Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Supporting Donald Trump is no longer an acceptable position

I am a big believer in keeping an open mind.  But there comes a time when a social argument converges to the point where you have to say it's over, and certain positions are no longer socially acceptable.  Among these positions are the idea that it's OK to deny gay people the right to marry whom they choose, that it's OK to kill people en-masse because of their ethnicity, and that it's OK to hold people as slaves.  All this should be uncontroversial, and so the condemnation of violence committed in the name of these beliefs should be equally uncontroversial.

All reasonable people of whatever political stripe should therefore be utterly dismayed by Donald Trump's moral equivocation about this week's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The president's initial statement was ambivalent, and though he did eventually issue a more unequivocal condemnation, it was pretty clear that he didn't really mean it.  Today the president removed any doubt and once again showed his true face:

"I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it," Trump said.
The White Supremacists, of course, knew all along that Trump had their back.


That message came from the Daily Stormer.  The site has, unfortunately, been driven underground.  I say this is unfortunate not just because I believe in free speech, but also because it makes it harder for me to show you just how ugly this movement is.  Before it went dark I visited the Stormer site, where there were headlines like these (retrieved from Google's cache):
Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut 
Kikes Pressing Trump to Condemn Innocent Nazis Who were Attacked by Terrorist Cops and Leftist Terrorists 
London: Inbred Jewish Tapir Stabs Two People in Kike Neighborhood
And an entire section entitled "The Jewish Problem."  (Hm, where have I seen that before?)

Lest you try to assuage yourself with the idea that the Stormer was an outlier and not representative of the movement, here is what a North Carolina KKK leader had to say about the death of Heather Heyer today:
The leader of a North Carolina based group associated with the Ku Klux Klan says he is glad that a woman died while taking part in a protest in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend. 
Heather Heyer was killed when James Allen Fields Jr. allegedly drove a car into a crowd of protesters at high speed, then fled the scene by backing up. Nineteen other people were injured. 
Fields was among a group of white nationalists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue in a Charlottesville, VA, park. Heyer was among the large number of counter-protesters last Saturday. 
Monday night, Justin Moore - the Grand Dragon for the Loyal White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, said he was glad Heyer died in the attack. 
"I'm sorta glad that them people got hit and I'm glad that girl died," Moore said in a voicemail to WBTV's Steve Crump. "They were a bunch of Communists out there protesting against somebody's freedom of speech, so it doesn't bother me that they got hurt at all."
And then he added, for the benefit of those of you who still aren't paying attention:
"I think we're going to see more stuff like this happening at white nationalist events," Moore warned.
These are the openly voiced sentiments that our president doesn't want to condemn.  Because they are the sincerely held beliefs of much of his base.

This has to stop and it has to stop now.  It is time to put people on notice, and particularly Republican leaders: if you stand with Donald Trump you stand with advocates of violence and oppression.  You stand with racism.  You stand with anti-semitism.  You stand with advocates of slavery and admirers of Adolf Hitler.  (And I'm sorry to Godwinize the conversation, but that is simply a fact.)

Supporting Donald Trump should no longer be considered a socially acceptable position in the United States of America.

14 comments:

Don Geddis said...

No need to apologize for the invocation of Godwin's Law. The original Godwin himself says it's appropriate in this case!

Publius said...

Objective Truth and Voltaire

>All reasonable people of whatever political stripe should therefore be utterly dismayed by Donald Trump's moral equivocation about this week's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Is that because he told the truth? Do you believe in objective truth?

Antifa and black lives matter mustered a force of fighters wearing masks, helmets, and carrying shields and improvised weapons. They came to attack Unite the Right, and they did.

>The White Supremacists, of course, knew all along that Trump had their back.

What follows the above statement is 3 paragraphs of demagoguery.

The error you make is that just because
... the far right supports Trump (a --> b)
... that Trump supports the far right (b --> a)
Which is false, as Trump does not support the far right.

Your logic error, or perhaps strategy, is that just because a implies b (a --> b), it does not mean that b implies a (b --> a).

Here's how demagoguery and false implication works:
Ron has defended people who burn the American flag. Ron therefore supports burning the American flag. He certainly hasn't condemed those who burn the American flag. Nor has Ron condemned people who kill puppies. Why would Ron defend puppy killers? Why won't Ron make a clear statement condemning puppy killing? A lot of American flag burners and puppy killers like Ron. Ron supports burning the American flag and killing puppies.

>These are the openly voiced sentiments that our president doesn't want to condemn. Because they are the sincerely held beliefs of much of his base.

False. You are still crying wolf.

>This has to stop and it has to stop now. It is time to put people on notice, and particularly Republican leaders: if you stand with Donald Trump you stand with advocates of violence and oppression. You stand with racism. You stand with anti-semitism. You stand with advocates of slavery and admirers of Adolf Hitler.

>Supporting Donald Trump should no longer be considered a socially acceptable position in the United States of America.

It is ironic, yet sadly tragic, that you would invoke this political strategy right after you condemn it. Historically, when one group one people (group "A") wants to destroy another group (group "B"), they first socially isolate "B". Then "B" is forced into a ghetto. Then "A" liquidates the ghetto.

You're advocating Step 1.

The principles of Voltaire? You've abandoned them.

Ron said...

@Publius:

> Nor has Ron condemned people who kill puppies

That's true, but I have condemned people who torture kittens. Doesn't that count for something?

> Trump does not support the far right

> You are still crying wolf.

Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio. Before that he urged law enforcement officers not to be "too nice" to suspects. What do you think that support for the far right looks like?

> You're advocating Step 1.

Damn straight. But I'm advocating social isolation on the basis of what people *do*, not what they *are*. Very important distinction there. This is one of the things that people on the right don't get.

There are certain political opinions and behaviors that should not be socially acceptable in the U.S. Examples include: repealing the reconstruction amendments, supporting institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people, and celebrating Hitler's birthday. All of these are at least as odious as, say, defecating in public.

If you want to advocate for slavery, celebrate Hitler's birthday, and shit on the floor in the privacy of your own home, be my guest. But if you do it in public, damn straight I'm going to socially isolate you.

Publius said...

Casting a big net

<Trump just pardoned Joe Arpaio. Before that he urged law enforcement officers not to be "too nice" to suspects. What do you think that support for the far right looks like?

Neither of those 2 items.

<There are certain political opinions and behaviors that should not be socially acceptable in the U.S. Examples include: repealing the reconstruction amendments, supporting institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people, and celebrating Hitler's birthday. All of these are at least as odious as, say, defecating in public.

If you want to advocate for slavery, celebrate Hitler's birthday, and shit on the floor in the privacy of your own home, be my guest. But if you do it in public, damn straight I'm going to socially isolate you.


The above is reasonable, and perhaps even has a solution to the "crazy uncle" problem, and would apply to 1-2% of the popuation.

Yet the title of you post is "Supporting Donald Trump is no longer an acceptable position". Does your social isolation now extend to Trump supporters?

Ron said...

> Neither of those 2 items.

That's not an answer.

> Does your social isolation now extend to Trump supporters?

At this point I don't see how you can support Trump without tacitly supporting white supremacy. Trump has repeatedly expressed his unequivocal support for white supremacy in both his words and his deeds. He said there are "Good people on both sides". No, I'm sorry, but there are no good people on the white supremacy side. White supremacy celebrates the enslavement of blacks and the killing of Jews. It is pure, unalloyed evil, in the same category as ISIS. It needs to be unconditionally condemned without wiffle-waffling or attempts to draw moral equivalence.

Publius said...

Smearing A President - The Facts

>> Does your social isolation now extend to Trump supporters?

@Ron:
>At this point I don't see how you can support Trump without tacitly supporting white supremacy. Trump has repeatedly expressed his unequivocal support for white supremacy in both his words and his deeds. He said there are "Good people on both sides".

You've once again been listening to and reading #FakeNews. This is what Trump actually said:

Q> Do you think what you call the alt left is the same as neo-Nazis?

Trump: "All of those people -- i've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups. Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.

You take a look at some of the groups and you see and you would know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases, you are not. Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. "

Q: You said there was hatred and violence on both sides?

Trump: "I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame object both on both sides. I have no doubt about it. You don't have doubt about it either. If you reported it accurately, you would say that the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn't put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.. . . You had people and i'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally. You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad people in the other group too."

Q: You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?

Trump: "Trump: No, no. There were people in that rally. I looked the night before. If you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. I am sure there were some bad ones.

The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest. I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.

So I only tell you this. There are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. But there are two sides to the country."

Publius said...

Smearing A President - Analysis

An educated person would understand that Trump is talking about a mixture of people on opposite polictical sides:
1. (people who don't support taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee) + white nationalists + neo-nazis
2. (people who do support taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee) + Antifa + communists + anarchists + other reactionaries

Regarding the part of Group 1 that are white nationalists and neo-nazis, Trump said "They should be condemned totally."

They should be condemned totally. This is what someone says when they are not a white supremicist (or nationalist) or neo-nazi, and who doesn't what the support of those groups.

Surely an unbiased person could understand that?

@Ron:
>No, I'm sorry, but there are no good people on the white supremacy side. White supremacy celebrates the enslavement of blacks and the killing of Jews. It is pure, unalloyed evil, in the same category as ISIS. It needs to be unconditionally condemned without wiffle-waffling or attempts to draw moral equivalence.

Do you have no interest in converting white supremacists and neo-nazis to a more reasonable belief? Could they not be educated out of their current beliefs?

Ron said...

> 1. He makes statements of the racial and genetic superiority of whites over other races

You mean like how Mexicans are rapists? And Muslims should be banned from the U.S.? Isn't the moral superiority of non-Mexicans and non-Muslims kind of implied by those positions?

> 2. He invites members of the white supremacist (or nationalist) groups and the KKK to the white house for meetings.

You mean like Steve Bannon?

> 3. He would condemn jews as scheming members of an internatioanl conspiracy to control the world. He would disinherit Ivanka for marring an orthodox jew, converting the the orthodox jewish faith, and raising his grandchildren as orthodox jews.

You've got me there. Trump like his Jews. He once said, "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day." Totally not an anti-semitic comment.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/8-of-the-sleaziest-things-donald-trump-has-said-20150616

> 5. Throw a big party every year to celebrat Hitler's birthday.

He didn't throw a party, but he did manage to get through a holocaust remembrance without mentioning the Jews.

> 7. He would divorce Melania because she's an immigrant from a foreign country.

What? And give up the opportunity to grab her by the pussy?

> 9. He would re-write history to cover up his lifetime of helping the African American community

You really went off the rails there.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/trumps-long-history-of-racism-w497876

> 10. Have himself airbrushed out of the photos of him recieving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor alongside Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks.

And now you've plummeted straight over the cliff.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-naacp_us_580ac881e4b000d0b156e6e2

> This is what Trump actually said:

Right. The exact quote was:

"You also had some very fine people on both sides."

So I substituted "good" for "very fine." Mea maxima culpa.

> people who don't support taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee

Right. Robert E. Lee, the traitor who led an armed insurrection against the United States in order to defend negro slavery. And if you are one of those who don't believe that the civil war was fought over slavery, read the Confederate constitution, Article I, section 9, paragraph 4:

"No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp

That is what these "very fine people" were there to support.

> Do you have no interest in converting white supremacists and neo-nazis to a more reasonable belief?

Of course I do.

> Could they not be educated out of their current beliefs?

Yes, I think they can. And I think one of the ways to do that is to get them to read the Confederate constitution so they can see exactly what Robert E. Lee was fighting for.

Publius said...

Attribution Bias

@Ron
>You mean like how Mexicans are rapists? And Muslims should be banned from the U.S.? Isn't the moral superiority of non-Mexicans and non-Muslims kind of implied by those positions?

Not even to the slightest extent.

>You mean like Steve Bannon?

Steve Bannon is neither a white supremacist nor member of the KKK.

>And now you've plummeted straight over the cliff.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-naacp_us_580ac881e4b000d0b156e6e2


The Ellis Island Medal of Honor has also been awarded to Hillary Clinton (1999), Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Sandra Day O'Conner, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Mike Illitch.

>> This is what Trump actually said:

>Right. The exact quote was:

"You also had some very fine people on both sides."

So I substituted "good" for "very fine." Mea maxima culpa.


Ah, now we see you are just a partisan writer with no interest in objective truth. Throw out science, Karl Popper and the rest, you just crave political power to impose your will on others.

>> people who don't support taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee

>Right. Robert E. Lee, the traitor who led an armed insurrection against the United States in order to defend negro slavery. And if you are one of those who don't believe that the civil war was fought over slavery, read the Confederate constitution, Article I, section 9, paragraph 4:

You should study the biography of Robert E. Lee before you make such statements.

> . . .. That is what these "very fine people" were there to support.

You do not know, or have any way of knowing, why those people support keeping up the statue of Robert E. Lee. A hundred different reasons could exist, none of which you would think of. Your risk of attribution bias is huge. Try rewriting reality; you may feel better.

Given that about half of Americans support keeping up the statue of Robert E. Lee, it is absurd to think that holding that position is exteremist.

Publius said...

Re: Holocaust Rememberance Day

Remember that time when the Democratic National Committee almost didn't issue a statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day because they "aren't going to do statements for every Jewish holiday"? [Apparently thinking that Yom Hashoah is a Jewish religious holiday!] Oh, they also were actively trying to use Sander's Judaism against him and other nastiness.

Ron said...

> Steve Bannon is neither a white supremacist nor member of the KKK.

That may be, but he's certainly not their enemy either.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news/

> The Ellis Island Medal of Honor has also been awarded to Hillary Clinton

So what? That doesn't make it any less bogus.

> Throw out science, Karl Popper and the rest

Huh? I just cited a word-for-word quote from Donald Trump. How does that "throw out science"?

> You should study the biography of Robert E. Lee before you make such statements.

What exactly do you think I would find there that would change my views?

> Given that about half of Americans support keeping up the statue of Robert E. Lee, it is absurd to think that holding that position is exteremist. [sic -- kept as original since this is the operative word]

I never said it was extremist. That doesn't change the fact that Robert E. Lee led an armed insurrection against the United States for the principal purpose of defending "negro slavery". Honoring him may not be extremist, but it is morally reprehensible.

To be fair, I don't think that most of the people defending Lee are bad people. I think most people are simply ignorant of the facts. They have bought into the propaganda campaign that there was something honorable about the southern position. There wasn't. This myth was allowed to stand in order to facilitate reconstruction, but in retrospect I think that was a mistake.

Publius said...

The Taliban, It's Everywhere

>That may be, but he's certainly not their enemy either.

Are you their enemy?

> Throw out science, Karl Popper and the rest

>Huh? I just cited a word-for-word quote from Donald Trump. How does that "throw out science"?

By dismissing the truth in pursuit of your political goals.

>That doesn't change the fact that Robert E. Lee led an armed insurrection against the United States for the principal purpose of defending "negro slavery".

Robert E. Lee opposed slavery, writing that "slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country."

>Honoring him may not be extremist, but it is morally reprehensible.

Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., dedicated a statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee when he was the mayor of Baltimore. Who is he? The father of Nancy Pelosi.

>To be fair, I don't think that most of the people defending Lee are bad people.

You might even call them very fine people!

>I think most people are simply ignorant of the facts. They have bought into the propaganda campaign that there was something honorable about the southern position.

Or, they could have one of a hundred different reasons for wanting the statue to remain, but you so far have only come up with one reason.

Don Geddis said...

Publius wrote: "Robert E. Lee opposed slavery, writing that "slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country.""

That seems to be quite a bit stronger conclusion, than is warranted by the evidence. It's worth examining the full quote that you're extracting that short phrase from: "slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.

Additional analysis of Lee's attitudes: "Lee claimed that blacks were "not disposed to work," denigrated their intellectual capacity and expressed the hope that Virginia "could get rid of them." ... he firmly opposed giving black men the right to vote" (Eric Foner)
And: "he described slavery as an evil, but one that had more deleterious effects on whites than blacks."

Lee's attitudes towards slavery are not well summarized by your phrase, "Lee opposed slavery". I suspect you knew that you were being deliberately misleading.

Ron said...

> Are you their enemy?

I'm a Jew. According to them, I'm the enemy.

> By dismissing the truth

What truth am I dismissing?

> Robert E. Lee opposed slavery

No, he didn't. Yes, it's true that he once (once!) described it as a "moral and political evil" but that is not the same thing as opposing it. To the contrary, he fought to protect it.

Winston Churchill once described democracy as "The worst form of government" but that doesn't mean he opposed it.

> Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., dedicated a statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee when he was the mayor of Baltimore. Who is he? The father of Nancy Pelosi.

So?

> You might even call them very fine people!

"Not bad" != "very fine." At *best* they are ignorant of history and have no idea what they are actually supporting.

> Or, they could have one of a hundred different reasons for wanting the statue to remain

If they do, they have not articulated them. Opponents of gay marriage might have a hundred legitimate reasons for opposing it, but they had a chance to articulate those reasons in the public debate and they failed utterly. It is not up to the rest of us to pick up the slack for them. If there's a legitimate reason for honoring Robert E. Lee, let's hear it. Put up or shut up.