If only we’d been NICER….is there anything more insulting?
So I’m on facebook the other day because, while my job is to make jokes with my friends and get paid for it, recreationally I stand out on the sidewalk and let assholes kick me in the balls and I’m in one of these ball kicking sessions specifically about tone policing the left (that will matter in a second) when for about the 10 thousandth time someone makes an argument so blood-boiling stupid that it deserves an entire blog (thank you Noah)
It goes like this: “I know lots of kind and caring wonderful and giving people who voted for trump and maybe if Liberals had been NICER they wouldn’t have voted for him. Maybe these simple salt of the earth coal miners would have cranked the lever on the left if those kids at evergreen had JUST used their inside voices.”
Now this is stupid for a million reasons but let’s clear a few big ones right away.
This idea, this fiction implies that white totally not racist hard working guys with constantly smudged faces poured out of their coal mines and their factories that make wooden toys, turned out in record numbers for trump because Anita Sarkeesian was coming for their video games in a white tide and won it.
This is NUMERICALLY untrue. First off, lest we forget, significantly MORE people voted for Hillary. The amount of humans who wanted a thing came out in hillary’s favor, the antiquated election system to keep things fair among slave owners and farm owners did not. But more to the point. Trump won the white vote by 21%. Romney won the white vote by 20%. There was no white surge. No RISING up of the white man. He won the white vote because white men….are often Republicans. So the idea that trump won because white people were tired of being called racist or being bullied by the left into healthcare and a better economy is bullshit. And the people who say this KNOW it’s bullshit because the real reasons Trump actually won won’t do the people making this argument any favors
Now I know there have been a thousand hot takes on this but here’s mine and I’ll keep it brief:
The reason Trump won was because liberals ran on a campaign of….NOT trump. That’s it. I mean look, if you REALLY followed the election in between the “I won’t grab your pussy” and the “I didn’t just mock a disabled reporter on national television” it was pretty obvious that the message of the democrats in 2016 was…hey…I’m not donald trump vote for me.
The only problem was there were several people who weren’t Donald Trump and if the resounding and overwhelming message people heard was “I’m not not donald trump” then the guy who thought aleppo was a dog food and the lady who thinks wifi melts your brain were valid choices. When we look at the numbers in the swing states there’s the “not trump” votes we needed to win. Florida, 297 thousand votes for third party, enough for a win. Pennsylvania 268 thousand votes, enough for a win and that doesn’t even count the folks for whom “not trump” wasn’t enough to not show up and it turns out that was A LOT of people.
But I’m not talking about third party voters right now. Or non-voters. I will mumble their name along with king geoffrey and the hound another day. No, today I wanna talk about these mythical white men, these hard working salt of the earth, baseball fans who voted Republican for whom “not trump” was not enough. Who I have been told over and over again actively VOTED for trump because the left has gone too far. Because trans people aren’t asking nicely enough for their humanity.
I ask you, I mean GENUINELY ask you, how much “not nice” would you personally have to endure before you voted for a candidate promising to ban an entire religion from our country. How much name calling would have made you say “You know what? Enough is enough. I’m voting for the guy who called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. I’m pulling the trigger for the guy who brags about pussy grabbing” is the answer NO amount? No FUCKING AMOUNT?
And for those who apparently WAS an amount of name calling before they made that decision is there anything more obvious than that they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, a GOOD PERSON?
If you are so petty, so incredibly small minded that name calling on college campuses can make you guess wrong on the easiest multiple choice question presented to the electorate in a century am I supposed to care that you love dogs and are kind to small children?I mean put aside the fact that “good person” is a meaningless term but if we’re gonna use it, and it seems that we are, isn’t the voting for the bad guy thing right SMACK in the middle of the “bad person category” Isn’t using the single most political power an unelected official have to vote for bigotry, racism, homophobia, and death just a DEMONSTRABLY “bad” thing to do?
Are we really so childish? So blind, so fooled by the banality of America’s obsession with the everyday cup of sugar lending and borrowing not to understand that a vote has way more significance than whether or not you’ll share a beer at a baseball game? That your vote says so much more about who you are?
FUCK YOU and fuck false equivalency between helping change a tire and electing a candidate who wants to kick 23 million people off their health insurance. Would Bill down at the gas and sip have to personally start taking medicaid away from old people before the liberal elite was no longer a good enough excuse? How many oxygen tanks would sweet Kathy at the hairdressers PERSONALLY have to remove before you WOULDN’T blame Oscar acceptance speeches for her behavior?
But Here’s the best part. It’s the grand finale. It’s so beautiful. Nobody. But nobody. NOBODY thought hillary was too far left.
They thought she was a corporate shill. They thought she had sent Russia….EMAILS or whatever but with the possible exception of Ted Nugent we all pretty much agreed if Hillary had a problem it was that she was too far in the middle, right? Do you remember that? Do you remember what the middle was like before it was camped in by people like chuckle along with Richard Spencer Dave Rubin and MOTHERFUCKING Jordan Ain’t Richard Dawkins like Stalin thanks for the 47 thousand dollars a month on patreon who cares what the law actually says PETERSON? Before it was camped in by tone policing “if only we’d been nicer” smug factories like YOU?
No let me tell you what this argument is. It’s a fucking lie. It’s a lie by cowards who don’t want to hold the people in their lives who did a bad thing responsible. Who don’t want to hold themselves responsible because deep down they know the real problem is that THEY weren’t mean enough. When uncle Al made the first black joke they didn’t say anything because HEY I love uncle Al. When aunt Edna spent the last three years telling you Obama was a muslim you thought to yourself “Crazy aunt Edna! What’s the harm?” But now they see it. Now they see they SHOULD have had those fights before it was too late, before these people put their money where their mouth is and gave us the president they told us they wanted all along. You should have believed them. You should have been brave. You should have fought the good fight and fallen out of favor if that’s what it meant because that’s what people who are honest about social change DO.
So instead these tone policers, these moderates, these SYMPATHIZERS turn to left. Because we’re the good guys. We’re the ones who will change right? And deep down many of us suspect in a couple years we’ll win? So why not bide our time, cover our eyes, ignore the hard conversations and cowardly nitpick at the imperfections of the good instead of dealing with the evil in our kitchen. Since the imbalance doesn’t matter there will always be something to pick on and you’ll always be able to convince yourself you were a good guy. You were a good guy who spent world war two passing a swear jar around the concentration camp but you were a good guy nonetheless.
So to you, my tone policers, my “moderates. My higher ground takers, my head shakers, I say again. You aren’t that black guy who talked the KKK out of racism in that link you keep sending me. You aren’t the emissary you imagine yourself to be. You’re not more reasonable, more skeptical, kinder or more open. You’re cowards. You are the latest in a long line of progressives standing to the side of history criticizing the doers, empowering the villains, and deep down you know it. And you should have been brave when it mattered.