Democracy, Current Events

Some Thoughts on the Election

I posted this on Facebook a bit ago and thought it was worth sharing here.

Last night, we ate dinner at a brewpub type place in a middle/upper-middle class Indy suburb. Half the TVs were on sports, half on the election. The crowd there looked pretty typical for a weekday night. But every time the TVs (most on Fox, some on MSNBC) gave a state to Trump, the place erupted in cheers like the Colts had just scored a touchdown.

These folks are not monsters. They are not all racists, sexists, and xenophobes. They are your neighbors and friends. They go to your house of worship. They are the cashiers you exchange pleasantries with at the grocery store.

What many of them are, I suspect, is tired of being told that they are racists etc because they do not completely buy into the (liberal) elite agenda. They are tired of being called backward because of their religiosity or their gun ownership. They are tired of being told others know better how to raise their kids than they do. They are tired of working hard, raising their kids, participating in their communities, and then being told they are the problem. And they tired of empty promises that they could keep their plan and see their costs go down.

Have some of them said racist/sexist/xenophobic things? I’m sure some or many have. But when they are continually told by elites that they are monsters, you can imagine their desire to lift a middle finger would be intense. Trump, to some degree because of his own unwillingness to accept the moral code of the elite (abhorrent as his behavior is and was…), became a vehicle for that response.

With that in mind, I hope for two things in the months and years to come:

1. I hope that elites, especially on the left, consider their own partial culpability in this outcome. Demonizing basically good people is never a good way to persuade them to see the world differently. Stop with the name-calling and start engaging those friends and neighbors in actual good faith conversation. You don’t have to accept the worldview of Trump voters as right (I sure don’t), but you do need to engage in ways that don’t condescend and demonize.

2. I hope that my progressive friends will see the light on the importance of constitutional checks on executive (and legislative!) power now that someone else holds that power, including the ability to issue executive orders. I hope they see the value of obstructionism. I also hope that they see the common ground they share with libertarians and that we can work together to resist any GOP/Trump overreach on war and civil liberties and immigration, and perhaps even on the economy.

We share your fears of Cheeto Mussolini. Let’s work together to limit the damage.

Finally, as Sarah Skwire noted to me earlier, let’s hope this victory takes the alt-right out of the world of libertarianism once and for all. You can have them, Republican Party.

  • Brandon Byrd

    These folks are not racist, sexist, xenophobic monsters. Don’t demonize them. They’re just willing to cheer a sexist, racist, xenophobic monster all the way to the White House because they’re sick and tired and angry about being called racist, sexist, xenophobes for so long.

    • JHan

      No, that makes no sense. You don’t just cheer on someone who spreads divisive rhetoric without sharing that belief to some degree. Let’s be honest with ourselves, about our own prejudices and fears, for ONCE.

      • Sean II

        Right you are. If there is one thing the last 30 years have been sorely missing, it’s white people challenging other white people to introspect on how racist we all are.

        • JHan

          And what many non-white people have come to expect is a dismissal of the effects of racism on their daily lives from those same white people. Not because those white people are especially racist themselves, but because they treat these experiences as not important or a figment of one’s imagination or “victimhood”.

          No one ever asked for a procession of self-indulgent white guilt and wringing of hands, only an acknowledgement of the power disparity and economic inequality embedded in our systems and how best to address it, an acknowledgment that certain policies have specifically harmed certain racial demographics.

          • Sean II

            Right again. Of all the strategies one could imagine for improving the fortunes of non-white people, the one we have never tried is: taking the lived experience of racism seriously.

            The official creed of U.S. social policy since 1965 has been all about letting white people off the hook for minority problems.

            This. Has. To. Stop.

          • JHan

            So yeah “white people” wasn’t the thrust of my argument , I’m talking about systems and structures. I am not into the blame whitey game- your sarcasm is duly noted.

            Perhaps you should look up “redlining” , how municipalities have failed communities combined with civic ignorance among the electorate. You can’t be cutely flippant about those realities.

          • Adam Digged

            these municipalities that have failed their communities, can you give me a couple of examples? also, can you give me an example of civic ignorance?

          • Sean II

            I think it’s, like, how Detroit got way more racist and oppressive after all the white people left, because although the institutions were no longer run by actual whites, they still carried a white gaze in their organizational DNA. So the test scores went down, crime went up, businesses fled, etc.

            That’s what happens when municipal failure crosses paths with civic ignorance.

          • JHan

            yeah the loss of property tax revenues due to white flight had no impact in Detroit, absolutely none. No doubt big government played its part, but the housing crisis was an anomaly that had nothing to do with Detroit’s downturn because it involved white people amirite?

          • Sean II

            Of course you’re right.

            The problem with Detroit was totally big government.

            Also, the problem with Detroit was not enough taxes to make the big government there even bigger.

            This isn’t rocket science, folks!

          • JHan

            believe it not, a place could be afflicted with many problems all at once. Shocking I know.

          • ksuek

            …white gaze in their organizational DNA…

            good one.

          • JHan

            Mismanagement, corruption, we do have branches of government after all.

            Civic ignorance – unaware that decisions at the local government level, state level ( not just federal level) have an impact and how to leverage your power as a citizen to demand better from local representatives.

            this is hardly revolutionary

          • Sean II

            Redlining, what’s that? It sounds evil as shit, obviously.

          • JHan

            Wiki has a pretty sound page about redlining and its effects https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining .

          • Sean II

            More dastardly than even I feared.

            The notion that mortgage lenders would be so craven as to use demographic and geographic proxy measures of credit-worthiness and future property value in deciding where to lend money, to whom, and at what terms…

            …it’s frankly stomach-turning.

          • JHan

            Yes isn’t it just stomach churning.. truly.

          • Sean II

            Seriously. What’s next? Giving each citizen an Orwellian “score” that follows them around determining whether and how they’ll be allowed to borrow money?

            Man, you just KNOW when that sick weapon gets invented, they’ll use it against the blacks in much the same way.

          • King Goat

            Are credit scores determined by where one lives? Honestly curious.

          • Sean II

            Shh, dude. Don’t give those bastards any ideas.

            Next thing you know they’ll be saying location has something to do with real estate “value”.

            And after that, insurance companies will want to know your zip code.

            No thank you, Trumpmerika.

          • King Goat

            I take your point, but when economic opportunities are harder to obtain because of where one lives (or what groups around) doesn’t this become a kind of self fulfilling prophecy for those areas and groups?

          • Sean II

            Okay, you’ve shamed me into being serious now:

            Short term, yes, of course it does. Being situated in Boom Town is better than living in Gummo or wherever.

            But in the long run, groups with human capital find a way out. Groups without it get stuck, in which case the relevant cause is NOT the initial strike of bad fortune.

            That’s why some people can emerge from concentration or internment camps and be proesperous inside a few years, prominent a short while later. Meanwhile other groups resist even serial efforts to improve their circumstances.

            Think about it: if the standard narrative of Detroit is true – where down in short term fortunes => out in cyclic poverty, then how was there ever an industrial revolution in the first place?

            Why aren’t we standing aroud today talking about how “The English peasants remain mired in perpetual poverty because the enclosure movement drove them from their livelihood, and what followed was a vicious cycle of gin, crime, bastardism, and shady political bosses…”?

            Answer: because they moved on, as people who can tend to do.

          • King Goat

            Couldn’t the simple answer be that there’s a difference between having it bad and having it bad because of a more explicit of oppression? I mean, the Irish had what would properly called severe defencicies in cultural capital that could be directly ascribed to an active system of oppression aimed at them. If I were asked at that time why they lagged behind other groups the answer would seem obvious, the oppression. And here’s the thing about culture, it tends to get handed down between generations rather easily, such that one that made sense under oppression can last past when that oppression might be lifted. And we see groups, like the Irish, who indeed did move on past that.

            But didn’t it take them more than a generation or two?

          • Sean II

            Can’t be that. If having a system of oppression aimed at you was some kind of special crippling thing (different from all the other things that cripple), then how to explain Jews, Armenians, diaspora Chinese?

            They all prospered despite a creative series of efforts to handicap them. Indeed they’ve all repeated the trick in more than one place-time.

            Other groups fail to prosper despite a creative series of efforts to help them.

            The simple explanation is staring right at us.

          • King Goat

            Not so fast. Isn’t the simple answer that subcultures which are caused by oppression can be adaptive in some ways, maladaptive in others, and formed by their unique oppressions and then successful in part or struggle in part depending on the mileue in which they operate?

            Take Jews. They were discriminated against, kept out of certain, at the time, high status jobs in the government and military, but they also were left ‘dirty’ jobs at the time like moneylenders and middlemen. Not allowed to be warriors the rabbi became the community hero. A culture develops prizing qualities that make these jobs a success. Once capitalism and industrialism hits, wham, they’re well oriented for success.

            On the other hand, blacks. Kidnapped and forced into slavery, where their work is not their own, a cultural value on hard work gets negated. Reading and writing are forbidden, so a cultural value around that’s out. What’s left? Physical prowess. Cultures tend to be rather realistic about what they value, and so, physical prowess, ‘getting by’ doing as little work possible, disdaining education, etc become honored.

            Here’s a test for this: we know when Jews relatively ruled their own Kingdom, and could be warriors or whatever,they didn’t stand out as cultural successes (they were hicks next to Egypt and Babylon). It was when they were scattered and kept from any involvement with things like the military that the rabbi became the cultural focus of the subculture. They were relatively low status until the oppression lifted and a new economic order started where the qualities they were pushed into under oppression became highly valuable.

          • Sean II

            Careful, you’re drifting very close to the Cochran-Hardy-Harpending theory of Ashkenazi intelligence.

            That plus a few twin studies and you’re agreeing with me more than you probably care to.

          • King Goat

            Eh, I wouldn’t rule out the idea that subcultures may promote or retard something like trait x in the sub cultural population. I just don’t see that that’s all that necessary. The culture answers most if not all questions I find worth discussing.

          • Sean II

            “The culture variable answers most if not all questions…”

            No, it does not.

            Non-Ashkenazi kids adopted by Ashkenazi parents don’t perform like Ashkenazi.

            The culture theory is clearly wrong. Shared environment is consistently the least potent variable, in study after study.

            You’re wrong.

          • King Goat

            “Non-Ashkenazi kids adopted by Ashkenazi parents don’t perform like Ashkenazi.”

            I’m curious, what studies would you suggest about that claim? Because I’m interested in how they show that the non-Ashkenazi kids adopted by Ashkenazi parents ‘perform’ like Ashkenazi. What’s the operalization of ‘perform?’ On one level, if you mean, ‘act like,’ that’s just demonstrably false. I bet the non-Ashkenazi adopted by an Askhenazi likes latke cakes more than his separated birth brother, reads better Hebrew, etc. These all involve ways in which they act like the culture they were raised in. It’s not genetics that most Iranians think the Koran is Truth and watermelon juice is yummy while most Floridians think it’s the Bible and OJ.

            I’m guessing from our conversation though you’re thinking of some measure of contemporary ‘success’ (an outcome like income or educational attainment, or a currently valued characteristic, like IQ [remember, in many past milieus many intellectual skills would have been seen as base and not important, things like physical prowess would be high prestige]) or it’s opposite (like impulsiveness). If that’s the case, I have two points:

            1. Let’s say the non-Ashkenazi is outperformed, in terms of say income or educational attainment, by his Ashenazi brother, but he also outperforms the average member of his birth group. In other words, he gets a BS, his adopted brother a MD, but his long lost birth brother a HS degree. Do they look at that?

            2. You don’t think adopted kids might be, I dunno, a little self consciously aware and also regarded by others in the subculture as not fully belonging? If the study doesn’t look at that latter part it’s potentially missing how powerful culture is.

          • Sean II

            No wrestling in the weeds this time. Here’s what matters:

            1) The best social science we have = twin/adoption studies.

            2) The most important finding across those studies is that shared environment explains almost nothing.

            3) You think culture (a mere subset of shared environment) “answers most if not all questions…worth discussing.”

            Get some different views.

          • King Goat

            We’re maybe reading different twin studies. I’ve read ones where with twins raised in different families the shared genetics seems to matter more than the different family environments for outcomes like vague personality predispositions and/or intelligence quotients. Do these twin studies you read involve twins separated and raised not just in different homes in the same (often homogenous) cultures, but in different countries/cultures?

          • King Goat

            “since 1965”

            This isn’t even two generations ago. Truly, nobody knows the trouble white folks have seen!

          • TracyW

            Well, I think the letting off the hook really dates back to about 1974 and the responses to forced busing in the North.

          • Sean II

            Agreed. White guilt isn’t a problem as long as whites are actually guilty. And let’s just remember what those Northern whites actually did.

            First, they supported racial integration and the Civil Rights movement. A clever bit of misdirection, as soon we shall see.

            Next, they let a tiny thing like skyrocketing crime rates and a collapse in the basic expectations of personal safety induce them to abandon our cities and head for the suburban hills.

            Third, when wise judges tried to heal America by forcibly exporting the problems of city schools out to the suburbs, what did Northern whites do?

            Oh, just the usual twisted thing: they put their lips on the old “I don’t want my children and their teachers getting beat up in the school house” racist dog whistle, and blew!

            Pure. Hatred. Of. The. Other.

          • King Goat

            Let me say, I actually kind of largely agree with Sean II. I think complaints of ‘white flight’ and ‘anti-busing’ are some of the weaker arguments to be made in this area. Parents not wanting their kids to go to schools where the test scores are diluted or the dangerousness is increased, and that was actually going on, is just not a good measurement of racism.

            I will demur in regards to his last comment. As the SCOTUS case Parents Involved illustrates, ‘liberal and progressive white parents’ do, today, make some effort to sent their kids to integrated schools (the SCOTUS actually thwarted their attempts in this case).

          • JW Ogden

            One thing missed in this discussion is that most people in Detroit are not doing (2/3) are not poor) that bad. Wages are low but real-estate is cheap. Those top 2/3rd could move to place es like Atlanta where blacks do well.

            http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/09/detroit_has_half_the_median_in.html

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2015/01/15/the-cities-where-african-americans-are-doing-the-best-economically/#82018bcd1a05

            I think that we should focus more on the 2/3 of blacks who are doing well and remind ourselves of the great contributions that black USAers have made. They invented the most popular types of music and added great grace and skill to our favorite sports, have been good contributers to national defense etc. Just by being here they help the division of labor.

          • TracyW

            And it was forced busing in the North that led to politicians backing away from racial integration laws. Hurriedly.

      • geoih

        When the wolves are eating your sheep and a bear comes along and eats some wolves, you cheer.

        • Sean II

          Stop Shepsplaining.

    • TracyW

      If someone calls you a slur, embracing that slur and wearing it with pride can be effective as a counter-tactic.

      • Brandon Byrd

        Sure, but wearing racism, sexism, or xenophobia with pride just makes you look like an asshole.

        • TracyW

          [Sorry wrong place.].

        • TracyW

          Yeah, there’s a big difference between a slur and the underlying reality.

        • You’re ignoring Horwitz’s point. There is no downside risk to Trump voters of Clinton voters thinking they’re assholes. They think Clinton voters are assholes, so the feeling is entirely mutual. It’s not a healthy response, but neither is this disgusting, self-righteous refusal to hear their arguments out, so common to the left these days.

    • Jeff R.

      Perhaps a few more angry rants about them from you and your internet pals will finally shame them into reforming their wayward habits and feelings.

    • This is terrible myopia. If you want to do a full accounting of racism, then we can start adding up all the dead bodies of brown people, blasted to bits by bombs attributable to Trump’s policies over the past 30 years, versus Clinton’s policies.

      A major reason why this “Trump voters are racists” thing rings so hollow is because it solely reflects rhetoric, not reality. You’ve bought into the media and political platitudes when you should have been keeping score. Trump is a despicable person. Clinton is a hideous warmonger. Somebody chooses despicable over evil, and your response is to criticize them for being despicable? Get real.

  • Puppet’s Puppet

    This is the worst conceivable result for liberty–worse even than the second-worst, a Democratic blowout. The best would have been a Hillary victory tempered by a solid downballot day for Republicans; in Congress in particular, they would have created the much-derided “gridlock” and done everything they could to discredit her and thwart her agenda. They would have deepened their majorities to unheard-of heights in 2018 and probably retaken the White House in 2020, after which we could carry on fearing them. In return, we’d have had to eat some horrifying court picks–and, as Rep. Amash pointed out, the Garlandesque “moderates” Republicans tend to grudgingly accept from Democrats are actually worse than the “liberal extremists”–which isn’t nothing. But Republicans only even pretend to care about liberty when they are in opposition. (Democrats do not do so under any circumstances these days.) They didn’t under Bush; and they certainly won’t while being led by a man who actually manages to be more authoritarian than Hillary. Hope it was worth it, Trumptarians. Not only the country but the sole remaining pro-Second Amendment party (there’s not a single genuine pro-gun Democrat left in Congress) will be led by a man who not only supported the assault weapons ban but backs the Feinstein version of the single most profoundly and comprehensively odious form of gun control, No Fly No Buy. (With a Democratic President we would have gotten nothing, which is as it should be. Now we will at best get the Cornyn bill, and probably much worse.)

    Now it will be Republicans who suffer the heavy midterm losses, probably unusually deep after rank incompetence by the President. The Democrats will probably have the years 2021-23 (at the very least) to themselves to run rampant through Washington once again–only this time with even more odiousness. And we may be in this problem for the long haul. Turns out Trump will, to say the least, not be going away while Republicans try to restructure themselves into something resembling a political party. He will destroy this party either as we know it (as he intends) or as an electoral force, and will almost certainly preclude anything that will give them a future in a diverse America. Despite all the hand-wringing from them, get ready for one-party Democratic rule. Which is even worse than one-party Republican rule, in that the Democrats’ damage tends to entrench itself even deeper. If you still have a secure cellphone in 2021, you won’t be able to defend yourself from someone who tries to shoot you over it in 2025. And I don’t even want to think about what will happen when today’s undergrads are running the show with an assist from minority communities (like mine) that will have been thoroughly acculturated without competition to Democratic political culture.

    • Robert

      You seem to be saying it’s better not to score, because then the other team gets the basketball or football.

      • Puppet’s Puppet

        Your objection would make perfect sense if I in the remotest sense ever considered myself to be on the Republican “team.” I do not–especially when they are led by a Kelo-loving, gun-grabbing, corporate-socialism enthusiast, security-state authoritarian of the most cartoonishly over-the-top variety.

        • Robert

          If you don’t favor either team, then why do you care who has the ball? “If the Democrats had done this, then the Republicans would be doing that, which would lead to the Democrats doing something, something….” Do you expect people to take seriously such speculations that depend on the interactions of millions of people? Pollsters have a very hard time projecting a single election outcome, and you’re projecting events as if the nation & its politics were some machine. Maybe you should work for insurance companies to predict the behavior of human populations.

          • Theresa Klein

            My horror is that the team that used to be more libertarian leaning has now gone into full hard-core fascist mode. They were always nationalist, security state warmongers, but now they are national socialist security-state warmongers.

          • Robert

            Which team is that? And do you think that’s a result of team members changing their minds about these issues? Or a result of different people’s being attracted to or pushed out from the team? Or an insincere change responding to interests in return for compensation of some sort?

          • Theresa Klein

            What I see happening with Trump is that the Republicans are now going to see how they have an opportunity to expand their power base by embracing a populist anti-trade stance on economics. (Not to mention Trump’s other positions on infrastructure spending, entitlements, fiscal policy, and eminent domain). Trump is a “chicken-in-every-pot” authoritarian of a type that would be familiar in Latin America, except that he’s white and anti-Latino. But he’s really almost a kind of mirror image of a thousand tin-pot dictators railing against outsiders while promising to hand out the goodies. (And ironically the anti-immigrant types backing him are so worried about the cultural swamping we’re supposedly going to endure from Hispanic immigrants and their statist ways – when they’re voting for the white version of Juan Peron. )

          • Puppet’s Puppet

            The only speculations I made involving “millions of people” were that midterms tend to result in a loss for the party holding the White House, and even more so when the President is doing a horrible job, and that voters tend to not re-elect Presidents who they believe are doing horrible jobs. Neither one of these is considered an especially bold speculation. Aside from that, I was merely making predictions about the politicians themselves–the fact that Presidents usually wield some influence as party leader; the fact that Trump will be a disaster.

            To deepen and clarify the speculation: The closest thing to a libertarian force on Pennsylvania Avenue is Republicans in opposition. There, they at least pretend to be a free-market party–doing a small bit, for example, to resist the expansion of Presidential power, resist corporate welfare like the Ex-Im, resist even compromise gun control, resist budgetary bloat, and just generally be the “obstructionists” that we are supposed to disdain. Led from the White House, they forget much of these principles. We get, for example, the Bush-era Congressional Republicans. So, if not for the (albeit very important) bit about judicial nominees, the least bad arrangement until real libertarians gain enough strength is probably Democratic President, Republican Congress. Republican-Republican is good for nominees and some long-term policy; Democratic-Democratic, especially from here out, is an unmitigated disaster. This is not even considering the fact that the President leading the Republicans happens to be Donald Trump. He will, to the extent that he is successful, be leading the Republicans in a cartoonishly authoritarian direction (and one that is less able to plan the much-put-off strategic maneuvers to ensure the party’s long-term future under America’s changing demographics); and, to the extent that he is unsuccessful, result in huge losses in Congress and a premature loss of the White House (and, thus, a Democratic-Democratic scenario in 2020 that was not even on the table in 2016 and might have been off the table for a long time indeed).

            Or, if we must return to your analogy:

            You seem to be saying it’s better not to score, because then the other team gets the basketball or football.

            You act as if this is ridiculous. In fact it is not even rare. Happens most games in basketball; and in football scoring a field goal, for instance, is very much a bad thing if otherwise you could have prevented the other team from scoring a touchdown. This comes into play mostly at the end of a half; the analogy is imperfect but nonetheless helpful. Republicans are best at defense, and under Trump there will be at most a field goal (Scalia vacancy) and not a touchdown (any actual good being done on behalf of liberty).

          • Robert

            NJ provided a great counterexample to what you think. In the 1990s Republicans were swept into the governorship & legislature, and they repealed the fiscal awfulness the Democrats had engendered. The Republicans didn’t stay in control long, but having them in control of both legislature & executive was necessary for them to do that, & they did it.

            The only way the ACA could possibly be repealed now is for the GOP to have both Congress & the White House. The best you can get from what you wrote is indeed what you wrote: resistance to the advance of badness. Not even an absolute bar to new badness, let alone rolling back existing badness.

            Your thinking about football & basketball makes sense only if you’re protecting a lead. What do you want to do by freezing the ball: protect a loss? Do you think liberty is ascendant now to the degree that the best strategy is the status quo?

  • Pego Rice

    Don’t blame the Dems, progressives and the #NeverTrumps, they didn’t swallow the provably untrue horseshit that HRC was a big liar, or that there were some wild abandon usage of executive powers, all provably restrained by the GOP congress despite their whine. Those of us Berners that voted Hillary looked to the future. Those of you that indulged your spite, drank down gallons of bias confirmation and excused it by pretending that Alex Jones was telling the truth in saying that the fact checkers are lying. Well, you bought this mess. Now we all have to pay for it.

    • Sean II

      Thoughtfully formed, beautifully said.

  • Theresa Klein

    Isn’t it a classic strategy to make your enemy enraged in order to get him to make mistakes?
    All the name calling doesn’t change minds, but it does seem to make Republicans stupider and stupider every election cycle.

  • Jeff R.

    Nice thought, Steve, but if the comments here are any indication, your advice is likely to go unheeded.

  • Farstrider

    Is the fact that someone goes to my church or school, or is a cashier, somehow probative of whether they are racist, sexist or xenophobic? If so, how? If not, what is the point of this piece? And even if it is somewhat probative, isn’t it even more probative that they were willing to vote for a racist, sexist and xenophobic candidate as president?
    Look, one thing the hosts of this discussion board have trouble grasping (and I’m looking at you, Vallier) is that people who are otherwise delightful can have very bad ideas, and that they are culpable for their bad ideas. This just seems to be more apologia in that regard: Johnny Lunchpail cannot possibly be a racist because he cashiers at the Piggly Wiggly, goes to church every Sunday and helps old ladies cross the street.
    If all you are trying to say is that we alienate people when we tell them the truth about their own bigotry, I feel you. But does the white working class’s inability to put on big boy pants mean that our only answer to let the bigotry go unremarked?

    • Graham Shevlin

      I think a lot of Trump supporters this election cycle had an “a la carte” mental model of supporting him. IOW, they chose to ignore all of the racist, sexist ideas and statements in favor of a rationalization along the lines of “he’s still the right guy to drain the swamp”. Then you have to overlay the deep visceral dislike that many Trump supporters have for Hillary Cilnton. These two factors mean that a lot of Trump supporters genuinely do not see themselves as supporting sexism and racism. They see themselves as smart people who ignored the noise and incoherence in Trump’s messaging and voted for the Lesser Of Two Evils. So when people say to them “you just enabled the election of a sexually predatory racist asshat” or similar allegations, they get all bent out of shape.

      • Farstrider

        I think we agree. I am sure many Trump voters voted for him for a host of reasons. But at the end of the day, Trump’s racism, xenophobia, misogyny were just not all that important to their political calculus. If you voted for Trump, you voted for those things, regardless of what you personally believe about the groups in question, or whether you go to church or are an otherwise good neighbor.

    • IceTrey

      Who cares if someone is a racist or bigot as long as they don’t initiate the use of force?

      • Farstrider

        If you do not think Trump will use force to perpetuate a racist agenda, then you are not paying attention. Indeed, for most people on this board, everything the government does involves the initiation of force – and they are mostly right about that – so your question is nonsensical in the first place.

        • IceTrey

          You were talking about a grocery store cashier not Trump. Also Trump initiating force is the problem not his alleged racism.

          • Farstrider

            We are talking about the election. I know this because title of the piece is “Some Thoughts on the Election.” Ergo, we are talking about Trump and his voters, the alleged grocery store cashier.
            Also, even if we concede that all government action is force and therefore bad, racist government action is even worse.

          • IceTrey

            If the force used is retaliatory then it’s not bad. If the government initiates force it’s bad, whether it’s racist or not is irrelevent.

          • Farstrider

            I want to makes sure I understand what you mean when you say racism is not relevant. What I think it means is that you see no moral difference between these two scenarios: (a) everyone must pay 1% of their income to the government as taxes and (b) only blacks have to pay the 1%. Do I have that right?

          • IceTrey

            They are both immoral because they require the initiatory use of force, i.e. coercion.

          • Farstrider

            You didn’t answer my question.

          • IceTrey

            How does “they are both immoral” not answer your question?

          • Farstrider

            Because my question was not “are they both immoral”. My question was: are they equally immoral? I asked if I was right “that you see no moral difference between these two scenarios”?

          • IceTrey

            Of course. There aren’t levels in the realm of objective morality. An action either is or isn’t moral.

          • Farstrider

            This is preposterous. Hitler is no worse than Jean Valjean?

          • IceTrey

            False equivalence. By that standard choice number 2 where only blacks pay the tax is LESS immoral because it effects fewer people.

          • Farstrider

            Not a false equivalence, if you believe (as you claimed) that there “aren’t levels in the realm of objective morality.” Glad to see that you are retreating from that silliness, at least.
            But the rest of your response to the question is, I think, all the answer I need. You can have the last word on this.

          • IceTrey

            Wait, do you think Hitler is more immoral because he killed millions or because he hated Jews?