Posts Tagged ‘George Wallace’

‘Critical support’ of Hillary Clinton?

October 25, 2016

Choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is like choosing between Richard Nixon and George Wallace.

One heads a powerful machine dedicated to preserving the status quo.  The other is rebel who appeals to hatred and prejudice.

GettyImages-480679428.0I can understand why someone might support the Nixon-like candidate as a lesser evil.  The expression for this is “critical support”, which is means you may support a candidate, but reserve the right to call the candidate to account.

The problem with this is when the support ceases to be critical, which is what I see happening.   I know a number of liberal Democrats who are so afraid of Donald Trump that they think it out-of-bounds to point out that Clinton is a warmonger and literally a paid servant of Wall Street.

Support for a candidate should never be unconditional.  If you demand nothing in return for your support of a candidate, nothing is what you’ll get.

The leaked Hillary Clinton e-mails, especially the ones with the excerpts from her Goldman Sachs speeches, show that she regards her rich donors as her peer group, but that she finds it necessary to appease her core voters, as with the Dodd-Frank banking reforms.

The fact that Clinton can be pressured is, as I see it, the only argument for anti-war, pro-labor, pro-consumer or environmentalist Democrats to support Clinton.  And they are naive if they give their support without demanding commitments in return.

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How long until someone’s killed at a Trump rally?

March 17, 2016

Josh Marshall is right.  Sooner or later somebody probably will be killed or seriously hurt at a Donald Trump rally.

People act very differently in crowd or mob situations than they do on their own. There are various theories as to just why this is the case – again, there’s a whole social science and group psychology literature about it.  But crowd/mob situations are profoundly dis-inhibiting events. People sometimes do things they themselves not only regret but almost literally can’t believe they did.  [snip]

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Campaign Rally in Vandalia, OhioIn crowd settings, with what can now only be called Trump’s almost nonstop incitement to eject or beat “thug” protestors, jostling and shoving, ramped up emotions, things can escalate very rapidly.

And let’s be honest, it can happen on both sides.  A hypothetical: a Trump supporter shoves a black protestor, the protestor punches back, others join in.  We don’t need to equate the two sides, which I do not, to see that there is a lot of anger and animus on each side.  This kind of atmosphere can unleash it.

What we have seen over the last two weeks isn’t just an escalation of chaos and low level violence but a progressive normalization of unacceptable behavior – more racist verbal attacks, more violence.  This is in turn clearly attracting more people who want trouble – on both sides.  [snip]

The climate Trump is creating at his events is one that not only dis-inhibits people who normally act within acceptable societal norms. He is drawing in, like moths to a flame, those who most want to act out on their animosities, drives and beliefs.  It is the kind of climate where someone will eventually get killed.

I don’t see much likelihood of a riot breaking out at a Trump rally.  The more likely scenario is that somebody, maybe somebody with a weak heart, dies while being “roughed up”, and mob violence breaks out elsewhere.

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