From Tennis to Terror

Posted: September 1, 2016 in New Post

I spent yesterday in New York City at the U S Open Tennis Tournament. It was a lovely late summer day doing what I love, being around people who share a common passion for the game. It was an international gathering, full of interesting people from many different cultures and backgrounds both on and off the court. It was extremely crowded, but whether walking around, standing in line, or in the cramped grandstands watching a match, everyone I met was polite and accommodating. Smiles and comradely overcame any cultural or language differences. We moved over so others could sit, stepped aside for others to pass, and shared high fives when our favorite player made a great shot. Some waved the flag of their country, some wore hijabs, some wore yarmulkes, some like me wore ball caps. We were all united, enjoying the sport.

And then last night I came home. I turned on the television, which was tuned to MSNBC, and was treated to the rantings of an orange monster projecting a vomit of fear and hate all over an audience that seemingly enjoyed the spray. It was the opposite of what I had just experienced in New York, a crowd of angry, hateful bigots cheering on their grand wizard spewing a litany of lies. The America he described was unrecognizable as he painted a picture of a nation on fire that will burn to the ground unless they put him in charge. Follow him, he said, and famine would end, disease would vanish, and their lives would no longer be threatened by the “other”. And by the “other” he meant anyone who was not of white European heritage. It was a speech that could have been given in Germany or Italy in the 1930s. It was sickening.

The analysis that followed, however, further advanced the false legitimacy of the would be dictator. Treating his incendiary provocation as if it were a real policy speech, Steve Kornacki and a panel of experts tried to explain what we just heard. On the panel was Hugh Hewitt, MSNBC’s latest effort in it’s right wing nut-job outreach program. It was a great speech, Hewitt told us, and a great day for the dictator-in-waiting and all real Americans. Moderate republicans, who were appalled his candidacy, could now vote for him because he stood next to Mexico’s president without shooting him on live television. In addition, the dictator-in-waiting will be humane as he tears apart eleven million families and exiles his opponent, Hillary Clinton, along with them. Hewitt was not alone, as his enthusiasm for the racist rhetoric was shared by the likes of grand wizard David Duke and other white supremacists. This is what now passes as legitimate political discussion, the rantings of a bigot and his support among a blood thirsty mob of racists. Only Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino expressed the horror of was just smeared across the television screens of America and the world.

There are many questions I have been pondering after last night’s chilling reminder that our democracy is on the eve of destruction. Where is the so called liberal media? Where are the voices like Edward R. Murrow? Have they been replaced by the likes of Hugh Hewitt? And how could such a lovely late summer day in New York end with a chilling reminder that a dictator-in-waiting is determined we never enjoy a day like it again?





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