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So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.

Full text of Trump’s chain of weekend tweets

Go back to the shithole countries you came from, you ungrateful brown girls; thus spaketh the President of the United States, via obviously ghost-written tweet (one suspects Stephen Miller supplied the unusually coherent text – as if Donald’s stubby fingers, connected to Trump’s stubby brain, would ever type out the words “from which they came”). The unnamed targets of this latest burst of racist vitriol were freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), all women of colour. To the extent he was referring to the three of them who were born and raised in America (only Omar was born abroad, and she’s been a naturalized US citizen since she was a child), he’s more on the money than he knows when he mocks them for coming from countries with governments that are “a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world”. Yup – that sounds about right, actually.

This came on the heels of the appalling imagery from religious zealot Mike Pence’s PR visit to one of the many overcrowded prison camps where legal asylum seekers are now being detained. There they stood, the Vice President and his sidekick, the increasingly intolerable Trump sycophant Lindsey Graham, while they regarded the unwashed, malnourished rabble of desperate, imprisoned men with the sort of dull affect you’d expect from a couple of guys watching Goofy and Mickey on skates, having been roped into chaperoning a pre-school outing to Disney On Ice. They lingered for about 90 seconds, Pence chatting with a guard and Graham casually glancing around with his hands in his pockets, locking eyes with nobody, before turning around and leaving, the men behind the chain-link pleading for help and trying to signal to the press corps that they’d been held in what amounted to an inhumane cattle pen for more than 40 days.

That’s some interesting brand of Christianity you got going there, Mike.

Meanwhile, in those places where the contented cows of the GOP can generally be found grazing, the crickets chirped and the tumbleweeds rolled over the empty pasture. Republican legislators spent most of Monday ducking cameras and avoiding the press. In response to Trump’s astonishingly open and unabashed racism over the weekend, twelve – count ’em, twelve – of the 252 Republicans in Congress had the guts to tweet out their disapproval. Let me spare you the calculation: that’s a little less than 5% of the whole cowardly caucus. Only one, the now undoubtedly doomed Will Hurd – incredibly, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives – was brave enough to go on camera.

This grovelling before Trump should alone be enough to make me blow like Krakatoa. Yet the rage won’t come. I just feel sad. Sorrowful, even. Frightened, too, about what happens next, there, and also here in Canada, where the public looks increasingly prone to start mainlining the opiate of populism.

As if anybody was wondering, Donald is doing his utmost to make clear his election strategy for 2020. Safe to say, he won’t be appealing to the better angels of anybody’s nature. This will, as ever, be all about manipulating and agitating the Base. Expect the barrage of social media disinformation to be even more crazed and intense this time around. Before belching out the sort of “oh yeah, well if you don’t like it leave” racist tropes that are almost too stupid for the proverbial low-IQ drunk at the end of the bar, Trump hosted a White House summit of honest-to-God internet trolls, the alt-right whack jobs who spread the lies and fake news that helped him get elected last time. Sebastian Gorka, the goateed Hungarian Nazi, was there hollering at reporters in the Rose Garden – it was that kind of affair, essentially a MAGA rally, a campaign event to fire up the troops. Keep up the good work, guys! Keep muddying pools and poisoning wells!

Thus are the lines now drawn. The next US election will be about race, and whether citizens who can’t trace their genetic lineage to Northern Europe have any right to help set the nation’s agenda, or complain when they’re oppressed. It will be about whether non-white people can be told to go back where they came from, meaning Africa or Latin America, even when where they come from is Detroit or the Bronx. It will be about whether otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants, working themselves half to death doing America’s most unpleasant scut work, should be welcomed into the fold, or hunted down like vermin. It will be about white minority rule, and whether people of colour are entirely human, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. This is the battlefield Trump has chosen, and his GOP troops will rally ’round his flag to the bitter end.

It’s become common among the punditry to refer to America’s current political situation as amounting to a “cold civil war”. I’ve been afraid for a while that this strange nation of contradictions could soon, and not for the first time let’s remember, take it to the next level, and engage in a real, thoroughly hot civil war. More recently, I’ve begun to wonder whether it shouldn’t. 2020 will tell us whether there’s any other way, short of blood and fire, to break the iron grip of these evil men, this cabal of white senior citizens, their legion of dupes, and their stacked judiciary of pitiless ideologues. Can America’s wounded democratic institutions, throttled by decades of gerrymandering and voter suppression, still respond to the will of the majority? Can the horror show be averted?

Or is this it?

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