With Trump, the worse is yet to come

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In the dark days that are undoubtedly before us, many may come to look back on this election as Albert Camus did the Spanish Civil War. “Men of my generation have had Spain in our hearts,” Camus wrote. “It was there that they learned … that one can be right and yet be beaten.” Make no mistake, though, there is worse to come. Consider President-elect Donald Trump’s conduct since Election Day and that, for his first round of senior appointments, he has  skimmed the scum from the fetid pond of the Republican Party’s extreme right. Over the past week, the putative leader ...

Will Trump and his followers really accept the results of this election?

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Understandably, questions about Donald Trump’s tax status have dominated recent campaign coverage, but as a result, what may have been the most extraordinary moment in the first presidential debate has gone all but unremarked upon. At the end of Hillary Clinton’s confrontation with the failed casino operator turned pseudo-populist demagogue, moderator Lester Holt asked the candidates a question that would have been unimaginable in any previous presidential debate: Would the candidates accept the results of the election, whichever way it goes? Clinton, of course, immediately said she would. Then Holt put the same question to Trump: “Will you accept the outcome ...

Donald Trump channels Gordon Gekko at first debate against Hillary Clinton

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Gordon Gekko for President! There can be no other campaign slogan for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump coming out of Monday’s first presidential debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In his most unscripted and unguarded moments, the failed casino operator uncannily evoked no one as much as the slick-haired, reptilian corporate raider played by Michael Douglas in Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street”, the film that so masterfully captured the essence of an era of unfettered avarice in the financial markets. Who can forget Gekko’s signature pronouncement: “Greed is good.” Certainly, none of the 100 million-plus Americans who listened carefully to Trump during this ...

Regarding Trump’s new pro-life stance: Catholics recognize a con man when they see one

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By now, I think we all know that Donald Trump would hock his kids’ kidneys to win this election. I’m probably being over fastidious, then, to note that I find his most recent attempt to exploit the painfully wrenching issue of abortion particularly offensive. I use the adjective wrenching, I suppose, because I’m a Catholic who personally opposes most therapeutic pregnancy terminations, but still supports the woman’s right to choose. I do so, in part, because the question of abortion’s morality hinges on a question to which we currently have no convincing scientific answer: At what point does life begin? Given our ...

Surveys Show the Trump Campaign’s Real Fuel is Old-Fashioned Racial Resentment

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If you’re someone who thinks and writes about politics, as I have for more than four decades, this election cycle has been—by turns—perplexing, humbling and terrifying. More than once over the past months, I’ve found myself watching the primary returns and wondering whether I really know this country or its people anymore? Virtually no serious analyst foresaw the sequence of improbable events and subterranean eddies of popular sentiment that now have put Donald Trump within reach of the White House. It sometimes seems nowadays that the this vulgar bully may be just one more Hillary Clinton scandal from the Oval Office—and God ...

Like a dead snake, a defeated Trump could still be a poisonous presence

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More than once when I was analyzing events for my city’s newspapers, I pointed out that the essential paradox of Los Angeles’ politics was that its leaders are elected by one city to govern another. The city that elects office-holders—older, whiter and far more affluent than LA as a whole—has interests; that city that’s governed—younger, poorer, more Latino, African American and Asian—has needs. The friction between those needs and interests, I’ve always argued, is what gives LA’s civic life the wary, edge-of-the-razor quality that has erupted in violence twice in my lifetime. Now, I’ve begun to wonder whether Donald Trump’s bizarre insurgent ...

Trump hasn’t just trashed the GOP, but presidential campaigning itself

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It now is a commonplace to observe that Clinton and Trump are the two most disliked candidates ever to contest the Oval Office. While her favorable poll ratings are slightly higher than his, both are viewed unfavorably by more than half of those surveyed. Still, barring some unforeseen campaign calamity or tragedy, one of them will be the next president of the United States. That noted, it also is true that their campaigns could not be more different. That difference is more than her optimistic view of the American future versus his dystopian fulminations concerning a country in decay, more than ...

Trump’s Reckless Response to Russia’s DNC Hacking Demonstrates How Dangerous He Is

As his recklessly ignorant response to Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails demonstrates anew, Donald Trump is the most dangerous man ever to be this close to America’s presidential power. The fact that the Republican Party offered its nomination to this preening narcissist, this loose-lipped vulgar bully, this ill-informed wannabe caudillo, this cheap card room hustler in an undertaker’s suit is an affront to the memories of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower and an indelible stain on the historic reputations of this generation’s GOP leaders. Every one of them who has endorsed Trump—however reluctantly—stands indicted for putting party and ...