Let’s Just Shoot the Messenger


Someone named David Atkins, in a post titled The Loyal Trump Supporter Isn’t The Same As The Persuadable Trump Voter, heavily criticizes the New York Times piece that was the main subject of my immediately preceding post.

We can stipulate that a majority of folks who self identify as Republicans and who regularly vote the Republican ticket have proved to be cult followers, lovers of authoritarianism, consumed by racial and cultural resentment, at war with science, reason, and decency. That sounds harsh, but if the foo shits, wear it.

We can stipulate further that the number of folks who self identify as Republicans is decreasing. That point is made in the New York Times piece, and elsewhere.

And, lastly, we can stipulate that some self identified Republicans do not embrace authoritarianism, etc., etc.

The questions that remain are

  1. How many people are there in each of the two categories of self-identified Republicans?
  2. What will the hard core cultists tolerate, and what further actions by Trump might cause them—or at least a lot of them—to break ranks?

For example, let’s say Trump herds a couple dozen lions into the Houston Astrodome, and then whips a couple thousand immigrant kids into the arena? That’d be a hell of a deterrent, wouldn’t it?

And, what happens when the trade war gets really hot, the stock market falls, and small businesses can’t sell their products? Will the country club set stay with him?

  1. Percentages of “support” are important, but so are relative differences in enthusiasm. How will that play out?

And lastly,

  1. Is it a good idea or not, all things considered, to yell at Sarah Huckabee, if we happen to find ourselves at the same restaurant?

Question 4 is a legitimate subject of debate.

But progressives need to worry less about the answers to questions 1, 2, and 3. Whatever the answers are, we progressives have no choice. We have to resist.

But while we resist, let us make sure we are as effective as we can be. That means, among other things, keeping our eyes wide open, and not shooting the messenger when he brings bad news.

I grieve for the lost humanity of so many of my fellow Americans, but I have to confront it.