[Renowned West Virginia reporter and commentator Ed Rabel shares his thoughts on social media. Following are some of the important, unedited comments he has shared in the past few weeks.]
“I have decided to treat Trump for the joke he is. As Sigmund Freud theorized, by turning something threatening into a game, we rob it of its power over us. In this way, play transforms a passive experience into an active one, allowing us to gain mastery over a threat.
“We liberals give Trump way too much importance by parsing every tweet and speaking about him in hushed tones. It’s easy to feel powerless by the deluge of depressing headlines. But by subverting his authority even in subtle, silly ways, we loosen his herculean grasp on us.
“Who’s with me? All together now: ‘Little Donnie Duck is a quack, quack, quack!'” LOL
“During ‘Made in America Week,’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club applies to hire 70 foreign workers…
“The for-profit club, where President Trump spent numerous weekends this spring, asked permission to hire 15 housekeepers, 20 cooks and 35 waiters because it says it cannot find qualified Americans for those jobs.”
“Trump doesn’t understand that Robert Mueller is not a contractor, he’s in a civil litigation dispute with, someone he can intimidate and wear down and threaten and bleed out.
“Bringing in another New York deal maker, “The Mooch,” won’t help him understand the existential threat he faces in Washington from Mueller.”
“When Trump lies that millions of votes were cast illegally for Clinton in 2016, he betrays an insecurity that stems both from his personality and from knowing that most Americans wanted someone else to run the country.
“If Trump had begun his administration by reaching out to Democrats on a plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, he may have had a chance to confuse, if not divide, the opposition. Instead, he decided to wage a relentless battle against the federal bureaucracy and the news media–which comes off as defensive instead of confident.
“Any chance Trump has to gain majority support and get reelected probably depends on changing his behavior. That is a difficult task for any politician, much less an inexperienced one in his 70s. The knowledge that millions of Americans consider his 2016 victory undemocratic and illegitimate could render it impossible.”
“Seems to me that by declaring he can pardon anyone, including himself, Trump is admitting that he and his family and aides are guilty of crimes against the state and against the American people including, but not limited to, treason.
“That his followers do not care that they voted for and continue to support him and his criminal administration is a very sad commentary on who they are for continuing their support of him and who we are standing by, meekly, to permit our government –our country- to fall in the hands of a traitor.
“That many millions of Trump’s followers–diehard fans of Donald Trump–subscribe to the now discredited theory of SOCIAL DARWINISM cannot be denied. Their white supremacist mantra, racism and bigotry have their roots in this late 19th century clap trap. Their belief in Trump, the ‘strongman’ or tin-pot dictator comes out of the conviction that liberalism is weakness and only the fittest should survive. Their campaign to deny health care as a right of all citizens is rooted in the madness that sick people who can’t pay should be allowed to die. Like their master, Donald Trump and his ilk, they are yesterday’s people.
“When Trump says, ‘Let’s Make America Great Again,’ he means let’s bring back the racist policies of the past that were the rationalization for Anglo-Saxon or Aryan cultural and biological superiority.
“Social Darwinism, the theory that persons, groups, and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature. According to the theory, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the weak were diminished and their cultures delimited, while the strong grew in power and in cultural influence over the weak. Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by ‘survival of the fittest,’ a phrase proposed by the British philosopher and scientist Herbert Spencer.
“The Social Darwinists–notably Spencer and Walter Bagehot in England and William Graham Sumner in the United States–believed that the process of natural selection acting on variations in the population would result in the survival of the best competitors and in continuing improvement in the population. Societies were viewed as organisms that evolve in this manner.
“The theory was used to support laissez-faire capitalism and political conservatism. Class stratification was justified on the basis of ‘natural’ moral attributes such as industriousness, temperance, and frugality. Attempts to reform society through state intervention or other means would, therefore, interfere with natural processes; unrestricted competition and defense of the status quo were in accord with biological selection. The poor were the ‘unfit’ and should not be aided; in the struggle for existence, wealth was a sign of success. At the societal level, Social Darwinism was used as a philosophical rationalization for imperialist, colonialist, and racist policies, sustaining belief in Anglo-Saxon or Aryan cultural and biological superiority.
“Social Darwinism declined during the 20th century as an expanded knowledge of biological, social, and cultural phenomena undermined, rather than supported, its basic tenets.”