Friday, April 29, 2016

Protesters Again Try to Disrupt Trump Rally in CA

   As for the question who's currently worse, Trumpo the Clown or the anti-Trump left?...  Well...the anti-Trump left seems to be routinely trying to disrupt Trump rallies and prevent him from speaking...not to mention destroying public property and attacking people... Both parties are extreme assholes as far as I'm concerned... But the forces of trumpery aren't trying to deny anyone their First Amendment rights in a widespread and systematic way. And that makes the anti-Trump left the bigger assholes at the moment.
   Am I missing something here?
   The lefties haven't brought out their giant puppets though... So I guess they're not at LEFTCON 1 / IMF-levels of frothiness yet... So I guess that's something.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

You are making a false dichotomy. I am part of the "anti-Trump left", and so, presumably, are you. The "anti-Trump left" is not protesting Trump in a sometimes-violent manner. A small subset of it is. And yes, in many ways they are worse than Trump; most obviously, they are stupider than he is. But Trump is still plenty awful. Saying he isn't as bad as "the anti-Trump left" is neither accurate nor constructive.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, you may be right that it isn't constructive...

But I think you agree that it's *accurate*...

By "the anti-Trump left" I meant basically the folks more like the protesters. Though you're right, that's an inaccurate way to say it. I suppose I could have said *the rabidly anti-Trump left.*

Am I still on the left?

I have no idea anymore.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Also, not to be a penis, but there's no false dichotomy there. For there to be a false dichotomy, I'd have to ask something like "Who is stupid, Trump or the protesters?" But I ask "who's currently worse?"

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm...who is worse, stupid Trump protesters who go too far, or the biggest jackass to be the nominee of a major political party in the last half century (at least)? I'd say Trump is worse. Not even close. Protesters annoy me more often than not regardless of which side they're on and even without the giant puppets or Samuel Adams costumes. But they have a First Amendment right to protest, of course, just as Trump has a first amendment right to speak. Sometimes protesters are going to cross the line, and that's going to happen a lot this year because people on both sides are very angry and there is inevitably going to be stupid people on both sides who do stupid and terrible things. But let's not obscure what's happening here in a very important campaign -- Trump is an absolute menace to our political system and, indeed, to the world. (And if you wanna call me hysterical go for it, sometimes a little hysteria is just what we need). The protesters who jump on police cars or prevent Trump from speaking go too far, but their potential for harm is limited by law enforcement. They should be condemned by Trump opponents. Trump, on the other hand, could get the nuclear codes, control of the military, and be able to make decisions about global economic policy. He represents much more potential harm, not just to global peace and economic stability but also to our Constitution. That is not to say that I'm excusing the excesses of protesters, just that their misconduct pales in comparison to the dangers of a Trump presidency.

One other thing I'll say on this though: this campaign has already been one of the ugliest and most depressing I've ever seen, and it's only going to get worse. Violence is almost certainly going to break out to a much greater degree. It could be historic. We're entering what feels like a third world political climate. The limits and norms that used to keep people in check have been removed. I don't just blame Trump. You place a lot of blame on the PC movement, but the Tea Party movement against Obama and the rhetoric of the right wing for Obama's presidency has been poisonous and there is a level of hate and anger that is finding a voice with Trump. Trump's popularity is in large part due to that legacy. But he is responsible for this too. He took it to another level because, among many other reasons, he advocated for violence at his rallies at a time when peaceful protesters were showing up--maybe they were heckling but that's all they were doing and they had a right to do that. I will never forget or forgive that, or let anyone play that down. It was a big red flag for me, as were so many of the incendiary things he has said and done in the past year. We're seeing a level of anger and division in his rhetoric that is off the charts of anything I've seen in recent politics. It almost inevitably would produce a very strong backlash. That backlash is only now starting and it's going to get stronger. But the guy who flipped this switch is Trump backed by 8 years of hate for President of Obama that was stoked by talk radio, Fox News, and many Republicans in Congress.

I think we all need to take stock of what has happened in this campaign and think of constructive ways to proceed going forward. Trump is not going to tone things down. He's going to continue to try to bait an ugly reaction by his opponents because he wants to drag everyone down into the gutter. He wants to incite the most reckless protesters because then he can paint all his opponents with the same brush. I think the best path his opponents can follow is to rise above it with ridicule and by pointing out that there's a better way to address the issues that are making people angry. Hopefully his opponents recognize that is the best response to his vile campaign. And that's all I'm gonna say on this topic because, honestly, it's too depressing that we even need to have this conversation.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well-said, A. More importantly, I think it's true.

I didn't mean that the anti-Trump left was *more dangerous.* I could not agree more that the idea of Trump with his finger on the button should terrify everyone. Trump vs. Putin locked into who's-junk-is-bigger brinksmanship? Holy God...

What I said was that the protesters are *bigger assholes.* In retrospect I'm assuming that they are basically the PC crowd...which isn't entirely obvious. It's a fairly safe assumption, but it's an assumption. If so, then these are not people who just lost their collective temper one day and protested. These are people who believe, as a matter of principle, that people do not have the right to free expression. That's not only a level of assholery that's virtually off the scale, IMO it's very likely to be a bigger long-term threat than that posed by Trump & co. But it's their assholery on which I was focused.

There's no doubt that Trump is the bigger short-term threat.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking response.

In retrospect, I think PM hit the nail on the head right off the bat by pointing out that it's pointless to try to make fine discriminations about who's the bigger asshole in a case like this.

8:20 AM  

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