Saturday, June 11, 2016

Quite simply the most balanced appraisal of the Trump phenomenon I have read

I saw this the other day and decided not to comment.  Several did, calling Mark out for going against his ongoing teaching about voting.  After thinking it through, I concluded Mark was simply throwing out a jab at Conservatives over the idea that one must vote to stop the worst possible candidate.  So Mark was basically saying 'now it's your turn, if you don't vote to stop Trump (voting for Hillary I presume), then you're not doing all you can do', or something like it.  It's an argument he rejected, so my guess is it was a little bit of a jab.

I assumed that, by the way, because it would be a flagrant, almost gross, reversal of everything Mark has written about voting over the last eight to ten years if he meant it.  Therefore, that's my take.  And as such, I didn't feel it was worth commenting on, even though I, and most of the world, don't necessarily blame Trump only on Conservatives.

Nonetheless, I was notified of a comment that is more than worth the read.  Commenter masterhibb takes on the premise that Trump is entirely the fault of Conservatives, and that the racism and sexism attributed to Trump and his followers exist only on one side of the political aisle.  Neither of which are true.

My only nitpick would be that the whole 'only whites can be racist' bilge is not a lie, it's racism.  Sure, it's acceptable racism.  It's proclaimed by educators, journalists, politicians, intellectuals, authors, entertainers, and maybe even delivery truck drivers.  It is the officially sanctioned and advocated racism of the modern era in America.  As my now 17 year old boy said years ago, the official racism of 21st Century America is that you can always tell a racist by the color of his skin.  I can't tell you how much I loved that observation, and it was from a boy only in late elementary school at the time.  That's how obvious it is.

But like all bigotry of an era, it isn't easy to oppose.  If you do, you're a racist.   Or you are mocked and belittled, told to stop crying and whining about things and admit the truth of your ancestor's inherit evil, racist ways.  And since racism did exist, whites have been racist - by today's standards almost the entire history of the Christian West was one giant racist atrocity - it's tough to do anything other than nod your head and move on.

So I would make that change.  Otherwise, it is a great smack down, not only of the silly notion that Conservatives are 100% to blame for Trump, or that sexism and racism are somehow unique to conservatives or the result of Conservative Media and pundits, but against this whole notion that the mess we see in our election this year is anything other than the result of the nation all of us, to some degree, have built.


  1. Wow that was pretty good. You maybe should have republished it here before Shea makes it disappear.

    (actually I was shocked at how much disagreement I saw on that page - I'm surprised Shea has allowed it)

    In a similar vein, I also liked how Glenn Reynolds put it:
    "The Tea Party movement — which you also failed to understand, and thus mostly despised — was a bourgeois, well-mannered effort (remember how Tea Party protests left the Mall cleaner than before they arrived?) to fix America. It was treated with contempt, smeared as racist, and blocked by a bipartisan coalition of business-as-usual elites. So now you have Trump, who’s not so well-mannered, and his followers, who are not so well-mannered, and you don’t like it."

    The tea party was "playing fair" and forced to escalate. People like Shea keep at it, and we'll all be forced to escalate again. I wonder how well he'll like the next round...

  2. I don't know how much Mark tends to the comments at this point. I have a couple folks who keep an eye on his stuff and sometimes send it along to me. That's about when I bother reading it or checking the comments, so I don't know trends. In this case, I'm glad I did check the comments. The problem with Mark and others is that they see so clearly the worst examples of traditional and conservative America and Christianity, and have no problem linking directly to its heart and soul, but seem to compartmentalize the sins of the modern, post-Christian secular era. They condemn them. Mark doesn't hold back on things like abortion or gay marriage or the infringement on religious freedom. But for some reason, they (and I might even include Pope Francis in this, if I'm not mistaken) seem to see all of the myriad sins, failings, blasphemies, heresies, debaucheries, stupidity, ignorance, slaughter, death, narcissism, pride (unfounded though it is), tyranny and oppression as some isolated flukes not at all connected with the heart and soul of the modern way.


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