politics, Uncategorized

Yes, We Can Be Reasonable About Trump Too

Trump’s in the news again. I suppose at this point to say that Trump is in the news is rather like reporting that air is still breathable. Being a narcissist, and apparently a deeply malignant and even likely quasi-sociopathic one, he can’t stop getting his fix of attention, positive or negative. Like any person who never came out of an extremely broken and childlike mentality, if he feels the attention wavering he will, self-admittedly, say things that are as evil and controversial as he can to once again be the center of a controversy.

Still, this time what he said there is a slight defense for. Trump said that the “if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know”. The assumption was that he was calling for an assassination of Hillary Clinton. I immediately thought that there were two interpretations: that of assassination, and that of political resistance, as if the Second Amendment folks (a strong group but definitely a minority) could single-handedly stop a President who had already won her judicial picks.

Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk has argued that there’s a lot of faux-PC outrage against Trump and that it’s not an effective tactic. This is a case that I think somewhat illustrates his point.

And yet, Donald Trump and his surrogates are still in the wrong.

If this was the first, or second, or even fifth, misstep that Trump had made during his campaign, it could be viewed as a momentary gaffe. Similar stupidity about NATO was defended by Mitch McConnell was a “rookie mistake”, ignoring that Trump is not a rookie any more and that he’s running for the highest political job in the land which suggests that he should be nothing less than a seasoned pro. (Hey, remember when Republicans got angry at Obama for his lack of experience, like with Chris Christie lambasting Marco Rubio by making a comparison of Rubio to Obama, ignoring that Obama isn’t a robot and can actually speak off the cuff quite well? I’d love for Republicans to bring that up again as their newest candidate has served in no public office, clearly only ran this year because people were now making fun of his empty declarations in the past, and has bankrupted six separate endeavors).

It’s not. Trump has had a campaign that has repeatedly stoked violence, called for the suppression of rival journalists (even as he himself behaves in hideously libelous fashions), seen an attorney within the campaign deny that marital rape is illegal (it is) while threatening an outlet that reported on Trump’s horrible treatment of Ivana with comments that bordered on death threats, and seen his campaign manager clearly commit assault against a journalist that was on his side.

And this is how Hillary Clinton ripped him apart in return: noting that Trump is the kind of man who decides to spew venomous slander about a Gold Star family. And the Secret Service took it seriously too. The fact is that Trump is grotesquely incompetent and irresponsible. He should have known better than to say something like that, and the moment he said it, he should have corrected himself. If he couldn’t do that, he should have taken every opportunity he gets to come onto the media and said, “Hey, my followers? Don’t shoot anyone. That wouldn’t be tremendous”. He doesn’t do something that elementally honest. He stokes anger and then moves onto the next issue, because that anger gets him elected. And every Republican that is considering voting for him is being sucked into that dishonest dynamic.

Republicans are now so committed to pushing away their cognitive dissonance that one on CNN today even dared to make a comparison to Obama making a reference to the fucking Untouchables. When Jake Tapper on CNN pointed out that it was a movie reference, the clown said that he didn’t know that and hadn’t known that since 2008.

Putting aside that the Untouchables is far from obscure and damn near everyone on the planet knows that line (I sure as hell did): Hey, buddy, ever heard of this place called Google? Search engines have been around for twenty years. You could have looked up the quote to see if it was from something. Instead, by your own admission, you repeated an easily-disprovable statement for eight years without bothering to research it. That’s what we call a “lie” in my part of the world, homeboy.

We liberals and leftists can be reasonable. We can recognize that Trump said something ambiguous that has multiple interpretations. And that still makes him a shitty candidate.


Steve King, You’re Incompatible with Western Civilization

This is the only election I’ve heard neo-Nazi and white supremacist arguments being side by public officials.

Steve King, a Representative from Iowa, repeated the idea that non-white people haven’t contributed to history. Not writing, not agriculture, not corn and tomatoes and chickens.

If Trump wins, white supremacists will think that this rhetoric is acceptable. These ideas have a long pedigree and they don’t become that much less dangerous with time. I never thought that I’d see the kind of things I used to only see on message boards offered by anonymous people in the mainstream, and yet here it is. People like King feel emboldened.

Too many people in this country think that you get a freebie on issues like this. That, whenever you please, you can trot out the idea that this is your country and civilization, and you’ll take back the nice things you gave. Steve has the right to say these things. And in a civilized society, he would be voted out of office and his ideas would see universal censure.

We’re nowhere near that. Our moves toward basic decency and courtesy (what dishonest people called “political correctness”) mean nothing if these ideas aren’t extinguished. Not by censorship, but by being roundly defeated in the intellectual arena and rejected as immoral statements.

And while many conservatives may get scared by that kind of rhetoric, and I understand to a point, these are the same people saying that radical Islam is not compatible with Western civilization. Neither is what Steve King said. It’s not compatible with any kind of civilization, anywhere.