Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Your Post Election Safe Space

I'm setting this post up before the results have started to come in.  Regardless of your leanings, I'm sure some things didn't work out the way you'd have wished this cycle.  Maybe the wrong person is president.  Maybe they're facing a hostile senate.  Maybe your school board got taken over by flat earthers.  Whatever the case, take a moment to breathe deeply, and remember that it could've been worse.  America's been through worse (it's true!  Remember that one time we had a civil war so fierce and protracted that one out of every fifty people in the country died fighting it?), and no matter what, we'll make it through this too.

Carrot Top, you are not helping right now.

Regular posts resume Friday; for now, enjoy some calming Carrot Top cuteness.  It's all going to be okay.

That's about how I look the morning after an election.  It's legitimately uncanny.

WARNING: Comment section may be less than 100% safe.  Stay up here with the cute pictures if you don't want to debate politics.  If you do want to debate politics, though, by all means keep scrolling.


  1. I wrote and deleted several "no hoooope"-type comments before giving up on it.

    I'll just say this: thank you. You're a legit nice person, and I wish you the best, where ever you are.

    - Nothing Productive

  2. Yipe. I'm holing up in a bunker to weather out all the incoming hypocrisy from the "this is the greatest thing ever" camp who claim the people have spoken and "we are all doomed" camp who claim the electorate is obviously stupid, since they conveniently find themselves making each other's supposedly invalid arguments from the last election.

    The process selected a candidate I don't support (which, incidentally, it would have, no matter which of the two viable candidates won), and I'll live. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last. If there's a small silver lining, it's that I'd enjoy seeing either one's smugness evaporate upon losing, since that was in no short supply from both sides. I'm actually surprised the other candidates didn't get any better support than they ever have. It seemed like a good year for one of them to reach that magic 5%.

  3. As a non-American, I just want to say it's been a wild ride, and a tremendously entertaining show that you've all put on for the rest of us. I greatly look forward to seeing what the future may bring, as I wait with baited breath and popcorn in hand.

    And for all you folk who are now seriously depressed by the results, I can only encourage you keep your chin up and bear what may come. Life, I've found, always has a way of working itself out in the end.

  4. While I may be an outsider to the election, I will still say congratulations on dodging a bullet.

    1. We had to throw ourselves onto a landmine to do it, but yeah, we dodged a bullet

    2. Nah. Even the Republicans hate Trump. Either he won't be a fraction as bad as the media have made him out to be, or just won't be able to get much done, which is probably the best result you could have gotten from a bad crop.

    3. "[He] won't be able to get much done."

      This is more of a hope than a conviction for me, but I would be very happy if you turned out to be right.

    4. Even if all he turns out to be is a pen to sign whatever Ryan and McConnell send his way (bearing in mind I'm expecting the repeal of the filibuster in under two years if there's even a hint of the massive resistance from Senate Democrats that there was from Congressional Republicans in 2009-2010) and an RNG to select Federalist Society judges to stock the courts, I see that as awful. Toss in actions he can take unilaterally, like rolling back Obama's greenhouse gas-related executive orders.

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  6. As someone sitting by the sidelines, it scares me the extent of the hate that some people seem to have for both Trump and his supporters. It appears to reveal a hate of the democratic process itself that goes deeper than mere disfranchisement, and that is more dangerous than anything a single president could ever do.

    1. As someone not on the sidelines, I'll explain my feelings on things, knowing they're not perfectly representative of all those who oppose Trump. Baseline thing, I don't hate Trump's supporters. Not as a general rule anyway. I don't think I hate much of anyone, actually, but I suppose I can slot in a deep disrespect where hate is claimed currently, and still say I don't feel that, mostly. I do deeply disrespect some of his supporters, those people hanging out on the alt-right, or any other KKK analogue, but, y'know, I disrespected them anyway.

      Because, the thing is, I kinda get it. I don't agree with them, for reasons I'll get into, but something I think I've been profoundly shielded from in my life is this horrible crushing frustration that's apparently been consuming a lot of people for about a decade. The word most closely associated seems to be despair. And maybe, no, probably, they're pegging that despair to the wrong things. NAFTA instead of increased automation, immigrants instead of the general shift towards more required education. But, to some extent, it doesn't matter, because when there's despair, you want change, even if it's awful change.

      I do deeply disrespect Trump though, and it has nothing to do with some hatred of the democratic process. There's just so much wrong with him, it's hard to put it here in a format that'd cover everything. He opened his campaign with that anti-immigration thing, one that was filled with an absolutely ridiculous number of lies, as well as racism, and nationalism, and the rest of the campaign has followed from there. He has, to some extent, tricked America into believing in absolute untruths, like the idea that voter fraud isn't several orders of magnitude below widespread, or that NAFTA had any serious impact on the economy, positive or negative, or, to go lower key, that Obama yelled at that one protester. He lies like we breathe.

      And that's not even getting into all the awful character things associated with him, like his very possible sexual assault and child rape, or his inability to hold himself back from lashing out at any perceived slight, or the things he's done in a business context.

      The reality is, Trump is more than a candidate where I disagree on a lot of issues. I'm pretty firmly convinced that he's an awful person. One who's willing to, for example, convince Americans that our voting system is inherently fraudulent so he can hide behind that when doing business if he loses. He's just about the closest thing to a fascist we've ever elected. And it's a horrifying thing.

    2. Whether Trump is an awful person isn't really up for discussion. He is. We all know it. The problem is that many think (and I believe correctly) that Hillary is significantly worse.

      In the end, we can only really get on with life and see what happens next.

    3. I don't doubt people think that. I just seriously doubt it's accurate.

    4. ^ With Eggynack on both whether people have the belief and the belief's accuracy.

    5. I'm not saying that you, or even most people who don't like Trump act like that. But there are enough to make me worry, far more than what I'd feel comfortable chalking up to the fringes, and they seem to have a certain modicum of mainstream acceptance. Just look at the many anti-trump manifestations in these past few days, to the tone that he shouldn't be allowed to be the president; all the attacks against his wife for her having posed nude in the past; how mainstream comparisons between him and Hitler have become. Or, in one of the most repulsive things I have seen written in the past few years, the comments about "11/9 being the new 9/11". I, for one, won't make light of mass murder for a bunch of political points.

      But more than that, it is the manner that all Trump supporters get thrown into a bucket of "deplorables", a bunch of ignorant racists who want to turn the clock back to the 1800s. And when so many speak of millions of people this way? That is a recipe for disaster, the type that has been proven time and time again to cause actual genocide. To see this type of attitude coated in a "let's not hate like them" is an incredibly amount of hypocrisy.

      And it all starts, sadly, from attitudes like throwing that same accusation of racism so often towards him, calling him a fascist, or claiming that he is a rapist pedophile. Those are things which must be taken very seriously, and which should only be taken at face value with solid evidence. Not giving that to someone, again, reveals an underlying hatred for the individual, not the political figure, that points to something really wrong going on.

    6. But a big problem is, basically all of those accusations have solid evidence. I don't really give a crap about whatever his wife's been up to, but the rest is both relevant and accurate. The racism thing? He says ridiculously racist stuff all the time, starting with claiming illegal Mexican immigrants are committing all these crimes when that claim is fundamentally untrue, to the point that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes (besides the immigration itself, of course). Then there's the fact that he still stands by the conviction of the Central Park 5 (a thing he had a hand in, though I doubt he was the main cause), in spite of the evidence that exonerated them, and I really doubt he'd be doing that with regards to a white person. And I dunno if you count Islamophobia and antisemitism under that banner, but his planned Muslim ban and that weird Clinton with Jewish star and stacks of cash image definitely speak to some form of bigotry. Oh, also, there's that whole issue of fair housing he dealt with way back when, as a bonus, and the birther movement has clear bigoted undertones (or overtones, really). The claim that he's bigoted thus seems well founded, and this is just stuff off the top of my head.

      Next, fascism. Trump, unlike so many claimed fascists before him, actually is a fascist. The man is clearly a nationalist in terms of his policies (cutting off most international ties), which is the prime characteristic of a fascist, and he operates in accordance with the fascist notion of the fetishization of power. "Make America great again," is not a Republican slogan, but a nationalist one. The man also shows clear disdain for our democratic system, here derived from his constant claims of rigging and voter fraud on a massive scale.

      And, as much as he bears resemblance to fascists, he bears even stronger resemblance to Hitler. After all, combine standard concepts of fascism with the aforementioned bigoted policies, and you basically have Hitler right there. The man has waffled on his opinion of internment camps, for example. And his planned deportation of Muslims combined with his rhetoric against Mexicans, as well as his claim that this foreigner removal will somehow lift us out of an economic downturn, one that comes at the hands of these outsiders, is all ridiculously akin to Hitler's past rhetoric and actions.

      As for the rapist pedophile thing, that's super straightforward. Trump has that exact claim levied against him in a legal sense. Maybe he did it, or maybe he didn't, but the former outcome is definitely possible. I don't take all that firm a stand on whether it happened, because there's so little information, but it's entirely possible that the accuser will go public with the allegation against a sitting president, and if that happens then our country's leader will be in a court case over pedophilia and rape. And that's crazy.

      Point is, this stuff isn't just hot air. When people say Trump is a bigoted fascist who bears striking resemblances to Hitler and who might have raped a child, they're saying it backed by all that evidence I just said, and a bunch more besides. You have every right not to like the way these things are said, and there're people who say things in problematic ways on both sides, ways that alienate the opposition and further our nation's partisanship, but you cannot deny the reality of this situation. When I make these accusations, I make them with the utmost seriousness, and whether those honest accusations point to some hatred is, I suppose, up to you (or not, cause I guess it's just generally subjective).

    7. My point isn't that they are true or untrue, but rather that the standard of evidence for such claims for people who are already predisposed to not like him is incredibly low. For one of those you literally say that, since one person has made that accusation, something is "very possible" to be true. For how many people can you seriously say that you would accept something similar?

      About the racism, I agree that is an interesting debate. I don't particularly buy it, seeing it more as a dislike of illegral immigrants, and a fear of foreign muslim terrorists coming into the US (since, AFAIK, he only ever said he would ban them from coming into the country). Some level of Xenophobia + isolationism explains those much better than a blanket "hates muslims and mexicans". And about that Hillary image he retweeted, I really don't think that means anything. Unless you are actually sensitive to "six pointed stars = Jew", it looks like a generic image macro about Hillary being corrupt. I think that racism is too impactful a term to be associated with this level of evidence.

      As for Fascism, this is the one that really bothers me. That line of thought that "Nationalism + worries about voter fraud = Fascism" devalues the word in a way that, I feel, ignores the lessons of the 20th century. By this metric, think of how many other candidates, or people in general, would have to be added to the fascist category, if all it takes is expressing a love for your country (or a wish for it to become prosperous), and a concern that elections are unfair – in which I'd include complaints about possible gerrymandering and blocking minorities from voting. It would require, for starters, some form of subjugation of the individual to the state or to a cause, which is completely missing from his discourse.

    8. Agreed, Soge. This is exactly what I've been doing on Facebook for the last few weeks: holding the many claims of racism, and sexism to higher evidentiary standards than 'because it fits my narrative'. And how many claims have survived the scrutiny of actually requiring evidence?

      Zip. None. Not a one.

      And almost all it it comes down to people not knowing how to use the terms 'racism' and 'sexism' correctly. Which, incidentally, is the same reason there are so many claims of sexism and racism in the news these days. Those don't hold usually up to scrutiny, either.

      I read a whole article supposedly citing every sexist thing Trump is recorded to have said, and not one of them turned out to be sexist by any rational evaluation. What it really showed was a list of times Trump was generally unflattering to a particular woman, and how easy it is to throw buzzwords around rather than make a reasoned case.

      I have had enough of it, and by the looks of it, so have many others – enough to elect him president.

      "As for the rapist pedophile thing, that's super straightforward." —Eggynack

      You're right, it is very straight forward. As soon as campaign season was over, the woman admitted to making the whole story up. Imagine my surprise.

      And hey, I'm an anarchist. I think that in another 200 years we'll look back on democracy the same way we look back on slavery now. I'm not advocating for either candidate; I'm only advocating for the application of reason and evidence and the prioritisation of personal freedom. This campaign season has been worse than most.

    9. Are we now using this "safe space" to debate the flaws of political candidates? Yes? Well alrighty then.

      I'll just link to this. It does a better job of explaining my objections than I often do.

      especially 3:04 to 4:19 about the intellectual deprivation of Trump's mind,
      11:47 to 15:14 about false equivalence, Trump's anti-intellectualism, and how Trump's ego does not allow him to recognise his ignorance as such,
      and 15:59 to 19:38 about how the general debate of whether he is racist, or sexist, or the like misses the real danger of having someone at once so stupid, and yet so egotistical as to stick to his stupid ideas to the disregard of all else, in a position of real power.

    10. Look, if you folks don't think that claiming illegal Mexican immigrants are rapists with significantly greater frequency than the general population is racist, I dunno what to tell you. Also, it wasn't just that there was a six pointed star. It was that there was the star, plus having the background be formed of money, and, most critically of all, that the image was taken from alt-right boards. That last point indicates that, however it was intended in the final use, the image was, on creation, intended to be bigoted.

      I don't think I'm misusing the notion of bigotry at all with regards to Trump. He says things, and I think those things he says are bigoted. Simple as that. Some claims of bigotry do hold up to scrutiny, and some don't, but I think these absolutely do.

      On fascism, I think that a really significant focus on nationalism is the biggest element to the concept. And it's not just specifically the fraud, but also that he said repeatedly that he wouldn't accept the results of the election (if he lost). It also comes down to a few specific expressions of that nationalism, in the form of protectionist economic policies and pushing out foreigners.

      On the rape, I didn't say it was probable, but that it was possible. The circumstances surrounding her dropping it strike me as shady from a distance, particularly because she dropped it recently after saying for awhile rather than bringing it up after leaving it silent. I don't think there's much evidence either way. We'll be unsure about it until and unless we're not unsure, if something happens.

    11. "The circumstances surrounding her dropping it strike me as shady"

      And this is really what we're talking about, right here.

      When the complaint is filed, you thought it made Donald Trump look like a paedophile and a rapist, even though no evidence had yet been presented. When the complaint was dropped, you thought it was shady, again without any apparent evidence.

      So in other words, it seems that you're going to interpret against Trump based on your feelings. It's 'too convenient' for you when the charges are dropped, but the same never seems to occur to you about how convenient the initial timing of the charges were. That's confirmation bias. I have no reason not to think that the same isn't the reason why you 'think' his comments are racist. It doesn't matter what you think; it matters what is true.

    12. That's fair, I suppose. The various assault claims have always been the least well supported part of the case against Trump, owing to the inherent difficulties of verifying such claims. Honestly, due to that, that charge in particular doesn't significantly impact my opinion of the man. It could be relevant down the line, but it's not that relevant right now

      The racism claim isn't like that, though. Basically all of the arguments that Trump is bigoted rely on evidence that exists in the public record. He said the thing, and I can point to that thing he said, and if that thing is racist in and of itself, then I don't have to be denying all kindsa counterfactual evidence to reach the conclusion of racism within that moment. Put enough of those situations together, and you have a rather strong case for bigotry.

      Anyway, I've listed out a lot of things Trump has said, done, or said he will do, which I think are bigoted. You're saying, "Nah, that doesn't mean he's bigoted; you're just biased." Well, which of those things I listed weren't bigoted, and why aren't they bigoted? If my evidence is so weak, then it should be easy to poke holes in that evidence. No need to rely on general assertions about how my arguments are possibly wrong.

    13. I can do that.

      Let me first clarify that racism is discrimination on the basis that someone's race is in and of itself cause to treat them as somehow inferior. If you have a different definition I'd like to hear it, but that does not change how I am using the term here.

      So given Trump says "illegal Mexican immigrants are rapists with significantly greater frequency than the general population [of the USA]," is Trump being racist? Not necessarily. Trump has not said why he thinks they are more frequently rapists. He could be saying that there is something about the fact that a person would illegally cross the Mexico-American border that indicates a higher probability of being a rapist. It could be a socioeconomic cause, a cultural difference (that Trump perceives – whether it exists or not), a trend in age and gender of both "illegal immigrant" and "rapist," etc. It's only racism if Trump's reason for thinking they're rapists is "they're [insert race common to Mexico here], therefore they are predisposed to rape."

      I don't know much about this image you describe here, but I am going to call up an image-related death of the author on what you said; the fact that it was from an "alt-right" board doesn't mean the image must be seen in a bigoted way.

      Also nationalism =/= fascism. You're going to need a better argument that he is a fascist than that he promotes nationalism.

      So, do I think Donald Trump is a bigoted, racist, sexist, asshole?

      Ehh...maybe? Honestly I don't care very much. I could see myself wanting to vote for a beyond-a-doubt bigoted, racist, sexist, asshole as opposed to Trump, because the problem with Trump being president is not these labels, but the twin facts that he is dangerously ignorant of how the world works (as evidenced by his policy proposals), and too egotistical to recognise sound advice or relevant warnings (not that he'll get any given the sort of people he's surrounding himself with).

    14. I doubt incredibly strongly that his statement there had some sort of nuanced support behind it like you're saying. Why? Because he was wrong about the conclusion, that these people commit violent crimes more frequently. If you're going to pull together all this socioeconomic data, and think long and hard about culture and illegal immigration in the way you've indicated, then I've gotta think you're going to start by checking your incredibly baseline conclusion.

      As for the picture, here you go: And that seems like a pretty good cause to see it as bigoted to me. They're basically neo-Nazis over there, and the image was both purpose built to be antisemitic, and came across that way. It looks bigoted, and it was made to be bigoted, and its source is pretty well known as bigoted.

      As for fascism, nationalism is most of the overall ideology, but I have some other elements in there. Specific expressions of nationalism that match up with the ideology, connections to the emphasis on power associated with leaders (above and beyond the typical associations), and so on.

      I do agree with your conclusion, however. This hasn't been a, "You should be frightened of a Trump presidency because he's a bigot," thing. It's a, "When people awful and seemingly hyperbolic things about Trump, those things are frequently not hyperbolic at all and are based on real evidence."

      Honestly, here's what I think might be going on with Trump, at least in part. I think he just doesn't get conservatism, and so everything he says related to that ideology is this weird misshapen copy. So, he hears someone say, "We need to be tough on terrorism," and he comes out the other side with, "Let's torture/kill the families of terrorists." Someone says, "Abortions are killing real people," and he comes out the other side with, "Doctors are pulling fully formed babies out of women and murdering them." Or, in this case, "Illegal immigration is hurting our nation," becomes, "Mexico is somehow sending illegal immigrants here, and those immigrants are rapists." And then those statements just kinda stand, because Trump never ever apologizes. You can see the aftereffects all the time, with Republicans saying, "Well, we didn't quite say that..." It's a really weird situation

    15. You wouldn't have to think long and hard or find evidence first; people can assume a cultural or socioeconomic cause as easily as they can assume a racial one. Theoretically, if we could ask Trump what his reason for his belief was, he could tell us either a racist cause or a non-racist cause, or maybe rethink and renege his position entirely. People are allowed to change their minds, especially in light of further thought or new information.

      But I digress, because this is Trump we're talking about. I don't think Trump has thought about why illegal Mexican immigrants would be rapists either. I don't think he cares if illegal Mexican immigrants are rapists. John Oliver summarized it best: "Donald Trump views the truth like this lemur views the Supreme Court vacancy. 'I don't care about that in any way. Please f--- off. I have a banana.'" That's not racism as much as it is lying of a sort that probably has a medical name.

      I am unimpressed by this image. I don't care where it comes from. I think people are being overly sensitive if their big problem is that the star has six points. The only thing it says is that Clinton is the most corrupt candidate ever. I admit that's a high bar for her to reach, but I don't even know the facts well enough to say that it's false.

      You're claiming Trump is a fascist. Well, based on the most preliminary research possible (the introductory paragraphs of Wikipedia), "Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties." This is not a stance I've heard Trump claiming. Also, "the term fascist has frequently been used as a pejorative epithet against a wide range of individuals, political movements, governments, and public institutions, including those that would not usually be classified as fascist in mainstream political science. It usually serves as an emotionally loaded substitute for authoritarian, but is often used to describe any movement or position the user strongly disagrees with." In short, if you want to discuss what's wrong with Trump you should probably say what exactly it is you're objecting to, as the term fascist by now mired in confusion. If you're talking about his undermining of the democratic system – with unfounded accusations of voter fraud and rigged elections – then I agree that's a problem.

      And to be clear, I did not say "when people awful and seemingly hyperbolic things about Trump, those things are frequently not hyperbolic at all and are based on real evidence." I'll summarise my objection to Trump again:
      1 Trump is ignorant of how the world works.
      1.1 This leads Trump to propose terrible policy ideas.
      2 Trump is incredibly egotistical.
      2.1 This prevents Trump from backing down from his policy ideas, even when they're terrible.
      Therefore, as president, I expect Trump to try to force terrible policies down America's throat.
      And "terrible" here is an understatement. Most of Trump's policy ideas are monumentally stupid, and a few even threaten to be world-destabilising (for example, suggesting that America should default on and renegotiate its debt).

    16. At the end of the day, my problem is that, by focusing on name calling over dubious claims , people alienate Trump supporters, which prevents any real discussion about his policies to actually happen. It also helps perpetuate an atmosphere of fear over certain people, which leads to an undeniable amount of hatred for people who support him in even the smallest level possible.

      I have seen this type of thing in many other political races, but I have never seen anything on this scale. I don't vote or live in the US, and even then I haven't managed to sustain any conversation that involved him without it focusing entirely on this type of thing. Hell, I have been called a rape apologist by a very close (also non-american) friend for daring to suggest that Trump doesn't believe that every single woman in America should be allowed to be groped.

    17. @Unremarkable Pony: Yeah, that's a fair alternate reading. The version where he had this really depthy cultural or socioeconomic argument doesn't seem to hang together, at least partially because he's never seemed to turn back on that claim in the months since. The version where he just doesn't care though, and just says whatever crap pops up in his head without any sort of racist or non-racist internal monologue, that fits well with all the other stuff I've seen of him. I dunno that it makes much difference though. Either he's racist, or he's completely willing to say racist stuff without really caring about the content if it'll get him ahead. Pretty awful either way.

      On the image, it's not so much the star as that combined with the cash. As a Jew, I can agree that it's not that important overall, but as some relatively objective person making an argument, it seems like decent, though not conclusive, evidence.

      As for fascism, it's notable that, if you look at the rest of that wikipedia article, a lot of it matches up one to one with the kinds of things he says. Really though, it seems like he might be more directly like Hitler than he is overall a fascist. The way I tend to think of Trump's fascism is as follows. At the baseline, if you look at Trump's stated policies, a lot of them will line up with fascism but some aspects of fascism will be unaccounted for. However, I strongly suspect that if you were to ask Trump's opinion on any individual policy that you'd associate with fascism (at least before his recent cool down), he'd agree with that policy. He seems to strongly agree with this one man in charge (himself, though perhaps less were it another person) with all the power vision of how a country should be. That he seems to look up to people like Putin is reasonable support for that.

      Yes, though, all that stuff you've listed probably is more important. Well, most of it. I considered the vote rigging claim in specific to be one of the lowest moments of his campaign, and it doesn't slot directly into the notion of policy. But, yeah, the guy seems to have no rational internal monologue, and it could be very bad. I just think all this stuff is true, and the truth, rather than the importance, is what I think the point of this comment thread has been.

    18. @Soge: Partially true. True in that a more calm and clearheaded strategy is the ideal way to go. Less true in the notion that these claims are dubious. Perfectly proved or not, I think it stands to reason that these notions of who Trump is are at least credible and evidence backed.

      But, yeah, I've tended to spend my time this election having the most reasonable discussions with political opponents possible, at least in an online setting where I can take the time to think through points. Part of bringing our country together involves showing each other that we're all reasonable human beings.

      The challenge, though, is finding a path of truth that isn't alienating in this era of Trump. This stuff I've been saying, the stuff you originally pointed out, it's leaning very strongly in the direction of truth. Are we to simply ignore the fact that Trump has said a lot of racist crap, and courted the most racist parts of America, whether he personally has those views or not? Are we supposed to say, "I agree, Trump's nothing like Hitler, but here's some stuff I think we can find common ground on," as Trump talks about mass deportation and religion based bans, and as he waffles on internment camps?

      Trump is an extreme man, and, to some extent, extreme people demand somewhat extreme positions. We can be kind and open with our words, understanding why people have flocked to him in spite of his issues, but it would strike me as wrong to treat the man himself as acceptable or respectable for one moment.

      I think the key is to separate Trump from his followers. Trump says racist stuff, and weird nationalist stuff, and lists out potential policies that'd plausibly cause massive international problems, but that's not why most people are following him. A big part of coming together, I think, will be saying, "Yeah, all those problems you have are real and need to be addressed, and it's important that we include those concerns when we put together policy positions, but we've gotta agree that that president was a raging lunatic who didn't help you any more than we did."

      There is no simple answer to our country's divide. Trump is a symptom of these problems, as well as a symptom of the recent backlash against increased globalization, but he's not the line in the sand dividing us. It's important that we on the ground maintain our reason, even if it's such a drop in the bucket.

      But, jeez, Trump is just the absolute worst.

    19. @Soge.

      I hear you.

      It's one thing to have complaints about a candidate. It's another to villainize his supporters, derail open discussions, or campaign in the streets for undemocratic solutions. This election has seemed like almost nothing but fear, anger, and distrust. And as much as I think Trump himself is a dangerous problem, I have to admit that the partisan conflict it would cause to get in his way now that he's won fairly would be just as great a risk. But hey, if he does turn out to be a terrible president, perhaps we'll be able to agree on that and stop fighting each other. One can hope...

      But more than that I think what we really need is something else – something positive – for us to believe in. And here is where I think the tragic part lies. The one thing in this election that was more than just fear, anger, and distrust was Trump's message of making America great again. The idea that there was something worth building towards, not just being afraid of. And I share the near-desperate longing of the Trump supporters who just wanted something to believe in. Unfortunately, I also see that Trump will not make good on that promise; that he was just saying what served his needs to say. If anyone does find an alternative – something worth working toward, and not just fighting against – do let me know.

      (Ps: That's not an invite for religion recommendations.)

    20. @Eggynack:

      "Well, which of those things I listed weren't bigoted, and why aren't they bigoted?"

      Dammit, I really don't want to come across as hiding behind logical fallacies, but the problem here is that the questions can't be answered when they're fundamentally deficient to begin with. I don't mean that as a accusation or anything; it's not my place to assume why a question is that way. My problem is that I have psychological 'hot buttons' that mean I do not play well with bad questions. Rather than assume the worst, which is unsporting, I prefer to decline such a question and admit my reasons, instead.

      In this case, the problem is that the things in question have not been evidence to be bigotry to begin with, and the claim isn't that they difinitively aren't. To request a person demonstrate that the statements are not bigoted is to request proof of a nagative, which, philisophically speaking, is a no-no. The burden of proof rests on the positive claim, in this case that the statements are racist/sexist, not the person assuming the null hypothesis (that they aren't unless deminstarted to be).

      "I doubt incredibly strongly that his statement there had some sort of nuanced support behind it like you're saying. Why? Because he was wrong about the conclusion, that these people commit violent crimes more frequently."

      Oh, I doubt it too, but the point that there doesn't need to be such a nuanced position. What matters is that the claim doesn't hold until there is reason to do more than idly speculate.

      "And that seems like a pretty good cause to see it as bigoted to me."

      I looked at the link. I can see no such justification. Again, the kind of knee-jerk name-calling going on there is part of why Trump won (and needed to win) in the first place. People are justificably frustrated with it while Clinton was actively embracing identity politics.

      "This hasn't been a, 'You should be frightened of a Trump presidency because he's a bigot,' thing. It's a, 'When people awful and seemingly hyperbolic things about Trump, those things are frequently not hyperbolic at all and are based on real evidence.'"

      As someone who has participated in a decent amount of online scepticism (anarchist, atheist, anti-feminist), I can say with absolute certainty that it is perfectly possible for all the hyperbolic things to be fictitious, because it happens all the time.

      The best example of this is the witch hunt the followed Tim Hunt's speech in South Korea. I happened to be paying attention the day the story broke and quickly established the claims of sexism as complete nonsense. Months later, there were still hundreds, if not thousands, of people propagating the false narrative.

      This is not new, and too many people are tired of it to let is pass without backlash. The more the media piled on the name calling, the more plausible this outcome became. And to reiterate, it wasn't about whether the claims were correct, or even plausible, it was about whether the claim was justified, and the number that weren't vastly outnumbered the number that were.

      Basically, I see no evidence that he is either sexist or racist. The man is just narcissistic and a sociopath, which lines him up pretty evenly with almost every other politician.

    21. I don't really see why it's a bad question. He made a categorical, hateful, and unfactual claim about a large group of people. Seems like straightforward bigotry to me. I'm not saying you should prove a negative. I'm presenting you with evidence of a positive, and while I initially did have the burden of proof, that burden shifts when such evidence is presented. If these things I'm citing are not bigoted, then it is not ridiculous to ask why they are not. I suppose it's difficult to prove or disprove a person's internal self from the things they say or do, but it's really all we have to go on, so "That person is bigoted" is generally a stand in for, "That person says or does bigoted things with a high frequency."

      "What matters is that the claim doesn't hold until there is reason to do more than idly speculate."

      Drawing a straight line from, "Here's a bunch of bigoted stuff this person said," to, "This person is bigoted," doesn't seem like idle speculation to me.

      "I looked at the link. I can see no such justification."

      Why not? It's doing that pretty direct Jewish connections with a background of money thing. That's really obvious bigoted stereotyping. It's not the worst thing in the world by any means, but I think it stands on its own as supporting evidence.

      "Again, the kind of knee-jerk name-calling going on there is part of why Trump won (and needed to win) in the first place. People are justificably frustrated with it while Clinton was actively embracing identity politics."

      First, I really don't think that this sort of thing was a major driver of Trump's victory. The man won primarily on the back of the feelings of disenfranchisement and hopelessness among his supporters, as well as due to Clinton's lack of strong thematic center to her campaign, leading to low turnout. Second, I don't really care if it impacted the campaign. It's either true or it's not.

      "As someone who has participated in a decent amount of online scepticism (anarchist, atheist, anti-feminist), I can say with absolute certainty that it is perfectly possible for all the hyperbolic things to be fictitious, because it happens all the time."

      Except my point is that it's not hyperbole. It just looks hyperbolic because it gets used as hyperbole around other candidates. And we know it's not simply hyperbole because the case relies solely on things Trump has personally said, taken with all available context.

      "The best example of this is the witch hunt the followed Tim Hunt's speech in South Korea."

      Can't say as I'm overly familiar with that one, but, looking it up, I suppose it could go either way. We could read his comments as amusing yet with a core of truth, or as a detached and ironic commentary. This Trump thing doesn't seem like it has two readings in that way, especially when he keeps standing by his comments as the literal truth.

      "Basically, I see no evidence that he is either sexist or racist. The man is just narcissistic and a sociopath, which lines him up pretty evenly with almost every other politician."

      I think he's at least significantly more narcissistic and sociopathic than other politicians. And, without some sort of actual counterfactual evidence, and not just you saying, "Nah, this stuff isn't bigotry. People call things bigotry unwarranted all the time," I see no support for the notion that there isn't evidence of a general state of bigotry.

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