November 12th, 2016

Election 2016: fear itself [Part I]

There’s a lot of post-election fear out there on the part of many liberals who voted for Hillary Clinton.

Not all of them by any means, as I think I’ve made clear in other posts. But along with some my liberal friends who are quickly adjusting and even already welcoming some of the possibilities they’re now sensing in Trump’s impending presidency, I have a lot of other friends who are in various states of alarm and grief.

I’m not talking about celebrities like Streisand. I’m not talking about people making a spectacle of themselves, or destroying property in their anger. I’m talking about ordinary folks who are liberals, some politically active and some much less so, who were genuinely frightened by Trump’s demonstrations of impulsiveness, cruelty, and some of his stated policy intentions during the campaign. And they have every right to be frightened; he gave them an awful lot of fuel for their fearful fire.

I see quite a bit of mockery of these people all around the right side of the blogosphere, from those who are understandably high on the amazing victory that Trump and the GOP have just experienced. Schadenfreude is a popular emotion because it feels so good, and I’m not meaning to rain on anyone’s celebratory parade or to reiterate Trump’s flaws for no reason—I feel hopeful and optimistic right now myself. But I’m very aware of the very real fears of many liberals, fears that I could come to share if Trump’s worst side comes back into the ascendance and stays there, and if some of his worst suggestions (ones he has mostly walked back, thankfully) come to pass.

These are real people to whom I’m very close, several of whom I love very very dearly. After the 2012 election, when they knew how bad I was feeling and how hard I’d worked against the result of that election, some of them were very kind and comforting to me, and none of them rubbed anything in.

So I ask you not to totally forget that there were things that Trump said and did that stoked fears, fears that were even aired at times by a lot of conservatives on this blog (and even many Trump supporters) prior to the election. Remember also that, because most of us here agree with many (not all, but many) of Trump’s stated political aims, we have the luxury of being happy about the GOP Congress along with this presidency. It’s much easier for us to hope for the best and jettison the worst.

Liberals are in a very different position.

A commenter here wrote:

Is professing to be afraid [of Trump’s victory] virtue-signaling? Or do they believe their own propaganda?

For a small minority I suppose it’s virtue-signaling (they’re probably some of the ones posting sobbing videos in order to publicly demonstrate their fears). But not for the people I know, and I know a lot of them. For them it’s very real and very sincere, and it should be very understandable even to Trump supporters.

And for the most part it’s not the result of propaganda, either. There was real evidence—from Trump’s own words—of things which people are genuinely fearful about: his apparent mocking the disabled, his original vow to deport all illegal immigrants (which would necessarily include children), his seeming acquiescence to setting up a registry of Muslims (he walked that one back almost immediately, but many people don’t know that and still remember it with fear), his proposal to stop all Muslim immigration and even (initially) to not allow Muslim citizens or legal non-citizen residents to return to this country if those people leave were to leave. There’s also reason for some people to be afraid of the end of Obamacare, which can be a terrifying thought if its subsidies are the only way a person believes he or she can afford insurance and/or has a pre-existing condition, and doesn’t trust the Republicans to keep those features. For some, ending gay marriage (through SCOTUS appointments), ending abortion (same mechanism), and the whole drift towards conservatism is frightening and disheartening in a very personal way.

These things may not frighten you. In fact, you may highly approve of many of them. But it’s not “virtue-signaling” for a liberal—or anyone affected, for that matter—to be frightened about them. I think that, as time goes on and as Trump’s actual policies and plans emerge, the vast majority of these fears will be allayed. But we don’t know that for certain—and most definitely, they don’t know that at all.

There’s also the alt-right, in particular the bigoted and hateful wing of the alt-right. Whether or not you believe that Trump is in agreement with them (I certainly don’t), he gave them subtle encouragement and they certainly think they’re on the rise. Even without any official Trump stamp of approval or encouragement, they could become very cocky and cause trouble, in the streets or elsewhere. This is another very real fear that I don’t think deserves any kind of mockery.

And then of course there’s Trump’s impulsive nature and some of his impulsive and/or ignorant words about nuclear weapons and the nuclear triangle. Again, you may not agree that he’s that unstable—especially at the moment, when he’s been acting calm and presidential—but there has been plenty of reason that someone could be genuinely afraid of those things. Trump’s own words and character during this campaign season have engendered the fear, and it will naturally take time for trust to build, particularly in those who were on the other side.

As for me, I feel very hopeful at the opportunities this election has opened up, although I don’t know that Trump and the GOP Congress will be able to pull any of it off. But with change of this magnitude—and a president completely untested in political office—a certain amount of anxiety is in order, even if you’re on the right.

Maybe because I was once on the other side, I have no trouble whatsoever imagining how it would feel to be a liberal Democrat and to have watched those election returns on Tuesday night. So I’m asking for some compassion for frightened liberals, and I hope more people extend it, if they really want to Make America Great Again.

[Part II, an examination of the response of Schadenfreude, will be coming soon.]

[NOTE: By the way, some of the fearful are even children, who have picked up on the swirling fear around them, not always from family but some of it in school and social media. I think that’s especially sad and especially worthy of compassion.]

98 Responses to “Election 2016: fear itself [Part I]”

  1. Brian E Says:

    There was real evidence—from Trump’s own words—of things which people are genuinely fearful about: his apparent mocking the disabled, his original vow to deport all illegal immigrants (which would necessarily include children), his seeming acquiescence to setting up a registry of Muslims (he walked that one back almost immediately, but many people don’t know that and still remember it with fear), his proposal to stop all Muslim immigration and even (initially) to not allow Muslim citizens or legal non-citizen residents to return to this country if those people leave were to leave.– NEO

    ++

    Try this analogy.

    You and your family go out for dinner and a movie. You forget and leave the front door ajar.
    When you get home, much to your surprise you find a couple in the family room watching TV. You can see from the dishes in the sink that they’ve fixed a meal. They’ve even cleaned up most of the mess they made.
    What do you do?

    1.Since you have a spare bedroom, do you invite them to live with you?
    2. Politely ask them to leave and ask before coming back.
    3.

  2. Brian E Says:

    3. Call the police?
    ——

    I asked a co-worker, a Muslim Arab/Palestinian whether the country would be justified in blocking all Syrian refugee immigration.
    Now, he and I have had fierce debates, to put it mildly, over the years beginning with the invasion of Iraq.
    Even though he immigrated in the early 80’s, he was convinced we had invaded to take the oil. His attitudes have changed over the years as he has seen America first hand vs. his families’ attitudes, who remain in Jordan.
    When I asked him that, his first response was that he’d Nuke the whole middle east. (That has kind of been his default position for the last several years). But he said certainly, we should deny them entrance, that the countries there should take care of them.
    Now he did say that America shouldn’t stop immigration since he thinks that is a benefit to the country.
    As an added bonus, he finds it curious that the dominant culture doesn’t do more to protect itself.

  3. Brian E Says:

    4. Make sure you lock the door before you leave the house in the future.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    My fear is that he will do nothing substantive. My hope is that he’s pretending to be ‘reasonable’, i.e comfortable with the status quo… but that once in office, he’ll actually start to drain the swamp.

    Otherwise his election is just a speed bump on the road to the Collective.

  5. physicsguy Says:

    Neo, I need your advice.

    Over the past week the college I work at has gone down the usual path of shock at the election: setting up a group hug session so students can vent their fears, counseling services, admonishments from the Dean of Faculty, etc. etc. Yesterday our Dean of Institutional Equity (yes there is such a position) sent out the following. For the most part I’ve been amused by the whole show, but his implication that students/faculty are now in real danger from people like me, I thought, demands a response. I have a draft of such a response, but wanted to see what you said in your post today. You seem to counsel empathy, which I have little for these people. Anyway, tell me what you think after you read the following:

    “The outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election has rocked this country to its core. Many people are deeply concerned about how the rhetoric of the campaign season has spilled over into local neighborhoods, schools, community spaces and social media networks. There is evidence around the country of emboldened forms of ableism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, to name a few. We have already experienced some difficult days and I expect that there are more ahead.

    A poignant question was raised by a student at the open forum hosted by my division on Wednesday night: How are we going to protect each other? I haven’t stopped thinking about this question since it was raised.

    The reality is that people are responding in very different ways to this election and those responses are informed in part by personal identities, family backgrounds, political opinions, social views and other defining characteristics. One of the most difficult challenges before us is to heighten our collective awareness of how we can protect one another, even if we do not fully understand each other’s emotions, words, or behaviors. Different people need different things right now, and it is up to each of us to do our best to figure out what we need and what we can offer.

    For some people, a feeling of protection means not having to worry that within our campus environment they will experience any form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of one or more personal identities. As a diverse community of learners, it is inevitable, and essential, that ideas and perspectives will collide from time to time. This is a moment where this kind of ideological collision is highly probable. But it is also a time to guard against interpersonal acts of bias on campus, including speech, postings, and demonstrations that target individuals or groups of people based on race, gender, religion, sexuality or any other legally protected category.

    While we uphold the principles of freedom of expression on our campus, words and actions that cross the threshold from offensiveness to bias are subject to our discrimination policies, which can be found in the student and employee handbooks as well as Information for Faculty.”

  6. physicsguy Says:

    BTW, my lack of empathy for these people stems from the way myself, and others of a conservative bent, have been treated by them over the past 15-20 years. As far as I’m concerned, you reap what you sow.

  7. AesopFan Says:

    [NOTE: By the way, some of the fearful are even children, who have picked up on the swirling fear around them, not always from family but some of it in school and social media. I think that’s especially sad and especially worthy of compassion.]

    If the DOE is going to interfere with schools, then how about an absolute ban on discussing politics with anyone below middle-school; and, in particular, asking grade school children to VOTE for president, as if that signaled anything other than what they hear at home versus at school (and any bets on how many of the Red Elephants some kids took home came with a stern lecture and a tick-mark against their name in the grade book?)

    Sympathy for well-meaning people who disagree with me is fine; NONE for the deliberate perverters of our values and families.

  8. Cornhead Says:

    Physicsguy

    One of the most disturbing things of this election is to learn how dysfunctional and uniformingly liberal our colleges are. It only proves up that the liberals have completely captured the academy.

  9. Frog Says:

    physicsguy, normally a sound thinker, posted in part that we must especially avoid any expression of bias toward (the usual suspects) or “any other legally protected category.”
    Discrimination is one of the words redefined by the Left. It used to mean, when I was young, the ability to distinguish with good judgment. Now it just means irrational bias against protected groups. For pity’s sake!
    Once a year I use the N-word with my PC daughter, age 40+. After the wince, I always say “it is my way of reminding you that freedom of speech means the right to say unacceptable things.”
    Neo would say I’m being a curmudgeon.

  10. MollyG Says:

    @Frog: physicsguy was quoting a university official.

  11. Frog Says:

    MollyG/physicsguy: Oops! I did not see the closing quotation mark. Sorry.
    Quotation marks are to be used at the start of each paragraph if the quotation is more than one para. long, is what I was taught…just to remind that the quote continues.
    My bad.

  12. sdferr Says:

    Only half joking physicsguy, so preserving some portion of irony, you might quote Rousseau’s reflections on the cave back at the college: “Man is born free; yet everywhere he is in irons.”

    Maybe ask whether the college was not initially conceived as a means to throw off the irons and begin to escape the cave? Y’know, rather than in the alternative have the college itself clap new and stronger irons on its inhabitants?

  13. AesopFan Says:

    I don’t want to seem too harsh in my comment above.
    My mother and sisters voted for Obama; I don’t think she would have gone for Clinton, however, based on her opinion of Bill; Sis I am not too sure about.
    However, my MiLaw has been trying to convince us that Hill wasn’t so bad — after all, she was never indicted — and Trump was so execrable; we just change the subject. She really ought to know better by this time, but all she listens to is the MSM echo-chamber.

    My 30-something niece (like her mother and aunt) is devastated — she would definitely have to go to a safe place if still at university.

    The point is, we are all still family (there are a few other conservatives in the clan; I don’t know how they voted this time), and the political divide should not rise to the level of war, unless we are actually in a war, and hopefully not then either.
    (cf “The Free State of Jones” for a contrarian view.)

    As for curmudgeons, here is my favorite doctor with a bracing prescription:
    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2016/11/generation-snowflake-dissolves.html

  14. The Other Chuck Says:

    Like you, Neo, I’m cautiously optimistic because of the apparent about face in Trump’s demeanor since the election. We don’t know how he will act but hope his better nature will prevail.

    What you write about the left can also be applied to some of us Never/Trumpers. While the left does not speak for me, people like Rachael Maddow and Chris Mathews are genuinely fearful, and I share their angst. Last night Maddow had a guest on who has written a piece in the New York Review of Books that I hope does not apply to Trump. It is well worth the read because she has lived under despotic rule and knows the signs. Here is a small section of what Masha Gessen has to say:

    I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now:

    Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.

    http://www2.nybooks.com/daily/s3/nov/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival.html

  15. Irving Greenberg Says:

    I am so unsympathetic to the fears of liberals. Where was all the concern for the conservatives for the last two elections? I’ll tell you. There was none! There was none because everyone knew conservatives would handle their fears, regroup and work to change things next time.

    We were as concerned that Obama would be as destructive to our way of life as liberals are concerned about theirs but no one called for understanding and sympathy for us. We were told that “Elections have consequences” so get used to it.

    My advice to liberals is to get over it! Stop worrying about what might happen and try to make good things happen. Put on your big boy pants and get on with your life. You’ll get the same amount of sympathy from me that I got from you. A little adversity is good for growth. Learn from it!

    If I sound calloused it’s because I am after the last 8 years. Get some callouses of your own! They’re good for you.

  16. Tara Says:

    I have come to be cautiously hopeful for Trump’s presidency, but I had too hard a time voting for him to blame the liberals I know for being dismayed and miserable right now (disregarding the ones speaking wistfully of assassination, which is disgusting even as a joke). They genuinely believe that he’s going to dance on the heads of minorities in golf shoes as he signs World War III into being with his right hand and flips off the Constitution with his left. I’m just crossing my fingers that he’ll prove them wrong.

  17. Tara Says:

    @Irving Greenberg

    You’re right, I don’t remember any calls from liberals to try and understand the conservative POV and be empathetic toward us in our defeat–but if I HAD, I sure would’ve been impressed by the kindness and decency of it. This post of neo’s is one of my favorite post-election pieces, and one of the ones I’d be most likely to forward to a liberal friend with whom I wanted to share the conservative point of view.

  18. Brian Swisher Says:

    I am so sick of seeing the phrase “big boy pants” that the next time I see it, I will do a projectile puke so hard that it will pass through the screen and strike whoever typed it. A “technicolor yawn” into the ultraviolet. The grand opera of all “singing lunches”.

  19. Irv Says:

    How about if I change “big boy pants” to “start acting like an adult instead of a whiny child?” No one promised that you wouldn’t have disappointments in your life.

    As someone said “Every challenge we successfully conquer serves to strengthen not only our will, but our confidence, and therefore our ability to confront future obstacles.” Liberals need a few more challenges in their lives to toughen them up.

  20. Brian Swisher Says:

    There ya go, Irv.

    It seems that some phrases take on an obnoxious life of their own. I was just about as tired of “sucking the oxygen out of the room”, when it suddenly disappeared.

  21. parker Says:

    Let us not forget the following:

    1. Obama’s typically white grandmother. 2. His mentor’s catagorizing 9/11 as chickens coming home to roost. 3. His “I won.” to GOP leaders. 4. “Get in their faces.” 5. “Be sure to bring a gun to the knife fight.” 6. The bitter clingers remark.7. “I will stand by Islam.” 8. His remarks about knowing more about everything than his advisors.

    Sounds a lot like Trump during the campaign

    I have serious doubts, as I have mentioned before, that he will carry his signature issues forward; but instead engage in the art of the deal with his more natural allies the liberal democrats in congress. However, I will be patient and cut him generous slack during his first year.

  22. parker Says:

    GB,

    FWIW, I think your fear is reasonable.

  23. neo-neocon Says:

    physicsguy:

    Well, when I read that letter, it seems pretty tame to me. It’s careful not to blame Trump supporters (even though you know that’s what he means) as the bad guys, for example. It says that people who want complete protection from anything offensive won’t get that protection. It merely says that previous discrimination policies (found in the student handbook) about when people cross the line into really hateful stuff (“acts of bias”) are still in effect. It doesn’t seem to set up any new rules, just reminds people of the old rules.

    So under the circumstances, I see it as the mildest possible thing that could be written that’s in conformance with previous policies, that will keep this person his/her job. Nothing will be overturned or changed overnight, in either direction. Plus, I see it as explicitly stating that freedom of expression at a college means that some people will be offended, and it’s only when the behavior crosses some line or other (defined in the handbook; I don’t know how restrictive the handbook is) that the university will do anything.

    One question to ask, if you want to ask a question of the dean, is whether people on both sides will be equally protected—that is, conservatives too? Of course, the letter already mentions “legally protected” categories (“race, gender, religion, sexuality”). “Political belief” is not a protected category.

    Universities are places that should allow a lot of freedom of expression. But these days there are legally protected categories, and money and university survival is at stake. Is it really a great idea to have overt and vicious expressions of racism, for example, to be allowed on a college campus without any disciplinary action? Should anything go? Maybe at Libertarian U., but otherwise universities are allowed to pass rules for student behavior that maintain a certain decorum, including decorum in argument.

    It’s a slippery slope, of course, and I think they should err on the side of free expression. But not a chaotic free-for-all, where absolutely anything goes. The trick is, as always, where to draw the line.

    I don’t know whether that addresses what you were interested in having me address. You can email me with more, if you like.

  24. OM Says:

    Mr Trump don’t take your hand off the collective or the cyclic, nor forget the rudder pedals and throttle when trying to fly the country away from away from the Gramsian abyss. If you fail to heed these warnings you will exceed the tipping point G-limit. That’s why your big boy pants are Khaki/brown!

  25. Mayan Says:

    What is different this time, compared to previous switches from D to R, is the language and tone of many Trump supporters, notably the alt-right. When the language changes from “we need to change direction” and optimism about those changes to talk of retaliation, retribution, and revenge against “they”, then there is cause for concern.

    Reagan dealt with a Klan endorsement by saying ”Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse. The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.”

    Trump has courted the alt-right, hired key figures in that movement, and it could be said that he has encouraged them.

    Ganging up on gays, migrants, and others won’t do anything to fix the US economy, nor make it a better place.

  26. Steve57 Says:

    These are real people to whom I’m very close, several of whom I love very very dearly. After the 2012 election, when they knew how bad I was feeling and how hard I’d worked against the result of that election, some of them were very kind and comforting to me, and none of them rubbed anything in.

    I promise to be magnanimous in victory and not rub anything in. As long as I’m dealing with a person who isn’t advocating political violence, isn’t vandalizing businesses, and isn’t abusing their own child by telling them stories about how horrific their lives will be from now on because the evil Trump won.

    There was a child in Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas, who was obviously upset the morning after the election. His teacher asked him what was wrong. It turns out his mother told him that now that Trump had won he was going to send the whole family back to Africa.

    This actually happened. It’s also evil. But as long as I’m not dealing with someone who’d terrorize their own kid, I can be supportive.

  27. Big Maq Says:

    @Mayan – Right. Saw on national news one video instance of some high school students walked through their hallways chanting “White Power” while holding up a “Trump/Pence” sign.

    trump could say something like Reagan had to separate himself from these groups… But… he doesn’t.

    Until he very publicly and unequivocally does so, it will continue to be a leverage point for the left and the MSM.
    .

    Saying this does not give license to the protesters to engage in violence or destruction either.

    Besides, even if they were more peaceful, seeing widespread protests only after the election seems a bit too little and waaay too late. Not sure what they really expect at this point, and that fact makes their action rather off putting and counter productive to whatever cause they may have.
    .

    Fear mongering as it may be is something left and right engage in.

    Would like it to stop, but would also like a winning lottery ticket too.

  28. Steve57 Says:

    Uhh, Big Maq, you do realize that is a classic Alynskyite tactic. White liberals do that sort of thing to make their hated opponents look bad. We’ve seen that for years; ringers going to TEA Party rallies and holding up racist signs, for instance.

    I’m surprised the fake Trump supporters weren’t wearing Klan robes.

    They’re going to lie about us and who we are. It’s who they are. Time to deal with the reality of that fact. How many hate crime hoaxes do we need to have before that happens?

  29. Steve57 Says:

    And I’m not even a Trump supporter. But I’m more than used to being lied about since I am a conservative and did spend 20 years in the Navy.

  30. Ben Jacobs Says:

    Neo –
    I am fearful, too. Fearful that Trump will not stand up to the Democrat-Media Complex. It is neither chastened nor subdued. It is like the Terminator, a human looking and virtually indestructible machine programmed to destroy human life, er, Republican life.
    I do not challenge your reports of real fears among people you know. I don’t extend that to the professional Soros funded, Creamer organized and Media celebrated agitators tying up NYC. They have only crocodile tears. Don’t fall for them.

  31. Ben Jacobs Says:

    Neo –
    I hope that, in his inaugural address, effusively praises President Obama, Pelosi and Reid for showing him how to exercise executive power and that he plans to follow their example. As one of your other commentators said, you reap what you sow.
    BTW, Terminator was on television one night last week. It was on my mind.

  32. Irving Greenberg Says:

    Steve57 – as a 20 year Air Force guy it kills me to have to applaud a swabbie but in this case I’ll suck it up. Nicely said!

  33. Ben Jacobs Says:

    Neo –
    I’m sorry to pester you, Neo, but please ask your friends how they feel about the organized effort to have the electors cast their electoral votes for Hilary.
    Will their tears dry up? Will they celebrate as they sympathize with you?
    I do not think Trump is an evil man. I believe many powerful Democrats are.

  34. Brian E Says:

    It’s unfortunate that instead of help these college children learn how to deal with irrational fears, they seem to be fueling them–merely by giving them legitimacy.

  35. charles Says:

    And when I expressed “fears” about Obama’s policies they called me racist, etc.

    So, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. They have brought these fears onto themselves.

    Also, I’m learning some people, some companies, etc. that I will NOT be doing business with in the future. It is one thing to support one candidate over another; yet, it is completely different to call a President-elect a “Hitler.”

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    charles:

    Did “they” really call you racist? Liberal friends of yours?

    No friend of mine called me racist. Pundits in newspaper columns called all criticism of Obama racist. Certain politicians on the left did the same. But do you really know regular people who did, friends and relatives of yours? I don’t, and that’s my point here.

    I don’t believe in getting mad at one person for what another person does or says.

  37. Liberty Wolf Says:

    Thanks for this Neo. Yes, people who are more left leaning whether moderate or farther left are hurting. They are in shock and they are in fear – for so many of the reasons you noted. I am treading carefully with these friends, many of my friends, who are having a hard time getting out of bed, crying for hours and sometimes just feeling real anxiety about their future. Trump is an unknown quantity to some degree and I share some of their anxiety though right now I am feeling mostly positive about his election. However, I do understand he’s a loose cannon and untested and so — who knows? I am trying, when I can, to give them perspective on his goals and to remind them that we do have checks and balances if nothing else.

    The good news is that some of my friends on the left are starting to wonder if they’ve been missing something and if they are indeed out of touch with a lot of the country. They are beginning to consider that maybe, something is going on that they were not entirely aware of and possibly people in this country are in pain and voting for Trump- felt like the best recourse. They are beginning to question the verity of their assumptions.

    Some are also reaching for comfort in asking what might be good about Trump’s platform and I always point out his critical attitude toward NAFTA and TPP and — his skepticism regarding wars of intervention and nation building. These are goals the left shares to some degree.

    It is a new world and I think a new political paradigm is rising. We are all a little shocked, even Trump is said to be shocked he was elected (before careful what you ask for) and well, again, best to try and be compassionate toward others and at least calm, since so many are melting down.

  38. neo-neocon Says:

    Ben Jacobs:

    I refer you to my comment right about this one.

    Also, your question doesn’t even make sense to me. Do you really think that the run-of-the-mill liberal Democrat supports the effort to get electors to change their minds? I don’t know anyone who does; it’s a fringe thing.

    Plus, it’s legal. Electors can change their minds, at least in some states (see this for the rules). It’s not going to amount to a hill of beans—you know it, I know it, they know it. I have no idea why you’re focusing on that as a hypothetical—it’s not even on the radar screen of anyone I know.

  39. Ben Jacobs Says:

    Thanks, Neo. It goes without saying that I respect your opinion.
    I find it hard to sympathize with people who gleefully cheer the destruction of the lives of, say, a pizza shop owner, or a bakery owner, or even a CEO contributing a small amount in opposition to same sex marriage. If they did it to them, they can do it to anyone it deems a deplorable.
    The idea of creating a class of irredeemable deplorables who probably should not have the right to vote, whose continued existence is offensive and threatening, is one that you have written about in the context of how Germany became Nazi Germany. In my opinion, the threat from the Democrat-Media Complex is greater than from Trump’s marginal neo-Nazi supporters.
    I’m sure your friends do not fall into this category but I have not heard anything from Democrats since the election to change my assessment. I hope I’m right.

  40. Sergey Says:

    My hope is that Trump is at least as efficient con man as he looks like. He would need a lot of successful deception to defeat the conglomerated mediocracy of the present ruling class, including members of his own party, to deliver on promises he made.

  41. Sergey Says:

    It is a good thing that most liberals are now paralyzed with fear of Trump, however unsubstantiated it is, but still very real. It is also a good thing that many of them have false hope that he is just a clown and does not really mean what he said. He needs to strike a right balance to keep some of them in false despair and others in false hope to achieve his goals.

  42. Sergey Says:

    Scott Adams makes excellent commentary to Trump campaign in his blog http://blog.dilbert.com/post/152955248046/i-answer-your-questions-about-predicting-president
    He compares the intrigue of these election to a standard movie plot. All I can add that this script is not pertinent to movies only, but to all great drama stories from fairy tales to Homer and Shakespeare.

  43. Sergey Says:

    The importance to see the unfolding events through the prism of this generic plot is that it resonates nicely with Jungean archetype of our collective unconscious about working of destiny, however we call it: Roman Fatum or divine Providence of modernity. The fall of Democrats also was described and predicted by a scholar of Antiquity VDH in terms of the Greek tragedy, its generic plot of arrogance leading to hubris leading to Nemesis.

  44. charles Says:

    Neo – to answer your question. Yes, they did call me racist.

    While it wasn’t family, it was friends and neighbors who did because I didn’t vote for Obama. Anytime I expressed an opinion that Obama was doing something I didn’t like that was their default argument – I must be a racist!

    Needless to say they are no longer friends.

    One elderly neighbor – a black woman who doesn’t have a car and therefore I have given numerous rides to so she could get to the doctor, the pharmacy, etc. (I even gave her a ride out of state so she could see her granddaughter graduate high school – 3 hours each way, I took off from work for that. I thought it was the right thing to do because she had planned to take a bus out and back in one day – over 5 hours each way) had she nerve to ask if I agreed with Hitler because I said something about the negative press coverage of Palin. Really? This is what too many on the left are taught and believe – if you disagree with them you must be a bigot, racist, etc. And, I’ll bet she wonders why I don’t offer her rides any more.

    Last week, I had coworker tell me that I “hate her” if I voted for Trump. I don’t talk politics at work; and just listen and nod my head when she rants about politics. I would like to get her to stop; but, I believe that if I say anything she won’t realize how rude she is being, instead she will just label me a bigot for not agreeing with her.

    Sadly, I really do like this new job; but, everyone around me is so “This election is terrible!” and “Trump is a bigot – who, in their right mind voted for him” that I don’t even want to approach management about how the political comments are disrupting work as I don’t see they trying to stop the comments.

    Maybe, I wrong on this, but, I fear management might agree with those comments even if they don’t express them themselves. In all other respects my manager are great managers, except they aren’t doing anything about the political rants. And, I would have expected better from them. I truly don’t dare “out” myself as a Trump voter – would that move get me fired? Or in the very least put on the short list for lay-offs.

    So, no, I have little sympathy for the “fears” those on the left are expressing. Their response to my concerns was to call me names.

  45. Big Maq Says:

    Uhh, Big Maq, you do realize that is a classic Alynskyite tactic. White liberals do that sort of thing to make their hated opponents look bad. We’ve seen that for years; – Steve57

    Steve, you do realize that all those protests we’ve seen in recent years have hardly any effect?

    To me, they are like the commenters on notsobritebarf – they are only speaking to themselves, as that blog lost anyone else who is not already bought into their world view.

    It’s not convincing in the least to the majority of voters. I doubt Alinsky thought – wait until after the enemy wins, then protest like mad to change peoples’ minds.
    .

    ringers going to TEA Party rallies and holding up racist signs, for instance.

    Surprising you feel the need to say that, specifically.

    You do realize that trump ran his entire campaign and hasn’t definitively and loudly distanced himself from the people who hold those views.

    I don’t for a second think the majority of folks who support trump hold those views, BUT there should be no question that a rather vocal minority do.

    Were the people who did so in Tea Party rallies all ringers, or one of those people? Who knows?

    I know some claim that their local TP organization was taken over by people who emphasized such issues.

    Perhaps they were all “plants” in some grand organized conspiracy by the dems.

  46. Big Maq Says:

    “I find it hard to sympathize with people who gleefully cheer the destruction of the lives of, say, a pizza shop owner, or a bakery owner … I’m sure your friends do not fall into this category but I have not heard anything from Democrats since the election to change my assessment. I hope I’m right.” – Ben J

    The problem has been not that they want this to happen, but that they said nothing when this is happening – all because “their side” holds power.

    Kirsten Powers is one of the few voices who has been on the inside of the dem organization who does see and question these things.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/11/how-liberals-have-ruined-college.html

    With this win, the GOP and all of us who support them can easily fall into the same trap.

    I’m all for rooting out corruption, but phrases like “Drain the Swamp” and “Lock Her Up” can easily slide into it’s own vigilantism.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    charles:

    So why not limit your lack of sympathy to the particular people who called you racist? It sounds like a few people, mostly ones who are not very close to you.

    My experience is that, as I said, the ones close to me never said anything of the sort. I don’t lump groups together and blame all liberals for what some other liberals might say. They are not a unitary bunch by any means, any more than conservatives are.

  48. neo-neocon Says:

    Sergey:

    I don’t know where you get the impression that “most liberals are paralyzed with fear.” That’s not what I’m reporting, nor is it what I see. In fact, I’ve written posts saying that quite a few liberals I know are greeting this with equanimity and/or even optimism. Some, however, are quite frightened, and this thread is about them.

  49. Sergey Says:

    Many my friends and relatives in USA are shocked. I see it in their facebook pages, I try to explain them the results from my perspective, and what I see is if the whole their worldview came down shattered around them. They live in very liberal enclaves, mostly in university towns in California and Massachusets, Boston and its suburbs. It looks like moral panics, with lots of comparisons of Trump with Hitler and expectation of authoritarian rule.

  50. Sergey Says:

    This group, of course, is a rather specific community of Russian ex-pats who immigrated to USA about 25 years ago, it can be different with native born Americans, but what they think is nothing short of hysterical meltdown.

  51. Brian E Says:

    My wife’s nieces took to facebook to declare that Trump is Hitler.

    Actually one of them said “I think Hitler’s slogan was Make Germany Great Again”. She got some pushback from younger cousins who called it hate speech and she took it down.

    Her sister came to her defense and said she shouldn’t have taken it down, she had every right to express herself.

    What a mess. Trump isn’t to blame for this. These attitudes existed long before him. I suppose you could say we shouldn’t have elected him so the left wouldn’t be so angry.

  52. Bob_CA Says:

    Neo, perhaps while you are feeling compassion for your frightened liberal friends you could explain to them how conservatives like me can be truly frightened for my country. We are frightened that decrees from a panel of unelected lawyers can enable left wing politicians not only to sanction the killing of millions of unborn babies but also to fund with my tax dollars an organization like Planned Parenthood who provides the facilities for these murders and then sells the body parts of the murdered children.

    We are frightened that this panel of lawyers can decree that marriage, the bedrock institution of our culture, is not what has been universally accepted for millennia but we must accept a perverted definition that includes people with severe sexual dysfunction. Then liberal politicians and their police can jail and potentially kill, if she resists arrest, people like Kim Davis who morally object to this decree.

    We are frightened that public institutions like the schools are being used to brainwash our children and to turn them against their parents’ beliefs.

    In my community in California the demonstrations by students against our democratic system are many times lead and always encouraged by left wing school teachers and administrators paid for with my tax dollars.

    I am not sure how much of these views you also believe,Neo. As far as I can tell, you are circumspect about your views on abortion. Perhaps you agree with your friend the Ace of Spades that it is moral to kill babies in the first two trimesters and that we should pervert our definition of marriage. But just as you counsel us to have empathy for leftists I counsel you to try to teach your friends to have empathy for conservatives.

  53. Esther Says:

    Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Love thy neighbor. Turn the other cheek.

    Surely it is possible to have compassion for those we disagree with.

  54. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    November 13th, 2016 at 12:41 am
    charles:

    I don’t believe in getting mad at one person for what another person does or says.
    * *
    An estimable sentiment that I share.

    However, most political rhetoric thrives on exactly the opposite maxim: impute to everyone on the other side the worst excesses of anyone on that side.

    Do some conservatives and Republicans do that too? Sure.
    But pretty much the entirety of the Democrats’ institutional and group response to Trump’s supporters (and to Romney’s and McCain’s as well) follows that agenda.

    They even attack their own side for having insufficient bile.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oprah-winfrey-faces-backlash-her-comments-donald-trumps-win-946771

    Group imputations elicit group refutations.
    And individuals get caught up in them (as Charles recounted).
    That’s how civil wars start.

  55. AesopFan Says:

    I am very glad that neo’s personal friends are so magnanimous and caring, since I don’t even plan to tell most of my close family how I voted (I wonder about her posts where she confesses that she simply doesn’t talk politics with most of them anymore — are there subsets of the friends? — I can see how that might be the case).

    HOWEVER,
    Ben Jacobs Says:
    November 13th, 2016 at 2:44 am
    In my opinion, the threat from the Democrat-Media Complex is greater than from Trump’s marginal neo-Nazi supporters.
    * * *
    The threat of the D-M C is that they will continue to impute the vileness of the marginal NNs to the rest of the country (we’re all deplorable, donchaknow) despite all evidence to the contrary. The NNs have no institutional power, and no hold over the vast majority of the country (the Trump voters in the Rust Belt voted for Obama twice).
    Mark Steyn nailed this situation years ago:
    http://www.steynonline.com/7593/when-everyone-hitler-nobody-hitler
     In that sense, the rise of a Trump figure was entirely predictable. Indeed, I see an old quote of mine has been making the rounds on the Internet in the last couple of days. I wrote it over twelve years ago in The Daily Telegraph:
    In much of western Europe, on all the issues that matter, competitive politics decayed to a rotation of arrogant co-regents of an insular elite, with predictable consequences: if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones.
    Another passage from that ancient piece seems relevant to Washington:
    The political class has refined Voltaire: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right not to have to listen to you say it.Are you still here?
    This is unworthy of a democracy, and more to the point deeply unhealthy. One reason why the Eutopian dream has fizzled across the Continent is because the entire political class took it for granted no right-thinking person could possibly disagree with them, so they never felt they had to bother arguing the case and, now they have to, they can’t remember what the arguments were.

  56. AesopFan Says:

    Irving Greenberg Says:
    November 12th, 2016 at 4:20 pm
    I am so unsympathetic to the fears of liberals. Where was all the concern for the conservatives for the last two elections? I’ll tell you. There was none! There was none because everyone knew conservatives would handle their fears, regroup and work to change things next time.

    We were as concerned that Obama would be as destructive to our way of life as liberals are concerned about theirs but no one called for understanding and sympathy for us. We were told that “Elections have consequences” so get used to it….

    If I sound calloused it’s because I am after the last 8 years. Get some callouses of your own! They’re good for you.
    * * *
    The Leftist retreat from responsibility has been happening for far longer than 8 years; they just have more support from the top of the food chain now.

    * * *
    neo-neocon Says:
    November 12th, 2016 at 5:55 pm
    physicsguy:

    Well, when I read that letter, it seems pretty tame to me…One question to ask, if you want to ask a question of the dean, is whether people on both sides will be equally protected—that is, conservatives too? Of course, the letter already mentions “legally protected” categories (“race, gender, religion, sexuality”). “Political belief” is not a protected category.
    * * *
    OF course “political belief” is a protected category: in the First Amendment. What we are seeing in the Universities (publicly funded in large part, so they are bound by the Constitution just as much as, oh, bakers and florists) is a total rejection of that precept.
    * * *
    (neo continued)
    universities are allowed to pass rules for student behavior that maintain a certain decorum, including decorum in argument.

    It’s a slippery slope, of course, and I think they should err on the side of free expression. But not a chaotic free-for-all, where absolutely anything goes. The trick is, as always, where to draw the line.
    * * *
    The line that has been repeatedly drawn is that conservative expressions of any kind are defined by the university community as “overt and vicious expressions of racism” — and there are plenty of stories out there.
    Disinviting Condoleeza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example.
    Should they be that way?
    Of course not.
    Are they?
    Go to PowerLine and read the “Meltdown” posts.

  57. Bill Says:

    Any thoughts on the appointment of Steve Bannon as “Chief Strategist”?

    The alt-right is now in the oval office, with the ear of the President. The white-nationalist anti-semitic alt-right.

  58. OM Says:

    Bill:

    “Chief Strategist,” well that certainly is a comforting thought (not). But now that that most pressing appointment has been accepted Mr. Trump can get down to the lesser tasks of Chief Inquisitor (Sean Hannity), and Chief Bloviator (Newt Gingrich). Cabinet posts and agency heads are much less important! 🙂

  59. Esther Says:

    Can I just feel reassured that at least Bannon wasn’t appointed chief of staff? after all, he was a chief strategist, and Reince Priebus is so cute, there, I said it.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    AesopFan:

    It’s not a legally protected category in the sense that letter meant, which is in the sense of a requirement for a college under Title IX, etc., and the federal assistance given to colleges. There are certain legally protected categories for which, if colleges discriminate against those categories of people, federal funds are withdrawn.

    That’s the issue at hand in terms of what the letter is referring to.

    Freedom of speech is different, and under the Constitution this is the First Amendment guarantee:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The prohibition against inhibiting free speech is against Congress making a law abridging it. It has nothing to do with colleges protecting freedom of speech (something we all of course want them to do).

    This letter had to do with legal CYA by colleges, and that’s what I was referring to. You are confusing apples and oranges.

  61. neo-neocon Says:

    AesopFan:

    Yes, there are definitely subsets of friends. I’ve described that somewhere in some post or other (don’t remember which one). With some of my friends, political discussions immediately escalate. With others, I’ve had some fairly lengthy discussions.

    But what also sometimes happens is that I rarely bring politics up. It’s more the case that the friend will bring it up, and I will decide whether to respond or to say it’s best to change the subject—depending on the subject, and the friend, and the setting.

  62. AesopFan Says:

    Neo, thank you for your amiable replies.
    I do appreciate the forum for discussion you provide; it is probably the most civilized on the ‘nets.

    It’s a shame, though, that one side of the discussion (conservative) feels like they have to change the subject to preserve their relationships, while the other side generally has much less sensitivity of feeling (as I have witnessed in my own family).

    **neo:
    The prohibition against inhibiting free speech is against Congress making a law abridging it. It has nothing to do with colleges protecting freedom of speech (something we all of course want them to do).

    This letter had to do with legal CYA by colleges, and that’s what I was referring to. You are confusing apples and oranges.
    **
    Actually, I am not at all confused, although possibly my rhetorical flourishing was not quite clear.

    I know that the letters (insofar as the extend the interpretation of the statutes beyond the original intent) are not laws made by Congress, but the Left treats them as such, and the administrators (pushed by the students and faculty in a direction they are all too willing to go) have defined “discrimination” in many, many cases to cover speech – therefore, many colleges are absolutely NOT doing what we want them to do, which is to protect the freedom of persons other than their preferred victim groups.

  63. AesopFan Says:

    Here is another entry for Charles’ column, of “friends call me racist by reflex” (emphasis added):
    http://amgreatness.com/2016/11/13/losers-arent-just-sore-vicious/

    “On election night, however, as I watched Clinton’s campaign headquarters transform before the nation into something resembling a funeral or morgue, I resisted indulging in my earlier fantasies. It wasn’t just that I decided to be a gracious winner. I felt genuine pity for those millions who had been misled into believing by dishonest pollsters and Clinton’s media colluders that their candidate couldn’t lose. Being a Christian, I tried to place myself in their shoes and chose to do unto others as I’d have them do unto me.

    I aspired to be a gracious winner. Far too many of Clinton voters, on the other hand, have been anything but gracious losers.

    They’ve also proven to be vicious.

    This is not new. Throughout the whole election season, particularly as Trump started sailing toward victory, their rental thugs have been revealing to everyone with a camera that it is the Democrats, not Trump’s backers, who have led the market on violence.

    And as we see from the violent anti-Trump episodes (“protests”) that began to erupt in cities around the country within 24 hours of Trump’s election, things have not changed.

    I confess: My earlier feelings of magnanimity and sympathy are giving way to anger. My anger, in turn, is on the verge of hardening into rage.

    In the interest of full disclosure, the post-election fallout on the part of anti-Trumpers (I don’t know if it’s accurate to describe them as Hillary supporters) has had a personal dimension for me. While I am used to being in the trenches, my wife, Amy, is not. Neither had our seven year-old son yet had any exposure to the nastiness that politics unleashes in some people.

    That changed this week.”

    The full story follows, and shows that not everyone has friends as magnanimous as neo’s — because they don’t actually discuss political positions or philosophies, they just impute motives by reflex.

    “This hurt my wife badly. She was in tears, gravely insulted that someone who she thought was a friend would impugn her character, and befuddled that anyone would think to do such a thing over an election choice.


    More can be written on this at a future time. My point in writing this essay is to share how, within 24 hours of Trump winning the presidency, the backlash of the haters reached my home.

    I can assure you, experiences of this kind go no distance toward facilitating “unity.”

    They go a great distance toward both reminding us of why Trump won and signaling why he will win again unless this year’s losers do their part to overcome this division.”

  64. parker Says:

    Ah, now djt as POTUS elect will not pursue investigations into hrc’s dodgy actions because she is “a good person”. Now, the wall is not a wall, but is maybe a wall, or sort of, and Mexico will sort of pay for it or maybe not. A sucker is born every minute.

    Obviously, hrc was the greater of evils, but I must admit I chuckle at the pathological adoration of the trumpian horde. Kiss ass boys and girls, from my POV, you are the real cucksters. You own it

  65. AesopFan Says:

    David French has a nicely balanced approach.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442130/donald-trump-protester-riots-counterproductive

    “As I’ve long argued, the greatest threat to our republic isn’t any given policy or president but rather the improper and completely disproportionate hatred and fury generated by and through otherwise conventional and normal political debate. It’s the disproportionate and unrealistic delegation to politicians of the individual responsibility for your own economic, moral, and spiritual well-being. Politics as religious faith is far more dangerous than politics alone…
    For that very reason, it is also incumbent on victorious Trump supporters not to gloat in the misery of their opponents. Yes, many people on the left seem to have lost their minds, but there are truly intolerable things happening in Trump’s name on the right, too. People with their own record of violent threats and intimidating acts are trying to ride his coattails, and his GOP has to demonstrate by word and deed that those people aren’t part of “Trump’s America” and will receive no aid or comfort from the party. A movement can still sow fear from the fringes if good people fail to speak up.

    I’m weary over the battle to define “real” America. America is the only real America. I argued against both Trump and Clinton because I love this country. I’m praying that Trump will be an extraordinarily successful president because I love this country. I’ll offer whatever help I can (if anyone wants it) because I love this country.
    The overwhelming majority of Trump voters don’t hate anyone in the blue states. Indeed, the majority of Trump voters believe that his policies will improve the lives of all Americans. They may not ever get your support, but they do deserve your respect.”

  66. The Other Chuck Says:

    Quote Bill:

    “Any thoughts on the appointment of Steve Bannon as “Chief Strategist”?

    “The alt-right is now in the oval office, with the ear of the President. The white-nationalist anti-semitic alt-right.”

    Oh come on Bill, aren’t you being over-the-top hyperbolic? Let’s give Trump the benefit of the doubt. So he appointed an alt-right sympathizer as his chief strategist. Are you implying that an even tempered, honest to the core, rule playing, sweetheart of a man like Donald J. Trump could possibly be influenced by a hot headed, anything goes propagandist like Steve Bannon? Get real.

  67. OM Says:

    The Other Chuck

    “Gambling? I’m shocked, shocked!”

    🙂

  68. Sergey Says:

    On Steve Bannon appointment: He was the chief strategist of the Trump campaign, and proved to be very successful in it. So it is natural for him to play the same role in forming a transition team.
    And yes, he was a propagandist, as any campaign strategist should be. Now he expands his propaganda efforts opening Breitbart bureau in Europe. Ideological propaganda always was the weakest spot of conservatives, and in ideological battles for hearts and minds of general public its role is paramount. I hope that this weak spot will be now adequately covered. Remember, politics is downstream from culture. Before winning a political battle one needs to win an ideological and cultural war first. And propaganda is the most powerful weapon for this.

  69. Sergey Says:

    Can anybody provide any proof that Steve Bannon is antisemite? Recently such accusation of racism, white supremacism and antisemitism became being thrown around so indiscriminately that it is better to dismiss all of them right out of hand.

  70. Steve57 Says:

    The prohibition against inhibiting free speech is against Congress making a law abridging it. It has nothing to do with colleges protecting freedom of speech (something we all of course want them to do).

    Since the prohibition against inhibiting free speech is against Congress making a law abridging the right then the rogue Dept. of Education is acting illegally and unconstitutionally when it sends out threatening “Dear colleague” letters pretending that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was exactly that. A law passed by Congress abridging the First Amendment . And the “colleagues” at public and private schools will lose their federal funding unless they abridge student and faculty freedom of speech lest it create a “hostile” learning environment for the fragile hot house flowers in need of a safe pre-school type space.

  71. Sergey Says:

    Now is high time to use Wilhelm Münzenberg and Saul Alinsky tactic turning it on the Left. Give them the taste of their own medicine!

  72. The Other Chuck Says:

    Can anybody provide any proof that Steve Bannon is antisemite? Recently such accusation of racism, white supremacism and antisemitism became being thrown around so indiscriminately that it is better to dismiss all of them right out of hand.

    This is from Bannon’s own breitbart.com. It is a glowing account of the alt-right, a puff piece that not only is sympathetic to the various groups and individuals loosely associated with it, but a guide to the dark side of right wing racism and anti-Semitism.
    http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/

    There is virtually no condemnation of anything the alt-right stands for. The Holocaust denial is dismissed. …the alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudly — albeit almost entirely satirically… Satire?

    The alt-right minions appear as trolls on any site that allows them. The comment section at zerohedge is a prime example of the extreme Jew hatred of these people. There is also an element of Russian subversion present. Figures, considering Russia’s glorious past of pograms, exile, and internment of Jews.

    I was waiting for Trump to distance himself from this kind of support. Instead he appoints Bannon. Not a good sign.

  73. sdferr Says:

    Oh for pity’s sake — I just posted a link to an article at the Daily Wire written by Michael Knowles on Sept 26, 2016 titled “An Actual Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right: 8 Things You Need to Know”.

    For some reason unknown to me the comment was captured by the spam filter. Anyhow, people interested can go find it.

  74. The Other Chuck Says:

    You can get to the Knowles piece through this site:
    http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php?topic=226744.0

  75. Kyndyll G Says:

    It so far has been impossible to have any dialog with our lefty-left friends. At least one person has literally told anyone left among this person’s friends who voted for Trump (probably no one other than our household) to unfriend themselves. Not only is there no moving on, or even an epiphany about perhaps this being how we conservatives felt after the Obama re-election when we had some concerns of our own about the direction of the country, they simply don’t consider it possible to have a legitimate view that is different from theirs. 60 million Trump voters are either stupid or evil or both, and the latest widespread craze is to push for the electoral college to vote for Hillary. They literally want to stomp out of existence any opinion or view that they don’t agree with, and delegitimize anyone who holds that view. If anything, the election made them worse in that now they feel that the forces of evil are winning.

  76. Brian E Says:

    Maine and Nebraska have opted to use the Congressional District Method, where electoral votes are distributed according to the state’s congressional districts instead of the state as a whole.

    This is a good alternative to the popular vote. It gives a greater voice across the state, especially to states where the population centers skew one way, while the more rural areas might prefer the other candidate, or even a third party candidate.

  77. Big Maq Says:

    @Kyndyll – “They” are not some monolithic whole.

    Certainly we see those on the street protesting. You probably describe them well.

    The folks I know who are long time dems are, as expected, very disappointed and worried. Some of their worries mirror some of the possibilities that several of us have written in this blog’s comments section.

    Some of it comes from the shock of what seemed a consensus going into the election wrt the results, and finding out how wrong it was. That certainly heightens their experience and reaction.

    HOWEVER, these are not people who “literally want to stomp out of existence any opinion or view that they don’t agree with”. Far from it.

    60 Million clinton supports are not all as you portray.

    Of course there are folks on BOTH sides who hyperbolize the “other” side. We don’t need to be one of those.

  78. Bill Says:

    I’ve been trying to post an article written by Ben Shapiro about Steve Bannon, but something in the article’s link is not making it through the filter.

    Bottom line – I don’t know if Bannon in his heart of hearts is a white nationalist or anti-semite, but he panders to the virulent anti-semitic/white nationalist fever swamps of the alt-right, and he is now in the white house.

    Adjust your alarms as you see fit.

  79. Brian E Says:

    “This is from Bannon’s own breitbart.com. It is a glowing account of the alt-right, a puff piece that not only is sympathetic to the various groups and individuals loosely associated with it, but a guide to the dark side of right wing racism and anti-Semitism.” -The Other Chuck

    Did you read the entire article? I wouldn’t characterize it as sympathetic as much as clinical. I suggest people should read it seriously, because you have to understand a movement to counter it. Shouting racist over and over isn’t going to drive it away. And you can thank the left for that. They overused the term rendering it ineffective.

    By the way, the article was co-written by Milo Yiannopoulos, a very over the top homosexual, who is being bandied about as the ideal Press Secretary for Trump.

    http://www.breitbart.com/milo/2016/09/19/milo-destroy-alt-right-speech/

  80. Sergey Says:

    The Other Chuck: I have read the article in Breitbart.com and found no approval or excuses for antisemitism in the text. Not a bit – an objective and neutral description of a very motley crowd.

  81. Brian E Says:

    I wouldn’t characterize it as sympathetic as much as clinical.

    You might even characterize it as objective, which is kind of an old-school journalism concept where a news story describes the facts without editorializing.

    You might not recognize that, as news stories have now become not so thinly veiled editorials.

  82. Sergey Says:

    Alt-right is no movement. Cultural phenomenon – yes, but no coherent ideology or program, mostly just trolling and cursing.

  83. DNW Says:

    @ Greenberg @ 4:20

    Exactly. Their “fears” versus our actual loss of liberty.

    One thing this election has done, is to make self-evidently, apodictically, clear that a considerable majority of women in this country care absolutely nothing, and after two generations of feminism no less, for political and economic freedom as conceived of by most men, in comparison with the notions of inclusion and security as conceived of by most women.

    Not all women of course. A substantial minority do embrace the idea of freedom over social security. If only women voted, Trump though losing in an avalanche would still have won a few states; where, to use a stereotype image, Granny Yoakum might still be seen out on the front porch in her rocker, or cousin Connie out by the paddock talking to the hired hands.

    As for the rest, they define enlightenment as you being a drone in the service of their hive. But that so many would blithely use their ballot to imperiously, if they could, chain others to their needs and dysfunctions and weaknesses is morally stupefying.

    It is, stupefying not merely in its sheer self-centered conceit, which is common enough, but in that extra step which couples to their conceit, another act of mentally reducing all other humans into an audience of servants, properly gathered by government in order to support and validate their every whim and need.

    It’s so bad, that they cannot even see the paradigm.

    By Gaia, I wish that someday, someway, Neo could strap one of her liberal friends into a chair until she finally got a clear answer out of them as to just what premise it is they use to deduce that we are all property of the hive, and owe them our thralldom.

    But unfortunately, it is pretty clear that that will not happen.

    Perhaps if she could put it in the third person, and say, “You know, I have this conservative acquaintance, and he is wondering just what it is that he owes to you that it more important than his own self-interest” … she could get a straight answer.

    Or maybe not. Maybe it is one of those feeling, or “golden rule” things … Maybe you just gotta be there -wherever it is they are – in order to get it.

  84. Kyndyll G Says:

    Maq, unfortunately, in this case by “they” I mean, specifically, our friends (literal friends of mine and Mr G) who are uniformly either rabid lefties or scared to dissent publicly. There is a 100% wall of behavior as described from the entire group, to the point that Mr G, who is less politically interested and involved than I, has noticed. He is hurt. Most of these are people who have been his real-life friends for decades.

  85. neo-neocon Says:

    Sergey:

    It is a movement. They have goals and programs as well as organization.

    Whether they will be successful is the question. Another question is how much they can influence the Trump administration.

    I happen to think they will remain in check. But that’s just my opinion. I neither trivialize nor whitewash (to coin a phrase) their intentions and possibilities for gaining more power.

  86. The Other Chuck Says:

    Brian E says:

    “Did you read the entire article? I wouldn’t characterize it as sympathetic as much as clinical.”

    Yes, I read it, twice. It has a gloss of objectivity, nothing more. Simply by treating white supremacists as having just another viewpoint, Holocaust deniers as satirists, and playing down the radical nature of their views as coming from some wild and crazy gamers who should be tolerated, the piece is a whitewash.

    Here is a good article that discusses the alt-right without making excuses:
    http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/14/you-cant-whitewash-the-alt-rights-bigotry/

  87. The Other Chuck Says:

    Neo, they beat you to the punch on whitewash. I’m still trying to believe that Bannon and company are being used by Trump and not vice versa. Putting him in the White House as senior advisor is not a good sign, however.

  88. neo-neocon Says:

    I’ve got a new post up about the Priebus and Bannon appointments.

  89. DNW Says:

    Maq, says:
    Blockquote>”Of course there are folks on BOTH sides who hyperbolize the “other” side. We don’t need to be one of those.”

    Hi. Our attempts at communicating have in general been remarkably unsuccessful. LOL

    But I think this question would be straightforward enough and the answer potentially interesting: why do you place the term “other” in quotes?

    Regards,

  90. DNW Says:

    Tried to follow the links in the Young piece – need to catch up on this alt-right business – and was unable to find the Matt Bruenig linked piece declaring that Liberalism (classical variety) had something to inextricably to do with rich white men, as presumably white or rich men, per se,

    But I could not find it. Looks like Matt Bruenig has experienced some serious life style changes just recently due to a fallout with fellow leftists, and he has gone dark for the most part.

    I did find a piece still up on “Demos” from 3 years ago, wherein he opined that being disallowed from squatting in a building owned by another was a form of coercion equivalent to the libertarian’s claim that income taxes are at root a form of morally unjustifiable coercion.

    If that is an example of his “reasoning powers” then, I may not be missing much.

  91. Big Maq Says:

    @DNW – it is about “otherizing” to coin a term (if it hasn’t been already).

    One of the biggest mistakes one can make is lumping too many into a group, with all the worst characteristics applicable to them all.

    “It so far has been impossible to have any dialog with our lefty-left friends. … they simply don’t consider it possible to have a legitimate view that is different from theirs. … They literally want to stomp out of existence any opinion or view that they don’t agree with…” – Kyndall

    Not everyone who disagrees with us falls into the simplistic model we call “them / they / etc” (i.e. the “others”).

  92. DNW Says:

    ” Big Maq Says:
    November 15th, 2016 at 9:30 am

    @DNW – it is about “otherizing” to coin a term (if it hasn’t been already).

    One of the biggest mistakes one can make is lumping too many into a group, with all the worst characteristics applicable to them all.

    “It so far has been impossible to have any dialog with our lefty-left friends. … they simply don’t consider it possible to have a legitimate view that is different from theirs. … They literally want to stomp out of existence any opinion or view that they don’t agree with…” – Kyndall

    Not everyone who disagrees with us falls into the simplistic model we call “them / they / etc” (i.e. the “others”).

    Ok. Sounds to me as if you are referring to what used to be called “generalizing” in a pejorative sense, or “stereotyping”.

    That is not what I generally took, “othering” to mean, and why I asked.

    Those who use it in the way I am thinking of use it in the context of attributing an invalid move to the moral analyses of those who would assert that anyone, or any collective, was morally alien to them.

    This however, I think can be readily established. Some, say Herbert Marcuse or Bill Ayers for example are in fact intractably morally other and alien in their moral sensibilities and possibly in their psychic anthropology.

    Unless you in principle insist on just assuming that God is in His heaven, and they are God’s Children too, whether they deny it themselves or not, whether they behave diabolically or not; then, the naturalist stance has to allow for the possibility that they are or could be irremediably other, and alien.

    If the quack like ducks and say they are ducks, why should I try and argue them out of it?

  93. OM Says:

    He certainly has a “hate on” for Christianity.

    “Unless you in principle insist on just assuming that God is in His heaven, and they are God’s Children too, whether they deny it themselves or not, whether they behave diabolically or not; then, the naturalist stance has to allow for the possibility that they are or could be irremediably other, and alien.”

  94. DNW Says:

    ” OM Says:
    November 15th, 2016 at 11:18 am

    He certainly has a “hate on” for Christianity.

    “Unless you in principle insist on just assuming that God is in His heaven, and they are God’s Children too, whether they deny it themselves or not, whether they behave diabolically or not; then, the naturalist stance has to allow for the possibility that they are or could be irremediably other, and alien.”

    I usually ignore your excitable heel-nipping OM, but for the sake of a charity which costs me virtually nothing, it is probably worth pointing out that the issue being mooted was one of logic, not metaphysics or revelation per se.

    If you wish to declare yourself a Christian and a disciple of Jesus, and then argue general moral principles on the basis of your faith commitment, please feel free. I’m not stopping you.

    On the other hand if, as looks to be the case, you simply wish to manipulate Jesus as a kind of human shield for the purposes of your crabbed and resentful sniping, you may wish to think twice.

    Unless you are a complete and utter cynic, that is.

  95. OM Says:

    DNW:

    Cheap pot shots about religion followed by utter BS, and lots of it. Resentful? Project much.

  96. DNW Says:

    “OM Says:
    November 15th, 2016 at 4:05 pm
    DNW:

    Cheap pot shots about religion followed by utter BS, and lots of it. Resentful? Project much.”

    You are the one following me around and barking for my attention Skippy.

    My cousin had one like you. It used to chase after cars and try to bite their tires. No doubt it felt is was worthwhile …

  97. Big Maq Says:

    Well DNW, I’ve seen you quacking a whole lot, and I do think I have a good read on what you are.

    So, no worries.

    You and others are welcome to “generalize”.

  98. OM Says:

    DNW

    Your insults haven’t gotten and better with age or with repetition. Man up, find you big boy pants! 🙂

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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