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2017 was Trumpism's last gasp

As the year comes to a close, the job of making sense of it begins.This year, I heard so many people ask, "Is ...

Posted: Dec 24, 2017 5:08 AM
Updated: Dec 24, 2017 5:08 AM

As the year comes to a close, the job of making sense of it begins.

This year, I heard so many people ask, "Is this really happening?" It felt at times as if we were living in an alternate reality. There's no denying that 2017 was both bizarre and a rallying of all sorts. The question is, who will be left standing when the rally is over?

Will it be the participants in the Women's Marches all over the world or the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville? Will political polarization worsen or will bipartisanship return? Will the mass shooting in Vegas stand as the worst in modern US history, or be tragically outdone next year? Will America continue to be punked and manipulated by Russia, or will we start to protect our elections like we do our borders?

Will we remember the brave voices of the #MeToo movement and the ousting of alleged serial abusers like Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly (who denies it), and Matt Lauer (who apologized), or will we remember that Bill Cosby had more than 50 women accuse him of sexual assault and he still wasn't convicted?

Time magazine offered the perfect metaphor for 2017's rally of contradictions. It named "The Silence Breakers" -- the voices against sexual harassment -- as the defining "person" of the year. Its runner-up, however, was President Donald Trump who admitted sexual assault on tape and faces many serious and credible sexual harassment accusations (he denies them all), and still has his job.

While the year saw the rise of Trump, this is not the beginning of his term, it is the end. As painful as it has been to watch him and his supporters rally, theirs is merely a last gasp of a dying world view.

Ten years ago, when my father-in-law was dying of esophageal cancer, we called hospice in. I'll never forget what they told us: that just before death, we might see a surprising surge of energy in him, something that doctors refer to as "terminal lucidity."

They cautioned us that this would not be a sign of strength, but rather that death was near. Sure enough, a few weeks before his death, he was out of bed and had a surprising amount of energy. It was a last gasp at life. He died shortly after that.

That's what 2017 represents for me: a last gasp by Trump and the bigoted, sexist, nationalist and greedy forces that propelled him to power.

Trump has demonized the free press, world leaders, Muslims, immigrants, women and the NFL. He has bullied, barked and insulted his way through the year. There are too many affronts to list here. But every tweet has pushed us one inch closer to his alternate view of the world -- to normalizing this un-American behavior. The fact is, Trump and his dying world view can rally for a little while, but his alternate reality can't win -- and here are just a few signs of why:

In reality, America is more diverse than ever. It is easy to see that Trump's world is white. Just look at who he has appointed -- more white male judges than any president in three decades. His nominees for 24 Cabinet and cabinet-level posts included only six women and nonwhites. That's more white male representation than any of the past five presidents. Here is an interesting breakdown of the White House intern cohort this year. I will let you judge with your own eyes how well it reflects America. This whitewash rally? A last gasp.

In reality, the majority of Americans are women. It is easy to see that Trump's world is by men for men. His administration is attacking women's reproductive rights at every turn. Trump has pushed repeatedly -- in failed attempts to repeal Obamacare -- to end the Medicaid expansion. The reality is the majority of Medicaid enrollees are women, and more than half of all US births are covered by Medicaid.

In April, behind a closed door, he signed a law that allows states to withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide family planning services, like contraception, breast cancer screening and fertility counseling -- if they also provide abortion services. According to the Guttmacher Institute, "Planned Parenthood health centers serve two million (32%) of the 6.2 million women who obtain contraceptive care from some type of safety-net family planning center."

And two months ago, his Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules that would allow employers to opt out of covering birth control under the Affordable Care Act for "moral" reasons.

This attack on women's rights? A last gasp.

In reality, the vast majority of Americans support gay marriage and equal rights.

Trump's world does not. His lawyers just told the Supreme Court that businesses should have the right to hang signs in their windows stating that gays will not be served. When Trump tried to ban transgender citizens from serving in the military, our armed forces ignored him. His anti-LBGT opinions? Extremely offensive ... and a last gasp.

In reality, the vast majority of Americans -- including Republicans -- support net neutrality.

Trump just traded your open Internet for corporate greed when his Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules. Companies can now feel free to block websites or charge internet users -- that means all of us; you and me -- for higher-quality service or specific content that has long been accessible to all. It was a 3-2 vote. Care to guess how the three men and two women voted?

Out here in reality -- in real America, not the world Trump envisions -- many wonder "if it's really happening."

I'm here to tell you -- despite his twitter temper tantrums -- Trump's rally and world view is dying.

This is the beginning of the end of Trump and his "idea" of America. The turning point was when Trump endorsed Roy Moore, who is accused of sexually abusing teenage girls, in his failed Senate bid. Moore was the one who said the last time America was great was when "families were united ... even though we had slavery," letting America know that the ex-judge, who held the full support of the America's President, did not see black families.

There is a desperation in the air. There always is when someone is dying -- you can smell it.

From the macho threats of nuclear war to the disgraceful ending of a health care program that serves 9 million poor children in America, to taking away tax exemptions on student debt; from building walls and ending DACA to keep out new Americans, to loosening regulations to allow polluting industries to resume polluting, to muzzling science and clamping down on speech. It's all a last gasp.

Trump's maniacal obsession with undoing of Obama's legacy- - the last gasp.

His refusal to denounce white supremacists in Charlottesville -- the last gasp.

His demonization of Black Lives Matter and the Women's March -- the last gasp.

The term "fake news" and the attacks on the free press -- the last gasp.

Trump's support isn't growing, it's shrinking. Ignore his blustering. He's got the lowest approval ratings of any sitting president.

That's the reality.

Millennials are leaving the Republican Party in record numbers, with nearly a quarter of them defecting from Trump's party.

That's the reality.

Oh, and then there's Robert Mueller's expanding investigation.

That's the reality.

2017 is the last gasp. Trump's world will come to an end. In fact, just remove Trump and much of this madness disappears. And he will be removed. He'll cross too many lines. Hell, he might even be removed from office. There will be another president. The damage will get reversed -- and Americans, proud of who we really are, will be the ones left standing.

The best thing for us to do, as he seems to lose his grip on reality, is to hold tight to ours. Continue to show up to the polls, ask questions, demand answers, speak up and step up, run for office.

Just ask the black (women!) voters in Alabama who turned out in record numbers to elect Alabama's first Democrat in three decades and the record number of women and minority candidates who are running for office in 2018.

America, in reality, hasn't gone anywhere.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
Coosa902
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 109627

Reported Deaths: 1073
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21296285
Davidson19320199
Rutherford604251
Hamilton562147
Knox392634
Williamson323022
Sumner316069
Unassigned29244
Out of TN282312
Wilson206420
Montgomery171111
Bradley170510
Sevier17025
Trousdale15726
Putnam154713
Robertson143216
Hamblen121713
Tipton11049
Blount10987
Maury10665
Washington10382
Madison88912
Bedford86210
Macon83413
Hardeman79411
Sullivan7809
Lake7440
Bledsoe6681
Loudon6493
Fayette6178
Anderson5995
Dickson5871
Gibson5582
Cheatham5445
Dyer5427
Rhea4971
Jefferson4892
McMinn47920
Lawrence4746
Obion4274
Henderson4260
Carter4245
Lauderdale4216
Coffee4112
Warren4004
Hardin3987
Cocke3911
Cumberland3756
Greene3695
Haywood3695
Smith3613
Monroe3569
Roane3561
Giles3449
Hawkins3244
McNairy3105
DeKalb3041
Franklin2854
Marshall2632
Weakley2603
Lincoln2511
Carroll2263
Hickman2260
Crockett2233
Wayne2141
Claiborne2120
Henry2110
Campbell2071
Marion2064
Chester1921
White1913
Grainger1680
Polk1661
Johnson1600
Decatur1591
Unicoi1360
Overton1341
Union1180
Cannon1170
Jackson1071
Grundy1012
Humphreys1013
Scott1010
Meigs960
Sequatchie940
Benton921
Morgan791
Fentress740
Hancock741
Perry740
Stewart700
Clay620
Lewis561
Houston550
Moore420
Van Buren320
Pickett221

 

 

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