Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fear And Loathing

Josh Marshall makes a point that I've made in various forms over the years.  Fear, as a motivator of action, is a terrible source for policy.  When you act out of fear, you act out of ignorance and emotion rather than reason.  This became cemented for me with the Ebola panic of a couple of years ago.  That was pure, pants-wetting fear being re-purposed as "tough guy" policy.  The fact that the targets of this "tough talk" were Africans was not an accident.

Trump's ham-fisted (tiny, but ham-fisted) ban was a pure example of fear repackaged as strength.  It was a classic projection of the cowardly towards the weak.  It was nonsensical, poorly implemented and ill-thought out.  In other words, it was the perfect expression of Trumpistan so far.

It is heartening that Americans responded so vociferously and passionately against this action.  I'm incredibly proud to be among people who responded to fear-based, hate mongering spontaneously and powerfully.  Let's be clear: these protests are working.  Trump is starting to lash out, but his tone is more wounded and defensive. The Courts are stepping up.  As I said in November: We don't elect kings.

It is difficult to see, however, how we get through three years and fifty-one more weeks of this shit.  I can very much see a scenario where Trump quits if we make things miserable enough for him.

Just don't tell him that you want him to quit.  Tell him you want him to stay in the White House so we can make him miserable.  Then he will quit thinking he is spiting us.

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