Thursday, May 26, 2016

Donald Trump Is Not A Bully; Stop Calling Him One

   Donald Trump is a buffoon. Donald Trump is a moron. Donald Trump is a loudmouth, a bullshitter, an empty suit, a comb-over with nothing beneath it. He's an embarrassment to the country who has no right to be spoken of in the same breath as the office of the president. He's a goddamned piece of shit.
   But Donald Trump is not a bully.
   Or, at least, he hasn't bullied anyone that I've ever heard of. And currently he's not in a position to physically harm anyone, including any of his political opponents...and there's no reason to think that he would if he could.
   And, as for supporters, the vast majority of the violence thus far has been by anti-Trump protesters, not Trump supporters.
   Calling Trump a bully is inaccurate...but what concerns me is that it's making liberals look whiny and weak. And that's absolute death for liberals. Those are two of liberals' characteristic flaws. They're repulsive character flaws. And basically the worst thing liberalism can do is be those things. Because that will remind people what they hate about liberalism. Insults alone aren't bullying, and by erroneously characterizing them as such, liberals sound like they're so pusillanimous that a bit of rude language is all it takes to make them start whimpering. him what he is. He's a rude, crude, idiotic clown with a big mouth. And he was born with a silver spoon in it to boot. But stop whinging about him being a "bully."


Blogger Darius Jedburgh said...

1:52 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Dude, you're kidding, right?

This is a video that basically makes my point. Trump isn't *bullying* anyone at all. He's being a loud-mouthed asshole. He's *glorifying* violence...but that' *different.*

Distinctions matter.

Also, juxtaposing his bullshit with pictures of anti-black violence...that's just bullshit man. That's entirely unfair.

What am I missing here?

3:16 PM  
Blogger Darius Jedburgh said...

You're missing that the soundtrack makes the point on its own. I agree that the video images are totally overegging -- although we should also remember that a lot of the ejections were of black and Latino people.

Listen to the way he says 'Get this guy out of here -- get him out of here!' and talks about the good old days when you could just beat people up. He's not just 'glorifying violence' (although that would hardly be irrelevant to a charge of bullying), he's glorifying the violence of his own people.

I'm honestly left wondering what would count, in your eyes, as bullying behaviour.

Similarly, I don't know why you're getting so worked up about people saying Trump called Mexicans rapists, like that was some vile calumny. In this kind of context, nothing matters less than whether he actually said something that entails (Ax)(x is a Mexican -> x is a rapist), and no-one knows this better than Trump. Do you think that the people who fear, or get off on, the idea that Mexicans are rapists are going to hear what Trump said and think 'Gee, too bad he didn't go the whole hog and actually explicitly call all Mexicans rapists in a way that could not possibly have been misinterpreted! Then he would have my vote!' No. The point is that Trump is happy to give all those vile people the impression that he does, in fact, think that Mexicans are rapists, or at any rate are, qua Mexicans, likely to be bad people. It doesn't take much.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Dammit. I just wrote a long--and needless to say brilliant--response that I then accidentally deleted.

I appreciate the comment and I don't think that what you're saying is obviously wrong...but I do think it's wrong.

I'll maybe try to say something fascinating about this at more brief:

Yes, some people ejected from Trump events have been black and latino. No, that's not good evidence that Trump's a racist. I have seen no reason to believe that white kids would be treated any better. The Trumpoids dislike the protesters *qua* protesters. They've treated them all about the same, regardless of color. And the "he's race r and you ejected him roughly, ergo you are racist against r's" argument is invalid.

What am I missing?

And there's all the difference in the world between calling all Mexicans rapists and saying that a lot of illegal immigrants are rapists. Trump was expressing disdain for illegal immigrants, and doing so (apparently) on account of their criminality. What he said was false, and I think he's got a false idea of what most illegal immigrants to the U.S. are like...but he *in no way* said nor suggested nor expressed a belief that all Mexicans are rapists.

It's just not true, it's not fair, and it's making the problem worse to say that he did.

Now...a more interesting question IMO is: is there bigotry under the surface that helps motivate Trump's belief? A wee test: would have have said the same thing had most illegal immigrants been coming from Canada?

I think that really is an interesting question...and I have my suspicions... But suspicions aren't worth a lot.

Anyway. You could be right. I could be wrong. That goes without saying. But I'm skeptical.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Also, just for clarity:
Asserting that all (or most, or whatever) Mexicans are rapists (which, again, Trump has simply not done) isn't an act of bullying.

Q: What would it take for me to call Trump a bully?
A: Some actual bullying.

I'm happy to point out that he's a jackass along many axes, that he's basically ok'd some kinds of rough/violent treatment of protesters, etc. We just haven't seen a single act of actual *bullying* from him. If x goes to y's rally to prevent y from speaking and y punches x, that's not an act of bullying. It might be wrong, but even a minimal attention to accuracy prevents categorizing it as bullying.

Cheering on violence is not bullying. Inciting violence is not bullying. Being a racist is not bullying.

Though this does raise the question "what is bullying?," and I'll admit I have no theory...though I do know it when I see it...

6:43 AM  
Blogger Darius Jedburgh said...

Would [Trump] have have said the same thing had most illegal immigrants been coming from Canada?

I think that really is an interesting question...and I have my suspicions... But suspicions aren't worth a lot...

Q: What would it take for me to call Trump a bully?
A: Some actual bullying.

We just haven't seen a single act of actual *bullying* from him.

Inciting violence is not bullying.

Seriously, Winston. Have a word with yourself. Epistemic caution is admirable. So is insistence on the correct application of concepts. But these things can be taken too far. And then they can also be taken so far that one wonders what is really going on. If you really think it's an open question whether Trump would be making the same noises about 'illegal immigrants' if they were Canadian; if you're really going to say that openly inciting credible violence against opponents on a national stage does not count as bullying... I can have no confidence that you would accept any premises in any argument intended to convince you otherwise.

Here's a clue you might be an outlier: your positions required you to be surprised at Trump's remarks about the 'Mexican' judge. It's hard for me to convey how much less surprised I was by that, than I am at the spectacle of anyone professing surprise at it. Are you going to say it was just by luck that my prior view had rather more explanatory and predictive power?

1:52 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Judiciously put, which I appreciate.

Well, when you're wrong, you're wrong--and the fact that you were less surprised by Trumpo's "Mexican judge" comments than I was is a decent indication that I was wrong and your theory was better.

Me, I'm not actually *that* surprised by anything Trump says though, because my theory is that he is largely a random-sentence generator... But that doesn't change things. You were better able to predict theory can't predict much...

I can tell you what I think about all this--not that I'm sure anyone should care--but I just got back from an ass-kicking trail run in the Blue Ridge, and so I'm going to beg off for right now.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Whoa wait hold on...

I wrote that *mea culpa* yesterday and forgot to post it...then just after I posted it this morning I started wondering whether I might be wrong about *that*...

I mean...have I said that Trump isn't a *racist*? I argued that he didn't say some of the things he's been accused of saying. I've argued that some of the things that he *has* said that are being declared obviously racist are not, in fact, obviously racist... But I'm not sure I've argued that h

I mean...look...whence the insistence on the use of the term 'bully'? It really isn't accurate. I'm not sure--given all the other things we can justifiably say about Trump--why anyone would insist on *that particular* not-very-accurate term. I mean...I don't have all that much stake in this point. I just don't think it's accurate. Not every act of inciting violence is bullying. Bullying strikes me as akin to recreational torture--physical and/or mental. Not ever act of intimidation is even bullying. Trump just doesn't fit the paradigm of a bully so far as I can tell. He's not seeking out people to push around and intimidate for fun, for example. His reaction to his supporter sucker-punching the protester was deplorable--that incident alone ought to disqualify him as a presidential candidate. But it simply wasn't anything very much like *bullying*. For one thing, it was *post facto.*
Look, I'm perfectly willing to admit error on this if I'm wrong... But I'm just not seeing why I'm wrong. Trump certainly isn't encouraging his people to go find people minding their own business and harass them. He *was* overreacting and being a dick to protesters *inside* his rallies...though many of those protesters had the *explicitly state goal* of trying to shut down the rally. He *did* *indirectly* encourage violence against you might say that using threats of violence to get what you want is bullying...but that's a pretty loose definition. If someone comes into my classroom and starts disrupting class, and I say *get out or I'll kick your ass*, *that* isn't *bullying*. I might be wrong in some other way...

Anyway, from my perspective it's you who are being oddly intractable/insistent about using that particular not-terribly-apt term...

As for the Canada thing:
That's a whole other long subject, but I think you are absolutely wrong to think that the answer is obvious. I think liberals tend to simply assume that conservatives (not that Trump is a conservative...) are racist, and to see things in that light. But conservatives are devoted to law and order. I can virtually guarantee that they're against illegal immigration no matter where it comes from, largely for that reason. Trump himself...well...who knows? He will say whatever flits through his head at the moment. Rape is *acknowledged* to be a huge problem with respect to illegal immigration--though the problem is "coyotes" raping their customers. It's possible that Trump heard that and garbled it.

My view, in brief, is that the left is doing its normal nonsense: poetic, free-associative interpretation of what its enemies say, all conducted in light of the antecedent assumption that everyone to the right of them is racist. And...*voila!* they always are! No one is *ever* absolved of the charge! Trump himself keeps saying things that--contrary to lefty fantasies--are *not* incontrovertibly racist... But the near-misses are adding up in a way that makes a hypothesis of bigotry more and more plausible.

Ah, too much, too much.

As always, I could be wrong.

I'm currently so sick of the nonsense on the left that it's probably clouding my judgment.

6:42 AM  

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