Tolerate the intolerant? I don’t think so.

57482776 - outdoor head and shoulders portrait of angry young man

I generally agree with NY Times columnist Frank Bruni, but not this time.

According to Bruni, The Democrats Screwed Up.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Republicans won because they were willing to betray American law and Constitutional principles.[/pullquote]

Despite all the discussion of demographic forces that doomed the G.O.P., it will soon control the presidency as well as both chambers of Congress and two of every three governor’s offices. And that’s not just a function of James Comey, Julian Assange and misogyny. Democrats who believe so are dangerously mistaken.

Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused.

We’re supposed to tolerate the intolerant.

Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago.

Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.

I don’t think so.

The Republican success is undeniable but it was NOT achieved by Bruni’s strategy — understanding why the majority of the country votes Democratic or pondering Obama’s successes. That idea is ludicrous. The Republicans captured all three branches of government because they were willing to stretch American law and Constitutional principles out of all recognition.

1. They hold the House because of gerrymandering. If House seats were apportioned based on the proportion of people who vote for Democrats, it would be overwhelmingly Democratic. Gerrymandering involves carving House electoral districts to favor the party in power within a state. It is a deliberate tactic to frustrate the will of the voters and substitute the will of the political elite.

2. Gerrymandering allowed Republicans to achieved their victory by a deliberate campaign of shutting government down both literally and figuratively. Mitch McConnell and his colleagues played the long game. They gambled that by using intransigence to break the government, they could benefit from the desperation of those who perceived government as broken. They were right.

3. They achieved their victory by mobilizing the forces of hate. Anyone who thinks that hate wasn’t on the ballot is living in a dream world. Trump used hate to rile up a large segment of the population and bet that the rest were perfectly willing to live with hate, intimidation, discrimation and violence if they thought they could find economic relief.

4. They achieved their victory by lying. From the past 25 years, from Fox News to Breibart, the Republican press has engaged in a propaganda campaign that would make the Nazis proud. They learned from Hitler: if you tell a lie big enough for long enough, people will believe it.

5. They achieved their victory by criminalizing the political opposition. I suspect that when historians come to write the story of Trump’s election, they will begin not with his decision to run, but with Ken Starr’s investigation that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Hillary Clinton’s loss is a direct consequence of the 25 year campaign to frustrate the electoral will of the voters by constantly prosecuting Democratic winners. The lesson they learned from the Clinton impeachment was not that prosecuting your political opponents doesn’t work (though it didn’t work that time). The lesson they took away was that they didn’t try hard enough. They spent the next 25 years spending billions investigating Hillary Clinton, finding nothing, but betting that the mere act of investigating her would cast a pall of suspicion that she would never shake.

The Republicans control all three branches of government because they were willing to ignore the Constitution and frustrate the will of the people by gerrymandering, breaking the government, mobilizing the forces of hate, telling monstrous lies and criminalizing the opposition party.

The idea that the Democratic party could have won if it had been more inclusive of the intolerant is naive in the extreme. It is the naïveté of Bruni and other liberals that has allowed this to happen, not the failure to embrace the intolerant.

Republicans made tactical decisions to put their insatiable appetite for political power ahead of the needs of the people of the United States. And it worked.

Is there any well-informed person who does not think Bill Clinton would have done more to help Americans, including those of the Republican party, if he had not been frustrated by Republican intransigence and the impeachment?

Is there any well-informed person who does not think that Barack Obama would have done more to help Americans, including those of the Republican party, if he had not been frustrated by the Republican tactical decision to break the government and thereby thwart all his efforts to improve the economic fortunes of everyone?

Is there any well-informed person who does not think that Hillary Clinton would have done more to help the intolerant than Donald Trump and the Republicans are ever going to to do?

To imagine that the election results would have been different if liberals had been more tolerant of the intolerant is quaintly and tragically liberal. It reflects a world view that we can all live in harmony if we just try harder to understand each other. And it is worse than wrong. By ignoring the massive, long-term tactical effort that the Republican’s made to capture all three branches of government we’ve missed the most important lesson: their deliberate political tactics worked.

Tolerate the intolerant? I don’t think so.

To paraphrase Bruni, tolerating the intolerant is political correctness morphed into moral purity; it may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. Indeed, it’s the exact opposite of a winning strategy.

To win we have to fight the political tactics that have been used against us — gerrymandering, intransigence, hate, propaganda and misuse of laws — not withdraw into the liberal fantasy that all we ever need is greater sympathy and more understanding.

  • Anne Catherine

    I know this is late –but again –I loved this article. I’ve read way too many soul searching articles about why the democrats lost.. Democrats have done nothing wrong….Lots of Republicans just cheat (lying, gerrymandering, fear and hate mongering).

    One more thing I’d like to add the 5 point list is that quite a few polls have been closed since the last election (at least 868).. and hours have been reduced in quite a few places as well.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/there-are-868-fewer-places-to-vote-in-2016-because-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act/

  • MaineJen

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/falwell-meets-with-president-elect-trump-in-new-york-city/2016/11/18/d2c62c98-ada7-11e6-8f19-21a1c65d2043_story.html

    Oh, grand. Now JERRY FALWELL is being tapped for head of the Department of Education.

    You know. The guy who doesn’t believe in teaching science? Oh unless it’s “creation science.”

    As a working scientist and a parent, I find this a problem.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      This is bloody terrifying

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      *shudder*

    • N

      OMG. I don’t know if it is true, but I’ve heard somewhere that during Portugals Dictator-years, the vast population was not allowed to attend school after 4th grade/10 years more or less. As it seemed easier to be the dictator of a country filled with “stupid people”.

      So, no science anymore for you american people, so that you can better appreciate your new DOTUS … I mean POTUS forever.

    • Heidi

      I was like didn’t he die almost a decade ago? But I guess this is his son. Haven’t had a chance to read the article. I think I’ve used up my free articles for the month on WaPo.

  • Erin

    Slightly OT: So just when it looked like the situation couldn’t get any worse, it’s possible that the French Presidential election is going to be a toss up between Pence’s long lost French twin (no IVF or adoption for same sex couples, anti-marriage equality, pro snuggles with Putin) and Marine le Pen.

    Oh and Tony Blair is coming back.

    Starting to understand why “may you live in interesting times” was a curse.

    • N

      Yes, I’ve read that too, about the french. Germany is not that much better. Angela Merkel wants to be elected again. I like Angela Merkel and if living in Germany I would vote for her. But a lot of people fear already, that she will loose a lot of people to the AfD. As if that was an alternative…

      On the other hand, I’ve read too, that Brexit will not be that easyfor the english people, their government still does not know how and when to proceed, so that most of the other EU countries are again more for EU than against it. They are discouraged from an EU exit…

      It will be interesting times indeed. (Repeating myself, but: Why oh why did I want to have 3 children? How are they going to make it through adulthood and happiness? Aargh…)

  • Box of Salt

    Tolerate the intolerable?

    No. Not now.

    Food for thought:
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/20/opinions/trump-tweets-on-hamilton-snl-obeidallah/index.html

    If we don’t speak up, we are all headed into fascism.

    We are talking about the first amendment, people. Never mind the rest of them – the president-elect disagrees with the first amendment.

    Be heard now while you can.

    • Melissa Wickersham

      I agree with you, Box of Salt.

    • MaineJen

      He’s not my president and I will fight.

  • Brix

    He’s full of it. No, not all Trump supporters are racists. But they still overlooked HIS racism, or counted it as irrelevant, and voted for him. Sooo…bully for you, family member who voted for Trump. You don’t HATE me. You just don’t CARE about me or about how electing a racist could damage my life.

  • Melissa Wickersham

    I flipped a coin to see what would destroy humanity: nature or ourselves. Heads it was ourselves, tails it would be Nature that would kill us all.

    The coin came up tails. TWICE.

    • N

      OMG! You are a seer! Nature will kill us all!!! Did your prophetic coin tell you when it will happen? 🙂

  • Melissa Wickersham

    It took a World War and the complete invasion of Germany to defeat Nazi Germany. Could a third World War be imminent or necessary?

  • CanDoc

    Yes.
    So, fellow posters, use your crystal balls: What happens next?

    • Who?

      As an outsider, I offer these thoughts:

      I’ve been joking for months about him getting a bad strawberry at the Inauguration Dinner, but while that was terribly amusing back when he couldn’t possibly win the election, it’s a horrifying idea now.

      In terms of what he’ll do, positions around him will get filled with people who know how to suck up to him, and who will spend the next several years lining their pockets and whatever else they can find. No doubt many will say that’s ever so, and maybe they are right.

      Government moves very slowly, which will be to the benefit of government and the country on this occasion.

      My biggest concern within government is the military, who will have a real problem if ordered to commit war crimes, or even to go onto American streets to clean up whatever ‘other’ of the day Donald wants seen to.

      Donald won’t be restrained by any concern about his legacy, is likely to be a very loose cannon diplomatically, and will always be looking for the opportunity for him, his kids or whoever is interesting him at the moment. He’s the point of intersection between the free market and corrupted (gerrymandered, post-truth) democracy.

    • Melissa Wickersham

      The Neo-Nazi Republicans will destroy America and destroy the world and I don’t know of anything that we could do to stop them from destroying humanity.

  • Jhana

    Thank you. This was excellent.

  • Heidi

    Kinda OT, but kinda not: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk7dr1GbEs4 This comedian is also from my current town, well, kinda. He actually lives in a smaller town that’s part of metro of my town, I think. He is actually gaining some national fame, though. If you wanna hear progressive beliefs in a Southern accent and chuckle a little, he’s your man.

  • mythsayer

    If we tolerated the intolerant, we’d still have Jim Crow law, anti-miscegenation laws, inequality for women, and so on.

    We are unfortunately in that middle ground they were in just before the civil
    Rights movement really took off. Most people don’t agree with the injustice but there aren’t enough activists among the privileged (which includes me, sadly…I need to get more involved) to get over the hump.

    People forget that slavery was disliked by a majority of the country but it was still tolerated for years. Had there been no civil war, I don’t think slavery would have gone away as soon as it did. It would’ve gone, sure, but probably not (legally) by 1863.

    Point is, that same sex marriage is more or less analogous to interracial marriage, which was allowed for real by loving v Virginia (there’s a movie coming out about that case at some point, by the way, off anyone is interested but hadn’t yet heard about it). There were still many peopeople against interracial marriage at that time, but the Supreme Court eventually said “it’s no one’s business but the people who are marrying each other.” Same is true of same sex marriage. You (general you) may disagree with an LGBTQ+ but the reality is that what they do doesn’t affect you (general you again). So if that’s the case, why does it matter if a same sex couple gets married.

    The way I see it, you can believe whatever you want and I will respect those beliefs. But when you try to force your beliefs on other people, I’m not going to tolerate THAT. Legal same sex marriage is a live and let live policy. Not allowing it, however, is a “I get to run your life based on my personal beliefs” policy.

    My general rule is that if what someone else does 1) doesn’t affect my life in any way, and 2) doesn’t actually hurt people (like murder), then I should stay out of it. And I don’t think me telling someone that their policy preference is restrictive is intolerance. It’s me pointing out their intolerance.

    What people seem to forget is we aren’t (or at least, I’m not) attacking their beliefs. They are free to be as intolerant (even racist) as they want. That is allowed under our constitution. But when their beliefs tell others what they can and cannot do, they’ve crossed the line. Two men getting married has no effect on my marriage. It doesn’t make a sham of the institution…that is such an absurd argument. So two men marrying each other and staying married for 50 years is more of a mockery to marriage than a man who is a serial cheater? Please. Marriage vows are what you make of them. If you think your marriage is sacred, then treat it that way and stop worrying about other people’s marriages.

    So I feel that the democrats have a more of “live and let live” way of looking at things, whereas the GOP just wants to tell everyone what to do based not on what affect it will have on society, but simply on their own personal beliefs.

    I truly hope trump isn’t as conservative as he made himself out to be…he has already back pedaled on so much. I believe the GOP thought he’d be their puppet. I think he’s too much of a loose cannon and will do what he wants. So let’s all just hope that his policies end up not being as bad as they seem…although with the bannon appointment, I’m scared all over again.

    It’s rich that when they thought he was going to lose, he had supporters threatening an armed revolt, but now that he won (because of the archaic electoral college system), they are telling everyone to shut up. There is a facebook post going around saying “why are you scared? We already have war, racial division, etc…so what are you worried will happen?” That is so ignorant. We are afraid of MORE war, or MORE racism, of MORE inequality. Saying “there’s already racism, so who cares?” is definitely NOT the right way of looking at things. And when I pointed that out to my cousin’s husband and told him he is privileged because he has a pension and healthcare and is middle class and white and maybe he could try to see things from another perspective to understand their fear, he called me a hypocrite (because I also have military health insurance).

    Difference is, my husband and I know we are privileged and aren’t shrugging our shoulders and saying “eh, it was already bad, so what’s the problem?” The problem is that people who aren’t racist who allowed trump to win are enabling the people who ARE racist. But when you point that out, they screech that you are being intolerant and mean, and you’re a hypocrite.

    The fact that people like my cousin’s husband can’t even see that he is part of the problem scares me. And the worst thing is that my other cousin’s daughter is half black and half white and she agrees with him…she has never experienced racism because of the area she grew up in. But now she’s in college in Santa Barbara and I suspect the real world will catch up with her sooner or later.

    Everything just makes me super sad these days.

    Thanks for posting this, Dr. Amy.

    • Sean Jungian

      Re: privilege-blindness

      Today something happened that I knew was coming, but I’d been lucky enough to avoid until now.

      One of my truly dearest friends posted this meme: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fbc4b77072306c44b471fa06548137d2a372737d56720fe20f3e57124f5d1c56.jpg

      Up until now, she has been mostly silent about politics. We’ve had our disagreements before but our love and respect for each other has kept us from descending too far down the rabbit hole.

      But this, I feel like, ugh, I know I can’t ignore it. But seriously, she’s a white middle-class woman living in an overwhelmingly white suburb and is so completely blind to her privilege that she can – with seemingly a straight face – equate the genuine suffering that racism causes to those without power (not least of all being, y’know, death & lynching) with the hurt feelings one experiences when being a member of a privileged, in-power group.

      She then doubled-down and said something like, “well, “Black Lives Matter” are a bunch of racists, too!”.

      SIGH. Oh lord this is making me tired, but she is the EPITOME of the Trump supporter who has no idea how her actions have affected others. Yes, my darling friend, you ARE a racist. No, I know you would never use a racial slur, and that you would never want to actively discriminate against someone because of their skin color. But you are so completely unaware of your own biases and privilege that you can’t even come close to empathizing with a group that you have little to no contact with. You would tell me, with a straight face, that it isn’t because they’re black that they deserve to lose this or that right, but because “they loot!” “they kill each other!” “They’re a bunch of thugs!”. Having no personal experience with people of color AND having never examined your own beliefs with an eye toward critiquing your own cultural and privilege biases has left you believing they are a collection of TV character tropes and stereotypes. Your confirmation bias has proved the “truth” of these stereotypes to you over and over.

      It’s like, I have to start at such a rock-bottom level to even BEGIN to speak the same language with her to even think about educating her.

      • lily

        I will admit that there are fringe people of color who think every white person is racist. That is complete bullshit, as I know plenty of white people who understand that they have privilege I do not, and they stand up when they hear racist, homophobic, sexist, etc slurs. They can’t help being white any more than I can help my dark skin and making assumptions about anyone because of any physical characteristics is a dick move.

        • Mishimoo

          My sister’s older foster kid is currently struggling with the “all white people are racist” belief, and it is a really hard one to deal with because every time he starts having faith that not everyone is awful, racist white people go ahead and screw that up for him.

          • fiftyfifty1

            I believe he is right. We may not all be awful, but we are all racist to a greater or lesser extent.

          • lily

            And I disagree as a person of color. To continue to believe that trope means we will never grow as a community. I’m a hardcore pessimist whose been a cynic since elementary school and I know that not all white people are racist. I have seen enough evidence of people who have overcome what they thought they knew. They recognize their privilege, fight for equality but never assume they know my experience.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “To continue to believe that trope means we will never grow as a community.”

            I disagree that believing it means that we can never grow. I believe that white people who try hard can act without racism most of the time, even if we still harbor some racist thoughts. And we can teach our kids less racism then we were taught, and society can improve (or, conversely, we can decide to elect an overt racist, and things can get worse).

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Read my comment above. Admitting that I at least could be racist means that I am more likely to listen to other views, and not just dismiss them because they are “racially biased.”

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Admitting that I at least could be racist means that I am more likely to listen to other views”
            Exactly. You have to be aware you have it (at a minimum aware that it is possible you have it) before you can do anything about it. Some conservatives poo-poo this and say it is about getting caught up in “white liberal guilt”. I disagree. I don’t go around wringing my hands thinking I am a bad person. I’m only human and it’s ok for me to admit that I am not perfect.

          • Brix

            I understand where you are coming from, and there are people in my life whom I would say are definitely not racist. But we, as black people, have no idea what happens when we’re not around. We don’t know their internal dialogues. My mother is mixed but looks white. You would be shocked at the things that very, nice, kind white people have said in her presence that they would NEVER say in the presence of a black person. It’s not that they’re consciously racist. It’s that it’s hard to see the injustice when it doesn’t effect you and the status quo is all you know.

          • nomofear

            Poor guy. It’s a hard thing, because anti-black (really, anti-color) bias is prevalent, but systemic racism is the real heartbreaker. Many white people aren’t personally racist, but few of us are able to step back and look at this society we all live in, and see that yeah, at the end of the day, I may not be racist, but I definitely benefit from this system, while many of those benefits were denied to others based on race. My grandfathers used the GI bill to do a lot of things to begin building wealth that were denied to their black countrymen, for instance, and that family wealth, while not much, has had a huge positive effect for us. None of us are Richie riches, but we’ve never gone to bed hungry. It’s hard enough for this kid to be sucked up in the foster system, but also to have an inkling of the greater web of power and denial that led to his being there? It’d be suffocating. Tell him the 47% of white women who didn’t vote for Trump – we don’t all get it, but we’re out here trying to make a better world. Of course, many Trump voters think that they were trying to help people of color, too, so even they may not be personally racist. Woefully ignorant – nationwide stop and frisk is NOT going to help, among other things – but not always intentionally racist.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “I will admit that there are fringe people of color who think every white person is racist. That is complete bullshit,”

          Well I agree with them. I’m a white person. I know white people. I know myself. We grew up in a racist world. You are what you eat. Some of us got fed soft racism and some of us got fed hard racism, but we all ate racism.

          I do believe that many of us have good hearts and try our best to counteract our racist tendencies, but willing it away doesn’t make it go away. And then there is the fact that many of us (a great many of us we have found out) don’t have good hearts and don’t work to counteract our racist tendencies, unless it is to hide them in situations where we could get into trouble.

          • N

            I think about myself that I am not racist.
            And yet I sometimes wonder if I really am not.
            Because I imagine the following situation: I’m walking down a street at night in our nearest and biggest town. I’m on my own. I turn a corner, and there stands a group of black men. Would I be scared? Yes!!!
            And I start wondering. Why? Because they are black, or because they are a group of men and I a woman on my own? Would I be scared if they where white? Honestly, I don’t know. If they were skinheads/neonazis, Yes, I would be scared too.
            For the rest, I’m working on it. I should not be more scared from black men or north african men, then I would be of white men. If they are just standing there and don’t do or say anything….

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I think about myself that I am not racist.
            And yet I sometimes wonder if I really am not.

            Actually, I more than wonder. I can’t show I am not.

            My eye-awakening moment came with the OJ Simpson trial, and the aftermath. Think about your view on this. For me, it seems obvious that he was guilty. I based my conclusion on what I think is rational thought, and my ability to think. I’m sure you do, too.

            And yet, in terms of how people view the case, something like 95% of white people think he was guilty, and 95% of black people think he was innocent.

            That type of racial dichotomy should give you pause. Clearly, there MUST be a racial component to it. So what’s the problem?

            For me, it would be real easy to say that it’s those black people who are messed up. I’m white, and I used my rational thinking to come to the conclusion, and it’s not based on race. So I’m not racist, it must be the others, right?

            And, of course, the answer is, not necessarily. Because if you talk to the black people who think he’s guilty, they will tell you just as confidently that they came to their conclusion rationally and with significant thought. Am I going to insist that they are all wrong? It is just that black people are all a bunch of idiots and the white people are the ones who are thinking objectively? Whoops, that, um, sounds kind of racist, doesn’t it?

            Ironic as it sounds, in order to avoid being out and out racist, I have to admit that I might have an implicit racial bias. As much as I would like to think my conclusion is objective and rational, I can’t actually say that I’m not the racist one. It’s made me reconsider my view on OJ Simpson, and the opinions of the black people who think he’s innocent. I can’t just dismiss them as being irrational. Maybe I am the irrational one?

          • N

            You are right, it is always too easy to say I’m not racist. There are many situations where “racial bias” as you call it, plays a role, as stupid as it is. We can only be aware of it and try to work on it to make it disappear.

            At school with my pupils I would never ever make a difference between different races/origins. And I always try to counter argue if a colleague says something like: But african children can’t calculate. I always say something like: Among the 3 best calculating kids I ever had in class, where 2 african boys… (Black children here mostly came with their families from Africa. Or at least their parents were born in Africa.)

            And than there are those other situations – alone in the streets, OJ Simpson, …

          • Madtowngirl

            This is a very eloquent description of what happens in most of our heads. I like to believe I’m not racist. Hell, I’m in an interracial marriage. I have friends of all colors.

            But the reality is, implicit bias is an issue. We likely all have some subconscious racist ideas. For me, they often come to light when a friend brings up issues that I’ve never thought of before.

          • nomofear
    • Brix

      Yes! Hell, I already have to deal with a sister in law who has vowed to never accept my marriage (because she wanted to keep their bloodline “pure”; and yes, she did use the word “pure”). Now I have to worry about hearing it freely in the streets. I am a product of interracial marriage. So bring told that I, basically, shouldn’t exist, kinda rankles.

  • Heidi

    I’m a 32 year old Southern woman who comes from a deeply conservative town in Tennessee. It’s not even a necessarily small town. The town itself has a population of about 52k and metro has over 309k. It’s no big city, though. I grew up in a liberal family and I was an anomaly. That doesn’t mean my family was perfect in their beliefs by any means. I do know that certain members of my family held racist views. However, I guess a part of them realized their views were actually not so great because they still supported civil rights. I saw them reform their ideas, too and see their racist views as actually being racist. At the end of their day, they were still empathetic, rational people who weren’t so stubborn in their viewpoint. Unfortunately, they were a product of a racist South. It’s not an excuse though.

    But here’s the thing, you can’t reason with the unreasonable. I’ve tried it and tried it and tried it. When people are actually presented with truth and they don’t change their mind, you can’t just tolerate them even more and make them better people. If they get their news from Fox News, Breitbart and Truth Revolt and are simply allowed to stay in their own little devoid of reality bubble, what can you do? Believe me, everyone against transgendered people using their bathroom of choice has been presented with the truth. They know transgendered people aren’t sexual predators. You can explain until your blue in the face how racism absolutely exists, you can show them all the racial disparities, and all you are going to get back in return is, “But I don’t have any privilege! You are wrong!” You can explain how working towards equality and anti-racism is NOT infringing on white people or denying classism but they still maintain their persecution complex. You try to talk to them like the logical adults you assume they are and you are accused of being elitist and calling them morons.

    I haven’t seen one person on this blog deny that some white people are poor, even extremely poor. A lot of my family is poor. But they are not poor because they are white. Classism has definitely played a hand in it. Racism hasn’t, though. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand. Equality is like love. It’s not going to be spread too thin. Gay marriage doesn’t infringe on heterosexual marriage, racial equality isn’t going to take away the rights and privileges white people have now, religious freedom isn’t going to take away your right to worship how you want and on it goes.

    • crazy grad mama

      When people are actually presented with truth and they don’t change their mind, you can’t just tolerate them even more and make them better people.

      A thousand upvotes for this.

  • Anne Catherine

    Thank you for this article—as usual, you are spot on

  • baileylamb

    Great article.

  • RichardAubrey

    First rule of propaganda; don’t believe your own.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    If you’re unhappy about Trump’s platform, his choice of Cabinet and Whitehouse staff, and other issues call your US Senator and Representative in the House. Not to mention other elected officials.

    http://theslot.jezebel.com/how-to-effectively-lobby-your-congressperson-1788958124

    • mythsayer

      I don’t think it matters for bannon, though. That position doesn’t have a confirmation hearing.

      • MaineJen

        No…but can elected officials lean on Rump to withdraw his appointment? As Harry Reid did the other day?

        • Daleth

          Yes. They can say nobody who does require confirmation will get it unless Bannon is replaced.

  • crazy grad mama

    Thank you for this. I’m tired of being told I need to be tolerant and empathetic of people who think it’s OK to break the government because the president is black, who think sexual assault is no big deal, and who think it’s perfectly fine that my (pre-transition transgender) husband could be fired if his job found out about his gender identity.

    Unlike some commenters, I very much appreciate your political posts, Dr. Tuteur. (And if I’m not in the mood, I just don’t read them! Funny how that works.) I also believe this is very relevant to reproductive health. We’re thinking of trying to conceive soon and I’m afraid not just of the usual things going wrong in pregnancy, but that if something does go wrong I won’t be able to get appropriate treatment because of some new law.

  • sirjonk

    You misstate Bruni’s premise and run with it. If it makes you feel better, ok.

  • maidmarian555

    “They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob.”

    Tell that to queer people. Those views *are* hateful. And when we start pandering to them, when does it damn well stop? Do we need a hierarchy of prejudice? Where some hateful views are generally accepted because we don’t want to make little old southern white ladies have hurty feelings when they say horrible things about those who are different to them? How is it that the needs of those who are the most disadvantaged in society have suddenly less become less important than the hurt feelings of racist, sexist, homophobic white people? Hell no.

    • Cody

      This.

    • Sean Jungian

      Hell yes. All the upvotes.

    • FEDUP MD

      There were lots of nice old white ladies years ago who weren’t on board with desegregation either. Oh, it wasn’t that they HATED per se- just you know, their religion had said that black people had the mark of Cain. And before that, nice little old white ladies who felt that you know, the Bible said to be kind to your slaves. History has not been kind to those little old ladies now and won’t be kind to them in the future.

    • guest

      Anyone not on board with marriage equality IS hateful. But I won’t call them “boobs” because that’s an insult to boobs, and even as a cis straight woman, I appreciate a nice boob.

  • It really is hard to know where exactly to start, when so much seems so wrong – the rest of the world is watching and hoping that America comes out of this having done what it needs to do to move forward, having done what it needs to do to pick up the pieces and put them back together. Having seen what has happened, it’s hard not to think that this is a profound case of “election trauma” that will require America to dig deep and do a shit tonne of very hard work to come to terms and emerge from the other side in a better place. It really could go either way – and that is what is so scary. This could be a horrendous spiral into the darkest depths of history – or this could be the bottom, the place where America says “enough” and reclaims herself for her people by doing the hard work. Anyone who wants to see what a deep and profound love for their country looks like, only needs to look as far as the current out-going administration. This election was like a home birth gone, terribly, terribly wrong – and now Obama is like the OB at the emergency department, doing everything to salvage the patient as best as possible. He doesn’t hate the patient – although he hates the choice and the context that led to the choice in the first place. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is, now what?

  • Cody

    OT but I just caught up on the comments on the last post. I think Laura J is actually not quite right in the head. Holy crap. I’ve never been such a spew of disjointed pointless crap.

    • Sean Jungian

      I think it’s highly probable that she was a bot, not an actual person.

      • Mishimoo

        Her writing reminded me of Trump, which was an amusing thought.

        • Sean Jungian

          Too spacey, Trump is a concrete thinker if ever there was one.

          Not enough “tremendous”es, “HUGE”s, or “DISASTER”s to be Trump!

          • Mishimoo

            The rambling comment that made me think of him was this one to Who? 2 days ago: “Good men. Love them. Establishment…the corrupt manipulative media, the policies that finanically hurt families across the country. Key states won were historic. Ohio, Pennsylvania and FL. Pence, I liked what he had to say during the debate. Trump is part of the prophecy. He is there for a reason.”

            It just really reminds me of his speech patterns.

      • Cody

        You think so? I felt like the comment section may have been the focus of her mania. I felt a bit of a bipolar vibe from her (no judgment to others with bipolar, it runs in my family).

      • baileylamb

        Yes

    • Sarah

      You obviously never read anything by The Feminist Breeder…

  • Mark

    Ok, no one is saying to tolerate hate and sexism or racism etc.

    But to be more tolerant of people holding different views than ourselves. Try to change their mind, agree to disagree don’t attack them and label them unless it is truly warranted.

    Transgender people and choosing the bathroom you feel express your gender identity is one example. So much bullshit hate going around. That needs to be attacked and maybe even labeled. The are rapists or sexual predators is all so much wrong it is not even wrong.

    Likewise if someone expresses concerns of modesty over having a person of the opposite biological gender in the same changing room. To attack and label that person is wrong. Talk to them. Saying kids see more nudity on the computer so get over it, does not take into account a persons real anxiety over this.

    This is not most liberals but enough who do it to be a problem.

    Just today a African American co worker who hates Trump said maybe we should not bring in Syrian refugees because too many black people are out of work. Would it be effective if I personally attacked her instead of debate her?

    A lot of liberals are atheists and than is fine and good. No one should attack anyone for being atheist and atheist and agnostics and believers should get along and respect each other and not hate each other based on this view point alone.

    I believe evolution should be taught in school and creationism is a religious thing.

    Some liberals attacking believers as believing in imaginary friends is not going to work. It does happen and it gets you know where. Mutual respect gets you so where.

    So coddle no racist sexist etc. but I don’t think the nyt piece was saying that

    • Sean Jungian

      I….kind of get what your saying? Sort of? But for one thing, I think you’re fixating on this article as being about whether or not it is okay to ridicule “intolerant” people, instead of what it is actually about, which is one reporter’s opinion that Clinton lost the Presidential race because liberals weren’t “liberal” enough to sway those darn ig’nant blue-collar whites to our side.

      So, for me, no, of course I wouldn’t go from zero to “OMG YOU HATFUL BIGOTED BOOB A POX UPON YOU AND ALL YOUR HOUSE!” when first encountering, say, a 62 year old (no doubt kindly, no doubt polite. possibly and excellent cook) Southern lady who just isn’t down with those flamboyant homos having the right to (gasp) marry each other. But I wouldn’t gently coddle her for days, weeks, months, and years on end trying to gently guide her to my side, either. There’d come a time, after some reasonable discussion, where I would absolutely characterize her as a bigoted boob, even if I didn’t outright call her names (I wouldn’t say “boob” in any case as I feel it dilutes the strength of my arguments).

      But what you’re really saying here is a kind of Tone Policing, one that, as a woman raised in the Midwest, I’m VERY familiar with: be nice, be polite, be persuasive, don’t be confrontational (it’s not ladylike!), don’t be opinionated, don’t be “shrill”, go along to get along, be nice, be nice, be nice.

      Fuck that. An oppressed group – LGBTQ in this instance, but also people of color, non-Christians, etc. etc. – do NOT owe it to bigots to gently shepherd them baby-step by baby-step to supporting their causes. I, as a woman, do not owe it to a misogynist to calmly and patiently walk him or her through the complicated knot of sexual assault and why it’s a bad idea to force someone to have sexual contact without consent.

      We’ve seen oppressed groups over and over try to work within the “rules” only to have the goalposts shifted. A black man quietly protests the killing of people like him takes a knee at a sporting event – HORRORS! UNPATRIOTIC SCUM! We don’t listen to what he’s saying, we dictate how he is supposed to say it.

      People are ignored until they speak out, and speak out LOUDLY and FORCEFULLY. Being nice, not making waves, is what brought all this to pass. Liberals didn’t fail to be “liberal enough” with the opposition – WE WERE TOO LIBERAL BY FAR.

      By all means, treat everyone with respect and dignity, I believe in that wholeheartedly. But instead of demanding that people spoon-feed you their viewpoints in a soft, gentle, and unassuming manner, maybe try to look around outside the prism of your privilege and actually LISTEN to what people are SAYING.

      • Mark

        Ok.

        My privelage? You don’t know me and how much privelaged I have or not.

        I have been exposed to much racism in my life and to some extent I still have the wounds from it.

        Second I never said to be daintily. A good strong debate is perfectly fine. I never mentioned weeks and weeks or even days of debates either.

        I am born raised in the Bronx, I currently live in the Bronx. So believing in equality of all, I can safely tell you all groups can be horribly prejudice. Most people I meet regardless of what they are usually have some sort of prejudicial hang up. It is so rare to find anyone who is not.

        So some people of every color hate people of different colors. This includes sexism and homeophobic classism etc. Let’s add in education those dumb underclass trailer trash, Religon too. I’d be spending all day trying to root this out.

        News flash many many Hillary supporters are prejudicial. Somehow it is easier to call out poor white people as prejudice as opposed to any other group.

        So again we can forcefully express views yes. But I am not going to label people or get angry with people unless it is to extreme or directed at me. It is also not usually effective

        • Sean Jungian

          All this is really coming down to is, you think people should all be nice to be effective, and I disagree and think that being nice can result in not being heard at all.

          It’s not that I don’t think we should NEVER be nice. It’s that I believe there is a limit on just how nice I have to be and for how long.

          And of course I have biases and prejudices; for one thing, humans are kind of hard-wired to be suspicious of people who don’t look like us (or like our parents) and for another, I’m a privileged white woman in the U.S. I mean I have to double-check my privilege every day, and I sure as heck don’t get my dander up if someone reminds me of it.

          By all means, practice your personal activism the way you choose and the way you can. I will happily go my way and practice it the way I believe in.

          I hope you will notice that even though we disagree, I never once was impolite or disrespectful to you (and you also were not either of those to me). So for all the hypotheticals and all the sturm and drang, the result is what you wanted anyway.

          • Mark

            I am passionate but I don’t like conflict.

            If someone attacks me directly they are liable to get my foot up their ass, figuratively of course.

            I also do not tolerate hateful prejudice attacks.

            But I do think explaining things to people or debating them works better than attacking them. If I choose to delete them at all.

            Really I know people who are prejudice against who I am but are ok with me. A black person who really does not like white people but thinks I and others are ok. It is a work relationship and so I ignore it.

            So I will tell you something. Growing up poor and white (class also has it’s privileges) it always annoyed me when other people would be upset at me because I am white. It was a black and White neighborhood for the most part. Really dude, I am sitting right next to you and my family has less money than yours. Why are you angry at me, I didn’t do anything to you. Being poor I would have rich white people look down on me, could tell just by my clothes.

            Being Jewish was interesting. Some people would be angry with me until someone said I was Jewish. Oh, he’s not white he is Jewish, fine then. Of course some Jewish people hated blacks. Some blacks hated Jews, some white hated Jews.

            Most people were cool and fine. A significant fraction were not.

            So it is with this long story I am trying to say no one wants to be labeled. That having experienced people be angry at me for prejudices that I had no control over, or my family was not even in the country is not cool.

            Did I have some white privelage back then, yes, I knew it then also. Do I have it now, yes.

            But my past is irrelevant I try my best in the present.

            I do find if I do engage, and I don’t normally engage hateful racist then calm talking and debates work best. Heck, I can call someone a racist without even using that word and avoiding a direct attack on them.

            But if I were to start labeling people prejudicie It would be almost everyone I know including myself.

            I think I talked myself out now and is probably a little bit incoherent. I am also a bit upset at myself for not being articulate enough to get my point across on a blog board.

            I leave you with the last word if you wish.

          • Sean Jungian

            Take care, Mark. You did make your point understood, and I don’t disagree with the main part of it at all.

    • swbarnes2

      But those “different views” include virulent sexism and racism!

      If someone’s “different view” was that women aren’t people, they are pussies to be grabbed, would you tell your daughter that she had to listen to and respect that opinion?

      Are you really blind to the amount of damage that is done by pretending that “Black people are violent and need to go back to Africa” and “Muslims are all terrorists” and “gay people want to molest your children” isn’t horribly harmful to people in those groups?

      “Saying kids see more nudity on the computer so get over it, does not take into account a persons real anxiety over this.”

      Transgender people are overwhelmingly the victims of violence, not the perpetrators. The source of the “real anxiety” is that many people love their gender norms, and are extremely anxious to keep women subordinate. We can’t talk people out of thinking that.

      These are the issues at play. If the main points of contention were a couple % difference in the marginal taxes, or the length of a red light at a particular intersection, sure, there can be dialogue there. But it is wrong to ask minority groups to accept that their basic humanity is forever a topic up for debate. It’s wrong to tell them that it’s their fault for not listening rapturously while white working class people tell them that they aren’t really Americans, or people.

      • Mark

        Trump is a complete idiot and those extremes are intolerable.

        I am not blind to anything going on, but I am more concerned with being effective than being right.

        After all we are talking about president trump.

        Please please get off working white people are telling people it’s not their country or other things.

        It is true some are. It is incomplete.

        Every group can is and will be prejudicial such that saying poor white people think this is prejudicial.

        Again we are returning to poor white people not poor white prejudicial people.

        Is it any less wrong if a Chinese person hates blacks or a Jewish person hates gays, or a black person hates hispanics, or Hispanic person hates transgendered.

        I choose to really really focus on who the person not what they are. I choose to stamp prejudice where it is regardless of who is doing it.

        I really don’t think looking at a white person and kind of make them feel they have to prove they are not prejudice really works anymore.

        • swbarnes2

          Are you following the news? Sources like Shaun King’s twitter feed? Do you see how many people literally say “Trump’s election is why we are saying this to you”?

          If Chinese people as a group were driving trucks around black people, waving Confederate flags, I’d be pissed at them too. But they aren’t doing that. Liberals just don’t want to drive other people out of the country, Trump voters absolutely do. They willfully voted for someone who actually said he would do that.

          “I choose to really really focus on who the person not what they are.”

          And people are what they do. When someone willfully votes for someone with a KKK endorsement…that is what they are.

          • Mark

            I try not to follow the news.

            First – I care nothing for Trump as a person or President at all. He is what he is. I am concerned about why people voted for Trump and how that can be changed

            The out right racist and prejudicial trump supporters who go around and attacking people because of trump are a lost cause.

            How and why others voted for Trump concerns me and how that can be changed concerns me.

            Liberals drive people out of the country? No I guess not. Are their some prejudicial liberals or minorities getting a partial pass on their prejudicial beliefs because, yes.

            Do I have to make it personal to be understood? As a Jewish person I think I know what KKK means and Naz’ means?

            I just don’t think attacking Trump voters for voting for Trump is going to be effective. I would need to deal with any issue as they came up and hope to separate them from their beliefs.

            I just did that a few days ago, A jewish women who hated Hillary and voted for Trump because of that and strong support for Israel.

            Look, they are getting support from the KKK. Their are people putting Nazi signs up. I will keep at it. It will IMO work better than saying how stupid you were.

          • Sean Jungian

            See, now, where are you getting this idea that anyone in the post or on this thread is attacking anyone?

            Thinking someone is an idiot is still allowed, and still not an attack. You’re making the same “moral purity” distinction that Bruni is making in the article under discussion.

          • Mark

            Perhaps some of the language seems attackish?

            It is no one on this board other than some of the language used. But true I don’t see anyone here talking to anyone so you are right on that.

            Bruno does have a point and a good one. Thinking something is one thing. I think many people are idiots.

            But Bruno is right, some people do not tolerate disagreements and use hateful language to attack and label others and I think that is counterproductive sometimes.

            Most don’t.

            I am now tired and surrendering.

            This type of nuance talk does not work well over a blog and picking away at an iPhone.

            Please be aware I hate trump and bigots and I am merely voicing my opinion of how to stop people who are not as hate filled from supporting trump in the future.

          • Sean Jungian

            Rest up. Fight the good fight.

          • FEDUP MD

            Does anyone now remember whatever justifications the good people of Germany had when they elected Hitler? And do we nod our heads now and say, well, yeah, I could see how that could happen? Or do we rightly ask how the hell otherwise “good” people made a conscious choice?

          • Mark

            The problem with analogies is that it is never truly the same situation.

            Trump is not Hitler and as it stands now we can use the political system to appose him and defeat him in four years.

            Once Hitler was in power all you could do was attempt a coup.

            And doctor, Is not the first step to dealing with a problem and preventing its repeat (hopefully) is to understand it?

          • FEDUP MD

            Of course understanding the situation is the key to preventing it again. Hitler made a lot of loud campaign promises, about making Germany strong and great again, and a lot of anti-Semitic comments. People elected him because most mainstream people did not take what he said literally and thought he was just expressing anger that the populace had in a figurative way. You can read mainstream newspapers from the time that make that clear. Does that sound familiar at all? Except, well, he did mean them literally, and the rest is history. We are now in the situation of having a candidate who has said he would register all Muslims, bar them entering from the country, and who would murder the families of suspected terrorists as well as trot pure said suspects, just to begin with. Yet, again, we are being told these are not meant to be taken literally. Where have we heard that before?

            Hitler did not begin as dictator supreme. He was elected. Part of his consolidation of power was to gather such powers to himself as the result of a likely staged “terrorist” attack in the name of national security for temporary reasons only supposedly. He bargained with many conservative powers that he would leave them alone, and they granted him their power. At that point he controlled pretty much everything and yes, only a coup would have stopped him. But we live in a country where the last two presidents have gathered a lot of powers to themselves in the name of emergencies and/ or to avoid legislative obstructionism, which I am sure seemed like good ideas at the time. We live now in a time where the executive branch has unheard of powers, and we just handed it to an autocrat. Yes, we still could remove him if necessary now, but it might take just one emergency and/or concession to the conservative legislature which would impeach him and that’s it for democracy again.

          • Mark

            I see the similarities and I do agree with your final conclusion to remain ever on guard to to any power grab.

            I also mistook your comment before. When you used the Hitler analogy I believe that really meant that we the people had no more power.

          • Mark

            Part of the answer to why people elected Hitler was anti communist.

          • FEDUP MD

            Well he sure got rid of communists, didn’t he? Whew, big sigh of relief that despite murdering 12 million people directly (including all the communists, incidentally) plus the many tens of millions more as part of the war, at least the country didn’t fall to communism. In that sense, he did what he said he was going to do and accomplished it. Of course, it just took possibly the worst thing to happen in the history of humanity to do it.

          • Mark

            I don’t get your point

          • FEDUP MD

            “Good” people elected him
            in spite of his anti Semitic remarks in order to combat what they felt was the major concern of combatting communism. Which incidentally, he did indeed combat as he promised. The issue was he also did all the other things he promised too that they didn’t take seriously as dismissed as only talk and posturing. When we look back at his rise to power we don’t excuse those “good” people by saying, well, they were scared of communists so it’s OK they voted for him then. We rightly say, what the hell were they thinking and condemn them for not taking him seriously otherwise.

            We’ve elected a man who has said similar things about Muslims and Hispanics. While there is a minority of “deplorables” who take him at his word, most people who voted for him dismiss his talk as posturing and not to be taken literally. These “good” people feel largely that economic stagnation and terrorism are major concerns, and that he will change things and solve these issues for them. Just as I am sure the looming spectre of communism in Russia was terrifying for the good people of Germany, and just as they were upset about the economic situation, which indeed was terrible. And indeed, Hitler did temporarily fix these issues for them. He did. They never became communists, were able to stand up to communist Russia, and their economy grew by leaps and bounds, at least until they started deep in war. The cost however was many tens of millions of lives. We’ve elected a guy who has espoused similar views, and yet again, people are willing to blow the prejudiced views off as just words which are less important than what they feel are more pressing concerns.

          • N

            That is exactly what scares me. What if in 50 years people look back at our time and say, well, if they had done this, that would not have happened, it could have been prevented. Whatever “it” will be.

          • Mark

            Ok let’s drop the semantics and labeling of good or bad people. What good does it do now and where does blame get us? You could just as well blame all the people who stayed home and did not vote.

            The point being that we can and should point out people what is wrong with Trump such that we can change hearts and minds.

            Yes, if we want to be effective in the political sphere then that is how we should act, IMO

            If you attack people now for having elected Hitler and blame them for any action he does, well I don’t how that works or is helpful.

          • Amazed

            You don’t think that some of the people who stayed home and did not vote deserve to be blamed?

            I blame the people who stayed at home here and then whined, “How could we choose him?” WE? You stayed home and didn’t do anything to prevent his election, so don’t you come to cry and my shoulder. Many of my friends did not vote – but they did not voice complains of the sort. It was a position they had given some serious thought to, so it’s fine for them to not having voted.

            If I were in USA, I would have blamed everyone who disagreed with Trump but didn’t vote out of the principle, “Well, Hillary might have been the lesser of two evils but she’s an evil anyway.” Because behind this, there is this complacent expectation that they can keep their hands and conscience pure while others will do the dirty work for them as they feel bold and declare their anti-establishment stance. Not this different from herd immunity and the leeches.

            As to Hitler, please. People who elected him might not deserve to be blamed for every action he did but damn it if I accept a tearful, “Those good poor people did not know!” My, they didn’t! They might not have believed that he’d actually do it but he didn’t sail under false colours, so fuck their oh so innocent surprise. He proclaimed his convictions right from the start.

          • Mark

            You know their will other elections.

            My goal is less blaming people but trying to be effective in stopping Trump and having change in the future.

            This will require having Trump voters rethink their support. This will require motivating people who did not vote to vote.

            This is not about being tolerant of others but being measured in our approach to win over others.

            Some people we can’t win over, some we can. The ones we can win over we should try.

            So if this was Nazi Germany, (and my family is Jewish and was in Germany at that time and most of them were killed off). my goal would be less blame and some change. Less about me being right and calling people out and more about being effective.

            So for the anti trump voter who stayed home. I would not blame or shame but point out where I think they went wrong. I would not harp on why did you elect Trump but to have them do something different in the future.

            We may disagree on how to do this, fine.

            But IMO we need to look how we can stop Trump and get new people in in two years and Trump out in four years.

          • Brix

            I agree with Mark. Blame doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s just an outlet to lash out at people. Anger, hatred and flinging accusations profit us nothing and very quickly begin to sound like self-righteous sanctimony. We are where we are. Period. We have to determine where we go from here. And if you truly want to change hearts and minds then you have to seek to understand the other person’s position and calmly and intelligently open up a dialogue to help them see your point of view. No one is going to hear a word you say if you preface it with blame. We can’t afford to wallow in self-righteousness. There’s too much on the line. We have got to build a bridge of communication, RESPECTFUL communication, or all is already lost. Just because we (the US) fell into the same trap that the Germans did doesn’t make us evil. It didn’t make the Germans evil. In fact, many Germans of that generation were greatly ashamed of having fallen into that trap (I know because I have personally spoken to some, including my grandmother, who also fled Germany). And as I said before, what’s done is done. We have to move forward. Not by tolerating the intolerant. But by trying to understand them so that we can learn, if it’s possible, how to reach these people.

            “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

          • Mark

            Thanks Brix

            It’s nice to know I am not alone in my thinking

          • Jhana

            I agree that attacking trump voters is not effective, but I think that can be done WHILE holding true to our liberal values. We can acknowledge that the views many of them hold are abhorrent to us, while acknowledging that this is not true for them. It means WE need to be stronger andput forward better candidates. I agree that the republicans have effectively used gerrymandering and voter suppression to win elections, but since undoing that is a long, hard battle, we also need to think about candidates who can supersede those barriers while we push back. Clinton was not that candidate.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        A lot of people are also seriously freaked out if they can’t label you properly. They don’t know how to treat you if they can’t figure out if you are male or female, genderqueer is not a concept they can handle apparently. Just treating a person like a human and possibly asking which pronouns they prefer sends some people I know right over the edge…
        I remember a case in Canada where the parents of a child decided they were not going to reveal their baby’s gender and asked that people use gender neutral pronouns. The push back was amazing…

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      What is it with conservative men and the ladies’ loo? of course sexual predators are a problem and survivors sometimes feel nervous around males, but i don’t want someone harrassing me in the toilet because they’re mistaking me for a man again. Not to mention that as a rule i see as much skin at church as in the bathroom. Every bathroom I’ve ever been in has stalls separating the toilets and the vast majority of women change in a stall if they need to do that. A transwoman is generally going to be even more reticent to show her body in public.

      • Mark

        Some conservative men and women are just assholes. Some really are terrible. Others need to be taught in a clear calm voice that this is not a real problem because I would say almost all transgendered don’t want to be ‘exposed’. Transgendered people do not attack others, they are the ones being attacked.

        The idea of a man or woman becoming the opposite sex for a day to ogle has so far never happened.

        the bathroom police is also quite stupid. How is anyone really going to tell who exactly is a man or a woman? These people need to be shamed.

        As for a person who feels embarrassed or uncomfortable about undressing In front of a person who looks like the opposite sex?

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          Locker rooms are one thing (and there are those who either find the family changing rooms or do it in the bathroom) but women’s toilets pretty much never involve undressing in front of anyone.

          • Mark

            I know I know.

            IMO a direct attack would not work. A more nuanced approach, to those ‘squeamish’ maybe, probably not.

            Sigh

    • guest

      I don’t think it’s tolerance that is needed, but refraining from attacking is. The article I’ve linked below cites research on what gets people to change their position on hot-button issues. Calling someone a racist or bigot makes them defensive and closed off from hearing your message, but a short conversation in which their opinions are heard and then countered by asking them to think about things from a different point of view is effective. It’s not easy when you’re hurting and angry, and when you feel like you shouldn’t have to fight and argue for your basic human rights. But in terms of getting that shit done,I’m looking to research right now: What works, what doesn’t work.

      http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/15/13595508/racism-trump-research-study

      • Mark

        Very interesting article.

        Thanks for the link

    • lily

      Like hell I will be tolerant. I will inform them without name calling, but you can jump off a cliff if you think I need to be tolerant of someone who calls trans* women in women’s bathrooms a threat to their wives and daughters, who supports a candidate who is a real threat to their wives and daughters from pussy grabbing to taking away their healthcare and freedom of choice. You want to say stupid shit, I will call you out. That women in the line at the post office was not expecting me to ask her to back up her supposed facts about most Muslims wanting to attack America. I call out shit as I smell it.

      And your co-worker who thinks that Syrian refugees will take jobs is MUCH different than the Syrians are terrorists/ban all the Muslims tropes. She is simply worried about the unemployment situation, not racist or Islamophobic.

      • Mark

        Way to go in missing my point.

        And where the fuck did I say or even imply that Trans women a threat to anyone? Or say or imply that one should be tolerant of that.

        The only thing I said that it is understandable if one feels uncomfortable in using a bathroom with someone who looks like opposite gender. I didn’t even agree with that, just understood it.

        And please stop the male bashing I heard plenty of women and men saying bigioted things about transgendered people.

        I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, I do mind people twisting what I am saying to mean something else.

        When did I tell anyone what to do (like I have the power to get anyone to do anything). I mearely stated my opinion. I don’t need you or anyone else to tell me my opinions are illegitimate. If the moderator thinks I am out of line, I can be banned.

        • lily

          Hey illiterate, where the fuck was my male bashing? Please point it out exactly. The only male I bashed was the Cheeto colored one. I know both males and females who oppose trans* using the bathroom of their gender.

          • Mark

            Yes I looked at it again and I misunderstood, so I am sorry.

            Of course you did not mention anything about your missunderstanding me.

            So that makes me illiterate but not you?

            I should jump off a cliff.

            Fine nice chatting with you. Don’t worry I won’t respond to you ever again.

    • baileylamb

      Sorry I’m not tolerant white nationalist. My family has a long history in this country of not tolerating white nationalist. Sorry, not sorry

      • Mark

        Did I suggest that you do tolerate that?

        • baileylamb

          Actually yes

          • Mark

            Then I was misunderstood.

            I never said to tolerate anybody who is racist separatist or anything else.

          • baileylamb

            So why should I tolerate anyone who brings those ppl on to advise them?

          • Mark

            You should not tolerate that.

    • mdstudentwithkids

      I think I can understand some of what you are saying. There can be a big difference in outcome between telling somebody they are wrong, hurtful and bigoted, and taking a measured approach to try to convince people to actually believe their beliefs are incorrect. My dad, a Trump supporter, asked me about the transgender bathroom bills, and while it was hard to stay measured because I know what news he watches and what beliefs he started with, he ended the conversation with a much healthier viewpoint (that anti-transgender laws are dumb for many reasons). The caveat is that I am not transgender, and I don’t expect minority groups being targeted to gently make people “come around.” I do generally agree you get further with people in interpersonal relationships by “non threateningly” challenging their beliefs and keeping an open dialogue.

      My dad likes to bring up the poor rural white lady in her 80’s who just doesn’t feel comfortable with the gays. He thinks that is who liberal people are “attacking.” I don’t speak for all liberal people but that’s not entirely true. We attack political figures who have those opinions because political figures should not be ignorant 80 year old white ladies wanting to make laws against people just because they feel “uncomfortable.” We attack those opinions because they should not trump the actual lives and liberties of minorities who are the actual people being targeted.

      On a national level, and in response to the election, I whole heartily agree with Dr. Amy. The republicans played the game, stirred up racist and bigoted beliefs and took advantage of people they plan to screw over, and won. Sure, democrats should learn from this, but the lesson is not “accommodate the beliefs of poor middle class white folks who want to create laws targeting minorities because they have been told/believe minorities are threatening.”

      • Mark

        Thank you for getting my point.

        I am of course talking from an ideal point of view. Don’t get me the wrong way and I might go off the deep end myself

  • Tara

    This blog provided me with the tools I needed to kindly and lovingly convince my sister to start having her babies in the hospital. Her first midwife was actually Vickie Sorensen, recently convicted of killing a premature twin with her reckless midwifery. It has also empowered me to stand up for bottle feeders and pain relief and interventions in child birth. I am so grateful for the articles that have been written here about birth, infant feeding, vaccinations and parenting. This blog can be literally life saving!!!

    That being said, I don’t think this is the appropriate forum for political rants. It feels like obstetrics and health have taken a backseat to politics. The support we offer women and their families transcends the last election. Don’t we want our political opponents to vaccinate their children? Don’t we want Republican expectant mothers to also understand the dangers of homebirth?

    I’m not saying that birth and parenting are more important than anything else or that it’s not okay to have strong opinions about the policies that govern America. But there are established forums to discuss those ideas and you can always start new ones! For the sake of the many mothers and families of all political persuasions who feel bullied by the natural parenting and childbirth industries, can’t we just come together over our similarities so that this important message can travel unimpeded by our differences?

    • MaineJen

      Respectfully: it’s not your blog.

      Also respectfully: the president-elect’s proposed policies could have a drastic effect on our access to healthcare in the future, particularly family planning services. To pretend that one has nothing to do with the other is ignorant at best.

    • Sean Jungian

      Respectfully, this is a blog, and it belongs to Dr. Amy. She’s free to discuss whatever she likes.

      This election has a real bearing on women in the U.S. and around the world including their reproductive rights. It behooves us to pay attention.

      ETA: Ninja’d by @MaineJen!

      • MaineJen

        …same wavelength much? LOL

        • Sean Jungian

          LOL it’s been an interesting…has it really only been a week? Uff-dah!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I have very detailed analytics for this blog so I know how popular each post is. I’ve written quite a few birth posts over the last few days and they’ve gotten very little traffic. At the moment readers seem to want political pieces more than birth pieces so I am obliging them.

      In addition, I really value the opinions of my readers. The regular commentors are among the most thoughtful and most articulate of any place on the web. I offer my take on these issues and hope to learn from my readers and possibly change my views.

      • Sarah

        Personally I’d have liked to see something specifically relating political events to your usual areas of expertise- what impact do you think there might be on reproductive rights, maternal and infant mortality, hospital policies? Is Trump’s dislike of regulation going to be something OOH birth providers can exploit? In the UK Brexit campaign, we saw many people mistrust experts. There were elements of this with the Trump vote too, how far can we draw parallels with some NCB, antivax thinking and the creep of that type of attitude into the mainstream? Things like that.

        Your pieces on politics are very well written, as usual, but they’re not anything that I couldn’t get elsewhere and don’t require any particular expertise. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone with a clinical background discussing the issues I mentioned, and obviously most people wouldn’t have the knowledge or experience to do it. You, however, are very well placed.

        But this is of course your blog, that you pay for, so you have every right to ignore me and continue writing about whatever the hell you like.

      • Tara

        Thank you for taking the time to personally address my concerns, Dr Amy.

    • fiftyfifty1

      I think it will bring in new readers:

      Come for the politics, stay for the obstetrics.

    • lily

      Why do people keep coming on here telling Dr Amy what she should write about it. If you don’t like the topics, there’s the door, FFS! Are you paying for her domain name and space? Then you get no say on her posts.

    • guest

      It’s Dr. Amy’s blog, so whatever she wants to post here is appropriate, whether you want it here or not.

  • carovee

    Bravo. That was beautifully said. We know that there was nothing wrong with Clinton’s campaign because she won the popular vote by quite a lot. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and decades of Republicans pitting suburban and rural (mostly white) voters against urban (mixed race) voters worked against any democrat winning.

    • AnnaPDE

      I can see a good bunch of things that were (imo) less than great about Hillary’s campaign, but certainly not the “intolerance”. If anything, pointing out the lies, racism and cluelessness of Trump was done too nicely, too easy to ignore. In any case, the problem was not a lack of pandering to people who find voting for Trump acceptable – lost causes, those. The votes missing for Clinton were the 46% who didn’t even turn up, and I suspect that a bit more transparency might have helped to build a more trustworthy candidate (e.g.: who would have cared about the completely harmless things said at those talk had they been published upfront, as opposed to being dumped by Wikileaks).

  • Elizabeth

    YES.

  • Sean Jungian

    ” 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob.”

    Sounds about right to me.

    • MaineJen

      Yeah. I’m having less and less sympathy for people who just can’t find it in their hearts NOT to be racist/sexist/homophobic. Your background is no longer an excuse…when you reach a certain age, you think and decide for yourself.

      • Heidi

        Yeah, I was stupidly hopeful at first that logic and empathy would work. But after being accused of calling all Trump supporters racist morons and being called bigoted for not denying blatant racism and other bigotry, about all I have in me for them is a “screw you.” I don’t think they are morons. Writing them off as idiots would kinda actually excuse their actions. I think instead they are willfully ignorant and have a persecution complex.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I don’t think they are morons.

          I don’t either. I think they are assholes.

          Assholes aren’t necessarily morons. Different scales of measure.

        • J.B.

          And I guess “The War on Christmas” is coming soon…

          • Sean Jungian

            Hoo boy.

          • Heidi

            I think there are some people already upset over Starbucks cup this holiday season.

      • Amy

        My parents and in-laws are in their 60s and 70s. My grandparents would all be pushing 100 if they were still alive. My nana was staunchly pro-gay and pro-choice. My parents are horrified by racism and sexism, and a few of my sisters’ and my gay friends were out to my parents before their own. Age is not an excuse.

        And…..neither is religion. My grandparents were all practicing Catholics.

        • kilda

          yep. My mom is 82, a devout Catholic and a card carrying member of the ACLU. My late father refused to continue being Catholic because he didn’t approve of their position on gay marriage.

      • Mishimoo

        For me, it was 18 and bursting into tears because I couldn’t imagine teaching this tiny little innocent baby to hate.

      • indigosky

        Agreed. My grandpa was in the Navy during WWII. There were some white guys saying racist shit against the black cooks. SO Gramps gives them an old-fashioned blanket party (for the non military: held down by a blanket while they get the shit beat out of them).

        My great grandmother had only one concern about the “les-bins” who were moving in across the street – that they keep their lawn nice and their paint touched up. This was the 1970s and she was in her 90s. Great granny didn’t give a flip who you loved, as long as you didn’t destroy her property values.

        So…if they can do it, there is no excuse for age.

        • Mishimoo

          My late Morfar only wanted to sell his house “to some nice gay or lesbian people; they’ll look after it and love it better than straight people.”

    • Mark

      Can not you disagree with her and explain why,?

      Assuming the women is not homophobic in other ways and is more into the words of marriage and is for civil unions, why call her a boob.

      I disagree this is much to harsh for this situation.

      I would reserve my anger and boob terminology for people who can not bake cakes for a gay couple. For the person who refused to perform civil marriage ceremonies (I forget her name) for those who say gay people will go to hell,

      • MaineJen

        …how is one different from the other?

        • Mark

          One is based on hate or rejection of the person as a human being.

          The person who refused to perform civil marriage ceremonies was forcing her religious views on others.

          the other is an old fashioned view of marriage which until recently was the norm.

          We would hope that all people could change their views as needed, some are slower than others. We can disagree but understand that the world of someone born in 1940 was a lot different than today.

          So it is degrees. Back years ago I probably would of said the same thing but that was the norm back then.

          So the difference is in degrees and in the lack of hate.

          Again the distinction is not of being wrong but when to apply harsh language and when to engage and win over people.

          I would point out that their is very little difference between civil union and marriage and that as long as the person was ok with two adults living their lives as the see fit and to be allowed to adopt children I am confident I stand a chance at changing their mind.

          Contrast that with people who think gays should go to hell, or believe in conversion therapy etc etc and you can see the difference

          • Brix

            Because of my personal experience I just cannot accept this. When my husband and I got engaged certain (not all) of his family members disapproved because of their “old-fashioned views on marriage”. The fact that they only tried to derail my relationship rather than lynch me does not make the cuts inflicted upon my soul any shallower. I shouldn’t have to win anyone over in order to live my life and love without bigoted restictions placed upon me. I shouldn’t have to convince them of my humanity and worthiness. I shouldn’t have to prove anything. The prejudice against gay marriage is no different from the racism that led to cops banging down the Loving’s door to inflict violence upon them for the “crime” of miscegenation (interracial “breeding”, as disgusting as that term is). There’s just no -ism for it. Homophobia is inaccurate, as fear is not the primary motivator. Bigotry is. Hatred is. The word “phobia” almost gives them a pass, because who can fault someone for being afraid? We need a more accurate word.

            There is a BIG difference between marriage and civil unions. One was created to celebrate love and to bring a couple into a oneness and partnership together. The other was created to prevent the “lesser” from having the same kind of sacred unity as the “greater”, but to placate them so they would give up on being acknowledged as equal. It was basically another go at “separate but equal” philosophy which, as we remember, was an abject failure and was never truly equal. Nor was it intended to be. I’m actually surprised that the racists in government back in the 60s didn’t try to offer up civil unions to mixed race couples in lieu of marriage. I guess the “ism” folks get more “sophisticated” over time.

          • Mark

            Brix: What a beautifuly sad and heartbreaking story. I saw you mentioned this before and was curious but did not want to pry.

            With a plea like that to respect our humanity you just might melt a few cold hearted people your way.

            In this world unfortunately we do sometimes have to fight for our humanity. You would think this would not be so for inter racial marriage, but it still is.

            The original thread started with calling a sixty some odd year old woman a boob for not believing in same sex marriage.

            Other than my general distaste for calling people names I thought their could be a distinction between someone who ‘hates’ gays and one who believes in civil marriage but is old fashioned.

            So my response was why call this woman a boob, why not sit down and talk to the person. I made the distinction above and the next one attempted to answer the question what is the difference, the difference between someone who hates gays and one who is old fashioned about the definition of marriage.

            And here we are. Unfortunately we are not in an ideal world and the thoughts of the population as a whole is far behind equality for gay marriage than for inter racial marriages. So you might say inter racial marriage is fifty or so years more advanced than gay marriage. ( And apparently not far enough advanced)

            So back to my point about talking to the woman. She might not truly be hateful but is taking the morals of an earlier era. Indeed civil unions would of been quite progressive just maybe twenty or thirty years ago, where it now seems regressive.

            Again this is not a ideal platonic world.

            So in that vain even though the current beliefs may be the same I prefer not to attribute malice or hate to our hypothetical person.

            Again not saying she is right, I said why call her a ‘boob’ why not sit down and talk. A story like your might change a persons mind.

            Even if the person had malice maybe you could change minds.

            See link http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/15/13595508/racism-trump-research-study

            For your story it appears from what little I can gather, this is not about old fashioned ideas of race but racism. It’s not about pulling grandpa into the modern era (boy things do change quick these days) it seems more about racism.

            Your story is a perfect example of the limitations of this type of communications. This is more a face to face not an online chat.

            If I missed something or you have something to add or want me to explain please let me know.

            I wish you and your husband a long and healthy and happy marriage and may your two families find peace together.

          • Brix

            “The original thread started with calling a sixty some odd year old woman a boob for not believing in same sex marriage.
            Other than my general distaste for calling people names I thought their could be a distinction between someone who ‘hates’ gays and one who believes in civil marriage but is old fashioned.”

            I see what you’re saying but “boob” is pretty tame compared to what I have wanted to call some people. I have held my tongue so often, twisted myself into pretzels trying not to offend or upset the feelings of the racists in my life. I think I would have fared better by calling them what they are. Then they can’t hide behind less volatile language and delude themselves that their stance is reasonable and just as legitimate as everyone else. Calling themselves what they are forces them to stop running from the truth of who they are.

            “So back to my point about talking to the woman. She might not truly be hateful but is taking the morals of an earlier era.”

            But the problem with that is two pronged. First, the morals of that earlier era were actually quite IMmoral. So they’re coming from a place where wrong is actually right, in their minds. It’s hard for people to accept that what they’ve been taught and what they have believed their whole lives is actually horribly wrong. People cling to their perception of morality as if their lives depended upon it. Especially little old bigoted ladies.

            “Again not saying she is right, I said why call her a ‘boob’ why not sit down and talk. A story like your might change a persons mind.”

            Because when your very humanity and dignity are at stake, sitting down and talking to someone who sees you as a negative option for their grandson rips at your soul. It’s exhausting and painful and damaging. Heartfelt appeals can’t breach cold hearts. And their belief system has prevented them from feeling compassion for me and my position. It’s like I’m not even a human being. My husband has tried to convince his sister, ad nauseam, that I’m good for him and that her viewpoint is wrong. All she’s done is dug in her heels. It has destroyed their relationship and how he sees her. Probably forever. And because she refuses to change her beliefs and sees them as completely legitimate, his mom now wants us to just move on and accept her beliefs as valid, as if we disagree politically. His grandmother told him that she accepts our marriage but has still been mostly cold towards me (which brings into question her “acceptance”). It is horribly dehumanizing and demoralizing. I cannot stress enough how much pain trying to sit down and talk has caused me. I can’t do it anymore. I have to preserve something of myself for me.

            “I wish you and your husband a long and healthy and happy marriage and may your two families find peace together.”

            Thank you so much. I appreciate your well wishes. And I appreciate that you want to open a dialogue. It’s just a really hard thing to do.

          • Mark

            What you have experienced is pure prejudice. Just curious what is the race of your husband?

            Boob is mild but I took that more figuratively as in boob is not the only thing.

            You have done your best with your sister in law. No one deserves the shit you are going through. You guys actually did do with your Husbands family what I suggested that people try. It failed and you have no shame. You came on up on top. You did not do what some others here might of done and that is name call you future sister n law.

            No we are not punching bags, we don’t have to take shit. If someone called me something derogatory they would really get it.

            But back to that example some older people are just slower to catch up. If the person said gays are going to hell, well then. If I had to deal with a neo Nazi I would not be conciliatory. But then again I would not give them any amp to go back and continue their nonsense. No empty calorie insults.

            But as I reread your post, no need to back down from racist remarks. I would not. Though I would direct my remarks to the sorry excuse of a human being in front of me and not what they are. Being white and Jewish I have been insulted by white and minorities but never a reply back based on what they are.

            I just recently got into it with an antisemetic Muslim. I was very pro Muslim as I ripped into him personally. Please another holocaust denier and global Jewish conspiracy theorist.

            But back to you. I don’t even know you but I am proud of you. You went the extra step and then a few more and you continue to. No one can say you did not try and your in laws only have themselves and the low road.

            So I agree their are horrible people out their.

            But to go further back this is about Trump and how some white people see the hatred of others as hatred of white people. Look at the link I sent you. Saying stuff like those stupid white trailer trash, (and people do say it, they are rightfully upset at a few people and everyone gets that label).

            It only would take ten percent or so to make a difference. Please people attack the racist person if you must don’t call them names based on what they are, but who they are.

            I will get off that for now. You have dealt with some nasty people probably more than I. No abuse need be taken. But for others a more measured approach.

            I understand that marriage has been a man and a woman for many years. But we are a loving couple that just want to live in peace with each other. Civil unions are better than nothing but it still hurts us and debase us. I don’t want to change your mind but hope that we can be good neighbors.

            Now if that doesn’t work on your elderly neighbor at least you tried. Maybe over time that person may see how wrong they were and change. Maybe even embarrassed for having mentioned it.

            For our fictional woman who is against gay marriage.

            If she does not change, fuck it you tried. If you come out swinging look here you old white bitch, I don’t care what you think. Go run back to your church and cry their. Oh that felt good right?

          • Amazed

            Actually, yes, it feels good. I’ve put a nice old woman in her place in this way that you so abhore. It wasn’t over racism. It was about politics, she was one of those who had enjoyed a great deal of privileges the former Communist regime gave her and she was most sincerely convinced that people from the concentration camps must have been criminals, else they wouldn’t have been arrested. She believed that they had received millions in compensations, so it was right for her to demonize them.

            I saw red. I knew some of those who survived from those camps. My grandfather is the only one who lived to turn 80 from the large group of young and healthy men from their village sent to a camp. The rest of them all died before they were 70s by longlife complications. They didn’t receive a single coin for being treated in a way they’d never treat an animal.

            I was supposed to gently guide her towards the truth? The rub is, the information was all there. She chose not to look at it, much like racists and anti-gays do. I should have let an old pampered asshole get away with it because she’s old and she’s been fed the lies all the time as she enjoyed privileges that the rest of the population could only dream of? All because she’s old and nice?

            Sorry. Nope. I am well aware that I hurt her feelings. But I am quite sure she’d think twice before she opens her trap and spews her garbage to the next stranger she happens to sit next to in a train. That’s good enough for me. Self-regulation is a good thing in my book and if we hadn’t been so scared to hurt anyone fee-fees, perhaps their owners would have refrained from mouthing their garbage.

            By the way, I didn’t call her a hateful old boob. There are much better words to convey that people’s beliefs are garbage and unacceptable.

            At the end of the day, what matters most to me is that people keep their offensive opinions to themselves. I don’t want them to like me. If they are aching to share it but can’t because they’re scared of someone like me, that’s fine for me. What matters most is that victims be not placed second to racists and other bigots, including being forced to defend themselves ever so gently. The bigots aren’t automatically granted a license to be bigots just because of extenuating circumstances. There shouldn’t be anything extenuating enough to justify placing the victim in the position of defendant. Just how old should the victims get before common sense or nature put an end to the bigotry of the nice old people, one way or another? Because it’s the victims’ lives that goes by in the murl of prejudices as we cater to the feelings of the bigots.

          • Mark

            I did not have the little old lady you mentioned in mind when I said not to attack.

            Being measured is better.

          • Mark

            Btw I am talking of dialogue. Clear dialogue.

            That does not mean if someone calls me a whatever I have to hug them.

            You really do miss my point and if you don’t engage you won’t change minds.

            People do change and their are various degrees of prejudice. I dare say we are all prejudice to some degree. If you expressed a bigoted view point would you want some to yell at you.

            Again and Again measured approach.

            One way Trump won is that we practice identity politics. Instead of attacking the racist person we say you white privelaged so and so.

          • Amazed

            I don’t believe I missed your point. I used to share it.

            The problem with being measured is that it’s expected of the people on the right side to be measured. It’s never the bigots. Changing minds is a slow process and changing behavior, aka making people keep their bigoted mind in, is a good start.

            You can only be measured without putting yourself in the defensive position if you aren’t personally involved in whatever kind of bigotry the other person is expressing. The thing is, pretty much the only thing that can be seen clearly is race and perhaps disabilities. So no, it I expressed a bigoted view point, I wouldn’t appreciate anyone yelling at me. Yelling is just a weapon of those who don’t have the tools to make themselves clear in another way. I would, anyway, appreciate someone doing what they have done to me – polite scathing derision for said PoV. BtW, you’re the only one talking about yelling.

            Life is too short to waste your time sitting there and taking crap while trying to change minds. Presence of mind and gentle persuasion should be done by people uninvolved. And if you (generic you) happen to spew your crap in front of someone who happens to be involved, the fault isn’t with the person involved that you couldn’t refrain from expressing hateful views. Again, if more people had told you simply and derisively that such views aren’t acceptable, you wouldn’t have found yourself in such position in the first place.

          • Mark

            Well I just disagree and I don’t think you get what I mean by measured approach. So we will just disagree.

            And no, for example if a Hispanic person says prejudice (and this is meant for everyone) things against a black person that person should not return with any Hispanic

          • Amazed

            And if he does, he’s in the wrong, I guess? That simply takes away from the earlier insult? Again, you’re placing the responsibility on the one who was wronged.

            BtW, what we were talking about was bigots belonging to a culture that taught them to be bigots. Not just their race. Old bigoted ladies cosseted all their lives by their closed communities and the reluctance of people to call them names are what they are mainly because they’re old white ultra Christian bigoted ladies. It isn’t calling names, it’s a fact. Not the same with Hispanic and black, just like no one is a racist simply because they’re white.

            In theory, your posts sound about OK to me. In life, it isn’t this simple. I might be nice and undestanding if I was one of those conducting the interviews in the links you mentioned. If I wasn’t personally affected or it was my job not to show it. But when I’m personally involved, sweet old consumators whining for their lost privileges don’t get away with shitting on what my family went through just because they’re nice.

            People are human. It’s unfair to expect fairness to the bigots by the ones who are on the other side of their bigotry.

          • Mark

            It is not about being right it is about being effective. It is also an ideal so yes in real life we don’t always act the best way.

            But if you start out saying it’s ok?

            Don’t you see too many people on the left are into identity politics and bullying people who don’t reach their ideals. They experience racism and think it’s ok to attack privelaged white people, or white men, or white Christian men, or.

            Some people on the left do give somewhat of a pass to minorities because they are not the white Christian etc.

          • Amazed

            I guess it depends on what you determine as being effective. As a whole, I go for effective. When I’m personally involved, being effective doesn’t mean changing the bigot’s mind, it means making them shut the hell up.

            I am not comfortable with the idea of tolerating biases that are offensive to me spoken to my face in the name of being effective for the future generations. I live now.

            And yes, I have seen a counterproductive approach, aka many counterattacks. While I might agree they aren’t productive, I think it’s unfair to put the onus on those who experience prejudices to stop said prejudices. It can best be done by people who aren’t involved.

            I am not comfortable with the idea of giving anyone a pass for criminal, unethical behavior no matter what but that isn’t what the post I initially reacted to was about. It was about being nice and gently persuasive to people who insult someone to their face because bigots are really good people. That, I am not comfortable with. No one should be trying to convince anyone in their worthiness and if they refuse to do so, it still isn’t their fault that they aren’t effective in communicating a bigot-free space. It’s the bigot’s fault.

          • Mark

            Ok

            I never said take direct insults. I never ever said be nice and gentle to people who insult you to your face.

            Never ever and I am sorry I am not articulate enough to express it.

          • Amazed

            Oh. It looks I misread a post of yours, about the gay couple who goes into explanatory mode. I’m sorry. My apologies.

          • Mark

            No problem

            I am on my iPhone talking in one finger.

            This form of communication is difficult.

            Perhaps I too did not express myself well. Without context my example is pretty much meaningless.

          • maidmarian555

            I understand your points but I think we may all be missing a trick here. Minorities have been continuously stomped on (both socially and economically), economically so have the ‘squeezed middle’ (who are apparently the ones who’ve voted for Trump). We need to stop these super-rich people distracting all of us. The former (mostly) white middle-classes of America are furious that they’ve had their dreams taken away from them. Their attention is being diverted on to migrants and minorities when the people who are screwing them over are basically Trump. How much money has that cretin made off the backs of others? How much more money does he need? How much extra money does he now stand to make off his brand now he’s going to be President of the USA? Who was is that encouraged the very globalisation that’s stolen the jobs and dreams of so many Americans? Why are these people not paying a fair share of tax when they expect you to? I think bringing people onside will involve stopping the hand-wringing with regards to the social liberalism that we should all be embracing (but obviously aren’t). People who are struggling to put food on the table are going to be much less easily persuaded that the fault lies with those beneath them on the social ladder if we open their eyes to the horrors that are going on above them. Trump is arrogant enough to not even hide his excesses. I think his voters need to understand that us liberals are not their enemy. People like Trump with their disgusting golden elevators are.

          • Mark

            Well said.

            Divide and conquer.

            I heard people say they know Trump is a bastard but it will be their bastard.

            I wanted Bernie and perhaps he could of reach these voters. Trump certainly stirred up hate, but also the establishment elite. It truly a facist type of populism.

            I can say gender bias is reduced because Hillary was the inside elite. In a sense she was.

            She has programs for people but her she never got that message across.

            Trump did play a good game. I think we will beat him by not arguing against his ridiculous lies, but to discredit them.

            Really Join McCain was shot down in Vietnam and was a pow for ten years and was tortured. As a son of a famous admiral he was offered release but refused. Who the f are you to say you prefer people who were not captured. Then keep hitting on that and others again and again and again.

          • maidmarian555

            I don’t think Bernie was the answer either. People forget (they certainly do here and we see that with the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn amongst liberals) that proper Socialists don’t give us a real answer to our collective issues either. Sure, they may be more socially liberal than the right-wingers and may politically stick to their guns a little better than arse holes like Mitt Romney has done when offered a nugget of wealth and power but they still want ultimately the same thing. Authoritarians think the wealthy should have ultimate control over everyone. Socialists think that the State should. This still involves those in power controlling those of us who don’t really have any. The answer (I think) is probably somewhere in the middle. I’ve had more success recently by constantly turning conversation to economics rather than human rights or liberalism in general. That’s not to say I won’t stand up to racist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic rhetoric because I absolutely will. It just means when criticising those who’s politics have lurched to the right, I’ve concentrated on economics. I’ve made economic arguments. It seems to be working better. The neoliberalism of Thatcher and Reagan is still giving all of us an enormous hangover in the Western world. That’s the bit we need to break. The wealthy can’t continue not to contribute their fair share. If they were, we wouldn’t care a fig about migrants or that public services were in the brink of collapse. You and I pay out fair share of tax. Why don’t people like Trump?

          • Mark

            I don’t think Sanders was the socialist along the lines of true social collective of government owned businesses and manufacturing.

            So what type of President do you want

          • maidmarian555

            Urgh. It’s difficult because I’m based in the Uk and our politics are slightly different to yours. However, what I’d like to see are universal healthcare, welfare and education (which would mean an equality of opportunity for all). I’d like to see an end to private corporations in these fields and make it so that even if the State relinquishes control that the control goes to non-profits (my own personal background is in managing EU-funded projects in the Further Education sector so I’ve seen the fraud, bullshit and nonsense that goes on first hand when you prioritise profits/targets/shareholders over performance in these areas). I’d like to see more fairness in the legal system and the abolishment of policies that mean that predominantly poor, ethnic minorities are criminalised for behaviour that sees a slap on the wrist for the same crimes in the wealthy white; see those convicted for crack-cocaine possession vs those for powder cocaine possession (beloved of Wall Street as we all know) when it’s the SAME DAMN THING. I’d like to see fair taxation where e super-rich relinquish the same sort of percentages of their income that us middle-classes do. I’d like to see proper taxation of large corporations and for governments to stop backing down and shitting themselves when Amazon threaten to leave a country if they’re forced to pay basic tax and a minimum wage like everyone else. If they don’t want to then fuck them and fuck their less-than-minimum-wage jobs. I’d like to see the introduction of Basic Income here so that everyone gets the same basic benefit and we get rid of the beaurocracy and bloat of the welfare system. We need to work out how we’re going to cope with the automation of many jobs in the future and Basic Income might be a way forward (assuming we tax corporations properly). I’d like to see sensible environmental policies. I have no issue with companies that operate in an ethical way making money for their shareholders but I’d like to see sensible inheritance taxes because nobody needs money when they’re dead and other than providing the basics for your children, why should there be a generation of Ivanka Trumps who never need to earn a cent in their lives because of the work their parents did? (Indeed we could ask this same damn question of the Donald). Also, maybe if the West was less interested in the Middle East and all the oil/money to be made there, perhaps we could collectively stop funding oppressive regimes and wars. Maybe we could take a few more refugees if we weren’t all working our nuts off to pay our taxes because people like Donald Trump don’t feel like they should have to.

          • Box of Salt

            Mark “I can say gender bias is reduced because Hillary was the inside elite. In a sense she was.”

            If gender bias was reduced, Hilary would be president-elect now.

          • Mark

            On what grounds do you say that.

            But anyway my point was that Clinton was seen by many as part of the establishment.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “if you don’t engage you won’t change minds.”

            I don’t think it should be the responsibility of the victim to be conciliatory or to change minds. Victims of discrimination should be able to deliver a clear, forceful message of “No”. Bosses and other leaders need to do the same.

            If anybody wants to consider being more gentle, perhaps that can be people who are not being victimized. e.g. “I got mad too the first time a person told me that calling somebody an Oriental was wrong, because that’s just what they are called where I grew up. But then I decided that if Asian-American was a more polite term that I would use it. I’m a polite person and it’s not a burden for me to learn a new word after all.” or “I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and that being gay is a sin. It took me a long time to undo that sort of teaching. The truth is that I’m still not 100% comfortable with gay people but I realize that that’s my problem not theirs. For me, I’ve decided to live and let live.”

          • Mark

            If we are having a discussion how is that being a victim?

            It is their problem and you can choose to ignore it. If they are attacking you give it back.

            My measured approach does not mean being a victim. It does not mean taking shit. I am sure it is not you personally who attacks others.

            Btw most racism is not direct verbal to your face. The gay couple next door. Your neighbors might not say it to your face, but they might treat you different. But by remaining composed and true to your self you can win people over.

            I do this myself. A lot of people I could tell are anti semetic but they have changed based on Who I am.

            Is this going to work on everyone or even a lot. No but for some.

          • Amazed

            Your measured approach means the unfairly treated person sniveling to the bigot. Grasping for a heart-to-heart with someone who believes them to be lesser than themselves for whatever reason. That is being a victim.

            Your measured approach also inherently relies on the chance that it’s the first time the bigot has heard such a heartfelt plea and their good heart will melt. And if it doesn’t, they, of course, think even less of the object of their bigotry who came to crawl and beg for acceptance.

            I agree that most bigotry isn’t being screamed at people’s faces. But that makes the idea of the victim pouring their heart out to a complete stranger who clearly snubs them even less convincing.

          • Mark

            Ok where did I say to pour your heart out to a buffered person.

            I did say to the orginal poster that her heart felt words could break a stone heart.

            I never ever said have a heat to heart with a bigot. Depending on the situation the person and the relationship, maybe.

            So no, it would definitely not be a measured approach to pour your heart out to a stranger.

            Measured approach,

            I don’t like fucking Jewish people,

            Fine and I don’t like racist assholes.

            Seems pretty measured to me

          • Sean Jungian

            You know, this reminds me of something else, too. It isn’t always the measured approach that wins hearts and minds.

            I am reminded of a time when I visited a feminist blog and I came in guns blazing and tone-policing with “OMG if you want to EDUCATE then why are you being so RUDE??” and you know what I was told?

            I was told to FUCK OFF in no uncertain terms, that I was tone policing, that I was coming in to a community and dictating on high from my lofty white cis-het tower of 2nd wave feminism, and that it wasn’t their job to shepherd me through modern feminist theory politely and gently, and that maybe I should just shut my fucking mouth and lurk and read before I presumed to come in and tell these people what they *should* be doing to further the cause.

            I didn’t like it! I thought it was MEAN and horrible and omg I’m just trying to HELP you wahhh!

            And you know what else? I DID shut up. I DID think, wait a second, maybe they are onto something? I DID lurk, and read, and listen, and empathize. And now I see that they had every right to call me out forcefully on my well-meant yet totally inappropriate “advice”.

            So, Mark, bear that in mind. Sometimes we don’t “get it” until someone gets right in our face and screams at us. Sometimes we don’t “get it” until we are actually confronted with real-life, down and dirty, hateful bigotry making us actively uncomfortable. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in thinking we know best that it takes a forceful confrontation to get us to question what we really believe and to LISTEN.

          • Mark

            I let this lie for a few days.

            Again I never said a conciliatory approach always works. Where did you get that idea?

            So measured approach means just that. It does not mean do what I think is right. It means that too many people take the slightest provocation to go off one someone. It is one thing to say I am human and I went off on someone because I was pissed; it is quite another to say I am justified at going off on people.

            As for your feminist example I don’t know enough to comment on if you came on too strong or if they over reacted. I would say the whole idea of a message board is free exchange of ideas. I have been researching some of problems encountered by Jewish feminist and some of them find in some feminist circles a group think and an intolerant of outside views and a good deal of antisemetic behavior. Take a look at some of the statements of Betty Friedman.

            So if you wish to understand where I might be coming from as a liberal Jew I am very upset at part of the anti semetic left. The ones who when they rack of privelaged points gives extra points to Jews. Really?

            I am also amazed at the anti semetic rhetoric coming from both sides. It truly is like World War Two where everyone, facist communists and democracies all blamed the Jews.

            Now I am all for debate on the current policies of Israel and a lot of it is horrible.

            So yes I should not have to defend my humanity but I do.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “If we are having a discussion how is that being a victim?”

            When I refer to a victim, I mean the person whom the bigotry/xenophobia/racism/sexism etc negatively affects. They are a victim of the prejudice. Their lives are negatively impacted.

            “It is their problem and you can choose to ignore it.”

            Actually no. If you are gay/trans/Muslim/black etc laws and actions that discriminate against you negatively affect YOUR life, not the life of the bigot. Discrimination is a problem for YOU, not a problem for the person who is oppressing you. And ignoring the problem does not make it go away, unfortunately.

          • Mark

            If someone wants to be biased against me personally that is their problem not mine.

            Discriminatory laws like voting laws need to be changed

          • fiftyfifty1

            “If someone wants to be biased against me personally that is their problem not mine.”

            It sounds like your life is going pretty good for you, then! A few people’s crotchety attitudes can’t change the fact that you are safe, comfortable, and that the laws of the land favor you. That’s nice for you.

            You might consider that that is not the case for others less privileged than you.

          • Mark

            Really are you not assuming?

            I live in the Bronx. I am on guard for any form of prejudicial attack.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, I am making assumptions. When a person can say that the bigotry he experiences is not a problem for him, I assume the bigotry he is experiencing is not very severe. I assume it is not life threatening, that it is not preventing him from making a living, or preventing him from accessing healthcare, or shutting him out of educational opportunities, or preventing him from loving those he loves, or preventing him from practicing his religion freely, or preventing him from peeing when he needs to pee.

            So yes, if somebody is in a position to say “bigotry is your problem, not mine”, then I make the assumption that the bigotry he experiences is minimal. This is in contrast to what multiple other individuals experience. They say that from them, discrimination IS a problem, that it is not minimal.

            Basically, I’m just taking people at their word, you included.

          • Mark

            Ok I see

            Eleanor Roosevelt said no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

            I did not mean I wouldn’t experience problems, but those problems would not be my fault.

            So if someone wants to hate me, that’s their view it won’t change how I feel about me.

            As I was walking around work someone asked for directions and I said sorry I don’t know. I was then called a fucking rich white fag who didn’t want to help him because he’s black. I turned around to face this person

          • Sean Jungian

            “I don’t think it should be the responsibility of the victim to be conciliatory or to change minds.”

            Something I argued with him when he started. Mark, c’mon. We get it already. Come up with something new or just agree to disagree. This is getting tedious.

            You keep changing the parameters and the hypotheticals of your thought experiment, people keep telling you the same thing – that sure, we try to be effective AT FIRST but that there is a limit to just how much niceness and tolerance any of us is willing to give, and at that point being direct and confrontational is NOT a bad thing.

            So, let’s move on. If you have something besides “It’s most effective to try to gently change and educate a bigot first” to add, do so. Otherwise this is a dead horse.

          • Mark

            Excuse me?

            First would it of been nice to reply to me?

            This horse as been beaten to death and while I don’t think I made my points known I agree this should be dropped.

            Why did you not say it yourself to me, and in a nice way?

            Ok, Mark, this conversation isn’t going anywhere let’s agree to disagree. Would that be so difficult?

            It is really disingenuous to say let’s agree to disagree and then take a parting shot. It really is.

          • fiftyfifty1

            I agree with you about avoiding name calling. What good does it do to label people White Trash or Rednecks? On the other hand, I don’t agree with the idea of needing to tiptoe. I think your example of saying “Civil unions are better than nothing but it still hurts us and debase us. I don’t want to change your mind but hope that we can be good neighbors” is too conciliatory. Discriminating against gay couples is bigotry, pure and simple. And we should call it out in just those words. Example:”What you just said is prejudiced and bigoted, and I don’t agree.” “What you are doing is racist”.

          • Amazed

            I shared Mark’s views for a good number of years. Now, I think it’s just a case of letting life flow past as we’re trying to avoid hurting the bigots. Should the people affected grow as old as the nice old bigots before expressions of hateful attitudes are put peacefully to rest? Medicine has given us a considerably longer lifespan than before but I still object on the idea that people should lose 1/3 or 1/2 of that catering to bigots’ feelings.

          • Mark

            You do realize that was a hypothetical?

            Measured approach means that. If I did as you suggested I’d be doing it all day.

            Please read link http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/15/13595508/racism-trump-research-study

          • fiftyfifty1

            “You do realize that was a hypothetical?”

            You mean the civil unions example? Yes I did.

            As for the Vox link, I wasn’t impressed. When an article keeps coming back again and again to one small study, it’s evidence that there isn’t much else out there to support the authors contentions. Some of the article actually undermines the author’s assertions. The author says that calling out racism for what it is and attempting to make it socially unacceptable will never work and instead will backfire. But later in the article the author admits that the Civil Rights movement of the 60s *did* lead to big improvements and *did* cause racism to be considered socially unacceptable. So which is it?

          • Mark

            You know at this point I don’t even remember the original comments made.

            So I thank you for the chat. We can all hope for a new congress in two years and Trump out in four, if not less.

      • Sean Jungian

        Yes I’m unclear on the distinction as well. So this fictional lady is against gay marriage but is not a bigot nor a religious zealot? I find that unlikely, as the very act of being against marriage equality = bigoted against LGBTQ.

        I probably wouldn’t sit there and call her names, but I would definitely think of her as a hateful boob (simpleton).

        I don’t reserve my anger for only those who actively refuse to engage in services for LGBTQs (or African Americans, or Muslims, or Hispanics, or fill in the blank here because it’s the people like the 64 year old lady who set the tone for that kind of bigoted behavior in the first place.

        They know they can refuse to provide services for the group they don’t like if they also no that little old ladies hold the same opinion.

        • Mark

          Our fictional person is just that. I think you agree that we are all racist to some extent and it is something we have to fight. A bigot, maybe? All the more reason to talk and engage to see if you can not change minds. People can and do change. A person, particularly of that age who (hypothetical person) who believes in civil unions but not marriage can be reasoned with. Labeling that person does not work.

          I am old enough to know that interracial marriage was not acceptable and it takes time for people to come around.

          • Sean Jungian

            Well, reading this, I don’t believe we’re arguing the same topic.

            Of course I don’t think anyone should be called names if they express an opinion different from mine. That’s so ridiculous that I honestly don’t even see how you got that from the blog post.

            I, too, am old enough to remember when interracial marriage was not acceptable (spoiler alert: it still isn’t in a lot of the U.S.. I don’t know why you’re so hung up on one sentence out of the entire essay.

          • Mark

            With complicated issues such as this it is easy for miscommunication and and for misreading things. I am no exception to this.

        • sirjonk

          So Obama and Hillary were bigots and religious zealots 5 years ago. Great.

          • Sean Jungian

            Oh, aren’t you something!

            You forgot the “gotcha!”

            1/10 would not be trolled by again.

      • Sarah

        I’m wondering why we would assume she’s not homophobic though, or that she’s a civil union supporter.

        • Mark

          Well with that definition Both Clintons and Obama were homophobic just a few years ago.

          implies that people can change views with out labeling them

          • Sarah

            That doesn’t answer my question about why we would make that assumption. I should say at this point that I’m not particularly wedded to the idea of Obama, Clinton or any other Democrat you care to mention not having been homophobic until quite recently, by the way.

          • Mark

            Ok I see.

            It is a hypothetical so the person could be anything you want.

            You can’t assume anything until you ask someone or hear what they had to say.

            Only then will you know what they think.

            I would say my first reaction to any person saying that would be, why did say that, what do you think?

            If someone is marching and saying all gays are going to hell, then their would be nothing to question. Given the circumstances I might just label that person and disengage or even attack. In other circumstances I might try to persuade if I thought I stood a chance.

          • Sarah

            Yes indeed it’s a hypothetical.

            Having read the rest of your posts, I got the impression you’re trying to make a useful contribution to the discussion rather than troll or shit stir. That’s a fair assessment, yes?

            With that in mind, I would have thought it’d be more sensible to be grounding the examples you use to try and persuade people in the plausible. So for example, there are probably people who are anti and indeed pro gay marriage for very bizarre and unusual reasons, but they’re likely to be sufficiently marginal to the discussion that one wouldn’t mention them. It would be more logical for your hypothetical people to hold mainstream opinions.

            So, either you think your non-bigoted, pro civil union gay marriage opponent is sufficiently representative that we might reasonably expect a gay marriage opponent we ran into in the South to hold those views, in which case I’d like to know why. Or you don’t, in which case I’d like to know why you chose that example and what you would advocate for people to do when faced with the mainstream view?

          • Mark

            Fair enough. My ability to create thoughtful well thought out arguments on my iPhone is limited.

            So now we are adding the south to this? Ok, I have no idea of percentages and indeed in real life I would find it hard to not think what you think. Omg they are bringing up the Jesus factor and telling me all gays are going to hell. The south, where if I travel through I don’t even mention being Jewish or from NY. In the past I would be afraid of physical attack now I don’t want to be ‘shown Jesus’

            I would be hopeful I would get a response that was not all gays are going to hell. I mean that is my whole point don’t label people.

            I am glad you see I am not trolling.

          • Sarah

            I thought you had said the south, apologies if that was someone else.

            Basically, fundamentally I don’t see any reason to make an assumption that someone holding a harmful view is doing so whilst coming from a less harmful perspective. Much less so that if they are, they’re representative of people holding harmful views.

          • Mark

            Sara I think we are loosing my main point. I deal and talk to all sorts of people and if I want to change their minds I have to talk to an individual.

            I never ever said to tolerate hate or put up with it.

            But I am finding less and less to talk about.

            Until I know why a person thinks one way or another I can’t assume anything good or bad. I certainly don’t want to put people on the defensive because I am making assumptions based on how a larger group thinks. Privately I might hold a tentative conclusion but I try not to act on it.

    • fiftyfifty1

      ” 64-year-old ”

      Perhaps there is an age when old dogs really can’t be expected to learn new tricks, but at 64!? I sure hope that people don’t tiptoe around me when I’m only 64.

      • BeatriceC

        MrC is 63. Nope. That argument doesn’t hold water.

      • Sean Jungian

        Yeah 64 doesn’t get a pass anymore, maybe someone in their late 90s?

        My boss is 62 and I still challenge him on his casual (unnoticed) sexism and racism – and AGEISM if you can believe it (in the form of “these kids today!”).

        He has, I daresay, learned to think a little more about what he says and the attitudes he holds. I know I did change his mind about trans people using the bathroom they feel most comfortable in.

        Plenty of work to do still.

  • MaineJen
    • Mel

      Yeah, Trump’s in for some rude surprises.

      When you are the President of a company, you have very wide latitude to fire people for hurting the company brand in any way including bad-mouthing the boss. It’s the trade-off of accepting a paid position from the point of view of the employee.

      When you are the president of the USA, you have no latitude in suing or firing people who bad-mouth you. After all, being a citizen does not make you a paid employee of the President.

      Trump’s record in winning lawsuits he brings against people is atrocious – but the fear of being embroiled in a costly lawsuit is enough to keep many businesses and employees silent. As a government official, suing people is strongly discouraged – and if he tries, there are lots of NGOs and liberal groups/donors with deep pockets who are raring to have Trump’s head handed to him on a platter by a judge or two.

      • Who?

        I like your confidence. It’s not clear to me that ‘the system’ will be able to contain him.

        • Mel

          I don’t mean to minimize the amount of damage he can and will do. He’s a walking human disaster creator but he’s pulled some bat-shit crazy ideas from business that won’t go over well with judges who view narrow construction of the law as ideal let alone broad constructionists.

          He’s also a raging narcissist who has no tolerance for perceived criticisms. Again, while that can work in a business if you own the business – although it often ends in a failed business – that’s going to make working with Congress hard for him. Anyone who is annoyed with him knows they can poke him – even slightly – and he goes bonkers. That can be used to mess with party coherence and give lots of ammo for the 2018 mid-terms or the 2020 election.

          Trump has the power to mess a lot of people up – but he’s also got a lot of people who don’t want him to destroy their careers in politics and who have no particular loyalty to him.

          My motto right now is “Keep both eyes open and be prepared.” Being concerned and alert is healthy and empowering; letting my natural anxiety about this situation blind me from the realities of some of structural issues Trump is facing and completely unready for robs me of the creativity, fortitude and forbearance I’m need to be ready and waiting when Trump moves towards illiberal democracy.

  • Mel

    I’ve got a few other issues that have become clearer to me since I’ve lived in the country combined with growing up in a blue/grey collar area.

    1) White working class often voted for the candidate who told them exactly what they wanted to hear – that good, high-paying jobs for people who have completed little or no post-secondary education can easily returned to the US with no sacrifice by anyone what so ever.

    2) The failure of white working class people to have their standards of living rise as much as had hoped for back in the 1970’s-1990’s when factory jobs were available is not due to outcomes of economic policies voted in by Republicans but totally due to “outsiders” like Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims and….I dunno….anyone who is not a white Christian.

    3) When you live in a small town, what you KNOW about your neighbors matters a lot more than any rational discussion of actual welfare policies. Shit, my neighbors swear left and right that so-and-so’s family is totally living high on the hog off of welfare and has been forever. The fact that welfare has been severely limited sine 1996 for adults and the fact that no one actually has any proof that so-and-so’s family are doing well without resorting to credit default, under-the-table working options and some mild criminal activities instead of welfare is irrelevant.

    4) The human mind can compartmentalize it self amazingly. I’m a woman working for a local university and getting an advanced degree – but I’m not a snobby liberal elite because I live in the community. The local Hispanic people who work here and run businesses are great – and totally not like those evil undocumented Hispanic workers who are ruining the US. Our local African-American family are so caring and hard-working – unlike those welfare queen blacks who are killing each other in the streets everywhere else.

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    I think gerrymandering definitely played a role. Rural and southern Ohio tend to be conservative, but the big cities, especially along the north coast lean heavily towards the Democrats. Which is why at the last census we are now represented by 1 Democrat who’s zone goes between Toledo and Cleveland rather than 2. …At least Joe the Plumber didn’t win against her. He actually ran.

  • Heidi

    Is it me or are certain people saying they totally and knowingly voted for a candidate that will be in their worst interest yet are wanting “liberals” to apologize for making them do so? I have entertained the idea that maybe this was an eff you to what people perceive to be elitism but when the Trump supporters actually know he’s full of it and are aware he and his team are racist, sexist, homophobic scumbags, I’m scratching my head. They seem to have cut off their noses to spite their face.

    • MaineJen

      That’s exactly what they’ve done.

  • namaste863

    Don’t forget corporations. These days the system is rigged for them to basically buy elections. And, surprise surprise, who do they buy? The ones that promise to line their pockets.

  • PrimaryCareDoc
    • Madtowngirl

      My state is actually under investigation for this. There was a voter ID law passed (last year, or earlier this one, I can’t recall). But it was then ruled that individuals could vote without one on a provisional ballot. This exception was not only not widely disseminated, people were actually turned away at the polls for not having the correct ID.

      Apparently some people were claiming it was 300,000 – I think that a huge exaggeration, but there were at least a handful in my city. Would it have swayed the election? I have no idea. But I keep getting told that it’s not a big deal that “even one person” was denied their right to vote. I wonder if it’s a big deal if just one person gets denied their right to own a gun? Or protest?

  • Lemongrass

    So what do we do? It feels like we are stuck in a vicious cycle. As long as they control the house and senate, these laws are unlikely to change. If they don’t change, they are going to continue to have an advantage in the house and senate and around and around it goes…

    • namaste863

      We protest. Not with our voices or by marching in the streets. If there’s one thing that this election has made abundantly clear to me at least is that our voices mean jack shit. We hit them were it really hurts- their wallets. We boycott businesses, we make campaign contributions, we cut into profits however we can. They will hear us then.

    • Sean Jungian

      We do both! Boycott, protest, donate, call out bullshit when you see it, make it awkward, EVERY TIME YOU CAN.

      Don’t give up. Don’t give tacit support to this hatefulness by doing nothing and being quiet.

      Do some of this or do all of these. Even if it’s just speaking up in a comment forum or on Facebook, speak up.

    • Sean Jungian
    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild