Sticks and Stones

I’ve just seen an interesting video (warning – usual sweary content from the start) by that omnipresent gobshite of the left-leaning millennial’s social media feed, Jonathan Pie, and, unusually, I find myself in almost full agreement with him. OK, so the guy has made his career out of relying on “righteously” angry and sweary videos, as though rage lends credence to arguments, but his latest offering is quite insightful and his anger is directed at a section of his usual supporters.

In essence, he’s blaming the victory of Donald Trump on the Left.

Sam Harris has said similar, albeit emphasising the liberal inability to name Islamist terrorism for what it is, when anyone with half a brain can see that mass murder accompanied by cries of “Allah uh akbar” probably does have something to do with Islam and a president or presidential candidate who not only won’t admit this or worse still, goes out of their way to deny it, is engaging in pure obscurantism.

Faced with people prepared to lie in the face of plainly-observable reality, where does that leave you? Apparently it leaves you in the hands of an unsubtle orange bloke who shoots from the hip and isn’t political establishment enough to tread very carefully with mealy-mouthed words, all the time ensuring that one or another section of the electorate isn’t offended, lest it should fail to support you on election day.

On Brexit, anyone I attempted to engage in positive discussion on the issues, with one exception (a friend who happened to move to the U.S. several years ago) declined, or even said they didn’t want to because I supposedly knew more about the facts around the EU!

Name-calling, forwarding bullshit on social-media, and failure to engage in true debate got the world where it is.

Those who disagree with the course the world is taking had better start to equip themselves with solid, logical, arguments and above all had better start to grasp that the way to win people around to their side is probably not ad hominem attacks.

I am no fan of Trump, but the contrarian in me is increasingly disposed to defend him and his supporters, simply because I find the reaction to him (including calls for the murder of white men, alongside rejections of the democratic process) more distasteful than the Donald himself. And yes, I can at least see why a disaffected worker whose job has gone overseas to a cheaper Chinese worker might be tempted to vote for an isolationist, who’s threatened to impose massive import tariffs on multinationals if they don’t repatriate significant numbers of their jobs.

Pie is right. People won’t declare their true intentions publicly or even privately to pollsters, because they fear the reaction. At a time when the level of debate has sunk to such a low level that people actually use the terms “right wing” or “Tory” (in the UK) as insults, as though these perfectly respectable epithets somehow magically won debates, it’s hardly surprising that people who fall into those categories won’t disclose the fact publicly.

Someone summed the situation up brilliantly in something I read just after the U.S. presidential election.

“Trump supporters didn’t believe everything Trump said in his campaign, but respected him. The liberal media believed everything he said in his campaign, but didn’t respect him.”

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