Jan 082017
 

I despise what the Republican Congress is doing. These motherfuckers bring out hatred in me. For example – Republicans Confirm Planned Parenthood Will Lose Federal Funding As Soon As Next Month.

I.

Aaaaaaand then a friend of mine states that all Republicans are horrible people, and there are no decent people who are registered (R). I’m horrified that many of my friends are turning into the sort of sweeping-generalizations mob that I used to see from the Right. How is this any different from “All Muslims are horrible?”

II.

I’m told repeatedly that hating someone for taking away your rights and humanity is acceptable. And yeah, I also hate the Republican Establishment. Everyone has every right to feel as pissed off and angry at this bullshit that’s coming down the pike as they want. We’re going to NEED a lot of anger to fight it.

But there are good Republicans, just like there are good [any group you care to name]. The more the message “ALL X ARE EVIL” is repeated, the more it makes it acceptable for people to lash out in violence against anyone who is, or is perceived to be, X. It’s the constant repeating of the rhetoric that creates an environment that leads to violence. We were complaining about the Trump rallies doing this, but we’ve seen it happen many times before. Hundreds of times in history. Have we learned nothing?

There are a lot of people who hate Trump, and want diversity and coexistence, and who identify as Republican. It is immoral to say they’re all evil.

III.

So I’m told I’m an example of the Banality of Evil.  A poster-boy for “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

But that’s kinda the opposite of what’s happening, isn’t it? I’m standing up for my few republican friends precisely because I refuse to sit down and do nothing. It sucks being called evil by my own community, simply because I won’t throw a couple people I know under the bus.

IV.

They ask: What makes a Republican a “good one?” What steps are they taking to protect the weakest among us? Where are all these “good people”? What are they doing?

I provide links to the Republicans Who Have Renounced Trump, and the Log Cabin Republicans, but my reply is that this is the exact same question as “Where are are the Muslims decrying the terrorist violence? Why aren’t they policing their community? Why aren’t they telling us about the attacks the extremists are planning?” Are these fair questions to ask of the Muslim community? If not, do you know why not?

The Republican Party has some vile shit in its platform. The Koran has some vile shit in it as well. If you think the Republican Platform is bad, look at the founding documents of any of the three Abrahamic religions. And yet we all accept that people who claim that these are the most important books in their lives, and that their highest ideal is to live by them, can still be good people. If we can do that for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, but we can’t do it for Republicans, why is that?

V.

I’m told plenty of religious people are great: they negotiate with their religion and try to live by it but also seek a separate peace from the nasty stuff that has no business being a part of a modern mindset. People phrase things all sorts of ways, and “Living by” means different things to different people. What would it mean to “live by” the ideals of the Republican Party at this point?

Which is exactly my point. This does mean different things to different people, and for someone from the outside to say “THIS is what it means to “live by” your ideals!” to a different group isn’t any different than someone saying socialists want to starve 50 million people to death. Or pick your choice of slander.

In practice altering an entire ideology is slow and difficult work. In the real world everyone has to worry about procedure, convincing the majority of their constituents, power grabs by people who are more conservative than you are, etc. The Democratic Party’s change on gay marriage, for example, was no quick whim. It took decades of struggle. DADT and DOMA (for non-US readers, these are anti-gay legislation from the 90s) were both signed in by a smiling Clinton. Just a few years before Obama “evolved” on the issue he was speaking about how marriage should be between a man and a woman, while Dick-freaking-Cheney, one of the most evil men in the US, was defending gay rights. I know, right?? The world is a weird place.

So what do people do? They stay with the ideology they were raised with, that of the community around them, that broadly looks more like it represents them than the alternatives, or at least enough to the point that it isn’t worth the loss of your community for switching, and just cherry-pick their beliefs! It’s damned infuriating. But it doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them human.

And by cherry-picking, and standing up for their gay/women/whatever friends, they are making a change. (incidentally, that’s why I’m standing up for my R friends. I want to see our group be less myopic and viscous.) Some of them even join groups that attempt to make direct change! Calling those progressive voices that are trying to bring it back to moderation horrible/despicable people hurts the reform movement.

Both political parties are evolving. Let’s not evolve away from what made us the right side in the first place.

  7 Responses to “Universal Hate”

  1. I don’t know that I agree. I am pretty sure the point of less wrong is that if you have you head above water in the swamp you are still in the swamp you know? if people are good despite what they are they would be better off being something better. I can’t agree with tribalism being a valid reason to support bad things.

    • For any bad thing you care to name, there are people who identify as republican but don’t support it. For any person you care to name, they probably support some things you think are bad, possibly including yourself.

      Tribalism isn’t necessarily a valid reason to support bad things, but it also isn’t valid to say “everybody in that tribe is bad”.

  2. The comparison with Islam reminds me of Trump wanting the Rockettes to perform at his inauguration. For a while but apparently not anymore, it appeared that the performers were contractually obliged to show up or risk losing their jobs.

    People were outraged about this, when many of the performers did not want to perform for Trump but it seemed like they would need to anyway. I didn’t look into this much, but I don’t remember anybody else thinking that this was exactly like people being forced to cater gay weddings when they were against gay marriage.

    Things look a lot different when they happen to Us instead of Them.

  3. “Where are are the Muslims decrying the terrorist violence? Why aren’t they policing their community? Why aren’t they telling us about the attacks the extremists are planning?” Are these fair questions to ask of the Muslim community?”

    I think those are totally fair questions to ask. The problem is that they are usually asked by people who haven’t done the research and don’t want to hear the answers. The fact I’d that the majority of people who are fighting against extremists are Muslim and the majority of victims of Muslim extremists are Muslims. The discussion of Muslims seeks to nurture the discussion you ended up in about republicans.

    And I have a hard time hating congress. I don’t agree with what they are doing, but all the incentives are set up to encourage extremism (desire what the people actually want), so the reds and blues are getting more extreme over time. A different electoral system than first pass the post voting and protections from gerrymandering world change that, but I don’t know how we could realistically put those in place.

    • Sorry about that. I wrote this in my cell phone.
      – The fact I’d= The fact is
      -seeks to nurture= seems to mirror
      -desire what the people =despite what the people

    • Fixing the electoral system should definitely be a priority. I share your pessimism though. :/

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