When People Tell You Who They Are…

Let me begin a very distressing post by affirming my belief that there are still some Republicans who are good people, although their percentage is clearly dwindling. (Why good people remain Republican is something I have trouble understanding, but that’s a different issue.)

What has become very clear, however, is the descent of what was once a traditional right-of-center political party into a rabid, hateful, and thoroughly unAmerican cult. That descent is playing out right now in Iowa.

Permit Jake Tapper to share the evidence.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was stunned by a poll published this month showing former President Donald Trump’s Nazi-echoing speeches about “poisoning the blood” and eliminating “vermin” from the U.S. overwhelmingly help him with Republicans in Iowa.

Trump is under fire once again — including from Tapper — after he delivered another Hitler-echoing rant at a rally in Durham, New Hampshire, on Saturday in which he accused several groups of non-White immigrants of “poisoning the blood of our country.”

But newly-released results from an NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll — taken December 2-7, before the most recent speech — show those Hitler-esque speeches help him with Iowa GOP voters by nearly two-to-one.

The Des Moines Register polled Iowa voters, asking those it identified as likely Republican caucus-goers for their opinions about a candidate who said that immigrants “poison the blood of America.” Forty-two percent of Iowa Republicans said it would make them more likely to support that candidate. Only twenty-eight percent said it would make them less likely, and the remaining twenty-nice percent indicated that it would not matter to them.

So–forty-two percent of Iowa Republicans agreed with a message lifted verbatim from Hitler, and another twenty-nine percent did not find the message troubling, let alone disqualifying. Seventy-one percent of the Republican respondents either endorsed that vile message or were untroubled by it.

As one of the panel members on Tapper’s show put it,

Republican or Democrat, anybody who spent time in Iowa around the caucus knows the term Iowa nice. Iowa voters are the nicest people in the world. But what we’ve seen in the Trump era is that part of the Republican base is not so nice. And another part of the base, so you combine these two, anything that Donald Trump says they’ll just say, yes, give me more of that, whether they think about it or not. And what troubles me isn’t just the language that Trump uses, but if he’s using it and then wins, what is he going to do within that rhetoric?

What are the actions that follow the rhetoric? And that’s what gets us to a very, very un-American place.

Political scientists and pundits have traced the “sorting” of Americans into various categories: fundamentalists versus more mainstream religious folks, religious versus secular, urban versus rural, educated versus not, blue versus red…Perhaps a more relevant set of categories would be humane versus execrable.

What sorts of people think it is perfectly appropriate to refer to other human beings as “vermin”? What kind of person looks at would-be immigrants–often people enduring dangerous travels and trusting treacherous companions in an effort to flee intolerable situations so they can give their children a chance for a better life–and sees someone “poisoning the blood” of the “real Americans” whose ancestors, more often than not, made similar treks.

For that matter, what sort of  performative “Christian” posts a lengthy rant purported to be his  “Christmas message” focusing on “Crooked Joe Biden,” “Deranged Jack Smith,” and those who are “looking to destroy our once great USA” and ending with “MAY THEY ROT IN HELL.” (Caps in original.)

And a Merry Christmas to you, too.

Reasonable people of good will can disagree about immigration law. They can draw different conclusions about how to handle the mess at the nation’s southern border. People of good will can debate the optimum number of people to be admitted to this country, and the proper bases for admitting them or turning them away.

But Republicans who agree that these desperate people are “vermin,” who think it is appropriate to accuse them of “poisoning the blood of Americans” are most definitely not people of good will. They are the raw material from which Storm Troopers are fashioned.

A week or so ago, a reader reminded me that it was Maya Angelou who counseled “when someone tells you who they are, believe them.”

The GOP is telling us who they are, and what that once “Grand Old Party” has become. Believe them.


  1. I’m recalling Spiro Agnew’s vile name-calling in the 60’s. Also remembering Reagan, who opened his campaign in Philadelphia, MS, vilifying the non-existent “welfare queen” from Chicago. Of course, we can fast forward to the Newt/Rush nineties when spewing vitriol became an art form. And then there was Trump who brought his hate out in the open rather than using the well-worn Republican dog whistle. Perhaps they haven’t changed all that much; we just failed to notice where lies, name-calling, and hate would ultimately take us. Well, here we are.

  2. Actually, it’s not the “poisonous” immigrants he calls vermin, but rather his political opponents, or any of us who oppose him. The concentration camps/gulags won’t be just for the immigrants.

    Back in 2016 I wasn’t horribly concerned about his running off the rails while in office because he’d have to deal with the pesky Congress and the judiciary—you know, that balance of powers thing. Boy, did I call that one wrong. Congress and much of the judiciary are so stacked with his loyalists now, and if he wins next year…

    And finally, I read that so many of the Iowa voters either endorse his rhetoric or are unbothered by it because it “shows he’s a fighter” and they want a fighter; or I guess they want a fight. “Iowa nice” indeed. Meanwhile, just thinking about next year’s election gives me a stomach ache.

  3. The age old term “staunch Republican” is used as both an adjective, meaning “steadfast in loyalty or principle”, and as a verb, “to stop or check in its course”. For those hanging tightly to the name “Republican” it is a magical term; if they remain steadfast and loyal to the name it will stop or check the current Nazi movement in its course. “Republican” has become a misnomer and “staunch Republican” an oxymoron.

    Democrats have never been referred to as staunch because we remain open to change and to move ahead as the times change and progress is needed. In one of my earlier comments recently, someone responded to my references to the drastic price changes of everything in our daily lives and that research has shown it takes approximately three years for change to be generally accepted. We do NOT have three years; we are on the cusp of the 2024 presidential election after EIGHT YEARS of Trumpism telling this nation and the world who they are.

    WAKE UP, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE! Beyond here there be dragons!

  4. I really have to supress myself to keep from sharing these blogs every day. But that doesn’t keep me from learning and being intrigued by them and sharing the points made at every opportunity. They are also inspiring for presentations I work on all the time. We have to keep fighting the dragons, that’s for sure; especially when they’re bold enough to keep telling us who they are more and more at every opportunity.

  5. This is not new to America. Read “The Guarded Gate” about the eugenics movement of the early 20th century. The battle between scapegoating/prejudice and the ideal of a “melting pot” continues. Looking across the world at the plight of immigrants/refugees everywhere, humanity doesn’t seem to “melt” very well…

  6. I firmly believe the increased wealth gap between the haves and the have nots has a lot to do with republican hatred of immigrants. The fact that the formerly very privileged white male republicans might have to compete with an immigrant for a job is simply intolerable to them. After decades of easily obtaining high wage manufacturing jobs that required no prior training, today’s jobs demand a new set of skills. Their life of extreme privilege no longer exists.

  7. I totally agree with Nancy about the white male Republicans, who are mostly under-educated as well. They cannot stomach someone of a different ilk of any kind, doing better than them. We are not a melting pot to them. There thoughts and actions embrace white supremacy.

    As for the nazi trend pervading the world of trump, Iowans embracing his hateful, despicable rhetoric, maybe we need to go back to teaching more world history in our schools, concentrating on why WWII happened, on the concentration camps, Aushwicz, Hitler, Mussolini. Seems to me today’s repuklican party, other than the elders, have no idea of what it is they are supporting.

  8. The former guy’s future staff have already outlined the future, if he wins and it’s really scary.

  9. It is not just Trump, it is the whole GOP. Research “The 2025 Project”, which was developed with the help of the Heritage Foundation. This project promotes the idea of replacing government workers that want to follow the laws with ideologues that will enforce the president’s policies. Those policies may be counter to the law.

    OMG- I sound like a MAGA conspiracist.

  10. Any Republican above IQ 70 who supports Donald Trump is a lousy, pathetic human being. NO EXCEPTIONS. Yes, that means your Uncle Grayhair and Auntie Doily are total scum, and you may as well get over that, because they are not going to change.

    Personal change is possible, of course, but given the exposure level Trump has enjoyed, I think it’s safe to assume almost each and every MAGA drone is burning in his own particular Hell (or will go there later if you believe in the great Judge Judy in the sky).

    Also, I don’t know why anyone ever believed in “Hoosier Hospitality” or any of the other lies self-satisfied Midwesterners told themselves about their culture. Midwesterners have been violent, racist, misogynist xenophobes with large egos and small minds since the area was “settled” (meaning the original people were effectively exterminated and their lands stolen).

    The time to be nice is over. You will not be winning any hearts or minds among those who lack both.

    Speak the truth while you still can.

  11. The GOP called itself the “Grand Old Party” from its birth, which says something about its sense of self.
    That Hitler’s own words resound so well with so many Republicans in Iowa, or out of it, is sad, and scary, but not surprising, as fear is associated with loathing, especially for people who tend to be anxious in the first place.
    I would be interested in knowing what the Independent voters think of tfg’s idiocy.
    By coincidence, we visited the Florida Holocaust Museum just yesterday. Amazing!

  12. Lester,
    It’s really interesting to research what a scapegoat actually is!

    Escape goat was a form of penance in religion in the Mosaic law. Two goats, one would be sacrificed, the other would have a scroll representative of sin released in the desert. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s kind of interesting.

    The reason there is not more knowledge of History that can be called upon, is The very reason why there’s a war on education. It’s easier to bamboozle those who are ignorant, willfully or otherwise!

    Why do you think Hitler was such a big draw on American radio stations back in the late ’20s and 30s !?!? He is a card carrying socialist Nazi!

    The trouble with all of this gnashing of teeth, the United States of America was always leaning in this direction. Manifest destiny, American Romanticism, was copied by the German liebenshrum, blood and soil and German romanticism!

    Why would those nefarious elements in this country want these things taught in schools? Although, it didn’t hinder the Germans in their hateful rampage against everyone who was not supposed to be Arians. Interestingly, the Arians were not white, they were Asians who settled in the Indus valley, which later became India.

    Did it matter? Rhetoric and propaganda took the place of historical fact. And, they eventually started teaching their own version of history, which, had no actual bearing on actual truthful history!

    Without a doubt, this horse has left the barn already. It has tasted its freedom and it will not voluntarily reverse course.

    Education equates to knowledge, and the use of that knowledge, it’s functionality, equates into wisdom! There is not a thimble full of wisdom in the lot. So, historically, history is cyclical. This is just another wash rinse and repeat! Humanity is really stupid!

  13. Roberta Dunn is on to something. Many Republicans today don’t really know what they are supporting, but if the worst happens, they will soon find out. Hitler purged Nazi supporters who he felt were disloyal to his policies as well. The attempts to assassinate him provided the fodder from which he could become even more draconian in ruling from fear.

    It was the “Good Germans” who sat on their hands and allowed this madman to come to power. Let us hope that “Good Americans” do not make the same mistake in the fall of ’24. Hope aside, it is absolutely essential that we show up for the vote in support of our Constitution and the rule of law, the touchstones of our democracy, thereby rejecting fascism.

  14. Just like we can’t make changes to gun laws because some of the Repubs will claim its a mental health issue and not a gun law issue. We can’t make laws against mentally ill people holding the Presidental Office. I would say its really clear that Donald Trump has mental issues when he feels out to attack anyone that doesn’t “Bow down” to him. I’m planning on reading some books about cults because I have no idea how to deprogram these people that are flocking to him. The Repubs in my family claim they like his policies and that’s why they will vote for him. Not because they think he’s a decent person. Though some of my relatives would also fit the “bully” category so I have a feeling they enjoy his crazy pontifications about retribution. I have been watching and reading Obama’s speeches and been surprised about how relevant they still are. We really need the “Yes we can” people who voted for Obama to come out in droves and vote for Biden.

  15. It took our species most of the 250,000 years we have existed to spread from Africa to the entire world. Most of our recorded history is from that era.

    When explorers “discovered” their brothers in other places, they categorized them first because their skin was a different color and their cultures were different, as “others” to be stolen from and enslaved. It was a convenient thing for men with ships. The slaves and treasure paid for the ships.

    Now, a short time later, the successors of those explorers want to border out the same “others” to hang on to the bounty they took from them. Again, it’s convenient as a means of not having to share what was stolen.

    Republicans are taught that sharing is stealing. Corporations give, not take, and the government takes but does not give. Of course, that’s all wrong, but their shamans say it’s true, so it must be.

    Like all species, ours is predictable. We exist following our DNA/cultural scripts.

  16. The fact that so many Americans can and do support such horrific statements really makes me ill. Some of that support was probably always there, but Trump is proud of such statements and wouldn’t be making them if he thought they would lose him support. He’s making racism and eugenics fashionable. It’s as nauseating as it is dangerous. We cannot put these people in charge of government at local, state, or federal level.

  17. I heard that a recent naturalization ceremony an older woman who’s family were all citizens here in US was ask the standard naturalization questions. When she was ask if she willing to take up arms to defend the US constitution, she said that she thought she” could help out more in the kitchen”. It was explained to her that it was a 99% chance she wouldn’t have to do that, but it was a question about her loyalty to this country. She then said she would. So many immigrants are hardworking, family-oriented people who see the US as refuge from the corruption and tyranny of police and gang states from which they flee. I hate the idea that the US could descend into a country where laws are arbitrary and unjust.
    It’s bad enough hearing tfg’s rantings and ravings across all of media these days, but the thought of adding the power of the presidency to his insanity is bone chilling.

  18. Suzanne. I recommend ” Escaping the Rabbit Hole ” by Mick West. It doesn’t propose any easy fix, but does offer a step by step process to use if you have the time and persistence to use it with someone close to you.

  19. Vernon,

    He is still not convinced that there is a problem. Remember that the “good Count” waited until July 20, 1944 to take action, well after the die had been cast, and that he failed partly because he decided that he needed to survive the effort; which ultimately he did not.

  20. Why is there a problem on the southern border? Trump built the wall, didn’t he? And Mexico paid for it. Such a beautiful wall . . .

    If there’s a problem on the southern border, that means that Trump totally failed.

  21. Ronald R. – Project 2025 is not a conspiracy — it is an actual policy by an actual organization.

    Over It — How is calling other people “scum” any different than calling them “vermin”?

    Suzanne — sorry to disappoint you, but reading a book about how to deprogram a cultist will not be very helpful. Even experts in this field have a difficult time. Remember Jim Jones’ cult in Guyana? These folks were willing to poison their own babies! Branch Davidians were willing to burn to death with their infants.

    Vernon — I usually am a big fan of your posts, but I am wondering – are you willing to be 2024’s Count von Stauffenberg or do you want someone else to do the dirty work? Is violence ever the answer? Just wondering.

  22. Sharon, Thank you for the book recommendation!

    I keep wishing in ways that Michelle Obama would run. She’s highly educated, her husband was President, and I think she genuinely cares about people’s wellbeing. Though she is “Gasp!” a woman. I can’t believe its 2023 and we still have not had a woman as President. But that is a whole other discussion.

  23. Suzanne,

    In your dreams…she is too busy giving talks, writing books and livin’ the life. She stays away from anything risky…

  24. Kathy M: I’m almost 82. I’m glad to see others who know what happened in 1944. “Our” von Stauffenberg doesn’t have to resort to violence. All he/she has to do is stand up to the rolling tyranny of the orange hairball and call him out to his face and in public… every day.

  25. I don’t see the surprise here. My guess is thatmost ofon TRu on the 30 percent who didn’t have an opinion on Trump are so far gone from supporting him that they don’t even want to bother to comment. Add to that the 28 percent who say they would be turned off by such comments and you have 58 percent of the Republican Party against trump. This is pretty close to the third of Repubicans who are hard core TRUMP supporters. It’s still deplorable, but not at all a suprise.

  26. I get the word choice is wrong. But what about black reparations and lowering the chances of jobs for minorities already here?
    Are they scum? Why take away from iur chances to help our black youth by allowing tons of immigrants in?

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