does Donald Trump actually know who Frederick Douglass was? » and said that Trump’s remarks were « transparently empty. »
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank joked that Trump « raised the dead. »

And someone started a Frederick Douglass Twitter account that trolled the president before it was deleted (although some of the tweets have been saved).

« In surprise move @PressSec announces @realDonaldTrump has named Frederick Douglass to National Security Council. »

Even White House press secretary Sean Spicer struggled to clarify Douglass-gate when asked at a briefing later on Wednesday. « I think there’s contributions – I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, » Spicer said of Trump’s reference to Douglass. « And I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more. »

Trump criticizes media as he marks African American History Month
But the descendants of the revered abolitionist – who, just to be clear, died in 1895 after becoming a powerful voice against slavery and then Jim Crow – responded on Wednesday.

« My first instinct was to go on the attack, » said Kenneth B. Morris Jr., Douglass’ great-great-great grandson. « I think it was obvious to anyone that heard [Trump’s] comments or read his comments that he was not up to speed on who Frederick Douglass was. We just thought that was an opportunity to do a history lesson and to make some points about what we’re currently working on. »

The family released a statement on the Huffington Post on Wednesday.

« Like the President, we use the present tense when referencing Douglass’s accomplishments because his spirit and legacy are still very much alive, not just during Black History Month, but every month, » the family wrote.

« . . . We believe, if he had more time to elaborate, the President would have mentioned the following: Frederick Douglas has done an amazing job . . . »

Then the family mic-dropped several things Douglass has done a great job at:

« Enduring the inhumanity of slavery after being born heir to anguish and exploitation but still managing to become a force for solace and liberty when America needed it most. »

« Teaching himself to read and write and becoming one of the country’s most eloquent spokespersons. »

« Composing the Narrative of his life and helping to expose slavery for the crime against humankind that it is. »

« Risking life and limb by escaping the abhorrent institution »

« Arguing against unfair U.S. immigration restrictions. »

If Douglass were still alive, he’d celebrate his 200th birthday next year.

The family’s statement said they were involved in several initiatives that highlight their ancestor’s legacy.

« We look forward to helping re-animate Douglass’ passion for equality and justice over the coming year leading up to his Bicentennial in 2018, » the statement said. « We encourage the President to join in that effort. »

Voir encore:

A Lesson in Black History
Charles M. Blow
The New York Times
Feb. 6, 2017

Last week at a supposed Black History Month “listening session” at the White House, Donald Trump made this baffling statement: “I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job that is being recognized more and more, I notice.”

It sounded a bit like he thought the inimitable Douglass, who died in 1895, was some lesser-known black leader who was still alive.

When Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked what Trump meant by his Douglass comments, Spicer responded:

“I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made. And I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”

Assuming that the “he” in that sentence refers to Douglass, these numbskulls are actually referring to him as a living person and have absolutely no clue who Douglass is and what he means to America.

Social media had a field day with this, relentlessly mocking the team, but for me the emotion was overwhelming sadness: How could the American “president” or a White House press secretary, or any American citizen for that matter, not know who Douglass is?

Let’s be absolutely clear here: Frederick Douglass is a singular, towering figure of American history. The entire legacy of black intellectual thought and civil rights activism flows in some way through Douglass, from W.E.B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to President Barack Obama himself.

Douglass was one of the most brilliant thinkers, writers and orators America has ever produced. Furthermore, he harnessed and mastered the media of his day: Writing an acclaimed autobiography, establishing his own newspaper and becoming the most photographed American of the 19th century.

Put another way: If modern social media existed during Douglass’s time, he would have been one of its kings.

Douglass also was a friend of Susan B. Anthony and an advocate for women’s civil rights as well as the civil rights of black people, understanding even then the intersectionality of oppressions. In fact, the motto of his newspaper, The North Star, was “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no Color — God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.”

But perhaps one of the best reasons Trump and Spicer need to bone up on Douglass is to understand his relationship with Abraham Lincoln and to get a better sense of what true leadership looks like.

Douglass was a blistering critic of Lincoln from the beginning. In Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address, he quoted from one of his previous speeches in which he had said “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists,” and he went on to defend the Fugitive Slave Act, promising the slave states full enforcement of it as long as it was on the books.

This incensed Douglass, who said of the remarks: “Not content with the broadest recognition of the right of property in the souls and bodies of men in the slave states, Mr. Lincoln next proceeds, with nerves of steel, to tell the slaveholders what an excellent slave hound he is.”

Although Douglass’s cutting critique of Lincoln began to soften after Lincoln announced the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Douglass continued to be unhappy throughout the Civil War about the unequal treatment of black soldiers in the Union Army. But even in the midst of this criticism, Lincoln entertained Douglass at the White House.

Although Douglass wasn’t fully satisfied with Lincoln’s positions, Douglass remarked of the meeting: “Mr. Lincoln listened with earnest attention and with very apparent sympathy, and replied to each point in his own peculiar, forcible way.”

This stands in stark contrast to Trump’s avoidance of black intellectuals and even any real critics. Trump’s “listening session” seemed to be populated only by his black appointees and supporters.

Lincoln and Douglass would go on to develop a genuine friendship and Douglass would become something of Lincoln’s conscience on the slave issue. In fact, Lincoln called Douglass “one of the most meritorious men, if not the most meritorious man, in the United States.”

That is what leadership and growth look like. Lincoln grew from the association with and counsel from his onetime critic, to become one of the greatest presidents America has ever known.

Indeed Black History Month began not as a month but a week: Negro History week, the second week of February. It was established in 1926 by noted black historian Carter G. Woodson, and choosing February was no coincidence: It honored the birthdays of Lincoln, who freed the slaves, and Douglass, who helped direct his conscience.

Trump would do well to study this history; he has much to learn from it. As the historian Woodson’s personal motto went: “It’s never too late to learn.”

Voir également:

Donald Trump’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Marking Black History Month, the president made some strange observations about Douglass and Martin Luther King, but mostly talked about himself.
David A. Graham
The Atlantic
Feb 1, 2017

Does Donald Trump actually know who Frederick Douglass was? The president mentioned the great abolitionist, former slave, and suffrage campaigner during a Black History Month event Wednesday morning, but there’s little to indicate that Trump knows anything about his subject, based on the rambling, vacuous commentary he offered:

“I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things, Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.” Within moments, he was off-topic, talking about some of his favorite subjects: CNN, himself, and his feud with CNN.

Trump’s comments about King were less transparently empty but maybe even stranger. “Last month we celebrated the life Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history,” Trump said, employing a favorite meaningless adjective. But this wasn’t really about King. It was about Trump: “You read all about Martin Luther King when somebody said I took a statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. The statue is cherished. It’s one of the favorite things—and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln, and we have Jefferson, and we have Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Even beyond the strange aside about Douglass and the digression from King, Trump’s comments point to the superficiality of his engagement with African American culture. He named perhaps the four most famous figures in black history with no meaningful elaboration. (Trump was reading from a sheet, but at least he was able to name Tubman, unlike his vanquished rival Gary Johnson.)
In a way, Trump isn’t totally wrong about Douglass “getting recognized more and more,” though one is left to scratch one’s head at where precisely he noticed that. Douglass’s heyday of influence was in the mid to late 19th century—when he was also among The Atlantic’s biggest-name writers—but he may be better known than ever among the broadest swath of the American public thanks to his ascension into the Pantheon of black history figures taught in schools since the United States established Black History Month in 1976.

It is a real and praiseworthy accomplishment for Douglass’s name to keep spreading. But the frequent, and often valid, critique of Black History Month is that it encourages a tokenist approach to African American culture, leading everyone from national leaders to elementary-school teachers to recite a catechism of well-known figures, producing both shallow engagement and privileging a passé Great Man (and Woman) theory of history. Hardly any politician is immune to this; faced with the necessity of holding an event to mark the month, they too recite the list. But even by that standard, Trump’s comments are laughably vacuous.

George W. Bush, for example, recalled in 2002 how February was “the month in which Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born, two men, very different, who together ended slavery.” Bill Clinton exhorted audiences to visit Douglass’s home in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood, at a time when that was well-off the beaten tourist path. George H.W. Bush admired Jacob Lawrence’s depiction of Douglass. Ronald Reagan repeatedly quoted Douglass in his own remarks, and was fond of boasting that Douglass was a fellow Republican.

The gulf between Trump and his predecessors is particularly poignant, of course, in the wake of the presidency of Barack Obama, a man who by virtue of his own skin color never had to resort to the detached tributes of white presidents. When the museum Trump cited opened, Obama spoke, saying as only he could have:

Yes, African Americans have felt the cold weight of shackles and the stinging lash of the field whip. But we’ve also dared to run north and sing songs from Harriet Tubman’s hymnal. We’ve buttoned up our Union Blues to join the fight for our freedom. We’ve railed against injustice for decade upon decade, a lifetime of struggle and progress and enlightenment that we see etched in Frederick Douglass’s mighty, leonine gaze.
Trump, by contrast, has long spoken of the black community in fundamentally instrumental terms, from his business career to his political one. African Americans were a monolithic demographic to be won or lost, depending on the occasion. The young real-estate developer first made headlines when the Trump Organization was accused of working to keep blacks out of its real-estate developments; the company eventually settled with the Justice Department without admitting guilt. The question in that case was not the personal prejudices (absent or present) of Trump and his father Fred. Instead, the company appeared to have decided that blacks were bad for business and would drive out white tenants, so the Trumps allegedly opted to keep them out.
During the campaign, Trump viewed black voters with similarly cool detachment. He spoke about blacks and other minorities in conspicuously distancing terms, as “they” and “them.” His leading black surrogates included Omarosa, most famous for appearing on The Apprentice with Trump, and Don King, a clownish and past-his-prime boxing promoter notable for killing two men; Hillary Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, called on LeBron James, Beyonce, and Obama. When Trump spotted a black man at a rally in California, he called out, “Oh, look at my African American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest?”

When Trump announced a black-voter outreach operation, he mostly delivered his message to overwhelmingly white audiences in overwhelmingly white locales, and employed a series of racist and outdated stereotypes about inner-city crime, poverty, and lack of education, in what he appeared to believe represented benign patronization. Meanwhile, his own aides told reporters their political goal was to suppress black votes by encouraging African Americans to sit the election out.

In the end, Trump won 8 percent of the black vote, according to exit polling, besting Mitt Romney’s showing against Barack Obama but falling well short of the recent GOP high-water mark of 17 percent in 1976 (to say nothing of his prediction that he’d win 95 percent of African Americans in his 2020 campaign).

Trump continues to indicate he holds a view of black Americans that is instrumental, as he showed on Wednesday at his Black History Month event. “If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting, I won’t get into details, but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who have run in the past years,” he said, somewhat misleadingly. “And now we’re going to take that to new levels.” February might be Black History Month, but every month is Trump History Month.

Voir enfin:

Putin, Obama — and Trump

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review

January 17, 2017

Let’s hope that the era of ‘lead from behind’ and violated red lines is over. For eight years, the Obama administration misjudged Vladimir Putin’s Russia, as it misjudged most of the Middle East, China, and the rest of the world as well. Obama got wise to Russia only when Putin imperiled not just U.S. strategic interests and government records but also supposedly went so far as to tamper with sacrosanct Democratic-party secrets, thereby endangering the legacy of Barack Obama.

Putin was probably bewildered by Obama’s media-driven and belated concern, given that the Russians, like the Chinese, had in the past hacked U.S. government documents that were far more sensitive than the information it may have mined and leaked in 2016 — and they received nothing but an occasional Obama “cut it out” whine. Neurotic passive-aggression doesn’t merely bother the Russians; it apparently incites and emboldens them.

Obama’s strange approach to Putin since 2009 apparently has run something like the following. Putin surely was understandably angry with the U.S. under the cowboy imperialist George W. Bush, according to the logic of the “reset.” After all, Obama by 2009 was criticizing Bush more than he was Putin for the supposed ills of the world. But Barack Obama was not quite an American nationalist who sought to advance U.S. interests.

Instead, he posed as a new sort of soft-power moralistic politician — not seen since Jimmy Carter — far more interested in rectifying the supposed damage rather than the continuing good that his country has done. If Putin by 2008 was angry at Bush for his belated pushback over Georgia, at least he was not as miffed at Bush as Obama himself was.

Reset-button policy then started with the implicit agreement that Russia and the Obama administration both had legitimate grievances against a prior U.S. president — a bizarre experience for even an old hand like Putin. (Putin probably thought that the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq were a disaster not on ethical or even strategic grounds but because the U.S. had purportedly let the country devolve into something like what Chechnya was before Putin’s iron grip.)

In theory, Obama would captivate Putin with his nontraditional background and soaring rhetoric, the same way he had charmed urban progressive elites at home and Western European socialists abroad. One or two more Cairo speeches would assure Putin that a new America was more interested in confessing its past sins to the Islamic world than confronting its terrorism. And Obama would continue to show his bona fides by cancelling out Bush initiatives such as missile defense in Eastern Europe, muting criticism of Russian territorial expansionism, and tabling the updating and expansion of the American nuclear arsenal. All the while, Obama would serve occasional verbal cocktails for Putin’s delight — such as the hot-mic promise to be even “more flexible” after his 2012 reelection, the invitation of Russia into the Middle East to get the Obama administration off the hook from enforcing red lines over Syrian WMD use, and the theatrical scorn for Mitt Romney’s supposedly ossified Cold War–era worries about Russian aggression.

As Putin was charmed, appeased, and supposedly brought on board, Obama increasingly felt free to enlighten him (as he does almost everyone) about how his new America envisioned a Westernized politically correct world. Russians naturally would not object to U.S. influence if it was reformist and cultural rather than nationalist, economic, and political — and if it sought to advance universal progressive ideals rather than strictly American agendas. Then, in its own self-interest, a grateful Russia would begin to enact at home something akin to Obama’s helpful initiatives: open up its society, with reforms modeled after those of the liberal Western states in Europe. Putin quickly sized up this naïf. His cynicism and cunning told him that Obama was superficially magnanimous mostly out of a desire to avoid confrontations. And as a Russian, he was revolted by the otherworldly and unsolicited advice from a pampered former American academic. Putin continued to crack down at home and soon dressed up his oppression with a propagandistic anti-American worldview: America’s liberal culture reflected not freedom but license; its global capitalism promoted cultural decadence and should not serve as anyone’s blueprint. Putin’s cynicism and cunning told him that Obama was superficially magnanimous mostly out of a desire to avoid confrontations.

As the West would pursue atheism, indulgence, and globalism, Putin would return Russia to Orthodoxy, toughness, and fervent nationalism — a czarist appeal that would resonate with other autocracies abroad and mask his own oppressions, crony profiteering, and economic mismanagement at home. Note that despite crashing oil prices and Russian economic crises, Putin believed (much as Mussolini did) that at least for a time, a strong leader in a weak country can exercise more global clout than a weak leader in a strong country — and that Russians could for a while longer put up with poverty and lack of freedom if they were at least feared or respected abroad. He also guessed that just as the world was finally nauseated by Woodrow Wilson’s six months of moralistic preening at Versailles, so too it would tire of the smug homilies of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.

Putin grew even more surprised at Obama’s periodic red lines, deadlines, and step-over lines, whose easy violations might unite global aggressors in the shared belief that America was hopelessly adrift, easy to manipulate, obnoxious in its platitudinous sermonizing, and certainly not the sort of strong-horse power that any aggressors should fear.

Perhaps initially Putin assumed that Obama’s lead-from-behind redistributionist foreign policy (the bookend to his “you didn’t build that” domestic recalibration) was some sort of clever plot to suggest that a weak United States could be taken advantage of — and then Obama would strike hard when Putin fell for the bait and overreached. But once Putin realized that Obama was serious in his fantasies, he lost all respect for his benefactor, especially as an increasingly petulant and politically enfeebled Obama compensated by teasing Putin as a macho class cut-up — just as he had often caricatured domestic critics who failed to appreciate his godhead.

Putin offered America’s enemies and fence-sitting opportunists a worldview that was antithetical to Obama’s. Lead-from-behind foreign policy was just provocative enough to discombobulate a few things overseas but never strong or confident enough to stay on to fix them. When China, Iran, North Korea, ISIS, or other provocateurs challenged the U.S., Putin was at best either indifferent and at worst supportive of our enemies, on the general theory that anything the U.S. sought to achieve, Russia would be wise to oppose.

Putin soon seemed to argue that the former Soviet Republics had approximately the same relation to Russia as the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have to the United States. Russia was simply defining and protecting its legitimate sphere of influence, as the post-colonial U.S. had done (albeit without the historic costs in blood and treasure).

Russia had once lost a million civilians at the siege of Leningrad when Hitler’s Army Group North raced through the Baltic States (picking up volunteers as it went) and met up with the Finns. At Sevastopol, General Erich von Manstein’s Eleventh Army may well have inflicted 100,000 Russian Crimean casualties in a successful but nihilistic effort to take and nearly destroy the fortress. The Kiev Pocket and destruction of the Southwestern Front of the Red Army in the Ukraine in September 1941 (700,000 Russians killed, captured, or missing) may have been the largest encirclement and mass destruction of an army in military history.

For Putin, these are not ancient events but rather proof of why former Soviet bloodlands were as much Russian as Puerto Rico was considered American. We find such reasoning tortured, given Ukrainian and Crimean desires to be free; Putin insists that Russian ghosts still flitter over such hallowed ground.

Reconstruction of Putin’s mindset is not justification for his domestic thuggery or foreign expansionism at the expense of free peoples. But it does remind us that he is particularly ill-suited to listen to pat lectures from American sermonizers whose unwillingness to rely on force to back up their sanctimony is as extreme as their military assets are overwhelming. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak.

There were areas where Obama might have sought out Putin in ways advantageous to the U.S., such as wooing him away from Iran or playing him off against China or lining him up against North Korea. But ironically, Obama was probably more interested in inflating the Persian and Shiite regional profile than was Putin himself. Putin would probably be less provoked by a warning from someone deemed strong than he would be by obsequious outreach from someone considered weak.

If Obama wished to invite Putin into the Middle East, then at least he might have made an effort to align him with Israel, the Gulf States, Egypt, and Jordan, in pursuit of their shared goal of wiping out radical Islamic terrorism. In the process, these powers might have grown increasingly hostile to Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran. But Obama was probably more anti-Israeli than Putin, and he also disliked the moderate Sunni autocracies more than Putin himself did. As far as China, Putin was delighted that Obama treated Chinese aggression in the Spratly Islands as Obama had treated his own in Ukraine: creased-brow angst about bad behavior followed by indifference.

The irony of the failed reset was that in comparative terms the U.S. — given its newfound fossil-fuel wealth and energy independence, the rapid implosion of the European Union, and its continuing technological superiority — should have been in an unusually strong position as the leader of the West. Unhinged nuclear proliferation, such as in Pakistan and North Korea and soon in Iran, is always more of a long-term threat to a proximate Russia than to a distant America. And Russia’s unassimilated and much larger Muslim population is always a far more existential threat to Moscow than even radical Islamic terrorism is at home to the U.S.

In other words, there were realist avenues for cooperation that hinged on a strong and nationalist U.S. clearly delineating areas where cooperation benefitted both countries (and the world). Other spheres in which there could be no American–Russian consensus could by default have been left to sort themselves out in a may-the-best-man-win fashion, hopefully peaceably.

Such détente would have worked only if Obama had forgone all the arc-of-history speechifying and the adolescent putdowns, meant to project strength in the absence of quiet toughness.

Let us hope that Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Jim Mattis know this and thus keep mostly silent, remind Putin privately (without trashing a former president) that the aberrant age of Obama is over, carry huge sticks, work with Putin where and when it is in our interest, acknowledge his help, seek to thwart common enemies — and quietly find ways to utilize overwhelming American military and economic strength to discourage him from doing something unwise for both countries.

Voir par ailleurs:

Trump défend à nouveau Poutine, au désespoir des Républicains
Le Figaro AFP, AP, Reuters Agences
06/02/2017

VIDÉO – «Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent?», a répondu le président américain au sujet des crimes supposés du président russe, dans une interview à la chaîne Fox News, suscitant la colère de son propre camp.

Le président américain Donald Trump a défendu une nouvelle fois Vladimir Poutine devant l’opinion publique américaine, montrant qu’il ne renonçait pas à trouver des accords avec le président russe sur les affaires de la planète. Une nouvelle flambée des combats entre forces ukrainiennes et séparatistes pro-russes dans l’est de l’Ukraine a contraint la semaine dernière l’administration américaine à critiquer Moscou et à promettre le maintien des sanctions internationales qui visent la Russie.

Mais dimanche, dans une interview diffusée sur Fox News avant le démarrage du très populaire Super Bowl, le président américain a défendu une nouvelle fois sa volonté de chercher à réchauffer les relations avec son homologue russe.

«Je le respecte», mais «ça ne veut pas dire que je vais m’entendre avec lui», a-t-il dit.» C’est un leader dans son pays, et je pense qu’il vaut mieux s’entendre avec la Russie que l’inverse», a-t-il ajouté.

Et au journaliste qui lui objectait que Vladimir Poutine était un «tueur», Donald Trump a invité de manière surprenante l’Amérique à un examen de conscience. «Beaucoup de tueurs, beaucoup de tueurs. Pensez-vous que notre pays soit si innocent?», a-t-il demandé, sans expliciter sa pensée. Cette dernière réflexion a immédiatement suscité une salve de critiques, y compris dans son propre camp où Vladimir Poutine fait souvent figure de repoussoir. «Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait aucune équivalence entre la manière dont les Russes se comportent et la manière dont les États-Unis se comportent», a déclaré Mitch McConnell, le chef de file des républicains au Sénat. «C’est un ancien du KGB, un voyou, élu d’une manière que beaucoup de gens ne trouvent pas crédible», a-t-il renchéri.

Quant au néoconservateur Marc Rubio, sénateur républicain de Floride, et rival de Donald Trump lors de la primaire du Grand Old Party, il a tweeté: «Quand est-ce qu’un activiste démocrate a été empoisonné par le parti Républicain, ou vice-versa? Nous ne sommes pas comme Poutine».

L’électorat républicain préoccupé par Daech plutôt que par Poutine

Dans son interview à Fox News, le président américain a aussi expliqué dans quel domaine il aimerait particulièrement se mettre d’accord avec Moscou: «Si la Russie nous aide dans le combat contre (le groupe) État islamique (…) et contre le terrorisme islamique à travers le monde, c’est une bonne chose».

Donald Trump a demandé au Pentagone de lui fournir, d’ici la fin février, un plan pour accélérer la campagne contre l’EI, qui n’a que trop traîné en longueur selon lui. Or, les militaires américains ne cachent pas que l’attitude de Moscou sera déterminante pour préparer l’ultime bataille contre le groupe terroriste, la conquête de sa capitale autoproclamée Raqqa. La coalition ne peut pas par exemple lancer l’offensive sur la ville sans avoir une idée de ce que sera le statut de la ville libérée – un débat dans lequel la Russie joue un rôle clef.

En cherchant un rapprochement avec le maître du Kremlin, Donald Trump est en décalage, voire en opposition avec nombre de caciques républicains, comme John McCain, l’ancien candidat républicain à la présidentielle de 2008, qui ne perd pas une occasion de dénoncer la menace russe.

Toutefois, une enquête publiée vendredi par le New York Times montre bien qu’il n’est peut-être pas tant que ça en décalage avec l’électorat républicain, pour qui la menace islamique radicale éclipse la menace russe. Interrogé sur l’endroit du monde qui représente pour lui la principale menace pour les États-Unis, l’électorat démocrate place à l’inverse la Corée du Nord en tête, suivie immédiatement par la Russie. Mais l’électorat républicain mentionne après la Corée du Nord une longue liste de pays musulmans, avant de citer la Russie, selon cette enquête.

Voir aussi:

MSM watch

Washington Post Wakes Up to the Fact That Iran Is Stronger Than Ever

Now that Obama is out of office, the Washington Post is beginning to look at the consequences of his policies. One of the biggest: Iran is now a regional superpower, but still as hostile to the U.S. and its allies as ever.

Oops:

Iran now stands at the apex of an arc of influence stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, from the borders of NATO to the borders of Israel and along the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It commands the loyalties of tens of thousands in allied militias and proxy armies that are fighting on the front lines in Syria, Iraq and Yemen with armored vehicles, tanks and heavy weapons. They have been joined by thousands of members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most prestigious military wing, who have acquired meaningful battlefield experience in the process.

For the first time in its history, the Institute for the Study of War noted in a report last week, Iran has developed the capacity to project conventional military force for hundreds of miles beyond its borders. “This capability, which very few states in the world have, will fundamentally alter the strategic calculus and balance of power within the Middle East,” the institute said.

America’s Sunni Arab allies, who blame the Obama administration’s hesitancy for Iran’s expanded powers, are relishing the prospect of a more confrontational U.S. approach. Any misgivings they may have had about Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric have been dwarfed by their enthusiasm for an American president they believe will push back against Iran.

If only someone had warned that appeasing Iran was a dangerous policy that could backfire horribly…

When Walter Russell Mead testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, he argued that the Iran Deal shouldn’t be analyzed merely as an arms control agreement or even on its own terms. It needed (and still needs) to be assessed in the context of a broader strategic framework for the Middle East. At that point, it was already clear the Obama Administration’s entire Middle East policy pivoted on the deal. Other American interests (in Syria and Yemen, for instance) were secondary to getting an arms control agreement in place with Iran. The mistake wasn’t so much the narrow deal itself as the fact that the deal was promoted not as part of a strategy, but rather in lieu of one.

The consequences of not paying attention to the big picture are now obvious to all. We’re glad the Washington Post is finally getting it. We just wish they’d done so sooner.

Voir enfin:

 


Présidence Trump: Attention, une révolution peut en cacher une autre (Revolutionary normalcy: Trump seems a revolutionary only because he is loudly undoing a revolution)

4 février, 2017
byanymeansopen-borderstrump-targettrum-meltdown-time-coverspiegel-trump3spiegel-trump
death-prez
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trumpmlkbust
mlk_bust_whitehouseGeorge Orwell disait,  je crois dans 1984, que dans les temps de tromperie généralisée, dire la vérité est un acte révolutionnaire. David Hoffmann
Le langage politique est destiné à rendre vraisemblables les mensonges, respectables les meurtres,
et à donner l’apparence de la solidité à ce qui n’est que vent;
George Orwell
Ce n’est pas en refusant de mentir que nous abolirons le mensonge : c’est en usant de tous les moyens pour supprimer les classes. (…) Tous les moyens sont bons lorsqu’ils sont efficaces. Jean-Paul Sartre (Les mains sales, II, 5, 1948)
Ce que nous voulons, c’est la liberté par tous les moyens, la justice par tous les moyens et  l’égalité par tous les moyens. Malcom X (1964)
The Martin Luther King jr. Bust has been moved out of the Oval Office according The People Magazine DC Bureau Chief who was in there this pm. April Ryan
Correction: An earlier version of the story said that a bust of Martin Luther King had been moved. It is still in the Oval Office. Time
Now, when I was elected as President of the United States, my predecessor had kept a Churchill bust in the Oval Office. There are only so many tables where you can put busts — otherwise it starts looking a little cluttered. (Laughter.) And I thought it was appropriate, and I suspect most people here in the United Kingdom might agree, that as the first African American President, it might be appropriate to have a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King in my office to remind me of all the hard work of a lot of people who would somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office. Barack Hussein Obama
Il est temps de tuer le président. Monisha Rajesh
Trump c’est le candidat qui redonne aux Américains l’espoir, l’espoir qu’il soit assassiné avant son investiture. Pablo Mira (France Inter)
Ils ont été horriblement traités. Savez-vous que si vous étiez chrétien en Syrie, il était impossible, ou du moins très difficile d’entrer aux États-Unis ? Si vous étiez un musulman, vous pouviez entrer, mais si vous étiez chrétien, c’était presque impossible et la raison était si injuste, tout le monde était persécuté… Ils ont coupé les têtes de tout le monde, mais plus encore des chrétiens. Et je pensais que c’était très, très injuste. Nous allons donc les aider. Donald Trump
L’amour du prochain est une valeur chrétienne et cela implique de venir en aide aux autres. Je crois que c’est ce qui unit les pays occidentaux. Sigmar Gabriel (ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères)
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Mais pourquoi n’appelle-t-on pas ce mur, qui sépare les Gazaouites de leurs frères égyptiens « mur de la honte » ou « de l’apartheid »? Liliane Messika
Trump’s executive order is so modest that the foundation of it is essentially existing law. That law was passed unanimously by both bodies of Congress in 2002. In fact, it garnered the support of 16 Democrat senators and 57 Democrat House members who are still serving in their respective bodies! Following 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which addressed many of the insecurities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. The bill was originally sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, including Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). Among other provisions, it restricted non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror (….) The directive to cut off non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror is still current law on the books [8 U.S. Code § 1735]. Presidents Bush and Obama later used their discretion to waive the ban, but Trump is actually following the letter of the law — the very law sponsored and passed by Democrats — more closely than Obama did. Trump used his 212(f) authority to add immigrant visas, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every Democrat in the 2002 Senate supported the banning of non-immigrant visas.At present, only three of the countries —  Sudan, Syria, and Iran —  are designated as state sponsors by the State Department. At the time Democrats agreed to the ban in 2002, the State Department also included Libya and Iraq in that list. Although Libya and Iraq were on the list due to the presence of Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein as sponsors of terror, there is actually more of a reason to cut off visas now. Both are completely failed states with no reliable data to vet travelers. Both are more saturated with Islamist groups now than they were in 2002. The same goes for Yemen and Somalia. Neither country is a state sponsor of terror because neither has a functioning governments. They are terrorist havens. Thus, the letter of the law already applies to three of the countries, and the spirit of the law applies to all of them. Plus, the State Department could add any new country to the list, thereby making any future suspension of visas from those specific countries covered under §1735, in addition to the broad general power (INA 212(f)) to shut off any form of immigration. Given that Trump has backed down on green card holders, his executive order on “Muslim countries” is essentially current law, albeit only guaranteed for 90 days! Conservative review
From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria. I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner. I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” – especially now that it has been clarified that it is not – should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk. (…) Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do. I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real. Archévêque irakien
Notre pays a encore bénéficié, ces dernières heures, des atouts de la diversité et de l’apport des disciples d’Allah. Ce matin, à 10 heures, un musulman, armé d’une machette, a attaqué, près du Louvre, une patrouille de soldats, aux cris d’Allah akbar. Abdallah E-H, selon les premières informations, aurait 29 ans, serait égyptien, et travaillerait à Dubaï. Remarquons que si on appliquait le décret Trump en France, en l’élargissant, sans doute ce sympathique touriste n’aurait-il jamais mis les pieds en France, ni n’aurait blessé un militaire avec sa machette. Riposte laïque
La portée dissuasive de l’opération Sentinelle n’était pas à la hauteur des attentes, puisque des militaires se trouvaient non loin du Bataclan et des terrasses et n’ont rien pu faire (…) Elles souhaitaient engager le feu mais on leur a donné l’ordre de ne pas faire usage de leurs armes. L’action des militaires est extrêmement réduite et leur chaîne de commandement est très complexe. (…) Rien ne prouve aujourd’hui que la présence d’une patrouille Sentinelle a permis d’éviter un attentat. Il y a bien eu au départ un rôle psychologique : voir des militaires en kaki partout, dans les rues, dans les transports, rassure la population car la menace est bien réelle. 93% des Français font confiance à l’armée pour lutter contre le terrorisme, tandis que l’antimilitarisme n’est que résiduel en France : il tourne autour de 10%. Mais on peut aussi ajouter qu’en décembre 2015, si 70% des Français approuvaient l’opération Sentinelle, ils n’étaient que 50% à la juger efficace, selon un sondage Ifop pour le ministère de la Défense. Il y a également une part importante de communication politique. Les militaires bénéficient d’une bonne image dans l’opinion publique, le gouvernement joue donc cette carte. L’opération Sentinelle fonctionne en réalité selon le principe du trompe-l’œil : elle diffuse une image de puissance dans les rues mais on ne peut que constater son impuissance effective. (…) Les militaires de Sentinelle ne sont en tout cas pas mis en avant dans le cadre de ce qui devrait être le coeur de leur action : la lutte contre le terrorisme. Un militaire, c’est fait pour faire la guerre. Les militaires de Sentinelle endossent davantage le rôle d’auxiliaires de police de proximité. par leurs présence dans les transports et dans les rues. Une étude réalisée par Elie Tenenbaum, chercheur à l’Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri), souligne que les patrouilles Sentinelle d’Ile-de-France ont été victimes de 1.300 « actions contre la force » entre janvier et septembre 2015, dont 70% d’actes malveillants. Parmi les auteurs de ces violences, certains étaient peut-être des fanatiques, mais ça, rien ne permet de l’affirmer…Et il est évidemment compliqué de faire le tri parmi les personnes qui ont commis ces actes. (…) Comme l’a récemment rappelé le général Sainte-Claire Deville, commandant des forces terrestres, avant 2015, les militaires passaient 5% de leur temps en opération intérieure (principalement dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate) et 15% en opération extérieure. Le reste du temps, ils s’entrainaient et se reposaient. Depuis le début de Sentinelle, ils sont mobilisés 50% de leur temps en opération intérieure et 15% en opération intérieure. Leurs temps de repos et de formation sont donc considérablement entamés. Des troupes fatiguées et peu entraînées sont sans aucun doute bien moins efficaces. (…) C’est d’abord une question pratique et économique. Les militaires sont rapidement mobilisables, efficaces, fiables. Si l’on raisonne à court terme il est également moins onéreux de les utiliser massivement que de recruter et mobiliser à niveau équivalent les forces de l’ordre. (…) De plus en plus de spécialistes, comme Michel Goya [spécialiste des armées, NDLR], plaident pour sa suppression ou, tout du moins, pour un réaménagement drastique, qui permettrait de mobiliser un nombre beaucoup plus faible de militaires, dans des dispositifs plus souples et moins statiques. Mais l’opération Sentinelle ne peut de toute façon pas être pensée isolément : la question de la lutte contre le terrorisme est surtout celle des services de renseignement et de police. Bénédicte Chéron (historienne)
The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It’s a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful. Obama

Fox is not a news organization.

Rahm Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff, October 2009)

Fox operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.

Anita Dunn (White House Communications Director)

When we see a pattern of distortion, we’re going to be honest about that pattern of distortion.

Valerie Jarrett (Obama senior advisor)

As John Podhoretz wrote, these are days of promise and opportunity for America’s political media professionals. So far, they’re squandering their shot. By indulging in ill-considered hysteria and posturing before like-minded colleagues, they sacrifice the credibility they’ll need to expose President Donald Trump’s mendacities. To repair some of the strained bonds between audience and journalist, media professionals must display some restraint when reacting to the latest alleged assault on freedom and decency. That is most easily achieved by recognizing that many of the unprecedented developments of the Trump era aren’t unprecedented at all. (…) The Obama administration was calling Fox “fake news” before “fake news” was a phenomenon. (…) The Obama administration’s “blog” content (now maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration), which includes former Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s “Regional Roundup: What America’s Newspapers are Saying About the Iran Deal.” The blog consisted entirely of favorable headlines from around the country reciting verbatim (and false) administration claims about the nuclear accord. “The Iran Deal” even had its own Twitter account which disseminated not only favorable press mentions but also crafted insipid pop culture memes to get the millennial generation jazzed about nuclear non-proliferation. Imagine the anxiety among journalists when the Trump White House mirrors this tactic. John Podhoretz’s admonition is particularly relevant because so many of these Obama-era precedents did not get the left’s “creeping fascism” sense tingling at the time. To rend garments over these actions now only because the Trump White House is undertaking them is not just unwise; it’s insulting.

Noah Rothman

The Trump administration’s flurry of reversing the earlier flurry of Obama executive orders and the Left’s hysterical response is proving a sort of strategic Game of Thrones. (…) The model is Watergate, Iran-Contra, or the summer of 2006, when the furious rhetoric almost made and in one case did make presidential governance impossible. Given the current role of a biased media (it acted quite differently during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, the flagrant lying about its impact, and the imploding AFC website), they hope to so increase the temperature that everyone melts down, with the goal of the in-power people liquefying first. They assume their blanket obstructionism will not suffer the public-relations boomerang that damaged the Republicans during shutdowns of the Clinton administration and slowdowns to stop Obama, given the media megaphone broadcasting their cause. In contrast, the Trump people may believe that the Left is becoming so unhinged that their inflated rhetoric has lost all credibility and eventually becomes counter-productive. In Napoleonic terms by attacking everything, the Left is attacking nothing. Second, by raising the stakes, they bring out of the woodwork the true malevolence of the Left such as the adolescent boycott of the inauguration by many in the Congress, the unprofessionalism of the media typified by the Martin Luther King bust fiasco or Michael Cohen’s nonexistent Prague meetings, the unhinged behavior of the acting attorney general, the repulsive rhetoric of a Madonna or Ashley Judd, and the creepy talk of journalists abroad of assassination. In that sense, the executive orders are pheromones that draw out and expose unattractive predators. (…) Where does this stand-off lead and how does it end? Who knows, but the Trump people, in strategic terms, need in advance to configure the third- and fourth-order effects of their executive orders to ensure: that they are seen as reactive to preexisting extremism (…), that (…) that their policies are understood as focused and sober (e.g., the travel ban affects a minuscule number of would-be entrants in an otherwise generous policy of accepting up to 50,000 newcomers; the wall is normal practice in much of the world (Israel, the Gulf States, increasingly in Europe), and we are trying not to react in kind to Mexico, given that Mexico’s own immigration practices, both in terms of punishment and questions of race and ethnicity, are in some sense racist and draconian). The loser, as in all strategic collisions, is he who more slowly misreads constantly shifting public opinion and is more guided by ideological zeal rather than empiricism and so doubles down on rather than modifies a failing strategy. The best indices of who seems to be getting the upper-hand are of course polls on particular issues and on Trump’s favorability — and the unity or lack of among congressional Republicans.

Victor Davis Hanson
Securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution. Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive. Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged. Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be. Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected. (…) Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice. (…) Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda. In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution. Victor Davis Hanson

Attention: une révolution peut en cacher une autre !

Restauration des frontières nationales,  moratoire et meilleur contrôle de l’immigration issue de zones sensibles face à une menace terroriste croissante, refus de la continuation de l’épuration  religieuse du Monde dit « arabe », rappel de la loi nationale et remise en cause des « villes sanctuaires »,  explicitation de la menace terroriste islamique, rappel des membres de l’OTAN à leurs obligations de défense, dénonciation de l’incurie de l’ONU et du fiasco de l’UE, remise en question d’accords secrets accordant l’accès à l’arme nucléaire à un pays appelant ouvertement à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins, retour à la politique d’alliance avec  le seul pays libre et démocratique du Moyen-Orient, dénonciation des manipulations d’une presse systématiquement partisane …

A l’heure où un nouvel attentat terroriste en plein coeur de la capitale française …

Confirme à la fois l’intuition trumpienne et l’efficacité israélienne

Mais aussi la mauvaise foi de nos médias se plaignant en fait que le décret Trump ne va pas assez loin …

Alors qu’après les faux dossiers des services secrets, la taille comparée des foules d’investiture présidentielle ou la bataille des bustes du Bureau ovale …

Ces derniers en sont quasiment, comme pour précédemment avec le président Bush, à l’appel à l’assassinat politique

Comment ne pas voir avec l’historien américain Victor Davis Hanson …

Et derrière la flamboyance et les mauvaises manières du tribun Trump …

La véritable radicalité de l’Administration Obama …

Et partant la normalité proprement révolutionnaire de son successeur ?

When Normalcy Is Revolution

Trump’s often unorthodox style shouldn’t be confused with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.

Victor Davis Hanson

National Review

February 2, 2017

By 2008, America was politically split nearly 50/50 as it had been in 2000 and 2004. The Democrats took a gamble and nominated Barack Obama, who became the first young, Northern, liberal president since John F. Kennedy narrowly won in 1960.

Democrats had believed that the unique racial heritage, youth, and rhetorical skills of Obama would help him avoid the fate of previous failed Northern liberal candidates Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. Given 21st-century demography, Democrats rejected the conventional wisdom that only a conservative Democrat with a Southern accent could win the popular vote (e.g., Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore).

Moreover, Obama mostly ran on pretty normal Democratic policies rather than a hard-left agenda. His platform included opposition to gay marriage, promises to balance the budget, and a bipartisan foreign policy.

Instead, what followed was a veritable “hope and change” revolution not seen since the 1930s. Obama pursued a staunchly progressive agenda — one that went well beyond the relatively centrist policies upon which he had campaigned. The media cheered and signed on.

Soon, the border effectively was left open. Pen-and-phone executive orders offered immigrant amnesties. The Senate was bypassed on a treaty with Iran and an intervention in Libya.

Political correctness under the Obama administration led to euphemisms that no longer reflected reality.

Poorly conceived reset policy with Russia and a pivot to Asia both failed. The Middle East was aflame.

The Iran deal was sold through an echo chamber of deliberate misrepresentations.

The national debt nearly doubled during Obama’s two terms. Overregulation, higher taxes, near-zero interest rates, and the scapegoating of big businesses slowed economic recovery. Economic growth never reached 3 percent in any year of the Obama presidency — the first time that had happened since Herbert Hoover’s presidency.

A revolutionary federal absorption of health care failed to fulfill Obama’s promises and soon proved unviable.

Culturally, the iconic symbols of the Obama revolution were the “you didn’t build that” approach to businesses and an assumption that race/class/gender would forever drive American politics, favorably so for the Democrats.

Then, Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat and the election of outsider Donald Trump sealed the fate of the Obama Revolution.

For all the hysteria over the bluntness of the mercurial Trump, his agenda marks a return to what used to be seen as fairly normal, as the U.S. goes from hard left back to the populist center.

Trump promises not just to reverse almost immediately all of Obama’s policies, but to do so in a pragmatic fashion that does not seem to be guided by any orthodox or consistently conservative ideology.

Trade deals and jobs are Trump’s obsessions — mostly for the benefit of blue-collar America.

He calls for full-bore gas and oil development, a common culture in lieu of identity politics, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform, a Jacksonian foreign policy, nationalist trade deals in places of globalization, and traditionalist values.

In normal times, Trumpism — again, the agenda as opposed to Trump the person — might be old hat. But after the last eight years, his correction has enraged millions.

Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.

Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.

Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.

Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.

Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected.

Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.

Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice.

Freezing federal hiring, clamping down on lobbyists, and auditing big bureaucracies — after the Obama-era IRS, VA, GSA, EPA, State Department, and Secret Service scandals — are overdue. Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda.
In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.

Voir aussi:

Our Game of Thrones
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
January 31, 2017
The Trump administration’s flurry of reversing the earlier flurry of Obama executive orders and the Left’s hysterical response is proving a sort of strategic Game of Thrones.
Trump’s opponents believe that they are bleeding him from a thousand nicks. Without the requisite political clout, their ultimate goal is to drive crazy uncomfortable Republican establishmentarians and force them into a fetal position where they beg for it all to just go away, turning on their own first rather than their adversaries. Or they wish to create such universal chaos that bend-with-the-wind federal judges go with the flow and start issuing endless injunctions in a way they rarely did with Obama’s executive orders.
The model is Watergate, Iran-Contra, or the summer of 2006, when the furious rhetoric almost made and in one case did make presidential governance impossible. Given the current role of a biased media (it acted quite differently during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, the flagrant lying about its impact, and the imploding AFC website), they hope to so increase the temperature that everyone melts down, with the goal of the in-power people liquefying first. They assume their blanket obstructionism will not suffer the public-relations boomerang that damaged the Republicans during shutdowns of the Clinton administration and slowdowns to stop Obama, given the media megaphone broadcasting their cause.
*** In contrast, the Trump people may believe that the Left is becoming so unhinged that their inflated rhetoric has lost all credibility and eventually becomes counter-productive. In Napoleonic terms by attacking everything, the Left is attacking nothing. Second, by raising the stakes, they bring out of the woodwork the true malevolence of the Left such as the adolescent boycott of the inauguration by many in the Congress, the unprofessionalism of the media typified by the Martin Luther King bust fiasco or Michael Cohen’s nonexistent Prague meetings, the unhinged behavior of the acting attorney general, the repulsive rhetoric of a Madonna or Ashley Judd, and the creepy talk of journalists abroad of assassination. In that sense, the executive orders are pheromones that draw out and expose unattractive predators.
*** Where does this stand-off lead and how does it end? Who knows, but the Trump people, in strategic terms, need in advance to configure the third- and fourth-order effects of their executive orders to ensure: that they are seen as reactive to preexisting extremism (e.g., sanctuary-city policies are subversive and reactionary Confederate/states’-rights acts that lead to George Wallace–like nihilism), that they are seen as refining prior presidential precedents (e.g., Obama gave them the example of temporary suspending visas to Middle Easterners and identifying particular countries that posed increased risks), that they are anticipating criticism (e.g., they might have exempted green-card holders and helpers of the U.S. military abroad from their temporary halt in immigration from areas of the Middle East), that they are putting the onus on their opponents (e.g., placing temporary and small — and therefore likely to be paid rather than circumvented — duties on remittances instead of a trade tariff-like fee would remind the American taxpayer that he should not, even indirectly, have to pay for building the wall, and reassure Mexico the U.S. is not leveling fees on those Mexican citizens who did not come into the United States illegally, given at present U.S. social services often subsidize the freeing-up of cash for remittances, a great majority of which come from those residing in the U.S. illegally),
And, finally, that their policies are understood as focused and sober (e.g., the travel ban affects a minuscule number of would-be entrants in an otherwise generous policy of accepting up to 50,000 newcomers; the wall is normal practice in much of the world (Israel, the Gulf States, increasingly in Europe), and we are trying not to react in kind to Mexico, given that Mexico’s own immigration practices, both in terms of punishment and questions of race and ethnicity, are in some sense racist and draconian). The loser, as in all strategic collisions, is he who more slowly misreads constantly shifting public opinion and is more guided by ideological zeal rather than empiricism and so doubles down on rather than modifies a failing strategy.

The best indices of who seems to be getting the upper-hand are of course polls on particular issues and on Trump’s favorability — and the unity or lack of among congressional Republicans.

Voir encore:

The Democrat Patient
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

January 31, 2017

Ignoring the symptoms, misdiagnosing the malady, skipping the treatment

If progressives were to become empiricists, they would look at the symptoms of the last election and come up with disinterested diagnoses, therapies, and prognoses.

Although their hard-left candidate won the popular vote, even that benchmark was somewhat deceiving — given the outlier role of California and the overwhelming odds in their favor. The Republicans ran a candidate who caused a veritable civil war in their ranks and who was condemned by many of the flagship conservative media outlets. Trump essentially ran against a united Democratic party, the Republican establishment, the mainstream media (both liberal and conservative) — and won.

He was outspent. He was out-organized. He was outpolled and demonized daily as much by Republicans as Democrats. Yet he not only destroyed three political dynasties (the Clintons, Bushes, and Obamas) but also has seemingly rendered the Obama election matrix nontransferable to anyone other than Obama himself.

Not that Hillary did not try to copy Obama’s formula. She brought on Obama politicos to staff her campaign. She supported all the Obama initiatives, from Obamacare and record debt to a collapsed foreign policy. She spoke in a faux-inner city accent the same way Obama had to get out the African-American vote. She outdid Obama’s clinger speech by her own twist of “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” She returned to her own hard-left phase of the 1990s. Yet she was trounced in the electoral college and saw the fabled “blue wall” crumble.

DIAGNOSIS
Any reasonable post-election autopsy for a party would identify certain inconvenient truths.

1) The African-American vote is vital to the Democratic party, but it is dubious to suppose that blacks will register, turn out, and vote in a bloc (as they did in 2008 and 2012) for a Democratic candidate other than Barack Obama. The very efforts to ensure that 95 percent of blacks will vote for other Democratic nominees might only polarize other groups in an increasingly multiracial and multiethnic America. Trump, of course, knows all this and will make the necessary adjustments.

2) Asians and Hispanics are less a monolithic voting bloc. Supposedly discredited melting-pot assimilation, integration, and intermarriage are still the norm and can temper tribal solidarities and peel away from Democrats a third of their assumed constituents — in an electoral landscape where there is already only a thin margin of error, given that Democrats have written off the white working classes. In the case of Latinos, red states such as Texas and Arizona are unlikely to be flipped soon by Latino bloc voting, especially if Trump closes down the border and ends illegal immigration as a demographic electoral tool of the Democratic party. And Latino electoral-college strength is dissipated in states that are likely to be blue anyway (California, Nevada, New Mexico).

3) The race/class/gender agenda so favored by coastal elites and promulgated by media, Hollywood, and popular culture is an anathema to Middle America, especially its strange disconnect between affluence and the mandate for purportedly progressive equality. Moralistic lectures from wealthy people are not a way to win over the working classes. Rants by Hollywood celebrities and racialist sermons by would-be DNC chairs will not win over 51 percent of the voters in swing states. The twin agents of progressive dogma, the media and the university, are themselves under financial duress, must recalibrate, and have lost support from half the country.

4) Fairly or not, the entire environmental movement, as represented by Al Gore’s campaign against global warming, has become elitist and often hypocritical, and is evident in the lifestyles of wealthy utopians who have the capital and influence to navigate around the irritating results of their nostrums. Building Keystone is a better issue than the Paris Climate Change protocols. There is little support for Bay Area environmentalism among blue-collar building trades and unions — largely because radical climate change is now a religion and skeptics are hounded as heretics.

5) For the foreseeable future, the blue wall of the Midwest seems more vulnerable than the red wall in the South. The small towns and cities in swing states are as electorally powerful as the large, blue cities.

6) What the media and Democrats see as Trump’s outrageous extremism now looks, to more than half the country, like a tardy return to normalcy: employing the words “radical Islamic terror,” or asking cities to follow federal law rather than go full Confederate, or deporting illegal aliens who have committed crimes, or building a wall to stop easy illegal entry across the U.S. border, or putting a temporary hold on unvetted refugees from war-torn states in the Middle East. In the eyes of many Middle Americans, all these measures, even if sometimes hastily and sloppily embraced, are not acts of revolution; they are common-sense corrections of what were themselves extremist acts, or they are simply continuances of presidential executive-order power as enshrined by Obama and sanctified by the media.

TREATMENT
As a result, one might have thought that Democrats would look in 2017 to bread-and-butter economic issues and try to find candidates who are 21st-century updates of Hubert Humphrey or Harry Truman, or perhaps populist minority nominees or a younger version of Joe Biden. Or is it even worse? The Democratic party of 2017 is nothing like the party of 2008, when Hillary Clinton in the primaries ran as a guns-rights Annie Oakley, with a boilermaker in one hand and a bowling ball in the other, and Barack Obama kept assuring the nation that gay marriage was contrary to his religious principles.

Instead of seeing Barack Obama (both his successful two elections and his failed two terms) as the wave of the future, Democrats would be wise to reassess his electoral legacy as a unique phenomenon. In truth, Obama’s legacy is twofold: He took the party hard left, and he downsized it to a minority party of the two coasts and big cities. And then he faded off into the sunset to a multimillionaire retirement of golf and homilies.

The progressive movement, the Democratic party and its cultural appendages in entertainment and the media seem to be doubling down on a failed electoral strategy. Instead, they all hope that either Donald Trump will crack and spontaneously implode after some new sort of Access Hollywood disclosure, or that their own unrelenting invective will eventually grind him down, as it did with Richard Nixon.

Consider a potpourri of left-wing reactions to Trump. Would-be Democratic National Committee chairwoman Sally Boynton Brown pontificated: “I’m a white woman. I don’t get it. . . . My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt.” Ashley Judd gave an incoherent rant at the Inauguration Day protest marches. In reading a bizarre poem, she variously compared Trump to Hitler, alleged that he had incestuous desires for his own daughter. and then indulged in rank vulgarity.

Another Hillary Clinton bedrock supporter, Madonna, told the assembled thousands, “I’m angry. Yes, I’m outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”

Secret Service agent and loud Hillary Clinton supporter Kerry O’Grady wrote on her Facebook page that she would “take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be a disaster to this the country.” Making her presidential preference clear, she ended her post with “I am with Her.”

BuzzFeed’s rumor mongering about Trump did not meet National Enquirer standards. Time magazine’s Zeke Miller decided, on no evidence whatsoever, that Trump had suddenly removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. Miller reported the scoop as breaking news — after all, it would confirm Trump’s alleged racism — before retracting the story.

None of these reactions will convince those in the swing states that they erred in voting for Donald Trump.

PROGNOSIS

In sum, the architects of Democratic-party reform are themselves the problem, not the solution. On key issues, they represent a minority opinion, one confined to the entertainment industry, academia, race/class/gender elite activists, and the wealthy scions of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street. In addition, minority activists themselves do not get out in the heartland and mistakenly believe that the demeanor, mindset, and, yes, guilt of white urban liberal elites in their midst characterize the white working and middle classes in general. And they mistakenly assume they themselves cannot be out-of-touch elites, given their ethnic and racial heritage, when in fact many most certainly are. Do Eric Holder and Colin Kaepernick know more about poverty and hardship than a West Virginian miner or an out-of-work fabricator in southern Ohio? Does an affluent Van Jones visit depressed rural Michigan to lecture out-of-work plant workers and welders about their endemic white privilege?

The current Democratic reset plan certainly does not resemble the 1976 strategy of nominating a governor from the South in order to avoid another 1972 McGovern catastrophe; nor does it share the 1992 wisdom of nominating Bill Clinton to fend off a second Dukakis disaster.

For now, the Democratic-party strategists are doubling down on boutique environmentalism and race/gender victimhood, while hoping that Donald Trump implodes in scandal, war, or depression. They are clueless that their present rabid frenzy is doing as much political damage to their cause as is the object of their outrage.

Voir encore:

Mourad B. était très gentil : il a juste tué son docteur de 48 coups de couteau

Paul Le Poulpe

Riposte laïque

3 février 2017

Notre pays a encore bénéficié, ces dernières heurs, des atouts de la diversité et de l’apport des disciples d’Allah.

Ce matin, à 10 heures, un musulman, armé d’une machette, a attaqué, près du Louvre, une patrouille de soldats, aux cris d’Allah akbar. Abdallah E-H, selon les premières informations, aurait 29 ans, serait égyptien, et travaillerait à Dubaï. Remarquons que si on appliquait le décret Trump en France, en l’élargissant, sans doute ce sympathique touriste n’aurait-il jamais mis les pieds en France, ni n’aurait blessé un militaire avec sa machette. Francis Gruzelle, de manière très réactive, nous avait résumé l’événement.

http://ripostelaique.com/louvre-face-a-une-attaque-djihadiste-nos-militaires-ripostent-enfin-a-lisraelienne.html

Quelques heures avant, à Nogent-le-Rotrou, le docteur Rousseaux n’a pas eu la chance des militaires. Ce médecin de 64 ans, apprécié par l’ensemble de ses patients, a été sauvagement assassiné dans son cabinet par un homme de 42 ans, Mourad B. On ne sait pas pourquoi on n’a pas le droit d’avoir son nom de famille. Les conditions du meurtre sont abominables. 48 coups de couteau, rien de moins, sur l’ensemble du corps et au visage. Donc probablement à la gorge…

Qui est donc ce Mourad B ? Comme toujours quand l’assassin est musulman, personne ne comprend. Il était le plus gentil du quartier. Il causait avec tout le monde. Il faisait du vélo. Il interpellait tout le temps tout le monde, et il était jovial. Ah ! Petit détail, il avait viré d’un emploi de voisinage pour vol. Mais on ne va pas salir une image aussi séduisante du musulman modéré, de l’homme de paix, de la chance pour la France. Bref, comme d’habitude, personne ne comprend.

Donc, il va avoir eu une crise de « déséquilibré », et on s’attend à entendre le procureur Tarrare du coin nous faire le coup d’une crise inexplicable, même si l’individu, arrêté aux Mureaux, a agressé le personnel soignant à Limay.

En attendant, ce fait divers, que les autorités vont tout faire pour occulter, et nous raconter qu’il n’a rien à voir avec l’islam, pose un ensemble de questions politiques que nous n’allons pas occulter.

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/medecin-de-l-eure-et-loir-tue-de-48-coups-de-couteau-un-patient-en-garde-a-vue-03-02-2017-6650613.php#xtor=AD-1481423553

Nous avons en France dix millions de musulmans. Si un Mourad B, ou bien un Abdallah E-H, qui ne sont pas recensés par les autorités françaises comme particulièrement dangereux, peuvent massacrer un paisible médecin pour l’un, et attaquer à la machette des militaires pour l’autre, faut-il d’abord continuer à faire entrer des musulmans en France, ou bien leur fermer la frontière ? Donald Trump a partiellement répondu à la question, en interdisant, pour trois mois, l’entrée de son pays à sept nationalités.

Toute la caste politico-médiatique pleurniche, mais la cote du nouveau président des Etats-Unis n’a jamais été aussi haute.

Supposons que Marine Le Pen ou Nicolas Dupont-Aignan annoncent qu’ils arrêteront les visas des pays musulmans, Algérie, Tunisie et Maroc d’abord, quelles seraient les réactions en France ? Je leur pronostique un bond spectaculaire dans les sondages.

Au-delà de cela, peut-on garder en France des gens qui se réclament musulmans, dont adeptes de l’islam ? Notre ami Maxime Lepante, pour avoir affirmé le contraire, est victime de deux plaintes du Parquet de Paris.

http://ripostelaique.com/eviter-genocide-faut-expulser-musulmans.html

http://ripostelaique.com/attentat-a-hache-train-allemand-musulmans.html

Et celui-ci, faisant d’une pierre deux coups, entend faire assumer la responsabilité de ces propos à Pierre Cassen, puisque, de manière obsessionnelle, des juges ont décidé que notre fondateur était toujours le vrai directeur de publication de Riposte Laïque. Ils vont même jusqu’à contredire des décisions de justice pour prouver cela, c’est dire pour eux l’importance de faire tomber notre fondateur.

Qu’est qu’un musulman ? C’est quelqu’un qui se réclame de l’islam. Qu’est-ce que l’islam ? C’est un dogme qui demande à ses disciples de tuer tous les mécréants, et de conquérir l’ensemble du monde. D’où parfois, et même souvent, dans leur comportement, quelques marques de « déséquilibres » comme l’explique si bien la psychiatre Wafa Sultan. Car enfin, ces agressions sauvages au couteau ne reviennent-elles pas trop souvent, de manière répétitive, pour qu’enfin des politiques commencent à se poser les bonnes questions… et surtout à amener les bonnes solutions pour protéger les Français.

Précisons que le fait d’être né musulman n’implique pas, fort heureusement, l’obligation de demeurer dans l’islam, et que nombre d’esprits libres (pas assez) parviennent à s’en émanciper, totalement ou partiellement. Mais dans ce cas, ils ne sont plus musulmans.

Conclusion : avoir écrit, comme Maxime, qu’il faut expulser tous les musulmans, est-ce une incitation à la haine, ou le plus élémentaire principe de précaution ?

En tout cas, si on avait suivi à la lettre les écrits de Maxime, le docteur Rousseaux serait encore vivant, et n’aurait pas connu de terribles derniers moments, à 64 ans, poignardé à 48 reprises dans les souffrances que l’on devine (combien de temps avant de mourir ?), avec la douleur de ses proches qu’on imagine.

Mais avec les gouvernants que nous avons, la seule question est : dans combien de temps Mourad B. sera-t-il remis en liberté, comme l’ont été le chauffard de Dijon et tant d’autres psychopathes musulmans « déséquilibrés » ?

Voir de plus:

Trump’s executive order is so modest that the foundation of it is essentially existing law. That law was passed unanimously by both bodies of Congress in 2002. In fact, it garnered the support of 16 Democrat senators and 57 Democrat House members who are still serving in their respective bodies!

Following 9/11, Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, which addressed many of the insecurities in our visa tracking system. The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously. The bill was originally sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, including Ted Kennedy and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (F, 0%). Among other provisions, it restricted non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror:

SEC. 306. RESTRICTION ON ISSUANCE OF VISAS TO NONIMMIGRANTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT ARE STATE SPONSORS OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.

(a) IN GENERAL- No nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C.1101(a)(15)) shall be issued to any alien from a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless the Secretary of State determines, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that such alien does not pose a threat to the safety or national security of the United States. In making a determination under this subsection, the Secretary of State shall apply standards developed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that are applicable to the nationals of such states.

The directive to cut off non-immigrant visas from countries designated as state sponsors of terror is still current law on the books [8 U.S. Code § 1735]. Presidents Bush and Obama later used their discretion to waive the ban, but Trump is actually following the letter of the law — the very law sponsored and passed by Democrats — more closely than Obama did. Trump used his 212(f) authority to add immigrant visas, but that doesn’t take away the fact that every Democrat in the 2002 Senate supported the banning of non-immigrant visas.

Given that Trump has backed down on green card holders, his executive order on “Muslim countries” is essentially current law, albeit only guaranteed for 90 days!

At present, only three of the countries —  Sudan, Syria, and Iran —  are designated as state sponsors by the State Department. At the time Democrats agreed to the ban in 2002, the State Department also included Libya and Iraq in that list. Although Libya and Iraq were on the list due to the presence of Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein as sponsors of terror, there is actually more of a reason to cut off visas now. Both are completely failed states with no reliable data to vet travelers. Both are more saturated with Islamist groups now than they were in 2002. The same goes for Yemen and Somalia. Neither country is a state sponsor of terror because neither has a functioning governments. They are terrorist havens.

Thus, the letter of the law already applies to three of the countries, and the spirit of the law applies to all of them. Plus, the State Department could add any new country to the list, thereby making any future suspension of visas from those specific countries covered under §1735, in addition to the broad general power (INA 212(f)) to shut off any form of immigration. Given that Trump has backed down on green card holders, his executive order on “Muslim countries” is essentially current law, albeit only guaranteed for 90 days!

Sixteen sitting Democrats, including their Minority Leader, voted for the 2002 bill [several of them were in the House at the time]:

In addition, such prominent Democrats as former Vice President Biden, former Secretary of State Clinton, former Secretary of State Kerry, and former Majority Leader Reid vote voted for the bill.

In the House, 57 sitting Democrats voted for the 2002 bill, including leadership members, such as Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (F, 10%), Steny Hoyer, D-M.D. (F, 8%), and James Clyburn, D-S.C. (F, 8%).

If anything, the need to ratchet down immigration and visas from the Middle East is even more important now than after 9/11.

Dianne Feinstein has now introduced a bill to overturn Trump’s executive order, but her bill would also overturn, in part, the law on the books she herself sponsored and supported in 2002. In addition, a number of Republicans who are whining about the order, such as John McCain, R-Ariz. (F, 32%), voted for the 2002 bill.

The 2002 bill also established a program to monitor foreign students in the U.S. As part of that program, the Bush administration created the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which required visa recipients from countries that represented a security risk (at least 25 countries fell into that category) to register with an ICE office and report regularly about their plans. Unfortunately, Obama’s DHS abolished the program in May 2011. Now, there are twice as many foreign students in the United States, including well over 150,000 from the very countries originally monitored by the Bush administration’s program.

If anything, the need to ratchet down immigration and visas from the Middle East is even more important now than after 9/11. Back then we were concerned with Al Qaeda-style, command-and-control attacks whereby professional operators infiltrate our country in order to commit a large-scale terror attack. Theoretically, strong intelligence can preempt these attacks. What we are dealing with today is a ubiquitous threat of homegrown terror from years’ worth of irresponsible immigration policies, in conjunction with cyber jihad.  Any number of people from these countries who subscribe to Sharia can do us harm with smaller attacks that cannot be picked up by the intelligence community.

Yet, many Republicans are now to the left of even where Democrats were just 15 years ago. As for Democrats, any shred of intellectual honesty and concern for American security has been compromised to serve their ultimate goal of creating a permanent voting bloc at any and all costs.

Voir enfin:

Terrorisme : « L’opération Sentinelle est un trompe-l’œil »

Pointée du doigt par la commission d’enquête parlementaire, l’opération de déploiement militaire a montré ses limites lors des attentats. L’historienne Bénédicte Chéron dénonce son inefficacité.
L’Obs

06 juillet 2016

Créée au lendemain des attentats de janvier 2015, l’opération Sentinelle vise à déployer massivement des militaires sur le sol français pour prévenir les actes de terrorisme. La commission d’enquête parlementaire sur les attentats de 2015 en France, dite commission Fenech, a pointé dans son rapport, rendu public mardi 5 juillet, l’inefficacité de ce dispositif dans le cadre des attentats du 13 novembre.

« Les policiers de la BAC, arrivés les premiers, voulaient au moins que les militaires de l’opération Sentinelle, arrivés sur place, leur prêtent leurs fusils d’assaut Famas, puisque les militaires n’avaient pas le droit de tirer. Et ils ont essuyé un refus ! » fulmine le député Les républicains Georges Fenech, président de la commission d’enquête.

L’opération Sentinelle est-elle une coquille vide ou a-t-elle un rôle à jouer dans la lutte contre le terrorisme en France ? Pour l’historienne Bénédicte Chéron, chercheuse à l’Irice (Identités, Relations internationales et civilisations de l’Europe) – Paris-Sorbonne, ces troupes peuvent « jouer un rôle préventif » mais doivent « être repensées » en vue d’intégrer « davantage de souplesse ».

En quoi consiste l’opération Sentinelle ?

– L’opération Sentinelle a mis en place d’importants moyens humains depuis janvier 2015 pour lutter contre le terrorisme. L’armée participait certes déjà au plan Vigipirate depuis 25 ans mais il ne s’agissait pas d’une opération à part entière. Avec Sentinelle, 10.000 soldats sont déployés dans toute la France. Leur mission, sous l’autorité du ministère de l’Intérieur, est d’assurer une présence continue sur le territoire, en particulier aux abords des lieux sensibles : lieux de culte, sites touristiques, zones d’événements sportifs…

Pourquoi ce dispositif est-il jugé inefficace par la commission Fenech ?

– Les attentats du 13 novembre n’ont pu être évités malgré l’existence de cette opération. La portée dissuasive de l’opération Sentinelle n’était pas à la hauteur des attentes, puisque des militaires se trouvaient non loin du Bataclan et des terrasses et n’ont rien pu faire [à lire à ce sujet : l’enquête de « l’Obs »].

Pourquoi ces patrouilles n’ont-elles pas pu intervenir ?

– Elles souhaitaient engager le feu mais on leur a donné l’ordre de ne pas faire usage de leurs armes. L’action des militaires est extrêmement réduite et leur chaîne de commandement est très complexe.

Faut-il en conclure que l’opération Sentinelle est inutile ?

– Rien ne prouve aujourd’hui que la présence d’une patrouille Sentinelle a permis d’éviter un attentat. Il y a bien eu au départ un rôle psychologique : voir des militaires en kaki partout, dans les rues, dans les transports, rassure la population car la menace est bien réelle.

93% des Français font confiance à l’armée pour lutter contre le terrorisme, tandis que l’antimilitarisme n’est que résiduel en France : il tourne autour de 10%. Mais on peut aussi ajouter qu’en décembre 2015, si 70% des Français approuvaient l’opération Sentinelle, ils n’étaient que 50% à la juger efficace, selon un sondage Ifop pour le ministère de la Défense.

Il y a également une part importante de communication politique. Les militaires bénéficient d’une bonne image dans l’opinion publique, le gouvernement joue donc cette carte.

L’opération Sentinelle fonctionne en réalité selon le principe du trompe-l’œil : elle diffuse une image de puissance dans les rues mais on ne peut que constater son impuissance effective.

N’y a-t-il pas néanmoins des situations au cours desquelles ces patrouilles se sont illustrées ?

– Les militaires de Sentinelle ne sont en tout cas pas mis en avant dans le cadre de ce qui devrait être le coeur de leur action : la lutte contre le terrorisme. Un militaire, c’est fait pour faire la guerre. Les militaires de Sentinelle endossent davantage le rôle d’auxiliaires de police de proximité. par leurs présence dans les transports et dans les rues.

Une étude réalisée par Elie Tenenbaum, chercheur à l’Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri), souligne que les patrouilles Sentinelle d’Ile-de-France ont été victimes de 1.300 « actions contre la force » entre janvier et septembre 2015, dont 70% d’actes malveillants. Parmi les auteurs de ces violences, certains étaient peut-être des fanatiques, mais ça, rien ne permet de l’affirmer…Et il est évidemment compliqué de faire le tri parmi les personnes qui ont commis ces actes.

Cette mobilisation de tous les instants est usante pour les soldats…

– Comme l’a récemment rappelé le général Sainte-Claire Deville, commandant des forces terrestres, avant 2015, les militaires passaient 5% de leur temps en opération intérieure (principalement dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate) et 15% en opération extérieure. Le reste du temps, ils s’entrainaient et se reposaient. Depuis le début de Sentinelle, ils sont mobilisés 50% de leur temps en opération intérieure et 15% en opération intérieure. Leurs temps de repos et de formation sont donc considérablement entamés. Des troupes fatiguées et peu entraînées sont sans aucun doute bien moins efficaces.

Comment expliquer que les militaires soient autant sollicités ?

– C’est d’abord une question pratique et économique. Les militaires sont rapidement mobilisables, efficaces, fiables. Si l’on raisonne à court terme il est également moins onéreux de les utiliser massivement que de recruter et mobiliser à niveau équivalent les forces de l’ordre.

Faut-il supprimer ce dispositif ou peut-on l’améliorer ?

– De plus en plus de spécialistes, comme Michel Goya [spécialiste des armées, NDLR], plaident pour sa suppression ou, tout du moins, pour un réaménagement drastique, qui permettrait de mobiliser un nombre beaucoup plus faible de militaires, dans des dispositifs plus souples et moins statiques. Mais l’opération Sentinelle ne peut de toute façon pas être pensée isolément : la question de la lutte contre le terrorisme est surtout celle des services de renseignement et de police.

Propos recueillis par Maïté Hellio, le 5  juillet 2016

Voir par ailleurs:

Obama Era Precedents Haunt Media
Noah Rothman
Commentary
Jan. 25, 2017

As John Podhoretz wrote, these are days of promise and opportunity for America’s political media professionals. So far, they’re squandering their shot. By indulging in ill-considered hysteria and posturing before like-minded colleagues, they sacrifice the credibility they’ll need to expose President Donald Trump’s mendacities. To repair some of the strained bonds between audience and journalist, media professionals must display some restraint when reacting to the latest alleged assault on freedom and decency. That is most easily achieved by recognizing that many of the unprecedented developments of the Trump era aren’t unprecedented at all.

On Tuesday evening, the President of the United States applauded the Fox News Channel “for being number one in inauguration ratings.” In issuing this congratulatory note, he also attacked CNN for being “fake news.” A predictable series of horrified and disappointed reactions from media professionals followed. Notable among them was that of CNN media reporter Dylan Byers: “The President of the United States wants you to watch one news organization and not another…” While Trump’s behavior hardly befits an American president, he is also crudely mirroring the Obama administration, which spent its first year in office seeking to discredit Fox News as a respectable media outlet.

The Obama administration was calling Fox “fake news” before “fake news” was a phenomenon. In October of 2009, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN that Fox was “not a news organization.” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn echoed Emanuel, saying that Fox “operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” “When we see a pattern of distortion, we’re going to be honest about that pattern of distortion,” said senior advisor to the president, Valerie Jarrett, when asked to defend the White House’s campaign against Fox.

Obama was still prosecuting the case against Fox nearly a year after the White House and the cable news network supposedly buried the hatchet. Just days before the 2010 midterm elections, Obama told Rolling Stone that Fox was cast in the mold of Hearst-era yellow journalism, and it pushes a point of view. “It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country,” Obama said.

When the administration allegedly tried to exclude Fox in a round of interviews with “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg in 2009, it inspired other networks to rally to Fox’s side. They did so not only out of professional courtesy but fear the future such a precedent might yield.

Fox News was not discredited by the president’s efforts. Arguably, the campaign had the opposite of its intended effect. There is a cautionary tale here for those cheering on Trump’s attacks on the press, but also one for media professionals who seem to have forgotten the last decade.

This isn’t the only recent development that has sent reporters into paroxysms of trepidation over this sacrifice of presidential dignity. Indicative of this administration’s obsessive fixation with its media coverage, the White House press office released on Wednesday a press release summing up the positive coverage it has received.

“Don’t recall ever seeing a WH do this,” remarked Huffington Post White House reporter Christina Wilkie. “Some might call it Propaganda,” NBC News’ Katy Tur averred. “I didn’t totally expect the 1984-esque dystopian future to be so soon, but life comes at ya fast,” snarked the Center for American Progress’s economist Katie Bahn. But this, too, is not an unparalleled abuse of the public trust; at least, not for those who remember how the Obama administration sold the public on the Iran nuclear accords in 2015.

The Obama administration’s “blog” content (now maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration), which includes former Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s “Regional Roundup: What America’s Newspapers are Saying About the Iran Deal.” The blog consisted entirely of favorable headlines from around the country reciting verbatim (and false) administration claims about the nuclear accord. “The Iran Deal” even had its own Twitter account which disseminated not only favorable press mentions but also crafted insipid pop culture memes to get the millennial generation jazzed about nuclear non-proliferation. Imagine the anxiety among journalists when the Trump White House mirrors this tactic.

John Podhoretz’s admonition is particularly relevant because so many of these Obama-era precedents did not get the left’s “creeping fascism” sense tingling at the time. To rend garments over these actions now only because the Trump White House is undertaking them is not just unwise; it’s insulting.


Réfugiés: Attention, une préférence peut en cacher une autre (Refugee madness: Our tradition has never been an unlimited open-door policy)

29 janvier, 2017
byanymeans

open-borders

christians_muslims_convert_die_syria_1
syrian_refugee_graph
no-jews mecca-muslims-only-road-signNous déclarons notre droit sur cette terre, à être des êtres humains, à être respectés en tant qu’êtres humains, à accéder aux droits des êtres humains dans cette société, sur cette terre, en ce jour, et nous comptons le mettre en œuvre par tous les moyens nécessaires. Malcom X (1964)
Ce n’est pas en refusant de mentir que nous abolirons le mensonge : c’est en usant de tous les moyens pour supprimer les classes. (…) Tous les moyens sont bons lorsqu’ils sont efficaces. Jean-Paul Sartre (les mains sales, II, 5, 1963)
L’avenir ne doit pas appartenir à ceux qui calomnient le prophète de l’Islam. Barack Obama (siège de l’ONU, New York, 26.09.12)
Ils ont été horriblement traités. Savez-vous que si vous étiez chrétien en Syrie, il était impossible, ou du moins très difficile d’entrer aux États-Unis ? Si vous étiez un musulman, vous pouviez entrer, mais si vous étiez chrétien, c’était presque impossible et la raison était si injuste, tout le monde était persécuté… Ils ont coupé les têtes de tout le monde, mais plus encore des chrétiens. Et je pensais que c’était très, très injuste. Nous allons donc les aider. Donald Trump
L’amour du prochain est une valeur chrétienne et cela implique de venir en aide aux autres. Je crois que c’est ce qui unit les pays occidentaux. Sigmar Gabriel (ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères)
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Christians are believed to have constituted about 30% of the Syrian population as recently as the 1920s. Today, they make up about 10% of Syria’s 22 million people. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have been displaced by fighting or left the country. Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham said last year that more than 1,000 Christians had been killed, entire villages cleared, and dozens of churches and Christian centres damaged or destroyed. Many fear that if President Assad is overthrown, Christians will be targeted and communities destroyed as many were in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003. They have also been concerned by the coming to power of Islamist parties in post-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia. Patriarch Gregorios said the threat to Christianity in Syria had wider implications for the religion’s future in the Middle East because the country had for decades provided a refuge for Christians from neighbouring Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere. BBC
The Orlando nightclub shooter, the worst mass-casualty gunman in US history, was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan. The San Bernardino shooters were first and second generation immigrants from Pakistan. Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood killer, was the son of Palestinian immigrants. The Tsarnaev brothers who detonated bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon held Kyrgyz nationality. The would-be 2010 Times Square car bomber was a naturalized immigrant from Pakistan. The ringleader of the Paris attacks of November 2015, about which Donald Trump spoke so much on the campaign trail, was a Belgian national of Moroccan origins. President Trump’s version of a Muslim ban would have protected the United States from none of the above. (…) As ridiculous as was the former Obama position that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, the new Trump position that all Muslims are potential terrorists is vastly worse. What Trump has done is to divide and alienate potential allies—and push his opponents to embrace the silliest extremes of the #WelcomeRefugees point of view. By issuing his order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump empowered his opponents to annex the victims of Nazi crimes to their own purposes. The Western world desperately needs a more hardheaded approach to the issue of refugees. It is bound by laws and treaties written after World War II that have been rendered utterly irrelevant by a planet on the move. Tens of millions of people seek to exit the troubled regions of Central America, the Middle East, West Africa, and South Asia for better opportunities in Europe and North America. The relatively small portion of that number who have reached the rich North since 2013 have already up-ended the politics of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s August 2015 order to fling open Germany’s doors is the proximate cause of the de-democratization of Poland since September 2015, of the rise of Marine LePen in France, of the surge in support for Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and—I would argue—of Britain’s vote to depart the European Union. The surge of border crossers from Central America into the United States in 2014, and Barack Obama’s executive amnesties, likewise strengthened Donald Trump. (…) without the dreamy liberal refusal to recognize the reality of nationhood, the meaning of citizenship, and the differences between cultures, Trump would never have gained the power to issue that order. (…) When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t do. This weekend’s shameful chapter in the history of the United States is a reproach not only to Trump, although it is that too, but to the political culture that enabled him. Angela Merkel and Donald Trump may be temperamental opposites. They are also functional allies. David Frum
Trump isn’t making this up; Obama-administration policy effectively discriminated against persecuted religious-minority Christians from Syria (even while explicitly admitting that ISIS was pursuing a policy of genocide against Syrian Christians), and the response from most of Trump’s liberal critics has been silence (…) Liberals are normally the first people to argue that American policy should give preferential treatment to groups that are oppressed and discriminated against, but because Christians are the dominant religious group here — and the bêtes noires of domestic liberals — there is little liberal interest in accommodating U.S. refugee policy to the reality on the ground in Syria. So long as Obama could outsource religious discrimination against Christian refugees to Jordan and the U.N., his supporters preferred the status quo to admitting that Trump might have a point. On the whole, 2016 was the first time in a decade when the United States let in more Muslim than Christian refugees, 38,901 overall, 75 percent of them from Syria, Somalia, and Iraq, all countries on Trump’s list — and all countries in which the United States has been actively engaged in drone strikes or ground combat over the past year. Obama had been planning to dramatically expand that number, to 110,000, in 2017 — only after he was safely out of office. This brings us to a broader point: The United States in general, and the Obama administration in particular, never had an open-borders policy for all refugees from everywhere, so overwrought rhetoric about Trump ripping down Lady Liberty’s promise means comparing him to an ideal state that never existed. In fact, the Obama administration completely stopped processing refugees from Iraq for six months in 2011 over concerns about terrorist infiltration, a step nearly identical to Trump’s current order, but one that was met with silence and indifference by most of Trump’s current critics. Only two weeks ago, Obama revoked a decades-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy of allowing entry to refugees from Cuba who made it to our shores. His move, intended to signal an easing of tensions with the brutal Communist dictatorship in Havana, has stranded scores of refugees in Mexico and Central America, and Mexico last Friday deported the first 91 of them to Cuba. This, too, has no claim on the conscience of Trump’s liberal critics. After all, Cuban Americans tend to vote Republican. Even more ridiculous and blinkered is the suggestion that there may be something unconstitutional about refusing entry to refugees or discriminating among them on religious or other bases (a reaction that was shared at first by some Republicans, including Mike Pence, when Trump’s plan was announced in December 2015). There are plenty of moral and political arguments on these points, but foreigners have no right under our Constitution to demand entry to the United States or to challenge any reason we might have to refuse them entry, even blatant religious discrimination. Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress’s powers in this area are plenary, and the president’s powers are as broad as the Congress chooses to give him. If liberals are baffled as to why even the invocation of the historically problematic “America First” slogan by Trump is popular with almost two-thirds of the American public, they should look no further than people arguing that foreigners should be treated by the law as if they were American citizens with all the rights and protections we give Americans. Liberals are likewise on both unwise and unpopular ground in sneering at the idea that there might be an increased risk of radical Islamist terrorism resulting from large numbers of Muslims entering the country as refugees or asylees. There have been many such cases in Europe, ranging from terrorists (as in the Brussels attack) posing as refugees to the infiltration of radicals and the radicalization of new entrants. The 9/11 plotters, several of whom overstayed their visas in the U.S. after immigrating from the Middle East to Germany, are part of that picture as well. Here in the U.S., we have had a number of terror attacks carried out by foreign-born Muslims or their children. The Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing were children of asylees; the Times Square bomber was a Pakistani immigrant; the underwear bomber was from Nigeria; the San Bernardino shooter was the son of Pakistani immigrants; the Chattanooga shooter was from Kuwait; the Fort Hood shooter was the son of Palestinian immigrants. All of this takes place against the backdrop of a global movement of radical Islamist terrorism that kills tens of thousands of people a year in terrorist attacks and injures or kidnaps tens of thousands more. There are plenty of reasons not to indict the entire innocent Muslim population, including those who come as refugees or asylees seeking to escape tyranny and radicalism, for the actions of a comparatively small percentage of radicals. But efforts to salami-slice the problem into something that looks like a minor or improbable outlier, or to compare this to past waves of immigrants, are an insult to the intelligence of the public. The tradeoffs from a more open-borders posture are real, and the reasons for wanting our screening process to be a demanding one are serious. Like it or not, there’s a war going on out there, and many of its foot soldiers are ideological radicals who wear no uniform and live among the people they end up attacking. If your only response to these issues is to cry “This is just xenophobia and bigotry,” you’re either not actually paying attention to the facts or engaging in the same sort of intellectual beggary that leads liberals to refuse to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Andrew Cuomo declared this week, “If there is a move to deport immigrants, I say then start with me” — because his grandparents were immigrants. This is unserious and childish: President Obama deported over 2.5 million people in eight years in office, and I didn’t see Governor Cuomo getting on a boat back to Italy. (…) A more trenchant critique of Trump’s order is that he’s undercutting his own argument by how narrow the order is. Far from a “Muslim ban,” the order applies to only seven of the world’s 50 majority-Muslim countries. Three of those seven (Iran, Syria, and Sudan) are designated by the State Department as state sponsors of terror, but the history of terrorism by Islamist radicals over the past two decades — even state-sponsored terrorism – is dominated by people who are not from countries engaged in officially recognized state-sponsored terrorism. The 9/11 hijackers were predominantly Saudi, and a significant number of other attacks have been planned or carried out by Egyptians, Pakistanis, and people from the various Gulf states. But a number of these countries have more significant business and political ties to the United States (and in some cases to the Trump Organization as well), so it’s more inconvenient to add them to the list. Simply put, there’s no reason to believe that the countries on the list are more likely to send us terrorists than the countries off the list. That said, the seven states selected do include most of the influx of refugees and do present particular logistical problems in vetting the backgrounds of refugees. If Trump’s goal is simply to beef up screening after a brief pause, he’s on firmer ground. (…) But our tradition has never been an unlimited open-door policy, and President Trump’s latest moves are not nearly such a dramatic departure from the Obama administration as Trump’s liberal critics (or even many of his fans) would have you believe. Dan McLaughlin
Experts say another reason for the lack of Christians in the makeup of the refugees is the makeup of the camps. Christians in the main United Nations refugee camp in Jordan are subject to persecution, they say, and so flee the camps, meaning they are not included in the refugees referred to the U.S. by the U.N. “The Christians don’t reside in those camps because it is too dangerous,” Shea said. “They are preyed upon by other residents from the Sunni community, and there is infiltration by ISIS and criminal gangs.” “They are raped, abducted into slavery and they are abducted for ransom. It is extremely dangerous; there is not a single Christian in the Jordanian camps for Syrian refugees,” Shea said. Fox news
Les États-Unis ont accepté 10 801 réfugiés syriens, dont 56 chrétiens. Pas 56 pour cent; 56 au total, sur 10 801. C’est-à-dire la moitié de 1 pour cent. Newsweek

Attention: une préférence peut en cacher une autre !

Alors qu’après l’accident industriel Obama qui a mis avec l’abandon de l’Irak le Moyen-Orient à feu et à sang …

Et sa version Merkel qui a déversé sur l’Europe, avec son lot d’attentats, une véritable invasion musulmane …

Sans compter après l’expulsion des juifs et leur interdiction d’accès dans nombre de pays musulmans, la menace de la disparition de son berceau historique de la totalité de la population chrétienne …

Nos belles âmes n’ont pas, entre deux appels plus ou moins subtils à l’assassinat du nouveau président américain, de mots assez durs …

Pour condamner – même s’il oublie étrangement les fourriers saoudiens et qataris ou pakistanais dudit terrorisme – le moratoire de trois mois de ce dernier …

Sur l’entrée des citoyens de sept pays particulièrement à risque (Syrie, Irak, Iran, Libye, Somalie, Soudan et Yemen) …

Et de quatre mois sur l’accueil de réfugiés de pays en guerre ainsi que la priorité aux réfugiés chrétiens de Syrie …

Devinez combien de chrétiens figuraient dans les quelque 10 000 réfugiés syriens que les Etats-Unis ont accueillis l’an dernier ?

Tollé international après le décret anti-réfugiés de Donald Trump
Les Echos
28/01 / 17

Au lendemain de la signature d’un décret interdisant l’entrée aux Etats-Unis pour les ressortissants de sept pays à majorité musulmane, la communauté internationale a fait part de son indignation.

Les réactions ne se sont pas faites attendre. Au lendemain de la signature d’un décret suspendant l’entrée aux Etats-Unis des réfugiés et des ressortissants de sept pays majoritairement musulmans, la communauté internationale n’a pas dissimulé son indignation.

A commencer par François Hollande qui a exhorté l’Europe à « engager avec fermeté » le dialogue avec le président américain. Le chef de l’Etat français a d’ailleurs fait cette déclaration quelques heures avant son premier entretien téléphonique avec son homologue américain.

Ce samedi soir, à l’occasion d’un appel prévu entre les deux présidents, Hollande en a profité pour rappeler à Trump que « le repli sur soi est une réponse sans issue », a rapporté l’Elysée. Il a par ailleurs invité le président américain au « respect » du principe de « l’accueil des réfugiés ».

L’Allemagne et la France sur la même ligne

Plus tôt dans la journée, les chefs de la diplomatie française et allemande ont aussi exprimé leur inquiétude. « Nous avons des engagements internationaux que nous avons signés. L’accueil des réfugiés qui fuient la guerre, qui fuient l’oppression, ça fait partie de nos devoirs », a martelé Jean-Marc Ayrault.

« L’amour du prochain est une valeur chrétienne et cela implique de venir en aide aux autres. Je crois que c’est ce qui unit les pays occidentaux », a renchérit Sigmar Gabriel, nommé ministre allemand des Affaires étrangères vendredi.

Côté Royaume-Uni, Theresa May a quant à elle refusé de condamner la décision de Donald Trump. « Les Etats-Unis sont responsables de la politique américaine sur les refugiés. Le Royaume-Uni est responsable de la politique britannique sur les réfugiés », a-t-elle répondu. « Nous ne sommes pas d’accord avec ce type d’approche », a néanmoins précisé un porte-parole, indiquant que le gouvernement britannique interviendrait si la mesure venait à avoir un impact sur les citoyens de son pays.

Réactions des principaux concernés

Concerné par le décret, l’Iran a vivement réagi ce samedi. La République islamique « prendra les mesures consulaires, juridiques et politiques appropriées », a expliqué le ministère des Affaires étrangères dans un communiqué, parlant d' »un affront fait ouvertement au monde musulman et à la nation iranienne ».

L’exécutif iranien a aussi déclaré que « tout en respectant le peuple américain et pour défendre les droits de ses citoyens », il a décidé « d’appliquer la réciprocité après la décision insultante des Etats-Unis concernant les ressortissants iraniens et tant que cette mesure n’aura pas été levée. »

Pour l’instant, les autres pays visés par ce décret, à savoir l’Irak, la Libye, la Somalie, le Soudan, la Syrie et le Yémen, n’ont pas réagi publiquement. En revanche, le Premier ministre turc a affirmé que la crise des réfugiés ne serait pas résolue « en érigeant des murs ». La Turquie est le premier pays à subir de plein fouet les conséquences de la guerre civile en Syrie et l’afflux de réfugiés.

Le Canada continuera d’accueillir des réfugiés « indépendamment de leur foi »

Sans commenter directement la décision américaine, le Premier ministre canadien Justin Trudeau a affirmé la volonté de son pays d’accueillir les réfugiés « indépendamment de leur foi ».

Répondant d’autre part à des inquiétudes sur l’impact du décret sur le Canada, le bureau du Premier ministre a affirmé tard dans la soirée avoir reçu des assurances de Washington que les Canadiens possédant la double nationalité des pays visés ne seraient pas affectés par l’interdiction.

Soutien israélien

Le président américain a en revanche été applaudi par le président tchèque Milos Zeman qui s’est félicité de que le président américain « protège son pays » et se soucie « de la sécurité de ses citoyens. Exactement ce que les élites européennes ne font pas », a tweeté son porte-parole.

De même pour le Premier ministre israélien, Benjamin Netanyahu, qui a écrit sur son compte twitter : « Président Trump a raison. J’ai fait construire un mur aux frontières sud d’Israël. Ca a empêché l’immigration illégale. Un vrai succès. Une grande idée. »

Indignation aux Etats-Unis

Sur le sol américain, le décret intitulé « Protéger la nation contre l’entrée de terroristes étrangers aux Etats-Unis » a déjà fait déjà l’objet d’une plainte déposée par plusieurs associations de défense des droits civiques américaines, dont la puissante ACLU, qui veulent le bloquer.

L’opposition démocrate aux Etats-Unis a de son côté dénoncé un décret « cruel » qui sape « nos valeurs fondamentales et nos traditions, menace notre sécurité nationale et démontre une méconnaissance totale de notre strict processus de vérification, le plus minutieux du monde » selon les mots du sénateur démocrate Ben Cardin, membre de la commission des Affaires étrangères du Sénat.

Ces mesures figuraient en bonne place dans le programme du candidat républicain, qui avait un temps envisagé d’interdire à tous les musulmans de se rendre aux Etats-Unis.

Voir aussi:

Trump annonce la suspension du programme d’accueil des réfugiés le 27 janvier 2017 dans les locaux du Pentagone à Washington. © Carlos Barria/Reuters

Donald Trump tient ses promesses de campagne. Cette fois, c’est sur la protection du territoire contre la menace terroriste qu’il a signé deux décrets. L’un interdit l’accès aux citoyens de sept pays arabes, l’autre met en pause l’accueil de réfugiés de pays en guerre.

Les ressortissants de sept pays sont désormais persona non grata aux Etats-Unis. Ainsi en a décidé le nouveau président Donald Trump en fermant temporairement l’accès de son pays aux citoyens de Syrie, de l’Irak, de la Libye, de la Somalie, du Soudan et du Yemen. Objectif affirmé par Donald Trump, «maintenir les terroristes islamistes radicaux hors des Etats-Unis d’Amérique».

Il a annoncé que de nouvelles mesures de contrôle seraient mises sur pied, sans préciser lesquelles. «Nous voulons être sûrs que nous ne laissons pas entrer dans notre pays les mêmes menaces que celles que nos soldats combattent à l’étranger.»
Dans le même temps le président annonce que priorité sera donnée aux réfugiés chrétiens de Syrie.

Washington va également arrêter pendant quatre mois le programme d’accueil des réfugiés de pays en guerre. Pour l’année 2016, l’administration américaine avait admis près de 85.000 réfugiés, dont 10.000 Syriens. Elle s’était donné pour objectif d’accueillir 110.000 réfugiés en 2017, un chiffre ramené à 50.000 par l’administration Trump. Ce programme date de 1980 et n’a été interrompu qu’une fois, après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001.

Réactions indignées
Les murs qui se dressent, les barrières qui se ferment, partout dans le monde, les réactions aux premières mesures de Donald Trump se multiplient.
La plus symbolique est surement celle de la jeune Pakistanaise Malala Yousafzaï, cible des fondamentalistes talibans et prix Nobel de la paix en 2014. Elle a déclaré avoir «le coeur brisé de voir l’Amérique tourner le dos à son fier passé d’accueil de réfugiés et de migrants».

Onze autres prix Nobel et des universitaires renommés ont également lancé une pétition réclamant la reprise de l’accueil des visiteurs des sept pays visés. «Une épreuve injustifiée pour des gens qui sont nos étudiants, nos collègues, nos amis et des membres de notre communauté.»

Deux ONG, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) et le Haut commissariat de l’Onu pour les réfugiés (HCR), ont appelé Donald Trump à maintenir l’accueil aux Etats-Unis. «Les besoins des réfugiés et des migrants à travers le monde n’ont jamais été aussi grands et le programme américain de réinstallation est l’un des plus importants du monde», écrivent les deux ONG dans un communiqué commun.

Même le fondateur de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, s’en est indigné sur sa page, rappelant que les Etats-Unis sont un pays de migrants, à commencer par sa famille.

Conséquences
Selon A. Ayoub, directeur juridique du Comité arabo-américain contre les discriminations, les conséquences sont immédiates. Ces mesures frappent notamment des Arabo-Américains dont des proches étaient en route pour une visite aux Etats-Unis. Le regroupement de familles séparées par la guerre va aussi devenir impossible.

Voir également:

Middle East

‘Gross injustice’: Of 10,000 Syrian refugees to the US, 56 are Christian

September 02, 2016

The Obama administration hit its goal this week of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees — yet only a fraction of a percent are Christians, stoking criticism that officials are not doing enough to address their plight in the Middle East.

Of the 10,801 refugees accepted in fiscal 2016 from the war-torn country, 56 are Christians, or .5 percent.

A total of 10,722 were Muslims, and 17 were Yazidis.

The numbers are disproportionate to the Christian population in Syria, estimated last year by the U.S. government to make up roughly 10 percent of the population. Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 1 million Christians have fled the country, while many have been targeted and slaughtered by the Islamic State.

In March, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. had determined that ISIS has committed genocide against minority religious groups, including Christians and Yazidis.

“In my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in territory under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims,” Kerry said at the State Department, using an alternative Arabic name for the group.

He also accused ISIS of “crimes against humanity” and « ethnic cleansing. »

Yet, despite the strong words, relatively few from those minority groups have been brought into the United States. A State Department spokesperson told FoxNews.com that religion was only one of many factors used in determining a refugee’s eligibility to enter the United States.

Critics blasted the administration for not making religion a more important factor, as the U.S. government has prioritized religious minorities in the past in other cases.

“It’s disappointingly disproportional,” Matthew Clark, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), told FoxNews.com. “[The Obama administration has] not prioritized Christians and it appears they have actually deprioritized them, put them back of the line and made them an afterthought.”

“This is de facto discrimination and a gross injustice,” said Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

Experts say another reason for the lack of Christians in the make-up of the refugees is the make-up of the camps. Christians in the main United Nations refugee camp in Jordan are subject to persecution, they say, and so flee the camps, meaning they are not included in the refugees referred to the U.S. by the U.N.

“The Christians don’t reside in those camps because it is too dangerous,” Shea said. “They are preyed upon by other residents from the Sunni community and there is infiltration by ISIS and criminal gangs.”

“They are raped, abducted into slavery and they are abducted for ransom. It is extremely dangerous, there is not a single Christian in the Jordanian camps for Syrian refugees,” Shea said.

However, Kristin Wright, director of advocacy for Open Doors USA – a group that advocates for Christians living in dangerous areas across the world – told FoxNews.com that another reason is many Christians are choosing to stick it out in Syria, or going instead to urban areas for now.

“Many have fled to urban areas instead of the camps, so they may be living in Beirut instead of living in a broader camp, meaning many are not registering as refugees,” Wright said. “They may still come to the U.S. but may come through another immigration pathway.”

However, others called on the Obama administration, in light of its genocide declaration, to do more to assist Christians, including setting up safe zones in Syria or actively seeking out Christians via the use of contractors to bring them to safety.

In March, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced legislation that would give special priority to refugees who were members of persecuted religious minorities in Syria.

“We must not only recognize what’s happening as genocide, but also take action to relieve it, » Cotton said.

“The administration did the right thing by recognizing genocide, but by not taking action, it deflates it and makes it so Christians and others are not receiving any help,” Clark said. “So it’s all words and no actions, it’s just lip service on the issue of the genocide.”

This week, the ACLJ filed a lawsuit against the State Department for not responding to Freedom of Information Act requests about what the administration is doing to combat the genocide.

For Shea, the question is not just about helping refugees, but the very survival of Christianity in the 2,000-year community that has existed since the apostolic era of Christianity.

« This Christian community is dying, » she said. « I fear that there will be no Christians left when the dust settles. »

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

 Voir encore:
Refugee Madness: Trump Is Wrong, But His Liberal Critics Are Crazy
Dan McLaughlin
January 28, 2017
The anger at his new policy is seriously misplaced.

President Trump has ordered a temporary, 120-day halt to admitting refugees from seven countries, all of them war-torn states with majority-Muslim populations: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia. He has further indicated that, once additional screening provisions are put in place, he wants further refugee admissions from those countries to give priority to Christian refugees over Muslim refugees. Trump’s order is, in characteristic Trump fashion, both ham-handed and underinclusive, and particularly unfair to allies who risked life and limb to help the American war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is also not the dangerous and radical departure from U.S. policy that his liberal critics make it out to be. His policy may be terrible public relations for the United States, but it is fairly narrow and well within the recent tradition of immigration actions taken by the Obama administration.

First, let’s put in context what Trump is actually doing. The executive order, on its face, does not discriminate between Muslim and Christian (or Jewish) immigrants, and it is far from being a complete ban on Muslim immigrants or even Muslim refugees. Trump’s own stated reason for giving preference to Christian refugees is also worth quoting:

Trump was asked whether he would prioritize persecuted Christians in the Middle East for admission as refugees, and he replied, “Yes.” “They’ve been horribly treated,” he said. “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian it was almost impossible. And the reason that was so unfair — everybody was persecuted, in all fairness — but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. “So we are going to help them.”

Trump isn’t making this up; Obama-administration policy effectively discriminated against persecuted religious-minority Christians from Syria (even while explicitly admitting that ISIS was pursuing a policy of genocide against Syrian Christians), and the response from most of Trump’s liberal critics has been silence:

The United States has accepted 10,801 Syrian refugees, of whom 56 are Christian. Not 56 percent; 56 total, out of 10,801. That is to say, one-half of 1 percent. The BBC says that 10 percent of all Syrians are Christian, which would mean 2.2 million Christians. . . . Experts say [one] reason for the lack of Christians in the makeup of the refugees is the makeup of the camps. Christians in the main United Nations refugee camp in Jordan are subject to persecution, they say, and so flee the camps, meaning they are not included in the refugees referred to the U.S. by the U.N. “The Christians don’t reside in those camps because it is too dangerous,” [Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom] said. “They are preyed upon by other residents from the Sunni community, and there is infiltration by ISIS and criminal gangs.” “They are raped, abducted into slavery and they are abducted for ransom. It is extremely dangerous; there is not a single Christian in the Jordanian camps for Syrian refugees,” Shea said.

Liberals are normally the first people to argue that American policy should give preferential treatment to groups that are oppressed and discriminated against, but because Christians are the dominant religious group here — and the bêtes noires of domestic liberals — there is little liberal interest in accommodating U.S. refugee policy to the reality on the ground in Syria. So long as Obama could outsource religious discrimination against Christian refugees to Jordan and the U.N., his supporters preferred the status quo to admitting that Trump might have a point.

On the whole, 2016 was the first time in a decade when the United States let in more Muslim than Christian refugees, 38,901 overall, 75 percent of them from Syria, Somalia, and Iraq, all countries on Trump’s list — and all countries in which the United States has been actively engaged in drone strikes or ground combat over the past year. Obama had been planning to dramatically expand that number, to 110,000, in 2017 — only after he was safely out of office.

This brings us to a broader point: The United States in general, and the Obama administration in particular, never had an open-borders policy for all refugees from everywhere, so overwrought rhetoric about Trump ripping down Lady Liberty’s promise means comparing him to an ideal state that never existed. In fact, the Obama administration completely stopped processing refugees from Iraq for six months in 2011 over concerns about terrorist infiltration, a step nearly identical to Trump’s current order, but one that was met with silence and indifference by most of Trump’s current critics.

Only two weeks ago, Obama revoked a decades-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy of allowing entry to refugees from Cuba who made it to our shores. His move, intended to signal an easing of tensions with the brutal Communist dictatorship in Havana, has stranded scores of refugees in Mexico and Central America, and Mexico last Friday deported the first 91 of them to Cuba. This, too, has no claim on the conscience of Trump’s liberal critics. After all, Cuban Americans tend to vote Republican.

Even more ridiculous and blinkered is the suggestion that there may be something unconstitutional about refusing entry to refugees or discriminating among them on religious or other bases (a reaction that was shared at first by some Republicans, including Mike Pence, when Trump’s plan was announced in December 2015). There are plenty of moral and political arguments on these points, but foreigners have no right under our Constitution to demand entry to the United States or to challenge any reason we might have to refuse them entry, even blatant religious discrimination. Under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress’s powers in this area are plenary, and the president’s powers are as broad as the Congress chooses to give him. If liberals are baffled as to why even the invocation of the historically problematic “America First” slogan by Trump is popular with almost two-thirds of the American public, they should look no further than people arguing that foreigners should be treated by the law as if they were American citizens with all the rights and protections we give Americans.

Liberals are likewise on both unwise and unpopular ground in sneering at the idea that there might be an increased risk of radical Islamist terrorism resulting from large numbers of Muslims entering the country as refugees or asylees. There have been many such cases in Europe, ranging from terrorists (as in the Brussels attack) posing as refugees to the infiltration of radicals and the radicalization of new entrants. The 9/11 plotters, several of whom overstayed their visas in the U.S. after immigrating from the Middle East to Germany, are part of that picture as well. Here in the U.S., we have had a number of terror attacks carried out by foreign-born Muslims or their children. The Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing were children of asylees; the Times Square bomber was a Pakistani immigrant; the underwear bomber was from Nigeria; the San Bernardino shooter was the son of Pakistani immigrants; the Chattanooga shooter was from Kuwait; the Fort Hood shooter was the son of Palestinian immigrants. All of this takes place against the backdrop of a global movement of radical Islamist terrorism that kills tens of thousands of people a year in terrorist attacks and injures or kidnaps tens of thousands more.

There are plenty of reasons not to indict the entire innocent Muslim population, including those who come as refugees or asylees seeking to escape tyranny and radicalism, for the actions of a comparatively small percentage of radicals. But efforts to salami-slice the problem into something that looks like a minor or improbable outlier, or to compare this to past waves of immigrants, are an insult to the intelligence of the public. The tradeoffs from a more open-borders posture are real, and the reasons for wanting our screening process to be a demanding one are serious.

Like it or not, there’s a war going on out there, and many of its foot soldiers are ideological radicals who wear no uniform and live among the people they end up attacking. If your only response to these issues is to cry “This is just xenophobia and bigotry,” you’re either not actually paying attention to the facts or engaging in the same sort of intellectual beggary that leads liberals to refuse to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants. Andrew Cuomo declared this week, “If there is a move to deport immigrants, I say then start with me” — because his grandparents were immigrants. This is unserious and childish: President Obama deported over 2.5 million people in eight years in office, and I didn’t see Governor Cuomo getting on a boat back to Italy.

Conservatives have long recognized these points — which is another way of saying that a blank check for refugee admissions is no more a core principle of the Right than it is of the Left.

A more trenchant critique of Trump’s order is that he’s undercutting his own argument by how narrow the order is. Far from a “Muslim ban,” the order applies to only seven of the world’s 50 majority-Muslim countries. Three of those seven (Iran, Syria, and Sudan) are designated by the State Department as state sponsors of terror, but the history of terrorism by Islamist radicals over the past two decades — even state-sponsored terrorism – is dominated by people who are not from countries engaged in officially recognized state-sponsored terrorism. The 9/11 hijackers were predominantly Saudi, and a significant number of other attacks have been planned or carried out by Egyptians, Pakistanis, and people from the various Gulf states. But a number of these countries have more significant business and political ties to the United States (and in some cases to the Trump Organization as well), so it’s more inconvenient to add them to the list. Simply put, there’s no reason to believe that the countries on the list are more likely to send us terrorists than the countries off the list.

That said, the seven states selected do include most of the influx of refugees and do present particular logistical problems in vetting the backgrounds of refugees. If Trump’s goal is simply to beef up screening after a brief pause, he’s on firmer ground.

The moral and strategic arguments against Trump’s policy are, however, significant. America’s open-hearted willingness to harbor refugees from around the world has always been a source of our strength, and sometimes an effective tool deployed directly against hostile foreign tyrannies. Today, for example, the chief adversary of Venezuela’s oppressive economic policies is a website run by a man who works at a Home Depot in Alabama, having been granted political asylum here in 2005. And the refugee problem is partly one of our own creation. My own preference for Syrian refugees, many of them military-age males whom Assad is trying to get out of his country, has been to arm them, train them, and send them back, after the tradition of the Polish and French in World War II and the Czechs in World War I. But that requires support that neither Trump nor Obama has been inclined to provide, and you can’t seriously ask individual Syrians to fight a suicidal two-front war against ISIS and the Russian- and Iranian-backed Assad without outside support. So where else can they go?

Also, some people seeking refugee status or asylum may have stronger claims on our gratitude. Consider some of the first people denied entry under the new policy:

The lawyers said that one of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, had worked on behalf of the United States government in Iraq for ten years. The other, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was coming to the United States to join his wife, who had worked for an American contractor, and young son, the lawyers said.

These specific cases may or may not turn out to be as sympathetic as they appear; these are statements made by lawyers filing a class action, who by their own admission haven’t even spoken to their clients. But in a turn of humorous irony that undercut some of the liberal narrative, it turns out that Darweesh told the press that he likes Trump. Trump’s moves are not as dramatic a departure from the Obama administration as his critics would have you believe.

Certainly, we should give stronger consideration to refugee or asylum claims from people who are endangered as a result of their cooperation with the U.S. military. But such consideration can still be extended on a case-by-case basis, as the executive order explicitly permits: “Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”

Trump also seems to have triggered some unnecessary chaos at the airports and borders around the globe by signing the order without a lot of adequate advance notice to the public or to the people charged with administering the order. That’s characteristic of his early administration’s public-relations amateur hour, and an unnecessary, unforced error. Then again, the core policy is one he broadcast to great fanfare well over a year ago, so this comes as no great shock.

The American tradition of accepting refugees and asylees from around the world, especially from the clutches of our enemies, is a proud one, and it is a sad thing to see that compromised. And while Middle Eastern Christians should be given greater priority in escaping a region where they are particularly persecuted, the next step in this process should not be one that seeks to permanently enshrine a preference for Christians over Muslims generally. But our tradition has never been an unlimited open-door policy, and President Trump’s latest moves are not nearly such a dramatic departure from the Obama administration as Trump’s liberal critics (or even many of his fans) would have you believe. — Dan McLaughlin is an attorney in New York City and an NRO contributing columnist.

Voir enfin:

The Roots of a Counterproductive Immigration Policy
The liberal scorn for nationhood and refusal to adapt immigration policy to changing circumstances enables the rise of extremism in the West.
David Frum
The Atlantic monthly
Jan 28, 2017

The Orlando nightclub shooter, the worst mass-casualty gunman in US history, was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan. The San Bernardino shooters were first and second generation immigrants from Pakistan. Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood killer, was the son of Palestinian immigrants. The Tsarnaev brothers who detonated bombs at the 2013 Boston marathon held Kyrgyz nationality. The would-be 2010 Times Square car bomber was a naturalized immigrant from Pakistan. The ringleader of the Paris attacks of November 2015, about which Donald Trump spoke so much on the campaign trail, was a Belgian national of Moroccan origins. President Trump’s version of a Muslim ban would have protected the United States from none of the above.

If the goal is to exclude radical Muslims from the United States, the executive order Trump announced on Friday seems a highly ineffective way to achieve it. The Trump White House has incurred all the odium of an anti-Muslim religious test, without any attendant real-world benefit. The measure amounts to symbolic politics at its most stupid and counterproductive. Its most likely practical effect will be to aggravate the political difficulty of dealing directly and speaking without euphemisms about Islamic terrorism. As ridiculous as was the former Obama position that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, the new Trump position that all Muslims are potential terrorists is vastly worse.
What Trump has done is to divide and alienate potential allies—and push his opponents to embrace the silliest extremes of the #WelcomeRefugees point of view. By issuing his order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump empowered his opponents to annex the victims of Nazi crimes to their own purposes.

The Western world desperately needs a more hardheaded approach to the issue of refugees. It is bound by laws and treaties written after World War II that have been rendered utterly irrelevant by a planet on the move. Tens of millions of people seek to exit the troubled regions of Central America, the Middle East, West Africa, and South Asia for better opportunities in Europe and North America. The relatively small portion of that number who have reached the rich North since 2013 have already up-ended the politics of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s August 2015 order to fling open Germany’s doors is the proximate cause of the de-democratization of Poland since September 2015, of the rise of Marine LePen in France, of the surge in support for Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and—I would argue—of Britain’s vote to depart the European Union. The surge of border crossers from Central America into the United States in 2014, and Barack Obama’s executive amnesties, likewise strengthened Donald Trump.

It’s understandable why people in the poor world would seek to relocate. It’s predictable that people in the destination nations would resist. Interpreting these indelible conflicts through the absurdly inapt analogy of German and Austrian Jews literally fleeing for their lives will lead to systematically erroneous conclusions.

We need a new paradigm for a new time. The social trust and social cohesion that characterize an advanced society like the United States are slowly built and vulnerable to erosion. They are eroding. Trump is more the symptom of that erosion than the cause.

Trump’s executive order has unleashed chaos, harmed lawful U.S. residents, and alienated potential friends in the Islamic world. Yet without the dreamy liberal refusal to recognize the reality of nationhood, the meaning of citizenship, and the differences between cultures, Trump would never have gained the power to issue that order.

Liberalism and nationhood grew up together in the 19th century, mutually dependent. In the 21st century, they have grown apart—or more exactly, liberalism has recoiled from nationhood. The result has not been to abolish nationality, but to discredit liberalism.

When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t do. This weekend’s shameful chapter in the history of the United States is a reproach not only to Trump, although it is that too, but to the political culture that enabled him. Angela Merkel and Donald Trump may be temperamental opposites. They are also functional allies.

 


Trump: L’improbable champion d’une revanche des bouseux que personne n’avait vu venir (How a lifelong New Yorker became tribune of the rustics and deplorables)

25 janvier, 2017
trump-gothic chart-presidents-rankedamerican-tragedy
static2-politico-comstatic-politico-comAux États-Unis, les plus opulents citoyens ont bien soin de ne point s’isoler du peuple ; au contraire, ils s’en rapprochent sans cesse, ils l’écoutent volontiers et lui parlent tous les jours. Ils savent que les riches des démocraties ont toujours besoin des pauvres et que, dans les temps démocratiques, on s’attache le pauvre par les manières plus que par les bienfaits. La grandeur même des bienfaits, qui met en lumière la différence des conditions, cause une irritation secrète à ceux qui en profitent; mais la simplicité des manières a des charmes presque irrésistibles : leur familiarité entraîne et leur grossièreté même ne déplaît pas toujours. Ce n’est pas du premier coup que cette vérité pénètre dans l’esprit des riches. Ils y résistent d’ordinaire tant que dure la révolution démocratique, et ils ne l’abandonnent même point aussitôt après que cette révolution est accomplie. Ils consentent volontiers à faire du bien au peuple ; mais ils veulent continuer à le tenir à distance. Ils croient que cela suffit ; ils se trompent. Ils se ruineraient ainsi sans réchauffer le coeur de la population qui les environne. Ce n’est pas le sacrifice de leur argent qu’elle leur demande; c’est celui de leur orgueil. Tocqueville
Last night I stood at your doorstep, trying to figure out what went wrong. It’s gonna be a long walk home. Bruce Springsteen 
Les gens  attendaient  Trump  et  son  discours franc, qui dit les choses comme elles sont et qui promet de défendre les intérêts du peuple.  Il  ne  tourne  pas  autour  du  pot  et c’est ça qu’on aime. (…)  et même si Trump ne le sait pas,  je  suis  persuadé  qu’il  a  été  envoyé par Dieu pour réparer ce pays et lui rendre  sa  grandeur  !  Le  système  est  corrompu,  nous  devons  revenir  aux  fondamentaux  :  les  valeurs  américaines,  le travail, le respect. Obama  est  allé  s’excuser  autour  du  monde, et  résultat,  personne  ne  nous  respecte. Cela va changer. Kelly Lee
Les choses vont changer avec Trump car ce  n’est  pas  un  politicien,  il  ne  doit rien à cette élite qui vit entre elle depuis si longtemps. Mike Costello
Les médias sont en embuscade, mais nous ne sommes pas inquiets parce que le peuple a vraiment vu le vrai visage partisan  de  ces  médias.  Trump  ne  se  laissera pas  faire.  Au  début  j’ai  été  choquée  de voir   son   usage   de   Twitter   car   je   suis conservatrice. Mais maintenant, je comprends.  Il  déjouera  leurs  plans  et  dira aux gens ce qu’il pense vraiment s’ils déforment    ses    propos. Nous avons besoin de lois. Aujourd’hui, les  gardes-frontières  n’ont  pas  le  droit d’arrêter les illégaux et laissent des villes sanctuaires  les  protéger  sans  la  moindre sanction.  Est-ce  normal  ?  La  presse  dit que c’est raciste de penser ce que je vous dis,   mais   c’est   ridicule   !   Nous   serions donc devenus une nation de racistes par- ce   que   nous   ne   sommes   pas   d’accord avec  ce   laxisme ? Annette
Ce  qui  nous  plaît   chez Trump, c’est qu’il ne doit rien à personne. Il est milliardaire mais il accepte de faire  ce  job  pour  sauver  le  pays.  Il  n’en   avait pas besoin. C’est son atout. Car il va  pouvoir  se  concentrer  sur  l’essentiel,  au   lieu de penser à être réélu.  Obama  s’est  trop  excusé, nous devons montrer notre force. Nous espérons  que  Trump  sera  le  Reagan  de   notre  génération. James Mack (ouvrier machiniste de Pennsylvanie)
Vous allez dans certaines petites villes de Pennsylvanie où, comme ans beaucoup de petites villes du Middle West, les emplois ont disparu depuis maintenant 25 ans et n’ont été remplacés par rien d’autre (…) Et il n’est pas surprenant qu’ils deviennent pleins d’amertume, qu’ils s’accrochent aux armes à feu ou à la religion, ou à leur antipathie pour ceux qui ne sont pas comme eux, ou encore à un sentiment d’hostilité envers les immigrants. Barack Obama (2008)
Pour généraliser, en gros, vous pouvez placer la moitié des partisans de Trump dans ce que j’appelle le panier des pitoyables. Les racistes, sexistes, homophobes, xénophobes, islamophobes. A vous de choisir. Hillary Clinton
It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support. Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class, and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal. The Gallup analysis, based on 87,000 interviews over the past year, shows that while economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal are intertwined, his supporters for the most part do not make less than average Americans (not those in New York City or Washington, perhaps, but their Main Street peers) and are less likely to be unemployed. The study backs up what many of my interviews across the state found — that these people are more concerned about their children and grandchildren. While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue) but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power. Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street board rooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile (many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in). Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed. The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state. These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time. These are voters who are intellectually offended watching the Affordable Care Act crumble because they warned six years ago that it was an unworkable government overreach. They are the same people who wonder why President Obama has not taken a break from a week of golfing to address the devastating floods in Louisiana. (As one woman told me, “It appears as if he only makes statements during tragedies if there is political gain attached.”) Voice such a remark, and you risk being labeled a racist in many parts of America. The Joe-Six-Pack stereotype of a Trump supporter was not created in a vacuum; it’s real and it’s out there. Yet, if you dig down deep into the Gallup survey — or, better yet, take a drive 15 minutes outside of most cities in America — you will learn a different story. That is, if you look and listen. Salena Zito
America is coming apart. For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. (…) But t’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s. People are starting to notice the great divide. The tea party sees the aloofness in a political elite that thinks it knows best and orders the rest of America to fall in line. The Occupy movement sees it in an economic elite that lives in mansions and flies on private jets. Each is right about an aspect of the problem, but that problem is more pervasive than either political or economic inequality. What we now face is a problem of cultural inequality. When Americans used to brag about « the American way of life »—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity. Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America’s core cultural institutions. (…) Why have these new lower and upper classes emerged? For explaining the formation of the new lower class, the easy explanations from the left don’t withstand scrutiny. It’s not that white working class males can no longer make a « family wage » that enables them to marry. The average male employed in a working-class occupation earned as much in 2010 as he did in 1960. It’s not that a bad job market led discouraged men to drop out of the labor force. Labor-force dropout increased just as fast during the boom years of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as it did during bad years. (…) As I’ve argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration. Changes in social policy during the 1960s made it economically more feasible to have a child without having a husband if you were a woman or to get along without a job if you were a man; safer to commit crimes without suffering consequences; and easier to let the government deal with problems in your community that you and your neighbors formerly had to take care of. But, for practical purposes, understanding why the new lower class got started isn’t especially important. Once the deterioration was under way, a self-reinforcing loop took hold as traditionally powerful social norms broke down. Because the process has become self-reinforcing, repealing the reforms of the 1960s (something that’s not going to happen) would change the trends slowly at best. Meanwhile, the formation of the new upper class has been driven by forces that are nobody’s fault and resist manipulation. The economic value of brains in the marketplace will continue to increase no matter what, and the most successful of each generation will tend to marry each other no matter what. As a result, the most successful Americans will continue to trend toward consolidation and isolation as a class. Changes in marginal tax rates on the wealthy won’t make a difference. Increasing scholarships for working-class children won’t make a difference. The only thing that can make a difference is the recognition among Americans of all classes that a problem of cultural inequality exists and that something has to be done about it. That « something » has nothing to do with new government programs or regulations. Public policy has certainly affected the culture, unfortunately, but unintended consequences have been as grimly inevitable for conservative social engineering as for liberal social engineering. The « something » that I have in mind has to be defined in terms of individual American families acting in their own interests and the interests of their children. Doing that in Fishtown requires support from outside. There remains a core of civic virtue and involvement in working-class America that could make headway against its problems if the people who are trying to do the right things get the reinforcement they need—not in the form of government assistance, but in validation of the values and standards they continue to uphold. The best thing that the new upper class can do to provide that reinforcement is to drop its condescending « nonjudgmentalism. » Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices. Charles Murray
We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now. I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. (…) All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military (…) we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason. (…) It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders supporters. They’re thinking: Let’s take a chance. Washington is incapable of reform or progress; it’s time to reach outside. Let’s take a chance on an old Brooklyn socialist. Let’s take a chance on the casino developer who talks on TV. In doing so, they accept a decline in traditional political standards. You don’t have to have a history of political effectiveness anymore; you don’t even have to have run for office! “You’re so weirdly outside the system, you may be what the system needs.” They are pouring their hope into uncertain vessels, and surely know it. Bernie Sanders is an actual radical: He would fundamentally change an economic system that imperfectly but for two centuries made America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing—nothing—to protect its own reputation. It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they’re turning their backs on. They know they’re throwing in the towel. My guess is they’re thinking something like: Don’t aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let’s just try to be safe, more communal. A shrewdness in Sanders and Trump backers: They share one faith in Washington, and that is in its ability to wear anything down. They think it will moderate Bernie, take the edges off Trump. For this reason they don’t see their choices as so radical. (…) The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity. (…) Mr. Trump is a clever man with his finger on the pulse, but his political future depends on two big questions. The first is: Is he at all a good man? Underneath the foul mouthed flamboyance is he in it for America? The second: Is he fully stable? He acts like a nut, calling people bimbos, flying off the handle with grievances. Is he mature, reliable? Is he at all a steady hand? Political professionals think these are side questions. “Let’s accuse him of not being conservative!” But they are the issue. Because America doesn’t deliberately elect people it thinks base, not to mention crazy. Peggy Noonan
The furor of ignored Europeans against their union is not just directed against rich and powerful government elites per se, or against the flood of mostly young male migrants from the war-torn Middle East. The rage also arises from the hypocrisy of a governing elite that never seems to be subject to the ramifications of its own top-down policies. The bureaucratic class that runs Europe from Brussels and Strasbourg too often lectures European voters on climate change, immigration, politically correct attitudes about diversity, and the constant need for more bureaucracy, more regulations, and more redistributive taxes. But Euro-managers are able to navigate around their own injunctions, enjoying private schools for their children; generous public pay, retirement packages and perks; frequent carbon-spewing jet travel; homes in non-diverse neighborhoods; and profitable revolving-door careers between government and business. The Western elite classes, both professedly liberal and conservative, square the circle of their privilege with politically correct sermonizing. They romanticize the distant “other” — usually immigrants and minorities — while condescendingly lecturing the middle and working classes, often the losers in globalization, about their lack of sensitivity. On this side of the Atlantic, President Obama has developed a curious habit of talking down to Americans about their supposedly reactionary opposition to rampant immigration, affirmative action, multiculturalism, and political correctness — most notably in his caricatures of the purported “clingers” of Pennsylvania. Yet Obama seems uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of living out what he envisions for others. He prefers golfing with celebrities to bowling. He vacations in tony Martha’s Vineyard rather than returning home to his Chicago mansion. His travel entourage is royal and hardly green. And he insists on private prep schools for his children rather than enrolling them in the public schools of Washington, D.C., whose educators he so often shields from long-needed reform. In similar fashion, grandees such as Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos do not live what they profess. They often lecture supposedly less sophisticated Americans on their backward opposition to illegal immigration. But both live in communities segregated from those they champion in the abstract. The Clintons often pontificate about “fairness” but somehow managed to amass a personal fortune of more than $100 million by speaking to and lobbying banks, Wall Street profiteers, and foreign entities. The pay-to-play rich were willing to brush aside the insincere, pro forma social-justice talk of the Clintons and reward Hillary and Bill with obscene fees that would presumably result in lucrative government attention. Consider the recent Orlando tragedy for more of the same paradoxes. The terrorist killer, Omar Mateen — a registered Democrat, proud radical Muslim, and occasional patron of gay dating sites — murdered 49 people and wounded even more in a gay nightclub. His profile and motive certainly did not fit the elite narrative that unsophisticated right-wing American gun owners were responsible because of their support for gun rights. No matter. The Obama administration and much of the media refused to attribute the horror in Orlando to Mateen’s self-confessed radical Islamist agenda. Instead, they blamed the shooter’s semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a purported climate of hate toward gays. (…) In sum, elites ignored the likely causes of the Orlando shooting: the appeal of ISIS-generated hatred to some young, second-generation radical Muslim men living in Western societies, and the politically correct inability of Western authorities to short-circuit that clear-cut connection. Instead, the establishment all but blamed Middle America for supposedly being anti-gay and pro-gun. In both the U.S. and Britain, such politically correct hypocrisy is superimposed on highly regulated, highly taxed, and highly governmentalized economies that are becoming ossified and stagnant. The tax-paying middle classes, who lack the romance of the poor and the connections of the elite, have become convenient whipping boys of both in order to leverage more government social programs and to assuage the guilt of the elites who have no desire to live out their utopian theories in the flesh. Victor Davis Hanson
Barack Obama is the Dr. Frankenstein of the supposed Trump monster. If a charismatic, Ivy League-educated, landmark president who entered office with unprecedented goodwill and both houses of Congress on his side could manage to wreck the Democratic Party while turning off 52 percent of the country, then many voters feel that a billionaire New York dealmaker could hardly do worse. If Obama had ruled from the center, dealt with the debt, addressed radical Islamic terrorism, dropped the politically correct euphemisms and pushed tax and entitlement reform rather than Obamacare, Trump might have little traction. A boring Hillary Clinton and a staid Jeb Bush would most likely be replaying the 1992 election between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush — with Trump as a watered-down version of third-party outsider Ross Perot. But America is in much worse shape than in 1992. And Obama has proved a far more divisive and incompetent president than George H.W. Bush. Little is more loathed by a majority of Americans than sanctimonious PC gobbledygook and its disciples in the media. And Trump claims to be PC’s symbolic antithesis. Making Machiavellian Mexico pay for a border fence or ejecting rude and interrupting Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from a press conference is no more absurd than allowing more than 300 sanctuary cities to ignore federal law by sheltering undocumented immigrants. Putting a hold on the immigration of Middle Eastern refugees is no more illiberal than welcoming into American communities tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals from terrorist-ridden Syria. In terms of messaging, is Trump’s crude bombast any more radical than Obama’s teleprompted scripts? Trump’s ridiculous view of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a sort of « Art of the Deal » geostrategic partner is no more silly than Obama insulting Putin as Russia gobbles up former Soviet republics with impunity. Obama callously dubbed his own grandmother a « typical white person, » introduced the nation to the racist and anti-Semitic rantings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and petulantly wrote off small-town Pennsylvanians as near-Neanderthal « clingers. » Did Obama lower the bar for Trump’s disparagements? Certainly, Obama peddled a slogan, « hope and change, » that was as empty as Trump’s « make America great again. » (…) How does the establishment derail an out-of-control train for whom there are no gaffes, who has no fear of The New York Times, who offers no apologies for speaking what much of the country thinks — and who apparently needs neither money from Republicans nor politically correct approval from Democrats? Victor Davis Hanson
In 1978, the eminent sociologist William Julius Wilson argued confidently that class would soon displace race as the most important social variable in American life. As explicit legal barriers to minority advancement receded farther into the past, the fates of the working classes of different races would converge. By the mid 2000s, Wilson’s thesis looked pretty good: The black middle class was vibrant and growing as the average black wealth nearly doubled from 1995 to 2005. Race appeared to lose its salience as a political predictor: More and more blacks were voting Republican, reversing a decades-long trend, and in 2004 George W. Bush collected the highest share of the Latino (44 percent) vote of any Republican ever and a higher share of the Asian vote (43 percent) than he did in 2000. Our politics grew increasingly ideological and less racial: Progressives and the beneficiaries of a generous social-welfare state generally supported the Democratic party, while more prosperous voters were more likely to support Republicans. Stable majorities expressed satisfaction with the state of race relations. It wasn’t quite a post-racial politics, but it was certainly headed in that direction. But in the midst of the financial crisis of 2007, something happened. Both the white poor and the black poor began to struggle mightily, though for different reasons. And our politics changed dramatically in response. It’s ironic that the election of the first black president marked the end of our brief flirtation with a post-racial politics. By 2011, William Julius Wilson had published a slight revision of his earlier thesis, noting the continued importance of race. The black wealth of the 1990s, it turned out, was built on the mirage of house values. Inner-city murder rates, which had fallen for decades, began to tick upward in 2015. In one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent memory, a white supremacist murdered nine black people in a South Carolina church. And the ever-present antagonism between the police and black Americans — especially poor blacks whose neighborhoods are the most heavily policed — erupted into nationwide protests. Meanwhile, the white working class descended into an intense cultural malaise. Prescription-opioid abuse skyrocketed, and deaths from heroin overdoses clogged the obituaries of local papers. In the small, heavily white Ohio county where I grew up, overdoses overtook nature as the leading cause of death. A drug that for so long was associated with inner-city ghettos became the cultural inheritance of the southern and Appalachian white: White youths died from heroin significantly more often than their peers of other ethnicities. Incarceration and divorce rates increased steadily. Perhaps most strikingly, while the white working class continued to earn more than the working poor of other races, only 24 percent of white voters believed that the next generation would be “better off.” No other ethnic group expressed such alarming pessimism about its economic future. And even as each group struggled in its own way, common forces also influenced them. Rising automation in blue-collar industries deprived both groups of high-paying, low-skill jobs. Neighborhoods grew increasingly segregated — both by income and by race — ensuring that poor whites lived among poor whites while poor blacks lived among poor blacks. As a friend recently told me about San Francisco, Bull Connor himself couldn’t have designed a city with fewer black residents. Predictably, our politics began to match this new social reality. In 2012, Mitt Romney collected only 27 percent of the Latino vote. Asian Americans, a solid Republican constituency even in the days of Bob Dole, went for Obama by a three-to-one margin — a shocking demographic turn of events over two decades. Meanwhile, the black Republican became an endangered species. Republican failures to attract black voters fly in the face of Republican history. This was the party of Lincoln and Douglass. Eisenhower integrated the school in Little Rock at a time when the Dixiecrats were the defenders of the racial caste system.(…) For many progressives, the Sommers and Norton research confirms the worst stereotypes of American whites. Yet it also reflects, in some ways, the natural conclusions of an increasingly segregated white poor. (…) The reality is not that black Americans enjoy special privileges. In fact, the overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests that the opposite is true. Last month, for instance, the brilliant Harvard economist Roland Fryer published an exhaustive study of police uses of force. He found that even after controlling for crime rates and police presence in a given neighborhood, black youths were far likelier to be pushed, thrown to the ground, or harassed by police. (Notably, he also found no racial disparity in the use of lethal force.) (…) Getting whipped into a frenzy on conspiracy websites, or feeling that distant, faceless elites dislike you because of your white skin, doesn’t compare. But the great advantages of whiteness in America are invisible to the white poor, or are completely swallowed by the disadvantages of their class. The young man from West Virginia may be less likely to get questioned by Yale University police, but making it to Yale in the first place still requires a remarkable combination of luck and skill. In building a dialogue around “checking privilege,” the modern progressive elite is implicitly asking white America — especially the segregated white poor — for a level of social awareness unmatched in the history of the country. White failure to empathize with blacks is sometimes a failure of character, but it is increasingly a failure of geography and socialization. Poor whites in West Virginia don’t have the time or the inclination to read Harvard economics studies. And the privileges that matter — that is, the ones they see — are vanishing because of destitution: the privilege to pay for college without bankruptcy, the privilege to work a decent job, the privilege to put food on the table without the aid of food stamps, the privilege not to learn of yet another classmate’s premature death. (…) Because of this polarization, the racial conversation we’re having today is tribalistic. On one side are primarily white people, increasingly represented by the Republican party and the institutions of conservative media. On the other is a collection of different minority groups and a cosmopolitan — and usually wealthier — class of whites. These sides don’t even speak the same language: One side sees white privilege while the other sees anti-white racism. There is no room for agreement or even understanding. J. D. Vance
Est-ce le plus beau cadeau qu’Hillary Clinton ait fait à son adversaire ? En traitant “la moitié” des électeurs de Trump de “basket of deplorables”, Hillary a donné à l’équipe Trump un nouveau slogan de campagne : Les Deplorables (en français sur l’affiche avec le “e” sans accent, et aussi sur les t-shirts, sur les pots à café, dans la salle, etc.) ; avec depuis hier une affiche empruntée au formidable succès de scène de 2012 à Broadway Les Misérables (avec le “é” accentué, ou Les Mis’, tout cela en français sur l’affiche et sur la scène), et retouchée à la mesure-Trump (drapeau US à la place du drapeau français, bannière avec le nom de Trump). Grâce soit rendue à Hillary, le mot a une certaine noblesse et une signification à la fois, – étrangement, – précise et sophistiqué, dont le sens négatif peut aisément être retourné dans un contexte politique donné (le mot lui-même a, également en anglais, un sens négatif et un sens positif), surtout avec la référence au titre du livre de Hugo devenu si populaire aux USA depuis 2012…  L’équipe Trump reprend également la chanson-standard de la comédie musicale “Do You Hear the People Sing”, tout cela à partir d’une idée originale d’un partisan de Trump, un artiste-graphiste qui se désigne sous le nom de Keln : il a réalisé la composition graphique à partir de l’affiche des Misérables et l’a mise en ligne en espérant qu’elle serait utilisée par Trump. Depuis quelques jours déjà, les partisans de Trump se baptisent de plus en plus eux-mêmes Les Deplorables (comme l’on disait il y a 4-5 ans “les indignés”) et se reconnaissent entre eux grâce à ce mot devenu porte-drapeau et slogan et utilisé sur tous les produits habituels (“nous sommes tous des Deplorables”, comme d’autres disaient, dans le temps, “Nous sommes tous des juifs allemands”). De l’envolée de Clinton, – dont elle s’est excusée mais sans parvenir à contenir l’effet “déplorable” pour elle, ni l’effet-boomerang comme on commence à le mesurer, –nous écrivions ceci le 15 septembre : « L’expression (“panier” ou “paquet de déplorables”), qui qualifie à peu près une moitié des électeurs de Trump, est assez étrange, sinon arrogante et insultante, voire sophistiquée et devrait être très en vogue dans les salons progressistes et chez les milliardaires d’Hollywood ; elle s’accompagne bien entendu des autres qualificatifs classiques formant le minimum syndical de l’intellectuel-Système, dits explicitement par Hillary, de “racistes”, xénophobes”, et ajoutons comme sous-entendus “crétins absolus” ou bien “sous-hommes”, et ajoutons encore implicitement “irrécupérables” et de la sorte “à liquider” ou à envoyer en camp de rééducation ou plutôt à l’asile, comme l’éclairé Bacri conseille de faire avec Zemmour. » Récupéré par les électeurs de Trump eux-mêmes puis par l’équipe Trump, le slogan peu résonner comme un cri de révolte qui pourrait donner un formidable rythme et un atout considérable de communication à la campagne du candidat républicain. Philippe Grasset
In another eerie ditto of his infamous 2008 attack on the supposedly intolerant Pennsylvania “clingers,” Obama returned to his theme that ignorant Americans “typically” become xenophobic and racist: “Typically, when people feel stressed, they turn on others who don’t look like them.” (“Typically” is not a good Obama word to use in the context of racial relations, since he once dubbed his own grandmother a “typical white person.”) Too often Obama has gratuitously aroused racial animosities with inflammatory rhetoric such as “punish our enemies,” or injected himself into the middle of hot-button controversies like the Trayvon Martin case, the Henry Louis Gates melodrama, and the “hands up, don’t shoot” Ferguson mayhem. Most recently, Obama seemed to praise backup 49ers quarterback and multimillionaire Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to stand during the National Anthem, empathizing with Kaepernick’s claims of endemic American racism. (…) Even presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not really defending the Obama administration’s past “red line” in Syria, the “reset” with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the bombing of Libya, the Benghazi tragedy, the euphemistic rebranding of Islamic terrorism as mere “violent extremism,” the abrupt pullout from (and subsequent collapse of) Iraq, or the Iran nuclear deal that so far seems to have made the theocracy both rich and emboldened. (…) Racial relations in this country seem as bad as they have been in a half-century. (…) Following the Clinton model, a post-presidential Obama will no doubt garner huge fees as a “citizen of the world” — squaring the circle of becoming fabulously rich while offering sharp criticism of the cultural landscape of the capitalist West on everything from sports controversies to pending criminal trials. What, then, is the presidential legacy of Barack Obama? It will not be found in either foreign- or domestic-policy accomplishment. More likely, he will be viewed as an outspoken progressive who left office loudly in the same manner that he entered it — as a critic of the culture and country in which he has thrived. But there may be another, unspoken legacy of Obama, and it is his creation of the candidacy of Donald J. Trump. Trump is running as an angry populist, fueled by the promise that whatever supposed elites such as Obama have done to the country, he will largely undo. Obama’s only legacy seems to be that “hope and change” begat “make America great again.” Victor Davis Hanson
Hillary Clinton’s comment that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”—a heck of a lot of phobia for anyone to lug around all day—puts back in play what will be seen as one of the 2016 campaign’s defining forces: the revolt of the politically incorrect. They may not live at the level of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” but it was only a matter of time before les déplorables—our own writhing mass of unheard Americans—rebelled against the intellectual elites’ ancien régime of political correctness. (…) Mrs. Clinton’s (…) dismissal, at Barbra Streisand’s LGBT fundraiser, of uncounted millions of Americans as deplorables had the ring of genuine belief. Perhaps sensing that public knowledge of what she really thinks could be a political liability, Mrs. Clinton went on to describe “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them . . . and they’re just desperate for change.” She is of course describing the people in Charles Murray’s recent and compelling book on cultural disintegration among the working class, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” This is indeed the bedrock of the broader Trump base. Mrs. Clinton is right that they feel the system has let them down. There is a legitimate argument over exactly when the rising digital economy started transferring income away from blue-collar workers and toward the “creative class” of Google and Facebook employees, no few of whom are smug progressives who think the landmass seen from business class between San Francisco and New York is pocked with deplorable, phobic Americans. Naturally, they’ll vote for the status quo, which is Hillary. But in the eight years available to Barack Obama to do something about what rankles the lower-middle class—white, black or brown—the non-employed and underemployed grew. A lot of them will vote for Donald Trump because they want a radical mid-course correction. (…) The progressive Democrats, a wholly public-sector party, have disconnected from the realities of the private economy, which exists as a mysterious revenue-producing abstraction. Hillary’s comments suggest they now see much of the population has a cultural and social abstraction. (…) Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists. Evangelicals at last week’s Values Voter Summit said they’d look past Mr. Trump’s personal résumé. This is the reason. It’s not about him. The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. (…) It is a mistake, though, to blame Hillary alone for that derisive remark. It’s not just her. Hillary Clinton is the logical result of the Democratic Party’s new, progressive algorithm—a set of strict social rules that drives politics and the culture to one point of view. (…) Her supporters say it’s Donald Trump’s rhetoric that is “divisive.” Just so. But it’s rich to hear them claim that their words and politics are “inclusive.” So is the town dump. They have chopped American society into so many offendable identities that only a Yale freshman can name them all. If the Democrats lose behind Hillary Clinton, it will be in part because America’s les déplorables decided enough of this is enough. Bret Stephens
This year there’s a new name on our list of the Eight Greats: Israel. A small country in a chaotic part of the world, Israel is a rising power with a growing impact on world affairs. Although 2016 saw the passage of yet another condemnation of Israel at the United Nations, this time in the Security Council thanks to an American decision to abstain rather than veto, overall the Jewish state continues to develop diplomatic, economic and military power and to insert itself into the heart of regional politics. Three factors are powering Israel’s rise: economic developments, the regional crisis, and diplomatic ingenuity. Looking closely at these tells us something about how power works in the contemporary world. The economic developments behind Israel’s new stature are partly the result of luck and location, and partly the result of smart choices. As to the luck and location factor, large, off-shore discoveries of natural gas and oil are turning Israel into an energy exporter. Energy self-sufficiency is a boost to Israel’s economy; energy exports boost Israel’s foreign policy clout. In 2016 Erdogan’s Turkey turned on most of its NATO and Western allies; ties with Israel strengthened. Turkey’s Islamist ruler wants gas, and he wants to limit Turkey’s dependence on Russia. Israel is part of the answer. But beyond luck, Israel’s newfound clout on the world stage comes from the rise of industrial sectors and technologies that good Israeli schools, smart Israeli policies and talented Israeli thinkers and entrepreneurs have built up over many years. In particular, Israel’s decision to support the rise of a domestic cybersecurity and infotech economy has put Israel at the center of the ongoing revolution in military power based on the importance of information control and management to 21st century states. It is not just that private investors all over the world look to invest in Israel’s tech startups; access to Israeli technology (like the technology behind the Iron Dome missile system) matters to more and more countries. It’s not just America; India, China and Russia all want a piece of Israeli tech wizardry. Other, less glamorous Israeli industries, like the irrigation, desalinization and dry land farming tech that water poor Israel has developed over the decades play their part. Israel’s diplomatic outreach to Africa and its deepening (and increasingly public) relationship with India benefit from Israel’s ability to deliver what people in other countries and governments want. The second factor in Israel’s appearing on our list is the change in the Middle Eastern balance of power that has transformed Israel from a pariah state to a kingmaker. On the one hand, Syria, one of Israel’s most vociferous enemies and biggest security threats in the old days, has now been broken on the wheel. What has happened in Syria is a terrible human tragedy; but in the cold light of realpolitik the break up of Syria further entrenches Israel’s military supremacy in its immediate neighborhood. Egypt hates Hamas, ISIS and Islamic Jihad as much as Israel does; never has Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation been as close as it is today. Even more consequentially, the rise of Iran and its aspirations to regional hegemony on the one hand and the apparent support for its dreams from the Obama administration made Israel critical to the survival of the Sunni Arabs, including the Gulf states, who loathe Iran and fear a Shia victory in the religious conflict now raging across the Middle East. The Arab Establishment today has two frightening enemies: radical jihadi groups like ISIS on one side, and Iran on the other. Israel has a mix of intelligence and military capabilities that can help keep the regional balance stable; privately and even not so privately many prominent Arab officials today will say that Israeli support is necessary for the survival of Arab independence. Finally, Israel has managed, uncharacteristically, to advance its global political agenda through effective and even subtle diplomacy. Just as Israel was able to strengthen its relationship with Turkey even as Turkish-U.S. and Turkish EU relations grew distant, Israel has been able to build a realistic and fruitful relationship with Russia despite Russia’s standoff with the west over Ukraine, and Russia’s ties with Iran. The deepening Israel-India relationship has also required patience and skill. Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs in relations with African countries who have been hostile to Israel since the 1967 war were also built through patient and subtle diplomacy, often working behind the scenes. That behind-the-scenes outreach diplomacy has also helped Israel achieve new levels of contact and collaboration with many Arab countries. It is not, of course, all sweetness and light. Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and, thanks to Iran’s victories in Syria, it can now enjoy much more reliable supplies from its patron. The Palestinian Question is as far from a solution as possible, and even as they fragment and squabble among themselves, the Palestinians continue to fight for Israel’s delegitimation in the UN and elsewhere. Israeli politics are as volatile and bitter as ever. The kaleidoscopic nature of Middle East politics means that today’s hero can be tomorrow’s goat. While the breakdown of regional order has so far been a net positive for Israel’s security and power, things could change fast. In ISIS coup in Saudi Arabia, the collapse of Jordan, the fall of the Sisi government in Egypt: it is not hard to come up with scenarios that would challenge Israel in new and dangerous ways. Former President Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry (neither widely regarded these days as a master of geopolitics), frequently warned Israel that its policies were leaving it isolated and vulnerable. This is to some degree true: European diplomats, American liberals and many American Jews are much less sympathetic to Israel today than they have been in the past. Future Israeli leaders may have to think hard about rebuilding links with American Democrats and American Jews. But for now at least, Israel can afford to ignore the dismal croaking of the outgoing American administration. One of a small handful of American allies to be assiduously courted by the Trump campaign, Israel begins 2017 as the keystone of a regional anti-Iran alliance, a most-favored-nation in the White House, and a country that enjoys good relations with all of the world’s major powers bar Iran. Teodor Herzl would be astonished to see what his dream has grown into; David Ben-Gurion would be astounded by the progress his poor and embattled nation has made.
We’re at a space shuttle moment. The most vulnerable time for the space shuttle is when it re-enters the environment, so that when it comes back into the environment it doesn’t blow up. The tiles need to be tight. I’m concerned about the tightness of the tiles on the space shuttle right now. We have to get through this heat. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
What happened the next night shocked even the most pessimistic Democrats. But in another sense, it was the reckoning the party had been expecting for years. They were counting on a Clinton win to paper over a deeper rot they’ve been worrying about—and to buy them some time to start coming up with answers. In other words, it wasn’t just Donald Trump. Or the Russians. Or James Comey. Or all the problems with how Clinton and her aides ran the campaign. Win or lose, Democrats were facing an existential crisis in the years ahead—the result of years of complacency, ignoring the withering of the grass roots and the state parties, sitting by as Republicans racked up local win after local win. (…) What’s clear from interviews with several dozen top Democratic politicians and operatives at all levels, however, is that there is no comeback strategy—just a collection of half-formed ideas, all of them challenged by reality. And for whatever scheme they come up with, Democrats don’t even have a flag-carrier. Barack Obama? He doesn’t want the job. Hillary Clinton? Too damaged. Bernie Sanders? Too socialist. Joe Biden? Too tied to Obama. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Too Washington. Elizabeth Warren? Maybe. And all of them old, old, old. The Democrats’ desolation is staggering. But part of the problem is that it’s easy to point to signs that maybe things aren’t so bad. After all, Clinton did beat Trump by 2.8 million votes, Obama’s approval rating is nearly 60 percent, polls show Democrats way ahead of the GOP on many issues and demographics suggest that gap will only grow. But they are stuck in the minority in Congress with no end in sight, have only 16 governors left and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. Their top leaders in the House are all over 70. Their top leaders in the Senate are all over 60. Under Obama, Democrats have lost 1,034 seats at the state and federal level—there’s no bench, no bench for a bench, virtually no one able to speak for the party as a whole. (…) There are now fewer than 700 days until Election Day 2018, as internal memos circulating among Democratic strategists point out with alarm. They differ in their prescriptions, but all boil down to the same inconvenient truth: If Republicans dominate the 2018 midterms, they will control the Senate (and with it, the Supreme Court) for years, and they will draw district lines in states that will lock in majorities in the House and across state capitals, killing the next generation of Democrats in the crib, setting up the GOP for an even more dominant 2020 and beyond. Most doubt Democrats have the stamina or the stomach for the kind of cohesive resistance that Republicans perfected over the years. In their guts, they want to say yes to government doing things, and they’re already getting drawn in by promises to work with Trump and the Republican majorities. They’re heading into the next elections with their brains scrambled by Trump’s win, side-eyeing one another over who’s going to sell out the rest, nervous the incoming president will keep outmaneuvering them in the media and throw up more targets than they could ever hope to shoot at—and all of this from an election that was supposed to cement their claim on the future. (…) everyone from Obama on down is talking about going local, focusing on the kinds of small races and party-building activities Republicans have been dominating for cycle after cycle. But all that took decades, and Democrats have no time. What are they going to do next? There hasn’t been an American political party in worse shape in living memory. And there may never have been a party less ready to confront it. Politico
Are you scratching your head and wondering, Since when did liberals and the Left embrace a sunny, light-filled vision of the United States? If so, you’re not misremembering things. These are the same liberal elites who have been telling us for decades that America is shot through with an ever-expanding array of hatreds and injustice that disenfranchise large portions of the population and force them to live in fear. (…) These thoroughly representative members — and products — of the cultural elite are the same people who have given us “safe spaces” and “allyship” on college campuses, under the preposterous notion that any American college student who is not white, male, and heterosexual is “unsafe.” The Left has developed a typology of American students as victims, their allies, and their presumed oppressors. (…) The press, the campus-rape bureaucracy, and an army of federal regulators proclaim that terrified college co-eds are living through a rape tsunami, which can be eradicated only by campus kangaroo courts. So rapidly does American oppression metastasize into new forms, in the eyes of the Left, that the Left is constantly forced to coin a new vocabulary for it: microaggression, intersectionality, institutional racism, white privilege, cis privilege, implicit bias, etc. The media’s contempt for Trump’s use of the phrase “carnage” to describe the rising violence in the inner city is particularly ludicrous. The press has slavishly amplified the Black Lives Matter claim that we are living through an epidemic of racist police shootings of black men. A New York Times editorial from July 2016 was titled “When Will the Killing Stop?” That same month, President Barack Obama asserted that black mothers and fathers were right to fear that their child will be killed by a cop — remarkably, he made this claim during the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down by a Black Lives Matter–inspired assassin. (…) So if Trump is so contemptibly misguided in his description of the rising street violence over the last two years as “carnage,” how does that criminal violence compare with the supposed epidemic of cop killings of black men? In 2015, the last year for which we have official national data, more than 6,000 black males, according to the FBI, were killed by criminals, themselves overwhelmingly black. That is 900 more black males killed in 2015 than in the year before, but the number of black victims was undoubtedly higher even than that, since an additional 2,000 homicide victims were reported to the FBI without a racial identity. Black males make up about half of the nation’s homicide victims, so they presumably make up a similar share of racially unclassified homicide victims. According to several uncontradicted non-governmental estimates, homicides continued rising throughout 2016, thanks to what I have called the “Ferguson effect”: officers backing off proactive policing in minority neighborhoods, under the relentless charge of racism, and the resulting increase in violent crime. The year 2016, therefore, probably also saw well over 6,000 black males murdered on the streets. By contrast, the nation’s police fatally shot 16 “unarmed” black males and 20 “unarmed” white males in 2016, according to the Washington Post’s database of police killings. I have put “unarmed” in quotes because the Post’s classification of “unarmed” victims rarely conveys the violence that the suspect directed at the shooting officer. But even when we take the “unarmed” classification at face value, those 16 fatal police shootings of unarmed black men represent no more than 0.2 percent of all black male lives lost to homicide in 2016. If police shootings of allegedly unarmed black males represent a national epidemic of bloodshed, then what should we call the gunning down of over 375 times that number of black men by criminals? “Carnage” seems like a pretty good descriptor. In Chicago alone in 2016, 24 children under the age of twelve, overwhelmingly black, were shot. Trump has regularly denounced inner-city violence; he promised in his inaugural that that violence “stops right here and stops right now.” He invoked the “child . . . born in the urban sprawl of Detroit” or in the “windswept plains of Nebraska” as both looking up “at the same night sky” and deserving of the same public safety. President Obama scoffed at Trump’s concern over rising urban violence even as he regularly accused the cops of lethally discriminating against blacks. For truth-telling when it comes to the actual dangers in American society, I’ll take the current president over the former one and the cultural milieu from which he emerged. Heather Mac Donald
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Il n’y a évidemment que des coups à prendre – et ils sont nombreux – lorsque l’on dénonce les discours alarmistes qui visent l’Amérique de Donald J. Trump.  Mais, contrairement aux chiens de garde de BFMTV, la Rédaction de Marianne ne « dégage » pas ceux qui font entendre une voix dissonante (un cas de « délit d’opinion » s’y est produit ces jours derniers), ce qui est tout à l’honneur de Delphine Legouté et Renaud Dely, en particulier, mais également de TSF Jazz et Radio Nova qui ont régulièrement donné la parole à l’auteur de ce blog qui existe depuis mars 2012. La démocratie à l’épreuve du verbe est tout ce que ceux qui se revendiquent du camp des « progressistes » redoutent. L’histoire n’est pas nouvelle. Ceux qui se paient de mots et veulent censurer les mots des autres n’ont rien de différents de ces gens qui se rendent le dimanche à la messe et sont, pour quelques un, des salauds hors les murs de l’église ou trop souvent, des intolérants, et de ces autres dont Montaigne disait qu’ils «envoyent leur conscience au bordel, et tiennent leur contenance en règle». Le tout, c’est de conserver un langage agréable à l’oreille, d’afficher des convictions à vous faire croire que certains humains naissent naturellement purs de tout instinct grisâtre et de toute idée injuste et surtout, de défendre la belle idée plutôt que l’action qui elle, comporte toujours sa part de risque et d’échec. Les centaines de milliers de personnes qui viennent de défiler, aux Etats-Unis et à travers le monde, pour crier leur opposition voire leur haine contre le 45ème président des Etats-Unis sont tout à fait en droit de revendiquer, mais que revendiquent-ils au juste ? Ils disent s’opposer à la violence, et la chanteuse Madonna porte leur voix en disant qu’elle a pensé à « faire exploser la Maison-Blanche ». Ils veulent la paix dans le monde et ne se sont pas lancés dans les rues pour demander à « leur » président, Barack Obama, de traiter la montée de l’Etat Islamique et l’effondrement de la société syrienne avec le sérieux nécessaire. Ils demandent le respect vis-à-vis des immigrants mais on ne les a vu nulle part pour s’opposer à la plus grande vague d’expulsions jamais organisée et qui a marqué les deux mandats de Barack Obama, sans compter le travail des fameuses brigades « ICE », en charge de la traque des illégaux. On ne les a jamais vus, non plus, le long des 1300 kilomètres de mur déjà construit à la frontière avec le Mexique. Ils n’ont pas organisé de « sittings » géants pour demander la fin des exécutions capitales ou la grâce de Snowden, Manning ou Bregham. Pire : les « millennials », ainsi que l’on appelle les plus jeunes, ou les Afro-Américains, ont boudé les urnes et ont fait défaut à la candidate démocrate Hillary Clinton le 8 novembre. Ce sont les mêmes qui scandent « Trump n’est pas mon président ». Les femmes ? Offusquées, scandalisées par les propos et les attitudes de Trump, oui, mais leur colère date t-elle de son apparition dans le paysage politique américain ? Et cette colère, dont on ne sait plus ni les contours ni les messages tant ils sont portés par une rage totale, quelle est sa finalité, quelle mesure, quel changement, au juste, peuvent l’apaiser ? On ne sait plus. (…) Comment expliquer tant de frustrations, de colères, de fureurs, au terme de huit années de pouvoir d’un homme aussi célébré que Barack Obama ? On lui impute soudain mille législations et actions positives, alors que l’on dénonçait, hier encore, l’obstruction systématique des Républicains – élus, soit dit en passant, lors des élections intermédiaires – à toutes ses entreprises. On s’attaque à un système électoral que personne ne change depuis sa mise en place et que l’on ne dénonce pas quand il profite à son camp. On annonce une guerre totale contre l’administration Trump lorsqu’hier, on s’en prenait au manque d’esprit bipartite du camp républicain. Tout cela est incohérent. Toute cette séquence, en réalité, est de pure rhétorique. Certes, dans nos pays européens, à l’exception de l’Angleterre, où l’expression publique est bornée par des lois visant à contenir certains outrages, Donald J. Trump se serait exposé à de nombreuses plaintes sinon condamnations. Mais quelle ironie que de voir les Américains, qui vénèrent la liberté d’expression totale et méprisent nos entraves à cette liberté, s’émouvoir soudain des débordements de M. Trump. Le puritanisme américain a encore de beaux jours devant lui. C’est le même qui préside au sentiment de bien faire, d’exporter la démocratie dans le monde, tout en pilotant des drones meurtriers ou en fabriquant de futurs terroristes dans des geôles à Guantanamo ou ailleurs : l’important, c’est de faire les choses avec une bonne intention, de ne pas en parler et d’avoir bonne conscience, bref, de garder son exquise politesse. C’est au nom de cet état d’esprit que l’Amérique – et le monde – célèbre toujours un John Fitzgerald-Kennedy quand bien-même ce dernier fut le premier président autorisant fin août 1961, le premier usage du Napalm sur les paysans vietnamiens. Ce n’est pas une affaire strictement américaine : la France et son Indochine, avec son discours sur la patrie des droits de l’Homme et ses Sangatte, n’a pas de leçon à donner aux Yankees. Tout comme l’époque est au ricanement, comme le dit fort justement Alain Finkielkraut, tout comme l’époque est au souriant antisémitisme ou la célébration de tout ce qui est jeune, femme ou de couleur dans le camp des prétendu « progressistes », elle l’est au déni. Désormais, chaque action, chaque signature du nouveau président américain fera résonner le monde de colère et de condamnation, et la politique américaine va se résumer à un vaste complot visant à l’abattre et avec lui, son administration. C’est cela, désormais, la démocratie, la lutte des gens « bien » contre les méchants et les imbéciles. Le problème, c’est que les gens bien se plaignent de tout ce qu’ils on fait et n’ont pas fait lorsqu’ils en avaient le pouvoir, pour le reprocher à ceux auxquels il a été confié. Une histoire de fou. Stéphane Trano 
La photo comparant la foule présente à l’investiture de Donald J. Trump vendredi dernier et celle de Barack Obama en 2009 a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux ce week-end. Des chaines de télévision et des journaux influents se sont également laissé emporter par cette vague. Donald Trump est le président le moins populaire depuis Jimmy Carter, il y a 40 ans. Selon un sondage du Washington Post et  de ABC News, le nouveau président aurait moins de 40% d’opinions favorables. Certes, il est impopulaire. Certes, son investiture a regroupé moins de personnes que ce à quoi l’on s’attendait. Est-ce une raison pour comparer son investiture à celle de l’ancien président démocrate, Barack Obama? Tout cela serait une affaire de démographie. Depuis bien longtemps, le District de Columbia ainsi que les états autour, tels que la Virginie, le Maryland, la Pennsylvanie, la Caroline du Nord, le Delaware, etc. sont des états démocrates. Lorsqu’un président démocrate est élu, il est plus facile pour ces personnes de rejoindre Washington, puisqu’ils se trouvent relativement près de la capitale, contrairement à certaines personnes vivant dans des états républicains, plus éloignés. Donald J. Trump a misé sa campagne présidentielle sur l’économie et l’immigration, cherchant le vote de la classe moyenne et des minorités. Cette population gagne entre 46 000 et 86 000 euros par an. Après avoir payé les dettes, les impôts, le loyer, les courses et autres dépenses de la vie quotidienne, il ne reste plus rien. (…) Cette population se bat pour vivre normalement, et pour avoir un salaire décent. Selon le ministère du travail et de l’emploi, 5% de la population, soit 18 millions d’américains, auraient entre deux et trois emplois pour pouvoir subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles. Ils ne sont pas tous républicains, mais pour les ceux qui souhaitent s’offrir un weekend dans la capitale pour assister à l’investiture d’un président républicain, cela coûte cher et parait hors de portée. (…) Contrairement, un président démocrate a déjà un bon nombre de ses électeurs vivant dans les états autour de Waghington DC et qui peuvent venir dans la capitale plus facilement. Donald J. Trump n’arrive pas au pouvoir avec une popularité à son plus haut, mais cela est-il la raison d’une foule moins nombreuse lors de son investiture? Lorsque George W. Bush est devenu le 43e président des États-Unis en 2001, seulement 300 000 personnes se sont montrées pour son investiture et son taux de popularité était de 62% selon le site internet de la Maison-Blanche. En janvier 2005, entre 100 000 et 400 000 personnes ont assisté à son investiture. Au final, ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une investiture républicaine attire moins de monde qu’une investiture démocrate.  George W. Bush était plus populaire que Trump lors de ses investitures, mais plus de monde a assisté à celle de Donald J. Trump. (…) Selon le comité d’investiture, 700 000 personnes se seraient regroupées sur le Mall, la sécurité intérieure quant-à elle, estime qu’entre 800 000 et 900 000 personnes auraient été présentes ce jour là. Comparer une investiture d’un president démocrate et celle d’un républicain n’est pas représentatif de la popularité du president élu. Cependant, Obama était tout de même plus populaire que Trump lors de son investiture avec 78% de popularité et presque 2 millions de personnes à son investiture en 2009. Clémentine Boyer Duroselle
Le génie Trump a vu que la classe politique était un tigre de papier et que le pays était en colère. En prenant la main sur un parti politique américain majeur en tant qu’outsider, il a fait quelque chose de jamais vu, et c’est lui qui devrait gagner. Conrad Black
After the election, in liberal, urban America, one often heard Trump’s win described as the revenge of the yahoos in flyover country, fueled by their angry “isms” and “ias”: racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and so on. Many liberals consoled themselves that Trump’s victory was the last hurrah of bigoted, Republican white America, soon to be swept away by vast forces beyond its control, such as global migration and the cultural transformation of America into something far from the Founders’ vision. As insurance, though, furious progressives also renewed calls to abolish the Electoral College, advocating for a constitutional amendment that would turn presidential elections into national plebiscites. Direct presidential voting would shift power to heavily urbanized areas—why waste time trying to reach more dispersed voters in less populated rural states?—and thus institutionalize the greater economic and cultural clout of the metropolitan blue-chip universities, the big banks, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, New York–Washington media, and Hollywood, Democrat-voting all. Barack Obama’s two electoral victories deluded the Democrats into thinking that it was politically wise to jettison their old blue-collar appeal to the working classes, mostly living outside the cities these days, in favor of an identity politics of a new multicultural, urban America. Yet Trump’s success represented more than simply a triumph of rural whites over multiracial urbanites. More ominously for liberals, it also suggested that a growing minority of blacks and Hispanics might be sympathetic with a “country” mind-set that rejects urban progressive elitism. For some minorities, sincerity and directness might be preferable to sloganeering by wealthy white urban progressives, who often seem more worried about assuaging their own guilt than about genuinely understanding people of different colors. Trump’s election underscored two other liberal miscalculations. First, Obama’s progressive agenda and cultural elitism prevailed not because of their ideological merits, as liberals believed, but because of his great appeal to urban minorities in 2008 and 2012, who voted in solidarity for the youthful first African-American president in numbers never seen before. That fealty wasn’t automatically transferable to liberal white candidates, including the multimillionaire 69-year-old Hillary Clinton. Obama had previously lost most of America’s red counties, but not by enough to keep him from winning two presidential elections, with sizable urban populations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turning out to vote for the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern. Second, rural America hadn’t fully raised its electoral head in anger in 2008 and 2012 because it didn’t see the Republican antidotes to Obama’s progressive internationalism as much better than the original malady. Socially moderate establishmentarians like the open-borders-supporting John McCain or wealthy businessman Mitt Romney didn’t resonate with the spirit of rural America—at least not enough to persuade millions to come to the polls instead of sitting the elections out. Trump connected with these rural voters with far greater success than liberals anticipated. Urban minorities failed in 2016 to vote en bloc, in their Obama-level numbers; and rural Americans, enthused by Trump, increased their turnout, so that even a shrinking American countryside still had enough clout to win. What is insufficiently understood is why a hurting rural America favored the urban, superrich Trump in 2016 and, more generally, tends to vote more conservative than liberal. Ostensibly, the answer is clear: an embittered red-state America has found itself left behind by elite-driven globalization, battered by unfettered trade and high-tech dislocations in the economy. In some of the most despairing counties, rural life has become a mirror image of the inner city, ravaged by drug use, criminality, and hopelessness. Yet if muscular work has seen a decline in its relative monetary worth, it has not necessarily lost its importance. After all, the elite in Washington and Menlo Park appreciate the fresh grapes and arugula that they purchase at Whole Foods. Someone mined the granite used in their expensive kitchen counters and cut the timber for their hardwood floors. The fuel in their hybrid cars continues to come from refined oil. The city remains as dependent on this elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as it always was. The two Palo Altoans at Starbucks might have forgotten that their overpriced homes included two-by-fours, circuit breakers, and four-inch sewer pipes, but somebody somewhere made those things and brought them into their world. In the twenty-first century, though, the exploitation of natural resources and the manufacturing of products are more easily outsourced than are the arts of finance, insurance, investments, higher education, entertainment, popular culture, and high technology, immaterial sectors typically pursued within metropolitan contexts and supercharged by the demands of increasingly affluent global consumers. A vast government sector, mostly urban, is likewise largely impervious to the leveling effects of a globalized economy, even as its exorbitant cost and extended regulatory reach make the outsourcing of material production more likely. Asian steel may have devastated Youngstown, but Chinese dumping had no immediate effect on the flourishing government enclaves in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, filled with well-paid knowledge workers. Globalization, big government, and metastasizing regulations have enriched the American coasts, in other words, while damaging much of the nation’s interior. Few major political leaders before Trump seemed to care. He hammered home the point that elites rarely experienced the negative consequences of their own ideologies. New York Times columnists celebrating a “flat” world have yet to find themselves flattened by Chinese writers willing to write for a fraction of their per-word rate. Tenured Harvard professors hymning praise to global progressive culture don’t suddenly discover their positions drawn and quartered into four part-time lecturer positions. And senators and bureaucrats in Washington face no risk of having their roles usurped by low-wage Vietnamese politicians. Trump quickly discovered that millions of Americans were irate that the costs and benefits of our new economic reality were so unevenly distributed. As the nation became more urban and its wealth soared, the old Democratic commitment from the Roosevelt era to much of rural America—construction of water projects, rail, highways, land banks, and universities; deference to traditional values; and Grapes of Wrath–like empathy—has largely been forgotten. A confident, upbeat urban America promoted its ever more radical culture without worrying much about its effects on a mostly distant and silent small-town other. In 2008, gay marriage and women in combat were opposed, at least rhetorically, by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential campaigns. By 2016, mere skepticism on these issues was viewed by urban elites as reactionary ignorance. In other words, it was bad enough that rural America was getting left behind economically; adding insult to injury, elite America (which is Democrat America) openly caricatured rural citizens’ traditional views and tried to force its own values on them. Lena Dunham’s loud sexual politics and Beyoncé’s uncritical evocation of the Black Panthers resonated in blue cities and on the coasts, not in the heartland. Only in today’s bifurcated America could billion-dollar sports conglomerates fail to sense that second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem would turn off a sizable percentage of the National Football League’s viewing audience, which is disproportionately conservative and middle American. These cultural themes, too, Trump addressed forcefully. In classical literature, patriotism and civic militarism were always closely linked with farming and country life. In the twenty-first century, this is still true. The incubator of the U.S. officer corps is red-state America. “Make America Great Again” reverberated in the pro-military countryside because it emphasized an exceptionalism at odds with the Left’s embrace of global values. Residents in Indiana and Wisconsin were unimpressed with the Democrats’ growing embrace of European-style “soft power,” socialism, and statism—all the more so in an age of European constitutional, financial, and immigration sclerosis. Trump’s slogan unabashedly expressed American individualism; Clinton’s “Stronger Together” gave off a whiff of European socialist solidarity. Trump, the billionaire Manhattanite wheeler-dealer, made an unlikely agrarian, true; but he came across during his presidential run as a clear advocate of old-style material jobs, praising vocational training and clearly enjoying his encounters with middle-American homemakers, welders, and carpenters. Trump talked more on the campaign about those who built his hotels than those who financed them. He could point to the fact that he made stuff, unlike Clinton, who got rich without any obvious profession other than leveraging her office. Give the thrice-married, orange-tanned, and dyed-haired Trump credit for his political savvy in promising to restore to the dispossessed of the Rust Belt their old jobs and to give back to farmers their diverted irrigation water, and for assuring small towns that arriving new Americans henceforth would be legal—and that, over time, they would become similar to their hosts in language, custom, and behavior. Ironically, part of Trump’s attraction for red-state America was his posture as a coastal-elite insider—but now enlisted on the side of the rustics. A guy who had built hotels all over the world, and understood how much money was made and lost through foreign investment, offered to put such expertise in the service of the heartland—against the supposed currency devaluers, trade cheats, and freeloaders of Europe, China, and Japan. Trump’s appeal to the interior had partly to do with his politically incorrect forthrightness. Each time Trump supposedly blundered in attacking a sacred cow—sloppily deprecating national hero John McCain’s wartime captivity or nastily attacking Fox superstar Megyn Kelly for her supposed unfairness—the coastal media wrote him off as a vulgar loser. Not Trump’s base. Seventy-five percent of his supporters polled that his crude pronouncements didn’t bother them. As one grape farmer told me after the Access Hollywood hot-mike recordings of Trump making sexually vulgar remarks had come to light, “Who cares? I’d take Trump on his worst day better than Hillary on her best.” Apparently red-state America was so sick of empty word-mongering that it appreciated Trump’s candor, even when it was sometimes inaccurate, crude, or cruel. Outside California and New York City and other elite blue areas, for example, foreigners who sneak into the country and reside here illegally are still “illegal aliens,” not “undocumented migrants,” a blue-state term that masks the truth of their actions. Trump’s Queens accent and frequent use of superlatives—“tremendous,” “fantastic,” “awesome”—weren’t viewed by red-state America as a sign of an impoverished vocabulary but proof that a few blunt words can capture reality. To the rural mind, verbal gymnastics reveal dishonest politicians, biased journalists, and conniving bureaucrats, who must hide what they really do and who they really are. Think of the arrogant condescension of Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the disastrous Obamacare law, who admitted that the bill was written deliberately in a “tortured way” to mislead the “stupid” American voter. To paraphrase Cicero on his preference for the direct Plato over the obscure Pythagoreans, rural Americans would have preferred to be wrong with the blunt-talking Trump than to be right with the mush-mouthed Hillary Clinton. One reason that Trump may have outperformed both McCain and Romney with minority voters was that they appreciated how much the way he spoke rankled condescending white urban liberals. Poorer, less cosmopolitan, rural people can also experience a sense of inferiority when they venture into the city, unlike smug urbanites visiting red-state America. The rural folk expect to be seen as deplorables, irredeemables, and clingers by city folk. My countryside neighbors do not wish to hear anything about Stanford University, where I work—except if by chance I note that Stanford people tend to be condescending and pompous, confirming my neighbors’ suspicions about city dwellers. And just as the urban poor have always had their tribunes, so, too, have rural residents flocked to an Andrew Jackson or a William Jennings Bryan, politicians who enjoyed getting back at the urban classes for perceived slights. The more Trump drew the hatred of PBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, the elite press, the universities, the foundations, and Hollywood, the more he triumphed in red-state America. Indeed, one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives. After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists—usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders—red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns. In sum, Donald Trump captured the twenty-first-century malaise of a rural America left behind by globalized coastal elites and largely ignored by the establishments of both political parties. Central to Trump’s electoral success, too, were age-old rural habits and values that tend to make the interior broadly conservative. That a New York billionaire almost alone grasped how red-state America truly thought, talked, and acted, and adjusted his message and style accordingly, will remain one of the astonishing ironies of American political history. Victor Davis Hanson

Attention: un idiot du village peut en cacher un autre !

En ce lendemain d’une investiture

Qui ressemble de plus en plus à une gueule de bois pour une gauche aussi mauvaise perdante qu’imbue d’elle-même …

Qui n’a de cesse, comme elle l’avait fait pour Reagan ou Bush, de moquer le prétendu idiot du village

Au moment même où commence à apparaitre au grand jour le bilan proprement catastrophique, pour son pays comme pour son propre parti, de son soi-disant brillant prédecesseur …

Et où un petit Etat sur lequel l’Administration Obama avait jusqu’à son dernier souffle tant craché fait son entrée dans le monde très select des huit plus grandes puissances de la planète …

Comment ne pas voir avec l’historien militaire américain Victor Davis Hanson et l’un des rares analystes à l’avoir perçue …

La revanche de ces bouseux que ces derniers avaient si longtemps méprisée ?

Mais aussi avec l’homme d’affaires britannique Conrad Black …

Le véritable génie de leur improbable multi-milliardaire et hédoniste new-yorkais de champion  …

Quasiment seul contre l’establishment des médias, de l’université ou du monde du spectacle ou même de son propre parti à l’avoir reconnue ?

Trump and the American Divide

How a lifelong New Yorker became tribune of the rustics and deplorables

Victor Davis Hanson
City Journal

Winter 2017

At 7 AM in California’s rural Central Valley, not long before the recent presidential election, I stopped to talk with an elderly irrigator on the shared border alleyway of my farm. His face was a wrinkled latticework, his false teeth yellow. His truck smelled of cigarettes, its cab overflowing with flotsam and jetsam: butts, scribbled notes, drip-irrigation parts, and empty soda cans. He rolled down the window and muttered something about the plunging water-table level and whether a weak front would bring any rain. And then, this dinosaur put one finger up on the wheel as a salutation and drove off in a dust cloud.

Five hours later, and just 180 miles distant, I bought a coffee at a Starbucks on University Avenue in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, the spawn of Stanford University. Two young men sat at the table next to me, tight “high-water” pants rising above their ankles, coat cuffs drawn up their forearms, and shirts buttoned all the way to the top, in retro-nerd style. Their voices were nasal, their conversation rapid-fire— politics, cars, houses, vacations, fashion, and restaurants all came up. They were speaking English, but of a very different kind from the irrigator’s, accentuating a sense of being on the move and upbeat about the booming reality surrounding them.

I hadn’t just left one part of America to visit another, it seemed, but instead blasted off from one solar system to enter another cosmos, light-years distant. And to make the contrast even more radical, the man in the truck in Fresno County was Mexican-American and said that he was voting for Trump, while the two in Palo Alto were white, clearly affluent—and seemed enthused about Hillary Clinton’s sure win to come.

The postelection map of Republican and Democratic counties mirrored my geographical disconnect. The Donald Trump nation of conservative red spanned the country, to within a few miles of the two coasts, covering 85 percent of the nation’s land area. Yet Clinton won the popular vote, drawing most of her support in razor-thin, densely populated blue ribbons up and down the East and West Coast corridors and in the Great Lakes nexus. As disgruntled liberal commentator Henry Grabar summed up the election result: “We now have a rural party and an urban party. The rural party won.” This time around, anyway.

The urban party has been getting beat up a lot, even before Trump’s surprising victory. Not only have the Democrats surrendered Congress; they now control just 13 state legislatures and 15 governorships—far below where they were pre–Barack Obama. Over the past decade, more than 1,000 elected Democratic state lawmakers have lost their jobs, with most of the hemorrhaging taking place outside the cities. As political analyst Ron Brownstein puts it, “Of all the overlapping generational, racial, and educational divides that explained Trump’s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton . . . none proved more powerful than the distance between the Democrats’ continued dominance of the largest metropolitan areas, and the stampede toward the GOP almost everywhere else.”

“Everywhere else” basically means anywhere but the two coasts. After the election, in liberal, urban America, one often heard Trump’s win described as the revenge of the yahoos in flyover country, fueled by their angry “isms” and “ias”: racism, anti-Semitism, nativism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and so on. Many liberals consoled themselves that Trump’s victory was the last hurrah of bigoted, Republican white America, soon to be swept away by vast forces beyond its control, such as global migration and the cultural transformation of America into something far from the Founders’ vision.

As insurance, though, furious progressives also renewed calls to abolish the Electoral College, advocating for a constitutional amendment that would turn presidential elections into national plebiscites. Direct presidential voting would shift power to heavily urbanized areas—why waste time trying to reach more dispersed voters in less populated rural states?—and thus institutionalize the greater economic and cultural clout of the metropolitan blue-chip universities, the big banks, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, New York–Washington media, and Hollywood, Democrat-voting all.

Barack Obama’s two electoral victories deluded the Democrats into thinking that it was politically wise to jettison their old blue-collar appeal to the working classes, mostly living outside the cities these days, in favor of an identity politics of a new multicultural, urban America. Yet Trump’s success represented more than simply a triumph of rural whites over multiracial urbanites. More ominously for liberals, it also suggested that a growing minority of blacks and Hispanics might be sympathetic with a “country” mind-set that rejects urban progressive elitism. For some minorities, sincerity and directness might be preferable to sloganeering by wealthy white urban progressives, who often seem more worried about assuaging their own guilt than about genuinely understanding people of different colors.

Trump’s election underscored two other liberal miscalculations. First, Obama’s progressive agenda and cultural elitism prevailed not because of their ideological merits, as liberals believed, but because of his great appeal to urban minorities in 2008 and 2012, who voted in solidarity for the youthful first African-American president in numbers never seen before. That fealty wasn’t automatically transferable to liberal white candidates, including the multimillionaire 69-year-old Hillary Clinton. Obama had previously lost most of America’s red counties, but not by enough to keep him from winning two presidential elections, with sizable urban populations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turning out to vote for the most left-wing presidential candidate since George McGovern.

The city remains as dependent on elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as ever

Second, rural America hadn’t fully raised its electoral head in anger in 2008 and 2012 because it didn’t see the Republican antidotes to Obama’s progressive internationalism as much better than the original malady. Socially moderate establishmentarians like the open-borders-supporting John McCain or wealthy businessman Mitt Romney didn’t resonate with the spirit of rural America—at least not enough to persuade millions to come to the polls instead of sitting the elections out. Trump connected with these rural voters with far greater success than liberals anticipated. Urban minorities failed in 2016 to vote en bloc, in their Obama-level numbers; and rural Americans, enthused by Trump, increased their turnout, so that even a shrinking American countryside still had enough clout to win.

What is insufficiently understood is why a hurting rural America favored the urban, superrich Trump in 2016 and, more generally, tends to vote more conservative than liberal. Ostensibly, the answer is clear: an embittered red-state America has found itself left behind by elite-driven globalization, battered by unfettered trade and high-tech dislocations in the economy. In some of the most despairing counties, rural life has become a mirror image of the inner city, ravaged by drug use, criminality, and hopelessness.

Yet if muscular work has seen a decline in its relative monetary worth, it has not necessarily lost its importance. After all, the elite in Washington and Menlo Park appreciate the fresh grapes and arugula that they purchase at Whole Foods. Someone mined the granite used in their expensive kitchen counters and cut the timber for their hardwood floors. The fuel in their hybrid cars continues to come from refined oil. The city remains as dependent on this elemental stuff—typically produced outside the suburbs and cities—as it always was. The two Palo Altoans at Starbucks might have forgotten that their overpriced homes included two-by-fours, circuit breakers, and four-inch sewer pipes, but somebody somewhere made those things and brought them into their world.

In the twenty-first century, though, the exploitation of natural resources and the manufacturing of products are more easily outsourced than are the arts of finance, insurance, investments, higher education, entertainment, popular culture, and high technology, immaterial sectors typically pursued within metropolitan contexts and supercharged by the demands of increasingly affluent global consumers. A vast government sector, mostly urban, is likewise largely impervious to the leveling effects of a globalized economy, even as its exorbitant cost and extended regulatory reach make the outsourcing of material production more likely. Asian steel may have devastated Youngstown, but Chinese dumping had no immediate effect on the flourishing government enclaves in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, filled with well-paid knowledge workers. Globalization, big government, and metastasizing regulations have enriched the American coasts, in other words, while damaging much of the nation’s interior.

Few major political leaders before Trump seemed to care. He hammered home the point that elites rarely experienced the negative consequences of their own ideologies. New York Times columnists celebrating a “flat” world have yet to find themselves flattened by Chinese writers willing to write for a fraction of their per-word rate. Tenured Harvard professors hymning praise to global progressive culture don’t suddenly discover their positions drawn and quartered into four part-time lecturer positions. And senators and bureaucrats in Washington face no risk of having their roles usurped by low-wage Vietnamese politicians. Trump quickly discovered that millions of Americans were irate that the costs and benefits of our new economic reality were so unevenly distributed.

As the nation became more urban and its wealth soared, the old Democratic commitment from the Roosevelt era to much of rural America—construction of water projects, rail, highways, land banks, and universities; deference to traditional values; and Grapes of Wrath–like empathy—has largely been forgotten. A confident, upbeat urban America promoted its ever more radical culture without worrying much about its effects on a mostly distant and silent small-town other. In 2008, gay marriage and women in combat were opposed, at least rhetorically, by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their respective presidential campaigns. By 2016, mere skepticism on these issues was viewed by urban elites as reactionary ignorance. In other words, it was bad enough that rural America was getting left behind economically; adding insult to injury, elite America (which is Democrat America) openly caricatured rural citizens’ traditional views and tried to force its own values on them. Lena Dunham’s loud sexual politics and Beyoncé’s uncritical evocation of the Black Panthers resonated in blue cities and on the coasts, not in the heartland. Only in today’s bifurcated America could billion-dollar sports conglomerates fail to sense that second-string San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem would turn off a sizable percentage of the National Football League’s viewing audience, which is disproportionately conservative and middle American. These cultural themes, too, Trump addressed forcefully.

Is there something about the land itself that promotes conservatism? The answer is as old as Western civilization. For the classical Greeks, the asteios (“astute”; astu: city) was the sophisticated “city-like” man, while the agroikos (“agrarian”; agros: farm/field) was synonymous with roughness. And yet there was ambiguity as well in the Greek city/country dichotomy: city folk were also laughed at in the comedies of Aristophanes as too impractical and too clever for their own good, while the unpolished often displayed a more grounded sensibility. In the Roman world, the urbanus (“urbane”; urbs: city) was sometimes too sophisticated, while the rusticus (“rustic”; rus: countryside) was often balanced and pragmatic.

Country people in the Western tradition lived in a shame culture. Family reputation hinged on close-knit assessments of personal behavior only possible in small communities of the like-minded and tribal. The rural ethos could not afford radical changes in lifestyles when the narrow margins of farming safety rested on what had worked in the past. By contrast, self-reinvention and social experimentation were possible only in large cities of anonymous souls and varieties of income and enrichment. Rural people, that is, don’t honor tradition and habit because they’re somehow better human beings than their urban counterparts; a face-to-face, rooted society offers practical reinforcement for doing so.

In classical literature, patriotism and civic militarism were always closely linked with farming and country life. In the twenty-first century, this is still true. The incubator of the U.S. officer corps is red-state America. “Make America Great Again” reverberated in the pro-military countryside because it emphasized an exceptionalism at odds with the Left’s embrace of global values. Residents in Indiana and Wisconsin were unimpressed with the Democrats’ growing embrace of European-style “soft power,” socialism, and statism—all the more so in an age of European constitutional, financial, and immigration sclerosis. Trump’s slogan unabashedly expressed American individualism; Clinton’s “Stronger Together” gave off a whiff of European socialist solidarity.

Farming, animal husbandry, mining, logging—these traditional bodily tasks were often praised in the past as epitomes of the proper balance between physical and mental, nature and culture, fact and theory. In classical pastoral and Georgic poetry, the city-bound often romanticized the countryside, even if, on arrival, they found the flies and dirt of Arcadia bothersome. Theocritus and Virgil reflected that, in the trade-offs imposed by transforming classical societies, the earthiness lost by city dwellers was more grievous to their souls than the absence of erudition and sophistication was to the souls of simpler farmers and shepherds.

Trump, the billionaire Manhattanite wheeler-dealer, made an unlikely agrarian, true; but he came across during his presidential run as a clear advocate of old-style material jobs, praising vocational training and clearly enjoying his encounters with middle-American homemakers, welders, and carpenters. Trump talked more on the campaign about those who built his hotels than those who financed them. He could point to the fact that he made stuff, unlike Clinton, who got rich without any obvious profession other than leveraging her office.

Give the thrice-married, orange-tanned, and dyed-haired Trump credit for his political savvy in promising to restore to the dispossessed of the Rust Belt their old jobs and to give back to farmers their diverted irrigation water, and for assuring small towns that arriving new Americans henceforth would be legal—and that, over time, they would become similar to their hosts in language, custom, and behavior.

Changes come more slowly to rural interior areas, given that the sea, the historical importer of strange people and weird ideas, is far away. Maritime Athens was liberal, democratic, and cosmopolitan; its antithesis, landlocked Sparta, was oligarchic, provincial, and tradition-bound. In the same way, rural upstate New York isn’t Manhattan, and Provo isn’t Portland. Rural people rarely meet—and tend not to wish to meet—the traders, foreigners, and importers who arrive at ports with their foreign money and exotic customs.

The “Old Oligarch”—a name given to the author of a treatise by an anonymous right-wing grouch of fifth-century BC Athens—described the subversive hustle and the cornucopia of imported goods evident every day at the port of Piraeus. If one wished to destroy the purity of rural, conservative society, his odd rant went, then the Athens of Pericles would be just about the best model to follow. Ironically, part of Trump’s attraction for red-state America was his posture as a coastal-elite insider—but now enlisted on the side of the rustics. A guy who had built hotels all over the world, and understood how much money was made and lost through foreign investment, offered to put such expertise in the service of the heartland—against the supposed currency devaluers, trade cheats, and freeloaders of Europe, China, and Japan.

Language is also different in the countryside. Rural speech serves, by its very brevity and directness, as an enhancement to action. Verbosity and rhetoric, associated with urbanites, were always rural targets in classical literature, precisely because they were seen as ways to disguise reality so as to advance impractical or subversive political agendas. Thucydides, nearly 2,500 years before George Orwell’s warnings about linguistic distortion, feared how, in times of strife, words changed their meanings, with the more polished and urbane subverting the truth by masking it in rhetoric that didn’t reflect reality. In the countryside, by contrast, crops either grow or wither; olive trees either yield or remain barren; rain either arrives or is scarce. Words can’t change these existential facts, upon which living even one more day often depends. For the rural mind, language must convey what is seen and heard; it is less likely to indulge adornment.

Today’s rural-minded Americans are little different. Trump’s appeal to the interior had partly to do with his politically incorrect forthrightness. Each time Trump supposedly blundered in attacking a sacred cow—sloppily deprecating national hero John McCain’s wartime captivity or nastily attacking Fox superstar Megyn Kelly for her supposed unfairness—the coastal media wrote him off as a vulgar loser. Not Trump’s base. Seventy-five percent of his supporters polled that his crude pronouncements didn’t bother them. As one grape farmer told me after the Access Hollywood hot-mike recordings of Trump making sexually vulgar remarks had come to light, “Who cares? I’d take Trump on his worst day better than Hillary on her best.” Apparently red-state America was so sick of empty word-mongering that it appreciated Trump’s candor, even when it was sometimes inaccurate, crude, or cruel. Outside California and New York City and other elite blue areas, for example, foreigners who sneak into the country and reside here illegally are still “illegal aliens,” not “undocumented migrants,” a blue-state term that masks the truth of their actions. Trump’s Queens accent and frequent use of superlatives—“tremendous,” “fantastic,” “awesome”—weren’t viewed by red-state America as a sign of an impoverished vocabulary but proof that a few blunt words can capture reality.

To the rural mind, verbal gymnastics reveal dishonest politicians, biased journalists, and conniving bureaucrats, who must hide what they really do and who they really are. Think of the arrogant condescension of Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the disastrous Obamacare law, who admitted that the bill was written deliberately in a “tortured way” to mislead the “stupid” American voter. To paraphrase Cicero on his preference for the direct Plato over the obscure Pythagoreans, rural Americans would have preferred to be wrong with the blunt-talking Trump than to be right with the mush-mouthed Hillary Clinton. One reason that Trump may have outperformed both McCain and Romney with minority voters was that they appreciated how much the way he spoke rankled condescending white urban liberals.

Poorer, less cosmopolitan, rural people can also experience a sense of inferiority when they venture into the city, unlike smug urbanites visiting red-state America. The rural folk expect to be seen as deplorables, irredeemables, and clingers by city folk. My countryside neighbors do not wish to hear anything about Stanford University, where I work—except if by chance I note that Stanford people tend to be condescending and pompous, confirming my neighbors’ suspicions about city dwellers. And just as the urban poor have always had their tribunes, so, too, have rural residents flocked to an Andrew Jackson or a William Jennings Bryan, politicians who enjoyed getting back at the urban classes for perceived slights. The more Trump drew the hatred of PBS, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, the elite press, the universities, the foundations, and Hollywood, the more he triumphed in red-state America.

Indeed, one irony of the 2016 election is that identity politics became a lethal boomerang for progressives. After years of seeing America reduced to a binary universe, with culpable white Christian males encircled by ascendant noble minorities, gays, feminists, and atheists—usually led by courageous white-male progressive crusaders—red-state America decided that two could play the identity-politics game. In 2016, rural folk did silently in the voting booth what urban America had done to them so publicly in countless sitcoms, movies, and political campaigns.

In sum, Donald Trump captured the twenty-first-century malaise of a rural America left behind by globalized coastal elites and largely ignored by the establishments of both political parties. Central to Trump’s electoral success, too, were age-old rural habits and values that tend to make the interior broadly conservative. That a New York billionaire almost alone grasped how red-state America truly thought, talked, and acted, and adjusted his message and style accordingly, will remain one of the astonishing ironies of American political history.

Voir aussi:

The brilliant Donald Trump deserves to win

His political achievements are already unprecedented, and his insight amounts to genius

Conrad Black
The Spectator

23 July 2016

Almost anyone who has followed the US presidential selection process closely could realise what a brilliant campaign Donald Trump has conducted. He saw that in its self-absorption, the US political class had completely failed to grasp the extent of public anger at the deterioration of almost everything. American public policy has brought about the greatest sequence of disasters since the 1920s, when the liquor business was given to gangsters by Prohibition, followed by the equities debt bubble and the Great Depression.

In the past 20 years, both parties shared in the creation of the housing bubble, which produced the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s, and a decade of war in the Middle East which, despite excellent military execution, Obama has turned into a victory for Iran and an immense humanitarian disaster. Further foreign policy humiliations have included the evaporating ‘red line’ in Syria, the 180-degree switch in official attitudes to Iran, culminating in a delayed green light to nuclear weapons (if Tehran chooses to wait).

Both political parties share the blame for the admission of 12 million unskilled workers into the US illegally, and for trade pacts with cheap-labour countries that appear to import unemployment. The political class and its media claque conducted business as usual while the welfare, education and justice systems became clogged with migrants, and the national debt of $9 trillion doubled in seven years. Barack Obama told the Joint Chiefs of Staff that climate change was the greatest threat to America and he and Hillary Clinton refuse to utter the words ‘Islamic terrorism’. (He called the San Bernardino massacre ‘workplace-related’.)

There has never been anything remotely like the rise of America from a small number of colonists to the most dominant power in history, and Americans are not philosophical about being held up to ridicule in the world. Nor have they ever tolerated a flatline on the country’s prosperity and prospects. Donald Trump, a great public figure — as the developer of famous buildings, an impresario and television host — saw the depth of American outrage at all this and as a non-politician was not complicit in any of it.

He paid for his own campaign and ran against the entire political class, facing 16 rivals for the Republican nomination. He won from the start, piling up astonishing pluralities as the commentariat slowly retreated. They claimed he could not aspire to more than 20, 30, 40 per cent of Republicans, would be sandbagged at the convention, would attract a Ross Perot-like third party to splinter the Republican vote, and would be routed in a horrible landslide by Hillary Clinton. The flabby Republican establishment backed Ted Cruz, an intelligent man who nevertheless told the world that God had commanded he run and who pitched his campaign to the Bible-thumping corn-cobbers with M-16s in the rear windows of their pick-up trucks. The media have remained smugly hostile to Trump, despite warnings that a majority of Americans despise the media too — and that they were just stoking a pro-Trump backlash.

As Trump has moved up, Hillary Clinton has had to move far to the left to hold off Bernie Sanders, a septuagenarian former Stalinist kibbutznik and socialist senator for Vermont. Trump’s genius has been to see, when no one else did, that the political class was a spavined paper tiger and the country was afire with rage; to scoop the Archie Bunker (Alf Garnett) vote with blue-collar political incorrectness and his comic talents, which won him the debates; and yet to remain centrist on everything but illegal immigration and bad trade deals. (Trump and Clinton both went to great lengths to maintain the centrists in control of both parties, against severe challenges from the far Republican right and Democratic left; but almost none of the media, foreign or domestic, has noticed.) The best is yet to come: the last refuge of his opponents is that Trump will be an undignified and frightening candidate. He will be the sane and educated man he is.

Hillary Clinton is carrying more baggage than the Queen Mary and Trump will carpet-bomb the country in September and October with a billion dollars of reminders of Benghazi (she slept while her ambassador was murdered), the televised apology to the world’s Muslims, the FBI director’s non-indictment indictment; the malodorous conflicts of the Clinton Foundation entwined with the Clinton State Department. Even Whitewater is due for a rerun. This is not Norman Rockwell’s or Walt Disney’s America, and it never was. American presidential politics is a jungle; the nominees are great beasts, but Donald Trump is larger and fiercer. In taking over a major US political party from the outside, he has done something that has never been done before, and he should win.

Voir encore:

Democrats in the Wilderness
Inside a decimated party’s not-so-certain revival strategy.
Edward-Isaac Dovere

Politico

January/February 2017

Standing with some 30,000 people in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia the night before the election watching Hillary Clinton speak, exhausted aides were already worrying about what would come next. They expected her to win, of course, but they knew President Clinton was going to get thrashed in the 2018 midterms—the races were tilted in Republicans’ favor, and that’s when they thought the backlash would really hit. Many assumed she’d be a one-term president. They figured she’d get a primary challenge. Some of them had already started gaming out names for who it would be.

“Last night I stood at your doorstep / Trying to figure out what went wrong,” Bruce Springsteen sang quietly to the crowd in what he called “a prayer for post-election.” “It’s gonna be a long walk home.”

What happened the next night shocked even the most pessimistic Democrats. But in another sense, it was the reckoning the party had been expecting for years. They were counting on a Clinton win to paper over a deeper rot they’ve been worrying about—and to buy them some time to start coming up with answers. In other words, it wasn’t just Donald Trump. Or the Russians. Or James Comey. Or all the problems with how Clinton and her aides ran the campaign. Win or lose, Democrats were facing an existential crisis in the years ahead—the result of years of complacency, ignoring the withering of the grass roots and the state parties, sitting by as Republicans racked up local win after local win.

“The patient,” says Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, “was clearly already sick.”

As Trump takes over the GOP and starts remaking its new identity as a nationalist, populist party, creating a new political pole in American politics for the first time in generations, all eyes are on the Democrats. How will they confront a suddenly awakened, and galvanized, white majority? What’s to stop Trump from doing whatever he wants? Who’s going to pull a coherent new vision together? Worried liberals are watching with trepidation, fearful that Trump is just the beginning of worse to come, desperate for a comeback strategy that can work.

What’s clear from interviews with several dozen top Democratic politicians and operatives at all levels, however, is that there is no comeback strategy—just a collection of half-formed ideas, all of them challenged by reality. And for whatever scheme they come up with, Democrats don’t even have a flag-carrier. Barack Obama? He doesn’t want the job. Hillary Clinton? Too damaged. Bernie Sanders? Too socialist. Joe Biden? Too tied to Obama. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Too Washington. Elizabeth Warren? Maybe. And all of them old, old, old.

The Democrats’ desolation is staggering. But part of the problem is that it’s easy to point to signs that maybe things aren’t so bad. After all, Clinton did beat Trump by 2.8 million votes, Obama’s approval rating is nearly 60 percent, polls show Democrats way ahead of the GOP on many issues and demographics suggest that gap will only grow. But they are stuck in the minority in Congress with no end in sight, have only 16 governors left and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. Their top leaders in the House are all over 70. Their top leaders in the Senate are all over 60. Under Obama, Democrats have lost 1,034 seats at the state and federal level—there’s no bench, no bench for a bench, virtually no one able to speak for the party as a whole.

“The fact that our job should be easier just shows how poorly we’re doing the job,” says Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran seen as one of the party’s rising stars.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What did Democrats get wrong in the 2016 race?

“We arrived at this point through some combination of either outright offending or at least failing to inspire nearly every segment of our party’s base voters.”
—Tim Ryan, U.S. representative, Ohio

“Democrats failed to listen sufficiently to voters, appreciate their discontent with the status quo and articulate how they will fight for working Americans.”
—Gretchen Whitmer, former state senate Democratic leader, Michigan

“People and polls were unfairly distracted by unintelligent, racist banter centering on anti-establishment or anti-politically correct views.”
—Shavonda Sumter, state assemblywoman, New Jersey
There are now fewer than 700 days until Election Day 2018, as internal memos circulating among Democratic strategists point out with alarm. They differ in their prescriptions, but all boil down to the same inconvenient truth: If Republicans dominate the 2018 midterms, they will control the Senate (and with it, the Supreme Court) for years, and they will draw district lines in states that will lock in majorities in the House and across state capitals, killing the next generation of Democrats in the crib, setting up the GOP for an even more dominant 2020 and beyond.

Most doubt Democrats have the stamina or the stomach for the kind of cohesive resistance that Republicans perfected over the years. In their guts, they want to say yes to government doing things, and they’re already getting drawn in by promises to work with Trump and the Republican majorities. They’re heading into the next elections with their brains scrambled by Trump’s win, side-eyeing one another over who’s going to sell out the rest, nervous the incoming president will keep outmaneuvering them in the media and throw up more targets than they could ever hope to shoot at—and all of this from an election that was supposed to cement their claim on the future.

Some thinking has started to take shape. Obama is quickly reformatting his post-presidency to have a more political bent than he had planned. Vice President Joe Biden is beginning to structure his own thoughts on mentoring and guiding rising Democrats. (No one seems to be waiting to hear from Clinton.) At the law office of former Attorney General Eric Holder, which is serving as the base for the redistricting reform project he is heading for Obama, they’re getting swarmed with interest and checks. At the Democratic Governors Association, all of a sudden looking like the headquarters of the resistance, they’re sorting through a spike in interested candidates. And everyone from Obama on down is talking about going local, focusing on the kinds of small races and party-building activities Republicans have been dominating for cycle after cycle.

But all that took decades, and Democrats have no time. What are they going to do next? There hasn’t been an American political party in worse shape in living memory. And there may never have been a party less ready to confront it.

“We’re at a space shuttle moment,” says Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who is widely expected to run statewide soon in Georgia. “The most vulnerable time for the space shuttle is when it re-enters the environment, so that when it comes back into the environment it doesn’t blow up. The tiles need to be tight. I’m concerned about the tightness of the tiles on the space shuttle right now. We have to get through this heat.”

***

Problem No. 1: Message

What scares many Democrats about Trump isn’t any particular campaign pledge—his promises to build a wall or keep out Muslims or shut down Obamacare. Those are fights they can wrap their heads around. No, the existential, hair-on-fire threat to the Democratic Party is just how easy it was for Trump to sneak around their flank and rob them of an issue they thought was theirs alone—economic populism—even as they partied at fundraisers in Hollywood and the Hamptons.

It so happens that the most prominent advocate of this view—Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren—is, for the moment, the party’s most plausible standard-bearer in 2020. The mission now, Warren believes, can be summed up in five words: Take back populism from Trump. “The American people know what they want,” she said in an interview, urging an emphasis on economic opportunity. “If Donald Trump and his Republican Party can’t deliver on any of that, then the American people will see that he’s not on their side.”

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

Why are Democrats lagging at the state and local levels?

“We’ve paid an enormous price for letting our local organizations atrophy to a point of near irrelevance.”
—Ruben Gallego, U.S. representative, Arizona

“In part, it’s because certain policy ambitions are best achieved on a national level. But that national focus has become myopic.”
—Stacey Abrams, Democratic leader, Georgia House of Representatives

“[Republicans] had a 50-state model approach to winning the redistricting battles. We didn’t.”
—Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative, California
Trump has made it easy by stacking his administration with millionaires and billionaires whose confirmation preparations included memorizing the price of milk so they don’t seem out of touch—people like Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin, whose bank once foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman’s house when she made a 27-cent payment error.

“Donald Trump with these appointments is saying squarely to the American people that he lied to them and his promise is worth nothing,” adds Warren. “That’s the point to keep making.”

Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, seen by many as a rising liberal leader of the Senate, makes a slightly different argument. The lesson from Trump’s win, in his eyes, is how sick voters are of the status quo and pragmatism. Murphy is all for saying no to Trump, but he argues that Democrats need to come up with their own proposals, however unrealistic, and say yes—big league. Entitlement reform? Forget it, Murphy says: Now’s the time to talk about expanding Social Security, not shrinking it. “A lot of Democrats laughed at Bernie Sanders when he proposed free college. First of all, that’s not impossible,” Murphy says, but more to the point, “it’s a way to communicate a really important issue in terms that people will understand.”

Illinois Representative Cheri Bustos, a former journalist who has been tapped to help lead House Democrats’ communications efforts, is urging her colleagues to go hyperlocal—a strategy informed by her own success in a bad year for the party. She won by 20 percentage points in a northwest Illinois district that Trump carried by half a point and Obama carried by 17 points in 2012. Bustos wants each member to identify constituents who will be affected by policy shifts under Trump and have district staff promote those people in local media. Tell their stories, she says.

Every path back to power runs through figuring out how to get voters to believe again that the Democratic Party, founded on and forever about a fairer economy, is aware that millions of Americans feel the economy’s been unfair to them and think Democrats have no real plans to do anything about it.

“Trump is talking about the economy of the past, bringing us backward to an economy that doesn’t exist anymore. Rather than going back into the coal mines, we’ve got to show how hardworking people in Appalachia can contribute to the new economy,” says Moulton, who is often talked about as a candidate for statewide office and beyond. “The message has to be: ‘We need you, we want you to be a part of the economy.’ We’re not going to pretend that it’s going to be 1955 again, but there’s a new economy coming and America’s not going to succeed if it’s not responding.”

This has echoes of how Bill Clinton campaigned in 1992—as a champion of globalization who would make it work better for ordinary Americans—but that was before so many of the factories had closed, before the culture felt different, before the internet made everything more immediate and more immediately infuriating. Yet Obama and his 21st-century Democrats beat back the Clinton restoration in 2008 in large part by running against the incremental, crabwise approach of the ’90s. Bill Clinton was a Southern Democrat who grew up in a world of political constraints, and there aren’t too many of those anymore; what the base wants now is Warren-like progressive passion, without any of the liberal self-loathing they sensed in the Clintons.

Over emails, texts and phone calls, ad hoc networks of younger Democrats have started to form, eager to talk about a new start for the party.

“Part of the work I’m doing right now is recognizing there is nobody left. It’s pulling together my peers,” says Eric Garcetti, a 45-year old Mexican-American Jewish mayor of Los Angeles who is widely assumed to be part of the party’s future in California and potentially beyond. He wanted Clinton to win. But there’s a certain freedom in moving past Clintonism.

“It’s maybe the end of … ‘The era of big government is over,’” he says.

***

Problem No. 2: The Politics of Obstruction

It’s been 10 years since Democrats didn’t control at least one wing of the federal government, and a lot of them, argues Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat elected to the House in 2014, have forgotten what that’s like. Those who do, he says, are all basing their thinking on what they did to George W. Bush or what Mitch McConnell did to Obama. “They’re scared of the unknown. This is a new world for them. And they’re trying to find solace in what they know,” Gallego says.

Gallego points to his time as assistant minority leader in the Arizona legislature under an all GOP-controlled government, where Democrats held the line until splintered Republicans gave in, allowing them to preserve Obama’s Medicaid expansion. For what’s ahead in Washington, he’s pushing a kind of explanatory resistance, refusing any cooperation with Trump—“It’s very dangerous to give this man anything, because anything he does makes him more powerful, and he’s going to use power irresponsibly”—while using every fight as an opportunity to promote what the party stands for instead.

Trump’s pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure is one of those opportunities, Gallego says. His idea: Make Trump release his taxes to show that he won’t personally benefit from any provision in the bill, while using whatever’s in the bill to make concrete and specific cases to voters about why the president and the Congress are hurting them, and why Democrats’ intransigence matters directly in people’s lives.

It sounds reasonable enough, except for one problem: There’s no way Republicans, who control every lever of power in the House, will allow it. And there’s no way the 70-year-old Trump, elected without releasing his taxes and feeling validated by every decision he has made so far, is going to suddenly become a new man once he’s sitting in the Oval Office.

“I worry that our caucus is going to pick way too many things to communicate, way too many things to display outrage about,” says Murphy.

The only mechanism Democrats have to actually shape what happens in Washington is the Senate—with 48 votes that give them an eight-vote margin for error on filibusters and the hope that three Republicans will break away on some votes to join them in the majority. Trump works best with a foil, and they’re determined not to serve themselves up to him as obstructionists.

And here, Democrats have more of a strategy than they are perhaps letting on. In essence, the idea is to focus on issues that drive a wedge through the Republican caucus. On Obamacare, they will step out of the way and let Republicans squirm among themselves. On infrastructure, the plan is to split Republicans between those leery of new spending and those who just want to get along with Trump. Either way, Democrats figure, they win: They could get a bill they support, or send the process into enough of a tailspin that GOP forces devour one another and there won’t be any bill at all. As for Trump, they will just wait him out. “If he comes much closer to where we are, we could work with him,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview, “and that kind of issue unites our caucus and divides theirs.”

Many on the left view Schumer warily, suspicious of his breaks with Obama on Israel and Iran, his close ties to Wall Street and his reputation for cutting deals and hogging the spotlight. The base wants McConnell-style, uncaring and unapologetic obstruction, or at least the old Harry Reid, burn-the-place-down and taunt-the-flames kind of pushback. There’s already a vast library of liberal freak-out think pieces about Schumer’s refrain that he’s not going to say no to bills just because they have Trump’s name on them.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What’s the Democratic Party’s greatest weakness right now?

“Our as yet unmet need for a standard-bearer to move us past the disappointments of 2016 and lead the opposition effort during the Trump presidency.”
—Cyrus Habib, lieutenant governor, Washington state

“[Democrats] are the true champions of economic empowerment for middle-class Americans and those who aspire to the middle class. … But that wasn’t successfully communicated in this election.”
—Elizabeth Brown, city councilmember, Columbus, Ohio

“Our inclination to over-learn some of the lessons from the last election. It would be a mistake to lose sight of what has made us the best party to represent a rapidly evolving nation: our inclusiveness.”
—Crisanta Duran, speaker of the House, Colorado State Assembly
Asked about what he’s been telling Trump in their private phone calls, Schumer is coy. “I said, ‘You ran against both the Democratic and Republican establishments—if you do that as president, you could get some things done, but if you just let the hard right capture your presidency, like with the Cabinet appointments,’” Schumer recounts, “‘it could well be a flop.’”

Relentless obstruction could easily be a trap, too. “My worry is that we lose focus. I don’t know what outrage to focus on a daily basis, and I worry that our caucus is going to pick way too many things to communicate, way too many things to display outrage about,” Murphy says, “and in the end, nothing will end up translating.”

***

Problem No. 3: The Midterms

If there’s anyone who can lay claim to having the worst job in Washington, it’s Chris Van Hollen. A freshman senator from Maryland, he has been charged with leading the Democrats’ efforts to retake the Senate in 2018. When Schumer, who is expected to stay central to fundraising and campaign strategy, announced Van Hollen’s role, he somewhat disingenuously described him as “our first choice”—as in first choice who didn’t say no.

Schumer and Van Hollen have a complex calculus ahead of them, driven not only by the need to keep the party base energized against Trump, but also the reality that 10 of their incumbents come from states Trump won and may often align with the president for their own survival. Senate Democrats were facing a terrible 2018 map before Trump, with 25 seats up for grabs, and their prospects have gotten notably worse, with races in already difficult spots like Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia as the baseline, and potentially new territory opened up in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, after Trump’s wins there. Republicans are defending eight seats, but only one in a state Clinton won.

A good way to make Van Hollen stop short and almost laugh is to ask him about candidate recruitment for next year. Sitting at a conference table in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s headquarters on Capitol Hill, Van Hollen makes abundantly clear that the math he’s thinking about is how to stay as close to the current 48 as he can.

“Our focus,” he says, “will be on supporting our members, so we can hold the blue wall.”

Make it through 2018. Hope for 2020.

Van Hollen, who masterminded Democrats’ pickup of 21 House seats in 2008, only to lose 60 in the 2010 midterm wipeout, is seen as one of the party’s canniest strategists. It’s early days yet, but he and other top Democrats have already been studying the 2016 election returns in detail, searching for clues that can help them staunch the bleeding in 2018. One intriguing thing they’ve found: All those people who voted for both Obama and Trump look like reliable anti-Washington voters primed to boomerang against the GOP now that the other guys are in charge. Incumbents have been told to act as if they’re the mayors of their states. There’s talk of centralizing around a few easy and direct proposals, much shorter than the Republicans’ old Contract with America. Shortly before kicking off his candidacy, Van Hollen, notably, pitched a plan that would take $2,000 off the taxes of anyone earning less than $200,000 per year, reward savings and triple the child care tax credit.

As for those vexing red-state senators, “I don’t think anyone is running toward Trump. They’re running toward the issues that are important to the people in their states,” Van Hollen says. Maybe so. But get used to headlines about Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill going rogue.

If there is hope for the Democratic Party in the short term, it’s in the governors’ mansions they control now—and the ones they hope to control in the near future. Governors like Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee in Washington, Jerry Brown in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York are going to be blocking and tackling in their capitols, pushing state-level legislation on immigration, Medicare, environmental standards and reproductive rights. California Democrats have already hired Holder as a sort of warrior-lawyer, anticipating years of legal battles with Trump’s Washington.

On the other end of the spectrum is Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a Democrat who won reelection by 4 percentage points on the same day Trump won his state by more than 20, running on a record of Medicaid expansion, campaign finance reform, equal pay and expanding public education—on top of having issued more vetoes than any Montana governor in history. Instead of raging against Trump and the Republicans in Congress, Bullock wants to ignore them. “We as Democrats need to recognize that there’s no such thing as a national issue,” he says.

The View From the Field
Rising Democratic stars around the country diagnose their party’s problems.

What should the Democratic Party’s core message be?

“Donald Trump co-opted our core message, which is that voters want their leaders to step up and lead on their bread-and-butter issues. If Trump can’t deliver on his promises, we need to show that progressive economic polices are the pathway forward.”
—Lorena Gonzalez, state assemblywoman, California

“We are the party of opportunity and fairness. … Opportunity requires that Americans have a path to the middle class; fairness insists that path be open to all.”
—Mike Johnston, state senator, Colorado

“Trump wants to take us back to an economy of the past, which simply doesn’t exist anymore. Democrats have the opportunity to show how all Americans can be a part of the economy of the future, and how we need the diverse talents of all our people to be at our best.”
—Seth Moulton, U.S. representative, Massachusetts
All this positioning is building up to a heady 2017 and 2018, with governors’ races in nine swingy states where a Republican has been in charge the past eight years. Add in likely pickups in blue New Jersey this year and potentially Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts next year, and Democrats could end up with a slew of new governors.

“You want models? I got models,” says Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who’s doing another stint as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Think Bullock in Montana, Roy Cooper in North Carolina and John Bel Edwards in Louisiana—Malloy argues that each 2018 race will need a tailored, locally smart strategy. But if there’s one tactic that binds them all together, it’s this: relentless aggression. Malloy blames 2016 on Democrats overestimating voters’ ability to see that they were being lied to by Trump and other Republicans. He has no intention of making the same mistake in 2018.

“We can’t assume anything,” Malloy says. “It’s going to be hand-to-hand combat.”

Some Democrats see a different lesson in 2016, with a takeaway best summed up by a Samuel L. Jackson line from Pulp Fiction: Personality goes a long way. On paper, Trump had none of the characteristics of a successful GOP nominee—a Manhattan billionaire who bragged about cheating on his first wife with the mistress who later became his second divorce, a closet full of skeletons and a history of cozying up to Democrats? But he was able to connect on such a visceral level that none of those liabilities mattered. What he also showed is how irrelevant parties are—before he pulled chunks of the Democratic base away from Clinton, he swallowed the strongest field of up-and-coming Republican leaders in decades, all while throwing conservative dogma in the toilet. Internalize that, Garcetti says, because “there’s no question that the next generation of voters for the next 50 years will be people who don’t wake up thinking about themselves as a Democrat or a Republican.”

Pick your movie analogy: People want more Jay Bulworth, less Tracy Flick. It often took a village of Clinton advisers just to produce one tweet; Trump pulls out his Android smartphone and lets loose. “Do your own social media for crying out loud. That authenticity is important,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker advises. Democrats aren’t going to turn into Trump clones, dashing off grammatically challenged 140-character tirades at 3 a.m., but their politicians are trying to unlearn how to be politicians.

“Everybody who’s in elected office, who wants a future in this space, whatever you are, be it,” Atlanta’s Reed says. “Anybody can win right now. But I’ll tell you who will definitely lose: a fraud.”

***

Problem No. 4: The Obama Legacy

Several times since the election, between knocks on Clinton for running a low-energy campaign, Obama has compared this moment for Democrats to 2004, when George W. Bush was narrowly reelected, the House stayed Republican, and he and Ken Salazar were the only Democrats newly elected to a Republican-dominated Senate. Two years later, he points out, Democrats swept Congress. Two years after that, he’s the president.

What Obama conveniently leaves out is how significantly gerrymandering, enabled by state-level losses, has since tilted the House map for Republicans, how different that 2006 Senate map looked from what’s ahead, and how at this same point, four years out from Election Day 2008, it was pretty clear that Obama and Clinton and John Edwards and probably Biden and Bill Richardson and all the way down to Dennis Kucinich were going to run for president. Now, no one has any idea who the field will be in 2020, and no one outside Washington knows the names that get talked about in Washington.

“With Barack, we skipped a whole generation,” Biden told me in an interview in his West Wing office just over a week before Trump’s inauguration, when I asked him if he would run in 2020 and what that says about the party’s lack of young leaders. “There’s also been times when it looked like there were a lot of qualified people who were younger, and all of a sudden you turn to the older folks in the party.” He didn’t name any.

Warren might spark a movement, and she could almost certainly count on winning New Hampshire, but she would be 71 and make a lot of Democrats worry she would take the party too far left. Booker can, and likes to assert that he can, tap into an Obama-esque post-racial aspirationalism. Cuomo would have a socially progressive, fiscal centrist record to tout. Many are talking up Kamala Harris, though almost none of them know anything about the new California senator other than that she’s a multi-ethnic woman; few have heard her speak or couldn’t identify a single policy position she holds. Other names get tossed around—Hickenlooper, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

“There isn’t a clear tier-one level of elected officials jumping out right now,” says Mitch Stewart, Obama’s 2012 battleground states director and now a Democratic operative working with some of the up-and-coming talent. “There’s so much more oxygen in the run-up to this next election than there has been previously, that leaders in industry, leaders in nonprofit, leaders in service outside of politics can take a real look at the 2020 race.”

And so conversations tip to the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban, Tom Steyer, Tom Hanks. There’s always the George Clooney fantasy. Meryl Streep wasn’t even done with her Trump-bashing speech at the Golden Globes before that idea started going around, at least informally.

In the meantime, Democrats face a dangerous period in which it’s not clear who is calling the shots. Obama and Biden have both rethought their retirement plans to help shape the next generation of Democrats—Obama focused more on rebuilding party infrastructure, cultivating the grass roots and potentially meeting with presidential candidates as 2020 gets closer; Biden more engaged with nurturing talented up-and-comers. But both are determined to sit out day-to-day politics, people close to them say, though Trump could easily goad either or both of them back into the fray.

“What I was able to do during my campaigns, I wasn’t able to do during midterms,” Obama said. “I didn’t crack the code on that.”

Many Democrats want Obama now to be the field marshal on the campaign trail and the architect of the revival, if only out of penance for the eight years of Democratic decimation on his watch—a record that culminated in his sharing a limo from the White House to the Inauguration with a man once thought to be the most unelectable major-party nominee in generations.

“You’re right,” Obama said at his good-riddance-to-2016 news conference when I asked him about those critiques. “What I was able to do during my campaigns, I wasn’t able to do during midterms. It’s not that we didn’t put in time and effort into it. I spent time and effort into it, but the coalition I put together didn’t always turn out to be transferable.” Obama blamed some of the losses on the inherent pushback to one party being in power, some to “deep-standing traditional challenges for Democrats, like during off-year elections, the electorate is older and we do better with a younger electorate.”

“I didn’t crack the code on that,” Obama acknowledged, “and if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, I’m all for it.”

***

Problem No. 5: Trump

You could park Trump Force One in the gap between Democrats’ capabilities and their ambitions. They’re eager to crush Trump not just for the sake of stopping the changes he’s pursuing—they want to embarrass him personally, and they look at 2020 as a chance to pretend that he was never really elected, that America didn’t put him in the same seat as Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

They are petrified that everyone will keep underestimating Trump and will be busy fighting over basic values while the president and his Republican majority roll over them and roll back most of what they fought for during the past eight years. Elections are usually won on pocketbook issues; nobody really knows how it would work to run on abstract concepts like freedom of the press or transparency—but many Democrats are tempted to turn their opposition to Trump into a crusade to save America itself.

“We’ve never had to have a conversation about reselling democracy,” says Murphy. “Liberals scoffed at his talk of jailing journalists and throwing out major portions of the Constitution, because we just sort of assumed that everybody’s on board with this thing called American democracy.”

“The conversations that I’m having in the cloakroom, in texts and on the phone, reflect a caucus that is not about politics right now,” agrees Booker. “This is a crisis moment in America.”

There is no time for any of it: no time to debate what the party should focus on, no time to recruit candidates, no time to identify new leaders, no time to rebuild Democrats’ core of operations, no time to unpack everything that went wrong in the 2016 campaign, no time to build a legislative strategy, no time to wrap their heads around how much change is coming to America and American politics.

After decades of neglect, there’s nothing else, either.

“The Democratic Party now is left literally at zero—zero dollars in the bank, zero infrastructure as the Clinton campaign closes up shop,” wrote Democratic National Committee consultant Donnie Fowler in a post-mortem ordered by outgoing interim chair Donna Brazile, “and, most importantly, zero majority control in Washington and in 33 of the states.”

On the other hand, Trump could be the Democrats’ salvation. He’s already deeply unpopular, and midterms tend to go badly for the party in the White House. It’s tempting for Democrats to think all they need to do is wait for their adversaries to defeat themselves. Or that some reporter will finally discover the Holy Grail of Donald Trump scoops—the story that will take him, and the GOP, down. Or that Republicans will continue to overreach and get eaten by a Trump tweet the way they did the very first day of this Congress with the attempt to scrap the Office of Congressional Ethics. Or that the savior candidate will come from nowhere and rescue the party by sheer force of personality—another Obama.

“Elections are only as bad as the next one,” Garcetti says, “when suddenly the impossible becomes possible.”

Whatever the truth of that statement, the next two and four years are going to be all about Trump. Anson Kaye, one of Clinton’s top media consultants, has been spending the weeks since the election giving a presentation on what happened and what he thinks has to happen now. It ends like this: “Trump is a radical. / Which makes him an opportunity. / Values first. / Stand up (for the little guy/against bullies/in the line of fire) / Talk like a normal person. / Protect the right to vote. / Treat 2018 like a national election. / Target governors and state legislators.”

Then on the final slide: “Be clear-eyed about the America we live in.”

Voir encore:

At the base of Trump’s support

Salena Zito

Trib Live
Aug. 20, 2016

RUFFSDALE

If you drive anywhere in Pennsylvania, from the turnpike to the old U.S. routes to the dirt roads connecting small towns like Hooversville with “bigger” small towns like Somerset, you might conclude that Donald Trump is ahead in this state by double digits.

Large signs, small signs, homemade signs, signs that wrap around barns, signs that go from one end of a fence to another, all dot the landscape with such frequency that, if you were playing the old-fashioned road-trip game of counting cows, you would hit 100 in just one small town like this one.

In Ruffsdale, I am pretty sure I saw more than 100 Trump signs.

It’s as if people here have not turned on the television to hear pundits drone on and on about how badly Trump is losing in Pennsylvania.

It’s not just visual: In interview after interview in all corners of the state, I’ve found that Trump’s support across the ideological spectrum remains strong. Democrats, Republicans, independents, people who have not voted in presidential elections for years — they have not wavered in their support.

Two components of these voters’ answers and profiles remain consistent: They are middle-class, and they do not live in a big city. They are suburban to rural and are not poor — an element I found fascinating, until a Gallup survey last week confirmed that what I’ve gathered in interviews is more than just freakishly anecdotal.

The Gallup analysis, based on 87,000 interviews over the past year, shows that while economic anxiety and Trump’s appeal are intertwined, his supporters for the most part do not make less than average Americans (not those in New York City or Washington, perhaps, but their Main Street peers) and are less likely to be unemployed.

The study backs up what many of my interviews across the state found — that these people are more concerned about their children and grandchildren.

While Trump supporters here are overwhelmingly white, their support has little to do with race (yes, you’ll always find one or two who make race the issue) but has a lot to do with a perceived loss of power.

Not power in the way that Washington or Wall Street board rooms view power, but power in the sense that these people see a diminishing respect for them and their ways of life, their work ethic, their tendency to not be mobile (many live in the same eight square miles that their father’s father’s father lived in).

Thirty years ago, such people determined the country’s standards in entertainment, music, food, clothing, politics, personal values. Today, they are the people who are accused of creating every social injustice imaginable; when anything in society fails, they get blamed.

The places where they live lack economic opportunities for the next generation; they know their children and grandchildren will never experience the comfortable situations they had growing up — surrounded by family who lived next door, able to find a great job without going to college, both common traits among many successful small-business owners in the state.

These Trump supporters are not the kind you find on Twitter saying dumb or racist things; many of them don’t have the time or the patience to engage in social media because they are too busy working and living life in real time.

These are voters who are intellectually offended watching the Affordable Care Act crumble because they warned six years ago that it was an unworkable government overreach. They are the same people who wonder why President Obama has not taken a break from a week of golfing to address the devastating floods in Louisiana. (As one woman told me, “It appears as if he only makes statements during tragedies if there is political gain attached.”)

Voice such a remark, and you risk being labeled a racist in many parts of America.

The Joe-Six-Pack stereotype of a Trump supporter was not created in a vacuum; it’s real and it’s out there. Yet, if you dig down deep into the Gallup survey — or, better yet, take a drive 15 minutes outside of most cities in America — you will learn a different story.

That is, if you look and listen.

Voir enfin:

Year In Review
The Eight Great Powers of 2017

In 2016, Russia surpassed Germany, and Israel joined the list for the first time

Walter Russell Mead & Sean Keeley

1. The United States of America

No surprise here: as it has for the last century, the United States remains the most powerful country on earth. America’s dynamic economy, its constitutional stability (even as we watch the Age of Trump unfold), its deep bench of strong allies and partners (including 5 of the 7 top powers listed below), and its overwhelming military superiority all ensure that the United States sits secure in its status on top of the greasy pole of international power politics.

Not that American power increased over the past year. 2016 may have been the worst year yet for the Obama Administration, bringing a string of foreign policy failures that further undermined American credibility across the world. In Syria, Russia brutally assisted Assad in consolidating control over Aleppo and sidelined Washington in the subsequent peace talks. China continued to defy the American-led international order, building up its military presence in the South China Sea and reaching out to American allies like the Philippines. Iran and its proxies continued their steady rise in the Middle East, while the Sunnis and Israel increasingly questioned Washington’s usefulness as an ally. Meanwhile, the widespread foreign perception that Donald Trump was unqualified to serve as the President of the United States contributed to a growing chorus of doubt as to whether the American people posses the wit and the wisdom to retain their international position. Those concerns seemed to be growing in the early weeks of 2017.

In the domestic realm, too, America’s leaders did little to address the country’s pressing long-term economic problems, nor did they inspire much confidence in the potential for effective bipartisan cooperation. The populist surge that almost gave the Democratic nomination to the Socialist senator Bernie Sanders and brought Donald J. Trump to the White House was a sign of just how alienated from politics as usual many Americans have become. Foreigners will be watching the United States closely in 2017 to see whether and how badly our internal divisions are affecting the country’s will and ability to pursue a broad international agenda.

Still, for all this gloom, there was good news to be had. Fracking was the gift that kept on giving, as the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the country with the world’s largest recoverable oil assets and American businesses discovered new innovations to boost their output. The economy continued its steady growth and unemployment fell to a pre-financial crisis low, with the Fed’s year-end interest rate hike serving as a vote of confidence in the economy’s resilience.

As the Trump administration gets under way, the United States is poised for what could be the most consequential shift in American policy in several generations. On some issues, such as the shale revolution, Trump will build on the progress already made; in other areas, such as China’s maritime expansionism or domestic infrastructure, his policies may bring a welcome change; in others still, Trump’s impulsiveness could well usher in the dangerous consequences that his liberal detractors so fear.

But regardless of what change the coming year brings, it is important to remember that America’s strength does not derive solely or primarily from the whims of its leaders. America’s constitutional system, its business-friendly economy, and the innovation of its people are more lasting sources of power, proving Trump critics right on at least one count: America has never stopped being great.

2.  China (tie)

In 2016, China cemented its status as the world’s second greatest power and the greatest long-term challenger to the United States. In the face of American passivity, Beijing projected power in the South and East China Seas, built up its artificial outposts and snatched a U.S. military drone at year’s end. Aside from its own forceful actions, China also enjoyed several strokes of good fortune in 2016, from the election of a China-friendly populist in the Philippines to the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will grant China a new opportunity to set the trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific.

China continued to alternate between intimidating and courting its neighbors, scoring some high-profile victories in the process. Most prominent was the turnaround from Manila, as the new Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte embraced China: in part because of his anti-Americanism, but also thanks to Chinese support for his anti-drug campaign and the promise of lucrative trade ties and a bilateral understanding on the South China Sea. Beijing also cannily exploited the Malaysian Prime Minister’s disillusionment with the United States to pull him closer into Beijing’s orbit, while pursuing cozier ties with Thailand and Cambodia.

Not all the news was good for Beijing last year. For every story pointing to Beijing’s growing clout on the world stage, there was another pointing to its inner weakness and economic instability. Over the course of the year, Chinese leaders found themselves coping with asset bubbles, massive capital flight, politically driven investment boondoggles, pension shortfalls, brain drain, and a turbulent bond market. The instinctual response of the Chinese leadership, more often than not, was for greater state intervention in the economy, while Xi sidelined reformers and consolidated his power. These signs do not suggest confidence in the soundness of China’s economic model.

And despite the gains made from flexing its military muscle, there have been real costs to China’s aggressive posture. In 2016, Vietnam militarized its own outposts in the South China Sea as it watched China do the same. Indonesia began to pick sides against China, staging a large-scale exercise in China-claimed waters. Japan and South Korea agreed to cooperate on intelligence sharing—largely in response to the threat from North Korea, but also, implicitly, as they both warily watch a rising Beijing. And India bolstered its military presence in the Indian Ocean in response to China’s ongoing “string of pearls” strategy to project power there. For all its power, then, China is also engendering some serious pushback in its neighborhood.

The new year finds China in an improved position but also a precarious one, as its economic model falters and it seeks to break out of its geopolitical straitjacket.

2. Japan (tie)

Here at TAI we have long argued that Japan is a perennially underrated global power whose influence has been steadily increasing over the past few years. 2016 saw that trend continue, thanks to smart diplomacy from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a widespread anxiety over China’s aggression that drove many of its neighbors toward greater cooperation with Tokyo.

In 2016, Japan continued to be at the forefront of opposition to China, pushing back against Chinese incursions and pursuing partnerships with other Asian states that are similarly troubled by China’s rise. In its own neighborhood, in the East China Sea, Japan upped its deterrence posture and announced plans to deploy a tactical ballistic missile shield. Tokyo also took a firmer stance on the South China Sea dispute (to which it is not a party) as it sought to rally claimants who are similarly fed up with China’s aggression. The threat from North Korea also strengthened Japan, allowing Tokyo and Seoul to find common ground on missile defense and an intelligence-sharing pact that infuriated Beijing. Farther abroad, Japan inked a landmark civil nuclear deal with India and continued to lay the groundwork for a promising partnership with New Delhi.

Not every Japanese initiative paid off: despite much hoopla about the Putin-Abe summit, Japan made little headway with Russia in their decades-old islands dispute. But on the whole, Abe can claim a remarkably successful year in foreign policy. Abe’s nationalist outlook and push for Japanese remilitarization remain controversial at home, but his record-high approval ratings and the ongoing reality of Chinese aggression have vindicated him for now.

America’s erratic course in the Pacific created both problems and opportunities for Japan. Obama’s dithering, Trump’s irascibility, and the collapse of American support for TPP meant that both friends and rivals became wary of an increasingly unpredictable United States. America’s unsteady course pushed Japan toward a more visible leadership role in the region, and Japan’s role in the construction of a maritime alliance to balance China took on a much higher profile than before. Japanese nationalists welcomed the country’s newly assertive regional stance, but they worried about the reliability of Japan’s most important ally.

On the economic front, Japan’s year was less successful. Economic growth continued to be sluggish for much of 2016, despite a better-than-expected third quarter. The demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was another setback, dealing a blow to Japan’s economic strategy and its efforts to contain China. Still, Japan remains the world’s third-largest economy, and it shrewdly wielded its financial clout in countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka as it sought to counter China’s checkbook diplomacy. All in all, Japan in 2016 continued to prove its mettle, acting not only as a powerful balance against China but as a major power in its own right.

4. Russia

Russia rose in our power rankings this year as Vladimir Putin continued to punch above his weight, defying predictions of economic collapse and military quagmire. The country once dismissed by President Obama as a “regional power” acting out of weakness ran circles around the United States in Syria, held its ground in Ukraine, weathered an economic storm at home, watched cracks widen in the European Union, and inserted itself into the heart of the American presidential election.

Putin scored both tactical and symbolic victories in Syria, allowing Assad to retake Aleppo while repeatedly humiliating the United States in the process. Russia’s ability to sideline the U.S. in post-Aleppo peace talks only confirmed that Russia, not the U.S., has become the major power broker in the county. Meanwhile, Putin’s reconciliation with Erdogan, NATO’s most estranged ally, positions Russia well to drive a wedge between Turkey and the West while laying the groundwork for a favorable settlement in Syria.

Closer to home, Russian troops continued to forestall any lasting peace in Ukraine, rendering any talk of EU or NATO integration a moot point. Russia-friendly leaders were elected in Georgia, Estonia, and Moldova, while the EU was buffeted by the shocks of Brexit, Eurosceptic populist insurgencies across the continent, and an ongoing stream of refugees, created in large part by Russia’s actions in Syria.

Putin’s fortunes took another upturn in November, when the United States elected Donald Trump, who has consistently promised to pursue friendlier ties with Moscow. The post-election uproar over Russia’s hacking of the DNC, and the dubious assertion that Trump will be Putin’s Manchurian candidate also played right into Putin’s hands, creating an impression that the all-powerful Putin holds the American electoral process in his hands.

When faced with these victories, it is worth remembering Russia’s many underlying weaknesses. Russia remains a weakly institutionalized state, subject to the whims of its strongman leader, and torn by long-simmering ethnic divisions and vast inequality. Its economy is resource-dependent and highly vulnerable to price shocks. Its military capabilities are laughably out of sync with the superpower image it attempts to project around the world. None of these realities changed this year, and all of them undermine Russia’s long-term potential as a great power. But 2016 showed that in a world of weak opponents, Russia can punch well above its weight. In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

5. Germany

Germany was ahead of Russia in last year’s power rankings. This year, their positions are reversed. Partly, this is because Putin had a good year; partly, it is because Germany, and Germany’s project in Europe, had a bad one.

As we wrote last year, Germany is locked in a long-term fight with Russia over the future direction of Europe. Germany wants a Europe in which European policies and laws are decided by EU institutions without outside interference. Germany’s dream is Russia’s nightmare; for hundreds of years Russia has had a say in almost every important question in Europe. Russia’s most important economic interests and, historically at any rate, its most important security concerns are European. The idea that a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels can decide what rules Gazprom must obey, or how Russian minorities in the Baltic states are to be treated strikes many Russians (even many of Putin’s opponents) as unacceptable. Russia wants to be involved in European decision making about defense, about trade, about migration and about the Middle East. It wants a veto over NATO and EU expansion, and it wants a larger say in how these institutions work. It wants to bring power back into European politics, and to revive the old fashioned games of balance of power. Russia wants to tear down the edifice that Germany is trying to build.

In 2016, the wrecking ball gained on the construction crew. It wasn’t just the Brexit vote, though that vote was a profound shock to the European system and its rippling aftershocks continue to shake the foundations of the EU. There were also the continuing gains in public opinion polls of parties (both on the right and on the left) who oppose the current version of the European project in countries like France, Italy and the Netherlands—all among the six original founding members of the EU. It was the continuing rise to power of “illiberal democrats” in countries like Poland and Hungary. It was the continuing impasse over the euro and the corrosive fallout of the eurocrisis. It was the shock of Syrian and North African migrants, flocking into Europe and setting the EU countries against one another, even as Chancellor Merkel weakened her authority at home and abroad by a poorly thought out if warm hearted response to the crisis. It was the abrupt deterioration in EU-Turkish relations, and the painful realization in Brussels and Berlin that the EU will have to swallow its pride and concerns for human rights in order to prevent Turkey’s emerging strongman from blackmailing Europe with the threat of opening the floodgates for migration from Syria, Afghanistan and other troubled Islamic countries.

Europe was less united, less confident and less strong at the end of 2016 than it was at the beginning. With the election of Donald Trump, a man whose sympathies seem to lie more with the wrecking ball than with the construction crew, Europe’s prospects could darken still more. And with them, Germany’s clout could diminish further.

6. India

Like Japan, India is often overlooked in lists of the world’s great powers, but it occupies a rare and enviable position on the world stage. India is the world’s largest democracy, home to the second-largest English-speaking population in the world and boasting a diversified and rapidly growing economy. On the geopolitical front, India has many suitors: China, Japan and the United States are all seeking to incorporate India into their preferred Asian security architecture, while the EU and Russia court New Delhi for lucrative trade and defense agreements. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, India has deftly steered its way among these competing powers while seeking to unleash its potential with modernizing economic reforms.

Not that Modi’s economic reforms are going all that well; the public backlash resulting from Modi’s hasty demonetization policy this year showcases the perils of overzealous reform. And India’s rapid growth trajectory has brought other crises that the government has been ill-equipped to address, India’s accelerating air pollution being the most visible example. Meanwhile, the escalation of the Kashmir conflict with Pakistan threatened to edge two bitterly opposed nuclear powers to the brink of war.

Despite these internal problems and the Pakistan scare, India found its footing elsewhere in 2016. Long hesitant to pick sides, New Delhi took several clear steps this year to deter a rising and aggressive China, announcing that it would fast-track its defense infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean, amid fears that China was trying to encircle India with a “string of pearls.” Likewise, Modi explored new naval cooperation with both the United States and Japan, and signed a host of defense deals with Russia, France and Israel to modernize the Indian military. From the Middle East and East Africa to Southeast Asia, India is making its presence felt in both economics and security policy in ways that traditional great powers like Britain and France only wish they could match.

7. Iran

The proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran continued unabated throughout 2016, and as we enter the new year Iran has confidently taken the lead. Saudi Arabia remains a formidable power, but it was Iran that pulled ahead in the last 12 months.

Throughout 2016, Iranian proxies were on the march across the Middle East, and the Shi’a Crescent seemed closer to reality than ever before. In Lebanon, Tehran rejoiced at the growing clout of Hezbollah and the election of Shi’a-friendly Michel Aoun, while the Saudis bitterly cut off aid in a sign of their diminishing influence in Beirut. And in Syria, Shiite militias helped to retake Aleppo and turn the tide for Assad. Iran was also gaining ground in Iraq. More disquieting than all this, from the Saudi perspective, were developments in Yemen. Iran-backed Houthi rebels took the fight to the Saudi-backed government in a war that has already claimed 10,000 lives.

Meanwhile, the fruits of the nuclear deal continued to roll in: high-profile deals with Boeing and Airbus sent the message that Iran was open for business, while Tehran rapidly ramped up its oil output to pre-sanctions levels.

2017 may be a more difficult year for Tehran; one of the mullahs’ most important assets, President Obama, is no longer in office and, as far as anybody can tell, the Trump administration seems more concerned about rebuilding ties with traditional American allies in the region than in continuing Obama’s attempt to reach an understanding with Iran.

8. Israel

This year there’s a new name on our list of the Eight Greats: Israel. A small country in a chaotic part of the world, Israel is a rising power with a growing impact on world affairs. Although 2016 saw the passage of yet another condemnation of Israel at the United Nations, this time in the Security Council thanks to an American decision to abstain rather than veto, overall the Jewish state continues to develop diplomatic, economic and military power and to insert itself into the heart of regional politics.

Three factors are powering Israel’s rise: economic developments, the regional crisis, and diplomatic ingenuity. Looking closely at these tells us something about how power works in the contemporary world.

The economic developments behind Israel’s new stature are partly the result of luck and location, and partly the result of smart choices. As to the luck and location factor, large, off-shore discoveries of natural gas and oil are turning Israel into an energy exporter. Energy self-sufficiency is a boost to Israel’s economy; energy exports boost Israel’s foreign policy clout. In 2016 Erdogan’s Turkey turned on most of its NATO and Western allies; ties with Israel strengthened. Turkey’s Islamist ruler wants gas, and he wants to limit Turkey’s dependence on Russia. Israel is part of the answer.

But beyond luck, Israel’s newfound clout on the world stage comes from the rise of industrial sectors and technologies that good Israeli schools, smart Israeli policies and talented Israeli thinkers and entrepreneurs have built up over many years. In particular, Israel’s decision to support the rise of a domestic cybersecurity and infotech economy has put Israel at the center of the ongoing revolution in military power based on the importance of information control and management to 21st century states. It is not just that private investors all over the world look to invest in Israel’s tech startups; access to Israeli technology (like the technology behind the Iron Dome missile system) matters to more and more countries. It’s not just America; India, China and Russia all want a piece of Israeli tech wizardry.

Other, less glamorous Israeli industries, like the irrigation, desalinization and dry land farming tech that water poor Israel has developed over the decades play their part. Israel’s diplomatic outreach to Africa and its deepening (and increasingly public) relationship with India benefit from Israel’s ability to deliver what people in other countries and governments want.

The second factor in Israel’s appearing on our list is the change in the Middle Eastern balance of power that has transformed Israel from a pariah state to a kingmaker. On the one hand, Syria, one of Israel’s most vociferous enemies and biggest security threats in the old days, has now been broken on the wheel. What has happened in Syria is a terrible human tragedy; but in the cold light of realpolitik the break up of Syria further entrenches Israel’s military supremacy in its immediate neighborhood. Egypt hates Hamas, ISIS and Islamic Jihad as much as Israel does; never has Egyptian-Israeli security cooperation been as close as it is today. Even more consequentially, the rise of Iran and its aspirations to regional hegemony on the one hand and the apparent support for its dreams from the Obama administration made Israel critical to the survival of the Sunni Arabs, including the Gulf states, who loathe Iran and fear a Shia victory in the religious conflict now raging across the Middle East. The Arab Establishment today has two frightening enemies: radical jihadi groups like ISIS on one side, and Iran on the other. Israel has a mix of intelligence and military capabilities that can help keep the regional balance stable; privately and even not so privately many prominent Arab officials today will say that Israeli support is necessary for the survival of Arab independence.

Finally, Israel has managed, uncharacteristically, to advance its global political agenda through effective and even subtle diplomacy. Just as Israel was able to strengthen its relationship with Turkey even as Turkish-U.S. and Turkish EU relations grew distant, Israel has been able to build a realistic and fruitful relationship with Russia despite Russia’s standoff with the west over Ukraine, and Russia’s ties with Iran. The deepening Israel-India relationship has also required patience and skill. Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs in relations with African countries who have been hostile to Israel since the 1967 war were also built through patient and subtle diplomacy, often working behind the scenes. That behind-the-scenes outreach diplomacy has also helped Israel achieve new levels of contact and collaboration with many Arab countries.

It is not, of course, all sweetness and light. Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and, thanks to Iran’s victories in Syria, it can now enjoy much more reliable supplies from its patron. The Palestinian Question is as far from a solution as possible, and even as they fragment and squabble among themselves, the Palestinians continue to fight for Israel’s delegitimation in the UN and elsewhere. Israeli politics are as volatile and bitter as ever. The kaleidoscopic nature of Middle East politics means that  today’s hero can be tomorrow’s goat. While the breakdown of regional order has so far been a net positive for Israel’s security and power, things could change fast. In ISIS coup in Saudi Arabia, the collapse of Jordan, the fall of the Sisi government in Egypt: it is not hard to come up with scenarios that would challenge Israel in new and dangerous ways.

Former President Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry (neither widely regarded these days as a master of geopolitics), frequently warned Israel that its policies were leaving it isolated and vulnerable. This is to some degree true: European diplomats, American liberals and many American Jews are much less sympathetic to Israel today than they have been in the past. Future Israeli leaders may have to think hard about rebuilding links with American Democrats and American Jews.

But for now at least, Israel can afford to ignore the dismal croaking of the outgoing American administration. One of a small handful of American allies to be assiduously courted by the Trump campaign, Israel begins 2017 as the keystone of a regional anti-Iran alliance, a most-favored-nation in the White House, and a country that enjoys good relations with all of the world’s major powers bar Iran. Teodor Herzl would be astonished to see what his dream has grown into; David Ben-Gurion would be astounded by the progress his poor and embattled nation has made.


Investiture Trump: Attention, un Roosevelt peut en cacher un autre (Will Trump be a Republican Roosevelt ?)

23 janvier, 2017
Campaign Posters3
vetoesobama-fdr-new-new-dealdemo-reagantrump-roosevelt-jpg
chart-presidents-ranked2016electionresults2016_presidential_election_by_county-svgdc-by-raceSans malveillance envers quiconque, avec charité pour tous, avec fermeté dans la justice, pour autant que Dieu nous accorde de voir ce qui est juste, efforçons-nous d’achever l’ouvrage dans lequel nous sommes engagés, de panser les plaies de la nation. Abraham Lincoln (second discours d’investiture, 1864)
La seule chose dont nous devons avoir peur est la peur elle-même — l’indéfinissable, la déraisonnable, l’injustifiable terreur qui paralyse les efforts nécessaires pour convertir la déroute en marche en avant. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ne vous demandez pas ce que votre pays peut faire pour vous; demandez-vous ce que vous pouvez faire pour votre pays. John F. Kennedy (1961)
Dans cette crise actuelle, l’État n’est pas la solution à notre problème ; l’État est le problème. De temps en temps nous avons été tentés de croire que la société est devenue trop complexe pour être contrôlée par la discipline de chacun, que le gouvernement par une élite était supérieur au gouvernement du peuple, par le peuple et pour le peuple. Et bien, si personne parmi nous n’est capable de se gouverner lui-même, alors qui parmi nous a la capacité d’en gouverner un autre ? Ronald Reagan
Nous sommes toujours une nation jeune, mais, dans les mots de la Sainte Ecriture : le temps est venu de mettre de côté les choses de l’enfance. Barack Hussein Obama (janvier 2009)
Aujourd’hui non seulement nous transférons le pouvoir d’une administration à une autre ou d’un parti à un autre, mais nous transférons le pouvoir de la capitale Washington et le donnons à nouveau à vous, le peuple Américain. (…) Le temps des paroles creuses est fini. Maintenant, c’est l’heure de l’action. (…) Une nouvelle fierté nationale va animer nos âmes, élever nos regards et guérir nos divisions. Il est temps de se remémorer ce vieux dicton que nos soldats n’oublieront jamais: que l’on soit noir, métis ou blanc, le même sang patriote court dans nos veines, nous jouissons tous des mêmes libertés et nous saluons tous le même grand drapeau américain. Et qu’un enfant soit né dans la banlieue de Detroit ou dans les plaines balayées par les vents du Nebraska, ils regardent tous le même ciel la nuit, leur coeur est plein des mêmes rêves et ils sont habités du même souffle de vie du Créateur tout-puissant. Ainsi, à tous les Américains, dans chaque ville, qu’elle soit proche ou lointaine, petite ou grande, d’une montagne à l’autre, d’un océan à l’autre, entendez ces mots: vous ne serez plus jamais ignorés. (…) Ensemble nous allons rendre à l’Amérique sa force. Nous allons rendre à l’Amérique sa prospérité. Nous allons rendre à l’Amérique sa fierté. Nous allons rendre à l’Amérique sa sécurité. Et oui, ensemble, nous allons rendre à l’Amérique sa grandeur. Donald J. Trump
 Nous avons dû lutter contre les vieux ennemis de la paix, le monopole industriel et financier, la spéculation, la banque véreuse, l’antagonisme de classe, l’esprit de clan, les profiteurs de guerre. Ils avaient commencé à considérer le gouvernement des Etats-Unis comme un simple appendice de leurs affaires privées. Nous savons aujourd’hui qu’il est tout aussi dangereux d’être gouverné par l’argent organisé que par le crime organisé. Franklin Roosevelt (1936)
L’establishment de Washington et les corporations financières qui l’ont financé existent pour une seule raison : se protéger et s’enrichir eux-mêmes. Cet establishment politique défaillant et corrompu est responsable des désastreux accords commerciaux. Il a détruit nos usines et nos emplois, qui ont fui vers la Chine, le Mexique et d’autres pays .. C’est une structure de pouvoir globale dont les décisions économiques ont pillé la classe ouvrière, dépouillé notre pays de sa richesse et mis cet argent dans les poches de grandes corporations et d’entités politiques. Donald Trump
We are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. And that dates back—there’s an ugly history to that. That we should not be shy about talking about … I’m talking about voting rights. The reason we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is that it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery. And it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. And that’s not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That’s not when America works best. So I hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote. Make it easier, not harder. This whole notion of voting fraud—this is something that is constantly has been disproved. This is fake news. The notion that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and not eligible to vote and want to vote. We have the opposite problem. We have a whole bunch of people who are eligible to vote who don’t vote. And so the idea we put in place the idea of a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn’t make sense. Barack Hussein Obama
President Obama says the effort to ensure ballot integrity “traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery.” This is idiotic. When Democrats imposed Jim Crow laws across the South in the wake of Reconstruction, they relied on poll taxes and ridiculously difficult or ambiguous tests — administered only, apparently, to African Americans who hadn’t finished a certain grade level — to maintain Democratic Party control. Voter ID had nothing to do with it. But no one ever said that Barack Obama knows anything about history. John Hinderaker
We already ask that people prove who they are in order to rent a car, buy a mortgage, or travel abroad — and I believe we should go further by taking the same approach to protect voting rights. In many other transactions, ID is an essential requirement — voting for a democratically elected government, your MP, or your councillor is one of the most important transactions someone can make and it is right that in turn their identity and the security of their vote should be protected. Chris Skidmore (Britain’s minister for the Constitution)
At his final press conference, Obama promised that he would continue to fight voter-ID laws and other measures designed to improve voting integrity. The U.S. is “the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote,” he claimed. “It traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery, and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. . . . This whole notion of election-voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved. This is fake news.” The argument over whether or not there is voter fraud will rage on, in part because the Obama administration has spent eight years blocking states from gaining access to federal lists of non-citizen and other possibly illegal voters. Even so, there is abundant evidence that voter fraud is easy to commit. The Heritage Foundation’s website contains hundreds of recent examples of people convicted of stealing votes. But Obama’s first statement, that the U.S. is unique in trying to enforce ballot integrity, is demonstrably false. All industrialized democracies — and most that are not — require voters to prove their identity before voting. Britain was a holdout, but last month it announced that persistent examples of voter fraud will require officials to see passports or other documentation from voters in areas prone to corruption. In 2012, I attended a conference in Washington, D.C., of election officials from more than 60 countries; they convened there to observe the U.S. presidential election. Most were astonished that so many U.S. states don’t require voter ID. Lawyers with whom I spoke are also astonished to see Obama link voter ID with the Jim Crow era. (…) Which is precisely why it’s so disappointing to see Barack Obama use it to raise baseless fears that voter ID is a racist form of voter suppression. Even as he leaves office, the president who promised to unify us is continuing his level best to polarize and divide us. John Fund
Are you scratching your head and wondering, Since when did liberals and the Left embrace a sunny, light-filled vision of the United States? If so, you’re not misremembering things. These are the same liberal elites who have been telling us for decades that America is shot through with an ever-expanding array of hatreds and injustice that disenfranchise large portions of the population and force them to live in fear. (…) These thoroughly representative members — and products — of the cultural elite are the same people who have given us “safe spaces” and “allyship” on college campuses, under the preposterous notion that any American college student who is not white, male, and heterosexual is “unsafe.” The Left has developed a typology of American students as victims, their allies, and their presumed oppressors. (…) The press, the campus-rape bureaucracy, and an army of federal regulators proclaim that terrified college co-eds are living through a rape tsunami, which can be eradicated only by campus kangaroo courts. So rapidly does American oppression metastasize into new forms, in the eyes of the Left, that the Left is constantly forced to coin a new vocabulary for it: microaggression, intersectionality, institutional racism, white privilege, cis privilege, implicit bias, etc. The media’s contempt for Trump’s use of the phrase “carnage” to describe the rising violence in the inner city is particularly ludicrous. The press has slavishly amplified the Black Lives Matter claim that we are living through an epidemic of racist police shootings of black men. A New York Times editorial from July 2016 was titled “When Will the Killing Stop?” That same month, President Barack Obama asserted that black mothers and fathers were right to fear that their child will be killed by a cop — remarkably, he made this claim during the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down by a Black Lives Matter–inspired assassin. (…) So if Trump is so contemptibly misguided in his description of the rising street violence over the last two years as “carnage,” how does that criminal violence compare with the supposed epidemic of cop killings of black men? In 2015, the last year for which we have official national data, more than 6,000 black males, according to the FBI, were killed by criminals, themselves overwhelmingly black. That is 900 more black males killed in 2015 than in the year before, but the number of black victims was undoubtedly higher even than that, since an additional 2,000 homicide victims were reported to the FBI without a racial identity. Black males make up about half of the nation’s homicide victims, so they presumably make up a similar share of racially unclassified homicide victims. According to several uncontradicted non-governmental estimates, homicides continued rising throughout 2016, thanks to what I have called the “Ferguson effect”: officers backing off proactive policing in minority neighborhoods, under the relentless charge of racism, and the resulting increase in violent crime. The year 2016, therefore, probably also saw well over 6,000 black males murdered on the streets. By contrast, the nation’s police fatally shot 16 “unarmed” black males and 20 “unarmed” white males in 2016, according to the Washington Post’s database of police killings. I have put “unarmed” in quotes because the Post’s classification of “unarmed” victims rarely conveys the violence that the suspect directed at the shooting officer. But even when we take the “unarmed” classification at face value, those 16 fatal police shootings of unarmed black men represent no more than 0.2 percent of all black male lives lost to homicide in 2016. If police shootings of allegedly unarmed black males represent a national epidemic of bloodshed, then what should we call the gunning down of over 375 times that number of black men by criminals? “Carnage” seems like a pretty good descriptor. In Chicago alone in 2016, 24 children under the age of twelve, overwhelmingly black, were shot. Trump has regularly denounced inner-city violence; he promised in his inaugural that that violence “stops right here and stops right now.” He invoked the “child . . . born in the urban sprawl of Detroit” or in the “windswept plains of Nebraska” as both looking up “at the same night sky” and deserving of the same public safety. President Obama scoffed at Trump’s concern over rising urban violence even as he regularly accused the cops of lethally discriminating against blacks. For truth-telling when it comes to the actual dangers in American society, I’ll take the current president over the former one and the cultural milieu from which he emerged. Heather Mac Donald
La photo comparant la foule présente à l’investiture de Donald J. Trump vendredi dernier et celle de Barack Obama en 2009 a fait le tour des réseaux sociaux ce week-end. Des chaines de télévision et des journaux influents se sont également laissé emporter par cette vague. Donald Trump est le président le moins populaire depuis Jimmy Carter, il y a 40 ans. Selon un sondage du Washington Post et  de ABC News, le nouveau président aurait moins de 40% d’opinions favorables. Certes, il est impopulaire. Certes, son investiture a regroupé moins de personnes que ce à quoi l’on s’attendait. Est-ce une raison pour comparer son investiture à celle de l’ancien président démocrate, Barack Obama? Tout cela serait une affaire de démographie. Depuis bien longtemps, le District de Columbia ainsi que les états autour, tels que la Virginie, le Maryland, la Pennsylvanie, la Caroline du Nord, le Delaware, etc. sont des états démocrates. Lorsqu’un président démocrate est élu, il est plus facile pour ces personnes de rejoindre Washington, puisqu’ils se trouvent relativement près de la capitale, contrairement à certaines personnes vivant dans des états républicains, plus éloignés. Donald J. Trump a misé sa campagne présidentielle sur l’économie et l’immigration, cherchant le vote de la classe moyenne et des minorités. Cette population gagne entre 46 000 et 86 000 euros par an. Après avoir payé les dettes, les impôts, le loyer, les courses et autres dépenses de la vie quotidienne, il ne reste plus rien. (…) Cette population se bat pour vivre normalement, et pour avoir un salaire décent. Selon le ministère du travail et de l’emploi, 5% de la population, soit 18 millions d’américains, auraient entre deux et trois emplois pour pouvoir subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles. Ils ne sont pas tous républicains, mais pour les ceux qui souhaitent s’offrir un weekend dans la capitale pour assister à l’investiture d’un président républicain, cela coûte cher et parait hors de portée. (…) Contrairement, un président démocrate a déjà un bon nombre de ses électeurs vivant dans les états autour de Waghington DC et qui peuvent venir dans la capitale plus facilement. Donald J. Trump n’arrive pas au pouvoir avec une popularité à son plus haut, mais cela est-il la raison d’une foule moins nombreuse lors de son investiture? Lorsque George W. Bush est devenu le 43e président des États-Unis en 2001, seulement 300 000 personnes se sont montrées pour son investiture et son taux de popularité était de 62% selon le site internet de la Maison-Blanche. En janvier 2005, entre 100 000 et 400 000 personnes ont assisté à son investiture. Au final, ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une investiture républicaine attire moins de monde qu’une investiture démocrate.  George W. Bush était plus populaire que Trump lors de ses investitures, mais plus de monde a assisté à celle de Donald J. Trump. (…) Selon le comité d’investiture, 700 000 personnes se seraient regroupées sur le Mall, la sécurité intérieure quant-à elle, estime qu’entre 800 000 et 900 000 personnes auraient été présentes ce jour là. Comparer une investiture d’un president démocrate et celle d’un républicain n’est pas représentatif de la popularité du president élu. Cependant, Obama était tout de même plus populaire que Trump lors de son investiture avec 78% de popularité et presque 2 millions de personnes à son investiture en 2009. Clémentine Boyer Duroselle
Avec le discours d’investiture, le nouveau président présente habituellement sa vision de l’Amérique et les objectifs de son mandat. Le discours le plus court de l’histoire, 135 mots, a été prononcé par George Washington, lors de son assemtnation pour son second mandat, le 4 mars 1793. Le plus long, avec 8495 mots, l’a été par William Henry Harrisson, le 4 mars 1841. Ce dernier a parlé pendant près de deux heures, sans manteau ni chapeau, en pleine tempête de neige. Il est mort peu de temps après, et on a longtemps cru que c’était parce qu’il avait pris froid ce jour-là. Les historiens modernes croient plutôt qu’il est mort après avoir bu l’eau contaminée par les égouts à la Maison-Blanche. Parmi les discours les plus marquants, celui d’Abraham Lincoln. En 1865, il a exhorté les Américains, déchirés par la guerre civile, à considérer l’avenir « sans malveillance envers quiconque, avec charité pour tous ». En 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt a dit aux Américains ébranlés par la Grande Dépression : « La seule chose dont nous devons avoir peur est la peur elle-même. » Quant à John F. Kennedy, il a lancé à ses concitoyens en 1961 cette phrase devenue historique : « Ne vous demandez pas ce que votre pays peut faire pour vous; demandez-vous ce que vous pouvez faire pour votre pays. » Radio-Canada
C’est l’insulte à la mode, l’insulte tendance, l’insulte qui vous classe dans les dîners parisiens. Avant, on disait fasciste ou pétainiste, on évoquait Hitler, Mussolini, Franco. (…) Enfin, Poutine et Orban connurent il y a peu leur moment de consécration: incarner le mal absolu aux yeux des pensants du boulevard Saint-Germain. Désormais, c’est Trump. Gare à la trumpisation de la vie politique nous prévient François Hollande. Le Brexit gagne en Angleterre ? C’est Trump. Marine Le Pen est donnée au second tour de la présidentielle dans tous les sondages ? Encore Trump. Sarkozy évoque nos ancêtres les Gaulois ? Encore et toujours Trump.  Trump veut dire à la fois populiste, raciste, nationaliste, misogyne, islamophobe, ringard, vulgaire, stupide, beauf, plouc. La droite extrême et l’extrême droite, la droite dure. Les contempteurs du Donald font ce qu’ils reprochent à Trump : ils s’attachent à l’image, à la forme, à la superficie des choses. Ils ne regardent que le style de Trump, pas son programme. Eh oui, n’en déplaise à beaucoup, Trump a un programme électoral. On y retrouve le fameux mur qu’il veut édifier pour arrêter l’immigration mexicaine. Mais pas seulement. Trump prévoit également de lancer de grands travaux d’infrastructures qui sont, comme on sait, très vétustes en Amérique. Il ne faut pas oublier que dans une première vie Trump fut promoteur immobilier. Et puis, Trump n’aime pas beaucoup Wall Street qu’il propose de taxer lourdement. Le candidat républicain augmenterait aussi l’impôt des plus riches. On comprend que l’establishment de son parti le renie. Trump est un partisan du protectionnisme commercial pour relocaliser les usines américaines parties au Mexique ou en Asie. Trump rétablirait enfin la séparation entre banques d’investissement et banques de dépot qu’avait établie le président Roosevelt en 1932 et qu’avait abolie Bill Clinton dans les années 90. Et tout ça, n’est pas un hasard. Le programme de Trump ressemble comme un frère – ou plutôt un petit-fils – à celui de Roosevelt et son fameux new deal. C’est un programme de gauche, mais la gauche des années 30. Une gauche qui refusait l’immigration pour défendre les emplois des ouvriers américains. Une gauche patriotique et républicaine, dirait-on en France. Hillary Clinton incarne aussi la gauche, mais la gauche des minorités raciales et sexuelles, des féministes, du libéralisme, du cosmopolitisme, de l’individualisme. La gauche qui a fini par faire amie-amie avec Wall Street. La gauche du libéralisme, de l’individualisme. La gauche du libre-échange et des interventions militaires au nom des droits de l’homme. La gauche des années 60.  l’affrontement entre Trump et Clinton n’est donc pas un combat entre le menteur et la voleuse, entre la droite et la gauche, ni même entre la droite populiste et la droite libérale, mais bien entre deux gauches : la gauche des années 30 contre la gauche des années 60. Une Amérique qui veut rester américaine contre une Amérique qui veut devenir un pays monde. Entre deux pays, deux peuples. Une Amérique périphérique et vaincue de la mondialisation contre une Amérique des vainqueurs vivant dans les grandes métropoles. Deux Amériques comme il y a deux Angleterre et comme il y a deux France. Eric Zemmour
Pourquoi tant de haine? Pourquoi tant de mépris, de dérision? Pourquoi tant de sarcasmes, d’invectives, d’insultes? Pourquoi cette hostilité unanime des élites, économiques, politiques, intellectuelles, artistiques, médiatiques? Pourquoi Donald Trump a-t-il subi un tel ostracisme, jusqu’au sein de son propre parti? Ce n’était pas l’objet premier de son livre, mais André Bercoff y répond quand même à la fin: «Le multimilliardaire se range résolument du côté des déclassés et des laissés-pour-compte, de ceux qu’on appelle en douce France les beaufs, les ploucs, les Dupont-Lajoie. En clair, les réactionnaires. Là est la trahison de Trump que le camp d’en face ne lui pardonne pas.» (…) Trump, c’est la version instinctive et vulgaire de la critique universitaire sophistiquée faite par Samuel Huntington de la déconstruction américaine préparée dans les campus américains des années 1960, et mise en oeuvre dans les années 1990. Trump, c’est le paradoxal retour à la synthèse du New Deal des années 1930 détruit par les héritiers « de gauche » libéraux et libertaires et l’alliance de Wall Street et des néo-conservateurs. (…) Le meurtre par la gauche de sa base sociologique – ce qu’elle appelait naguère avec emphase « le peuple » ! – a fini par créer son anticorps. Le programme de Trump, c’est celui de Roosevelt en 1932 : protectionnisme, grands travaux d’infrastructure, immigration zéro (Roosevelt n’a pas remis en cause les quotas très stricts mis en place dans les années 1920 et qui ne seront supprimés que dans les années 1960 !), hausse des impôts pour les plus riches, véritable système de sécurité sociale et la mise sous tutelle de Wall Street et des financiers. L’ennemi de Trump est vraiment la finance. En politique étrangère, et au-delà des provocations et des invectives de campagne électorale, Trump achèverait la révolution engagée par Obama : L’Amérique abandonnerait les théâtres subalternes pour se concentrer sur la seule défense du marché principal des grandes entreprises américaines : l’Asie; et affronter le seul rival dangereux : la Chine, à l’instar encore de Roosevelt, privilégiant la guerre contre l’Allemagne nazie afin de « libérer » le principal marché américain : l’Europe. Quitte à sous-traiter à la Russie le Proche-Orient, voire l’Afrique à la France. Trump, où le petit-fils caché de Roosevelt. La preuve par l’absurde de la trahison de la gauche. On comprend mieux soudain la haine que suscite Trump au sein des élites américaines et européennes. Alors, mieux vaut continuer à se moquer de sa chevelure ridicule et de ses blagues de garçon de coiffeur. Eric Zemmour

Trump sera-t-il un Roosevelt républicain ?

Au lendemain de l’investiture d’une nouvelle présidence américaine …

Qui après l’arrogance et l’accident industriel Obama et ses huit longues années d’abaissement de la puissance américaine …

Et alors qu’entre deux dénonciations de son fascisme supposé ou de sa revendication du contrôle d’identité dans les bureaux  de vote (voire de sa moindre foule à une inauguration dans une capitale – sans compter les états alentour – à plus de 90% démocrate depuis plus de 50 ans et à quelque 60% non-blanche), les élites protégées des médias ou du monde du spectacle continuent leur entreprise de déligitimation du choix de toute une partie de l’Amérique jusqu’ici oubliée et dénigrée …

S’annonce, avec ses accents reaganiens comme ses appels à la reconstruction du pays, pleine d’espoir mais aussi, avec la nouvelle page vide que représente l’homme d’affaires Donald Trump et l’incroyable extension de pouvoir que lui a léguée son prédécesseur, d’une certaine incertitude …

Retour sur une présidence à laquelle l’on doit nombre des acquis sociaux les plus importants de l’histoire américaine …
Mais aussi la formidable expansion de la puissance étatique dénoncée aujourd’hui par le nouveau président Trump …
A savoir celle d’un président qui, entre la plus grande dépression et la plus grande guerre que son pays ait connues, prendra et quittera le pouvoir quasiment en même temps qu’un certain Adolf Hitler …
Et finira par devenir le président le plus mandaté de l’histoire américaine – pas moins de quatre élections au compteur pour 12 ans de règne pour celui qui appelera ses concitoyens à « n’avoir peur que de la peur elle-même » …
Tout en ne manquant pas, avec sa popularité record d’inventeur des « causeries autour du feu » et croisé tardif de la fin de la Prohibition comme de l’abandon du principe des deux mandats inauguré dès le départ par Washington lui-même mais aussi la nationalisation et la socialisation massives de l’économie du « New Deal », de faire des jaloux et des envieux …
Ou plus tard avec l’ouverture des archives, le racisme supposé (l’internement de minorités notamment japonaise, la non-reconnaissance du médaillé noir de Berlin Jessis Owens), la naïveté face à Staline et l’abandon de l’Europe de l’est au communisme, le refus de bombarder Auschwitz (et de fournir à Hitler une occasion d’accuser les Alliés de crimes de guerre alors que la priorité était à la victoire ?) ou même les pas moins de cinq maitresses, de nourrir les critiques posthumes …
Donald Trump, petit-fils caché de Roosevelt
«Trump, c’est le paradoxal retour à la synthèse du New Deal des années 1930 détruite par les héritiers ‘‘de gauche » libéraux et libertaires et l’alliance de Wall Street et des néo-conservateurs.»
Eric Zemmour
Le Figaro
14/09/2016
LA CHRONIQUE D’ÉRIC ZEMMOUR – Un portrait haut en couleur du candidat républicain à la Maison-Blanche. Sans les habituels a priori hostiles des médias.Pourquoi tant de haine? Pourquoi tant de mépris, de dérision? Pourquoi tant de sarcasmes, d’invectives, d’insultes? Pourquoi cette hostilité unanime des élites, économiques, politiques, intellectuelles, artistiques, médiatiques? Pourquoi Donald Trump a-t-il subi un tel ostracisme, jusqu’au sein de son propre parti? Ce n’était pas l’objet premier de son livre, mais André Bercoff y répond quand même à la fin: «Le multimilliardaire se range résolument du côté des déclassés et des laissés-pour-compte, de ceux qu’on appelle en douce France les beaufs, les ploucs, les Dupont-Lajoie. En clair, les réactionnaires. Là est la trahison de Trump que le camp d’en face ne lui pardonne pas.»Trahison: le grand mot est lâché. Trahison du baby-boomer qui se retourne contre sa génération. Trahison du patron de l’immobilier qui dénonce la corruption des politiques qu’il a lui-même beaucoup corrompus pour bâtir son empire de briques et de verre. Trahison d’un establishment dont il fut longtemps une figure de proue pour devenir la voix de l’Amérique « périphérique ».

Trump est le traître parfait. Un traître de comédie dans une époque qui nie la lutte des classes pour mieux protéger et dissimuler la victoire implacable des riches. Un vainqueur qui s’est mis à défendre les perdants. Comme un bourgeois du XIXe siècle se battant aux côtés des ouvriers. Pour découvrir ce secret de la présidentielles américaine, il fallait un journaliste vacciné contre les a priori idélogiques des journalistes; et un écrivain françias vacciné contre l’anti-américanisme. André Bercoff était cet homme-là. Bercoff fut l’un des rares journalistes européens (le seul ?) à interviewer Trump au début de la campagne des primaires alors que tous les « spécialistes »  ne donnaient pas cher de sa peau. Bercoff a gardé ce temps d’avance pour nous conter le parcours haut en couleur de ce magnat de l’immobilier des années 1980 devenu une star de la télé-ralité. Il le fait avec ses qualités (sens de la formule) et ses défauts (sens de la formule). A le lire, on comprend qu’un Trump français serait bien au-delà de la facile comparaison avec Bernard Tapie: l’enfant qu’aurait eu Francis Bouygues avec Loana !

Stendhal disait que « la caractéristique des Français est de ne pas être dupe ». Bercoff est très français. Séduit, bluffé, oui, mais pas dupe. De sa vulgarité, de son narcissisme, de ses vantardises, de ses roublardises, de son cynisme aussi de VRP de lui-même et de la marque Trump. « Ma vie est une bande dessinnée dont je suis le héros et ça me plait », dit Trump. Napoléon disait: « Quel roman que ma vie ». La différence de style est la même qu’entre les « comics » et Chateaubriand. En deux siècles, l’armée a été remplacée par la télévision. La fortune de Trump serait en France un obstacle rédhibitoire à toute carrière politique; elle le sert aux Etats-Unis, non seulement parce qu’elle authentifie le rêve américain qui est devenu un cauchemar pour une classe moyenne larguée par l’extraordinaire accroissement des inégalités depuis trente ans, mais aussi, et surtout parce qu’elle rend imperméable aux pressions des lobbyistes qui ont acheté une vie politique américaine revenue au degré inouï de corruption des temps héroïques de la conquête de l’Ouest et des « grands voleurs ».

Quand il dit, goguenard, « si je cherchais un premier emploi aujourd’hui je serais heureux d’être un Noir hautement diplomé parce qu’il bénéficie d’un véritable avantage », Trump résume le mal-être d’une classe moyenne blanche, prise en tenailles entre la globalisation (et la délocalisation de ses emplois en Chine) et la discrimination positive en faveur des minorités raciales et sexuelles.

Trump, c’est la version instinctive et vulgaire de la critique universitaire sophistiquée faite par Samuel Huntington de la déconstruction américaine préparée dans les campus américains des années 1960, et mise en oeuvre dans les années 1990.

Trump, c’est le paradoxal retour à la synthèse du New Deal des années 1930 détruit par les héritiers « de gauche » libéraux et libertaires et l’alliance de Wall Street et des néo-conservateurs.

Bercoof le pressent lorsqu’il met le programme de Trump en relation avec le « fabriquez français » de Montebourg ou le « travailler et vivre au pays » du communiste Georges Marchais qui réclamait déjà l’arrêt de toute immigration en 1980; mais il pourrait aller plus loin dans son analyse que le classique: « les extrêmes se touchent ». Le meurtre par la gauche de sa base sociologique – ce qu’elle appelait naguère avec emphase « le peuple » ! – a fini par créer son anticorps.

Le programme de Trump, c’est celui de Roosevelt en 1932 : protectionnisme, grands travaux d’infrastructure, immigration zéro (Roosevelt n’a pas remis en cause les quotas très stricts mis en place dans les années 1920 et qui ne seront supprimés que dans les années 1960 !), hausse des impôts pour les plus riches, véritable système de sécurité sociale et la mise sous tutelle de Wall Street et des financiers. L’ennemi de Trump est vraiment la finance.

En politique étrangère, et au-delà des provocations et des invectives de campagne électorale, Trump achèverait la révolution engagée par Obama : L’Amérique abandonnerait les théâtres subalternes pour se concentrer sur la seule défense du marché principal des grandes entreprises américaines : l’Asie; et affronter le seul rival dangereux : la Chine, à l’instar encore de Roosevelt, privilégiant la guerre contre l’Allemagne nazie afin de « libérer » le principal marché américain : l’Europe. Quitte à sous-traiter à la Russie le Proche-Orient, voire l’Afrique à la France. Trump, où le petit-fils caché de Roosevelt. La preuve par l’absurde de la trahison de la gauche.

On comprend mieux soudain la haine que suscite Trump au sein des élites américaines et européennes. Alors, mieux vaut continuer à se moquer de sa chevelure ridicule et de ses blagues de garçon de coiffeur.

Voir aussi:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882 – 1945)

Un président pour changer l’Amérique : Roosevelt

Demain, 20 janvier 2017, sera investi le nouveau président des États-Unis. C’est l’occasion de revenir sur l’histoire des 45 présidents américains et de l’un des plus illustres, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Nous vous racontons son combat titanesque contre la Crise et le Mal nazi. Mais aussi ses secrets de famille longtemps restés dans l’ombre.

Nous revenons aussi sur l’histoire méconnue de son successeur, Truman. Modeste fabricant de chemises sans instruction ni expérience, il a pris les plus graves décisions que puisse prendre un chef d’État…

Hérodote

Président de guerre

Franklin Delano Roosevelt devient en 1933 le 32e président des États-Unis, alors que sévit depuis 1929 la plus grave crise économique de l’époque moderne.

Huit ans après son entrée à la Maison Blanche, le redressement est à peine engagé que l’Europe entre en guerre.

Les États-Unis sont eux-mêmes attaqués par le Japon, allié de l’Allemagne hitlérienne. En première ligne dans la lutte, le président meurt brutalement le 12 avril 1945, dans sa treizième année à la Maison Blanche (un record !), à la veille de la victoire finale.

Son quadruple mandat a installé les États-Unis dans le statut inédit de superpuissance

André Larané
Rétrospective sur Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Les Actualités Françaises 1945),  source : INA

La crise

Herbert Clark Hoover (10 août 1874, West Branch, Iowa ; 20 octobre 1964, New York)Avec le krach boursier d’octobre 1929, les États-Unis et, à leur suite, le reste du monde occidental entrent dans une crise économique majeure. Les faillites bancaires et industrielles se multiplient, le crédit s’effondre (« credit crunch ») et, avec lui, la consommation.

Lors des élections présidentielles de novembre 1932, les États-Unis, première puissance mondiale avec 123 millions d’habitants, comptent déjà 13 à 14 millions de chômeurs et leur production industrielle a été divisée par deux en 3 ans !

Le président sortant Herbert Hoover persiste à croire aux vertus régulatrices du marché et croit voir « la prospérité au coin de la rue ». Le parti démocrate lui oppose le gouverneur de l’État de New York Franklin Delanoo Roosevelt (50 ans) qui, lui, est partisan d’une intervention musclée de l’État.

Une famille compliquée

Franklin Delano Roosevelt à 18 ans (1900)Issu d’une famille patricienne de la côte Est, Franklin Roosevelt est un lointain cousin de l’ancien président Théodore Roosevelt, dont il a épousé la nièce Eleanor le 17 mars 1905. Le couple aura cinq enfants.

Réservée autant que son mari est extraverti, Eleanor doit compter avec la présence envahissante de sa belle-mère qui n’a jamais accepté leur union.

Elle trouve un réconfort dans la présence à ses côtés de sa secrétaire Lucy Mercer, enjouée et dévouée à la famille.

Arrive ce qui devait arriver : dès 1916, Lucy entame une liaison adultérine avec Franklin. Eleanor découvre leur correspondance amoureuse deux ans plus tard en défaisant les bagages de son mari, de retour d’un voyage en Europe.

Franklin et Eleanor Roosevelt en famille

Il est question de divorce. Une éventualité catastrophique pour le jeune homme auquel tous les espoirs sont permis. On convient donc d’un arrangement : le couple fait chambre à part, Franklin renonce à revoir Lucy… et Eleanor met toute son énergie (et sa fortune) à soutenir la carrière de son mari.

Lucy Mercer, 1915 (26 avril 1891 ; 31 juillet 1948)Lucy s’éloigne et épouse un riche veuf dont elle a une fille. Mais elle reste en correspondance avec Franklin et le retrouvera au plus fort de la guerre. Elle sera à ses côtés le jour de sa mort.

Quant à Eleanor, elle tient parole au-delà de toute espérance. Quand son mari connaîtra les premières atteintes de la polio, elle le remplacera dans les réunions publiques. À la Maison Blanche, elle gagnera par sa dignité et son engagement dans les oeuvres sociales le qualificatif de First Lady (« Première Dame »), une première. Après la chute du nazisme, elle mettra son nom et sa réputation au service des Nations Unies et participera à la rédaction de la Déclaration universelle des Droits de l’Homme.

Un jeune homme prometteur

Après ses études à Harvard et dans l’école de droit de Columbia, Franklin Roosevelt s’est engagé très tôt en politique. En 1910, il devient sénateur de l’État de New York et en 1913, à seulement 31 ans, entre dans le cabinet du président Wilson comme secrétaire d’État adjoint à la Marine.

Franklin Roosevelt, jeune Secrétaire d'État adjoint à la Marine (1913)

Sa jeune notoriété lui vaut de figurer sur le ticket démocrate en novembre 1920 comme vice-président du candidat James Cox. Mais celui-ci, qui est partisan d’engager les États-Unis dans la Société des Nations, est battu par le candidat républicain Warren Harding, partisan d’un retour à l’isolationnisme.

Comble de malheur, le 10 août 1921, alors qu’il fait de la voile dans le Nouveau-Brunswick, Roosevelt tombe à l’eau, victime d’une soudaine paralysie. Les médecins diagnostiquent une première attaque de poliomyélite. La maladie va le priver de l’usage de ses jambes. Il s’en remet très partiellement et surmonte son handicap avec un courage qui lui vaut le respect…

Notons que les photographes veilleront à dissimuler son handicap à l’opinion publique : Franklin Roosevelt sera toujours montré assis ou appuyé à l’épaule d’un ami. Les photographes témoigneront de la même réserve concernant sa vie privée, y compris lorsque Roosevelt les recevra dans son bureau en présence de sa maîtresse Lucy.

En 1928, grâce à la médiation de son épouse, Roosevelt fait un retour triomphal en politique en se faisant élire gouverneur de l’État de New York. Quand éclate la crise, il organise des opérations de secours à grande échelle et multiplie les innovations sociales et économiques. Aussi suscite-t-il un immense espoir aux élections de 1932 malgré la rudesse de ses opposants, tant dans le camp républicain que dans son propre parti démocrate.

Hoover avertit que « si FDR est élu, l’herbe poussera bientôt dans des centaines de villes et des milliers de localités ». Les intellectuels progressistes comme John Dos Passos et Erskine Caldwell l’accusent quant à eux de ne présenter « qu’une version démagogique du républicanisme ».

Les élections du 8 novembre lui valent néanmoins une victoire sans appel avec 57,41% du vote populaire et 472 grands électeurs contre 59 à son rival Hoover.

Débute alors une période de transition cruciale jusqu’à l’intronisation officielle, le 4 mars 1933. Le Congrès et les États en profitent pour voter un 20e amendement à la Constitution qui ramène au 20 janvier la passation des pouvoirs.

Discours d'investiture de Franklin Roosevelt le 5 mars 1933 (DR)

Le « New Deal » (en français Nouvelle donne)

Le nouveau président, qui s’est entouré d’un « Brain trust » (groupe informel de jeunes intellectuels), a préparé sans attendre un ensemble de mesures interventionnistes, avant tout pragmatiques, destinées à sortir le pays de la crise. C’est le « New Deal » (Nouvelle Donne). Il va les faire voter tambour battant par le Congrès au cours d’une extraordinaire session de cent jours, du 9 mars au 16 juin 1933.

Franklin Roosevelt signe l'Emergency Banking Act (10 mars 1933) sous le regard de son Secrétaire d'État au Trésor William Woodwin (DR)Dès le lendemain de son entrée à la Maison Blanche, il proclame l’état d’urgence (une première en temps de paix) et ferme temporairement les banques. Il interdit les exportations d’or et d’argent puis signe l’Emergency Banking Act, le 10 mars. Trois jours plus tard, 400 banques sont déjà en état de rouvrir leurs portes.

Pour éviter le renouvellement d’une crise de confiance, le gouvernement encadre l’activité bancaire avec le Federal Securities Act (27 mai 1933) et le Banking Act (16 juin 1933).

Plus important que tout, il abandonne l’étalon-or le 19 avril 1933 et dévalue le dollar de 40% : pour l’économiste Alfred Sauvy, cette mesure conventionnelle et peu médiatique aura un impact positif sur la reprise économique autrement plus important que toutes les lois du New Deal !

Le 12 mai 1933, l’Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) vise à mettre fin à la surproduction (coton, blé, tabac, maïs) et relever les prix agricoles pour soutenir le niveau de vie des fermiers. Il préconise une réduction des cultures et des cheptels en échange de subventions. Ainsi se met en place une politique massive de soutien de la culture du coton… aujourd’hui accusée de léser gravement les cultivateurs africains.

Le mois suivant, le 16 juin 1933, l’équivalent se met en place dans l’industrie avec le National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) qui tend à réduire les heures de travail dans l’industrie et augmenter les salaires. Un Bureau national du travail (National Recovery Administration, NRA) sert de médiateur dans les conflits entre patrons et ouvriers.

Le président Roosevelt debout (adossé à une balustrade) à côté de son épouse EleanorLast but not least, le 5 décembre 1933, le gouvernement fait voter le 21e amendement qui… annule le 18e et met fin à la Prohibition de l’alcool : coup dur pour la grande criminalité.

Contre le chômage, qui ne bénéficie encore d’aucune mutuelle d’assurance, Roosevelt met 500 millions de dollars à la disposition de la Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Il confie aussi un vaste programme de travaux publics d’un total de 3 500 millions de dollars à l’Emergency Public Works Administration. La réalisation emblématique est l’aménagement hydraulique de la vallée du Tennessee par la Tennessee Valley Authority fondée le 18 mai 1933.

L’année suivante est mise en place une Securities and Exchange Commission chargée de surveiller la validité des transactions boursières. Tout cela va de pair avec un considérable renforcement de l’admistration fédérale, passée de 600 000 à près d’un million de fonctionnaires entre 1933 et 1939.

Le président, qui est arrivé au pouvoir en même temps que Hitler (et mourra quelques jours avant lui), se montre comme le dictateur adepte des nouvelles techniques de communication : il explique volontiers son action politique à la radio, au cours de longues « causeries au coin du feu ». Il fait volontiers la Une de Time Magazine de son ami Henry Luce. Il innove aussi par l’utilisation des sondages avec l’institut Gallup.

Le président Roosevelt en chaise roulante dans l'intimité de sa propriété de Hyde Park (NY)Cela ne désarme pas les opposants. Au Congrès, les républicains et même les démocrates font obstacle aux projets législatifs de la Maison Blanche, obligeant le président à opposer pas moins de 635 fois son veto aux lois de l’assemblée. Un record ! La Cour Suprême, de son côté, n’admet pas que l’État s’entiche de diriger l’économie. Aussi invalide-t-elle en mai 1935 plusieurs mesures du New Deal dont le NIRA (aides à l’industrie). En janvier 1936, c’est au tour de l’AAA d’être invalidé !

C’est au moment où les attaques contre le New Deal se font les plus vives que la production industrielle rebondit enfin. Elle retrouve en 1936 90% de son niveau de 1929. Aux élections de novembre 1936, le président démocrate est reconduit avec 60,80% du vote populaire et 523 grands électeurs contre… 8 à son rival républicain Alf Landon !

C’est l’amorce d’une recomposition du paysage politique : le parti démocrate séduit les citadins, intellectuels et ouvriers, mais aussi les noirs du Sud qui commencent à délaisser le parti républicain du président Lincoln.

L’inquiétude

Il n’était que temps. L’année suivante, en 1937, l’activité économique rechute très brutalement avec une baisse de 40% de la production industrielle. C’est qu’en marge des mesures de rétorsion de la Cour Suprême, le gouvernement lui-même croit le moment venu de redresser les comptes publics en réduisant les dépenses et augmentant les impôts ! Il est obligé de faire machine arrière…

Le chômage ne disparaîtra qu’avec la Seconde Guerre mondiale, lorsque l’État inondera les industriels de commandes en vue d’un réarmement à marches forcées. C’est qu’en attendant, le deuxième mandat de Franklin Roosevelt est tout entier dominé par les menaces internationales.

Dès son accession au pouvoir, Roosevelt et son Secrétaire d’État Cordell Hull ont pratiqué une politique de bon voisinage en reconnaissant dès novembre 1933 le gouvernement soviétique et en renonçant à la politique du « gros bâton » en Amérique centrale.

Le président, soucieux d’exprimer le pacifisme de ses concitoyens, promulgue aussi en 1935 le Neutrality Act par lequel il s’interdit de fournir des armes à tout belligérant. Mais avec la montée des tensions internationales, cet isolationnisme lui apparaît de plus en plus irresponsable.

En octobre 1939, alors que vient d’éclater la Seconde Guerre mondiale, il fait amender le Neutrality Act en introduisant la clause cash and carry : des belligérants peuvent acheter des armes aux États-Unis à condition de les payer comptant et d’en assurer le transport. Cette clause avantage le Royaume-Uni et la France qui, seuls, peuvent envisager de transporter des armes en sécurité dans l’océan Atlantique.

Mais les citoyens américains n’en restent pas moins hostiles à toute intervention dans le conflit européen. Peu leur chaut que la Tchécoslovaquie, la Pologne, la Belgique, les Pays-Bas et la France soient agressés et envahis par Hitler…

Le président Roosevelt en couverture de Time (29 novembre 1943)Contre l’usage, Roosevelt, au vu de la situation internationale, prend la liberté de solliciter un troisième mandat. Sa décision fait débat au sein de son propre camp, au point qu’il doit modifier son ticket et remplacer son vice-président J.N. Garner par Henry Wallace. Son rival républicain Wendell Wilkie fait campagne pour la paix et contre le « faiseur de guerre ».  Il ne peut empêcher la réélection de Roosevelt mais celui-ci doit se satisfaire d’un résultat plus modeste que la fois précédente avec 54% du vote populaire et 449 grands électeurs contre 82 à son rival.

Le président a dès lors les mains plus libres en matière géopolitique. Décidé à soutenir le camp des démocraties, il obtient en mars 1941 le vote de la loi « prêt-bail » (Lend-Lease Act) qui facilite les ventes d’armes aux Britanniques et peut les étendre à « tout pays dont le président jugerait la défense essentielle pour la sécurité des États-Unis ».

Alors que le Royaume-Uni de Winston Churchill est encore contraint de lutter seul contre l’Allemagne de Hitler, l’industrie américaine se met toute entière à son service.

Oubliée la récession. Les États-Unis entrent dans une phase d’expansion et de prospérité sans précédent qui va leur assurer la suprématie mondiale pour plusieurs générations. Financées par les commandes publiques et les emprunts britanniques, les usines tournent à plein régime pour fabriquer non plus des voitures mais des tanks, des canons, des avions et des bateaux.

Le 22 juin 1941, avec l’invasion de l’URSS par la Wehrmacht, la guerre sur le continent européen est relancée et change d’échelle.

Roosevelt, plus que jamais convaincu de l’urgence d’intervenir, organise une rencontre spectaculaire avec le Premier ministre Winston Churchill, « quelque part en mer », au large de Terre-Neuve, le 14 août 1941. Cette première rencontre entre les deux hommes d’État est destinée à préparer les Américains à une alliance avec leurs cousins anglo-saxons avec des buts de guerre honorables. De fait, les deux hommes s’engagent sur des principes moraux destinés à soutenir l’effort de guerre et préparer le monde futur. C’est la Charte de l’Atlantique, à l’origine de la charte des Nations Unies.

Dès le mois suivant,  la loi « prêt-bail » est étendue à l’URSS de Staline, alliée obligée des démocraties. Le 16 septembre 1941, usant de ses pouvoirs de commandant en chef, Roosevelt autorise aussi la flotte de guerre à escorter les cargos américains à destination des îles britanniques, pour leur éviter les attaques des sous-marins. Ce n’est pas la guerre mais ça y ressemble.

En définitive, il faudra rien moins que l’attaque japonaise sur Pearl Harbor, le 7 décembre 1941, pour faire basculer l’opinion américaine ! Cette attaque avait été rendue inéluctable par l’embargo de Roosevelt sur les livraisons au Japon de pétrole, caoutchouc et autres matières stratégiques. Entravé dans ses projets de conquête de l’Asie, le Japon impérialiste s’était alors vu dans la nécessité de lancer un avertissement aux Américains : se préparer à une guerre douloureuse ou se retirer d’Extrême-Orient et du Pacifique. Un avertissement illusoire compte tenu de la disproportion des forces entre le petit Japon et la première puissance économique mondiale.

La guerre inaugure le Siècle américain

Dès le lendemain de Pearl Harbor, le 8 décembre, le Congrès déclare la guerre au Japon. Il ne peut faire moins. Mais le 11 décembre, c’est l’Allemagne qui, en soutien de son très lointain « allié » japonais, déclare à son tour la guerre aux États-Unis. Curieuse maladresse de Hitler qui aurait pu se garder de cette provocation…

La Marine et l’aéronavale engagent leurs premiers combats dans des attaques tous azimuts contre les Japonais pour sauver ce qui peut l’être de leurs possessions du Pacifique. Contre toute attente, elles essuient d’humiliants revers avec la perte des Philippines qui s’ajoute à celles de Singapour et de l’Indonésie. L’expansion nipponne est stoppée cependant par la bataille de Midway, du 3 au 6 juin 1942.

Conscient que la plus grande menace est l’Allemagne, Roosevelt décide de donner alors la priorité à la guerre européenne : « Germany first ». Les pilotes américains participent aux raids sur l’Allemagne et l’armée prépare les attaques périphériques sur l’Afrique du Nord. Le tournant décisif est la bataille d’El Alamein, à l’automne 1942. Vient ensuite le débarquement en Sicile en juillet 1943 puis le débarquement de Normandie en juin 1944. Des opérations finalement secondaires par rapport aux batailles de titans que se livrent Allemands et Soviétiques dans les plaines de l’Est, à Stalingrad et Koursk.

Dès 1942, le président des États-Unis s’affirme comme le chef de la coalition antiallemande. Churchill, le « Vieux Lion », est condamné à jouer les utilités tandis que Staline, s’il se montre prodigue du sang de son peuple, ne peut se passer de l’immense machine de guerre américaine.

Deux mois après le débarquement anglo-saxon en Afrique du nord, il organise une première conférence interalliée à Casablanca (Maroc), dans l’hôtel Anfa (12-24 janvier 1943). Avec Churchill, il met au point le prochain débarquement de Sicile et l’aide à l’URSS. Il impose surtout l’objectif d’une capitulation sans condition de l’Allemagne, en rupture avec les traditions diplomatiques européennes, ce qui a pour résultat de renforcer l’union de l’armée et du peuple allemands autour de Hitler ! Roosevelt, qui cache mal par ailleurs son antipathie pour de Gaulle, échoue à le réconcilier avec le général Henri Giraud, un opportuniste falot auquel il aurait préféré confié la direction de la France libre.

Le 22 novembre 1943, Roosevelt et Churchill se retrouvent au Caire où ils rencontre Tchang Kaï-chek, le président de la Chine nationaliste en guerre contre le Japon. Ils se mettent d’abord sur les buts de guerre dans le Pacifique. Là-dessus, les deux dirigeants anglo-saxons reprennent l’avion pour l’Iran.

Le 28 novembre 1943, Roosevelt rencontre enfin Staline à la conférence de Téhéran. Le président est ébranlé et séduit par le dictateur. Il croit pouvoir l’amener à démocratiser son régime et se prend à rêver d’un condominium américano-soviétique sur le monde ! En attendant, il convient avec lui de l’ouverture d’un second front à l’Ouest. Ce sera le débarquement de Normandie. Par-dessus la tête de Churchill, les deux alliés préparent aussi le démembrement de l’Allemagne.

Deux mois plus tard, les mêmes hommes se retrouvent à la conférence de Yalta, en Crimée, pour régler le sort de l’Allemagne et du Japon. Roosevelt, déjà très malade, est chaperonné par Staline qui le manipule à loisir. Le président américain, impatient d’en finir avec le Japon, se montre prêt à toutes les concessions en échange d’une participation de l’URSS à l’invasion de l’archipel ! Plein d’illusions sur la parole de Staline, à la grande fureur de Churchill, il lui consent d’importants abandons en Europe orientale, notamment en Pologne.

Sur le retour, le président s’arrête à Suez pour mettre sur pied une alliance avec un autre chef aussi peu recommandable, le roi d’Arabie Ibn Séoud. Ce pacte du Quincy va perdurer jusqu’en ce XXIe siècle.

Épilogue

Franklin Delanoo Roosevelt en 1944Trois mois plus tôt, en novembre 1944, les Américains n’ont pas refusé à Roosevelt un quatrième mandat, malgré un état de santé des plus alarmants. Il a été réélu sans difficulté face au républicain Thomas E. Dewey avec 53,4% du vote populaire.

L’élément important de l’élection fut le choix du nouveau vice-président, vu qu’il devait être appelé à gouverner à brève échéance. Ni les leaders du parti démocrate ni le président lui-même ne souhaitent une trop forte personnalité ! C’est sur Harry S. Truman que leur choix se porte. Né le 8 mai 1884 dans le Missouri, il n’a pas fait d’études supérieures. Fermier, employé, combattant sur le front français en 1917, il ouvre une chemiserie qui fait faillite et, en 1922, commence enfin une carrière politique. Il se montre un sénateur consciencieux et honnête.

L’inéluctable survient : épuisé et malade, Franklin Delano Roosevelt meurt d’une hémorragie cérébrale le 12 avril 1945, à 63 ans, quelques semaines avant le suicide de Hitler et la capitulation de l’Allemagne.

Funérailles du président Franklin Roosevelt, Pennsylavania Av., Washington (photo : Librairie du Congrès)

Il revient à son successeur, Harry S. Truman, de conclure la guerre et bâtir la paix au pied levé, ayant eu à peine l’occasion d’en débattre avec le président dans les semaines qui ont précédé sa mort. « J’ai cru que la lune, les étoiles et toutes les planètes m’étaient tombées dessus », confiera-t-il aux journalistes… En dépit de son impréparation, il va relever le défi et confirmer les États-Unis comme superpuissance.

Voir aussi:

The Uncanny Parallels Between Donald Trump And FDR

The New Deal’s executor held many positions similar to those of to one Donald J. Trump.

Julian Adorney

Imagine a U.S. president who is bombastic, egotistical, and just a little racist. He worries opening the borders will mean an influx of undesirables. He implements capricious executive orders, and seems more concerned with his own power than with the Constitution. He’s often called a fascist by people who know what the term means.

No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Debate raged last December about whether President Trump would be a fascist. Steve Horwitz and Martin O’Malley, among others, claimed he would be. Not so fast, said Megan McArdle at Bloomberg View. A fascist president could never take power in America, McArdle argues, because, among other things, “America has neither the weak institutions nor the revolutionary organizations necessary for a Trump Reich to fester.”

But that’s not quite true. FDR may not have been Hitler or Mussolini. But the difference was one of degree, not of kind. And now Trump is following in his footsteps.

Suspicious of Americans, Immigrants, and Refugees

FDR spied on political dissidents in the name of national security. In May 1940, he warned of a “fifth column” in America (a military term for civilian rebels), and claimed refugees might be enemy agents.

FDR was also hostile towards refugees. When Jews sought to escape from Nazi Germany, FDR barred the gates.

In “FDR Goes to War,” noted historians Burton and Anita Folsom tell the story of how FDR used the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and attorney general to go after his political enemies. He wiretapped phones, ordered tax audits of dissidents, and created a personal spy group to collect incriminating information about political rivals.

All of this was before FDR rounded up almost 122,000 Japanese-Americans and forced them into internment camps. While national security concerns were cited, FDR also considered Asians biologically untrustworthy.

FDR was also hostile towards refugees. When Jews sought to escape from Nazi Germany, FDR barred the gates. The State Department cut refugee immigration by 75 percent by imposing burdensome regulations. FDR defended his actions on the grounds that “among the refugees there are some spies….” But as with the internment camps, a darker motive also played in: FDR was an anti-Semite who waved away pleas to let in Jewish refugees as “Jewish wailing.”

This isn’t to suggest that all opposition to immigration is fascist. Many reasonable Americans favor immigration restrictions. But FDR’s immigration ideas, summed up in his claim that immigrants ought to have “blood of the right sort,” were clearly prejudicial. So is Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans.

The New Deal’s Not So Different from Fascism

Economically too, FDR’s ideology closely resembled the fascist policies of Mussolini’s Italy. With the creation of the National Recovery Association (NRA), FDR set up a system that pushed each industry into a cartel that cooperated with the federal government to set wages, prices, and “fair practices.” One NRA report even stated directly, “The Fascist Principles are very similar to those we have been evolving here in America.”

FDR saw himself as a benevolent dictator, and his actions reflect that grandiosity. Trump has made a campaign of this same sort of grandiosity.

This similarity was not accidental. Rexford Tugwell, one of the architects of the New Deal, wrote that Mussolini had done “many of the things which seem to me necessary.”

Roosevelt said he was “deeply impressed by what [Mussolini] has accomplished.” Mussolini returned the favor in his review of FDR’s 1933 book “Looking Forward,” noting that, “Reminiscent of Fascism is (FDR’s) principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.”

Like Trump, FDR had little respect for the separation of powers. When he tried to pass a 99.5 percent marginal tax rate on income above $100,000, Congress rebuffed him. So he issued an executive order mandating a 100 percent marginal tax rate, and lowered the ceiling to incomes of $25,000 per year (which Congress later rescinded). His attempt to do a similar end-run around the Supreme Court, the court-packing scheme, is infamous.

Paul Warburg, one of FDR’s first-term advisors, claimed, “I believe that Mr. Roosevelt is so charmed with the fun of brandishing the band leader’s baton at the head of the parade, so pleased with the picture he sees of himself, that he is no longer capable of recognizing that the human power to lead is limited.” FDR saw himself as a benevolent dictator, and his actions reflect that grandiosity. Trump has made a campaign of this same sort of grandiosity.

It’s true that FDR didn’t take total power in the United States, and that U.S. institutions prevented him from doing so. The Supreme Court struck down his ideas, especially before 1937. When he tried to pack the court with allies, the public rallied against him. Congress also refused to pass certain laws on his agenda.

The Dictatorial Type Keeps Resurfacing

But FDR was both powerful and destructive. He was not Mussolini, but he ran roughshod over the rule of law, and dramatically transformed American politics—which should serve as an example of what a Trump presidency might look like.

In fact, a Trump presidency could be even more dangerous, because the powers of the presidency have expanded. The White House can place citizens on terrorist watch lists—spying on them and preventing them from flying. The president can order U.S. citizens who are abroad, like Anwar Al-Awlaki, to be assassinated without a trial. The National Security Agency allows the president to spy on political dissidents such as Faisal Gill (a Muslim Republican) and Nihad Awab (director of a Muslim civil rights organization), or even to wiretap news outletslike the Associated Press.

This doesn’t mean a Trump presidency would lead to brown shirts on the street. But there is more to fascism than goose-stepping and military style uniforms, and Trump, like FDR, displays many such characteristics. So when people look at Trump’s agenda and claim “it can’t happen here,” they’re ignoring history that’s not even a century old. Not only could such things happen, they already have.

The only sure way to guard against Trump is to roll back the enormous power of the government that he would be managing. History, even in the United States, shows that dangerous men dupe voters and take power. We should shrink government so that when they’re elected, they take as little power as possible.

Voir également:
Anmnews

January 27, 2014

It is undeniable that in America today our federal government is over sized, overpowered and out of control. The more power, wealth it controls and aspects of our lives it micromanages translates to diminishing economic and individual liberty. Most Americans of sound mind are aware of the infringements on our 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment rights. When Barack Hussein Obama was elected he promised to fundamentally transform America and that’s the one promise he’s kept.

Subverting and perverting the constitution is nothing new in our government. As the federal government has grown over the last 80 years, it has drifted further and further from the Republic our founders’ framed us to be. Some argue that we ceased to be a Republic shortly after the Great Depression.

I recently read a book written in 1955 titled, “The Decline of the American Republic”, by John T. Flynn. In one passage he wrote:

The American Republic the founders described existed for 144 years. In the 22 years since 1933 it has been subjected to profound change, accomplished without any change in the actual words of the Constitution. It has been done by sheer usurpation by power of the federal government. This could not, of course, have been brought about without favoring circumstances. The chief influence was what has come to be known as the Great Depression of 1929.

FDR’s recovery from the Great Depression involved the so-called “New Deal”, a series of economic programs. These economic programs were a massive power grab and elevated FDR’s administration to something resembling the fascism of Mussolini. The progressive movement was in full swing jam packed with socialist revolutionaries.

When Flynn wrote his book in 1955 he offered solutions he felt could restore the American Republic and stop the march to a socialist state. It struck me while reading this that his time in history is a microcosm of modern day America under our current oppressive regime and all it’s thuggery. Obama has accelerated this entire deconstruction of America to Mach 10 with no end in site.

We The People are the only solution to the problem. We were intended to be masters of the federal government, not servants. Every day it becomes more certain to me that we need to use Article V to call a Convention of States and amend the Constitution. We could stop the misuses of power, the out of control spending and power grabs of the federal courts. The era we live in now is precisely what the Founders feared and the reason why they injected these protective measures to use. We have a duty to use them!

We’re Americans, we don’t give up easy. It’s time to rise up and support the Convention of States. They are seeking volunteers and monetary support. Alabama and New Mexico recently joined the fight and Georgia is on the brink. This brings total to six states and they’re just getting started. We owe it to all of the brave men and women that have fought over the last 250 years to secure and protect our freedom!

Voir encore:

10 choses à savoir sur l’investiture de Donald TrumpDanielle BeaudoinRadio Canada19 janvier 2017

Investiture Trump: Evelyne Joslain a dit la vérité, elle sera exécutée (Journalist pays the price on French TV for spilling the beans on disastrous Obama legacy)

21 janvier, 2017

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Un jeune homme à cheveux longs grimpait le Golgotha. La foule sans tête  était à la fête  Pilate a raison de ne pas tirer dans le tas  C’est plus juste en somme  d’abattre un seul homme.  Ce jeune homme a dit la vérité  Il doit être exécuté… Guy Béart
C’est ça, l’Ouest, monsieur le sénateur:  quand la légende devient réalité, c’est la légende qu’il faut publier. Maxwell Scott  (journaliste dans ‘L’Homme qui tua Liberty Valance’, John Ford, 1962)
Obama est le premier président américain élevé sans attaches culturelles, affectives ou intellectuelles avec la Grande-Bretagne ou l’Europe. Les Anglais et les Européens ont été tellement enchantés par le premier président américain noir qu’ils n’ont pu voir ce qu’il est vraiment: le premier président américain du Tiers-Monde. The Daily Mail
Culturellement, Obama déteste la Grande-Bretagne. Il a renvoyé le buste de Churchill sans la moindre feuille de vigne d’une excuse. Il a insulté la Reine et le Premier ministre en leur offrant les plus insignifiants des cadeaux. A un moment, il a même refusé de rencontrer le Premier ministre. Dr James Lucier (ancien directeur du comité des Affaire étrangères du sénat américain)
Tout ce qu’on sait, c’est qu’on en sait  très peu sur Barack Obama et que ce qu’on sait est très différent de ce qui est allégué. Tous les présidents ont leurs mythographies, mais ils ont également un bilan et des experts  qui peuvent  distinguer les faits  de la fiction. Dans le cas d’Obama, on ne nous a nous jamais donné tous les faits et il y avait peu de gens dans la presse intéressés à les trouver. Comme le dit Maxwell Scott dans L’homme qui a tué Liberty Valance, ‘quand la légende devient fait, c’est la légende qu’il faut imprimer’.  Victor Davis Hanson
Même si ce livre repose principalement sur des journaux intimes ou sur des histoires orales de ma famille, les dialogues sont forcément approximatifs. Pour éviter les longueurs, certains personnages sont des condensés de personnes que j’ai connues et certains événements sont sans contexte chronologique précis. A l’exception de ma famille et certains personnages publics, les noms des protagonistes ont été changés par souci de respecter leur vie privée. Barack Hussein Obama jr. (préface des Rêves de mon père, 1995)
Je connais, je les ai vus, le désespoir et le désordre qui sont le quotidien des laissés-pour-compte, avec leurs conséquences désastreuses sur les enfants de Djakarta ou de Nairobi, comparables en bien des points à celles qui affectent les enfants du South Side de Chicago. Je sais combien est ténue pour eux la frontière entre humiliation et la fureur dévastatrice, je sais avec quelle facilité ils glissent dans la violence et le désespoir. Barack Hussein Obama jr. (préface de Rêves de mon père, l’histoire d’un héritage en noir et blanc, 2004)
Ma propre ville de Chicago a compté parmi les villes à la politique locale la plus corrompue de l’histoire américaine, du népotisme institutionnalisé aux élections douteuses. Barack Obama (2006)
Nous sommes toujours une nation jeune, mais, dans les mots de la Sainte Ecriture : le temps est venu de mettre de côté les choses de l’enfance. Barack Hussein Obama (janvier 2009)
C’est ma dernière élection. Après mon élection, j’aurai plus de flexibilité. Obama (à Medvedev, 27.03.12)
The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing. (…) We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say. Ben Rhodes (conseiller-adjoint d’Obama à la sécurité nationale)
J’ai longtemps pensé à faire sauter la Maison Blanche. Madonna
Qu’est-ce que cela fait d’avoir un nouveau président des Etats-Unis qui sait lire ? Du bien. Cela fait du bien d’apprendre qu’il a toujours un livre à portée de la main. On a tellement flatté ses qualités d’orateur et ses dons de communicant qu’on a oublié l’essentiel de ce qui fait la richesse de son verbe : son côté lecteur compulsif. A croire que lorsqu’il sera las de lire des livres, il dirigera l’Amérique pour se détendre. Michiko Kakutani, la redoutée critique du New York Times, d’ordinaire si dure avec la majorité des écrivains, est tout miel avec ce non-écrivain auteur de trois livres : deux textes autobiographiques et un discours sur la race en Amérique. Elle vient de dresser l’inventaire de sa « bibliothèque idéale », autrement dit les livres qui ont fait ce qu’il est devenu, si l’on croise ce qu’il en dit dans ses Mémoires, ce qu’il en confesse dans les interviews et ce qu’on en sait. Adolescent, il lut avidement les grands auteurs noirs James Baldwin, Langston Hugues, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, W.E.B. Du Bois avant de s’immerger dans Nietzsche et Saint-Augustin en marge de ses études de droit, puis d’avaler la biographie de Martin Luther King en plusieurs volumes par Taylor Branch. Autant de livres dans lesquels il a piqué idées, pistes et intuitions susceptibles de nourrir sa vision du monde. Ce qui ne l’a pas empêché de se nourrir en permanence des tragédies de Shakespeare, de Moby Dick, des écrits de Lincoln, des essais du transcendantaliste Ralph Waldo Emerson, du Chant de Salomon de la nobélisée Toni Morrison, du Carnet d’or de Doris Lessing, des poèmes d’un autre nobélisé Derek Walcott, des mémoires de Gandhi, des textes du théologien protestant Reinhold Niebuhr qui exercèrent une forte influence sur Martin Luther King, et, plus récemment de Gilead (2004) le roman à succès de Marylinne Robinson ou de Team of rivals que l’historienne Doris Kearns Goodwin a consacré au génie politique d’Abraham Lincoln, « la » référence du nouveau président. Pardon, on allait oublier, le principal, le livre des livres : la Bible, of course. Pierre Assouline
Pourquoi cette apparence anticipée de triomphe pour le candidat dont le bilan des votes au Sénat est le plus à gauche de tout le parti Démocrate? L´électorat américain a-t-il vraiment basculé? Comment expliquer la marge énorme de différence entre les instituts de sondage à 3% et ceux à 12%? L´explication, me semble-t-il, réside dans la détermination sans faille du «peuple médiatique»; comme Mitterrand parlait du «peuple de gauche», les uns, français, habitaient la Gauche, les autres, américains, habitent les media, comme les souris le fromage. Le peuple médiatique, l´élite politico-intellectuelle, le «paysage audiovisuel», comme on dit avec complaisance, ont décidé que rien n´empêcherait l´apothéose de leur candidat. Tout ce qui pouvait nuire à Obama serait donc omis et caché; tout ce qui pouvait nuire à McCain serait monté en épingle et martelé à la tambourinade. On censurerait ce qui gênerait l´un, on amplifierait ce qui affaiblirait l´autre. Le bombardement serait intense, les haut-parleurs répandraient sans répit le faux, le biaisé, le trompeur et l´insidieux. C´est ainsi que toute assertion émise par Obama serait tenue pour parole d´Evangile. Le terroriste mal blanchi Bill Ayers? – «Un type qui vit dans ma rue», avait menti impudemment Obama, qui lui devait le lancement de sa carrière politique, et le côtoyait à la direction d´une fondation importante. Il semble même qu´Ayers ait été, si l´on ose oser, le nègre du best-seller autobiographique (!) d´Obama. Qu´importe! Nulle enquête, nulle révélation, nulle curiosité. «Je ne l´ai jamais entendu parler ainsi » -, mentait Obama, parlant de son pasteur de vingt ans, Jeremiah Wright, fasciste noir, raciste à rebours, mégalomane délirant des théories conspirationnistes – en vingt ans de prêches et de sermons. Circulez, vous dis-je, y´a rien à voir – et les media, pieusement, de n´aller rien chercher. ACORN, organisation d´activistes d´extrême-gauche, aujourd´hui accusée d´une énorme fraude électorale, dont Obama fut l´avocat – et qui se mobilise pour lui, et avec laquelle il travaillait à Chicago? Oh, ils ne font pas partie de la campagne Obama, expliquent benoîtement les media. Et, ajoute-t-on, sans crainte du ridicule, «la fraude aux inscriptions électorales ne se traduit pas forcément en votes frauduleux». Laurent Murawiec
The Obama memoir is revealed not really to be a memoir at all. Most of his intimate friends and past dalliances that we read about in Dreams From My Father were, we learn, just made up (“composites”); the problem, we also discover, with the president’s autobiography is not what is actually false, but whether anything much at all is really true in it. If a writer will fabricate the details about his own mother’s terminal illness and quest for insurance, then he will probably fudge on anything. For months the president fought the Birthers who insist that he was born in Kenya, only to have it revealed that he himself for over a decade wrote just that fact in his own literary biography. Is Barack Obama then a birther? Has any major public figure (57 states, Austrian language, corpse-men, Maldives for Falklands, private sector “doing fine,” etc.) been a more underwhelming advertisement for the quality of a Harvard education or a Chicago Law School part-time billet? Has any presidential candidate or president set a partisan crowd to laughing by rubbing his chin with his middle finger as he derides an opponent, or made a joke about killing potential suitors of his daughters with deadly Predator drones, or recited a double entendre “go-down” joke about a sex act? Victor Davis Hanson
Pourquoi cette apparence anticipée de triomphe pour le candidat dont le bilan des votes au Sénat est le plus à gauche de tout le parti Démocrate? L´électorat américain a-t-il vraiment basculé? Comment expliquer la marge énorme de différence entre les instituts de sondage à 3% et ceux à 12%? L´explication, me semble-t-il, réside dans la détermination sans faille du «peuple médiatique»; comme Mitterrand parlait du «peuple de gauche», les uns, français, habitaient la Gauche, les autres, américains, habitent les media, comme les souris le fromage. Le peuple médiatique, l´élite politico-intellectuelle, le «paysage audiovisuel», comme on dit avec complaisance, ont décidé que rien n´empêcherait l´apothéose de leur candidat. Tout ce qui pouvait nuire à Obama serait donc omis et caché; tout ce qui pouvait nuire à McCain serait monté en épingle et martelé à la tambourinade. On censurerait ce qui gênerait l´un, on amplifierait ce qui affaiblirait l´autre. Le bombardement serait intense, les haut-parleurs répandraient sans répit le faux, le biaisé, le trompeur et l´insidieux. C´est ainsi que toute assertion émise par Obama serait tenue pour parole d´Evangile. Le terroriste mal blanchi Bill Ayers? – «Un type qui vit dans ma rue», avait menti impudemment Obama, qui lui devait le lancement de sa carrière politique, et le côtoyait à la direction d´une fondation importante. Il semble même qu´Ayers ait été, si l´on ose oser, le nègre du best-seller autobiographique (!) d´Obama. Qu´importe! Nulle enquête, nulle révélation, nulle curiosité. «Je ne l´ai jamais entendu parler ainsi » -, mentait Obama, parlant de son pasteur de vingt ans, Jeremiah Wright, fasciste noir, raciste à rebours, mégalomane délirant des théories conspirationnistes – en vingt ans de prêches et de sermons. Circulez, vous dis-je, y´a rien à voir – et les media, pieusement, de n´aller rien chercher. ACORN, organisation d´activistes d´extrême-gauche, aujourd´hui accusée d´une énorme fraude électorale, dont Obama fut l´avocat – et qui se mobilise pour lui, et avec laquelle il travaillait à Chicago? Oh, ils ne font pas partie de la campagne Obama, expliquent benoîtement les media. Et, ajoute-t-on, sans crainte du ridicule, «la fraude aux inscriptions électorales ne se traduit pas forcément en votes frauduleux». Laurent Murawiec
As his second marriage to Sexton collapsed in 1998, Sexton filed an order of protection against him, public records show. Hull won’t talk about the divorce in detail, saying only that it was « contentious » and that he and Sexton are friends. The Chicago Tribune (15.02.04)
Though Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, lagged in polls as late as mid-February, he surged to the front of the pack in recent weeks after he began airing television commercials and the black community rallied behind him. He also was the beneficiary of the most inglorious campaign implosion in Illinois political history, when multimillionaire Blair Hull plummeted from front-runner status amid revelations that an ex-wife had alleged in divorce papers that he had physically and verbally abused her. After spending more than $29 million of his own money, Hull, a former securities trader, finished third, garnering about 10 percent of the vote. (…) Obama ascended to front-runner status in early March as Hull’s candidacy went up in flames amid the divorce revelations, as well as Hull’s acknowledgment that he had used cocaine in the 1980s and had been evaluated for alcohol abuse. The Chicago Tribune (17.03.04)
Axelrod is known for operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. It is difficult to discuss Axelrod in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had  »worked aggressively behind the scenes » to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama’s TV ad campaign started at almost the same time. The NYT (01.04.07)
After an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2000, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama faced serious financial pressure: numerous debts, limited cash and a law practice he had neglected for a year. Help arrived in early 2001 from a significant new legal client — a longtime political supporter. Chicago entrepreneur Robert Blackwell Jr. paid Obama an $8,000-a-month retainer to give legal advice to his growing technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange. It allowed Obama to supplement his $58,000 part-time state Senate salary for over a year with regular payments from Blackwell’s firm that eventually totaled $112,000. A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin. Killerspin specializes in table tennis, running tournaments nationwide and selling its own line of equipment and apparel and DVD recordings of the competitions. With support from Obama, other state officials and an Obama aide who went to work part time for Killerspin, the company eventually obtained $320,000 in state grants between 2002 and 2004 to subsidize its tournaments. Obama’s staff said the senator advocated only for the first year’s grant — which ended up being $20,000, not $50,000. The day after Obama wrote his letter urging the awarding of the state funds, Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign received a $1,000 donation from Blackwell. (…) Business relationships between lawmakers and people with government interests are not illegal or uncommon in Illinois or other states with a part-time Legislature, where lawmakers supplement their state salaries with income from the private sector. But Obama portrays himself as a lawmaker dedicated to transparency and sensitive to even the appearance of a conflict of interest. (…) In his book « The Audacity of Hope, » Obama tells how his finances had deteriorated to such a point that his credit card was initially rejected when he tried to rent a car at the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. He said he had originally planned to dedicate that summer « to catching up on work at the law practice that I’d left unattended during the campaign (a neglect that had left me more or less broke). » Six months later Blackwell hired Obama to serve as general counsel for his tech company, EKI, which had been launched a few years earlier. The monthly retainer paid by EKI was sent to the law firm that Obama was affiliated with at the time, currently known as Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he worked part time when he wasn’t tending to legislative duties. The business arrived at an especially fortuitous time because, as the law firm’s senior partner, Judson Miner, put it, « it was a very dry period here, » meaning that the ebb and flow of cases left little work for Obama and cash was tight. The entire EKI retainer went to Obama, who was considered « of counsel » to the firm, according to details provided to The Times by the Obama campaign and confirmed by Miner. Blackwell said he had no knowledge of Obama’s finances and hired Obama solely based on his abilities. « His personal financial situation was not and is not my concern, » Blackwell said. « I hired Barack because he is a brilliant person and a lawyer with great insight and judgment. » Obama’s tax returns show that he made no money from his law practice in 2000, the year of his unsuccessful run for a congressional seat. But that changed in 2001, when Obama reported $98,158 income for providing legal services. Of that, $80,000 was from Blackwell’s company. In 2002, the state senator reported $34,491 from legal services and speeches. Of that, $32,000 came from the EKI legal assignment, which ended in April 2002 by mutual agreement, as Obama ceased the practice of law and looked ahead to the possibility of running for the U.S. Senate. (…) Illinois ethics disclosure forms are designed to reveal possible financial conflicts by lawmakers. On disclosure forms for 2001 and 2002, Obama did not specify that EKI provided him with the bulk of the private-sector compensation he received. As was his custom, he attached a multi-page list of all the law firm’s clients, which included EKI among hundreds. Illinois law does not require more specific disclosure. Stanley Brand, a Washington lawyer who counsels members of Congress and others on ethics rules, said he would have advised a lawmaker in Obama’s circumstances to separately disclose such a singularly important client and not simply include it on a list of hundreds of firm clients, even if the law does not explicitly require it. « I would say you should disclose that to protect and insulate yourself against the charge that you are concealing it, » Brand said. LA Times
One lesson, however, has not fully sunk in and awaits final elucidation in the 2012 election: that of the Chicago style of Barack Obama’s politicking. In 2008 few of the true believers accepted that, in his first political race, in 1996, Barack Obama sued successfully to remove his opponents from the ballot. Or that in his race for the US Senate eight years later, sealed divorced records for both his primary- and general-election opponents were mysteriously leaked by unnamed Chicagoans, leading to the implosions of both candidates’ campaigns. Or that Obama was the first presidential candidate in the history of public campaign financing to reject it, or that he was also the largest recipient of cash from Wall Street in general, and from BP and Goldman Sachs in particular. Or that Obama was the first presidential candidate in recent memory not to disclose either undergraduate records or even partial medical. Or that remarks like “typical white person,” the clingers speech, and the spread-the-wealth quip would soon prove to be characteristic rather than anomalous. Few American presidents have dashed so many popular, deeply embedded illusions as has Barack Obama. And for that, we owe him a strange sort of thanks. Victor Davis Hanson
Selon le professeur Dick Simpson, chef du département de science politique de l’université d’Illinois, «c’est à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe que le système prend racine». L’arrivée de larges populations immigrées peinant à faire leur chemin à Chicago pousse les politiciens à «mobiliser le vote des communautés en échange d’avantages substantiels». Dans les années 1930, le Parti démocrate assoit peu à peu sa domination grâce à cette politique «raciale». Le système va se solidifier sous le règne de Richard J. Daley, grande figure qui régnera sur la ville pendant 21 ans. Aujourd’hui, c’est son fils Richard M. Daley qui est aux affaires depuis 18 ans et qui «perpétue le pouvoir du Parti démocrate à Chicago, en accordant emplois d’État, faveurs et contrats, en échange de soutiens politiques et financiers», raconte John McCormick. «Si on vous donne un permis de construction, vous êtes censés “payer en retour”», explique-t-il. «Cela s’appelle payer pour jouer», résume John Kass, un autre éditorialiste. Les initiés affirment que Rod Blagojevich ne serait jamais devenu gouverneur s’il n’avait croisé le chemin de sa future femme, Patricia Mell, fille de Dick Mell, un conseiller municipal très influent, considéré comme un rouage essentiel de la machine. (…) Dans ce contexte local plus que trouble, Peraica affirme que la montée au firmament d’Obama n’a pu se faire «par miracle».«Il a été aidé par la machine qui l’a adoubé, il est cerné par cette machine qui produit de la corruption et le risque existe qu’elle monte de Chicago vers Washington», va-t-il même jusqu’à prédire. Le conseiller régional républicain cite notamment le nom d’Emil Jones, l’un des piliers du Parti démocrate de l’Illinois, qui a apporté son soutien à Obama lors de son élection au Sénat en 2004. Il évoque aussi les connexions du président élu avec Anthony Rezko, cet homme d’affaires véreux, proche de Blagojevich et condamné pour corruption, qui fut aussi le principal responsable de la levée de fonds privés pour le compte d’Obama pendant sa course au siège de sénateur et qui l’aida à acheter sa maison à Chicago. «La presse a protégé Barack Obama comme un petit bébé. Elle n’a pas sorti les histoires liées à ses liens avec Rezko», s’indigne Peraica, qui cite toutefois un article du Los Angeles Times faisant état d’une affaire de financement d’un tournoi international de ping-pong qui aurait éclaboussé le président élu. (…) Pour la plupart des commentateurs, Barack Obama a su naviguer à travers la politique locale «sans se compromettre. Le Figaro
La condamnation de M. Blagojevich met une fois de plus la lumière sur la scène politique corrompue de l’Etat dont la plus grande ville est Chicago. Cinq des neuf gouverneurs précédents de l’Illinois ont été accusés ou arrêtés pour fraude ou corruption. Le prédécesseur de M. Blagojevich, le républicain George Ryan, purge actuellement une peine de six ans et demi de prison pour fraude et racket. M. Blagojevich, qui devra se présenter à la prison le 16 février et verser des amendes de près de 22 000 dollars, détient le triste record de la peine la plus lourde jamais infligée à un ex-gouverneur de l’Illinois. Ses avocats ont imploré le juge de ne pas chercher à faire un exemple avec leur client, notant que ce dernier n’avait pas amassé d’enrichissement personnel et avait seulement tenté d’obtenir des fonds de campagne ainsi que des postes bien rémunérés. En plein scandale, M. Blagojevich était passé outre aux appels à la démission venus de son propre parti et avait nommé procédé à la nomination d’un sénateur avant d’être destitué. Mais le scandale a porté un coup à la réputation des démocrates dans l’Illinois et c’est un républicain qui a été élu l’an dernier pour occuper l’ancien siège de M. Obama. AFP (08.12.11)
Dès qu’un organisateur entre dans une communauté, il ne vit, rêve, mange, respire et dort qu’une chose, et c’est d’établir la base politique de masse de ce qu’il appelle l’armée. Saul Alinsky (mentor politique d’Obama)
Dans ce contexte local plus que trouble, Peraica affirme que la montée au firmament d’Obama n’a pu se faire « par miracle ». (…) « La presse a protégé Barack Obama comme un petit bébé. Elle n’a pas sorti les histoires liées à ses liens avec Rezko », s’indigne Peraica. Le Figaro
Lors de l’investiture du nouveau président américain, des « résistants » se sont dressés dans les rues de Washington. Oui des « résistants » selon les radios de service public ! Ils ont crié que Trump n’était pas « légitime ». Ils ont aussi brisé des vitrines et cassé du mobilier urbain (mais ça, pour le savoir, il faut lire le Washington Post et le New York Times). Ils n’étaient que quelques centaines (et ça aussi, pour le savoir, il faut se plonger dans la presse américaine). (…) L’Agence France Presse a mis sur son fil deux photos juxtaposées. L’une montrant la foule massée devant le Capitole pour l’investiture d’Obama. L’autre avec les centaines de milliers d’Américains venus assister à l’investiture de Trump. Sur la première, c’est noir de monde. Sur la seconde, c’est nettement plus clairsemé. Vous avez compris le message de l’AFP ? Ca c’est de l’information ! Ce que notre agence nationale a oublié de préciser, c’est qu’à Washington, où se trouve le Capitole, Trump n’a obtenu que 5 % des suffrages. Un oubli vraiment ? (…) Une chaîne de télévision française nous apprend qu’une des premières mesures de Donald Trump sera de faire adopter une loi permettant de « déporter » 2 millions d’étrangers en situation irrégulière. En français, le mot « déporter » est lourd de signification. Les « déporter » où ? Auschwitz a depuis longtemps fermé ses portes. Reste Guantanamo. Mais c’est tout petit et prévu seulement pour quelques centaines de personnes. Alors nous, on veut savoir où… (…) Il y a aux Etats-Unis une femme courageuse. Elle est française. Cocorico ! Sophie Théallet, c’est son nom, est créatrice de mode. Elle a fait savoir qu’elle refusait catégoriquement d’habiller Mélania Trump. Sophie Théallet a des valeurs. Et ce ne sont pas celles du président des Etats-Unis « raciste et sexiste ». Tous nos journaux saluent son « courage ». On a les Jeanne d’Arc qu’on mérite. Ce que les journaux ne disent pas, c’est que Mélania Trump n’a aucunement sollicité Sophie Théallet. Manifestement, cette information est sans importance. (…) Compte tenu de la défection de Sophie Théallet, le risque (si c’est un risque…) était grand de voir apparaître Mélania Trump nue lors du bal qui a suivi l’investiture de son époux. Mais ce délicieux spectacle nous a été épargné. Le couturier Hervé Pierre, français lui aussi, s’est dévoué. Mélania Trump portait une tenue dessinée par lui. Une robe crème, fendue, avec les épaules dénudées. La presse française n’a pas encore réagi à cette information qui fait honte à la réputation de notre pays. Mais ça ne va pas tarder, et nous apprendrons bientôt qu’Hervé Pierre ne mérite pas d’être français. Et que Mélania Trump est une allumeuse. Benoit Rayski
S’il est une raison pour laquelle Donald Trump devrait remporter cette élection, c’est bien celle-ci : en finir avec l’insoutenable discours élitiste et néo-progressiste qui considère qu’une moitié des électeurs sont des fous dangereux que la démocratie ne peut ni recevoir, ni regarder, ni entendre, ni convaincre à travers l’épreuve du pouvoir. Ce n’est pas prendre parti pour Trump que de le dire ainsi. C’est prendre parti contre un système de pensée qui ne cesse d’alimenter le spectre de la fin du monde et se montre foncièrement convaincu que sa vérité doit s’imposer à tous, quitte à l’affaiblir jusqu’à ce qu’elle finisse par devenir inaudible. La démocratie, on aime, ou pas. Stéphane Trano
Hillary Clinton, désormais concentrée sur sa démonstration que Donald Trump est coupable de délinquance fiscale, a beau ne pas avoir un adversaire à sa hauteur, elle n’en n’est pas moins en pleine démagogie. En effet, s’il avait un peu plus de faculté d’élaboration – ou de meilleurs conseillers – le candidat républicain pourrait aisément rétorquer que nombre de grandes entreprises américaines doivent une bonne partie de leurs succès colossaux à leurs pratiques de délocalisation et d’optimisation fiscale, Apple et Google en tête, et que la justice fiscale, aux Etats-Unis, est un concept très relatif. Donald Trump, de son côté, n’a aucunement tiré profit des arguments, potentiellement très efficaces, à l’encontre de la politique étrangère du couple Obama-Clinton, et de ses implications dans le chaos actuel au Moyen-Orient. Ces élections sont celles de la rancune républicaine et du désarroi démocrate : chaque camp lance ses dernières forces pour la victoire, conscient que quatre années de bataille féroce s’annonce au sein des institutions, mais qu’il faut sauver les meubles jusqu’au dernier. Elles n’ont en réalité qu’un seul gagnant, quelle qu’en soit l’issue : Barack Obama, dont le bilan a été épargné par une campagne sans analyse ni introspection, et qui s’apprête à sortir par la grande porte de l’Histoire. L’avenir, toutefois, dira si la légende cousue de fil blanc du 44ème président des Etats-Unis résiste. Les guerres dont ses deux mandats ont accouchés ne sont-elles pas aussi consternantes que celles de son prédécesseur qui l’ont mené au pouvoir ? La promesse jamais tenue d’une réforme du système d’immigration n’a-t-elle pas laissé un pays sur la brèche pour une génération au moins ? La violence raciste et raciale devait-elle être une part de l’héritage du premier président noir américain ? La réactivation de la guerre froide à travers une paranoïa sans limite à l’encontre du régime de Poutine était-elle vraiment à l’agenda des électeurs américains ? L’homme, énigmatique, laissera derrière lui une somme de mystères qu’un ridicule engouement populaire protègera un temps, mais le silence ne devrait pas résister aux années Clinton qui s’annoncent – sauf « surprise d’Octobre » toujours possible – comme la poursuite de son œuvre étrange. Stéphane Trano
En opérant une lecture terriblement réductrice de l’élection américaine 2016, l’immense majorité des médias – américains ou non – est passée à côté de sa signification profonde, car elle est trop inconfortable.  C’est, encore et toujours, une bataille entre les bien-pensants et les autres – les fameux « déplorables » – à laquelle on a assisté, ce qui rabaisse la démocratie au simple rang de lutte entre le bien et le mal, l’intelligence et la bêtise, la générosité et l’intolérance. Cela demande évidemment quelques explications. La plateforme politique adoptée par le parti républicain, pour cette élection, est l’une des plus « dures » jamais adoptée par les conservateurs. Rétrograde, elle est complètement déconnectée des réalités lorsqu’elle s’oppose à toute révision réglementaire de la vente et de l’usage des armes à feu ou lorsqu’elle raisonne, sur l’immigration, en termes de délinquance. Acide, elle s’accommode des positions les plus extrêmes contre l’avortement ou pour la peine de mort. Cynique, elle s’attaque à l’état fédéral pour ériger des hyper-pouvoirs locaux que rien n’arrête dans l’escalade vers des lois d’exception. Idiote, elle n’entend rien aux questions liées à l’environnement ou à l’éducation. Les Républicains, en somme, n’ont rien appris depuis leur défaite de 2008. Ils n’ont pas su effectuer la profonde mise à jour rendue nécessaire par l’élection de Barack Obama, où leur principale responsabilité était de s’adapter à une société nouvelle, un peu plus disposée à abandonner les vieilles antiennes propres à l’Amérique puritaine. Cependant, le sinistre visage offert par les Républicains trouve ses limites dans la désignation de Donald Trump, le candidat le moins idéologique de tous lors des primaires. Parce qu’il n’a ni l’expérience d’une carrière politique, ni la culture nécessaire pour forger un corpus d’idées et encore, moins, le discours nécessaire à forger des concepts, l’homme d’affaires a très vite été identifié par une grande partie des électeurs mobilisés lors de ces primaires, comme un candidat antisystème et briseur de tabous. (…) De cette situation, il faut tirer l’enseignement d’une profonde colère populaire, dans une société qui se sent étouffée par des discours écrasants de certitudes, condescendants et frustrants en termes de concrétisations. C’est là le second enseignement de cette campagne, où les grands médias n’ont eu de cesse de se lamenter du peu d’importance accordé par les électeurs de Trump à la « vérité » des faits. A trop confondre vérité et bienséance, on aboutit inévitablement au rejet par des gens qui ne manquent en général pas de bon sens, mais dont les frustrations, les peurs et les colères se heurtent en permanence à des discours perçus comme élitistes. Il est difficile de « vendre » aux opposants d’Obama l’idée que ses deux mandats ont constitué une ère de progrès social et de rétablissement pour les Américains, lorsque ceux-ci s’achèvent sur une série d’échecs aux conséquences très lourdes : la violence liée aux armes à feu est la plus haute depuis le début des années 80 ; la santé mentale est le parent pauvre de tout le système de santé américain ; la surpopulation carcérale est phénoménale ; la consommation de drogues ultra-dangereuses est un fléau ; le prix du médicament est incontrôlable ; les infrastructures publiques tombent en poussière ; les coûts des crèches ou des études dépassent l’entendement ; la disparition des petits commerces sous l’impact des géants tels qu’Amazon désertifient les quartiers commerçants ; les postures américaines dans le monde arabe sont illisibles et dramatiques dans leurs conséquences. La réponse des Démocrates face à ces constats est toujours la même : ils en nient la plupart et pour ceux qu’ils ne peuvent nier, tout est de la faute des Républicains et de leur politique d’obstruction systématique au Congrès. Les mêmes n’expliquent pas, alors, comment l’Obamacare a pu être voté, comment Obama a t-il pu pratiquer sa politique du vide au Moyen-Orient durant si longtemps, comment il a pu relancer la guerre froide à travers son obsession antirusse et ignorer une grande partie du monde au profit de son tropisme asiatique. Dire aux onze à quinze millions de « Dreamers » – ces immigrants perdus dans la zone grise de la politique d’immigration américaine, qu’Obama a été à la hauteur de ses promesses les concernant, est simplement une imposture. C’est précisément dans leur incapacité et dans leur répugnance à affronter ces questions parce qu’elles risquent de mettre en difficulté les forces du progrès », que les grands médias font le lit de la colère populaire. Le mur infranchissable des discours élitistes ruine toute velléité de débattre et ne laisse qu’une seule option à des électeurs qui n’ont plus confiance : rétorquer par un vote brutal, sans argumentaire, seulement destiné à démontrer que la raison de celui qui parle le mieux n’est pas toujours la plus forte, et que c’est bien cela, la démocratie. La démocratie, ce n’est pas un club fermé seulement accessible aux gens bien habillés et heureux. C’est un risque permanent et nécessaire. C’est le système de tous les risques, dans lequel la non-prise en compte des colères peut aboutir à de fortes secousses. La démocratie n’est pas la sérénité entre les hommes, c’est celle des institutions. Mais les élites la vivent comme leur citadelle assiégée. Tout sonne faux dans l’élection présidentielle américaine parce que tout est juste : la méfiance manifestée à l’encontre d’Hillary Clinton est juste ; la société inquiète que Barack Obama laisse derrière lui est juste, car l’homme si soucieux de sa légende n’a rien du grand pacifiste que l’on veut voir en lui au-delà de toutes les évidences ; la candidature de Donald Trump est juste, car elle défie les lois de l’élite médiatique. Tout ce qui a été dit dans cette campagne, et que beaucoup réduisent au tempérament quelque peu dérangeant de Trump, sera rejeté, lors de l’élection probable d’Hillary Clinton, par des tonnerres d’applaudissements et des cris d’autocongratulation de nos meilleurs journalistes. Une fois de plus, ils auront manqué le principal : de vague en vague, d’orage en orage, la colère populaire se renforce. A la considérer comme l’expression de gens déplorables, au fil de chaque élection, ils pissent sur la démocratie dont ils ont fait leur jouet et sur les pauvres gens, sûrs d’eux-mêmes et arrogants. Stéphane Trano
Navrés d’assister au phénomène de dynasties qui voit se succéder les Bush et les Clinton à quelques mandats d’écart, les Américains pourront légitimement, dans les temps qui viennent, s’interroger sur la vacuité de la présidence Obama, faite de symboles et modelée par une légende cousue du fil blanc de la communauté internationale, mais dont la réalité est plus fidèlement illustrée par la catastrophe syrienne que par l’Obamacare, par l’accélération de la mondialisation ultra-libérale plus que par la politique de l’Environnement. La liste des promesses non-tenues de ce président est sans aucun doute la plus longue dans l’Histoire de ce pays. Donald Trump et Bernie Sanders ont de toutes évidences pointés du doigt les extravagances du monde des 1% et ils l’ont fait sans manières, au grand dam d’une vaste clique de bien pensants  pour laquelle la démocratie n’est que le risque, à temps plus ou moins régulier, de perdre ses privilèges et ses conquêtes futiles au regard des souffrances endurées quotidiennement par des milliards de « déplorables ». Le journalisme corporatiste ne ressort pas grandi de cette nouvelle péripétie, empêtré dans sa haute estime d’une fonction qu’il sert si mal au quotidien. Nous sommes néanmoins satisfaits de n’avoir rien concédé, dans ces colonnes ouvertes par Marianne, à ces confrères suivistes et sans courage qui se rêvent en experts et ne sont que les échotiers à la petite semaine d’une vision largement dépassée. Stéphane Trano
Aucun président avant lui n’avait à ce point miné la Maison-Blanche avant son départ, massivement soutenu par les grands médias du pays. La victoire de Donald J. Trump est une claque pour tous les progressistes pour lesquels la colère des peuples est une marque d’indécence. Jusqu’au grand jour de leur cuisante défaite, les Démocrates américains et leurs puissants alliés de la presse corporatiste n’avaient eu de cesse de moquer le candidat républicain Donald J. Trump pour ses propos répétés selon lesquels le système politique américain était biaisé (en anglais, « rigged »).  Dès le lendemain de l’élection de ce dernier, les mêmes Démocrates et les mêmes alliés n’ont eu de cesse, sans complexe, de dénoncer un système politique biaisé. Tout y passe : la remise en cause du système du collège électoral auquel ils n’ont rien trouvé à redire dans le passé ; les prétendues « fausses informations » (« fake news ») ; et, bien entendu, un piratage informatique à grande échelle conduit par le pouvoir de Moscou. Cette litanie de « bobards » ne vise qu’à masquer leur profonde incompréhension de la défaite d’Hillary Clinton et leur incapacité de conduire leur autocritique. Comment le pouvoir russe a-t-il pu, concrètement, influencer l’élection du collège électoral et le vote de ce dernier pour le candidat Trump est un mystère absolu. Mais ce délire antirusse n’est que le prolongement de l’une des nombreuses obsessions de Barack Obama, qui le pousse à se comporter comme un président élu pour un troisième mandat, sans que l’on sache bien ce qu’il en attend. Lui qui, totalement absent de la scène israélo-palestinienne durant huit ans, se retire sur un acte à la fois cynique, brutal et néfaste à l’encontre des Israéliens, n’en n’est pas à une marque d’arrogance près. Mais le message est clair : loin de se retirer du monde politique, Obama est là pour longtemps encore et vient de montrer une capacité de nuisance qui porte bien au-delà de tous ses prédécesseurs. Qu’il fasse sourire ou qu’il effraie, qu’on comprenne ou non ses attitudes et les directions qu’il veut prendre, Donald J. Trump arrive dans quelques jours au pouvoir face à un pouvoir médiatique déchaîné, qui entend bien défendre la cause des « bons » Américains face au peuple des « déplorables » et, dès qu’il en aura l’occasion, le déstabiliser et ruiner sa majorité. Il y a, dans ce passage d’une ère progressiste sans grandes victoires mais avec d’immenses échecs, à une ère pragmatique sous haute tension, quelque chose de spectaculaire, qui tient à un état d’esprit propre aux élites et aux médias : une incapacité fondamentale de comprendre le monde d’aujourd’hui. Il ne vient pas à l’idée de ces maîtres à penser qu’un monde où la plupart des humains vivent au dix-neuvième siècle et où les plus chanceux vivent déjà au vingt-deuxième soit un monde sans lendemain. Ils ne comprennent pas que leurs combats futuristes – conduits avec d’autant plus d’aisance qu’ils n’ont guère à se soucier du quotidien – puissent attendre, afin de se préoccuper des délaissés de l’humanité. Ces petits aristocrates nourris au sein de la nouvelle économie ont les défaites qu’ils méritent. Stéphane Trano
Donald Trump et Bernie Sanders ne sont populistes et dangereux qu’aux yeux de journalistes et d’analystes qui se veulent gardiens de la morale et se répètent les uns les autres et qui sont eux-mêmes les acteurs de l’effondrement du politique. (…) Les deux candidats qui s’opposent au système washingtonien et qui n’ont cessé d’être caricaturés par le journalisme corporatiste sont portés par la force la plus consternantes pour les élites : le peuple lui-même. Les électeurs ont opposé une fin de non-recevoir à la mission civilisatrice des partisans d’une démocratie autoritaire et bien-pensante. (…) Le terme de populiste est le plus impropre qui puisse être employé par les nombreux détracteurs de l’homme d’affaires américain. Avec différents taux de réussite, Trump a néanmoins entrainé dans son sillage toutes les catégories de population, des mineurs du Midwest aux diplômés du Nord-Est, des afro-américains de Brooklyn aux Hispaniques du Sud, des femmes New Yorkaises aux militants LGBTQ, des plus jeunes aux plus âgés, ainsi que de nombreux indépendants et jusqu’à cent mille démocrates. Leur point commun : un rejet du « politiquement correct », une volonté de déblocage des institutions paralysées depuis près de huit années, un constat d’échec de la politique extérieure menée par Barack Obama, une méfiance profonde à l’encontre d’Hillary Clinton, et de manière plus générale, une exaspération face aux annonces apocalyptiques torrentielles engendrées par une intense campagne médiatique. Les plus fervents supporters de Donald Trump ne croient pas un instant qu’il souscrive lui-même à ses déclarations les plus outrancières. Ils ont mesuré avec une acuité très inhabituelle le sens de cette tactique qui a progressivement désarmé ses pires adversaires. (…) L’Amérique avance, sûre d’elle dans sa capacité à se renouveler et à défier l’ordre établi. Elle continue d’opposer son vote aux incantations moralisatrices et à appeler un chat un chat. Traitée de puritaine et intolérante, elle a offert, du côté républicain, un candidat noir, avec Ben Carson et deux candidats d’origine cubaine, avec Marco Rubio et Ted Cruz. Traitée d’interventionniste et de dominatrice, elle a porté loin dans la course un socialiste prônant l’égalité et la mise à contribution des pouvoirs financiers. Enferrée dans l’idéologie antirusse et pro-asiatique menée par Barack Obama, elle lui oppose un Trump pragmatique qui dénonce les guerres de ses prédécesseurs comme les plus grandes catastrophes de l’Histoire américaine. Passés à l’heure de la prise de parole populaire, les Américains viennent d’infliger une claque magistrale au journalisme intellectuel qui pour sa part, a démontré son incapacité corporatiste à penser son époque en dehors de ses réflexes habituels et de l’auto-contemplation. Stéphane Trano
On ne peut pas blâmer les Démocrates américains de tenter, par tous les moyens, de masquer la portée de leur échec en l’attribuant à toutes sortes de motifs, même les plus fantaisistes. La pilule est certes amère. Toutefois, la part la plus intéressante de cette hystérie collective est le phénomène d’auto-persuasion qui en est le moteur et que la plupart des grands médias du pays alimentent. L’argument numéro un des perdants est la faillite du système électoral et, en particulier, le fait que la candidate démocrate, Hillary Clinton, a remporté le scrutin populaire. C’est oublier que la situation, même si elle n’est pas commune, s’est produite à quatre reprises au cours de l’Histoire des Etats-Unis, et qu’elle ne constitue pas de difficulté particulière aux termes de la Constitution. De plus, le 115ème congrès, sorti des urnes le 8 novembre 2016 et en fonction depuis le 3 janvier 2017, a vu 52% des électeurs voter pour les Républicains au Sénat et 55% à la Chambre des représentants. Il n’y a donc aucune anomalie dans les élections de 2016 de ce point de vue. Le second argument est celui du piratage informatique à grande échelle des élections, sur ordre du président russe Vladimir Poutine, afin de faciliter l’élection de Donald J. Trump. Là encore, l’idée ne tient pas debout. Aucune trace de défaillance dans le nombre limité de votes électroniques aux élections n’a été décelée. (…) Hillary Clinton n’a eu besoin ni de Vladimir Poutine, ni de Julien Assange et encore moins de « pirates » pour perdre les élections de 2016. Ce ne sont pas de prétendues « fausses » informations qui ont heurté sa réputation déjà bien entamée auprès de nombreux électeurs américains, par exemple, dans l’affaire des emails, mais au contraire, son refus obstiné de prendre cette affaire au sérieux et de répondre aux interrogations. On ne voit pas, non plus, quelles « fausses » informations ont poussé l’électorat noir américain à se sous-mobiliser lors du vote du 8 novembre, ou les femmes et les plus jeunes à bouder sa candidature, après la défaite de Bernie Sanders lors des primaires démocrates. (…) Comment, en effet, se revendiquer de l’héritage de Barack Obama, lorsque cet héritage peine à brandir autre chose que l’Obamacare, dont même les démocrates savent qu’il n’est pas financé au-delà de 2017 et coûte, en réalité, une fortune au regard des bénéfices qu’il apporte ? Car au-delà de cette loi sur la santé qui n’est en rien un système généreux et égalitaire tel qu’on le pense du côté des Européens, c’est le vide. Même si le Secrétaire d’Etat John Kerry blâme ces derniers jours le gouvernement anglais, prétendant qu’il est à l’origine de l’incapacité d’Obama à agir plus concrètement et durablement au Moyen-Orient contre l’état islamique, la mémoire de tous est par chance encore assez fraîche pour se souvenir que les huit années de ce président ont été celles d’une grande hypocrisie diplomatique et militaire. Mais le déni, dans ce domaine comme dans bien d’autres, est plus puissant que la mémoire. Les âmes sensibles sont outrées par l’idée de construire un mur à la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique. On a beau leur montrer les mille kilomètres de ce mur déjà construit, y compris sous le premier mandat d’Obama, cela n’a guère d’effet et n’entraîne aucune interrogation sur les raisons pour lesquelles le bon président n’en n’a pas retiré une seule pierre. Un autre exemple est celui de la crise financière de 2008 et du retour au « plein emploi » huit ans plus tard : quel président n’aurait point réussi ce « prodige » en creusant le déficit de son pays, comme Barack Obama l’a fait, de près de 5000 milliards de dollars ? (…) Alors, que reste t-il de cet héritage Obama, au juste ? Une posture, bien évidemment. Après George W. Bush et le mensonge irakien (sic), n’importe quel président aurait été auréolé de gloire. On attendait d’Obama, toutefois, un peu plus qu’un physique avenant, un talent rhétorique et l’humour dont il a tant usé. Car c’est à ce que laisse un président que l’on mesure son impact, pas à sa performance sur la scène du pouvoir. L’Amérique n’est pas plus sympathique dans le monde qu’elle ne l’était avant son arrivée, ni plus sûre, ni plus égalitaire. Mais elle a la chance d’être un pays pragmatique : en ramenant au pouvoir, contre toute attente, les Républicains, elle a flanqué une gifle magistrale aux « progressistes » qui se croyaient tout permis. Elle ne l’a pas fait par folie ou par irresponsabilité mais parce qu’elle a confiance dans la capacité de ses institutions à « encaisser » ce type de choix démocratique, si perturbant soit-il pour des milieux qui s’estiment mieux éduqués et éclairés que les autres. On appelle cela l’alternance, une banalité que les Démocrates veulent aujourd’hui faire passer pour un scandale et une catastrophe. Cherchez l’erreur. Stéphane Trano
Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. Evelyne Joslain
Ce sont des propos scandaleux. On lui a demandé immédiatement de quitter le plateau. Elle nous a été recommandée par les “Republicans Overseas” puisqu’on cherchait à avoir une sensibilité pro-Trump sur le plateau. C’était une mauvaise recommandation. Pour nous ce sont des propos inacceptables sur notre antenne. On les condamne fermement. Hervé Béroud (directeur général de BFMTV)

Cachez cette vérité que je ne saurai voir !

Utilisation systématique des coups bas dès sa première élection au sénat, autobiographies largement bidonnées et écrites à plusieurs mains, utilisation massive et secrète des éliminations ciblées, mensonges ou non-dits électoralistes sur l’attentat de Benghazi, profilage du fisc pour les seuls groupes d’opposition,  mise sur écoute – presse comprise – de la planète entière, abandon de l’Irak et de la Syrie ouvrant la porte à la barbarie de l’Etat islamique et à la véritable invasion – terroristes compris – de l’Europe, auto-aveuglement quasi-pathologique et refus criminel de nommer même l’origine du terrorisme islamique, élargissement irresponsable et électoraliste de djihadistes notoires, passage en force et à tous prix de l’assurance universelle, aggravation abyssale du déficit fédéral, revirements démagogiques et imposition au plus haut niveau des aberrations du mariage pour tous et des toilettes transgenres, gesticulations hypocrites sur les armes à feu, utilisation systématique de la carte raciale, véritable sabordage de son propre parti (pas moins de 1042 sièges de parlementaire ou postes de gouverneur perdus), appels du pied secrets et reculs répétés devant les faits accomplis territoriaux tant russes que chinois, retour sur 40 ans de diplomatie américaine et abandon à la curée onusienne de la seule démocratie du Moyen-Orient, paiement secret de rançons et accord donnant accès à terme à l’arme nucléaire à un regime terroriste appelant ouvertement à l’annihilation d’un de ses voisins …

Au lendemain d’une intronisation du président Trump…

O combien rafraichissante après l’arrogance – dans le genre de l’instit qui siffle la fin de la récré – d’un 44e président appelant ses concitoyens, on s’en souvient, à « mettre de côté les choses de l’enfance » …

Qui contre la multiplication des coups bas de l’administration de son prédécesseur et de sa claque des médias ou du show business

Et dans une capitale fédérale de fonctionnaires acquise depuis toujours et à plus de 90% – allez savoir pourquoi – au parti démocrate …

Marquait le retour de toute une partie du peuple américain jusqu’ici dénigrée

Par des élites plus que jamais coupées de la réalité …

Et qui sur nos plateaux de télévision a donné lieu au déferlement que l’on sait …

De hargne pour celui que s’est librement choisi le peuple américain…

Comme de désinformation partisane pour celui que ledit peuple venait de rejeter …

Comment ne pas s’émerveiller de ce véritable ovni qui a traversé un temps nos petits écrans français …

Avec les propos de cette journaliste française spécialiste des Etats-Unis …

 Bien vite désavoués et censurés du site de BFMTV …

Pour avoir tout simplement osé rappeler …

La véritable imposture et le véritable accident industriel qu’aura été …

Avec la complicité active des médias et pendant huit longues années …

La présidence du fidèle de 20 ans de l’ancien pasteur Jeremiah Wright ?

Gros malaise

« Obama déteste l’Amérique » : une invitée virée du plateau de BFMTV

« Ce sont des propos scandaleux. On lui a demandé immédiatement de quitter le plateau », a expliqué à Buzz Feed Hervé Béroud, directeur général de BFMTV.

BFMTV
20 Janvier 2017

À l’occasion de la passation du pouvoir entre Barack Obama et Donald Trump, l’auteure pro-Trump Evelyne Joslain était l’invitée de BFM TV. Elle devait commenter l’investiture du nouveau président des Etats-Unis. Cependant, tout ne s’est pas passé comme prévu sur le plateau de la chaîne.

En effet Evelyne Joslain a déclaré en plain direct : « Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. » a-t-elle déclaré. Avant de continuer « Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres

Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci. »

Inacceptable

Des propos très durs qui ont installé un certain malaise. D’après Buzz Feed, Evelyne Joslain a même été priée de quitter le plateau. « Ce sont des propos scandaleux. On lui a demandé immédiatement de quitter le plateau. Elle nous a été recommandée par les “Republicans Overseas” puisqu’on cherchait à avoir une sensibilité pro-Trump sur le plateau. C’était une mauvaise recommandation. Pour nous ce sont des propos inacceptables sur notre antenne. On les condamne fermement « , a commenté Hervé Béroud, directeur général de BFMTV, contacté par Buzz feed.

Sur la Toile, les internautes ont également réagi.

Voir aussi:

Pour une intervenante de BFMTV, Obama est «musulman dans son cœur»
Evelyne Joslain, essayiste française pro-Trump invitée par BFMTV, a tenu des propos étranges —voire complotistes, à l’antenne de la chaîne.

Jules Darmanin

Buzzfeed

20 janvier 2017

Barack Obama quitte la Maison-Blanche ce vendredi 20 janvier, jour de l’investiture de Donald Trump en tant que 45e président des États-Unis. BFMTV couvre l’événement en direct avec plusieurs intervenants. Parmi eux, l’auteure et essayiste pro-Trump Evelyne Joslain.

Voici ce qu’elle avait à dire sur Obama et la religion.

«Je remets en cause son patriotisme et sa dévotion à l’église qu’il fréquentait. Je pense qu’il était en désaccord avec lui-même sur beaucoup de choses. Je pense qu’il était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci», a-t-elle dit avant d’être coupée par un présentateur sur le plateau, qui souhaitait changer de sujet.

Cet article de Newsweek explique bien le parcours religieux de Barack Obama, qui n’a pas été vraiment élevé dans un foyer religieux, mais qui s’est tourné vers le protestantisme réformiste alors qu’il était adulte.

Toutefois, en 2012, un sondage a montré que 17% des Américains pensaient que le président était musulman, ce qui a été une théorie du complot récurrente lors de son mandat.

Evelyne Joslain a également affirmé que le président sortant des États-Unis faisait «partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique».

«Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique. (…) Le chômage n’est pas très important parce que vous croyez aux statistiques.»

Contacté par BuzzFeed News, Hervé Béroud, directeur général de BFMTV, a dénoncé des «propos inacceptables».

«Ce sont des propos scandaleux. On lui a demandé immédiatement de quitter le plateau. Elle nous a été recommandée par les “Republicans Overseas” puisqu’on cherchait à avoir une sensibilité pro-Trump sur le plateau. C’était une mauvaise recommandation. Pour nous ce sont des propos inacceptables sur notre antenne. On les condamne fermement», a-t-il dit à BuzzFeed News.

Voir également:

Trump. Entretien avec Evelyne Joslain, auteur de Trump, pour le meilleur et pour le pire
Vivien Hoch
docteur en philosophie et consultant en communication politique
Les Observateurs
06.07.2016

Evelyne Joslain est spécialiste de la politique américaine. Elle nous accorde en entretien en exclusivité à l’occasion de la sortie de son dernier livre sur le phénomène Donald Trump.

1° LesObservateurs.ch – Après avoir publié des livres sur le Tea Party, vous vous attaquez à la « montagne » Donald Trump. Quel lien y a-t-il entre les deux ? Trump est-il la continuité du Tea Party, ou consacre-t-il une rupture avec ce mouvement ?
Evelyne Joslain. Mon livre est non seulement la suite du Tea Party car oui, le mouvement Trump englobe la plupart des groupes Tea Party, même si là aussi les élites du mouvement diffèrent quelque peu de leur base, mais aussi de mon Obama: de la Déconstruction de démocratie en Amérique. Trump exploite l’aversion viscérale du pays profond pour les « élites » corrompues qui leur ont failli en tout. J’explique tout cela dans le détail.
2° Votre livre s’intitule « Trump, pour le meilleur et pour le pire ». Le meilleur, d’accord. Mais pourquoi le pire ?
C’est la formule d’engagement et de foi dans le mariage. Si on épouse, c’est que le meilleur semble valoir largement de risquer le pire.
3° Trump provoque une haine sans précédent des médias et de la classe politique partout dans le monde. Cela n’est pas étonnant. Mais pourquoi tout une partie de la droite le déteste encore ?
Les médias français sont eux-mêmes totalement désinformés puisqu’ils ont pour source les MSM américains tous très à gauche et qui ont bradé l’éthique journalistique contre l’idéologie soixante-huitarde. C’est un des aspects de la guerre culturelle que j’aborde aussi longuement dans mon livre.
La droite française, comme le GOP, est intimidée par les médias. Et n’oubliez pas qu’elle en est encore à croire qu’Obama est un être cérébral, exceptionnel…, qu’elle ne comprend ni Brexit ni Trump, bref qu’elle a le même logiciel que la gauche sur presque tout.
 
4° A-t-il réellement des chances de battre le clan Clinton, Obama qui l’a rejoint, les médias, les financiers, le show-bizz, Georges Soros et le système quasiment tout entier ?
Les chances de Trump, mathématiquement, sont en effet très réduites car le jeu démocratique est pipé, corrompu jusqu’à la moelle et que les votes des 7 millions d’illégaux illégalement « légalisés » par Obama vont peser.
Seule, une poussée populaire massive menée par le Donald a une chance de faire sauter les verrous.
Comme pour Brexit, il faudra espérer qu’au tout dernier moment le bien l’emporte sur le mal.
D’ici là, la gauche vicieuse fera tout, absolument tout pour discréditer Trump et faire élire la femme politique la plus corrompue de l’histoire.

C’est un combat titanesque.

Evelyne Joslain, spécialiste des Etats-Unis, est l’auteur de Trump: pour le meilleur et pour le pire, explique le phénomène populaire outre-atlantique autour du candidat républicain.
 Europe 1
01 octobre 2016

INTERVIEW Cinq jours après le premier débat qui a opposé les deux candidats à l’élection présidentielle américaine, Évelyne Joslain, spécialiste des États-Unis, auteur de Trump: pour le meilleur et pour le pire*, explique, samedi au micro d’Europe 1, l’engouement populaire outre-atlantique autour du candidat républicain.

« Des gens attendent des heures sous la pluie pour le voir ». « Il existe une presse particulièrement biaisée sur Donald Trump », avance d’emblée Evelyne Joslain. Elle-même est membre des Republicans Overseas, une organisation créée en 2013 et permettant aux Américains vivant à l’étranger de suivre les élections, notamment ceux qui seraient tentés pas un vote républicain. La chercheuse ne cache pas son parti pris : « C’était la même chose en 2008, sauf que tout était en faveur d’Obama ».

Crédité de 38% d’intention de vote selon un dernier sondage, Donald Trump incarne, d’après Evelyne Joslain, le candidat qui fédère l’Amérique entière : « Des gens attendent des heures entières sous la pluie pour le voir puis entrent dans le calme dans les meetings », explique t-elle. « Clinton n’essaie même pas de faire la même chose, elle sait qu’elle ne réussirait pas ». Elle estime d’ailleurs que le débat qui l’a opposé à la candidate démocrate était peu favorable à Trump : « Le modérateur servait la soupe à Clinton et le public lui était hostile », regrette Evelyne Joslain. « On espère qu’il va régler son compte à Clinton, qui est une femme corrompue ».

OPA réussie sur le Parti républicain. Selon la spécialiste, pas de comparaison possible entre Donald Trump et les candidats de la droite française : « Le parallélisme est forcément réduit. A la limite, on pourrait penser au mouvement Ukip (le Parti pour l’indépendance du Royaume-Uni, dirigé par Nigel Farage, ndlr) », précise t-elle. « Il est le candidat du changement face au déclin, qui a fait une OPA réussie sur le parti républicain », sourit Evelyne Joslain. « C’est un phénomène unique, propre aux Etats-Unis ».

« Pas que le candidat de l’Amérique blanche et rurale ». Evelyne Joslain l’assure, l’électorat ouvrier et blanc a réellement adhéré aux idées de Donald Trump. « Mais pas seulement », insiste la spécialiste : « Ses thèmes sont porteurs, il rassemble beaucoup d’autres gens, comme les intellectuels ». Pour elle, le candidat républicain n’est « pas que le candidat de l’Amérique rurale et blanche ». Et si Trump réunit autant de monde, c’est pour son programme, notamment « sa volonté de renégocier les marchés internationaux qui sont tous en défaveur des Etats-Unis », répète Evelyne Joslain, qui souhaite aussi montrer que le candidat républicain n’est pas seulement obsédé par l’immigration.

Quid de la politique étrangère ? « Il a des idées novatrices mais c’est là où on l’entend le moins », concède la spécialiste. « On ignore ce qu’il va faire et il reste très prudent ».

*Trump, pour le meilleur et pour le pire, Presse de la Délivrance, 2016.

Voir de plus:

Rares sont les observateurs européens à se prononcer ouvertement pour Donald Trump en vue de l’élection présidentielle américaine. L’essayiste Evelyne Joslain a expliqué pourquoi son choix s’est rapidement porté sur le milliardaire.

Europe 1

03 août 2016

INTERVIEW »J’ai toujours dit que c’était le meilleur. » Invitée d’Europe 1 mercredi matin, l’essayiste Évelyne Joslain n’a pas caché sa préférence pour Donald Trump dans la course à la Maison-Blanche.

Seul capable de battre « le monstre Clinton ». Membre des Republicans Overseas, elle est l’une des premières observatrices de la politique américaine à avoir parié sur le milliardaire. « Dès son entrée en campagne le 15 juin 2015 », précise-t-elle, « parce que les seize autres candidats ne m’emballaient pas. Ils avaient tous de grandes qualités mais je n’en voyais aucun capable de battre le monstre Hillary Clinton« . Auteure du premier ouvrage pro-Trump, Trump, pour le meilleur et pour le pire, Évelyne Joslain s’agace du traitement médiatique que réserve la presse occidentale à son champion. « Les médias continuent à le présenter comme un clown. Ils restent tous récalcitrants à l’idée d’un président Trump », juge-t-elle.

Une confiance indéfectible. Les nombreuses polémiques à l’encontre de Donald Trump n’ont pas altéré la confiance de l’essayiste envers le candidat à la Maison-Blanche. Ses récents propos sur les parents d’un soldat américain musulman mort au combat lui ont attiré une vague de réactions indignées au sein même de son propre parti. Pas de quoi paniquer, selon Evelyne Joslain. « Il y a une minuscule fraction du parti républicain résolument anti-Trump – sans doute pour des intérêts particuliers – et qui est prête à lui sauter dessus encore plus férocement que la gauche. On ne peut pas les prendre au sérieux, ils ne sont que 5% », balaie l’essayiste. Donald Trump « ne veut pas rentrer dans un moule politiquement correct. Il ne veut pas être poli quand il est attaqué, comme par le père de ce soldat américain, vicieusement », affirme-t-elle.

Des polémiques qui servent Trump. À en croire Évelyne Joslain, ces multiples polémiques serviraient même les intérêts du milliardaire. « Donald Trump, lui, se moque éperdument qu’on l’aime ou qu’on ne l’aime pas. Il a remarqué que tout ce qui était présenté comme une gaffe, une bavure ou une provocation, faisait un tollé dans la presse de gauche. Cela se manifestait ensuite par un gain de popularité et des voix supplémentaires », se réjouit-elle. En dépit des sondages – qui voient désormais Donald Trump devancé de huit points par Hillary Clinton – Évelyne Joslain en est certaine : « Trump a autant de chance de gagner qu’Hillary Clinton ».

Voir encore:

Feu sur la Maison Blanche !

Comment apprendre à haïr Donald Trump en 5 leçons…

C’est pas bien compliqué. Il suffit de lire nos journaux, d’écouter nos radios et de regarder nos télévisions.

Benoit Rayski

Causeur
21 Janvier 2017

1ère leçon. Lors de l’investiture du nouveau président américain, des « résistants » se sont dressés dans les rues de Washington. Oui des « résistants » selon les radios de service public ! Ils ont crié que Trump n’était pas « légitime ». Ils ont aussi brisé des vitrines et cassé du mobilier urbain (mais ça, pour le savoir, il faut lire le Washington Post et le New York Times). Ils n’étaient que quelques centaines (et ça aussi, pour le savoir, il faut se plonger dans la presse américaine).

2ème leçon. Elle est un peu plus compliquée et nécessite toute votre attention. L’Agence France Presse a mis sur son fil deux photos juxtaposées. L’une montrant la foule massée devant le Capitole pour l’investiture d’Obama. L’autre avec les centaines de milliers d’Américains venus assister à l’investiture de Trump. Sur la première, c’est noir de monde. Sur la seconde, c’est nettement plus clairsemé. Vous avez compris le message de l’AFP ? Ca c’est de l’information ! Ce que notre agence nationale a oublié de préciser, c’est qu’à Washington, où se trouve le Capitole, Trump n’a obtenu que 5 % des suffrages. Un oubli vraiment ?

3ème leçon. Une chaîne de télévision française nous apprend qu’une des premières mesures de Donald Trump sera de faire adopter une loi permettant de « déporter » 2 millions d’étrangers en situation irrégulière. En français, le mot « déporter » est lourd de signification. Les « déporter » où ? Auschwitz a depuis longtemps fermé ses portes. Reste Guantanamo. Mais c’est tout petit et prévu seulement pour quelques centaines de personnes. Alors nous, on veut savoir où…

4ème leçon. Il y a aux Etats-Unis une femme courageuse. Elle est française. Cocorico ! Sophie Théallet, c’est son nom, est créatrice de mode. Elle a fait savoir qu’elle refusait catégoriquement d’habiller Mélania Trump. Sophie Théallet a des valeurs. Et ce ne sont pas celles du président des Etats-Unis « raciste et sexiste ». Tous nos journaux saluent son « courage ». On a les Jeanne d’Arc qu’on mérite. Ce que les journaux ne disent pas, c’est que Mélania Trump n’a aucunement sollicité Sophie Théallet. Manifestement, cette information est sans importance.

5ème leçon. Compte tenu de la défection de Sophie Théallet, le risque (si c’est un risque…) était grand de voir apparaître Mélania Trump nue lors du bal qui a suivi l’investiture de son époux. Mais ce délicieux spectacle nous a été épargné. Le couturier Hervé Pierre, français lui aussi, s’est dévoué. Mélania Trump portait une tenue dessinée par lui. Une robe crème, fendue, avec les épaules dénudées. La presse française n’a pas encore réagi à cette information qui fait honte à la réputation de notre pays. Mais ça ne va pas tarder, et nous apprendrons bientôt qu’Hervé Pierre ne mérite pas d’être français. Et que Mélania Trump est une allumeuse.

Voir encore:

Le Grand Mensonge des Démocrates Américains

Stéphane Trano

Marianne

8 janvier 2017

On ne peut pas blâmer les Démocrates américains de tenter, par tous les moyens, de masquer la portée de leur échec en l’attribuant à toutes sortes de motifs, même les plus fantaisistes. La pilule est certes amère. Toutefois, la part la plus intéressante de cette hystérie collective est le phénomène d’auto-persuasion qui en est le moteur et que la plupart des grands médias du pays alimentent.

L’argument numéro un des perdants est la faillite du système électoral et, en particulier, le fait que la candidate démocrate, Hillary Clinton, a remporté le scrutin populaire. C’est oublier que la situation, même si elle n’est pas commune, s’est produite à quatre reprises au cours de l’Histoire des Etats-Unis, et qu’elle ne constitue pas de difficulté particulière aux termes de la Constitution. De plus, le 115ème congrès, sorti des urnes le 8 novembre 2016 et en fonction depuis le 3 janvier 2017, a vu 52% des électeurs voter pour les Républicains au Sénat et 55% à la Chambre des représentants. Il n’y a donc aucune anomalie dans les élections de 2016 de ce point de vue.

Le second argument est celui du piratage informatique à grande échelle des élections, sur ordre du président russe Vladimir Poutine, afin de faciliter l’élection de Donald J. Trump. Là encore, l’idée ne tient pas debout. Aucune trace de défaillance dans le nombre limité de votes électroniques aux élections n’a été décelée. Les services du renseignement américain, en dépit de leur conviction affichée selon lesquelles il existe un indice « haut » de confiance dans le fait qu’il y a eu piratage, ne sont pas tenus de produire le moindre élément de preuve au public, puisque de telles informations sont par essence classées « secret défense ». Il faut donc les croire sur parole.

Poussés par ceux qui demeurent sceptiques sur la manière dont on s’y prend pour influencer le résultat d’une élection par des moyens électroniques, des experts affirment, par dizaines, que le régime russe a répandu de « fausses informations » à grande échelle afin de porter atteinte à l’image de la candidate Hillary Clinton. Les mêmes sont incapables d’expliquer concrètement comment l’on s’y prend et pourquoi il faut des « hackers » pour influencer les esprits dans leur choix lors d’un vote.

Une mauvaise candidate

Hillary Clinton n’a eu besoin ni de Vladimir Poutine, ni de Julien Assange et encore moins de « pirates » pour perdre les élections de 2016. Ce ne sont pas de prétendues « fausses » informations qui ont heurté sa réputation déjà bien entamée auprès de nombreux électeurs américains, par exemple, dans l’affaire des emails, mais au contraire, son refus obstiné de prendre cette affaire au sérieux et de répondre aux interrogations. On ne voit pas, non plus, quelles « fausses » informations ont poussé l’électorat noir américain à se sous-mobiliser lors du vote du 8 novembre, ou les femmes et les plus jeunes à bouder sa candidature, après la défaite de Bernie Sanders lors des primaires démocrates.

Hillary Clinton, dont l’ambition n’est pas éteinte par la défaite, a affiché un visage froid, autoritaire et cassant, durant sa campagne. Elle n’a pas su développer un programme à la fois lisible et crédible, qui aurait pu emporter un vote, à la fois populaire et du collège électoral, si tranché qu’il n’y aurait eu aucune contestation. Comment, en effet, se revendiquer de l’héritage de Barack Obama, lorsque cet héritage peine à brandir autre chose que l’Obamacare, dont même les démocrates savent qu’il n’est pas financé au-delà de 2017 et coûte, en réalité, une fortune au regard des bénéfices qu’il apporte ?

Mensonges et déni

Car au-delà de cette loi sur la santé qui n’est en rien un système généreux et égalitaire tel qu’on le pense du côté des Européens, c’est le vide. Même si le Secrétaire d’Etat John Kerry blâme ces derniers jours le gouvernement anglais, prétendant qu’il est à l’origine de l’incapacité d’Obama à agir plus concrètement et durablement au Moyen-Orient contre l’état islamique, la mémoire de tous est par chance encore assez fraîche pour se souvenir que les huit années de ce président ont été celles d’une grande hypocrisie diplomatique et militaire. Mais le déni, dans ce domaine comme dans bien d’autres, est plus puissant que la mémoire.

Les âmes sensibles sont outrées par l’idée de construire un mur à la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique. On a beau leur montrer les mille kilomètres de ce mur déjà construit, y compris sous le premier mandat d’Obama, cela n’a guère d’effet et n’entraîne aucune interrogation sur les raisons pour lesquelles le bon président n’en n’a pas retiré une seule pierre.

Un autre exemple est celui de la crise financière de 2008 et du retour au « plein emploi » huit ans plus tard : quel président n’aurait point réussi ce « prodige » en creusant le déficit de son pays, comme Barack Obama l’a fait, de près de 5000 milliards de dollars ?

La période 2008-2016 n’a pas non plus été celle de législations majeures en matière d’armes à feu, d’incarcérations, de recul de la peine de mort, de maîtrise des frais de scolarité ou de gestion des prêts étudiants parvenus à des hauteurs astronomiques.

Quel est donc ce succès dont les Démocrates se revendiquent au juste? Est-ce celui des villes défigurées sous les coups de boutoir du géant Amazon, à la fois propriétaire du puissant Washington Post et importateur massif de toutes les chinoiseries possibles qui inondent un marché américain ou l’on ne sait plus fabriquer une chaussette? Est-celui de Saint Zuckerberg, le jeune patron de Facebook, « le » média des « millénaires » qui ne savent plus à quoi ressemble un livre et qui entre désormais en politique avec de hautes ambitions? Est-ce celui du mariage gay et de la dépénalisation du cannabis, hautes priorités s’il en est dans un monde où tout le monde se fout des 250 000 morts du Sud Soudan, bien moins « sexy » que ceux de Syrie?

Quel héritage Obama?

Alors, que reste t-il de cet héritage Obama, au juste ? Une posture, bien évidemment. Après George W. Bush et le mensonge irakien, n’importe quel président aurait été auréolé de gloire. On attendait d’Obama, toutefois, un peu plus qu’un physique avenant, un talent rhétorique et l’humour dont il a tant usé. Car c’est à ce que laisse un président que l’on mesure son impact, pas à sa performance sur la scène du pouvoir. L’Amérique n’est pas plus sympathique dans le monde qu’elle ne l’était avant son arrivée, ni plus sûre, ni plus égalitaire. Mais elle a la chance d’être un pays pragmatique : en ramenant au pouvoir, contre toute attente, les Républicains, elle a flanqué une gifle magistrale aux « progressistes » qui se croyaient tout permis. Elle ne l’a pas fait par folie ou par irresponsabilité mais parce qu’elle a confiance dans la capacité de ses institutions à « encaisser » ce type de choix démocratique, si perturbant soit-il pour des milieux qui s’estiment mieux éduqués et éclairés que les autres. On appelle cela l’alternance, une banalité que les Démocrates veulent aujourd’hui faire passer pour un scandale et une catastrophe.

Cherchez l’erreur.

Voir enfin:

Josiane Filio

Riposte laïque

21 janvier 2017

C’est plus fort que tout ; ils n’arrivent pas à s’y faire et ont vraiment du mal à digérer l’élection de Donald Trump à la présidence des Etats-Unis d’Amérique !

« Ils », ce sont les membres de l’auto proclamé « camp du bien », n’hésitant pas à maquiller le succès de la cérémonie de son investiture, en échec qui aurait fait rigoler la terre entière, grossissant les manifestations hostiles de quelques centaines d’intolérants à leur image, pour mieux masquer l’immense satisfaction des représentants bien plus nombreux du peuple américain, et ce malgré toutes leurs manipulations qui se sont révélées inutiles !

Défenseurs en France du plus ridicule ersatz de président qu’il nous fut donné d’avoir, ils se gaussent d’un homme ne présentant pas les critères de beauté en usage dans leur monde ; pourtant il me semblait bien qu’il était défendu de se moquer du physique d’une personne, sous peine d’avoir de gros ennuis avec la « justice ». Mais j’ai du mal comprendre, ou alors cette règle, comme beaucoup d’autres, n’est imputable qu’au citoyen lambda … membre du camp du mal, celui des patriotes ?

Allez savoir avec cette engeance !

En tout cas la machine à enfumer les citoyens marche à fond et ne va pas tarder à « péter une durite » s’ils continuent à cette cadence, totalement inconscients du ridicule offert par la bien-pensance aux sans-dents français qui se réjouissent.

Tenez, par exemple la chaine BFMTV qui n’a pas hésité à virer de son plateau Evelyne Joslain, spécialiste des États-Unis et pro-Trump, qu’ils avaient invitée pour leur édition spéciale consacrée à la cérémonie d’investiture … mais qui n’a pas tenu les propos « politiquement corrects » attendus !

Il est vrai que déclarer, en direct, « Je pense que Barack Obama était plus musulman dans son cœur que chrétien. Il n’a pas voulu prononcer le terme d’islamisme radical, ça lui écorchait les lèvres. Je pense que dans son cœur, il est musulman, mais on en a terminé avec lui, Dieu merci », doit être parfaitement intolérable aux oreilles des pisse-froid de la presse vendue aux pouvoirs, peu habituée aux contradictions puisque s’arrangeant toujours pour débattre « entre soi », permettant ainsi d’offrir une « vitrine » bien lisse et formatée selon la règle.

Madame Joslain, qui en sait bien plus long sur les Etats-Unis que les marionnettes de la chaîne, a certainement cru que cette invitation étant une preuve de leur ouverture aux autres, notamment aux contradicteurs (manœuvre grossière pour entuber une nouvelle fois les téléspectateurs) y est allée de bon cœur, aggravant son cas en ajoutant plus tard : « Barack Obama, franchement il fait partie des gens qui détestent l’Amérique. Il a servi son idéologie mais pas l’Amérique ».

La boulette !

Oser délaisser la langue de bois obligatoire sur cette chaîne, est carrément suicidaire ; c’est d’ailleurs ce qui est arrivé puisque le directeur général (un certain Hervé Béroud) a exprimé sa grosse colère par ces mots : « ce sont des propos scandaleux, inacceptables sur notre antenne, nous les condamnons fermement » … précisant tout de même que le but du jeu en invitant cette intervenante, c’était d’avoir sur le plateau « une sensibilité pro-Trump » ! Vous voyez le topo ?

Manque de bol, « ils » n’avaient pas pensé un instant que l’intéressée se laisserait aller ainsi avec autant de morgue en attaquant le si formidable ex-président … qui a pourtant donné ces jours derniers, au monde entier, toute  la mesure de sa rouerie et de sa dangerosité !

Comme Madame Joslain je suis heureuse qu’enfin « on en ait terminé avec lui ! ».

A signaler qu’Evelyne Joslain avait déjà provoqué le courroux des bisounours en Août 2016, en déclarant sur Europe 1 que Hillary Clinton était une femme corrompue.

http://www.msn.com/fr-fr/actualite/france/investiture-de-trump-bfmtv-vire-une-invit%C3%A9e-de-son-plateau-apr%C3%A8s-des-%C2%ABpropos-inacceptables%C2%BB/ar-AAm3Wui?li=BBwlBpb&ocid=spartanntp

Chez d’autres roquets aux basques du pouvoir, il y a aussi ceux qui se sont gaussés de l’épisode du cadeau de la belle Mélania Trump à Michelle Obama (qui elle aussi m’a bien déçue, alors que j’avais tant admiré son refus de porter le voile en visite en pays musulman), prouvant une nouvelle fois leur profond mépris pour qui n’est pas de leur caste.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8of8Ay35TA

Sur cette vidéo on constate qu’effectivement Michelle Obama ne sait trop quoi faire de ce cadeau puisque naturellement elle ne sait où le poser, mais les commentaires ajoutés sur celle figurant dans l’article du Huffingtonpost (lien ci-dessous) sont du plus mauvais goût.

http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2017/01/20/michelle-obama-na-pas-pu-cacher-sa-gene-devant-le-cadeau-de-mel/

Mais ils peuvent bien tempêter, jurer, mentir encore et encore, tous ces minus qui ne lui arrivent pas à la cheville question courage ; le principal intéressé, grand bosseur devant l’éternel (4 heures de sommeil par nuit lui suffiraient), s’en fout comme de sa première chemise, et s’est déjà mis au boulot, notamment en signant dès vendredi, un premier décret concernant le système de santé américain, qui vise à entamer le démantèlement de l’ « Obamacare », une des réformes emblématiques du mandat de Barack Obama ; qualifiée par le nouveau président de « désastre complet » qui devrait être remplacé par « un système de santé bien moins cher et bien meilleur » … ce que ne disent pas ceux qui crient « au charron » devant cette décision.

Et ce n’est que le commencement !

Comparé à notre mollusque qui n’en branle pas une (si j’ose dire, oups !) hormis se pavaner aux quatre coins de la planète, à nos frais, cela laisse rêveur !

En revanche, du côté de ses fans, m’est avis qu’on n’a pas fini de sangloter dans les « chaumières » des beaux quartiers bobos ! Et rien que cela me donne un immense espoir pour l’avenir du monde entier, et bien évidemment de la France.


Antiracisme: Appropriation culturelle, espaces protégés, signalisation des contenus, bienvenue au meilleur des mondes que nous préparent nos universités! (Executing Socrates all over again: How trigger warnings end up silencing all students)

15 janvier, 2017
queens-racist-party pc1 pc4 pc5 pc6 pc7pc8 pc9 safe-space trigger-warnings safespace2 real-world cutoutsno-lepenparliament-hill-yoga
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
La noble idée de « la guerre contre le racisme » se transforme graduellement en une idéologie hideusement mensongère. Et cet antiracisme sera, pour le XXIe siècle, ce qu’a été le communisme pour le XXe. Alain Finkielkraut
L’ordre politico-économique actuel est paradoxal. Il faut commencer par reconnaître que les notions de mondialisation et de « gouvernance mondiale » vont, en fait, de pair avec celle de bureaucratie. Ce qui se prétend libéral a tendance à ne pas l’être du tout. L’invocation d’une forme d’autoritarisme constitue certes un symptôme du rejet du système actuel, mais ça n’est pas nécessairement le dernier mot du virage politique actuel. Nous vivons d’ores et déjà dans un système de bureaucratie absolue, qui, dans le même temps, aspire à ne plus rien gérer que de dérisoire et fait mine de « déréguler » en invoquant la mondialisation et ses avatars. Sur la base de l’économie administrée d’après guerre s’est construite une machine administrative qui, à partir des années 1970, a commencé, comme ivre de son propre pouvoir, à vaciller et à se prétendre libérale. Depuis 2008, « le roi est nu ». On assiste, en particulier dans le monde anglophone, à une prise de conscience des failles fondamentales du système de « gouvernance mondiale ». Trump et le Brexit sont des manifestations historiques de ce phénomène. Il suffit de s’amuser à lire le Financial Times ou le Wall Street Journal entre les lignes pour se convaincre que, malgré les dichotomies électorales, cette prise de conscience y touche autant l’élite financière que les classes populaires. On réalise enfin que les bureaucraties pseudo-libérales ne comprennent pas les marchés et ne font qu’aggraver des phénomènes de bulles à répétition. Dans le même temps, ce système bureaucratique repose en fait sur une destruction de l’élite traditionnelle et de l’élite scientifique qui, dans le cas français, se fait au profit de la « haute fonction publique ». On est très loin d’un système de démocratie libérale et même à l’opposé. Si l’on s’intéresse à la fulgurance de Fukuyama, on pourrait lui rétorquer que la démocratie libérale n’a simplement pas eu lieu… Exit la fin de l’histoire. Le populisme est, dans une certaine mesure, une réaction aux dérives et aux échecs de ce système de déresponsabilisation. La petite musique autoritaire des populistes occidentaux fait surtout écho au discrédit donc souffre l’antienne pseudo-libérale. Les partis traditionnels, s’ils sont sincères dans leur invocation du libéralisme, seraient bien inspirés de comprendre la nécessité d’un retour à un véritable système de gouvernement et de responsabilité, seul rempart contre l’extrémisme. (…) La question de l’islamisme en occident est double. On observe une sorte d’effet de résonance entre, d’un côté, la crise politico-religieuse qui ravage le monde arabe et y détruit des constructions étatiques aussi violentes que fragiles et, de l’autre, la crise propre aux démocraties occidentales. Ces deux crises simultanées sont pourtant d’une nature très différente. La plupart des pays développés font face à une dégénérescence spécifique de leur système étatique en une bureaucratie tentaculaire (publique et privée) qui, dans le même temps, s’est déresponsabilisée en invoquant la mondialisation. Mais cette « décadence » se manifeste à la suite d’un immense succès. Ce succès a notamment reposé sur l’alliance entre développement des institutions, facilité de financement et progrès technique. Les systèmes politiques occidentaux présentent pourtant désormais, malgré l’ultra-individualisme, des maux associés aux systèmes collectivistes. D’un côté, la standardisation de l’existence, l’isolement et l’extension continue du périmètre de la bureaucratie produisent un effet d’aliénation croissante, de sentiment d’inutilité et de crise psychique profonde dans la société et au cœur même de l’élite. De l’autre, la logique bureaucratique et la dissociation géographique entre conception, production et consommation sapent le fonctionnement du capitalisme (entraînant une stagnation de la productivité) et la notion de citoyenneté. Les classes populaires, les jeunes, les sous-diplômés puis les surdiplômés… en fait plus personne à terme n’est appelé à être véritablement inclus dans un tel système en dehors d’un microcosme bureaucratique qui évoque celui du communisme. Dans ce contexte, l’appel électoral récurrent aux minorités par la classe des pseudo-progressistes est une imposture vouée à l’échec, comme l’a montré la déconvenue de Mme Clinton. (…) La réponse la plus raisonnable c’est la démocratie libérale dans un cadre institutionnel et géographique raisonnable (un cadre national, vu de façon apaisée, serait un bon candidat), pas l’ersatz brandi par une bureaucratie aux abois. Il faut d’abord voir la réalité de nos systèmes politico-économiques et analyser leurs échecs. La pire des approches consisteraient à prolonger le statu quo économique globaliste des quatre dernières décennies tout en invoquant la modernité et le progressisme. C’est l’approche suivie par un certain nombre d’acteurs politiques ultra-conformistes, d’Hillary Clinton aux Etats-Unis au courant Macron-Hollande en France. La plupart des mouvements populistes européens apparaissent incapables de gouverner du fait de leur désorganisation et de leur ancrage dans une forme ou une autre d’extrémisme. Quoi que l’on pense du personnage de Donald Trump et des relents xénophobes de sa campagne, il faut reconnaitre que sa relative autonomie financière de milliardaire lui a permis de mettre les pieds dans le plat de la question de la localisation de la production industrielle. Il sera impossible de renouer avec la croissance, les gains de productivité et le plein emploi sans surmonter cette question. Le meilleur moyen de répondre à la tendance à l’autoritarisme, c’est d’y opposer un renouveau de l’idée de gouvernement. En Europe et en France en particulier, cela n’adviendra que lorsqu’un parti sérieux se résoudra à aborder simultanément la question du poids de la bureaucratie dans l’économie (sans s’égarer dans les manipulations du fonctionnaire Macron) et du rééquilibrage européen face à l’unilatéralisme allemand. Rémi Bourgeot
Les années 90 ont en effet été marquées par l’idée d’une « Fin de l’Histoire », une sorte de happy end qui aurait vu l’humanité entière s’acheminer vers un monde apaisé grâce à l’accroissement des richesses, la fin progressive de la misère et le développement de l’Etat de droit partout dans le monde. Cette idée d’un monde sans ennemi après la chute de l’Urss, où les valeurs libérales et démocratiques de l’Occident l’auraient définitivement emporté, s’est heurtée à l’irruption d’un nouvel antagonisme historique, celui qui oppose l’islam radicalisé à un Occident qui, loin d’être sûr de lui-même, est travaillé par une profonde fracture. Il y a donc deux fractures à prendre en compte: la fracture qui divise le monde islamique entre musulmans pacifiques et musulmans radicalisés et la fracture qui divise l’Occident entre ceux qui prétendent universaliser le modèle occidental et notamment le modèle américain- c’était le cas de la famille Bush et des néos conservateurs américains- et ceux qui pensent que l’Occident traverse une grave, très grave crise spirituelle et morale, une crise de légitimité liée notamment au recul des valeurs traditionnelles. Autrement dit la bataille a lieu sur tous les fronts et elle déchire chacun des camps. La victoire de Trump est aussi la victoire d’une forme de critique de l’Occident libéral et post moderne par ceux qui récusent ce nouveau monde qui prétend ringardiser tous ceux qui y rechignent. Les Américains qui l’ont élu voudraient que leur pays renoue avec un imaginaire puissant celui d’un rêve américain, mais un rêve américain qui ne soit pas celui des minorités et du politiquement correct, notion qui est réellement née aux Etats-Unis et que les élites libérales et progressistes américaines ont exporté en Europe depuis les années 60. Un rêve américain accessible d’abord à ceux qui ont créé les Etats-Unis, à savoir les blancs eux-mêmes, qui seront peut-être la minorité de demain. La victoire de Trump signifie peut-être la fin d’une période marquée par la culpabilisation de l’américain blanc, qu’il soit pauvre, riche ou des classes moyennes, par les lobbys féministes et afro-américains. En Europe, la question est sensiblement différente, car l’angoisse qui aujourd’hui prédomine est liée à l’immigration et surtout à l’islam. Le Brexit a signifié le refus des classes populaires anglaises de voir l’Angleterre se mondialiser à l’aune d’une immigration sans limite. Il n’y a pas, à mon sens, de menace autoritaire en Europe. Dès lors qu’un gouvernement est élu par la majorité d’une population, la démocratie exige que les vœux de cette majorité soient pris en compte. Arrêter ou limiter les flux migratoires n’a rien à voir avec un principe dictatorial. Cela fait partie intégrante des droits des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes. (…) Les jeunes qui s’engagent dans le Djihad, si l’on en croit ceux qui ont étudié leurs motivations, notamment Olivier Roy ou Gilles Keppel, ont l’impression de vivre dans un monde factice et virtuel, celui d’Internet, un monde déréalisé. La motivation mystique, selon Olivier Roy qui a écrit un livre intéressant, Le Djihad et la mort, n’est en partie qu’un alibi. Ce que cherchent ces jeunes dans le Djihad c’est avant tout une forme d’excitation et de reconnaissance. La société où nous sommes -c’est une idée que je développe dans « Malaise de l’Occident, vers une révolution conservatrice » (Pierre Guillaume de Roux)- est une société de l’illusion et du simulacre. Nous pouvons tous croire que nous existons dans le regard des autres en envoyant un message sur Twitter ou sur Facebook. La société du spectacle mondialisée permet à des quidams de satisfaire leur narcissisme à peu de frais. Elle permet aussi d’exprimer une pulsion de mort qui va venger le quidam de son anonymat et du sentiment de nullité qui l’habite. L’islam radical est un moyen de reconnaissance pour ceux qui n’ont que la peur et la terreur pour enfin exister dans le regard des autres. Faire peur est toujours mieux que faire pitié. Voilà ce que se disent ceux qui nous haïssent notamment parce que nous ne cessons de les plaindre. Le discours sur l’exclusion que la gauche tient depuis longtemps enferme les gens dans leur sentiment victimaire. Pour autant le malaise de notre civilisation est aussi profond que réel. Nous avons perdu le gout d’être nous-même et l’Europe multiculturelle des élites a contribué à la diffusion de ce sentiment. Ce n’est pas un hasard si le livre de Michel Onfray, qui n’est pas un homme de droite, s’intitule « Décadence ». Abrutis par le consumérisme les peuples européens ont peut-être perdu le gout de se défendre et cette absence de pugnacité ne peut que renforcer le mépris des islamistes. (…) Je ne crois pas à l’avenir d’un régime autoritaire en France. Nous sommes des peuples individualistes et les Français n’ont jamais supporté une quelconque dictature. Le régime de Vichy, qui a duré 4 ans, était une plaisanterie à côté du national-socialisme et la dictature napoléonienne n’a été possible, quelques années durant, que parce que la gloire de Napoléon était telle que les Français ont accepté de limiter leurs libertés. Les libertés fondamentales d’opinion et de contestation sont inhérentes au tempérament gaulois et De Gaulle lui-même a dû en tenir compte, alors que son tempérament était autoritaire. Par contre je crois à la nécessité d’un Etat fort et respecté. Pour cela le prochain président devra jouir d’une majorité importante qui lui assure une légitimité durable. Paul-François Paoli
Il est certain que l’on a observé, sous l’ère Obama, un relatif repli de l’hégémonie américaine qui a laissé le champ libre à l’émergence ou la réémergence de puissances régionales, dont certaines ont des ambitions mondiales : la Russie, la Chine, l’Iran sont les plus antagoniques à la puissance américaine. Cependant, un tel repli n’est pas inédit et rien ne permet d’affirmer qu’il sera définitif, au contraire. En effet, les Etats-Unis ont souffert durant la dernière décennie de deux traumatismes majeurs : d’une part un traumatisme psychologico-militaire, avec l’impasse de la politique américaine de « guerre contre la terreur » et de remodelage démocratique du Moyen Orient, en commençant par l’Irak, qui s’est soldée par un piteux retrait – lequel a gâché une victoire militaire authentique après le succès du surge – auquel a bien vite succédé le chaos terroriste islamiste; d’autre part un traumatisme économique, la crise de 2008 et ses conséquences. Tout ceci a provoqué une crise de conscience aux Etats-Unis, avec un doute important sur la légitimité et l’intérêt du pays à se projeter ainsi à travers le monde ; et aujourd’hui, hors des Etats-Unis, l’on se demande si le règne de l’Amérique ne touche pas à sa fin et s’il n’est pas temps d’envisager un monde « multipolaire » dans lequel il faudrait se repositionner, éventuellement en revoyant l’alliance américaine. Mais à vrai dire, nous avons déjà connu la même chose il y a quarante ans : après la présidence de Nixon, dans les années 1970, le rêve américain semblait brisé par la guerre du Vietnam, qui avait coûté cher, économiquement et humainement, pour un résultat nul puisque le Sud-Vietnam fut envahi deux ans après le retrait américain et tout le pays bascula dans le communisme. La même année, en 1975, les accords d’Helsinki sont souvent considérés comme l’apogée de l’URSS et en 1979, l’Iran échappe à l’influence américaine. Nombreux à l’époque ont cru que c’en était fini de la puissance américaine et que les soviétiques, dont le stock d’armes nucléaires gonflait à grande vitesse, deviendraient le véritable hégémon mondial. En fait, la décennie s’achevait par l’élection de Ronald Reagan et America is back, et au cours des dix années suivantes, l’Union soviétique s’effondrait et l’Amérique triomphait. Donc, s’il est certain que nous sommes actuellement dans une phase de repli de la puissance américaine, rien ne permet de dire qu’elle doit se prolonger. Au contraire, l’élection « surprise  » de Donald Trump, dont le slogan de campagne « Make America Great Again » était l’un des slogans de Reagan, m’apparaît comme un premier signe du retour du leadership américain, et je ne pense pas qu’il faudra attendre cinq ans pour le voir. En revanche, il est certain que les puissances ennemies ou rivales des Etats-Unis, qui ont énormément profité du reflux américain, ont la volonté de l’exploiter plus avant, et que le retour d’une Amérique sûre d’elle-même ne sera pas pour leur plaire. Les réactions estomaquées qu’ont provoqué les premiers tweets de Donald Trump à propos de la Chine et de Taïwan ne sont qu’un aperçu de cette évolution. (…) l’Inde est le grand émergent d’aujourd’hui, d’un niveau comparable à ce qu’était la Chine au tournant du millénaire. Des usines commencent à quitter la Chine pour s’installer en Inde : la Chine perd des emplois au profit de l’Inde par délocalisation ! Des études démographiques, publiées il y a quelques mois, donnaient en outre une population indienne dépassant la population chinoise dès 2022. De plus, l’Inde peut espérer dans les années qui viennent une forme de soutien des Etats-Unis dans une sorte d’alliance de revers contre la Chine. Par ailleurs, l’Inde commence à se comporter elle aussi en puissance régionale en se constituant un réseau d’alliances : elle vient ainsi de livrer des missiles au Vietnam, vieil ennemi de la Chine, en forme de représailles au soutien chinois au Pakistan, et surtout à la constitution du « corridor économique » sino-pakistanais dont le tracé passe par le Cachemire, territoire revendiqué par l’Inde. La montée en puissance du rival indien, face à une Chine qui est encore elle-même une jeune puissance, est l’un des principaux défis à la stabilité de l’Asie dans les années qui viennent, car la Chine pourrait être tentée d’enrayer la menace indienne avant qu’elle ne soit trop imposante. A ce propos, il faut voir que la Chine pourrait vouloir profiter de l’avantage démographique tant qu’il est de son côté pour tenter militairement sa chance. Il faut savoir que la population chinoise souffre d’un gros déséquilibre au plan des sexes : sur la population des 18-34 ans, la population masculine est supérieure de vingt millions à la population féminine. Cela signifie que la Chine peut perdre vingt millions d’hommes dans un conflit sans virtuellement aucune conséquence démographique à long terme, puisque ce sont des individus qui ne pourront pas, statistiquement, disposer d’un partenaire pour se reproduire. Pour des esprits froids comme ceux des dirigeants du Parti Communiste Chinois, cela peut sembler une fenêtre de tir intéressante. (…) Si l’Etat islamique ne devrait pas survivre longtemps comme entité territoriale, il a probablement de beaux jours devant lui comme réseau terroriste : son reflux territorial en Syrie et en Irak a été concomittant à un essaimage, en Libye notamment, et le réseau devrait se renforcer en Europe avec le retour des djihadistes ayat combattu au Moyen Orient.  (…) on a déjà commencé à observer ce retour des nationalismes en Europe avec le PiS en Pologne, la progression d’Alternative fur Deutschland en Allemagne, le Brexit… et bien sûr la montée du Front national en France. Parier sur la poursuite du mouvement en Europe dans les années qui viennent relève de l’évidence. La crise migratoire et l’expansion du terrorisme islamiste ont évidemment favorisé ce mouvement, de même que le manque de vision à l’échelle européenne et l’appel d’air désastreux d’Angela Merkel. Il faut ajouter à cela le fait que le fer de lance du populisme nationaliste sur le continent européen, la Russie de Poutine, finance et soutient le développement des discours les plus sommaires sur l’islam et l’immigration, bénéficiant certes du politiquement correct qui a empêché de débattre de certaines questions jusqu’à présent, mais également renforçant ce refus du débat de peur qu’il doive se faire dans les termes des populistes. Il en résulte une forme d’impasse intellectuelle et politique qui peut déboucher sur des formes de violence. (…) Par ailleurs, à l’échelle du monde, on observe également une montée des nationalismes : les ambitions des pays comme la Russie, la Chine, l’Iran, mais aussi la Turquie ou l’Inde en relèvent, évidemment. On peut également parler, à propos de l’élection de Donald Trump, d’un retour d’une forme de nationalisme américain, et contrairement à ce qui a été beaucoup dit, la présidence de Trump ne sera certainement pas isolationniste : l’on assiste simplement à une mutation de l’impérialisme américain, qui risque de tourner le dos à l’idéalisme qui en était le fond depuis un siècle et la présidence de Woodrow Wilson, pour une forme plus pragmatique avec Trump et son souci de faire des « deals » avantageux. Deals qui peuvent impliquer, avant la négociation, d’imposer un rapport de force, comme il semble vouloir le faire avec la Chine – raison pour laquelle il cherche à ménager Poutine, afin de n’avoir pas à se soucier de l’Europe et d’avoir les mains libres en Asie. (…) Après huit décennies de paix nucléaire, nous nous sommes imprégnés de l’idée, en Occident, que de grandes guerres entre Etats sont impossibles en raison du risque d’anéantissement nucléaire. Or, l’escalade actuelle entre Russie et Etats-Unis en Europe de l’Est, où chacun installe du matériel et des troupes , montre que les forces conventionnelles revêtent encore un aspect important. Par ailleurs, il s’est produit un changement important lors de l’affaire de Crimée : Vladimir Poutine a dit qu’il était prêt, lors de l’annexion de ce territoire, à utiliser l’arme nucléaire si l’Occident se faisait trop menaçant. C’est un événement d’une importance historique qui n’a pratiquement pas été relevé par les commentateurs : Vladimir Poutine a énoncé une toute nouvelle doctrine nucléaire, très dangereuse : il s’agit non plus d’une arme de dissuasion défensive, mais de dissuasion offensive. L’arme nucléaire est désormais utilisée par la Russie pour couvrir des annexions, des opérations extérieures, un usage qui n’a jamais été fait auparavant. C’est tout simplement du chantage nucléaire. Après des décennies de terreur face à l’idée de « destruction mutuelle assurée », le président russe a compris que l’effet paralysant de l’arme nucléaire pouvait être utilisé non seulement pour se défendre, mais pour attaquer, avec l’idée que les pays de l’Otan préfèreront n’importe quel recul au risque d’extermination atomique. Et cela rend de nouveaux affrontements sur champs de bataille vraisemblables : après ne pas avoir osé, durant des décennies, s’affronter par crainte de l’anéantissement nucléaire, les grandes puissances pourraient être poussées à se battre uniquement de manière conventionnelle en raison des mêmes craintes. Cela peut paraître paradoxal mais est probable si Vladimir Poutine tente d’autres mouvements en agitant encore la menace nucléaire. En revanche, le rôle éminent des cyberattaques me paraît incontestable, et si elles ne remplaceront pas la guerre conventionnelle, elle s’y surajoureront certainement. Il faut voir, en effet, que généralement, les grandes guerres sont menées avec les armes qui ont terminé les guerres précédentes : les Prussiens ont gagné la guerre de 1870 grâce à leur forte supériorité d’artillerie, avec des canons chargés par la culasse alors que les canons français se chargeaient encore par la bouche ; la guerre de 1914-1918 fut d’abord une guerre d’artillerie, et donc de position et de tranchées, amenant un blocage qui ne fut surmonté que par le développement de l’aviation et des blindés. Aviations et blindés qui furent les armes principales de la Seconde Guerre mondiale débutée avec la Blitzkrieg allemande, et terminée par l’arme nucléaire. A son tour, l’arme nucléaire a été l’arme principale de la Guerre froide : on dit, à tort, qu’elle n’a pas été utilisée, mais elle l’a, au contraire, été continuellement : par nature arme de dissuasion, elle servait en permanence à dissuader. De fait, elle a eu, à l’échelle mondiale, un rôle comparable à celui de l’artillerie en 1914 : la Guerre froide a été une guerre mondiale de tranchées, où les lignes ont peu bougé jusqu’à ce que les Etats-Unis surmontent le blocage en lançant l’Initiative de Défense Stratégique de Reagan, qui fit plier l’Union soviétique, incapable de suivre dans ce défi technologique et économique – tout comme l’Allemagne de 1918 avait été incapable de fabriquer des chars d’assaut dignes de ce nom. Les armes principales du prochain conflit seront donc celles retombées de l’IDS : les missiles à très haute précision, notamment antisatellites, et celles reposant sur les technologies de guerre électronique en tous genres. L’on sait, depuis le virus Stuxnet, que les cyberarmes peuvent causer d’importants dégâts physiques, comparable à des frappes classiques. En 2014, une aciérie allemande a vu l’un de ses hauts fourneaux détruit par une cyberattaque. Des cyberattaques massives peuvent servir à déstabiliser un pays, notamment en attaquant les infrastructures essentielles : distribution d’eau et d’électricité, mais aussi à préparer, tout simplement, une invasion militaire classique. Elles peuvent aussi provoquer de telles invasions en représailles : un pays harcelé par des cyberattaques pourrait être tenté d’intervenir militairement contre le pays qu’il soupçonne de l’attaquer ainsi. Ainsi donc, si je ne pense pas que les guerres à venir pourraient vraiment se limiter à des cyberattaques, sans confrontation physique, il me paraît certain que ce sont bien avec des cyberattaques massives que s’ouvriront les hostilités. Philippe Fabry
Il y a plus de 200 différends territoriaux dans le monde et l’Union européenne a décidé de se concentrer sur Israël et la Cisjordanie. Le conflit que nous avons avec les Palestiniens est connu et la seule manière d’essayer de le résoudre, c’est de s’assoir autour d’une table pour négocier et discuter. Le fait que les Palestiniens refusent de venir négocier – et notre Premier ministre les a invités à le faire à plusieurs reprises ces derniers mois – montre qu’il n’y a pas de réelle volonté politique en ce sens. Et le fait est que Mahmoud Abbas a pris une décision stratégique il y a deux ou trois ans quand il a choisi d’exercer via la communauté internationale une pression sur Israël en espérant que le gouvernement israélien serait poussé à faire des concessions. Malheureusement pour lui, les Israéliens ne cèdent pas à la pression et nous l’avons montré dans le passé. Quand on a été prêt à faire des concessions territoriales avec l’Egypte et la Jordanie, c‘était parce que la population israélienne se rendait compte que l’autre partie était de bonne foi, mais quand l’autre partie n’est pas vue comme étant de bonne foi, alors les chances de concessions sont vraiment minces. Aliza Bin-Noun (ambassadrice d’Israël en France)
Cette résolution est une honte car on veut ainsi à nouveau expulser les Juifs des terres de leurs ancêtres, la Judée et la Samarie et Jérusalem. Est-il utile de rappeler qu’avant la guerre d’indépendance d’Israël, les Juifs y vivaient depuis des millénaires ? Sans la purification ethnique que la Jordanie a effectuée en 1948, les Juifs y auraient été encore présents à ce jour. Maintenant, on veut à nouveau effectuer une purification ethnique à l’encontre des Juifs. C’est un peu comme si on allait à Saint-Denis, là où se trouve la basilique où la plupart des Rois de France sont inhumés et que l’on demandait l’expulsion des chrétiens de Saint-Denis sous prétexte qu’une majorité musulmane s’y trouve. Philippe Karsenty
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said. Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material. Some people trace safe spaces back to the feminist consciousness-raising groups of the 1960s and 1970s, others to the gay and lesbian movement of the early 1990s. In most cases, safe spaces are innocuous gatherings of like-minded people who agree to refrain from ridicule, criticism or what they term microaggressions — subtle displays of racial or sexual bias — so that everyone can relax enough to explore the nuances of, say, a fluid gender identity. As long as all parties consent to such restrictions, these little islands of self-restraint seem like a perfectly fine idea. But the notion that ticklish conversations must be scrubbed clean of controversy has a way of leaking out and spreading. Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer. (…) I’m old enough to remember a time when college students objected to providing a platform to certain speakers because they were deemed politically unacceptable. Now students worry whether acts of speech or pieces of writing may put them in emotional peril. Two weeks ago, students at Northwestern University marched to protest an article by Laura Kipnis, a professor in the university’s School of Communication. Professor Kipnis had criticized — O.K., ridiculed — what she called the sexual paranoia pervading campus life. At Oxford University’s Christ Church college in November, the college censors (a “censor” being more or less the Oxford equivalent of an undergraduate dean) canceled a debate on abortion after campus feminists threatened to disrupt it because both would-be debaters were men. “I’m relieved the censors have made this decision,” said the treasurer of Christ Church’s student union, who had pressed for the cancellation. “It clearly makes the most sense for the safety — both physical and mental — of the students who live and work in Christ Church. » A year and a half ago, a Hampshire College student group disinvited an Afrofunk band that had been attacked on social media for having too many white musicians; the vitriolic discussion had made students feel “unsafe.” Last fall, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, apologized for causing students and faculty to be “hurt” when she failed to object to a racial epithet uttered by a fellow panel member at an alumnae event in New York. The offender was the free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, who had been arguing against the use of the euphemism “the n-word” when teaching American history or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” (…)  Still, it’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed. Another reason students resort to the quasi-medicalized terminology of trauma is that it forces administrators to respond. Universities are in a double bind. They’re required by two civil-rights statutes, Title VII and Title IX, to ensure that their campuses don’t create a “hostile environment” for women and other groups subject to harassment. However, universities are not supposed to go too far in suppressing free speech, either. If a university cancels a talk or punishes a professor and a lawsuit ensues, history suggests that the university will lose. But if officials don’t censure or don’t prevent speech that may inflict psychological damage on a member of a protected class, they risk fostering a hostile environment and prompting an investigation. As a result, students who say they feel unsafe are more likely to be heard than students who demand censorship on other grounds. Judith Shulevitz
A determination to treat adults as children is becoming a feature of life on campus, and not just in America. Strangely, some of the most enthusiastic supporters of this development are the students themselves. (…) Last year a debate on abortion at Oxford University was cancelled after some students complained that hearing the views of anti-abortionists would make them feel unsafe. Many British universities now provide “safe spaces” for students to protect them from views which they might find objectionable. Sometimes demands for safe space enter the classroom. Jeannie Suk, a Harvard law professor, has written about how students there tried to dissuade her from discussing rape in class when teaching the law on domestic violence, lest it trigger traumatic memories. Like many bad ideas, the notion of safe spaces at universities has its roots in a good one. Gay people once used the term to refer to bars and clubs where they could gather without fear, at a time when many states still had laws against sodomy. In the worst cases, though, an idea that began by denoting a place where people could assemble without being prosecuted has been reinvented by students to serve as a justification for shutting out ideas. At Colorado College, safety has been invoked by a student group to prevent the screening of a film celebrating the Stonewall riots which downplays the role of minorities in the gay-rights movement. The same reasoning has led some students to request warnings before colleges expose them to literature that deals with racism and violence. People as different as Condoleezza Rice, a former secretary of state, and Bill Maher, a satirist, have been dissuaded from giving speeches on campuses, sometimes on grounds of safety. What makes this so objectionable is that there are plenty of things on American campuses that really do warrant censure from the university. Administrators at the University of Oklahoma managed not to notice that one of its fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, had cheerily sung a song about hanging black people from a tree for years, until a video of them doing so appeared on the internet. At the University of Missouri, whose president resigned on November 9th, administrators did a poor job of responding to complaints of unacceptable behaviour on campus—which included the scattering of balls of cotton about the place, as a put-down to black students, and the smearing of faeces in the shape of a swastika in a bathroom. Distinguishing between this sort of thing and obnoxious Halloween costumes ought not to be a difficult task. But by equating smaller ills with bigger ones, students and universities have made it harder, and diminished worthwhile protests in the process. The University of Missouri episode shows how damaging this confusion can be: some activists tried to prevent the college’s own newspaper from covering their demonstration, claiming that to do so would have endangered their safe space, thereby rendering a reasonable protest absurd. Fifty years ago student radicals agitated for academic freedom and the right to engage in political activities on campus. Now some of their successors are campaigning for censorship and increased policing by universities of student activities. The supporters of these ideas on campus are usually described as radicals. They are, in fact, the opposite. The Economist
Le scandale canadien du mois, révélé par le quotidien La Presse, nous vient de l’université Queen’s en Ontario. À la mi-novembre s’est tenu sur le campus un bal costumé, où certains étudiants se sont déguisés en moines bouddhistes, en combattants Viêt-cong ou en cheikhs arabes. Un banal bal costumé, donc. Mais non, ça ne se passe plus comme ça au Canada. En effet, dès que la nouvelle a circulé, l’antiracisme universitaire s’est instantanément mobilisé pour condamner ce scandale. Et l’accusation est grave : il s’agirait là d’un cas manifeste d’appropriation culturelle. Le badaud de bonne foi se demandera de quoi on parle. Ce concept est en vogue depuis quelques années dans les universités américaines. (…) il y a appropriation culturelle lorsqu’une personne associée à la majorité blanche dominante (lorsque c’est un homme hétérosexuel, c’est encore pire) s’approprie un symbole culturel – sacré ou non – lié à une minorité dominée pour l’instrumentaliser de manière esthétique ou ludique. C’est aussi pour cela qu’en novembre 2015, un cours de yoga avait été annulé à l’université d’Ottawa, parce qu’il légitimait, nous a-t-on expliqué, une sorte de néocolonialisme s’emparant sans gêne de pratiques culturelles de sociétés victimes de l’Occident. Étrange retournement. On croyait devoir chanter le métissage, mais l’antiracisme se retourne et célèbre l’essentialisme identitaire : chacun restera dans sa case et n’en sortira jamais. Paradoxalement, les mêmes célèbrent la théorie du genre qui permet à chacun de céder au fantasme de l’auto-engendrement tout en multipliant les bricolages identitaires. (…) Tout cela peut faire rire. Mais on devrait s’inquiéter de ce que deviennent les universités nord-américaines, où le multiculturalisme et le politiquement correct s’accouplent pour engendrer une forme de bêtise fanatisée qui voit partout s’exercer l’empire de l’homme blanc et pousse à une résistance généralisée contre lui. C’est aussi dans cet esprit que se multiplient les safe spaces où les différentes minorités victimes peuvent se replier dans un entre-soi réconfortant pour se dérober au regard inquisiteur de leurs bourreaux putatifs. Tant qu’à parler sans cesse de radicalisation, on devrait s’inquiéter de celle du multiculturalisme, qui devient de plus en plus ouvertement un racisme antiblanc et de celle du féminisme qui devient un sexisme antihomme. Le politiquement correct est rendu fou, l’esprit de sérieux domine tout, et la nouvelle police des mœurs diversitaires met son nez partout. Amis français, soyez attentifs, ça arrivera bientôt chez vous. Mathieu Bock-Côté
Although trigger warnings and safe spaces claim to create an environment where everyone is free to speak their minds, the spirit of tolerance and respect that inspires these policies can also stifle dialogue about controversial topics, particularly race, gender, and, in my experience, religious beliefs. Students should be free to argue their beliefs without fear of being labeled intolerant or disrespectful, whether they think certain sexual orientations are forbidden by God, life occurs at the moment of conception, or Islam is the exclusive path to salvation; and conversely, the same freedom should apply to those who believe God doesn’t care about who we have sex with, abortion is a fundamental right, or Islam is based on nothing more than superstitious nonsense. As it stands, that freedom does not exist in most academic settings, except when students’ opinions line up with what can be broadly understood as progressive political values.Trigger warnings and safe spaces are terms that reflect the values of the communities in which they’re used. The loudest, most prominent advocates of these practices are often the people most likely to condemn Western yoga as “cultural appropriation,” to view arguments about the inherent danger of Islam as hate speech, or to label arguments against affirmative action as impermissible microaggressions. These advocates routinely use the word “ally” to describe those who support their positions on race, gender, and religion, implying that anyone who disagrees is an “enemy.”Understood in this broader context, trigger warnings and safe spaces are not merely about allowing traumatized students access to education. Whatever their original purpose may have been, trigger warnings are now used to mark discussions of racism, sexism, and U.S. imperialism. The logic of this more expansive use is straightforward: Any threat to one’s core identity, especially if that identity is marginalized, is a potential trigger that creates an unsafe space. But what about situations in which students encounter this kind of discussion from fellow students? Would a University of Chicago freshman want to express an opinion that might make her someone’s enemy? Would she want to be responsible for intolerant, disrespectful hate speech that creates an unsafe space? Best, instead, to remain silent. (…) The unpleasant truth is that historically marginalized groups, including racial minorities and members of the LGBT community, are not the only people whose beliefs and identities are marginalized on many college campuses. Those who believe in the exclusive truth of a single revealed religion or those who believe that all religions are nonsensical are silenced by the culture of trigger warnings and safe spaces. (…) There is no doubt that in America, the perspective of white, heterosexual Christian males has enjoyed disproportionate emphasis, particularly in higher education. Trigger warnings, safe spaces, diversity initiatives, and attention to social justice: all of these are essential for pushing back against this lopsided power dynamic. But there is a very real danger that these efforts will become overzealous and render opposing opinions taboo. Instead of dialogues in which everyone is fairly represented, campus conversations about race, gender, and religion will devolve into monologues about the virtues of tolerance and diversity. I have seen it happen, not only at the University of Chicago, my alma mater, but also at the school where I currently teach, James Madison University, where the majority of students are white and Christian. The problem, I’d wager, is fairly widespread, at least at secular universities.Silencing these voices is not a good thing for anyone, especially the advocates of marginalized groups who hope to sway public opinion. Take for example the idea that God opposes homosexuality, a belief that some students still hold. On an ideal campus, these students would feel free to voice their belief. They would then be confronted by opposing arguments, spoken, perhaps, by the very people whose sexual orientation they have asserted is sinful. At least in this kind of environment, these students would have an opportunity to see the weaknesses in their position and potentially change their minds. But if students do not feel free to voice their opinions, they will remain silent, retreating from the classroom to discuss their position on homosexuality with family, friends, and other like-minded individuals. They will believe, correctly in some cases, that advocates of gay rights see them as hateful, intolerant bigots who deserve to be silenced, and which may persuade them to cling with even greater intensity to their convictions.A more charitable interpretation of the University of Chicago letter is that it is meant to inoculate students against allergy to argument. Modern, secular, liberal education is supposed to combine a Socratic ideal of the examined life with a Millian marketplace of ideas. It is boot camp, not a hotel. In theory, this will produce individuals who have cultivated their intellect and embraced new ideas via communal debate—the kind of individuals who make good neighbors and citizens.The communal aspect of the debate is important. It demands patience, open-mindedness, empathy, the courage to question others and be questioned, and above all, attempting to see things as others do. But even though academic debate takes place in a community, it is also combat. Combat can hurt. It is literally offensive. Without offense there is no antagonistic dialogue, no competitive marketplace, and no chance to change your mind. Impious, disrespectful Socrates was executed in Athens for having the temerity to challenge people’s most deeply held beliefs. It would be a shame to execute him again. Alan Levinovitz

Attention, un racisme peut en cacher un autre !

Condamnation d’un bal costumé et annulation d’un cours de yoga, accusations d’appropriation culturelle, espaces protégés (avec biscuits, livres à colorier, bulles, pâte à modeler, musique apaisante, oreillers, couvertures et vidéo de chiots batifolant), signalisation des contenus, essentialisme identitaire, racisme antiblanc, sexisme antihomme ou antichristianisme primaire …

A l’heure où  entre une Allemagne où brûler une synagogue est devenu une manière justifiée d’ « attirer l’attention sur le conflit entre Gaza et Israël » …

Et un Vatican où le simple appel à la purification ethnique des seuls juifs et chrétiens de leurs berceaux historiques vous vaut une ambassade

Et après la résolution de la honte du mois dernier …

La planète entière assemblée à Paris communie …

En l’absence des protagonistes et à respectivement cinq jours et cinq mois du départ des gouvernements de ses principaux organisateurs …

Pour une énième condamnation du seul Etat d’Israël

Pendant que contre le choix du peuple américain et entre menaces de boycott et menaces de mort, Hollywood et les réseaux sociaux veulent nous faire passer pour le plus avancé des progressismes leur loi de la foule et de la rue …

Devinez…

Au nom même du métissage et de la diversité …

A quoi peuvent bien se déchirer et nous préparer nos universités ?

Appropriation culturelle, un racisme déguisé ?

Se déguiser n’est pas jouer

Mathieu Bock-Côté est sociologue, auteur du « Multiculturalisme comme religion politique » (Cerf Ed., 2016).
Causeur
30 décembre 2016

Le scandale canadien du mois, révélé par le quotidien La Presse, nous vient de l’université Queen’s en Ontario. À la mi-novembre s’est tenu sur le campus un bal costumé, où certains étudiants se sont déguisés en moines bouddhistes, en combattants Viêt-cong ou en cheikhs arabes. Un banal bal costumé, donc. Mais non, ça ne se passe plus comme ça au Canada.

En effet, dès que la nouvelle a circulé, l’antiracisme universitaire s’est instantanément mobilisé pour condamner ce scandale. Et l’accusation est grave : il s’agirait là d’un cas manifeste d’appropriation culturelle. Le badaud de bonne foi se demandera de quoi on parle. Ce concept est en vogue depuis quelques années dans les universités américaines.

On définira la chose ainsi : il y a appropriation culturelle lorsqu’une personne associée à la majorité blanche dominante (lorsque c’est un homme hétérosexuel, c’est encore pire) s’approprie un symbole culturel – sacré ou non – lié à une minorité dominée pour l’instrumentaliser de manière esthétique ou ludique. C’est aussi pour cela qu’en novembre 2015, un cours de yoga avait été annulé à l’université d’Ottawa, parce qu’il légitimait, nous a-t-on expliqué, une sorte de néocolonialisme s’emparant sans gêne de pratiques culturelles de sociétés victimes de l’Occident.

L’antiracisme identitaire

Étrange retournement. On croyait devoir chanter le métissage, mais l’antiracisme se retourne et célèbre l’essentialisme identitaire : chacun restera dans sa case et n’en sortira jamais. Paradoxalement, les mêmes célèbrent la théorie du genre qui permet à chacun de céder au fantasme de l’auto-engendrement tout en multipliant les bricolages identitaires.

Dans le cas qui nous intéresse ici, celui de l’université Queen’s, s’ajoutait l’accusation de reproduire des stéréotypes racistes. Tout cela peut faire rire. Mais on devrait s’inquiéter de ce que deviennent les universités nord-américaines, où le multiculturalisme et le politiquement correct s’accouplent pour engendrer une forme de bêtise fanatisée qui voit partout s’exercer l’empire de l’homme blanc et pousse à une résistance généralisée contre lui.

C’est aussi dans cet esprit que se multiplient les safe spaces où les différentes minorités victimes peuvent se replier dans un entre-soi réconfortant pour se dérober au regard inquisiteur de leurs bourreaux putatifs.

Tant qu’à parler sans cesse de radicalisation, on devrait s’inquiéter de celle du multiculturalisme, qui devient de plus en plus ouvertement un racisme antiblanc et de celle du féminisme qui devient un sexisme antihomme. Le politiquement correct est rendu fou, l’esprit de sérieux domine tout, et la nouvelle police des mœurs diversitaires met son nez partout. Amis français, soyez attentifs, ça arrivera bientôt chez vous.

 Voir aussi:

How Trigger Warnings Silence Religious Students
Practices meant to protect marginalized communities can also ostracize those who disagree with them.
Alan Levinovitz
The Atlantic
Aug 30, 2016

Last week, the University of Chicago’s dean of students sent a welcome letter to freshmen decrying trigger warnings and safe spaces—ways for students to be warned about and opt out of exposure to potentially challenging material. While some supported the school’s actions, arguing that these practices threaten free speech and the purpose of higher education, the note also led to widespread outrage, and understandably so. Considered in isolation, trigger warnings may seem straightforwardly good. Basic human decency means professors like myself should be aware of students’ traumatic experiences, and give them a heads up about course content—photographs of dead bodies, extended accounts of abuse, disordered eating, self-harm—that might trigger an anxiety attack and foreclose intellectual engagement. Similarly, it may seem silly to object to the creation of safe spaces on campus, where members of marginalized groups can count on meeting supportive conversation partners who empathize with their life experiences, and where they feel free to be themselves without the threat of judgment or censure.In response to the letter, some have argued that the dean willfully ignored or misunderstood these intended purposes to play up a caricature of today’s college students as coddled and entitled. Safe spaces and trigger warnings pose no real threat to free speech, these critics say—that idea is just a specter conjured up by crotchety elites who fear empowered students.Perhaps. But as a professor of religious studies, I know firsthand how debates about trigger warnings and safe spaces can have a chilling effect on classroom discussions. It’s not my free speech I’m worried about; professors generally feel confident presenting difficult or controversial material, although some may fear for their jobs after seeing other faculty members subjected to intense and public criticism. Students, on the other hand, do not have that assurance. Their ability to speak freely in the classroom is currently endangered—but not in the way some of their peers might think. Although trigger warnings and safe spaces claim to create an environment where everyone is free to speak their minds, the spirit of tolerance and respect that inspires these policies can also stifle dialogue about controversial topics, particularly race, gender, and, in my experience, religious beliefs.
Students should be free to argue their beliefs without fear of being labeled intolerant or disrespectful, whether they think certain sexual orientations are forbidden by God, life occurs at the moment of conception, or Islam is the exclusive path to salvation; and conversely, the same freedom should apply to those who believe God doesn’t care about who we have sex with, abortion is a fundamental right, or Islam is based on nothing more than superstitious nonsense. As it stands, that freedom does not exist in most academic settings, except when students’ opinions line up with what can be broadly understood as progressive political values.Trigger warnings and safe spaces are terms that reflect the values of the communities in which they’re used. The loudest, most prominent advocates of these practices are often the people most likely to condemn Western yoga as “cultural appropriation,” to view arguments about the inherent danger of Islam as hate speech, or to label arguments against affirmative action as impermissible microaggressions. These advocates routinely use the word “ally” to describe those who support their positions on race, gender, and religion, implying that anyone who disagrees is an “enemy.”Understood in this broader context, trigger warnings and safe spaces are not merely about allowing traumatized students access to education. Whatever their original purpose may have been, trigger warnings are now used to mark discussions of racism, sexism, and U.S. imperialism. The logic of this more expansive use is straightforward: Any threat to one’s core identity, especially if that identity is marginalized, is a potential trigger that creates an unsafe space.

But what about situations in which students encounter this kind of discussion from fellow students? Would a University of Chicago freshman want to express an opinion that might make her someone’s enemy? Would she want to be responsible for intolerant, disrespectful hate speech that creates an unsafe space? Best, instead, to remain silent.

This attitude is a disaster in the religious-studies classroom. As the Boston University professor Stephen Prothero put it in his book God Is Not One, “Students are good with ‘respectful,’ but they are allergic to ‘argument.’” Religion can be an immensely important part of one’s identity—for many, more important than race or sexual orientation. To assert that a classmate’s most deeply held beliefs are false or evil is to attack his or her identity, arguably similar to the way in which asserting that a transgender person is mistaken about their gender is an attack on their identity.Objections to “anti-Muslim” campus speakers as promoting “hate speech” and creating a “hostile learning environment” vividly illustrate the connection between contentious assertions about religion, trigger warnings, and safe spaces. The claim that Islam—or, by implication, any religious faith—is false or dangerous is indistinguishable from hostile hate speech. To make such a claim in class is to be a potential enemy of fellow students, to marginalize them, disrespect them, and make them feel unsafe. If respect requires refraining from attacking people’s identity, then the only respectful discussion of religion is one in which everyone affirms everyone else’s beliefs, describes those beliefs without passing judgment, or simply remains silent.As Prothero notes, that’s usually what ends up happening. According to anonymous in-class surveys, about one-third of my students believe in the exclusive salvific truth of Christianity. But rarely do these students defend their beliefs in class. In private, they have told me that they believe doing so could be construed as hateful, hostile, intolerant, and disrespectful; after all, they’re saying that if others don’t believe what they do, they’ll go to hell. Then there are my students, about one-fourth of them, who think no religion is true. They probably agree with Thomas Jefferson that the final book of the New Testament is “merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation, than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.” But they’d never say so in class. This kind of comment would likely seem even worse when directed at religious minorities, including those who practice Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism.
One could make the case that students who refrain from religious debate are making a mistake by confusing religious identity, which is free game for criticism, with racial and gender identity, which are not. Racial and gender identity deserve special consideration because they are unchosen aspects of one’s biological and historical self, while religious identity is a set of propositions about reality that can be accepted or rejected on the basis of evidence and argument. But this argument is itself controversial. Religion is a part of one’s historical self, and to reject religious beliefs often means rejecting family and friends. (Nor, as Jews can attest, are the categories of religion and race separable.) Religion also has a great deal to say about sex and gender, and may shape people’s perceptions of their own sexuality or gender identity.

The unpleasant truth is that historically marginalized groups, including racial minorities and members of the LGBT community, are not the only people whose beliefs and identities are marginalized on many college campuses. Those who believe in the exclusive truth of a single revealed religion or those who believe that all religions are nonsensical are silenced by the culture of trigger warnings and safe spaces. I know this is true because I know these students are in my classroom, but I rarely hear their opinions expressed in class.

There is no doubt that in America, the perspective of white, heterosexual Christian males has enjoyed disproportionate emphasis, particularly in higher education. Trigger warnings, safe spaces, diversity initiatives, and attention to social justice: all of these are essential for pushing back against this lopsided power dynamic. But there is a very real danger that these efforts will become overzealous and render opposing opinions taboo. Instead of dialogues in which everyone is fairly represented, campus conversations about race, gender, and religion will devolve into monologues about the virtues of tolerance and diversity. I have seen it happen, not only at the University of Chicago, my alma mater, but also at the school where I currently teach, James Madison University, where the majority of students are white and Christian. The problem, I’d wager, is fairly widespread, at least at secular universities.Silencing these voices is not a good thing for anyone, especially the advocates of marginalized groups who hope to sway public opinion. Take for example the idea that God opposes homosexuality, a belief that some students still hold. On an ideal campus, these students would feel free to voice their belief. They would then be confronted by opposing arguments, spoken, perhaps, by the very people whose sexual orientation they have asserted is sinful. At least in this kind of environment, these students would have an opportunity to see the weaknesses in their position and potentially change their minds. But if students do not feel free to voice their opinions, they will remain silent, retreating from the classroom to discuss their position on homosexuality with family, friends, and other like-minded individuals. They will believe, correctly in some cases, that advocates of gay rights see them as hateful, intolerant bigots who deserve to be silenced, and which may persuade them to cling with even greater intensity to their convictions.A more charitable interpretation of the University of Chicago letter is that it is meant to inoculate students against allergy to argument. Modern, secular, liberal education is supposed to combine a Socratic ideal of the examined life with a Millian marketplace of ideas. It is boot camp, not a hotel. In theory, this will produce individuals who have cultivated their intellect and embraced new ideas via communal debate—the kind of individuals who make good neighbors and citizens.The communal aspect of the debate is important. It demands patience, open-mindedness, empathy, the courage to question others and be questioned, and above all, attempting to see things as others do. But even though academic debate takes place in a community, it is also combat. Combat can hurt. It is literally offensive. Without offense there is no antagonistic dialogue, no competitive marketplace, and no chance to change your mind. Impious, disrespectful Socrates was executed in Athens for having the temerity to challenge people’s most deeply held beliefs. It would be a shame to execute him again.
Voir également:

Students Are Literally ‘Hiding from Scary Ideas,’ Or Why My Mom’s Nursery School Is Edgier Than College

Safe spaces are infantilizing and insulting.

Robby Soave
Mar. 22, 2015

My mother is a nursery school teacher. Her classroom is a place for children between one and two years of age—adorable little tykes who are learning how to crawl, how to walk, and eventually, how to talk. Coloring materials, Play-Doh, playful tunes, bubbles, and nap time are a few of the components of her room: a veritable « safe space » for the kids entrusted to her expert care.

We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Judith Shulevitz—formerly of The New Republic, where her eminently reasonable and fact-based perspective has been replaced by mean-spirited blathering—writes that college students now fear perspectives that clash with their own so deeply that they are quite literally hiding from them.

In a must-read op-ed for The New York Times, Shulevitz provides examples of the most egregious instances. At Brown University last fall, for instance, the prospect of a debate between leftist-feminist Jessica Valenti and libertarian-feminist (and Reason contributor) Wendy McElroy was so horrifying to some students—including Sexual Assault Task Force member Katherine Byron—that the creation of a « safe space » was necessary. McElroy’s contrarian perspective on the existence of rape culture ran the risk of « invalidating people’s experiences » and « damaging » them, according to Byron.

The safe space she created, as described by Shulevitz, sounds familiar to me:

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

It’s my mother’s classroom!

To say that the 18-year-olds at Brown who sought refuge from ideas that offended them are behaving like toddlers is actually to insult the toddlers—who don’t attend daycare by choice, and who routinely demonstrate more intellectual courage than these students seem capable of. (Anyone who has ever observed a child tackling blocks for the first time, or taking a chance on the slide, knows what I mean.)

Lest anyone conclude that Brown must be a laughable outlier, read the rest of Shulevitz’s essay:

A few weeks ago, Zineb El Rhazoui, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo, spoke at the University of Chicago, protected by the security guards she has traveled with since supporters of the Islamic State issued death threats against her. During the question-and-answer period, a Muslim student stood up to object to the newspaper’s apparent disrespect for Muslims and to express her dislike of the phrase “I am Charlie.” …

A few days later, a guest editorialist in the student newspaper took Ms. El Rhazoui to task. She had failed to ensure “that others felt safe enough to express dissenting opinions.” Ms. El Rhazoui’s “relative position of power,” the writer continued, had granted her a “free pass to make condescending attacks on a member of the university.” In a letter to the editor, the president and the vice president of the University of Chicago French Club, which had sponsored the talk, shot back, saying, “El Rhazoui is an immigrant, a woman, Arab, a human-rights activist who has known exile, and a journalist living in very real fear of death. She was invited to speak precisely because her right to do so is, quite literally, under threat.”

You’d be hard-pressed to avoid the conclusion that the student and her defender had burrowed so deep inside their cocoons, were so overcome by their own fragility, that they couldn’t see that it was Ms. El Rhazoui who was in need of a safer space.

Caving to students’ demands for trigger warnings and safe spaces is doing them no favors: it robs them of the intellectually-challenging, worldview-altering kind of experience they should be having at college. It also emboldens them to seek increasingly absurd and infantilizing restrictions on themselves and each other.

As their students mature, my mother and her co-workers encourage the children to forego high chairs and upgrade from diapers to « big kid » toilets. If only American college administrators and professors did the same with their students.

Voir encore:

In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas
Judith Shulevitz
The New York Times
March 21, 2015

KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.

So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”

Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material.

Some people trace safe spaces back to the feminist consciousness-raising groups of the 1960s and 1970s, others to the gay and lesbian movement of the early 1990s. In most cases, safe spaces are innocuous gatherings of like-minded people who agree to refrain from ridicule, criticism or what they term microaggressions — subtle displays of racial or sexual bias — so that everyone can relax enough to explore the nuances of, say, a fluid gender identity. As long as all parties consent to such restrictions, these little islands of self-restraint seem like a perfectly fine idea.

But the notion that ticklish conversations must be scrubbed clean of controversy has a way of leaking out and spreading. Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer.

This logic clearly informed a campaign undertaken this fall by a Columbia University student group called Everyone Allied Against Homophobia that consisted of slipping a flier under the door of every dorm room on campus. The headline of the flier stated, “I want this space to be a safer space.” The text below instructed students to tape the fliers to their windows. The group’s vice president then had the flier published in the Columbia Daily Spectator, the student newspaper, along with an editorial asserting that “making spaces safer is about learning how to be kind to each other.”

A junior named Adam Shapiro decided he didn’t want his room to be a safer space. He printed up his own flier calling it a dangerous space and had that, too, published in the Columbia Daily Spectator. “Kindness alone won’t allow us to gain more insight into truth,” he wrote. In an interview, Mr. Shapiro said, “If the point of a safe space is therapy for people who feel victimized by traumatization, that sounds like a great mission.” But a safe-space mentality has begun infiltrating classrooms, he said, making both professors and students loath to say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings. “I don’t see how you can have a therapeutic space that’s also an intellectual space,” he said.

I’m old enough to remember a time when college students objected to providing a platform to certain speakers because they were deemed politically unacceptable. Now students worry whether acts of speech or pieces of writing may put them in emotional peril. Two weeks ago, students at Northwestern University marched to protest an article by Laura Kipnis, a professor in the university’s School of Communication. Professor Kipnis had criticized — O.K., ridiculed — what she called the sexual paranoia pervading campus life.

The protesters carried mattresses and demanded that the administration condemn the essay. One student complained that Professor Kipnis was “erasing the very traumatic experience” of victims who spoke out. An organizer of the demonstration said, “we need to be setting aside spaces to talk” about “victim-blaming.” Last Wednesday, Northwestern’s president, Morton O. Schapiro, wrote an op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal affirming his commitment to academic freedom. But plenty of others at universities are willing to dignify students’ fears, citing threats to their stability as reasons to cancel debates, disinvite commencement speakers and apologize for so-called mistakes.

At Oxford University’s Christ Church college in November, the college censors (a “censor” being more or less the Oxford equivalent of an undergraduate dean) canceled a debate on abortion after campus feminists threatened to disrupt it because both would-be debaters were men. “I’m relieved the censors have made this decision,” said the treasurer of Christ Church’s student union, who had pressed for the cancellation. “It clearly makes the most sense for the safety — both physical and mental — of the students who live and work in Christ Church.”

A year and a half ago, a Hampshire College student group disinvited an Afrofunk band that had been attacked on social media for having too many white musicians; the vitriolic discussion had made students feel “unsafe.”

Last fall, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, apologized for causing students and faculty to be “hurt” when she failed to object to a racial epithet uttered by a fellow panel member at an alumnae event in New York. The offender was the free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, who had been arguing against the use of the euphemism “the n-word” when teaching American history or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” In the uproar that followed, the Student Government Association wrote a letter declaring that “if Smith is unsafe for one student, it is unsafe for all students.”

“It’s amazing to me that they can’t distinguish between racist speech and speech about racist speech, between racism and discussions of racism,” Ms. Kaminer said in an email.

The confusion is telling, though. It shows that while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

Only a few of the students want stronger anti-hate-speech codes. Mostly they ask for things like mandatory training sessions and stricter enforcement of existing rules. Still, it’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.

But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”

Another reason students resort to the quasi-medicalized terminology of trauma is that it forces administrators to respond. Universities are in a double bind. They’re required by two civil-rights statutes, Title VII and Title IX, to ensure that their campuses don’t create a “hostile environment” for women and other groups subject to harassment. However, universities are not supposed to go too far in suppressing free speech, either. If a university cancels a talk or punishes a professor and a lawsuit ensues, history suggests that the university will lose. But if officials don’t censure or don’t prevent speech that may inflict psychological damage on a member of a protected class, they risk fostering a hostile environment and prompting an investigation. As a result, students who say they feel unsafe are more likely to be heard than students who demand censorship on other grounds.

The theory that vulnerable students should be guaranteed psychological security has roots in a body of legal thought elaborated in the 1980s and 1990s and still read today. Feminist and anti-racist legal scholars argued that the First Amendment should not safeguard language that inflicted emotional injury through racist or sexist stigmatization. One scholar, Mari J. Matsuda, was particularly insistent that college students not be subjected to “the violence of the word” because many of them “are away from home for the first time and at a vulnerable stage of psychological development.” If they’re targeted and the university does nothing to help them, they will be “left to their own resources in coping with the damage wrought.” That might have, she wrote, “lifelong repercussions.”

Perhaps. But Ms. Matsuda doesn’t seem to have considered the possibility that insulating students could also make them, well, insular. A few weeks ago, Zineb El Rhazoui, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo, spoke at the University of Chicago, protected by the security guards she has traveled with since supporters of the Islamic State issued death threats against her. During the question-and-answer period, a Muslim student stood up to object to the newspaper’s apparent disrespect for Muslims and to express her dislike of the phrase “I am Charlie.”

Ms. El Rhazoui replied, somewhat irritably, “Being Charlie Hebdo means to die because of a drawing,” and not everyone has the guts to do that (although she didn’t use the word guts). She lives under constant threat, Ms. El Rhazoui said. The student answered that she felt threatened, too.

A few days later, a guest editorialist in the student newspaper took Ms. El Rhazoui to task. She had failed to ensure “that others felt safe enough to express dissenting opinions.” Ms. El Rhazoui’s “relative position of power,” the writer continued, had granted her a “free pass to make condescending attacks on a member of the university.” In a letter to the editor, the president and the vice president of the University of Chicago French Club, which had sponsored the talk, shot back, saying, “El Rhazoui is an immigrant, a woman, Arab, a human-rights activist who has known exile, and a journalist living in very real fear of death. She was invited to speak precisely because her right to do so is, quite literally, under threat.”

You’d be hard-pressed to avoid the conclusion that the student and her defender had burrowed so deep inside their cocoons, were so overcome by their own fragility, that they couldn’t see that it was Ms. El Rhazoui who was in need of a safer space.

Judith Shulevitz is a contributing opinion writer and the author of “The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.”

Voir de plus:

Trigger happy
The « trigger warning » has spread from blogs to college classes. Can it be stopped?
Jenny Jarvie
New Republic
March 4, 2014

The headline above would, if some readers had their way, include a « trigger warning »—a disclaimer to alert you that this article contains potentially traumatic subject matter. Such warnings, which are most commonly applied to discussions about rape, sexual abuse, and mental illness, have appeared on message boards since the early days of the Web. Some consider them an irksome tic of the blogosphere’s most hypersensitive fringes, and yet they’ve spread from feminist forums and social media to sites as large as the The Huffington Post. Now, the trigger warning is gaining momentum beyond the Internet—at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities.

Last week, student leaders at the University of California, Santa Barbara, passed a resolution urging officials to institute mandatory trigger warnings on class syllabi. Professors who present « content that may trigger the onset of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder » would be required to issue advance alerts and allow students to skip those classes. According to UCSB newspaper The Daily Nexus, Bailey Loverin, the student who sponsored the proposal, decided to push the issue after attending a class in which she “felt forced” to sit through a film that featured an “insinuation” of sexual assault and a graphic depiction of rape. A victim of sexual abuse, she did not want to remain in the room, but she feared she would only draw attention to herself by walking out.

On college campuses across the country, a growing number of students are demanding trigger warnings on class content. Many instructors are obliging with alerts in handouts and before presentations, even emailing notes of caution ahead of class. At Scripps College, lecturers give warnings before presenting a core curriculum class, the “Histories of the Present: Violence, » although some have questioned the value of such alerts when students are still required to attend class. Oberlin College has published an official document on triggers, advising faculty members to « be aware of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression, » to remove triggering material when it doesn’t « directly » contribute to learning goals and « strongly consider » developing a policy to make « triggering material » optional. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, it states, is a novel that may « trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide and more. » Warnings have been proposed even for books long considered suitable material for high-schoolers: Last month, a Rutgers University sophomore suggested that an alert for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby say, « TW: suicide, domestic abuse and graphic violence. »

What began as a way of moderating Internet forums for the vulnerable and mentally ill now threatens to define public discussion both online and off. The trigger warning signals not only the growing precautionary approach to words and ideas in the university, but a wider cultural hypersensitivity to harm and a paranoia about giving offense. And yet, for all the debate about the warnings on campuses and on the Internet, few are grappling with the ramifications for society as a whole.

Not everyone seems to agree on what the trigger warning is, let alone how it should be applied. Initially, trigger warnings were used in self-help and feminist forums to help readers who might have post traumatic stress disorder to avoid graphic content that might cause painful memories, flashbacks, or panic attacks. Some websites, like Bodies Under Siege, a self-injury support message board, developed systems of adding abbreviated topic tags—from SI (self injury) to ED (eating disorders)—to particularly explicit posts. As the Internet grew, warnings became more popular, and critics began to question their use. In 2010, Susannah Breslin wrote in True/Slant that feminists were applying the term « like a Southern cook applies Pam cooking spray to an overused nonstick frying pan »—prompting Feministing to call her a « certifiable asshole, » and Jezebel to lament that the debate has « been totally clouded by ridiculous inflammatory rhetoric. »

The term only spread with the advent of social media. In 2012, The Awl’s Choire Sicha argued that it had « lost all its meaning. » Since then, alerts have been applied to topics as diverse as sex, pregnancy, addiction, bullying, suicide, sizeism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, slut shaming, victim-blaming, alcohol, blood, insects, small holes, and animals in wigs. Certain people, from rapper Chris Brown to sex columnist Dan Savage, have been dubbed “triggering.” Some have called for trigger warnings for television shows such as « Scandal » and « Downton Abbey. » Even The New Republic has suggested the satirical news site, The Onion, carry trigger warnings.

At the end of last year, Slate declared 2013 the « Year of the Trigger Warning,” noting that such alerts had become the target of humor. Jezebel, which does not issue trigger warnings, raised hackles in August by using the term as a headline joke: « It’s Time To Talk About Bug Infestations [TRIGGER WARNING]. » Such usage, one critic argued, amounted to « trivializing » such alerts and « trolling people who believe in them. » And in Britain, Suzanne Moore, a feminist columnist for The Guardian, was taken to task when she put a trigger warning on her Twitter bioline, mocking those who followed her feeds only to claim offense. Some critics have ridiculed her in turn: « Trigger warning, @Suzanne_moore is talking again. » (Moore’s Twitter bio now reads, « Media Whore. »)

The backlash has not stopped the growth of the trigger warning, and now that they’ve entered university classrooms, it’s only a matter of time before warnings are demanded for other grade levels. As students introduce them in college newspapers, promotional material for plays, even poetry slams, it’s not inconceivable that they’ll appear at the beginning of film screenings and at the entrance to art exhibits. Will newspapers start applying warnings to articles about rape, murder, and war? Could they even become a regular feature of speech? « I was walking down Main Street last night when—trigger warning—I saw an elderly woman get mugged. »

The « Geek Feminism Wiki » states that trigger warnings should be used for « graphic descriptions or extensive discussion » of abuse, torture, self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, body shaming, and even « psychologically realistic » depictions of the mental state of people suffering from those; it notes that some have gone further, arguing for warnings before the « depiction or discussion of any consensual sexual activity [and] of discriminatory attitudes or actions, such as sexism or racism. » The definition on the Queer Dictionary Tumblr is similar, but expands warnings even to discussion of statistics on hate crimes and self-harming.

As the list of trigger warning–worthy topics continues to grow, there’s scant research demonstrating how words « trigger » or how warnings might help. Most psychological research on P.T.S.D. suggests that, for those who have experienced trauma, « triggers » can be complex and unpredictable, appearing in many forms, from sounds to smells to weather conditions and times of the year. In this sense, anything can be a trigger—a musky cologne, a ditsy pop song, a footprint in the snow.

As a means of navigating the Internet, or setting the tone for academic discussion, the trigger warning is unhelpful. Once we start imposing alerts on the basis of potential trauma, where do we stop? One of the problems with the concept of triggering—understanding words as devices that activate a mechanism or cause a situation—is it promotes a rigid, overly deterministic approach to language. There is no rational basis for applying warnings because there is no objective measure of words’ potential harm. Of course, words can inspire intense reactions, but they have no intrinsic danger. Two people who have endured similarly painful experiences, from rape to war, can read the same material and respond in wholly different ways.

Issuing caution on the basis of potential harm or insult doesn’t help us negotiate our reactions; it makes our dealings with others more fraught. As Breslin pointed out, trigger warnings can have the opposite of their intended effect, luring in sensitive people (and perhaps connoisseurs of graphic content, too). More importantly, they reinforce the fear of words by depicting an ever-expanding number of articles and books as dangerous and requiring of regulation. By framing more public spaces, from the Internet to the college classroom, as full of infinite yet ill-defined hazards, trigger warnings encourage us to think of ourselves as more weak and fragile than we really are.

What’s more, the fear of triggers risks narrowing what we’re exposed to. Raechel Tiffe, an assistant professor in Communication Arts and Sciences at Merrimack College, Massachusetts, described a lesson in which she thought everything had gone well, until a student approached her about a clip from the television musical comedy, « Glee, » in which a student commits suicide. For Tiffe, who uses trigger warnings for sexual assault and rape, the incident was a « teaching moment »—not for the students, but for her to be more aware of the breadth of students’ sensitivities.

As academics become more preoccupied with students’ feelings of harm, they risk opening the door to a never-ending litany of requests. Last month, students at Wellesley College protested a sculpture of a man in his underwear because, according to the Change.org petition, it was a source of « triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault. » While the petition acknowledged the sculpture may not disturb everyone on campus, it insisted we share a “responsibility to pay attention to and attempt to answer the needs of all of our community members. » Even after the artist explained that the figure was supposed to be sleepwalking, students continued to insist it be moved indoors.

Trigger warnings are presented as a gesture of empathy, but the irony is they lead only to more solipsism, an over-preoccupation with one’s own feelings—much to the detriment of society as a whole. Structuring public life around the most fragile personal sensitivities will only restrict all of our horizons. Engaging with ideas involves risk, and slapping warnings on them only undermines the principle of intellectual exploration. We cannot anticipate every potential trigger—the world, like the Internet, is too large and unwieldy. But even if we could, why would we want to? Bending the world to accommodate our personal frailties does not help us overcome them.

Voir de même:

Student protests
The right to fright
An obsession with safe spaces is not just bad for education: it also diminishes worthwhile campus protests
The Economist
Nov 14th 2015

HALLOWEEN is supposed to last for one night only. At Yale University (motto: “Light and Truth”) it has dragged on considerably longer. As happens at many American universities, Yale administrators sent an advisory e-mail to students before the big night, requesting them to refrain from wearing costumes that other students might find offensive. Given that it is legal for 18-year-old Americans to drive, marry and, in most places, own firearms, it might seem reasonable to let students make their own decisions about dressing-up—and to face the consequences when photographs of them disguised as Osama bin Laden can forever be found on Facebook or Instagram. Yet a determination to treat adults as children is becoming a feature of life on campus, and not just in America. Strangely, some of the most enthusiastic supporters of this development are the students themselves.

In response to the Yale e-mail, a faculty member wrote a carefully worded reply. In it she suggested that students and faculty ought to ponder whether a university should seek to control the behaviour of students in this way. Yes it should, came the reply, in the form of a letter signed by hundreds of students, protests and calls for two academics to resign for suggesting otherwise. Tellingly, the complaint made by some students at Yale’s Silliman College, where the row took place, was that they now felt unsafe.

On the face of it this is odd. New Haven, which surrounds Yale, had 60 shootings in 2014, 12 of them fatal. Thankfully, there has never been a shooting at the university. The choice of words was deliberate, though. Last year a debate on abortion at Oxford University was cancelled after some students complained that hearing the views of anti-abortionists would make them feel unsafe. Many British universities now provide “safe spaces” for students to protect them from views which they might find objectionable. Sometimes demands for safe space enter the classroom. Jeannie Suk, a Harvard law professor, has written about how students there tried to dissuade her from discussing rape in class when teaching the law on domestic violence, lest it trigger traumatic memories.

Bodies upon the gears

Like many bad ideas, the notion of safe spaces at universities has its roots in a good one. Gay people once used the term to refer to bars and clubs where they could gather without fear, at a time when many states still had laws against sodomy.

In the worst cases, though, an idea that began by denoting a place where people could assemble without being prosecuted has been reinvented by students to serve as a justification for shutting out ideas. At Colorado College, safety has been invoked by a student group to prevent the screening of a film celebrating the Stonewall riots which downplays the role of minorities in the gay-rights movement. The same reasoning has led some students to request warnings before colleges expose them to literature that deals with racism and violence. People as different as Condoleezza Rice, a former secretary of state, and Bill Maher, a satirist, have been dissuaded from giving speeches on campuses, sometimes on grounds of safety.

What makes this so objectionable is that there are plenty of things on American campuses that really do warrant censure from the university. Administrators at the University of Oklahoma managed not to notice that one of its fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, had cheerily sung a song about hanging black people from a tree for years, until a video of them doing so appeared on the internet. At the University of Missouri, whose president resigned on November 9th, administrators did a poor job of responding to complaints of unacceptable behaviour on campus—which included the scattering of balls of cotton about the place, as a put-down to black students, and the smearing of faeces in the shape of a swastika in a bathroom.

Distinguishing between this sort of thing and obnoxious Halloween costumes ought not to be a difficult task. But by equating smaller ills with bigger ones, students and universities have made it harder, and diminished worthwhile protests in the process. The University of Missouri episode shows how damaging this confusion can be: some activists tried to prevent the college’s own newspaper from covering their demonstration, claiming that to do so would have endangered their safe space, thereby rendering a reasonable protest absurd.

Fifty years ago student radicals agitated for academic freedom and the right to engage in political activities on campus. Now some of their successors are campaigning for censorship and increased policing by universities of student activities. The supporters of these ideas on campus are usually described as radicals. They are, in fact, the opposite.

Voir également:

The Trapdoor of Trigger Words

What the science of trauma can tell us about an endless campus debate.

Katy Waldman

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Thinkstock.

As educators and students suited up for the fall semester last month, University of Chicago dean of students John Ellison sent a provocative letter to incoming freshmen about all the cushioning policies they should not expect at their new school. “We do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” Ellison wrote.

Ellison’s pre-emptive strike against trigger warnings, or alerts that professors might stamp on coursework that could provoke a strong emotional response, was the latest salvo in a yearslong and stormy conversation on college campuses—a kind of agon between “free speech” and “safe spaces.” The University of Chicago missive seemed to plant a flag in the former camp, declaring itself a Political Correctness Avenger, its cape of First Amendment verities fluttering in the wind.

Its side of the debate insists that students have embraced an ethos of personal fragility—that they are infantilizing themselves by overreacting to tiny slights. A splashy Atlantic cover story from September 2015 on the “coddling of the American mind” argued that universities were playacting at PTSD, co-opting the disorder’s hypersensitivity and hypervigilance. The other side protests administrators’ lack of awareness of marginalized groups; these students say they seek more inclusive, responsive, and enlightened spaces for learning. For them, the “tiny slights” have a name—microaggressions—and a high cost. They accumulate like a swarm of poisonous bee stings. As one outgoing college senior at American University told the Washington Post in May, “I don’t think it’s outrageous for me to want my campus to be better than the world around it. … I think that makes me a good person.”

The Atlantic piece cited Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as two classic texts that have stirred calls for trigger warnings due to their racially motivated violence and domestic abuse, respectively. Students at Rutgers in 2014 beseeched a professor to append a trigger warning to descriptions of suicidal thinking in Mrs. Dalloway; students at Columbia did the same in 2015 for scenes of sexual assault in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In some cases, the flags are meant to shepherd students away from high-voltage material; in others, they simply advise readers to be prepared. Often derided or ironized online by concerned citizens (and especially by free speech advocates), they are a response to something real: Scientists agree that triggers can awaken dormant memories and hijack the rational control board of the cortex, drowning awareness of the present moment in eddies of panic.

Enacted correctly, trigger warnings and related measures are not supposed to constrict academic horizons.

As Ali Vingiano recounts for BuzzFeed, trigger warnings were born not in the ivory tower but on the lady-blogosphere, where they prefaced message-board postings about topics like self-harm, eating disorders, and sexual assault. The advisory labels swam to LiveJournal in the early aughts, then spread across Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. By 2012, they speckled such feminist sites as Bitch, Shakesville, and xoJane, creating protective force fields around articles that touched on everything from depression to aggressive dogs. These internet “heads up” notes allowed vulnerable readers to tread lightly through and around subjects that reignited their pain. But they also acquired a sanctimonious, performative aura. “As practiced in the real world,” Amanda Marcotte wrote in Slate last year, “the trigger warning is less about preventive mental health care and more about social signaling of liberal credentials.”

Similarly, the vaudeville toughness of Ellison’s letter felt designed more to make a cultural point than to edify students. Enacted correctly, the measures Ellison invokes are not supposed to constrict academic horizons. They are meant to secure for minority students the same freedoms to speak and explore that white male students have enjoyed for decades.

A spokesman for the University of Chicago, Jeremy Manier, acknowledged on the phone that at issue were “intellectual safe spaces,” not safe spaces in general: The university has already thrown its support behind a “safe space program” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. Individual University of Chicago professors, Manier added, are also welcome to use trigger warnings if they so choose.

For all the furor they inspire, trigger warnings are relatively rare. According to a National Coalition Against Censorship survey last year of more than 800 educators, fewer than 1 percent of institutions have adopted a policy on trigger warnings; 15 percent of respondents reported students requesting them in their courses; and only 7.5 percent reported students initiating efforts to require trigger warnings.

What’s more, as the survey notes, while media narratives paint these cautions as forms of left-wing political correctness, a significant minority of trigger warnings arise on conservative campuses in response to explicit or queer content. NCAC executive director Joan Bertin told me that the survey yielded more than 94 reports of sex-related trigger warnings, including from art history teachers displaying homoerotic images and studio drawing teachers importuned to announce nudity and help “conservative students … feel more in control of the material.” A professor wrote in that he’d offered a trigger warning after “a Rastafarian student was very offended at my comparison of Akhenaten’s Great Hymn to Psalm 104.” Requests for advisory labels stemmed from representations of famine, gender stereotypes, childbirth, religious intolerance, spiders, and “sad people.”

Given the myths and emotions enveloping the issue of trigger warnings and safe spaces, it’s worth asking what science can tell us about the actual effects of verbal triggers on the body, brain, and psyche. Certain people experience certain words as dangerous. Should they have to listen to those words anyway?

* * *

During the winter of her freshman year in college, Lindsey met a guy, a junior, at a party. A week later, he asked her to another party and picked her up in his car. She didn’t realize something was wrong until he pulled into a parking lot and told her to get in the backseat. When she refused and asked to go home, he informed her that they weren’t going anywhere until she had sex with him. Then he climbed on top of her and raped her.

It took years for Lindsey to find her way to a therapist, where she discovered that the occasional flashbacks, phantom sensations of being touched, and breathlessness she experienced in the wake of this violation were symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The episodes struck whenever she saw or read words associated with sexual violence: rape, molest, attack, even incest. She’d notice a tingling shock in her chest and “the feeling of fear, maybe a flash of a point of time during my assault, and sometimes it was like he was doing it again,” she says.

Several months ago, a friend of Lindsey’s was regaling her with stories about the movie Room, in which the young female protagonist is imprisoned for years in a shed and repeatedly raped. Lindsey hadn’t seen it, didn’t want to see it; yet when her friend said the word trapped, she detected the unwanted caress of her disorder across her body, felt her pulse begin to race.

Voir enfin:

Trigger Warnings, un outil pour mieux vivre ensemble sur Internet

Les Trigger Warnings, qu’est-ce donc ? Il s’agit d’une façon de prévenir les internautes qu’un contenu pourrait être choquant pour certaines personnes. Une évidence ? Pas forcément… Petite présentation.

— Publié initialement le 25 juin 2013

– Cet article contient dans sa première sous-partie de petites infos sur les films Les Mondes de Ralph et Iron Man 3.

Laissez-moi vous conter une petite histoire. Il y a quelques semaines, surfant tranquillement sur les eaux calmes des Internets français, je parcourais un site d’actualités lorsque, sous le choc d’une image violente et inattendue, je repoussai — physiquement, et violemment — mon ordi et fis volte-face.

Pourquoi donc ? Je venais de tomber sur une photo de la victime du cannibale de Miami. Un homme, certes vivant et, toutes proportions gardées, « bien » portant, mais qui a néanmoins été attaqué par une personne sous l’emprise de drogues ayant dévoré une partie de son visage. Visage que, donc, je vous laisse imaginer.

Après la stupéfaction et la douleur, je ressentis principalement de la colère. Quelle idée de poster une telle image sans AUCUN préavis, mis à part un titre sur lequel le regard glisse pendant qu’on fait défiler la page ! J’avais l’impression qu’on m’avait collé une baffe, et j’étais très énervée.

Ce qui m’amène à vous parler des Trigger Warnings, une « règle » visant justement à éviter ce genre de mauvaise surprise en ligne.

Qu’est-ce qu’une « trigger » ?

Une « trigger », ou en français un déclencheur, c’est un contenu — des mots, des images, un son, parfois même une odeur — qui déclenche chez quelqu’un ayant vécu un évènement traumatisant le souvenir de cet évènement, parfois suivi de moments très difficiles comme des crises d’angoisse, des flashbacks et d’autres éléments qui se retrouvent notamment dans le trouble de stress post-traumatique.

Pour prendre un exemple qui risque de ne pas déranger trop de monde : si vous êtes phobique, disons, des lapins et que vous étiez dans un parc à boire un Coca quand une boule de poils à oreilles vous a soudain sauté sur le pied, il est possible que le goût ou la vue du Coca vous cause un sentiment de malaise, sans forcément que vous ne vous en rendiez compte.

La plupart des déclencheurs concernent des choses plus sérieuses, comme des agressions, des viols, et d’autres traumatismes très violents.

« Triggers » au cinéma : Les Mondes de Ralph

Récemment, on a vu deux exemples réalistes, au cinéma, de personnes traumatisées réagissant à un déclencheur. Le premier est — et c’est assez surprenant — dans Les Mondes de Ralph, le dernier Disney, sorti pour Noël 2012.

Comme on le voit sur ce post Tumblr, le sergent Calhoun, une femme forte, guerrière et combative, réagit très violemment au surnom « Dynamite Gal » que lui donne innocemment Félix Fixe, un gentil réparateur, car cela la ramène directement à un énorme traumatisme : la mort de son compagnon pendant leur mariage.

Ce simple surnom suffit à provoquer chez elle une terreur soudaine, et pas moins vivace ni moins réelle que celle qui l’a emplie lors de l’évènement traumatisant. Félix n’utilisera d’ailleurs plus jamais ces termes et prendra soin de ne pas la choquer à nouveau, ce qui est la bonne chose à faire.

« Triggers » au cinéma : Iron Man 3

Plus récemment encore, dans Iron Man 3, Tony Stark est gravement traumatisé par un évènement très dur traversé pendant Avengers, dont l’action se situe à New York. Lorsque les gens — et ils sont nombreux à le faire — lui en parlent, il entre dans de violentes crises d’angoisse, se sent hautement vulnérable, a du mal à respirer et ressent le besoin impérieux de se mettre à l’abri dans une de ses armures.

Tony Stark fait un cauchemar lié à son traumatisme

À plusieurs reprises, il indique à divers personnages du film qu’il faut arrêter de lui parler de New York, que cela déclenche chez lui une grande angoisse qui peut le mettre en danger, mais aussi blesser les autres. Cependant, quelques personnages n’en tiennent pas compte et le film montre clairement que ce n’est pas une bonne attitude à avoir envers les personnes ayant traversé des évènements traumatisants.

Prendre en compte les autres pour ne pas les choquer

Forcément, c’est plus facile de ne pas provoquer de déclencheur chez quelqu’un que vous connaissez qu’en ligne. Impossible pour vous de savoir si un-e de vos abonné-e-s Tumblr va être choqué-e par un webcomic sur la culture du viol, ou si un-e de vos followers sur Twitter va jeter son smartphone à l’autre bout de la pièce en ouvrant votre lien pour découvrir le top 10 des pires insectes d’Amazonie.

La solution, c’est donc de prévenir que le contenu est sensible, surtout sur Twitter et Tumblr où, contrairement à Facebook, vous ne connaissez pas tou-te-s vos abonné-e-s. Mais comment faire ça de façon simple, limpide et surtout rapide ?

Les Trigger Warnings sur Tumblr

Sur Tumblr, on peut utiliser les tags « tw », « trigger warnin