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The Cutting Edge: Blog of Ed Knudson
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Ed Knudson's Passing  11/3/2017  (693)

Health Issue  10/21/2017  (705)

Not Much Planning in Houston  8/28/2017  (837)

Members of Trump's Religious Advisory Council Have Not Resigned  8/25/2017  (812)

Slavery, Original Sin, and Redemption: A Statement of Faith  8/21/2017  (677)

A Stampede of Charities has Canceled Planned Fundraising Events at Trumpís Mar-a-Lago Club  8/21/2017  (718)

Church Leaders in Charlottesville Prepared for White Supremacists  8/16/2017  (697)

White House Staffer Fired Over Memo on Cultural Marxism (or, Critical Social Theory)  8/15/2017  (718)

Trump is a Drama Queen: Weak and Sniveling; Whiny, Weepy, Self-Pitying. But Fox News Loves Him  8/11/2017  (724)

Southern Baptist Pastor Calls for Holy War against North Korea  8/9/2017  (668)

There Will Be No Wall, Says John Kelly  8/1/2017  (674)

The Misuse of Martin Luther on Predestination  7/28/2017  (637)

John McCain Gives Heroic Speech Denouncing Terrible Thing That He Just Voted For  7/26/2017  (639)

Disgusting: Trump Attacks American Institutions in Speech to Boy Scouts  7/25/2017  (566)

Philosopher Richard Rorty Predicted Election of a Racist Strongman for President  7/24/2017  (621)

Washington Post Publishes Lots of Libertarian Nonsense  7/23/2017  (644)

The Spontaneous Order of James Buchanan; No Government Necessary for This Libertarian  7/19/2017  (622)

Republicans Fail Entirely on Health Care; Trump Turns Against His Voters  7/18/2017  (612)

Trump Had Morality Hammered Out of Him by His Family History  7/14/2017  (633)

Trump, Like Others Who Follow the Russian Atheist, Ayn Rand, is in Serious Trouble  7/14/2017  (690)

Trump and the Russian Mafia  7/13/2017  (600)

Ted Cruz's Free Choice Means Death to Thousands; the Myth of Personal Responsibility  7/13/2017  (597)

Trump Didnít Win the Working Class. The Democrats Lost It  7/8/2017  (644)

NRA Thinks White Alienated Males are Feeling Sorry for Themselves  6/30/2017  (614)

Widespread Rebukes of Trump's Blood Tweets; Calls for Retraction  6/30/2017  (592)

Peter Berger Dies. Our Knowledge is Not Our Own  6/28/2017  (727)

Not All Lutherans are the Same. Supreme Court Favors One Type Only  6/27/2017  (642)

Obamacare is a Conservative Model of Healthcare and is Failing; Now It's Time for Single Payer  6/27/2017  (716)

It's Clear Now: Putin Wanted Trump, Not Clinton  6/24/2017  (726)

Politics is a Knife Fight with No Rules, Says Grover Norquist  6/23/2017  (683)

This Should Happen All Over:  Union Ironworker Has a Plan to Beat Paul Ryan  6/21/2017  (732)

Triangulation Has Been Terribly Hurtful to Democrats  6/20/2017  (731)

Kitzhaber Exonerated; Oregonian Debases Itself Again  6/16/2017  (776)

Trump is Too Ignorant to be President; Doesn't Even Know What Christians Believe  6/16/2017  (713)

Dissent: Organizing in Red America  6/16/2017  (621)

It's the Racists Who Want Guns  6/15/2017  (716)

It Can Happen Here  6/13/2017  (745)

Surprise Victory for Social Democracy in England  6/9/2017  (704)

Before and After the Pill  6/8/2017  (748)

Dear Trump Appointees: Quit Your Jobs or Lose Your Souls  6/6/2017  (726)

Americans, Hang Your Heads in Shame  6/1/2017  (809)

Montana Republican So Afraid of the Press that He Attacks Reporter  5/26/2017  (816)

James Comey: The Fall of a Niebuhrian  5/15/2017  (806)

Management by Terror: Stalin and Trump  5/10/2017  (848)

The Cynical Use of Abortion by Politicians  5/6/2017  (823)

NCC Urges Churches to Refrain From Intervening in Political Campaigns  5/4/2017  (823)

Where Your Tax Dollar Goes  4/18/2017  (895)

Talking It Through  4/15/2017  (822)

False Community Consciousness and Local Radio  4/1/2017  (856)

Politicians Can Use Nostalgia to Manipulate the Minds and Hearts of People  3/31/2017  (868)

Two Forms of Governance: Big Corporations Want to Snoop about Your Internet Behavior  3/27/2017  (767)

Obamacare is Not Imploding, Can Be Improved  3/24/2017  (800)

The Soul-Sucking, Attention-Eating Black Hole of the Trump Presidency  3/24/2017  (773)

An Avalanche of Absurdities: Chris Hedges on the Rise of Trump and American Fascism  3/21/2017  (730)

Of Course Obama Wiretapped Trump  3/21/2017  (775)

Trump Glorifies American Militarism with German Leader, Embarrassing Himself  3/18/2017  (707)

Most of Trump's Voters are Not Poor, but Regular Old Republicans  3/18/2017  (725)

Robert Mercer and Big Money Chose Trump to be President, not the People  3/17/2017  (866)

Stirring Up Muslim Hatred; The Need for a New Election  3/16/2017  (803)

Old Republican Tactic: Stoke Fear of Crime  3/13/2017  (1093)

White People are Hurting Themselves  3/11/2017  (1052)

Basic Civics Lesson for Libertarians  3/8/2017  (970)

Public Trust: Post-truth is Pre-fascim  3/8/2017  (1061)

Martin Marty Center Publishes Column in Support of Disgraced White Nationalist, Milo Yiannopoulos  2/28/2017  (1257)

Trump is Not a Normal Politician and Was Not Elected Fair and Square  2/21/2017  (1305)

Trump is Using Immigrants as a Political Scapegoat: Very Bad  2/20/2017  (1150)

To Dominate Politics, Business Needs Religious Extremism  2/13/2017  (1139)

No Vision or Leadership from National Council of Churches  2/9/2017  (958)

Post-Factual Politics  2/8/2017  (1181)

Trump May Want a Terrorist Attack  2/7/2017  (1202)

For the Right Wing: Only Christians Deserve Religious Freedom  2/6/2017  (960)

Where Are the Reverends in Justice Movements?  2/3/2017  (1075)

Trump is Centralizing Power: Resist Fascism  1/30/2017  (1307)

Cry for Our Country: Spontaneous Demonstrations across America  1/28/2017  (1088)

Truth in the Trump Era  1/23/2017  (1083)

"We Will Not Go Away, Welcome to Your First Day"  1/21/2017  (1221)

Violence, Racism, Authoritarianism Characterize Trump's Inaugural Speech  1/21/2017  (1303)

First Things Doesn't Like that Trump Surrounds Himself with Prosperity Gospelers, Snake Oil Salesmen  1/17/2017  (1030)

Newt Gingrich Gets Trump Wrong: Why Southerners Hate the Federal Government  12/27/2016  (1149)

From Peace on Earth to an Election Based on Violence  12/23/2016  (977)

Bill O'Reilly Admits the Truth: For Republicans Elections are All about Race  12/23/2016  (1141)

No Mandate for Trump, Says Jeff Merkley  12/22/2016  (1153)

2010 Prediction: White People with Self-destructive Fantasies will Elect a Figure Like Trump  12/17/2016  (1024)

Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand: God is "I"  12/14/2016  (1129)

Russian Atheistic Ideas Now Dominate the American Political System  12/14/2016  (801)

Trump Over Performed the Most in Counties with the Highest Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Mortality Rates  12/9/2016  (804)

Back to the Catacombs for the Real Church  12/8/2016  (1129)

A Prayer for Standing Rock  11/12/2016  (988)

Trump Will Be Impeached within a Year  11/11/2016  (1268)

David Brooks on the Authoritarian Anti-Politics of Trump  11/10/2016  (1109)

An Anti-Trump Resistance Movement Begins with Protesters in Streets Nationwide  11/10/2016  (1120)

Hillary Lost Because of Her Husband's Economic Policies  11/9/2016  (1253)

Evangelicals Elect a Racist Pervert as President  11/9/2016  (1000)

Very Serious National Decline  11/9/2016  (1452)

The Silly Controversy about Hillary's Emails  11/7/2016  (1211)

Trump Offers to Rescue Lower Income White People in a Secular Rapture  11/2/2016  (1100)

The Crisis of Conservative Intellectuals  11/1/2016  (1141)

James Comey Should Resign or Be Fired  10/30/2016  (1151)

Traveling Luther's Life 500 Years Later  10/24/2016  (1015)

The Death of Tom Hayden  10/24/2016  (1175)

False Superiority Syndrome: A Terrible Disease of the European White Mind  7/22/2016  (1654)

Delusion: Ben Carson Thinks Saul Alinsky Worshipped the Devil  7/20/2016  (1188)

Understanding the Context for Preaching  7/16/2016  (1002)

Journalists Must Treat Trump Differently  7/15/2016  (1190)

Reading Grace in History through a Black Lens  6/26/2016  (1236)

A Dark Day for the UK  6/24/2016  (1013)

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Has Got to Go to Unite Democrats Against the Racist, Trump  5/27/2016  (1258)

John Caputo On Divine Sovereignty and the Weakness of God  5/23/2016  (1296)

A Corrupt Form of Christianity is Destroying the Republican Party  4/5/2016  (1389)

President Obama: 'We are Easter People'  3/31/2016  (1291)

Evangelicals are Not Voting Trump, Jacksonians Are  3/31/2016  (1173)

The Modern War on Drugs Began as Nixon's Racist Assault on Black People  3/24/2016  (1313)

Listen to a Black Man Standing Silently at a Trump Rally  3/15/2016  (1380)

Who Should be President? Strict Father or Nurturing Parent  3/3/2016  (1344)

Trump is a Fraud Who is Playing the American People as Suckers, Says Romney  3/3/2016  (1309)

Asked about Donald Trump's Wall, Pope Francis Suggests He 'Is Not Christian'  2/18/2016  (1314)

How the Portland Media Help Make Domestic Terrorists into Heroes  2/6/2016  (1375)

Flint, Michigan: Death Camp City  1/22/2016  (1306)

Privatization of Public Land is a Bad Idea  1/22/2016  (1520)

Peace Lutheran in Burns, Oregon, Requests Prayers  1/20/2016  (1408)

How the Iraq War Created ISIS: Crucial Information for Understanding Terrorism  12/6/2015  (1436)

Leading Republican Candidate Donald Trump: How Stupid are the People of Iowa?  11/13/2015  (1521)

CNN Repeats Stupid Claim by Pew Research that Religious 'Nones' Dominate Democratic Party  11/5/2015  (1473)

First Things has become Relevant to Only One Region of the Country: the South  11/2/2015  (1589)

Tell Ben Carson to Give Up His Presidential Campaign  10/27/2015  (1452)

Corporate-Funded Think Tanks have Created an Angry, Destructive Politics  10/24/2015  (1475)

Protestants Need a Pope  9/30/2015  (1519)

R.R. Reno at First Things is Disappointed by Pope Francis  9/25/2015  (1463)

Matt Taibbi on the GOP Clown Car  8/15/2015  (1788)

Pray to be Filled with Awe and Contemplation  8/12/2015  (1647)

Jurgen Habermas: A New Possibility for Europe  7/21/2015  (1790)

The Republican Party has become an Agent of Southern Religion, Racism and Anti-Unionism  7/20/2015  (1531)

Historic Day: Gay Marriage Affirmed by Supreme Court in All 50 States  6/26/2015  (1770)

Gun Manufacturers Cannot Be Christian says Pope Francis  6/22/2015  (1744)

Pope Francis Teaches Us about Climate Change and the Moral Imperative to Act  6/20/2015  (1716)

Cornel West Wows a Conservative University Audience  5/4/2015  (1937)

Police Violence in Baltimore  4/29/2015  (2123)

Bonhoeffer's Vision: An Outcast Church on the Margins of Society  4/25/2015  (1768)

The Debate Over Cornel West  4/21/2015  (1863)

Nebraska Doesn't Believe in the Free Market for Its Electricity  3/29/2015  (1787)

The New Political Mission of the Historic Protestant Church  3/16/2015  (1823)

When Fascism Comes to America; What Love of Country Really Means  3/1/2015  (1779)

Senators Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst Don't Know the Difference between Sunni and Shia Islam  2/28/2015  (2495)

The Shameful Media Attack on John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes  2/18/2015  (2210)

Francis Says God Loves the Marginalized  2/16/2015  (1637)

Rand Paul Disqualifies Himself  2/4/2015  (1963)

Oxfam Report: How the Wealthy Get Their Money by Not Working or Paying Taxes  1/26/2015  (1764)

John Boehner Wants The U.S. to go to War with Iran  1/21/2015  (1792)

Martin Luther on Charlie Hebdo: Sick Secularism and Billy Graham  1/14/2015  (4112)

Whose Speech is Actually Free?  1/14/2015  (1707)

Historic Protestant Speech is Not Free in America Today  1/14/2015  (1948)

Wall Street has Bought Itself a Congress  12/15/2014  (1630)

Democrats Move to Encourage an Elizabeth Warren Candidancy  12/10/2014  (1765)

Iowa Lutherans: Don't Vote for Joni Ernst  10/27/2014  (3471)

Wendell Berry and Incarnational Theology  10/21/2014  (1894)

Did God Kill Jesus? Moltmann on Anticipated Terror and Joy  10/10/2014  (1977)

Stop the Oil Train Bombs  10/2/2014  (2089)

The Terrible Self-Righteousness of George Weigel at First Things  9/19/2014  (1818)

Violence All Across the World, including Ferguson, Missouri  8/15/2014  (2128)

Reagan's View of History Still Prevails  8/15/2014  (1792)

Nick Hanauer: Beware, Fellow Plutocrats, the Pitchforks are Coming  8/13/2014  (1952)

Blowing Up Jonah: The Political Use of Religious Symbols  8/12/2014  (2099)

Listen to Rabbi Henry Siegman on Gaza: Killing Innocents  8/1/2014  (1896)

The Lost Iraq War  7/30/2014  (1756)

It is Not Anti-Semitic to Question Israel's Right to Exist as an Ethnic State   7/24/2014  (1834)

Republicans Elect Mark Walker: A Racist, Blasphemous, Baptist Pastor  7/23/2014  (2430)

There is No Religious Left  7/22/2014  (1987)

Crisis in Ukraine: A Bit of Background  7/18/2014  (1848)

Teachers Turn Against Obama  7/12/2014  (2091)

The Trouble With Brain Science  7/12/2014  (2087)

The Roman Catholic Supreme Court Decides What is 'Sincere' Religious Belief   7/1/2014  (2091)

Karl Polanyi and the Stark Utopianism of Market Fundamentalism  7/1/2014  (1999)

Corporate Provided Health Care Has To Go  6/30/2014  (1942)

Brookings Report on Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives  4/25/2014  (2200)

Coal Train Crisis Abates   4/16/2014  (2220)

Gay Marriage Ban Ending in England and Wales on Saturday  3/29/2014  (2162)

Obama Should Have Prosecuted the Bush Administration for War Crimes  3/28/2014  (2126)

A False Gospel: Corporate Christianity  3/27/2014  (2160)

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Social Justice in New York City  1/1/2014  (2395)

God is a God of Freedom: Pope Francis and Liberation Theology  12/21/2013  (2447)

America, America, the Country that Kills Its Prophets  11/23/2013  (2459)

Thinking about a New Protestantism  11/21/2013  (2360)

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The Next President will be a Woman and a Methodist, but not Hillary  11/11/2013  (2322)

Regular Republicans are Beginning to Reject Their Leaders  11/11/2013  (2151)

Pastors: Help Your People Understand Obamacare  11/6/2013  (2450)

Mothers and Grandmothers on Abortion  11/5/2013  (2555)

Why Obamacare is a Political Con Job  10/30/2013  (2431)

Very Disturbing Governance by Media Manipulation  10/4/2013  (2507)

A Reformation Pope  10/2/2013  (2358)

When the Big Money Mafia Rule  10/1/2013  (2446)

Obama Wins Shutdown Battle  10/1/2013  (2695)

Samantha Power: Protection of the Innocent  9/11/2013  (2615)

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Apocalypse: Life Beyond Empire and Environmental Destruction  9/9/2013  (2403)

Joining Obama Against Himself?  9/5/2013  (2638)

Arab Spring: Transfer of Power in Syria  9/4/2013  (2532)

Religious Conflict in the History of Syria  9/3/2013  (2518)

Hunger Games: The Divide and Conquer Marketing Strategy of Fox News  8/7/2013  (2740)

The Terrible Mendacity of Stanley Kurtz  8/5/2013  (2873)

Obama Speaks on Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case  7/19/2013  (2328)

Summer Heat: Elders Called to Engage in Civil Disobedience  7/18/2013  (2556)

Business Predators Must Be Forced to Stop Their Damaging Behavior  5/26/2013  (2615)

Pastors Create Public Consciousness  5/26/2013  (2727)

Kathyrn Tanner: The Social Trinity and Politics  5/26/2013  (2748)

Obama Failed to Appoint Competent IRS Leaders  5/22/2013  (2838)

Occupy Theology: Obama has Broken the Hearts of the Young  5/20/2013  (2318)

Corporate Conspiracy Theories in Pastoral Consciousness  5/17/2013  (2617)

The Gosnell Verdict and Abortion Politics  5/16/2013  (3182)

False Equivalence, the IRS, and the Right's Persecution Complex  5/15/2013  (2724)

The NRA: Southern Political Terrorism  5/14/2013  (2674)

Public Violence  4/17/2013  (2392)

A Teacher is Raised  4/8/2013  (2684)

Stop Coal Exports  3/27/2013  (2656)

Health Care Hogs Drive Up Costs  3/27/2013  (2436)

Manufactured Landscapes  3/23/2013  (2742)

About Death Camp Thinking  3/22/2013  (2695)

Marriage Equality Goes Mainstream  3/21/2013  (2645)

Hope for the New Pope  3/14/2013  (2769)

The End of a Catholic Moment  3/12/2013  (2610)

Wealth Inequality is Much Worse than Most People Believe   3/11/2013  (2470)

The Government is Making Us Old  3/11/2013  (2796)

Fairness Now Means to Tax the Rich More  12/10/2012  (2744)

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness:THE NEW JIM CROW  11/14/2012  (2912)

A Victory for Life  11/7/2012  (2612)

Romney is Not a Christian  11/5/2012  (2744)

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Why Does Romney Focus So Much On Apology?  9/12/2012  (2834)

A Way of Speaking that Wins Elections  9/6/2012  (2755)

Compared to Other Nations, America is Under-Taxed and More Unequal  8/31/2012  (2655)

Obedience, Not Liberty, is Highest Value for Real Conservatives  8/28/2012  (2864)

Romney Degrades Himself with Welfare Ad  8/28/2012  (2760)

Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All  8/3/2012  (2825)

Michele Bachmann: Say Stupid Things, Make Lots of Money  8/1/2012  (2629)

The Trees are Falling  7/14/2012  (3022)

President's Social Darwinism Comment Stirs Up Business Elite  4/16/2012  (2720)

Today is My Last Day at Goldman Sachs  3/14/2012  (2760)

Creation is Broken: Against Utopian Conservatives  3/9/2012  (2825)

Women have Spoken: The End of Rush Limbaugh  3/9/2012  (2809)

Nazism and Public Schools: Catholic Bishops Want Public Money for Their Own Schools  2/25/2012  (3220)

The Cynical Use of Religion by Economic Elites  2/23/2012  (3291)

The Continuing Attack by Religious Right against Mainline Christianity  2/22/2012  (3112)

A Phony Public Theology  2/22/2012  (2703)

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Social Policy in Pastoral Consciousness: Who Should Serve the 'Poor'?  2/16/2012  (2907)

Bishops Reject Obama Compromise, the Devil is Forcing Birth Control  2/14/2012  (2930)

Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It  2/13/2012  (2811)

Romney Believes Constitution is Divine  2/11/2012  (2835)

Santorum Reveals His Political Philosophy with Comment on French Revolution  2/10/2012  (5442)

Legal Aspects of the Contraception Debate  2/9/2012  (2835)

Catholic Bishops Want Freedom to Oppress Women  2/8/2012  (3426)

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Wall Street to be Investigated  1/25/2012  (3197)

Obama Tells Truth about Economy  12/7/2011  (2826)

God Demands Justice  11/17/2011  (2978)

Understanding Protest Movements  11/15/2011  (2646)

Chris Hedges: People Have Finally Woken Up  10/8/2011  (2740)

A New Economic Strategy for Wall Street Protests  10/5/2011  (2907)

Wall Street Occupation Protest - Live Video  9/26/2011  (2805)

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Wall Street Hates the Tea Party  8/4/2011  (2863)

The Instability of the American Political System  7/27/2011  (2975)

Fukuyama on The Origins of Political Order  4/15/2011  (2881)

Obama Punches Back  4/13/2011  (3024)

Punish the Poor  4/9/2011  (3211)

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The Republican Attack on Poor Women  2/20/2011  (3006)

A Real Spirit of Peace  2/11/2011  (3010)

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The People Own the Streets  2/2/2011  (3118)

Political Violence Works  1/13/2011  (3137)

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Should the Rich Rule?  11/3/2010  (2983)

The Liberation Theology of Abraham Lincoln  10/12/2010  (3202)

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Violence, Racism, Authoritarianism Characterize Trump's Inaugural Speech

Put your mind a few miles up in the sky over the United States, high enough so you can see the whole United States and all its cities, but low enough so you can see where moving trucks are moving people from place to space. Then fast forward a sort of movie film of what you see from about the second world war which ended in 1945. What you see is the "settlement patterns" of Americans over that period. And the primary pattern in cities would be blacks moving from the South to northern cities and then white people moving out of cities into suburbs and leaving the inner cities to black people.

I spent several years in black Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. I was there when Martin Luther King came one summer to lead a "movement to end slums" which was not so successful as his campaigns in the South. I learned then that "slums are profitable," that lots of white people make lots of money from black slums, especially slum landlords. It is not black people who created slums, it was white people trying to make as much money as possible.

And white people have not wanted to do anything to make life better in the inner cities over these past decades. They have blamed blacks. The only thing whites will pay for are more and more police in black areas.

Now along comes Trump and in his inaugural speech the inner cities play a big role. He mentions them again and again and refers to them as "carnage" full of gangs and drugs. He is here making another racist appeal to white people, reinforcing the racist views of whites about inner cities, trying to portray himself as the great white savior, the one who will be able to save white people from the hordes of threatening black people, save white people from that terrible black president of the past eight years who Trump had claimed was not even a citizen of the United States. It was racists who voted for Trump, who responded to his racist rhetoric.

Racism is at the center of the history of the United States, the civil war, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the settlement patterns of cities across the country. And Trump talked about all this with very violent rhetoric, talk of carnage and blood.

And then, of course, he painted such a bleak picture of the United States left after the first black president that only he could save. Trump placed himself as the savior of the country. It is all going to stop right here right now, as he takes power. Wow, he has quite a high view of himself but it reminds me of authoritarian dictators. The facts are that immigration is down, there are more Mexicans going back to Mexico right now than are coming here. Crime is way down. Unemployment is way down. Lack of health insurance is way down. But Trump says Obama was a "disaster". And many white people agree emotionally, without thinking, based on their racism, reinforced by right wing radio every day all day for the last eight years. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levine and the others talk racism constantly, filling the minds of white people with anger, hostility, fake news and political ideas actually opposed to their own self interest. Just listen to them, as I have done from time to time. You will hear talk about the inner cities all the time, just as Trump did in his inaugural speech, talk that is based on fear, fear of those terrible black people.

We actually, emotionally, are not far from the civil war and lynchings. White people really still hate black people and have elected a president based on racism. What is strange is that northern whites, whose forbears gave their lives fighting against slavery, respond so willingly to violent, racist talk against blacks. White people living around cities such as Detroit literally and viciously hate black people in the city, have allowed Detroit to become a wasteland in many ways. And then these whites, having moved away and refused to tax themselves in such a way as to help the city, even while they enjoy the benefits of living next to the city, blame black people for the conditions of the city. They allow their minds to be blinded by their racism to their own responsibilities and the way they have been benefitted by government and the city.

It is all very irrational. Racism is irrational. But that is what Hitler used to unite white Germans against Jews, blaming Jews for the problems of the country. Trump has blamed blacks and immigrants and this won him the election. But they are not our problem, just as Jews were not the problem in Germany. But it makes me worry because in this country we seem to be moving to an era of such a high level of irrationality that we will never be able to actually see and solve our real problems. Fascism is highly irrational. And now we have a president who is so irrational, who speaks in such a way that you cannot believe anything that the man says. Words don't matter to him. Only being the center of attention matters to him. In a majority white nation he has learned how to speak against blacks in a way to earn the adoration of whites. But in so doing he is going to literally wreck the country. His election is a very serious sign of the decline of the nation.

In his speech he used the phrase "America First". Steve Bannon is probably behind the use of this phrase; he knows what it means historically. It refers to a movement in the 1930s of those who admired Hitler, people like William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul, and Charles Lindberg. They didn't want Roosevelt to go to war with Hitler. They admired authoritarian leadership and nationalism. So that is what Trump apparently wants to associate himself with, he wants to be the "great leader". Only he can save the country from the carnage of the blacks and browns.

Dan Rather has been listening to inaugural speeches for a lot of years. Here is what he thought of Trump's speech.
And so it begins.

Of the nearly 20 inaugurations I can remember, there has never been one that felt like today. Not even close. Never mind the question of the small size of the crowds, or the boycott by dozens of lawmakers, or even the protest marches slated for tomorrow across the country. Those are plays upon the stage. What is truly unprecedented in my mind is the sheer magnitude of quickening heartbeats in millions of Americans, a majority of our country if the polls are to be believed, that face today buffeted within and without by the simmering ache of dread.

I have never seen my country on an inauguration day so divided, so anxious, so fearful, so uncertain of its course.

I have never seen a transition so divisive with cabinet picks so encumbered by serious questions of qualifications and ethics.

I have never seen the specter of a foreign foe cast such a dark shadow over the workings of our democracy.

I have never seen an incoming president so preoccupied with responding to the understandable vagaries of dissent and seemingly unwilling to contend with the full weight and responsibilities of the most powerful job in the world. I have never seen such a tangled web of conflicting interests.

Despite the pageantry of unity on display at the Capitol today, there is a piercing sense that we are entering a chapter in our nation's evolving story unlike one ever yet written. To be sure, there are millions of Donald Trump supporters who are euphoric with their candidate's rise. Other Trump voters have expressed reservations, having preferred his bluster to his rival's perceived shortcomings in the last election, but admitting more and more that they are not sure what kind of man they bestowed the keys to the presidency. The rest of America - the majority of voters - would not be - and indeed is not - hesitant in sharing its conclusions on the character and fitness of Donald Trump for the office he now holds.

The hope one hears from even some of Donald Trump's critics is that this moment might change him. Perhaps, as he stood there on a grey, drab, January day, reciting the solemn oath of office demanded by our Constitution, as he looked out across what Charles Dickens once called the "city of magnificent intentions", he would somehow grasp the importance of what he was undertaking. Perhaps he would understand that he must be the president of all the United States, in action as well as in word. Perhaps, but there has already been so much past that is prologue.

There is usually much fanfare around inaugural addresses. They are also usually forgotten - with some notable exceptions. I think today will be remembered, not so much for the rhetoric or the turns of phrase but for the man who delivered them and the era they usher us forth.

Mr. Trump's delivery was staccato and there was very little eye contact as he seemed to be reading carefully from a teleprompter. His words and tone were angry and defiant. He is still in campaign mode and nary a whiff of a unifying spirit. There was little or nothing of uplift - the rhetoric of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, or Reagan. We heard a cavalcade of slogans and one liners, of huge promises to "bring back" an America - whatever that really means to many who look at our history and see progress in our current society. The speech started with a message of an establishment in Washington earning riches on the back of struggling families across the country. It was an odd note, considering the background of many of his cabinet picks. President Trump painted a very dark picture of the current state of our nation, beset by gangs and drugs and violence, regardless of what the data shows. His words swelled with his economic populism and the nationalism of "America first." The applause was sparse, and I imagine many more being turned off, even sickened, rather than inspired by what our new President had to say. President Obama looked on with an opaque poker face. One could only imagine what he was thinking.

It bears remembering that one never can predict the arc of a presidency. It is an office that is far too often shaped by circumstance well beyond its occupant's control. Those challenges, wherever and however they may rise, now will fall on the desk of President Trump. We can only see what will happen. We hope, for the security and sanctity of our Republic, that Mr. Trump will respond to the challenges with circumspection and wisdom. Today's rhetoric was not reassuring.

Our democracy demands debate and dissent - fierce, sustained, and unflinching when necessary. I sense that tide is rising amongst an opposition eager to toss aside passivity for action. We are already seeing a more emboldened Democratic party than I have witnessed in ages. It is being fueled by a fervent energy bubbling from the grassroots up, rather than the top down.

These are the swirling currents about our ship of state. We now have a new and untested captain. His power is immense, but it is not bestowed from a divinity on high. It is derived, as the saying goes, from the consent of the governed. That means President Trump now works for us - all of us. And if he forgets that, it will be our duty to remind him.

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