Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trump Has Doomed the GOP

Like it or not, demographic change will be the undoing of the Republican Party.  Indeed, some Republican operatives believe that Trump - who they expect to lose dramatically - is only serving to expedite the GOP's death spiral  because he has championed the positions that will lead to the death of the GOP.  Moreover, many now believe that the party is incapable of reform.  One such doomsayer is Bruce Bartlett, adviser to numerous Republican officeholders, including Jack Kemp and President Ronald Reagan, for whom he was a domestic policy adviser.  Here are excerpts from Bartlett's op-ed in the Washington Post:
Last year, I wrote an article calling Donald Trump a godsend for moderate Republicans. Trump, I predicted, would lose so spectacularly that the GOP would be forced to transform itself, surrendering its mindless obstructionism, science denial, xenophobia and plutocracy. After a purge like that, the party would finally be able to compete in future national elections.
I was wrong. I now see that Trump’s candidacy has exacerbated the Republican Party’s weaknesses, alienating minorities, fracturing the base and stunting smart policy development. The party’s structural problems are so severe that reform is impossible. Even if Trump loses and the GOP races to forget him, the party is doomed. And very few of our leaders seem to care.
In the short run, it will be easy for Republicans to convince themselves that nothing needs to change. The establishment believes that Trump is an anomaly, an aberration. GOP leaders think the party’s next nominee will be a more typical politician who knows the issues, has well-developed debating skills and who will appeal to the elite and the Trumpkins. Someone like John Kasich or Marco Rubio.
Many leaders also assume that Hillary Clinton is an automatic one-termer.  . . . . . But Clinton’s chances of being reelected in 2020 are better than Republicans think. Already, Democrats have a virtual lock on 18 states, giving them analmost automatic 242 electoral votes. States such as Virginia, Colorado and Florida routinely vote Democratic, too.
Additionally, the Republican Party will have to contend with the Trump constituency, which will remain a powerful force in the presidential primaries (fueled, perhaps, by a Trump cable channel). White nationalists will continue to back racist candidates, alienating minority voters. It’s not hard to imagine another cycle with 17 candidates vying for the nomination. If that comes to pass, someone could win the primary race with less than half the vote, as Trump did.
If Clinton wins a second term, major progressive change becomes possible. Sixteen years of Democratic presidents will give the Supreme Court a solid liberal majority, making electoral reform doable. Restrictions on campaign contributions and gerrymandering could emerge, making it harder to draw districts that reliably swing one way or the other. If Democrats put resources into state legislative races, they may be able to undercut GOP gerrymandering after the 2020 census. 
By 2022, it’s possible that Democrats will control Congress and gridlock will be broken. Once that happens, the federal government will be able to tackle major issues.
These policies will, of course, be opposed by Republicans (even those who know better) because the GOP’s Trump/tea party wing will control the nominating and primary process for years to come, dooming any leader or lawmaker who compromises with Democrats.
As former U.S. deputy Treasury secretary Roger Altman showed recently in the Financial Times, busi­ness­peo­ple are already flocking to Clinton, and to Democrats more broadly.
Deprived of funding and business support, the national GOP will shrivel to what the party has become in California — irrelevant politically and unable to win outside its wealthy, right-wing enclaves.
When I began criticizing the GOP for pandering to populists and extremists, I was largely alone. But now, longtime Republican luminaries, including John McCain’s 2008 campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, and Washington Post columnist George Will, share my perspective. Many, such as Josh Barro, a columnist for Business Insider, have virtually washed their hands of the party, viewing the intellectual rot as terminal.
Because of the way our government is set up, the United States will probably always have two parties. But it is not foreordained that the GOP will be the center-right party. It could go the way of the Whigs or Canada’s Conservative Party in 1993 and literally disappear, or it could reconstitute itself so radically that it bears little resemblance to the Republican Party of today. One thing, however, is certain: A party that cannot capture the White House cannot survive.

New Orleans Times-Picayune: Hillary if the Only Choice for President

The parade of major news papers in deep red states endorsing Hillary Clinton (some of which have almost never endorsed a Democrat) continues.   Now, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the largest paper in in Louisiana has endorsed Hillary Clinton as "the only choice for president" despite her flaws.  The other side of this coin is that no major newspaper - that is correct, none - has endorsed Donald Trump.  Here are highlights from the Times-Picayune endorsement:
The president of the United States has a sacred obligation to the people of this nation: to carry the torch for our ideals. The promise of America is that your class, race, religion or gender won't limit your opportunities. Every president should be committed first and foremost to that principle. If not, how can we claim to lead the free world?
Our next president will inherit an economy that has yet to fully recover from the 2008 recession. Jobs have grown over the past eight years, but wages for many Americans are significantly lower than they were pre-recession. More people have health care today, but the costs are rising. There is a sense for many that their lives are not on stable financial ground.
In an election that has become more about "least dangerous" than "most inspiring," which candidate is better qualified to confront the complex challenges facing us? Our choice is Hillary Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton has a long record of public service. She proved her dedication to equality when she traveled to south Alabama as a law student in 1972 to uncover government-sanctioned racial discrimination at private schools.
When her husband Bill Clinton was president of the United States, she worked to get Congress to provide health care services for millions of poor children. As a U.S. senator representing New York, she helped secure $21 billion from the federal government to help New York rebuild after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Louisianians certainly can understand how important that was to her constituents.
As secretary of state for President Barack Obama, she negotiated a ceasefire in Gaza and got China, Russia and the European Union to agree to sanctions against Iran. She also made women's rights across the world a priority.
Mrs. Clinton is a seriously flawed candidate. Many voters don't trust her, and with good reason. . . . . But Mrs. Clinton's failings can't compare, in scale or in number, to Republican nominee Donald Trump's.
Mr. Trump has proved himself wholly unsuited to be president. He has spent this campaign denigrating women, Muslims, Mexicans, refugees, disabled people, the parents of a soldier who died in Iraq and essentially anyone who questioned him. He has suggested that an African-American protester at one of his rallies should be "roughed up," made gross generalizations suggesting that all black people live in poor, violent neighborhoods, expressed support for racial profiling by police. And he threatened in the last debate to jail his political rival if elected.
Mr. Trump's go-to move is the insult. His combative style would be disastrous on the world stage, where poorly chosen words can incite violence and cost lives. His affection for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and use of Russian propaganda to attack Mrs. Clinton are a frightening signal of what his approach to foreign policy would be.
The recording that surfaced Oct. 8 of Mr. Trump bragging about forcing himself on women and grabbing them between the legs is abhorrent. His characterization of the episode as mere "locker room talk" bespoke a pathological inability to acknowledge, and repair, his mistakes.
Also troubling is Mr. Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, which is unprecedented in recent political history. What is he hiding?
Although he routinely attacks Mrs. Clinton as a "Washington insider," her experience in and around government is clearly an asset. She is a policy wonk with a detailed vision of what she wants to do and a unique understanding – as a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state – of how to achieve it. 
As for which candidate is better for Louisiana, there is no contest. Mrs. Clinton is committed to investments in infrastructure, including ports, that would benefit our state. She also wants to offer preschool to every 4-year-old, something that fits Louisiana's goal of expanding and improving the quality of early childhood education.
But for New Orleanians, perhaps the most compelling contrast between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is his intolerance and her inclusiveness. New Orleans has diversity in its DNA. A president who routinely degrades African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and women could not, and would not, represent us.
We don't believe Hillary Clinton is everything America needs in a president. But we have no doubt that she is the best choice on the 2016 ballot to move the country forward.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty - Pt 2

Trump's Ploy to Destabilize American Democracy

As a student of history, I believe that often people fail to see the larger events taking place around them and the dangerous directions in which their nation is headed.  This certainly applies to Germans in the late 1920's and early 1930's when Hitler used anti-Semiticism and Germans' xenophobia and  sense of victim hood in the wake of WWI to rise to power. I'm currently reading a new book, "The End of Tsarist Russia" that looks at the lead up to WWI and ultimately the Russian revolution and one see's many who failed to see the impending catastrophe.  Fast forward to 2016 and here in America we see forces lead by Donald Trump seeking to destabilize American democracy for their own selfish and hated motivated means.  As the last post noted, some Trump supporters want a putsch if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton - an actual revolt to overthrow the government.  Americans need to wake up to the dangerous forces that are being unleashed.  An editorial in the Washington Post looks at the danger.  Here are highlights:
INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES teach their officers how to respond in case of exposure: Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations. While perhaps good advice in the amoral context of espionage, these are not, or should not be, words to live by for those who take part in democratic politics. Yet when Republican Donald Trump was outed as a serial abuser of women, first by his own words and then by testimony from a lengthening list of alleged victims, he responded with tactics worthy of the Russian ex-KGB man Vladi­mir Putin, whose leadership he so admires. Mr. Trump branded the women liars and blamed “the establishment and their media enablers” for the purported smear.
One reason to believe the charges is Mr. Trump’s own repugnant boast,captured on videotape in 2005 and first reported a week ago by The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold, about how he likes to “grab” women by their private parts and force himself on them, as an exercise of his “star” power. Lacking the decency to take responsibility for this, beyond a thin layer of apology in a thick sandwich of excuse-making, Mr. Trump went on to compound verbally the insult he already inflicted on his victims, through his conduct, with predictable attacks on their veracity, motives and, of course, appearance. Thus did the GOP nominee further confirm his unfitness for the White House, as well as the cravenness of those elected leaders in his party who continue to endorse him.
And then Mr. Trump, speaking Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., escalated: Beyond merely denying the truth of the allegations about his treatment of women, he recast them as evidence that U.S. democracy itself is no longer legitimate. Follow the logic here, if you can: The country is under the control of a conspiracy, involving not just his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, and the media, but also the entire political “establishment,” Republicans included, in league with unnamed international banks, whose goal is to enrich themselves by controlling “the central base of world political power . . . right here in America” and imposing “radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people.” Mr. Trump, and the “movement” he heads, are all that stand in the way of this evil cabal. This election, therefore, is no ordinary political contest but “a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.” Ergo, the cabal will destroy Mr. Trump by “slander” — unless the people stand up and resist “a small handful of global special interests rigging the system.”
This language — which he read from a prepared text fed into a teleprompter — is inflammatory beyond any demagoguery Mr. Trump had offered previously. Coupled with his repeated warnings, echoed by his followers, that the Democrats may be cooking up Election Day fraud, the speech seems to prepare the ground for resistance in the increasingly likely event that things don’t go his way Nov. 8. Indeed, anyone who agrees that the alternative to a Trump victory is civilizational disaster, the fruit of a “sinister deal,” as Mr. Trump put it in another Florida speech, would feel obligated to deny the legitimacy of a Clinton victory, should it occur. Trump-for-President is not a campaign to redeem American democracy or even to “take it back,” as Mr. Trump puts it; it has morphed into a campaign of destabilization.
Mr. Trump’s words seek to make accomplices of his listeners. Anyone who challenges the cabal “is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed,” he told the West Palm Beach audience. “They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and your family, they will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation.” As if the assembled Trumpkins were just as guilty as he of all those alleged sins.
Still, it is not too late even for these GOP politicians to repudiate Mr. Trump’s conspiratorial view of the American political process. They should at least find the decency, and the patriotism, to declare that everyone must respect the results on Nov. 8 — and pursue any protests or disputes through legal channels, not in the streets. Even if Republicans can’t bring themselves to part ways politically with Mr. Trump, they can refuse to cooperate in the trashing of our public discourse and essential civic traditions. Surely that is not too much to ask.

How Trump Has Taken Hate Groups Mainstream

rally in Stone Mountain, Georgia, in April 2016 
Being gay causes one, or at least it caused me, to start following anti-gay hate groups almost 20 years ago.  Most wrap themselves in the cloak of "family values" organizations and use the excuse of "deeply held religious belief" to justify stigmatizing others and depriving others of civil rights. Often, those they hate are depicted as less than human and/or a threat to civilization.  One thing I quickly discovered is that if one scratched beneath the "Christian" veneer of these organizations, they also tended to be anti-Semitic and racist. Indeed, in the case of Family Research Council, its president has well documented ties to white supremacy groups and here in Virginia, The Family Foundation membership traces back to those behind the "Massive Resistance" effort that closed Virginia public schools rather than desegregate them.  In this election cycle, Donald Trump has brought both these relgious extremist groups and other hate groups, particularly white supremacy groups and white nationalist groups main stream and made them the core of his support within the GOP.  Amazingly, many Republican friends continue to close their eyes to who they are now in bed with in their support for Trump, America's would be fuhrer.  A lengthy piece in Mother Jones looks at how this happened.  Here are highlights, but one should read the entire piece:
The first warning sign that something new was brewing came in June 2015, as Donald Trump joined the crowded field vying for the Republican presidential nomination. In the extravagant lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, he announced he would build a wall to keep out Mexican criminals and "rapists."
"I urge all readers of this site to do whatever they can to make Donald Trump President," wrote Andrew Anglin, publisher of the neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, 12 days later. Anglin, a 32-year-old skinhead who wears an Aryan "Black Sun"tattoo on his chest and riffs about the inferior "biological nature" of black people, hailed Trump as "the only candidate who is even talking about anything at all that matters."
This neo-Nazi seal of approval initially seemed like an aberration. But two months later, when Trump released his immigration policy, far-right extremists saw a clear signal that Trump understood their core anger and fear about America being taken over by minorities and foreigners. Trump's plan to deport masses of undocumented immigrants and end birthright citizenship was radical and thrilling—"a revolution," in the words of influential white nationalist author Kevin MacDonald, "to restore a White America."
Trump's move was a "game changer," said MacDonald, a 70-year-old silver-haired former academic who edits the Occidental Observer, which the Anti-Defamation League calls "online anti-Semitism's new voice." Trump, he wrote, "is saying what White Americans have been actually thinking for a very long time."
"Stunning," raved Peter Brimelow, editor of the anti-immigrant site "The thing that delighted us the most," he wrote, was Trump's plan to close "the 'Anchor Baby' loophole," denying citizenship to the American-born children of immigrants—a policy that Brimelow said he had been advocating for more than a decade.
Trump "may be the last hope for a president who would be good for white people," remarked Jared Taylor, who runs a white nationalist website calledAmerican Renaissance and once founded a think tank dedicated to "scientifically" proving white superiority. 
Trump fever quickly spread: Other extremists new to presidential politics openly endorsed Trump, including Don Black, a former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the neo-Nazi site Stormfront; Rocky Suhayda, chair of the American Nazi Party; and Rachel Pendergraft, a national organizer for the Knights Party, the successor to David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Richard Spencer, an emerging leader among a new generation of white nationalists known as the "alt right," declared that Trump "loves white people." 
But Trump did not become the object of white nationalist affection simply because his positions reflect their core concerns. Extremists made him their chosen candidate and now hail him as "Emperor Trump" because he has amplified their message on social media—and, perhaps most importantly, has gone to great lengths to avoid distancing himself from the racist right. With the exception of Duke, Trump has not disavowed a single endorsement from the dozens of neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, and militia supporters who have backed him. The GOP nominee, along with his family members, staffers, and surrogates, has instead provided an unprecedented platform for the ideas and rhetoric of far-right extremists, extending their reach. And when challenged on it by the press, Trump has stalled, feigned ignorance, or deflected—but has never specifically rejected any of these other extremists or their ideas.
This stance has thrilled and emboldened hate groups far more than has been generally understood during the 2016 race for the White House. Moreover, Trump's tacit welcoming of these hate groups into mainstream American politics will have long-lasting consequences, according to these groups' own leaders, regardless of the election outcome.
A three-month investigation by Mother Jones and the Investigative Fund—including interviews with white nationalist leaders and an analysis of social-media networks, nearly 100 hours of fringe talk radio, and dozens of posts on influential hate sites—reveals that what has largely been portrayed by the media as Trump "gaffes" has instead been understood by far-right extremists as a warm embrace by Trump. Extremists' zeal for Trump only grew with his decision in August to hire a new campaign chief, Stephen Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart News and a big booster himself of far-right rhetoric. 
In early October, when bombshell archival video revealed Trump bragging about sexual assault and plunged his campaign and the GOP into chaos, that only further energized his extremist supporters. "Girls really don't mind guys that like pussies," influential alt-right video blogger RamZPaul said. "They just hate guys who are pussies."
"The people believe Trump won the debate," Anglin posted. "It's really just an objective fact. Not sure how even liberal kikes could claim otherwise."
To understand how Trump's unspoken alliance with the far right has really worked, take one instance that caused a fleeting uproar last November, when Trump retweeted a graphic falsely claiming that black people were responsible for 81 percent of white homicides. Its source was a white supremacist Twitter feed whose logo is a modified swastika. Politifact and others quickly documented how "wildly inaccurate" the racist graphic was.
After a quick round of fact-checking and rebuke, however, the media moved on. But white nationalist news sites and radio programs were transfixed.  . . . . Trump had done the politically unthinkable—and then he doubled down, declining to delete the tweet (which remains live as of this publication) and asking rhetorically on Fox News, "Am I gonna check every statistic?" Even when Bill O'Reilly urged him, "Don't put your name on stuff like this," Trump didn't back down, saying, "It came from sources that are very credible, what can I tell you."
At various turns in the campaign, Trump has faced questions from the media about his seeming dalliance with the far right, from his selection of a white nationalist party leader as a Republican National Convention delegate, to his retweet of the handle @whitegenocideTM (which was later suspended by Twitter).  . . . . But Trump didn't back down—greatly impressing the men who had voiced the calls, Jared Taylor and American Freedom Party leader William Johnson. Interviewed on Political Cesspool, Taylor said, "For days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign, saying, 'What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them.' And he didn't. He maintained a dignified silence."
Moreover, Trump openly sympathized with these white nationalist leaders. 
Just a few weeks later, Trump retweeted a riff disparaging Jeb Bush that had been posted by @WhiteGenocideTM, whose user had previously tweeted out his or her admiration for Hitler. The account @TheNordicNation crowed, "You can say #WhiteGenocide now, Trump has brought it into the mainstream."
Trump's embrace of the far right soon moved beyond the internet. In late February, the Trump campaign granted Edwards media credentials to broadcast from a Trump campaign rally in Tennessee; and days later, Edwards interviewed Donald Trump Jr. on a white nationalist radio show, the Liberty RoundTable. Despite controversy over the interview, Edwards then received credentials for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he interviewed members of Congress and a Trump surrogate for his show.
This courtship burst more fully into view in February, when David Duke told his radio audience that voting against Trump was "really treason to your heritage. "When asked about it by CNN's Jake Tapper, Trump tap-danced around the question, saying he didn't know enough about Duke or the Klan to disavow them. The alt-right viewed Trump's subsequent remarks on MSNBC'sMorning Joe—"David Duke is a bad person who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years"—not as a sign of retreat, but as one of strength. 
The pattern continued throughout the presidential race, from Trump's disparagement of a Mexican American judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University to Trump's retweet of an anti-Semitic image featuring a Star of David and a pile of cash that white nationalists used to smear Hillary Clinton. During the fallout from the latter, Trump went right along with the far right's pushback that the star was simply a sheriff's badge. Trump also refused to condemn the barrage of anti-Semitic attacks on journalist Julia Ioffe after she wrote an unflattering portrait of his wife, Melania Trump.
Donald Trump Jr. has also participated in this dynamic, including with his recent tweet of a meme comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of poisonous Skittles, which delighted extremists. 
[I]n-depth analysis we conducted of Twitter activity during a week in September shed further light on social-media connections between far-right extremists and the Trump campaign. In consultation with the Southern Poverty Law Center, we compiled a list of hashtags and catchphrases stemming from extremist movements, terms steeped in Holocaust denial, anti-Muslim invective, and other expressions of bigotry and racism. 
Our analysis of the accounts of more than 200 Trump campaign staffers and surrogates revealed that more than two dozen of them were following five or more of the top extremist influencers.
Nancy Mace, Trump's coalitions director for South Carolina, followed 67 extremist influencers in September, including @Rebel_Bill, who regularly posts virulently anti-Semitic riffs and tweeted an image of a transgender woman using a women's bathroom with the words: "Prosecute or lynch."
Trump's South Carolina field director Gerri McDaniel and New Hampshire operative Cynthia Howard each followed @Suthen_boy, who goes by the name Gen. Robert E. Lee and has tweeted about "Black Savages" and declared that "Germans better get over Holocaust guilt or they'll wind up like the Jews only at the hands of muslim vermin."
Geoff Diehl, Trump's Massachusetts field director, followed @LiberalMediaSux, who has tweeted that Islam "condones beastiality and pedophilia" and refers to Muslims as "goat humpers." Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson followed accounts that have declared that "multiculturalism" promotes a program of "genocide against Whites" . . .
Trump surrogates have continued to court the extreme right. In early October, Trump's son Eric and longtime adviser Roger Stone both appeared on the far-right radio program Liberty RoundTable, the one that aired white nationalist James Edwards' interview with Donald Trump Jr. in March. And on October 12, senior Trump adviser A.J. Delgado retweeted a comment from the notoriously anti-Semitic site The Right Stuff, which gave rise to the triple-parentheses "echo" symbol deployed by the alt-right on social media to target Jewish writers.
It all stems from one core issue. "Race is at the foundation of everything to the alt-righters," says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "They have this idea that white people and white civilization are under assault by the forces of political correctness."
The mainstreaming of alt-right ideology by the Trump campaign has also had an invigorating effect on an older generation of white nationalists. . . . . the surviving remnant of Duke's old organization, now being revived by his daughter, Pendergraft, who specializes in white supremacist appeals to women.
Pendergraft, who endorsed Trump last December, said her organization has seen an increase in membership due to Trump. "White people are realizing they are becoming strangers in their own country and they do not have a major political voice speaking for them," she told us. "Trump is one example of the alternative-right candidate Knights Party members and supporters have been looking for. 
He envisions alt-right candidates for school board, city council, and mayor. "I feel my job will be done when at the PTA meeting a woman gets up and says, 'Well of course there aren't as many blacks in the AP courses, because they just do not have the same average IQ,' and nobody objects."
Anglin predicted that if Trump loses, "it is by fraud, and all of these people who are currently supporting him are going to be radicalized." Those radicals, he said, will finally realize "there is a Jewish media conspiracy" and "a war on the White man." Picking up on Trump's own assertion that a Clinton victory would mean the election is "rigged," Anglin said Trump would "order a putsch." . . . If Barack Obama can legitimize gay marriage and transsexuals, Donald Trump can legitimize the Alt-Right."
These people are horrible and dangerous.  Growing up, my mother admonished me and my siblings to be careful who we associated with since it could label us in a negative way.  It is time decent Republicans realize that the GOP has become a cesspool and leave it.  It is no longer the party of my parents and grandparents.  It has become something hideous and Trump has mainstreamed the hate and ugliness.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty - Pt 1

Friday, October 14, 2016

More Friday Male Beauty

Is Republican Party is About to Split in Two?

Although I would argue that at this point most moral and decent Republicans have fled the party and now see themselves as Independents or, in some cases even democrats, there nonetheless remain many in the GOP who want to renounce Donald Trump, the Tea Party and the factions of racists, white supremacists, homophobes and misogynists who now make up a majority or at a minimum a large plurality of the party base.  Thus, the question becomes whether these individuals remain and try to take back the GOP transform it away from the parade of horrors it has become or do they simply walk away and form a new party that supports what the GOP of yesteryear stood for.  A piece in, suggests that some GOP strategists see the party splitting.  Here are article excerpts:
Is the Republican Party falling apart? Steve Schmidt — a GOP consultant who worked on George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004 and ran John McCain’s campaign in 2008 — thinks it very well might be.
“There will be the alt-right party; then there will be a center-right conservative party,” he told me on Thursday. “I think what you’re gonna see is [Trump campaign CEO and Breitbart News chief] Steve Bannon monetizing 30 percent of the electorate into a UKIP-style movement and a billion-dollar media business.”
Schmidt was ahead of the curve in analyzing Donald Trump’s rise, arguing to me in August 2015 that, contrary to the beliefs of many experts, the GOP establishment had “no ability to stop” Trump because actual Republican voters no longer paid any mind to what their party elites thought.
So I got in touch with him for his thoughts on what’s happened since, and he unloaded on Trump (“manifestly unfit in every conceivable way”), Republican Party leadership (“political cowardice on a massive level”), and evangelical leaders standing by the nominee despite everything (“literally the modern-day Pharisees”). This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
The Trump campaign is over — Hillary Clinton is going to be elected president. The question that remains here, the open question, is the degree of the collateral damage, right? The Republicans are going to lose the US Senate. The question is how many seats can they lose in the House. 
Then there’s a long-term implication for the civic life of the country, the vandalism being done, which will culminate for the first time in American history with his refusal to make an ordinary concession where he grants to the winner legitimacy by recognizing the legitimacy of the election. I think it’s very clear he’s going to go out saying it’s a rigged system.
The last implication for it behaviorally is it exposes at such a massive scale and at such magnitude the hypocrisy of the Tony Perkinses and the Jerry Falwell Jrs. and the Pat Robertsons. These people are literally the modern-day Pharisees, they are the money changers in the temple, and they will forever be destroyed from a credibility perspective.
There are millions of decent, faithful, committed evangelicals in this country who have every right to participate in the political process. But this country doesn’t ever need to hear a lecture from any one of these people [Perkins, Falwell, etc.] again on a values issue, or their denigration of good and decent gay people in this country.
[T]he defense of Trump, the cowardice of so many Republican elected officials who won’t confront this — what it exposes is political cowardice on a massive level. It exposes a political class in the Republican Party that simply is unfit to lead the country.
As a conservative Republican, I find anathematic the regulatory and tax policies of liberal Democrats. But there’s no question that Republicans — as an institution and what we’re led by — are unfit to run the country, or to govern the country.
You have a massive reckoning coming due that will play out over years on the serially putting party above country. We’ve reached the moment in time that George Washington warned about in his farewell address with the danger of factions. You have basically warring tribes that subordinate the national interest to their tribal interest.
There’s no higher value obviously for most — though not all — Republican elected officials than maintaining fidelity to Donald Trump. What’s extraordinary about that is that in America, we don’t take an oath to a strongman leader; we take it to the Constitution of the United States. And Donald Trump is obviously manifestly unfit in every conceivable way to occupy the office of the American head of state.

Trump and the Alt-Right Seek to "Burn Down the House"

If, as current polling and projections suggest, Donald Trump loses the presidential election on November 8, 2016, as a nation America will nonetheless have to deal with the forces of hate and bigotry that Trump has not only release but also, at least in some circles. legitimized.  And, many indications are that Trump, like a spoiled and petulant child would rather destroy the nation rather than face the reality that what he was peddling was abhorrent and not the face on a majority of Americans.  Already his campaign and behavior suggest that such is the case.  An op-ed in the New York Times sums up Trump's destructive attitude and the poison that he has unleashed.  The column is worthy of a full read and it must be remembered that it is the Republican Party that created this monster and helped legitimize the ugliness that he represents.  Here are op-ed highlights:
A wounded bear is a dangerous thing. Detested and defeated, Donald Trump is now in a tear-the-country-down rage. Day after day, he rips at the last remaining threads of decency holding this nation together. His opponent is the devil, he says — hate her with all your heart. Forget about the rule of law. Lock her up!
He’s made America vile. He’s got angel-voiced children yelling “bitch” and flipping the bird at rallies. He’s got young athletes chanting “build a wall” at Latino kids on the other side. He’s made it O.K. to bully and fat-shame. He’s normalized perversion, bragging about how an aging man with his sense of entitlement can walk in on naked women.
Here’s his lesson for young minds: If you’re rich and boorish enough, you can get away with anything. Get away with sexual assault. Get away with not paying taxes. Get away with never telling the truth. Get away with flirting with treason. Get away with stiffing people who work for you, while you take yours. Get away with mocking the disabled, veterans and families of war heroes.
[N]ow, in the final days of a horrid campaign, an unshackled Trump is more national threat than punch line. He’s determined to cause lasting damage.
But those who take pleasure in watching Trump destroy the Republican Party are missing the bigger picture. He’s trying to destroy the country, as well. Civility, always a tenuous thing, cannot be quickly restored in a society that has learned to hate in public, at full throttle.
Trump has made compassion suspect. Don’t reach out to starving refugees — they’re killers in disguise. Don’t give to a charity that won’t reward you in some way. Don’t pay taxes that build roads and offer relief to those washed away in a hurricane. That’s a sucker’s game. We’re not all in this together. Taxes are for stupid people.
Every sexual predator now has a defender at the top of the Republican ticket.
Trump could not get hired at the drive-through window at a Jack in the Box. Knowing about his history would make any employer liable. It took decades to get the workplace to that point where Trumpian predators are shunned. Given the biggest pulpit in the world, Trump is trying to bring that consensus down.
He’s destroyed whatever moral standing leading Christian conservatives had — starting with Mike Pence. Their selective piety is not teachable. . . . . Trump is “actively promoting the very things that we Christians ought to oppose,” the students wrote.
[I]t has come to this: The core lessons that bind a civilized society are in play in the last days of this election. We long for family dinners where Trump no longer intrudes, for tailgate parties where football is all that matters, for normalcy. Remember those days? They may be gone forever.

Whatever the fate of the GOP, it must never be forgotten that is Republicans who created the toxic atmosphere where Trump could flourish, at least among the GOP base. They must be held accountable and become political and social outcasts.  The put self-advancement and partisanship ahead of the country and common decency.  

Friday Morning Male Beauty - Pt 2