I never recovered from President Obama's betrayal and dismantling of the grassroots organizing he galvanized in 2007-8. So I consciously edited my flutters of hope as he gazed directly into the camera during his final State of the Union address to implore the American public to actively repudiate xenophobic fascism, and to reject whipped-up campaigns against Muslims and "others."
Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina presented a startlingly similar message on behalf of the beleaguered Republican Party establishment, identifying herself as a daughter of immigrants from India, mourning the racist attack that killed 9 blacks at a Bible study session and proudly noting the state's removal of a Confederate flag in response.
Two minutes later, the media ripped it all to shreds
On PBS, moderator Judy Woodruff referred to Trump and Bernie Sanders in virtually one breath, defining the "outsiders" in both political parties as equivalent problems facing the nation.
The coverage on network TV was, if possible, worse. A commentator summarized Haley's critiques of particular Obama policies, entirely ignoring the bulk of her speech. The Republican presidential candidates have reportedly stepped up trolling on social media, and huddling with the much-married anti-gay activist Kim Davis.
Sure, Trump and Tea Party know-nothing racism are fueled by disciplined raving on Fox News, funded and fueled by corporate interests like the Kochs' gas-and-oil industries.
But increasingly I wonder if the fact-free, amoral and well-armed right-wing base is actually accountable to anything. And whether and how it can be effectively opposed and contained.