No more excuses


It’s time to march on DC and just throw the rascals out.

Charles Pierce is having no more of these Trump supporters.

Before we get to the other stuff, and there was lots of other stuff, I’d like to address myself to those people represented by the parenthetical notation (Applause) in the above transcript, those people who waited for hours in 105-degree heat so that they could have the G-spot of their irrationality properly stroked for them. You’re all suckers. You’re dim and you’re ignorant and you can’t even feel yourself sliding toward something that will surprise even you with its fundamental ugliness, something that everybody who can see past the veil of their emotions can see as plain as a church by daylight, to borrow a phrase from that Willie Shakespeare fella. The problem, of course, is that you, in your pathetic desire to be loved by a guy who wouldn’t have 15 seconds for you on the street, are dragging the rest of us toward that end, too.

A guy basically went mad, right there on the stage in front of you, and you cheered and booed right on cue because you’re sheep and because he directed his insanity at all the scapegoats that your favorite radio and TV personalities have been creating for you over the past three decades. Especially, I guess, people like me who practice the craft of journalism in a country that honors that craft in its most essential founding documents. The President of the United States came right up to the edge of inciting you to riot and you rode along with him. You’re on his team, by god.

Sasha Abramsky is wondering what he is: a bumbling dolt out of his depth, an opportunist riding the gravy train, or is he actually, deep down, a genuine Nazi, a white supremacist.

The third possible reason is that Donald Trump—the son of KKK-supporting Fred Trump, the pupil of Joe McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn—actually is, to the very core of his being, a white supremacist, a man who always has and always will divide humanity into hierarchies based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Trump’s almost pathological inability to do what ought to be the simplest thing in American politics—issue a clear, unambiguous, eyes-looking-straight-at-the-camera denunciation of swastika-waving, weapons-toting Nazis—certainly raises this as a strong possibility. He has certainly never needed Steve Bannon’s or any other adviser’s encouragement to spout his bigoted obscenities. So Bannon’s recent ouster, however welcome, will not address the key problem we’re facing.

I can answer that! We know, and it’s never been the slightest bit ambiguous.

Our moral imperative is crystal clear: we must oppose this man. He must be driven out of office, along with his corrupt cronies. He is wrong, he is incompetent, he is a terrible person with monstrous ideas. And if you are supporting him, you are also a terrible person.

Comments

  1. Sean Boyd says

    The phrase “have the G-spot of their irrationality stroked” made the article worth the read. That Pierce actually makes cogent arguments on this topic is a bonus!

  2. Siobhan says

    And if you are supporting him, you are also a terrible person.

    Yes, but you can’t call them terrible, because that will make them worse. Like that time I got cut off in traffic by a Jewish guy so now I’m a Nazi.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Dog help me if we get into another conversation about eugenics here.

  4. davidc1 says

    A woman nurse hurt me taking some of my blood ,now i am a mysod,mysog,a man who hates women .

  5. rietpluim says

    Trump’s too stupid to see he doesn’t even come near that standard of alleged superiority.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nothing to do with the topic ,but where has the phrase Antifa come from ?.

    Per Wiki:

    According to The Economist, the “word Antifa has its roots in Anti-Fascist Action, a name taken up by European political movements in the 1930s” which was revived in the 1990s, particularly in Germany.[7][8]

  7. A Masked Avenger says

    Matt Taibbi nailed it:

    …Trump’s narcissism is so malignant that it alters basic equations. The president seemed paralyzed by the fact that some of the Charlottesville protesters wore MAGA hats, an indemnifying variable in Trump-math: “They like me, therefore they are me. And me can’t be all bad – even if me is a Nazi.”

    He’s not a Nazi, in the sense that he doesn’t admire Hitler, belong to any neo-nazi groups, or even possess the mental capacity to grasp, let alone subscribe to, a Nazi philosophy. He’s unable to condemn Nazis because they’re his supporters, and condemning them would be condemning himself, which is by definition ludicrous, since he is the ultimate good and the only meaningful cause.

    He IS a racist, of course, and here David Roth nails it:

    Is Trump a racist? Yes, because that’s a default setting for stupid people; also, he transparently has no regard for other people at all.

    So although Trump is a racist, certainly in the above sense, I don’t think it can be emphasized enough that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a hypothesis that explains, if not predicts, all of his observed behavior. (I mention it only on that basis — as a hypothesis that explains the data, not as a medical diagnosis.)

    It also explains why he plants his foot firmly in the shit-pile. Even David Duke does a better job of maintaining deniability than Trump does. Why? Partly because he’s stupid, but also because he doesn’t believe he has anything to deny. Literally cannot fathom the mere possibility that he might, or ever could, have any reason to deny or to regret anything. Because he is the ultimate definition of the good. Anyone who alleges anything against him is obviously mistaken at best, and a dishonest, evil hater at worst. (They can’t be mistaken, though, because his fundamental goodness is so obvious and unimpeachable that nobody could honestly make such a gross error; they can only be attempting a deliberate attack.)

  8. blf says

    here has the phrase Antifa come from?

    Supposedly from the 1930s anti-facists. However, that seems to be folk entomology, and the actual origins are possibly much more recent (late last century), albeit possibly inspired the 1930s predecessors.

  9. weylguy says

    Jeez, even in 1944 many fed-up Germans had the right idea of getting rid of a monster who they knew was destroying their country. Included were youngsters like Hans and Sophie Scholl, who also paid for their resistance with their lives. Are Amerikaners so damned bereft of conscience that all they can do is sit on their asses and bemoan their fate? When is this shit going to end, people?

  10. mond says

    Trump is right about having the right genes to succeed; as long as those genes pass on a shit load of cash to you so that it is almost impossible to fail in life, no matter how incompetent you are.

  11. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Abbeycadabra:

    Well played.

  12. consciousness razor says

    A Masked Avenger:

    He’s not a Nazi, in the sense that

    I’m not a Nazi, PZ isn’t a Nazi, the Dalai Lama isn’t a Nazi, Frodo Baggins isn’t a Nazi — we’re not Nazis in any sense.

  13. says

    mond@12, I’m sure any day now some supposed scientist will find the gene that allows one to inherit lots of money, if they haven’t already.

  14. A Masked Avenger says

    @consciousness razor:

    Gee, thanks for clearing that up. :-p

    But in case you were confused, the question asked in the OP, to which I was responding, was: “is he actually, deep down, a genuine Nazi.” The context of the question is that he explicitly gave Nazis cover by engaging in tu quoque and other dodging maneuvers.

    Note further that to be actually and deep down a Nazi is something different than being a card-carrying member of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which in any event he’s too young to have ever been, having been born in 1946. Also note that a Neo-Nazi is also not the same thing as a Nazi, so presumably you equally delight to reprimand people for saying that there were “actual Nazis” in Charlottesville.

    Oh, I’m sorry — what the fuck was your point again?

  15. Gregory Greenwood says

    Actual, full fledged neo-Nazi or someone cynically prepared to court the support of neo-Nazis to secure his power base, it makes no ultimate difference – Trump is a manifest threat to the US and the world. Whether he drives America over the edge into a fascist hell out of sincerely held (and repugnantly evil) White Supremacist ideology, or merely because he considers it a small price to pay to continue stroking his own ego by squatting like an overgrown orange spider in the White House, the outcome will be identical.

    Fascist fanatic or useful (to fascists) idiot, he has to go, and he has to go now. If he stays in office, I truly fear for the future. Anything up to and including thermonuclear Armageddon or an attempt to establish the nightmare of a Fourth Reich in the modern US is on the cards at this point.

  16. A Masked Avenger says

    Actual, full fledged neo-Nazi or someone cynically prepared to court the support of neo-Nazis to secure his power base, it makes no ultimate difference – Trump is a manifest threat to the US and the world.

    I think that modeling Trump as a person with NPD helps clarify his motivations — but I also think it heightens the threat he poses.

    For example a Nazi loves his homeland (presumably, since hyper-nationalism is one of its defining traits), and would presumably not nuke it. Trump, on the other hand, loves only Trump. Trump is quite probably incapable of accepting that anyone other than himself truly exists as a separate entity with rights of its own. A sufficient narcissistic injury might actually motivate someone in Trump’s position to nuke the East and West coastlines — or to nuke North Korea, and possibly China to boot, provoking extreme retaliation. As was recently observed by I forget which retired General, the nuclear machinery is designed for rapid response, not for defying orders from a power-mad executive.

    If he stays in office, I truly fear for the future. Anything up to and including thermonuclear Armageddon or an attempt to establish the nightmare of a Fourth Reich in the modern US is on the cards at this point.

    Absolutely agreed! The only thing stopping him from declaring himself emperor is his gross incompetence. One symptom of which is his belief that he doesn’t have to, because he doesn’t realize that a president is other than an emperor.

  17. screechymonkey says

    But, but, but… we have to hug Trump voters and cuddle them softly, patting them on the back and whispering, “there, there. I understand the ‘economic anxiety’ that left you with no choice but to support an ignorant, delusional, emotionally unstable pussy-grabbing racist who couldn’t make money owning a goddamn casino. There, there. It’s ok. The mean lady in the pantsuit who did something with her emails that you don’t understand but are sure was wrong is gone now, and so is her scary black friend. You’re safe now. There, there.”

  18. consciousness razor says

    A Masked Avenger:

    Oh, I’m sorry — what the fuck was your point again?

    It was actually pretty simple. If a person is not a Nazi in a specific sense, the one you happened to dream up and start blathering about, that doesn’t imply the person isn’t a Nazi.

    No idea how you came to the conclusion that “he doesn’t admire Hitler.” Nor do I get why you think “Nazi philosophy” requires significant mental capacity merely to grasp it, let alone subscribe to it. I don’t think being a Nazi, in all the ways that matter, requires admiration of Hitler or a great deal of philosophical sophistication. Indeed, those two criteria aren’t even compatible with one another, meaning that on this account no one could be a Nazi. It’s also not impossible to have an isolated Nazi, with or without the other two features, who isn’t a member of an identifiable organization. All of that shit is irrelevant for what makes a genuine Nazi.

    You may as well say he’s not a racist, in the sense that he doesn’t wear a pointy white hood while burning crosses on lawns and believing that white people have special magical properties. That would be a tendentious claim, because actual non-racism entails much more than that.

  19. Emu Sam says

    Back before Trump had been sworn in, people were saying he couldn’t be said to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder because one of the requirements for diagnosis is continuing the behavior despite negative feedback, and Trump had never experienced significant blowback for his narcissism. Is that still the case? He tries to isolate himself, but there’s been an awful lot to ignore.

    Would NPD predict he’ll remain president or resign? He really wants to push that red button – that might be a third choice. There can be no greater show of power than making sure he is The Last President.

  20. Zeppelin says

    As to the word “Antifa”, it’s definitely pre-war, not a recent coinage! They were active in the Weimar period — here’s a Nazi publication from 1935 that uses the term:

    https://books.google.de/books?id=Ez8fAAAAMAAJ&q=%22antifa%22&dq=%22antifa%22&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCiLvBtu7VAhWEaVAKHQ3HDq4Q6AEIQzAH

    It’s in the German tradition of abbreviating by truncation and contraction rather than forming initialisms. Compare Gestapo (GEheime STAatsPOlizei), Haribo (HAns RIegel, BOnn), Stasi (STAatsSIcherheit), Flak (FLugAbwehrKanone)…and of course the ANTIFAschistens’ enemies, the Nazis (NATIonalsozialisten).

    Which is why it’s pronounced /’an.ti:ˌfa:/ btw, stress on the first syllable. Apparently a lot of Americans get it wrong, I know Trump does.

  21. consciousness razor says

    No idea how you came to the conclusion that “he doesn’t admire Hitler.”

    It does of course fly in the face of evidence like this. (Keeping Hitler’s speeches by his bedside: is that not indicative of anything approaching admiration?) But going further to make the positive claim that in fact he doesn’t admire Hitler is certainly not supported by any of the evidence I’m aware of.

  22. Gregory Greenwood says

    A Masked Avenger @ 20;

    Trump trying to declare himself God-Emperor of Dune the US, or mashing that pretty nuclear launch button because it is oh-so shiny, are not the only scenarios of disaster flowing from his actions. He is emboldening neo-Nazi movements with his every race-baiting outburst and fascist dog whistle. David Duke clearly already thinks Trump is his best friend, and the effect of Trump further legitimising and mainstreaming fascism from the Oval Office in the modern United States (adding to a legacy of a lurch to the hard Right that has been afflicting the US for decades) will be felt for many years to come. Even if Trump doesn’t become a dictator himself, he has opened the door of mainstream politics to the US’s homegrown fascists, and they have their foot well wedged in that door now. It is likely that Trump is only the first of the Trump-type candidates we will see in the coming years, and he may well not be the most extreme or incompetent of them.

    Just listen to how the crowd reacted to Trump’s demonization of the Fourth Estate in his recent speech – they were mere moments away from baying for blood, and with a little bit more of a nudge they would have transformed gleefully into an impromptu lynch mob. This is a page torn straight out of ‘totalitarianism for dummies’ – silence the media first and you cut off the main source of countervailing social and political narratives to your own, along with removing the very people who can hold your administration to account for its claim and actions. After the media, and with it they eyes of the public, are gone, then the rounding up of dissidents and the instigation of pogroms against ‘undesirables’ will swiftly follow. Even if Trump is no longer in the White House, there are any number of others who would happily continue in his footsteps. I very much fear that, even if immediate catastrophe can be avoided, long after he has left office, and indeed long after he is finally dead, we will still be living with the consequences of his term in office.

  23. Gregory Greenwood says

    Having watched the entirety of Trump’s speech, I am uncomfortably reminded of old news footage of the Nuremberg Rallies at times. A folksy, down home version of the Nuremberg Rallies perhaps, and an embryonic version at that, but the similarities are there, and it is terrifying.

  24. lexianlily says

    The organization refusfascism.org is planing to do just that PZ. March in every large city and stay in the streets until the Trump/Pence regime is gone. It begins November 4th. There are organization meetings is most cities, look them up online.

  25. cartomancer says

    My biggest worry about the whole Trump situation is that he is now such a focus for hatred and dissatisfaction that when he finally does go the majority of people in America will be too jubilant, too exhausted or too focused on Trumpism as the problem to keep fighting. That the desire to march, to protest, to lobby and to organise will disappear.

    It would be nice to think that opposing Trump’s example will galvanise the majority of Americans to stand up to the many systemic injustices they face – especially those caused by the rampant excesses of the capitalist system. It would be nice, but I don’t know whether it will happen. Trump is awful, but he’s only a symptom – the causes of the societal and economic unrest go much deeper. We all know this, but the dynamics of popular movements are a mercurial thing and difficult to predict with any certainty.

    Particularly given that no economy in the world, especially not the American one, has yet recovered from the financial crash ten years ago, and the next one is almost guaranteed to hit in the next couple of years. What that’s going to do to the public mood with Trump still in charge is anybody’s guess.

  26. cartomancer says

    blf, #10

    Don’t knock Folk Entomology – plenty of delightful rustic insects have been discovered that way!

  27. A Masked Avenger says

    If a person is not a Nazi in a specific sense, the one you happened to dream up and start blathering about…

    One I specify clearly, you mean? OK, go on…

    …that doesn’t imply the person isn’t a Nazi.

    The hell you say! It’s almost as if I were intentionally refraining from making the unevidenced claim that there’s no sense in which he might meaningfully be described as a “Nazi!” Surely it’s pure coincidence that I do in fact want to refrain from such a sweeping statement, since I have no way of knowing that it’s true? Can’t be — that would imply that you correctly discerned something that I was intentionally communicating, and there’s no way THAT could happen. Why, that would require that I be a competent communicator in my native tongue!

    Keeping Hitler’s speeches by his bedside: is that not indicative of anything approaching admiration?

    That depends whether one assumes he reads books, rather than using them as props to imply erudition, or at least literacy. I realize #TrumpCantRead isn’t literally true, but his literacy is marginal and his taste in reading material runs to single pages, preferably with pictures but certainly with a minimal number of bullet points.

    No idea how you came to the conclusion that “he doesn’t admire Hitler.”

    True, it would be more precise to say, “There is no substantive evidence that he admires Hitler, and as purported members of the reality-based community we would do well not to embarrass ourselves by assuming facts not in evidence; therefore the null hypothesis must be sustained that he is not an admirer of Hitler.”

    On this point and his choice of nightstand book, note that he has never quoted a single speech of Hitler’s, either approvingly or disapprovingly, nor made any other reference to anything Hitler has said indicative of even nodding familiarity.

    Nor do I get why you think “Nazi philosophy” requires significant mental capacity merely to grasp it, let alone subscribe to it.

    “Significant”? You’ve misunderstood me, then. I’m stating that Trump lacks the mental capacity to grasp even the rudiments of a philosophy that is itself rudimentary, and meanwhile is ignorant of the most basic facts concerning what Nazis did, said, or believed.

    If it happened that Trump agreed with the tenets of Nazism, I’m saying it would be purely coincidental — though I’d also agree that it would be a valid sense in which to describe him as a Nazi.

    You may as well say he’s not a racist, in the sense that he doesn’t wear a pointy white hood while burning crosses on lawns and believing that white people have special magical properties. That would be a tendentious claim, because actual non-racism entails much more than that.

    Funny you mention that: the precise sticking point between left and right is a differing definition of racism. To the right, racism requires animus. To the left, racism can be a property of social structures, and a person can be racist without realizing it. BOTH sides are a bit tendentious about invoking their preferred definition of racism in discussion, without acknowledging or addressing the fact that they’re referring to two completely different concepts.

    So the reason right wingers, including Trump, get pissed off when you call them racists, is that they don’t (or at least claim not to) hate members of other races. By their definition they’re NOT racists. By yours and mine they ARE racists, of course, but the bulk of the argument revolves around their incomprehension of what is even being claimed. If your goal is communication, then failing to address mismatched nomenclature just makes you look incompetent.

  28. A Masked Avenger says

    Trump trying to declare himself God-Emperor of Dune the US, or mashing that pretty nuclear launch button because it is oh-so shiny, are not the only scenarios of disaster flowing from his actions

    True. I merely point out that there’s nothing he won’t attempt to avoid or avenge a narcissistic injury. Also that we will miscalculate if we misattribute his actions to any other motivation.

    If white people rejected him, and black people embraced him, he would cheerfully join the Black Liberation Army. (This will never happen, needless to say.) He could as easily have run as a Democrat as a Republican, and he could as easily be demanding single payer. Whatever you think he stands for, he doesn’t.

  29. robro says

    KKK-supporting Fred Trump

    Per Snopes, we can’t confirm that Fred Trump supported the KKK, only that he was arrested at a Klan rally in Queens in 1927. He may have been a bystander…perhaps even protesting the rally. He was released without charges, unlike the other 6 people arrested.

    What’s amusing is DonDon’s scatter gun attempt to deny the connection between Fred and the Klan. He uses all the wrong points rather than the one thing he could have said: the contemporaneous NYT story that the claim is based on does not say Fred Trump was at the rally supporting the Klan.

  30. hookflash says

    …he is a terrible person with monstrous ideas. And if you are supporting him, you are also a terrible person.

    I agree, but I genuinely don’t understand why this very same logic doesn’t also apply to supporters of Islam (which is brimming with misogyny, homophobia, racism, violence, etc.). A shitty worldview is a shitty worldview, and anyone who holds/spreads a shitty worldview ought to be condemned.

  31. handsomemrtoad says

    There is nothing INHERENTLY wrong with eugenics. It just happens to have been practiced in scientifically unsound, coercive ways. There could be, and, I hope, WILL be, a scientifically sound, non-coercive eugenic program, and that will NOT be evil, and WILL be beneficial to humanity.

    The paradigm for a good eugenic program would be: a very wealthy person endows a fund to persuade people to VOLUNTARILY get tested for disease-mutations such as CF or sickle-cell hemoglobin. Maybe by paying people money to get tested. And also, the fund would persuade people who tested positive to VOLUNTARILY take measures to avoid passing the bad mutation on to future generations, either by not breeding at all, or, by using artificial reproductive technologies such as IVF with selective implantation of confirmed-normal embryos/blastocycsts. Again, the fund could offer to pay people for taking these measures.

    This would be eugenics, but also scientifically sound, non-coercive, and beneficial to humanity. Future generations would be less likely to suffer from genetic diseases, some of which are horrible. Cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, many others. Including, RRM2B-related MDDS, which is what little Charlie Gard had.

  32. consciousness razor says

    It’s almost as if I were intentionally refraining from making the unevidenced claim that there’s no sense in which he might meaningfully be described as a “Nazi!” Surely it’s pure coincidence that I do in fact want to refrain from such a sweeping statement, since I have no way of knowing that it’s true?

    So… was your statement vacuous? What does it even mean, and what was your reason for saying it? Do you have no way of knowing whether he’s racist?

    When you followed it up with “He IS a racist, of course” (capitalization in the original), a statement you presumably think is true, it seemed to emphasize the notion that, in contrast, you think “He IS a Nazi” is false. That’s how I understood the structure of your comment: first introducing the one idea, and in that same context juxtaposing it with a parallel (but opposite) statement about the next. It doesn’t appear as if you were refraining from making either of those claims.

    Funny you mention that: the precise sticking point between left and right is a differing definition of racism. To the right, racism requires animus. To the left, racism can be a property of social structures, and a person can be racist without realizing it. BOTH sides are a bit tendentious about invoking their preferred definition of racism in discussion, without acknowledging or addressing the fact that they’re referring to two completely different concepts.

    The “right,” as you’ve characterized it (although some on the left also do this), is simply wrong. It is not tendentious to say what is correct.

    Do you agree with them or not? Were you not using your own notions of racism or Nazism (possibly the correct ones), but ones that you think are false? Even if that’s what you were doing, why would it have made sense for anyone to interpret you in that way?

  33. A Masked Avenger says

    So… was your statement vacuous? What does it even mean, and what was your reason for saying it? Do you have no way of knowing whether he’s racist?

    You replaced “Nazi” with “racist,” I notice. Which makes your question more accusatory, but also more stupid, since I specifically called him a racist.

    Out of curiosity, why did you reply so stridently to my post? Do you disagree with my assessment that he’s not a literal Nazi or New-Nazi? Do you disagree with my assessment that narcissism explains his behavior better than commitment to any particular principle, including the ones he happens to agree with? Both are pretty evident, it seems to me. Would you like to offer your argument that he’s a literal Nazi and/or that he’s not a narcissist and/or that his commitment to racism (or any particular ideology) is more important to him than his own previous ego?

    Anyway, to answer your question even though I don’t see why you should be so confused what I said: my statement was that in broad terms no, he’s not a Nazi, although I would stop short of making a stronger claim than that. The more interesting part of my statement was that he defends, or fails to condemn, Nazis, not because he is one but because being his supporters he can’t condemn them without feeling personally condemned, because his supporters are perceived as extensions of his own ego. (I thought my statement was clear the first time — do you understand it now?)

    The “right,” as you’ve characterized it (although some on the left also do this), is simply wrong.

    Are you a lexical prescriptivist? Because that’s an asinine statement. Nomenclature is a convention. Back when “systemic racism” was coined, they might have decided to call it “oompa-loompism” instead; the choice was relatively arbitrary. It’s a lexical coincidence that some use the term “racism” in both a narrow and broad sense, while others are unfamiliar with the broader sense, and in fact have no vocabulary for denoting that concept.

    Do you agree with them or not?

    Firstly, fuck you sideways. You should know the answer, if you have reading comprehension, and I’m not subject to your inquisition.

    But to answer the question despite your assholishness, I recognize systemic racism, subtle or unconscious racism, privilege, and the full spectrum of phenomena that disadvantage people along the axes of race, sex, orientation, etc.

    I merely pointed out that most on the right not only have no term for these concepts, but have no knowledge of these concepts at all. In order to communicate with them, you must first make them aware of the concepts and establish a nomenclature for referring to them. I fully recognize that the effort will be compounded by the fact that they already hold mutually exclusive assumptions (such as rugged individualism), and therefore will not believe that these concepts are meaningful, and also that they are predisposed to disbelieve everything you say because you’re in the wrong tribe. But if you wish to communicate with them, that’s what it takes. If you just want to masturbate over them, of course, you can jeer at them using words they don’t even understand until you climax.

  34. zibble says

    @34 hookflash

    I agree, but I genuinely don’t understand why this very same logic doesn’t also apply to supporters of Islam (which is brimming with misogyny, homophobia, racism, violence, etc.).

    Or Christianity?

    Simple answer is, there are elements of religion that are social, cultural, and personal, not just political or ideological, and there’s a huge debate within these religions about what their core ideology even *is*. So while, intellectually, I would argue that every Christian, Jew, and Muslim are allowing themselves to support an inherently evil ideology, it’s not quite the same thing as directly supporting a specific evil person or political movement (although the line blurs when we’re talking about Catholicism, for example).

  35. methuseus says

    @zibble #38:

    although the line blurs when we’re talking about Catholicism, for example

    Why does only Catholicism cause the line to blur? What about Sunni or Shia, or fundamentalist Christian, or Hasidic Jews, or any other group count to blur the lines? Yes, Catholics follow the Pope, but he has not, in recent years at least, been inherently evil. Though he may have done evil things, not all or even most Catholics worship the Pope himself.

    I’m just really curious why you single out Catholicism as the only religious group that is also a political group, when Catholics are some of the least politically active Christians, at least in the USA.

  36. consciousness razor says

    You replaced “Nazi” with “racist,” I notice.

    I asked the question I wanted to ask, given that you were willing to make both statements. It’s weird that you’d think of yourself as being in a position to make one claim and have evidence supporting it, but the other is for some reason different.

    The more interesting part of my statement was that he defends, or fails to condemn, Nazis, not because he is one but because being his supporters he can’t condemn them without feeling personally condemned, because his supporters are perceived as extensions of his own ego. (I thought my statement was clear the first time — do you understand it now?)

    That’s a fairly elaborate hypothesis about his own psychology, in addition to that of a sufficiently large portion of his supporters. Is it okay if I reject that hypothesis?

    He walks like a duck, talks like a duck, reads books by the head duck at his bedside, has a bunch of duck supporters that he “perceive[s] as extensions of his own ego,” and as politician proposes all sorts of duck-oriented policies. That sounds like a fucking duck to me. I can’t make any sense out of the idea that non-ducks would do that kind of shit. Maybe he’s a duck with various personality traits that you think are important somehow, but a duck nonetheless.

    Are you a lexical prescriptivist?

    What I said doesn’t amount to a claim about the definition of a word. People disagree on the substantive moral/political questions, about whether or not certain behaviors are bad because those are racist. It’s not just about different ways to use a word. This is why there is any substantive political distinction for you to have made between common conservative and liberal positions — that kind of dispute cannot be understood or resolved just by agreeing on how we all define our terms. There are people, however words are defined, who will disagree with the claim that particular acts (which I call “racist”) are bad. I am saying those people are wrong about that, not about the way in which they use words.

  37. zibble says

    @39 methuseus
    I was just saying that there’s a difference between having a religious identity and supporting a specific person or institution. People are religious for all kinds of different reasons, and while I would prefer if they weren’t, I don’t think you can fairly judge them the same way you would Trump supporters, where they deserve scorn no matter what reason they have for supporting him, because unlike the nebulous subject of what religion is supposed to stand for, Trump is a scumbag whose positions and crimes are objectively verifiable.

    I brought up Catholicism specifically because it has what most religious sects don’t, which is an attached official institution objectively guilty of crimes. Trump voters, even if they hypothetically aren’t racist, are allowing his racism to be acceptable, and similary, child rape conspiracies don’t seem to be a deal breaker for Catholics either. And no, the current Pope is a rapist-protecting gay-hating misogynist scumbag just like the others, he’s just better at PR.

    This is also a gray area for anyone who supports any other criminal or immoral institution, such as Mormons, JWs, Scientologists, or any smaller institution of worship – point is, there’s a big difference between believing in a faith with a horrid history vs supporting a specific church or mosque or whatever doing awful things *right now*.

  38. methuseus says

    @zibble #41:
    I wholeheartedly agree with what you’re saying. I was just confused that you seemed to find Catholicism more abhorrent than other institutions. I haven’t paid enough attention to agree with what you say about the current Pope, but I’m sure you’re probably right. Mormons, fundamentalist Christians, JWs, etc. are just as bad, just in different ways. Pedophilia gets the big news stories, though, so other types of abuse, etc., are just not in the news in the same way. Well, with the partial exception of Scientology; there’s a lot of media attention on them lately, especially in the Tampa Bay area. I’m not familiar with Sikh’s, but I’m sure there are issues with them as well. I know there are plenty of abuse stories having to do with Buddhist monks and the like.

    Again, though, I agree with what you’re saying. Thank you for the clarification.

  39. Arnie says

    robro (#33):

    What’s amusing is DonDon’s scatter gun attempt to deny the connection between Fred and the Klan. He uses all the wrong points rather than the one thing he could have said: the contemporaneous NYT story that the claim is based on does not say Fred Trump was at the rally supporting the Klan.

    I wonder if that’s because Donny knows something we don’t know.

  40. mond says

    @handsomemrtoad

    a very wealthy person endows a fund

    This is the where the problem lies.
    Genetic screening for stuff such as CF should be part of primary care in a coherent well functioning healthcare system.
    Obviously you can’t force people into actions they don’t want to take but at the moment it is the lack of access for many people, rather than the deep philosophical questions, that is the problem.

  41. A Masked Avenger says

    That’s a fairly elaborate hypothesis about his own psychology, in addition to that of a sufficiently large portion of his supporters. Is it okay if I reject that hypothesis?

    Be my guest. I’ve pointed out it’s explanatory power, though: the hypothesis makes testable predictions. Also, if you’ve any experience with NPD, the signs are glaring and unmistakable.

    I can’t make any sense out of the idea that non-ducks would do that kind of shit.

    Again, this shit is unsurprising if you have experience with NPD. It’s very similar to sociopathy. The morality driving your incredulity is meaningless to him because to all intents and purposes none of us exist for him. Only his ego exists. The passions of the Nazis or Antifas? Meaningless, like two dogs sniffing each other’s butts. Our sufferings are likewise meaningless. The only thing with meaning is whether we’re praising or criticizing him.

    Example: when told of missing, possibly dead, sailors, he responded “That’s too bad.” He knew some sort of reaction like that was expected, but couldn’t actually muster any fucks to give. A later tweet was probably written by someone else. If by him, it was after he had time to be told or figure out what someone would say who gave an actual fuck.

    What I said doesn’t amount to a claim about the definition of a word. People disagree on the substantive moral/political questions…

    Absolutely! That fundamental problem is often obscured by the superficial problem that they don’t understand the words you’re using. They reject the concept of “privilege,” or would if they understood it, yes. But most of them don’t understand the concept itself. When they ask, “Where’s my BMW, if I’m privileged?” they’re not just being rhetorically annoying; in most cases they’re expressing genuine incomprehension.

    The philosophical gap can’t begin to be addressed while speaking a foreign language. (And yes, I realize there’s the minor little issue that then have no interest in bridging that gap in the first place. I’m all too well aware.)

  42. A Masked Avenger says

    In the case of Trump, it’s not concepts like privilege that are the real sticking point. It’s the concept that you’re a real person at all. If you feed his ego, you’re an extension of himself. If not, you’re a threat and an enemy. (And if you’re Melania, you’re a kind of trophy that talks.)

  43. madtom1999 says

    #2 Pardon me Siobhan but surely its the fact you make a point of the drivers sex/race/religious appearance that makes you just a bit of a fascist? ‘Someone cut me up’ covers the road problems.

  44. mirrorfield says

    @5 davidc1:

    German “Antifaschistische Aktion” declared by KPD (Communist Party of Germany) in it’s newspaper Rote Fahne (“The Red Flag”) in 10 July 1932. Nazis and Communists were having violent streetfights (SA vs. RFB, “Roter Frontkämpferbund”) at that time. KPD and RFB were suppressed by Nazis after acquisition of political power, but KPD unsurprisingly bounced back after the war with Soviet support in East Germany.

    Point of historic trivia: Erich Mielke and Erich Honecker were former RFB members.

    Antifa bounced back into existence after the war, with old veteran communists as various committees and has been continuing on mostly same trajectory since.

    ObPersonalOpinion: The Difference between Antifa and KKK is same as the difference between The Plague and Cholera, as the saying goes.

  45. richardemmanuel says

    Is this wise? A march, a chant, and a rumble at the fringes? I mean if you’re not going for the full Ceausescu? What will happen, and how will it look? Nobody turning up might be better. What was more deflating than Eugene Terreblanche trotting into an empty stadium? Trump will fall off his Secretariat.

  46. unclefrogy says

    in all this talk about nazis and raciest and the horrible potential for real disaster hanging over our future it is all to easy and natural to analyze and project in the usual way of political prognostication. I think we are forgetting who it is and his personal history. He is incompetent, his long list of failures and bankruptcies illustrate it pretty clearly. The biggest reason maybe the only reason he is thought of as a great success is because he says he is and says it all the time.
    His wealth is on paper who holds the debt? It is the appearances that count in his world. I do not know if the sign is still on the desk in the WH that says the “buck stops here” but no matter what anyone says or thinks it is still the place where the rubber meets the road. What kind and to what degree will be his failure in this new project of POTUS is any buddies guess but of the coming failure I have no doubt.
    uncle frogy

  47. se habla espol says

    @unclefrogy: I thought 45 had replaced “The Buck Stops Here” idead with”The Buck Stops Somewhere Else”.

  48. unclefrogy says

    a thought just occurred to me not always a good thing.
    As has been noted he is a narcissist and lives for praise.
    He has already demonstrated he does not seem to have very much loyalty nor deep ideology.
    What if he recognized that the real majority of the population did not like what he is currently doing or trying to do and he could get more praise by doing what they wanted so that he started to change some of his “policies”.
    Being a narcissist does not prevent you from doing what the people want. Some degree of narcissism might even be helpful in being a successful politician.

    I will grasp at straws any straws so as to not feel so depressed about the whole thing.
    uncle frogy

  49. unclefrogy says

    the sign on the desk was not a statement of taking responsibility
    it was acknowledging the reality of the situation.
    uncle frogy

  50. aziraphale says

    A new American civil war would make Putin very happy. Are we sure he isn’t pulling some strings?

  51. says

    @ weylguy

    Are Amerikaners so damned bereft of conscience that all they can do is sit on their asses and bemoan their fate? When is this shit going to end, people?

    Problem is, what to actually “do”. A few years back there was some stupid rally by neo-Nazis. Another group showed up, to protest this BS protest, got into an argument, and.. the “good guys” threw the first punch. They also where not there with a permit, so… inciting violence, and protesting without a permit, just as starters, charged to the “good guys”. The bad guys… laughed their asses off over it, and the mistake of using violence against them fed into the, “The left are also dangerous, violent, criminals, who want everyone else to shut up!”

    See, we failed, after the civil war, after WWII, after pretty much every case of malignant ideas spreading in the world – we refused, until very recently, to even “recognize” hate speech and declare it to be something that you could arrest someone for. And, even as we did, we took the same tack as every other time – “Its not politically expedient, or properly American, to ban this sort of idealogy completely, so we will watch, and wait, and arrest those who prove to be ‘true threats’.” But, this is sort of like the argument about keeping the guns out of the hands of crazy people and criminals – until you actually prove they are crazy, or criminal, you can’t freaking tell which ones are dangerous. On the contrary, you guarantee that crazies and criminal will get guns, because, at least in the case of criminals, every time you lock on up, some desperate person steps in to fill the gap (which is, of course, why jailing dealers in the drug war doesn’t solve a damn thing either). Also, everyone other category of individual who misuses a gun, “isn’t possible to identify, at all, until they misuse it”.

    So, how the F do you define which racists, and bigots, who promote hate, talk about their superiority, and claim they deserve to be above everyone else are the, “crazy, and/or criminal ones.”? Err, well.. you wait for them to, uh.. do something illegal. Hmm. Seems, unless you are willing to pass legislation, which the state failed to do, every single time we confronted these sorts of people, and even defeated them, making the very arguments they make a form of incitement, and illegal, well… There isn’t any real way to stop them from running around spreading hate. But… you may get your wish, right along with your worst nightmare – the current generations of those protesting against hate have, in far too many cases, forgotten the #1 key rule that protestors who actually won in the 60’s and 70’s figured out. A lesson that he racists, in the case I mentioned above, did remember, “Never protest using violence, if you want to actually change anything, and, if violence does happen **be the victim**, not the idiot starting it.”

    And, that is a serious problem, because every single damn time we trying to fate hate with its own tools, i.e. violence, among others, we give *them* a reason to pass laws, and crack down on liberals, and the messages of, “Both sides caused this!”, and, “Liberals just want to deny you different rights, and shut down speech they don’t like!”, are believed by more and more people.

    Imho, the ship has sailed on “fixing” this by some sort of aggressive move to try to shut these kinds of people down, not unless, as you say, Americans are willing to risk not just their lives, but their values, and even country. Because, no other great nation is going to show up, if it all goes to hell, and help us put down the facists that take over, by promoting the idea that they are the solution to some vast conspiracy of “other people” who are out to take everything away from the idiots that willingly fall for the lie that this is what the “left” wants to do to everyone. No, sadly… the only way to fix this is to starve the beast. Instead… we keep getting people on our own side that don’t get the damn message, and keep feeding the thing instead, by doing stupid crap, like either letting some of their “march” riot, or worse, letting someone else show up, which they have no control over, and cause one. To win isn’t going to require storming a damn beach. Its going to require that the bloody movements and protests we have are willing to a) police themselves vastly better than the bloody enemy is doing with their own, and b) actively apposing, and possibly even, GASP, turning in clowns that show up who are not following the game plan, and are willing to turn violent/riot, to try to get their point across. Because.. the PTB are far more willing, giving who so many of them are, to call the left terrorists for having 1% of the people in their march/protest be rioters, or getting violent, while calling everyone single right wing terrorist, “A lone wolf, who isn’t really one of us, and they deserve to be in prison for it!”

    So.. Again, just what sort of, “putting ones life on the line”, to fight this are you talking about? Because, sadly, a bloody lot of people do so every damn time they go out there, not knowing of some ass will run over them with a car, or the local police are run by some jerk who sides with the racists, or just doesn’t like, “unruly protests”, so won’t give anyone the bloody benefit of the doubt, if someone among them screws up. More than that – and we get legislators talking about passing laws to arrest and jail the very people that start a protest, or plan a march, etc., because, “They had to know the rioters would be there, and probably planned it.”

    After all, this is exactly how the right wing thinks. Everything is a damn snake to them, and every problem is solvable by, “cutting off the head.” They don’t give a damn if the “head” is someone protesting bad wages, against racists, in favor of equalities, etc., someone running a drug ring, or even sillier, Alqueda. To them, if you are the head of the beast, then jailing/killing the head, even if they have to do it over, and over, and over, and over, without success, will erase their problem for them. Even when this solution is implausible, impossible, or just plain absurd. Just remove the head, and the “movement” giving you so much trouble just simply goes away. Easy peasy – if you are a real right winger.

    How the heck do you fight that, unless its via non-violent resistance, and calm objectives, i.e., starving the machine of lies they use, instead of violence, rhetoric and badly planned choices, which feeds it? And, on a personal note, why the F are so many people unable to comprehend this? The time for making it physical must come “after” they throw a real blow, not preemptively, in some useless attempt to prove some point no one will give a frak about, once every news network in the country is talking about how you started the fight.

  52. unclefrogy says

    all that is good but it is easier said than done for many.
    and lets get this straight at least once. these nazis and white supremacists are not none violent in anyway that is meaningful. they advocate violence and treason. they evoke the death camps and the lynchings. they commit crimes and praise crimes that further their hate.
    when the police drop back just who are we to take the word of about who “started it” the press? some guy with a cell phone? what kind of spin are we being subjected to? I would think that fighting words would surely influence how people react
    I heard the other day that some of the guys that turned up armed were “militia members” another swell bunch of true patriots.
    some do not know the words to kumbaya and are fed up with being bullies and threatened.
    uncle frogy

  53. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Kagehi wrote:

    A lesson that he racists, in the case I mentioned above, did remember, “Never protest using violence, if you want to actually change anything, and, if violence does happen **be the victim**, not the idiot starting it.”

    That’s not what they learned. They learned to get their version of the events out early, and get their noise machine repeating it as loudly as possible. Were they really the victim of the violence? Who knows. We do know they worked hard to spread the story that painted them as such, aided by various bots that are run by those with an interest in spinning a certain point of view.

  54. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Oh, and this cartoon from a newspaper when MLK Jr. was marching is relevant: https://twitter.com/NatalieGABand/status/901491326759448576

    It depicts MLK announcing that he’s going to have another peaceful march tomorrow with a wake of post-riot devastation around him. The way we perceive events from that time aren’t necessarily the way they were reported back when they were happening.

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