Lies, Hot White Trash, and the 2016 U.S. Elections

The most psychopathic and tawdry Presidential campaign in American History has 25 Days to go.

NBC had to fact check Trump on a lie usually found on far right websites.

When faced with his taped descriptions of sexual assault Donald Trump
decided to play gaslight.

In a public act of psychological abuse Donald Trump invited the three women who accused Bill Clinton off sexual assault when he was President into the audience.

Rather than apologize for and take responsibility for the deplorable
language on those tapes Trump forced 66.5 million people to watch
as he humiliated the Clinton family at what was supposed to be a
‘Town Hall’ debate over public policy.

Any woman who has ever had a husband who was unfaithful understood
the emotional stamina it took for Hillary Clinton to stand in that room.

Trump and his flying monkeys worked to normalize his behavior at that
debate and with a surprising degree of success:

A Screenshot of the headline of the New Delhi Times which reads Despite 'Lewd' Tape Scandal, Trump does better at Second Debat
Despite ‘Lewd’ Tape Scandal, Trump does better at Second Debate

A Bit of Context

The Gingrich GOP took congress in 1994 with the help of a newly established right wing media that fed on the classist contempt that elites on both political sides had for Bill Clinton.

Below is the cover of a 1994 New York Magazine article called White Hot Trash:

The August 22, 1994 issue of New York Magazine. which features a slightly overweight blond with her legs spread under the Title White Trash Nation
The August 22, 1994 issue of New York Magazine. Bill Clinton had made us a White Trash Nation.

“Traditionally, the label white trash has been applied to selective members of the white underclass—a rapidly growing group. In 1990, according to the census bureau, 24.5 million Caucasians were below the poverty line, up 29 percent from 17.3 million in 1980 (these figures are somewhat misleading as they include white Hispanics). “In raw numbers,” notes conservative thinker Charles Murray, “European-American whites are the ethnic group with the most people in poverty, most illegitimate children, most women on welfare, most unemployed men, and most arrests for serious crimes.

But demographics are only part of the story. What’s alarming is not so much the burgeoning number of people with low-rent circumstances as the exponential spread in stereo-typically white-trash behavior, whether exhibited by those in the underclass or by figures like Roseanne Arnold and Bill Clinton.” New York Magazine

Calling Bill Clinton our first Black President was not a compliment.

“After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas. And when virtually all the African-American Clinton appointees began, one by one, to disappear, when the President’s body, his privacy, his unpoliced sexuality became the focus of the persecution, when he was metaphorically seized and body-searched, who could gainsay these black men who knew whereof they spoke? The message was clear: “No matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how much coin you earn for us, we will put you in your place or put you out of the place you have somehow, albeit with our permission, achieved. You will be fired from your job, sent away in disgrace, and—who knows?—maybe sentenced and jailed to boot. In short, unless you do as we say (i.e., assimilate at once), your expletives belong to us.” Toni Morrison October 1998

Prior to Bill Clinton, a President’s sexual indiscretions were off limits for the press and the opposition party:

“Several factors introduced restraint into coverage of politicians’ sex lives. High-minded journalism, of the sort found at The Times, the New York Tribune, or the Associated Press, disdained the traditions of the Gilded Age yellow newspapers and their tabloid successors in favor of fairness, professionalism, and propriety. Starting with Theodore Roosevelt, presidents began to see that the escalating interest in them as personalities, even celebrities—including the hunger for details about their families, recreational habits, and the like—represented less a threat than an opportunity for them to shape the news. Availing themselves of the new public-relations experts, such as Edward Bernays and Bruce Barton, they regained some control of their public images. They took influential journalists into their confidence, making them part of a governing elite. By mid-century, the New York Times journalist James Reston spoke of the “cozy relationship between reporters and officials,” in which he himself reveled. As the historian John Summers has written, a “psychology of insulation” buffered officials from undue probing, making it unthinkable that someone like Ben Bradlee, then the Washington bureau chief for Newsweek, would blow the whistle on the affairs of his friend Jack Kennedy.

If the press’s Gilded Age aggressiveness had been born of a desire to weaken the ruling class, now the press—or the agenda-setting part of the press, anyhow—belonged to that ruling class.

It has become common to look back on this period of restraint as an embarrassment. We wince at a press corps that was too enamored of power, or too spooked by World War and Cold War anxieties, to expose our leaders’ feet of clay. We routinely describe the press as having “covered up” for JFK. But reporters weren’t covering up for Kennedy so much as they were abiding by their era’s social and professional codes, which regarded politicians’ personal lives as privileged realms”. The Atlantic, October 2011

The political use of such a private matter to humiliate a sitting President offended most reasonable Americans.

Bill Clinton’s job approval rating in the first quarter during which the Lewinsky situation became public knowledge (1st quarter 1998) jumped 5.6 points compared to the immediately preceding quarter. Gallup

Bill Clinton left office with in 2000 with a 66% approval rating because the people understood that the Lewinsky Scandal was the result of a six-year campaign to find something to bring down his Presidency.

Hillary Clinton was not spouting paranoid fantasy when she claimed a right wing conspiracy was working to subvert her husband’s administration.

David Brock describes it in Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Brock alleges that Arkansas state troopers took money in exchange for testimony against Clinton which Brock had published in a previous book. Adam Curtis also discusses the concept in his documentary series The Power of Nightmares. Brock agrees with Clinton’s claim that there was a “Right wing conspiracy” to smear her husband, quibbling only with the characterization of it as “vast”, since Brock contends that it was orchestrated mainly by a few powerful people.  MSNBC also described the comment as once-ridiculed but now taken more seriously by “many Democrats” who point “to the well-documented efforts by conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife to fund a network of anti-Clinton investigations.

Wikipedia entry, Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

For a deeper understanding of the GOP campaign to subvert the political careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton I recommend viewing the Hunting of the President.


What About Today?

As of October 2016, the GOP has continued to use smears and disinformation techniques to obstruct the political agenda of our first Black President. The campaign against President Obama includes, First Lady Michelle.


Bill O’Reilly: “I Don’t Want To Go On A Lynching Party Against Michelle Obama Unless There’s Evidence”

So, why are  Donald Trump’s followers also obsessed with and terrified by debunked  and unsubstantiated rumors about Hillary Clinton?

These political ads produced by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and aired this year in different parts of the Commonwealth provide a clue:

Published August 9, 2016

Published July 21, 2016

According to the NRSC Website, The NRSC (National Republican Senatorial Committee) is the only national organization solely devoted to strengthening the Republican Senate Majority and electing Republicans to the United States Senate.

Published May 22, 2016

Democrat Senate candidates need to ask themselves a question. Can they really support Hillary Clinton? She’s a living history of scandal, lies and spin. Defended an accused child rapist then laughed about his lenient sentence. Whitewater. Travelgate. Chinagate. Filegate. She politically attacked sexual harassment victims. Pretended she landed under sniper fire. Benghazi. The Clinton Foundation. FBI investigation. Ruthless. Fake accents, fake concerns and fake laughs. Hillary Clinton. She is the living embodiment of everything people hate about politics. Democrat senate candidates, she is your burden to bear. I am a real person. NRSC is responsible for this ad.

These ads are lies told in the most frightening possible way!

I find it disturbing that the RNC is ok with this kind of sleaze.

We don’t need to blame Russia for subverting the political process in the United States.

The GOP brought weaponized disinformation to our political discourse in the 1990s when Gingrich disseminated a list of talking points and smears as a replacement for discussion of public policy.

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control by Newt Gingrich

How can the voters know the facts when the leadership of one
of America’s major political parties lies as a strategy for winning
and keeping public office?

With Patriots like these, who needs enemies?

Yahoo Headlines October 12, 10:19 PM NewsMax predicts the end of the World

(C) Rob Goldstein 2016

All videos found in the  NRSC archives at the Internet Archives











15 thoughts on “Lies, Hot White Trash, and the 2016 U.S. Elections

    1. It’s hard to say…

      Disinformation campaigns work best when there are no media alternatives.

      The fact that disinformation is so effective for the GOP suggest that its base has voluntarily cut itself off from other media and is not able to discriminate between fact and confabulation.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderful post. I loved Toni Morrison’s words, but then, I always do. I’ll be glad when it’s over, but I’ll be ill at ease forever, knowing how many people think … (don’t think) in certain ways, without reason. This election has really brought to light all the ugly I hadn’t noticed. Silly me, I thought what I saw was ugly enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The media creates a narrative and if we’re not careful we end up believing it: the most recent narrative is the one where high ranking members of the GOP have reached the absolute limit of their moral tolerance for Trump and have no choice but to dump their nominee:

      But if you look you realize that on October 4th the GOP released a political ad that is little more than a slickly packaged visual version of a Trump speech.

      The cynical politics of the GOP are the reason our nation suffers the humiliation of Trump as a political nominee for President.

      I see no evidence from the GOP that it intends to end its practice of using smear campaigns and disinformation as strategies to win elections.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Rob,

    The way the republicans have hounded the Clintons, the Obamas, the next democrat president will fare no better. Only this time, our future First Lady is someone who has survived all their attempts to bury her for over 40 years. She is going to need a lot of support to succeed.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to say that I am so deeply appalled by this election that there are times when I react as if I’m under attack, which may be precisleey what is happening.

      Do the people of the United States fully understand the depth of Trump’s sickness?

      Do we fully understand that Trump’s first act after he arrived at the debate was shitting on it by using it as a forum for
      the humiliation of Hillary Clinton and her family?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It feels like an eternity.

      It was interesting to discover that the RNC is approving political ads in State Races that have absolute nothing to do with policy or the truth.

      We don’t need Putin to subvert our political process with lies when the GOP is already doing it.

      Liked by 2 people

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