Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Daniel Bonevac: What It's Like To Be A College Professor Who Supports Donald Trump

Wrong about some things, right about some things... But he's certainly right that openly supporting Trump on campus is going to cause you problems if you're faculty.


Blogger The Mystic said...

You know, it sure is ironic to write an article in which one touts one's own commitment to representing situations in an even-handed fashion and then follows that proclamation with nothing but critique for one side and brief, almost entirely substance-free praise for the other.

You might think Clinton's policies are wrong-headed, and you might think that in a rational and respectable manner. But, you can't counter that with support for a charlatan who can't even be trusted to maintain or carry out his own ideas.

And you definitely can't persuade anyone of anything by simply saying he's got good ideas and that she's got bad ones. These high-level, general articles which conveniently omit the most important high-level concerns are garbage.

A better high-level summary would have to include the fact that trump has been exposed for the kind of person anyone with more than a few speeches' worth of exposure to him would think he would be; he's willing to exploit even the little social power granted to him by his role as a "star" to sexually assault women for his amusement. What about that seems like putting him in the Presidency is a good idea?

You can counter that with HRC's genuine failures, such as the email scandal, but a direct comparison will at least show that she acted in a way contrary to national interests for her own convenience, in line with the actions of her predecessors. That is bad.

Trump, on the other hand, simply admits to taking advantage of power to do whatever he wants. Not only is there copious evidence for this inference from his behavior and actions in general, but he explicitly stated this in his little video clip.

So wtf? From a high level, there's absolutely no argument that trump is a superior choice. There's just not.

That doesn't preclude a detailed series of more precise arguments regarding policy specifics from demonstrating that it is in America's best interests to take its chances with trump, but that's really all that's left to those arguing in his favor, if you ask me, and this guy just completely blew that article by acting as though an argument in favor of trump can be made based on high-level considerations derived from more superficial information of which he neglected to mention the most damning against trump.


10:24 AM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

Cry me a river. Don't know whether you'd disagree, but I basically think that this is as it should be. Of course one has to be cautious with the 1933 Germany parallels but I do think we can say this: if Trump became president and effectively suspended the supreme court and the constitution, interned Muslims, deliberately whipped up vicious prejudice against LGBTXYZ people and various other minorities that quickly led to violence that he effectively condoned, invaded a bunch of countries, started using tactical nuclear weapons, formed a close alliance with Putin... (the list is indefinitely extendable), no-one who had paid any attention to the election campaign could be remotely surprised. This is why HRC was quite right at the start of the second debate when she said that unlike any other political opponent she had encountered or any other Republican nominee for the presidency, Trump was fundamentally unfit for high office. Worse than that: he's an unprecedented existential danger. If by 'openly supporting Trump is going to cause you problems' you mean that people are going to infer a generally negative judgment about you, shun you, not want to engage in argument with you, make negative remarks about you to others... I think these are problems people like Bonevac and Soames should have to face.

And I'm someone who completely agrees with you that the lack of intellectual diversity in the academy is a huge problem, and that the smug, narcissistic humanities microculture of policing and shaming and scolding is disgusting.

12:31 PM  

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