Open Thread and Link Farm, Babe Ruth Edition

  1. This game contains absolutely no triggering material | Ben on Patreon
    This small game (written by the Ben who leaves comments on “Alas”) is fantastic. And searing.
  2. Anthony Kennedy, the Trump Court and Minority Rule
    “The House has a massive Republican tilt, requiring Democrats to win the national vote by six or seven points in order to secure a likely majority. The Senate has an even more pronounced tilt, overrepresenting residents of small states, which tend to be white and rural.”
  3. How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus | The New Yorker
    I think students should have free speech, but Berkeley shouldn’t be required to spend $3 million so that Milo can come speak for fifteen minutes. Colleges should be able to set reasonable, non-partisan limits on expense without being accused of censorship.
  4. Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think | Hans Rosling
    “But while it is easy to be aware of all the bad things happening in the world, it’s harder to know about the good things. The silent miracle of human progress is too slow and too fragmented to ever qualify as news.”
  5. Most Democrats Don’t Take Sex Workers’ Rights Seriously. That’s Finally Starting To Change. | HuffPost
    A few Democratic candidates for Congress are running against SESTA/FOSTA.
  6. Today’s US-Mexico “border crisis” in 6 charts
    Or the lack thereof.
  7. Why I Am Against SESTA-FOSTA — Suraj Patel for Congress
    This campaign web page is a usefully concise summary of the case against SESTA-FOSTA.
  8. Body Positivity Is a Scam – Racked
    “There’s nothing capitalism can’t alchemize into a business opportunity, but for it to be a useful tool for marketers, body positivity needed to be decoupled from fatness and political advocacy, sanitized, and neatly repackaged into something that begins and ends with images.”
  9. Police attacked me for stealing a car. It was my own. – The Washington Post
  10. Netflix and Alphabet will need to become ISPs, fast | TechCrunch
    “One sad note though is how much the world of video is increasingly closed to startups. When companies like Netflix, which today closed with a market cap of almost $158 billion, can’t necessarily get enough negotiating power to ensure that consumers have direct access to them, no startup can ever hope to compete.”
  11. From flat-pack coffins to water cremation: how to have an eco-friendly death | World news | The Guardian
    “At a packed funeral expo in a church in Amsterdam last weekend, exhibitors included a flat-pack coffin that you construct and decorate yourself…”
  12. We Need to Talk About Reactionary Centrists – Member Feature Stories – Medium
  13. ContraPoints: Some thoughts about MtF transition, FFS, conformity, gender stereotypes, and “cis assimilation.”
  14. ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff ‘The Conners’ Ordered by ABC – Variety
    “Not part of the new series will be Roseanne Barr.” The likelihood is that this show won’t work – because MOST shows don’t work. But I’d be happy if it does work, and interested to see them try.
  15. Opinion | The Bible’s #MeToo Problem – The New York Times
  16. Jamelle Bouie: Taking the Enlightenment seriously requires talking about race.
    “Racism as we understand it now, as a socio-political order based on the permanent hierarchy of particular groups, developed as an attempt to resolve the fundamental contradiction between professing liberty and upholding slavery.”
  17. A useful appendix to the above link: Throwing Shade on the Enlightenment – Liberal Currents
    ” The italicized statements are the things Bouie did not argue!”
  18. Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary — but can lead to serious social reforms – Vox
  19. How movies cast “ugly” characters – and how it feels to get the part | ShortList
    For the most part, they say it feels good. But the guy who played Ted the lawyer on “Scrubs” seems to have found it depressing work, which I was a bit sad to hear, since I always thought there was something joyful in how he played that sad sack part.
  20. World’s first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden | Environment | The Guardian
  21. Costume Detective – How to Date an Old Photograph
    “Elements of the coat could suggest it to be circa 1898. The sleeves with soft fullness at the head and the fitted silhouette suggest late Victorian styling. But the hat is too big for that date.”
  22. How fast can I flood the Netherlands entirely and permanently?
  23. My Rapist Friended Me on Facebook (and All I Got Was This Lousy Article)
  24. Climate Change Is Likely Killing Ancient Baobab Trees – The Atlantic
    “But when around 70 percent of your 1,500 to 2,000-year-old trees died within 12 years, it certainly is not normal. It is difficult to come up with a culprit other than climate change.”
  25. On Culture War Bubbles | Thing of Things
  26. It’s Absurd to Claim That Trans Kids Are Being ‘Rushed’ Into Transitioning
  27. How to Rinse Your Recyclables Without Wasting Water
    Okay, this is admittedly a very boring link, but it’s a question I’ve wondered about more than once.
  28. I Detransitioned. But Not Because I wasn’t Trans. – The Atlantic
  29. ‘We no longer die in childbirth’: how Indian villages saved their mothers | World news | The Guardian
    “Gupta sometimes changes the lyrics of romantic folk songs to refer to iron supplements, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and breastfeeding. ‘They find it easier to remember what I’ve told them if they sing it,’ she said.”
  30. ‘The Daddy quota’: how Quebec got men to take parental leave | World news | The Guardian
    “What they found in places like Sweden is that if you give fathers their own leave, something families will lose if they don’t take, taking the leave becomes expected.”
  31. The Southern Poverty Law Center Surrenders Unconditionally To Maajid Nawaz. We Should Be Concerned. | Popehat

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148 Responses to Open Thread and Link Farm, Babe Ruth Edition

  1. 1
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    #13 w/ ContraPoints

    Maybe I’m late to the party, but I’ve recently binge-watched or binge listened (though really her content is best experienced visually) to every one of her youtube videos, and she’s great. She has fantastic production skills for an amatuer, good analysis, and she’s very funny. I especially loved her take on Jordan Peterson. Those who have some time on their work commute should check out her channel.

  2. 2
    RonF says:

    #2:

    Democrats have won the national vote in six of the last seven presidential elections,

    Which is absolutely meaningless, since we do not in fact HAVE a national presidential vote. We have 51 State popular votes (counting DC as a State for this purpose), but the influence of the popular vote in each State stops at the State’s border. That would not be the case if we DID have a national popular vote, but we don’t. If we did, it’s pretty obvious that we would have different vote totals. I don’t pretend that I can predict what the actual electoral outcome would be, but if anyone else does they’d be as full of $h!t as I would be if I tried.

    I say it’s obvious that there would be a different voting pattern due to multiple analyses of State popular vote totals that came out after the 2016 election. To hopefully no one’s surprise the percentage of popular vote totals (as a ratio with total eligible voters) were lower in non-battleground States than they were in battleground States. Had there been an actual national popular vote I think it’s reasonable to presume that you’d have seen higher totals in the non-battleground States. So to keep touting the totals of the State popular votes as a “national popular vote total” and to claim that it somehow taints the actual electoral vote winner is illogical.

  3. 3
    RonF says:

    Amp, commenting on #3:

    I think students should have free speech, but Berkeley shouldn’t be required to spend $3 million so that Milo can come speak for fifteen minutes.

    I don’t think they should have to, either. But it’s their own damn fault for not coming out when he was first announced as coming to speak there and forcefully defending both the First Amendment and the mission of the University to present diverse speech and social and political viewpoints on campus. If people had been made to understand that attempts to prevent anyone from speaking – provocateur or not – would result in suspension/expulsion for students and arrest for non-students and that violent action would be met with swift reprisal from law enforcement things would not have gotten to the stage they did.

    From what I have heard in listening to Milo, I’d say he’s definitely a provocateur. He’s deliberately stirring up emotional reactions to viewpoints that a lot of people find controversial or even offensive. That’s a factor that anyone who wants to sponsor speakers needs to take into consideration as to whether or not it’s worthwhile to invite him to speak. But it is absolutely NOT a factor for anyone to take into consideration when determining whether or not he has a RIGHT to speak, especially at a publicly-funded venue. The reason that U.C. – Berkeley has to spend that money is not because of Milo’s speech. It’s because of people who think they have a right to override the First Amendment, with violent acts if necessary, based on their own opinion as to the value and effects of that speech. And it’s because of people who will not take the necessary measures to educate the very people who they are charged with educating as to the purpose, value and requirements of the First Amendment, and to enforce it as necessary.

  4. 4
    Michael says:

    #3- The problem with allowing colleges to set limits on expense is that it encourages bad actors. If Jennifer Garner, for example, wanted to speak at Berkeley for 15 minutes, it wouldn’t cost 3 million under normal circumstances because her visit would be noncontroversial. But if I had a grudge against Jennifer Garner, I could make threats against her, and maybe spread false rumors among the students that she said something horrible, or whatever. So bad actors could make the speech of innocent people cost-prohibitive.
    I agree that Yiannopoulos is despicable, and his actions are intended as a provocation, but liberals engage in provocations too. Remember PZ Myers and his desecration of the host? Would you have favored dismissing PZ after that if he received a lot of death threats? There’s no way to make “security cost” or “provocation” exceptions to free speech without opening a can of worms.
    That article completely minimizes what happened to Weinstein at Evergreen- he was harassed by demonstrators in his class- it wasn’t just someone posting a picture with a gun. In fact, the article seems hostile to free speech for right-wingers in general.

  5. 5
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    The problem with putting a limit on how much you are willing to spend to defend freedoms is that this incentivizes bad actors to (try to) escalate to the point where you are no longer willing to defend them. So this means that a sufficiently motivated actor can can get his way through a heckler’s veto.

    It may actually be far less costly to signal that you are willing to spend an unlimited amount and to give an occasional example of this, rather than explicitly defend a limit. In the latter situation, many people may try (and fail) to increase the costs to a point where you give them their way, which can be more costly than not having a limit and having far fewer people test the authorities.

    Secondly, is anyone willing to defend the same for the Little Rock Nine? In other words, is anyone willing to argue that needing over 1000 troops to allow merely 9 black students to go to Little Rock’s Central High School was too costly and that this attempt at integration should have been abandoned?

    I hope this is not a principle that is selectively defended.

  6. 6
    Kate says:

    Which is absolutely meaningless, since we do not in fact HAVE a national presidential vote.

    No, it isn’t meaningless. If Republicans were on the losing end of this proposition there is no way they would be tolerating it the way Democrats are. They’d be howling for change. But it is more than that. Bush v. Gore was a nakedly partisan decision. Russian interference in the last election is a known fact, and there is a lot of evidence that people in Trump’s campaign were involved.
    And this is not isolated – conservatives are overrepresented in the House, because of gerrymandering and in the Senate by design. Republicans refused to accept Obama as legitimate and filibustered even routine procedural votes to gum up the works. They steadfastly refused to consider any judicial nominees, including the moderate Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. So, now the voting rights act has been effectively overturned with the deciding vote cast by the holder of a stolen seat.
    Trump and his Republican party are trying to bring an end to true Democracy in America, and so-called conservatives are going along with it because their side is the one that is winning.
    They are pushing away our allies in Democratic nations and embracing autocrats like Putin.
    They are jailing people legally seeking asylum and taking away their children. They are revoking Green Cards of legal residents who committed misdemeanors over a decade ago. They are threatening to revoke the citizenship of people who may have made mistakes in the naturalization process. They are building Arpaio-style tent detention centers in the Texas desert. I was told I was paranoid when I said I feared this would begin. And we’re not even two years in.

  7. 7
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Not setting limits on cost invites other types of bad actors – you can bankrupt the university by making threats against every speaker. Or disgruntled students/employees could threaten to invite controversial speakers unless their demands are met.

  8. 8
    Tatterdemalion1983 says:

    “No-one with powerful enemies who want to stop them speaking should be allowed to speak” is a terrible principle.

    And Eytan Zweig #6: if you can bankrupt the university by organising protests against speakers, you could probably just bankrupt it by organising “let’s bankrupt the university” protests anyhow. And credible threats are already not protected speech.

  9. 9
    Sebastian H says:

    In the history of universities, I’d be surprised if any have been bankrupted by too many people making threats against speakers. But we’ve currently seen attempts to use it to shut down speech.

    The SESTA-FOSTA thing is a classic case of politics wanting to seem to be doing SOMETHING so they end up voting for something that almost certainly does nearly zero to help, and potentially lots of side harm.

  10. 10
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    #3 is a mess. Why even bother quoting Jeffrey “the kids are alright” Sachs. Are we actually supposed to believe that free speech isn’t under threat? If free speech isn’t under threat on campus, why must a university spend so much on security for a speaker like Ben Shapiro?

  11. 11
    Kate says:

    Are we actually supposed to believe that free speech isn’t under threat? If free speech isn’t under threat on campus, why must a university spend so much on security for a speaker like Ben Shapiro?

    Perhaps a dozen talks being shut down nationally (based on the volume of evidence cited in a past thread starting with Ron presenting his evidence @54) does not constitute a crisis. On the very rare occasions when a speech is shut down on a college campus, the person who was prevented from speaking usually winds up being the subject of viral articles, reaching millions more than that one speech would have, screaming about how the speaker whose views are now being broadcast all over the internet, was silenced, with no hint of irony.

    Meanwhile, the Trump administration is setting up a denaturalization task force

  12. 13
    RonF says:

    A dozen talks shut down nationally that got noticed. How many got shut down that no one heard of, and how many haven’t even been scheduled because the people who might organize them understand that their school’s administration and leftist advocacy groups will make it impossible to do so?

  13. 14
    RonF says:

    Do people here seriously contest that there are efforts on many (if not most) college campuses to restrict free speech, especially when it is conservative or libertarian free speech?

    Denaturalization? If people actually did lie when they applied for citizenship then it’s entirely appropriate to seek them out and remove their citizenship. But due process must be followed. And, I would not welcome people losing their citizenship for making mistakes if they were truly mistakes and if having not made the mistake would not have materially affected their ability to achieve citizenship. I welcome careful scrutiny of this effort.

    Kate:

    And this is not isolated – conservatives are overrepresented in the House, because of gerrymandering and in the Senate by design.

    A request for clarification – do you mean to say that what you call conservative over-representation in the Senate is the result of the Senate’s design or the object of it’s design?

    Trump and his Republican party are trying to bring an end to true Democracy in America,

    You can’t end something that never existed. We’ve never had true democracy in America. It’s always been a democratic Republic. The States have always had limited sovereignty and their own votes in the Senate (instead of all government representation being apportioned strictly by population), and it has always been the States, not the people directly, who have elected our President.

    They are pushing away our allies in Democratic nations and embracing autocrats like Putin.

    Engaging != embracing, and we HAVE to do the former if we want to be effective leaders in the world. Our allies in democratic nations have abused our relationships for decades. It has been many years since Europe was a basket case and needed unrequited efforts from us to defend them. They have refused to pay their fair and treaty-required share towards that effort for a great many years, and it’s about damn time they got called on it.

  14. 15
    Gracchus says:

    ” They have refused to pay their fair and treaty-required share towards that effort for a great many years”

    A small factual corrective, although engaging with somebody who regurgitates Trump’s talking points is probably not worth my while, but what the hell. [Please don’t say things like this on “Alas” – Amp]

    1) The 2% target was set at the NATO Wales summit in 2014. Before that there was no formal target. Is 4 years a “great many years”?
    2) The text of the Wales declaration says “we will aim to move towards the existing NATO guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade, with a view to fulfilling NATO capability priorities”. Given that it’s not yet a decade since 2014, nobody is breaking the agreement, because the agreement doesn’t impose any obligations prior to 2024. You could argue that some countries don’t seem to be on track, but you said they were breaking a treaty, not that they look like they’re on their way to breaking a treaty.

    What’s notable is that Trump and Trump’s advocates take North Korea’s pledge to pursue denuclearisation as something worthwhile and substantial, but NATO members’ pledges to pursue the 2% target as obvious lies that are worth nothing.

  15. 16
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    If a Ben Shapiro speech requires more security than an Angela Davis speech on any campus, you’ve got a threat to free speech on that campus. I don’t care if this meets anyone’s standard of what is or isn’t a crisis. I wouldn’t call it a crisis, myself. I even agree with Amp that schools should feel free to decline to host such costly (due to security concerns) speakers- but schools should simultaneously crack down on anyone threatening free speech and raising the cost of security, if indeed this is a problem at a particular campus.

  16. 17
    Grace Annam says:

    RonF:

    But due process must be followed.

    I’m reminded of something administrators in a department I worked for were fond of saying, during discussions about why good officers would choose to leave the department for departments where they thought working conditions would be better (better training opportunities, better specialty opportunities, better shift assignment systems, whatever).

    The administrators would say, “What these guys [meaning the officers] need to realize is … [whatever].”

    And I would say to the administrator, “No, they don’t. I know you want them to change their minds or beliefs, but they don’t have to. They can leave. You’re doing a great job of selecting good officers and training, and then you’re driving them out. We’re selecting and training officers for all the other departments in this state which give them more opportunities and/or treat them better.”

    It didn’t matter. The administrators were fixated on what the officers had to realize, because they were wrong. It was a profound blindness to the pragmatic reality of the situation. The administrators wanted to convince them that their department was best, and failing that, their backup strategy was to continue to try to convince them, rather than to, for instance, examine the working conditions from their perspective and start working toward giving them better career opportunities, shift assignment, etc.

    I get what you’re saying. You urgently want due process to be followed. So do I. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that it must be. Agents of the government do wrong things every day, sometimes out of malice, sometimes because they’re ordered to, and sometimes because they make honest mistakes. The way to mitigate that human reality is to set good policies and then engage in oversight.

    In the years prior to Mapp v. Ohio, officers across this country simply searched things when they wanted to. It took the court ruling that evidence discovered outside of correct legal process would not be admissible to change that practice. Oversight, and setting up a new policy that the officers’ cases could not benefit from the behavior. Prior to that, you could have said that officers must obtain search warrants to search someone’s attic. And you’d have been right, on the law. But you’d have been wrong, in practice.

    Governments follow due process when the citizens (via the courts, sometimes) make them do it. Otherwise, not so much.

    Grace

  17. 18
    Harlequin says:

    If people are interested in campus free speech issues, I encourage you to learn more about some of the ways the members of a campus community can have their free speech abrogated: from the way job insecurity and the use of teaching evaluations harm the academic freedom of teachers, to the strict speech and action codes followed at some private universities, and more. These issues could use the kind of attention paid to big-name guest speakers giving (or not being allowed to give) speeches.

    RonF:

    Do people here seriously contest that there are efforts on many (if not most) college campuses to restrict free speech, especially when it is conservative or libertarian free speech?

    I do.

  18. 19
    desipis says:

    Some good news on the campus free-speech front.

  19. 20
    Ampersand says:

    I thought him being fired was over-the-top (afaik, this was a first offense); but I also think that it’s fucking ridiculous to claim that there’s a first amendment right for a professor to dox a grad student.

    And it says a lot about conservatives/anti-SJWs that this is what they mean when they say they want free speech.

    That said, as I understand it, this was a contractual dispute (the college in question is a private Jesuit university), not a first amendment case. His contract said he has academic freedom, and the court said that includes doxing a student. My hope is that private colleges all over (or at least, in Wisconsin) will be writing future contracts more carefully to clarify that professors’ academic freedom doesn’t include the right to harm students in this way.

  20. 21
    desipis says:

    I’m not sure I’d classify linking from your blog to someone else’s blog as “doxing”. Here is the blog post in question. I can’t see anything in that post that is remotely objectionable.

  21. 22
    Ampersand says:

    What do you think Doxing is? It’s publicizing details that wouldn’t otherwise be readily in the public’s eye, so that someone can be harassed or threatened.

    Before McAdams’ post, no one in the general public knew about the case, let alone to connect the name of this grad student to the case. McAdams – an experienced blogger with a huge right-wing readership – knew perfectly well what publicizing Abbott’s name would do (and he admitted this under oath). He then did it again, going out of his way to publicize her name in interviews in major right-wing podcasts.

    He didn’t do this because Abbott was a public figure, or a newsworthy name. He did it to punish her for being a left-wing instructor who made a call he disagreed with politically.

    You can’t possibly be so naive. And even if you are, McAdams isn’t. He has a responsibility, as faculty, to look out for students’ best interests – grad students included. Instead, he harmed her. He set her up to be harassed and threatened, until she fled Marquette to try to get away from the abuse.

    Objectively, her academic freedom and free speech ended up being harmed quite a lot. Funny, I don’t think right-wingers are going to object to that.

  22. 23
    desipis says:

    Abbate’s personal contact details were on her own blog. She effectively doxxed herself.

    As to McAdam’s intent I’ll quote the Supreme Court opinion:

    Finally, there is the University’s assertion that Dr. McAdams drafted the blog post in such a way that it would subject Instructor Abbate to public contempt. The blog post is certainly critical of her, so one could reasonably foresee that it would engender critical responses. We do not understand the University to argue that an extramural comment that causes such responses is beyond the pale——an extraordinarily unusual argument for an educational institution to make——so we perceive its concern to be about the responses that go beyond the realm of reasonable criticism. But the University did not identify any aspect of what Dr. McAdams actually wrote to support its charge. Instead, it used third-party responses to the blog post as a proxy for its allegedly contempt-inducing nature. Here again, the University demonstrates that reverse-engineering a conclusion is not the most reliable method of conducting an analysis. In this instance, the University caught itself up in the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Just because vile commentary followed the blog post does not mean the blog post instigated or invited the vileness. The University must identify which part of the blog post is supposed to have been responsible for eliciting the offensive remarks. It did not even attempt to do so. Our review of the blog post reveals that it makes no ad hominem attack on Instructor Abbate, nor does it invite readers to be uncivil to her, either explicitly or implicitly. Because the University’s logical fallacy represents the entirety of its assertion that Dr. McAdams wrote the blog post to subject Instructor Abbate to contempt, we must reject it.

  23. 24
    Mookie says:

    If a Ben Shapiro speech requires more security than an Angela Davis speech on any campus

    The Angela Davis that Ronald Reagan attempted to blacklist from California campuses? That the UC Board of Regents twice tried to silence on grounds of guilt by association? That was falsely charged, again because of guilt by association along with legal firearm possession? The one isolated in prison in case she riled up fellow inmates?

    It appears you’re equating government persecution and the threat of assassination by racists with hecklers. I don’t really buy the argument that a lot of powerful people and institutions were looking out for Angela Davis’s welfare while exercising her right to free speech, nor do I know if it was as common for colleges and universities to provide security as they do now. I’ve never heard of UCLA providing that level of protection in the late 60s and 70s, but I’d be interested if you can substantiate that it happened, and particularly in Davis’s case.

    What UCLA did do, in light of her department head being attacked on campus and she being subject to daily threats by phone and mail, was to dispatch campus police to check her car for car bombs on several occasions and install a special phone line in her office so callers could be screened before reaching her.

    I know that Che-lumumba members acted as bodyguards for her at UCLA when white supremacists were lobbing death threats at her, re-doubling earlier efforts once she was reinstated the first time, which was also the reason she bought the guns in the first place. UCLA’s response to the former (hiring herself private security) was to fire her again.

    Again, all of these precautions were not about protecting her from disagreeable but legal speech or counter-protest; they were prompted by an assault and an ongoing campaign of death threats in the wake of a long period of violent and widespread white terrorism aimed at black students in general and black activists and feminists like Davis in particular.

  24. What Harlequin said. If you’re truly concerned about free speech on campus, then you ought to be very concerned about the ways the contemporary economics of higher education, including attacks on tenure, is seriously threatening to academic freedom, which is not the same thing as free speech, but which, on a college campus, is intimately connected to it. There is a relationship–not necessarily a causal or curricular one, but a relationship nonetheless–between what goes on in the classroom (or what does not go on in the classroom; or what can or cannot go on in the classroom) and the speakers who are invited to speak, whether by student groups or the institution itself. Not to pay attention to that relationship is to miss a very big part of the picture.

  25. 26
    Kate says:

    Thank-you Gracchus, Grace, Mookie & Harlequin. I just don’t have the energy to do this right now.

  26. 27
    Michael says:

    @desipis- Scott Alexander has a long article explaining why this sort of behavior is bad:
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/07/29/against-signal-boosting-as-doxxing/

  27. 28
    RonF says:

    Gracchus:

    The actual text of Article III of the NATO treaty (I thought it was Article II, mea culpa) is:

    In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.

    The 2% target was set to try to get the members of NATO who had ignored the above obligation to get started on the path to meet it. But they in fact have not met the treaty obligation for decades and have no excuse for not doing so. The fact that the 2% target was set in 2015 does not mean that they get to skate on their failure to meet their treaty obligations prior to that. What the 2015 2% number means is that their failure is decades old and even when they reluctantly agreed to do something about it they have continued to fail.

    Grace:

    Governments follow due process when the citizens (via the courts, sometimes) make them do it. Otherwise, not so much.

    Yeah, fair enough. Perhaps “must” is the wrong word. Let me say then that I am entirely in favor of the citizenry putting pressure on government via the courts or elsewhere when due process is not followed. The primary function of government is to protect our rights so that we can exercise them as we see best fits our objectives in life. If it fails at that it’s not much good for anything.

  28. 29
    Kate says:

    The primary function of government is to protect our rights so that we can exercise them as we see best fits our objectives in life. If it fails at that it’s not much good for anything.

    Who counts as “our” in your view? Are there general human rights, or just rights of citizenship?

  29. 30
    desipis says:

    Michael, I’m not arguing that the behaviour was the epitome of virtuous conduct. However, I think it’s integral to academic freedom to be able to publicly criticise the conduct of fellow academics and their teaching methods (including their instructors).

    I’m curious if you draw the same conclusion to the people that signal boosted James Damore memo? Or with Adria Richards (Donglegate)? Or with those who signal boost the upcoming events of speakers in order to maximise the size of the protest?

  30. 31
    desipis says:

    RonF, there’s no standard or requirement of proportionality set in the treaty. As long as they have a military then arguably they are meeting the “maintain and develop” obligation of the treaty. So even Luxembourg with it’s less than a 1000 soldiers is meeting the obligations of the treaty.

    You might argue that the other countries have acted in a way that makes the treaty no longer in the USA’s best interest, but that’s a very different argument.

  31. 32
    Michael says:

    @desipis#30- I thought that Richards went too far in publicly shaming “Hank”. As for the Damore mess- I think the problem was Google made a mistake in letting people post political messages on message boards. Then when Damore’s post was deemed to be offensive, they fired him. Then when people claimed it was hypocritical, they fired Tim Chevalier.

  32. 33
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Michael,

    Google actually solicited feedback on Google policies. Their mistake was not telling their autistic employees that one is not allowed to point out certain scientific studies or draw certain conclusions in polite company. Damore’s document was also only shared within Google. Someone took offense and shared it with the world, with many journalists and others happily signal-boosting it. Even worse, much of the signal-boosting misrepresented the document.

    I don’t see how one can argue that what happened to Abbate was more unjust than what happened to Damore. What happened to the latter was for a much bigger audience and he was treated far more viciously.

    Then when people claimed it was hypocritical, they fired Tim Chevalier.

    It is unclear whether this is true. Chevalier had been warned multiple times that he was spending too much time on activism, rather than work. It doesn’t require a choice to ‘appease the mobs’ for an employer to fire a person who spends a lot of time on their hobbies (activism), during work-time.

  33. 34
    Gracchus says:

    RonF, can you explain how you feel NATO members have skipped out on their obligation to maintain their collective and individual capacity to resist armed attack?

    Don’t you think that Germany, a country that is frequently called out as delinquent, with its army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and cutting edge military systems, is actually pretty well placed to resist armed attack?

    Of course, this isn’t to say Germany can single handedly defeat any conceivable enemy, but if that’s the standard we’re holding countries to, it’s impossible to achieve.

    It’s deeply ironic that the people in the USA thrashing the 2% threshold as the metric are usually conservatives (although to be fair to conservatives, it was the Obama administration that established it as the benchmark – but they’ve enthusiastically endorsed it, so they can own it). Wouldn’t Ronald Reagan argue that a government that spends more is not necessarily more effective?

  34. 35
    RonF says:

    Kate:

    Who counts as “our” in your view? Are there general human rights, or just rights of citizenship?

    Well, in the DoI where I took the phrase from, it enumerates “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. So, certainly those. It seems to me that the authors held those to be rights granted to everyone by our Creator, which to me would qualify as human rights. I would say that our government(s) are obligated to defend our ability to exercise our human rights, but what else would qualify as human rights is up for debate. But our government is obligated to defend at least the rights enumerated in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which in turn people can use to defend their lives, exercise their liberty and pursue whatever they deem to be happiness within the bounds of the law. I would say that what the government guarantees to citizens, resident aliens and illegal aliens would differ. For example, compare how you feel about those three categories having government-defended access to emergency healthcare, keeping and bearing firearms and the vote.

    It’s important to me at least to note that the concept is that government’s role is to defend our ability to exercise our rights to use the freedom and liberty we have via our own efforts to get what we want. It is not to give us things we want or need regardless of the level of our own efforts.

  35. 36
    RonF says:

    despis:

    RonF, there’s no standard or requirement of proportionality set in the treaty. As long as they have a military then arguably they are meeting the “maintain and develop” obligation of the treaty.

    There’s no quantitative standard, but there is a qualitative one. And I would hold that simply having a military in and of itself is insufficient to meet the standard of “maintain and develop”. See below ….

    Gracchus:

    Don’t you think that Germany, a country that is frequently called out as delinquent, with its army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and cutting edge military systems, is actually pretty well placed to resist armed attack?

    Maybe not. Cutting edge military systems aren’t cutting edge if you don’t test, maintain and update them. And that takes money diverted from other things (e.g., social programs), which apparently the German political establishment is not willing to do.

    The German air force is dealing with a “massive problem” that has left all but four of its 128 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets unavailable for combat missions, according to a May 2 report by German news outlet Spiegel. [the number ‘4’ is disputed, but if you read the article no one’s number is high]

    Elsewhere in the German air force, only five of 16 A400M transport planes were ready for use as of February, and previous reports have found numerous issues with the service’s fighters. None of the German navy’s six submarines are combat-ready and just nine of 15 frigates are in full service. Moreover, only 95 of the army’s 244 tanks are operational.

    Olaf Scholz, the new finance minister from the CDU’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, presented a 2018 budget that only offered the Defense Ministry half the money it requested, focusing instead on domestic measures and seeking to avoid additional debt.
    Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Development Minister Gerd Muller both submitted written objections about the budget. Von der Leyen wants to shift the German military’s focus to national and international security, turning away from the past decade’s emphasis on overseas deployment.
    The budget clash highlights the differing views on defense strategy held by the CDU and the SDP. “Germany isolates itself with such an emphasis on domestic issues,” Christian Mölling, an analyst with the German Council on Foreign Relations, told Defense News. “We see here the left wing of the SPD pushing its positions.”

    The German military “is currently unavailable,” the Washington Post reported following an interview with Hans-Peter Bartels, a German official who acts as a political advocate for the armed forces. Bartels said the German military is virtually “not deployable for collective defense.”

  36. 37
    Harlequin says:

    I do not think Damore’s essay should have been shared outside Google, to be honest–not least because then I wouldn’t have had to read it.

    Since it’s an open thread, I’m gonna rant for a minute about this sentence:

    Their mistake was not telling their autistic employees that one is not allowed to point out certain scientific studies or draw certain conclusions in polite company.

    So this puts me in mind of kind of a cultural meme that seems to happen around “genius” characters. The most distilled example I remember is in the Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon gets in escalating trouble for saying sexist things to a female subordinate, eventually going to HR where he continues to say sexist and racist things to the female HR representative (not, we are meant to believe, with particular malice–just speaking what he sees as the truth). And the implication that I read into that scene, and the one that I read into your comment, is that there are things that are known to everyone (or at least everyone who’s learned a little about the topic) about–say–women or racial minorities and STEM, but it is simply impolite to talk about those known truths. Therefore, people who are too smart or too busy or too special to care about taking time for politeness will say these truths and then be punished. (I can think of additional examples from Sherlock and House off the top of my head, and I know I’ve seen this kind of thing elsewhere as well–I do have a taste for smart misanthropic assholes in my fiction, it’s true.)

    But this is a really poisonous idea for several reasons. One, tt’s not that Damore was discussing some truth that everyone knows, but doesn’t mention–there is geniune disagreement about everything he posted, as well as giant holes in his evidence base (you can find links and discussion on previous open threads here, as well as many, many other places). Two, autistic people and/or geniuses don’t have any special lock on knowing these supposedly deep truths: I know many smart, socially awkward people who are equally socially awkward but kind with people of all genders and races, just as I unfortunately know many smart, smoothly diplomatic people who are huge sexists and racists once you lightly scratch that surface. (And of course I know many kind, egalitarian diplomats and many sexist, racist socially awkward people as well.) Third, there’s nothing about being smarter than everyone or more socially awkward than everyone that means it’s a good idea to ignore general politeness: even the smartest among us have things they don’t know, strengths and weaknesses relative to other people. Learning how to work with others is one of the key skills to improving your own abilities; it’s not a hindrance to your performance. You don’t have to be perfectly diplomatic, but “dealing with people” is an important skill set for basically everything, even if those skills are aimed at the small subset of people with similar expertise in your specific field.

    In addition to the TV shows mentioned above, I greatly appreciate Elementary, because the Sherlock in that one–while being a socially weird, misanthropic genius like House and the Sherlock of Sherlock–isn’t a sexist or racist misanthrope: he distrusts and dislikes pretty much everyone equally. (And he does make an effort to be less obnoxious with people he likes and respects.)

  37. 38
    Michael says:

    The problem isn’t autism- it’s subjective rules. Google’s mistake was allowing political discussion boards in the first place but insisting that posts not be “offensive”. They allowed people to argue against Tibetan independence, for example, but then decided that Damore’s essay went over the line. But a Tibetan man might be more offended by an anti-Tibetan independence essay than Damore’s essay. This is a systematic problem- the solution is not to punish individuals but to ban political discussions at work when necessary. I don’t believe in a blanket ban on political discussions at work but it’s the duty of leadership to tell when they create division and end them so people don’t get fired and half the company doesn’t want to kill the other half- and Google’s leadership clearly failed in this responsibility.

  38. 39
    Kate says:

    I would say that what the government guarantees to citizens, resident aliens and illegal aliens would differ. For example, compare how you feel about those three categories having government-defended access to emergency healthcare, keeping and bearing firearms and the vote.

    This is sort of changing the subject. Among those, access to emergency healthcare is the only one I’d count as a fundamental human right.*
    More to the point, I’d count the right to flee threats like famine, war, political persecution and gang violence, as a fundamental human rights, even if it means crossing a border illegally. This is why I consider U.S. policy at the southern border immoral, and getting worse under Trump’s new policies.

    *Voting is a privilege of citizenship. Bearing firearms, should be like driving a car – you should need to prove that you actually know how to use one before you’re allowed to do so in public.

  39. 40
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Harlequin,

    Damore was perfectly polite. He didn’t call anyone names, he didn’t call anyone inferior, he didn’t argue against equal rights, he explicitly spoke in favor of the goal of the policies he was criticizing (increasing the number of female employees in IT), etc. So from my perspective, these arguments about how he could have made his arguments if only he’d been more polite by doing X or Y seem like self-deception (to resolve cognitive dissonance) by people who cannot admit that certain claims are not allowed to be made at all.

    Furthermore, such extreme demands on one side of the debate are extremely stifling. Even if one believes that there is a magic incantation where one can make these claims without watering them down to a point where one is not actually able to make the claims (which I don’t), then the requirement to adhere to this perfectly or be fired, is extremely stifling. Many people logically check out and simply give up on trying to participate in the debate (even including scientists). When even heterodox scientists, with their high capabilities, don’t feel that they can manage to talk about certain scientific findings publicly anymore, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    From my perspective, the real sin that Damore committed is that he made an argument and pointed to evidence that, if believed, leads to conclusions that many people don’t like (that equal treatment of men and women may not always lead to equal outcomes). So many people then refuse to judge the evidence or the person making that argument impartially. Instead, the moral outrage over the (potential) consequences of the facts and/or arguments is then transferred to that person, resulting in a judgement of that person as, for example, a sexist.

    So then you get arguments like yours, where a perfectly polite person, who IMO seems less sexist than most people (including very many feminists), is nevertheless considered to be extremely sexist.

    In the Damore case, we saw an even more toxic form of debate (if you want to call it that), where many were apparently incapable of understanding Damore’s actual argument, so instead they attributed much more noxious beliefs to him (attributing the opposite goal to Damore than the one he explicitly said he had and for which he proposed measures!). IMO, the taboo on making certain arguments in progressive spaces leads to this, as many people with nuanced views refuse to debate, so the debate ends up being dominated by extremist beliefs and people lose their ability to cope with subtlety/nuance/inconvenient facts/etc. So anyone who tries to make a nuanced argument gets rounded down to a mustache-twirling villain by much of the other side.

    PS. I personally think it is very impolite to call Damore a sexist, but I favor that you are able to make arguments like you just made, without serious consequences. However, I favor the same for people like Damore.

    PS2. I didn’t mean to imply that autistic people have some magic ability to discern the truth. My claim is merely that they tend to be less able to recognize when they violate social rules & that they are less capable of accepting hypocrisy. You are correct that these traits can result in antisocial behavior. However, there are many examples of mainstream society having (had) very poor social norms. Isn’t heterodoxy crucial to progressivism?

  40. 41
    RonF says:

    More to the point, I’d count the right to flee threats like famine, war, political persecution and gang violence, as a fundamental human rights, even if it means crossing a border illegally. This is why I consider U.S. policy at the southern border immoral, and getting worse under Trump’s new policies.

    U.S. law does allow people to seek asylum for political persecution. The rest, not so much. But then, if someone is fleeing famine or war they need not come all the way to the U.S. – they can stay in one of the intermediate countries, such as Mexico, to avoid that.

    Voting is a privilege of citizenship.

    I’d feel more confident that there was agreement with this on the left if it wasn’t for initiatives such as Chicago providing a city ID to any Chicago resident who wants one and then accepting it as ID for voting or the President of the Boston City Council proposing that aliens, including some illegal aliens, get the right to vote locally.

    Bearing firearms, should be like driving a car – you should need to prove that you actually know how to use one before you’re allowed to do so in public.

    Driving a car is a privilege. But, like voting, bearing firearms is a privilege of citizenship as well – or, better expressed in my opinion, a right. In fact, I’d say that the right to arm oneself for self-defense and defense of one’s property and resistance to tyranny is a human right. One that, if it was protected by the governments of Colombia, Honduras et. al. might have prevented the flood of asylum seekers we are seeing.

    It’s an interesting analogy, too. Poll taxes – having to pay money to vote – and literacy tests – showing you met a governmental standard for having sufficient intelligence to vote – were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1966 because they created a barrier to poor people from exercising their right to vote. Yet here in the State of Illinois it costs me $150 for a concealed carry permit and another ~$100 – $200 to take a 16 hour course. That $150 can’t be the cost of a background check, since the State Police run one on me when I get my FOID card and they only charge $10. If it’s unconstitutional to have to prove I am smart enough to vote I should think it’s unconstitutional to have to prove I am smart enough to use a firearm. Heck, the right to keep and bear arms is more explicitly protected in the Constitution than the right to vote.

  41. 42
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    Mookie,

    Angela Davis can and does speak on campuses around the country, I used her as an example because she has been coming up on my youtube feed lately at work. She speaks all the time. She’s frequently on panels. According to the FIRE database, there was a petition to have her 2015 speech at Texas Tech cancelled, but that’s the only entry, and the petition failed. That database goes back to 200o.

    It appears you’re equating government persecution and the threat of assassination by racists with hecklers.

    I was doing no such thing. The absurdity of comparing Ben Shapiro, a typical conservative never-trumper, to a marxist radical was supposed to be obvious. Look, I love it when radicals get platforms. I’d also rather hear a speech by Davis than Shapiro, because at least her speech would be interesting rather than predictable. But let’s not pretend that her ideas are less dangerous than Shapiro’s, or that a person with her judgement should be taken more seriously.

  42. 43
    JaneDoh says:

    Google’s other problem with Damore is that he made it difficult to assign women and/or underrepresented minorites to work with him. This would have been a problem even if the memo didn’t leak, since it was circulating internally, but I am not sure Google would have moved on it without the extra publicity.

    I work in STEM, and after reading that memo, he would not be my first choice as a colleague, and I would definitely be unhappy if he were my supervisor. Possibly unhappy enough to leave if I had the opportunity. I am sick of people questioning my abilities/motivation because of what is between my legs. My tolerance for that has decreased over the years, and I am sure I am not alone. Google is a company, not a university touting academic freedom. Damore made himself a toxic employee, so now he is no longer employed.

  43. 44
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    I am sick of people questioning my abilities/motivation because of what is between my legs.

    I don’t think that’s a fair reading of Damore’s memo.

  44. 45
    JaneDoh says:

    You mean the part where he says that Google has been lowering the bar to enhance diversity doesn’t mean he is less likely to think I am qualified or more likely to question my competence? Or the part where he says I am on average more prone to anxiety, more interested in people, and less able to handle stress means I should be OK with him as my supervisor, because maybe he might see me as different from “average” women?

    I’ve been called an AA hire or a diversity hire lots of times (and I am not alone). Why would I be happy if I knew ahead of time that my new supervisor/colleague/office mate is thinking that before I even start?

  45. 46
    desipis says:

    JaneDoh:

    Google’s other problem with Damore is that he made it difficult to assign women and/or underrepresented minorites to work with him.

    Damore did no such thing. There’s nothing in Damore’s essay that would indicate he would treat coworkers from minority groups any different, and certainly not any worse, than straight white males.

    You mean the part where he says that Google has been lowering the bar to enhance diversity doesn’t mean he is less likely to think I am qualified or more likely to question my competence?

    No. It doesn’t mean that at all. Here is a direct quote from Damore’/s essay:

    Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.

    Damore’s essay was focused on population level averages. It is quite clear from his opposition to discriminatory practises that he is entirely against making assumptions about individuals in those groups based on population level averages.

    What the essay might have done is made intolerant people with strong ideological beliefs unwilling to work with him. However, that’s not a justification for expecting Google to take action against Damore. Doing so would be like firing an atheist because conservative Christians were unwilling to work with them on the basis that without a belief in God the Atheist would inevitably act immorally (or that a Muslim coworker was likely to be a terrorist) . An employer shouldn’t fire an employee simply because of the irrational beliefs of their coworkers.

  46. 47
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    @JaneDoh

    You mean the part where he says that Google has been lowering the bar to enhance diversity doesn’t mean he is less likely to think I am qualified or more likely to question my competence?

    Damore actually didn’t write that Google has been lowering the bar in the sense that they allow in poorer candidates, but that they lower the bar by decreasing the false negative rate (giving women more chances to show their true quality even if they interview poorly at first).

    This doesn’t imply that Google allows in less competent women, except for interview skills, which are probably mostly irrelevant to the ability to do the job. Furthermore, Damore argued that there are special opportunities for women that allow them to improve. So it is perfectly possible that Damore believes that women at Google are more competent, because they get more opportunities to grow. He doesn’t actually say one way or the other. So you seem to have attributed a claim to him that he didn’t make.

    Or the part where he says I am on average more prone to anxiety, more interested in people, and less able to handle stress means I should be OK with him as my supervisor, because maybe he might see me as different from “average” women?

    Do I understand you correctly as saying that Damore believes you to be more prone to anxiety, more people-oriented and less capable to deal with stress than the average woman?

    Damore actually makes the opposite claim: that the work conditions of tech jobs disfavor people who have the aforementioned traits and that those people thus tend to shun those jobs (where those traits are more common in women, so more women than men avoid those jobs). So then equal gender ratios cannot be achieved unless there is discrimination against men or unless the nature of the jobs are changed. Damore objects to the former (which in my view makes him far less of a sexist than his critics), while favoring the latter.

    Anyway, what you say follows a pattern where there critics of Damore generally seem to gravely misrepresent his claims when asked what they consider noxious about the memo.

    I can understand your frustration with having been regarded as an AA hire and/or unqualified by some people, but it seems quite unfair to blame Damore for doing the same, when it seems to me that he made sure not to make this claim in his memo.

    Furthermore, I question your strategy of defending the discrimination at Google et al by attacking people like Damore. The more of that discrimination exists, the more people are going to get angry about perceived or actual AA hires. People are going to notice what happens, even if they are not allowed to criticize it publicly. In fact, such a taboo can result in exactly the kind of low level aggression that you experienced, as people feel discriminated against and yet feel that no one (is allowed to) fight for their rights.

    It seems to me that the only solution to reducing the perception of and anger at AA hires is to actually provide equality of opportunity at every level as much as possible.

    [edit: sorry for the mobbing, didn’t refresh before commenting, so didn’t see that you already had a response]

  47. 48
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    Or the part where he says I am on average more prone to anxiety, more interested in people, and less able to handle stress means I should be OK with him as my supervisor, because maybe he might see me as different from “average” women?

    “I am on average” makes no sense the way you’re using it here. Damore made it clear that the arguments in his memo only apply at the population level.

    I realize there is no expert consensus on the validity and rigor of Damore’s memo, but several subject matter experts, including some big names, voiced agreement with the science. One evo psych professor (Geoffrey Miller) said it would get an A in a grad level class. Do I think he should have written it? Not at work. It was bound to be misunderstood and misapplied in ways that would create outrage. Most people would foresee the drama, and save their workplace from the head-ache. That Damore could not foresee the shitstorm is troubling from the POV of his supervisors, and once the memo was out in the public where it could be even further misunderstood (has the reporting on a publicly available document ever been more misleading?) his firing was a political necessity.

  48. 49
    Mookie says:

    @Jeffrey Gandee

    But let’s not pretend that her [Davis’s] ideas are less dangerous than Shapiro’s

    Oh, I’m not pretending that. The proof is in who acted against her, how, and in what ways they were successful at censoring her and denying her her academic freedom and right to a safe workplace. By contrast, Shapiro’s speech is handled with kid gloves and he does not have to pay for his own protection on college and university campuses. He has his elders, people like Davis, to thank for those privileges, if he could spare a moment between histrionic whinges of censorship and airing his particular brand of high-brow hate speech across multiple platforms courtesy of our intolerant liberal media.

  49. 50
    Sebastian H says:

    Related to the heckler’s veto, is it probably a good sign for free speech that the town hall in Utah organized by the Parkland survivors is being canceled because of increased security concerns? Cite

    Should we express concern about the Parkland survivors being too contentious? If they would tone it down, and not make so many people angry they wouldn’t need to hire more security, right?

    That seems like the wrong way to think about it…

  50. 51
    Kate says:

    Who are you addressing, Sebastian? Because that seems like one hell of a pile of straw you just dumped @50.
    Of course it is bad that the Parkland survivors had to cancel an appearance in the face of threats which made security unaffordible. But that, on its own, doesn’t constitute a crisis. Even in the broader context of a troubling pattern of harassment of survivors of mass shootings by groups like the Sandy Hook Truthers, I think using the term “free speech crisis” would be overwrought.
    But, the fact that I am more bothered by their event being canceled than I am by a Nazi having his rally cancelled is not hypocritical. The content of speech DOES matter in whether venues should decide to give speakers platforms or not. No one is entitled to a particular platform.

  51. 52
    Sebastian H says:

    I would tend to think of it intersectionally. On the free speech branch of analysis the sum of speeches cancelled or hampered by serious security concerns (or even unserious concerns trotted out because someone is uncomfortable with the speaker) is a dangerous problem.

    I of course desire the political outcomes promoted by some of the Parkland rallies far more than anything desired by Milo. So if forced into an overall “which is more bad” analysis I’ll say it’s worse that the Parkland speakers are getting censored by their hecklers causing security concerns.

    But just like admitting that black trans people on average have it worse than black cis people, shouldn’t be used to suggest that the problems of black people aren’t a big deal; the fact that we like some speakers better on some other dimension of analysis doesn’t mean that the free speech issue isn’t important itself.

    A society where speakers regularly have security concerns over speech is a MUCH worse one than the one we had 5 years ago. To the extent that our side has some responsibility for that (and we do) we should own up to it, and fight against it in the future.

  52. Some time ago, there was a discussion on this blog about the term “toxic masculinity.” I found this piece by Michael Flood useful and thought-provoking: https://xyonline.net/content/toxic-masculinity-primer-and-commentary

  53. 54
    Ampersand says:

    U.S. law does allow people to seek asylum for political persecution. The rest, not so much. But then, if someone is fleeing famine or war they need not come all the way to the U.S. – they can stay in one of the intermediate countries, such as Mexico, to avoid that.

    And of course, thousands do. But it’s not always that simple; Mexico, correctly, feels that it should not be the sole provider of refuge for people fleeing gang violence on the continent. (Or war, or famine, or starvation, but right now people fleeing gang violence is a huge problem.)

    Mexico is, like the US, large and complex, so migrants have a large variety of experiences in Mexico. Some migrants find a place and a job and settle in Mexico. Some migrants get caught by the Mexican authorities and sent back to their home countries (and then they often flee again, if they can). Some can’t find a job and have no way to live, and so try for the US. Some apply for asylum and are rejected, some are accepted, and too often the difference is not a difference in laws but a difference of which overburdened bureaucrat processes the application. Some are deported by authorities who break the rules by not giving them a chance to apply for asylum. Some flee those authorities to the US. Etc, etc.

    So many of them CAN’T stay in Mexico. It’s not as simple as you believe.

    These are not rich people who can choose to settle wherever they want. They have to find someplace they can live; someplace the authorities won’t arrest them (or where they can successfully stay below the authorities’ radar), someplace where they can work to eat, etc.. Some people find that place in the US, some in Mexico, some in Canada. Some don’t, and have to keep on looking.

    Again, put yourself in the shoes of someone fleeing credible death threats to herself and her children in Guatemala. If you can’t find a place in Mexico, are you going to say “oh, well, I guess I’ll return to Guatemala now and me and my kids can be killed, because respecting US border laws is much more important than our lives are?” Would you, Ron, ever value your kids’ lives that lightly?

    Right now large parts of the Mexican and US governments are in effect engaged in a “race to the bottom,” where parts of both governments are trying to be worse to migrants in the hopes that the migrants will go elsewhere, or be forced to stay in violent countries. (Part of the blame for that goes to the Obama administration, which pressured Mexico to get tougher, in the hopes that if Mexico was tougher fewer migrants would make it through Mexico to the US). But there aren’t actually that many nations available for people on this continent fleeing violence (or starvation etc etc), and people have to be somewhere.

    Refugees from Central America a humanitarian crisis on Canada’s doorstep, says aid agency | CBC News

    A Flawed Asylum System in Mexico, Strained Further by U.S. Changes – The New York Times

    Caravan won’t end in Mexico. Some migrants will risk trip to US border – CNN

    More Families Fleeing Central America Resettle in Mexico Instead of Aiming for U.S.

  54. 55
    Mandolin says:

    Send the Jews back to their ships; they are not welcome to land here.

  55. 56
    RonF says:

    Kate @51:

    The content of speech DOES matter in whether venues should decide to give speakers platforms or not. No one is entitled to a particular platform.

    Hm. If it is a public venue – say, a State university’s auditorium that is commonly rented out to outside organizations – then I’d say that the content of the speech does not matter (providing the speaker does not incite violence, etc.) and if I recall correctly the courts are in agreement with that.

    If it is a private venue, now you’re getting into whether a public accommodation, which is after all a business, can withhold its services on the basis of its owner’s own political or religious beliefs. It seems to me that the left has consistently held that businesses such as bakeries and pizza parlors should not be able to do so. Is the reason you think the rule should be different in this case because it’s a speech venue or because you find the particular speech involved offensive?

  56. 57
    RonF says:

    Amp and Mandolin – those are great arguments for the legislature to change the law. I’m not so sure they are great arguments for the executive branch to decide to act as it sees fit regardless of the law.

    I don’t imagine that any of this is easy for asylum seekers. But tell me this; what alternative do you propose? That the U.S. open it’s borders to anyone who presents a claim of fear of violence (whether personal or in general)? What do you think would be the result of that?

  57. 58
    nobody.really says:

    Amp’s Twitter feed includes a tweet from Erin Hawley@geekygimp noting that people with certain disabilities rely on straws in order to drink, and thus Hawley opposes policies prohibiting their use.

    I get Hawley’s point. But honestly, isn’t this kind of a strawban argument?

  58. 59
    Gracchus says:

    “Support people when it concerns (the consequences of) their victimizations. Condemn people when it concerns (the consequences of) their offenses.”

    Since I’m banned from the thread, I just wanted to say, I really appreciate and endorse LimitsofLanguage’s comment on this thread: http://amptoons.com/blog/?p=24112#comments

  59. 60
    Chris says:

    RonF:

    If it is a private venue, now you’re getting into whether a public accommodation, which is after all a business, can withhold its services on the basis of its owner’s own political or religious beliefs. It seems to me that the left has consistently held that businesses such as bakeries and pizza parlors should not be able to do so. Is the reason you think the rule should be different in this case because it’s a speech venue or because you find the particular speech involved offensive?

    I don’t think the left has consistently held that business owners shouldn’t be able to withhold service on the basis of the owner’s political and religious beliefs. The argument I’m familiar with–which is current civil rights law–is that business owners shouldn’t be able to discriminate against customers simply because they are members of a protected category. Outside of Washington D.C. and perhaps a few other cities, political beliefs are not a protected category, and I haven’t seen a lot of calls from the left that they should be.

  60. 61
    Jeffrey Gandee says:

    Outside of Washington D.C. and perhaps a few other cities, political beliefs are not a protected category, and I haven’t seen a lot of calls from the left that they should be.

    I hope voters and lawmakers resist the temptation to create such a protected class elsewhere or even nationwide. Unless we want to make it illegal to fire nazis, such a law would have to legally define which political affiliations are legally deserving of protection.

  61. 62
    Chris says:

    Is there a legal definition of “religion,” Jeffrey? My understanding is that the vagaries of that word have caused some legal headaches for the courts in the past. I imagine extending protected status to political affiliation would have the same result, though I don’t know if it already has in D.C.

  62. 63
    Kate says:

    But tell me this; what alternative do you propose? That the U.S. open it’s borders to anyone who presents a claim of fear of violence (whether personal or in general)? What do you think would be the result of that?

    For now, I propose that the U.S. follow the treaties we’ve signed. This means giving people who present themselves for asylum at our borders a fair hearing, without treating them like criminals. It means granting asylum to people who are found have a credible fear of persecution if they are returned to their home country. Morally, I think we should interpret the law in this area as broadly as possible. That is what most people in the Democratic party want, despite Republican rhetoric to the contrary.
    But, I am to the left of the Democratic party on this issue. The Clinton and Obama administrations were disappointments to me on this issue. I do favor moving towards open borders. Over time, I think the result will be greater justice and prosperity globally. I think trying to have a free trade system without free movement of labor leads to a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions.
    But, there is an argument to be made that originalists really shouldn’t see a right for the federal government to restrict immigration in the Constitution.

  63. 64
    nobody.really says:

    Today the NYT publishes Thomas Edsall’s essay, “Why Don’t We Always Vote in Our Own Self-Interest?” Among the culprits:

    1. Xenophobia/racism. “[I]ndividuals are more generous toward others who are similar to them racially, ethnically, linguistically,” so ” [w]hen the poor are disproportionately concentrated in a racial minority, the majority [all else being equal] prefer less redistribution.”

    2. “Deservingness.” “Americans believe that the poor are lazy; Europeans believe the poor are unfortunate.”

    3. Status-consciousness. But not consciousness of the One Percent. Quite the opposite; people have “last place aversion”:

    In a paper by that name, Ilyana Kuziemko, an economist at Princeton, Taly Reich, a professor of marketing at Yale, and Ryan W. Buell and Michael I. Norton, both at Harvard Business School, describe the phenomenon in which relatively low income individuals “oppose redistribution because they fear it might differentially help a ‘last-place’ group to whom they can currently feel superior.” Those thus positioned “exhibit a particular aversion to being in last place, such that a potential drop in rank creates the greatest disutility for those already near the bottom of the distribution.”

    Among the findings of this group of researchers: people “making just above the minimum wage are the most likely to oppose its increase.”

  64. 65
    Jake Squid says:

    Today the NYT publishes Thomas Edsall’s essay, “Why Don’t We Always Vote in Our Own Self-Interest?”

    But all 3 of those are major components of white supremacism. And the white supremacists have clearly been voting in their own self interest forever.

  65. 66
    Petar says:

    Really? Three inborn human traits are major components of white supermacism?

    Or do you believe that an Asian Muslim is more likely to support a Black Christian over his own neighbor? That Native Americans are not status conscious? That only Whites subscribe to the just world fallacy?

    Decent people understand what drives them, and try to suppress the instincts that they consider improper.

    Power corrupts.

    The best way to reduce the effects is to reduce power differences… and that opens another can of worms if achieved through violence.

  66. 67
    Jake Squid says:

    Yep, those are major traits of white supremacism. They can also be traits of other things. Imagine that!

    In this case, it goes a long way towards disproving the, “Why do they vote against their own self interest?” theory. White supremacism is more important to these voters than economic improvements. So, yeah, they’re voting in their own self interest. But the overriding interest is white supremacy.

  67. 68
    Petar says:

    Right. Trump was elected by white supremacists, not by scared, vulnerable people who felt betrayed by someone who explicitly stated in front of wealthy bankers, as she was being paid dozens of thousands per hour, “We no longer feel an obligation to the middle class.”

    There are counties of blue collar workers who went strongly for Obama, and then strongly for Trump. It’s mathematically impossible that no voters switched from voting for a Black man to a White conman. This does not make them White supremacists, it makes them dupes.

    Both parties’ leaders are closer to fascist than any label I can think of, if I go by Western European, let alone Communist nomenclature. A race to the bottom was prophesied before Marx, and we are seeing it happen. The Blacks have been losing ground for a long time, the rural Whites are being ground at this time, and the urban professionals should not be all that certain in their gains.

    And while power is being concentrated, while everything but collusion between politicians, capital and military complex is being blamed, some useful idiots (the term cuts both ways) are doing their very best to divide the victims.

    Heh. The above is 100% Communist bullshit. I can parrot it with the best of them, although I never believed Communism is the answer. But I will be damned if I can poke holes into the analysis. Maybe someone smarter can.

    I just know that Communism does not have a clue about the cure.

    ———

    In case I was not clear.

    Blue collar White are voting against their interests. It is irrelevant that they are doing so because of populist, racist, and whatever you got lies. Yes, all humans are vulnerable to having their insecurities, prejudices, instincts, etc. exploited. The answer is not shaming, but education.

    And now that I have pretty much quoted Makhno, I guess I should deny being an Anarchist, as well.

    I wish I had a label to stick on my own forehead, so I could find a group to feed my ego and tell me how right I am.

  68. 69
    Jake Squid says:

    Right. Trump was elected by white supremacists, not by scared, vulnerable people who felt betrayed by someone who explicitly stated in front of wealthy bankers, as she was being paid dozens of thousands per hour, “We no longer feel an obligation to the middle class.”

    You get me. You really, really get me!

    Blue collar White are voting against their interests.

    Their voting against their economic interests because those are lower in importance than their white supremacist interests. Like, you know how sometimes you’re at a restaurant and you can have either the fish or the pasta? You’re going to choose the one you desire most, right? And so with blue collar white supremacists. I strongly suspect their misogyny played a big role, as well.

    Now, I understand that you disagree with this premise, but it’s just silly to say that it’s unpossible.

    The answer is not shaming, but education.

    If you have a way of educating large numbers of people out of racism and misogyny, please do so. I, alas, do not have that in my toolbox and so I just go around pointing out the bigotry. I believe there’s room for both strategies but I am only capable of using one of them.

  69. 70
    Gracchus says:

    Ah, yes, “education”.

    The solution to every conceivable problem, from racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to climate change, to unemployment, to people not stopping at stop signs.

    Saying “the solution is education” has the advantage of sounding deep but not really meaning anything.

  70. 71
    Petar says:

    There are more than two courses of action, of course, but here is what the ones discussed in the last few posts sound to me:

    1) Tell Trump’s voters that they are white supremacists, that they are privileged bigots who are out to oppress everyone different from them, and that they will be swept under the rug of history.

    2) Tell Trump’s voters that their loss of status, the rise of inequality, the morphing of skilled jobs into service gigs is a social and economic consequence of politicians prioritizing the interests of capital over the interests of the citizens.

    I know which one is easier. I also think I know which one is going to be more likely to cement Trump’s support long after it is clear what a disaster he is for the most vulnerable on both sides of the political divide.

  71. 72
    Kate says:

    Petar @71 – again, you’re assuming these voters don’t understand what is in their economic self-interest. This demographic understood perfectly well at the time of the New Deal, when it was legal to extend benefits only to white people and exclude black people from unions where their interests lay. It was only when benefits had to be extended to all citizens, no matter their race, that these voters seemed to stop understanding what was in their economic interests. I don’t buy it. They were told that they could have economic policies that benefited them or they could have racial superiority. Once they could not have both, they chose the latter.

    As I keep repeating, this is not a problem of “understanding”. We understand each other perfectly. We have fundamentally different values.

    Also, accurately naming bigotry when we see it is important for many reasons other than trying to convert Trump voters. For starters,
    * It is honest.
    * Pretending that these views are acceptable makes targeting more subtle forms of bigotry more difficult.
    * Denying the blatant racism, sexism, etc. also gaslights victims discrimination and hate crimes.
    * There are a lot of well off people who actually benefit from Republican economic policies, but vote Democratic because we oppose bigotry. The more we minimize the bigotry, the more we lose members of this group who aren’t particularly engaged in politics to Republicans.

  72. 73
    Jake Squid says:

    This demographic understood perfectly well at the time of the New Deal, when it was legal to extend benefits only to white people and exclude black people from unions where their interests lay. It was only when benefits had to be extended to all citizens, no matter their race, that these voters seemed to stop understanding what was in their economic interests.

    Precisely. This strategy has been in use on this continent by the wealthy powerful since before American Revolution.

    I agree with everything else Kate wrote @72, too.

  73. 74
    desipis says:

    The lessons we can learn from psychological research is pretty clear. If your goal is increase the extent of racial bias and division in the country then you tactic should be to draw as much attention to people’s race as possible in every conceivable circumstance. The more you increase the salience of race in politics the more it will drive people’s in-group bias.

    Politician? Focus on their race. Movie star? Focus on their race. Economic analysis? Make sure racial impact is front and centre. National identity? Emphasise the difference between the races. Random twitter comment? Look for any aspect that can be related to race.

    Do that and you might just be able to strengthen racial bias to the point of starting a race war. It’s a great way for oligarchs to stop the masses uniting against them.

  74. 75
    Kate says:

    So, sit down, shut up and take it or we’ll make it even worse for you.

  75. 76
    desipis says:

    No. Sit down, shut up, and spend 5 seconds to understand your enemy and come up with a strategy that will actually work.

  76. 77
    Ampersand says:

    Desipis, people gave the exact same advice to MLK and the civil rights movement.

    Petar:

    There are more than two courses of action, of course, but here is what the ones discussed in the last few posts sound to me:

    1) Tell Trump’s voters that they are white supremacists, that they are privileged bigots who are out to oppress everyone different from them, and that they will be swept under the rug of history.

    2) Tell Trump’s voters that their loss of status, the rise of inequality, the morphing of skilled jobs into service gigs is a social and economic consequence of politicians prioritizing the interests of capital over the interests of the citizens.

    It’s telling that you see everything as being about Trump’s voters.

    Trump’s voters fall into two categories: 1) Those who have not drunk the cool-aid, who can see that Trump is a disaster, and who will either vote against Trump or just not vote. You believe that these voters are all sensitive little flowers who will turn out to have zero convictions and rush to vote for Trump if they hear about any lefty speaking ill of Trump voters.

    And 2) those who are fully committed to Trump and will vote for him no matter what.

    I don’t think so little of those in category 1 to think that they’re the snowflakes you think they are. But if they ARE as weak-minded and lacking spine as your argument implies, then there’s no hope for Democrats there. Because there are millions of lefties in the U.S.., and even if 99% of the left takes your advice and does nothing but suck up to Trump voters from now on, it won’t matter – because the remaining 1% will be reported on endlessly by Fox, by Breitbart, by the Daily Caller, and so on.

    The left doesn’t have the power to get 100% obedience to your dictates, Petar and Desipis. There is no plausible world in which 100% of leftists will suck up to Trump voters the way you suggest. And as long as we have less than 100%, the large majority of Trump voters will believe that the left consists of nothing but people talking about how Trump voters are worthless hateful racists, because that is the only story that the news sources they trust will tell.

    So what you’re asking for – as electoral strategy – is total bullshit. It’s garbage. You’re not being practical, you’re not being realistic, you’re not being pragmatic. It would never in a million years work, and I’m surprised you can’t see that.

    In the real world, if Democrats win, it’ll be through a combination of disaffected Trump voters staying home, engaged and angry anti-Trump voters voting, and some fence-sitters who voted for Trump changing sides. If you want the Democrats to win – and I see no evidence either of you wants that, frankly – then do get out the vote volunteering. Mou-mouing the left about us not being nice enough to Trump voters is doing nothing.

    Trump won. He won based on a number of factors that take away any moral credibility from his win – possibly outright cheating, Comey’s 11th hour intervention, an anti-majoritarian electoral college, and yes, appeals to racism – but he did win. He was rude and crass and hateful and screamed that his opponent should be in prison – and he won.

    It’s so weird that after seeing Trump win, you’re claiming that being meek and mild and never saying anything that might hurt the feelings of the other party’s voters is the secret to electoral victory. How is that the lesson you get from 2016?

  77. 78
    Mandolin says:

    If you want the Democrats to win – and I see no evidence either of you wants that, frankly

    The definition of concern trolling.

  78. 79
    Ampersand says:

    One more point.

    There are two things at issue here.

    (Actually, there are way more than two things. Hundreds more. But there are only two I’m going to discuss in this comment.)

    There’s never saying anything that will enrage the other side’s voters, so that you can draw them to your own side.

    And there’s trying to make your own voters as engaged, energetic, and angry as possible, so that they’ll vote in greater numbers than the other side.

    And to some degree, those two strategies are in opposition. Because: 1) If the Democratic leadership and liberal thought-leaders concentrate on being calm, saying to Trump voters in effect “you’re right about so many things. And racism really isn’t a problem we should be talking about,” that will make the Democratic base less energized, less motivated. Because it’s inevitable that there will be less enthusiasm for voting for leaders who are more interested in kowtowing to the other side’s beliefs than in joining with their own voters.

    And 2) An enraged, energetic, and angry base WILL say things that Republicans don’t want to hear. There’s no way around that.

    So I think we need to ask, where is the energy right now, and going into the elections?

    Are there are great many Trump voters who seem really open-minded and totally ready to consider voting for Democrats?

    Or are there a great many Democrats who seem very motivated and angry and ready to do as much GOTV work as is needed?

    If you look at what’s happening right now and thing that the most important thing is appealing to Trump voters, then you’re not seeing the same reality that I’m seeing.

  79. 80
    desipis says:

    Ampersand, it’s funny you mention 2016. If you think anger and saying negative things about Trump or Republican voters is an effective campaign strategy then perhaps you should consider the opinion of someone who worked on the Clinton campaign:

    There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

    You might fire up your base but you’ll totally alienate the middle. Why not find a way to appeal to both?

  80. 81
    Harlequin says:

    I think Amp has the more important point here, but I wanted to add something. Emphasis mine:

    ) Tell Trump’s voters that their loss of status, the rise of inequality, the morphing of skilled jobs into service gigs is a social and economic consequence of politicians importantprioritizing the interests of capital over the interests of the citizens.

    The vast majority of Trump’s voters were traditional Republican voters, and as such they are better off economically than the typical American. Their sense of a loss of status has some arguable truth but it’s mostly illusory, driven by the media they consume; others have lost more but still vote Democrat. The marginal voters–the <100k in 3 states who swung the election–are not as well off, but that margin is so small that you can't effectively target it (nearly anything either party does will affect more voters than that).

  81. 82
    Michael says:

    According to this study, 9.2 million Obama voters voted for Trump:
    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/just-how-many-obama-2012-trump-2016-voters-were-there/

    That’s definitely large enough to target- only a small fraction of them will be voters in swing states- but targeting millions even though only a small fraction of them are swing voters is how elections are won.

  82. 83
    Harlequin says:

    Yes. But most of those were traditional GOP voters who flipped to a Democrat in a bad economy with a very unpopular Republican in office, then flipped back long before Clinton was even the candidate. And–again–that doesn’t address any of Amp’s points about practically and feasibility, which are much more important than my minor technical point.

  83. 84
    Ampersand says:

    According to this study, 9.2 million Obama voters voted for Trump:

    That’s an article, not a study, and 9.2 million was the highest figure in a range:

    …estimates of the raw number of such Obama-Trump voters range from about 6.7 million to 9.2 million. That’s a wide range, and considering the caveats regarding voter recall of past votes, it is important to be clear about the relative uncertainty of these figures.

    As Harlequin said, many of those are traditional Republican voters.

    I’m not saying that none of those voters will vote for a Democrat in 2018 or 2020. I am saying that choosing those voters as a primary strategy for the Democrats in 2018/2020 has a cost, that the “Democrats need to care first and foremost about the feelings of Trump voters” line of thought seems to ignore.

    Desipis, I agree that it was stupid of Clinton to say that. But saying stupid things in a campaign is basically unavoidable (although the frequency of saying stupid things isn’t). Every plausible presidential candidate will have literally millions of public statements recorded; campaigns are pressure cookers; it’s inevitable.

    So if your strategy is “choose a candidate who will never, ever say a stupid thing that Fox and Breitbart will then repeat ten million times,” then I don’t think that’s actually a possible strategy to pursue. Every candidate will say something bad at least once; and because Republicans generally only trust news sources like Fox and Breitbart, whatever the stupid thing the Democrat says is, they will see that statement reported on far more than any other.

    And my point isn’t that “anger and saying negative things about Trump or Republican voters is an effective campaign strategy” – especially if coming from the candidate herself. My point is that constantly concern trolling the left to never criticize Trump voters, to stop talking about racism, etc., is an impossible strategy, and one that will have negative consequences that you and others don’t seem to be considering.

    I don’t think the election is actually determined by who is mean or not. Certainly, Trump’s election establishes that being an asshole isn’t necessarily a barrier to winning. But Obama’s election shows that someone who is generally gracious and polite can win, too. (Or Ronald Reagan’s election, if you think Obama is a evil snob demon).

    I think there are probably a lot of factors that are MUCH more important. Like how engaged and passionate each side’s voters are. Like how the economy is doing. Like which party holds the White House (and for how long) going into the election. Like how the rules tilt the odds towards the GOP. (Comey has shown that October surprises probably can make a difference, but I suspect that’s rare.)

  84. 85
    Ampersand says:

    Frankly, this discussion reminds me of this cartoon of mine.

  85. 86
    Jake Squid says:

    Frankly, this discussion reminds me of this cartoon of mine.

    I surely hope that doesn’t include me!

  86. 87
    Gracchus says:

    Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment reminds me very much of Obama’s “cling to guns and religion” comment, another unforced gaffe. I’m sure Obama’s comment cost him some support, but it didn’t cost him the election.

  87. 88
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    I would like to suggest this WaPo story about transmen experiences for the next link farm: Crossing the divide

  88. 89
    Harlequin says:

    Amp, I was thinking the same thing! An endlessly useful cartoon…

  89. 90
    Kate says:

    Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment reminds me very much of Obama’s “cling to guns and religion” comment, another unforced gaffe. I’m sure Obama’s comment cost him some support, but it didn’t cost him the election.

    A similar gaffe was Romney’s, which may well have cost him that election:

    There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,”

    All the same, if the Democrats were running someone half as dangerous and unqualified as Trump, I would have sucked it up and voted for Romney.

  90. 91
    Gracchus says:

    Well, maybe it cost Romney the election, but maybe the people who were angry about it were people who wouldn’t have voted for him anyway. (Like the people who got angry at Obama for the “cling to guns” line, or Hilary for the “deplorables” line).

    I mean, that’s kind of the point – everybody gaffes, and I don’t think Romney was an especially gaffe-prone politician, not in 2012 anyway. He had other weaknesses, but I don’t think that was one of them.

    It’s always tempting to see our political opponents’ gaffes as windows into their dark souls, and the gaffes of the politicians we support as just meaningless fluffs that distract from the important issues.

  91. 92
    Kate says:

    I think all three of them were saying what they honestly believed, and that all three statements reveal a lot about each candidate’s character.

  92. 93
    Kate says:

    I think there are only two not mutually exclusive, ways for opponents to react to Trump supporters.
    1. Compassion – which comes across as condescending, because it is (Obama)
    2. Disgust & anger – which at least treats them like grown-ups who are capable of making their own decisions (Clinton)
    I see no reason to believe the former is going to get more converts than the latter.

  93. 94
    desipis says:

    Kate:

    I see no reason to believe the former is going to get more converts than the latter.

    And yet the it was the former who won two presidential elections.

    Although I would suggest:
    3. Respect – acknowledge the shared deep dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the current state of politics just with a significantly different view on how to improve the country.

    Ampersand:

    “Democrats need to care first and foremost about the feelings of Trump voters” line of thought seems to ignore.

    That’s not that I’m saying. I’m saying Democrats need to care about the feelings of the swing voters, people who don’t see the Republican or Trump voters as horrible monsters and will be unlikely to switch voters to a side that expresses such a view.

    My point is that constantly concern trolling the left to never criticize Trump voters, to stop talking about racism, etc., is an impossible strategy, and one that will have negative consequences that you and others don’t seem to be considering.

    My comment about not focusing so much on racism was intended to be broader than the election. My point is that it’s literally making the problem worse.

  94. 95
    Kate says:

    Yes, the best way to deal with problems is to ignore them and hope they’ll go away on their own.

  95. 96
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Racism does seem to have been declining over time.

    It’s especially interesting to see how much less white Americans now oppose a close relative marrying a black person. I’m not aware of any specific campaigning that has happened to produce this change.

  96. 97
    nobody.really says:

    [T]he conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, ‘You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.’

    Desipis, I agree that it was stupid of Clinton to say that. But saying stupid things in a campaign is basically unavoidable (although the frequency of saying stupid things isn’t). Every plausible presidential candidate will have literally millions of public statements recorded; campaigns are pressure cookers; it’s inevitable.

    So if your strategy is ‘choose a candidate who will never, ever say a stupid thing that Fox and Breitbart will then repeat ten million times,/ then I don’t think that’s actually a possible strategy to pursue….

    As Scott Adams wrote in The Dilbert Principle, “There’s no point in beating a dead horse.[Fn] [“fn: Except for the sheer joy of it.]” With that thought in mind, I’ll remind everyone that in making her “deplorable” speech, Hillary Clinton distinguished between two types of Trump supporters. One type included—

    people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with….

    And the other were in the “basket of deplorables”:

    The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And [Trump] has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.

    I might not phrase things this way, but as a matter of substance I don’t find much I disagree with.

  97. 98
    Kate says:

    It’s especially interesting to see how much less white Americans now oppose a close relative marrying a black person. I’m not aware of any specific campaigning that has happened to produce this change.

    Your ignorance does not mean that this change did not take a lot of work on the part of activists.

    The surveys you link to end in 2012. They show the beginning of a moderate rise in racism among Republicans. More recent polls show that Trump supporters are more racist than your average Republican. Also note that in both your link and mine percentages are skewed, because only whites were surveyed. If you surveyed Democrats and Republicans of all races, those lines would probably be further apart.

  98. 99
    LimitsOfLanguage says:

    Kate,

    Do you actually have evidence of campaigning that happened that may explain this change over time? Calling me ignorant for making a claim for which you don’t actually present counter evidence is rather rude and also doesn’t seem very persuasive.

    I also don’t understand your point about surveying other races. It would be interesting to have such data, but my claim that there was no strong campaigning among white Americans to produce this change among white Americans stands on it’s own, regardless of how the willingness among black Americans to accept interracial marriage of a close relative changed over time.

    As for the recent rise, there is evidence that Democrats have fairly drastically changed their views on the level of racism in the US over the last 8 years or so, while Republicans have also changed their views, but less so. This is consistent with (but doesn’t prove) desipis’ claim that greater focus on racism causes ressentiment to align with race.

  99. 100
    nobody.really says:

    It’s especially interesting to see how much less white Americans now oppose a close relative marrying a black person. I’m not aware of any specific campaigning that has happened to produce this change.

    The surveys you link to end in 2012. They show the beginning of a moderate rise in racism among Republicans…..

    ….maybe? According to the Pew Research Center, since 2010, total favorability of interracial marriage has only increased, and opposition to a relative’s interracial marriage has only dropped (for Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites). Didn’t find trending data disaggregated by political affiliation.

    [Y]our link and mine percentages are skewed, because only whites were surveyed. If you surveyed Democrats and Republicans of all races, those lines would probably be further apart.

    …maybe? According to Pew, “there are no significan[t] differences by race or ethnicity on whether [interracial marriage] is a good thing for society,” but “[b]lacks (18%) are more likely than whites (9%) and Hispanics (3%) to say more people of different races marrying each other is generally a bad thing for society.”

    However the study also reports that those who oppose a close relative marrying someone of a different race include—

    • 16% of Republicans/Lean Republican (or 17% of WHTIE Republicans/Lean Republican) and
    • 8% of Democrats/Lean Democrat (or 7% of WHITE Democrats/Lean Democrat).

    In other words, Republicans offer more resistance then Democrats. But white Republicans are slightly MORE opposed to interracial marriage than are Republicans in general, while white Democrats are slightly LESS opposed than are Democrats in general. Probably not statistically significant, but kind of amusing.