UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Wins U.S. Presidency Despite Accusation of Slave Trading Based on Fake News

by johndavis, July 20, 2017

UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Wins U.S. Presidency Despite Accusation of Slave Trading Based on Fake News July 20, 2017        Vol. X, No. 6       7:13 am Too disgusting to appear in public print   Fake news is nothing new. In 1844, James K. Polk, an 1818 honors graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
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UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Wins U.S. Presidency Despite Accusation of Slave Trading Based on Fake News

July 20, 2017        Vol. X, No. 6       7:13 am

Too disgusting to appear in public print

 

Fake news is nothing new.

In 1844, James K. Polk, an 1818 honors graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won the race for U.S. President despite being accused by his opponent, Henry Clay, of being a “slave trader.”  The accusation was based on “a completely fake excerpt from a book,” according to a Mother Jones story, Ten Most Awesome Presidential Mudslinging Moves Ever.

Fake news 173 years ago!

Henry Clay, a slave owner like Polk, thought he could win the votes of northern abolitionists if he attacked his opponent as worse than a slave owner, a “slave trader,” even though it was not true.

James K. Polk, born in Pineville near Charlotte, had some fake news of his own.  He accused Clay of having sex with whores and breaking all the Ten Commandments.  When Polk’s Democratic allies were compelled by the press to provide evidence, they declared that the details were “too disgusting to appear in public print.”

What a great political defense!  I would tell you, but it’s too disgusting to appear in public print.

Thriving in the toxicity of uncertainty and confrontational insults

 

President Donald J. Trump, like President Polk, can counterpunch with the best of them.  As First Lady Melania Trump said during a 2016 campaign rally in Milwaukee, “When you attack him he will punch back 10 times harder. No matter who you are, a man or a woman.”

Trump’s modus operandi is to lure his enemies into a nasty, below the belt name-calling fracas, pushing their buttons until they blow their cool and act like fools, rendering them the loser.  He thrives in the toxicity of uncertainty and confrontational insults.  “Little Marco,” “Low Energy Jeb,” “Crooked Hillary,” Trump insults you until you retaliate in kind.  Until you make a fatal political mistake.

Trump does not care that he is loathed by his enemies.  It’s how he keeps them off balance.  All Trump cares about when the dust settles is that he is the winner and you are the loser.

Trump does not care that the latest ABC News/Washington Post nation poll shows his job approval at a dismal 36%, the lowest rating for any president during their first six months in 70 years.  He simply discredits negative findings of fact on Twitter, calling the ABC News/Washington Post poll “just about the most inaccurate poll around election time!”  That’s all his base needs to hear.  They remain loyal.

  • 90% approval rating among conservative Republicans; 82% among all Republicans
  • 61% approval among evangelical white Protestants
  • 55% approval among white men without college degrees

Why does Trump’s base remain loyal?  Because they still see him as the only leader in Washington DC who is rich and powerful enough to stand up to the rich and powerful insiders who have ignored the fears and concerns of a middle-class electorate struggling to make ends meet, all the while growing the federal largess with borrowed money to a historic national debt of nearly $20 trillion.

And besides, what is the alternative to Trump?  Only 37% in the ABC News/Washington Post poll say the Democratic Party “stands for something” other than being against Trump.

Per Gallup’s July 5-9, 2017 national poll, the #1 problem facing the country today is “Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership.”  It is an indictment of the entire establishment in the nation’s capital, including the news media, the Republicans, the Democrats and all partisan allies.

The biggest problem facing the establishment in Washington today is the one that Henry Clay faced in the presidential race of 1844.  No matter how hard a punch they throw, Donald Trump, like North Carolina’s own James K. Polk, will shake it off and punch back 10 times harder.

And when Trump and his allies are pressed for the evidence to prove the veracity of an unsubstantiated counterpunch, they simply say something dismissive akin to what Polk’s allies said 173 years ago, we would tell you, but it’s too disgusting to appear in public print.

Meanwhile, as the establishment engages in the mutually assured destruction of revenge politics, voters await impatiently for problems to be solved … and for Election Day 2018.

It’s time for the establishment in Washington, DC, including the news media, the Republicans and the Democrats, to stand for something other than being against Trump.

 

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