Билл Мойерс – ведущий еженедельной общественной телевизионной передачи Moyers & Company. Мойерс получил 35 премий Эмми, 9 премий Пибоди, премию за достижения в течение жизни Национальной академии телевидения. Он является почётным доктором изящных искусств Американского института кино за 40 лет журналистской работы на радио.
...Билл Мойерс – все эти лидеры CFR (Совет по Международным Отошениям) были связаны с «Фондом Рокфеллера».
Bill Moyers, Huffington PostYes, both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of groveling to the wealthy who fund them; it’s a staggering bipartisan scandal that threatens the country and was no small part of Trump’s success last November, even as ordinary people opened their windows and shouted, “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” So now we have in power a man who represents the very worst of the plutocrats — one who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. I shudder to think where this nightmare will end. Even if you voted for...
In this web exclusive, Bill Moyers and four historians dissect the big lie Trump rode to power: the Birther lie. Nell Painter, historian and Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Christopher Lebron, assistant professor of African-American studies and philosophy at Yale University; and Philip Klinkner, James S. Sherman Professor of Government, Hamilton College discuss the fertile ground on which the birther lie was sown: our nation's history of white supremacy. Credits: Gail Ablow, Producer; Sikay Tang, Editor TRANSCRIPT BILL MOYERS: I'm Bill Moyers. The most important thing to remember about Donald Trump is that he was the same man at 12:01 p.m. Friday after he took the oath of office as he was at 11:59 a.m. before his swearing in. His character: the same. His temperament and his values: the same. What's different is that in those two minutes Donald Trump was handed the most awesome power imaginable. He now controls the world's most powerful nuclear arsenal. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are at his command. The FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, Homeland Security, the State Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, the Department of Education, the Interior Department -- all of the agencies of the executive branch -- report, ultimately, to this one man. The world awaits his pronouncements, the markets and the media live by and for his tweets. So here's the second most important thing to remember about Donald Trump: He rode to power on the wings of a dark lie -- one of the most malignant and ugly lies in American history. We must never forget it. (MONTAGE) LOU DOBBS (CNN 7/21/09): Up next, the issue that won't go away: the matter of President Obama and that birth certificate. DONALD TRUMP (The View, ABC 3/23/11): There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like. TRUMP (The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News 3/30/11): He doesn't have a birth certificate. Now, he may have one, but there's something on that, with maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. CHRISTOPHER LEBRON: I found that as cynical as I am, I couldn't actually believe people would actually run with this story. But then the story had legs. And then people like Donald Trump didn't let it go. And I remember when he was going to prove that President Obama was not American, that he was not able to offer that proof. And even more amazingly, Trump has been able to not only convince himself for the longest time but has been able to convince a not-insignificant portion of the American people that no matter what documentation President Obama provides, he's not American, which is an amazing thing to have done. NELL PAINTER: The ground was very fertile for the birther lie, and in fact, if it hadn't been, somebody could have said oh no, no, no, the president was not born in this country, he cannot be president -- and it would have fallen to Earth. It never would have gone anywhere. KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD: If it were true, we would have elected someone who had no right to run for president, let alone to become the first African-American president of this country, but more particularly it expresses the illegitimacy of a person of African descent as a true American, as someone truly endowed with the capacity to govern this great nation. And that lie is just the tip of the iceberg, though foundational for everything else that flows from Donald Trump's lips. TRUMP (SPEECH, 2/10/11): Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I'll go a step further: The people that went to school with him -- they don't even know, they never saw him; they don't know who he is. It's crazy. PHILIP KLINKNER: There were a lot of rumors swirling around him that he was a Muslim, that he was raised in a madrassa, but the most common was that he was in fact not born in the United States and that his birth certificate from Hawaii was in fact a lie, that he was born someplace else, probably Kenya, but nobody was really pretty sure about that. The Obama campaign sort of pushed back at this pretty hard. They released a short-form birth certificate. They showed the birth notice in The Honolulu Advertiser at the time, but there was never any real question about this. But nonetheless, this lie began to gain real traction among his opponents. And then once he got elected, then again it really sort of took off because it began to sort of seep into a lot of conservative and right-wing media circles, a lot of attention was paid to people who are going into federal court suing, attempting to either have Obama declared ineligible as president or arguing that he should release his long-form birth certificate. And it really sort of festered there on the right for a number of years until the spring of 2011, when President Obama finally released the long-form birth certificate. TRUMP (SPEECH 4/27/11): I was just informed while on the helicopter that our president has finally released a birth certificate. I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue. Now we have to look at it. We have to see, is it real? Is it proper? What's on it? But I hope it checks out beautifully. I am really proud. I am really honored. KLINKNER: But that really didn't put it away. The number of Republicans who believe that Obama was born outside the United States dropped for a little while but then it popped back up again. Trump at the time was a very big reality media star. THE APPRENTICE open with SOT: "You're fired." 2/9/15 KLINKNER: NBC in particular, I think, wanted to sort of cross-promote one of its biggest prime-time franchises, The Apprentice. So he was on NBC quite a lot. He was on the Todayshow quite a bit. He'd appear on other NBC shows. But he also appeared on other networks -- ABC's The View, things like that. And the effect was to give Trump really sort of this unparalleled platform to sort of spread this. Whereas people who were doing it before were really just sort of fringe characters, who might get a little bit of time on some TV shows, but really not much at all. So he really took it mainstream. PAINTER: I have said, more than once, that we would not have Trump without Obama. And that is, on the one hand, we have this current, this running current, of white supremacy -- the assumption that nonwhite people are sort of over there and they're inferior, they don't work hard. Black people are not supposed to be powerful. What is the ultimate defiance of that assumption? The ultimate defiance is the president. LEBRON: There is a strong subset of Americans who are fearful of black empowerment. And I don't mean this in the radical sense; I mean just basic everyday citizenship empowerment. Be able to pick up on that. Then also decades of Republicans and dog whistle politics, Willie Horton ads .... WILLIE HORTON AD, 1988 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: One was Willie Horton, who murdered a boy in a.... LEBRON: ..."super predator" talk, you know, with respect to criminality and law and order, which is basically code for policing black neighborhoods. Somebody like Trump comes in and there's a perfect storm of fear, loathing and a deep history of using policies to suppress blacks' freedom and liberties. And Trump comes on the end of a black presidency and says, listen, this man is giving health care away for free; doesn't that scare you? This man wants to let gay men and women marry. That's not how you should live your life. This black man is doing that. And that's why it's no accident he has stepped into the perfect storm, of basically, white paranoia, white fear, of an era of possible black...true black liberation and justice. KLINKNER: I think it's very much tied in to the discomfort and fear that a lot of white Americans had about the first African-American president. And we've seen this throughout American history, that white Americans have often sort of disregarded African-Americans as not just full citizens, but sometimes full human beings. And so I thought it was interesting that here we have the first African-American president, and here was an attempt to sort of delegitimize him in a very overt way as not actually being American. Not just sort of saying you know he says un-American things, but in fact he is, in fact, not an American. TRUMP (CNBC 5/29/12): Nothing has changed my mind. By the way you have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming, "Please don't give that up." JONATHAN KARL (ABC NEWS, 8/11/13): But you don't still question he was born in the United States, do you? TRUMP (TO KARL): I have no idea... Well, I don't know, was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know some people say that was not his birth certificate. I'm saying, I don't know. Nobody knows. KLINKNER: I think for many Americans, the whole definition of America is caught up with race: that whites are the only people who have the requisite characteristics that would allow them to be full citizens and therefore the political leaders of the country. And that's something that goes back to the first African-Americans who were enslaved in the United States. It goes back to things like the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. It goes back into the disenfranchisement after Reconstruction and the Civil War. MUHAMMAD: When I think about the justification for this lie, I think of an image that comes from a broadside, a pamphlet, just after the end of slavery. It was published in 1866 and it's framed by this image of the Capitol and it's a commentary on what is about to become the Freedmen's Bureau. At the center of it is this black man in tattered clothes, looking like someone who had just left the fields after having picked cotton. He's leaning back with his arm resting just underneath his head. His feet are kicked up, one leg across the other, and it essentially says that if you support the federal government you will be supporting the black takeover of America. And this is a white man's country. This is what the big lie looked like in 1867. And it is exactly the same wiring and visual inputs and rhetorical tropes and frames that frames the illegitimacy of this man who has become president today and what we ought to do about it. KLINKNER: If you're going to tell a lie about somebody, it works a lot better if you focus on somebody who is different from you. They have a different skin color, they attend a different church or house of worship. They come from a different country or speak a different language. It's harder to sort of see them a common citizen. Easier to see them as somebody who's different and therefore dangerous to you and to your country. PAINTER: I would not say white supremacy is a big foundational lie. I would say white supremacy is a big foundational fact. Because during our colonial period in the United States, they laid the ground work for a society that's divided along racial lines. So in 1964, when Barry Goldwater ran on not approving the Civil Rights Act, he had a large following. It was not a winning following; it was not a winning strategy in 1964. But it said, hey, there are votes here. MUHAMMAD: Barry Goldwater rose to power in 1964, absolutely rejecting the federal government's responsibility in what was then fast becoming the Civil Rights Act of '64 That essentially said the federal government has no right to make white people of the South like black people, and that if the federal government pushed too hard in enforcing such things, it was unconstitutional. That spirit, that rejection of the possibility for civil rights, is exactly what has crystallized in Donald Trump's support on the right, because Obama essentially was perceived to have gotten through an electoral process that was rigged from the beginning. That these illegitimate voters came to the polls -- and, you know, all of them black or brown or yellow, but none of them really white folks, and that's true. A majority of whites voted against Obama in 2008 and an even greater majority of whites voted against him in 2012. I mean, there's something to be said for that, but that is exactly what stoked this notion that our country has been taken over by vandals. By mongrels, by mulattos, by Mexicans, by Muslims, by people who have no legitimate claim to the heritage of this -- what they would say, white Christian nation. TRUMP (PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENT SPEECH 6/16/15): When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. PAINTER: I don't believe Trump was an accident, because the Republican Party has been seeing and grasping the political power of white supremacy. GEORGE WALLACE (SPEECH 1/14/63): And I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. PAINTER: And when George Wallace made such a success in 1968, and then into the early 1970s -- hey, there are really votes here. So 1968 and Richard Nixon's Southern strategy -- a purposeful harnessing of white supremacists' assumptions and beliefs. One of the strengths of Donald Trump is that he has had so many Republican officeholders endorsing him. If the Southern strategy had not been such an important current in current Republican ideology, those officeholders would have said, no, no, no, no, no, no -- this person is terrible. KLINKNER: I think in the last couple of decades, we have been sort of building to this moment. There was a backlash by many whites against the civil rights movement, who were upset about the changing status of African-Americans. Adding to that were fears about immigration and changing the demographic character of the United States. Rising numbers of nonwhites, growing political power, greater cultural status for nonwhites in America. And that made them sort of very fearful about all of these sorts of changes. And so when someone comes along and says that, "Here's this person who's ascended to the highest office in the land, but he really shouldn't be there, he's really not legitimate," it plays to their fears, but also, perhaps, gives them a little bit of hope that those sort of fears and the things that they worried about actually haven't quite come to pass yet. MUHAMMAD: This explains David Duke's appropriation of a civil rights movement for white people to roll back a big government intent on grinding them into insignificance, and ultimately this explains why no matter what Donald Trump says or does about women, about Mexicans, about Muslims, about Syrians, it speaks to the heart and soul of that part of America that insists that this may be our last chance to hold on to this nation. And we've seen in midterm elections, we've seen in gubernatorial elections since 2008, the emergence of a class of political leadership that insists at the state level of creating a new class of pro-white warriors. (RALLY, ARIZONA 7/11/15): [Crowd chanting: USA! USA!] TRUMP: Don't worry -- we'll take our country back very soon, very soon. LEBRON: So, what I think has happened with Trump and his ability to hold onto this lie -- I think he got invested in it because there is a cohort of Americans that were going to easily go along with him. One thing I think Trump is actually very good at doing is, he's a very good psychologist. And I think Trump saw that there are certain keynote themes that if you hit on them, you can rally the people, which is what makes him sometimes dangerous, where if you look at old -- I have to say, if you look at old Hitler tapes, for example, the ability to kind of rile the people up around topics about which they feel threatened, and the biggest threat for a lot of people is this black man who from their point of view is taking their country away from them. KLINKNER: If there are any parallels between Hitler and his big lie and Trump and what he's doing is that Hitler's big lie was the stab-in-the-back thesis. The idea that Germany had lost World War I because it was stabbed in the back, not because it lost on the battlefield against the Allied powers; it was because at home, Jews and capitalists and Bolsheviks and socialists had destroyed Germany from within. So that's a big lie that he's been pushing. And Trump, like many other demagogues throughout American history, have identified racial, ethnic, religious minorities as somehow working from within the country to destroy it. LEBRON: Donald Trump is able to stir up the masses because he's able to say this very simple thing that is plausible to a lot of people, but really taps into deeper fears about who is taking what from them. If they're not as prosperous as they think they ought to be, who is doing this to them? It must be somebody else doing it to them, which is also the ironic thing. All of a sudden, the conservative reliance on personal responsibility gets completely off-loaded to this black man who was elected by the people. KLINKNER: It's not just Hitler; it's demagogues everywhere. They get into this symbiotic relationship with their audience. That he throws them red meat and they respond and they cheer lustily. TRUMP (RALLY IN MOBILE, ALABAMA 12/17/16): People who come into our country illegally, they're taken care of better than our vets. Build the wall. Build the wall. KLINKNER: And then he...he likes that, he likes that sort of response that he's getting from the audience, and he feeds off that, and therefore he throws them even more red meat. TRUMP (RALLY 12/17/16): Do not worry -- we are going to build the wall, OK? Don't worry; don't even think about it. MUHAMMAD: If we think about the legacy of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, it's hard not to see the relationship of a big lie that blames the minority population for a nation's problems. That at the end of the day, this lie at the most granular level, especially in America right now, has always been part of the package of what made America actually great. Because in the end, those people have always believed that they were meant to be in charge. And our political systems, our museums, our classrooms have all advanced this point of view. So the lie is broken down, and the only way to fix it, the only way to put it back together, is to wipe the world clean of these realities. To move these people out of the way, to get them out of the polls, to get them out of our classrooms. To tell them to go back to where they came from, so that we can have nice, neat images, whether they are in our own homes or in our classrooms or in our museums or wherever we find them, that reaffirm to us that the little lies we've always been telling ourselves -- that we're perfect, that we're great as white people -- is still true. Obama's physical presence shattered those little lies. And you need to get the big lie back in place. TRUMP (RALLY IN WEST BEND, WISCONSIN 8/16/16): There can be no prosperity without law and order. MUHAMMAD: When I think about his appeals to racism and this explicit call for law and order and the criminalization of black and brown people, he does remind me of Richard Nixon. But Richard Nixon, for all of his flaws, was a public servant. He was a career politician. And he did some good things and some bad things. It's not clear at all that Donald Trump has ever done anything good for anyone but himself. KLINKNER: We like to think people are rational, but they're not. And when it comes to politics, people are partisan beings. They're very much rooted to an identity as a Democrat or Republican, a liberal or a conservative. And we tend to get our information from like-minded people. So when people like Donald Trump or a Democrat or Hillary Clinton, or whoever it is, tells something that's not true, we tend to hold onto that. Even when it's proven not to be true, we don't want to give up that belief, because it's a partisan belief, and therefore it goes to our identity of who we are or what we believe in, what types of people we associate with. And in many cases, the correction almost makes us want to hold that belief even more deeply, rather than give it up. A very famous political scientist years ago by the name of V.O. Key said that the voice of the people is but an echo chamber. That what comes out of an echo chamber bears a very strong relationship to what goes into it. And when you have people like Donald Trump, when you have prominent people in the media, in politics, that are expressing lies and misperceptions and untruths, the American people are going to say those sorts of things. They're going to come to believe those sorts of things, because that's what they're hearing from the people that they trust. The media also bear a very strong role in this, because they've been giving a platform to people like Trump. They haven't been giving them the types of pushback and scrutiny that they really do deserve. MUHAMMAD: Donald Trump did us a favor, because he shows us how active and significant white supremacy is in this country. I mean, we needed to know it. We needed to see it. We needed to punch a hole in the mythology of post-racialism, because we need to deal with it. I mean, we think about an oncologist -- we don't want our oncologist telling us a little lie that we don't really have cancer. Donald Trump -- he provides us an opportunity, a window, an X-ray into a malignant tumor in our society. Now, the tumor's always been there, but it's grown. And we've tried to address it in ways small and large, and we've won some of those battles. But ultimately, the patient is very sick, it is our nation, and we need to extract it once and for all. DIP TO BLACK. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear TRUMP: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear ROBERTS: That I will faithfully execute TRUMP: That I will faithfully execute ROBERTS: The office of president of the United States TRUMP: The office of president of the United States ROBERTS: And will to the best of my ability TRUMP: And will to the best of my ability ROBERTS: Preserve, protect and defend TRUMP: Preserve, protect and defend ROBERTS: The Constitution of the United States TRUMP: The Constitution of the United States ROBERTS: So help me God. TRUMP: So help me God. ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Donald Trump's record $200 million inauguration on Friday is fit for the ruler of an imperial nation which has over 800 overseas military bases, commands the world seas and rules over the skies with robotic machines capable of eviscerating virtually anybody, anywhere on earth on short notice. The inauguration will also reflect America's new Gilded Age, with the haves celebrating their good fortune, and the have nots protesting outside. In a course I am teaching we are currently reading the book Crime and the American Dream by Steven F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (5th ed. Wadsworth, 2013). This is fitting because Mr. Trump embodies the values the authors say result in particularly high crime rates in U.S. society, notably hyper-materialism, and extreme individualism at the expense of community solidarity and welfare. According to Messner and Rosenfeld, a cardinal virtue of American society - its competitive individualistic ethic - leads to great innovation but also a cardinal vice, high-crime rates resulting from lack of concern about the means adopted to achieve the prized cultural end of wealth accumulation. Trump as we know has gained the highest office in the land because he had the money to bankroll his campaign and the stature that led people to listen to him and believe he has a Midas touch that will bring prosperity to the nation. Trump though is a con man. He gained his wealth through unethical and sometimes unlawful means and conned people into believing he was an outsider against the system. His Cabinet consists of millionaires whose first order of business will be to undo any progressive gains made in the last eight years. Crime is a learned behavior and Trump learned from his father Fred who, as David Cay Johnston shows in The Making of Donald Trump, was the target of a federal investigation for profiteering on tax dollars intended to help World War II veterans and partnered with Willie Tomasello, whom the New York State organized crime task force identified as an associate of the Genovese and Gambino crime families. Donald too developed business connections with criminals including the heads of the two largest New York mafia families. His business mentor, Roy Cohn, was chief lawyer for Joseph McCarthy and then to the mafia. Trump said: "I didn't kid myself about Roy. He was no boy scout. He once told me he'd spent more than two thirds of his adult life under indictment on one charge or another." To build Trump towers, Donald bought concrete from S & A concrete which was owned by mafia chieftans "Big Paul" Castellano and "Fat Tony" Salerno whom Trump met with before he was convicted of racketeering. Trump has been party to over 3,500 lawsuits, some accusing him of civil fraud. He made money by employing a demolition contractor that hired immigrants who worked in violation of various labor laws, which Cohn helped cover up by allegedly paying bribes to inspectors. Trump University has been exposed to be a "faux university" which did not employ real faculty but sales people many of whom had no experience in real estate and offered students special access to leads that were actually accessible for free on the internet. Consumer fraud agents in Texas found that students were taught to prey upon homeowners in financial turmoil and to forget foreclosure properties, and to sell real estate without a license which is illegal in Texas. Their report said sales agents posing as faculty falsely approved continuing education credits for realtors though they were not approved, and Trump University violated Texas law in its refusal to pay taxes and in its false branding as a university. To deflect an investigation in Florida, Trump gave $25,000 for the reelection of Attorney General Pam Bondi which led Bondi to back off from investigation. This was equivalent to paying a bribe and violated a law in which charities are forbidden from making political donations. Johnston's book, which includes discussion of Trump's serial tax evasion, was published before the election which begs the question as to how Trump possibly could have won. The Democrats want to blame Russian hackers whom they are clearly scapegoating, while many on the left want to blame the Democrat's turn towards neoliberalism under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the shortcomings of Hillary Clinton which is more plausible. An added variable, however, is that Trump embodies the values Americans are conditioned to prize; notably wealth accumulation regardless of the means pursued. Ours is a criminogenic society and we have elected a leader who is a successful white collar criminal who never got caught. He gamed the system in business to his own benefit, and then used his moral capital to make a mockery of the election process and political elite Americans have come to loathe. Many of Trump's critics underestimate his appeal, believing the people chose a man "who shredded our values and morals," as liberal talk show host Bill Moyers put it. However in many respects Trump is America. His bullying manner reflects an imperial nation that as Medea Benjamin recently pointed out, dropped 26,000 tons of bombs in a year it was not even engaged in any major land wars; and his shady business dealings are part and parcel of the capitalist system and the vast inequalities and corruption it produces. Crime and the American Dream includes a revealing discussion of Richard Nixon who retained a popular following even after Watergate because people saw in him a man for whom "ideals had to yield to necessity, right to might, compassion to interest, principle to circumstance." They understood how "Nixon, or anyone, could believe himself forced on occasion to cheat a little, lie a little, find an edge, get out front of more favored competitors any way he could - as they themselves had done, or would do - in the unrelenting battles of life." Trump's appeal is similar, though he embodies even more what many secretly aspire to in his achieving unimaginable wealth and in turn fame, the means of doing so being less important. While noble in their cause, the anti-Trump forces face an uphill battle. For a true revolutionary movement to succeed, it would have to effectively challenge the prevailing cultural paradigm that lies at the root of the social pathologies of our society. This paradigm is seductive and accounts for many aspects of our society's success as well as its dark side, which Mr. Trump is iconic of. Jeremy Kuzmarov is author of Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century (Massachusetts, 2012) among other works. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
All praises go to John Lewis for becoming the first nationally recognized political figure to question the legitimacy of Donald Trump's presidency. He will hopefully not be the last. Lewis dared to say out loud what millions of Americans have been thinking. Lewis--who studied at the American Baptist Theological Seminary; led the first Freedom Rides; registered poor southern African Americans to vote; was almost killed when Alabama State Troopers beat his head in while leading the historic Selma Civil Rights March; chaired the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee; and spoke at the historic March on Washington with Martin Luther King, before running for elective office--is the closest living figure America has to a Nelson Mandela or a Dalai Lama. As Bill Moyers--a man of old-fashioned grace not normally taken to insults and, like Lewis a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary--wrote after Trump tweeted attacks on Lewis over Martin Luther King's Birthday weekend, "Trump isn't fit to be a carbuncle on John Lewis's posterior." In a manner that only a man of John Lewis's moral stature could articulate, he clothed his critique of Trump's legitimacy in the language not only of politics but of spiritual prophecy. In Lewis's usual soft-spoken, but morally firm, manner, he told Meet The Press's Chuck Todd, " I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It's going to be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president... "[W]hen you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something. You cannot afford to be quiet or to be silent. We have to continue to work, continue to speak up and speak out". Lewis critique of Trump's legitimacy was both moral and political. Morally and spiritually, he seemed to be saying that a man of Trump's narcissism, ignorance, bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia could never have the moral authority to be the leader of the land of the free and the home of the brave. Politically, Lewis focused his critique on Russian efforts to interfere in the American election to aid Trump. "I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others that helped him get elected. That's not right. That's not fair. That's not the open, democratic process." If anything , in focusing on Russian interference in American democracy, Lewis didn't go far enough in articulating the reasons why Trump's election is illegitimate. Here are more two reasons: First and foremost, voter suppression, something John Lewis, who spent much of his life fighting for voting rights, knows something about. The NYU's Brennan Center for Justice reports that since 2010, 20 states have enacted new restrictions on voting Since 2010, 10 states have enacted more restrictive voter ID laws (and six states have strict photo ID requirements), seven have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions. These restrictions are intended to, and/or have the effect of, disproportionately disenfranchising groups like African Americans, Latinos, and young people who tend to vote Democratic. For example, 25 percent of African Americans lack a government issued photo ID while only 8 percent of whites don't have one. The man The Guardian has described as the "most important investigative reporter of our time--up there with Woodward and Bernstein," Rolling Stone investigative reporter Greg Palast, has done exhaustive research which offers up the proof that voter suppression swung the election to Trump. Palast writes, "Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives. "Starting in 2013--just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act--a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State [and a key member of the Trump transition team] created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP-controlled states." Kobach's list is called "Crosscheck" and contains the names of 7.2 million people with the same first and last names who are registered to vote in more than one state. For example, if you have a common name like James Brown, or Jose Hernandez, and that name appears on the voter rolls in both Michigan and Wisconsin, your named could be purged from the voter rolls in both states. US Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85% of common last names. According to Palast, "If your last name is Washington, there's an 89% chance you're African American. If your last name is Hernandez, there's a 94% chance you're Hispanic." According to Palast's statistical analysis, 1.1 million voters were purged from the rolls, overwhelmingly voters of color and the poor. It was enough to swing the Electoral Votes in a number of states from Clinton to Trump. Here are a few examples: Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107 Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922 Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257 Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824 Trump victory margin in N. Carolina: 177,008 N. Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393 Michigan has 16 Electoral Votes, Arizona has 16, and North Carolina has 15 for a total of 42 Electoral Votes. Trump officially won the Electoral Vote by 306-232. Switch 42 electoral votes from Trump's column to Clinton's and Clinton would have won the Electoral vote by 274-264. And that doesn't even take into account that Trump officially won Wisconsin's 10 Electoral Votes by 22,748 popular votes and Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral Votes by 44,292 popular votes. Without bothering to account for other voter suppression measures, Palast concludes that by using Crosscheck to wrongfully purge voter rolls of minority voters, Trump stole the election. How's that for illegitimacy? And then there was FBI Director Comey's letter, only 10 days before the election, announcing, in violation of longstanding rules, that the FBI was reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails because emails from her aide Huma Abedin to Clinton were found on a laptop belonging to Abedin's disgraced ex-husband, Anthony Weiner. You can call Comey many things, but stupid isn't one of them. He surely knew that headlines with the words "Clinton," "emails," and "Weiner" could impact the election. Of course the day before the election, after the impact of his announcement was baked into the results, Comey announced that his new investigation had found nothing. Polling guru Nate Silver concluded that the Comey letter swung the election from Clinton to Trump, tweeting "Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter)." And finally, as John Lewis alluded to, multiple US intelligence agencies concluded that Vladimir Putin personally "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election," and turned from seeking to "denigrate" Hillary Clinton to developing "a clear preference for President-elect Trump." Putin "aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him." So there you have it, three reasons why Donald Trump is not only morally an illegitimate president, but actually an illegitimate president who would not have won, but for (1) voter suppression, (2) Comey's letter, and (3) Russian intervention aimed at swinging the election to Trump. There's little question that Trump's victory was ill gotten and illegitimate. The only remaining question is whether the Trump campaign communicated with the Russians about their efforts to influence the elections -- which would be a crime -- and whether Russian intelligence has compromising dirt on president-elect Trump. It remains to be seen if there will be an honest investigation to answer these questions. There's nothing that can be done now to prevent Trump from being sworn-in on Friday. But for multiple reasons, John Lewis is right to call Trump's election illegitimate And there's every reason for millions of patriotic Americans to declare that Trump is "Not my President." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The following speech was delivered at The Women' March in Montpelier, Vermont, where 10,000 to 20,000 people gathered. So many people were trying to get to the march that they closed three interstate exits because the city streets couldn't handle more cars. Hello Everybody, Sisters and Brothers, What a beautiful sight you are. It's like Spring has arrived in Vermont and thousands of flowers are blooming in front of the State House. I feel a "crowd hug." We are not alone in our fear, we are not alone in our despair, we are not alone in our grief for what might have been. We are together in our strength , together in our power, and together we march. Why do we march? We march for RESPECT We march for EQUAL PAY We march for THE RIGHT TO CONTROL OUR BODIES We march for A LIVABLE PLANET WE march for THE END OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN We march for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL We march for PUBLIC EDUCATION We march for THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS. AND WHO ARE WE? We are brown, black, yellow and white. We are gay, straight, transgender and queer. We are wives, mothers, grandmothers, singles, sisters, daughters and lovers. We are teachers, students, professors, waitresses, sales clerks, bartenders, nurses, doctors, artists, lawyers, farmers, factory workers, cooks, caregivers and WE ARE IMMIGRANTS. We are here to pledge to be OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS KEEPERS. And we are here because "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," all over the world. Can we do this? Will we make a difference? Have we got the power? (Crowd roared, "Yes, we can!) The pendulum has swung so fast from Obama to Trump that we are experiencing whip lash. I assure it will swing back again--when we push hard. We have a rock to stand on. It is called Democracy It is called the Constitution. THE CENTER WILL HOLD. But only if we are vigilant. Only if we use our voices and our feet. We must demonstrate that there is another America. An America that looks like us, that thinks like us that believes in the America that we believe in. It is we who make America. It is we who make America great. We are the makers, the doers, the dreamers. We are the citizens, who have the power of the vote. In the next four years, we will be heard, not only in this place at this time, but throughout the land, in towns and cities and in our nation's capital, and all over the world where people are marching with us. We pledge NOT TO BE SILENT. We pledge NOT TO BE INTERRUPTED We pledge NOT TO BE SIDELINED We pledge NOT TO BE STOPPED We pledge NOT TO BE AFRAID, And we pledge NOT TO LOSE HOPE. We must keep hope alive. I will read the first stanza of a poem called "Hope" by Emily Dickinson. "Hope is a thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all." We must have hope, we must be vigilant, and we must proclaim that it is OUR America that makes AMERICA GREAT. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Sutherland Carpenter (September 1, 1920 – March 20, 2010) was a writer, feminist, former reporter, media advisor, speechwriter, political humorist, and public relations expert. Carpenter was born in historic Salado in southern Bell County, Texas. In 1936, her 24-room residence there was declared a state historic monument. In 1967, a plaque was unveiled to indicate that Carpenter had once lived there. At the age of seven, she moved with her family to Austin. Carpenter stood in the forefront of the Women's Movement when it began and never wavered from her platform. Her projects and causes ranged from supporting high tech to fighting cancer. Often called the "funniest woman in politics", she was in demand as a public speaker until her death. Carpenter was named a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Texas in 1975, and in 1990 was named distinguished alumnae of the Department of Communications. She was named by Governor Mark White to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. She was given the ProBene Award of the College of Liberal Arts. The Liz Carpenter Lectureship was established in 1984 by a group of her friends, including Erma Bombeck and Mark Russell, who gave a performance at the Paramount Theater to raise funds for it. In the last several years, Mrs. Carpenter's lectureship in the College of Liberal Arts has brought President Bill Clinton, President Gerald Ford, Hillary Clinton, Jehan Sadat, Maya Angelou, Bill Moyers, Jane Goodall, and writers such as Betty Friedan, Nora Ephron, Shana Alexander, and Jean Auel and nationally known humorists such as Fannie Flagg and Carol Channing. The Liz Carpenter Award is given annually for the best scholarly book on the history of women and Texas published during the calendar year. The Award was established in 1992 by an anonymous donor who is committed to the publication of scholarly research on the history of women and Texas. The award honors Liz Carpenter, a sixth-generation Texan, for her commitment to the pursuit of the history of women in Texas and for a lifetime of achievements that qualify her as a maker of that history. She is the recipient of Alpha Phi's Frances E. Willard Award in 1980. She died in Austin, Texas in March 2010. "Liz Carpenter is much more than an American original: she is an American and a Texas original. Her inside stories of our nation's political life over the last half-century are priceless." —Walter Cronkite "No one remains the same person after meeting Liz ...(she) makes Auntie Mame look like a shut-in." —Erma Bombeck "Her combination of wit and wisdom is infectious, encouraging, enlightening. Texas never had a truer daughter. Her zest for life is an example to us all." —James Michener "(Liz is) the tilt-a-whirl at the State Fair with all the lights on and the music. The only difference between Liz and a tilt-a-whirl is that, with Liz, the ride never comes to an end." —Ann Richards "...a human dynamo, P.T. Barnum. She could sell anyone the proverbial Brooklyn Bridge or the Washington Monument." —Helen Thomas "She manages to phrase issues the way people experience them, rather than using all those words that end in t-i-o-n and deaden your brain." —Gloria Steinem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Carpenter Image: Luigi Novi [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons