Monday, January 11, 2021

Althouse: The 7 Most Violence-Inciting Statements In Trump's Speech To The Crowd On January 6th

   I'm doing this because I realized I wasn't seeing quotes from Trump, just assertions that the speech was an incitement and cause-and-effect inferences based on the sequence of events: He spoke and then they acted.
   There are places where he clearly talked about a peaceful protest march. He says: "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." And: "So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue... So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue."
   Just because Trump is acting crazy, don't forget that the MSM is the propaganda arm of the Blues. They've basically done nothing but lie about him for 4+ years. We're basically hearing reports from crazy people about a crazy person that the crazy people hate. 
   None of the statements Althouse identifies seem--intuitively--to amount to incitement. And that seems to be what reasonable lawyers are saying, too. McCarthy says--and this seems reasonable to me--that that's true, but not the relevant standard. 
   I still think that--for once!--Holmes's "shouting fire in a crowded theater" analogy is actually applicable. The shouter in the analogy doesn't directly incite people to rush, panicked, for the exits. He doesn't say "Everybody rush the exist right now! Trample others if necessary!" Rather, he (in effect) knowingly makes a false empirical claim that will give rational people incentive to rush the exits. That's what Trump did, isn't it? If the election is being stolen, the republic being destroyed, the Constitution being shredded...isn't the rational reaction violence? This is the sort of thing that worried me about conservative claims that Obama was intentionally destroying the country: it seemed to provide people with rational grounds for violence. 
   Note: this is also what the media, academicians, the activist vanguard, and other idea-mongers on the left did/are doing to black America and white Pantyfa types: they repeat the provably-false claim that racist police are routinely murdering black men. If you believe that, then, yeah, I don't see that mass rioting is an irrational response.
   OTOH, though...Trump specifically instructs the crowd to be peaceful...though one might wish he were clearer about that. Back to the analogy: what if I spend an hour elaborating on the story about the theater fire. I believe it--but irresponsibly. I am in a position to know better. What I DO know is that there are reasons to suspect that there could be a fire in the projection room. But I tell the audience that there IS such a fire, and I spend an hour talking about how we're all f*cked if we don't get out of here fast. Along the way I say things like "now let's be orderly as we leave" or whatever... 
   And, of course, the blue team spent all summer defending the BLM/Pantyfa riots, arguing that violence was as American as the Boston tea party, and generally egging them on. So that's a difference.
   But the real topic here is Trump. I'm willing to buy the no incitement argument. But I don't think that's the only question here. 
   And anyway, I'm now more interested in the epistemic issue of Trump's immunity to counterevidence and refutation.


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