this is a FB post from a good friend of mine who i debate with quite a bit over various topics.
For all of you who feel the need to post something about Donald trump, a few requests:
Please, stop with the comparisons to Hitler.
When people conjure up the ghost of Hitler, invariably they use it in this context: whomever they are against is Hitler, whomever doesnt see the brilliance of their argument is Chamberlain and they of course are Churchill. This is just embarrassing for all involved. It is the same tactic, with the same lack of intellectual rigor, and the same pre-emptive strike used in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003, and it is being used similarly now to demonize Trump. (Then it was youre weak and Im strong, now its youre evil and Im good) The USA in 2016 is not the Weimar Republic, any comparison is beyond fatuous- in other words youre reaching, and that is being charitable. And like the more rabid supporters of the Iraq war, I suspect you too know this. Or you are being genuine, in which case I can only lament the apparent non-use of the information available to you. This shows yet again that there is precious little difference between the left and the right, in that they use the same tactics, and have the same intolerance for debate. Demagogues are all of our common enemy, and Trump may very well be one, but you must present evidence of this. What you are actually doing by making claims relating Trump to Hitler, is making it easier for a potential demagogue because people simply stop believing you. The boy who cried wolf. There is no comparison between the two, and it is as cheap as it is lazy, totally disregarding one of the most terrible events in Human history and its millions of victims. The road to fascism is paved by the prohibition of discussion, and that is what this is. No argument is being presented, just the castigation of those who dont hold your views exactly. To the extent that Trump is anything more than what he says he is, by preventing the free discussion of ideas, by twisting words and assigning intention, you begin paving that road. Paving the road to fascism with good intentions. Your apparent desire to be the good guy is leading you to become what you claim to oppose.
Please, use your own words:
If you want to support or oppose trump, then do so with logic, reason, informed debate and respect for the other opinion. Calling trump Hitler is none of these things. In effect, your argument is that Trump is something because you say he is which earns you fellow travelers whom you may be surprised to find yourself in league with. Hello theocrats. Please, write something in your own words, a sentence or two describing your position relative to his ideas, policies. It is soooo tiresome to see you posting memes without your own effort. Take a position he has and argue for or against it, and that means talk about the issues and stop lowering the debate. Writing something is an honest attempt at expressing yourself, whereas the mindless posting of poorly reasoned, rabidly biased and frequently wildly inaccurate or outright lies in the form of a picture with captions is exactly what is wrong with the conversation. By all means continue doing so, but I may point out that it is most likely having the exact opposite effect you intend and most importantly, if these tactics do succeed? It will not be a victory for reason, logic and integrity.
Please, stop posting pictures of "Donald trumps's son with a dead elephant":
Just think about this for a minute: it does take some effort to organize your thoughts, but here goes- 1) is that his son? 2) How does this relate the presidency? 3) Trumps son is the biggest danger to elephants?…. I personally am not going to shoot an elephant, or anything else Im not going to eat. (Unless its trying to eat me ) This may be a sign of personal moral virtue on my part- or not- but thats all it is. If this is trumps son, and if there is a dead elephant there, what was the nature of the killing? Legal? Who knows? Again: I am not going to do this, and find it somewhat repugnant, but those are not my elephants and trophy hunters are not the threat to these animals. Habitat loss and poaching are, and trophy hunting doesnt merit mention with those two. And I cannot help but notice that the solution to habitat loss and poaching are difficult, both from an actionable standpoint and ethical/moral positions, while blaming Trumps son? Is easy. Trumps son? Its as if youve skirted over the broken leg and the punctured lung and decided the mosquito bite is the problem. And again, I suspect you know this.
Trump is not my ideal candidate. (and I'm not from the USA so this is all just discussion.) For my fantasy team, I have to say, he would not be on it. We seldom get the leaders we need, but we definitely get the ones we deserve. If you are opposed to Justin Trudeau in Canada, you have no one else to blame but yourself and the fraud of a conservative party you backed for years. Here in BC, if you dont like Christy Clark 57% of the population voted. 57% or less. Was everyone out of the province? Didnt get the voting card? Her supporters voted, where were you ? If you live in Vancouver and are rightly upset about housing prices- what did you think was going to happen? Likewise, if you go so far as to change the meaning of language in your efforts to perform mental gymnastics to avoid talking about say- illegal immigration, then you leave it to whoever first points out the sheer nonsense of what you are saying. "Undocumented migrants?" Didnt Orwell warn us of this newspeak? And the more you prevent that discussion, the harsher it will be when it finally happens. And you betray yourself here. It is a simple question really, is there a difference between legal and illegal immigration? If you enter the country legally, you are therefore legally in the country. If you enter the country illegally, you are therefore in the country illegally. Or not. And take that where it may. People have the right to guard their borders, to have an identity and this does not make them kooks, or bad people. They may have profound reasons for thinking this way. And it is never addressed. And you wonder why they flock to the first person to say, in effect, the emperor has no clothes.
I find particular irony in the attacks against him from people who lean more to the secular left. Secularism is based upon respect for evidence, free and open debate and the belief that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And as it turns out, this means you also have to provide evidence when you make serious allegations against someone; Trump may be any of the labels you have mentioned, but you have not mentioned any evidence. (in fact you have said nothing in your own words, merely seconded anothers, which at it's least, is a desire to appear as something without putting the effort into it, and at it's worst a hallmark of mob rule.) Your endorsement here, is really similar to what happens, or used to happen to anyone who pointed out the illegal nature of Israeli settlements in the west bank, in that they would be labelled anti-Semites. Calling people racist, or any other phoebe is not just similar to this tactic, it is the same tactic.
The attacks on Trump, who I remain very much suspicious of/agnostic on, come in pretty much one form- personal and devoid of content. His last name was Drumpf? Really? Thats the best you can do? His family changed the name to escape prejudice against Germans? Its incredibly ironic, because its the one thing he is definitely guilty of, lowering the discourse, and he has everybody following him right on down. Where-he-will-win.
Watching the latest combination Don Quixote/kamikaze attack by yet another member of the media/establishment, it is with some amusement: it is like a science fiction/monster movie, where the trump-zilla monster appears and the good guys shoot at it with their lasers, and every time they do so it grows bigger. And you in the audience realize that the trump-zilla is actually benefiting from the attacks! But they keep shooting at it, in a wild eyed frantic fashion, spraying from the hip, one after another as they each decide that they will be the one to slay the dragon, charging forward screaming nonsense, baffling the audience. Its like lemmings with delusions of grandeur.
In an era of soundbites and limited character twitter rampages, we get further and further away from understanding- there are some things that cannot be explained in 30 minutes, never mind the flash of time that is the effort required to re-tweet or post some mindless meme.
It is the societal wide stealth prohibition of speech that has brought Trump to the fore, and again- people are flocking to the first person to call the political correctness bluff. What is the left going to do when the accusations of racism are no longer the shut-down argument? Because that is what it is used for now, it is used to stop the debate. Much like the accusations of insufficient patriotism, or moral cowardice by the right, these are tactics, devoid of any logical basis, cheap tricks that prevent any real conversation about important topics. And they dont work forever. And the problem only gets bigger in the meantime. Imagine what the world would look like today if the opponents of the Iraq war had not caved in so cravenly to the accusations of weakness leveled against them? And imagine what the world will look like 10 years from now if we all cave into the accusations of whatever ism is so cavalierly and without evidence leveled against us?
We are learning that pestilence can imagine its the reason for existence and that the hosts it lives on must be swept away in order for it to attain its rightful place. Only one thing matters: subduing its hosts. Right, wrong; good, bad; progress, stagnation; life, death, those things matter only insofar as its helpful for humanity to believe that pestilence favors whats best for it. The reality of places where its already taken hold? Pay no attention to news media and history books.