THE WEEK IN TRUMP
Raising Hell in Arizona: At a rally in Phoenix, Trump delivered an unscripted, crowd-pleasing oration, complaining that (for example) the media is unfairly critical of him. Much of the media reacted by being critical of him. One conservative observer tweeted, “the CNN panel: every one is in disbelief. upset. angry. Translation: mission accomplished.”
Afghanistan Mini-surge: Trump announced in vague terms a new Afghanistan policy that reportedly will send an additional 4,000 troops to the 16-year-old war. The once-again Bannon-run Breitbart.com accused Trump of a “flip-flop” that betrayed his “ ‘America First’ base.”
Donald vs. Mitch: The New York Times reported that Trump’s relationship with the Senate Majority Leader has deteriorated so much that the two men haven’t spoken in weeks.
Arpaio Pardon Pondered: In Phoenix Trump signaled, without explicitly saying, that he will pardon controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a fierce opponent of illegal immigration and fierce proponent of birtherism. CNN reported that the White House had prepared the paperwork for the pardon.
THE MINDFUL RESISTANCE MEDIA SCOLD
A (presumably scripted) exchange on the Aug 12 edition of the NPR show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me:
Host, Peter Sagal: Ninety two percent of the counties in the path of that totality, complete darkness, voted for Trump. (Pause.) Which is ironic because the last thing in the world they wanted was to make America darker. (Laughter, applause.)
Guest panelist Alonzo Bodden: But they’re not worried about it because in their world the eclipse isn’t real. (Laughter.)
Sagal: That’s true.
Media Scold Memo to Peter Sagal: Donald Trump would not have as much support as he has if millions of people in Middle America weren’t convinced that coastal elites hold them in contempt—considering them, as a group, backward, bigoted, and stupid. Do with that information as you will.
Is it smart to punch Nazis? Peter Singer, Jesse Singal, and Ben Yee all made the case against the left embracing political street violence. Does this mean intellectuals on the left are starting to follow the lead of the Mindful Resistance Newsletter, which last week editorialized against antifa’s philosophy of initiating violence against fascists and white supremacists? Or is it mere coincidence? Mere coincidence. But a happy coincidence.
Michelle Goldberg profiled antifa activist Daryle Jenkins. Jenkins, who is African American, has helped talk people away from the world of white supremacists. And Farhad Manjoo wrote about applying lessons from the fight against online Islamist radicalization to American white supremacists.
A 2011 study found that American whites tend to view racism as a zero-sum game, “such that decreases in perceived bias against blacks over the past six decades are associated with increases in perceived bias against whites—a relationship not observed in blacks’ perceptions. Moreover, these changes in whites’ conceptions of racism are extreme enough that whites have now come to view anti-white bias as a bigger societal problem than anti-black bias.”
—By Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Robert Wright with contributions from Philip Menchaca