Fighting the Right

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?”

Is David Barton Biblically Illiterate Or Just Deliberately Misleading His Audience?

During his radio broadcast yesterday, right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton said that we here at Right Wing Watch mock him for saying that Jesus opposes the minimum wage, but that is only because "it is highly unlikely that they even know what is in the Bible."

Of course, it is because we have read the Bible and know what it says that we mock Barton's absurd misrepresentations. And, amazingly, Barton provided a perfect demonstration of just how he misrepresents the Bible yesterday while trying to prove that we are the ones who don't understand what it says.

Barton did so when he again cited the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20 to make the case that Jesus opposes the minimum wage:

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The proper context for understanding this parable is that, in Matthew 19, the disciples asked Jesus who can get into heaven and Jesus responded that everyone who believes in Him will be saved, but cautioned that "many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."

Jesus then illustrated this point with the parable of the vineyard in order to explain that no matter how late in one's life one comes to Christ, the heavenly reward is the same; those who embrace Christ on their deathbed will receive the same eternal reward as those who are devoted Christians all of their lives because of God's generous love. Jesus was telling his disciples that those who dedicate their lives to Christ early on cannot complain when those who come to Jesus later also receive the same heavenly reward.

But that is not how Barton interprets this parable, as he instead skews it to claim that it was Jesus who hired the workers and then used the situation to teach them about the evils of the minimum wage and government regulation.

"In Matthew 20:15, Jesus says, 'Is not my money to do with as I please?'" Barton said. "'I'm the employer. Don't I get to decide what I'm going to pay everyone in this thing?' No, no, no, the government has a minimum wage. No it didn't. Jesus says, 'My money is mine to do with as I please and, by the way, you made a contract with them.' And then he tells the guy, 'If you didn't like the contract, you can go down the road to another vineyard and see if they'll pay you two silver coins for what you did, but you agreed to work for me for that.'"

"So what you have here," Barton continued, "is Jesus says, 'The government doesn't tell me how much to spend, I get to choose my own wages and, two, if you choose to work for me for that, you have an agreement, we have a contract; and three is if you've got greater skill, you can sell it to somebody else for a higher price, you can go down the road.' That's all free market stuff, there's no government regulation of wages; and by the way, Right Wing Watch, that is the minimum wage. Government doesn't tell you want to pay an employee, you make a contract with that individual for whatever they agree on and what you agree on, and if the don't like that, they can use the free market to go somewhere else and try to get more. All of that is in Matthew 20."

Obviously, all of that is not in Matthew 20. In fact, none of that is in Matthew 20, because it was not Jesus who hired and paid the laborers, it was a landowner in the parable He was telling to illustrate His point about heaven. On top of that, nowhere in the parable does it say that if the workers don't like the payment they received, they can take their services elsewhere—in fact, that wouldn't even make sense considering that it was a lesson about eternal salvation and Jesus teaches that "no one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus certainly wasn't saying that if you don't like God's way of doing things you can go find some other god to worship! 

So, David Barton, we do know what is in the Bible and that is how we know that you're interpretation of it is so often laughably wrong. 

Bryan Fischer Decries Name-Calling, One Day After Calling LGBT Activists 'Bigots' And 'Haters'

As we have said time and time and time and time again, Bryan Fischer is a lot of things, but self-aware is not one of them, which is something he continues to demonstrate with alarming regularity on his radio program.

In the latest example, Fischer declared on his show yesterday that liberals reflexively call conservatives "bigots" or "homophobes" or "Islamophobes" because they seek to use name-calling as a way to shut down debate since liberals know that they can't make substantive arguments.

"Name-calling is the first refuge of a man without an argument," Fischer said. "So, when somebody starts calling you a name, that's an indication they know they are out of intellectual ammunition, they cannot defend their position."

That is an interesting claim to hear someone like Fischer make, since just the day before, on his Wednesday radio program, he spent a segment engaging in all sorts of name-calling against LGBT activists.

"There's no tolerance there on the left," Fischer fumed. "They say they're the voices and the paragons of tolerance and compassion. They are anything but. They're cruel, they're mean-spirited and they're hateful. You want to know where the hate is in the whole discussion about homosexuality? It's on the left! They are the haters. They are the bigots. They are the anti-Christian haters, they're Christophobes, virtually every last one of them."

Dolores Huerta Joins Arizona Latino Leaders to Get Out the Vote Against Trump, McCain

PHOENIX—Today, civil rights leader and People For the American Way (PFAW) board member Dolores Huerta joined Arizona Latino elected officials and community leaders for a press conference kicking off PFAW’s new campaign, Trumpublicans: Reject Trump and the Republicans / Trumpublicanos: Rechaza a Trump y los Republicanos. The campaign targets the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino extremism of Donald Trump and Senate Republicans. In addition to the press conference today, PFAW launched radio and digital ads in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida making clear that Trumpublicans / Trumpublicanos — those who are supporting Trump whether by voting for him or helping him implement his agenda — stand against Latinos.

Key statements from press conference participants:

Civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta:

“In 1972, Cesar Chavez and I were organizing in Arizona. Cesar was doing a 25-day water-only fast to protest an unjust law that prevented farmworks from striking or boycotting in his home state of Arizona. I met with some Latino professionals in the state and we discussed all the barriers they faced to making change, and all the reasons why Arizona couldn’t do it. But I know the power our communities can yield. When they said, 'no we can’t, no se puede,' I said 'si se puede, yes we can!' We’re at a similar juncture now. Can we beat Trump, McCain, and Arpaio and continue to make progress for working families right here in Arizona? Si se puede, yes we can, through our votes!

“There’s no Trump ‘pivot.’ He is the same man still pushing policies of mass deportation and portraying immigrants as criminals. From Day One, Trump has run a bigoted campaign that goes against American values, and that should disqualify him from the presidency. No leader, no matter their party, should be voting for him. Yet to this day, McCain and his Republican Party are blocking any action on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. They instead hope that a President Trump will fill it. And Trump, McCain, and the Republicans oppose the policies that we support, like DACA and DAPA, raising the minimum wage and enacting policies to ensure equal pay for equal work.”

Congressman Ruben Gallego:

“While the Constitution is clear that Senators are supposed to advise and consent on judicial nominations, Senators McCain, Flake and their Republican Party are refusing to do their jobs. They’d rather have Donald Trump, who believes immigrants are rapists and doesn’t believe a federal judge can be impartial just because of his heritage, appoint the next Supreme Court justices. We can’t let Trump appoint the next justices and we can’t let Republicans be the ones in control of confirming Supreme Court justices. That’s why Arizona Latinos can and will vote in record numbers to reject Trump and McCain this November.”

State Representative Rebecca Rios:

“Donald Trump seeks to win this election by painting our communities as dangerous. He’s attacked a federal judge because of his Mexican-American heritage, called immigrants 'killers,' kicked Jorge Ramos out of a press conference, and so much more. It’s not just Trump’s hate that makes it so important for us to vote against him. He, McCain, and the Republicans stand against us on so many issues. They deny the science of climate change, for example, even though our state keeps seeing record heat and exorbitant energy bills that are hurting working families and the elderly. And that’s not to mention the public health issues that will only get worse as Republicans continue to ignore climate change.”

Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo:

“A vote for McCain is a vote for Trump. McCain’s trying to have it both ways: he’ll criticize Trump every once in a while, but ultimately, he’s still voting for him, he’d still like Trump to fill Supreme Court vacancies. Trump’s campaign of painting immigrants as ‘rapists’ and ‘drug dealers’ goes against everything we stand for as a nation. His mass deportation policies are despicable, and I’m ashamed that our Senator is still standing by him. In November, we need to use our votes to send a message to Trump, McCain, Arpaio and their allies. It’s the votes of Latinos in Arizona that could decide this election.”

LUCHA executive director Alejandra Gomez:

“Donald Trump’s divisive, hateful bigotry is reason enough make every effort to turn out to vote and bring our friends and neighbors too. But let’s not forget the damaging economic policies that Trump, McCain, and the Republican Party stand behind. They’re against raising the federal minimum wage, against efforts to ensure women get equal pay for equal work, against paid family and medical leave.”

PFAW director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo:

“Republicans can’t have it both ways. We know that anyone who stands with Donald Trump stands against us. We’ve launched our Trumpublicans / Trumpublicanos campaign to hold Donald Trump and the Republicans responsible for demonizing our communities and standing against our priorities. They’ve failed us at every level, and that's why we'll cast the deciding votes against them this November."

For follow-up interviews with press conference participants, or for questions about PFAW’s new campaign, please email media@pfaw.org.

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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.

Anti-Immigrant Right Reacts To Trump's 'Softening' With Anger & Denial

Donald Trump confused his supporters and detractors alike this week when, after months of promising to build a “deportation force” to go after every undocumented immigrant in the country, his new campaign manager said that Trump’s stance on mass deportations is “to be determined” and the candidate himself said “there certainly could be a softening” of his immigration position. (Trump, however, continued to insist that he is “not flip-flopping” on the issue.)

This left Trump’s supporters in the anti-immigrant movement, many who have hailed his candidacy as something just short of the Second Coming, confused about how to respond. The reactions have ranged from denial that Trump will actually change his position—a fair assumption given Trump’s track record of saying whatever he thinks his current audience wants to hear—to dire warnings that he got behind “amnesty” to resigned acceptance that whatever Trump does, at least he’ll take a harder line on immigration than Hillary Clinton.

Some activists, like Trump himself, are claiming that he has not changed his position at all. Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson made this argument on CNN today, explaining that the candidate “hasn’t changed his position. He has changed the words he is saying.”

Dan Stein, the head of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform, took a similar tack, telling Newsmax that while Trump probably wouldn’t lose much support from his base if he weakened his hardline immigration stance, given the alternative candidates, he was “very confidant that [Trump’s] positions, in the end, are going to remain substantially intact.”

The Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian, meanwhile, claimed that Trump never actually meant what he originally said about creating a deportation force, claiming that the “deportation force” he promised was just “symbolic talk” for stricter immigration enforcement.

"The idea we were ever going to deport all 12 million in two years with deportation squads—or whatever [Trump] popped off about—was never a policy,” Krikorian told The Washington Times. “It was an Uncle George spouting off about the latest thing. I think a lot of people took that as symbolic talk, a way of showing he's serious on immigration and, ‘I'm not Jeb Bush.’’

Anti-immigrant flamethrower Ann Coulter similarly tried to downplay Trump’s attempted repositioning on the issue, telling the Washington Examiner in an interview that took place after Trump’s campaign manager’s comments but before the candidate’s own, that the campaign’s change in rhetoric isn’t “a change in policy.” But she also, stunningly, conceded that it may be “in our interest to let some [undocumented immigrants] stay.”

"It mostly worries me rhetorically ... I mean, what to do with the illegals already here was never really a big part of it," she said. "We're getting a wall. We're definitely getting a wall. That's the one thing we know about a Trump presidency."

She said Trump still offers more than any of the other Republicans had.

"I don't think it is a change in policy," she said of Trump. "The policy is anyone who's here illegally is here illegally, does not have the right to be here. We'll decide whether it's in our interest to let them stay or not. Perhaps it is in our interest to let some of them stay."

Coulter hit a similar note in an interview with The Hill after Trump made his “softening” comment and vaguely outlined a policy in which some undocumented immigrants would have a way forward to legal status. “It's just rhetoric but it's still annoying,” she said. "I think he panicked and he had to say [it] ... I don't think he is softening. I mean the big thing is the wall.”

Coulter, however, who just happened to be launching her new book “In Trump We Trust” last night with a party hosted by Breitbart News, quickly changed her tune, taking to Twitter to accuse Trump of promoting “amnesty”:

William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC similarly cautioned Trump against supporting “amnesty,” saying, “If Donald Trump significantly diverges from his promise to deport all illegals, he will end his own campaign or his own presidency. His campaign or his presidency will be wounded to the point of self-destruction.”

Krikorian had a similar warning in The National Review today, saying that if Trump loses to Hillary Clinton now, it will be because of his “softening” immigration views.

Krikorian, however, told The Washington Times yesterday that he trusted Trump’s advisers (who include Krikorian) to steer the candidate back to a hardline position. “I don’t trust Trump, but I trust the people working for him. And I trust Hillary to do the wrong thing without exception,” he said. “He could sell us out on everything and he’d still be better than Hillary.”

UPDATE: Coulter, who recently said that her “worship” for Trump is “like the people of North Korea worship their Dear Leader,” told WorldNetDaily on August 25 that unlike “crazed, cult-like Hillary supporters,” she’s happy to provide “helpful criticism to Trump.”

“THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M ABANDONING HIM,” she told the far-right outlet in all-caps.

“Trump needs to stick like glue to whomever writes his speeches and fire whomever told him Americans are up at night worried about the comfort and well-being of people who broke into our country illegally,” she added.

Tamara Scott: U.S. Enemies Becoming 'More Aggressive' Because They're Scared Of President Trump

Tamara Scott, the Republican National Committeewoman from Iowa who is also a prominent Religious Right activist in the state, hosted ACT for America president Brigitte Gabriel on her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week to discuss efforts to resettle refugees from the Syrian civil war in the U.S.

After interviewing Gabriel, Scott falsely claimed that President Obama plans “to bring another 100,000 to 200,000 refugees into this country by November, by the voting date.” (The real number is 85,000 refugees from around the world, 10,000 of them from Syria.)

“Am I suggesting that they’ll be voting?” she said. “I’m not saying that, but he’s pushing it by October.”

Scott then claimed that America’s antagonists around the globe have been more “aggressive” toward us because they know Donald Trump might become president and change things “so that we can defeat our enemies.”

“And I would say, whether the election or not, students will misbehave when the substitute is there before the regular teacher comes back,” she said. “And I think that’s why you’re seeing some aggravated or more aggressive behavior around the globe towards us, because they know there’s a chance come November 8 that things are going to change in America. We will have a commander in chief by the name of Donald Trump who will defend our nation, who will rebuild our military, who will empower our soldiers, he said he’d change the rules of engagement so they don’t have to be a victim of a shot or a wound before they can defend themselves. He will change it so that we can defeat our enemies. How terrific would that be?”

“So I think that’s why you’re seeing some of this,” she concluded, “and I think that’s also why Obama may be trying to get some of this through before we even have our election.”

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.”

Rolling Stone Covers Voter Suppression Rock Star Kris Kobach

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is a right-wing activist who has championed anti-immigrant and voter suppression efforts around the country and has helped to insert right-wing rhetoric into recent Republican platforms.  As Miranda reported this month, Kobach is pushing his fellow Republicans to adopt legislation modeled after the disastrously restrictive voting law he helped push through in Kansas. The September 8 issue of Rolling Stone looks at one of Kobach’s ventures in “The GOP’s Stealth War Against Voters.”

The Rolling Stone story by journalist and author Greg Palast examines Crosscheck, a Kobach project that Palast calls “the culmination of a decade-long Republican effort to disenfranchise voters under the guise of battling voter fraud.” The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is ostensibly designed to target a virtually nonexistent form of voter fraud. In reality, it helps promote the Right Wing's bogus voter fraud narrative, which in turn provides justification for otherwise unjustifiable laws that restrict voting. In the worst case scenario, Crosscheck could lead to thousands of people, predominantly people of color and young voters, being wrongly purged from voting rolls in advance of November’s election.

Crosscheck compares voter registration lists in different states to identify individuals who are registered in more than one place. Theoretically, it requires matches on a voter's first, middle and last name, along with birth date and the final four digits of a social security number, but in reality, it doesn’t always work as advertised. As we noted a couple years ago, Crosscheck’s data was so unreliable that Florida and Oregon dropped out of the program

Palast says he was able to get his hands on Crosscheck lists from Virginia, Georgia and Washington state, and found that the lists often lacked a middle-name match and misidentified fathers and sons as the same voter.  He cites database expert Mark Swedlund, who criticizes Crosscheck’s “childish methodology.” He also notes that U.S. Census data indicates that people of color are statistically more likely to have last names in common, leading to an “astonishing” inherent bias in the results, with “one in six Hispanics, one in seven Asian-Americans, and one in nine African Americans in Crosscheck states landing on the list.” And Donald Trump complains the election is rigged against him!

“God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name if Joseph or Jose,” says Swedlund. “You’re probably suspected of voting in 27 states.”

It is up to each state to decide how it uses the data from Crosscheck; some send the lists to county officials who don’t have the resources to verify their accuracy. Rolling Stone reports that Crosscheck “has flagged close to half a million voters” in Ohio, and that 41,000 people were knocked off voting rolls in Virginia when it was under Republican control.

Even if state and local officials don’t end up using the data to initiate major purges, Crosscheck’s inflated numbers can be used to buttress false right-wing claims that voter fraud is a big problem. That mythology has been particularly damaging in the aftermath of rulings from conservative justices on the Supreme Court dismantling key Voting Rights Act protections, which allowed Republican officials in many states to pass laws aimed at making it harder for some people, particularly people of color and young people, to register and vote. And, says Palast, gutting the Voting Rights Act also meant dropping the requirement for covered states to keep racial data on voters, making it harder to document discriminatory practices.

Anti-Semitic Preacher Hopes Trump Will Be God's Instrument To Finally Destroy The Jews

Among the anti-Semites and white supremacists rallying behind Donald Trump is Christian writer and conspiracy theorist Texe Marrs, who declared on a radio program recently that Trump just might be God's instrument for finally destroying Israel and the Jews.

While speaking with Jeff Rense, a fellow right-wing extremist, Marrs made the case that Trump has a lot in common with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, which he meant as a compliment.

After Rense complained that Hitler was one of the most unfairly maligned and misunderstood leaders in all of human history, Marrs declared that Stalin was plotting to arrest and imprison every Jew in the Soviet Union, but was murdered before he could carry it out.

But, Marrs said hopefully, Trump might be able to pick up where Hitler and Stalin left off.

"Israel is going to be destroyed and it is going to happen so fast we'll all be shocked about it," Marrs said. "It's going to happen and I've been wondering if maybe, let me just say something here, could Trump be the instrument of God in this? He doesn't have to be a Hitler, he doesn't have to be a Stalin, he can simply be a good guy."

"He's going to have to move very fast against these people," Marrs warned, because the Jews will work to take him down, just as they supposedly did to President Nixon.

But Trump "may be so smart though, and intelligent that he outwits them," Marrs stated. "He's their friend, he's their pal, he's their buddy and then it's suddenly, wow. He takes the woman, the whore, so to speak, Mystery Babylon the Great and suddenly he destroys her, in one single hour she will be destroyed."

After engaging in a bit of Holocaust denial, Marrs declared that a Trump presidency "may turn out quite surprising."

"I pray that they will get what is coming to them," Marrs said of the Jews. "These people who have done such horrible things over the years and who, right now, are plotting such horrible deeds against gentiles and others, I hope they get what they deserve. I hope they do and I hope maybe Trump could be the instrument of it."

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

This piece originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

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 leadersfrom 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 haveenthusiastically 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 whilelamenting the social liberalism in their home countries.

Trump, who aspires to be the Russian president’s “new best friend,” has praised Putinas “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.

 

 

PFAW

It's Time to Hold "Trumpublicans" Accountable in 2016

"Trumpublicans" might claim to oppose Trump's agenda of hatred and bigotry, but they're still working to protect his interests and advance his agenda -- like by holding a Supreme Court seat open for him to fill.
PFAW

Alt-Right Founder Demands Clinton Apologize To 'European-Americans Everywhere'

Richard Spencer, the white nationalist activist who coined the term “alt-right” to describe the emerging racist movement of which he is a leader, lashed out at Hillary Clinton today for her plans to criticize Donald Trump for his ties to the alt-right movement.

In a press release from his National Policy Insititute, Spencer demands that Clinton “issue an apology to European-Americans everywhere” for supporting “an anti-White agenda.”

Spender also denies that Trump or his new campaign chairman, Steven Bannon, are tied to the alt-right, writing that while he has “has written favorably about both Trump and [Bannon’s news agency] Breitbart, he has consistently emphasized they are not exactly the Alt Right.”

Bannon, for his part, feels differently: He said as recently as July that Breitbart under his leadership was “the platform for the alt-right.”

From Spencer’s press release:

Over the past few months, Hillary Clinton has engaged, rhetorically and directly, with an array of groups that support an anti-White agenda. Whether that’s endorsing the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which is directly responsible for a rise in violence throughout America, or her surrogates chastising European-Americans for their background and heritage.

Hillary and her allies in “conservative” media will stop at nothing to portray peaceful European-American advocacy as a dark specter haunting America. In reality, she and her allies, especially so-called “conservatives,” are only giving comfort to the most radical and violent elements in our society.

We disavow any attempts by Clinton or any of her surrogates on the left, right, or center to tag the National Policy Institute or the work we do as violent extremism. We call on her and her allies to issue an apology to European-Americans everywhere and confront her own troubling links to extremism and the civil unrest she has stoked for months.

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).

Ben Carson: Choosing Between Trump And Clinton Like Picking A Paper Cut Or 'Having Both Legs Chopped Off'

Earlier this week, Kirk Cameron joined Ben Carson in his living room for a live "teleforum" for My Faith Votes, a Religious Right effort overseen by Carson that seeks to mobilize millions of Christians to vote in 2016. As with several of the previous events, much of the focus was on attempting to convince reluctant conservative Christian voters to support Donald Trump in order to defeat Hillary Clinton, with Carson likening the decision to having to choose between getting a paper cut or "having both of your legs chopped off."

"When you don't vote, you are voting," Carson said. "I know there are some people who say, 'Well, you know, I'm a person of principle so I therefore cannot choose between the lesser of two evils.' Well, I would say, 'Would you like to have a paper cut?' And you would say, 'No, paper cuts hurt, that's pretty bad.' I would say, 'How about getting both of your legs chopped off?' Well, no, that hurts, that's bad too. What if you had to choose between the two? I don't think that would be a hard choice."

Christians must vote for Trump, Carson said, because this election is "about the direction of our nation, and it's not going to be for four or eight years, it's going to be for generations because of the way the court system will be changed."

Krikorian: Trump Will Lose If He Retreats On Immigration

For years, the Nativist Right has been urging the GOP to ratchet up its hardline stance on immigration, arguing that tough anti-immigrant rhetoric and proposals will energize white voters and lead to Republican victories at the ballot box.

Nativists pointed to Donald Trump’s victory in the GOP primaries as proof that such a political strategy is viable.

That theory was always flawed: after all, Republican primaries tend to be a largely white affair. Now that the entire general electorate is at stake, polls have shown Trump trailing Hillary Clinton in nearly every swing state. Perhaps realizing this, the GOP presidential nominee has yet again attempted to reposition himself on the issue of immigration, all while denying that he is changing his position at all.

After campaigning for more than a year on a deport-them-all platform, Trump said on Tuesday that he was open to “softening” his stance by only seeking to deport the “bad ones” while providing a road to legal status for most undocumented immigrants—something much closer to President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s stances on the issue.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies is one of the many conservative commentators who have been disappointed by Trump’s confusing, hazy attempt to reposition himself on immigration.

If Clinton defeats Trump, Krikorian says in a National Review column today, it will be because the Republican nominee retreated from his prior immigration views—despite the fact that Trump would lose badly if the election was held today:

I’ve been joking to reporters over the past couple of days that Trump’s supporters wouldn’t be likely to abandon him unless he embraced Chuck Schumer’s immigration policy.

Guess what!

Ann Coulter makes the same point in her new book, entitled (with unintended irony) In Trump We Trust: “[T]here’s nothing Trump can do that won’t be forgiven. Except change his immigration policies.”



But Trump probably just threw away his only remaining chance to win in November with Wednesday’s Jeb Bush impersonation. He won the primaries with immigration control as his marquee issue; had he stuck to his guns, and still lost, the GOP Brain Trust, not to mention the Democrats, would more plausibly have been able to argue that opposition to their agenda was the reason. It still would have been a silly claim, since had he not grabbed hold of the immigration issue, the very idea of President Trump would have remained a Simpsons joke – if he’d remained consistent and still lost, it would have been despite his immigration position, not because of it.

But now that he’s channeling Little Marco and Low-Energy Jeb on immigration, that story line has evaporated. Many of the voters who stuck with him through his various antics will start drifting away, so that in any state where the results are close in November could plausibly have been won if Trump hadn’t pulled a Schumer.

It’s liberating, in a sense. While Trump was still clearly seen as the voice of immigration skepticism, I was worried that his oafish shenanigans would taint the immigration issue, especially if he was defeated by Hillary. But now that he’s no longer that voice in any meaningful sense, I can watch the circus undisturbed. His defeat will be on his head alone.

PFAW Launches “Trumpublicans” Campaign with Bilingual Radio Ads

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) is launching its new campaign, “Trumpublicans: Reject Trump and the Republicans” / “Trumpublicanos: Rechaza a Trump y los Republicanos,” with radio ads, digital ads, and an event in Arizona with civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. The campaign, aimed at Latino voters in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida, emphasizes the importance of voting against Trump and Republican Senators standing with him.

“Donald Trump has made clear time and time again that he’s campaigning for the presidency on the backs of Latinos and immigrants. His hateful rhetoric began on Day One of his campaign, and we won’t let him take his bigotry to the White House,” said civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta. “But it’s not just Trump. Republicans – even those who at times have criticized him – are still voting for him and are still blockading President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in the hopes that Donald Trump will fill the seat. At the ballot box, Latino voters will make our voices heard against the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Donald Trump and the Republican Party by voting against them.”

“Republicans can’t have it both ways. We know that anyone who stands with Donald Trump stands against us,” said PFAW Director of Latinos Vote! Lizet Ocampo. “We’ve launched our ‘Trumpublicans’ campaign to hold Donald Trump and the Republicans responsible for demonizing our communities and standing against our priorities. They’ve failed us at every level, from blocking comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship to opposing raising the minimum wage to voting against efforts to make college more affordable.”

The bilingual radio ads began running this morning in North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona. Each features a child speaking in English and Spanish, asking her mother, who speaks in Spanish, if Trump will win the election. The mother emphasizes that through voting not just against Trump, but against Republicans down ballot, Trump and Republicans will lose. “We take a multigenerational approach in this innovative ad to reflect the times we live in. We see more and more families where older generations speak primarily Spanish to their children and grandchildren, who often speak both English and Spanish or Spanglish,” explains Ocampo. While the ads are similar in theme, each is locally tailored. Listen to the ads and read the transcripts here.

Later today, civil rights leader and PFAW board member Dolores Huerta will join Latino leaders in Arizona to denounce Donald Trump and John McCain. Huerta will tell the story of how the Si Se Puede / Yes We Can chant started there with the organizing she and Cesar Chavez did with the United Farm Workers there. She'll address how Latino voters can again use their power, this time to decide the outcome of this November’s elections in Arizona.  You can also read her op-ed in the Arizona Capital Times published earlier this week, "Latino voters deciding the election? Si se puede!" To schedule a remote or in-person interview with Dolores Huerta, please email media@pfaw.org.

In addition to the radio ads and the event, PFAW will  target Latino Twitter users through paid posts in Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida. Here are the graphics we'll be promoting in Arizona:

 

For questions about the campaign or to speak with Dolores Huerta or Lizet Ocampo, please email media@pfaw.org.

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

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Brigitte Gabriel: Khizr Khan Was 'Lying Either Way,' Can't Be A Muslim Who Follows The Constitution

Brigitte Gabriel, the head of the anti-Muslim group ACT! for America, repeated her view last week that Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who berated Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, cannot be both a devout Muslim and follow the Constitution.

In an August 19 interview with Tamara Scott, an Iowa Religious Right activist and Republican National Committee member, Gabriel declared that Khan was either lying about being Muslim or about following the Constitution.

“When Khizr Khan shook the Constitution at Donald Trump and challenged him,” Scott asked, “and yet Hillary and Obama have both taken oaths to protect it and they’ve trampled all over it, can Khizr Khan even uphold it himself with the letters he’s written, the papers he’s written about Sharia law, which they believe oversteps any other law?” (These claims come from a debunked article by a pair of far-right activists.)

Gabriel replied that a “practicing Muslim cannot with good conscience say he puts the Constitution over Sharia law, otherwise he’s not a practicing Muslim.”

“So he’s lying either way,” she said, “he’s either a practicing Muslim or he is not. If he is not a practicing Muslim, then the Constitution is the law above all laws that governs everybody, just like we believe that, but a practicing Muslim cannot with good conscience hold the Constitution and say that he abides by the Constitution and lives by the Constitution because, according to Sharia law, which every devout Muslim follows, the Constitution is a man-made law and it cannot be follow.”

Pamela Geller: If Trump Isn't Elected, 'It's Like Czechoslovakia And Hitler'

Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller spoke today with One America News Network’s Graham Ledger about efforts to resettle refugees from the Syrian civil war, which she naturally opposes. She declared that the stakes of the presidential election are so high that if Donald Trump doesn’t win, “it’s like Czechoslovakia and Hitler.”

When Ledger asked Geller what viewers could do to help stop the refugee resettlement, Geller responded, “Well, if Donald Trump is not elected, then we’re in for some very, very dark times. I mean, it’s like Czechoslovakia and Hitler, frankly, it’s over.”

Hillary Clinton, she said, is a “puppet” of George Soros and supports “the blasphemy laws under the Sharia.”

“It has to be Trump,” she said, “this is a no-brainer, and if the media wasn’t so complicit and corrupt, it would be a cakewalk for us. But Trump is the answer.”

Ledger added: “George Soros, just to kind of tie a bow on this, they’re in favor of open borders. And in order to have open borders across the world, you have to destroy democracy, and in order to destroy democracy you have to destroy the beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, and that’s us, the United States of America.”

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