Brian Tashman's blog

Trump Ad Features Building He Said Let 'The Terrorists Win'

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign released a new ad today that has already come under criticism for boasting about a Trump economic plan that the candidate himself doesn’t even support.

The ad ends with the Trump campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” over a view of One World Trade Center, the tower that was built at the site of the World Trade Center.

The tower’s inclusion in the ad is curious because Trump himself was a vocal opponent of the One World Trade Center project. As Betsy Woodruff at The Daily Beast reported last year, Trump claimed that the design of the tower let “the terrorists win.”

“I don’t want to have the terrorists win ... and that’s what’s going to happen if we build this pile of junk,” he said.

Trump had proposed instead building a taller version of the Twin Towers, calling the design that was ultimately chosen “disgusting,” “just terrible,” “a catastrophe” and “the worst pile of crap architecture I have ever seen in my life.”

Trump Adviser: God Will Judge America If We Don't Elect Donald Trump

Last month, pastor Ramiro Peña spoke with televangelist Jim Bakker about his role as an adviser to Donald Trump, warning that if Trump isn’t elected president in November, God will judge America for failing to support a candidate who would try to do away with abortion rights.

“When a nation continues to go that direction, it will come under God’s judgment,” he said. “We need to ask God to have mercy on our nation and if we’re waiting for a perfect candidate to come along, don’t hold your breath, we will never have a perfect candidate. People, especially of my culture, say to me, ‘How can you support Mr. Trump when he has said these things?’ Look, I know what the other side looks like and it is so bad. Mr. Trump has said specifically, ‘I will appoint pro-life justices to the United States Supreme Court.’”

Peña added that while Hillary Clinton would hand the Supreme Court over to a “pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage philosophy,” Trump would help the country “get back to the biblical values that founded our nation, a nation that was founded for God.”

Later, Peña cited the writings of Chuck Pierce, a self-proclaimed prophet, to suggest that God is raising up Trump’s candidacy, while Bakker’s co-host Zach Drew cited “prophet” Rick Joyner’s claim that “patriotism is going to win in America” because the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory was a message from God.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/26/16

  • Travis Gettys @ RawStory: Alex Jones seethes in rage over Clinton’s jabs: ‘They have created a fake Alex Jones!’ 
  • Jason @ BigMedia: Republican candidate’s Facebook meme: “Hillary Meal Deal, 3 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, and a bunch of left wings.” 
  • Joe.My.God: Pastor Who Said Pulse Victims “Got What They Deserved” Arrested For Child Molestation.

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 8/26/16

  • Bryan Fischer helpfully explains that “God has not called us to be nice” because “nice people are weak.” 
  • William Gheen says that if Trump “diverges” on immigration, then Nativists like himself “will be his worst enemy.” 
  • Paul Hair warns that the “Obama regime is using the U.S. Department of Agriculture to evangelize deviancy in traditionally traditional rural America.” 
  • Kent Bailey writes the “moral bankruptcy of Hillary Clinton is a bottomless pit, but it graphically illustrates how secular legalism and post-Christian “morality” are the driving forces behind America’s regressive march back to the primitive, godless and pagan roots of humanity.” 
  • Day Gardner of the National Black Pro-Life Union thinks black voters are under a trance: “It's infuriating that in this high tech day and age, many of my black brothers and sisters are of a 'stepford' mentality, sleep walking in a politically robotic-like existence. I want to shake them and say, wake up, smell the roses and the coffee! Stop voting for the same old politicians while hoping for different outcomes—face it ... it's not working!” 
  • Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission declares that Hillary Clinton has embraced “a heretical liberal theology”:

Jim Bakker: People Are Trying To Kill Me For Believing The Bible

Televangelist Jim Bakker, who has been warning his viewers that he is on the verge of getting shut down and thrown into jail as America collapses, told his audience last month that people are trying to kill him and other pastors simply for preaching from the Bible.

“If you disagree today with somebody who disagrees with the Bible and you speak, but they have an agenda and if you won’t stop, they are going to kill you,” he said. “Do you understand this? We have never lived in a day of our time, in our history of America, where you couldn’t have an opposite opinion. Now they’re determined to wipe out all of those who disagree with them. That to me is hideous. Protesting is one thing if you do it quietly and hold up a sign and say I don’t agree with you; killing you—that’s what they’re calling for now, they’re calling for death.”

While Bakker didn’t say who was trying to kill him, the program showed news clips about the shootings of police officers and a Breitbart article about random Twitter users calling for the death of policemen.

Jim Garlow: We Must Educate Donald Trump On The Threat Of 'The LGBTQ Radical Agenda'

American Family Radio host Sandy Rios aired an interview today that she conducted recently with California-based pastor Jim Garlow about the New York meeting Garlow attended with Donald Trump and hundreds of the country’s most prominent Religious Right leaders.

Garlow said that while Trump addressed the purported attacks on religious freedom in America at the meeting, “I was on a panel right after he left and I said someone will need to help him connect the dots between religious liberty—what’s causing it, overwhelmingly, is the LGBTQ radical agenda that’s pressed upon us.”

“The radical homosexual agenda,” Garlow went on to say, is “at the epicenter of most of the loss of our religious liberty at our present time.”

“The potential for the silencing, punishing, shutting out of Christians in the public square is just imminent,” Rios warned.

Trump Adviser: God Is Using Donald Trump To Save America

Last month, Donald Trump campaign adviser and Baptist preacher Ramiro Peña appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” to discuss his work with the GOP presidential nominee, whom Peña sees as God’s candidate in the race.

Bakker kicked things off by warning that President Obama wants to “federalize the local police,” which Peña said “was too much of a reflection of Nazi Germany and the takeover, federalizing everything, it’s just too spooky and it’s just wrongheaded all the way around.”

The conversation then turned to floating debunked conspiracy theories about George Soros fomenting race riots in order to bring America down, which prompted Peña to declare that Trump could be the leader who saves America from destruction.

Peña likened Trump to Cyrus the Great, the Persian king revered for liberating the Jews, saying that regardless of Trump’s personal faith, “the Lord can choose a person and use a person whether he knows him or not.”

Despite Trump’s record in the gambling business, Peña explained, the GOP nominee is clearly God’s candidate: “If God was to choose Donald Trump to raise up and he’s the one He wants to use, then who am I to say no?”

Pat Robertson Is Still A Vince Foster Truther

Today on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson revived the debunked allegation that Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in murdering former administration aide Vince Foster, who died of suicide.

“All the records on that have now disappeared,” he said. (They haven’t.) “So they’re trying to clean up their tracks before somebody goes investigating some of that stuff too.”

Robertson has been spreading the conspiracy theory that the Clintons murdered Foster and others since the early 1990s.

David Duke: Donald Trump Speaks Like An Alt-Right Leader

Yesterday, Louisiana-based white nationalist and U.S. Senate candidate David Duke reacted to the news of Hillary Clinton’s upcoming speech about Donald Trump’s ties to the alt-right, a racist movement championed by Duke, by noting that Trump speaks just like alt-right leaders.

Duke said that Clinton “is really concerned and really scared because she realizes that there’s a sleeping tiger in this country, European-Americans, that are waking up to the realization that every right they have—the real racism in America is against white people.”

He praised Trump for capitalizing on these grievances and attempting to drive up the GOP’s share of the white vote, a strategy heralded by white nationalists as the key to political success.

“No candidate in this country would dare even stand up and say, ‘Yes, I definitely am going to defend the rights and the heritage of European-Americans,’” he continued. “One can go on to say, ‘Yes I want to respect the rights of all but I believe our people have rights too and the ethnic cleansing of America has got to stop.’ I believe this is a sleeping tiger that is easily awakened.”

Trump, Duke went on to say, “has energized European-Americans in sort of the implicit statements he makes, such as ‘take America back,’ and we’re going to take America back.”

While Trump Champions The Alt-Right In America, Putin Spreads Its Ideology Through Europe

For years, the GOP has been moving away from its identity as a traditional center-right party and morphing into something that more resembles the populist fringe parties of Europe.

Donald Trump’s candidacy has all but completed this transformation. If anyone still had doubts, Trump’s hiring of Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon was the clearest sign yet that the Republican Party has become a vehicle for what in the U.S. is known as the ‘alt-right’ movement.

The alt-right thinks the mainstream conservative movement has been compromised by feminism, racial tolerance and “globalism,” and that only a reactionary, populist movement that speaks to the plight of white men can save America from political correctness and multiculturalism. The alt-right is drenched in racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and misogyny. But that didn’t stop Bannon from calling his outlet “the platform for the alt-right.”

While avowed white nationalists have always had a place in the conservative movement—most recently, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa proudly detailed his white supremacist views to a cable TV audience—Trump has thrown such forces into the mainstream.

Trump’s view of America as a weak, crime-ridden and chaotic place would resonate with any regular reader of Breitbart’s news coverage.

Breitbart News depicts an America where white people are under attack from the Obama administration, anti-Christian feminists and LGBT rights activists, African Americans who seek to discriminate against white people, Latino immigrants obsessed with rape and violence, and Muslim refugees who support terrorism.

The U.S. isn’t the only country experiencing a surge in the alt-right’s ideology. Anti-immigrant ethnic nationalists are on the rise in Europe, and European far-right leaders from France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen to the Dutch politician Geert Wilders have jumped aboard the Trump Train.

This is all good news to one of the European far-right’s most enthusiastic backers: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia under Putin’s leadership has been promoting ultraconservative political groups in Europe with the goal of weakening the EU and the liberalism, democracy and cultural pluralism that comes with it. The National Front, a French political party rooted in Holocaust denialism and anti-immigrant sentiment, is open about its financial links to Russian banks, and neo-fascist parties including Jobbik of Hungary, Vlaams Belang of Belgium and the Northern League of Italy likewise have Russian ties.

“As European far-right leaders openly voice their support for Moscow, it would be wise to remember that Putin’s Russia is not just another ‘meddling power’ lobbying for its interests,” writes Alina Polyakova. “It is a government hostile to the West and the value system—democracy, freedom of expression, political accountability—that it represents.”

The Syrian refugee crisis has presented a great opportunity for these far-right movements in Europe to spread their messages of xenophobia. Russia, whose bombing campaigns in Syria have ravaged the civilian population, has been happy to help promote the anti-refugee message. Russian state-sponsored media outlets have enthusiastically fanned the flames of anti-refugee suspicion, bolstering the far-right’s criticism of how the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have approached refugee resettlement.

The Russian government has also sponsored a global right-wing effort to portray the U.S. and Europe as victims of cultural rot due to homosexuality, abortion rights and secular government, and Russia as the protector and preserver of traditional Christian values. In 2014, major conservative groups from the U.S. and Europe convened at the Kremlin to praise the government’s crackdown on LGBT rights advocates while lamenting the social liberalism in their home countries.

Trump, who aspires to be the Russian president’s “new best friend,” has praised Putin as “a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” and has seemed to side with Putin’s position on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and shared in fueling doubts about the future of the EU and NATO. Trump’s campaign is stacked with officials with Russian ties and, at least according to his eldest son, his businesses have seen “a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Merkel, on the other hand, has been a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, and the GOP nominee has dubbed Clinton “America’s Angela Merkel.” (Just to show how far to the right the GOP has drifted, Merkel is the leader of Germany’s main center-right party).

Beyond his expressed support for Russian policies, Trump seeks to govern in the same illiberal, authoritarian manner that Putin has demonstrated, itching to dilute the freedom of the press and laws barring war crimes and human rights abuses and deport undocumented immigrants and refugees legally settled in the country. Like the Religious Right activists who have rallied behind Putin, Trump believes that Christians have been sidelined and marginalized in America, promising to return them to their rightful positions of power.

Such contempt for civil rights, diversity and democracy pervades the alt-right, which calls for a more “masculine,” racially chauvinist response to a society it sees as weak and rootless. One alt-right meme shows “President Trump” congratulating Putin, both decked out in military garb, “on retaking Constantinople.”

While Trump and the alt-right emerged without the help of the Russian government, Putin’s display of authoritarianism and aid to far-right movements have helped bring their ultraconservative designs into the political mainstream.

(This post also appears on the Huffington Post).

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