Dave Rubin and his chat with Milo Yiannopoulos: are liberals responsible for Trump’s rise?

Here’s Dave Rubin, comedian and now Leftist (but anti-Regressive Leftist) Dave Rubin giving a brief report about an onstage conversation he had at UCLA with conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

As Heatstreet reports, and Rubin confirms, protestors blocked access to the venue for nearly two hours, delaying the presentation, and many of the protestors had no idea what Yiannopoulos thinks.  And some of the protestors spat on Yiannopoulos.

I do disagree with one of Rubin’s claims, “This [some liberals saying they’d vote for Trump to ‘break the back’ of regressive Leftism] is true confirmation of what I’ve been saying for months: if the Left won’t deal with issues like immigration and Islamism honestly, they’ll hand voters right over to Donald Trump.”

Rubin sees Trump as a creation not wholly of the Right, but largely of the Left, with Trump support being a strong reaction to the Left’s hypocrisy. While many conservatives are surely unaware of the free-speech wars and Regressive Leftism pervading college campuses, perhaps there is something to Rubin’s claim that those same conservatives disdain Democrats’ refusal to blame Islam for any bad acts, much less terrorism. But I don’t see the Democrats’ immigration policy as similarly hypocritical: it’s a hard problem and Obama et al. are trying to do something about it. Republicans’ blanket dislike of immigrants comes more from bigotry and economic fears than from Leftist policy.

Is the Left to blame, then, for the rise of Trump? I don’t think so, but James Lindsay, in a piece at allthink.com, advises liberals to stop calling Trump a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, or a Nazi. Why?

Those phrases, when directed against Trump or the angry conservative machine that is feeding his success as a candidate, are helping – not hurting – his chances in November.

People left, right, and center – but especially on the right – are justifiably sick and tired of being called bigots and having almost everything in social politics reduced to smear campaigns about bigotry. This overbearing assault is the well-intended and ill-conceived product of a fashionable strain of progressivism that has taken it as a holy mission to stamp out bigotry in all its forms in every corner of our society.

The over-application of terms of bigotry as a means of silencing disagreement with a left-bending social orthodoxy has become, shall we say, “problematic.” As a result, words like racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobe, and the rest, have become conservative dog-whistles that mean “honest and brave,” and “willing to speak his mind (without fear).” Like the inappropriate application of an antibiotic, the incessant misuse of these terms has created a superbug.

The real question is how it has missed nearly everyone’s notice that perhaps the most commonly stated reason for support for Trump, “I like him because he’s not afraid to speak his mind,” might have something to do with hating the excesses of political correctness. (Is there a parallel here to left-wing denials of the open admissions made by jihadists who claim that they attack for Islam?) What, exactly, do people imagine that angry conservatives are glad he’s got the nerve to say openly?

Readers are invited to weigh in with agreement or disagreement. I do have to say that calling Trump names doesn’t seem to me a productive strategy for liberals. Far better to attack his policies, or simply recount the odious statements he’s made.

h/t: Grania


  1. geckzilla
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I think James is probably right that no one will be gaining any traction with Trump’s supporters by trying to convince him he’s bigoted in all of those ways. Pointing out his many inconsistencies and lies is probably a better way to go. Dishonesty is almost universally detestable and will show that he can’t be trusted to follow through with anything he says at all. Right now they see him as a gamble and something they’d rather take over something they’re sure they won’t like. There’s not really much you can do about that other than to somehow show that that gamble is actually more sure to run you into the ground a lot harder than the other option will.

  2. Charlie Jones
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I pay more attention to the news and current events than a lot of people, and yet I don’t normally come across the regressive or authoritarian left except as reported on WEIT. In my day-to-day existence terms like ‘racist’ seem to be used sparingly and only when accurate (e.g., Paul Ryan on Trump), and thus I wonder if this PCness isn’t such a big deal for most people.

    The big caveat is that I don’t watch much TV, and never the TV news, and so perhaps I miss a lot of the authoritarian left. Is this where most people get their PC doses?

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen quite a rise of this regression in the online blogging world by those whose principles they claim naturally align with liberalism… yet more often and more lately and with great moral sanctimony exercise easy fascist tactics today than years ago of moderating and banning for mistaking honest and well-reasoned criticism for perceived intolerance, bigotry, and racism… a la the Harris-Affleck example… as if the blog itself (or website) might become infected by and a carrier of illiberalism!

      Of particular note is how quiet, how utterly silent, are so many other voices when this happens. And I think it’s happening more often and more easily today than yesterday because criticism of this practice (to silence and dis-invite challenging opinions) is itself considered a Great Sin, at least as much a social faux-pas as it is an indication of some supposedly dangerous fomenting sympathy for those who want to exercise intolerance, bigotry, and racism. Pointing out a problem is very often taken to be a much greater ethical crime than the problem itself… no matter how terrible or pernicious the problem being criticized may be.

      Using the values of the Enlightenment – say, free speech – to justify undermining the values of the Enlightenment – say, calling for a ban of free speech – seems to me to be very foolhardy. yet this movement of intolerant censure is what I see being supported by more and more liberals all the time… if not actively then by tacit silence.

    • Kevin
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      From what I can tell, it is largely a phenomena that is supported by college kids. Though I never read any news except WEIT and Wikipedia.

      I do, however, hear people talk about how silly and childish and immature and weak people are becoming at dealing with being criticized. It’s as if people feel like they are being raped by freedom of speech. Very very odd. What’s needed is dialogue and perspective.

    • Victoria
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Do you read comment sections? That’s where the real interaction is. From the New York Times to Alternet, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a critical opinion on restricting immigration or Islam that didn’t get tarred-and-feathered by someone as ‘racist,’ no matter how nuanced or supported by evidence.

  3. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    People left, right, and center – but especially on the right – are justifiably sick and tired of being called bigots and having almost everything in social politics reduced to smear campaigns about bigotry.

    Ha ha ha. If the right is tired of being called bigots, they should stop engaging in bigotry. Trump’s success comes from using a bullhorn, not a dog whistle, to broadcast his bigotry.

    One could comment on his policies, or his statements, but the conclusion is that they are bigoted.

    • Scott Draper
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      You totally miss the point of the article.

      • Reginald Selkirk
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        You totally miss the point of the article.

        I totally deny the subterfuge of blaming someone else for your own failings.

    • J. Quinton
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      There was a study done, I can’t remember the exact details, where people were given a random personality assessment.

      I think it was telling the person whether they were a cheater or not.

      Anyway, the assessment wasn’t real, it just randomly told people that they were either cheaters or not. People who were told that they weren’t cheaters, when asked how they felt about cheaters, said that they didn’t like cheaters. However, the people who were told that they *were* cheaters, and then asked how they felt about cheaters, said that cheaters weren’t that bad.

      The logic was, if I’m a cheater, and I’m not a bad person, then a cheater must not be a bad person.

      Magnify that phenomenon to the entirety of Trump and his supporters, and you’ll see why glib statements like “LOL if you don’t want to be a bigot stop acting like a bigot” won’t sway *anyone*. If you continually call someone a racist/homophobe/misogynist, and they don’t think they’re actually a bad person, then whoever else you call a racist/homophobe/misogynist they’re going to think is also not a bad person.

      • FiveGreenLeafs
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I think you are on to something here…

        Watching this election unfolding, as a casually interested outsider, has been very surreal in many ways.

        First, the (apparent) enormity of the collective cognitive bias regarding, on one hand, the emerging evidence for Trumps rise during the autumn/winter, and on the other, the almost daily claims in newspapers and media that he could never make it.

        Then this shifted to say, that if Trump would become the republican candidate, it would be a slam dunk for Hillary…

        Well, from where I am sitting, I don’t think this is necessary the case either.

        To this point, I think there exist another side to the research you are referring to (that I also have a vague memory of, without being able to pin it down), and that is, that when you use such terms against other people – as racist, bigots and so on – you also often (i think) impair your own ability to perceive and understand the motives and reasons of your opponents.

        They are below contempt, they are less than you, (and in old terms) they are the enemy. And in psychological terms, you don’t try to empathize with or understand the enemy – you try to destroy him.

        But what I think you need to do to counter Trump, is to genuinely understand him, and the people who support him and the real underlying reasons he resonates so strongly with so many.

        Throwing such epithets around, while it might feel very satisfying emotionally, could be (I believe) truly harmful in that respect…

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Ok, but at some point you’ve got to call a spade a spade.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Are there degrees of bigotry ranging from mild to murderous? Yes; and perhaps we should be more sensitive to this continuum in our discourse, but xenophobia and tribalism are undeniably a part of the mainstream right-wing worldview.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      And, there you go.

    • Posted June 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      The problem is that calling some voter a bigot may be followed by taking his rights away.

  4. Cindy
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Conor Friedersdorf makes a similar argument in this discussion with Glenn Loury:


  5. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Not to minimize Trump’s bigotry, but I think calling him a racist for his remarks about the judge in the Trump University case is off the mark. “Mexican” isn’t a race. It is, at most, an ethnicity. From his photograph the judge looks as white as Trump. This is not unlike calling people who criticize Islam racists. Nevertheless, Trump’s behavior is deplorable.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I agree about the technical content of your comment; but prejudice against Hispanics in the US is generally grouped under the term “racist”.

      So, for instance, Paul Ryan’s comments on Trump on this issue are on the mark.

      As you noted, Trump is convicted by his own mouth of bigotry (among many other distasteful personality traits).

      The fact that a person of Trump’s character is going to be a major party candidate for US President makes me ill.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Republican CNN commentator Ana Navarro said something yesterday I thought was interesting. She noted that a majority of people have been saying that while Trump is making comments that are racist, they don’t think he actually is a racist. She said, and I’ve decided I agree, that the problem is that Trump (like many) doesn’t realize he’s a racist. That you can’t go around constantly saying racist things like he does and not be a racist.

        It’s not just Mexicans either. He speaks about African-Americans in an incredibly patronizing way – there have been two examples just in the last week, and one of those was in his teleprompter speech that was supposed to help him get it right.

        • Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes; no one would self-identify as racist, or sexist, or etc. That’s part of why it’s difficult to eradicate racism, sexism, etc. Everyone thinks their notions are just the way things are. A person will think black people are thugs because they just are. That’s not racism, no, no! That’s just the way it is. You can’t call someone racist for just making objective observations.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


      • Victoria
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        And it is “generally grouped” thusly to silence dissenting opinion on immigration and assimilation. The same vicious smear is used with islam, for the same reason.

  6. Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Trump shows himself a bigot by his own words. Even his declared supporters recognize this (e.g. Paul Ryan).

    To not call him out on it is not the right play here.

    • Curt Cameron
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Sure, call him out on it, but I think the point of what Lindsay wrote is that simply calling him “bigot” won’t work. You need to point out how he said that almost all Mexican immigrants were rapists, how he slammed a judge in an active case because the judge’s parents were originally from Mexico. How he insults women. How he believes batshit-crazy conspiracy theories like Obama was born in Kenya, or that Cruz’s dad was involved in the JFK assassination.

      In other words, call him out on it by describing the awful stuff he does, not by calling him names.

      • Cindy
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        You need to point out how he said that almost all Mexican immigrants were rapists

        I still haven’t seen evidence where Trump explicitly stated that all Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals.

        In fact, he has quite a large Hispanic following.

        From what I have seen, he explicitly stated that ILLEGAL immigration is what should be controlled, and that rape is a serious problem south of the border. And yes, girls traveling from Central America are warned to take contraception first because rape is a certainty en route.

        • Somite
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          There you go. According to Trump immigrants are rapists: http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/25/exp-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-immigration-intv-erin.cnn

        • Curt Cameron
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          It was when he said this:

          “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

          Then, after a pause, adds an exception:

          “And some, I assume, are good people.”

          Although he didn’t say “illegal immigrants,” I’ll grant you that’s probably what he meant. But still, he said they were criminals and rapists. Maybe, possibly maybe, there are some who aren’t.

          • imnotno
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

            So what exactly are you disputing? Everything Trump said is factually accurate. And your response supports that – even you acknowledged that he was referring specifically to some, not all, illegal immigrants.

            Now, you cannot possibly be disputing that illegal immigrants are known to get involved with Mexican drug cartels and drug smuggling.

            Are you disputing that illegal immigrants are bringing crime? Note: If they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. So this is automatically true. But beyond that, even without doing further research, it’s extremely well-established that very poor, uneducated, and desperate populations are prone to much higher crime rates. There is nothing to dispute here.

            So I’ll assume it’s the rape comment that bothers you. And I’m sorry, but it’s true. And his brief remark shows that he’s probably pretty well-educated on a serious (and largely ignored) problem.
            There are a lot of ugly facts that the left is cheerfully pretending don’t exist.

            #1: 80% of Central American women crossing Mexico to illegally immigrate to the US are raped along the way. Source article. (Fusion is a Univision company.) This is appalling statistic is indicative of the fact that…

            #2: Mexico has a real rape culture problem.
            And Some associated comments and stories from Mexicans on a feminist subreddit. This sort of thing isn’t exactly a secret. I’ve been reading stories like these for many years, and it’s really sad.

            #3: This is what it looks like in action.

            So you tell me. What’s more offensive: Trump acknowledging the existence of a serious problem, or the left pretending it doesn’t exist, while people suffer for it?

            • Jeremy Tarone
              Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              And yet illegal immigrants have some of the lowest crime stats in the USA. As for the truth of what he said he said “They’re not sending you”, which means he’s saying Americans don’t commit crime, or rape. Which is clearly false. Again, illegal immigrants commit less crime on average than American citizens.

              But then it’s not politically viable for Trump to tell his supporters that illegal immigrants are on average better behaved as a group.

              That’s the problem with Trumps speech, he implies the illegal immigrants are worse. They aren’t. Yes, Mexico does have problems, and those coming across the border are generally trying to get away from those problems. But America has problems too. America has rapists and drug lords too. But you wouldn’t think so by Trump’s words. “They’re not sending you”. Actually “They” are sending anyone. The people are coming by their own initiative.

              It’s simply disingenuous to listen to Trumps words and say they are factual. Context matters. And Trump was doing his best to paint illegal immigrants as criminal compared with Americans. And that simply is not true. As for your suggestion that girls and women are raped along the way to the USA, that is “along the way to the USA” not in it.

              Why are you using statistics that paint the illegal immigrants as victims to support Trumps assertions that illegal aliens are criminals? It’s not the coyotes that are moving up. It’s their victims.

              • Victoria
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

                “And yet illegal immigrants have some of the lowest crime stats in the USA.”

                You provide no objective evidence for this claim. You just repeat it.

                Illegal immigrants have all broken immigration law ipso facto, so any honest analysis has to start from that acknowledgement.

                Besides are you saying illegal immigration justifiable if illegal immigrants otherwise commit fewer crimes than our unusually violent (by developed nation standards) native-born populace?

              • imnotno
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

                No, illegal immigrants most assuredly do not have a low crime rate.
                Legal immigrants are the ones with an incredibly low crime rate.

                I can’t fault you, personally, for this misunderstanding, though. The media has been purposely conflating legal and illegal immigrants in order to discredit Trump’s position. They also twist and exploit holes in our data collection – of course, it’s difficult to keep straight numbers with illegal immigrants. And they actively try to twist that to make it seem like the crime rates are low, when in fact they simply are not.

                The left’s suddenly freakout about the border is pretty funny, though. Hillary Clinton, as senator, supported building a border fence. And she was right to do so.
                Then again, Senator Hillary Clinton also supported racial profiling after 9/11. But I guess it’s magically not racist when Democrats do it.

                But frankly, if these people are so upstanding, they would immigrate legally. Criminally cheating the system for selfish personal gain isn’t exactly the kind of behavior we should be looking for when taking in would-be immigrants.

                Our legal immigrants are some of our best people. They’re the ones who had to bust their asses to move here. They had to show their loyalty and dedication. They proved their committment to our country, our values, and our way of life. It doesn’t take much effort to see why they are a population with a very, very low crime rate.

                (Link is PDF) Here is the GAO study, mentioned in the other articles.

                Here is a light analysis from an anti-Trump source. Load page and CTRL+F for the word “definition” (no quotes) to skip past the fluff.

                Here is another, more detailed analysis of the GAO study.

                (Link is PDF) NBPC testimony regarding border security problems. Mildly off-topic, but loosely relevant and interesting nonetheless.

                As for your ending statement, I addressed that faulty criticism in another reply to someone else who made a similar point.

                But again. The coyotes are coming here to do it. Our faulty border controls encourage and enable these criminals’ involvement in illegal immigration. Working to stop illegal immigration would also reduce the occurences of these crimes.

              • Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


            • GBJames
              Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

              “80% of Central American women crossing Mexico to illegally immigrate to the US are raped along the way.”

              Ah. I get it. Being raped is like being bitten by a vampire. The victim becomes a rapist!

              This is classic right wing nut-job reasoning at work.

              • imnotno
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

                Is this a joke response?
                You put forth an outrageously stupid and ridiculous straw man, then debunked your own idiotic “argument”. All while completely ignoring everything I actually said and linked to.

                Who do you think is doing the raping? Maybe it’s ghosts?
                Wait, no, it’s Mexican criminals who are involved in illegal human trafficking. And they do it on US soil.

                “Just before sundown, a group of men cloaked in camouflage from the Texas Border Volunteers halts their all terrain vehicle, along a winding sandy road. As they make their way around the heavy brush, they circle around a pile of women’s undergarments, which lay at the foot of a tree. In sections of land near the U.S.-Mexico border, this is known as a “rape tree.” And for the residents of Brooks County, Texas, rape trees are popping up at an alarming frequency.”
                Quote source link in my previous post.

                PS, I’m liberal. Voted Obama twice, and for Kerry before him.
                Not that it should matter.
                People aren’t magically wrong because they view politics different from you.
                People aren’t magically evil because they view politics different from you.

                People can disagree with your views, and they can still be right.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

                The point is that Trump didn’t say the people coming from Mexico were rape victims. He said they were rapists, except for a few who (he assumes) aren’t.

                This is idiotic right wing nut jobbery. And if you think he’s “speaking the truth” then you’re having a hard time telling truth from fiction regardless of who you voted for in past presidential elections.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

                The point, which you seem determined to deliberately miss, is that Trump did not say Mexicans were rapist.
                He said that there was a problem in allowing all sorts of criminal types in through the border.
                Whether or not he is actually correct is irrelevant.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

                “They’re rapists.” Trump’s exact words. He was talking about “the people they’re sending” (a stupid statement in many ways). He was talking about Mexico.

                It takes a particularly pretzel-shaped kind of logic to conclude “Trump did not say Mexicans were rapists”.

            • Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              Of the 12 million immigrants, only half are from Mexico. In fact, the rate has been in decline since its peak in 2007. Where do the other 50% come from, and where is *that* wall going to go? Trump has yet to mention anyone else in the same disparaging terms.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

                He did say it’s not only Mexico, but people coming from all over.

            • Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

              If you think that “some aren’t” comment of Trump’s was anything more than the token gesture of all token gestures, and that what he wanted people to walk away with wasn’t “Mexicans = bad”, then I have a bridge to sell you.

          • Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about in regards to Mexican “illegal immigrants”. Many of them are well educated in Mexico, continue their higher education in the U.S. and perform important work here. Many others are poorer, less well-educated people who want employment for themselves and opportunities for their children. If you will notice, farm laborers are mostly hispanics. But, many are chefs, hotel/motel workers, construction workers,
            gardeners, etc. All the ones I know personally are hard working people, many of whom are very well off due to that hard work.

            I object to the fact that it seems so easy for
            illegals to get into the U.S., but it’s up to us to fix that flaw; not to demonize and ridicule the people who take advantage of it.

            • Posted June 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

              “I object to the fact that it seems so easy for
              illegals to get into the U.S., but it’s up to us to fix that flaw.”

              I do not see, however, how the flaw could be fixed if those who express willingness to fix it are demonized, and the public is constantly conditioned that illegal immigrants must not be deported but must instead be rewarded with amnesty, plus more must be allowed to come.

      • GBJames
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        “In other words, call him out on it by describing the awful stuff he does, not by calling him names.”

        I think this is a false dichotomy. If you say “Donald Trump is a bigot” you are not “calling him names”, you are reasonably describing his character. You can make your description more effective by adding ” which you can see in this quote….”. So it is preferable to offer the more complete description, but the short version is still accurate.

        • Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink


        • Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          I think of it like this: The label “racist” or whatever is a *summary*, to whatever degree of accuracy.

  7. Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This is very powerful, in my opinion, (since we’re discussing Trump’s reprehensible behavior and attitudes):

  8. Scott Draper
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I agree somewhat with both Rubin and Lindsay.

    Regarding Rubin, it’s inevitable that any perceived rise in the power of the left will result in a counter-movement from the right. Political correctness and the success of the LGBT movement have doubtless make conservatives more angry.

    What both the left and the right need to realize is that it’s short-sighted to force their agenda on the public with a slim majority. They need to convince the majority of Americans the rightness of their causes.

    As for Lindsay, yes, leftists try to shut down conversation by shouting “bigot”; think about how that was used in the A+ initiative.

    • Cindy
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink


      As for Lindsay, yes, leftists try to shut down conversation by shouting “bigot” think about how that was used in the A+ initiative.

      “”For example, feminist ideology taught me that any opinions that were conservative, or just didn’t align with the party line were violence. It also taught me that the best way to fight opposition is to try to silence it. Don’t like what someone says? Protest them. Shut their event down.

      In retrospect, the fact that I openly embraced an ideology that claimed that holding a conservative viewpoint is the same as life-threatening violence, isn’t just absurd, it’s embarrassing. How was I so deluded?

      The advent of conservative speakers being de-platformed or harassed by screaming social justice warriors is a logical consequence of an ideology that equates conservative opinions with physical violence.””


      I really do wonder how many A+er types are true believers (that words are violence) or if they just claim that they are in order to gain the moral high ground. When I used to post on various SJW blogs, I would *knowingly* try to gain the moral high ground by using similar tactics. Any chance that you could label your opponent as a bigot, hateful, misogynist etc immediately gave you the upper hand *and* impressed your fellow SJWs, which is what it was all about. And the more nasty you could be towards your opponent would only serve to make you look more righteous in the eyes of your fellow SJWs. I think there is a word for that…oh yeah…virtue signalling.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        “How was I so deluded?” The bigger question is how did you realize you were mistaken?

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Ok, but does that mean it’s time to stop calling bigots bigots?

      I’m not going refrain from calling a nasty, bigoted right-winger a bigot just because some SJWs tossed the term around indiscriminately on Pharyngula.

      • Scott Draper
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        You’re free to call anyone whatever you like if all you care about is your emotional satisfaction, rather than producing positive change in the world.

        • Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Do you deny that bigotry is a thing that exists?

          • Scott Draper
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            It’s irrelevant. Some people are assholes, but it’s not usually productive to call them that.

            • GBJames
              Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

              And we should stop ridiculing faith and be polite un-strident atheists.

              Should we continue to avoid calling the Armenian genocide a “genocide” because it upsets people like Recep Erdoğan?

              Sorry, but we’ve been through this too many times for that. Honesty is the best policy.

              • Scott Draper
                Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

                The answer always depends on whether your goal is emotional satisfaction or accomplishing your goals. I think much of the time, the “rationalist” social groups are more geared towards the former than the latter, making them look not-so-different from the social groups they oppose. Disappointing.

              • GBJames
                Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

                No. This has nothing to do with emotional satisfaction. It has to do with respecting other people enough to let them handle truthful descriptions of reality. You’re making the classic “little people” argument that people you disagree with are incapable of handling direct and honest conversation. That’s, to be blunt, bullshit.

  9. GBJames
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I do not think it makes any sense to blame right wing extremism on the rhetorical excesses of liberals. And I think there is a difference between “calling names” and “bluntly describing”.

    The level of racism, hostility to LGBT equal rights, and theocratic authoritarianism among conservatives is not imaginary, despite the anti-liberal proclivities of the illiberal/regressive left. One can recognize them both for what they are and call it all out when it appears.

    I find appeals like James Lindsay’s to be functional equivalents to the accomodationist appeal for gnu atheists to stop being strident.

    • Historian
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      GB is quite right. The fact is that a significant core of Trump supporters are racist. And, in contrast to mere conjecture without evidence, there is significant empirical data backing this up as explained in this article.


      Not calling out these racists for what they are is indeed a form of accommodationism. Non-college educated whites have suffered the most economically from the recession and even before that. And, as so often happens in history, the cause of the problem is the ruling elites. They gleefully assist the suffering in finding a scapegoat, in this case blacks, Hispanics and other minorities. The divide-and-conquer strategy implemented by the ruling elites never can hurt and is often successful.

      Blaming liberals for the rise of Trump does nothing but help conservatives. The rise of Trump is due to the despair felt by non-college educated whites with a system that is rigged against them. Unfortunately, they are being duped into supporting the exact type of person who is so much to blame for their woes.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      I pretty much completely agree with you on this.

      I am perfectly capable of criticizing both Trump / bigoted Trump supporters and regressive liberals (or whatever the hell we are calling them) at the same time. And I think both of those groups absolutely warrant some strong criticism.

      Letting bigots get their hate on without criticism and mockery is not going to get them to vote your way.

      Anyone who was going to vote democrat but then decides to vote for Trump so that they can teach those regressive liberals a lesson isn’t going to change their mind just because non regressive liberals stop calling Trump a bigot. Such people are also idiots.

    • Scott Draper
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      “And I think there is a difference between “calling names” and “bluntly describing”. ”

      Every name-caller thinks they are “bluntly describing”, so that isn’t a defense.

      Calling someone a bigot or racist is really lazy argumentation. What probably needs to happen is to demonstrate the absurdity of their implied argumentation. That’s much more challenging in this sound-bite world.

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        In respectable forums like this, that is what happens. The charge of bigot is most often backed up.

        The brute fact is that some people are bigots. It’s ridiculous to conclude that “bigot” should become a taboo term because it sometimes gets abused. For Pete’s sake, “quantum” gets abused every day by Chopra and his ilk. Shall we dispense with “quantum”?

        • Scott Draper
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

          What’s ridiculous is that someone thinks it’s productive to call someone a bigot just because they think it’s true.

          • Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            I explicitly said “backed up”.

            • Scott Draper
              Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

              Doesn’t change anything. And no, it usually isn’t backed up, in my unscientific sampling.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink


      Hell, +100

  10. DrBrydon
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that it’s correct to say that Trump is the Left’s fault. After all, the Right and the Left exist in response to one another in many ways. As a conservative (who does NOT support Trump), I think that the Republican party is responsible. They have shown themselves to be increasingly ineffective both in terms of governance, and with regard to developing a consistent and broad-based message that doesn’t pander to the faithful. Many conservatives view the party leadership with confusion and suspicion for too often failing to take a stand against administration policies. I think Trump is a result of those frustrations, and, if it were not for Trump stealing the rage factor, Ted Cruz might have claimed that territory. (There’s a reason the GOP doesn’t like Cruz, and it’s largely to his credit.)

    I do agree, though, that attacking Trump for being uncouth is probably counter-productive, and clearly not going to work. This is especially so when attacks come from the media (who are viewed as a wing of the Democratic party), Democrats, discredited GOP leaders, and especially Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Their criticisms are to his supporters just so many endorsements of his positions.

    I think it is worth noting, too, that the constant drumbeat of statements responding to Trump’s latest outrages is keep both the Right and Left from developing an overall critique of Trump.

    I think the message should be that he has no consistent positions, and that his record as a businessman is, in terms of success, spotty at best, and completely self-serving. He is essentially a gambler, and he has had significant failures, which he is careful to downplay and hide. I agree with geckzilla that his flip-flops are a real issue. At the end of the day, anyone who is considering voting for Trump needs to ask whether he can actually deliver on ANY of the things he is promising (whatever those are at this moment).

    Frankly, my wife and I hope Bernie Sanders pulls it out at the convention, otherwise, we might have to sit this one out, because there’s no way we can vote for Clinton.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      “because there’s no way we can vote for Clinton”

      Can you provide more detail?

      I can only hope that you do vote, and for Clinton. Because otherwise, we will all get a President Trump.

      Please explain why your distaste for Clinton is sufficient for you to prefer a President Trump.

      * * * *

      Hillary Clinton has beaten Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contest, by every measure: 57% of the popular vote in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, 55% of pledged delegates (if all states had been winner-take-all, she would have won 76% to 24%), 59% of the states (by count), and 92% of the Superdelegates (as of 8-Jun-2016).

  11. $G
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I think it’s fascinating the way leftists are turning on Regressive Leftists (to borrow a phrase I wouldn’t normally use) to defend republicans and conservatives. Racism, sexism, and any other type of discrimination that impinges or threatens to impinge on a group’s quality of life should be called out when it is spotted. There is, of course, a debate to be had about where these terms apply, but I won’t get into that.

    But what’s concerning to me is the undertone of low standards. Articles being written encouraging fellow liberals to *not offend* their political opponents so that they don’t go and vote for a bad candidate. Trump voters aren’t animals — they have minds of their own and should be expected to make sound decisions regardless of how many names the left calls them. Perhaps a follow-up article should be written “Trump voters, Do You Want to be Taken Seriously? Don’t Base Your Presidential Vote on How Rude Your Liberal Co-workers Are to You”

    • Cindy
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      If we leftists do not openly criticize the regressive left and the disastrous policies that they are pushing (such as unfettered immigration from Islamic nations) then the only *sane* sounding voices will be coming from the right-wing, and people who yearn to be hard will turn right as a result…

      • tomh
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Who is pushing for “unfettered immigration from Islamic nations?”

        • Cindy
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          This is what is happening in Europe.

          But yeah, regressives are also pushing this – that any sort of background check on someone from an Islamic nation = bigotry and racism. Just let them all in without question, otherwise you are a very.bad.person.

          • tomh
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            “Just let them all in without question, otherwise you are a very.bad.person.”

            Typical right-wing vitriol. You’re watching too much Fox New. No one is proposing this.

            • Cindy
              Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

              Yes, I must be watching too much Fox News because you disagree with my opinion. Classy.


              EU BORDER THREAT: Brussels to fine countries €250,000 for EVERY REFUGEE refused entry

              And yes, regressives are in fact arguing that borders should be completely open for any Muslim who claims that they are a refugee, no questions asked.

              • tomh
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

                I’m talking about the US, after all, this is a US election. If you’re interested in facts, refugees undergo more rigorous screening than anyone else we allow into the United States..

              • tomh
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

                More Fox News level stuff. The Director says the process is not “risk free.” Of course not, what the heck is risk free? Nothing, that’s what. And ISIS can make fake passports – just like untold numbers of other criminals. So what? Someone “may have traveled to the U.S.” using a fake passport – this is your evidence that the government is lying when they say refugees are screened more rigorously than anyone else? That’s just silly. The same as your claim that unspecified “regressives” argue that borders should be completely open for any Muslim who claims that they are a refugee, no questions asked. Lots of innuendo and unsupported claims.

              • Cindy
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

                What James Comey said is that we physically do not have the data to properly vet all those who claim to be Syrian refugees. We just do not have it.

                No data = no rigorous screening.

                If the White House says ‘no guys we are vetting everyone’ and the FBI says “well guys we have never actually collected the data that we need to vet people’ then I am sorry but I am inclined to go with the FBI’s assessment.

              • CFM
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                This article is not about letting everyone into the EU, but about the consequences faced by those countries who don’t accept their share of the burden. Greece or Italy alone cannot provide for every refugee or asylum seeker. Neither can Germany or Norway, even so most refugees prefer these destinations.

                Here in Germany, even politicians on the left side of the political spectrum agree that while we need to provide a safe haven for those who are really fleeing violence and war or persecution, we cannot let everyone stay here. It is not that “no questions are asked”, they are asked, and claims are checked. But it is hard to cope with the sheer number of refugees.

                I really deplore the black-and-white thinking that increasingly seems to permeate both US and German politics: Instead of discussing the opinions a party or a person really stands for, opponents often demolish strawman-versions or demonize each other as either (in Germany) “right-wing bigots” or “left-green fascists”. It is, after all, far easier to argue against someone who wants “to let everyone in, no questions asked” or who is, of course, an “Ausländerfeind” (hates foreigners) or “Islamophobe”, than against the more nuanced opinions most groups and people really hold.

              • Cindy
                Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

                I really deplore the black-and-white thinking that increasingly seems to permeate both US and German politics: Instead of discussing the opinions a party or a person really stands for, opponents often demolish strawman-versions or demonize each other as either (in Germany) “right-wing bigots” or “left-green fascists”. It is, after all, far easier to argue against someone who wants “to let everyone in, no questions asked” or who is, of course, an “Ausländerfeind” (hates foreigners) or “Islamophobe”, than against the more nuanced opinions most groups and people really hold.

                I agree. And I find it deplorable that people often resort to shouting ‘bigot’ to those who disagree, no matter how minor the disagreement.

                When I was referring to those who support ‘open borders, no questions asked’, I did so because I regularly read regressive leftist forums. Just go and read any Friendly Atheist blog post by Terry Firma and you will see the Islamic apologists come out in droves. Some do in fact argue that borders should be open, and that once a supposed refugee manages to enter, that they should never be sent home once hostilities cease. And then they usually derail the conversation to ‘but Christianity is just as bad because of the OT’ etc.

                Oh, and I am a lifelong liberal, despite being accused of being a lover of Fox News. I simply do not want to swallow, without question, claims from either side. I am trying my best to evaluate each and every candidate, and just because CNN says something about Trump does not mean that I am obligated to believe it without question simply because I am a liberal.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Who has said the regressive left shouldn’t be openly criticized? Besides themselves, obviously. It seems to be just the opposite to me. These articles, and you too, seem to be saying that none of us should be criticizing Trump for his bigotry, etc., while I haven’t heard or read anyone saying we shouldn’t criticize the regressive left.

      • $G
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        My point is that the article seems to be patronizing to an unhelpful degree. Blaming “Regressives” for driving people to Trump suggests a) that Trump voters don’t have minds of their own and only react to the left (which also assumes that “Regressive” discourse is so widely known as to influence so many people), and b) that Trump voters have an “excuse” for voting for Trump. I disagree, especially with b, because a Trump voter should be criticized for making a poor decision using poor rationale rather than giving his liberal antagonist heat for driving him to vote for Trump.

  12. Somite
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    The fallacy here is comparing the accusations of bigotry by the regressive left for trivialities (microaggressions), to blatant bigotry like Trump’s.

    The fact that the regressive left misuses the word and trivialize it shouldn’t prevent reasonable people from properly apply it.

    And it wasn’t the regressive left that created Trump, although it could be a contributing factor. Trump is the last refuge for those that want to legitimize the bigotry and sense of persecution that republican hate media has been simmering this past decade.

  13. josh
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I agree with the principle that we shouldn’t be so quick to slur people with the bigotry tag and the “-ist” du jour. However, I don’t think it has that much to do with Trump’s rise. His voters, largely, aren’t disaffected Democrats they are red-meat conservatives who want a champion. For years they’ve been inculcating the idea that any right-wing losses are due to compromises and betrayals, so they like a guy who says he’s for them and who appears to never back down or apologize. Even if his actual policies are all over the map and his history is equally suspect, he’s telling them what they want to hear right now. It’s true then that left-wing accusations aren’t going to phase his base because to them these are just dirty tricks and red herrings.

  14. Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Simply declaring someone a “racist” or any other of the applicable labels is a bit like the dog who chased the truck and caught it. We need to *win* in the marketplace of ideas. Unless you have a dog big enough to do something about the truck, the conversation often ends there. That is often where the regressive left likes it. They must then retreat to their respective safe spaces to wait until everyone finally comes to the inevitable conclusion they’re right.

    Much like DuhDonald, who is fact free and impervious to information,
    Trump supporters for the most part are immune to any argument that might dissuade them from voting for him. The Dems must mobilize a get out the vote campaign for their ambivalent majority who don’t bother to participate in the process. That is the only way they’ll beat him in the general election.

    On a diff note:
    I really really really wish there were another “spokesperson” representing the views of reasonable liberals on the Rubin Rpt other than Milo. He’s like a broken clock. Correct twice a day.

    Just uggghhhh.

  15. Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Based on the comments in the thread, this seems like a good place to put this.

    Apologies in advance for length; but here goes:

    I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton on 8-Nov-2016; and I will do so with a clear conscience.

    Though a flawed candidate and a candidate that is not my first choice, I will vote for her as a societal imperative. I feel a duty to appeal to Sanders supporters because I think the only way we can end up with a President Trump is if the Democrats don’t show up and vote for Hillary Clinton in November.

    Clinton is not my first choice candidate. My first choice would have been a third Obama term. After that, I would have happily voted for Elizabeth Warren, or a number of other candidates. I like Bernie Sanders; and I like most of his policies. He’s pretty close to my own positions. And so is Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary Clinton has beaten Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contest, by every measure: 57% of the popular vote in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, 55% of pledged delegates (if all states had been winner-take-all, she would have won 76% to 24%), 59% of the states (by count), and 92% of the Superdelegates (as of 8-Jun-2016).

    This is a resounding win.

    (Some of this is due to the fact that Mrs. Clinton has assiduously courted the Democratic party (this is how politics works) and has been a life-long member of the party while Bernie Sanders became a Democrat for the first time in his (public service) life on 5-Nov-2015.)

    It’s important to point out that Bernie Sanders has not been tested on the national stage (therefore his poll results showing him ahead of all other candidates aren’t realistic). He hasn’t been attacked because having him in the race is a boon to the GOP (why would they possibly attack him at this stage? he’s doing their work for them (refer to Trump’s comments at a rally on 21-Apr-2016 at Harrisburg, PA).) and because Mrs. Clinton wants to win over his supporters. There hasn’t been an attack ad showing the video of him saying he’s a socialist. Likewise for the video of him praising breadlines in Nicaragua. (I’m sure there are other recorded gaffs out there.) These types of ads would play 24/7 if he were the nominee. The name, “socialist”, is political poison in the USA.

    The race in the fall is going to be Trump versus Clinton. To me, that is a crystal clear choice. We are either going to have the first woman President of the US, Hillary Clinton or we will have President Trump. This fact cannot be wished away.

    Clinton is better than Trump across the board, in my opinion. Leaving aside (almost) Trump’s narcissistic, repulsive, arrogant, macho, shifty, posturing, bloviating, bullying, scattershot, shoot-from-the-hip, capricious, volatile, erratic, racist, misogynist, lying persona and temperament, Clinton is closer to my position on more or less any issue one could name:

    The Supreme Court (definitely one appointment, probably 2-3)
    Women’s rights (and respect)
    Immigrant rights
    Minority rights (Trump’s real tag line is: “Make America White Again”)
    Foreign policy (does Trump even know what the phrase “foreign policy” means?)
    Control over the nuclear arsenal (Trump said, “I’m a leader, I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it.” Referring to illegal orders the Trump says he’ll give the US military. Fox News interview 3-Mar-2016)
    Trump is a full-on authoritarian in the mold of Vladimir Putin. (It wouldn’t surprise me if a President Trump tried to use the FBI to arrest journalists who criticize him.)

    [Source of these positions: Insidegov.com]:
    Abortion is a woman’s unrestricted right? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump disagrees.
    Legally require hiring women & minorities? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump Neutral/No opinion.
    Comfortable with same-sex marriage? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump disagrees.
    Keep God in the public sphere? Clinton agrees and Trump strongly agrees.
    EPA regulations are too restrictive? Clinton strongly disagrees and Trump strongly agrees.
    Make voter registration easier? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump agrees.
    Stricter punishment reduces crime? Clinton disagrees and Trump strongly agrees.
    Absolute right to gun ownership? Clinton strongly disagrees and Trump strongly agrees.
    Expand ObamaCare? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump disagrees.
    Vouchers for school choice? Clinton strongly disagrees and Trump strongly agrees.
    Prioritize green energy? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump strongly disagrees.
    Marijuana is a gateway drug? Clinton disagrees and Trump disagrees.
    Stimulus better than market-led recovery? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump strongly disagrees.
    Higher taxes on the wealthy? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump agrees.
    Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens? Clinton strongly agrees and Trump strongly disagrees.
    Privatize Social Security? Clinton strongly disagrees and Trump agrees.
    Support & expand free trade? Clinton disagrees and Trump strongly disagrees.
    Expand the military? Clinton disagrees and Trump agrees.
    Support American Exceptionalism? Clinton disagrees and Trump agrees.
    Avoid foreign entanglements? Clinton disagrees and Trump agrees.

    Mrs. Clinton would be the first woman US President, which is long overdue.

    Trump could set us back for a generation or more.

    This is not a time to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    To quote Bernie Sanders himself: “Sure I will,” he said, when pressed by CBS News’ Charlie Rose in an interview [7-Apr-2016]. “Look, as I said a million times, I think the idea of a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for this country. I will do everything in my power and work as hard as I can to make sure that that does not happen. And if Secretary Clinton is the nominee, I will certainly support her.”

    • Cindy
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Clinton is basically owned by the big banks, Saudi Arabia, and is pro-TPP

      Look for increased inequality if she takes office.

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        “Look for increased inequality if she takes office.”

        And not with Trump?

        • Cindy
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink


          The American worker is being crushed. Workplace participation for women has declined by more than 3 percentage points since 2000. The percentage of men in their prime working years without a job has nearly tripled since the late 1960s. Median annual household incomes are down more than $4,000 from the beginning of the century.

          The great American middle class is disappearing.

          One of the factors driving this economic devastation is America’s disastrous trade policies. Throughout history, at the center of any thriving country has been a thriving manufacturing sector. But under decades of failed leadership, the United States has gone from being the globe’s manufacturing powerhouse — the envy of the world — through a rapid deindustrialization that has evaporated entire communities.

          The number of jobs and amount of wealth and income the United States have given way in so short a time is staggering, likely unprecedented.

          And the situation is about to get drastically worse if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not stopped. One of the first casualties of the TPP will be America’s auto industry, and among the worst victims of this pact will be the people of Ohio. The TPP will send America’s remaining auto jobs to Japan. Yet, Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio have all promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a mortal threat to American manufacturing.

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        To my mind, HRC will be, on policy, budget, legislation, etc. will be: Bill Clinton redux. I can live with that.

    • Historian
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      For those in the center and left of the political spectrum, there is no sane reason not to vote for her, even if there are some things about her that are not liked. The dangers of electing a narcissist, who believes in nothing except promoting himself, are simply too great. I think that even some conservatives realize this. It is time for Bernie to throw his support beyond Hillary and to urge his supporters to do so as well. If should the catastrophic event of a Trump win be attributed to Sanders refusing to fully back Hillary then he will instantly become an infamous character and will have thrown away a lifetime’s goodwill. I hope it doesn’t come to this.

    • Dick Veldkamp
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      You make a very strong case, and I totally agree with you. Every sane person should vote for Hillary Clinton, the alternative being Mr T. It is a no-brainer if there ever was one.

      I must say that as an outsider I do not understand this extreme hatred for Hillary Clinton. To me, she does not seem worse than any other middle-of-the-road Democratic politician. Also, she is eminently qualified for the job.

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        It’s a combination of:

        1. Clinton fatigue
        2. She’s has lied a lot (point me to a politician that hasn’t?)
        3. She has cozied up to high-rollers (which some interpret as her leaning toward the wealthy rather than “regular” folks*)
        4. Disappointment that Bernie didn’t win

        (* If there were ever a candidate poised to reward the wealthy lavishly, post-Reagan, it’s Trump.)

  16. Barney
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it matters much if the right is tired of being called bigoted; they’re not going to vote for a liberal candidate whatever you do, and your only hope for not saying it would be to lull them into apathy where they don’t bother to vote at all – and if Trump has shown himself good at something, it’s getting his kind of person excited, so I don’t think that would work.

    If the people in the centre feel they are being included in the list of bigots who support Trump, it could be a problem. For them, it’s important to emphasise that it’s Trump and his policies that are bigoted.

    Trump is, after all, not a typical person; and if we use the cliches of ‘real/flyover America’, he’s nothing like them – the son of a New York millionaire who’s been in the world of the ultra-rich all his life. And it’s not as if the religious feel any affinity with him either, which has previously been a ‘concern’ about calling out bigotry. Attacking him is not attacking the typical voter.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      “And it’s not as if the religious feel any affinity with him either”

      Yeah, his mention of “Two Corinthians” in a speech at Liberty University (18-Jan-2016) was pretty telling.

      Any USian Xian with any skin in the Xianity game at all would always say “second Corinthians”.

      And he blamed his speech writer: “Tony Perkins wrote that out for me — he actually wrote out 2, he wrote out the number 2 Corinthians,” Trump said. “I took exactly what Tony said, and I said, ‘Well Tony has to know better than anybody.’ ”

      Donnie, it’s always written 2 Corinthians (you moron!).

      • Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s so very weird that the religious don’t seem to care how insincere his religious overtures seem.

        • Siggy in Costa Rica
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          Actually, I think it reveals that the majority of republicans aren’t the religious fundamentalists everybody thought they were. Trump has done at least one good thing in this election in that he’s shown the republican party that you don’t need to be pushing christianity to be a viable candidate.

  17. Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think the mechanism proposed is wrong, and I am playing the US game of assuming that (federal) Democrats are liberals (which is debatable, to say the least) when I answer this:

    Yes, they are.

    The mechanism is present in both federal parties since the 1970s – stagnate at best the middle class, and *reduce* lower class incomes. Amongst other things, this has reversed some real gains that were made post war, and hence made for people with real grievances. So the people who want to *address* the grievances get traction. Trump seems to want to at least play with answering them. That his proposals are off the wall is of course *also* true, but that’s another story.

    (The same is largely true of the Canadian federal parties as well, at least those who have formed the government.)

  18. merilee
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink


  19. Jeremy Tarone
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    “Rubin sees Trump as a creation not wholly of the Right, but largely of the Left, with Trump support being a strong reaction to the Left’s hypocrisy.”

    It needs to be remembered that the rights view of the left is not just hyperbolic, but radically skewed and warped. Perhaps deliberately, perhaps it’s just a byproduct of their living in a bubble. They see the left in the same way rational people see the right, except the right really is that way.
    No, not all the right, but it appears to me that the sensible right has abrogated their responsibility to keep it’s party sane.

    The left’s worst problems are still a minority, or at least not driving the bus. The same isn’t true on the right. The right makes accusations, and I’ll go with the one mentioned, immigration. Huge numbers of the right believe illegal immigration is worst than it’s ever been. It’s not, the numbers are the lowest they’ve been a long time, yet they claim different because they are told (or implied) such. Obama has sent back more illegal immigrants than any other president, but the right isn’t told that by Fox News or conservative radio and press.

    So then they start complaining about illegal immigrants getting welfare and healthcare. The problem is, illegal immigrants don’t get welfare. American citizens do, and that includes the American born citizens of illegal immigrants. I constantly have to point out to people that children born in the USA are American citizens, and entitled to benefits. They constantly refer to them as illegal immigrants. They are not. They state illegal immigrants make more on welfare than citizens. Again, if born in the USA, they are a citizen. And they account for only 2 percent of welfare.
    As for healthcare, illegal immigrants are entitled to emergency healthcare, just like anyone else in the USA. And they are on the hook to pay for such, just like anyone else in the USA. American citizens that are children may be entitled to some healthcare benefits, just like other citizens may be.

    And if they don’t like it, Republicans hold the house. They can change the law. If they can manage to pass any legislation.

    Just about every issue the right sees on the left is blown out of proportion, deliberately so. The latest is the bathroom nonsense. A tempest in a teacup that has been blown way out of proportion and turned into a far larger problem. Now women are being accosted by idiot men who say they are trying to ‘protect’ them from transsexual perverts, which wasn’t ever a problem. But men ‘protecting’ women have become a problem.

    It’s no coincidence Trump has neo-nazi and white power supporters, many following him believe themselves to be a minority and hard put upon. They see programs to help minorities as affronts to them personally. They see affirmative action as out of control, with every job they ever missed out as going to a minority. They think illegal aliens are taking away their jobs.

    This is not to say none of them have valid criticisms, some do. Some men will have lost jobs because of affirmative action, and if it’s not fair for a minority to be denied a job because of his skin, it’s the same for the white guy. The individual suffers for societal problems. Some of the social programs to help people hurt by free trade and affirmative action have been lacking in the USA. I find it ironic that one of the programs, education, was used by Trump to steel money from American citizens. Trump is getting support from people he targeted for scamming. Illegal immigrants do lower wages. But why have Republicans not passed laws putting heavy sanctions on businesses that hire illegal aliens? Republicans and the right put all the fault on the left, but Republicans have avoided doing anything of substance. All they do is point fingers.

    Trump is not a response to the left, Trump is a response to the hyperbolic propaganda that the right pumps out about the left.

    None of this is to say the left is perfect, not by a long shot. But they are not destroying America.

    • Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      “Trump is not a response to the left, Trump is a response to the hyperbolic propaganda that the right pumps out about the left.”

      Yes, he is the natural endpoint of all that work on the conservative side since the 1950s.

      He’s the Devil they’ve sold their souls to to gain power in the USA.

    • Posted June 10, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink


  20. C. Z. Marks
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who argues that a federal judge (who was born in Indiana) can’t be impartial because he is “Mexican” is racist. I don’t think it is name calling to point that out. Even Paul Ryan said that was a “textbook” example of racism. And Trump has a long record of making similarly racist and sexist comments. He also has deep and unprecedented support from white supremacists.

    The Lindsay piece purports to argue that pointing out Trump’s (obvious)racism and misogyny is a bad political strategy for liberals. But it actually offers no argument whatsoever to support the idea that such charges will lead to a NET loss of votes. Instead, it just argues that such charges will turn off the sort of people who support Trump already.

    That is undoubtedly true. But the counterargument is that most of the voters who aren’t bothered by Trump’s racism and/or like him because he is anti-PC are already supporting Trump. Those people are overrepresented among GOP primary voters, and that was enough to get him the GOP nomination. But Trump now has to appeal to a much broader swath of general election voters, including many women, latinos, and young people. And a large majority of lot of those voters are more troubled by blatant racism than by criticism of racism.

    In any event, you only have to look at the reaction of other prominent Republicans (including Ryan) to see that they view Trump’s racism as a major political liability.

  21. p. puk
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Trump is NOT racist. He’s just your average privileged white Murcan. And we are the best in the world. So we couldn’t possibly be racist. Even the Supreme Court said that racism is over. Trump is mainstream!

    USA! USA!

  22. Victoria
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    A lot of the comments here prove Rubin correct. Trump’s audacity to question an immigration policy trending towards open borders must be denounced repeatedly as “racism,” despite any logical disconnect or lack of evidence.

    Most depressingly some of you who recognize this tactic when it comes silencing criticism of Islam, are still on board with it with the immigration agenda pushed relentlessly by the mainstream and what passes for a ‘left’ media.

    “Globalism” is a quasi-religious movement of very privileged people and its corollary is anti-nationalism. Thus anyone who promotes “nationalism,” even to protect the welfare state or domestic working-class is a “racist” who simply won’t get on board with the utopian project. The fact Bernie Sanders was smeared with the same brush by the Washington Post, Vox, etc. proves my point.

    • Victoria
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      To clarify, I do not support Trump’s specific articulation of the issues, but the general concerns on free trade, immigration, and assimilation are all very real.

      There is no serious public debate on these issues for the most part because the ubiquitous accusations of “racism” silence people until you reach an extreme like Trump, where people simply cease to care.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      As already stated by myself and others, Obama has sent back more illegal immigrants than any other president ever. He has put a great deal of money into firming up border control. Not as much as he would like, Republicans cut his proposed budget for border control.

      As I already pointed out, Republicans have done almost nothing to solve the problem, besides quasi legal state initiatives. For the most part they point at Obama and the Democrats and complain while doing nothing themselves. They could have passed laws creating heavy sanctions against businesses that hire illegal aliens, but they don’t. Why is that? Because they don’t want illegal aliens to stop getting into the country, they want large numbers of illegal immigrants. They just want them as the next best thing to slave labour, with no ability to complain about not being paid, or dangerous working conditions.

      There is no policy for open borders by Obama or the Democrats. A few might, but the majority do not. Immigration, illegal and otherwise is a complex problem. No matter what America does illegal immigrants will continue to find their way into America. Obama has been sending them back as fast as he can.

      Republicans are unable to agree on anything to do with immigration, legal or illegal (or anything else). They do nothing, they have done less than any other congress. All they do is complain and obstruct. The United States has three sections of government that need to work together to make changes and fix problems. Republicans have been doing their best to obstruct any and all government business, including immigration.
      Obama has actually done more than Republicans, despite Republicans attempt to block almost everything he does.

      • Cindy
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        The war on drugs is a huge part of this problem. It is one of the things that is driving young people north from Central America. In many neighbourhoods death is certain for people who do not flee – if they do not join a gang, they will be killed. And years of US meddling in Central American politics has not helped…

        I would definitely argue that the Republicans don’t truly care about ending illegal immigration any time soon because it does depress wages, and I would also argue the same for the Democrats, who are, imo, also owned by the same globalists. All this talk about inequality is just talk!

        Civil Rights Commissioner: Illegal Immigration Hammers African-American Workers

  23. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    My short answer would be that Trump is mostly a creation in the republican party of government failure. Whether left or right, republican or democrat it makes little difference. To think in those terms is to get lost in the weeds and not look at reality in American economic and political dysfunction.

    The middle class has been shrinking and loosing ground for 40 years in this country. Before this time the middle class was America. Both parties are to blame for this but the republicans took it to higher ground and were more obvious with their ignorance of what was happening. More and More tax reduction for the rich and corporations. Wage stagnation for years. The politicians are great to say it’s economics stupid but they have been the stupid ones.

    The modern American politician is bought and paid for before he or she ever gets elected and Congress is just about useless. Even the poor dumb middle class knows this and they are sick of it. Look how poorly the main stream republicans did in this contest. They were done before it started. The jerk from NY rose directly to the top and that was it. Are the democrats crazy about Hilary, hell no. Just more of the same old, same old.

    Look at the shape Germany was in when the crazy nut from the far right wing took over. The people knew it was bad but what was the alternative at the time. The answer must be that you can continue to ignore the middle class at your own peril. Hilary must make up with Bernie and seriously make every policy decision based on what is good for the middle class and get out of bed with wall street. Somehow the tax system that gives everything to the rich must be stopped and turned around.

    If this is not done, another Trump will show up next time, and you can argue about the right and left of it.

  24. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    James Lindsay,[…] advises liberals to stop calling Trump a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, or a Nazi. Why?

    Because some racists, bigots misogynists and Nazis will be offended at being lumped with a blustering buffoon like Trump, and will feel that he undermines the serious messages they are trying to get across?

  25. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Trumpism is one of those nativist, isolationist, bigoted populist movements that rears its ugly head in American politics every few decades. That last time, it was with George Wallace, who won the electoral votes of five Deep South states in 1968 (thereby laying the groundwork for the “southern strategy” of the modern Republican Party of Nixon, Reagan, and the Bushes). Trump’s closest historical precedent in this respect was the “Kingfish,” Huey Long, in the first half of the 1930s.

    It is probably correct that calling him names will only deepen his support among hardcore Trump supporters (the ones whose support wouldn’t falter even if Trump shot someone in cold blood on Fifth Avenue). But the hardcore supporters who garnered Trump the GOP nomination constitute just 40% of Republican primary voters, themselves a minority of the registered voters in the minority US political party. Calling Trump names like “racist” is unlikely to hurt the Democrats with the rest of the electorate, especially now that conservatives have joined the chorus following the debacle of Trump’s witless, pointless attacks on Judge Curiel. Indeed, such attacks can be effective when someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls Trump a “thin-skinned, racist fraud” and backs it up with facts and analysis.

    The problem with attacking Trump’s policies is that he hasn’t any, either foreign or domestic, at least in any traditional “policy” sense. Based on the available evidence, it appears Trump has never had a serious policy discussion — hell, appears he’s never even had a serious, sustained policy thought. What he’s got instead is a head full of slogans, brand-names, and self-promotion. That may be all well-and-good when it comes to hustling overpriced Manhattan real estate or staring on schlock-TV shows. But it ill-suits him to serve as the nation’s chief executive.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      I would certainly agree with nearly all you say about Donald, the apple of his eye, but I don’t think the George Wallace comparison is a good one. George was a third party animal that was never taken seriously across the party and Huey Long was a product of Louisiana and not much more.

      Trump is a lot of things and not a politician but in a major party he wiped the floor with all the republicans they could throw. It is not a once every few decades fad, it is a real problem in a very sick country, politically, economically, and otherwise. Hilary will likely beat him easily but that does not mean we are any where, out of the woods.

  26. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I should add an example of the depth to which the American political system & politics has reached. It is not all on the republican side of the congress. The democrats are right there with them and have been for many years. Check out one darling of the party, DNC and democrat from Florida, Debbie Wasserman. Big follower of Hilary Clinton and favorite of the payday lender lobby in Washington DC. She pushes legislation for these Vermin every chance she gets and now the public knows why. All the money from the lobby. There is a substantial move on to get her removed from her position and maybe from her seat. She has been disgusting to put it mildly.

  27. duerstisms
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Insane footage of the DePaul Milo protest. MUST WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC7YsLNKaKA

  28. kelskye
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    The general problem, I think, of any left-right analysis is that it has to be remembered just how tribal identity makes politics. I don’t think the left created Trump, nor is his appeal to conservatives a reaction to the nonsense that authoritarian leftists give. But it is damn good ammunition, and Trump (to his credit) is exploiting it well.

  29. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Trump and his alleged racism, I going to write something that may be provocative.

    I don’t think Trump is a racist. He’s far worse. Racism at least presumes a moral stance, however ugly. Trump is the perfect amoral beast. He’ll take any position that he deems would benefit his approval, his business, or his brand, filtered through a thin-skinned, hair-trigger temper. (God, I’m sick of the word “brand”.)

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