So, what is the deal with this cray-cray Trump candidacy?  Is it just the reality show from Hell?  Is it a dumber incarnation of Mussolini?  I’m staring at it in horror, but what is it?

One simple answer is that it’s a reaction to Obama’s presidency.  The racists of this country have had a rough seven years trying to deal with the reality of a black President.  Now, here comes Trump to the rescue, this man who still hasn’t sorted out his feelings about the KKK.  The yokels who cheer for him might not agree with his stances on health care or abortion or almost anything else, but that doesn’t matter–the essence of his campaign is all about bashing brown-skinned people.

Despite the fact that his administration is responsible for a record number of deportations, the screaming heads on talk radio have always accused President Obama of purposely letting high numbers of undocumented Latino immigrants into the country in order to “change our culture” (code language for making the culture less white).  But, never fear!  Trump is here and he’s going to build a giant wall to protect us from all these foreign aliens.

Likewise, the right-wing conspiracy theorists believe that Obama is sympathetic to radical Islamist terror groups, perhaps even that he’s a radical Muslim himself.  This although he has expanded George W’s drone strike program.  Once again, Trump bravely steps up to the plate.  He will keep all the Muslims out.  Radical or non-radical, it doesn’t matter.  That should solve the problem.

In an ironic twist, as the President is disrespected because of his skin color, he is simultaneously blamed for being the one to cause racial division in the nation.  Apparently, he is too soft on the (scary to conservatives) Black Lives Matter movement.  In the world of anti-Obama hysteria, tiny molehills are turned into mountains.  As with everything else in his presidency, Obama has treaded very carefully when it comes to incidents of police brutality, not speaking out as forcefully as many would like him to.  He got in enough trouble just for saying that Trayvon Martin could have been his kid.  And still, according to the crazy rightie blogosphere, he has been coddling rioters and looters.  Trump, on the other hand–he doesn’t mess around with those pesky BLM protesters.  He will have his own audiences kick and shove them out of his rallies.  He’s a big man, that Donald.

So the question is–will we allow the racist backlash against our country’s first African-American President to result in a destructive, reactionary Trump presidency?  I sincerely hope not.

So something horrible has happened on Zanzibar.  Two British women have been splashed with acid in another acid attack on women in an Islamic country.  The two were volunteer teachers (proving yet again that no good deed goes unpunished) and were walking to dinner when two men on a motorcycle performed their drive-by attack.

While what has happened to the two teachers is tragic, this statement from Zanzibar’s Minister of Tourism is hilarious, although not in a good way:

“And I beg our nationals, this is not something they should be doing. Tourism is the strongest pillar of our economy, so if we do such acts we are killing our economy, and our livelihoods in general.”

“So it is not an honourable thing to do, it’s a bad thing and it should be condemned by all citizens of Zanzibar.”

So what has happened isn’t dishonorable because it’s wrong to splash women with acid, it’s dishonorable because it might ruin the tourism industry.  Perhaps this proves that the profit motive really is the best way to bring us all together as one.  Zanzibar, like other regions in crisis, is torn between people who want to turn it into a paradise island for tourists, and people who want to turn it into a fundamentalist religious state.  We’ll see which one wins.

Conservatives here in America and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt are two very different groups.  But there is a lesson to be learned from the revolution which happened in Egypt this week.

Mohammed Morsi’s government failed because it wasn’t inclusive enough.  When running for office, Morsi promised to include women and Christians in his administration, to be respectful of minority rights.  The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that they were realistic and did not have any delusions about being able to set up a fundamentalist religious state in Egypt.  With these promises, they convinced even some moderate Egyptians to vote for them.

Once they got into office, it was a different story, and they wasted no time trying to build a society based on sharia law.  But a new generation of Egyptians doesn’t want a traditional Islamic state forced on them, and we saw the results of that yesterday.

Republicans in this country face a similar dilemma.  They have to at least pretend to be inclusive and accepting of women, immigrants, minorities and non-Christians.  They know that if they don’t, they may never win a national election again.  But when they’re in office, they seemingly can’t help themselves.  They instantly focus on limiting women’s rights, making voting difficult for their fellow Americans–and trying to build a society based on religious law.

The new world we live in is a small and shrinking one.  We are part of a global economy and a global communication system.  We interact with people of different cultures and faiths on a regular basis.

Any political party or group which only appeals to one race, one religion, one tradition is already turning itself into a dinosaur, and if it’s not careful, it may go extinct.  Republicans–take note.