Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tyler Durden: "Les Deplorables"

   Pretty good, I say.
Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms.Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists. ...
The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. One wonders if even some of the people in Mrs. Clinton’s Streisandian audience didn’t feel discomfort at the ease with which the presidential candidate slapped isms and phobias on so many people. 
Presidential politics has become hyper-focused on individual personalities because the media rubs them in our face nonstop. It is a mistake, though, to blame Hillary alone for that derisive remark. It’s not just her. Hillary Clinton is the logical result of the Democratic Party’s new, progressive algorithm—a set of strict social rules that drives politics and the culture to one point of view. A Clinton victory would enable and entrench the forces her comment represents.
  Again, truth is a defense here. (Not from the perspective of politics/rhetoric, of course...) If Clinton was right, then she was right...though many alleged proofs that she is right contain obvious errors. Still...she might very well be right...
   I'd kinda say this: Clinton may be right. Ok. But the idiocy on the left--the constant stream of vile and scurrilous moral accusations against good, innocent people who disagree with the left about some relative jot or tittle--it's wrong and  it's stupid. And many people are fed up with it. It's become something like a boy-who-cried-wolf situation. It's so bad that many people are willing to cut Trump slack despite the fact that the charges against him are sometimes justified and some other times plausible. They're willing to play a bit fast-and-loose with the plausible accusations because they're so fed up with the implausible ones.  And they're not willing to cut Hillary slack for basically the inverse of that reason. 
   But this is pretty much shooting from the hip. HRC wasn't even clear about whether she was offering a long conjunction or a long disjunction. If she meant that half of Trump supporters have some bigoted belief or other rather than all of the ones she listed, that makes it a lot easier for it to be true. And, though I kinda doubt that she believes this, it's basically orthodoxy the farther left you go that we're all bigoted...well...all us white folks, anyway... So was that assumption operative? 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyler Durden sounds like he's painting with a very broad brush concerning "progressives" and making extremely charitable assumptions about Trump and his supporters. This seems like the error of the people he's complaining about in reverse. Not all or even most progressives are the silly types you have seemed very angry about lately. As someone whose father is a Muslim immigrant not unlike Khan, and someone who has never identified with far left campus radicals, I'm very uncomfortable with both the left wing you abhor and scared out of my wits about the islamophobia I see among Trump supporters. It's not moral "supercilious" (an obnoxious elitist word by the man of the people, Mr. Durden) to condemn normalizing islamophobia and other forms of bigotry as Hillary has been doing. Look, lets be honest here. There's a vile contingent among Trump supporters and they want to make anyone who condemns them into some kind of PC-obsessed moron who wants to muzzle free speech. It ain't so. Promoting that lie just empowers them, and pretty soon it's going to put people like my father and me under the rule of people who probably hate us.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, as soon as you point out that he's doing the same in reverse, I see that that's right...though in this particular quote he references "progressive...condescension"...which isn't like saying "half"'s unquantified. However it happens, whatever percentage is responsible, there's definitely condescension coming from that general direction, I'd say.

Though honestly, I tend to think of "progressives" as liberals who moved lefter, so that inclines me to make that mistake.

You're also right about the charitable interpretation of Trump. But I took that to be his point. Whereas *all sorts* of folks on the left are insisting that all Trump supporters are racists (admittedly, not HRC's claim), that just isn't true. There are other things to see in the guy.

And as for the other point: I also agree. I think we can all agree that there's a pretty bad element among Trump supporters. Scary bad. But we're not just fighting Trump, we're also fighting the lunacy on the left that Trump is fighting. It's, in part, what's made him possible.

Again, for my own part, I think HRC might be right, and truth is a defense in such cases. So I'm not as sure as Durden is that *half* is wrong. That's why I'd say instead that much of this reaction is against the fact that unfounded charges of the left's panoply of '-isms' now fill our social atmosphere. It's absurd and nauseating. It also, IMO, makes it more difficult to take plausible accusations seriously.

But anyway, I take your points man.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes sense that crying wolf about these things is not helpful to advancing progressive (or "pro-equality") ideals. I agree with you there. I guess I am just skeptical that the people crying wolf are as powerful or as numerous as gets portrayed by people like TD. And that's what really set me off about that excerpt. TD says that there's a "new progressive algorithm" driving culture in one way, and he celebrates, or sympathizes with, a reaction against it. If the "new progressive algorithm" was the extreme left one, then it would make some sense that many moderate and reasonable people would want to push back and correct the excesses. I just don't see that from where I sit. I mean Obama, the man the far right anti-PC crowd demonizes and hates the most, is a center-left president. But I guess it's worse at universities where some of the craziest and most irrational forces of the left reign, particularly in English departments...

11:35 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

yeah yeah yeah...I totally feel ya on this. I don't disagree with anything you say.

In fact, I wish you'd say that stuff to me like once a week... I try to keep sight of it, but it's really hard for me.

I really do think--and have long thought--that this is an important dynamic in the disagreement. There are racists out there, as well as people who aren't racist, but who have some ideas about race that they probably ought to re-think.

Other people see this, and it's the kind of shit that can *just make you crazy.* I mean...racism...WTF? If there was ever goddamn stupider idea, I've never heard of it.

And that drives some people too far in their opposition to it. they become religious zealots about racism, and start to imagine it even where it isn't...

Then people start reacting to that nonsense. I'd say that this is the group I'm most in. I *abhor* racism. I just cannot stand it. I grew up with it. It infuriates me. But I also hate false accusations of it. Not merely because they trivialize it, but in part because of that. Also in part because I have faith that you don't have to become an asshat for side B just because you think that side A is full of asshats... And also because: the worse a thing is, the worse a false accusation of it is. And racism is very bad...

And so now some of us get on the warpath against the anti-racism religious zealots...

and so it goes...

I tell myself all the time that I *must* not fall into that...must not feed the cycle...but I know I do anyway...

2:05 PM  

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