Another new low. Trump used his State of the Union Speech last night to spew a stream of lies about the economic success he inherited from President Obama, followed by a newer version of “American carnage” describing illegal immigrants killing our women and children, followed by game-show theatrics like re-uniting a soldier with his family in front of the cameras. Trump Party supporters treated the night like a screaming MAGA rally while Democrats mostly sat with folded arms. Before the speech, Trump refused to shake Speaker Pelosi’s hand. After the speech, video captured Speaker Pelosi casually ripping Trump’s speech in half. Trump Party supporters were mad at Pelosi for shredding the speech, while Democrats were mad at the Trump Party for shredding the Constitution.
The lowest point of the evening came when Trump announced that he was giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to his buddy Rush Limbaugh, newly diagnosed with cancer, who was in the audience. Limbaugh spent the last three decades sowing fear and hatred on the radio–for tremendous profit–and his countless disgusting lies and smears are notorious. He’s part of an aging white male club of phony macho wannabes desperate to appear tough and “manly” while demeaning every other group of people on the planet. Giving him a freedom medal is like giving Bernie Madoff a finance medal. It’s an ugly stain on an otherwise prestigious award, and another signal from Trump to his base that he’s the most vile, cruel scumbag they could ever want in the Oval Office. Disgraceful.
Meanwhile in Iowa, where the voting debacle continued, only 71% of the vote tally had been registered by midnight, and Pete Buttigieg was in the lead with Bernie Sanders a close second and Elizabeth Warren in third. Joe Biden under-performed in fourth place and Amy Klobuchar came in fifth. I’m not sure Mayor Pete can build enough momentum from Iowa to win elsewhere, but his appeal to Iowa voters can’t be ignored. I loved Barack Obama, and I like and greatly respect Mayor Pete. We’ve already elected the first African American President and now I can’t help but lament the possibility of electing the first gay male President before we’ve ever elected a woman to the White House. I think of all the shit my single mother went through, all of the risks my activist grandmother took, and on and on, and we are still debating whether a woman can be electable, much less elected. It’s not Mayor Pete’s fault, and I take nothing away from him, but when the fuck are we going to have a woman President? I hope to be around for at least a few more decades, but if I leave this Earth without seeing a woman in the White House I will be supremely disappointed. This failure speaks to a persistent and pernicious misogyny that continues to infect our nation in ways both blatant and maddeningly subtle. Will it ever end?
Aside from the politics of gender, the Democratic race is taking shape. As voters grasp for the most electable candidate, it seems the Democrats are trying to solve this central dilemma: Is it better to nominate a far-left candidate and risk alienating moderates and independents, or is it better to nominate a centrist and risk alienating the Bernie Bros? Let’s all hope we get the answer right. As Trump’s ugly lie-fest reminded us last night, democracy, equality and the truth itself hang in the balance this November.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”