The Tragedy of 2016

 

Hillary Clinton’s speech about Donald Trump and the alt-right is excoriating. She didn’t need to lie, spin, or exaggerate. All she needed to do was describe Trump and the company he keeps. She did so competently.

The odds seem to me overwhelmingly high that she’ll be elected. She may well be working with a Democratic Congress. GOP primary voters handed her the only candidate in the firmament whom she could handily trounce.

Midway through, she says, “The last thing we need in the situation room is a loose cannon who cannot tell the difference — or doesn’t care to — between fact and fiction. And who buys so easily into racially tinged rumors.” Any other candidate would have been able to keep the focus on Clinton’s own inability to distinguish between fact and fiction. But Clinton’s species of dishonesty pales in comparison. Hers is the typical self-serving dishonesty of all politicians, magnified. Trump’s is that of a man living in a malign fantasy world. He seems to believe his own lies. They’re dangerous lies to believe.

And what a tragedy. The Republican Party will not easily recover from this. GOP primary voters have in effect left us with a one-party state. The party with which we’re left is full of rotten ideas, but this election won’t be about that. It will — properly — be about keeping a loose cannon who can’t tell between fact and fiction out of the White House.

I’ve read the Democratic Platform through. The word “investment” is used 74 times. In almost all cases, it’s a euphemism for “increased federal spending.”

We need an economy that prioritizes long-term investment over short-term profit-seeking.

The Democratic Party believes that supporting workers through higher wages, workplace protections, policies to balance work and family, and other investments will help rebuild the middle class for the 21st century.

We will increase investments to make quality childcare more affordable.

And we will fight for robust funding to end homelessness in our cities and counties once and for all, through targeted investments to provide the necessary outreach, social services, and housing options for all populations experiencing homelessness.

If we are serious about reversing the decline of the middle class, we need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and put millions of Americans back to work in decent paying jobs in both the public and private sectors.

And we will protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems. These investments will create secure, good-paying middle-class jobs today and will substantially increase demand for American-made steel and other products manufactured in the United States.

Democrats will make investments to spur the creation of millions of jobs for our young people.

Democrats will spur investment to power the rural economy.

And we will make investments in affordable housing near good jobs and good schools.

We will continue to work on a government-to-government basis to address chronic underfunding, and provide meaningful resources and financial investments that will empower American Indian tribes through increased economic development and infrastructure improvements on tribal lands.

We believe that by making those at the top and the largest corporations pay their fair share we can pay for ambitious progressive investments that create good-paying jobs and offer security to working families without adding to the debt.

Bold new investments by the federal government, coupled with states reinvesting in higher education and colleges holding the line on costs, will ensure that Americans of all backgrounds will be prepared for the jobs and economy of the future.

There is almost no discussion of the conditions that lead to private investment. There is not a single use of the phrase “national debt.” The word “debt” is used 21 times; of these, 13 involve promises to make college debt-free. In one case, it explains: “We believe that by making those at the top and the largest corporations pay their fair share we can pay for ambitious progressive investments that create good-paying jobs and offer security to working families without adding to the debt.” No hard numbers are on offer. There is the usual promise to make the shortfall appear by “[tackling] waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Suggesting that the Democrats haven’t learned a thing from experience, there’s this promise: “We must make sure that everyone has a fair shot at homeownership. We will keep the housing market robust and inclusive by supporting more first-time homebuyers and putting more Americans into the financial position to become sustainable homeowners.”

This election should have been about these ideas. Instead, it’s about keeping an outright lunatic away from the nuclear codes. “A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military,” she said. And she’s right.

Had the GOP leadership been braver, Paul Ryan would have given the speech Hillary Clinton gave. He could have defined conservatism in opposition to Trump. But he didn’t. The failure of the GOP leadership to repudiate Trump ensures that the GOP will be tainted by him, and in all likelihood unelectable, for years to come. The GOP was given a choice between Clinton and dishonor. They chose dishonor, and now we will have Clinton.

 

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There are 278 comments.

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  1. Henry Castaigne Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: “A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military,”

    As far as I know, I have never heard of any accusation of Trump actually racially discriminating against someone. It’s bad business and bad for the bottom line and most importantly, doesn’t make Trump look good. He has said racist things but I haven’t heard him do anything racist.

    • #1
    • August 25, 2016, at 10:53 PM PDT
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  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Henry Castaigne: As far as I know, I have never heard of any accusation of Trump actually racially discriminating against someone

    There are seven documented incidents of people seeking apartments in his properties filing complaints about “discriminatory practices” with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. In 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case accusing Trump of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968: Look up United States of America v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc. They settled in 1975. There’s a long treatment of it here:

    Under the federal Fair Housing Act, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division brought a landmark complaint against the Trump organization in 1973. The suit charged that the Trumps refused to rent to blacks. After a year and a half of furious legal and rhetorical combat, the Trumps, in 1975, agreed to a consent decree described by the head of the housing division as “one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated.” It required Trump to advertise vacancies in minority papers, promote minorities to professional jobs, and list vacancies on a preferential basis with the Open Housing Center of the Urban League.

    Last March the Justice Department complained that Trump was in contempt of the consent decree and filed pending motions in Brooklyn federal court to compel compliance. The new complaint charges that “racially discriminatory conduct by Trump agents has occurred with such frequency that it has created a substantial impediment to the full enjoyment of equal opportunity.”

    The evidence for the original charge against Trump was largely obtained through Urban League testers — white and black — who sought apartments in various Trump-owned complexes. Whites got them; blacks didn’t. The case was also based on a series of individual complaints to Eleanor Holmes Norton, then chairperson of the city’s Human Rights Commission. Norton resolved a half-dozen individual cases by compelling Trump to admit black complainants. She asked the federal government to look for a pattern. But perhaps the most compelling evidence came from Trump employees and former employees.

    According to court records, four superintendents or rental agents confirmed that applications sent to the central office for acceptance or rejection were coded by race. Three doormen were told to discourage blacks who came seeking apartments when the manager was out, either by claiming no vacancies or hiking up the rents. A super said he was instructed to send black applicants to the central office but to accept white applications on site. Another rental agent said that Fred Trump had instructed him not to rent to blacks. Further, the agent said Trump wanted “to decrease the number of black tenants” already in the development “by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.”

    • #2
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:03 PM PDT
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  3. DocJay Inactive

    She’d have beaten Jeb Bush handily.

    The only chance Trump has is to have wiki leaks or someone expose such overt mega corrupt treasonous bribed actions that it shames the FBI / DOJ / this administration and the entire media who is forced to report it because everyone is talking about it.

    BTW, the whole racist issue is tiresome for average people despite whatever Trump has done or said. The PC beat down has left a lot people sick. It may not work on indies quite the way you think

    • #3
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:32 PM PDT
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  4. genferei Member

    Long before Trump even entered the race many on this site – including me – called the race for Hillary. It was always going to be the Hillary vs Hitler election, no matter the GOP candidate. To say that Trump is uniquely vulnerable to these attacks is to ignore the historical record of the Democrat MediaComplex.

    • #4
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:35 PM PDT
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  5. Henry Castaigne Member

    DocJay: BTW, the whole racist issue is tiresome for average people despite whatever Trump has done or said. The PC beat down has left a lot people sick. It may not work on indies quite the way you think.

    Well now I have to do alot of homwork to see if Trump has actually done anything racist. Furthermore, I suspect every business ever gets tons of these complaints. It’s not like he voted against the Civil Right voting act so I know definitively that he’s done racist actions.

    • #5
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:35 PM PDT
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  6. Squishy Blue RINO Inactive

    Thank you Claire, I could not agree more.

    As a third generation Rapist American I have zero interest in white identity grievance politics and the flaccid, inept personality cult that is calling the shots for the GOP.

    Hillary is a money grubbing thug, but Trump made his bones stoking bigotry against my ethnicity. His ignorance, incoherence, narcissism, and delusional thinking are all secondary issues. His bigotry against me and the Providence of my birth sealed his fate with me on day one.

    I hold that against the GOP and I will vote accordingly.

    • #6
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:51 PM PDT
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  7. DocJay Inactive

    Henry Castaigne:

    DocJay: BTW, the whole racist issue is tiresome for average people despite whatever Trump has done or said. The PC beat down has left a lot people sick. It may not work on indies quite the way you think.

    Well now I have to do alot of homwork to see if Trump has actually done anything racist. Furthermore, I suspect every business ever gets tons of these complaints. It’s not like he voted against the Civil Right voting act so I know definitively that he’s done racist actions.

    I would also think if someone was such a racist pig in private it would have been reported by many people. I’m inclined to think he likes groups that adore him and pandered to that crowd. Not surprising for a narcissist. What he truly believes is tough to discern because of his pandering.

    Someone is welcome to correct me with something more meaningful than DNC talking points. I’m talking about being heard saying [ horrific perjoratives ]or something equally unsavory that exposes a deeper issue.

    • #7
    • August 25, 2016, at 11:59 PM PDT
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  8. rico Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She didn’t need to lie, spin, or exaggerate.

    I agree that she didn’t need to, but in fact, she did lie, spin, and exagerate at several points throughout her speech. She also employed guilt by association and innuendo in devious ways, and manipulated context.

    I also agree that she did so competently.

    • #8
    • August 26, 2016, at 12:12 AM PDT
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  9. rico Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Had the GOP leadership been braver, Paul Ryan would have given the speech Hillary Clinton gave. He could have defined conservatism in opposition to Trump. But he didn’t. The failure of the GOP leadership to repudiate Trump ensures that the GOP will be tainted by him, and in all likelihood unelectable, for years to come. The GOP was given a choice between Clinton and dishonor. They chose dishonor, and now we will haveClinton.

    Yours is a popular view around here, but I disagree. I think Speaker Ryan has played it about right. He has been critical of Trump’s most egregious “sins” while stressing the need to hold the party together. He recognizes that outright repudiation of the party’s nominee is electoral suicide, especially in down-ballot elections. Defining conservatism in opposition to the nominee is not going to impress the voting public positively. TheTrump taint was indelibly applied to theGOPthe moment it became clear that he would be the nominee. Let’s not forget thatGOP elites hid under their desks when they had the opportunity to defeat Trump by supporting the remaining conservative candidate against Trump down the stretch.

    TheGOPwill survive the dishonor, although greatly weakened. TheRickWilsons of the world will be happy to pick up the pieces after the debacle, and assist in the parties shift to the center. Conservatives will become about as politically influential as libertarians are now.

    The obvious solution would be to go all out to avoid the debacle.

    • #9
    • August 26, 2016, at 12:49 AM PDT
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  10. rico Inactive

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Suggesting that the Democrats haven’t learned a thing from experience, there’s this promise: “We must make sure that everyone has a fair shot at homeownership. We will keep the housing market robust and inclusive by supporting more first-time homebuyers and putting more Americans into the financial position to become sustainable homeowners.”

    I agree with your sentiment here, but since I’m a bit cranky right now I’ll ask for your indulgence on a quibble. It’s not that the Dems haven’t learned from experience — they’re not ignorant — it’s what they’ve learned. They’ve got an issue that is political gold. They’ve learned that they can exploit it for political gain and used the eventual housing bust to tighten government regulations on lenders.

    • #10
    • August 26, 2016, at 1:05 AM PDT
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  11. Profile Photo Member

    Speaker of the House is a lot like being a mediator–the work is thankless but crucial–and the only way you know you’re doing it right is if everyone hates you.

    • #11
    • August 26, 2016, at 2:22 AM PDT
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  12. Percival Thatcher

    DocJay: She’d have beaten Jeb Bush handily.

    Plus Pataki and Kasich. But Jeb was down there with the worst.

    • #12
    • August 26, 2016, at 2:38 AM PDT
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    All I can do is remind my family and friends of color that Hillary is the same candidate that accused Obama of “Shuck and Jiving”–and that she isn’t healing anything by focusing on a handfull of extremists and insinuating that comprises the beliefs of all 15 million who voted for him. I do this not because I support Trump or Hillary, but to contain the blowback from the explosive materials Politicians eagerly drop in our laps to win elections. That is the most sickening part of everything. Forget the conspiracies, forget the mocking, that they would have us hate each other to win.

    This country would be less divided if we all distrusted our Politicians before one another. If there is a silver lining to this election–please let it be that.

    • #13
    • August 26, 2016, at 2:44 AM PDT
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  14. Scott Wilmot Member

    I’m not here to defend Donald Trump, because I can’t. But to shout racist is all Hillary Clinton has. You’ve shown she has no policies to run on. As a matter of fact, why is she running for President other than from a self-serving point of view.

    This game can be played both ways. Does it bother you that Hillary is supported by the racist BLM movement? Does it bother you that she has sold her soul for money to mysoginistic, anti-Semitic ME governments? This makes her as racist as Trump.

    One could go on and on about her taking away your 1st and 2nd amendment rights.

    I am so sick of the shouts of racist from the progressives. And I am sick of Donald and Hillary.

    The situation in our country was beautifully told on yesterday’s Potomac Watch podcast. The story was about the “Cajun Navy” and how the good citizens of Louisiana immediately went to work to help each other out, regardless of race or status. And now, the government is looking in to whether or not there need to be regulations set on future “navies” being allowed to enter disaster zones.

    America is full of good people and our government gets in the way to screw everything up.

    God help us, please.

    • #14
    • August 26, 2016, at 2:52 AM PDT
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    Scott Wilmot:I’m not here to defend Donald Trump, because I can’t. But to shout racist is all Hillary Clinton has. You’ve shown she has no policies to run on. As a matter of fact, why is she running for President other than from a self-serving point of view.

    This game can be played both ways. Does it bother you that Hillary is supported by the racist BLM movement? Does it bother you that she has sold her soul for money to mysoginistic, anti-Semitic ME governments? This makes her as racist as Trump.

    One could go on and on about her taking away your 1st and 2nd amendment rights.

    I am so sick of the shouts of racist from the progressives. And I am sick of Donald and Hillary.

    The situation in our country was beautifully told on yesterday’s Potomac Watch podcast. The story was about the “Cajun Navy” and how the good citizens of Louisiana immediately went to work to help each other out, regardless of race or status. And now, the government is looking in to whether or not there need to be regulations set on future “navies” being allowed to enter disaster zones.

    America is full of good people and our government gets in the way to screw everything up.

    God help us, please.

    Amen to this.

    • #15
    • August 26, 2016, at 2:56 AM PDT
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  16. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    As a ninth generation American (no hyphens required) whose ancestors are of Spanish Texan and French Canadian origin, I have no interest in ethnic or racial grievance mongers nor in so-called leaders who have no desire to secure the border or protect the well-being of my fellow citizens, be they soldiers serving in Libya or civilians living along the border.

    The unwillingness of so many Democrats like Hillary or establishment Republicans like Jeb! to secure the posterity of Americans long ago sealed their fate with me, and I will vote accordingly. And that means voting for the candidate who privileges American interests over those of foreigners: Donald Trump.

    • #16
    • August 26, 2016, at 3:05 AM PDT
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  17. Marion Evans Inactive

    “We need an economy that prioritizes long-term investment over short-term profit-seeking.”

    A well-known joke on Wall Street is: what is the definition of a long-term investment? It’s a short-term investment that didn’t work out.

    “Long-term” is a great way to avoid accountability.

    The only reasonable investments by government are infrastructure and security/defense. And I am not sure about the first. A lot of it could be private.

    • #17
    • August 26, 2016, at 3:20 AM PDT
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  18. Marion Evans Inactive

    The great thing about this campaign, the silver lining of a bad choice, is that each candidate speaks the truth about the other. No need to lie. There is enough damning material on both sides. How often do we get that?

    • #18
    • August 26, 2016, at 3:24 AM PDT
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  19. Profile Photo Member

    Mike LaRoche:As a ninth generation American (no hyphens required)

    Not to create conflict, but to broach understanding–lots of us hyphen because we have to. I would much rather list myself as American, but Driver’s License, Census data, and my Job all require I list my ethnicity. It becomes routine.

    The Census battle GOP waged was yet another lost opportunity to make Conservatism the logical choice for American minorities. “We believe all citizens to be American” would have gone a long way. But here we are, thinking people do things because they want special consideration or something else. Racism is a tool of Politicians.

    • #19
    • August 26, 2016, at 3:33 AM PDT
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  20. Instugator Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: There are seven documented incidents of people seeking apartments in his properties filing complaints about “discriminatory practices” with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. In 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case accusing Trump of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968: Look up United States of America v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc. 

    If one is a racist because 40+ years ago the organization run by one’s father discriminated against 7 people, then the term no longer has meaning.

    Since the label ‘racist’ is about the most vile accusation one American can levy against another I would honestly have to insist that the evidence of the claim be recent (say in the last decade) and actually committed by the person in question.

    Everything else is breathless hyperbole and diminishes the rest of the author’s writing.

    • #20
    • August 26, 2016, at 3:39 AM PDT
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  21. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    DocJay:She’d have beaten Jeb Bush handily.

    Jeb’s the only one she would have handily beat, I think; I think almost any of the others would have been at least competitive and several would have trounced her.

    There’s probably going to be a whole lot of blame to go around and I do think Jeb and his supporters are going to figure heavily into it.

    • #21
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:23 AM PDT
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  22. Guruforhire Member

    Am I to understand that Ricochet is now a portal for dark and ugly libel? Has the code of conduct been thrown out of the window?

    • #22
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:32 AM PDT
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  23. genferei Member

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Jeb’s the only one she would have handily beat, I think; I think almost any of the others would have been at least competitive and several would have trounced her.

    Excuse me if I doubt this. Any of the sixteen would have been The Worst Human Being Ever (TM). Only they would have apologised more. (I’m not saying Trump will necessarily do better than any of the others would have, just that expecting a ‘trouncing’, or even better-than-Romney competitivity, strikes me as ahistorical.)

    • #23
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:36 AM PDT
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  24. Kofola Inactive

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:

    DocJay:She’d have beaten Jeb Bush handily.

    Jeb’s the only one she would have handily beat, I think; I think almost any of the others would have been at least competitive and several would have trounced her.

    There’s probably going to be a whole lot of blame to go around and I do think Jeb and his supporters are going to figure heavily into it.

    I suspect that when we’re clearing the rubble after this disaster, this will be the one thing most of us will agree upon.

    • #24
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:36 AM PDT
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  25. genferei Member

    It’s good to know that the only racist in the country in the opening years of the ’70s was Donald Trump, personally training letting agents and doormen – against their wills, obviously – to discriminate in New York’s otherwise notoriously colour-blind housing market. Makes you wonder why the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was needed.

    • #25
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:45 AM PDT
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  26. KC Mulville Inactive

    This election reminds me of what the movie Patton said about war:

    By God, I don’t see the wonder in them. Killing without heroics? Nothing is glorified? Nothing is reaffirmed? No heroes, no cowards, no troops, no generals. Only those who are left alive, and those who are left… dead.

    We’re having an election in which nothing is glorified, and nothing is affirmed. It’s just killing without heroics. In an election where everyone is unhappy and demanding change, we’re going to get Obama’s third term, by way of the ultimate corrupt insider.

    Nobody could have beaten Hillary? That’s pretty sad. Doesn’t say much for the usefulness of political parties, does it?

    • #26
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:46 AM PDT
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  27. Basil Fawlty Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Henry Castaigne: As far as I know, I have never heard of any accusation of Trump actually racially discriminating against someone

    There are seven documented incidents of people seeking apartments in his properties filing complaints about “discriminatory practices” with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. In 1973, the Justice Department filed a civil rights case accusing Trump of violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968: Look up United States of America v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump and Trump Management, Inc. They settled in 1975. There’s a long treatment of it here:

    In The Village Voice? Written by a self-described “community organizer”? Really?

    • #27
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:46 AM PDT
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  28. Skyler Coolidge

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: The Republican Party will not easily recover from this. GOP primary voters have in effect left us with a one-party state.

    Who cares about the party? It’s the ruination of our government that’s important. The party brought this on themselves and destroyed our hopes for freedom, possibly forever.

    • #28
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:49 AM PDT
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  29. Dave Carter Contributor

    Of the two candidates, I’m aware of only one who has made proud claim to having been mentored by a member of the KKK, or who speaks glowing of the late segregationist, Senator William Fulbright, or who has spent their entire adult life enabling and providing cover for a serial abuser who has brutalized women across the country.

    • #29
    • August 26, 2016, at 4:53 AM PDT
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  30. Patrick McClure Member

    Guruforhire:Am I to understand that Ricochet is now a portal for dark and ugly libel? Has the code of conduct been thrown out of the window?

    Does everybody get to play by the new rules of freewheeling hate and libel?

    Am I going to get a formal written apology for my past redactions based upon the standards of conduct in the OP and the various editors contributions?

    Don’t be silly GFH. Just like Hilary, the rules don’t apply to those in power. Only those of us out in the hinterlands. So our betters get to do as they please and we best shut up IF WE KNOW WHATS GOOD FOR US.

    Scott Wilmot: This game can be played both ways. Does it bother you that Hillary is supported by the racist BLM movement? Does it bother you that she has sold her soul for money to mysoginistic, anti-Semitic ME governments? This makes her as racist as Trump.

    I fear for Scott’s well-being, having pointed out the weakness of this post.

    • #30
    • August 26, 2016, at 5:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
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