So I Guess This is Where We are Now

So a few days ago I wrote this.  It felt good and satisfying to write.  I should also note that I wrote it when I thought that Donald Trump would lose.


So, about that…

There’s been a lot that has happened since the election.  It’s affected me in a lot of ways.  On the one hand I’m wondering how this could have happened.  On the other hand I’m wondering what this means for the people that I know:  the ones who voted for Trump who are my friends.  Then I realized that that the answers are mixed up.

I feel like this will be an essay question for someone else’s kids fifteen years from now.  “What were the causes of Trump’s rise to power in the American Political System?”  And while I know that there are many, including the FBI’s opening and revisiting of Clinton’s e-mail issue, the Rust Belt’s desire for a change in economic policy, the idea of a “Change” election (even though there were no real change candidates) and the surge of third party candidates, the most vociferous discussions that I’ve had are around whether this was a repudiation of Barack Obama’s status as the first black president and Trump’s ability to tap into those feelings of those who wanted to engage in said repudiation.

I’ve read plenty of things on this and there’s tons of data.  The main thrust of that data is that Trump picked up votes in places in the Rust Belt that Obama won in 2008 and 2012. We can read about it now but we can also remember that night.  I watched the same CNN coverage as you.  When John King showed that map and showed how Philadelphia wasn’t going to be able to hold off the suburbs I knew it was a done deal.

Wolf and Jon go over the map. Again. Also, CNN's breaking news music was ridiculous.

This map was out of control and everybody knows it.

I’ve read plenty about how this election wasn’t about race.  I’ve read your texts and your emails.  Okay I get your point.  Even to the point where you claim that lots of black people voted for Trump too.  I get what you are saying.  But when you look at the time after the election with the increase of hate crimes, the rise of Neo-Nazis and the most awful appointments ever to the presidential cabinet then I hope you can see where I’m coming from when I say that although Donald Trump may not be actively promoting hate speech and actions, they sure aren’t dying down on his watch either.  People are not saying “RustBelt Power” or #AllJobsMatter while these hate crimes are being committed.  I’m not saying that race was the only factor in this election, but if you’re not willing to say that this was, to some degree, a repudiation of Barack Obama’s presidency then we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this.  But that’s not why I’m sad today.

You and I watched the same election coverage.  We watched the outlandish stories come one after another at the Trump Camp. The attacking of a Gold Star Family, the ridiculing of a disabled reporter, Trump believing that he could grab women’s genitals just because he was rich.  If you voted for Trump, you saw each and every one of those things plus a lot more.  And yet and still you voted for him.

You knew that he said horrible things about a Hispanic Judge.  You voted for him anyway.

You knew that he had filed four bankruptcies.  You voted for him anyway.

You knew that he was involved with the fraud case of Trump University.  You voted for him anyway.

You didn’t stop to say “whoa this is not who I want running my country” or “he’s gone over the line this time” or “his lack of experience is a deal breaker for me.”  Never mind the fact that you took someone with no public office experience and you put them in the highest position in the country, but it was this guy. All of that together makes me have a little less faith in us as an electorate and us as a country.  My world is a little darker because of what you’ve done.

I want to say it again.  I want this on the record.  I did not vote for Trump.  I voted for Hillary Clinton.  I wanted her to win.  All the way through.  I wanted her to be the next President.  I gave money.  I texted people to go vote.  I told people to go vote.  I helped people figure out where they could register.

If you voted for Trump, then you’re about to get the government that you deserve.  But it’s not the government that I deserve.

The Great Cutoff

The Trump campaign has so openly embraced the style and message of European far-right nationalist parties, the white power movement, and other groups whose popularity derives from racism, xenophobia, or other Neanderthal sentiments from the bottom of the political barrel that it’s not hard to understand why someone not defined as a Real American by Trump would take it personally that friends and family support him. We’re never supposed to take politics personally. We’re supposed to “leave those differences aside” and carry on while avoiding the subject for the sake of maintaining good relations. That concept works alright if we support different candidates in the usual narrow window of political disagreement found in American politics. We’re not going to come to blows because your guy supports repealing the Estate Tax, even though I find that idea both stupid and immoral.

This is a long way of saying to the people who support Trump (and therefore would never read this) that “Let’s agree to disagree and keep being friends” is a poor strategy this year. However you’ve managed to rationalize it in your head, supporting someone so openly and enthusiastically racist, xenophobic, and flat-out mean says a lot about you. White America already asks quite a lot of people we define as Not One of Us: that they protest, dress, behave, talk, think, act, and generally live in a way that makes us feel comfortable. And it is a deep irony that the same people most likely to cry “White privilege isn’t real!” are the ones who expect black and Hispanic people in their lives (not to mention women, LGBT people, and a host of others Trump Cretins define as the enemy) to laugh off their Trump support or ignore it so that a bunch of angry white guys don’t have hurt feelings and don’t have to spend any time reflecting on what their endorsement of a de facto white supremacist says about them. If that isn’t privilege, then nothing is.

Gin and Tacos

I hope we can find some semblance of unity, even when we are deeply hurt or offended; even when we are faced with people as dangerous and divisive as Mr. Trump. I hope we can learn to be more consistent in our beliefs and our actions. Most of all, I hope that everyone gets to have family members or friends that are as simultaneously supportive and controversial as the ones I have.

S.N., The Odyssey Online

I’ve had a pretty tough time this election season with a very particular issue.  I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the Trump Voters and “Deplorables” that I have as friends.  It’s been a really tough issue.

I’ve had friends on all sides of the political spectrum.  Hell, I’ve been on all sides of the political spectrum.  I remember being in law school watching George W. Bush’s state of the Union Address from my friend’s house on Fox News as a member of the Federalist Society.  So I know the people on all sides of this discussion and this debate.  And as an ACU graduate, I’ve got plenty of friends who voted for Trump without a second thought, many based on what he’s said about one issue in particular.  Regardless of the fact that advocated grabbing women by their genitals.  Regardless of the fact that he attacks the families of gold star recipients.  Regardless of the fact that he’s a “fascist hamburglar.”

Donald Trump’s statements make me afraid of what he would do when he is in office.  And that fear is what makes this election more important to me than the one in 2008 where President Obama won.  I remember reading what my friends were writing that night about him and how it made me feel.

I remember where I was when President Obama won the 2008 election. I had been invited to a condo/apartment/townhome in downtown with a bunch of other “upwardly mobile,” somewhat younger black attorneys, most of which practiced criminal law. Most of us knew each other because we were around each other every day. It was also the same year that our elected official had resigned because of some rowdy email stuff and other things. So we had banded together somewhat.

The cable news stations called the election for Obama and we just started yelling and screaming and clapping. It was like our uncle had just become President. None of us could really believe it.

I pulled up my facebook on my blackberry storm (good God, that was awful) and scrolled through. The things my facebook friends were saying were awful. Many of the people that said these things were people I went to high school, college or law school with. People I considered friends. They said things like:

“I’m so afraid for my country now”

“I’m really worried about the future of america”

Like, for real? What did you think Obama was gonna do? bankrupt the country by handing out ObamaPhones? As in the Kid N Play was going to become the national handshake? Like what was gonna happen?

I’ve changed a lot since I went to Duncanville High School, Abilene Christian University, Houston/South Texas College of Law. I’m a lot different from how I was when I first got to the DA’s office or even when I left the DA’s office. But what people were saying to me seemed just so alien.

Only recently have these sort of articles come out that speak to how I feel: That my relationship with many of these people has deteriorated to the point of no return; that we are so much different now than we ever have been. And I know that it’s important to have people in your circles that you disagree with and our relationships should be able to withstand this degree of vitriol, but when you react to a police shooting with #ComplyOrDie instead of even trying to understand why I would be afraid when I drive past a police car, it really makes me wonder.

I’ll be watching facebook again on this election night. I wonder what I’ll see.

-On Facebook 9/25/2016

I’ve read tons of posts on both sides about this.  Some people say that when they cut others off they realized that they were never friends but rather that they just grew up together.  Others say that that this election is so different that they don’t have any other choice but to defriend others that vote for Trump.

I wish I could see things as black and white as others.  Sometimes I wish I could just cut people off when they say stuff that I disagree with.  But life has never been that simple for me and I don’t think it ever will.  I think I’ll always try to stay connected to others.  And sometimes that means working hard to see the good in people.  Even if they did something awful.  Even if it means they could burn me again.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few months about trump voters and deplorable’s. I’ve been thinking about what I should do with them. Should I delete them from my friends list? Should I cut them off forever? And I keep on coming back to the answer of no. And this is different for me than it is a lot of people. I still believe that there is a lot of worth in staying connected even when you don’t agree with others.

In my day job I write and say that other people don’t know what they’re talking about or that their arguments are wrong or their reasoning is wrong. And in some cases I still eat with them or drink with them.

I know that many things in the Trump agenda are bad and would make the quality of life for many people worse. Myself included. But I cannot bring myself to say F those people they don’t know what they’re talking about and if they lose they can all just die. That is not who I am. I would rather speak to create an understanding. Even if they don’t want to.

-Me on Facebook, November 5th.

No matter what happens tomorrow, we all have to live here afterwards.  And that means asking each other the hard questions, staying connected to our friends when we can, and meeting each other where we’re at.  At least that’s what I  will do.

#NeverTrump: A Black Man Goes to a Trump Rally


Crowd goes nuts over the wall. “FUCK THOSE DIRTY BEANERS!!” Proud Dad smiles with approval. #TrumpRally

A video posted by J.Troup (ASCAP) (@jtrouptv) on

“Troup managed to peacefully stand his ground during the bulk of the event until, once more black protestors had been kicked out, Trump supporters focused on him.

“The worst part was when their venom turned toward me,” Troup wrote. “There were protestors around me who got ushered out, and then people started pointing at me, motioning for the Secret Service to ‘get him out of there.’ Now mind you, I hadn’t uttered a single word the entire rally, but people still said things like ‘Well what about this one? He needs to go too!’”

Ultimately, Troup left the event feeling as if he’d witnessed something darker and more insidious than a simple political rally.


This is insane.  This campaign is really bringing out the worst in people.  But it’s not like these people weren’t already here, people of color have been telling you this the whole time.  However we’re starting to see some change and even Trump is backtracking on some of the scary things that he’s said around this.

Moreover, #NeverTrump does mean something, namely that he cannot be the president. Ever. Someone so lacking in character, knowledge and respect for the rule of law must lose; no person of good conscience should enable him to reach the White House.

Washington Post

Whoa. This 1964 Ad is Chilling.

This is pretty chilling.  Cross reference this with the way that Trump is acting as well as the way that the other candidates have pledged to support the candidate no matter what.  It’s rowdy.

The GOP is looking pretty rough these days.  Between Romney coming back and the possibility of a brokered convention, I don’t know what to tell you.


featured image from the daily show on facebook.

So About This Trump Thing

So I really feel like we are at the point where we all have to start covering our asses here.  Like if Donald Trump gets nominated and wins the general we all need to be able to present quantifiable evidence that we did everything that we could to keep it from happening.  I don’t know if that will be enough though.  I don’t know what will.

People say that a Trump nomination won’t happen or if so that he won’t become President.  But I don’t know about either of those things.  I am legitimately concerned about a Trump presidency.  I’ll be writing here about why I am concerned about that.

What is interesting to me is how how he has so many votes when no one I know is actually voting for him.  That will be fleshed out later too.

This post is part of The Argument, a new space here where we can argue about things.  There’s a companion facebook group that you can join here.  

Who Apologizes When a Black Conservative Says Something Dumb?

Seen above:  An Also-Ran.

So sometimes when something bad happens to african americans, a group of civil rights leaders denounce it.  Jessee Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.  They do a pretty good job.  Recently conservative news groups have been asking who should apologize and denounce the actions of people acting badly like rioters and looters.  It’s an effective but hollow argument in my opinion.

Even Shep Smith is tired of it.  So I guess that the point is that if a black person can denounce other people saying or doing bad things then they can denounce a black person who says or does bad things.  I mean, that makes sense.  When a fellow black person commits a horrible crime I get asked all the time if I’m going to denounce the crime that they committed, as if that’s a requirement.

But what about a black conservative?


Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.

“In 1969, those who would have completed the entire process would have received their acceptance letters from the Army Adjutant General,” said Theresa Brinkerhoff, a spokeswoman for the academy. She said West Point has no records that indicate Carson even began the application process. “If he chose to pursue (the application process), then we would have records indicating such,” she said.

When presented with these facts, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.

“Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit,” campaign manager Barry Bennett wrote in an email to POLITICO. “In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.”

“He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors,” Bennett added. “They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.”


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told graduates during a commencement address in the late ’90s that he believed the pyramids in Egypt were built by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain, and not, as most archeologists contend, as tombs for pharaohs.

In response to BuzzFeed’s story, CBS News reached out to Carson where he confirmed his theory on the pyramids hasn’t changed since 1998, saying: “It’s still my belief, yes.”


Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Thursday modified his story that he tried to stab someone as a youth after a CNN report cast doubt on the anecdote.

“Those claims are absolutely true,” Carson told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly of the story in his bestselling memoir, Gifted Hands, that his bad temper caused him to throw a knife at a friend during an argument over music. But Carson, a retired neurosurgeon whose book was made into a movie, did offer a modification: He said his target was a “close relative,” not a friend.

The stabbing tale has become an integral part of Carson’s telling of his life story. He said it led him to reflect on his life and become more religious.

CNN investigated the anecdote this week, talking to nine people who knew Carson during his childhood. The network reported Thursday that none of the sources recalled Carson having a temper as a teenager, and that they expressed disbelief at the violent stories in the book.

Other news outlets also have questioned Carson’s story, but he has repeatedly insisted the stabbing attempt is true.

In the book, Carson claims he threw a knife at a friend named Bob. He later admitted using a pseudonym to protect the person’s identity, but didn’t disclose this to readers.

On Thursday, he defended his handling of the controversy, arguing that he wanted “to protect the innocent” and clarifying that the person “was a close relative of mine.”

“I never use the true names of people in books, you know, to protect the innocent,” he said. “That’s something that people have done for decades, for centuries. That’s something that’s commonly done. The person that I tried to stab, I talked to today and said, ‘Would they want to be revealed?’ They were not anxious to be revealed, and it was a close relative of mine. I didn’t want to put their lives under the spotlight.”

So who is supposed to denounce this?  Do black people denounce it because a black person said it?  Quannell X?  Do republicans?  Do black republicans have to denounce it?  Did anyone write on Allen West’s wall?  What about that 13 year old punk kid that called out Obama the other day?  Is he supposed to denounce it?  Man, this is confusing.

It should be noted that since i originally posted this ben carson has said MORE DUMB STUFF.  I’ll update when I get a chance.


The Donald Trump Communications Course


Afterward, Trump was widely criticized for not correcting the man, for not acting, in fact, as that “loser” John McCain had, in 2008, when a questioner at one of his rallies described Barack Obama as “an Arab” whom she couldn’t trust. It would seem like the minimal act a decent candidate could undertake. One might ask the other Republicans in the race why they haven’t really found the opportunity to correct Trump—at this point, they’ve been on plenty of stages with him. On Friday, Lindsey Graham said that Trump should apologize for not acting as Graham’s friend McCain did, and Christie said that he would have handled the encounter differently—though he added that he didn’t want to “lecture” Trump. Otherwise, the Republican candidates were slow to speak. Trump is not just someone who stands by when the President’s faith, birthplace, or basic identity are put into question; he pushes that view. As recently as this July, when Anderson Cooper asked Trump if, with all the documentation out there, including a long-form birth certificate, he accepted that the President was born in America, Trump said, “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

But even more outrageous, this week, was Trump’s tolerance of the questioner’s premise: that Muslims in America are “a problem.” Calling Obama a Muslim is not wrong because being a Muslim is bad; it’s wrong because he is a Christian, and so “Muslim” becomes a shorthand for impostor and liar, for deceptive secret agent. Trump, though, went well beyond not defending the President: he affirmed an attack on the millions of Muslim Americans who are as much a part of the national community as anyone else. The man in the T-shirt’s actual point, after all, was about the supposed training camps “where they want to kill us.” He wanted Trump to answer his question: “When can we get rid of them?

The New Yorker

As of Today, 9/19/2016, Donald Trump is still leading the GOP polls.  By a large margin.  I mean, you tell me.

#DailyGram: Rob Candell Intensive

A post shared by Jeremy Gordon (@jeremyg36) on



So this means that we can call him a flip-flopper, right?  Like what happened to John McCain?