So Why Am I Being So Nasty?

It’s all well and fine to say that being critical, calling out wrong doing, speaking against oppression and being rude are not necessarily impediments to love, prayer or peace. But the fact remains that I’m being particularly nasty about Trump and his election-on-a-technicality. Yes, there’s the Russian deal. And the fact that we’re in a scarier position than people want to admit (more on that later). But it’s also that I’m well aware of a dynamic described by Jonathan Chait in this weekend’s New York Magazine explaining how Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer is leading the Democrats to their doom:

Voters pay little attention to legislative details, or even to Congress at all. They make decisions on the basis of how they feel about the president, not how they feel about Congress. And a major factor in their evaluation of the president is the presence or absence of partisan conflict. If a president has support from the opposition party, it tells voters he’s doing well, and they then choose to reward the president’s party down-ballot. . . The actual dynamic, then, is:

Senate Democrats work with Trump → Voters conclude Trump is doing a good job → Senate Republicans and Trump win reelection

or:

Senate Democrats don’t work with Trump → Voters conclude Trump is doing a bad job → Senate Democrats win reelection.

I think that the election of Trump has put us in a terrible position. And we cannot afford to allow his behavior and tactics to become normalized nor can we allow him to create even the slightest perception that he is anything but dangerous without actually changing course in a way that dramatically reduces the danger he poses. (Again, more on this later.) Being civil and treating him like any other political opponent we have disagreements with will only strengthen him while neutralizing the voice of dissent as a threat.

So we need to keep yelling. We need to refuse to accept calls to peace when no peace has been sought, much less attained. We need to be down right belligerent. Because if even those who claim the man’s a danger go quiet, retreat into murmuring discontent and civility, how big a danger could he really be?

Being nice, being civil, being conciliatory and respectful are all very good things that we should strive for as much as possible. But everything has limits. As the book of Ecclesiastes famously says, there is a season for everything. And right now it’s a season of belligerent opposition. Which is why I am, and will continue to be, quite nasty about what is going on. It’s the least I can do right now.

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2 thoughts on “So Why Am I Being So Nasty?

  1. Thanks for this, as I have been pondering this concern myself. I don’t want to become like the very people I am upset about! Wisdom and caution is needed, but there are times to keep being vocal and not relent…

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  2. Hey, the Russians didn’t do it! Russians don’t vote in America; voting machines (as the name suggests) do it! Unlike people, voting machines can be counted on to vote right, exactly as their makers and operators intend. (Late last century there was a prize of one million dollars offered for the first computer program capable of playing go at the level of a competent human player. Guess what happened to that million? — It was spent on security measures. It proved unaffordably expensive, trying to detect and stop people’s attempts to cheat, to control their machine’s moves via outside human intervention. That was for a mere $1,000,000 — not for the billions potentially available from a successful presidential candidacy.)

    H’s emails were left on an insecure server for her convenience in making deals she didn’t want publicly recorded by any authorized government facility. There, they were downloaded manually & handed over to a former British diplomat by a disillusioned Dem staffer. The incriminating evidence on them was genuine and constituted perfectly good reason not to vote for Clinton II, if there’d ever been any good reason to vote for her at all (aside from sheer revulsion at her orange-furred opponent in the rival Repugnacan gang.)

    Dump has brought the whole Repugnacan freak show to Washington and given them jobs dismantling the agencies they most dislike — much as GW put a wrecker in charge of the US disaster agency before Katrina, with predictable results. There’re plenty of things not to like about what’s happened & is happening, but we let them do it because we didn’t know any way to stop it…

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