We Survived Donald Trump's Fear-Stew Speech, And So Are You!
Just in case you missed Donald Trump's apocalyptic vision of the American hellscape and nightmare world from which only He can rescue us, you can count yourself fortunate, or you can treat yourself to the whole wretched spectacle right here, because maybe you want to share the traumatized looks on all our faces. And for that matter, maybe some of you masochists might want to watch it all over again, because what is wrong with you? Here it is, you sickos:
And what a hash of nationalism, fear, and yecch it was, starting with the Great Man's weird greeting of his hot, bangable daughter, whom he would definitely date if she weren't his daughter. This is now America's Gif:
Who DOES that? Can you imagine how Fox News would run that over and over from multiple angles if a Democratic candidate grabbed his daughter's hips? If nothing else, it looks dangerously European.
But anyway, about the speech. Tempted though we are to type "Tonstant Weader fwowed up" and leave it at that, let's just go with a few impressions from our own aching head and around the net. For one thing, there weren't enough actual policy proposals in the damn thing to fill a notecard. Building a Wall is sort of a policy, we guess, as is the newest variation on Trump's Muslim Ban, suspending "immigration from from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place." That's a shitty policy, and still incredibly vague -- no immigration from France? -- but it's kind of a policy. He won't let anyone in the country who doesn't love all Americans, especially him. Presumably he'll also hire precogs to ensure no immigrants' children will ever commit crimes. And he had some nods to good old Republican standbys like school vouchers and tax cuts, although the exact nature of those tax cuts keeps shifting. Oh, yes, and he promised to repeal IRS restrictions on tax-exempt churches endorsing political candidates, so the Southern Baptist Convention and the Republican National Committee can finally merge.
But most of the speech was about how Donald Trump will immediately make all America's problems cease the day he's inaugurated. And people ate that shit up like it was the tastiest shit ever served. For a guy who keeps being compared to Ronald Reagan, Trump was utterly devoid of one vital component of what made Reagan so popular: that sunny, relentless (and downright reality-denying) optimism about what a wonderful place America is. Reagan thought we lived in a Disney movie. Not so much Donald Trump -- as GOP consultant Mike Murphy put it on MSNBC shortly after the speech, Trump seems to think we're all living in Gotham City. And he would very much like to be Batman. If you'd like to feel a bit better about the supposed nightmare hellscape we live in, here are some happy fact-checks to reassure you things aren't really that bad, not even with the recent shootings of cops and the occasional mass shooting brought to you by Donald Trump's sponsor, the NRA.
For one thing, despite Trump's festival of cherry-picked statistics, violent crime continues to decline. You know a guy is cheating with statistics when he talks about trends in a single year, as Trump did -- "Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities" is exactly the sort of thing that sounds more horrific than looking at crime rates over the course of a decade. As Vox reassuringly notes,
Even if the murder rate — the most reliable crime statistic, which Trump used as a proxy for crime — rose by 17 percent in 2015, it would remain far below the peaks of the 1970s and '80s and any point in the '90s, based on the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Americans would still be safer from murder than they were decades ago.
But what about the war on police, and the incredible spate of violence against the men and women in blue who are the only thing standing between us and pure anarchy? Sez Trump: "The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year." Oh, look, it's another one-year number, which despite the horrifying attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge, doesn't really change the fact that -- as we pointed out when Trump appointed himself Judge Dredd -- police officer deaths in the line of duty have been declining for decades. And Vox points out that even this year, even including the past terrible month, "on-duty deaths of police officers are actually down 1 percent in 2016 compared to the same point in 2015."
How about terrorism? It's bad, and on the rise globally, but Americans remain far more likely to die at each others' hands than in a terrorist attack. Vox hits back at Trump's fearmongering with a paragraph of smart truth-bombs:
But terrorism remains very rare in the US. According to Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations, terrorists killed fewer than 25 US citizens each year from 2009 to 2015. In comparison, nearly 34,000 Americans died in car crashes, nearly 34,000 died due to gun violence, and more than 47,000 died due to drug overdoses in 2014. And alcohol is linked to about 88,000 deaths each year, and tobacco to more than 480,000.
So smile, come out from behind the armored door of that safe room where you've been sheltering in place since Trump's speech, and enjoy a lovely July day. You'll want sunscreen a lot more than a sidearm. And throw that goddamned cigarette away. It's way more dangerous to you than ISIS.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.