OK, this very bad opinion piece is probably the most perfect example of this endlessly-rewritten very bad opinion, and as such I want to talk about it. For a while.

To honor the writer's main thesis, I'll be very calm and use no swears, which by his logic will help convince him.
I'm see 3 major problems with this piece & this overall line of reasoning:

1) Accepting terrible framing that benefits ideologies it claims to be against

2) Endlessly mistaking the role of citizens in resisting toxic conservatism

3) Being nonsensical on its own merits.
So, here we go. Right off the bat, oof.

So we're just going to call people who oppose bigoted and inhumane conservative policies "Trump haters," are we?


Does that help the cause of opposition more or less than a swear?
You're angry, too? Are you? About what? It would be nice to know.

My observation is that people making these arguments are mainly angry about the disruption of order, not about any specific injustice.

Which is why the disruptive demand for justice is always their target.
This makes a nice poster, I guess, if you don't think about it. If you think about it, it's total nonsense.

Guess what? Sometimes anger is a strategy, and an effective one.

Sometimes nebulous calls for civility can be a trap.

If this is your premise, it's a really bad one.
Very glad you agree. It might be nice if you chose to write pieces highlighting all the reasons you think opposing him is so necessary.

Does focusing on people who are just as angry as you allegedly are help oppose him more than, you know, opposing him?
Why would somebody who thinks opposing Trump is urgent business choose to validate the obviously fake outrage of some hypothetical people who found Trump palatable but will apparently flee disgusted when Robert De Niro—not an actor known for his civil tongue—curses?
Finally, this bad paragraph encapsulates a dangerous framing device—one being used already by Republicans—that the issue is Trump alone.

No it isn't. Trump isn't the primary danger. The entire movement calling itself 'conservative' is. We are in a desperate and urgent moment.
This sentence opens up most concealed bad point, and it's another constant Republican frame, which is this:

It takes the actions and words of an elected official and contrasts them against the actions and words of a citizen, treating them as items of equal value and function.
We aren't politicians. We're the people. We don't run for office. We create a context within which politicians run for office.

Politicians notice what makes people mad and what people are willing to put up with calmly.

We should show them what makes us mad. They need to see it.
This paragraph also only makes sense if every angry response and every name-calling is of equal value, and the reason never comes into it.

And if an action by a politically-activated citizen is the same as an action by an empowered president.
So calling somebody a name to, let's say, discredit fair elections or a federal election is the same as calling somebody a name for, let's say, lying to the press about children being torn away from their parents in order to enact racist policy,
And a citizen protest against racist policy is a "tantrum" if that citizen uses foul language, of the same quality as, say, a series of angry presidential tweets attacking a woman for accusing you of sexual assault, or calling the widow of a recently-killed soldier a liar.
This writer hypothesizes a mass of voters who can't make this distinction, who will be more horrified by the one than the far more disturbing other, and then suggests we base our strategy around trying to convince such people.

This is nonsense.
We. Are. Not. Politicians.

We aren't trying to win over voters.

We're creating a context within which politicians will run.

And we're creating a context within which bullies will bully, or not.

And a context within which apathetic citizens will accept this, or not.
Now a *POLITICIAN* should not say "F*** Trump."

I agree with that.

But this writer is then taking that idea, and applying it to all of us. As does every writer that writes such a piece. Why?

Theory: Consciously or subconsciously, they prefer not justice, but comfort.
Again, the conflation between a politician and a non-politician. and a hypothetical voter who is not turned off by uncivil language from a president, but will be turned off by uncivil language from a citizen to such an extent that they will turn ... to that president?

And, again, the total lack of focus on the substance behind the language, a total lack of acknowledgement of the context within which uncivil language sits.

A president under investigation.
His campaign manager in prison.
Our allies alienated.

And I'm not running for office.
This paragraph just gives away the game.

We can do both, you know. Talk about our anger *and* subjects of substance. We can. Obviously.

Why would this writer choose to write from an assumption that provides a false choice?
Oh man, this paragraph. I promised no swears.
Love to read a guy who sees the clearly numbered dots but thinks the real crime would be to connect them.
Love to read a guy who thinks you have to wait until after the bad things happen to speak out about our rapid trajectory toward those bad things.

And totally ignores all the bad things the people he's scolding have been saying would happen that HAVE happened.

We are trying to oppose injustice.
We are trying to keep the endangered safe.
We are insisting on human dignity.

And yeah, this is the definition of 'urging complacency.'
Maybe some people aren't seeing it because they've chosen not to see.

Maybe one reason the rest aren't seeing what we're seeing is because people with enormous platforms aren't calling attention to it, but instead choose to scold those who are for their tone.

1) We are not politicians. For us this isn't about credibility.
2) Totally ignoring all the warnings that *did* occur in favor of highlighting two that haven't ... yet.
3) Hey, why write this opinion? In service of what?
OK. And how did the 2016 election go?
Yeah, really sounds like a message that doesn't capture hearts and minds. Really sounds like it's not the catharsis people might need to keep their energy focused.

If I'm trying to win elections, I hate things that cause standing ovations.
There was a standing ovation and a call-and-response—from the president—that went like this:



But yeah, there are voters who are turned off by hateful language who will run to *that* because Travis Bickle said "f*ck" and people clapped.
This bad, bad, really really bad piece concludes by holding up a group of teens who rose to prominence specifically by ignoring the writer's core argument, refusing to play nice, attacking and reattacking.

People flocked to them like the thirsty to water.
I don't want to single this guy out ... much.

He's just writing the same bad column that we've read a thousand times in the last 2 years.

It keeps getting repeated because people with large platforms really really really hope for it.

And why?
Here are my conclusions:

1) This argument is in service of a comfortable status quo
2) It doesn't care about justice or endangered people
3) We shouldn't listen to the advice of people who don't want what we want

Thanks. /end
I hope nobody stopped on my account.
I think someone is missing someone’s point, certainly.
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