Frankly at this point there’s simply too much stuff to talk about in individual posts for an extended period of time.
As such, it’s now a necessity to combine down the shenanigans of this whole circus freak act into “roundup” style posts.
So here we go. Before we begin I remind you that I’ve already told you how I feel about what’s happening.
First let’s get #grabgate out of the way. This is a multilevel shitfest. At the top level you have the obvious “did it actually happen?!” question. There are people insisting, wildly I might add, both sides of the story. This video supposedly proves nothing happened at all! But then there’s this video which, although blocked in several places appears to show Fields moving several times. Plus in the first video you don’t see the guy in the plaid shirt who claims to have been a witness…anywhere. Beyond that, there are significant other reasons to believe these videos occur at different time points (where is the man in the white shirt? Or the black exit sign behind fields in Video #1?)
Frankly I can’t sort this out. What I can sort out is the second level which is the mess at Breitbart. Basically you have the Republican party in a nutshell here. Those who will defend Trump at all costs, vs. those who are at the very least more Trump-skeptical (if not Trump hostile.) The GOP is broken, the question is not “can it heal in time to win an election.” (That depends on the nominee and the hatred of Hilary.) The question really is: What happens after this election regardless of outcome?
Now, we have the question of Trump rhetoric. Here too I think we’re jumping on the wrong issue.
Yes, Trump has used incendiary rhetoric. Now, has this “caused” anger and violence in his followers? I think that’s a stretch. Rather it’s a correlative relationship. That is to say, he has tapped into the already existing anger to gather support. But he is not alone in this. The left has been tapping into anger for years as well. Anger at the “rich” or the GOP more broadly. More recently anger at the police (which is paradoxical if you think about it, growing government to…stop government malaction?) What we’re witnessing here is anger clashing with anger. The inevitable outcome is violence. Furthermore it creates even more distance between an already divided nation.
I would note this is not the wave Reagan rode to office. Reagan rode a wave in which the Soviets (who, you know, were killing people en masse) were evil. “Our Liberal friends” were not the enemy, much as they were just wrong, certainly not evil. Alas, those days of disagreement and civil argument are behind us now. Populism, left and right, leaves us with little left but punching each other in the face apparently.
Yes, I blame the left for setting this up, and I blame the right for not pushing back against it yet. And yes, also Trump, who quite deliberately foments this for his own advantage.
If you support Trump qua Trump, you cannot simply ignore this element of his platform. It is inseparable from what skimpy platform he has.
If you support Trump qua “Gozer of the GOP” then I think you have to consider the downstream implications of this. Yes, the GOP will be destroyed (if it already hasn’t at this point.) But so will any chance at a return to civility. And what if he taps the anger of Sanders supporters (note: the only two running against trade are the populists) and catapults to victory? Is burning the GOP worth further empowering the mobs that would silence us all?