A Dark View from Flyover Country

White Anger, Racial Violence, Economic Despair — And the Worst Is Yet to Come

Sarah Kendzior lives and writes in the heartland of America, and from what she has observed, the country is about to explode. The journalist tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman that the election of Donald Trump is but the opening act. Racism, white supremacy and violence are all bubbling very close to the surface, and scapegoating will add fuel to the fire.

Not only have stores and plants closed, but locally based journalism has all but disappeared. In the resulting information vacuum the influence of inflammatory cable and right-wing national media as well as fake news is huge. As a close observer of Trump Country, Kendzior paints a grim and almost hopeless picture of where the nation as a whole is going.

She also noted that one of the issues this election has revealed is the growing distrust of institutions, such as the FBI.

Regular WhoWhatWhy readers know that we cover the Bureau extensively – and that there is much to be distrustful about.

For new readers, here is a small sampling of our own articles on how the FBI abused its powers, botched investigations, risked national security, and deceived the public on a wide range of issues, some of which had life or death consequences.

FBI, Snipers & Occupy

FBI’s Amazing Trick to Avoid Accountability

FBI Sat Back While Snitch Directed Cyber-Attacks and Potentially entrapped Others

Saudi Royal Ties to 9/11 Hijackers Via Saudi Florida Family?

FBI Disparages its own 9/11 Report

New FBI Tactic Hints at Big DC Cover-Up of Saudi 9/11 Funding

FBI Had Direct Link to Bin Laden — in 1993

FBI: Knew About Saudi 9/11 Hijacker Ties — But Lied to Protect “National Security”

Tsarnaev Case Judge: FBI Interview Reports Are Unreliable — and Cast in Stone

FBI War on Boston Witnesses

Does New Boston Bombing Report Hint at Hidden Global Intrigue?

The Unexplained Connection Between the FBI and Two Muslim Friends Killed by Law Enforcement

Missing Evidence of Prior FBI Relationship with Boston Bomber

Was Tamerlan Tsarnaev a Double Agent Recruited by the FBI?

New Cover-Up in Boston Bombing Saga — Blaming Moscow

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Full Text Transcript:

Jeff Schechtman: Welcome to Radio WhoWhatWhy. I’m Jeff Schechtman.

Watching the past week, post-Election Day has been like watching a car wreck. We know we shouldn’t look, but we can’t help but be curious. The key difference here is that the wreck affects us, the clown car or transition planning gives us some idea of how we will all be impacted over the next four years. The president said earlier this week that this is simply one of the zig zags of history; that often things have gotten worse before they get better. Certainly from a historical perspective, that’s true, but what does it mean for America and the world of the 21st century? Every day, we hear political pundits talking about what happened and why, and some of it is good and insightful, but most of it comes from the same people that didn’t see it all coming.

My guest today, Sarah Kendzior lives among it, in the heartland of America. She’s written extensively on the subjects of race and class and America’s role in the world. She recently published a book of her essays entitled: The View from Flyover Country and she writes a regular column for the Globe and Mail. It is my pleasure to welcome Sarah Kendzior to Radio WhoWhatWhy. Sarah, thanks so much for joining us.

Sarah Kendzior: Oh, thank you for having me.

Jeff Schechtman: As you look out at what drove us to what we’ve been dealing with since Election Day, one of the things I know you’ve written about and talked about is the fact that the predicate for this has been with us for a long time. This isn’t something that just happened in the past year or the past year and a half during the campaign; that events that brought us to where we are today have been brewing for a long time. Talk about that.

Sarah Kendzior: Yes, that’s true in multiple respects. In terms of Trump and his popular support, I do live out in St. Louis in Missouri and the recession never ended here. People are extremely frustrated with their economic situation and it’s been very difficult for people to hold onto middle class jobs and so that kind of popular economic discontent that both Trump and Sanders, and eventually Clinton heavily emphasized is important. It’s not the only thing. Obviously, Trump has run a very racist and bigoted campaign; sort of white nationalist campaign reminiscent of dictators. I should note that I do live in Missouri, so I have this perspective but I also have a Ph.D. in anthropology where I studied dictatorships, particularly post-Soviet dictatorships like Uzbekistan, so I’m an expert in that field as well. Many of the things that Trump did throughout his campaign reminded me very much of the dictators that I’ve studied in terms of his demagoguery, his use of spectacle, manipulation of the media and his manipulation of the masses. Those who voted for him, I think have signed on for something that they don’t really want. I don’t think he’s going to fulfill his promises to them in order to improve their economic livelihood or keep them safer. I, in fact, think the opposite is going to happen. That’s true because he has frankly stated so, including long before the election. For example, in February 2014, Trump went on Fox News to talk about Russia – which we should return to this because it’s very interesting that a reality TV show host would be on TV talking about Russian foreign policy in 2014 – but another thing he said during then, the interview was that in order for America to go back to where it was, to go back to being great, we need total economic collapse and we need riots. He explicitly called for this. His chief advisor and advisor throughout his campaign, Steve Bannon, who is an extreme white supremacist who runs Breitbart Media, which is a conspiratorial, right wing site, has also said similar things. He described himself as a Leninist who wants to destroy the state but I wouldn’t really describe him as a Leninist as much as an accelerationist, which is also what I would describe Trump. So there’s so many factors going into this and it’s a little bit head spinning but I’ve been tracking it all year. I became very worried throughout the year that Trump would indeed win; I know the polls said he wouldn’t but I noticed both the genuine popular support that I saw among people here in the center of the country but also a lot of manipulative tactics that remind me very much of how dictators take power, so I think it’s important to take a full look at everything that happened and really investigate because what we will deal with in the future is very dire and I think we should try our best to stop it.

Jeff Schechtman: Talk a little bit about what you would hear from people in your part of the country, in the center of the country with regard to expectations; what they think is going to happen to the extent whether they voted for Trump simply because they wanted to shake things up or because they really did have expectations that somehow it was going to make their lives better?

Sarah Kendzior: Well, I went through a lot of Trump rallies and a lot of tea party Trump meetings in Missouri and also in Illinois throughout the year. I didn’t go as a journalist, I went as a member of the crowd and people would talk to me pretty openly because they thought I was a fellow Trump supporter. One thing that needs to be clear is that this is not a monolithic group of people. There are some people who really are very bigoted, who are anti-immigrant, who are racist; all of that is there. There are others that are just very desperate. They feel like their needs have not been addressed by the Democratic Party, by Obama and often by the GOP as well. I think that this is completely accurate. Since 2008, it’s been a struggle to live out here and to make ends meet. I think that we’re at a point where people feel so desperate and so enraged that they are willing to listen to anybody who is very actively stating that he’s concerned for their welfare, that he’s going to return their lives back to when it was good, especially that they would have steady jobs and work again and the feeling of safety and inclusion in American life. That feeling is very understandable. Donald Trump is not going to do that. He doesn’t actually understand or care about people in this part of the country. He’s had his whole life as a billionaire of major influence and political influence to care about what happens to people out here and all he’s done is shake people down. He’s done that all over the place; everywhere from Atlantic City to Gary Indiana. He’s about to shake down the entire country in a very kleptocratic way. I think by privatizing resources, by not bringing jobs, by making people feel more desperate – and that kind of desperation can lead to ethnic violence and can lead to hate crimes, especially when you’re being prompted towards those hate crimes explicitly by the administration. The hiring of Steve Bannon and others, he’s saying that this is sanctioned behavior now; that it’s okay for the president to be backed by the Ku Klux Klan, that you can get away with treating non-white people in a completely derogatory, cruel and often barbaric fashion. His promises, we should expect him to carry them out. A lot of people were doubtful that he would do things like make a registration list of Muslims or do mass deportation because these are the kinds of tactics that happened in dictatorships. These are the kind of things that don’t happen in the United States. We have had atrocities in the United States, but we usually prefer to not talk about them or brag about them so openly. He’s openly saying he’s going to do this, he’s said it throughout the entire campaign and he’s now making these plans. So we’re in for a very ugly situation where I think we’re going to be economically bottomed out. I think everyone is going to suffer, whether you voted for Trump or you didn’t. He might try to placate people in the beginning by throwing them some jobs, maybe through infrastructure projects but it seems clear from his team that the goal – as you’ve seen in other countries all around the world, is to try to make as much money for himself and his friends as he can by using and abusing executive powers to strip down national resources and carry out the kind of acts of corruption that he has, many of which we don’t know about because he won’t release his tax returns. So we should be prepared for economic volatility in a very extreme way. We should also be prepared for sanctioned violence and for policies that frankly disregard the Constitution and the rights of American citizens.

Jeff Schechtman: When many of these promises aren’t kept, when the lives of people in that part of the country don’t improve, are we going to see scapegoating that goes on in your view?

Sarah Kendzior: Yes, absolutely. That’s something I’m very concerned about. I think right now, people who voted for Trump are obviously happy he won. Some are just regular people who are glad their candidate managed to beat Hillary Clinton, but others – we’ve seen an enormous spike in hate crimes. I think one of the largest in the history of the country since they started tracking this: in the week after the election. Everything; from swastikas being painted in places to “make America white again” to people being beaten and bullied, to children being taunted in classrooms to threats to Muslims and Jews, it’s just very disconcerting. There doesn’t seem to be much reaction in our government to stop it. Leaders are not speaking out very strongly about it with a few exceptions, and I think it’s very interesting that one of those exceptions is Harry Reid, who’s leaving the government. He spoke out in the strongest way. So you kind of have to wonder why aren’t Obama and other leaders being more forceful when there’s a real state of threat from the president-elect in this team to average American citizens and that this threat is being carried out in a populous way and will eventually be carried out with the law itself; with executive power itself. I think as he does not fulfill his promises and jobs do not return here and if resources are denied and the people suffering increases, he will encourage them as he has throughout his campaign, to look for scapegoats. Those scapegoats will be Muslims, Mexicans and anyone else who he wants to blame this problem on. The media has really played this down. They played this down throughout the entire campaign, including major incidents such as two weeks before the election, a group of Trump fans were arrested by the FBI for building a weapon of mass destruction to blow up an apartment building that housed Somalis in Kansas. That to me is a pretty major story. Imagine if that was the other way around and bunch of Muslim Somalis had plotted to blow up a building of white Kansans. It would be everywhere, but I don’t even know if you’ve heard about it, I don’t know if your listeners have heard about it, but you can look it up. Kansas City Star covered it pretty extensively. So there’s something going on in that a lot of this seems to be sanctioned by the media, sanctioned by the government and it’s extremely reminiscent of dictators, both past and present and I think it’s an urgent crisis. I think it’s something that the government and the people, people who believe in American values; that we should be free, that we should be safe, that we should honor each other as citizens and respect each other’s rights as citizens. Anyone who cares about that should be very concerned right now and be contacting their representatives and speaking out and trying to amass as much mobilization against this kind of sanctioned brutality, if possible.

Jeff Schechtman: A lot has been written about the degree to which people on both coasts really don’t understand what life is like in Flyover Country. You’ve talked a little bit about that. Is there any sense among the people in that part of the country, in the middle of the country; of what’s transpired, of what’s changing, the way the world has changed with respect to cities and urban America?

Sarah Kendzior: One thing that I have to say straight out is that we’re not a monolith out here either. St. Louis is different than a small town in Missouri. Missouri is different than Nebraska. Sometimes, there’s this coastal tendency to kind of treat us as Flyover Countries and treat us as indistinct. What we do have in common in the region is yes, our concerns are ignored, they have been for a long time. I was in Rust Belt, a Midwestern city that was hit very hard by the recession and I’ve been writing about that and documenting it for a long time and I don’t think coasts understand. We lost a lot of businesses here after the recession but one of the businesses we lost was media. There is an incredible downsizing and cutting of our local newspapers, especially in small towns but even in big cities like St. Louis where out papers are barely hanging on. That has plenty of information that comes out and skewed the national narrative. People tend to rely much more on cable news outlets, on national news outlets. Right now, one out of every four journalists is currently living in three expensive coastal cities. When that happens, you get a very skewed and distorted view of what the average American is experiencing. I think that this comes across to people as apathy, they get very frustrated. They feel like their very legitimate concerns are not heard and that provides an opening for a dangerous demagogue like Donald Trump to come in and pretend to be the one who cares, but it’s a great irony because he is in fact a New York billionaire elite, he’s stocking his cabinet with other billionaire elites. He is not concerned with what is going to happen to us out here and we’re already suffering out here and I think our suffering is going to get worse. That’s a great shame. I call on elected officials out where I live to take the threat of Donald Trump and his administration very seriously, to remember that they were elected to serve the people and that they haven’t been doing that well for the eight years, but I think a lot of people would be willing to cut them some slack if they could intervene now and derail what is an extremely dangerous situation.

Jeff Schechtman: To what extent is there an understanding of the way in which the world has changed as a result of technology and globalization, and that in many ways the genie can’t be put back in the bottle? There’s lots of talk, of course, about manufacturing and jobs lost. In terms of manufacturing output, really it’s higher than it has been in a long time. The difference is it takes one third of the amount of jobs to do that manufacturing today. To what extent is there an understanding of these fundamental shifts?

Sarah Kendzior: I mean, I can’t speak for other people. I can just speak for myself and how much I observe that being covered and being discussed by the news and by public officials, and I don’t think it’s discussed as much as it should be. I do fear automation. That is how a lot of workers lost their jobs. Trump emphasized outsourcing, but a lot of what’s changed the economy over the last eight years has been internet shopping, the closure of local stores and malls; the people that used to work there are now being unemployed. I think we’re going to see the rise of a lot of automated technology that will replace workers. Some of trump’s key allies are Silicon Valley people who have kind of a libertarian philosophy and don’t particularly care about workers. They’re just interested in the technological aspect. They don’t seem to have a moral obligation to think about who this is going to hurt and what’s going to replace it. I think that this is dangerous, but I think there are other policies that would make a lot more sense, including raising the minimum wage and also creating jobs in this new economy for blue collar workers and eliminating the kind of credentialism that new jobs often require. Now, jobs that you didn’t need a college degree for a few decades ago, you suddenly need a college degree for, and a college degree is suddenly incredibly expensive. That keeps a lot of people locked out of the job market. I don’t see Trump really understanding this. I don’t think a lot of people understand this but what everybody does understand is the desperation as this conspires. Whether that desperation can be put to good use as in nullifying it, giving people jobs, giving people a good life, giving people the opportunities that they deserve and eliminating their hardship, that would be great. But I think Trump sees this act as an opportunity to exploit people’s pain and hardship and as that hardship increases, we’ve seen throughout history, the way people turn cruel when they’re suffering. The way people who thought that they would never ever do something to another human being can be led to do that if their economic situation is dire, if they feel like they can get away with it by law and if they feel like they’re part of a mass mob movement. Human beings are very susceptible to this. It’s not a case of are you good or evil, but is the action you’re taking good or evil? Are you willing to aby evil, are you willing to just stand by while other people are going to get hurt? So I’ll just say right now: if you are going to stand by and watch Trump do the things that he’s planning to Mexicans and Muslims and think that it’s not eventually going to happen to you because you’re white or because you’re someone who voted for him or supported him, it will happen to you because the only person that he cares about is himself and his very rich elite backers and they are going to strip down this country and you are going to lose even more than you have. I have no animosity towards the Trump voters. I obviously don’t condone the bigotry and the racism that many have expressed, but they are my neighbors, they’re my fellow people in Missouri and I see where a lot of them are coming from so I hope that everybody heeds this warning because things are going to get bad and as Americans, we need to look out for each other and we need to look out for our country.

Jeff Schechtman: When we look for historical precedent for this kind of dislocation and this kind of reaction, talk about what you see.

Sarah Kendzior: It’s interesting; if you study the history of states and a regime knows that it’s going to have fairly absolute power over the people, they often stop being subtle about it. They often stop leaving out what we call “tells” so that people can understand what’s going on. People who are savvy to these regimes can understand what’s going on because they recognize these historical parallels. So when Trump is saying America first, which is a fascist slogan, when his advisors are talking about making the trains working on time, which is associated with Hitler, when they’re talking about draining the swamps, which is a phrase that came from Mussolini, when Trump is tweeting Mussolini, when he’s tweeting pictures of Jewish stars next to piles of money and you combine that with his actual administration, which includes people who have supported neo-Nazis, even extreme right wing people like Glenn Beck has come out and said that Steve Bannon is a neo-Nazi. I think quite honestly, and I don’t mean to frighten people that we need to prepare for the worst. When you start hearing about them making a registry of Muslims; yes, that should make you remember that there was a registry of Jews. There’s an attitude that America is exceptional, that it can’t happen here. It can happen anywhere. All the countries that thought that this could never ever happen, that people would be good, that the government would never betray them like this, they found out the hard way, that it can. So I think that it’s really important that we confront this very frightening reality and it’s not a fantasy, it’s a reality now that he’s the president-elect. I assume he will have the power to carry out this. We need to stop it; we need to stand up for each other. It’s not a matter of partisanship at this point. It’s not a matter of getting Hillary into office or something, but just stopping cruelty, stopping sanctioned, violent, anti-Constitutional acts that greatly hurt the American public. Once this gets going, if you look at the history of fascist of authoritarian states, it moves extremely quickly. It seems to be that everything is normal, and then little things creep in and then once they have power they will abuse it. So we also need to look at the institutions that are supposed to keep this in check. An institution like the FBI, which seems to have been compromised. We have Comey releasing his statement before the election that there is an investigation into Clinton and then afterwards admitting that this investigation did not have to with Clinton and was leading nowhere. You have to kind of wonder why he did that. You have to wonder why the FBI went rogue on Twitter and suddenly a few days before the election, started releasing all sorts of files about Clinton and then also releasing a very flattering file of Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father; calling him a philanthropist. Donald Trump’s father was sued for racial discrimination and also participated in a Ku Klux Klan action. That’s the sort of thing that the FBI was actually investigating; for his racism. That’s not the way the FBI presented him. There seems to be warring factions within some of our institutions. Again, I studied authoritarian states for a long time. You can look for tells. The CIA inexplicably tweeted out a picture of, I think it was Hitler’s China followed by a little historical anecdote about Hitler’s collaboration with Russians. I don’t know how to really interpret this. The CIA of course is a place where they do this sort of subtle stuff for a living, they’re trained to look for it in other states. When they’re analyzing the social media and data of other countries, they look for signs like this, like what are people actually saying. So I feel like in little small things like that, you can see our institutions releasing some sort of sign and it’s important to try to distinguish whether that sign is an SOS, like a kind of warning or whether it’s saying we will be complicit in these actions because our best bet to stop these horrendous policies from being carried out is for them to be blocked by organizations that in the past, served the country. For example, the FBI was the one that took down that group of men in Kansas, those three Trump fans that were planning to blow up that apartment of Somalis. If they’re not going to stop those actions, we’re in deep trouble. So there really needs to be a congressional investigation into what exactly is going on and into whether the election has been compromised by Russia as Lindsay Graham has stated, as John McCain has stated and as many others have stated, particularly given Trump’s ties to Russia, the role of Paul Manafort, who has helped elevate dictators all over the world but especially in Ukraine in collaboration with Putin. This all some sounds like a spy novel. I think it’s been hard for people to swallow that this really could be happening but I would never say this unless I was very sincere. As I said before, I’ve been studying this for a long time so I think it’s really something that our government should get on investigating and I would urge citizens to call their representatives. It doesn’t matter if you live in a blue state or a red state, just call because you want an investigation into potential corruption of Trump, his administration and this election and especially foreign interest and what exactly is happening with our American officials. I think that if there is public pressure, then maybe people will speak more freely and respond.

Jeff Schechtman: And finally Sarah, is there anything that gives you reason for hope? Anything that gives you cause for optimism, given where we are today?
Sarah Kendzior: I’m not hopeful at all about what the administration will do. I know it’s going to do terrible things. What gives me hope, and I like to say we should be pragmatic before we’re hopeful, we should be mobilized and organized before we’re hopeful but of course, you have to have hope in your heart. I studied a lot of terrible regimes in history and in the present day, and I see that when people band together and they do what’s right and they stand up for their fellow Americans and they are willing to confront the darkness ahead and work very, very hard that they’ve managed to save their country. They’ve managed to save their countrymen. They’ve managed to work and rebuild and make it a better place. America’s been in a bad place for a long time. We’ve had two terrible wars. We’ve had a shattered economy. The situation that allowed this to happen, that allowed Trump to come to power was not just that he moseyed on in, like we were vulnerable to this. So we have a lot of things that we need to fix but we will be unable to fix them under this administration. People keep saying wait until 2018, wait until 2020. I don’t think we have that much time to try to mitigate the damage that he’s going to do because it will be extreme and it will move very quickly. So really, the time is now. The time to call your representatives, to mobilize with your community, to look out for your neighbor and to think, wait what kind of person are you? What kind of country are we? What does it mean to be an American? What does it mean to be a good citizen? What does it mean to be a patriot? To me, that means you stand up for each other. You work for each other. If your government is doing something that you find morally objectionable, that seems unconstitutional, if your government is not being transparent, if it’s putting open, white supremacists as the chief judges, you should say yes, this is not normal. This is not American values and then go from there. Work with your own communities locally and also try to contact people nationally to share your concerns. If you are concerned about it, and I really think you all should be. It’s not partisan. If you’re a Republican listening to this, you’re just as susceptible to these things as a Democrat. There’s really nobody who’s immune, except for the team of wealthy elites and backers that are with Trump. I add there that his appointment of his family members into getting clearances and being part of the administration is something you see all over the world in dictatorships. It’s been such a flagrant sign that the person in power is not serving the country but is serving himself and his family and is abusing executive power in order to accumulate more wealth. We don’t know Trump’s financial situation because he never released those tax returns, which was also unprecedented. So these are all concrete things to watch out for. I’ve been posting about them a lot on my Twitter account, which is Sarah Kendzior on Twitter, so you can go and find a wealth of information if any of this is new to you, which it might be because the media really isn’t reporting on it as extensively as I hoped they did and I think it’s very important that citizens become informed.

Jeff Schechtman: Sarah Kendzior, I thank you so much for spending time with us here on Radio WhoWhatWhy.

Sarah Kendzior: Thank you.

Jeff Schechtman: Thank you for listening and joining us here on Radio WhoWhatWhy. I hope you join us next week for another Radio WhoWhatWhy podcast. I’m Jeff Schechtman.

If you liked this podcast, please feel free to share and help others find it by rating and reviewing it on iTunes. You can also support this podcast and all the work we do by going to WhoWhatWhy.org/donate.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Trump protest march (Ted Eytan / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0)

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  • David S

    Wow – I thought this was a site where truth prevailed over shock journalism. Sad that anything the mainstream media doesn’t agree with is seen as “fake news.” As if what we got from CNN and the rest of the mainstream media was “real.” That GOVERNMENT policies have served to divide us as a nation (rich/poor, black/white, straight/gay, men/women, owners/renters, hosts/parasites) gets absolutely NO consideration whatsoever, or that any populist “rebellion” has to happen within the context of the only two parties that are ALLOWED to have power, or that FREEDOM is something we used to promote and respect in this country, never gets any attention. So much for press freedom I guess.

    • JayGoldenBeach

      Re: “fake news”

      I think she is referring to the specific sites that are actually parodies but are not self-labelled as such. They read like The Onion, but present as genuine.

      • David S

        You mean like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

  • Doug

    I have been a fan of this site throughout its history, and I thought it was relatively non-partisan focusing on credible investigative journalism. However, this guest’s delusional caricature and speculation concerning the election and its aftermath went appallingly unchallenged by the host in even a superficial way. What is this site?

    • Eric

      I didn’t find the lack of challenging statements a deterrent to the effectiveness of the guest’s caricature of the situation. The host allowed an expert to speak her opinion as it has been formulated over the past year as an investigative reporter with a Ph.D in anthropology and asked questions that allowed her to color in her response more fully.

  • Oldsailor65

    I thought this was a Conservative website.
    Guess I was very wrong.
    Sara Kendzior is so wrong.
    It is easy to know who she voted for.

    • PeazantBoy

      This site is consistently and equally critical of BOTH political parties

      • David S

        I would say more accurately that it is supportive of BOTH MAJOR political parties in alternating articles (there are FAR MORE THAN TWO parties overall) and not critical enough of BOTH as the two-party oligarchy that they are.

        • PeazantBoy

          Interesting take re www being “supportive” of both wings of the 2-party oligarchy. I don’t think of them as champions of the status quo. Want to expand on that a little?
          I’m quite aware that there are “far more” than 2 political parties …assumed it was understood that I was referring to the one(s) that actually have all the power.

    • bittermonkMT

      You have no way to know whether she is right or wrong; only time will tell. It is just as equally possible that YOU are so wrong. What is clear at this stage of the game is that Trump is telegraphing his direction and intent by the choices he is making in terms of the individuals he is placing in key positions to broker his power. Face the music, Oldsailor, if you take no issue with his selections you are ” one of them”, which explains why it does not bother you.

      • Oldsailor65

        I am very happy with “PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP” as “MY” incoming PRESIDENT who will select the very best people to:

        MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

        • PeazantBoy

          Thanks for regurgitating hollow marketing slogans, it ups the dialogue tenfold.

    • Bam

      Trump is not a conservative, he’s alt-right. There’s a big difference. If you thought you were voting for a conservative then you were duped. The irony is that Hillary Clinton actually was much closer to a conservative than Trump, but the alt-right have drilling it into people’s heads that she’s big liberal, which is funny because she’s actually not.

      • David S

        By ‘conservative’ you must mean pro-war, pro-crony capitalism, pro-Federal Reserve, pro-war on drugs, pro-police state, pro-destruction of freedom and liberty, etc. Not sure all the Conservatives would agree with your use of the term Conservative with Hillary, because those are all the things she stands for. But then most Conservatives seem to stand for them too so who knows.

  • Arlen

    The most flown over states are Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. So maybe, this should be called “Darker View from Non-Flyover Country”.

  • Elizabeth Raynor Short

    Turn your attention to the fascism of George Soros and the left-wing using paid thugs and “protesters” (60% of whom didn’t bother to vote) playing out in the streete of American cities. Your time would be much better utilized than making up faxcism where it doesn’t exist.

    • toncuz

      Prove the protesters are paid. You won’t because you can’t. You believe just about anything negative made up about people you are biased against. Ignorance is why Trump exists.

      • Elizabeth Raynor Short

        Some have said so on video- that they are paid by Soros, the man who goes around the world tearing down countries through this kind of operation, but it won’t work here. The socialists/commies and their useful idjuts are defeated. Their leaders will be going down for the crimes committed by their employees and for sedition. Look it up. BTW, Putin threw him and his foundations and organizations out of Russia and he continued to carry on subversive activities from afar, so Putin issued an international warrant for his arrest. Maybe we’ll have a friendly competition as to who finds and gets him first.

        • KitTraverse

          “Some have said so on video?” Really? That’s your standard of proof? You do realize there are videos on YouTube which “prove” 9/11 is an inside job and that space aliens are living among us … right?

          The reason Putin hates Soros is because Soros is an advocate for an open society. You know … horrible Commie things like civil liberties and truly representative government – things that a short time ago most Americans of both parties used to believe in.

          Of course, Bannon’s last Trump ad was straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, featuring faces of ‘Evil Jews’ like Soros and Lloyd Blankfein, linking them up to some sort of shadowy international cabal. The ADL and other groups called this anti-semitism.

          The Trump group detests Soros because he’s anti-authoritarian.

          • Bam

            And when Melania stated she is going to make cyber-bullying her main cause, it gave me chills because what she is really saying is that they are going to start going after people who speak out against the administration or who are critical of the alt-right by accusing them of cyber-bullying. Trump stated himself that the internet needs more censorship and that he planned to go after those who spoke out against him during the election. He’s a vindictive person and the biggest cyber-bully the world has ever seen. So it’s obvious Melania’s movement against cyber-bullying is just another fraudulent front they’re going to use to chip away at our freedom, and they’ll waving a flag and boasting about their patriotism while they do it. And Putin is laughing at easily Americans can be conquered without firing the first shot. Trump supporters amaze me at their ability to be so extreme in their opinions, while their actions are an amazing expenditure of energy to betray the very things they claim to be for. It’s would be comical if it wasn’t so insanely psychotic.

          • KitTraverse

            I hadn’t made this association with Melania; I just think she’s completely insulated and may be thinking of this as a mom with a kid on the computer all the time. Which makes it astoundingly clueless considering her husband is the cyberbullying Enabler-In-Chief, but not necessarily sinister.

            Nonetheless, you have a very good point. Look what happened with Pence at Hamilton. Pence the homophobe ideologue going to a Broadway musical (where gay people have been contributing forever), the second banana to a demagogue leading the nation’s white nationalists taking in a show which re-imagines the Framers’s world as multi-racial and multicultural. What … is Mike Pence a glutton for punishment? ;)

            No. This was designed to provoke precisely the reaction that it did. Pence gets booed and politely “lectured” by the cast so the alt right can frame it as a bunch of bullying, intolerant cultural elitists attacking the guy for patronizing the arts. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bannon gamed this out.

          • intalecshul

            Lol …. Citing ADL as proof of anti-semitism!? Their constant wolf-crying jumped the shark decades ago, not to mention their espionage, keeping dossiers on citizens, stealing official documents, black propaganda, false flag “hate” hoaxes, and other acts worthy of the CIA or KGB.

        • ragekage117

          No, they didn’t. That was from a fake news site, the guy admitted it proudly, that he just made up stories and was raking in $10k a month in ad revenues.

        • bittermonkMT

          “Socialists” and “communists”? Elizabeth, youve been chugging the Kool Aid my dear. You appear to be tone-deaf to reality.

          • yestradamous

            Umm, there are Workers party signs and socialist signs preprinted, yellow ones in the crowds of protestors. We had them here in Albuquerque the night after the election.
            Have seen these yellow signs for years in Leftist protests. These are organized, not spontaneous.

        • “Patriot’s” Bane

          Another unhinged, un-tethered to reality low information Trump supporter. HA HA HA.

    • JohnC

      I ve heard it said that the protestors are creating political capital for Trump, expecially as viewed from the middle of the country, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the “thugs” were agents for the right rather than the left.
      I would say before you make generalizations about the motivations of particular persons, which you haven’t bothered to do, you at least provide some documentation.

      • Elizabeth Raynor Short

        See my previous reply below. It’s the same to all y’all.

    • JiGGLeBiLLy

      What you need is more ‘facts’-ism.

    • brandon

      What about all the unpaid voters that I know that went to peacefully express their resistance to Trump’s vision for the United States? You’re on their side at least, I know.

    • intalecshul

      Not to mention the paid VOTERS who got taken on Election Day multi-precinct tours courtesy of Hillary, DNC, and Soros/Goldman Sachs money.

    • “Patriot’s” Bane

      I just love seeing these conspiracy theory tropes raise their tired overused heads….JFC.

  • This lady is mentally unstable and the host at 24:49 has not challenged anything she’s said. When Peter Dale Scott was interviewed I remembered more even discussion. The problem with America is poverty and debt, and if Trump does get things going in the right direction he will fail. I do not think he wants to fail or even look like a failure of course we need to watch Trump and we will.

    • secretlab

      That’s a nice attempt to discredit her, but in the real world, expression of appropriate emotion is not tantamount to being ‘mentally unstable’. In fact, the material being discussed would upset most any reasonable person.

  • Mugly Wumple

    The doomsaying and dire predictions that drove rightwing America have come to the liberals. Is Sara Kendzior a canary in the mine or is she a mockingbird, using fear as a marketing tool?

    What I do know is that many share her fears of a Trump presidency.

    • “Patriot’s” Bane

      And rightfully so. What I find grimly amusing is that when he is confronted with explaining his campaign mantras he reneges on a lot of them…climate change…uhm, yeah, maybe…lock crooked Hilary up? Uhm – not so much (glad of this). Even a blind person could have seen this coming a mile away. What is disturbing is that he utilized any means to justify the end. This will have huge consequences for the nation and the world.

  • RW

    While I understand Sara Kendzior’s pessimism, I think that the present respite before the installation of the new administration presents us with an opportunity to connect and mobilize in favor of democracy and civil liberties, presenting a united front that cannot be ignored. As of now, President-elect Trump has a blank slate, and protesting a regime that has not yet taken office is inappropriate. I agree with Ms. Kendzior, however, that political strongmen are capable of moving with great speed and agility, and that we must be quick to counter any likely abuses that a Trumpocracy may perpetrate.

  • I agree. we are on the precipice of a civil war. The GOP nazis will give the chief war powers, and he will shut down the interwebs, and bring in military. He also will suspend habeas corpus, and jail anyone who dares to challenge him, including Hillary and Obama. He will do it. Welcome to North Korea/ Russia II.

    • MarkInBoston

      Habeas Corpus has already been suspended with the 2012 NDAA (1021/1022), enabled and defended by Obama. Sara’s partisan whining is precisely why we are in the mess we’re in. Trump is merely the ugly overt face of fascism and the oligarchic nature of American politics as it exists today, opposed to Hillary who is the camouflaged face of the same tendencies. A strong argument can be made that the camouflaged face is much harder to exorcise. Most activists I know are psyched that Trump is president because we now have an easy target that even snoozing liberals can recognize. Where was Sara when Obama was making his lawyers work overtime to defend NDAA 1021/1022? The left had a candidate who could have pummeled Trump and they threw him under the bus. Their current whining rings hollow.

  • ragekage117

    I sure hope this lady is wrong.

  • windship

    At Breitbart, Bannon reveals his brilliant economic strategy: “We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.”

  • DutchS

    And THIS is why Political Correctness is bad. Not because it annoys or inconveniences the alt-right, but because it leaves liberals blind and deaf to what is really going on out there. Where did all the racists come from? They were there all along, telling racist and sexist jokes within their “in” circle while liberals basked in the fantasy that we were beyond all that, merely because they’d made it socially unacceptable to voice those ideas in public.

    But she nails one point. They want to be let alone. They want what Justice Lewis Brandeis called “the right to be let alone.” SO LEAVE THEM ALONE. Stop thinking you have the right to micromanage every aspect of life.

    • Ed Zavada

      I don’t know what liberals you’ve talked to, but all the ones I have are aware of racism and sexism, and fight against it daily.

      One of the tools of fighting it is political correctness, which simply put, is the idea that we don’t accept as normal things that belittle or demean people based on their race, gender, orientation or religion; and point it out when that’s happening. Like everything else, sometimes people abuse it, and treat it like a weapon to shout down those they disagree with and ignore it when applied to whites or Christians.

      That’s a flaw in human nature, not in the idea of being nice to one another and demeaning them for things they didn’t chose.

      • DutchS

        Well, then, you should hardly be surprised that Trump was elected.

  • Cindy W.

    I was also one troubled by this interview and do believe Ms. Kendzior is biased. I also live in “flyover country” (and have lived on the coasts in past) and have relatives who voted for Trump. They are not racists, nor xenophobic, nor sexist, but they did feel they were ignored by liberal elites, who prescribed policies and imposed legislation for rights groups on them, without showing any concern for the real problems of rural or small town America. I’m also tired of reading that globalization is “inevitable” (reminds me of Margaret Thatcher’s TINA) along with automation. They are if you do no difficult work to examine how your economic policies impact real people – if you just follow the neoliberal game plan and buy into University of Chicago economic theories. There ARE alternative ways to organize an economy, perhaps not for every industry, but certainly for many – IF anyone in a position to do so cared. The way it’s set up now, the comfortable classes are assured of annual increases on their shareholder profits, but meanwhile, people are struggling to survive who do not have investment income. (Sorry to divide into groups, but it’s hard to see it differently.)

  • Bam

    I am so glad someone else is seeing this happening. So many people I come across are just oblivious to these things. But anyone who has spent a lot of time studying history and evolution of ideological movements can clearly see that what she is saying is spot on. I think people are so indoctrinated these days that they are oblivious to what is occurring right before their eyes. Anyone who isn’t worried about this is clearly either not paying attention or is in deep denial. I mean, key members of this soon-to-be administration are literally telling us themselves that this is their intentions, but people still can’t seem to comprehend the situation.

    One reason is because the public has been so overwhelmed with misinformation and conspiracy theories and fake news while the very people creating and perpetuating these myths are accusing legitimate journalists of being the ones who are not telling the truth. People are so confused at this point that they don’t even care what’s true, they’re just choosing to believe whoever confirms their political bias. And they are quick to attack anyone who says anything that challenges their pre-conceived beliefs.

    Even many moderate and liberal people are putting their heads in the sand because they don’t want to believe it. We’re not immune to totalitarianism and fascism in this country and this widely held notion that it’s not or can’t happen here is the very same mentality that has been documented historically in every era where societies fell into this pattern. The warning signs are everywhere but it’s up to people whether to heed them or not. Many people left Germany when they saw what was happening in the 1930s, but many more stayed and by the time they realized it those who left were right it was too late.

  • kazjar

    Dark times indeed. What a moron I am! Here I thought Gerry Reith was dead! But lo and behold he is back in disguise telling me a “kleptocracy” stole the election in the US! It wasn’t a democratic election where a disgruntled populace elected a right wing ***hole! See, I’m just a rube living in Canada-working class, employed as a nurse in the hospital. My wife too. We’re reading about the mess in Syria where tens of thousands have been slaughtered, millions are on the run and millions more live in fear. See, we thought stuff like that and the brewing genocide in south Sudan and Burundi were dark times. Wrong we were! Yeah, the USA is facing tough times and has been for close to a decade. But I I hardly think it’s the next Uzbekistan.

  • Deese Kuhz

    The Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. I’ve noticed in the past decades that it’s the Democrats who get laws through Congress that destroy the watchdog agencies, gut the Constitution, and legalize the surveillance of Americans that had previously been outlawed. Then the Republicans come in and use those powers.

    It will be interesting to see if Trump really is an outsider, or if he’s a Trojan Horse, and will, indeed, use all those powers that the Democrats under Obama authorized and created.

    • kimc

      Could you be more specific? What watchdog agencies did the Democrats gut? Are you sure it wasn’t a Democratic president with a Republican Congress? Congress actually makes the laws, not the President. Also, placing blame isn’t really relevant to trying to solve the problem.

      • Deese Kuhz

        I assume you’ve never heard of Brooksley Born. You might try looking her up on a search engine, and, more importantly, read about her warnings, and what the Clinton administration did to her. In brief, she was in charge of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and was quite adamant and would not back down about the need to apply the regulations regarding the derivatives trading. The global melt-down of 2008 was NOT a “housing crisis”, it was a deriviatives melt-down. EXACTLY what she warned about happened. The Clinton administration just trashed her.

        It was the Clinton administration that destroyed the Glass-Steagall regulations that barred commercial banks from gambling with their depositors’ money, set up during the Great Depression, to prevent exactly what happened.

        Those are just two, off the top of my head. I really don’t have time to do your research for you.

        This is not about placing blame, it’s about paying attention. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

  • Sabbie

    Meh. Watch some old videos of Trump from the 80s, 90s, 2000s. He’s been obsessed with the same old thing forever, basically neo-mercantilism: America is getting beat by other countries because we make bad deals. He may be a racist but he is not motivated by racism. He is going to be your typical Republican president, minus the fake wars, plus the buffoonery. Too much scare mongering in the lefty media.

    • brandon

      I’m hoping that we are over-reacting. In fact, I want to do everything in my powers so that, four years from now, you can say: “I told you so. It was fine.”

      • Sabbie

        And people already forgot about GW Bush? A fake war that killed millions, Americans included, stole trillions of dollars from the taxpayer that could have gone to productive use, and made conditions ripe for global terrorism? THOSE were dark times.

        • Tootsie

          Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and we are still in Iraq speaking of starting and not ending wars.

  • Meremark

    A premium interview, Jeff. Sarah Kendzior is fully articulate, community conscious, and in command of her material in both views, as she explained, from personal sociality groundedness up, and from expert overview down, studied in the occurrences of dictators.

    And congratulations(?), Russ B. You can know WhoWhatWhy is hefting some serious weighty issues – you’ve arrived – when they start sending multiple trolls to infiltrate cognitions around here. As it appears there is a batch of them in the comments section, an increased number during the year.

  • Lawrence Hodge

    So pretty much Trump won because he painted a picture of a country about to go off the edge of a cliff, when the recession ended a few years ago. But pockets of it still exist and these people in rural America that voted him in feel ignored because people of color and the LGBT community have been making gains. Its why we saw things like ‘take our country back’ and ‘make our country great again’. These people feel like if it’s not in white hands and for white interest, but using thinly veiled terms like “working class” and “real Americans”, then the country is in a tailspin. Its pretty sad.
    Not only that these people think that the country is specifically theirs, but that a lot of the industries that they want back aren’t ever going to come back because of either environmental issues, lowering cost forcing the jobs to either go somewhere else in the country of overseas, or both.
    These people need to change or this century and the rest of the country is going to leave them behind, and it sucks to think that they won’t realize it until their savior Trump has failed them on all fronts. People keep thinking that its a “left” or “right issue and its not. It just boils down to people genuinely feeling that they are being left behind and for whatever reason they think this man can do it and he can’t. Time will tell but his business dealings and temperament say otherwise.

  • William WAUGH

    “So there really needs to be a congressional investigation into what exactly is going on and into whether the election has been compromised by Russia as Lindsay Grant has stated, as John McCain has stated and as many others have stated, particularly given Trump’s ties to Russia, the role of Paul Manafort, who has helped elevate dictators all over the world but especially in Ukraine in collaboration with Putin.” This quote discredits Kendzior’s analytical ability and intentions. A reader must ask, what difference would it make if the election were “compromised by Russia”? How can it be compromised from outside? Weren’t the opinions of US voters the primary drivers of what happened during the campaign and the election? Does Kendzior think that Russian media lied to US citizens and the citizens believed the lies? If so, what were those lies and what is the truth?

  • yestradamous

    Not pushing back on this stuff is a great way to perpetuate mass hysteria.

    Oh, and “the trains run on time” is not associated with Hitler, but with Mussolini. “Drain the swamp” was associated with Mussolini, but it might be the only thing he did that was good. He actually drained real swamps because of huge mosquito problems.
    It’s Lindsay Graham, not Lindsay Grant.
    Fred Trump did not attend a KKK rally as a KKK enthusiast. Debunked.
    Hitler’s China is a “sign” from the CIA? If you are paranoid, maybe.

  • Wagonsale

    I’m thinking Sarah accidentally picked up a Debbie Wasserman speech script. This is no typical “Fly-Over Country” resident. Also, hate to point it out, but Trump hasn’t taken office yet. Talk about fearmongering. Appears all she did while in school was chew on her book covers.

    • 5olomon

      5olomon
      I have a terrible feeling Ms. Kendzior is right. There have been alarm bells going off all over, in my thoughts, and I would never make light of our country’s troubles just to alarm people. There is too much evidence that points to a dictator-fascist type government. The interesting thing is like Ms. Kendzior said, Trump told us and shows us with his actions how he would and is governing. Pay close attention to the cabinet picks, the barring of the media to shut down transparency and the railing against the New York Times, SNL and the media in general, as lying and inaccurate when the media is trying to truthfully report Trumps’ actions to us, the American Public. SCARY. Organize now, call your representatives about Trumps’ lack of transparency, refusing to separate his family from government, his appointment of the white-supremist Steve Bannon- a self proclaimed supporter of darkness and his other chilling cabinet appointments with their hatred of minorities and their ties to Russia. We need to act NOW. Steve Comey, our FBI Director, had no problem selling out America’s soul for the Trumps- This is shockingly dangerous and should be pressured into being investigated at once! As you know, many Republicans such as Paul Ryan, Reince Pribus, Tim Pence, KellyAnne Conway etc. have been repeatedly asked about Trumps lies, policy on China, separating himself from his business, etc. and they DENY it or act like it does not MATTER or does not CONCERN them. However, this concerns ALL AMERICANS. This is a BIPARTISAN cry for ACTION to DEFEND and PROTECT our UNION! The list of tell tale signs goes on and on. How many more do you need before acting???!! AMERICA is in BIG TROUBLE and we don’t have time for anymore denial!
      We need to work together by calling our representatives and calling out ANY and EVERY injustice we see. We need to be BRAVE, now more than ever. BEFORE…IT’S…TOO…LATE. We need to care about one another and to COMMIT right now, that we will PROTECT the VULNERABLE and ANY and all AMERICAN’S who need our help. Please do not delay, as this is truly a THREAT to our NATIONAL SECURITY!

    • 5olomon

      Here I will post Ms. Kendzior speaking about Kleptocracy and how it can happen almost anywhere pending the conditions. It is very eye-opening and lists important facts that we as Americans must take seriously and act upon to turn the tide of history in the way we want our country to operate-not in some kleptocratic narcissistic fashion that benefits a few and will ultimately harm or end the lives of many vulnerable Americans and those Americans that dare to think for themselves and speak out. It is that serious folks!
      MSNBC, Joy Reid, Interview on Trump and Kleptocracy 11/27/14
      I’m trying to imbed the interview, but if it doesn’t work, you may locate with the above information. PLEASE ACT UPON AND SHARE WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN.
      GOD BLESS US ALL.

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