Friday, November 11, 2016

I won’t be Neville Chamberlain.

I’ve written so many pages trying to analyze and process what has happened to our country/world… too many to post.  I think what is most immediately on my mind however, is a question I’ve been wrestling with for a year: How do I relate to my friends and family who support Trump-Pence and their platform?  Ranging from casual friends to my own brother to my wife’s parents…

According to a survey I saw (I think on Vox), in 1964, around 30% of Republicans and Democrats thought the other party was actually a danger to the US.  In 2010, it had risen up to almost 80% of both parties.  That is BAD for democracy.  It’s okay for the parties to oppose and work against one-another.  But when you hate and fear one-another, that can’t happen in a healthy democracy.  We, on the left, should not hate and fear the GOP, and visa-versa.

Seth Myers talked about how, after the election, he felt sadness, anger, and fear, but then he realized that these were the same emotions a lot of Trump supporters felt about Obama and Hillary and, “it would be wrong of me to think that my emotions are somehow more authentic than their emotions.”  I thought about that…

But he’s wrong.

Outrage at the election of Obama is not morally equivalent to outrage at the election of Trump.  Because we of one party should not view the opposition as a serious danger to the country… unless it actually is.  And, therein, lies the rub.

Recently, my Alpha posted this:  “Fuck all this "I don't unfriend people over political views" shit. If your political views include being pro genocide, anti equal rights…, hating gays, hating women, hating immigrants (and are ignorant enough to think a great wall is coming free of charge from Mexico), or thinking "I'm in favor of conservative economic policies, so I'm voting for this asshole who isn't qualified to run a country" [Note: Trump will be the first US President who never served in either public office or the military.], seriously, fuck you. I really want you to tell me if you supported him so I can avoid you forever…  Like, Stein believes in magic crystals and Johnson is libertarian, but I don't mind people voting for them as they aren't terrible, terrible people.”

Likewise, I can have friends who supported Bush-Cheney or voted for Romney or McCain. I disagree with them – but those fall within the realm of normal political disagreements.  Trump is NOT a normal case!  Trump is a dangerous narcissist with obvious sociopahic tendencies (total lack of empathy) who has casually talked about murdering innocent people (killing the families of terrorists), bragged about committing sexual assault, said he will have people tortured (“waterboarding and worse”), and praised totalitarian dictators as examples of great leadership.  Trump is NOT the conservative equivalent to Obama or the Clintons (that would be more in line w/ Romney, McCain or George H.W. Bush).  No, Trump is such an extreme case that the Left equivalent of him would be like Mao or Stalin.

To those who say:  “To all posters... Please STOP trying to put this country in Civil War... Don't try to divide this nation more”…  You are basically Neville Chamberlain.  People who are posting junk like, “Apparently tolerance and compromise only applies to others,” are making a (deliberate?) false equivalence.  Asking for tolerance for the views of a typical, centrist left-moderate like Obama or Clinton (universal healthcare and family leave, for instance, are common, ordinary things throughout most of the civilized world) is not equivalent to asking to tolerate the views of a man who talked casually about murdering innocent people, said “laziness is a trait in blacks,” argued for greater nuclear proliferation, said Mexican-Americans are drug dealers and rapists, said he will order torture, ban all Muslims from entering the country, etc. Fighting for tolerance does not mean fighting to tolerate EVERYTHING. Tolerance is not total moral relativism. Some things remain intolerable.

I will not be tolerant of your support of Trump.  That has moved too far outside of the normal political disagreements that are actually (usually) healthy for democracy.  I won’t be tolerant of it any more than I would tolerate white supremacists, fascists, or ISIS.  There is a line beyond which you are no longer welcome at my table.

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