My favorite Senator has been rude to Trump again, in a Washington Post op-ed:
Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose.
Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics…
For years, Republican leaders have pushed the lie that voter fraud is a huge issue. In such states as Kansas and North Carolina , and across the airwaves of right-wing talk radio and Fox News, Republican voters have been fed exaggerated and imagined stories about fraud. Interestingly, all that fraud seems to plague only urban neighborhoods, minority communities, college campuses and other places where large numbers of people might vote for Democrats. The purpose of this manufactured hysteria is obvious: to delegitimize Democratic voters and justify Republican efforts to suppress their votes…
… Which reminded me that I’ve been saving an NYTimes article, one of their Table for Three series, by Philip Galanes:
Tracee Ellis Ross may be working 14 hours a day in Los Angeles on her hit TV show, “black-ish.” “But when Elizabeth Warren says she’ll have dinner with you,” Ms. Ross said, walking into a suite at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, “you get on a plane. I have a million questions for her.”
And from the moment Senator Warren entered the lobby, friendly to all but racewalking toward the elevator, she was happy to offer answers: breaking down complex problems into plain-spoken choices, engaging everyone in sight. When a woman on the elevator said, “You look familiar,” Ms. Warren introduced herself, shook her hand and asked how her evening was going…
Ms. Ross, 43, has also established herself as a powerful advocate, particularly for self-esteem among black girls in a series of TV specials, “Black Girls Rock,” and through social media. For eight seasons, beginning in 2000, she starred in the sitcom “Girlfriends,” for which she won two NAACP Image Awards.
But her greatest exposure and acclaim have come with her starring role on “black-ish,” about an extended African-American family… For her performance, Ms. Ross was nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category in 30 years, and only the fifth in Emmy history…
Philip Galanes: One reason you’re both such powerful advocates — for the middle class, for self-esteem — is that you’ve fused who you are with the issues you care about.
Elizabeth Warren: Well, I know who I am, and I know what I fight for. Whether we’re talking about making college a little more affordable — or health care or social security — I want to be as sharp as I can be because I know how tough things are. That’s my opportunity now.
PG: It reminds me of your great line: “I was brought up on the ragged edge of the middle class.” What made it “ragged”?
EW: Because it was so hard to hold on to. My mother clung to it — “We are middle class” — because our grasp was so tenuous. There were times we were and times we weren’t.
Tracee Ellis Ross: I feel like I’m on the inside for the first time. Inside the castle. I have an Emmy nomination! And I’ve been in this career a long time. I’m 43, not some ingénue who just stumbled into this. Much of my role has been as an advocate for self-esteem and humanity. The beauty of my work is that I get to unzip something that people are afraid to touch. To make them more comfortable in their own skin.
PG: Did that come from personal experience?
TER: I grew up on the ragged edge of self-acceptance, where I was holding on to it, but it was easy to fall off. But as I found my way inside myself, I’ve been able to accept my own hair, my own shape. And now I get to bring that to other people.
PG: It’s funny. When people hear you’re Diana Ross’s daughter, they probably start fantasizing about living in castles with Michael Jackson on speed dial. But when you were born, your mom was probably just 10 years from the ragged edge herself.
TER: They have fantasies about what’s happening in our world right now. But my mother is an international treasure, and royalty in the black community, because she did something that didn’t exist at a time when it didn’t happen. She paved her own road. And being her daughter, people loved me just because I was part of her. But from a very young age, I wanted to fill that space with something that was worthy of being looked at.
EW: I love that. You saw you had opportunity, but rather than just saying “Lucky me,” you said, “What can I do with it that expands opportunity for others?”…
TER: But it’s not just in politics. It’s everywhere. This “otherness” that’s all of a sudden part of our culture. People grabbing on to what’s theirs out of fear it might be taken away.
EW: I think it’s deliberately political. People across America now understand there’s a lot that’s broken. People feel like I did when I was 12 years old: “I’m about to lose the whole thing.” And they feel that way because it’s true. Millions of people were turned upside-down in the financial crash, and they can’t get a foothold. Young people with college debt are starting out 10 yards behind the starting line. And this is the Donald Trump moment. He says, “Blame the immigrants, blame women, blame people who have different religious beliefs than you, blame people who aren’t the same color as you.” Because if everyone turns on each other ——
TER: Then what?
EW: Then the same old system that keeps billionaires on top stays right where it is.
PG: But what does blaming do for the guy who’s about to lose his home? He still doesn’t get to keep it.
EW: It’s a zero-sum game. There’s one piece of bread here. And if you’ve got more, I’ve got less. But there’s no more bread. That was not America. We were building an America that said, “If we educate all our kids, we’ll actually make more.”
TER: There’s enough sun for everyone…
Read the whole thing — both women are hard-headed, but determined optimistic about making the change they want to live. Good way to get centered, on a day when we probably need it!