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Trump and California: An uneasy mix



Donald Trump is angry at California and our governor, Jerry Brown—again. The nation’s bluest state voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a wider margin (61.6%) than any other state besides Hawaii, and Trump’s approval rating in California currently stands at about 29%, lower than any other state besides Massachusetts. Trump knows he’s loathed in the Golden State; we don’t like him, his policies, and everything he stands for, and he doesn’t like us.

Republicans, an endangered species in California, love to slur Jerry Brown. Rush Limbaugh, the former drug addict, recently called him “anti-American,” which is funny, since Limbaugh’s hero, Trump, seems to have sold out America to the Russians. InfoWars, the white supremacist website of the rightwing agitator, Alex Jones, just broadcast, “Jerry Brown, you have destroyed the state of California!” This is arrant nonsense, of course, but most Trump lovers don’t live in California—we don’t want them here—and so they have no idea that Alex Jones and all the other California bashers are manipulative liars throwing red meat to their under-educated, provincial base. Among actual Californians—we who know and love Jerry, and understand how he has governed during his four terms—actually rate him highly, with a recent Fox poll (!!) giving him a 54% approval rating, which is quite good for a sitting governor.

The right wing’s latest complaint against Jerry Brown is that Brown has refused to comply with Trump’s request (actually a demand) to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border in order to help round up undocumented immigrants. Gov. Brown rightly said “Hell, no” (I paraphrase), although he didn’t rule it out: he just asked for a little more information about what they would actually do.

But Trump, naturally, misrepresented Brown’s position, and took to his favorite propaganda outlet, Twitter, to rant, Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!”

This comment is typical of Trump in its unsubstantiated smears and lies (“not looking for safety and security”), misrepresentations (“high crime rate”) and deceptions (“cannot come to terms.”)

To insult Gov. Brown by stating he’s “not looking for safety” is McCarthyite, not surprising for a man, Trump, whose mentor was the notorious red baiter, smear artist and deeply closeted, albeit homophobic, homosexual, Roy Cohn. The border areas of California actually have “lower violent crime rates than other places,” according to the F.B.I.

As for that “cannot come to terms” crack, it deliberately and misleadingly implies that Gov. Brown is at odds with California National Guard he commands. That is a lie. Trump would have more accurately used the term if he had tweeted, “My wife, Melania, cannot come to terms with my sexual perversions and serial adultery.” The California National Guard itself, in a formal statement, insisted, “state officials have not rejected anything” when it comes to sending troops to the border, and they suggested instead that “the federal government”—Donald Trump’s government—has “not responded” to Brown’s request for further information on how the troops would be used.

CBS News quoted a spokesperson for Trump’s own Homeland Security department, Tyler Houghton, as saying “the federal government is committed to working with Gov. Brown.” Meanwhile, Brown himself, in remarks on Monday at the National Press Club, took the high road. “We want to be cooperative,” he insisted. “I think we can find common understanding here, there’s enough problems at the border and the interface between our countries, California will have plenty to do, and we’re willing to do it.”

 Here’s the truth, although it’s not likely Republicans can accept it. Jerry Brown remains wildly popular in California. After all, we’ve elected him a historic four times, and would probably do so again were he to remain healthy and run for re-election (he isn’t). California is by far the richest, most powerful, most job-producing, most educated, most technologically advanced, most diverse and most innovative state in the country, and we’ve gotten there under Jerry Brown’s historic leadership. One can’t help but suspect that those rural Red State Trump supporters who are hating on California and Jerry Brown are just jealous, as well they should be!

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    ” “the federal government”—Donald Trump’s government—has “not responded” to Brown’s request for further information on how the troops would be used.”
    That’s probably because they have no idea how they’ll be used. Trump just wants to send them there to put on a show of doing something.

  2. I agree, Bob Rossi. The few hundred troops will do absolutely nothing on an 1,800-mile border, except give trump bragging rights to his pitiful following, who can then boast that he’s making America great again, haha!

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