Sunday, November 13, 2016

"Think Trump is bad? Wait until you see what comes next..."

PETER HITCHENS: "Think Trump is bad? Wait until you see what comes next... "

"After years of taunting, spiting, ignoring and scorning the rest of us and our opinions, the liberals have now created a monster. President Trump is entirely their fault. But they blame others. On they ploughed with their mass immigration, their diversity and equality, their contempt for lifelong, stable marriage, their refusal to punish crime, their mad, idealistic foreign wars, their indulgence of drugs, their scorn for patriotism, their schools and universities, turning out graduates with certificates they can barely read."

Sophisticated conservatives are, of course, embarrassed that Trump is their designated standard-bearer. Their current talking point is that Trump is not their fault, because liberals created Trump.

That's a bunch of self-serving spin, of course, but there's a lot of truth to it. How long did we think we could tell a private businessman that if two gay men want a wedding cake, he HAS to make it for them, even though his conscience tells him that gay marriage is an abomination. Did we think there would be no blowback? Did we think that ridiculing a court clerk for refusing to issue a gay marriage license wouldn't cause any resentment? That woman just thought that she was refusing to carry out an immoral order, like an army grunt who refuses a lieutenant's order to shoot a civilian. I don't see her that way, but that's how she sees herself, and that's how millions of others see her. Then we used the criminal justice system and the courts to enforce those "immoral" orders. Well, guess what? In a brief time, the shoe will be on the other foot. They are free to change the laws without fear of a Presidential veto. What's more, they're going to have the courts packed with conservative judges from stem to stern because they are now the people who do the nominating as well as the people who do the confirming. Remember when we did not listen to their concerns? Well, sparky, they ain't gonna listen to ours now.

History doesn't move in a linear fashion. It advances in a series of cycles, and those cycles include periods of reaction and retrograde motion. Some gears are now about to shift, and life is going to suck for some of us.

In the long run, it'll suck for all of us if we don't start listening to one another.

I was struck with the humble, conciliatory tone of Trump's acceptance speech in the wee hours after election day. He said the right things. I hope he is also capable of actually doing good things, because he's now the guy who's gonna take us to the prom, even though we were hoping somebody else would ask.


  1. From reading this, it sounds like he's saying these poor put upon conservatives need to be protected from the taunting of liberals. As if these conservatives are hoping President Trump will turn their United States into one large safe space. Maybe that was the real subliminal message of building the wall.

    From reading the rest of this article though, I don't know if I'd exactly say that Hitchins' is treating his readers with scorn, but I certainly think he is knowingly dishonest when he refers to global warming as an 'unproven theory.' Not over the debate itself, as tired and as over as it is and should be, but over his dishonest use of the word 'theory.'

    I find it hard to believe Hitchens doesn't know that the common usage of the word and the use of the word by scientists is completely different.

  2. Oh yeah, one last thing, I had just commented somewhere else that how so many in the lamestream media that were supposedly all assisting Hillary Clinton seem to think that Trump's campaign should be entirely forgiven and forgotten because of his one graceful victory speech.

  3. "How long did we think we could tell a private businessman that if two gay men want a wedding cake, he HAS to make it for them, even though his conscience tells him that gay marriage is an abomination. "

    Used to be:

    "How long did we think we could tell a private businessman that if an inter-racial couple want a wedding cake, he HAS to make it for them, even though his conscience tells him that inter-racial marriage is an abomination."

    Religious reasons are used to prop up all kinds of bullshit. If you don't want scorn from liberal "elites", don't act in a manner worthy of scorn.

    Furthermore, the 60M people are the same people who voted for McCain. Back when it was real clear that Republicans deserved a time out.

    1. Playgroundpsychotic

      See, here's the thing. Your scorn is what empowered all of those people to vote for Trump. You may think it is righteous scorn, but they do not. And there are many of them in between the coasts in a vast sea of red.

      Furthermore, I don't buy your analogy because in both cases, if I were making a living creating custom cakes, it should be my choice to turn down any damned customer I want to turn down. I can turn them down for being racist, or I can turn them down for being a race. I can turn them down because I don't do Jewish weddings, or I can turn them down because I don't do Nazi-themed weddings. In fact, I can turn them down just because I don't like their faces. If I don't want their money, I can refuse it. My shop is not an open invitation to the general public, like a lunch counter. Each work is a custom job, and therefore a custom contract, and I can turn down any contract I want. Would you tell a Jewish tailor that he has to make a Nazi uniform because he is in the uniform business? No. A Nazi has all the same legal rights as anyone else, but it's the tailor's choice. Furthermore, assume I am not operating as a government employee. If the state were in the business of wedding cakes, and I were working for a state institution, then I would have to serve everyone with legal status, but a private contractor is under no such obligation.

      But go ahead and keep your elitist scorn - and keep fomenting the resentment that will now allow Trump to name any crazy-ass judges we wants to name to the Federal bench for the next two years, because he has a Senate majority to rubber-stamp said nut jobs.

    2. And by the way, I full support the right of anyone of legal age to marry anyone else of legal age. I'm a libertarian. I could not give a rat's ass who you fuck or marry, as long as they are consenting adults. In fact, I fully support gay marriage, simply because gay people are entitled to equal privileges and protections, including family health care plans, mutual property, inherited wealth, and any other rights that a member of a couple has. What's available to one set of citizens must also be available to the others. That's the way open societies are supposed to work.

      Look, the disaffected Trump voters scare me as much as they scare most minorities, maybe more, because I am a member of a minority they hate even more than they hate gays, Jews, Muslims and people of color. I'm an atheist. The one advantage I have, luckily for me, is that one cannot identify an atheist on sight, so I can move freely among their ranks, undetected.

    3. Sorry, I think you're wrong.

      Republican voting turn out hasn't changed in years. Roughly 60M people voted for McCain, Romney and Trump. They're not voting because they feel marginalized, they're voting because they're on Team Republican. Jeb!, Cruz or Carson would've gotten the same numbers in all likely hood. The Dem's need to beat 60M and they didn't this time.

      I also used the cake analogy because refusing service to inter-racial couples will get you vilified but some still feel they can do the same for gay people for religious reasons even though their religion requires them to be tolerant. The Jewish Tailor analogy doesn't work because no one is born a nazi. Your race and sexual orientation is in born.

    4. Yes, you do think I'm wrong, and therefore you are missing the point. The fact that you think I'm "wrong," rather than somebody with a different viewpoint, is precisely what foments so much malaise in the blue collar and fundamentalist communities. You are "right" and they are "wrong." Abortion is "right" and to oppose it is "wrong."

      As for "No one is born a Nazi."

      1. First of all, that's incorrect. Children can be born Nazi in the same sense that they can be born Christian or Muslim. It's just not genetic.

      2. Second. It's irrelevant. The law does not hinge on DNA. Adopted children are legally equal to biological offspring.

      3. Third, they also have the right not to create a wedding cake for an interracial couple, deplorable though that may sound. They are not public servants, but individual contractors who are free to accept or reject any proposed contract.

      4. Finally, that's just one of many possible analogies. You are an artist. You specialize in photographing children. An adult comes in and insists on being photographed, because after all, you are a photographer. You refuse, because you only photograph children. That is your right.

      You cater gay weddings. A straight couple insists that you have to cater theirs, because you cater weddings. You refuse because your business is catering gay weddings. That is your right.

      You change tires. You refuse to go into a (black, white, Chinese, fill in the blank) neighborhood because you are scared. That is your right. The law can't force you to take that risk.

      The point is that any artist, craftsman or other contractor has the right to refuse service to anyone he cares to refuse. Nobody can force him to create or repair something that he does not choose to create or repair. It is his choice whether to enter into a contract.

      The public clerk lady refusing to issue licenses is a separate issue. The gay couples have a legal right to those licenses, and it is her job to issue them. Therefore, she needs to issue them or find a new job. Issuing licenses to legally qualified applicants is what is known as a BFOQ for that job. (Bona fide occupational qualification.)

      Also it is not the same as a lunch counter guy refusing service to black customers. Retail establishments, by definition and convention, are open to the public. Retailers are not contractors or craftsmen, although they may refuse to service people under certain conditions, like a proper dress code.

    5. Scoopy, I agree with your distinction with the artisan/contractor vs. the lunch counter.

      I just disagree with one thing: I think anybody so sensitive that they can't take being criticized, even if it is in an 'I'm right and you're wrong insult' is going to end up voting their prejudices or biases no matter what.

      I think this is all rationalization after the fact.

      In the case of the examples provided, hardly anybody who is anti LGBTQ, anti abortion or racist or sexist was going to vote for Hillary Clinton anyway.

      I think this mostly just allows them to say "I didn't vote for Donald Trump because I'm any of those things, I voted for him because I'm either tired of hearing that I'm any of those things or that there is anything wrong with being any of those things."

      I assume that some of those working class whites who voted for Donald Trump are good people.

      I'm not sure how to get passed any of this. There is considerable research that shows trying to engage people in rational dialogue rarely works and often backfires.

    6. That last paragraph is bothersome. So do we not even attempt talking to other human beings about their fears, frustrations, and desires because someone we've never met (and thus whose definitions of "rational" and "works" may not coincide with our own) published a paper saying it'd be a waste of time?

    7. I think there are still good reasons to talk to people in terms of gaining a new perspective or another point of view and giving them the same, but there is considerable research (not just one paper) that shows that most people don't change their minds when confronted with new evidence or shown their facts or logic is incorrect.

      If you google 'people don't change their minds' you'll find links to many articles on many papers. Here is one:

      I don't ever post something expecting to change anybody's opinion. The best that can be hoped for is that over time people will consider your point of view and add it to their already existing opinions.

  4. Peter is the less smart Hitchens brother.

    1. Yes, him and the Fail deserve each other. I pretty much agree with what Scoopy says afterward, but if Hitchens' brother wasn't famous he'd likely be selling shoes. Badly.

  5. Here's the thing. One man's "fear mongering" is another's "valid concern" depending on their perspectives. It's easy to say wanting to get a handle on illegal immigration is just code for xenophobia when you don't live in a border state. It's easy to say "shut down the coal mines for the sake of carbon emissions" when working in one isn't the only job you've ever had. It's easy to shrug off gay marriage as an abomination when you don't even know any gay people. The ONLY difference between a legitimate beef and a whackadoodle scare tactic is what you're actually afraid of.

    Case in point, one phenomenon that just amazed me Wednesday was what was happening on my Twitter feed. The same, exact people who mere days earlier were preaching that Trump was painting too dark a portrait of America just to scare people were now (after their candidate lost) suddenly speaking of a future in which children have to prostitute themselves for food, old people die because they have no access to any medical treatment, and everyone belonging to any racial or social minority has their rights taken away. Well, all righty, then.

    As a nation, we don't understand each other any more because instead of engaging each other and hashing out our disagreements and trying to figure out an acceptable solution for EVERYBODY, we just call the other side racists, sexists, freaks, criminals, idiots, and every other name under the sun, dismiss them entirely, and retreat into our echo chambers where everyone agrees with us and pats us on the back for it. That's no way to run a railroad if you want the train to run on time.

    For all of Trump's MANY negatives, his biggest positive is his willingness to tell both sides they're full of shit. At this point, my biggest hope--certainly not a prediction--is that when the dust settles in a few years, we'll come to discover a President whom both of the major parties' establishments viewed with contempt was just what we needed to break the impasse.

    1. That positive view would make sense if Trump himself wasn't full of shit.

      Case in point, during the election campaign he claimed that he was an outsider not beholden to the Wall Street bankers.

      Well, I know I'm shocked that he's hired a bunch of Wall Street bankers as his transition team economic advisers.

    2. The part about him being full of shit himself is a certainly a valid point. Then again, electing someone NOT full of shit was never really an option.

      Picking a group of people as advisors doesn't necessarily makes the hirer beholden to the hired, though. Security companies hire convicted burglars as consultants all the time.

  6. Maybe Trump is the one in the prophecy who will bring balance to the Force. I mean, Democracy.