Politics

Henry A. Giroux: Trump’s War…

Trump’s unapologetic authoritarianism has prompted Democratic Party members and the liberal elite to position themselves as the only model of organized resistance in such dark times. It is difficult not to see such moral outrage and faux pas resistance as both comedic and hypocritical in light of these centrist liberals have played in the last forty years–subverting democracy and throwing minorities of class and color under the bus. As Jeffrey St. Clair observes, “Trump’s nominal opponents,” the Democrats Party are “encased in the fatal amber of their neoliberalism”[xi] and they are part of the problem and not the solution. Rather than face up to their sordid history of ignoring the needs of workers, young people, and minorities of class and color, the Democratic Party acts as if their embrace of a variety of neoliberal political and economic policies along with their support of a perpetual war machine had nothing to do with paving the way for the election of Donald Trump. Trump represents the transformation of politics into a Reality TV show and the belief that the worth of a candidate can only by judged in terms of a blend of value as an entertainer and an advertisement for casino capitalism.[xii] Chris Hedges gets it right in revealing such hypocrisy for what it is worth – a carnival act.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

He likes to imply that he is a very skilled golfer, claiming at times to have a 3 handicap, which puts him in the really good, almost pro category. However many of his playing partners have indicated that his scores don’t seem to reflect the number of swings he takes and/or the penalties he incurs. Nonetheless, like with his other embellishments, his “scoring” is not something so uncommon for many others who play the game, i.e., let’s not make this too big a deal.

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Carmen Firan/Commentary

Kayle Kaupanger, Unsplash Trump International Hotel And Tower Chicago. Chicago, United States. *** From Kafka’s Castle to Trump’s Tower by Carmen Firan very morning K waited to be called up into the Castle. A...

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Echoes of neo-Fascism are not only visible in Trump’s rhetoric but also in his policies. For example, his white supremacist ideology and racist contempt for Muslims was on full display in his issuance of an executive order banning all Syrians and people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. In doing so, Trump has not only made visible, and without apology, his embrace of the frenzied lawlessness of authoritarianism, he has also put into place an additional series of repressive policies for the creation of what might be called a democracy in exile.

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Thomas Klikauer/Commentary

The goal of Trump propaganda on this is to engineer a public perception so that the perspectives of such groups are invisible to everyone else, their interests are not weighted. This is designed to assure the following: if the members of the excluded group are without property, they will remain so; if they are without political power, they will remain so as well. In other words, Trump’s policies will favor those in his immediate orbit and those he perceives as relevant for re-election – everyone else will be excluded. At times, it appears as if Trump’s conception of liberal democracy only extends…to whites.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Trump’s presence in American politics has made visible a plague of deep seated civic illiteracy, a corrupt political system, and a contempt for reason; it also points to the withering of civic attachments, the collapse of politics into the spectacle of celebrity culture, the decline of public life, the use of violence and fear to numb people into shock, and a willingness to transform politics into a pathology.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Well, I was wrong. Donald Trump made it to center stage. The people have spoken. But in receiving phone calls and emails as to reactions to what transpired, I decided I needed to clarify a few things…

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Henry Giroux/Analysis

With Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, the scourge of authoritarianism has returned not only in the toxic language of hate, humiliation and bigotry, but also in the emergence of a culture of war and violence that looms over society like a plague.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

…the Trump phenomenon has helped to expose a rather uncomfortable image of what our American citizenry represents. In short, and irrespective of his remedies being not only off target but hardly believable (Trust him more because he is merely a businessman as opposed to Hillary ‘the politician’ – I mean c’mon!) he did hit a pronounced public vein pulsing with anger, confusion, disillusionment and distrust.

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Henry Giroux/Commentary

What happens to a society when thinking is eviscerated and is disdained in favor of raw emotion? [1] What happens when political discourse functions as a bunker rather than a bridge? What happens when the spheres of morality and spirituality give way to the naked instrumentalism of a savage market rationality? What happens when time becomes a burden for most people and surviving becomes more crucial than trying to lead a life with dignity?

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Maggie Hopp/PHotography

I was there at least a week before the actual election and shared a hotel room and a rental car with René Burri, a famous Magnum photographer (he had the car — I don’t drive — and I had the hotel room) …

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Importantly, and aside from whom should know better, the final choices left for the American public would seem to offer little “leadership” in terms of gaining a clear interpretation of the struggles we face, especially in regard to explaining the intricate relationship between democracy and capitalism.

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Andrea, O’Reilly Herrera/Art Review

Like CAFÉ — an exhibition of Cuban diasporic art conceived by Cuban artists Leandro Soto, Yovani Bauta and Israel León Viera, and curated by Soto — Grupo Neo-Latino conceptually acknowledges the fluid and conditional aspects of cultural and national identity formation.[8] Highlighting the themes of artistic translation, adaptation, synthesis and transformation, the group fundamentally recognizes that cultural identity is on a continuum and is always ‘in process’.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

We need to praise teachers, hold them to high standards, pay them the salaries they deserve, give them control over their classrooms, reduce class sizes and invest as much, if not more, in education as we do in the military-industrial complex. This is all the more reason to celebrate and call attention to those teachers in Chicago, Detroit and Seattle who are collectively fighting against such attacks on public schools. We need to praise them, learn from them and organize with them because they refuse to treat education as a commodity and they recognize that the crisis of schooling is about the crises of democracy, economic equality and justice. This is not a minor struggle because no democracy can survive without informed citizens.

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James Palombo/Politics

The logo’s effect was made even more poignant as IBM attached it to the clocks they continued to produce, to their corporate magazine and to many of the corporate initiatives and activities they sponsored. So it’s no surprise that throughout my career as an educator the logo remained significant, as it represented what should be going on in people’s heads, especially in the kind of progressive and powerful society that we seemed to be.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

My first wish would be that somehow, perhaps through a magical sense of legitimate political integrity and honest regard for our American experiment, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and John Kasich could find a way to all hold tri-presidential powers, leading our country’s way into a future filled with the theoretical and practical presence our history deserves.

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Treasures of Thomas Merton/Staff Report

What Smelcer discovered was the most significant “treasure trove” of Mertonalia in history. While numerous archives hold letters, notes, book drafts, etc., almost nothing personal of Merton’s was known to exist. Merton was, after all, a Trappist monk, and therefore poor of earthly possessions by choice. The trove included all the clothing Merton is wearing in photographs from the last years of his life: photos of him in his white monk’s habit and black hooded cowl; photos of him in his iconic denim jacket, jeans, and sailor cap. Everything. The collection included such sacred objects as his rosary and his personal Psalter (Latin hymn book for Gregorian chant). It also included notes, photos, letters, and audiotapes of him talking.

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