Friday, April 22, 2016

Why Am I Currently More Focused On The Kooky Left Than The Kooky Right?

So I was tussling with Darius Jedburg and Anonymous on this thread the other day over one instance of this issue. With respect to Trump and dust-ups over Trump chalkings on campus, why am I more focused on the lunacy of the anti-Trump anti-chalkers than on Trump himself? Perfectly reasonable question...but...seriously...when facing these two nutty things, I don't think I have an obligation to apportion my outrage very carefully...
    Look. Trump isn't going to win. He just isn't. As I've made clear, I consider it humiliating that he's even being considered in any serious way...and that he's leading the GOP race...well...I have no words...  It's an insult to the very idea of America, as I've said more than once. He's a buffoon. He's basically the shamwow guy, but with less gravitas. He's a moron who thinks he's an ubermensch because he was born rich. Anyway. I don't have to go on. (Also, I generally refuse to ante up with my liberal credentials...not that that's what DJ and A were asking for...)
   But Trump doesn't really interest me anymore. What is there to say about him? He's a buffoon.  What's the point of pilling on when he's ridiculed mercilessly from every quarter? Even conservatives hate him. Even Fox News is openly hostile to him. To be honest, despite my contempt for the guy, I've begun to think that he's being treated unfairly. Comparisons to Hitler????  Come. On.
   But that's a different issue. The real point is: he doesn't interest me. Not right now anyway.
   Take opposition to Trump, however, as it has manifested itself on campus. Here we have a viable candidate for U.S. President. Students at Emory and elsewhere are claiming that ordinary expressions of political support like chalking sidewalks should be banned when they express support for this candidate. Here's an obviously false, obviously crazy, obviously anti-liberal view that is being taken seriously on university campuses, and that is a part of a bigger, crazier movement to push obviously nutty anti-liberal policies as part of a kind of general push by significant sectors of academia to advocated and advance anti-liberal politics and policies backed by an obviously nutty, outlandish, antirealist penumbra of pseudophilosophical nonsense. These are universities for the love of God. And they're being treated as a political salient from which an extremist view that could never flourish in the open in the U.S. can exert undue influence. Oh and: largely by brainwashing students, many of whom are barely out of high school.
   So...yeah...I'm more interested in the latter...
   Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm crazy. You be the judge.
   Here's a rule of thumb I might suggest: if Smith is a major candidate for President, then support for him is covered by your right to free expression. Smith might be an asshole. In fact, for many values of 'Smith', he will be an asshole...  If you want nice, go be a Green or a "progressive" whateverTF that is...
   Also: the crazy right is dying IMO, and I think the battles of the future will be with the crazy left. The right is openly derided on campuses and in much of the media, whereas when the left says "jump," universities and the media basically just see where I'm going with that...
   So anyway, there's a wee window into the tortured chaos that passes for my thinking on some of this.


Blogger AdrianG said...

I think a good way to to tell how seriously someone takes ethical or moral issues is to see whom he holds to the highest ethical or moral standards. Someone who thinks these issues are important will hold himself to the highest standards, his friends to standards no more strict than his own, and everyone else to standards no higher than those he uses for his friends. Someone who holds others to high standards but gives himself and his friends a pass is probably just using standards to which he's not really committed as an excuse to denigrate others.

It just might be a good sign if we criticise our allies as much as we criticise our opponents.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I absolutely agree, Adrian.

In fact, I think that political tribalism and all that rot is largely a result of people's unwillingness to criticize people they consider to be on the same side.

Not that I consider the PC left to be on my I won't get any virtue points on that score...

2:50 PM  

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