Teri Kanefield+ Your Authors @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Aug. 21, 2019 4 min read + Your Authors

(Thread) Inflicting Pain and Stirring up Trouble

It’s like Trump spends his day devising ways to enrage and insult people, divide us, and inflict pain.🤔

Today this ⤵️ to thrill his Evangelical base, enrage everyone else, and call out American Jews.
King of Israel

1/. . . Yesterday he said this about Jews who vote Democrat (most but not all of us).

The headline sounds like disloyal to him. I took the clip to be “disloyal to Israel." I saw it as giving ammunition for some Jews to use against others.

2/ Leaders like Obama try to solve problems and make life better for the people.

Trump—borrowing Putin's methods—does the opposite.

He tries to take away health care. He gives tax cuts to the rich. He finds ways to increase the polarization by insulting people.

3/ From @TimothyDSnyder: Trump isn't just a climate change denier. He's a global warmer. (Recall that his pals get rich from trade in hydrocarbons)

Think about the human suffering that will come from global warming.


His pals get rich. Everyone else suffers.

4/ @TimothyDSnyder coined the term Sadopopulism: Policies that deliberately cause pain.

Trump borrows this method from Putin, who perfected it.

Sadopopulism is the method by which oligarchs (and would-be oligarchs) maintain both wealth and power.

5/ Fascism is based on a hierarchy: oligarchs and would-be oligarchs at the top.

If they allow the lower and middle classes to advance economically, others can challenge their place at the top.

To keep lower people in their places, they enact policies that hurt them.

6/ . . . policies like taking away health care, giving tax cuts to the rich, destroying the environment.

All of these things create an abundance of suffering.

The would-be oligarch then creates and identifies "enemies" and blames the people's suffering on their “enemies.”

7/ The enemies are immigrants, migrants and the Democrats and minority communities who protect them.

The formula is simple:
💠Inflict pain
💠Create an enemy
💠Blame the people's pain on their enemies
💠Promise to protect the people from their enemies
💠Do battle with the enemies

8/ Doing battle with enemies really just means calling them names, insulting and enraging them (which thrills his supporters).

Starting actual wars is very 20th century.

Modern oligarchs create suffering, drama & crisis without risking actual bombs falling on their own heads.

9/ The final step, "do battle with enemies" has an added benefit: Create spectacle.

Things like this ⤵️ keep us from focusing on issues like global warming or looking for ways to solve the migrant crisis. Nobody has time to wonder why the leaders aren't improving our lives.

10/ After Obama, people are shocked by a president who tries to make trouble (instead of solve problems).

Let’s take the most recent trouble-making spectacle, which culminated in calling Jews who don't vote GOP disloyal & ignorant.


💠First, the Israeli government agreed to admit 2 American Congresswomen for a visit.

💠Then Trump then put “intense pressure” on Israel not to admit the (Muslim) Congresswomen.

Thus, in an unprecedented move, Trump targeted the Muslim Congresswomen . . .

12/ . . . who are also his "domestic opponents" and sought to have a foreign government refuse admission to American lawmakers.

A re-election strategy is to make the Muslim Congresswomen the face of the Democratic Party (and try to exacerbate divisions).

13/ He’s obviously counting on anti-Muslim sentiments to swing voters to the GOP in 2020.

💠 This is an attempt to break the longstanding alliance between American Jews and the Democratic Party by saying the Muslim Congresswomen hate Israel.

14/ Consider how devious this entire Jewish American-Israel sequence was.

Consider how much time the President of the United States spends figuring out ways to cause trouble.

Meanwhile, he looks for ways to cause pain⤵️

15/ Fact: Trump spends his working day as US president devising ways to cause pain and trouble, and blaming the ensuing pain on "enemies" he creates. He masks all this with a parade of crisis and spectacle of his own making.

It isn’t going to stop until he’s voted out.


Yes, exactly. ⤵️

It all works as a self-fulfilling cycle. The cycle can be described lots of ways.

For example, the more enraged his critics, the more euphoric his followers, and the less likely they are to care that his politics hurt them.

Exactly. None of it makes any sense. It doesn't have to. The less sense the better.

The divisive methods are very effective.

A recent conversation:
Me: "But he supports neo-Nazis who shoot synagogues."
Other Jewish person: "But he supports Israel."

Ha! ⤵️The on-going debate in my comments.

I think they're definitely compatible.

What sane person brilliantly devises ways to cause pain?

Trying to hurt people is not normal. On the other hand, people can do it brilliantly.

Adding this to the thread because, well, I like compliments, too.

Twitter economics: Will write legal and political analysis in exchange for nice tweets and fun gifs.

All my threads are also blog posts. You can read this one here:  https://terikanefield-blog.com/inflicting-pain-and-stirring-up-trouble/ 

You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.


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