Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Conversation with Psychiatrist Justin Frank About How Donald Trump Believes That He is God and Why His Supporters Worship Him

There are two guests on this week's podcast.

Psychiatrist Justin Frank returns to The Chauncey DeVega Show. He is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center and a physician with more than 40 years of experience in psychoanalysis. He is the author of the bestselling books Bush on the Couch and Obama on the Couch. His newest book is Trump on the Couch. Dr. Frank's work has appeared in Time magazine and the Daily Beast and he has appeared as an expert commentator and guest on MSNBC, CNN, PBS and other outlets.

Dr. Frank explains how Donald Trump has a thought disorder and believes that he is God, why Trump's supporters are in love with him, and how Trump's loyalists such as the "MAGA bomber" and others who have disorganized minds seek affirmation and security from their cult leader Donald Trump.

In addition, Dr. Frank sounds the alarm about how Donald Trump encourages and gives permission for violence and how Trump's regalia such as the "MAGA" hat is a way for his supporters to live inside of their leader and to become him proxy. Dr. Frank also shares how he would counsel Donald Trump if he came to him seeking treatment.

Daniel Block is the second guest. He is the editor of The Washington Monthly in addition to being one of that publication's writers and reporters.

Daniel and Chauncey discuss "The Democrats of Trump Country" and what it is like for liberals and progressives and other people of conscience who are living behind enemy lines in Trumplandia, the types of political organizing they are doing in those spaces, and how "Culture War" issues--and especially radical right-wing Christianity--have created two Americas, separate and hostile from one another and living in their own realities.

During this week's podcast Chauncey conducts a postmortem for the 2018 midterm elections and what the victories by the Democrats do and do not mean for resisting Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Chauncey also warns that the 2018 midterms were a type of perverse mandate and encouragement for Donald Trump and the Republican Party's continued assault on American democracy and vile campaign of hatred and bigotry.

And to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Chauncey reads the epic poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

This week's podcast with Dr. Justin Frank and Daniel Block can be listened to or downloaded here.

Monday, November 5, 2018

A Conversation with Ian Haney Lopez About How the Republican Party Uses Racial Demagoguery and Dog Whistle Politics to Destroy the Middle Class and Hurt All Americans

Ian Haney Lopez is The Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley and author many articles and numerous books including White by Law and his most recent Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. Lopez is also a Senior Fellow at Demos in addition to being the Director of The Haas Institute's Racial Politics project.

Professor Lopez and Chauncey discuss how racial demagoguery dominates the Republican Party, the many ways that racism hurts white folks, and ways that the very rich and other plutocrats use racism as a tool to divide and distract so that they can steal from the American people. Professor Lopez also shares a new way of thinking about the relationship between race and class in America--one which he thinks can help create a better and more healthy democracy...and yes, help the Democrats defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

The second guest on this week's episode is James Stern. He is the producer of the new film Old Man and the Gun which stars Sissy Spacek and Robert Redford. Stern is also the producer and director of the new documentary American Chaos where he traveled throughout Trumplandia talking to the Great Leader's political cult members. Stern shares his thoughts on why Trump's supporters are so devoted to him, the strategic errors that the Democrats keep making, and how apathy and disgust with American democracy is the long-term threat posed by Trumpism.

During this week's podcast Chauncey urges caution about the so-called "blue wave" that many Democrats are expecting in tomorrow's midterm elections. Chauncey is also very concerned that through trickery and other means that the Republicans may actually end up winning many more contests during the midterms than most observers expect and how that will leave the Democrats even more disheartened and discombobulated. And to find some perspective Chauncey shares the wisdom of Brother Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his much overlooked speech he delivered at the "Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom" on May 17, 1957.

This week's podcast with Ian Haney Lopez can be listened to or downloaded here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Conversation with David Neiwert About Donald Trump, the "Alt-Right" and the Tree of Life Synagogue Massacre in Pittsburgh

David Neiwert is an investigative journalist based in Seattle and a contributing writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is the author of numerous books including the new Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us, and Over the Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane.
David and Chauncey discuss how Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and the right-wing hate media instigate violence such as what took place last week in Pittsburgh, the "MAGA Bomber", and the hate crime killing of 2 elderly black people in Louisville. David also details the various elements of the so-called "alt-right" and how its white supremacist politics are central to the violence inspired by Donald Trump. In addition, David explains the role (and dangers) of "scripted violence" and "eliminationist" language used by today's conservatives against their fellow Americans and the intentional violence which occurs as a result.
David and Chauncey also issue a warning: there will only be more violence as directed and encouraged by Donald Trump and his allies if the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in next week's midterm elections.
During this week's podcast Chauncey "connects the dots" about the sensationalistic violence of Trump's "MAGA Bomber" to the barbarism of the mass murder which took place at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Chauncey also offers a new concept for listeners of the podcast: America is a "pathocracy".

Chauncey again asks, "what are the American people going to do" in the face of Donald Trump and the right-wing movement's fascist violence against them. 
This week's podcast with David Neiwert can be listened to or downloaded here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Real Email Scandal: The 'MAGA Bomber" and How Donald Trump Has Made 100 Million Dollars Scaring His Gullible Supporters

As we discovered once again on Wednesday, Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric and threats of violence are not just political gamesmanship. They have all too real consequences in the real world. A series of explosive devices have been delivered to prominent liberals and Trump critics over the past 24 hours, including George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, CNN, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. That list may not be complete.

None of these devices has been detonated or caused any injuries, at least so far. That is merciful -- but the intended effect may well have been to spread panic and confusion among Trump's opponents, rather than to maim or kill anyone. That has been accomplished.

Donald Trump is unapologetic and enthusiastic in his embrace of hateful and divisive language. It is ludicrous for him to now pretend he bears no responsibility for these apparent attacks -- although of course he will do exactly that.

Each week of his presidency brings a new low. Trump soils the presidency as he calls his alleged former mistress Stormy Daniels "horseface," mocks women who have survived rape and other forms of sexual assault as "screamers," habitually lies about matters both small and large, undermines the rule of law, shows contempt for democracy, treats the White House as his own personal ATM and wallows in racism, prejudice and bigotry.

Trump continues to threaten members of the press with violence. At a rally in Montana last week Trump channeled his professional wrestling heel persona as he praised Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., for "body-slamming" a Guardian reporter during a special election campaign last year. Trump's audience howled with glee.

It does not end there. One of the most underreported stories of Trump's presidency concerns his use of direct marketing emails to raise funds by terrorizing his most enthusiastic supporters. These emails are unprecedented for what they reveal about a sitting president and the threat he poses to the American people.

Trump's email appeals have been remarkably lucrative. By some estimates they have already helped the president raise $100 million -- most of it from small, individual donations. This is at least metaphorical or potential blood money; Trump is filling his campaign coffers on threats of political violence.

In these campaign emails Donald Trump accuses Democrats of wanting to allow, gangs, "criminals" and "illegal immigrants" into the country who will then rape, rob, murder and otherwise prey upon (white) Americans.

Trump and the Republican Party's relentless push to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court sparked new innovations in fear-mongering and intimidation.

According to Trump and his supporters, Democrats are now "arsonists." With that slur, our president has claimed that one of the country's two institutional political parties -- and their voters and elected officials -- are in essence violent thugs whose political disagreements with Republicans are criminal and destructive.

An October 2018 email from the Republican National Committee, signed by Trump, delivers this message:
Republicans who courageously stood up for Judge Kavanaugh in the face of the liberal mob now need security to protect themselves from death threats. 
This has become an urgent matter. 
Handing the Democrats the keys to our government in 26 days would be no different from handing matches to an arsonist. 
They would have full power to launch any investigation they want against anyone they want, and without any corroborating evidence. [Underlines in original.] 
We can’t let it happen ... 
The menace in Trump's emails is clear -- the "anyone" is by implication Trump's voters.
This threat is even more obvious in this April 2018 email from a PAC called the Trump Make America Great Again Committee:
Friend,
Let me be clear. Since Day One, this witch hunt has never been about me.
Their target is you. 
The swamp doesn’t want you to take your country back, and they will fight to the bitter end to stop you. 
That’s why I need you now more than ever before to sustain our movement. The only thing that keeps our movement alive is our members. We CAN’T afford to lose a single one.
Trump's emails to his supporters consistently feature themes of "fighting back," in which his public and other "real Americans" (largely meaning white conservatives and evangelical Christians) are persecuted victims under threat by Democrats or whatever other group that Trump and his allies deem to be the enemy.

Trump's constant rhetorical violence violence is an extension of his authoritarianism and the diseased country which elected him president. He frightens his supporters by referencing some kind of enemy, usually an ethnic or racial minority. Like other authoritarians and political strongmen, Trump then presents himself as the savior. Like the mafiosi he admires, and with whom he often consorted early in his career, Trump is running a political protection racket where he tells his supporters to give him money so that he will keep them safe.

In a post for Slate, Teri Kanefield explains this further:
Robert O. Paxton, in his classic work "The Anatomy of Fascism," defines a cult of leadership as one in which the followers believe the leader’s instincts are better than the logic used by elites. The followers are willing to give up their individuality and freedom in exchange for the leader’s “protection.” And what is Trump protecting his followers from? Scholars Karen Stenner and Jonathan Haidt offer an explanation. In their essay “Authoritarianism Is Not a Momentary Madness but an Eternal Dynamic Within Liberal Democracies,” Stenner and Haidt describe the psychology behind the fervor of the embrace of authoritarians. A certain percentage of the population has “bias against different others” including racial and other minority out-groups. The authoritarian leader stokes their fears, creating a normative threat. These people then turn to the leader as something of a savior. The leader embraces the mythic destiny of the nation. He doesn’t follow laws. He is the law.
Later in that article, Kanefield observes that those "who want to destroy the political establishment today are those who are threatened by growing diversity. Trump’s lies work toward that end."

For decades the American right has cultivated paranoia among conservatives about how "big government" will take away their rights and freedoms, confiscate their property and perhaps imprison them. As president, Donald Trump is explicitly telling his voters and other supporters that Democrats are their existential enemies, who are certain to persecute and punish conservatives if they gain power.

This kind of language is grossly irresponsible and itself borders on criminality. Trump is inciting violence and civil disorder, and the evidence is right in front of us this week.

This is not hyperbole, a game or a joke. While it is surely intended as political gamesmanship, it is much more than that. Trump's repeated deployment of stochastic terrorism and eliminationist rhetoric is a life-and-death matter.

Trump's supporters, like Republicans in general), are much more likely to own guns than Democrats or independents. Right-wing militias and paramilitary groups have increased their recruitment under Donald Trump. They enthusiastically support him and his agenda, and are prepared to follow his orders. Public opinion and other research shows that Republicans, especially Trump supporters, are much more likely to believe that armed revolt may be necessary in the next few years to "protect" their "civil liberties."

America is so deeply polarized that political ideology is increasingly inseparable from personal identity. This is especially true for Republicans: They intensely dislike both Democrats in general and the core groups -- especially nonwhites and women -- at the heart of the Democratic Party's coalition.

While often framed as an if-or-when question, the reality is that Donald Trump's rhetoric, behavior and political values have already spawned lethal violence in America.

In Charlottesville, Heather Heyer was killed by white supremacists and other members of the "alt-right." These right-wing political terrorists also injured dozens of other people. In response, Donald Trump said that at least some neo-Nazis, Klan members and other racial terrorists were "very fine people."

Beginning with Trump's presidential campaign and through his first two years in office there have been numerous incidents when his supporters, often chanting his name or wearing his regalia, have attacked nonwhites, Jews, LGBT people and others they view as the enemy.

Trump supporters have also been involved in lethal violence and domestic terrorism, including school shootings

As catalogued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, white supremacists and other members of the "alt-right" have killed or injured more than 100 people since 2014.

American law enforcement officials identity right-wing militias and paramilitaries as the single largest threat to public order in the country. Over the last two decades, individuals associated with right-wing militias and other paramilitary groups have killed dozens of people and injured hundreds more.

Right-wing militia-style groups gangs such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer have been involved in street fights and mob actions. Last week in Florida, the Proud Boys waylaid and threatened House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, apparently at the behest of the Miami-Dade Republican Party chair.

How have the Democrats responded to Donald Trump and the Republican Party's incessant threats of violence?

As so often happens, the ground is moving beneath the Democrats' feet, and their leaders are desperately trying to maintain their balance by clinging to obsolete rules and norms.

At a rally in Iowa earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a likely 2020 presidential candidate, said this:
You cannot love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. All of them. 
We Democrats, we never can be pulled down so low that we hate folk. We can’t hate Republicans. We need each other as Americans. We’ve got to lead with love. You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. All the people.
Some Democrats are finally taking a different approach. Hillary Clinton, one of the few high-profile Democrats willing to publicly state that Donald Trump and his supporters represent an serious threat to American democracy, told CNN: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, one of the potential bomb targets this week, also seems to understand the constitutional crisis facing America under Donald Trump. At a rally for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Adams, Holder said: "Michelle [Obama] always says, you know, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about."

Holder later elaborated further: "I’m saying Republicans are undermining our democracy and Democrats need to be tough, proud and stand up for the values we believe in -- the end,"

But this awakening by at least some Democratic leaders may be too little, too late. People of conscience who oppose Trump, the Republican Party and their voters should heed the wisdom of Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley in the Boston Review:
The argument for the marketplace of ideas presupposes that words are used only in their “descriptive, logical, or semantic sense.” But in politics, and most vividly in fascist politics, language is not used simply, or even chiefly, to convey information but to elicit emotion. 
The argument from the “marketplace of ideas” model for free speech thus works only if society’s underlying disposition is to accept the force of reason over the power of irrational resentments and prejudice. Language becomes a vehicle for emotion rather than meaning. If the society is divided, however, then a demagogic politician can exploit the division by using language to sow fear, accentuate prejudice, and call for revenge against members of hated groups. Attempting to counter such rhetoric with reason is akin to using a pamphlet against a pistol.
At this moment, it appears likely that Democrats will win control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. If American democracy were healthy this would offer some comfort: Donald Trump, as intended and designed by the framers of the U.S. Constitution, would be partially reined in by the Democrats and Congress. The cold truth: American authoritarians like Trump and his allies do not play by the rules. They break them.

Through email, social media, Twitter and his personal state-sponsored Ministry of Truth, Fox News, Donald Trump has been preparing his public for this moment. When the Republicans lose the House next month, he may well proclaim that the election was "stolen" and that there was massive "voter fraud."

Donald Trump has fed his supporters a steady diet of fear, hatred and violence. What will the Democrats do when Trump tells his voters that they have been cheated at the polls? Or when special counsel Robert Mueller reveals the damning truth about Trump's obstruction of justice and entanglement with Vladimir Putin's Russia? Or when the Democratic Party investigates the many obvious examples of wrongdoing by Donald Trump and his administration and the latter breaks all rules and laws to sabotage any accountability?

The United States is not on the brink of a constitutional crisis. It has been in one for more than two years, beginning with Donald Trump's political rise and then his victory in the 2016 election. Will the Democratic Party rise to the challenge? Or will they once again underestimate just how dangerous Trump and his supporters really are?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My Conversation With Chris Hedges About America's Diseased Society and How Donald Trump is Just a Symptom of a Much Bigger Problem

Chris Hedges is the author of the new book America: The Farewell Tour.

He is also the author of numerous award winning and bestselling works including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Death of a Liberal Class, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.

Chris Hedges and Chauncey discuss how America is a deeply sick and pathological society, why Donald Trump is the symptom and not the cause of this disease, and the role of celebrity culture and consumerism in the downfall of American democracy.

Chris Hedges and Chauncey also reflect on the need for a more advanced and sophisticated understanding of how race and class relate to one another and the perils of empty symbolic politics such as the so-called "Women's March". Chris Hedges also explains why peoples resistance movements such as Standing Rock and the Ferguson Uprising are the real way forward if American democracy and a humane and free society are to finally be created and salvaged in the country.

During this week's podcast Chauncey asks, "What year is it?" when New Age Jim Crow Enforcers are keeping black folks from voting in Georgia, Jewish-Americans and others are being made into second class citizens by Christian fascists with the support of the Trump regime, and the fascist bigot Donald Trump tells transgender people that their personhood is "illegal" and their identities do not exist under American law.

On this week's show Chauncey also celebrates Jeremiah Harvey, a 9-year-old black child, who refused to forgive a white racist woman who claimed he groped her.

This week's podcast with Chris Hedges can be listened to or downloaded here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

My Conversation With Max Boot About Why the Republican Party Needs to be Burned Down to the Ground


Max Boot is the author of numerous bestselling books including The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today and Invisible Armies: The Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present. His newest book is entitled The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right. In addition, he is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the Washington Post and CNN.

Dr. Boot and Chauncey discuss the "Never Trump" movement and why so many "traditional" and "principled" conservatives continue to support a dangerous and radically deranged and authoritarian Donald Trump and Republican Party. Dr. Boot also explains why it took him so long to acknowledge and confront his own Republican Party's long history of racism, bigotry and other authoritarian tendencies. Dr. Boot and Chauncey also ponder if the Republican Party in its present form can ever be salvaged or should it instead be burned down to the ground. And Dr. Boot offers his thoughts on if Donald Trump is a traitor who has committed treason.

During this week's podcast Chauncey reviews another sick week in Donald Trump's American dystopia where 5-year-old children are forced to sign court documents surrendering their rights, the Republican Party keeps black and brown and young people from voting across the country in order to steal elections, and how Trump's ICE Border Immigration thugs have been robbing, raping, kidnapping, and murdering people.

Chauncey also "connects the dots" about why Donald Trump's USA Today op-ed was not really about "healthcare" but instead was another threat and encouragement of violence by the Great Leader against the Democratic Party and anyone who opposes Trump's movement.

At the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares a story about a wonderful human animal friend hero who saved lives during Hurricane Michael.

This week's podcast with Max Boot can be listened to or downloaded here.


Friday, October 12, 2018

The Real Purpose of Donald Trump's Vile and Full of Lies USA Today Op-ed: To Threaten Violence Against the Democratic Party and Its Voters

In a democracy, the free press has a sacred responsibility. It must hold the powerful accountable, and provide the public with sufficient information to make informed political decisions.

During the 2016 presidential contest the mainstream American news media almost wholly abandoned that responsibility. Instead of reporting that Donald Trump was clearly and obviously an authoritarian in waiting, the American news media gave him an estimated $5 billion in free coverage. It was, and largely remains, verboten to call Donald Trump a fascist even though he exhibits, repeatedly and enthusiastically, almost all of the necessary traits.

He is a professional liar of the grandest kind -- the Washington Post estimates Trump has publicly lied at least 5,000 times since he entered the 2016 campaign. Yet it took the American news media almost a year into Trump's presidency to acknowledge that he would not "mature" or "pivot" and grow into his responsibilities as president.

Too many voices still refuse to call him a liar, preferring instead to say that the president uttered "untruths" or "inaccuracies," or that he was "mistaken."

Donald Trump has repeatedly shown himself to be a racist, a nativist and a misogynist. Again, too few voices in the American news media have the courage to describe him in plain terms as such.
After Trump's election some members of the fourth estate have finally realized that Donald Trump, the Republican Party and their voters are an existential threat to American democracy. It may be too little too late.

Donald Trump has his own state sponsored media in the form of Fox News and other agents of the right-wing echo chamber, playing much the same role that Pravda once played in the Soviet Union.

USA Today has decided to play along as well. This week the newspaper published an op-ed purportedly written by Trump, which may set a record for the most lies told by a sitting president ever published in an American newspaper.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of such a piece of propaganda. Trump's USA Today op-ed, entitled "Democrats 'Medicare for All' plan will demolish promises to seniors" is so absurd that it could be featured in a new version of Mel Brooks' fictional musical "Springtime for Hitler" -- but instead starring Donald Trump in the featured role.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Conversation with Anthony Bourdain's dear friend Joel Rose about their friendship, his passing away, and their final project "Hungry Ghosts"

Joel Rose is the author of such acclaimed novels as Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster and The Blackest Bird. He is also a dear and close friend of the late, great and very much missed Anthony Bourdain. Their friendship was also a creative partnership. Together they co-wrote The New York Times bestselling graphic novel Jiro Dreams of Sushi and its prequel Get Jiro! Blood and Sushi. Joel and Anthony's final project together is the new graphic novel Hungry Ghosts.
Joel and Chauncey reflect on Anthony Bourdain's life and why he is so beloved by legions of fans around the world. Joel also explains Bourdain's life philosophy, how they met and became such close friends, Bourdain's strength through vulnerability and what they learned from each other.
Joel and Chauncey also bond over their shared working class origins and present, appreciating their fathers' wisdom and examples, as well as navigating through financial insecurities and fears.
During this week's podcast Chauncey explains, again, why it was no surprise that Brett Kavanaugh and the Republicans were able to win the Supreme Court and con and intimidate the Democrats and so many others in the news media and among the public. Chauncey also cuts a promo on cowardly and weak Democrats such as Cory Booker and other people who actually believe that we should love Donald Trump's voters and other Republicans because they are our "fellow Americans".

At the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares a very important essay from The New Yorker which details in precise terms how Donald Trump is a political magician and illusionist.
This week's podcast with Joel Rose can be listened to or downloaded here.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Conversation With Psychiatrist Justin Frank About How Donald Trump is a Man-Child Adult Baby President Whose Greatest Power is Hatred

Dr. Justin Frank is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center and a physician with more than forty years of experience in psychoanalysis. He is the author of the bestselling books "Bush on the Couch" as well as "Obama on the Couch". Dr. Frank's new book is "Trump on the Couch". Dr. Frank's work has appeared in Time Magazine and at the Daily Beast. He has also been an expert commentator and guest on such media outlets as MSNBC, CNN and PBS.

Dr. Frank and Chauncey discuss Donald Trump's various mental pathologies, how they are rooted in his childhood and the fact that Trump is the first American president who is an adult baby. Dr. Frank also explains how Donald Trump's greatest power is the permission he gives his followers to hate their enemies and to show disgust and contempt towards civilization and normal society. And Dr. Frank warns the American people and the world that Donald Trump exhibits signs of sociopathy and will never change his temperament or behavior.

Chauncey's friend and one of the co-founders of this very blog, the once-named "We Are Respectable Negroes", also stops by the virtual bar and salon. Gordon Gartrelle shares his thoughts on Bill Cosby the now convicted sex criminal, the weaknesses of the Democratic Party, and Donald Trump the circus freak. Gordon also updates Chauncey on his various food adventure travels around the world while they both celebrate the greatness that is the King of the Hill TV show.

Chauncey also makes an announcement: There is now a voicemail number for The Chauncey DeVega Show where you can leave a kind message, ask a question, just say hello, do impressions, confess your love for him, read a poem or just share the power of The Love Train!

(262) 864-0154

During this week's podcast Chauncey reviews how America's rape culture was put on trial by the United States Senate. The result? Brett Kavanaugh and rich white elite male privilege won--again.

Never forget. In the tumult of chaos that was Kavanaugh's elite white male privilege temper tantrum before the world Chauncey also reminds everyone about how the Republicans passed another 3 trillion dollar tax scam bill and more then 10,000 Hispanic and Latino migrant and refugee children are still in Donald Trump's concentration camps.

This week's podcast with Dr. Justin Frank can be downloaded or listened to here.



Friday, September 28, 2018

Dear Republicans: Would You Trust Your Daughter, Wife, Sister, or Mother Alone With the Alleged Rapist and Sex Assaulter Brett Kavanaugh?

Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination featured America's rape culture put on full display.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave credible, careful and entirely convincing testimony that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge sexually assaulted and attempted to rape her in the early 1980s when they were all high school students.

Kavanaugh -- who is not a random citizen but a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court for Washington, D.C. -- was full of rage and self-pity. He said he was the victim of a political conspiracy by Democrats, although Ford's supposed role in this conspiracy remained unclear. Kavanaugh is also an obvious right-wing partisan who does not possess the temperament or wisdom to be a Supreme Court justice. His judicial record, writings and other behavior collectively make clear that he is an entitled elite white man who will not even pretend that the law should be blind and fair to all. For Kavanaugh, there is one set of rules and justice for men like himself, and another set for everyone else.

As happens all too often in America, Thursday's hearing showed, again, how the country's rape culture makes women and girls who are victims of sexual assault and other forms of violence into defendants. By comparison, the men who victimize them are depicted as sympathetic and somehow the real aggrieved and wronged parties.

This was literally true for Christine Blasey Ford. She was interrogated by Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor who acted as a stand-in for the 11 Republican men who needed to be convinced that Ford was telling the truth. But for these same Republicans it is clear that there is literally no evidence that will ever convince them that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Ford.

Regardless of what happens with Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, America's rape culture has won again.

At the time of writing, it appears likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite Thursday's hearing. But even if Kavanaugh is stopped, he will just be replaced by another judge who comes with the blessing of the Federalist Society and other right-wing groups. Kavanaugh's successor will likely vote to take away women's reproductive freedoms and other human rights, as he will almost surely do. Republicans and the right-wing media will enthusiastically support this new candidate because, compared to Brett Kavanaugh, this person will look like a saint.

Appeals to reason will not persuade Senate Republicans to vote against Brett Kavanaugh. The allure of controlling the Supreme Court for a generation to come, whatever befalls their party in electoral politics, is too strong for most of them to resist. Installing a justice who will very likely protect Donald Trump from Robert Mueller's investigation is an intoxicant as well.

All that remains is a claim on human decency. Thus I pose a question.

Dear Republican senators: Would you trust Brett Kavanaugh alone with your daughter? Or your wife? Or your sister? Or any other woman you loved?

He has been accused of forcible sexual assault and attempted rape by Christine Blasey Ford and at least three other women. This includes the allegation that he participated in gang rapes of drunk and otherwise incapacitated girls and young women while a student at Georgetown Prep in suburban Washington.

While an undergraduate at Yale, Kavanaugh joined both a fraternity and a "secret society" that were notorious for their excessive drinking as well as sexism, misogyny and reported violence against women and girls.

Could such a question such as the one I pose turn Republican voters against Brett Kavanaugh, and in turn force Republican senators to vote against his confirmation? A new poll from NPR, PBS NewsHour and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion suggests that the answer is no: A majority of Republicans (54 percent) responded that Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the high court even if the accusations against him prove to be true.

This is not entirely surprising. Research shows that Republicans and other conservatives lack empathy for those people they consider to be outside their social and political tribe. This includes women, nonwhites, LGBT people and immigrants, as well those individuals they view as "liberals," "Democrats" or "progressives."

Because Republicans and conservatives also hold increasingly authoritarian views, they tend to be extremely deferential to their political leaders. Today's Republican Party and conservative movement is also extremely hostile to women's full and equal rights with men. This is all amplified by the exaggerated influence of right-wing Christian evangelicals, who are a relatively small group in our society but a dominant force within the Republican Party and conservative movement.
The enduring support by Republicans for a nominee accused of multiple sex crimes reflects something else as well. Today's Republicans are extremely tribal and only care about "their team" winning: decency, democracy, freedom and the common good are inconveniences to be trampled upon in the pursuit of total power.

Ultimately, it may be impossible for Republicans and other conservatives to imagine how they would feel if the women they love became victims of crimes like those Brett Kavanaugh and his friends allegedly committed. This is an act of empathy and imagination that the minds of contemporary conservatives cannot comprehend.

This emotional deficit is emblematic of the way today's Republican Party and conservative movement have become an ideological force more similar to a radical religion than a group of people and interest groups participating in "normal" politics. Its members are willing to sacrifice the safety of their own daughters, sisters, and wives if it means securing more power into the indefinite future. This a chilling indictment of America's political culture. No healthy system could have produced such voters, or such leaders.