The civility trap


Most of us recognized this problem long ago (who else remembers the “tone wars” on ScienceBlogs?), but it’s good to have a good summary of the problem with emphasizing politeness.

When used as a political rallying point, appeals to civility are often a trap, particularly when forwarded in response to critical, dissenting speech. Sidestepping the content of a critique in order to police the tone of that critique—a strategy employed with particular vigor during the Kavanaugh hearings, and which frequently factors into hand-wringing over anti-racist activism—serves to falsey equate civility with politeness, and politeness with the democratic ideal. In short: you are being civil when you don’t ruffle my feathers, which is to say, when I don’t have to hear your grievance.

Besides their tendency to be adopted as bad faith, rhetorical sleights-of-hand, calls for civility have another, perhaps more insidious, consequence: deflecting blame. It’s everybody else’s behavior, they’re the ones who need to start acting right. They’re the ones who need to control themselves. In these instances, “We need to restore civility” becomes an exercise in finger pointing. You’re the one who isn’t being civil. Indeed, the above NPR survey explicitly asked respondents to identify who was to blame for the lack of civility in Washington, with four possible choices: President Trump, Republicans in Congress, Democrats in Congress, or the media. Whose fault is it: this is how the civility question tends to be framed.

Just remember, Nazis can be civil. It’s not how they say it that matters, but what they say.

Comments

  1. voidhawk says

    The only problem is how it makes us on the left look to outsiders. Earlier in the year, a protester in the UK confronted Jacob Rees-Mogg, an influential Conservative party MP who has voted for austerity measures which have been condemned by no less than the Red Cross and the UN. However, he also plays the part of a Wodehousian gentleman, so when he calmly and politely confronted the protester who was screaming in his face, most people seemed to agree JRM was the reasonable, intelligent, and ultimately correct one and the protester was just an unhinged lunatic.

  2. Becca Stareyes says

    It always seems like it is a standard applied asymmetrically. Trump is not civil and is celebrated for ‘telling it like it is’ by his followers. Kavanaugh was quite belligerent during his confirmation hearing, and was excused as ‘well, you are accusing him of things he didn’t do’. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton got attacked for calling some Trump voters ‘deplorable’ in a speech, despite making a point to single out that she didn’t think all Trump voters were such. (It’s not even an exclusively right-wing thing: Bernie Sanders is also allowed to be angry and yelly.)

  3. erik333 says

    If your goal is to make people not like you and fail to understand your arguments, you can be as uncivil as you like. The upside being you might rouse those who agree with you you more (eventually violent) action, but not necessarily make you new friends. Whichever friends you do make aren’t necessarily friends you want.

  4. microraptor says

    Becca Stareyes @2: Notice what Rump, Kavanaugh, and Bernie all have in common that Hillary doesn’t.

    It’s the age old double-standard for penis-havers.

  5. microraptor says

    Daughni @ 5: You really going to claim that the double standard doesn’t come down to perception of whether or not the angry person has a penis?

  6. kome says

    Whenever civility comes up, I am reminded of Dr. King’s quote:

    I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

    Fuck being civil when the “debate” is on who gets rights, who gets freedoms, who gets to live, who gets to count as human. This very much is an instance in which if you’re not actively fighting for justice, you’re defending injustice.

  7. vaiyt says

    You can’t have civil debate with racists because their position is impolite by definition. Any conversation they’re in starts with them calling their interlocutors subhuman and unworthy of basic dignity before they even say anything.

  8. unclefrogy says

    yes indeed civility is a trap but it only holds you while you are beaten with euphemisms and double speak, deflected into angry words against phony speaking points and other deflections. you end up like the bull in a bullfight enraged and exhausted chasing the f’n cape until the matador delivers the sword.
    all of the conservative agenda while it tries to mask it self in reason is at the bottom emotional and self-centered based on unsupported bullshit and lies.
    Direct confrontation does not need to be spittle spattered yelling and hollering, it does no good when with children and it sure as hell is not very effective against the right-wing.
    I like the MLK quote it is good to remember with regards to that quote what was done afterwards.
    uncle frogy

  9. mcfrank0 says

    Another way I’ve seen this advice defined is “do not play on your opponent’s field”. It’s all about derailing the discussion.

    Which BTW, I’ve seen a number of times in this thread. Who exactly said that “uncivil” mean spittle flecked yelling? Or that we should be uncivil to our friends? My take on the topic: don’t bend over backwards to avoid upsetting opponents in discussions/arguments. And don’t let them change the topic to arbitrary rules for civility.

  10. deepak shetty says

    Oh here we go again. This isn’t a black and white topic where you either need to be incivil to all your opponents or you are enabling Nazis.
    We also could agree that there is no point in being civil to racists but for e.g. are all people who vote Republicans racists ? are all Republicans racist enablers ? (If yes then all Hillary voters are supporters of needless wars!).
    The fact that some conservatives use civility to deflect blame does not justify being as incivil as possible. What most people who support using abusive language and tone are yet to justify is what is to be gained by that ?

  11. unclefrogy says

    the point is ffuck the dam civility argument it is nothing but a distraction and to use the metaphor I used before it is the bloody cape of the matador which hides the sword.
    keep to the subject! do not be deflected by the external window dressing of civility. be it global warming, sexual misconduct, health care, civil rights and racism or taxes and fiscal policy. direct confrontation direct action keeping direct speaking always, what is the goal? the conservative seems to be able to stick to their goal which as far as i can see is power for those who have always sought and controlled power
    uncle frogy

  12. consciousness razor says

    deepak shetty:

    Oh here we go again. This isn’t a black and white topic where you either need to be incivil to all your opponents or you are enabling Nazis.

    Who’s treating it like it’s a “black and topic”?

    Did someone say that you need to be uncivil to all your opponents? Or is the idea that it is acceptable to be that way to some of them, in specific situations and for specific reasons?

    We also could agree that there is no point in being civil to racists but for e.g. are all people who vote Republicans racists ?

    Republican voters choose representatives who create racist laws and policies.

    Are you going to dispute that on factual grounds, or were you expecting some other kind of answer? If voting Republican is meaningfully different from voting Nazi, it’s not in the sense that one advances racism and the other doesn’t. That is definitely not the difference. So what the fuck is the point of your distinction supposed to be, if it’s not about that?

    (If yes then all Hillary voters are supporters of needless wars!).

    Clinton voters supported somebody who would probably instigate fewer wars than the alternative candidate. (Trump, in the general election, obviously. In the primary, I voted for Sanders, partly because he seemed to be less belligerent than Clinton).

    The fact that some conservatives use civility to deflect blame does not justify being as incivil as possible.

    Nobody claimed otherwise.

    I think vocal, unapologetic rejection (and ridicule, etc.) of abhorrent, harmful ideas is rather obviously justifiable. We have a responsibility to do things like that, if we’re capable of doing so.

    If you think it’s acceptable to fail at this simple task, then you’re the one who needs to justify that.

    What most people who support using abusive language and tone are yet to justify is what is to be gained by that ?

    You’ve shifted to describing something “abusive,” which is not the same thing as incivility.

    Would you endorse a statement that “an abuser would be justified, if the abuser had something to gain from it”? If not, then is this really the question you think you should ask?

    If it is something you would endorse, then you should back up and explain whatever it is you’re talking about when you use a concept like justification. Because I think that’s pretty fucked up, and I don’t know why you would expect to get a reasonable answer that also satisfies your stated assumptions.

  13. DanDare says

    We aren’t talking about people being crazy shouty here. We are talking about people asking ‘rude questions’ and refusing to back off in openly decrying ideas as bad and racist. Also refusing to follow rules that force them not to speak. That is actually civil, but impolite.

  14. Onamission5 says

    @DanDare #15:

    Jim Acosta at that sham of a press conference, for example. Or every. single. black female reporter who’s asked the Orange Harumph a question he didn’t want to answer and been called “rude” or “stupid” in response.

  15. ck, the Irate Lump says

    microraptor wrote:

    Daughni @ 5: You really going to claim that the double standard doesn’t come down to perception of whether or not the angry person has a penis?

    You’re missing Daughni’s point. Do you think a trans woman with a penis would be given the leeway that cis men (or even cis women) are given? Doesn’t seem likely.

  16. Onamission5 says

    It is uncivil to insist on being heard by people who’d rather you and your problems went away so they could continue to ignore you. It’s uncivil to block traffic in order to get your city to take seriously its police force murdering black residents. It’s uncivil to hold a Pride parade in defiance of laws which make you a second class citizen. It’s uncivil to insist on being taken seriously when that insistence challenges decades of status quo. People whom society is used to ignoring regardless of how politely they speak are often perceived as uncivil when they firmly insist upon not shutting up or going away, so let’s not allow the conservatives to dictate the narrative here by mistaking firm or even loud persistence in the face of oppression for being an asshole, shall we?

    Nobody’s talking about being a spittle flecked asshole to everyone, all the time, for any reason– with the caveat that sometimes a bit of spittle is, in fact, warranted.

  17. chrislawson says

    deepak shetty:

    At this point in history, yes, anyone who votes Republican is racist. You can’t claim not to be racist when you vote for a party that openly works to disenfranchise black and hispanic voters and publicly welcomes support from the KKK, neo-Nazis, and alt-right agitators. Maybe the party could be turned around by a concerted effort from Republican moderates to retake the reins, but my feeling is that moment passed with the election of Bush Jr and has become irretrievable now.

  18. microraptor says

    ck @19: I’m a trans person with a penis. I’m given leeway because people mistake me for male.

  19. erik333 says

    @14 consciousness razor

    Did someone say that you need to be uncivil to all your opponents? Or is the idea that it is acceptable to be that way to some of them, in specific situations and for specific reasons?

    If the goal is intimidation or to incite violence, it’s often a great tactic. If the goal is to make people see your point of view or like you it’s often not. The sliding scale of hyperbole is not a helpful tool either. It’s amazing how many “nazi”s there suddenly are. Apparently you should “punch nazis”. Meanwhile nazis are nazis, “alt right” are nazis, republicans are basically nazis, centrists are the next best thing to nazis. People who oppose punching anyone you can make believe is a nazi is a nazi enabler, and therefore might as well be a nazi. It’s no surprise you eventually get people hunting for Bret Weinstein with baseball bats on a college campus, and the administration telling the campus police not to intervene.

    Republican voters choose representatives who create racist laws and policies.

    But do they agree that that republicans create laws and policies that are racist? All of them? Do most of them even agree to what “racist” even means?

    Clinton voters supported somebody who would probably instigate fewer wars than the alternative candidate. (Trump, in the general election, obviously. In the primary, I voted for Sanders, partly because he seemed to be less belligerent than Clinton).

    If you’re going to tally up complicity in body count during warefare, what’s the score? I agree she was a better choice on the simple basis of competency, insofar as you prefer a competent psycopath to an incompetent one.

  20. Curt Sampson says

    If the goal is to make people see your point of view or like you it’s often not.

    Well, that is never the primary goal of people fighting for social justice. It’s nice if you get that along with social justice, but stopping the oppression is the primary goal and, if being civil is getting in the way of that, incivility is perfectly justified and fine.

    It appears that most of the hard right wingers in the U.S. are not likely ever to come around to a liberal point of view; people have been trying to bring them around for decades with little success. So it’s time to take equality, rather than wait for them to hand it out. If they find that “uncivil,” that’s their problem and the right-wing snowflakes can go cry about it to each other. I have no sympathy for whem while others are suffering far more.

  21. Porivil Sorrens says

    @23

    Apparently you should “punch nazis”. Meanwhile nazis are nazis, “alt right” are nazis, republicans are basically nazis, centrists are the next best thing to nazis. People who oppose punching anyone you can make believe is a nazi is a nazi enabler, and therefore might as well be a nazi.

    This but unironically.

  22. consciousness razor says

    erik333:

    If the goal is intimidation or to incite violence, it’s often a great tactic. If the goal is to make people see your point of view or like you it’s often not.

    I don’t think of honestly or straightforwardly telling the truth as some kind of tactic. I said above, for example, that Republicans and Nazis both advance racism — it’s a true statement that some would consider “uncivil.” For another, creationists and climate-change deniers and so forth simply have no reasonable arguments, for example. Sometimes it needs to be said that a person is being hateful, unfair, ignorant, dishonest, etc. But even expressing things like this in plain English is subject to the criticism that they don’t appreciate my tone. Or if I occasionally spice things up by using words like “fuck” or “shit,” for instance, some will act as if it somehow invalidated whatever I said. All I need to do here is simply point out that it does not in fact work that way.

    So, if you’re not going to say it’s my fault when someone gives silly excuses like this, in a transparent attempt to evade criticism or cast off their responsibility to defend their own arguments, then what are you trying to say and why is the focus on people like me?

    If somebody genuinely has a problem seeing things from my point of view, not merely a strong desire to disengage with substantive arguments or evidence, I can appreciate that. It probably happens quite a lot, and I do try to respond in ways that should help them get a better understanding of my perspective. It’s not like I’m rabidly attacking people who merely see things differently than I do, which definitely wouldn’t be conducive to changing their minds.

    What I will do is say that something is preposterous or horrible or whatever the case may be, if that is what I honestly think. People very understandably don’t like hearing things like this, but that’s not my problem. I don’t think they could appreciate my actual point of view (not the POV you or they wish I was expressing), if I don’t express it openly. So you need to take some account of that, if you’re actually interested in whether I’m effectively getting people to see my point of view. (If that’s not your real interest, then I suppose all of this was pointless, and you’ll have to come back with something else.) Anyway, if some people simply don’t want to honestly consider the value or validity of whatever I’m saying, then you need to talk to them about that. That’s out of my control, and it would be pretty bizarre to think stuff like that should be under my control.

    Apparently you should “punch nazis”.

    I’ve argued against that bullshit. I haven’t been the least bit circumspect about sharply criticizing people who think that is somehow consistent with progressivism, humanism, etc. It doesn’t seem like there are too many who want to defend it — probably much less than paid-up, card-carrying neo-Nazis, which are themselves fairly rare. But anyway, I haven’t held back on the criticism for people like that either.

    If they complained about how “civil” I was being toward them, what exactly would you have to say about it? Would you act like some civility-fetishists and make it a point to not take substantive positions on this as well? Would you side with them because they said the magic word “civility”? Would you side with me because I’m opposing violence? Would you start asking yourself what real violence is, and maybe even wonder how fair it is for you to lump that together with using harsh language or expressions of anger? Do we need to run this experiment in order to find out, or do you already have something to offer about it?

    But do they agree that that republicans create laws and policies that are racist? All of them? Do most of them even agree to what “racist” even means?

    I don’t understand the point of your questions.

    Do they agree? Well…. some do, some don’t. When you’re asking about specific individuals, I just don’t know or care either way.

    The question that matters is whether it is racist or has racist effects. If someone fails to agree with the truth (or doesn’t want to openly admit it, etc.), that is obviously not relevant to whether or not it is true.

  23. Marissa van Eck says

    Understand something about the “civility trap:”

    The kind of RWNJ who does this is laughing at you for being the sort of person on whom an argument to civility would have an effect in the first place. They are completely unfettered from such things and only employ it as a veneer of respectability to mask the demonic stench of the actual content of their arguments.

    Get it yet? They are mocking you when they tone troll and call for “civility.” They are making fun of you for being a decent human being, because they are not, and they see it as weakness. They probably also see a kind of poetic irony in it, something like “Haw haw we’re turnin’ the libs’ own weapons against them! How’s that for PC, Demon-crats?!”

    It’s “they go low, we go high, they laugh at us for dropping our guards and stab us between the ribs.” I am sick of these people to the point that I wouldn’t stand over one of them and piss on him if he were rolling around on the ground on fire screaming for God to have mercy.

  24. erik333 says

    @26 Porivil Sorrens
    So what you’re rooting for is anarchy and violence in the streets? If you think thats preferrable to the current situation you are a delusional fool.

    @27 consciousness razor

    Do they agree? Well…. some do, some don’t. When you’re asking about specific individuals, I just don’t know or care either way.

    Everybody who votes is a “specific individual”, so what “specific individuals” think does matter.

    The question that matters is whether it is racist or has racist effects. If someone fails to agree with the truth (or doesn’t want to openly admit it, etc.), that is obviously not relevant to whether or not it is true.

    Well since the term “racist” has wildly different meanings in different contexts, reasonable people can disagree as to whether many policies are racist or not even if they completely agree what the effects are. What most people hear is “a policiy specifically designed to victimize a racial demographic, out of hatred” rather than “a policy that happens to negatively affect a racial demographic, at least slightly more than others, if even by accident… as long as they are not white” which seems to be the low bar some people set. Of course knowing full well that most people just hear “evil” when they use their much wider net to catch even morally ambigous actions or policies to paint with the same brush. I don’t believe this has come about by accident, i think it is in fact a tactic rather than honestly trying to communicate ideas as accurately as possible.

  25. consciousness razor says

    erik333:

    Everybody who votes is a “specific individual”, so what “specific individuals” think does matter.

    You take a few days to write a response, and this is what you come up with? Seriously?

    I’m not going to make some general claim that “what people think doesn’t matter.” But if a racist person thinks they are not racist, their thinking does not somehow transform them into a non-racist. That is the sense in which their thoughts don’t fucking matter. A person’s thoughts can be mistaken, and what we needed (to engage with the concerns deepak shetty expressed) was some kind of non-mistaken statement that one could make about the real world. It should have something to do with the truth, if it’s going to get us anywhere, not merely what some people happen to believe. I care about what’s going on in the real world. I’m not too interested in speculating about the inner workings of the minds of random Republicans.

    Well since the term “racist” has wildly different meanings in different contexts, reasonable people can disagree as to whether many policies are racist or not even if they completely agree what the effects are. What most people hear is “a policiy specifically designed to victimize a racial demographic, out of hatred” rather than “a policy that happens to negatively affect a racial demographic, at least slightly more than others, if even by accident… as long as they are not white” which seems to be the low bar some people set.

    Give some examples of what you think you’re talking about. It’s hard to see how there is anything at all.
    For the last several decades, Republicans have been very consistent and very deliberate (not at all accidental) about targeting racial minorities in all sorts of ways. Republicans violate their voter rights. Republicans oppose programs that disproportionately affect them all sorts of ways, whether they help to pay for food, housing, healthcare, education, etc. Republicans are against things like affirmative action. They demonize Hispanic immigrants at every turn, to the point where the topic of immigration cannot even be raised in this country, without something outrageously racist coming out of the mouths of Republicans. They are rather blatantly preferential toward white citizens who need emergency aid, while neglecting or even blaming Puerto Ricans when they need our help. Their entire design for the criminal justice system seems to revolve around the basic principle that we should punish black/brown people as harshly as possible – that is, if they even survive the intervention of law enforcement to start with, which are more likely to outright kill such “suspects.” The supposed war on terror has taken the form of devastating assorted Middle-Eastern countries (not to mention that it pretty much immediately involved harassing “Muslim-looking” people at home), for no better reason than the fact that they’re not like white America.

    These are the kinds of things voters are faced with, whenever they decide to support the Republican party. Racism makes an appearance in nearly every part of their political platform. This shit happens daily, year after year, and it only intensifies whenever some Republican asshole is on the campaign trail. Many Republican voters support it enthusiastically, while of course it terrifies the fuck out of the rest of us.

    I’m trying to imagine a reasonable person who can disagree with the claim that this is a thoroughly and blatantly racist party, akin to the Nazis – maybe I’m lacking imagination somehow, but I definitely can’t imagine a reasonable person like that. (Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the religious nuttery, the science denialism, the gun-toting belligerence, or many other horrifically unreasonable — and even uncivil — features of Republicanism.)

    If some voters are supporting Republicans despite all of that, what I can believe is that some of them will mouth the words that they are doing it for some other reason, which has nothing to do with the patently fucking obvious racism. The trouble is that these statements, if they can manage to come up with anything at all, will be totally inscrutable and totally inadequate as a justification for supporting Republicans. At best, such people simply don’t care about what happens to black and brown people – it’s a “cost” they’re willing to pay, because they’ve got some (very spurious) reason to believe Republicans will somehow benefit people like them. But look at what we’re saying: this is a group that just doesn’t give a shit about people with a specific skin color, ancestry, etc. So … alright, sometimes, it may not be what you would consider seething hatred or malice, but this isn’t nearly enough to evade the criticism that they definitely are being racist. It’s bad enough to treat these people unfairly, with little or no regard for their rights and freedoms and their welfare in general. There’s a good way to treat other people, and they’re not fucking doing it.

    To summarize: in fact Republican politicians do very little other than spew bigoted horseshit, whether it’s about women, racial minorities, etc. There are no good reasons for any voters to support those assholes. Yet some do support them, and I refuse to be polite to such people about it. This is where some dipshit is supposed to enter the conversation, to hector people like me about being so impolite.

    Now, it’s your turn to not merely assert it but to explain how they’re actually being reasonable or some such bullshit. Don’t merely think about it in the abstract and fish for ways of possibly giving them the benefit of doubt, despite all evidence to the contrary. Think about what they are in fact doing in the real world, including things I mentioned above. How the fuck do you think it could be true that a decent, reasonable person, one who is even remotely informed about what Republicans have been up to for the past several decades, could vote for anybody who aligns themselves with a political party like that?

  26. Porivil Sorrens says

    @29
    Idk, history has demonstrated that purging your nation of nazis is a tangible improvement.

  27. says

    30 consciousness razor: +1!

    All I have to add to that just now is a quote from How to Lie with Statistics (Huff): “When all the errors are in the cashier’s favor, you have to wonder.”

    In our case, all the “errors” just happen to favor the wealthy, the male, the WASP, etc. Does this mean someone purposely chose to dump on ‘others’? Maybe not, but if they don’t care enough to do something, or even to notice what’s in their face, I feel that it qualifies as indifference—make that depraved indifference. The same applies to those who vote for the ones who are doing it. I think it was Scalzi who said something like, “You say you didn’t vote for them because of the racism? But it wasn’t a deal-breaker, was it?”

  28. vucodlak says

    @ erik333, #23

    Apparently you should “punch nazis”

    Punching Nazis is an effective tactic in certain circumstances. Punching a Nazi leader in the middle of a recruitment speech can help demonstrate to potential recruits that a significant number of people hate Nazis, contrary to the frequent claim they make that a silent majority agrees with white supremacist ideology. Especially when there’s a crowd cheering for the puncher. It also undermines the Nazi/alt-right/white-supremacist claim that white men are supermen when they run away sniveling after getting socked in the jaw.

    On a larger scale, violent opposition to the various white supremacist movements is a last resort that has ultimately been proven necessary by the current national situation. The nation’s checks-and-balances are barely holding the administration back from the outright slaughter of vulnerable groups. This is what happens when Nazis are allowed to march freely through the streets; sooner or later the nasty little shits will march right into real power.

    Merely peacefully protesting Nazis failed to stop that from happening. The law failed to stop it. The Second World War failed to stop it… because we stopped short of finishing the job. There were thousands of Nazis in the US when the war ended. People who had contributed material support to Nazi Germany. The very same sort of people who tried to stage a fascist coup in the US before the war. If we’d hanged a few of those traitors, and passed proper laws to deal with their sort, we might not have ended up here. Instead, we left them to fester, and now here we are. They’ve been working towards this for a very long time.

    The bottom line is that an eliminationist ideology like that of the Nazis/alt-right/Trumpers is inherently violent. Violence is therefore part of an appropriate response. Whether it’s the violence of the state passing and enforcing laws to deal with eliminationist hate groups, or it’s the violence of the modern Nazis’ intended victims defending themselves, it’s an important part of turning the tide against eliminationism. Not sufficient, but necessary.

    Meanwhile nazis are nazis, “alt right” are nazis, republicans are basically nazis, centrists are the next best thing to nazis.

    Yes, absolutely, oh yeah, and sorta. “Centrists” are fools and enablers whose primary drives are to suck up to power and show how “above-it-all” they are.

    People who oppose punching anyone you can make believe is a nazi is a nazi enabler

    People who make-believe that the spiritual successors to Nazis don’t have a huge and troubling influence in this country, including controlling the executive and (at least until January) legislative branches of the federal government are, at best, delusional fools. I don’t advocate punching them, but I don’t make any secret of the contempt I have for them either.

    If you’re going to tally up complicity in body count during warefare, what’s the score? I agree she was a better choice on the simple basis of competency, insofar as you prefer a competent psycopath to an incompetent one.

    The person who was far less likely to start up a genocide, the person who didn’t sing paeans about torture, the person who didn’t brag about wanting to “bomb the shit out of ‘em,” the person who believes in climate change… that’s the person who is likely to create a much smaller body count. It’s not just about the dead, either, it’s about the quality of life for the living, and Clinton was light-years ahead of Trump on that account.

    Don’t get me wrong- I’m not a Clinton fan, especially after her recent comments on immigration, but voting for her was the easiest fucking choice in the world. If she’d won, we could have avoided a lot of bloodshed, both the utterly needless and the necessary.

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