This post will be the last on Trump for the foreseeable future, but I just wanted to highlight three excellent reactions to Trump’s victory.
First: An interview with Jon Stewart, who makes the current crop of late night political comedians look like amateurs. Two nice quotes:
I don’t believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago. The same country with all its grace, and flaws, and volatility, and insecurity, and strength and resilience, exists today as existed two weeks ago.
I thought Donald Trump disqualified himself at numerous points, but there is now this idea that anyone who voted for him has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric.
Second: A beautiful piece by Lyman Stone. Please read the whole thing, but here are a few highlights:
You did this. I did this. We showed politicians that vitriol and hatred were effective. In our Facebook rants, in our un-friending, in our mob-shaming, in our boycotting, in our isolation, in our chanting, in our occupying, in our insulting, in our violence and our counter-violence, in our preference for the shouted epithet over the whispered encouragement, in our love of charisma and wrath over decorum and respect: we did this.
The next time your activist friend tells you they’re renewing their passport because Trump is going to institute fascism, respond, “Oh, come on friend, you don’t know that. That’s just fear and paranoia speaking.”
When your friend angrily shares on Facebook about how Clinton is going to steal our guns, don’t click “Like.” Click the crying one, and leave a comment, “I worry about 2nd Amendment rights too: but dude, this is just fear and paranoia speaking. The President and Congress don’t even close to have enough legal power to take our guns even if they wanted to.”
every time I’ve successfully persuaded someone else of something meaningful, it’s because I took the time to listen, to communicate empathy, to assure them that I thought they were a valuable person.
And in the long run, it is only mutual sympathy and compassion that can save us from violent tyranny.
And finally: An essay (short book?) by Scott Alexander. As always with his essays, it’s long but worth it. A slice:
All this stuff about how he’s “the candidate of the KKK” and “the vanguard of a new white supremacist movement” is made up. It’s a catastrophic distraction from the dozens of other undeniable problems with Trump
So our different ways of defining “open white supremacist”, even for definitions of “open” so vague they include admitting it on anonymous surveys, suggest maybe 1-2%, 1-2%, 4-7%, 3-11%, and 1-3%.
But doesn’t this still mean there are some white supremacists? Isn’t this still really important?
I mean, kind of. But remember that 4% of Americans believe that lizardmen control all major governments. And 5% of Obama voters believe that Obama is the Antichrist. The white supremacist vote is about the same as the lizardmen-control-everything vote, or the Obama-is-the-Antichrist-but-I-support-him-anyway vote.
Politifact says that Hillary and Obama wanted a 700 mile fence but Trump wants a 1000 mile wall, so these are totally different. But really? Support a 700 mile fence, and you’re the champion of diversity and all that is right in the world; support a 1000 mile wall and there’s no possible explanation besides white nationalism?
Listen. Trump is going to be approximately as racist as every other American president. Maybe I’m wrong and he’ll be a bit more. Maybe he’ll surprise us and be a bit less. But most likely he’ll be about as racist as Ronald Reagan, who employed Holocaust denier Pat Buchanan as a senior advisor. Or about as racist as George Bush with his famous Willie Horton ad. Or about as racist as Bill “superpredator” Clinton, who took a photo op in front of a group of chained black men in the birthplace of the KKK. Or about as racist as Bush “doesn’t care about black people!” 43. He’ll have some scandals, people who want to see them as racist will see them as racist, people who don’t will dismiss them as meaningless, and nobody will end up in death camps.
Stop making people suicidal. Stop telling people they’re going to be killed. Stop terrifying children. Stop giving racism free advertising. Stop trying to convince Americans that all the other Americans hate them. Stop. Stop. Stop.