Anyone here remember that funky old movie with Patrick Swayze, "Road House?" Swayze plays the cooler at a gin joint whose clientele are barely civilized, and he's tasked with bringing the place under control. There's that one scene where he's instructing his crew on how to deal with unruly customers, and he says repeatedly, "Be nice." Then he comes to a point where he concludes: "I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice." Being civil, being polite, "taking the high road" is all fine, well, and good ... up to the point where it has become eminently clear that your opponent has no intention of following suit.
We have long since passed that point with the administration of Donald Trump, and treating him and his cronies as such is badly overdue. His attitude toward the press, our allies, immigrants legal and otherwise, and indeed anyone who has the unmitigated gall to oppose him has been allowed to go on for a year and a half, now, and it's been very nearly 18 months too long in that useless tolerance. My bud Steve Shives has made a similar observation regarding Trump, Sessions, Sanders, and the rest of their mafiosi and suggests and rightly so that treating them with kid gloves is no longer appropriate. His op-ed follows here, and I heartily recommend you give it an audition.
It is like Bill Clinton said "If you swallow poison, don't be surprised when some comes bubbling back up".
Yeah ... funny thing, that.
Liberal folk, if they’ve ever heard of tit-for-tat, refuse to play it.
For almost forty years I’ve been saying I’m a progressive and can be as mean as a conservative.
BTW, Loren, it’s okay to say I’ve proved it.
Tom, I am a firm believer in individual rights. I am also death in both hands if someone wants to fuck with MY rights. I will not turn the other cheek, and I won't back down when confronted. Stipulated that I haven't been thus confronted lately, though there's a bible-thumper somewhere down around Cincinnati who wishes he hadn't made the mistake of laying a tract on me and my wife not quite a year ago (he got rather an earful).
And I am both liberal and progressive ... though I have exactly NO time for political correctness of any stripe.
Loren, Steve Shives has a golden voice with a diamond message, able to put into a few words all the riled up emotion I feel with each new day.
If civility does not work, what will? I will not choose violent means and I don't think I have to. Steve's ideas ring true for me. We have to stop being gullible, start being informed and aware. Developing a thick skin helps as does the willingness to experience being put-down, discounted, trivialized, and demonized without accepting those name-calling strategies.
Joan, I don't have to get involved in name-calling or any suchlike, myself. Were I a restaurateur and the likes of Jeff Sessions or Sara Sanders were to enter my establishment, my message would be simple and to the point:
"If you can't be bothered to serve those who have come to this country with the expectation of help, why should I serve you? You can leave NOW."
If they can't be bothered to culture some empathy and understanding for the aggrieved circumstances some immigrants face, whether legal or otherwise, I see no reason to serve those whose salary is paid by my taxes.
Amen! (No holy.* The original meaning of "What s/he said! I believe it!" works fine. The Hebrew root is the same as in "reliable", "faith", and "truth".)
Heartless jerks are not a protected class.
* Borrowed from Godless Mom, who uses "no holy" to (1) make fun of "no homo", and (2) indicate that a "god-injected phrase" is merely a figure of speech.
Loren, a perfect example! Thanks!
Steve Shives makes some good points about uncivil people who demand civility. In Russian Bots Linked To Viral Twitter Attacks On ‘Hateful’ Dems, Papenfuss indicates that, "... Russia bots appear to be fueling a wave of criticism targeting Democrats over alleged intimidation in political confrontations and a lack of “civility,” according to bot trackers."
AN is refreshingly troll-free.
Some on the left are advocating that we out-troll trolls, adopting their tactics and behavior. For example, "Troll-Fighting Tactic #1: Mock Mercilessly" at 6 Ways to Fight Trolls Instead of Starving Them.
Scraping the left wing bottom is The Times finally gets to the bottom of Trump supporters: It turns ..., which manifests tribalism using tribalism insults. <sad exhale>
When people exploit any modicum of respect that others show them as if it were a weakness, when they exploit civility without guilt or shame, they expose a need to humiliate perceived enemies that’s symptomatic of hidden self-loathing, in my view. This is the rotten heart of macho hierarchical culture, that authentic self-worth is unimaginable. One can not simply respect him or her self as a human being, of course flawed but deserving love. Authoritarian conservative hierarchy inculcates the presupposition that everyone is inherently bad, and the only kind of respect possible is “I’m better than they are.”
Provisional self-respect based on invidious comparison is necessarily a fragile friable replacement for authentic self-respect. Hence the need to constantly prove your worth (to yourself as well as your audience). One must every moment assert status over others, constantly challenge and intimidate others, trying to fill that invisible-to-self black hole. If you already know you’re good, there’s no payoff to troll or verbally assault. There’s no “kick” in public humiliation, no “lols” in harassment. There’s no hunger for torch parades chanting your superiority to some minority. Isn’t it ironic that a troll’s worst enemy is his own internalized culture.
On the far left find the bracing alternative, generous respect for self and everyone else. Ghandi and Martin Luther King respected themselves and those who set out to be their enemies as well. The significant difference between a cooperative society and fascism, racism, and other tribalisms is this – we respect other human beings and ourselves – even though we have all failed many things and may have done despicable acts. People are complex, but not despicable. Actions are deplorable, not human beings. We can learn from our mistakes and do better.