I've been reading political sites and blogs and twitter feeds and such for years now. Thanks to all of that reading, and some deep thought, I think I finally understand the key distinction in American politics.
I understand the difference between Us and Them.
You know who I mean. You're one of Us, right? And that guy — and those people — they're part of Them.
So. What have I learned about the difference between Us and Them?
- They nauseate me. They hate what's good about America and its people. They can't be trusted. They are mean-spirited, frankly stupid, gullible, and generally deluded. They are evil, and They just suck. That's why we're at war with Them. We have to go to war, because They are coarsening the dialogue in America, demonizing Us, and dehumanizing Us, and making it impossible to participate in civil debate.
- They are constantly saying vile, racist and sexist, and threatening things about Us. That's unacceptable. To make things worse, because They don't understand humor, satire, parody, or context, and because They are willing to misconstrue things for political profit, They are constantly and unreasonably whining about Us of saying allegedly vile, racist, sexist, and threatening things about them.
- They are associated with bad people. Terrible people, with terrible, evil ideas. You can tell They are associated with those bad people because They have accepted donations from the bad people, or have appeared at events with the bad people, or have hosted the bad people, or have said complimentary things on some occasions about the bad people, or have otherwise embraced the bad people. From that, you can conclude that They embrace and agree with everything the bad people have ever said or done. To make things worse, they are constantly playing disingenuous guilt-by-association games with Us, dishonestly trying to tar Us with everything Our supporters or associates ever did, even though no rational person would mistake association for endorsement.
- They inspire people to do terrible things, things like murder, assault, and vandalism against Us, all committed by their die-hard supporters as a direct result of their ideas and as a reflection of Their values. To make matters worse, when an isolated disturbed person commits some terrible act and, out of delusion, does it in Our name, they cynically use that tragedy against Us.
- They are utterly hypocritical: They are quick to point out every speck in Our eye despite the plank in Their own. Plus, whenever We point out their terrible behavior, they descend to tu quoque and false equivalency.
- They have no sense of humor. Nor do they have any sense of decorum.
- They are big-government types who want the state to control many aspects of Our lives. Plus, their un-American values lead them to oppose Our sensible and popular legislation, which is necessary for the greater good.
- They disdain the places that We live. Sitting there, in their festering shitholes, they disdain them.
- They are always trying to divert attention from flaws in their policies with distracting references to irrelevancies and appeals to emotion. Also, one of Their campaign managers ran over a kitten and didn't stop.
- Their values are contemptible, unpatriotic, harmful to America, and generally low. Also, They have no respect for Our values.
- They flip-flop, because They have no real values and will just say whatever the moment requires. Meanwhile, They falsely accuse Us of flip-flopping: they don't understand that Our changes of position reflect changed circumstances, or developing understanding, or political necessities endured for the greater good.
- They pretend that They support women and minorities, but actually hold them in contempt, unlike Us.
- They have no respect for the dead, and indulge Themselves in sick gloating whenever one of Us dies. They further defame the dead by suggesting that Their dead are as good as Our dead, and that Their dead — terrible people who have done black deeds — are entitled to some sort of free pass when they die.
- They are obsessed with sex, peccadilloes, and private matters of all sorts, attacking us for things that are none of the public's affair. Also, they are perverts and cheats, which is crucial to understanding Them.
- They are obsessed with things that happened decades ago, dredging up muck about Us that has nothing do with today's issues, but is offered just as a mindless attack. That's what you'd expect from people with such awful morals. You can see those morals in a lot of the things they did in the 1970s and 1980s; those things are essential to understanding how They act now.
- They send people undercover to nitpick about Our plans and policies and actions. That's called "Concern Trolling." Meanwhile, They are inflexible, dogmatic, and unwilling to consider they may be wrong.
I almost forgot. They think that They are the "Us" on this list, and that We are the "Them" on this list.
I just hate Them.
I may have forgotten some entries on this list. I'll add them as I remember them.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- A Response To Marc: Institutions, Agendas, and the "Culture War" - January 13th, 2016
- Lawyering Is About Service, Not Self-Actualization - January 11th, 2016
- Lawsplainer: Was FAU Prof. James Tracy Fired in Violation of His First Amendment Rights? - January 7th, 2016
- Defy, Defy, Defy. - January 7th, 2016
- President Obama And The Rhetoric Of Rights - January 5th, 2016