Politics of Humiliation

My son, a Christian who hates strongly dislikes Trump, sent me an article entitled, “Who can win American’s politics of humiliation?” It was written by Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the NY Times. While I wasn’t all that impressed with the article in toto, I did find parts of it relevant to today’s political landscape.

Since the NY times requires you to subscribe before you can read their online articles, I’m just going to reprint some of the relevant parts. If you are a subscriber or have some “free” articles available to you (I had 2 left), here is the link. For everyone else …

[…]

It has been obvious ever since Trump first ran for president that many of his core supporters actually hate the people who hate Trump, more than they care about Trump or any particular action he takes, no matter how awful.

The media feed Trump’s supporters a daily diet of how outrageous this or that Trump action is — but none of it diminishes their support. Because many Trump supporters are not attracted to his policies. They’re attracted to his attitude — his willingness and evident delight in skewering the people they hate and who they feel look down on them.

[…]

People will absorb hardship, hunger and pain. They will be grateful for jobs, cars and benefits. But if you make people feel humiliated, they will respond with a ferocity unlike any other emotion, or just refuse to lift a finger for you. As Nelson Mandela once observed, “There is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated.”

By contrast, if you show people respect, if you affirm their dignity, it is amazing what they will let you say to them or ask of them. Sometimes it just takes listening to them, but deep listening — not just waiting for them to stop talking. Because listening is the ultimate sign of respect. What you say when you listen speaks more than any words.

[…]

When George Floyd was being held down by three policemen, one with a knee on his neck, as he pleaded for his mother and onlookers filmed on their phones, he was not just being restrained — he was being humiliated. 

[..]

Unless Biden finds a way to speak to the sense of humiliation felt by many working-class voters … even Trump’s failure to deal with the pandemic may not be enough to turn these voters against him.

[…]

Trump’s goal in this campaign is to separate Biden from Biden voters by making it as difficult as possible for Biden voters to vote. Biden’s goal should be to separate Trump from Trump voters by showing that he respects them and their fears — even if he does not respect Trump.

There’s more, but I think you get the idea.

So I guess the question is: How many of us have the patience and forbearance to do as Mr. Friedman suggests — show respect towards Trump supporters and listen to their concerns?

And more importantly, how many think Biden will be able to convince Trump’s supporters that he respects them and acknowledges their fears?

Reblog: What if the president really is a very stable genus?

EXCELLENT perspective that all of us should read and think about.

Twitter for Longer Thoughts

Early in the morning on January 6, 2018, the president took to the new era bully pulpit, Twitter, to defend his mental stability. In an infamous tweetstorm, one which coined a future book title, he proudly labeled himself, among other things, “a very stable genius.” Like many of his tweets it was met with wide-ranging responses; critics cited its absurdity, supporters defended his overconfidence, but most able-minded people agreed on one thing: this statement was not true. But what if it was?

I’m going to ask you to entertain a thought experiment. It will not be enjoyable or hopeful or comical, nor will it use scientific methods or concrete data. It will be based on perspective and examples with which we’re familiar. As I seek to legitimize a claim many find irrational, I wonder if this framing can help us understand, genius or not, how to counteract easy-to-consume bias and…

View original post 1,481 more words

Your Move …

This was a recent post on Facebook. It’s short but oh-so-powerful! Couldn’t resist sharing.

Hi, Conservatives of Middle America–

I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but if you keep voting for politicians who are content to let the planet die, the coasts will keep burning and flooding, and all us liberal coastal elites will be packing up our gay agendas, vegan cookbooks, and evolution-based science curriculums in our Priuses and moving DIRECTLY into your neighborhoods and voting precincts.

Your move, assholes.

Climate Change Wakeup Call

Another article I came across that I feel needs sharing …

The Future Has Arrived.
These explosive fires are our climate change wakeup call

Too much of the western United States is on fire, and many areas not suffering directly from fire are enveloped in choking, acrid smoke.

Sidenote: The US is set to exit the Paris climate agreement on November 4, 2020.

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Image by skeeze from Pixabay

“F*** Liberals, That’s Pretty Much It”

From a Facebook post …

The question was asked why people continue supporting Trump no matter what he does. This was a lady named Bev’s answer:

“You all don’t get it. I live in Trump country, in the Ozarks in southern Missouri, one of the last places where the KKK still has a relatively strong established presence. They don’t give a shit what he does. He’s just something to rally around and hate liberals, that’s it, period. He absolutely realizes that and plays it up. They love it. He knows they love it. The fact that people act like it’s anything other than that proves to them that liberals are idiots, all the more reason for high fives all around.

If you keep getting caught up in “why do they not realize this problem” and “how can they still back Trump after this scandal,” then you do not understand what the underlying motivating factor of his support is. It’s fuck liberals, that’s pretty much it.

Have you noticed he can do pretty much anything imaginable, and they’ll explain some way that rationalizes it that makes zero logical sense? Because they’re not even keeping track of any coherent narrative, it’s irrelevant. Fuck liberals is the only relevant thing. Trust me; I know firsthand what I’m talking about. That’s why they just laugh at it all because you all don’t even realize they truly don’t give a fuck about whatever the conversation is about. It’s just a side mission story that doesn’t matter anyway. That’s all just trivial details – the economy, health care, whatever. Fuck liberals.

Look at the issue with not wearing the masks. I can tell you what that’s about. It’s about exposing fear. They’re playing chicken with nature, and whoever flinches just moved down their internal pecking order, one step closer to being a liberal.

You got to understand the one core value that they hold above all others is hatred for what they consider weakness because that’s what they believe strength is, hatred of weakness. And I mean passionate, sadistic hatred. And I’m not exaggerating. Believe me. Sadistic, passionate hatred, and that’s what proves they’re strong, their passionate hatred for weakness. Sometimes they will lump vulnerability in with weakness. They do that because people tend to start humbling themselves when they’re in some compromising or overwhelming circumstance, and to them, that’s an obvious sign of weakness.

Kindness=weakness. Honesty=weakness. Compromise=weakness.

They consider their very existence to be superior in every way to anyone who doesn’t hate weakness as much as they do. They consider liberals to be weak people that are inferior, almost a different species, and the fact that liberals are so weak is why they have to unite in large numbers, which they find disgusting, but it’s that disgust that is a true expression of their natural superiority.

Go ahead and try to have a logical, rational conversation with them. Just keep in mind what I said here and be forewarned.”

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I would have preferred to provide the actual source of this piece, but what I copied is all that was posted on Facebook. Nevertheless, I thought the info was worth sharing, no matter who wrote it. I think many of you will agree.