Breaking news: Racists want you to stop calling them racists

Sam Altman, a gullible Silicon Valley entrepreneur with no sociological qualifications, sent himself on a self-appointed mission to talk to Trump supporters. This was an interesting and helpful experience, he says, although I’m fed up with attempts to puzzle out what Trumpkins have to say, so it was the opposite of interesting to me, and he fails to explain what’s helpful about yet another set of rationalizations. In particular, his “TL;DR summary” of the various conversations is just self-serving extortion, and no, I neither accept this claim nor am I going to obey this suggestion.

“You all can defeat Trump next time, but not if you keep mocking us, refusing to listen to us, and cutting us out. It’s Republicans, not Democrats, who will take Trump down.”

We’ve been listening. We’ve been listening a lot. And it’s the same old crap that justifies mocking them. Like this quote:

“Stop calling us racists. Stop calling us idiots. We aren’t. Listen to us when we try to tell you why we aren’t. Oh, and stop making fun of us.”

But…they are racists! This is a racist comment:

“I’m so tired of hearing about white privilege. I’m white but way less privileged than a black person from your world. I have no hope my life will ever get any better.”

So is this:

“He is anti-immigration.” Note: This sentiment came up a lot. The most surprising takeaway for me how little it seemed to be driven by economic concerns, and how much it was driven by fears about “losing our culture,” “safety,” “community,” and a general Us-vs.-Them mentality.

We can hear them saying they’re not racist, and then making racist comment after racist comment. But then we’re supposed to not mention that what they’re saying is incredibly racist? Why not?

I think it’s way past time we stopped making nice with racists. If it hurts their feelings to point out that they’re racists, there are a couple of ways to resolve it: a) they could change and stop endorsing racist ideas, or b) we could obey their demands and be quiet about their racism.

Option B is no longer tenable, if it ever was. The ball is not in our court, but in theirs.

Then there is this: they say that the way Trump “talks about women is despicable”, but apparently not despicable enough to prevent them for voting for him, and then say stuff like this:

“He is anti-abortion.” Note: This sentiment came up a lot. A number of people I spoke to said they didn’t care about anything else he did and would always vote for whichever candidate was more anti-abortion.

They’re not only racist, but anti-woman. They don’t want us to say anything about Trump’s misogyny, or their implicit support for it.

Sam Altman isn’t very good at this cultural analysis stuff — he seems to accept everything the Trump voters say at face value, and then he turns around to chastise liberals for being mean to the Trumpkins. Not mean enough, I say: we need to make it crystal clear that their vile behavior is not acceptable.

Oh, right.

“The left is more intolerant than the right.” Note: This concept came up a lot, with real animosity in otherwise pleasant conversations.

Then stop doing intolerable things, and we can be tolerant. Otherwise, we’re done standing silent while they promote racism and misogyny.

Also, we’ll keep calling idiots who voted for a narcissistic, incompetent toddler idiots, thank you very much.


  1. lotharloo says

    “He is anti-abortion.” Note: This sentiment came up a lot. A number of people I spoke to said they didn’t care about anything else he did and would always vote for whichever candidate was more anti-abortion.

    Some guy I know from some other forum also said the same thing. He agrees that Trump is not smart, that he’s probably not a very serious Christian and not a very good person either. But he is anti-abortion so he only voted because of that and the other option was absolutely unacceptable only because of the abortion issue.

    To be honest I have to commend the Republican party for producing such high quality propaganda that people like this guy I talked to, voted for a candidate with whom they disagree on so many different levels. Once you equate “abortion” with “murder” and “availability of abortion” with “genocide” and drum up the propaganda, these people will vote for any candidate the Republican party puts forward.

  2. Raucous Indignation says

    Oh, no, I cannot stop calling out racists. I am constitutionally unable to keep my mouth shut, and it’s my new hobby. I will keep shouting at racists. I will continue to call them willfully ignorant, self-destructive suppurating dickholes. I swear it. They don’t deserve nor do their ideas warrant serious discourse. I have cavern of vitriol left in me, and I plan on using it all before I return to the Earth.

  3. peptron says

    Can’t you see that the reason I drink so much is that you call me an alcoholic!?

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    fork in the road, sorry.

    Seems the republicans/Trumholes accuse any opposition with the same brush they always used against 44.
    This is in reference to comments against that billboard in Phoenix (look it up, it’s awesome). They say “ain’t a work of art. Burn it down. IF the same was done to Obummer the libturds would explode it”.
    Completely “forgetting” [conveniently]all the effigies and posters and demonstrations of anti-Obama propaganda that liberals allowed as valid protest, as expressions of disagreement.
    Including, “He’s the president, democratically elected, so live with it, if you hate him so much no one is stopping you from voting him out in 4 years. Work WITH him to do what you want accomplished, Fighting him gets nothing accomplished. Don;t just paint Hate, work with him”. — yeah like they really worked with obama, continually blocking every bill he put forth into Congress.


  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, we’ll keep calling idiots who voted for a narcissistic, incompetent toddler idiots, thank you very much.

    I also call them gullible marks who voted for a con man, and if they got beyond the buzzwords like “change”, could see that they would suffer from the change he was promoting. And they are beginning to see it.

  6. says

    “The left is more intolerant than the right.”

    Hold on a damn minute… So the group who is clearly racist, sexist, homophobic, wishes death on its enemies, and often purges people from its own party for not being ideologically pure is the more tolerant one?

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “So the group who is clearly racist, sexist, homophobic, wishes death on its enemies, and often purges people from its own party for not being ideologically pure is the more tolerant one?”

    You left out “much, MUCH more dishonest”.

  8. screechymonkey says

    Plan for victory:
    1. Don’t criticize your opponents’ views.
    2. Abandon the use of concepts that are key to articulating your own views.
    3. ????
    4. Victory!

    Yeah, I’m done reading all of these thumbsucking pieces about how put-upon Trump voters are.

    Clinton voters:
    “I’m worried about losing my health coverage and being one illness or injury away from bankruptcy.”
    “People are trying to make it even harder for me to exercise my legal right to vote.”

    Trump voters:
    “A late-night talk show host made a mean joke about Trump supporters!”
    “Someone called me a racist!”

    Remind me, who are supposed to be the delicate snowflakes crying for their safe spaces?

  9. monad says

    These things are always so frustrating. You barely have to read between lines here: Trump supporters are demanding not to be called racist no matter how many racist things they support, with the threat of continuing to support racist things otherwise. And I’m so sure they would stop if they weren’t called out.

    And yet it’s always packaged up as something liberals ought to be considering, as if not complying with such demands means we didn’t reach out properly and now all the racist garbage is our fault. It’s not, it’s on the racists, no matter how many articles try to twist it otherwise.

  10. blf says

    Remind me, who are supposed to be the delicate snowflakes crying for their safe spaces?

    Hair furor and his dalekocrats.

  11. blf says

    Their complaint may be much more simply summarised as “Don’t criticise us or else.”

    Suggested improvement. Please note that is an inclusive-or, not exclusive-or, meaning that even if you do not criticise Them, They may still apply the “or else.” Who says logic is not Their strong point?

  12. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Holms wrote:

    Their complaint may be much more simply summarised as “Don’t criticise us.”

    I think it might actually be, “Obey us!”

  13. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    “Stop calling us racists. Stop calling us idiots. We aren’t.”

    No and No. You are.

    Listen to us when we try to tell you why we aren’t.

    I have listened and found the explanations wanting. Saying “I’m not politically correct” is the politically correct way of saying you’re a bigot. I’m finished listening to abstractions that try and frame flip, that attempt to portray people who hate and persecute others as martyrs.

    Oh, and stop making fun of us.

  14. zetopan says

    “So the group who is clearly racist, sexist, homophobic, wishes death on its enemies, and often purges people from its own party for not being ideologically pure is the more tolerant one?”

    An important aspect to remember about the more rabid members of our society is that like Humpty Dumpty, words only mean exactly what they want them to, no more and no less. This is why tolerant actually means intolerant, non-racist means racist, educated means ignorant, universal health care means death panels, etc. and also why we have obvious oxymorons like creation science, compassionate conservative, etc.

  15. says

    My gosh…The stupid!

    “I’m socially very liberal. If he were to do something like restart a war on drugs, try to restrict rights of LGBT, or make first-trimester abortions difficult or dangerous, I’d rethink my position. I think these type of things are extremely unlikely, though, especially with an election a few years away, the country as a whole becoming more socially liberal.”

    Did this moron not pay attention to, for one obvious example, the fact that there is a vacancy on the SCOTUS?!? Those seats don’t change every few years. This, though, is a reminder that liberals failed to stress the importance of this prior to the election as much as we probably should have, IMHO.

    But this is probably someone who claims to be “fiscally conservative,” so I doubt they are as socially liberal as they claim.

  16. handsomemrtoad says


    You should not call them “Trumpkins”. Trumpkin is an admirable good-guy in the Narnia book Prince Caspian. He’s honest, straightforward, humble, and down-to-earth. Not at all like most Trump supporters.

    I suggest calling them “Trumpies”. That way, when they have sex, it’s Trumpie-rumpy-pumpy.

  17. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Once you equate “abortion” with “murder” and “availability of abortion” with “genocide”

    But they don’t.

    This post kinda dovetailed with this. Same sorta whining.

    A couple of comments are worth quoting; can’t figure out how to link to them directly:

    This is why it mystifies me when the conservatives accuse people of being sensitive snowflakes and putting feelings over logic. This whole article (which echoes what I’ve heard from conservatives during arguments) is basically “Don’t confront me, respect my feelings, don’t label me or make assumptions about me, it hurts my feelings and makes me shut down, if you want me to listen you have to be nice, and gentle, and kind, and respect my point of view even if I don’t respect yours, and…” and it’s because conservatives are the most sensitive snowflakes of all.

    I’ve read stuff in the “SJW” milieu for years now, and the most whining and complaining and flying off the handle, the very saltiest of tears, only ever come from the people who hate SJWs and accuse those darn SJWs of all sorts of things I’ve never or almost never seen in reality (and though they don’t admit it, they hate SJWs for ignoring THEIR feelings). Like the old, “You called me racist and that hurt my feelings, and that’s more important than whether anything I said was racist, you mean, oversensitive, bully! I’m going to be even MORE racist now because you made me look bad, when I know on the INSIDE I’m a Very Good Very Special Person Indeed(tm)!”


    And this one in its entirety:

    You have a long way to go yet. Getting offended and switched off the argument because you didn’t like what somebody had to say? Tough s**t.

    You know who cared about the argument BECAUSE they didn’t like what you had to say? The person engaging you. If you actively chose to give up the moment you meet any sort of resistance because you don’t like the “tone” or how they counter everything you say, then you are missing the point of the discussion.

    That your point of view invites such ridicule and analysis is what makes it worth discussing. That somebody you don’t know is angry about what you’re saying makes it worth discussing. That is, it’s worth discussion if you actually care about what you’re talking about.

    You mentioned that you switched your focus on morality because of how often the bible focused on the poor instead of homosexuals. That doesn’t mean you’ve changed, it means you’ve simply switched your agenda temporarily to something you think is more important. The benefit of this switch is that it’s something you can find supporters of on both sides of this invisible fence. Many “liberals” also care about the poor. But more importantly, us “liberals” care about equality and fair treatment of EVERYBODY.

    My recommendation, if you’ve made it this far in my comment, is to stop focussing on the points you want to make. Instead, focus on the END GOAL of what it is your points are supposed to support. For example: If you believe people should be good to each other and give everybody a helping hand, then does it actually matter WHY they’re doing it? I don’t care if somebody is working at a soup kitchen because they’re mandated by the courts, or because they volunteer altruistically. They’re both there, and they’re both helping, regardless of the reasons.

    So maybe, just maybe, you should focus on the goal instead of the path getting there. You’ll find yourself less bogged in the weeds of the details. As many others have pointed out, I know I’m happy to acknowledge when I’m wrong. Why? Because I get to STOP BEING WRONG about something. Acknowledging it validates the person discussing it with me and informs them that their contribution is much appreciated, and it simultaneously prevents me from presenting like a backwards ass until it’s corrected.

    People seem to think that the American Conservative view is just a perspective that the other side doesn’t get. It’s not. It’s a perspective the entire world recognizes and understands. And from people like me, who aren’t American, I’d like you to understand something: That perspective presents you as intolerant, racist, sexist, elitists who only care about Christianity and the top 1%. That’s the perspective you offer.

    Now, you can be as pissed as you like at that observation. I’m not even saying that I believe it all the way through. I’m just saying that’s how you come across. You can yell at me for saying it, or you can reflect for a minute and ask yourself why that’s the picture that literally everybody who isn’t you is seeing.


    Well, I found it heartening.

  18. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    In other news Tim Allen has compared being a conservative in Hollywood to living in 1930’s Germany.

    Link’s broken, so I’m going to assume he means “being a random ‘Aryan’ in 1930s Germany: privileged all to hell aside from being subject to a few hardships that fell on everyone else too, and worse on most of them, but convinced you’re under attack and fighting for your very life.”

  19. chrislawson says

    aeon published an appalling article a week or two ago arguing that consciousness disproved materialism using long-debunked quantum magic fallacies. (Which shows how stupid it all was anyway — even if quantum theory explains consciousness, which is highly unlikely, it’s still a materialist theory.) It never ceases to annoy me how stupid, stupid arguments can be recycled endlessly so long as they support some people’s entrenched smug superiority.

  20. brucegee1962 says

    I’m going to take my life in my hands here, and go against the general attitude of the board.

    Oh, not about whether or not Trump voters are racists. Yeah, sure, they undoubtedly are. I’ll grant you that, no problem. Many or most are sexist and homophobic and anti-education and a bunch of other bad things too. It’s just that the question of whether they’re racist or not is the WRONG QUESTION.

    The question we need to be asking is “Why did all those counties in Pennsylvania and Michigan Wisconsin that voted for Obama in the last two elections, vote for Trump this time out?” And the question that’s even bigger than that is, “Can we figure out how to get them back?”

    If your answer to the first question is “Because they’re a bunch of racists,” and your answer to the second question is “Who cares, we don’t need a bunch of backwards Democrats,” then I’ve got to ask whether a term almost as bad as racist may not apply to you. That word is LOSER.

    As in, we’ll all be perfect right and justified and accurate in calling out racism wherever we see it. And then the forces of evil will win again in 2018, and again in 2020, and all of us upright, justified, accurate Democrats will be saying “HOOOOOW could this happen?” And by 2024, Trump may have done so much damage that there may not be much of a country or a world left to save anymore.

    I’m not saying we should tolerate open racism and sexism within the ranks of the Democratic party – not at all. Let’s keep holding our leaders and ourselves to a high standard. After all, as others have said here, nobody thinks of themselves as racist – even the racists.

    For all the racism-callers, though, I wonder – do you even have any Trump-voting acquaintances or family members that you speak to, left? I have a few that I’m still speaking to. (Though most of my Republican family are now claiming they abstained from the President vote.) I think that some of the Trumpsters may be starting to have a sneaking suspicion that they’ve made a terrible mistake. I’m trying to gradually find some common ground, and wean them back into considering voting for a Democrat. But if they look over at the Democrats and see a bunch of people pointing at them and screaming “racistracistracist,” they’re going to sprint back to the GOP where there will be plenty of people to stroke their egos and tell them they’re fine the way they are.

    It’s just that I seriously believe that the fate of, not just America, not just “western values,” whatever they are, but OUR ENTIRE SPECIES is at risk because of this man. If we can’t stop him by flipping Congress in 2018 the way the Republicans did in 2010, humanity’s goose may quite literally be cooked.

    So if you want to attack me – and I’m sure many of you are sharpening your knives – tell me how calling out racism in Trump voters is going to help us win in 2018. Failing that, tell me why anything else in the political sphere should matter right now.

    I want to cite one more person here: Hillary Clinton. If you look at the text of the “basket of deplorables” speech that probably lost her the election, you can see that the actual point she was making was the exact opposite of the point that she was accused of. She was saying that half of Trump’s voters WEREN’T deplorable. And she went on to say that if we couldn’t figure out how to win over the non-deplorable ones, then WE WOULD LOSE. And she was right – she couldn’t figure it out, and she did lose. And these days, I’m losing sleep worrying that we will make the exact same mistake again, by shoving all of them into the same basket and getting the exact same results in 2018 and 2020 that we saw last November.

    We – all of us – are the face of the Democratic party. Is it really so horrendous an ask to wonder why we can’t make that face look a bit more welcoming?

  21. says

    brucegee1962 @28: Trump voters are, demonstrably, people who do not fact-check. They bought into the spiel Trump was selling, and they didn’t care whether or not it was true… whether or not it was Constitutional… whether or not Trump was even telling the fucking truth. About 1/3 of Trump’s voters were people who (#1) had health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and (#2) were pleased that Trump was going to repeal Obamacare, that hateful, Socialistic, unAmerican thing which of course was completely separate and distinct from the Affordable Care Act.

    After the election, I tried to tell a Trump voter of my acquaintance that Trump’s campaign had taken several pages from the playbook used by Mussolini… and she absolutely would not hear it. Because she voted for Trump, and her friends voted for Trump, and they were all good people, and how dare I call them all racists. This… even though I had not said one damn word about Trump’s racism.

    This is hardly the only time when a Trump supporter has taken personal offense at a criticism of Trump. As a whole, Trump’s supporters are predisposed to interpret pretty much any criticism of Trump, or Trump’s policies, as a personal attack of them, individually. So, yes, I can see that Trump’s supporters are going to see everyone else as screaming “racistracistracist” at them, no matter what is actually said to them, nor yet how calmly it’s said. You noted it yourself: Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ comment was only meant to describe part of Trump’s supporters, and yet they all got pissed off about it.

    So tell me, brucegee1962: How, exactly, do you propose to go about making the Democratic party “look a bit more welcoming” to people who do not fact-check, who have spent years mainlining a steady stream of Fox News’ demonize-the-Democrats propaganda, who demonstrably accept information more on the basis of someone on My Team said X than on the basis of as best I can tell, X is true ?

  22. says

    Brucegee, how’s the air up there on that cross?
    You’re acting pretty much like the Trump voters described in the article, painting yourself as the victim of imagined people sharpening their knives, thus painting ALL criticism of what you wrote as an attack on you personally.
    No, I’m not being nice. I’m fucking done with nice.

  23. Snoof says

    Hold on a damn minute… So the group who is clearly racist, sexist, homophobic, wishes death on its enemies, and often purges people from its own party for not being ideologically pure is the more tolerant one?

    Ah, but you see, liberals are mean to Real Americans, i.e. them. Hating on The Other is perfectly normal and reasonable, but once you start attacking Real Americans you’ve flipped over into intolerance.

  24. mickll says

    “Stop laughing at us”.
    *pops ovet to Trunpgrets, sees people fearful that the party which railed hard against the ACA that they voted for actually want to take it away*


  25. rietpluim says

    And these are the people who favor Freedom of Speech so much.
    You can’t even say <racist remark> nowadays without being called racist!
    Note: being called racist is not a violation of Freedom of Speech. Disallowing people to call you what you are is.

  26. rietpluim says


    tell me how calling out racism in Trump voters is going to help us win in 2018

    Please tell me how not calling out racism is?

    Some people are already regretting voting for Trump, for various reasons. One of those reasons may be that voting Trump was a racist thing to do. Decent people don’t want to be racist.

    If someone doesn’t want to be called racist, all they have to do is stop being racist. And if they’re too stupid to understand that, then they are lost anyway.

  27. blf says

    There seems to be two jigsaw puzzles — or as I like to think of them, “impossible drawings” (think MC Escher) — which are being overlooked. One is “Questions” and the other “Plausible actions”. Questions might include “What happened?”, “What are the reasons each thing which happened happened?”, and “Are these even the correct questions?”

    Some Plausible responses might be “Racists took control” and “Too many people didn’t vote”, “‘They’ were organized” and “…don’t check assertions” and “…are amused by clowns”, and “You’ve started digging a hole”. Useful responses, feeding back into the questions, allow asking more penetrating questions (drilling down as some people call it).

    Almost none of which I see happening here. Instead, there seems to be a presumption of there being a magic silver bullet which answers everything assumed to be sensible, without ever explaining what is sensible or giving examples. When a speculated silver bullet does not match ones own preconceptions or whatevers, then not only is the silver bullet seemingly completely wrong, so is, it seems, everything which leads up to it.

    Silver bullets, Anything else is wrong, There is only one answer, There is only one question, are all absurd. Human nature is complicated. What happened — whatever happened — is very likely to have multiple causes (be multicausal). Probably then there are multiple, probably complementary and overlapping responses, and possibly multiple proactive actions. The numbers of causes, reactions, and proactivitives do not need to be, and quite possibly are not, equal.

    To make things more concrete, assume two Questions are “Why didn’t many people vote?” and “What did the Reptilian aliens order?” Some quick fact checking suggests one question is reality-based — which does not always mean relevant — and the other other Question is quite odd. Plausible responses would then seemingly include (but are by no means limited to) “There is no evidence for Reptilians and hence ‘they’ did not order anything”, “How does the rate of non-voting compare to recent previous elections?”, “What sorts of people voted? …didn’t vote?”, “Is it possible the non-voting affected the popular vote’s outcome? …the Electoral College’s outcome?”, and “How much non-voting was due to voter suppression?”

    That last example first-order drilling-down Question, about voter suppresion, might then lead to Questions about why there are voter suppression efforts and if they are being effectively challenged, how such efforts are perceived by people who could or did vote, and why they have such perceptions, and what, if anything, the perceptions and suppresion is correlated to. That in turn might (probably, I suspect) lead to more drilling down about massive inequality of opportunity, living environment and conditions and income, racism, and (some people not taking a hint) Reptilian enslavement.

    Whilst an individual post / thread / comment possibly only concentrates on one aspect, and at one level of detail, that does not mean “it” is the only aspect, the only Question or Plausible response. There is very unlikely to be any single magic bullet “solution”, there is unlikely to be a single cause, and it’s not at all clear people even understand the whats or whys of whatever happened (with any significant consensus).


  28. Ed Seedhouse says

    There was a time, I remember it, when at least a few racists openly said that they were racists. I remember in high school, on a school trip on a ferry, several students having a conversation with a man who openly said he was a racist and that all the dark “races” were stupid and that I.Q. was positively correlated with the lightness of one’s skin.

    And I remember when George C. Wallace Jr, back when he was a governor, came to the University of Victoria and openly defended his racism on stage, claiming that the “nigra” (that’s what he called them) was stupider than the “white” man and again that the darker the skin the stupider one was.

    Now at least the racists try to say they aren’t racists. I’m not sure if this is progress or not.

  29. vucodlak says

    @ brucegee1962, comment #28

    My parents are Trump supporters.

    They believe that Obama personally had Trump Tower wiretapped prior to the election. When I point out that that’s illegal, they reply with some variation of “Obama was the most corrupt president ever,” usually followed by “Hillary is a million x a million times worse.”

    They believe that Trump/Ryancare will be an improvement over the ACA. Facts like “you’ll be paying almost twice as much for your healthcare right from the start” and “even if the bill included a provision to allow the sales of insurance across state lines, which it doesn’t, the insurance companies wouldn’t do it, because it would cut into their record profits” just bounce right off their heads without making a dent.

    They, like the vast majority of people who voted for Republicans, are going to suffer under this president and this congress. And do you know who they’ll blame?

    The Democrats. My father hisses and snarls every time snippets of the confirmation hearings are shown in which a Democrat is speaking. “Al Franken is a disgrace, he ought to be drug out in the street and shot!”

    The “government,” of which the Republican elected officials are somehow never a part. No, the Republicans are trying to protect us from the evil government! Somehow this involves becoming the government (but they’re still outsiders!) and passing all kinds of vile and invasive legislation that picks our pockets and breaks our legs.

    Republicans are always the good guys, no matter what heinous acts they commit. Democrats are always the bad guys, period. Anything bad that happens that has even the most tangential relationship to government is the fault of the Democrats, and the only possible solution is to elect more Republicans.

    I realize I’m flogging a dead horse here, but I want to be clear that this is what we’re dealing with. And I consider my parents relatively mild, as far as Trump supporters go. They don’t chant racist slogans, they may even privately disagree with Trump’s wall and Muslim bans (though they certainly won’t speak out against it). They’re definitely racists, but they’re the self-pitying type. Yes, they will be offended if you call them racists, but my point is that it literally does not matter whether you call them racists or not, in terms of their support.

    They believe they are oppressed by the government. They refer to the government as though it’s some sort of alien entity with which “real people” are at war, even though they both spent almost their entire working lives as government employees. My father even spent a couple of years as a local elected official.

    Any government larger than a county government is, by definition, unremittingly evil. Republicans are always exempt from this, because they frame themselves as “outsiders” and freedom fighters. People like my parents buy that shtick every single time. And when those same Republicans try to take away their pensions, or when some corporation does something that negatively effects them, it’s always the Democrats in government who get the blame.

    The problem is not that the left is calling the right racist. The problem is that the right has been poisoning hearts and minds for decades, through right-wing radio and the right-leaning MSM.

    The problem is that TV news hasn’t fact-checked in decades, and now that they’ve started to do a little bit, the right has so saturated the airwaves with lies that no one on the right will believe anything that doesn’t fit the right-wing narrative.

    The problem is the Democrats still aren’t fighting back. They should have started calling the Republicans disgusting racists back when they adopted the southern strategy. They should be calling the Republicans mass-murderers for pushing a vile money-grab in the guise of “health-care reform.” Instead, they keep putting people like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in charge, who will drive anyone who tries to give as good as the Dems get out of the party, and suppress the awful angry leftists who refuse to make nice with corporate interests.

    It’s probably too late for the Democrats to mount an effective counter-offensive, but part of such an effort has to be calling racists racist. It must also include calling the right-wing leadership thieves, robbers, and murderers as bluntly as possible. It must involve fighting as dirty as possible, without stooping to telling lies like the right.

    As you’ve said, the future of our species is at stake. The point I’m trying to get across is that no amount outreach is ever going to reach people like my parents, who are not uniquely obtuse. They’re typical Trump supporters. The only thing that might bring them around is if the Republicans are crushed utterly. Burn the bridges, because no matter what Trumpians say, they’re never going to cross. Hell, they’re too busy salting the earth that grows their food, just so they can stick it big gubmint.

  30. unclefrogy says

    While agree that the republicans as they are now and tumps basket of deplorables are everything that they have been accused of and their supporters know it they want to pretend they are not they want to appear they are defenders of the ideals of America and the ideals of the Constitution.
    I would not tell anyone to not openly accuse them of being what they all to clearly are.
    How ever as with the example of the infamous governor Wallace, there was no need to accuse him of racism he stated it very clearly that is what he was himself.
    Myself I prefer to get those who hold those kinds of beliefs to “bust” themselves to make the statements clear and undeniably racist and as public as possible.
    I guess what I do is some kind of goading them to come out of the shadows and declare their racism and the rest of it openly. No need to just attack them, use reason to demonstrate the contradictions and the irrational hate in their own words that underlies their beliefs.
    It is not very hard their anger is not very well controlled but it is kind of like digging out a blocked up cesspool, nasty, tedious and uncomfortable.

    uncle frogy

  31. KG says


    Here’s a radical idea – how about we look at the evidence? (Once you’ve finished martyrbating, and assuming that everyone here is an American and a member of the Democratic party. The figures for the 2016 election are available here, and those for 2012 here.

    Totals 2016: Dem: 65,853,516 48.18% Rep: 62,984,825 46.09%
    Totals 2012: Dem: 65,915,794 51.06% Rep: 60,933,504 47.20%

    Michigan 2016: Dem: 2,268,839 47.27% Rep: 2,279,543 47.50%
    Michigan 2012: Dem: 2,564,569 54.21% Rep: 2,115,256 44.71%

    Pennsylvania 2016: Dem: 2,926,441 47.85% Rep: 2,970,733 48.58%
    Pennsylvania 2012: Dem: 2,990,274 51.97% Rep: 2,680,434 46.59%

    Wisconsin 2016: Dem: 1,382,536 46.45% Rep: 1,405,284 47.22%
    Wisconsin 2012: Dem: 1,620,985 52.83% Rep: 1,407,966 45.89%

    What are these figures telling us? In brief, that Clinton lost the election more than Trump won it. (Why and how she lost it, how far it was here fault, is a separate question.) In the national vote, and the three states you picked out as crucial, the Democratic percentage fell considerably more than the Republican percentage rose – indeed, in the national vote, the Republican percentage fell as well. In the absolute numbers, the Republican total actually fell in Wisconsin, although it rose elsewhere. Undoubtedly there will have been some who voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016, but the evidence that this is the crucial voter block to persuade to vote Democratic in 2018 and 2020 simply isn’t there. What’s actually needed is not a campaign to appease racists (and anyone who voted for Trump is racist – i.e. they acted so as to reinforce existing racial inequality), but one to get out the potential Democratic vote – by registration campaigns, opposition to voter suppression, and candidates and a platform that inspires.